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I'm a salmon swimming upstream on the Manning issue

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Dolphins are going to chase Peyton Manning if he becomes available in free agency. That is already decided. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross loves the idea of Manning and has established him as the offseason quarterback priority.

Manning first.

Matt Flynn second.

Drafting a quarterback third.

The Dolphins see Manning as a way to win games, sell tickets and become relevant again. Within their circle of power, they think Manning can do for Miami what Joe Montana did for the Kansas City Chiefs in the early 1990s -- and if you don't remember, that included one failed trip to the AFC title game in Buffalo.

So why am I against the addition of Peyton Manning?

Let me count the ways:

He is a huge injury risk. Huge! I'm not so much worried about his neck, which has undergone three surgeries in the past 20 months and is clearly a big issue. I'm not worried that a Rex Ryan blitz or Vince Wilfork would catch Manning in precisely the wrong position and injure his cervical spine that has undergone three surgeries in less than two years. The risk of neck injuries are a fact of life for all NFL players.

I'm more concerned with Manning's much-discussed dead nerve condition that has affected his triceps in his throwing arm and has weakened his ability to throw. I was told Sunday that Manning's arm strength has diminished by as much as 40 percent as a result of the weakened triceps muscles. And I was told the issue wasn't just to the point where he can throw on game days, but there would be legitimate worry he can throw four or five times a week.

If you know Manning, you know he relies heavily on building an instinctive relationship with his receivers. He wants them to see what he sees. He wants to know how they run their routes and he wants them to know where he's likely to place the football. The only way to gain that is to throw to them -- a lot.

But there is doubt he could throw day after day even if his nerves regenerate because the muscles in his arm could fatigue more easily than they once did.

But put all that aside for a second. Seriously. Cast that to one side and suppose for a second that Manning's arm will eventually be capable of working about as well as it did when he was in his prime. The fact will remain he won't be in his prime with Miami.

He's 35 years old now and will be 36 next month. That's about the time Dan Marino started his precipitous and sudden decline. Montana, too. Troy Aikman was done by age 34. Steve Young was done by 38. Warren Moon had his last excellent season at 36 although he hung on a couple of more years, toiling in mediocrity.

The fact of the matter is if Peyton Manning plays in the NFL in 2012, he would be the second-oldest starting quarterback in the league and that assumes that Matt Hasselbeck will be starting for the Tennessee Titans -- something the Titans are prepared to change because former first-rounder Jake Locker will be coming into his second season and is the future in Tennessee.

So unless Hasselbeck wins a starting job, Manning might be the oldest starting QB in the NFL.

What about that fact suggests a long-term solution to Miami's quarterback troubles? Oh, that's right, nothing! 

The fact of the matter is if the Dolphins sign Peyton Manning it will be because they cannot solve their QB problem the tried and true way -- through the draft. They will have admitted they cannot identify a potential franchise QB at age 22 or 23 and have the conviction to draft that player, develop that player and win with that player for years and years. They will be saying they must instead take someone else's discarded quarterback, one whose best days are behind, and gamble he still has something left in the tank to serve Miami's desperation.

This is akin to treating a deep wound with a band aid. The band aid may stop some of the bleeding for a short time, but it will not help heal the wound. It will not keep the wound from becoming infected. The Dolphins quarterback situation is a deep, deep wound. And the only way to heal the hurt is finding a player that can fill the spot and play it at a high level for the next 7 or 8 years, not the next year or two ... maybe.

Now, I understand the allure of Manning. You see the possibility and think the Dolphins would be adding Manning in his prime. You see the possibility and think he would make the Dolphins instant contenders and get them to the playoffs. It is a gleaming vision of the possibilities.

I say to you all that shiny stuff reflecting in your eyes is fool's gold. The Dolphins have been down this road before. Four years ago, having no answer at quarterback, the Dolphins turned to often-injured Chad Pennington who fell to them like a blessing from the sky.

And it was good for one season. Pennington's great play led the Dolphins to the 2008 AFC East championship. It was fun. But it was fleeting.

NFL games have a way of finding a man's weakness and Pennington's surgically repaired shoulder was eventually exposed just as Manning's injury will eventually be exposed. And when that happened, the Dolphins were left right back where they started -- looking desperately for a franchise quarterback that they didn't spend a high enough draft pick to select.

(The fact Pennington helped Miami to an 11-5 record also pushed the team well to the back of the pack in the ensuing year's draft.)

That's what would happen if Manning comes to Miami. If Manning signs, the pressure will be on to win now. We'll be in win-now mode even though the coach is new and has a bit of a honeymoon period coming. He will have to produce and general manager Jeff Ireland will have to surround Manning with as much talent to win now as possible.

That means addressing must-haves -- like a right tackle and a pass-rusher. That probably means not drafting a quarterback in the first round because Matt Moore is still under contract and that, along with Manning, is enough use of resources at one position.

So, again, the Dolphins will return to all-in mode with a quarterback that needs to be in that mode because his time is running out. Except the rest of the Dolphins roster isn't ready to be all-in. The rest of the Miami roster needs significant upgrade along the right side of the offensive line, at tight end, on the defensive line and possibly in the secondary where a nickel corner and free safety are needs.

It simply does not fit. And so, I predict, if the Dolphins go with Manning, they may have some short-term gain (at best) but have again set themselves up for more long-term pain -- like 2008 and the years that followed. History repeating.

I know, I know, many of you are all in on Manning. If he comes in and wins a division title, you'll be happy with that. Some of you think he might even win a Super Bowl in Miami in his declining years even though he won only one in 14 years with Indianapolis while he was in his prime. (I admire your ability to dream.)

Me? Give me a free agent chase of a great pass rusher. Give me a trade-up for Robert Griffin III or the selection of whatever rookie QB the personnel department gets most comfortable with. Give me the signing of 27 year-old Matt Flynn even. Get me some more improving and building for the long haul. Get me the short-term pain in exchange for the long-term gain.

I know I'm in the minority. I am like a salmon swimming upstream and the Miami plan and the Miami fans are big brown bears waiting in the middle of the flow to swallow me because of my opinion.

That's fine. Let's talk in two or three years when we're right back where we started and you're screaming for a young QB and a new coach and a new GM -- again.


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Andy, I respect your opinion, however I do not think you "proved" any flaws in my statement.

All of your facts go back to the Henning era, where Henning was the issue. Brain Daboll changed the offense, and our issue was not offense winning games earlier this year.

I will just ageree to disagree with you. I just think it is time for our fan base to look at the coaching, the o-line play, the admission of not being prepared or in shape. 1st.

Then look at droppped passes, run blocking, and missed opportunities at the QB position next.

Henne was not this teams biggest issue, there were far more glaring issues to address earlier on, and the scapegoat was more than not Henne on this blog.

haha, you're a damn idiot aramando. do you not realize that anyone overcoming injury is going to be atrophied where they are having issues? of course he's going to be weaker but where do you even come up with "40% less" on something like that? so he can thro 30 yards only not 50? you're a joke, quit speculating and just get a damn story right for a change. moron.

Henne sucks pre plain and simple. This guy was giving 3 years to do something. I can argue Flacco, Freeman, Ryan were mor productive in there rookie years than Henne was ever. He sucks, anyone remember a 4th quarter comeback with Henne. I'll wait...

I'm way late to this posting. Amando makes some very good points. I'll add some cents of my own:

Trent Green
Dante Culpepper
Chad Pennington

All of these quarterbacks were old and/or injured and did not help Miami improve except for Pennington's first season (which ended in a blowout playoff loss). That "improvement" from 1-15 to 11-5 has led to 7-9, 7-9, and 6-10. It was a great turnaround year and the Dolphins have paid for it every year since then because they have not fixed the QB position.

There is another name to remember: Brett Farve. He helped the Vikings for one very good year. Then what? The Vikings had to start looking for a new QB and they are one of the worst teams in the NFL at this point.

The fact is that the Dolphins have refused to even TRY to select anything other than a 'value' QB since Marino began his decline and retired. The Dolphins are not a single player away from the Superbowl so even a healthy, but ancient Manning is not the answer.

The Dolphins are a very flawed team that has been 'rebuilding' for at least a decade. The roster is full of needs.

The two starting wideouts are among the worst in dropped passes. (Just ask Gisele, QB coach of the Patriots.) Another TE is almost a must.

The OL needs two new starters. Even Jake Long is a concern given all the injuries he has struggled with the past two years.

The defence needs a couple of pass rushers and some serious help in the secondary.

The last thing the Dolphins need is the league's oldest QB, coming off of three serious sugeries, whose rehab is uncertain with the resulting delay (again) finding a QB in the draft like almost all other teams do.

I dont care if Peyton Manning is old, he's argubably the best QB of the decade, there nothing wrong with taking a chance on him. No lets take a chance on Flynn who has played in 2 doggone games. Sign Peyton Manning for 2 years and draft a QB who can possibly learn from him.

If Peyton is ineffective cut him, simple as that but if you have the chance to get the most productive QB of hte decade DO IT. Worst case scnario we have another season wiith Moore at QB. Best case scenario Manning will be healthy and his old self or 80 percent of his old self. They key is still drafting a QB to sit behind him and Moore.

Clue, your right, end of discussion, thank you for clearing everything up.

Spiderman, fully agree with that post. Peyton is worth taking the risk on imo. Especially if this incentive contract signing is true. It would be a no-brainer.


I know you wanting a QB because I feel the same and I also know you don't want an OT with their 1st pick and I don't either.

A realistic scenario of players picked before Miami and I am giving Miami the #9 as a worst case scenario.

1. Colts - Andrew Luck QB Stanford
2. Rams - Justin Blackmon WR Oklahoma St.(I feel a trade back with Cleveland)
3. Vikings - Matt Kalil OT USC
4. Browns - Robert Griffin QB Baylor
5. Bucs - Morris Clairborne CB LSU
6. Redskins - Jonathan Martin OT Stanford
7. Jaguars - Quentin Coples DE North Carolina
8. Carolina - Michael Brockers DT LSU

9. Miami - needs QB, RT, pass rusher, TE, FS, WR, CB

Take a look at each position of need and the best available players

QB - Ryan Tannehill (Texas A&M) would be a huge reach but look at Ponder/Vikings last year. I doubt it unless Sherman convinces them he is the 2nd coming of Elway.

After Tannehill there is no one else even considered as even a possible reach in the 1st round.

RT - Riley Reiff (Iowa) a 4 year player at Iowa who has played LT and RT and guard as well. Seems right up Miami's alley. He can be penciled in as a bookend OT with Long and Pouncey in the middle give Miami a strong core on paper.

Mike Adams (school in ohio) - I know he had a great Senior Bowl from most publications but I'm assuming he is a reach. I especially assume he is a reach over Reiff or Martin.

DE/OLB - This is where it could get interesting.

DE - Whitney Mercilus (Illinois) he is long and athletic at 6-5 265. He is a one year wonder but a productive 1 year wonder leading college football in sacks and forced fumbles. His 1 year wonder status and athleticism draws comparisons to Aldon Smith and Jason Pierre Paul. All 3 were 1 year wonders and all 3 have same type of build/frame and athleticism. After watching the Super Bowl and JPP/Tuck/Umenyiora I think Mercilus is who I want the most.

Melvin Ingram (South Carolina) - He has crazy athleticism and strength. I don't know if his athleticism and strength will work as well in the NFL because he is short 6'1 270 and has short arms so he has to get inside on players to be able to shed their blocks. I know there are guys like Freeney. Dumervil and Lamar Woodley and Harrison but not too many short pass rushers with short arms succeed.

TE - No Vernon Davis types in this draft.

WR - Michael Floyd (Notre Dame) would be considered a reach here I get that but he is 6'3 225 lbs, has good speed and strength that does translate to the NFL. With him and Marshall it would be hard to just go out and double 1 of them because the other is physical, strong and athletic to make 1 on 1 opportunities big plays.

Alshon Jeffrey (South Carolina). He is another match up problem for small DBs but his weight and speed remind me a lot of Mike Williams. He doesn't have qucikness or straight line speed. He also played around 230 with not a well built body. I don't like him personally.

CB - Dre Kirkpatrick (Alabama) he has great size for the position at 6'3 210 lbs and is well schooled from Nick Saban at Alabama. It's a real dark horse Miami takes a CB considering Vontae and Smith although not elite are capable starters.

Safety - no top 10 worth players.

Now who would you want in this type of scenario?

We had a great QB in Dan Marino, 1 trip to Super Bowl No wins. Think about Kellan Moore, some say he's too short, some say Drew Breese is too short, Just sayin.........


I gotta just agree to disagree with you. Henning didn't make the throws Henne did. Henne shows no leadership. The team shows little to no confidence with him. Henne's overall record and TD-Int ratio and mediocre completion percentage is all I need to know.

He is not a starter and I do know for a fact he won't be in Miami and can't wait to get rid of him.

Andy, correct (with my desire), but I also agree with you, unless they move up to get RG3, there really isn't a QB to take at our spot (unless Ireland believes one further back will be the real deal, I say suck it up and get that guy). However, the only other guy I really would want (at QB) is Weeden, and don't see him as a #10 pick. So I'm basically ready to concede the point that we'll draft a QB 1st-round (unless, again, we move up).

So, in your scenario, I'd go for Mercilus. I agree, he's kinda like JPP. That would fill a huge void on the team right now, and would fill my desire for more playmakers (which linemen usually are not). I think worst possible choice would be Reiff. I don't think he'd equal even 1 extra win on this team, and that's what I'm looking for out of a 1st-rd pick.


Good point on Reiff. He is just another building block. Ireland is from the Parcells school of thinking. So I hope he goes Mercilus or even a player I left out in Upshaw over another OT.

I just think when you are an offensive line coach by trade you don't use 1st round picks on them because you should be able to get more with a lesser player and fill other team deficiencies.

Osi Umenyora will be available also, not sure if he is worht the $$ and how much he has left. Mercilus is a low risk high reward pick, so I like that.

DC dolfan, if you read what i said carefully (We ain't going to the Super Bowl next year or the next few after that. Give Moore the ball, look at developing the next Aaron Rodgers, use your awful performance and ensuing draft position to build the team) you will maybe understand that what I am saying is we have a guy right now that has proven that he can throw and think, a rare commodity these days....He has been surrounded by a bunch of self aggrandizing underachievers that pump their fists when we score a friggin field goal..

Maybe some of these clowns can learn to actually catch the ball when playing in a game that actually counts for the team and fans that actually pay their salaries, screw Ireland... Regarding the Philbin Experiment..we have been down this road a few times..we bring in some guy at a higher authority level, he floods the damned team with a bunch of his unproven or previously failed cronies (Can you say Wannstedt - Da Bears?, we have inexperienced owners once again, the only difference is that the last one made his billions in trash heaps and naturally started building one here.....this owner is all about curb appeal...make it look pretty with a lot of flash and we can get people to part with their money for a product that looks glitzy, but the systems are decayed and not up to code...screw ireland...

Thank God Albert 1, a voice of reason rises from the ashes... oh well, forget Kellen Moore he's too short, .....excuse me!! I thought the NFL teams got their O/D linemen from the colleges or was that from the valley of the jolly Green Giant? So do they get magic pills on draft day or are they the same guys he threw over while leading Boise State to an incredible run..mostly carrying the damned team on his back...

He's only a qb with heart,
He's just a qb with a brain,
He's only a qb that has proven his decision making abilities,
He's only a qb that fulfilled his commitment to the University and lived up to the contact that is a full boat scholarship,
He's a smart kid,
He's only a resilient QB, look at the TD / INT ratios. Look at the games won.

that damned guy Brees he's been another short QB that has failed miserably...but that's ok, Ireland made sure we didn't take that risk...screw Ireland

I would be content going into training camp if We had Matt Flynn,Matt Moore and a draftee qb on Our roster for quaterbacks.

The talking heads are exposing themslves as the shameless huksters they really are.

They're almost having accidents on themselves over this Brady/Welker deal.

You could here it in the interviews, the day after broadcasts. You can tell that anyone of them would drop down on their knees if it would help to get Brady to say something bad about Welker or vice versa.

This is what Broadcast Journalism has become. What a sorry state of affairs. They remind me of desperate crack addicts trying to talk their way into s Free Fix!

Disgusting-The WHOLE lot of them!

So what! It's the patsies.CHEATERS!

I heard on WQAM, callers are calling Michael Irvin and bashing Marshall saying he drop passess and yada yada. Even with all his drops he still the best WR we have so whats the point in not liking him or wanting to trade him, The 1 of 2 playmakers we have and lets trade him. I want to slap the taste of out of a lot of you so called fans.

Why Clue,is it that you don't appreciate others opinions? Marshall is ok. The adjective great gets tossed around to readily nowadays to refer to players who just cash paychecks.

Ireland is from the Parcells school of thinking.

Posted by: AndyNJ | February 07, 2012 at 10:26 AM

So are Coughlin, Belichek and Sean Payton. And they have credited him for their success.

Dear Mr. Salguero

Some where right now Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez are planning revenge tactic's against Gisele Bundchin.

Probly loosening the heels of her shoe's so she falls on the runway or some sorta Wardrobe malfunction thus exposing her adams apple.

Just my guess...I could be wrong

Soiled :)

ozkar, despite Marshall droopping the balls the guy had over 1000 yards and he has made some spectacular catches as well. I just dislike the Miami fans who ready to trade and cut him and all that BS

Ross you have destroyed the Dolphins. PLEASE sell the team!!!!!!

So what! It's the patsies.CHEATERS!

Posted by: ozkar | February 07, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Well, that kind of my point.

If it was Henne and Marshall, they would just tell it like it is.

But, since it's the patsies they're all candy assssing around with innuendo, insinutions and begging for just a tiny piece of crack to hungrily scarf down!

I'm saying they should tell it like it is and quit brown nosing Goodell's Flag Ship Prima Donna's.

The safety scared Brady a little and he choked up a little. Not a terrible throw, but not a good one either.

Welker choked too. He heard footsteps or something. Couldn't handle the pressure maybe, because I know he makes that catch 9 times out of 10.

Why are they trying to politely beg an admission out of either?

Just Print it! Broadcast it!



They act like their speaking of Royalty! It's Freaking QB and a WR for Christs Sake!

Tell it like it is: CHOKE!!!!

Though I consider Our#19 a prima donna and a malcontent, Marshall would have his best season with Matt Flynn throwing him the football.

You are not in the minority as far as I am concerned. Manning is a mistake for the Dolphins. He is old and does not fit. I can see if he came in with intentions to groome RG3. Any other reason is a big error on Ross and the organization. It is window dressing at best.
I say move up in the draft. Get the QB you need and pay the price. Maybe include Jake long in a trade to limit the hit we will take on draft picks.
This is a true test for Ireland. If he makes the right move, it could mean a lot for the team. I doubt he makes the right move as he and Ross are rookies and have no idea of what they are doing.

The patsies did CHOKE odinseye! Well said.

Lou, your exact words below
"If Philbin says Matt Flynn is the guy for Miami, he's good enough for me."
It's in the3rd or 4th paragraph. Maybe if you put a space between paragraphs that would help the readability too.
Posted by: Maestro | February 07, 2012 at 09:00 AM

Not in the terms you are stating. You were saying that I was making that statement. Read it again. It is an argument others are using as a rationalization as to why Flynn would be a good fit for the team and I am saying that noboby knows what Philbin is thinking.

What Our team lacks is a qb.We can acquire Matt Flynn and not trade ANY of our playmakers on either side of the ball and reload in FA and the draft.We have players who can perform better let's complement their skills instead of just discarding them.

Thanks Ozkar.

I enjoyed clarifying myself on that one.

I enjoyed it so much, I'm going to do it again!



PS: The Headlines should have read:

Patsies Choked Out!!!!


Nevertheless,I don't give a damn.The patsies haven't won SB since they got caught cheating!Apparently stealing signals makes a difference in detemining wins and loses!

Andy @ 8:19,
I am giving examples of why I think Flynn needs to be avoided. In every example there is a quarterback who was given as an argument by others as to why Miami should pursue Flynn.
Each quarterback whose name was mentioned in that piece is a perfect example of why things like this just don't work out.
If you look at the history of how these things work out why would anyone think the odds of Flynn succeeding in Miami could even be close to good. The only one who benefits in these deals is the quarterback who gets his big pay day but it doesn't work out for the team.
I am trying to be a voice of reason. Flynn did nothing in his time with LSU. He did even less with the Packers. The odds of a 7th rd pick becoming starter material in four years sitting on the bench are astronomically low.
I remember reading posts from fans who pointed out how important it was to draft a quarterback in the first round and those same people did comparisons of the success rate of those picked in the first rd vs those picked later. They were making an argument as to why Miami needs to take a quarterback in the first round. Now all of a sudden, everyone is willing to lower their standards for a 7th round pick who was a backup for his 4 years in the league.

The Pats have been to 5 superbowls and won 3 and we havent been to one since 1984, I think the Paties are laughing at us.

Lou, finally a sensible blogger!

NO Clue you're the one who's rejoicing in that post.
My beloved Miami Dolphins are a proud franchise beset with horrible administrations and owners.

I wish we were half as good as the Pats.

If Miami were half as good as the Pats they would be twice as good as anyone else in the AFC.

I don't.They cheated their way into being good.

ozkar, your "beloved" franchise havent been relavent in a decade.

The last time Manning threw a pass in the NFL, he was the reigning MVP.

Is Manning a risk? Sure. But do Dolphins fans really need a reminder that picking up another team's backup is a risk, too? Matt Flynn isn't going to sign an incentive-laden contract like Manning; it's going to be full-on Kevin Kolb-style boom or bust with him.

RG3 is a pipe dream and not seriously worth discussing; you might as well argue for getting Luck. The only way Miami can get RG3 is if both Cleveland and Washington decide they don't want him, which is unlikely.

It isn't obligatory to be a Miami Dolphins fan.
dicky mo,Cellar Fins and Clue you-all are permitted to be fans of the New England PATSIES!

gosh damn dicky mo.

Peyton is feeble and fragile.

yeah, he's going to be doing commercials for Depends soon.

They were briefly relevant when Chad Penninton lead Us to a division win in a spectacular season.

ozkar, I will always be a Dolphins fan but I live in reality while your in Looney Tuens.

"I am a Salmon swimming upstream on the Manning issue." Methaphorically speaking, wouldn't this be an oxymoron?

Please don't patronize me with your"beloved" franchise and then consider yourself a Dolphan.Absurd!
I am as disenchanted as many Dolphins fans are however I will ONLY root for the Miami Dolphins.I'm all-in with the Dolphins.Then and now.


I see your nemesis yeah! has returned. unless it was an impostor.

The "cheating" thing was years ago and the Pats have continued winning unabated since then. Totally domainating the division and playing in two more Super Bowls. Belichick and Brady are obviously much bigger factors than videotaping another team's signals (which---gasp---was never that big of a deal in the first place)

Look, I'm a Miami fan forever but I can't deny reality and will give the devil his due. Aside from the singular achievement of the Perfect Season, the New England Patriots have superceded the Miami Dolphins as an NFL franchise in every way conceivable. More success, more sustained excellence, better stadium, more prestige, you name it.

I only wish we could know their kind of "failure" the past few years.

Your homer in your reality! I would still take Dan Marino over Tom Brady. EVERYTIME!













i dont get the point.
there is not a qb worth taking in the first 10 picks (where miami is at) after luck and griffin. i doubt the answer is give away a boatload of picks to get either. so what, draft a qb just to draft one? then miami has no future with a m. sanchez, d. ponder, or whatever has been qb was way overrated. or take a gamble on manning with an incentive laden contract and a later round pick with some potential to groom for taking over in the next couple years?
i go with manning and plan B.


need news mando what's up?

It's only day 2 of the offseason and it feels like we've been in the offseason for four months. Fukkin idiots running this team.

Posted by: ozkar | February 07, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Skipper? Is that you?

No chump it's YOUR SENSE OF REALITY.Chad Henne is ineffectual!Sat a year.Was starting qb for three and still sucked!

I agree with Mustache man...Chad Henne will be at least an above average QB. If Miami does not let him do it...someone else will. The organization never let him thrive. Now...with a new coaching staff...he has another chance to show what he can do.

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