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No news, no excitement here: Just same old Dolphins

The Dolphins on Monday put in a waiver claim for wide receiver Taylor Price ...

... and didn't get him.

That's it. That's the big excitement on the Dolphins front today. And with all respect to the current five-game stretch during which the team has won four games -- a stretch that came too late to mean anything in a conversation that includes the word playoffs or postseason -- this team isn't exactly exciting.

And that's going to a be a problem for the Dolphins. Seriously.

You see, here in South Florida, the Dolphins are definitely not the talk of the town. The Marlins are about to open a new stadium, hired Ozzie Guillen, just signed Jose Reyes, added a closer, and are chasing Albert Pujols. The Heat is three weeks from opening its high-wire act on Christmas Day on national TV and play out a rapid-fire 66-game season that is supposed to end in the Finals.

Oh, yeah, the Florida Panthers are in first place, too.

The front page of today's Miami Herald sports section reflects what is currently happening in this community. There's a Marlins story, a Heat story, and a couple of Panthers stories. The Dolphins story is on page 5D.

Weeeeee

So why is this a big deal?

Firstly, the Dolphins are in competition with those other teams. They are vying for the same disposable income of the same sports fans that now have a choice of where to spend their money -- be it on the all-star basketball team, the new-stadium-having and new-lineup-having baseball team, or the same old Dolphins.

That may not matter to Tony Sparano, who determines what brand of football and at what pace the Dolphins play. That may not matter to GM Jeff Ireland, who has continued to bring the same kind of players to the roster that mentor Bill Parcells brought.

But it definitely matters to CEO Mike Dee and owner Stephen Ross. They want an exciting team on the field. They want big names on the roster. And mostly, they want to sell tickets and make money by having lots of people in the stands!

And that desire to not only win, but win in exciting fashion, and that need to keep up on the excitement and buzz scale with their in-town bretheren might color some of the decisions they have to make soon. I've already written how much Ross wants the Dolphins to add a franchise quarterback. He is going to play a role in that search, believe it or not.

The idea is not only to get a top-caliber quarterback that will help the Dolphins climb to contender status, but indeed, be able to throw the ball well enough to win games and draw fans.

Here's another thing to consider: The University of Miami football program made no secret of the fact it replaced coach Randy Shannon, in part, because fans had stopped coming to games. Well, as the Dolphins' style has failed to capture the imagination of locals, would ownership consider having to compete with the excitement factor as a variable when deciding Sparano's and Ireland's future.

After all, keeping the coach and or the general manager would require Ross to do some serious explaining to a crowd that is now used to exciting changes and additions from their local sports teams. 

Finally, there is this to consider: The Dolphins are a team that must do something interesting and exciting and successful pretty soon. Because of its last decade of mediocrity, the team must be careful not to lose an entire generation of fans to other franchises.

Remember, kids that were 10 years old when Dan Marino retired are 21 or 22 years old now. To those fans, the Dolphins haven't been elite like they were for people in their 30s and 40s. Those people enjoyed championships from the Heat and Marlins in the last decade.

That's dangerous for the Dolphins.

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Armando, are you me? Some of your bloggers think so.

11/18/2007 Eagles 17, Dolphins 7

12/15/2003 Eagles 34, Dolphins 27

10/24/1999 Dolphins 16, Eagles 13

10/20/1996 Eagles 35, Dolphins 28

11/14/1993 Dolphins 19, Eagles 14

12/09/1990 Dolphins 23, Eagles 20, OT

12/13/1987 Dolphins 28, Eagles 10

11/11/1984 Dolphins 24, Eagles 23

11/30/1981 Dolphins 13, Eagles 10

09/24/1978 Eagles 17, Dolphins 3

10/12/1975 Dolphins 24, Eagles 16

11/08/1970 Eagles 24, Dolphins 17

MIAMI DOLPHINS lead series 7-5-0

Sparano and Ireland are gone. you don't go 4 years in row, starting off in a hole, and then come on strong at the end & proclaim what a great team you have.

they are responsible (dont forget Bill too!) for this mess and need to go. hopefully Ross sees this and gives them the boot. Don't care if they 8-8, they still don't have talent at key positions.

Say what you will about the Heat, the Panthers, and the Marlins.

It was the DOLPHINS that put Miami on the map.

Sparano and Ireland are done no matter what happens the rest of the season because only change will sell seats at the half empty stadium. I am a season tikcet holder and have been for many, many years and the atmosphere at the stadium is actually depressing. The losses grate on you and if they keep Ireland and Sparano (even though I think that Sparano is getting a raw deal, but not Ireland the little sleazeball), I will not renew my tickets. We need to move into the modern era of football with a franchise QB and an up tempo offense (even though Daboll has done some nice things this year). If we draft a franchise QB this year and he does not pan out, draft another one next year, that is the nature of the NFL, you draft until you find one. I also am not interested in a big name hire for head coach, I want a great GM and a young coach that has passion for winning, not some washed up coach that is just cashing a paycheck.

So Michael Vick will start huh?

Good.

Fresh meat for the Miami Pound Machine!

Awww Right Miami!!!

The timing of this post is curious. What more exciting stuff would you have liked the franchise to do this week?

Good point Dr.

Winning fills that stands, no matter how you do it.

If Sporano's type of gameplan had us at 12-0 right now, the stands would be full and the buzz would be going around Miami.

The focus should always be on winning. His lack of wins should be the reason he would get fired.

A couple of comments onwhat I read on the previous blog.

1. On the subject of Daboll interviewing for HC, I say no way. Here is why. Have you seen him in the pressers? He doesn't seem like the most comfortable person dealing with the press. He seems awkward, self conscious to me. Is he a guy that can manage a whole team of ego maniac problem children? I don't see it really. He does not have that tough demeanor that the young John Gruden had. Secondly, he is only in his second year as OC. That is not much experience. Too green to move up that fast to the overwhelming responsibilities of HC.

2. Gabbert. Back to the never ending Long vs Ryan debate. Not even the most enthused pundits were willing to say Ryan was worth the #1 overall spot. He was rated somewhere where Gabbert was or maybe even less. As Parcells said, with QB's you just never know. We all know how many #1 pick QB's have been busts. Unless you think you have a Peyton Manning, you can't knock someone going with a surer bet, as they did with Long.

Thats all.

Bingo 'Mando. This season is the first in 23 years without Dolphins season tickets. I have not shifted my $$ to Heat, Marlins and this year for the first time Panthers. There are a lot of reasons but going to an NFL game is now is just not exciting, from on-field product to overly hyped in-stadium experience that makes you want to tear your hair out. Bye bye Dolphins and NFL.

Why should people spend money on the Dolphins? For what? For 16 straight loser QBs who became backups or worse for other teams once they failed here? For 0-7, only to get a breath of life and expect adulation? For moving back in drafts, picking the exact WRONG players, making unwise trades and picking the wrong FA acquisitions?

Is this what you all are expecting fans to pay for?

Yes, to some jokers on here who get all tickled pink for 4 wins, I guess that's enough. To the general fan, who actually wants to see their team WIN, consistently, and move on to the PLAYOFFS, the slow-poke, short bus, hurry up and wait, let's settle our line issues first approach of EVERY staff since Shula is wearing thin.

At least the Heat GET to the game. The Dolphins can't even get to mid-Season without letting all the air out of the balloon.

Let's see what's on the menu next year!

DA,

Agree with your #2 comment 100%

Mando,
Do yourself a favor, when you have nothing exciting to write, just don't post a blog at all.
We already know about the heat, panthers and marlins. You know what they have in common? fair weather fans. Only the DOLPHINS have real fans in this town. Most people in this city are so fake, where was the buzz when the heat went 1-15?

Ever since huizenga took over this team its ben one selling gimmick after another first it was JJ then Ricky then saban then parcells. On and on. Its going to be the same next year they will pay one big name to come in to be the savior and handicap them from the word go to get the money!! and then fill us up with hope again. Folks its going to take more than a great coach its going to take a great owner!! That wont happen for years. This team must be grossly unprofitable for ross to sell but thats whats got to happen and hopefully he will sell to an owner that can run a football team. Until then "lets just have fun"!!!!! yay rah rah!!!

To the fans that think sparano is doing a good job for winning 4 games...look at the way the team quit on him at the end of the last 2 seasons, and the way new england beat the crap out of last game last yr. yeas he needs to go along with worthless Ireland

Dear armando, YOU SUCK

Mando...very cynical for the holidays.

In many cases, fan bases will increase support when their team starts winning regularly even without stars - though there is a delay as fans don't want to be fooled by an acute win streak. Stars may develop from unknowns - it just takes longer to recognize.

But your underlying point is well-taken and very true. The actions of the owner will be dictated by business considerations. Isn't that what brought this current group in? And Jimmy Johnson before that?

By the way, Mando,

Are you trying to prepare us - the fans - for a coaching change or are you trying to push for one?

Careful if it is the latter: reporters should never try to become part of the story...unless you work for Fox or MSNBC....

Yep, there's nothing exciting about your team putting a major hurting on the Oakland Raiders. Not exciting?.....are you kidding me? This is a team that was 1-7 at home last year. Did you watch Jackosnvile last night? That's what I call NOT EXCITING. I actually felt bad for the team and the fans because we've been there. It was embarrassing.

Winning cures all. Who cares about the Miami Heat....that's basketball! Are the fans going to forgive that the players almost blew the whole season? The Heat will sparkle and dazzle and then let the fans down at the end....no grit, no guts when it counts. It's what they always do. The Marlins? Are they better than the Braves and Phillies, even with all the changes? Don't think so.
We're football fans. Not a lot that Sparano and Ireland can do about the other sports. Focus on their won team and put a winning product on the field. Pretty sure if we're winning that'll be exciting enough.

This year's offense actually is more "exciting" than any we've had in recent years!

I get in Mando, we are playing the Eagles so you bring up the Dolphins need to go all "eagle dream team" in their approach.

Lets hire Andy Reid, cut all the big strong guys in favor of small fast guys and run the Boise State offense.

That should guarantee us an exciting playoff missing team for the next ten years.

Personally, I think this team is more Steelers, Ravens, and NY Giants like. Being a perennial winner is the excitement I'm looking for.

It's actually funny to read the comments from some of the Sparano bashers. These guys are actually scared sh*tless that this team has turned things around and Sparano and company will be back next year. They are so upset about it that they can't even enjoy the victories and hurtings we're putting on the other team. THIS is why they wanted him gone at 0-7. What's the problem fellas? How about we let it play out and see where we're at? Maybe just maybe, you're more afraid that Sparano and company will make you look bad because they are better than what you've been saying all year.
Bring on the Eagles....

Craig M, get off the Kool-Aid because the Heat on their worst night are more exciting to watch than the Dolphins have been at any time the last four years.

You obviously know nothing about basketball and, worse, about football.

By the way, what is the Dolphins record after their big exciting win over Oakland? Yup, 4-8.

Koolaid kook.

How is beating the Raiders without 40% of their skill players something to get excited about? An injury or two ok, but they would have lost to Indy last Sunday.

Sam, amen, amen indeed.

Advocate, you never know with left tackles either. Robert gallery and the smith guy St Louis drafted recently come to mind. But if you are going to make a mistake, make one that would've brought the highest return. Not like your team can get any worse than last place.

It was a collosal fukk up. And Ryan was not rated around 10th. Several mocks including scouts Inc had Ryan going to Miami around February time of that offseason.

BTW The steelers have the number one fan base in the NFL with Green Bay and Cleveland right behind them.

The dolphins are now ranked in the 20s, because of inept ownership.

Lets quit making the same mistakes over and over again, like throwing the baby out with the bathwater every time we don't get instant results.

Remember Bill Cowher took ten years to win a Superbowl and remember Dolphins fans were screaming for him to coach the Dolphins. Also, don't forget the chanting for Kyle Orton by so called Dolphins fans last fall.

I Like Tony Sporano because he does what he thinks builds a winner and disregards what sideline pundits say.

Got to say its too soon to say they have turned anything around. I'll agree they are playing better. Turned it around is premature. Let's say we keep Sparano and then he starts off next season 0-3 for the 4th time in 5 years, then how dumb does Ross look?

Personally, I don't know what the strategy should be to fill the stadium. I can remember even in the Marino years....we were winning....it was exciting.....the Phins still had problems selling out the stadium. Sure, it was better attendance than we're currently seeing, but they've always had problems selling out that stadium.

Truth is, there is the competition mentioned in the blog.....but the Phins also have to compete with beautiful 80* days in November and December and a whole host of other activities people can enjoy....many of them for free.

Winning will make everyone feel better and a bit of excitement will certainly go a ways to filling empty seats, but ultimately, the Phins will have the same problems they've always had in this RE.

The Heat's season ticket base is 19K. They have a waiting list of 30K.

The Dolphins season ticket base is 49K.

59K > 49K.

Armando is right. Next.

mando is the only reporter in the NFL that hates the team he covers. He hates the team, the coach, the gm, the fans, the players and the town the team plays in.

I actually thought the dolphins would put in a claim for price. He's talented. Who got him? St Louis I bet.

I'm happy to hear Ross is all hell bent for leather getting a qb. Do it Ross, do it!!! Kick Ireland out if you have to. Just get it done.

Mark,

Can't agree. Any pick is a risk sure. But Long was rated as high as a LT could possibly be rated, Ryan was not rated as high as a QB could be rated. Who cares where the pundits thought Ryan would go in Feb, the fact is, it was widely questioned whether he really was worth a #1 and nobody had him there.

Also consider they were taking over a 1-15, rebuilding from ground up. Had it been Peyton available I'd agree with you. In this case, with the weight of not messing up, I believe they went with the surest pick, didn't want to risk their very first pick not being worth it.

I can't knock them no matter what it looks like hindsight. Long was what they thought he would be, and that is a successful pick.

United,

You're right, I don't know anything about basketball and I don't care too. Bunch of overpaid whining weasels, where it's all about whose posey is bigger than who's. Couldn't care less. Now if you want to talk about REAL basketball, let's talk NCAA. Totally different game.

But you knock yourself out. Enjoy all the Heat bring you this year and enjoy being let down again.

Let's say we keep Sparano and then he starts off next season 0-3 for the 4th time in 5 years, then how dumb does Ross look?

Posted by: Wake up | December 06, 2011 at 09:11 AM


I have to agree with that statement.

DA,

I agree with your comments at 9:18am. The REAL debate was whether the Dolphins would take CHRIS Long or Jake Long, not Matt Ryan. Let's remember that the St. Louis Rams, who picked right after us we're convinced on Matt Ryan either. So obviously it wasn't just Ireland and company who felt that way but the St. Louis organization as well. What's wrong is this notion that Ryan was a 'slamdunk'. He wasn't. TWO teams passed on him to address other needs.

Tony dug his own grave here. Let him prove himself somewhere else.

Craig M,

Why so much for hate for the Heat? at least they bring in free agents who are considered the best at their positions. They bring EXCITEMENT to their games, Dolphins not so much. If you ask me the Dolphins can learn from Heat, and now the Marlins, not in sense bringing in a bunch of free agent (since that not how you win in the NFL) but bring in better product on the field. AKA Drafting correctly.

But with Sparano and Ireland, I dont think so.

Oh Craig, the Heat were in their first year with a bunch of games who never played before and was 2 games from winning the championship, they can only get better. Not that you care..

Craig 9:28

I see it exactly as you wrote it too.

Spiderman,

I'm not a basketball fan and I'm not a fan of teams trying to BUY championships. It's why I hate the Yankees also. I don't live in the Miami area, so I have no ties to the team. To be honest, I couldn't care less who wins. I would have been just as happy to have some a complete season go down to the toilet. Tune in to the last 2 mins of the game and be enetertained. Complete waste of time for my money...

guys* I need coffee.

"How is beating the Raiders without 40% of their skill players something to get excited about? An injury or two ok, but they would have lost to Indy last Sunday."

None of those skill players played on the Raiders front 7 which was mashed all game long. And the Raiders had McFadden, Jacoby Ford, etc..last year when the Dolphins steamrolled them out in Oakland.

And every week the Dolphins offer their opponents a journeyman/backup quarterback, worst right tackle in the league, slow receiving corps, and undersized every-down back. It evens out.

Spiderman,

I'm not a fan of this 'dream team' concept, this idea of buying the best players out there. Sparky Anderson used to say 'you can only have so many superstars on your team. At some point it's how the team gels that matters'. It's why I celebrate EVERY year the Yankess and Red Sox seasons end. It's part of my turnoff from baseball too (no salary cap).

And Spiderman, I don't want to see the Dolphins EVER take this approach. They tried it in Philly this year and it's been a failure and they tried it for years in Washington and Dallas. You can't BUY championships.

At least the Heat GET to the game. The Dolphins can't even get to mid-Season without letting all the air out of the balloon.

Let's see what's on the menu next year!

Posted by: DC Dolfan

I was under the impression that the Dolphins fill the balloon as they go. ;) They also can't find the holes to patch.

What a joke of a column. Move somewhere else and cover a different team if all you can do is write this drivel every day. Yeah, we get it that you think the Dolphins are bad. Come up with something interesting to read, or don't write at all. This is garbage, which is all I've read from you this season. Go cover the Heat, until they lose a game or two and then you'll find soemthing you don't like about them and spend the next four weeks writing drivel about them...

The Heat were a disappointment. The Marlins are spending money but does not guarantee anything. The season hasn't begun. The Panthers are in first place yes, but is anybody excited about them right now? I expect Ross be as smart in his decisions as he is outside of football. He has to make the case to keep or fire the question. Regardless of the move the Dolphins need to continue to pursue a franchise QB and hope Moore continues his success to be a bridge to the day they land one..

Gusy I've tried TWICE now to post some info. from Peter King's column on CNNSI.com. In it he shows the Patriots results from their '10 draft. Gronk was the STUD prize they got from that draft. The Dolphins were wrong not to take him late first, early second. But take a look at the rest of their draft. With the exception of McCourty it's been VERY mediocre. Taylor Price was just one example of that. Played a grand total of FOUR games in two years, with five catches. Was taken ahead of Armando's new favourite TE and the guy he likes to bash Ireland about, Jimmy Graham and also taken ahead of NaVorro Bowman, the fine LBer from SF. I hope people will keep that in mind, as they continue to bash Ireland for the Jerry pick. He's not the only guy who missed on Graham and not the only guy who missed on picks.

Da, Atlanta was at the same spot Miami was at the time of the draft. Since then Atlanta has gone on to win 30 plays games and has a winning percentage of about. 600. We've sucked ever since and are way below, 500.

Atlanta still found their left tackle, added a stud right end, a stud receiver. We added odrick, long, pouncey, merling, white, henne, and Thomas. Yeah, disagree all you want. Ryan was not a reach, he was in the discussion all the way. Our regime just dunked the pooch. That's it no other way about it.

So because the crap organization that is St Louis passed on Ryan too validates that he wasn't worthy? Remember at least St Louis learned from their mistake and took Bradford who may not be as food anyway. But that's beside the point. No Ryan wasnot a slam dunk but he was in the mix and if you are pitting a tackle vs an end vs a qb and you don't have a qb in this league. The easy pick is the qb. How can you defend that pick??? If Ireland did the same thing again everyone would be ready to roast him. Why is it somehow different then?

Mark,

The roster in Atlanta was a LOT better than the one that Sparano and company inherited here. Vick left them a mess and their coach quit on them before the season was over but the talent level was a LOT better than what the Dolphins had. It was a lot easier for Ryan to come in and play on that team than he would have faced here in Miami. I think you forget just how dismal things were during that 1-15 season. I still have cold sweats about Lemon.

Craig, the pats also got Aaron Hernandez from that draft. Nice try though. Those two alone kill anything we got from that draft. Add nccourty too and call ot a night.

You really want to compare those three to odrick, Misi, and Jerry?

Lets say we keep sparano and the dolphins start 0-3 next year. ??????????
----------------------------------------------
Lets say we get rid of Sparano and hire ?????. There is no guarantee we don't go 0-3.

Lets say we keep Sparano, we draft a quarter back and go 0-3.

Lets say we fire Sparano, he goes to Jacksonville has a winning season, and we go 0-3.

I say we have a lot more stability and a known product now then in the last ten years. Lets let it play out for another year, and by then we will know what we have. Don't keep making the same mistakes Cleveland and Philly makes.

Where can Ross buy an NFL ready Franchise QB? You must tell him.

The reason Ryan didn't go to the Phins is because he convinced no one that he was a #1 choice. He threw 19 int's his sr season at BC. You don't draft a QB that throws 19 int's in a season.

Mark

You are speaking with the benefit of hindsight whereas I am looking at the situation as it was at the moment it happened. As Craig said, we were not the only team to pass on Ryan.

You must agree it is a team game. Who is better, Ryan or Marino? And how many SB rings did Marino bring us?

Craig, outside of roddy white and Abraham, who exactly did Atlanta have.

In that first draft they got baker and Ryan in the first. Its been goodnight ever since.

They weren't that much better. Not like they were a team like we are this year. They sucked too.

Mark,

Go and look at their draft from '10. It's right there in King's column. McCourty had a GREAT year last year but he's been burned often this year. The team is really down on him right now.

Gronk validates that draft for them and Hernandez was a good pick too. I'm not trying to justify the fact that Ireland and company didn't pick a pass catching TE....they should have. I'm trying to show that even the best organization makes mistakes.

I say we have a lot more stability and a known product now then in the last ten years.
Posted by: HAWK1052 | December 06, 2011 at 09:54 AM


Our known product is a coach who has started of 0-3 or worse in 75% of his seasons.

You may be high on that, I am not. I do not fear change and would rather take a chance than stick with a proven loser.

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