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Earth to Dolphins: Let's be realistic, honest

A quick survey of the Dolphins locker room these days gives you an interesting perspective of the players' world versus the real world.

In the players' world, this team is much better than its record. This team is truly gifted. This team has the horses to compete with anyone. In the players' world, the season still offers some grand opportunities and, depending on whom you ask, the Dolphins still have a chance at the playoffs -- it's the "We're not out of it until we're out of it" mentality.

You have to take some of this in stride. I love an optimist as much as anyone. I admire men who fight to the last bullet and then, lacking ammo, throw the gun at the opponent. I will never criticize the idea that until the math says otherwise, any reach at extending the season is possible.

But I draw the line at cross-eyed analysis of what is otherwise a very clear picture.

On Monday I heard Davone Bess say the Dolphins "can play with upper-tier teams." His suggestion is that Miami is every bit the equal of those teams.

Well, that is simply not true.

The Dolphins have not beaten a winning team this year. The Chiefs, Bills, and Redskins -- the teams Miami has beaten -- are all under .500. Overall, the Dolphins are 3-2 against teams that are under .500.

And the Dolphins are 0-6 against teams currently at .500 or better.

Miami has five games left, with three of those -- Sunday versus Oakland, at New England and the Jets in the finale -- against teams that are over .500. The Eagles and Bills are currently under .500 so one assumes Miami has a good chance of actually winning in those games given the season's trend.

Talk to other players and the common thinking in the locker room is there is lots of talent in there. I had a very enlightening sit-down with Brandon Marshall a few weeks back and one part of the conversation that was not published was our exchange about the talent on the team.

I told him flatly, that the team doesn't have enough talent.

"I don't agree with you," he said. "We have ballers in there. I look at all that talent and talent isn't the problem. We're just not executing."

Marshall and I had to agree to disagree on the topic because while the Dolphins do have ballers -- Jake Long, Marshall, Yeremiah Bell, Bess usually, Cameron Wake, Karlos Dansby among them -- they don't have enough ballers. They don't have consistent ballers. And they don't have ballers in all the right places.

They don't have ballers in positions that make a big difference -- such as OLB, WR, KOR, FS, PR, QB, and RB.

They have solid players at TE, CB and DE, but none of those guys have proven to be difference-makers (Jared Odrick has potential, so the jury is still out there and I still have not given up on Vontae Davis).

So "all that talent" talk is relative. There is talent.

But it's not busting out the seams of the locker room. Dolphins coaches didn't pound their heads on desks in disgust, knowing good players were about to be let go, when they needed to make roster cuts. There hasn't been a big number of players that have left Miami this year and gone on to grand accomplishments with other teams.

So that abundance of talent is a myth.

Quick, name me which offensive players on the Dolphins would start on the Patriots? Marshall. Long. Mike Pouncey. That's it.

The Patriots, meanwhile, have eight players that would start on the Miami offense. That's the talent gulf between the teams on offense.

The Jets?

Marshall, Long, Incognito are the only Miami starters who would start tomorrow for New York. Sorry, Nick Mangold would start ahead of Pouncey and Matt Moore would not start ahead of Mark Sanchez. Sanchez is no prize. I'm not a fan. But he's more consistent than Moore.

This is not to put down Miami players.

I'm simply trying to be real here and not write about elves and unicorns.

The interesting thing I see in the Dolphins locker room is an attitude that I would expect in a college locker room. I see guys giggling about celebration dances. Really?

I don't see grown men understanding that they have issues and then talking seriously about those issues so that they can find solutions.

I don't hear players saying, "We need to fix what is obviously broken because we realize if we don't, we might not be around here next year."

I don't hear, "What has happened this year is unacceptable and I am making it my business to pick my personal game up the final five games so that I can be counted among players who are part of the solution rather than part of the problem."

I don't hear guys saying, "I am focused on playing at the top of my game the final five games, better than I've played at any portion of my career."

Last week, Clyde Gates told the Miami Herald he was "having fun" playing this year and seemed oblivious to the idea that he has been a non-factor on offense this year. I grant you he is a rookie, but, c'mon man! This is professional football. Stay at the facility an extra couple of hours and learn how to break down the opponent. Ask more questions so you can know what exactly you must work on. And stay on the field after practice and work on those things until you bully your way into some gameday snaps. December arrives tomorrow. Giddyup!

You know, the Dolphins coaching staff and personnel department talks about getting players with "the right makeup."

I grant you a never-say-die-attitude should be part of that right makeup. But a sober and stubborn desire to improve something that's obviously not right or good enough should also be part of that makeup.

And that means recognizing and then addressing those things that are messed up. That means not wasting time thinking that there is enough talent and the goal is still to make the playoffs when, in fact, every shred of tangible evidence says that's not reality.

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You're not going to be a very good team when your 2 best players from 4 drafts are olinemen. Adding salt to wound, you doubled down every draft and when one of those double down draft players turned out to be average at best while the other was cut.

The best double down pair were Davis and Smith. Still Smiths plain average at best and Vonte's slightly above average when playing at his best.

This years draft will prove to be decent Pouncy/Thomas/Clay/Wilson and perhaps Gates will prove to all be very good players. However they should have addressed their QB need!

3 Best FA's signed By This Regime:

1. Cam Wake-- Borderline domiant, but easily the greatest bang for the buck.

2. Brandon Marshall-- If we can only cure him of the dropsies and allergy to endzones.

3. Karlos Dansby-- On or two plays a game one of the best ilb's in the game. But average the rest.

4. Kevin Burnett-- Has been very good and very bad. Jury's still hung on this one.

Khalid,

That's the problem with the incoming drafted personel now. They're usually good(nfl average) to at times very good(nfl above average). Pouncey has been the only by definition "dominant player" from the most recent draft.

We cant continue to bring in good to at times very good players and expect to beat the "dominant" teams. Dominant teams usually have at least 5 or more domiant players at various positions on thier roster. Usually beginning with qb.

Our only two real dominant players are both olinemen(Long/Pouncey).

"High motor" must be the nfl's new synonym for "could be boom or bust".

We do know Misi(high motor adjective) has yet to be a boom. You figure the rest.

Sure wish the Dolphins could have signed Chad Ochocinco or Albert Haynesworth. They are such integral pieces of the Patriots most recent playoff run.

The Dolphins could win a super bowl tomorrow and you'd nit pick something.

Mando -- best column in a while. That break did you good. You have hit the truth very squarely between the eyes. Without breakaway speed at skill positions, top 10 QB or defense that wins games for you with turnovers/TDs, all the "talent" talk wears thin. Hopefully the front office recognizes what you're saying -- very well spoken!

come on man...the season ain't over till its over and the Colts could go on a 3 game win streak just like we did.

don't give up on Luck just yet...let the games be played, then come Jan 5th we can all start arm-chairing the upcoming draft.

I'm glad I'm NOT the only one who can see it - this teams simply does't have the horses - it's primarily back ups or players who would out of the league on a good NFL team.. That's why the record is what it is - T-A-L-E-N-T !!!!

There must be more interesting topics than reminding us of how bad we really are...in the middle of a relatively good stretch no less. This analysis of the locker room is lame. It's called confidence Mando, nice to see for a change. No need to dissect it.

I HOPE DB IS WELL,I WISH HIM WELL FINDING AN STUDIO THAT HE LOVES TO LIVE IN ..

Excuse me... Is this Greg Cote's blog? I'm looking for Greg Cote's blog. Is it here? Will someone please tell me where it is?

If we dont draft a QB in the 1st round, im done with this franchise

And believe it or not, that's coming from a life long die hard fan, just so fed up with the horrible drafting and refusing to draft a QB in the 1st round the past decade

Yesterdays Gone, you are correct but it is very possible that 3 of the five players drafted this year could become dominant players. All I am saying is that we do have a great deal of young talent and with another good draft and offseason could turn this program around finally.

Sorry, Armando. But you are a "do-shan-wu," as they say here in China. A bottom stirring of the pot (toilet) heathen. I suppose that if all the players were running around the locker room with their heads down, contemplating suicide for how bad they have performed all season, with no hope in the future, then you would be writing how this team is so DOWN and needs to pick itself up. Maybe you should be the Colts beat reporter. You'd have more fun then. Maybe the giggles in the locker room are not about anybody's dance. Maybe they just think you're a joke. And the fans who think you "tell it like it is" just simply don't know that you are just simply a "do-shan-wu". By the way, you probably never played football, huh? Probably soccer. In the girls team. Don't let ARMANDO AND THE AMIGO go to your head. Don't spell controversy for the sake of readers or radio listeners. And yes it's true; you suck as usual, Armandito!

Right on Mando... Work ethic, no pain no gain, and no guts no glory ..

my wishlist

COACH-Andy Reid

DRAFT- barkley, Lamar miller in third

FREE AGENCY- D. Jackson WR, Ronnie Brown(3rd string)

RESIGN- Solia, Incognito,Wake, Langford, matt moore


agree dusty.....

I say work a trade for Mallett.....if thats a no-go....draft RG3.......

unpopular....yes.....but thats my stance....ann i'm sticking to it.....

Posted by: kris | November 29, 2011 at 09:26 PM

Kris,

No offense, but of all the things I've ever seen you post, this one puzzles me the most. I remember you posting this before, so I know you've thought it through.

I still don't get it. I won't go all crazy overboard of course, because I was a big Henne backer(sigh)so what do I know-lol).

Anyways, seriously, have you **REALLY** thought this through?

Right off the bat, Mallett is still the same question mark he was on draft day. Neither of us know if he'll ever be a Franchise QB or not, so I won't hold you up on that. Still, if I remember right, you were talking about paying a hefty price for him. Basically, in your trade scenario, you were talking **Somewhere** in the neighborhood of what we would spend on any of the guys this year not named Luck(close to it anyways).

So my question is two fold:

1. Do you really think Mallett is a better gamble than RG or Barkley? I know there's a slight difference in price, but we are talking the "Big Picture". We will/should have a shot at either. We can't do both, so would you gamble on Mallett before the others?

2. Assuming you would, do you think it wise to do business with Bellicheat? I mean, beating us twice a year is pretty much one of his priorities. One thing for sure, trading for Mallett automatically helps the patriots, where Barkley and RG III don't.

You really think Mallett's worth all that?

I do like Reggie Bush's work ethic. Most of his teammates really suck at the little extras that make them better. Work ethics start within and doesn't require coaching. It is a belief and some of these players don't have it. Working hard for 4 hours a day is not going to do it to make it to the top of the NFL.
These boys don't have what it takes (deep down) and aren't motivated to make it to the top. Money only motivates for the short term.


The Phins suck again and people get mad at Mando for pointing ou what needs to be improved upon so we don't suck anymore. I guess we should all be like Morano and celebrate mediocrity and point out meaningless insignificant stats to get our rocks off on. Wake up people. if u wanna get better u have to first understand that u need to get better. 3 and 8 makes that clear. ....And it does suck how the Colts don't even compete. I hope that somehow blows up in their face. I think every team that is not a playoff team would love to have the number one pick. It's a different story to tank the season. i have never liked the draft lottery in the NBA, but it may be time to consider such a system to aovid a repeat of what the Colts are doing.

The Trifecta idiots drafted too many slow players just cause they had size. They signed a bunch of Cowboys reects for the same reason. Yes, Columbo is a big man, but he is also the worst in the league at his position and whover is responsible for him being the best we have at RT should have been fired a long time ago.

These articles are getting worse as the season goes on. So bush wouldn't start ahead of woodhead? Bess or hartline are not better than that practice squad guy they have running around dropping balls? Oh and completely leave out the defence because the patriots suck on defence and that's not convenient.
It's clear this team can now play with anyone but the sad fact is we are falling short for a variety of reasons. Luck-fear-nerves-bad play at a crucial moment.
Just be glad we are not that far away from being very good.
It all depends on Moore now.
In my opinion!

**The Odinsider's Sports Writers Critique**

Earth To Armando: Let's be REALISTIC INDEED!

I get what you're saying Armando and nobody can argue with 3-8. Having said that though, and in all honesty, this article is atrocious!

Two Stars **

PERIOD!

You make assumptions, put words in players mouth and then use slanted logic. You then misinterpret your slanted misunderstandings.

Example:

On Monday I heard Davone Bess say the Dolphins "can play with upper-tier teams." His suggestion is that Miami is every bit the equal of those teams.

Well, that is simply not true.
----------------------------------------------

-Actually, what's not true is the words you put in Bess' mouth. Honestly, there's a big difference between saying you can play with top tier teams and how you translate his words.

I don't know how you make the leap to "Miami is every bit the EQUAL of those teams. That's simply not what Davonne said Mando, that's apparently YOU being ridiculous!-
-------------------------------------------

Example:

The interesting thing I see in the Dolphins locker room is an attitude that I would expect in a college locker room. I see guys giggling about celebration dances. Really?
---------------------------------------------

-Lets see, you're going to base your perception of the locker room on the actions of some pumped up players coming off their first few wins after a long drought?

OK, as long as it helps your argument and fits your story. How dare they get hyped up and enjoy a few victories? SHEESH!-
----------------------------------------------

Example:

I don't see grown men understanding that they have issues and then talking seriously about those issues so that they can find solutions.
-----------------------------------------------

-AGAIN, were you sitting in on team meetings? Practices? Or are you just basing this on seeing them in an emotionally charged locker room after a VERY rare victory?

Some perspective and context would serve you well here, C'Mon MAN!-
-----------------------------------------------

I could go on and on, but I think I've made a good enough point. If you're waiting for these guys to bow down before you and bare their sinful souls, you've got another thing coming Brother!

You ain't the Pope and this ain't Catholic school and I know a cross eye'd analysis when I see one!

ValHalla!!!!

YOU'RE WRONG AGAIN.

THE TALENT IS THERE IF WE HAD A COACH THAT KNEW WHAT TO DO WITH IT.

TALENT WISE WE ARE AS GOOD AS ANY TEAM.

COACHING WISE LOOK AT THE 2 POINT TRY.

THIS WEEK THE LACK OF A TWO POINT TRY.

HOW STUPID HE LOOKS AFTER A FIELD GOAL.

I WOULD RESIGN CHAD AND BRING IN BLACKMON FROM OKLAHOMA STATE WITH THE FIRST PICK.

WE COULD OF HAD DEZ BRYANT MARSHALL AND BESS IN THE SLOT AND JIMMY GRAHAM AS TE. THOSE WERE MY DRAFT DAY WISHES.

BUT WE GOT ANOTHER D-LINEMEN ODD BALL LMAO.

MISI LMAO EVEN HARDER.

BUT NO ARMANDO IT'S NOT THE COACHES.

IT'S THE TEAM TALENT.

Enough Mando - please! As The Herald is already headlining pieces on our draft status (thank Mr. Jackson for it) the season is still in progress. Can we stop bemoaning the 0-7 start and the trite comparisons as to which players on the roster would be good enough for the Jets? Really?!? The Jets?!? Tell Captain Lap Band he can't have any of them. (Just as an aside - that thing must dwarf a hula-hoop, try a salad loudmouth). Otherwise can we act like a professional football team and focus on winning? Remember also, we had the second to last pick in the draft when Shula picked Marino. Do you think he tanked the Super Bowl to keep the Redskins at bay?

This article proves that Armando has no life experience. Maybe he is an avatar?

Maybe we have gone about the draft all wrong. Maybe we should just draft the best player available not a player of need.

Fill the holes in with the current roster FA's and trades. Of course when it comes to a qb that is slated 6th overall and you need a qb and pick at 5 then you pick the qb.

But you can't trick the draft. A 4.3 40 beats a 4.5 every day, even if the 4.5 goes to church every Sunday.

I understand why Long was taken over Ryan. Money, but that problem does not exist in the draft any longer.

Also develop a scouting system. The Phins must have the worst scouting system ever.

High motor, What is that? Does he whine when he gets hit?

Even if we sucked for luck Indy would have beat us out one way or the other. Because they are obviously going to suck more. It would be hilarious if he turned out to be the next Ryan Leaf hahahahaha

Totally agree with you Mando. That's the same analysis I've been using. It's tough, but we can no longer root for them to win. Right now, 1win will drop us at least 5 slots in the draft. Barkley, maybe RG3 has to be the pick for the future. Jones will be a bust. No QB, then it will continue to be a sea of mediocracy....

MATT MOORE IS 100 TIMES BETTER THAN SANCHEZ YOU MORON

NOT ENOUGH TALENT ON THIS TEAM FOR SURE THERE IS SOME TALENT BUT NOT ENOUGH,NOW HAVING SAID THAT A BETTER COACH WOULD HAVE MEANT MORE WINS THIS SEASON SO IT REALLY IS TWO THINGS HERE, TALENT AND COACHING. WE SHOULD GET A NEW COACH AT THE END OF THE YEAR AND HOPEFULLY A NEW GM SO AS LONG AS THEY ARE SMART ABOUT WHO THEY HIRE WE COULD SEE A QUICK TURNAROUND, AND I DO AGREE THEY ARE NOT AS BAD AS 3-8, THEY SHOULD BE RIGHT AROUND .500 OR A LITTLE UNDER PERHAPS WHICH IS WHY TONY HAS TO GO, I DO LIKE HIM HE IS JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH, TOO CONSERVATIVE.

You could probably add the Jets to the teams that will be looking for a quarterback.

A good coach knows how to get the best out of his players. Whether this team has a lot of talent or not they do have some pretty good players that could have an impact on the game.
Marshall should have more touchdowns and so should Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas.
Fasano should be a more important cog in the wheel and Bess could be doing better.
A good coach challenges his good players to elevate the level of their game to help the team and pushes the players that aren't as talented to get the most out of them.
Shula did that in the 70's with a team that had a bunch of outcasts from elsewhere and won a couple superbowls.

1 talent

2 attitude

3 coaching

4 conditioning

5 execution

6 Luck (chance not Andrew)


if 2-6 r cr@p then talent has a lot to overcome

if 2-6 r good then they can make more out of less 1

we don't know how talented half our crew is coz of 3-6, attitude needs balance and context - too loose can be unprofessional and affect training and execution too tight/serious/negative the same

need more talent for 2012 but need 2-5 to be gold star as well

i want to see them compete the last 4 games unlike last years capitulation, overall i'll take this years swagger any day as long as its matched by effort and that effort carried into the offseason training and attitude

luck is just luck ,

go fins

last 5 games

If Stephen Ross was so unhappy with the results from last year's team I can imagine that he is fuming over this year's result to this point.
Ross may have been criticized for his efforts to go out and get another coach while Sparano was still "in office" but that was just because he went about it the wrong way.
Ross was correct in doing so and the critics can eat crow because the proof, as they say, is in the pudding.
Sparano has no idea how to motivate, educate, condition and prepare his team to play this game on a weekly basis. He had just as much preparation time during the preseason as everyone else did and the excuses are just that; excuses. He failed to have his team prepared to play once the season started.
There was an interesting story told during the Ravens/49ers game about John Harbaugh before he became a head coach. Harbaugh had prepared a binder for when he became a head coach. The binder contained everything from plays to nutrition and showed the type of preparation one should take in giving your team the best chance to win on the field every week. The Ravens are 8-3 and in first place.

Hey Guys,

I have a ton of comments to make on this. Expect 20 or so really long posts once I get done with the wipe job.

You can talk about the lack of talent all you want but the only thing separating us from the top tier teams is a stellar QB. New England would take just about every player we have on D over their current D. At the skill positions our receivers and RBs are as good as NE (not including tight ends) and NY. No team has great players at every position. The great teams have great QBs and we dont.

Good morning guys,

Armando is right on with his analysis. Miami's roster is clearly less talented then the Pats and Jets at most positions. Miami needs to upgrade significantly at several spots before they are a legitimate threat in AFC East let alone in the conference. I see gaping holes in talent especially on offense.

QB - Matt Moore is serviceable and has put together a few nice starts. Even in losses he has played decent but to think he is a long term solution is asinine. He is a nice backup to have and will string together a few good games as he has done in the past with Carolina but long term he is not it. He can serve as a bridge to whichever rookie Miami drafts Barkley, RG3, or Landry (since Luck will be gone or some unforseen trade happens).

RB - Reggie Bush has been a professional and worked hard and his play has showed it. I think when he has been used correctly he has made some very nice plays. The coaches took about 8 games to figure out how to use him but go him going. Daniel Thomas has been a huge disappoinment. His hamstring injuries aren't exactly his fault but for a stretch vs Houston and Cleveland he ran hard and then other games he went down on 1st contact. He has much to prove. A mid to late round sleeper sort of a RB is needed to push Thomas and just in case Bush is who we thought he was.

WR - Marshall hasn't lived up to the hype we thought we were getting but I think some of it has been the erratic QB play but mainly his own doing with his drops but still he is a guy opponents game plan to stop and draws a lot of attention. Bess hasn't been his usual sure handed self but he is still a very good move the chains slot WR. Hartline has a good game here and there but he would only start in Miami. He is a nice depth guy but not a starter. Gates is what I expected - a complete non-factor. Rookies WRs tend to start slow let alone a 25 yr old from a small school. Who knows the light may never come on.

O-line which should have been set and we all have discussed this over and over is about 2/5 full. Only Jake Long and Pouncey are definite keepers and hopefully John Jerry isn't a lost cause but Incognito has been so so, Columbo is terrible and Carey probably won't be back.

TE - Fasano shows up occassionally but I think he is average at best and needed to be upgraded all along.

Outside of the offense a Rush LB opposite Cam Wake is needed unless Mimai's new coach goes back to a 4-3 which I seriously hope is the case because Wake and Odrick could be starting DEs but also a play making FS which is obvious and biggest need along with another CB to push the incosistent, immature duo of Vontae Davis and Sean Smith

talent MY FOOT.................... 3-8


3-8////////////////////////


WE R IN THE CELLAR AND STILL TALKING ...TALENT...............


(( BUFFET OF KNOWLEDGE ))

WE R IN THE CELLAR WITH NO WINDOWS ...........

a new staff,gm, and barkley and we will be damn good

I think Bess and Marshall would start for most other teams. Bess would be a star for the Patiots.

I think Moore is better then credit.

Mando, while I agree with you on the lack of talent, I disagree on the players doing anything about it.

THAT'S THE PROBLEM!

You think the Giants players are "having fun?" Or the Chiefs? Or even the Pats?

Where's the HC in all of this? I tell you where, laying back counting his days. The fact that he isn't INSISTING certain players stay late for extra attention, or doing the things to improve is exactly why we need a new HC.

And also, for people who disagree about the talent level, who really cares? Maybe you're right. AND? We're 3-8. Last year 7-9. Year before 7-9. Talent shmalent. You don't win anything for TALENT. You win by having a better record than other teams in your division. That's the goal in football (in case you were wondering). And we're better than exactly NOBODY in our division. That's not opinion, that's a FACT!

our schedule is cake next year. barkley and a new coaching staff will take us far

This WILL come up if he's on the market, but I think it would be a bad long-term idea to get Peyton Manning if he's traded. First, he'll cost an arm and a leg. And while we see what happens when we have an effective QB (2008), we also see how long it lasts (not long at all). Second, who even knows if Peyton will ever be Peyton again. Sure, he'll have to clear the physical, but what if he gets hurt? Neck starts acting up? We know all about it in Miami (Culpepper, Trent Green, etc.).

No, it's time to get OUR guy via the Draft, no more FA QBs (even if it's Peyton Manning).

Oh sure, lets learn our lessons from Cleveland. We can fire Sparano, like they fired Belichick because he had a couple of losing seasons.

Its always good to constantly rebuild every two or three years, again, like Cleveland.

What will we do if our first round quarterback becomes a Matt Lienart?

I know the last ten years have been less then steller and I don't know if Sparano is a Superbowl coach. But I have seen improvement over the last three years in talent and who knows better then the players what kind of talent they have?

hawk 7-, 7-9, 3-8 thats awful. get a real coach and gm. and draft the right qb

They need one more year to prove themselves. With a good draft we can add at least three new pieces and finally decide if Sparano is the right coach.

Sparano could go to another team and become the Dolphins nemesis.

The new coach could also be a bust as well. Even if we hire a retread coach, there is no guarantee he will succeed. He was fired from another team for a reason as well.

one more year, get real. this is another awful year in last place with only 3 wins.


You can talk about the lack of talent all you want but the only thing separating us from the top tier teams is a stellar QB. New England would take just about every player we have on D over their current D. At the skill positions our receivers and RBs are as good as NE (not including tight ends) and NY. No team has great players at every position. The great teams have great QBs and we dont.

Posted by: GAfin | November 30, 2011 at 08:11 AM


Interesting point being made here. Marshall, Bess and possibly even Hartline would be starters on New England. Bush is better than anything they have in the backfield at what he does and Thomas would be a better back because New England knows how to open holes.
Wake could start for them as well as Dansby and Davis.
Belichek would probably also find creative ways to use Gates and Clay and probably would use Moore and Wallace more than this team uses them.
I can't say that this team lacks talent but it does lack talent where it counts. The quarterback is, by far, the most important part of the offense. The philosophy of most teams when it comes to a running back is to not take one in the first round because of the "life expectancy" of a back in the league.
Running backs could be found in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. Offensive linemen can be found in 2nd, 3rd and 4th rounds. An elite pass rusher is usually a first round pick but that is the exception to the rule.
So, the team lacks talent at two of the most important positions on the field; quarterback and pass rusher.
The team has no pass rush and they don't have a guy at the quarterback position who can fit the ball in tight holes and throw deep accurately on a consistent basis. Having a deep threat on offense doesn't make a difference if your quarterback couldn't hit the broad side of a barn at 40 yds.

cowher wasnt fired

thats not true either lou, jets have been to back to back afc champ games with an awful qb in sanchez

Are you sure this is not "Bitching Dave" writing this crap. You both write the same worthless crap over and over. We know the team sucks, the team knows the team sucks, and the coaches know the team sucks. But they do have talent on this team that has not lived up to potential. However I would ask you or “Bitching Dave” what makes you a football expert. Pointing out the obvious is easy to do or using hindsight to say we should have done this or that is easy to do. I’m not sure what you want this team to do at this point? All this team has to play for is to see if they can improve or to see which players need to stay after the season. They can’t bring in new players, firing the coach now would just show any other coaches that the owner has no plan or loyalty, and firing the coach would change nothing in the long run. Just let them play their last 5 games (I hope they win everyone) and let the changes begin at the end of the year.

If Sparano had just said something intelligent in a press conference like, "We need to get better play from the right tackle position. We can't continue to give up sacks from that side of the line so we're going to give Nate Garner a shot at that position" he could have saved some face this year.

Mando,

Why do you always leave out Hartline? He is an excellent receiver and WOULD start for the Patriots cause they'd know how to use him.

While I agree with your column's theme, I just feel you are overlooking a few players who - like wes welker - could flourish under another flag. Thanks.

Wow, this team has actually started to believe sparanos phony pressers. Maybe he does talk to them like that behind closed doors too. Everything they do is great. Optimistically this team is average. See it the same as mando (I think he was actually borrowing from my posts). They need a lot more skill at the money or gamebreaker positions. The complimentary positions are more than fine.

branch and welker much much better than hartline, just stop

Yea, Davone Bess should have said, "we don't belong on the field with winning football teams. We have no chance beating them. We should just lay down and die."
Damned if you say, and damned if you say!
So I don't fault Bess for what he said (and he didn't say the words Armando put in his mouth), but, take off your homer hats and think a little about some of the other things Armando wrote ... maybe we don't have as much talent as we need to compete in this division.

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