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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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Spot on!

As USUAL!!!!

This team could go 0-16 :(

Marshall's problem is that doesn't have great hands. He bobbles too many on target throws and doesn't often make the tougher catches great receivers make. This teams core is Long, Bess, Starks. Thomas may turn out to be a good pick, the guy can catch very well, we'll see.

I'm not down on Henne at all. On the contrary, I'd just like to see him play on a good team, with a good fan base.

I don't blame the fan base for not showing at the stadium. Still, having said that, the South Florida fans are ultra-spasmatically critical of Henne. I suspect alot of it is because of how he torced T-bow and told it like it is about him and the NFL.

I'd just rather see Henne traded. If Miami ever wins a game, according to Soth Florida "FANS", it'll be because of Reggie, Marshall or ANYBODY but Henne. They will give credit to Igor and Colombo credit before they would give Henne any credit. It' sickening.

That first pre season INT was almost a handoff from Fasano to Abraham. Yet, not only the so called fans here, but even Armando tried to blame it on Henne and defend Fasano for weeks on end.

Regardless of how my front office or coaches were doing , If I was a quarterback, I wouldn't want any part of this SEVERELY JADED, so called "FAN BASE"!

As much as I hate the jets can you imagine if Henne had been their starter for the past three seasons?

I'll be a die hard Dolphin Fan till the day I die. Still, I'd like to see Henne get a fair shot with a fan base and a good team before he's 45 years old.

Ya'll go on and on about being realists? Ok, really consider how Henne would have done with the jets these past three years!

PS: JEFFY! Trade Henne for a 5th rounder and stockpile some more "Acorn Ammunition"!


PSS: Mr. Nolan, if we get Cleveland backed up on their own 1 yard line, PLEASE put Henne in on defense. Line him up man on man against their best WR! You know, just EXACTLY like we did Sapp ;)

Miami Herald PASS rankings

Player Wk2 Season
1. Tom Brady, NE 57.15 113
2. Drew Brees, NO 42.50 87.45
3. A. Rodgers, GB 34.40 83
4. M. Stafford, DET 35.70 76.95
5. Philip Rivers, SD 39.90 76.65
6. R. Fitzpatrick, BUF 34.20 70.60
7. M. Hasselbeck, TEN 40.90 65.05
8. T. Romo, DAL 34.25 64.35
9. R. Grossman, WAS 26.55 60.80
10. C. Newton, CAR 25.60 60.70
11. M. Schaub, HOU 35.50 58.50
12. M. Sanchez, NYJ 24.10 56.85
13. J. Freeman, TB 30.15 56.10
14. K. Kolb, ARI 19.55 55
15. M. Ryan, ATL 26.75 54.70
16. A. Dalton, CIN 35.60 49.65
17. J. Campbell, OAK 32.15 49.40
18.Roethlisberger, PIT 36.90 47.90
19. J. Cutler, CHI 8.20 43.80
20. K. Orton, DEN 25.75 42.95
25. C. Henne, MIA 2.50 37.30

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/09/24/2423331/greg-cotes-nfl-passer-rankings.html#ixzz1YvF7KGdq

this is another pick of the future... that´s why they will be gone by end of the season no matter what happens this season... thats why Ross didnt expent big money this offseason... wait for the next season with a new FO

Wait. Tell me again who are these pro bowl WR's we're going up against tomor?

Dear Mr. Ross,

Being an owner of a billion dollar investment is a full time job. It's not a toy to play with on the weekends. We get it. You're primary commitment is to your real estate empire and you don't want to be a meddling owner who gets in the way. But I ask you to please spend the next few months to learn as much as you can about this business, pick the brains of as many intelligent football managers as possible so that you can develop a vision for the team, a strategic plan, and the right personnel to carry out your vision. And I would recommend you start by picking up the phone to call some guy by the name of Don Shula.

Thank you.

Other than McCoy, Cribbs, Hillis & Roth I don't even know anyone on the BrownStains.
Cribbs is still there right?

Why does it take the media so long to pick up on what the fans have been saying. This is not news, it is just more of the same lame personal moves these guys have been making for years. Getting worse every year is not fun to watch. Dumping Crowder was a big mistake, why don't you mention that? They can't stop the run on first or second down and cutting Crowder is the biggest reason. The QB will throw enough picks to lose to a team we should beat. He throws late and behind, enough to make it hard to play receiver for the Dolphins. Lots of dropped balls when you can't hit a short pass in the flat, you know your QB sucks big time.
I've never cheered against the Dolphins but I'm cheering against this GM, coach, QB and owner because they suck at what they've done to my team.

Armando this has been your best blog. I can perceive the frustration from your words, we all feel the same way, welcome to the team.

Old Fan,
I can't speak for the GM & Coach.
The following was state of the franchise BEFORE Henne/Ross came here:
NoodleArm, 1-15, The BACKDOOR wildcat play, Ricky, Ronnie, Joey Porter, Ernest Wilford, John Beck, Cleo Lemon.

Camarillo and Ginn were the WR's and NoodleArm was QB.

Henne didn't bring that s h i t here, he got rid of it.

Hey you didnt have to write this article we already know that the staff in miami blows... Old news...

NE started Haynseworth, Wilfork and Ellis on thier D-line and we put up 500 yards on them.
Matt Roth is the top defender on Cleveland.

The Phins are looking for someones ass to kick and here come the BrownStains.

Who is everyone kidding. Ireland, Sparano, all the personnel dept. are geniuses. They are getting paid to turn what was a joke of a franchise into a non-entity in the football world. Time to gut the fish, NOW, PLEASE




Great post Armando! I vote for you to be our next GM!!!

Oh wow, we may win a game against Cleveland. LV has us favored to lose that is how far this team has fallen. Underdogs at home, on the road, and we justify it. They will win maybe 5 games this year. Big deal, nothing to celebrate here, move a long.

I believe Matt Roth plays for Jacksonville now, not the Browns.

I've never cheered against the Dolphins but I'm cheering against this GM, coach, QB and owner because they suck at what they've done to my team.

Posted by: Old Fan | September 24, 2011 at 09:38 PM

Ha Ha! Please, do us all a favor and put yourself out of your misery!

Lock and Load!

The End Is Near(for you hopefully)!

Not sure about Ireland(basides the Dez episode). This year Draft player's seem pretty good. Pouncey , D. Thomas, ClydeG, Clay(who I hope we will see tomorrow), Jimmy Wilson. Have to hold judgment on him.

Ross had to hire a credit agency to get season ticket holders to pay for them. What a fanbase!

Thomas, Gates, Clay = busts. Bank on it.

Thomas didn't seem like a bust last week, "tunka".

Against a team that never makes the playoffs with a new DC. Let's see him do that against the teams that matter.

As the last vestiges of the Fatcells era implodes before our very eyes, we have but one small consolation.

They did manage to bring in the best QB we've had since Marino.

Other than that, they managed to dumbluck into Cam Wake. They almost blew this too, by stubornly sticking too their "square peg/round hole" idiocrasy!

I can't credit them for finding Marshall. The talent aspect was apparent to even the most casual of fans. He was a disgruntled Pro Bowler in need of a home. It's not like they developed a raw talent or anything. They did get Ross to sign the check. I'll give them that.

You, tunka, like many "others" here seem to desire the worst for the Dolphins. Which side are you "all" on?

I'll take Fiedler over Henne any day. When is Henne ever going to be on target and when is he going to stop having so many passes batted down every single game. Sheeeeeeesh!

The FO is the worst thing for the dolphins, not me. I'm for shoving out Sparano ASAP win or lose. He is a joke.

Why you mess with me when everytime you do you always get your A-s kicked in Internet. Be reasonable.

The point is Henne is now, after 3+ years, a proven failure at reading defenses, finding the open man and hitting him. That's how QB's in the NFL win consistently. Not staring down a guy he picks in the huddle and maybe getting lucky that he gets open. He thinks too slowly for the job at the NFL level. Five batted balls last week because the D linemen watch his eyes and know, 9 times out of 10, where and when Henne is throwing the ball. It's easy for them to defend. Strong arm yes, but accurate, not really, not if the receiver is cutting across the middle. If they are on the run, they get the ball late and behind them way too often. He has Jay Feidler disease. Jay used to get the receivers killed over the middle. If you can't hit them in stride most of the time, then they can't get YAC and you shouldn't be throwing at this level. That's one reason why Crowder said publicly, "I don't like Henne". He gets his players hung out to dry. Holding the ball too long most of the time will get you sacks, fumbles, tipped balls and passes picked off or defended. He's so bad at getting rid of the ball on time that he made Ron Jaworski swear on live TV, so it's not just me that can't stand how he passes late. I've seen too much of Henne forcing the ball into coverage right over a wide open TE on a drag route like in the N.E. game Monday night. He has lots of passes dropped because of poor decisions, throwing late and hard and behind. Then fans blame the receiver when it's often his fault, for the drop. Just because a ball hits a shoulder pad or fingers doesn't mean it should be caught. Maybe it can be, but consistent QB play that keeps drives alive doesn't come from our boy Henne. He's one and done way too much.

odin, how much is Armando paying you to increase the hits on his Blog?


Can't argue with anything you've written here. Especially on tight-end. Why, when Zack Miller went unsigned for so long, didn't they sign him? He must have come down with his price.

Old Fan

Good luck getting some of these bloggers to see all that. Many continue to be in denial about Henne just because every now and then he throws for 300 yards, but we still lose so whats the difference. Henne never carries the team on his back for a win. He seems to have this 'oh well, better next time' attitude.

Is there anymore room left on the suck for Luck bandwagon?

There's only one way to clean up the mess that has become this regime. Put the broom bristles to thier crud infested a*sses.

A win tomorrow only jeopardizes our suck for Luck draft positioning. We wont be close to playoffs contention. So it makes no sense to win just enough games to miss out on the Andrew Luck sweepstakes!

A real coach would get more out of these amae players. Sparano gets the least out of this group.

Dont know why anyone could say Sparano's a good hc. The Texans game was yet another example he hasnt put his game mismanagement issues to rest.

Timeout after not the getting the opposing defense to jump offsides on 4th down? Even tv announcers know how pathetic that is. Take the 5yd delay of game penalty, you had to punt the damn ball anyway!

Every year Sparano has these boneheaded 4th qtr timeouts.

What does it say about Sparano when the most respected veteran player on the team calls out the team for piss poor practice?

WOW Armando! You finaly realized what I've been saying for 2 years! IRELAND IS NO BILL PARCELLS! This team won't go anywhere until ROSS breaks his piggybank and hires a top notche coach & GM!


Don Shula couldnt get more out of this roster personel. Wanna know why?

Shula would have never assembled this amount of roster clucster fvck to begin with. We're like a B-rated movies with a bunch of C-rated actors!

What rhymes with Loss? Ross.

Great post Mando. And I now you're not in favor of replacing this regime midseason, but the only way to turn this around is to clean house. Our personnel dept is very vey bad. Sparano is over his head.

Great thing Cameron Wake worked out because other than drafting 2 overrated corners. This regime has made 0 significant moves on defense.

Sure they spent 2 high draft picks on DE's, but De's are almost an after thought in the 3-4 defense. The pass pressure ahs to come from your olb's. Speaking of olbs, they spent a 2nd on Koa Misi. On draft day everyone went, "who"?

We bypassed better pass rush olb's to draft Koa Who?

Fiedler and batted down passes? That's your "argument"? ROTFLMAO!

Henne has been making all the reads, making plays, scrambling, extending plays and picking first downs and chunk yards with his feet.

He's throwing with ever increasing touch and accuracy. Throwing STRIKES in the Red Zone. He's racking up 300-400+ yard games and not turning the ball over.

But your "argument" is FIEDLER? Bhwaaaaaa Haaaaaa Haaaaaaaaaa!

Okee Dokee then!

It's not that I can't argue with that, but ah, FIEDLER(snicker, snicker)? ROTFLMAO!

PS: FIEDLER? GuuuuFFaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaW ;P


Funny! Hey Columbo is great, didn't you see the tape?

What movie have you been watching?

Henne last week, 12 -30, 56 passer rating and a loss. You sound like you are talking about Fran Tarkenton!

Ahem, we do have the longest losing streak in the NFL going back to last year, and we are not 1-11 home. We are 1-12 at home.

All this under the command and leadership (snicker) of Henne...hehe

Meanwhile a whole bunch of QB's with far less experience have been outplaying Henne even on worse teams. You don't need 4 years anymore, you need talent.

On Offense:

2 2nd rd picks for Marshall. Ireland didnt like Dez Bryant's mom. Instead drafted Odrick, who missed the entire 2010 season, and again, a DE just isnt an impact player in the 3-4 defense.

Still rebuilding the oline. A gm who knows what the hell he's doing, in 4yrs spends at least 2 #1 picks on the oline if inheriting one completely in shambles as ours was. Or at least signe to upper tier non-injury prone olinemen to supplement drafting 3 premium young ones.

This fo has done a terrible personel job on both sides of the ball. One true credible player on each side of the ball(Wake, Long) isnt nearly enough in today's nfl. Not after 3yrs work already in.

At this rate the Dolphins should win another SB in time for my 80th birthday. Thats well over a great many decades aways!

I'm more eager to see Sparano gone. There is no way to have any pride in this team with that fool on the sideline.

Henne? Who knows with that guy, Mr. Hot-Cold-Lukewarm.

Stats are for losers.

While I agree with Belicheat, you are just a loser Dolphin fan.

All your whinny cry baby stuff aside punkin, Henne played good enough for us to beat the pats and he Texans.

No matter how many times you mess your DEPENDS, those are the most plain and obvious facts.

Most of your dribble above isn't even worth addressing. The tunka stuff, the boliver stuff, or the Old Fan stuff. It was funny though when you were pretending and talking to yourself.

Even if it hits his fingers, it doesn't mean he should catch it?

ROTFLMAO-that's not what the rest of the NFL says, Dolt ;P

Suddenly Wake is not looking so incredible anymore, they have him figured out maybe. Or maybe Wake just needs some help on the other side.

On Dez, well he has not even shown the ability to stay healthy. He has been constantly injured and missing games, practices. I think they were choosing between Marshall and Dez and never intended to go after both at the same time.


I hate rapping on Henne. Its like keep replaying a broken scratched record.

Henne has shown some improvement. But the primary problem continues to be that whats still his greatest weakness flares in the redzone.

Part of is faulty personel. We need a great TE like nobody's business(redzone). That could greatly cover some of Henne's weakness in this area. This also seems to be the area of the field where Henne and Marshall's communication breaks down most.

Also, dammit, when will Henne ever learn to throw an endzone fade. I see rookies qb's doing it and 4yrs in the league Henne still cant throw an enzone fade. WTH gives?

Ahem, we do have the longest losing streak in the NFL going back to last year, and we are not 1-11 home. We are 1-12 at home.

All this under the command and leadership (snicker) of Henne...hehe

Posted by: tunka | September 24, 2011 at 11:15 PM

I'm not arguing the fact that you CLAIM to be a fan of the worst team in the NFL.

I'm just saying, Henne deserves better, A lot BETTER!

Just the Facts Bro, that's all!

Hennings? Fartcells? SpOrano's AWESOME line-ROTFLMAO! But ah, let me guess, it's all under Henne's leadership? Psssssssssft ;P

GuuuuuuFFAAAAAAAAAAW - Brother, Puh-LEASE!!!!

You are a character, You cite the one good game Henne has had in 9 months and conveniently forget how pathetic he was in the last half of 2010 and against Houston. He can't put the team on his shoulders and win a game, he needs others to do that. He has proven that time and again.

You have no argument, just lots of fantasy woulda coulda shoulda. You say he played good enough to win but we didn't win...so um...he didn't play good enough to win.

He played good enough to lose. Maybe that is what you meant to say. I agree. We are not so far off after all.


Wanna know what scares me most about our 2011 season?

We wont be close to good enough to even sniff a playoffs opportunity. But we will be good enough to lose out on the "suck for Luck" competition. Now that sucks!

I'd say in the long run Bess will have been a better find than Wake. Also Wake is pushing 30 I believe.

If i was Fisher or cowher or Gruden i would be licking my chops thinking about having a chance to take over Football operations. These guys understand the game so i would be willing to bet any one of these guys could come in Draft Andrew Luck and fill the roster with playmakers that we currently lack on both sides of the Ball. The secondary would be the main area on defense obviously. The offense would see upgrades to the WR and TE positions so our new QB has plenty of weapons. The right tackle position would be upgraded maybe the guard position as well. I think they would add another running back as well. Considering the team does have Talent on the current roster and we were to get Andrew Luck any of these coaches could see the real weaknesses listed above and fill or at least upgrade most of these holes through free agency and the draft. These changes in the roster and having a real staff/Gm could easily make the Team go from worst in the Nfl to Playoff team in 1 season making one of these coaches look like Bill B.. I think WE are the best bad team in football due to the horrible staff and lack of there ability to evaluate talent and coach.. Bring on the new staff..

It's only been 2 games folks. By game 8 I thing the Henne argument will be crystal clear for everybody one way or the other.


No disrespect to you are Chad Henne intended. But IMO, Henne will never be anymore than an upper tier 2nd string qb in this league. He has really good talent but greatly lacks consistency.

In the nfl, a starting calibre qb that greatly lacks consistency are called 2nd string backup qb's. Henne would be a great backup qb if we had Brady, Rogers, Breeze or Manning.

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