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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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Mando, I hope you publish this column and not just post it on the blog, you'd be a real chikensh-t if you didn't! It's your best analytical piece of work yet! The honesty and raw emotion of the fans come through! I want to read it in the paper!



Smelly rotten fish stench. I hope all 10 of you enjoy the slapping you take at the hands of the browns. There is zero reason for any kind of optimism in Miami. Giving away tickets in September and already planning for the draft. Enjoy the next four months losers.

...Dying Breed. I'm not sure if you are around still. But I have to give you kudos to a post you wrote a few days ago. I was reading some of the older threads today and I stumbled onto something you wrote. I have been thinking the same thing. It has to do with our 3-4 defense and how IMO we don't have close to the proper personel to run this..

The 3-4 when run properly is IMO the best defense if you want to pressure the passer. You look at the 3-4 teams that excell(and give the Brady fits) they all have multiple linebackers who are proficient in pass rushing. They also have dominant inside play the real key to this defense. They also have cornerbacks that can cover in man. Sure they get beat time to time. But to pressure the QB they have to gamble and be willing to trust the guys on the outside.

Lastly, they all have safties that can react and make plays on the ball. These safties main concern is where the quarterback is going with the ball..Our guys especially the younger ones are much better suited for a cover 2 scheme. Something favored by 4-3 defenses.

I think it would be in the best interst of this team to make that switch back to the 4-3. Odrick can play the 3 or 5 technique and so can Starks. The biggest problem IMO would be the Mlb position. Dansby is not the prototypical Mike for this scheme as it requires the linebacker to take deep drops with speed to cover the middle part of the field..No worries he would be a fine Will..

We just do not have the right horses for this defense. Even with the little bit of success we had last year. It is clear to me we are in some trouble with this scheme and the current players.

When was the last time you won a playoff game? You have done nothing right since Shula. Well over a decade of failure after failure after failure. Does anyone in Miami even remember when this team was any good?

Darryl, Tortured et al,
We do not have a horrible team.
We will put up a lot of points this season.
We will win some games.
Don't give up!!!

Parcells is no better than a shady Jersey contractor who skips out on a half-finished job with some weak, pitiful excuse, leaving his customer with an unfinished job and a big mess to clean up. The whole worthless regime he installed has to go.


It kind of ruins your routine when everyone agrees with you, don't it?

Better dust of the ole resume, you've become outdated as well as OBSOLETE!

PS: Is it true what they say? You know, how you got your nickname? Some well endowed He Man Tortured and abused your face until you choked and gagged?

Anywhoo......Have a nice night.......Loser!

Who you calling shady???

Yes price, we will win some games, but not compete! Sad, for a magnificent franchise!

Who you calling shady???

Posted by: PriceMaster | September 25, 2011 at 02:02 AM

You forget SOMETHING?

Hmmmmmmmmmmm...............Heh, Heh!

I do think Fisher would be a god hire. He has always gotten the most out of his talent for the most part. However, I live in Nashville and trust me when I say Fisher and Sparano are pretty similar in their old-school ways. I also think Fisher would demand full control of personnel. Never been a big fan of that. He would be an big upgrade over Sparano though.

..Pricemaster..I hope you are right. It is difficult not to overreact to the state o our team right now. I went as far as to say lets not judge this team until 4 games into the season..then we will have an idea who this team is. Like I said I'm having a very hard time following my own logic.

The team continues to make the same mistakes as last year. The sour taste of the second half still lingers..Ans I'm not sure we have what it takes to turn this ship around beore it sinks. Don't get me wrong. I will be in front of the Tv at 11.00 am (mst) rooting for the Phins. And I'm conident we will get a win tommorow. After that in my mind. All bets are off.

Well, I think I've drank enough to sleep in until the pre game.

It's times like this that I think of the Old Dolphin prayer. It seems it's become a self fullfilling prophecy of late.

Now I lay me down to sleep

I pray the jets we soon will sweep.

If Jeffy signs someone before I wake

I pray it's not another big mistake


In less than 12 hours Henne will be going
A P E S H I T on Cle.

Go Phins!!!!


What Price said!

Peace out, My...........Friends ;)

Mando, I hope you publish this column and not just post it on the blog, you'd be a real chikensh-t if you didn't! It's your best analytical piece of work yet! The honesty and raw emotion of the fans come through! I want to read it in the paper!

Alright here is the deal... there are some of us who are at the SS and believe you posters here at the MH are a joke. You believe the same about us. FINE. Let's see who is superior. We have a Weekly Football Pool... $5 entry, pick each weeks NFL games. 1st place gets ALL the pot. 8 guys have paid entry, $40 to 1st. 40 people enter, $200 to the winner. 100% of paid entries go to 1st place, period. No spread, just straight up picks with the tie-breaker the Monday night game. You boys want to back up your mouths? E-mail millerpete82@yahoo.com and I will send you the league invite and the rules. ONLY RULE is that you MUST be a Dolphins fan! If you want to get your as handed to you by a SS poster, e-mail for your league invite! :)

I know for a fact Henne's already awake.
He's really f u c k i n pumped!!
He's gonna put up 500 yards today and he knows it!

Think of the Germans moving through Poland in 1938 & 39.
Then think of Henne!
Heil Henne
Heil Henne
Heil Henne

Henne is German for Jeffe.

Hey Tortured... I think you seem to forget that the stinkin jets besides the last two years haven't even been relevant since Joe Namath...I'm guessing you forgot the last oohhhh 30 years or so that the jets did absolutely nothing. And your "built to win team now" is already getting old and stale..good luck being relevant for one more year, then it's back to the cellar you queen!

Hey Alien... We are on the same team man, we need to band together not separate more. Who cares if it's SS or MH, we all bleed orange and teal man!

Well they were good on the road last year, lets see if they can win against the Lowly Browns....., But then again, They lost to the Lowly browns at home last year...., Oh yeah, Bottom of the AFC-EAST..., It Kills me that teams such as the Bills,Lions, And even the browns,and Bucs are getting better, while we seem to be regressing......

Over/under on FGs Tommarrow is fins attempt 4 make 2, And Tony gives 4 fist pumps....

Only 4 fistpumps? Man I was hoping for at least 8. Well Sparano seems to see a lot of "good things" that no one else in the world sees...so maybe, just maybe we might see 12 fistpumps. You know like when the waterboy hydrates the players in the huddle in record time...FistPump Baby!!! Yeah!!! Pump pump pump

Pretty good article by Michael Fink at Fin Nation today.

Armando-great article. You hit the nail on the head with this one.

Some indecision by LV today. From 2.5, one book went to 3, others to 2 and one to 1.5.

Up in the middle of my sleep and I wanted to check and see if Ireland signed anyone else ?

Rumor has it that Ireland has a beat on aquiring Casey Anthony to replace Dan Carpenter as place kicker.

I can't wait to get a Casey Anthony jersey.

I can't wait to get Jason Taylor's new calandar.


Armando is on the same bandwagon as all of us(even odin). We have to get to the bottom of this and then, we'll make a move. No, it won't be Ross; it will be Us, the Fans and the Media, as Fink says.

By the way, when it happens, you will see an example of how Internet mobilizes opinions.

I agree with Armando and Fink. If we win today that will only prolong the agony as, knowing Us Fans we would say, Hey....Maybe! And lose our track.

At the same time, I want for Us to win.

Classic To be or not to be.

The funny thing about this article is that alot of us debated the very things Mando points out in this article ad nauseum during the better part of the offseason. Then when the CBA finally got settled we all jumped back on the dillusional bandwagon even though we knew in the back of our minds that this team was no where near a finished or polished contender. I remember Saints, Bucs and Lions fans during the early to mid 80's showing up at games wearing paper bags on there heads and wondering what that was all about?? I mean why show??

I believe I get it now, it wasn't about hating their teams as much as it was about embarrassing their respective team owners and FO's with Nationally televised public displays of disgust, forcing fan opinion to be taken into account in humiliating fashion. I have tickets for our next home game Vs. the Broncos and if this team is sitting at 0-5 will be wearing my paper bag along with everybody attending with me.

I will go as far as making about 100 of them and passing them out in the stadium in an attempt to ridicule Ross and the Organization in a fashion that will make the highlight reels!! If this is the product they intend to sell us the devote hardcore fanbase then I will do what little I can to embarrass them and sincerely hope not to be alone if Ross doesn't do his best to restore pride to what was once a flagship NFL franchise which his less than prepared merry band of sycophants and brown nosing yes men led by Ireland have run into the ground!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have always said this about this personnel department, they don't know what the heck they are doing.

This is the first article that brings clarity to many of the FO mishaps when recruting personnel.

Com om Ross; you're a smart man. How long??? How long are we going to have to tolerate this????? We. fans, are part owners too. Sparaono ands Ireland have got to go!!!!

We should develop and initiate a petition to remove Ireland the head coach. Distribute it at the games and present it to Ross.





Rey Rey,

I tend to agree about the petition but will up the stakes and try to get my whole section to wear the paper bag which should make the highlight reel on sports center, NFL Net. and around the Country. I will look to make our (the fans) voice heard!!!! After the aftermath from the end of last season I all ready have many ready to join in a public display of disgust for the way the Org. is being run.


You haven't seen me period on here for over a month, my job is receiving cargo for a company that has me traveling all the time and if I told you were I was writing you from you probably wouldn't believe me.




My friend I'm presently in Johannesburg but working out of the Port of Durban South Africa, local time is 1:17 P.M. Kickoff for me is at 7:00 will be watching at fisrtrow.eu on my laptop

If we lose this game; Dolphin Fans; boycott all future games. Ross and company will get the messgae. Come on J-LO you're a winner; you get it.

Paper bags...Yeah!!!!


Great post Armando, Has anyone ever analysed this regime's success rate with the draft? I am sure that too is well below the league average. I feel bad for Sparano, he is given crap to work with and he is the one on the hook! I hate to say it, but it is tie for the whole regime to go... We might as well start over AGAIN. Maybe by 2018 we can be good.. Very frustrated up here in New York....



Johannesburg and Durban are nicer than you would think, the problem is that I connected out of Frankfurt, Germany with an 11 hour lay over, long trip to say the very least. My 1st time here and am pleasently suprised it's quite nice when you get over some of the culture shock

We need to put Bush on the field more before he gets hurt. He looked ok vs the Pats then in week 2 NOTHING. If Daboll could get the ball in Hillis's hands why not Bush? What's with the Shotgun on the goal line? At least try to pound it a little and do some play action and why does everything get thrown to the outside you know there is a middle of the field. Why don't we use Bess on the goal line like the pats use welker? According to early rankings we lost to 2 top teams so not ready to bail yet. The scariest thing so far is how out of shape they looked and how many lazy injuries are happening.Hamstring issues point to weekend warrior mentality not contact. Sitting around all year then trying to go 100mph. Get off ur lazy azzes and get in shape have some pride quit playing like a bunch of wuzzes!!!!






Not Somalia, Cameroon, Nigeria ect.....

Definite advantage vs Cleveland having Daboll here. See LV.

The Personnel Dept processes payroll. They do not decide WHO is on/off team. That is HC/GM. The decisions that leave you with the WTF feeling are TS/JI.

It would be more productive to keep the defective player and focus more attention than to let him go and get another defective player. Known devil is better when pressure is on. Other players know what gaps are going to get exploited.

These recent moves are PR not HR. I would say they are impulsive--the worse thing a coach/gm can do.

This season is transitional. Ross did not want TS but and Cohwer, Gruden, et. al. were not going to make moves in season of labor turmoil/change. So its same-old TS/JI "SMALL BALL". Even with new OC and improved Henne, TS will small ball it and we'll improve to 8-8. TS/JI are probably decent people but they are over their heads in leadership roles with NFL franchise.

Good Job Armando!! About time someone with a public voice speaks the truth about our beloved Dolphins. I am sick and tired of having smoke blown up our a#$% bye these people who think they are NFL personnel, when in my opinion they couldnt even manage high school football.

This is an eminently winnable Game. If we lose then it is setup.


Agree with every word when it comes to personel it's on Ireland Squarly. The impulsive knee jerk Wannstedt like moves in Season are on Sparano. We are for all intents and purposes acting like some sort of expansion club with all this roster turning during a Reg. Season! In over their respective heads indeed and were being kind at that!

nothing we didnt already knwo, currently this is the worst franchise in the nfl. just get this 2 win season over and hire a new staff and draft luck hopefully

This is a horrible FO. I saw Moneyball yesterday, now THAT'S a GM!!! The guy (Billy Beane of the A's) tried everything he could think of. Then had to think outside the box. Ireland is such an arrogant pr*ck, he actually thinks he knows what he's doing. Parcells made him feel like he was in control and actually learning. What's he learned? That he knows crap about football.

oscar thats what the browns fans are saying. they are at home, better qb,rb,oline,etc,etc. much better coaching. fins secondary is beyond horrible. browns should win an awful ugly game 19-9. we need to keep losing to have a shot at luck

Though it's hard to dream with this team, can you just imagine what a Ryan Bowl would be like twice in a season! Tix would sell out right after the schedule was released and I would bet our highly creative fans would go all out and wear long gray haired wigs in support of brother Rob! Now, THAT's that fandom I want to see back in Miami! We need that rogue atmosphere back here! A coach with attitude! Take no BS from any player! Hire a top GM who can eval talent or get one that fan. Embrace it if we get it...but that's all a fantasy football team! Long suffering fans like me keep the candle burning but it's painful...pass the oxy.

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