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Five things on my mind this morning

Let me give you a piece of my mind (not that I can spare too much) this morning:

1. The Dolphins are stunning in their defensive fall from grace so far this season. They got lit up by New England. They improved somewhat against Houston but still, it wasn't good enough. And then, most disappointing to me, they gave up a game-winning drive to Colt McCoy and a Browns offense that was without running back Peyton Hillis and the club's starting right tackle Tony Pashos this past weekend.

So the Dolphins defense is ranked 30th in the NFL so far this year. Terrible, right? Team can't win until they get better, right?

Yeah, well, the Patriots have the No. 32 ranked defense in the NFL this year. That is dead last.

The difference is the Patriots have the best QB in the NFL so having the worst statistical defense in the NFL is not quite as painful as it is in Miami. It's vexing. But season-killing? Not when you can light up the scoreboard.

For the record, the Dolphins averaged 17 points per game last year and that was obvioulsy not good enough. This year the new, revamped, rebuilt, refurbished offense is averaging 17.6 points per game through three games.

2. As you might know, I reported Monday that the Dolphins are in money-saving mode. I've been told this by very high ranking sources within the football side of the organization. [UPDATE: Another high-ranking and annoyed source within the organization says the team is not in big money-saving mode, it's just going by a budget and there is no big deal afoot.]

Anyway, I got a call from yet another source within the organization Monday explaining that the team's salary cap space -- estimated between $7-$8 million under the $120 million -- will eventually be used this year.

I was told the space was left with the thoughts of using toward signing extensions with certain players whose contracts expire after this year. Among those players are Kendall Langford, Chad Henne and others. The team might even visit the idea of signing Cameron Wake before his deal expires after 2012.

Except, I asked this source, why such a need to save cap space for players who are basically taking you to a winless record? What's so great about them?

"That's a consideration that we might have to re-examine," the source admitted.

I would think so.

Yes, Langford is nice player. But he's not great. He's basically a space eater. He's got two tackles in three games so far this year. Igor Olshansky had two tackles in one game against Cleveland. Jared Odrick has four tackles. Randy Starks has 10 tackles.

Look, the Dolphins can sign Langford to keep him from hitting free agency. But the hope is the deal is modest. Because his playmaking has been modest.

Henne presents another interesting situation. Do the Dolphins sign him to an extension now? I say if the season continues on its present course, I would absolutely not do that.

Simply, if the Dolphins continue to stink, they will be in favorable position to pick a quarterback very, very early in the draft. Andrew Luck, Kellen Moore, Landry Jones and perhaps Robert Griffin III might all be available next draft.

So why invest in Henne now?

Now, if Henne goes crazy the next 13 games, absolutely, you re-sign him. Why? Well, if he goes crazy, he will have proven his worth and at the same time would have probably played the Dolphins out of the top rung of the draft anyway.

But again, you don't do that anytime soon. You let it play out until late in the year or  even after the season when teams have an exclusive negotiating window with their free agents.

So again, that cap space now makes no sense.

And while we're on the topic, Phillip Merling is out of contract after this season. Two words following his one tackle against Houston and coming off what was apparently a healthy scratch last week: Bye. Bye.

[NOTE: By the way, I'm thinking I've got to start cutting down on sources particularly when they all work for the same team and they're not all on the same page. Sheesh.]

3. I wrote in my column that coach Tony Sparano struggled to walk out of Cleveland Browns Stadium, moving gingerly and stopping once to, ahem, adjust because he was in obvious pain as he continues to recover from double hernia surgery.

I'm told by a source close to Sparano the coach was told his surgery required a short hospital stay followed by 10 days of bed rest. Sparano was in bed for one day and walking the next. While in bed, 75 minutes after the surgery, he was breaking down tape of the team's final preseason game.

Does that make him a great coach? No. Does it make him one very tough and dedicated dude? You betcha.

4. Thinking back to No. 2, there are other players who are likely in their final years with the Dolphins:

Vernon Carey, Will Allen, and possibly Paul Soliai because he's expecting a big payday after this year and the Dolphins might not be willing to meet his price -- as they've not been able to do in three separate contract offers since last October. Yup, three total offers aside from the franchise tag tender is what the team has put in front of Soliai's agent.

5. I like Jimmy Wilson. He's a rookie. He's a seventh round draft pick. And he took responsibility for "losing the game" against Cleveland Sunday. For the record, Wilson gave up the catch that resulted in the winning touchdown.

But he didn't lose the game.

Football is a team sport. It's won by teams. And lost by teams.

You have to admire Wilson's view anyway. He's a no-excuses guy. And he didn't much mention the interception he had earlier in the game, which happened to be the first of his career. Wilson, by the way, has one more interception than either of Miami's starting cornerbacks -- Sean Smith or Vontae Davis.

That means Davis and Smith have zero interceptions.

I cannot decide which is more disappointing: That Smith and Davis had trouble holding on to balls that would have been interceptions last year. Or that this year they haven't had any passes in their hands that they might have converted into interceptions.

 

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#1.

Hey Yeah!,

You are a loser!! Get a life!

Who the hell is this high - up source? Jay LO ?

I don't even think Ross knows what to do next...so how could anyone else give any accurate insight?

Look...we need a new HC, and a new GM...period.

If we win more than 5 games, it would be a friggin' miracle.

And sure Henne will get a contract, but it will be for a perennial future back-up...cause this lad will NEVER reach elite QB status that is needed for a SB contender.

The only mystery here is who the new HC and GM and QB will be.....and NOBODY can possibly predict that accurately at this point.

Get the paper bags ready......eyeholes anyone?

Screw the paper bags! Support the team or move onto a different one!

I wear my Phins gear with pride!

It's funny how all of our players come here after having successful stays in other places and then immediately go down hill.

I mean think about that for one second and what that says about the coaches all across the board. Dansby, Burnett, Bush, Marshall. what do all of these players have in common? They came from teams where they excelled at their positions, making pro bowl and super bowl appearances. But now they are getting progressively worse.

Davis,Smith, Odrick, Jerry, Jones, and a few others. Common denominator? All contributed heavily on their college teams, succesful, steady. Drafted by Miami, come to camp with great promise, show signs in their rookie years that they will be stars. And then progressively have gotten worse.

So how long before this coaching staff ruin Pouncey and Thomas? And people are suggesting we keep Tony until the end of the year?! Why let him do any more damage? I mean am I wrong here or is everyone else also seeing this pattern?

Wonderful for you, JM......that's your outlook.....

I prefer that the team change theirs...then the fans won't have to move on.

I agree completly....Phins 78....get this Coach outta here NOW!! before he starts contaminating cheerleaders!!

I agree completly....Phins 78....get this Coach outta here NOW!! before he starts contaminating cheerleaders!!

I agree completly....Phins 78....get this Coach outta here NOW!! before he starts contaminating cheerleaders!!

Bring me and the Marks Brothers back. We'll score more than 17.6 points a game, and we're in our 50's!

I urge all fans to boycott all games in order to send a message. That is the only way we can be heard. An empty stadium is far more powerful than even a half empty stadium. Protest by not supporting junk or billionaires with your money.

Lastly (love rain days!) if Sparano and everyone else who think Henne has talent want to protect him a bit maybe they should let Moore play if Henne has another mediocre game or fails to drive the team in a crucial moment. I'm sick of all this second guessing. Get someone else in there and see how he does. If he does better than Henne then there will be no disputing whether or not Henne is the problem, it will be obvious. If he does worse than maybe Kordell and the rest of the analysts are right and we need to upgrade around Henne. After this week if/when the Dolphins lose get it mixed up. Play different people. They should be getting Moore some first team snaps this week just in case.

FYI JM... People are moving on to other teams or simply just not watching at all. The fans are fed up and have every reason to be. This FO has had four years...that's FOUR YEARS to make improvements and have failed miserably. So have fun sitting in the stands at a so called Miami home game and being the only one rooting for Doofins.

I see the pattern Phins78............so frustrating to see good players come here and decline so quickly

erg...

Buster, What I was meaning is that if the current players are wearing our unis then that is who I'm routing for. Not saying that I wouldn't like change, too.

EX: better right side of the OL, WRs that catch the ball when it hits their hands, etc...

Phin Up!

Buster, What I was meaning is that if the current players are wearing our unis then that is who I'm routing for. Not saying that I wouldn't like change, too.

EX: better right side of the OL, WRs that catch the ball when it hits their hands, etc...

Phin Up!

This team is absolutely terrible...yet for some reason I have this bizarre optimism...I am clearly out of my mid.

You is very wily, Arrmando.

I think the most dissapointing thing about Sunday's loss was that the team didn't play hard. Cleveland is a terrible team with no playmakers on either side of the ball (especially on offense). The Dolphins should have smoked them, but they didn't play hard at all.

d,next season with luck.

I concur JM....and we're not going to get any of those improvements with the current FO and HC.......change is not only needed, it's expected...and the only way the fan base can get that message accross id to PROTEST.....

if that means NOT wearing the gear for a while, then so be it.

LET THE PROTEST BEGIN!!!!

12:23.lol

Anyone who saw the game on Monday night saw two teams playing hard. The Dolphins were not playing hard on Sunday. There was no passion at all.

Please draft another OL first round this year. You can say it's stupid but how are the jets holding up with an awesome oline and subpar QB. 3 studs on the oline (long, Pouncy, and x) isn't bad at all. It'll be good for Thomas, Henne.

Henne has tremendous tools as a QB, but it's like he has no soul. The guy doesn't bring any passion, and that lack rubs off on the rest of the offense. There is no excitement.

I also like this Wilson kid he does show promise, vonte and sean can go to hell they suck have not shown anything but that they can run there mouth, Henne is putting up descent numbers but who cares about that if you are throwing picks in the 4th qtr when the game is on the line (i would release him not sparano), once again mr ross is a total douche bag with no clue (this is the main problem here in miami weather you want to belive that or not) and in ireland and this is a complete loser orginization. every one is talking on how bad our o-line is..next game count how many seconds Henne has to throw the ball and you will see that he has plenty of time on most plays to get rid of the ball. reggie bush is a complete bust and has/and will do nothing here in miami. our defense completly sucks period. do i need to point out the obvoius that these guys are still tackling with there heads and shoulders and not there hands plus not to mention they cant even cover a sleeping baby. phins 2-14 if we are " luck " y.

Trade Marshall And Dansby Now They Have Value At The Moment,I'm Sure Philadelphia Will Trade For Dansby , Next Year Will Be A New Head Coach ,And A New Rookie QB Hopefully Andrew Luck , Get Draft Picks For Those Players And Get A Stud Rigth Tackle On Free Agency,And Rigth Guard , And Most Important Suck For Luck , We Need A Franchise QB For The Next 15 Years , We Need To Be Competitive Again ,We Need To Be The Proud Franchise Again

Henne has tremendous tools as a QB,

Posted by: Fake GM

=============================================
If what tools Henne has are tremendous.....then Brett Favre was the tool dispensory at NASA !!!!!!!!

Trade Marshall And Dansby Now They Have Value At The Moment,I'm Sure Philadelphia Will Trade For Dansby , Next Year Will Be A New Head Coach ,And A New Rookie QB Hopefully Andrew Luck , Get Draft Picks For Those Players And Get A Stud Rigth Tackle On Free Agency,And Rigth Guard , And Most Important Suck For Luck , We Need A Franchise QB For The Next 15 Years , We Need To Be Competitive Again ,We Need To Be The Proud Franchise Again

And to Armando's point that we're not scoring any more than last year consider who we've played. New England is ranked 32st in defense, Houston, Cleveland? Not exactly defensive powerhouses. This team wasn't built to score points it was built to run clock and keep the games close.

Philosophically we're screwed against high powered offenses. I see TS, and not trying to be funny here, as a college coach at say Rutgers. He's a tough guy who wants to pound the rock which unfortunately for him is no longer effective in the NFL.

Right on point, Chris!

true on smith and davis

Mando, your crush on Brady is obvious.

New England has the best o-line and o scheme with the right players. Brady is a above average QB at best with normal pressure on him. Oh, by the way, since we here blame everything on our QB.

Brady threw 4 int's being up 21-0 to LOSE a game for his team.

Brady is good, I do not knoch that but not the best in football. any QB has incredible numbers with that much time in the pocket.

Honestly, how many games can the phins win this year?
Denver at Home
@ kansas
Skins at home
Bills at home
raiders at home

First of all we suck at home so ..... maybe we win 3 games at home
and one on the road, maybe at chiefs or at bills.
4-12 ??
would that be bad enough to pick Luck?
Indy, seattle, Kansas all have a chance to suck more for luck than the phins so... even if we have a terrible season we will not land the coveted price :(
We are a sad sad franchise.

The Patriots also have a very good OL. Any QB with that amount of time would look good (or better). Shame we saved on salary cap money on the right side of the OL.

Whom do you mainly blame for the Dolphins' downfall? (Miami Herald)

Parcells- 28
Ireland- 27
Sparano-26
Ross- 19


See ya next year Armando...for the first time in 43 years...I just don't care about this team anymore.

I agree with this pundit, but only partially. Everything he writes in this blog is right, but the analysis is not complete. What DEMOTIVATES so many of the players of the Miami Dolphins? Why do they think they can get away with no effort? What is causing their attitude? Is it coaching? Is it lack of leadership? Could it be that they want to be traded because they don't want to play with a losing team? Is it the proximity to South Beach? Or is it all of the above? There is something else that is not being mentioned in this blog. It is not something new. It has existed for a loooong time. If we could only know what it is.

Henne has the SAME faults that were described at Michgan....He is INACURATE and cannot win under pressure. ie... Red Zone is dead zone. End of game needed 15 yards for FG...went 0-4 with one INT. 3rd conversion rate is 20-30%.

Miami will have a new head coach, GM and qb next year.

I pridicet 6-10 in preseason. I was wrong, 2-14 seems more likely now.

Shula.

Respect your opinion and your thoughts of new coach and QB.

If Henne had a alfa receiver who catches the ball in the end zone, he has one of the top 10 red zone effieciencies in the league.

What happens then when we play a good defense?

Shula.

Respect your opinion and your thoughts of new coach and QB.

If Henne had a alfa receiver who catches the ball in the end zone, he has one of the top 10 red zone performances in the league.

Phins/Poizen, from last blog. You guys are misreading my comparison. When I was talking about Jordan, it was highlighting how he performed in clutch situations. Whether passing it off to the right person, or taking the shot himself, it was his flawless execution when it counted.

That was my point. Winners win. Winners close out games. Winners finish. When's the last game Henne finished? No, he can't do everything, the question is can he do ANYTHING to win a game and hide the weaknesses of those around him?

But now this is sounding like I'm blaming Henne for being 0-3, and I'm not. I've said this before, and will say it until I don't believe it, but Henne has been (IMO) the MVP of the offense.

I don't want to get rid of Henne. I just want to find an upgrade to him, which hopefully everyone in the World can accept he's nowhere near elite, and he CAN be upgraded. Until then, I'm fine with him being the starter. It's not that I don't trust Henne, I just know he can't make a mediocre team better, and that the GM can't make an elite team around Henne.

Mine is a 3-track plan: 1-replace the GM to hopefully make better decisions and bring better talent, 2-replace the HC so hopefully he'll know how to use that talent best, and 3-look to upgrade the QB position to an elite-level QB who can make mediocre talent around him better and be a clutch player who's more accurate and consistent.

After reading most of the blogs here on this site, there is no doubt we have the worst, most unknowledgable fans in the league.

Funny talking about the Patriots offensive line. I don't know how they do it. Watching the opening MNF game I said to my wife it looks like NE has 7 guys blocking our 3 guys. It literally looked unfair until you put on Tevo and notice two of our guys are on the ground and another has been pushed completely out of the play.

DC, from the last post:


DC,

I think you're getting ahead of yourself in some areas. First of all, Jeff Fisher is a defensive minded coach. He believes defences win championships not offences and for the most part I agree with him. There's been some blips along the way, such as the Saints winning one year, the Colts winning one year and the Packers winning last year. But very often these teams are up one year and down the next. Look at the Saints last year. Blown out last year by the Seahawks of all teams. Anyways, we can argue this point to death. My point is, I don't care if it's offensive football or it's defensive football as long as it's winning football. That's all I care about!!

Jeff Fisher coming in doesn't have to mean the offence is boring. The OC fits his offence to fit the personnel, not the other way around. Do we have the pieces here to play wide open football? I'm not sure that we do. But I think we can play more wide open than Henning ran things last year and I think we have this year with decent results. We need leadership at the top and I don't believe the players are laying it on the line for Sparano every week and I believe the players know he's a 'dead man walking'

Read more: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/dolphins_in_depth/2011/09/the-dolphins-had-three-red-zone-trips-on-sunday-against-the-cleveland-browns-they-scored-one-touchdown-and-settled-for-two-f/comments/page/10/#comments#ixzz1ZGfFrABq

But why is the reason de defense suck so much? for me, the conditioning, Jones is not what we expected, and Clemmons is not healthy, Soliai is not playing as the year before, Dnasby also injured, the back bone of the defese with problems. Oposite as Armando said, I do beleve the defense is nesesary to win games.

Craig while I agree the hardcore fans like we blog posters just want to see winning football the boarderline fans want to see exciting football where we occasionally take the ball into that green thing at the end of the field. That's why our next coach will be an offensive minded coach. No Fischer, Cowher or Ryan.

However, did anyone see Cowher on the CBS show last week say something to the effect that "see, I love offensive football". I'm not making that up and thought it was an interesting thing for him to say. Maybe trying to distance himself from his defensive rep hoping Ross was listening?

poizen,the phins can't surround henne with 10 pb'ers for him to be successful.

DC, I am cool with your post.

My response was more that Jordan did not make players look better until he got another good player around him to work with.

If Henne being a good player, using the best player around him Brandon Marshall, got the proper effort out of marshall and performance, catching the ball in the red zone. No one has this conversation because we are 2-1.

thats, all you know I respect your ideas and opinions. :)

"After reading most of the blogs here on this site, there is no doubt we have the worst, most unknowledgable fans in the league."

Posted by: g |
===============================================
.....to which you have contributed zero!!

Most of the posters here agree that the team is poorly managed and in need of change....so how is that unknowledgable?....or you think 0-3 is an achievment worthy of some different point of view?

Why not elaborate ...know -it -all.

Craig, this is the common argument between us. Is it offense or defense. Just so happens that all those SB teams you mentioned were the most recent ones.

But, look, I'm with you, if we were purely a running team, and we won 12+ games keeping other teams to under 14 points, I'd have no problem with that.

I just don't think that can happen anymore. I doubt the Jets EVER make it to the SB with their current philosophy. They're slowly opening up their offense more, but it'll be very hard for them to reach the SB until they are capable of making big plays (IMO).

I would just need to hear out of Fisher's mouth that he understands that. I mean, I'm sure he knows the league is different now, but I'd want him to say what exactly he'd want his team to be. What the identity would be. I'm fine with a tough, defensive mindset. I just wouldn't want a conservative offensive mindset along with it. You need to open it up, take chances, create big plays. I'm for any Coach who has that offensive philosophy.

2 watt, who need 10 pro bowlers?

When did I say anything like that?

Not to beat a dead horse,BUT---going back to the J Cribbs TD catch with Smith"defending".Notice that Smith didn't so much as look back for the ball,it appears to me that he allowed Cribbs to make the catch and then tackle him.Too late--that's six points!

I hope Ireland doesn't give extension to anyone. He's gonna be gone as well. Let the new FO decide who they want to keep and who they want to let go.

Poizen, funny we're talking Henne and Marshall, when it's clear if we had a defense that had ONE good cover guy, we'd probably be 2-1. I get Mando's point about NE having the worst defense in the league. That's fine IF you have Brady. Henne isn't Brady (we can all agree with that). That means we need a halfway decent defense.

We don't have that though, and that's our biggest problem this year (other than Sparano and Ireland of course).

Ralph, the sad part was both Smith and Cribbs were looking at the QB when he released it, when they showed the slow mo you could see that.

Smith knew the ball was coming, it was a jump ball and he spun around like a ballerina twice before it got there.

Terrible D, could have easily been intercepted.

You is very wily, Arrmando.

g

Please enlighten us with your superior knowledge.

This team has become a assisted living football team. They come here to retire and collect social security. Where is all that hype they talked about during the off season?

DC,

I'll betcha there isn't a fan on this blog that wouldn't have taken what the Jets have done the last two years. If that's the kind of football our team is going to play and be successful, I'm all for it. Don't forget, it's not like they got blown out in their loss to Pitt. They had them for part of the game. Jeff Fisher's a smart coach. He's able to adjust his personnel to what's needed to win. It's the reason he survived for so long in Tennessee, despite an owner who meddled too much and didn't invest in FA.

Again, I read you to say in your three step plan, get rid of the GM. I agree he's made mistakes. Show me a GM who hasn't. Who is it you and others want to be the next GM anyways. A J Smith was lauded for years as one of the best GM's in the league and Chargers fans hate him. Scott Pioli was deemed a genius just a couple of years ago, now there's talk that fans in KC want him out. Buddy Nix sleeps through every offseason but his team is 3-0. Who is this guru we're going to get that's going to make all the difference 'cause I'm just not seeing him.

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