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Dolphins mysterious personnel staff make some mystifying moves

Let me begin here: I am not a genius and I hate to second-guess. But some things simply do not add up and critiquing what is being done is not second-guessing, it is judging what is happening, and often times failing, right before your very eyes.

Having said that, I do not get the Dolphins' pesonnel moves sometimes. I also don't get their non-moves sometimes. In other words, when it comes to personnel acquisition, I often do not get the Miami Dolphins.

Let us begin with the latest and work our way back. You'll notice that today, as the Dolphins travel to Cleveland for their third game of the regular season, the team's secondary is one pulled muscle from being in shambles.

CB Vontae Davis is out with a hamstring injury. S Chris Clemons is questionable with a hamstring injury suffered weeks ago. Will Allen is questionable with a hamstring injury suffered in practice Thursday.

The Dolphins are starting Nolan Carroll at one CB spot even though he struggled in the preseason and then has struggled so far in the regular season.

It is a difficult situation authored, in part, by happenstance of injuries. It is also a difficult situation authored by strange personnel decisions.

To wit:

At the end of the preseason, the Dolphins decided Benny Sapp was their best option as the nickel back. He won the job and I agreed with it because he made plays in games (one interception) and had tons of plays in practice. Will Allen was mostly injured, nursing a hamstring injury for three weeks, after he missed the past two seasons with knee issues.

So I got that Sapp was on the team. The decision spoke for itself. The Dolphins saw what everyone else saw and they made the right call with Sapp.

Then after one game, they changed their minds. The Dolphins played one game in which Carroll, Davis, Sean Smith, and Sapp were beaten for significant gains or scores and decided that Sapp had to go.

The only guy that made any plays in the secondary in preseason, indeed, the only defensive back that made a play against New England, got fired.

Yes, Sapp had given up a 99-yard TD catch to Wes Welker. Yes, he gave up a 2-yard TD grab by Welker also.

But guess what? Jones took a bad angle on that Welker play and could have made the tackle around the 40-yard line if he hadn't. Guess what? Sapp played that WR screen perfectly in the first half and forced the tip that Jared Odrick intercepted, and that remains the only play the Miami secondary has made so far this season. Guess what? Players give up 2-yard catches in the NFL all the time.

Still, Sapp got the axe.

So basically, Miami's personnel decision-makers watched Sapp throughout six weeks of training camp, in four preseason games, in countless practices and nearly a thousand repetitions, and deemed him worthy of being on the team.

And then changed their mind in four quarters of football against the best quarterback in the NFL the past decade and an offense that led the league last year and is en route to that again this year?


So Sapp was out, even though as a vested veteran, the Dolphins were then on the hook for his 2011 salary.

Then they brought back Will Allen to replace him. Yup, the guy who's been injured most of the time since 2009 and was injured most of training camp was brought back last week to replace Sapp. And guess what? One week later, he's injured again.

Brilliant thinking, personnel department!

With Davis also down, the personnel department had to go find another cornerback. They couldn't rehire Sapp, although he knows the system and he's obviously in shape and would fit right in because, you know, that would look bad. It would look like somebody made a boo-boo in hastily firing him after New England.

So they go and sign Nate Jones. They go get a former Dallas Cowboy, of course!

Jones actually was not a bad player -- around 2009, that is. In 2008-2009 he was brought to Miami as a nickel back. He served a purpose and then was allowed to leave because, frankly, he has flaws and he was paid handsomely by the Denver Broncos. It was the right decision to move on.

Except now Denver has moved on. They've apparently found someone better. And the Dolphins?

They're back to 2009's solution. You know what that tells me?

The Dolphins haven't really addressed the nickel position well enough since 2009 to avoid having to resort to the old answers. Two years have passed and they're still trying to solve problems with old answers. What were they doing the past couple of years? Why didn't the issue get resolved in two offseasons of free agency and drafts with a better, younger, more expensive player?

Why are we trying to solve old questions with old answers you've already decided weren't good enough?

This example is not the only one bothering me about the personnel department.

They draft A.J. Edds in the fourth round in 2010. Nice pick. But after he gets injured and is out for the entire season, they cut him before the 2011 season begins. The kid got no opportunity to be in a Dolphins offseason conditioning program. He didn't have the luxury of OTAs or offseason camps. He was basically brought to camp a year after reconstructive surgery and told perform or you're cut.

And he led the team in tackles in the preseason. And he was cut anyway.

And for what?

Dante Rosario.

Yup, the Dolphins cut Edds to make room for Dante Rosario. No disrespect, but a great personnel man whom I greatly respect said this to me about Rosario when the Dolphins picked him up: "Rosario sucks!"

I took it with a grain of salt because I figured the Dolphins knew what they were doing. I will not make that mistake again.

Rosario was cut by Carolina. He was cut by Denver. He was then signed by Miami. And he was cut two weeks later because they found out what the other teams and that personnel man already knew. He's not the answer for them at tight end.

By the way, speaking of tight end, I'd like to hear from the personnel department why they looked the other way all of free agency and the draft on tight end. Jeremy Shockey signed with Carolina. Zach Miller signed with Seattle. Greg Olsen was traded from Chicago to Carolina for a third round pick.

And all the time the Miami pesonnel department is wanting us to believe the Dolphins are fine at tight end? No upgrade needed? Ok, if that is your best evaluation of your situation, fine. I will defer to your expertise.

But then you throw that expertise to the four winds and once other teams start cutting tight ends, you pick them up, one after another, like a homeless person picks scraps out of a garbage can?

What? The proven guys were too good?

You had a really good feeling about Jeron Mastrud, who has zero catches in 10 NFL games?

All I can say is Charles Clay, a running back in college, better be a stud tight end.

He also better be a short-yardage stud and blocking fullback stud because the personnel department decided Lousaka Polite was expendable. Polite was excellent in the locker room. He was one of those players that fit the team's "right 53 players" outlook the past three years.

And on third-and-1, he was nails. Polite carried the ball 15 times on third-and-one or fourth-and-one last year. He converted 14 times.

This year the Dolphins are only 2 of 4 on third-and-two or less. They are only 1-for-2 on fourth and 1. So already they've blown three times more short yardage plays in two games than they did all last year handing it to Polite.

But, maybe the personnel department would argue it had the answer for a fullback. Paul Soliai!

How'd that work out against New England.

Look, the truth is the personnel department wouldn't argue anything. General Manager Jeff Ireland is not talking to the media. He hasn't spoken since the draft. I asked to speak to him this week. Nothing.

His right hand man, Brian Gaine? Hardly ever see the guy. Doesn't mean he's not around, but he is definitely a behind the scenes guy.

And that's fine. They can stay behind the curtain. But their moves?

I promise you, from this point forward I will continually put them before your eyes.


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Frickin excellent!

I can see this team running the table from here on out. 14-2.

That's the truth... My grandma w alzheimers and dementia knows this is bs and could do a better a job. How come they are blind?

I never liked the trifecta to begin with... Parcells was a huge waste of money I can't believe they actually get paid...

parcells looks like herman munster!

I've been screaming about Zac Miller for 4 months.




Marino sigle-handedly kept this organization from winning the SB for more than 15 years.
You don't really want to go there do you?
Rivers, Schaub, Romo, Orton, Cutler, ryan, Flacco, Stafford, Bradford etc similarly have done nothing.
And if Bill Cowher wanted to be here he would already be here.

While I have tried to defend Sparano and Ireland in the past, I'm slowly beginning to think they need to go. However, I've been convinced for a while that Ross is a buffoon and I will be hard-pressed to hand over my hard-earned money to my beloved Dolphins as long as he is still the owner.

There is only 1 game plan that gives us a CHANCE tomorrow:
The same one we used to put up 500+ yards on NE: Throw the ball 50-60 times per game.

Colt McCoy is not going to be handing the ball off tomorrow.

Chad Henne is going to go A P E S H I T on the Cle tomorrow.

I bash the 3 stooges as much as anyone but IREALND DOES DESERVE SOME CREDIT:
with the first and 2nd round picks of 2010 & 2011 Ireland got us Marshall, Pouncey, Thomas and Odrick.

unfortunately henne, though made some small improvements is still not a leader, and will never be able to carry this team.

After we lose all of our games Luck will refuse to be drafted by us(ala Manning).

We can't lose for not winning!



Henne is an ice cube with legs. Melts when the heat is on. Not sometimes, not usually, but always.

unfortunately henne, though made some small improvements is still not a leader, and will never be able to carry this team.

Posted by: dolphin 77 | September 24, 2011 at 06:03 PM

This must mean Henne will soon become a Pro Bowler(as soon as we get rid of him of course)because all 77's pedictions turn out just the opposite.

NICE! Trade Henne and let him get on with his career!


How long has Jeff ireland been here? BIG PROBLEM!

hurricants look like sh#t too!

exactly, trade him and let him get on with his great career he has had so far. come on man wake up for once.

If I know Ireland, he'll take one of the Cowboys compensatory picks for Henne!

Cash in while you can Jeffy, THE END IS NEAR!!!!

TRADE HENNE NOW! He's stopping Matt Moores progress!

don't worry mando, they'll all be gone next year.


Brady and Henne both looked awesome at Michigan.

Brady went to New England and looed awesome!

Henne went to MIAMI! Nuff said!

I say cut Henne now and let him play on a team with some real recievers like Braylon Edwards, Jason Avant and Steve Breaston!

We should be able to AT LEAST get a 5th rounder for him. Let Matt Moore develop by starting the rest of this season and stock pile so draf picks.

Jeffy! Get rid of Henne! PLEASE!!!!

This could absolutely happen:
1. Miami tenders Henne a small contract
2. Oakland/Seattle sign Henne to big contract
3. Oakland/Seattle give 3rd or 4th rounder as compensation based on low tender
4. Oakland/Seattle then trades Jason Campbell/Tavaris Jackson to us for a pick higher than the compensatory pick.
It'll be like us trading Henne and a 2nd rounder for Jason campbell and a 4th rounder.

Tell me that couldn't happen.

We ain't blind Mando. Just sayin. But the panic set in after NE and heads must roll. Sapp must have said something to someone for him to be cut. Because as well know TS markets himself as a players coach.

But is he? I don't believe that for a anymore. He a sycophant. At toady, a yes man, an I will say or do anything to keep my job, man.

What kind of personnel is a guy like Parcells gonna hire? Well a guy that says Yes sir Mr Parcells sir. Can I take your hat? Do you think that a first time never question Bill guy is gonna get a head coaching job? Well sure because he isn't going to hire anyone with a backbone.

Ireland, well, same thing.

Without magic Bill as the boss the only thing these two know is to call the Dallas Cowboys and ask, How do you really play this game and do you have a couple of guys you don't want anymore in your excellent system, Mr Jerry Jones, sir? Because we are lost. We are in over our heads.

You left out Manningham

It'll be like us trading Henne and a 2nd rounder for Jason campbell and a 4th rounder.

Tell me that couldn't happen.

Posted by: PriceMaster | September 24, 2011 at 06:25 PM

You can't be serious. Why??? Why bother with Jason Campbell, more of the same, and swap a 2 for a 4? Do me a favor and don't apply for the GM postion.

..Pricemaster. I don't know I'm following your train of thought. Are you suggesting a future trade, Henne for Jason Campbell? How does that make our team better? Or are you commenting on the absurdity of the front office moves?

The situation with Sapp, etc, in the defensive backfield is really simple and you are overthinking it. They all are mediocre at best and it frankly doesn't much matter who is back there.

Seriously though some of you guys are going way too far.
When Henne got here we were running the BACKDOOR wildcat as our base offense, we were 1-15, and people in this post referred to the QB as noodlearm.

Chad Henne had never not been the star and starting QB of a ranked program before he got here.

Chad Henne didn't bring down this team. Henne's the one trying to lift it up.

I'm saying we lose Henne because of the low tender offer so then we got no QB.
Seattle would have 2 QB's Henne and Tavaris Jackson.
Seattle would trade one to us.
I'm talking about us getting swindled.


I'm a little embarrassed to say I completly forgot, but yeah, Manningham was another one!

The only way I say we keep Henne is if Ross hires Brady Hoke and takes him back out to San Diego with the rest of te new look West Coast Dolphins!

Otherwise, trade Henne Now! Let Nooe get some experince and stockpile the picks!

DUMP.......ah, I mean, TRADE HENNE!



Mando thanks for have some Balls and telling it like it is I been putting all that put there all the stupid moves. JI TS makes in their player personnel...but who listen to the little people?? But I support you on this one Mando, Your are correct can't disagree on this one, but I do disagree on firing TS like right now!! And JI I love my PHINS I'm a die hard threw thick and thin to death do us part!! I'm a fan!! But I prefer the PHINS to loose the next couple of games so Ross has to force his hand and give TS JI the axe!!!
But if they win than it's ok I love it!! But the only way to get rid of this cancer on this team is to remove them and throw away the trash!!

That's the reason I only want the PHINS to loose!! TONEY JEFF. YOUR FIRED :/


Pricemaster used the word BACKDOOR again !!!!!!!!!!

Pricemaster used the word BACKDOOR again !!!!!!!!!!

Aaaauhhhhhhhhhhhhhh !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mons Venus Says ....Hi !!!

He's a backdoor man, obviously. At least inside the closet.

Sorry spell check always gets me.. I meant out there I been posting the same thing and these loyal fans and TS JI supporters tell me I'm a idiot. Stupid uneducated no football knowledge Etc etc etc But you know what
They are really bad staff!! I tell you what Cam Cameron draft picks are still playing in the NFL!!!

Thank you, Armando. This was fantastic. Next, you should do this with the last 4 drafts. Players drafted vs. players available (who filled needs, also - like Hakeem Nicks, Earl Thomas, Clay Matthews just to name a few).

Henne has 14 wins as a starter the past 2 years. That's more than a lot of NFL QB's.
he's the only QB in Phins history other than Marino to throw for 300+ in a game; he's done it 8 times. He's thrown 31 TD passes in 31 games. He's 25 years old.

Is he the best QB in the league? No
Is he the worst? No

This past offseason Kolb, Jackson & Hasselback are the starting QB's that changed teams and they all got paid. If they can get paid Henne certainly can also. The question is how much can we get for him. The answer is nothing unless we tender him a contract and he signs elsewhere. If we tender him a contract and he accepts than he is it. This is an issue that needs to be thought out.

Actually, Price...I'm just messing with you...

The truth is...
Stephan Ross has earned a few billion dollars in his life...but that doesn't qualify him to run a football team...

I Hope he sells it.


good post armando, no wonder irelands barricaded in his office refusing to speak

on the other hand


A hopeful Wolf. I love it !



Cheers !

Stats shats. Heres a stat - Henne loses games whether he throws for 100 yards or 400 yards. Henne stinks in the redzone his whole time here. Stinks.

That's been the pattern with TS and Ireland. I think the faster we get rid of them the better off this team will be.

A lot of people complaining about Henne, frankly I thought the only bright spot in an otherwise lousy year. I've bashed Henne for years now, he's a backup QB anywhere but here. Biggest problem is the one Mando figured out today. We've sucxed at acquiring talent and our FA suxed as well!

Toney and Jeff needs to go and the only way is the PHINS continue demise.... Please Ross fired them please!!

I think that you'd agree, doogy,
that Biran Daibol is better equipped to fix the Red Zone screw ups than Dan Henning was....

HOW MUCH better ....I guess we'll see in the coming weeks!
Go Dolphins!

I don't know that. Dabol's offense 'looks' better, but the results are the same. So far at least.

It's about talent bottom line!!! I posted a the talents on this offense, On WR. RB. TE. Are they really good or average talent! Because we are going on our second coordinator and. The same result. So what is it ?? You guys answer that one..

al golden= tony suckrano!

Hi guys, Mando finally nutted up and wrote our point of view! Maybe we have influenced him at last!

Redsky yes it's about time Mando talked for us little people, now he needs to comment about Steven Ross wasting the PHINS time and money on the product and keep dealing with this coaching staff and GM

I would venture to say that when the time comes and Ireland is canned, I'll bet a beer that he does NOT land another personnel position in the NFL. He will be lucky to get an HR position with an arena league team.

Armando, you go boy. This is excellent reporting. I know you don't wanna say it, but I'll say it for you, this proves that Jeff Ireland is in over his head. Why cut Benny Sapp after one bad game and keep Nolan Carroll after back to back bad games? What has Nolan Carroll done since he's been here? Armando as a sport reporter, you have been fair to this organization. Its good to see that you are starting to hold them accountable. This guy has to go. In my opinion, I think he's more of the reason we're 0-2 not TS. And during one of the preseason games when Jeff Ireland was in the booth with Bob Griese and Nat Moore, the guy is so arrogant like he know his sh*@ don't stank. Dude, you suck at evaluating talent. Bill Parcells should return every last dime he left with.

Hate to say,but McCoy will look Montana against the miami secondary tomorrow. Could get very Ugly!

Another season in the life of a Dolphins fan. Cant wait to breeze down hooters to watch two solid franchises square off in the Superbowl come Feb whilst im in my colours hearing yet more sniggers.

Henne is Miami's Franchise QB

Miami 38 Browns 20

Henne is the solution

Not the problem

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."
- Albert Einstein

Maybe this should be on the wall outside the Personnel Department.

Good story - the list is like the "never ending story." They have made so many blunders during free agency in picking up quality players it makes you wonder if Ross is too cheap to shell out the money. Why havent they signed a multi year contract with their franchise player? After sitting on their hands while quality players were picked up by other teams the Fins were left with players as you stated cut from one team after another - I'm no football expert but I can say I wouldn't sign a player who had been cut from other teams = who evaluates the "talent" (or lack there of) on this team? Gloria Estaphan or one of the other "celebrity" part owners? I don't get it - Lets not forget the O line and how they screwed that up. It's a shame but it seems like (and I don't know) the folks making the decisions on player personnel haven't a clue or they are hoping one of these guys will work out just ok. Colombo needs a tight end according to Sparano to help him pick up his assignment - pitiful it really is - I'm spoiled I guess because I got use to 17 years or more with Shula and Marino along with all the other great players winning games. Not to dwell in the past but how many decades are we going to endure with the revolving door coaching and throw away players until we the fans will have a quality team.

I know I can make better personnel decisions than Jeff Ireland. And the only experience I have with making personnel decisions is when I'm in Franchise Mode playing Madden 2012.

This regime is history after the season. Great article Armando, you exposed the Dolphins front office. They are clueless.

Chad Henne is one of the best players on the 2011- 2012 Miami Dolphins offense

w poor o-line, dropped balls by WRs, and being forced to throw the fade pass which does not work for this team

The Dolphins will get BETTER
1st WIN tomorrow

Miami 38 Browns 20

Clyde Gates first NFL TD

Duh, Hennings offense sucked in the red zone for three seasons.

Duh, Daboll's offense looks better, but same results!

Duh, even though we've only played TWO GAMES in Daboll's offense, ah hyucka, huyucka!

Jesus Christ! Our best playmaker(Marshall) has already surpassed last years TD totals in JUST TWO GAMES!

Henne and Marshall are the ONLY things we got going and they both look WAY BETTER in JUST TWO GAMES under Daboll, give it a FREAKING CHANCE Numb Nutz!

PS: Waive Henne-The END iS NEAR!!!!

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