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The Dolphins offseason plan? Possible version here

Jeff Ireland has "a plan" for the offseason. He isn't giving details of what that plan is. He has no intention of unveiling it for public scrutiny to the point where he told Dolphins coaches not to even talk about quarterbacks or needs or free agency during their recent media availability.

Makes sense.

But, let's face it, this isn't rocket science.

Miami's needs are easy to understand if you watched the team the last couple of years. The players that are or will likely become available are also public knowledge. And we know there is a finite amount of ways the Dolphins can actually add players -- through free agency first, the draft and, of course, trades.

So what does Ireland's plan likely look like?

Let's begin with the problems the plan must address:

The Dolphins need a starting QB first and foremost. They would love a franchise quarterback, of course, and that's the first order of business. But at the minimum they need a quarterback who will compete with Matt Moore for the starting job in training camp. That is known to everyone.

So how to address the QB question?

Peyton Manning, if relatively healthy, will be the team's top target if he's available. Simple. Ownership has sent this commandment down from the Dolphins version of Mount Sinai. I've written Manning is the QB priority if he's healthy and until Manning either stays in Indianapolis, or retires, or shows he is incapable of throwing the football (the latter of which will not happen), he will be the thing for Miami.

If Manning is out of the picture, I think the Dolphins go with Matt Flynn. The fact is Flynn will come with a starter's price tag and not a lot of certainty. But he comes with more certainty than any possible draft pick not named Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III. Flynn in free agency seems to be more logical, given his history and connection to Joe Philbin, than say, using a first-round pick on Ryan Tannehill. Flynn is young and more experienced and probably more NFL starter ready than Tannehill. And if you pick up Flynn, you can free up use of the first-round pick for another major need while still having the option of drafting another QB -- perhaps Brandon Weeden -- later in the draft.

If the Dolphins cannot add either Flynn (who will have other options) or Manning (who is a huge wild card) in free agency, you can pretty much put the first-round card in right now for a QB.

Does that mean Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III are out of the question? Nothing is out of the question, I suppose. But I don't see the Dolphins paying two first-round picks, plus more resources, such as a second and perhaps a third round pick, or perhaps even three first-round picks to go to the No. 2 overall spot where getting Luck or Griffin will be possible.

Using that many chips to go high enough for the two QBs could cripple the franchise for years if the QB it brings in return is not a franchise player. And as Bill Parcells said, they don't sell insurance for this stuff.

Moving on.

The club needs a right side to the offensive line -- with both right guard and right tackle a question mark. Marc Colombo is done. If he finds himself in a Dolphins uniform again in training camp, something went horribly wrong because he is simply not a starting-caliber NFL tackle any more. Assuming the club intends to fill one of the right side needs, either at guard or tackle, with an "on campus" solution -- such as John Jerry or Nate Garner or Lydon Murtha -- that still means the club needs to solve the other right-side problem by adding a body.

There are great free agency options such as Carl Nicks at guard. I love the prospect of Jared Gaither at tackle in free agency. But both will be very, very, very expensive. Nicks today said he's looking for a deal above $56.7 million that averages more than $8.1 million per season -- the deal signed by teammate Jahri Evans. No way the Dolphins pay that!

Despite their history for spending extravagantly on the offensive line in free agency, I think the Dolphins aren't going down that road. I think they'll try to solve their offensive line issue in the second wave of free agency or in the draft -- not the first round.

The club also needs a pass-rusher. The truth is I believe this is the top need and the only one that rivals quarterback. Simply, the Dolphins need to pressure the quarterback better, need to find a pass-rusher so good as to make Cameron Wake the complementary pass-rusher, and need to make sure this player is also a viable run-stopper on the edge. I know that Mario Williams will be available in free agency. Cliff Avril will also be on the free agent market.

But again, I don't see the Dolphins spending their money here. I see them spending draft picks here and an early pick at that -- probably their first pick assuming the quarterback issue is resolved in free agency.

There's a need at free safety. There's a need at tight end. There's probably a need at wide receiver because a high-priced or high draft pick QB needs as much help on the other end of his passes as possible.

These are all issues tackled in the second-wave of free agency or on the draft's second or third days. I assume the Dolphins still have very high hopes for Charles Clay as a hybrid tight end so they're not going to invest a high pick or a great deal of money there. They obviously didn't last year.

My big concern is that Miami will continue to be lulled into a sense of false security at WR. Davone Bess did not show well last year -- certainly not as well as he did the previous years. And while Brian Hartline had solid moments, he still hasn't proven he's a good No. 2 starting WR despite owning the job two seasons.

Me? I'd get the QB more help. I'd get Brandon Marshall some help. I'd get solid WR wherever I could find him. By the way, did I hear Green Bay may be parting ways with Donald Driver? I scoop him up. He'll be familiar with the system, he's an awesome locker room presence, he knows how to win, and he would make Flynn a nice security blanket.

Yes, he's 37 years old. I get that. But he was also Green Bay's best WR in the playoffs. I hope the Dolphins get that.

Comments

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Justin, I give ultimate credit to the defender(s) that missed the tackle. I get what you're saying though, a good WR will make defenders miss and increase the YAC and make things happen. Marlon Moore did that vs. Raiders a couple years ago (when Henne was QB). I think we need to see if he can do this consistently or not.

What I'm not sure about with Sparano is if he didn't play these younger guys because they weren't ready, or if HE (Sparano) wasn't comfortable with them. We can't keep these guys on the roster, they rarely play, and then let them go. We need to figure out who's a keeper, who can be developed, and who we need to get rid of to free up another space for someone else. Don't know how well Sparano did that (though my assumption is not a good job). This is one area I'd like to see improvement by Philbin.

RG3....the Bad & Ugly:

Bad:

Doesn't see the whole field...tends to focus in on one side of the field, often missing open receivers elsewhere.

Likes to go over the top to a fault and will often focus in on the deeper receivers regardless of coverage, missing open opportunities underneath....often times, wide open guys who could bust a big play with all of that space.

Shaky pre-snap reads. Often discounts or completely misses the obvious blitzer. Doesn't make his hot reads very well, opts for trying to make the big play instead of living to fight another down.

Doesn't tend to slide when he runs, he'll usually take the hit in order to get that extra yard. He'll need to learn to slide and step out of bounds if he's going to be long for the NFL. Again, he'll need to learn to live to fight another down.

The downright Ugly:

Rarely takes snaps from under center and looks EXTREMELY uncomfortable doing so. He looks panicky under center and often delivers the ball prematurely, even when he's not really under any pressure to do so. It's as if everything is too much in his face and he preceives that as pressure.

His drop back footwork looks horrible. Often doesn't complete all of the steps in the drop back and delivers the ball prematurely (see #1). His steps are also short and stuttery.

When under center, he seems to lose track of the defense and often looks oblivious to the coverage. Will throw right into double and even triple coverage at times. In the NFL, those will be pick sixes.

Pretty much zero ability to sell the play action at this point. His play action couldn't fool my 80 year old grandmother, let alone an NFL linebacker.

I think this is all coachable, but then again....as usual, it's all a crap shoot.

dusty's NOT a troll. He's a good poster here. And he's not a dreamer, or doesn't engage in wishing, he's a realist. He wants his team to be good, but when they suck (like the last decade or so) he tells it like it is. That might hurt children's feelings on this blog, but it is what it is.

All the team needs to do is win more games than they lose, CONSISTENTLY, and I'm betting dusty will grab the pompoms and do cartwheels with the rest of us.

dusty=oscar

News flash: in every NFL football contest ever played, the winning team was the one that scored more points than the losing team.

It is, therefore, obvious what we must do.

Posted by: YOUR LORD AND SAVIOR | February 22, 2012 at 12:17 PM

And that is? Score more than the other team? Or make sure the other team scores less than you? Which is better?

LOL @ DC....

Nobody is doing cartwheels man....

I'm getting desperate for a football fix.

I'm inviting people over for a Coin Toss party(come on lucky no. 8).

Anybody want to live blog the coin toss?

Steve Ross SAVE THE DOLPHINS. SELL THE TEAM.

I wonder how much of an opportunity Pat Devlin will be given to compete for a roster spot this upcoming season. When the Dolphins signed him last year Armando stated in his piece on the signing that Devlin's armstrength was questionable and he played in a dink and dunk offense.
Devlin's has a very accurate ball placement. He's especially good on the quick slants and he throws a beautiful long pass that allows his receiver to run under it.
In his senior year at Delaware he completed 67.9% of his passes and had 22 td's and only 3 int's. He averaged over 11 yards per attempt. Hardly dink and dunk. Maybe he's an acorn.

Ya gotta be really desperate to be lookin at Devlin.

Wolf,

I'm with you 100% on RGIII.

I would love nothing more than for Ireland to broker a deal to move up and get him.

The thing I take exception with are the people that say "Sell the farm" or Package Long along with every 1st and 2nd round pick we have ubtil 2020.

I would gladly give up multiple 1st round picks for him. At least Two anyways. I would package 2nd and 3rd's as well, just NOT in the SAME year.

I would gladly pay the price for RGIII, but only if I can keep a little to work with.

Hot Spots in Miami:

1) Chad Henne's house (with all the offseason time starting 1st week in January, this has become a go-to hangout).

2) Davone Bess' locker (Now that Brandon Marshall is Matt Moore's 1st, 2nd AND 3rd read, Bess has created a nice little club in his locker area).

3) Sparano's sold home (Haunted House)

4) Jeff Ireland's Acorn Hut (Speedy service by the likes of Clyde Gates and comfortable chairs for undrafted VIPs which are usually available by midseason).

5) Next to Dan Marino's statue (very lonely spot, place that plays the blues, at least for the last decade).

Those are the Top 5.

Does anyone think Bess can thrive in a West Coast type of offense?

In the past he has been most effective in the short to medium range. Wouldn't this translate well in the WCO?

His initial quickness and shiftiness allows him to get off the line. Albeit, no real top end speed, but he does run excellent routes.

I heard some argue otherwise. Myself personally, I think Bess will excel in the WCO.

WOLFMAN....REPOST....
-------------------------------------------

Wolfman...

can you address how many games he has started...and if he was an instant STAR...or if he seemed to GET IT over time....and if you remember when (in your opinion) what game(s) it all seemed to click for him....
Posted by: Kris | February 22, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Or Professor Lou...could you take that....

Wolfman...
can you address how many games he has started...and if he was an instant STAR...or if he seemed to GET IT over time....and if you remember when (in your opinion) what game(s) it all seemed to click for him....
Posted by: Kris | February 22, 2012 at 12:03 PM

____________________________________________________

Hey Kris - He pretty much had instant success, right out of the gate. He was never considered mediocre or just ok. That said, and a plus IMO...he improved himself year after year.

He started as a true freshman and was the Big 12 freshman of the year in '08. He sat out most of '09 with an ACL and then back to business in '10 and '11.

He's been pretty much outstanding his entire career at Baylor and pretty much carried that team. '11 was by far his best season and you could really see him putting everything together from an Xs and Os standpoint and incorporating that with his amazing God given athletic ability.

IMO, he's a very special athlete and one that doesn't come around all too often....actually, not sure that I've ever really seen a package like RG3. I don't think it's really fair to compare him to one single player as many try to do....i.e. he's M Vick, V Young, Pat White, etc. Really, when you break him down, he's a combination of various talented and gifted QBs in the league:

Speed and illusiveness of M Vick

Cerebral capacity of P Manning

Scrambling and on the run throwing abilities of Steve Young/John Elway/Aaron Rodgers/Big Ben

Accuracy and touch of Chad Pennington

Canon like arm of Marino/Mallett. I forget what game it was, but he through a TD that went 42 yards in the air. On top of that, it wasn't thrown "up for grabs"...this was 42 yards in the air, on a rope, straight to the numbers of his receiver for a TD. Brilliant!

When are we coin flipping with Carolina for the #8 pick of the draft??

Nice article. I do not like trading up for QB in the first round. You would be putting a whole LOT of pressure on that kid that could overwhelm that 22 year old!

odin, I think Bess will work fine in a WCO.

Wolfman...got it...Thanks...

When are we coin flipping with Carolina for the #8 pick of the draft??
Nice article. I do not like trading up for QB in the first round. You would be putting a whole LOT of pressure on that kid that could overwhelm that 22 year old!
Posted by: Flipper013 | February 22, 2012 at 12:59 PM

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Not positive, but I thought it was today. At anyrate, sometime this week.

Wolf and Odin,
Agree.
I haven't analyzed video on Griffin to agree or disagree Wolf, but I also don't think getting him is realistic. I think we have weak leverage unless the cards play out to where the suiters ahead of us decide NOT to chase him.
I DO however think very higly of Cousins, and he not only allows us to take our 1st round for a playmaker, but also doesn't cost us anything else to pick up. Win win.
And watching the video on him reminds me of two players: Favre and Romo. Not their throwing motion, per se, but the way they play. I like his moxy, and competitiveness, and his ability to thread the needle when he needs to.
Griffin would be a coup, but I just am not going to pine away for us to trade up into that slot. It'll probably cost an awful lot, and in the end I'm not sure it will be worth it.
We'll try to trade up -of course. No doubt Ireland will offer something. Only draft day will tell us how much the price will be.

Ireland will have no balls to trade up for RG3

1. I don't think Fisher will pull the plug on Bradford.

2. I don't think Holmgren lets RGIII get by him(think about Holmgren's other options. McCoy and Tannehill?).

3. That means we get a pass rusher, an O-lineman and a project(Cousins)in the first three rounds this year.

4. Flynn and Moore(supposedly)battle it out for the starters job.

5. If we don't sign Manning can we at least get Finley or Davis?

Kris - Personally, I think it would be beneficial for RG3 to play a backup roll for a season. I think he could start right out of the gate, but we will see more miscues and misfires IMO.

IMO, he has a ton of work to do in RE to playing under center and his footwork. I think that'll be the biggest hurdle for him initially. He's absolutely brilliant from the gun....so if it were me, and I were starting him out of the gate, I'd load up my playbook with a lot of shotgun packages and ease him into more plays from under center. I think it'll take him awhile to make that adjustment.

I'm pretty confident that, with his brains and his attitude, he'll be able to relatively quickly make the leap to the NFL. I ultimately think that whoever gets him will be pretty set up for awhile. I think there will be more growing pains with someone like RG3 vs Luck....simply because of being unfamiliar with a pro style offense.

The consistently good team in the NFL are the ones who acquire draft picks not trade them away. The Giants won the SB because they had the most balanced team at about 80% of the positions. In both SB wins the pass rush was just as important as the QB. Address the QB in FA and make the pass rush better and get BPA in the draft.

wolfman13, Cam Newton took a lot shotgun snaps and he turned out pretty good

JS_in_LA -

I agree that RG3 is most likely out of reach for the Phins. I'll probably become a secret fan of the Browns or Redskins though....well, maybe not a fan, but I may tune in for their games just to watch the guy play.

I don't know a whole lot about Cousins...think I've only ever seen him play once, and I really haven't done any background on him. But I hear ya, I think barring some kind of supernatural intervention, the Phins will probably be looking at drafting a QB in the 2nd/3rd round.

I wouldn't be all that shocked if they traded down to try to take Tannehill later in the 1st....though I've seen a few boards with the Phins taking him at 8 or 9 as well. I've also heard other reports that if he doesn't go earlier, he won't get past Seattle. Seems high to me for a guy that clearly has a ton of potential and upside...but a project none the less.

wolfman13, Cam Newton took a lot shotgun snaps and he turned out pretty good
Posted by: Clue | February 22, 2012 at 01:12 PM

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Absolutely....without a doubt! I was just saying that he'll need quite a bit of work under center. Newton still takes a great deal of snaps out of the gun...they really adjusted their offensive game plan to suite Newton's abilities and have started mixing in more plays from under center for him. I think whomever gets RG3 will need to make those same adjustments.

What makes the Philbin Ireland team any better than Ireland Sparano?
Ireland will not find any good players himself

wolfman,
I've looked at Tannehill WAY more than I wish to, and am beating a dead horse here, but i simply see nothing to warrant a high draft pick.
*He has a fair arm, and decent delivery.
*He's tall.
*Not bad mobility.
Pretty much it. No intangibles, didn't win a lot of games, and virtually no big ones. Didn't play well enough to keep Shermans' job, and breaks down under pressure. Turned the ball over significantly enough to contribute in a big way to his team's losses.
I wouldn't pick him in the first 3 rounds, much less 8-9th overall.
I sincerely hope we miss him, and have to "settle" for COsuins or Weeden.
Hell, i wouldn't be upset with Keenum or Osweiler. But both of those guys have something tio prove or the NFL scouts, so I reserve the right to fli-flop on them once their combin/work-outs are done.

wolfman13, Cam Newton took a lot shotgun snaps and he turned out pretty good

Posted by: Clue | February 22, 2012 at 01:12 PM

Saying he turned out pretty good has a tone of finality too it. Stick around, he's going to get alot better very quickly(IMO).

Two problems besides it being his rookie season. He didn't win a lot of games. And speaking to Wolfie's point on RGIII, Newton needs to get better under center. It opens up and add another dimension to his game.

When he accomplishes this and becomes a more complete QB, look for the wins to start rollong in.

Apologies for bad typing. the usual excuses.
I meant to say "to" the NFL scouts.
the other typos are at least obvious enough.

What sucks about the Dolphins is theyre never too good to be in the playoffs, or that bad to get a top pick. And when we did get the top pick there were no sure fire #1 QB. This franchise has been cursed.

0

That is the number of posts that said anything new today.

Good question DC. Very very good question.

F U Zero

Clue, there's NEVER been any sure-fire QBs, just GMs with stones the size of boulders who took a chance on them.

Unfortunately, our GMs have all been genetically-manufactured without any stones.

The Dolphins need to get Kellen Moore. He reminds me of Drew Brees coming out of college and he can be had for a 3rd or 4th round pick. Get Blackmon with the 1st pick and with him and Marshall and Bush coming out of the backfield Kellen should be lighting up the scoreboard.

0

That is the number of posts that said anything new today.

Posted by: Zero | February 22, 2012 at 02:04 PM

Including your own. Good job adding to the repetition.

Clue,

I hear you and agree. But chin up man, that's all about to change.

Matt Moore finished out 6-3. It should have/could have been better.

We've upgraded from a Romper Room bunch of wanna be coaches to some serious football minded PEOPLE(no more fist pumps for field goals).

This year we'll have Free Agency and a complete draft to improve. What helps exponentially, we have less holes to fill than a year ago.

Finally, we'll have a complete off season to get the new schemes installed and up and running.

Worst case scenario, we have Matt Moore riding a 6-3 wave with an even betting coaching staff and team.

Philbin compared to SpOrano? No contest!

Sherman compared to Henning and Daboll?

New days are dawning my friend!

(Odin has spoken-LOL)

If the Dolphins knew they werent getting Cowher or Fisher,I think they would've kept Sparano. Philbin is Cam Cameron 2.

In an early attempt at making a bold draft prediction. I am going to predict that RGIII falls to 7 or 8 if we're picking at the 9 spot and SEATTLE trades ahead and snags RGIII.

DolphinDave, how is Philbin Cam 2.0 because he's an older white man? I hope you have some points to back up that dumb statement

Texas, RG3 is not falling pass the Browns

That is why it is a bold prediction. I've seen better QB's fall to the late 20's in the draft. I can name 2 off the top in Marino and Rodgers.

I've been unsuccessful in find a good blog, or live anything to do with the combine.
Anybody have a good link or outlet that has something to follow?
I'm not exactly sure what I would expect to hear/read in a live report, but...
I guess I'm desperate ;)

Clue, he's NEVER been an NFL HC. An OC rarely transfers to a successful HC. He's an EXPERIMENT.

JS

I am not sure about a live blog but try when the day comes.

.nfl.com/combine/live

And here is a list of a whole bunch of draft sites that might do a blog.

dcprosportsreport.com/MockDraft.htm

Had to laugh when I read Ireland told the coaches not to talk about QBs or needs. What a dolt and this is the guy doing the picking?

texas,
Bleacherreport has one.
I'll try the link you sent me too.
NFL.com live sucks at the moment.

Ireland's a moron. Unreal Ross is allowing him to do another draft. Is Ireland Ross's illegitimate son?

cbs sports has us taking tannehill at 9,lol if they did that this franchise is officially done

Ahh. According to the combine schedule, pretty much not squat happens today. A lot of orientation, and getting ready stuff.
Tomorrow bgins some Ok stuff. I'l check back in then.

Hey the NJ bro got live in the most made fun of state in the country, N.J. the Garbage state.

JS here is the actual combine schedule. The weigh-ins start tomorrow and the workout start Saturday.

nflcombine.net/players/schedule

At this juncture, I would not take Manning. By taking Manning, you totally circumvent the need to bring in the all new coaching staff that you just brought in. Ross and Ireland need to get their priorities straight. This franchise and all it's fans are screwed with these two at the helm. I bet Philbin and Sherman are already regretting accepting the positions. Welcome to Cirque du Dolphins!

I'll be interested to see how they address the Free Safety position this year. Looking at the draft, this class is weak at that position. And, it is a need for the team.

Yes, Virginia, there are other positions in Football other than Quarterback...

Wolf,
That amazing TD pass from RG3 was against Oklahoma nonetheless. The dude is amazing, totally worth paying our 1st round pick this year (a 9th) and next's (probably not a top ten), a 2nd rounder this year or next and a WR like Hartline to WR-needy Rams. You can even throw a conditional pick there just for measure.

Please people think about it, who are we going to get with that #9 pick and the one next year? We can offset that via free agency, especially b/c RG3's contract will not be anywhere near what we would have to pay for Flynn.

Besides is Flynn really that much of an upgrade over Moore? Hell no, and we already have a very accurate QB with a questionable arm in Devlin, it would be really stupid for Miami to invest a gargantuan contract on a 7th round pick, the Packers will be laughing their ass off.

Dunno how to feel about Philbin and his relationship with Flynn, in one hand I really like of course he knows the guy, but let's not forget this is Philbin's first head coaching gig so I really hope he puts aside any friendship he may have with Flynn and really do what's best for the team, his job ultimately depends on it. The more I watch video on Flynn and RG3 it is really a no contest who has the most talent, RG3 by a long mile, not even close, arm strength alone is a landslide, add to that his scrambling ability and it is just not fair.

RG3's athleticism combined with players like Bush, Marshall, Bess, Clay, Long, Pouncey would be a nightmare matchup to any defense. Since we would have $$$ to spend thanks to RG3 low salary compared to Flynn's we could sign someone like DeSean Jackson to top it all (perfect fit with his blazing speed and WCO background and having played with Vick), I mean that would be one scary good team. The cherry on top is the buzz RG3 would create, more tix, sales, more TV games, more merchandise, more everything, business-wise he is also the best choice.

Thanks Texas.
BTW, QB measurements happen on Friday.
That will actually be a big deal.
If Griffin measures shorter than 6-1, things drastically change.
I don't need a live blog for those statistics, but I will be very interested to find out.
O-Linemen and TEs have the stage tomorrow. But measurements etc.

NP JS,

I was thinking the same regarding RGIII. He is listed at 6'2 from Baylor but we all know they measure differently in college.

That could cause a big stink in the top ten of round 1 for all the mockers.

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