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Karlos Dansby reps Dolphins among elite but does he belong?

You might have heard by now that Nike unveiled its new NFL uniforms today. The Dolphins' uniform is relatively unchanged. As part of the unveiling, each team sent a player representative to New York to model the threads.

Serving as model for the Dolphins ... Karlos Dansby.

Makes sense.

The man is an imposing figure at 6-4 and 250 pounds. He is well-known in league circles. He is a team leader. And he's a good player.

It's that last one that creates a bit of an issue. Unlike other reps at the Nike unveling -- such as Larry Fitzgerald for Arizona, Ben Roethlisberger for Pittsburgh, Wes Welker for New England, Ndamukong Suh for Detroit -- Dansby is not an elite player. And that, more than the uniform event is the point here.

The point is Karlos Dansby is good.

Sometimes he's excellent as he was last year against Washington when he had 10 tackles, including a sack and an interception. Sometimes he's not quite good as when he started 2011 very slowly because he was 24 pounds overweight and had only 11 tackles in his first three games combined.

But mostly that all averages out to, well, good.

The issue?

The Dolphins need better than good now. They've got plenty of nice, solid players. The Dolphins need elite. And that's what Dansby was brought to the team to be -- elite.

You'll remember that Dansby arrived just before Brandon Marshall in the 2010 offseason. He signed a five-year contract worth $43 million that included $22 million in guaranteed money. That agreement means Dansby's cap number in 2012 will be $12.8 million.

For that money and taking up that kind of cap space, Dansby needs to be elite.

But if his first two Miami seasons are to be believed, Dansby simply is not elite. He is good. He was second on the team in tackles in 2010. He was third on the team in tackles in 2011. Good.

He has combined for 3.5 sacks in two season. He has three forced fumbles in two years. He has one interception in two years. Good.

But Dansby has not been named to the Pro Bowl. He is not among the best two or three players at his position in the conference. Dansby is not elite.

Remember last year when I recounted for you that Dansby said he was the best linebacker in the NFL? "Period. Point blank, I'm the best," he said. "Period. Point blank."

I didn't weigh in on his comments then because I simply let him have his say. Well, after two seasons with the Dolphins, it is safe to say Dansby is not quite where he thinks. I really cannot offer to you any major flaw in his game. He has no off-field issues. He's brought stability to his position.

But the best?

That is not accurate.

And again, the problem with all this is Dansby was brought to South Florida to be outstanding. He is being paid as if he is a difference-maker. But outside of the Washington game last year, he really hasn't factored notably in any victory. He's played his spot. He's done his job.

But for $43 million it is fair to expect more.

This year Dansby will have the chance to give more. He is versatile enough that he can play both the middle or outside in Miami's 4-3 alignment. When the Dolphins go back to a 3-4 look, he can play the middle linebacker role.

If he's in shape at the start of 2012, chances are good he'll be able to pick up where he left off.

But, frankly, he needs to do better than that. At $12.8 million against the cap, Dansby needs to be elite. I assume he and the Dolphins know that.

Comments

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Shocker, another bash blog

Armando,

I preached this to the choir last month. He could very well become a cap casualty. You cant play a non pro bowler $12 million a year. He isnt getting any young either.

At what he's getting paid, coming into camp 28lbs overweight, really? That's totally unprofessional. even worse coming from a guy claiming he's the best mlb in all of football. Totally unacceptable.

I bet non of the top ilb's in the league he claims he's better than came into camp 28lbs overweight. What, did he retire over the offseason in 2011? Wow! LOL

I can say this, at nearly $13 million against the cap this year, he's getting paid like the best ilb in football. Can you spell...........

"C-A-P----C-A-S-U-A-L-T-Y"

LOL....................................

Mango why all the bashing You're beter than that. Now that we cut bell he's our leading tackler. Sad state we r in but true. Yea he's overpaid but plays pretty well. We don't lose because of him. Not like we have a lot if elite players to send. Wake or jake. That's it

I've been asking myself all off-season: who is the face of the franchise? Who are the elite players on this roster? Jake Long is the most obvious answer, but after that... who? Is there anyone?

You could have thrown Brandon Marshall into that debate, but frankly, he wasn't elite when he was with Miami. He was good, maybe even great. But not elite. The same could be said of Karlos Dansby. And it's a shame because the potential is certainly there. But what happened to the big play promise that came when he signed his contract? It has never really developed, at least not consistently.

And that's what my mind keeps coming back to: the Dolphins have a solid foundation and a core of good player, but they lack "the guy." Heck, even Long has been accumulating bonus points based on his reputation in the past year or two. If Dansby's name is the second one that comes up in the discussion -- and that seems reasonable -- then just how far can this team realistically expect to go?

Wow, this would be just like if the Herald sent Armando to a convention of sports writers.

Armando,

Are you elite? Maybe as a professional journalist you should work on elite grammar which should be the minimum requirement for any journalist. Until you can even meet the minimum standard for a journalist, it's rings hollow for you to criticize others as not being elite.

Keep it up Bat and i will put on speedo, hold my breath and flex at you!

Hello

BAAAAAAHH Mando, Very short sighted.

the fact is Dansby is sutrrounded by slow bad decision makers. So on a running play the fullback's primary target EVERY time is Dansby, a pulling guard is looking for the second wave, it was Dansby.

I think Dansby is as good as he said he can be. coming in overwheight was a joke, and as a leader he really f'd up there. hopefully he figured it out.

But put a guy on his left or his right that is solid and you will see a big difference with his numbers.

Hell, Clifton from GB, has Hawk on one side and Bishop on the other, we had that surrounding Dansby and my god look out.

Just my opinion obviously. :)

LOL, My bad, not clifton, clay Matthews... WOW!

Wow! Im defending Armando, I cant believe it. LOL

Hey idiots, last I checked Armando played zero downs for the Miami Dolphins over his "sports blogging' career. You enjoy bashins Armando, but, what would dome of you losers here do if Armando didnt have this blog for your favorite past time?

Last I checked, Armando's getting paid for this we arent. Also let me know the next time Armando laces them up, put on the pads, and plays a down for the Miami Dolphins.

The Dolphins have been truly awful the last 15yrs. Any bashing any fan gives them is well deserved. Even if that bashing comes from Armando himeself. Get a life simple tumbleweeds! LOL

Mando,

I disagree with him being a team leader. He admittidly was 20 lbs overweight once the season started. Maybe he is a leader and why the dolphins are where they are.

I am skilled in the art of taking something that can be easily explained in 3 sentences and writing 3 paragraphs about it as well! Where do I submit my resume??

Asolutely! If Dansby is considered a team leader and comes into camp 20lbs overweight. It sends an absolutely t5errible message to the other guys on the team.

It sends a message that football shouldnt be taken seriously if you're a member of the Miami Dolphins. Maybe the management should send Dansby a message he will no longer be taken seriously as the newest member of the "All Cap Casualty" team this year.

Another case of no news and a non-elite Armando trying to get a debate going. I keep reading about how Miami has no elite players except maybe Long. Well how many elite players do teams have? New England, two maybe, Brady and Welker?, Jets, one Revis? Bill's, Mario maybe, but that is still do be decided. Houston seemed to do just fine when he was hurt. My point being that all teams are not loaded with elite players, they have one or two and the rest are great or good but not elite. So people should get off the fact that Miami is not loaded with elite players, no team is loaded with elite players.

Armando wasn't our blocking FB last year???

Mando, did you know that in a 3-4 there are to ILBs but no "middle linebacker?"

Two. Two ILBs: LILB and RILB.

M48

Elite Players:
New England: Brady, Wilfork, Gronkowski, Welker
Jets: Revis, Mangold, Fergueson
Buffalo: Mario Williams
Dolphins: Long

Funny thats how the AFC East Standings finish every year. Coincidence?

Wish the uniforms could have had more of a change. Getting tired of the same hum drum uniform. We need some change. Start with the owner, and finish with the uniforms.

Shonn Greene is there. Armando should get his ass kicked.

Excellent point by M48. How many ELITE players did the 9-7 SB champs have??

Lets see
Manning, Cruz, Osi, JPP, Tuck

DO NOT change the uniforms.
drastically changing the Phins uniforms = WEAK SAUCE!

and Nicks is right there too

If any one of those guys I named from the giants/patriots/bills/jets came to the fins they would be the best player on our team at that position.

The Bucs changed their uniforms in the 90s and instantly became contenders.

The Bucs won a super bowl.

M48,

You may wanna re-evaluate your post. Elite is considered top 5 at a given position. Like the top 5 qb's are elite. Its position for position.

It can be a little more difficult ranking the lb's because some teams run the 4-3 and some the 3-4. However, in Dansby's case, if never at least becoming a pro bowl alternate, he's hardly elite. That's even worse news when judging what he's being paid.

Anyway, you'll find more elite players than you thought on a given roster. When you consider elite means the top 5 players in the nfl at every player position. Even the 5th OT in the nfl is an elite OT.

slam, you forgot Tim Tebow. He will account for 16 TDs this year. Last year Brandon Marshall played every down and got only 6 TDs.

Manning is only one who can be considered elit buddy, sorry.

What about Reggie Bush?

hello? is anyonehere?

Dansby would fair better with pass rushing assassins around him. With the pressure off (as was Zach Thomas) to take care of the QB, Dansby can feel free to roam, and cover. Once you have your flanks secured, you can destroy the middle. Dansby is too busy covering everything, because no one else is consistent enough.
Not saying he's elite, or should never be replaced. But he's third on my list of LBs to upgrade.

Eli Manning is slightly below average. Not elite, great, good, mediocre, or average. Slightly below average.

Dansby was a very good player in Arizona.
It wasn't until he came to Miami that he became just a good player.

What accounts for the dropoff in play?

The new offensive coordinator for the Jets and his former staff.

Armando,

Couple of issues with your blog. I don't mind that you bash Dansby, especially since he arrived overweight last year, but just because you are offering your opinion doesn't mean we don't want facts or statistics. You can't just say Dansby isn't elite, you need some substance to back that up.

The next issue I take with your blog is that you are completely discounting Jake Long as an elite player. You say Miami doesn't have an elite player, which is categorically untrue. Jake Long has been named to the pro bowl each of his two seasons in the league. Come'on Armando, step up your game.

- AR

and thavafin you dont know football!

We need an actual sports writer to run this blog too.

Andres, here in the United States, we know that Long is overrated and not a difference maker.

Andres you are right! but unfortunetly elite takles dont win football games. That is probably the least important postition to be elite at. The last 4 or 5 superbowl winners have no name offensive tackles.

Long overrated? Are you kidding me?

Even Long's worst season here he's been one of the 5 best LT's in professional football. 5 Best at any position in football qualifies as elite.

Gee it must be dark up some your rears! LOL

Elite tackles "pave the way to winning". Non-elite fo's dont know how to build onto having elite LT's. You cant blame the elite LT for that.

Lets hope our fo steps to the plate and becomes elite. Before we waste an elite opportunity(Jake Long).

Right on Slam...
by your accounts NYG have 3 elite defensive lineman on their team. And a second year WR that caught ZERO passes in 2010 and had really good stats in 2011 as elite.

I agree with Poizen. Dansby's major flaw was coming in overweight last year. You're the leader of the defense, you just can't do that. And what message are you sending the rookies?

Otherwise, I DO think we overpaid for him, but he's been good (like Mando said). Don't forget people, he's in a conference with Ray Lewis (the best to ever do it). So really there's only 1 ProBowl spot at ILB every year. Let's see how he does in the 4-3.

Guys,

The truth is out there. It just seems some of your eyes are to "light sensitive" to see it.

And as far as the elite/non-elite conversation, many are missing the point.

Jake Long is our best player. THAT'S THE PROBLEM!

NO TEAM IN THE NFL wins SuperBowls with their LT being their best player. IT. DOESN'T. HAPPEN.

So, I'm fine with Jake Long, great player. I just want my QB to be better. And my Safety. And maybe a pass rusher. When that happens, we'll win more games than we lose. Until then, fuggetaboutit.

The "Green Bay " way is building around a QB. A franchise QB. This is the same in NE, NY Giants, & NO.

FIND A DANG QB....

Uhh yea..Why do you think the giants always beat the pats...pass rush! I dont care if victor cruz caught zero passes in 2010 im talking about 2011 where he had 1550 yds receiving and 9 tds as a slot receiver.

DC Dolphin,

Having other ilb/mlb is no excuse for Dansby not ever becoming a "pro bowl alternate". Guys making far less money than Dansby are getting in as "pro alternate ahead of him.

At $13 million a year, the line of excellence with Dansby shouldnt be so blurred. Clearly what he's being paid isnt.

I do not argue with nitwits.
the end

LMAO sportyfoot... good one

Armando,

Leave Dansby alone. Who else are they going to send. This is an average team, with average caliber players.

Armando still thinks we have Brandon Marshall on our team.

they shoulda sent wake

DC @4:10,

Thats clearly a fo issue. The qb skeleton in our closet has haunted since post Marino. Its not going away until our fo finally gets it solved. Clearly we havent had an elite fo in here since the days of Shula.

The proof's currently in the pudding.

The following players are better or more irreplaceable than Jake Long:

1. Reggie Bush
2. D. Thomas
3. Charles Clay
4. Matt Moore
5. David Garrard
6. A. Fasano
7. Dansby
8. Wake
9. Pouncey
10. Starks

They should've sent Larry Csonka.

...Brandon Weeden?????? Come on. Get freekin real.

This is the last guy on earth the Dolphins should be thinking about. I hope he is off the teams draft board..Seriously.

Age aside. And this is a huge factor. It cannot, and shouldn't be ignored. Weeden is the classic case of system quarterback playing with huge talent around him. Watch OK State games, and tell me how many times Weeden gets hit in a game? You are going to tell me he will hold up in the NFL? The guy will be 30 years old before he takes any snaps for this team. 30 freekin years old..It is one thing if you have played the position in the league for 5-6 years and enter into the season with some experience..But at 30. You are going to tell me he will buck the odds, and be seasoned in his 2nd or 3rd year as a starter???? He will be 33 freekin years old by this time. And the odds are he will still be far from capapble.

This is a disaster move. There is absolutley no upside here..NONE!!! Weeden is the classic case of the USC syndrome..Good player. over evaluted becuase of the better players around him...Good luck.

Can we throw out the Pro Bowl arguement please. The Pro Bowl is a joke on SOOO many levels. Sure Ray Lewis is one of the best linebackers to play the game and has been ELITE. What he brings to the game is undeniable. But Ray Lewis' stats and Dansby's stats last year were basically identical... the pro bowl is far more a popularity vote than it is anything else.
Jake Long made the pro bowl last year. Should he have? Probably not.

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