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Miami WRs still a big question mark

The NFL is a passing league. The New England Patriots -- with a relatively weak running game and a flawed defense -- have proven that for years. The New York Giants, meanwhile, have been able to overcome the Patriots in two Super Bowls because they could both pass and attack the passer.

So championships revolve around the pass.

The Dolphins obviously recognize this because they have finally, finally invested a first-round draft pick on a quarterback -- this in quarterback Ryan Tannehill. And while there are questions whether Tannehill will succeed or not, I know this:

Tannehill will need great wide receivers to become a great quarterback. There is zero doubt about that. There can be zero argument about that.

I know that many of you contend the Green Bay Packers, for example, have a great passing game because of their quarterback and offensive system while diminishing the importance of Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson and Donald Driver and James Jones.

Wrong.

Great quarterbacks do not ever do it on their own. to the heights they can otherwise Even the Pats realized this when a mediocre group of receivers got them to the AFC title game in 2006 but the addition of Wes Welker and Randy Moss made them unbeatable in the 2007 regular season and undefeated through 18 games until the Super Bowl.

See the difference? Even with a HOF quarterback, great receivers are a huge upgrade.

That's why I believe the Dolphins must now upgrade the receiver corps. Yes, the club drafted B.J. Cunningham and Rishard Matthews on the draft's third day. And there are reports the Dolphins will sign Texas A&M WR Jeff Fuller and Penn State WR Derek Moye as undrafted free agents.

But all four are developmental players. And the problem is a majority of Miami's current receivers are still developmental players -- including Marlon Moore, Clyde Gates, Roberto Wallace and others.

Frankly, I look at Miami receivers and see a lot of question marks. Maybe they turn to exclamation points. But I don't see Miami's passing game taking off unless and until they do or unless and until the front office upgrades with better players.

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1st!

From the last blog:

Armando,

You're just as bad in leading the charge. I read your article this morning talking about if Tannehill is to succeed let's get him some WRs. Huh? None of us know how Philbin is going to utilize the current crop of WRs we have. None of us! We also don't know what we've got in some of the guys we have, Gates specifically. Guy had NO chance to show what he could do last year, with no mini-camps and a shortened training camp. It was clear he wasn't ready for the pro game. We also need to see more from Moore and Wallace. It takes WR about three years in this league to develop and become something. Guys that think the only way to go at WR is 1st and 2nd round picks, need to take a good hard look at the guys that have flopped in this league, taken in one of the top three rounds. Ask a Lions fan about that one and all the top ten picks they had at WR. Stevie Johnson, Victor Cruz, Colston, Welker and even our own Bess are great examples of guys that weren't drafted or were drafted very late. Brandon Marshall who everyone wants to continue to go on about was a 4th round pick.
None of us know how the two guys drafted yesterday or the guys from last year will pan out. Can we at least wait a year before we start calling for an influx of high draft pick WRs.

Armando....I agree...but clearly Ireland and Philbin see it different....Time will soon tell...

Moore and Wallace: for how long can you be a developmental player?

Armando,

I think your article is a year too early. I think we have to see what's on the current roster and how they develop before we get ahead of ourself. You talk about the WRs in GB, but none of those guys were top picks.

What you fail to point out is a great QB can make up for defficiencies with your WRs but great WRs can't make up for defficiencies in your QB. For that we just need to look at the Pats of last year who didn't have a pro Powl WR and Marshall on this team, who couldn't make up for defficiencies in the guys we had. One team 13-3, the other 6-10. Not solely because of what I talked about above but partly so.

You can win in this league without top tier talent at WR, you can't without decent to great QB play.

Mathew Lesko is an even bigger question mark.

Salguero, go please to the "bodega" in the corner and buy some optimism with a big dash of positivism on top. You've heard it from me first, Hartline will be our deep threat and the other two would probably be Bess (for sure) and Gates (maybe). Heed the advice from Craig M, a little hope and faith and patience on your part would help a lot and not your negativism. The glass is half full, Armando.

I would think you'd have to give it up to Frank Gorshin as the original big question mark though. Feel free to discuss...

This is a concern...any WR in his 3rd year on this team is no longer a developmental player. It's time to earn their keep or they are busts. Bess and Hartline will be heavily involved but we don't appear to have a field stretcher, perhaps moore or wallace but I've seen little to be confident in that.

Brandon Lloyd was a top tier draft pick who was a nothing until a couple of years ago, when he exploded with Denver. Complete washout with SF and Washington. Pats just paid him well for what he does. Took a while for Welker to get going. Same with Bowe in KC. Same with Cruz with NYG. I believe he was a practice player his first couple of years in the league. Philbin and Sherman would be smart to give these guys a couple of years to develop. When they show they don't have it then you move on.

Just to clarify 'Mando, are we talking the upside down Spanish question mark or the regular?

I disagree Armando.

Wes Welker was not a great receiver for the Miami Dolphins. He became a great receiver immediately when he had a great QB on his team.

I'll bet Hartline and Bess would look five times better with Peyton or Rodgers or Brady back there to get them the ball.

Mike Williams isn't getting much love in trying to get a big pay day either. He wouldn't be Mike Williams without Ben getting him the ball. Shannon Sharpe doesn't have that success without Elway winging it. Ditto for the Marks brothers. Even Al Davis said he scouted them and never imagined they could be that good...well...it was Marino making them that good,

Players will always be developmental until someone develops them. Let's see what Philbin does. I seem to remember him commenting on untapped talent on our roster shortly after he was hired...

Moore and Wallace: for how long can you be a developmental player?

I was thinking the exact same thing when I read this article. Could they have been being held back by sporano or are they just not good enough wr's to be in the NFL. But it seems like they have been on the cusp of making the team for like 3 years and still haven't seen any playing time. Its time to either ***t or get off the pot with these two.

Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/dolphins_in_depth/2012/04/miami-wrs-still-a-big-question-mark.html#storylink=cpy

Oh yeah, Mr Salguero. You neeeeeed great receivers, yeah. You're talking about Duper and Clayton in Dan Marino's days... Clayton? Mark Clayton? The one who was drafted in the EIGHTH round???

armando,

who is the left handed Qb on our team. Inquiry minds want to know.

and Tannehill wears #17 and is the one with crisp passes.

"Frankly, I look at Miami receivers and see a lot of question marks. Maybe they turn to exclamation points."
================================================

That's a great line Mando. Can you please please please keep us informed about the QB's when camp starts. We need some honest assessment of how they are doing in camp.

I don't trust anything that comes out of the front office.


I've noticed recently that some guys here are claiming that Armando is a pesimist person.

Want optimism, go visit www.miamidolphins.com and read the columns of Andie Cohen. The guy is unconditional. Not that he gets paid by the front office for publishing, though.

I say rather criticism than beinglameism.

Ask the Lion fans how their QB played with a broken shoulder and won the game.

Tannehill twisted his ankle and couldn't even attend the combine.

Another Jay Cutler if you ask me.

" will need great wide receivers to become a great quarterback. There is zero doubt about that. There can be zero argument about that."
.... Seems a bit Draconian for a blog doesn't it? What about a great qb with just very good wars? Oops . I forgot the zero tolerance rule. My bad man.

With the Dolphins installing the WCO, one would think that the WR position would have commanded greater attention during FA and the draft.
Not taking a WR until the 6th and 7th rounds kinda leaves me a bit concerned.

Would love to see Philbin get the O-Line right in his first year.
That is something SporDrano the "O-line guru" couldn't do at all.

My questions is not wide receivers but about lack of corner backs. There was none taken in this draft whether by pick or undrafted free agent. There was one safety as an undrafted FA, but he was slotted as the twelve best safety in the draft. What is going on?

This is a chicken or egg argument. Which came first, the chicken or the egg.

I tend to think the QB makes the WR. Peyton has made many a WR look better than they are. Brees makes them look good also. And Brady is off the charts making WR's look better than they are.

Even Vick makes his guys look pretty good.

Here is why. Well place balls even Mando or I can catch if we had any collegiate experience.

Now ask yourselves this. Why so many drops at Texas A&M? That's too many drops for it to be all on the WR's. A funky thrown ball will be dropped. A floating will be dropped if you have to leave your feet. A poor progression read often leads to dropped balls the route is not done yet.

I agree that our receiving corps is questoinable, but I also think that this is a new staff and they got us some pieces. It's not all going to be fixed in one year. Let's see what happens in free agency, training camp and the season. Year two of the new regime could be the year we get a stud or two at receiver. For it all to simply happen in one year is asking a lot. I know, other teams have done it, but let's see how these draft picks work out for the entirety of the team, not just the receiving corps.

I really liked the Bj Cunningham pick.. I didn't even realize he was still on the board. I'm a wisconsin fan and i will honestly say he is much better then nick toon who was taken a couple rounds earlier. The guy is a hard worker and a playmaker. He's not overly fast, but he is who kirk cousins always went to in clutch situations. I think he broke a lot of mich st.'s receiving record.

Well they've surely had their chances to sign and / or draft some.

The came away with Nanee,Cunningham,and Rishard. Apparently they like what they've got.

I wouldn't be surprised to see a veteran added in the 2nd rd of free agency. I wouldn't expect any big names though.

If Tannehill is going to sit this year then why would he need great wide receivers this year? They can go after skill positions in the coming years' draft and free agency. And for the record, Hartline would be a Pro Bowl player if he had Tom Brady throwing to him.

I like Marlon a lot. That guy just needs a chance to get some reps.

The guy is averaging 20 yards a catch.

I give this draft a C- grade.. Tannehill was a good pick. I think he'll adapt to the NFL level quickly and maybe get some time on the field later this season.. Martin & Vernon I believe were also nice picks. Both should make an impact from the beginning.. Kaddu might need a little more time to develope, but I think he'll show he can play in this league.. Still haven't found a #1 receiver. Neither Cunningham or Matthews will impact the receiving corps much. Quite concerned we did not draft a safety. I know you can't address all needs in 1 draft. But, we should have drafted a receiver & a safety instead of a TE & a RB.. We clearly don't need either of them..What were Ireland & Philben thinking??? What started out as a progressive draft turned into alot of mistakes.. There were a couple of safeties & receivers on board in the 3rd & 4th rounds, don't understand why TE & RB were more important..

Chase - good stuff - thanks.
Yes I believe he holds some Spartans receiver records.

Mando,

How can a team upgrade NOW and sign all these draft picks?

Where did Jake Long's brother go???

Tannehill is NOT sitting this year. No Way.

We are fine for this year. We are not going to the Super Bowl this year. So I think the problem is expectation. I expect a 500 season any thing more is great. We have the best draft we have had since the rotten quiter tuna fat fish came and stunk up the town.

The problem is expectation?!?!?!? Like retiring a guys number before he even took ONE snap in the NFL?

Is it me, or do all reporters and media print nothing but negative stuff? Every time I hear from the NFL or ESPN networks they are tearing down the Dolphins. Everyone is giving a grade of a C for drafting this year, when any intelligent person knows it takes a good 3 years to evaluate a draft. Now our local media is jumping on. First, the Jake Long story of us actually going to get rid of our pro bowler L T. Now, this story, instead of actually doing some work and telling us more about then men we just drafted would be nice.

We're deep at QB.
Possibly have too many RBs with the addition of Miller.
Have the fastest TEs on the roster in ages.
Found a well-rated RT.

Let's whine about the WRs!!!!!!!!!!

All I can say is when we play the Jets and they can shut your receivers down with one on one coverage and you have no one to throw to on 3rd and 4+ we will be in trouble. Trust and watch. I am sure they are thinking a well executed slant or out is difficult to cover and one of those project TE's will emerge and become a mismatch but I have my doubts and think we should have gotten a WR with at least one of the 3rds

Everyone has pretty much given us a grade of C in this draft. What would yu have done. I am keeping a record of everyone’s draft picks in a database. Go to ourlads dot com and click on “dolphin gm” (lower case) to give me your picks. I did it in real time, but I just want to see what other people would have done and compare drafts every year.

He didn't say he will he said he would like to retire the jersey.

David,

I think because the unknowns the media will resort to what they known most recently.

We appear to be doing all the right things now and in time they will see that.

Jeff Ireland making the statement about Jake Long might be the best thing thing I've heard come out of his mouth.

I think the players are gonna love this new coaching regime, their style, knowledge, and attention to detail. Better things are coming I do believe!

jake long is done....cute bait get what you can .....wait a nother year....you will get nothing...bottom line that shoulder will always be a problem.....swiss cheese....that is all...j. m. o.

I don't understand all the negativity.....we drafted a QB first round...like most of the fans were asking for..

....then solidified the O- line with a quality player by most "expert' consensus....

...next they chose a D-lineman again from a quality program....

...followed by a TE, a position that most everyone was concerned about as an area of need....

......and then they picked two WR's and a RB...and a LB..

.....the FO made the moves they needed to make..

...why can't we just wait for those guys to get on the practice field, and into some pre-season FOOTBALL GAMES before we start to criticize the schitt out of them !!!!

...thanks...

(quote)
Ask the Lion fans how their QB played with a broken shoulder and won the game.

Tannehill twisted his ankle and couldn't even attend the combine.

Another Jay Cutler if you ask me.

Posted by: JackSparrow (unquote)


These kind of uninformed posts really aggravate me. For the record, Tannehill had a broken bone in his foot, not a sprained ankle. How does he compare to cutler? Maybe you should have a clue about what you are talking about before you post these ridiculous, stupid, negative posts!!

Here's the problem though... It's impossible to get a great QB, great OL, and great receivers all in one offseason. It takes time, we have our QB and have multiple developmental WR that can do a serviceable job until we are able to get a true stud WR.

Drafting a WR would have been better than picking up yet another RB.

Craig M, the last 2 teams that one the Superbowl has a starting WR that was drafted in the 1st round. Just because the Dolphins dont have one, doesn't mean we couldn't use one.

Well considering were we were before and after the draft our needs have shrunk a bit. Now we just need to look for another DE/OLB, S, and WR. So maybe by next yr we can pick one up in FA or draft one, but I'm feeling better about this team for once in the past 7 years

The problem is expectation?!?!?!? Like retiring a guys number before he even took ONE snap in the NFL?

Posted by: JackSparrow


Another brilliant post. Ross did not retire Tannehill's number........he said "I hope that we can retire this number one day. What's wrong with that?? I too hope that they can retire that number one day....that would be awesome. Why don't you head back to the Jet's forum where you belong?

Buster the only reason people don't wait to see how these players pan out is b/c the poor drafting over the last ten years. Almost 0 awesome picks in that time. Countless busts. Many that didn't stay in the league for more than 5 yrs and also picks like pat white. Terrible misi and oderick picks. Danny Thomas who was constantly hurt and when in was not good.

Not going after a WR in the top 3 rounds only means that they will give GAtes, Hartline, and Wallace a chance to be the deep threat WR. I'm excited about this draft... It was one of the best ever.. and extremely happy that we were able to grab BJ Cunningham so late in the 6th. that just shows how deep this draft was at the WR position..

I'm optimistic... buying my season tixs!

The Dolphins have more than enough WR's to make our passing game 3 times better than it was last year.Armando needs to realize that the west coast offense is a quick strike timing offense & all Mike Sherman & Kevin O'Keefe need to find is the right guys that get the timing of their routes right.That will not be any problem AT ALL for this great coaching staff we have assembled !!!!!!!!.

Dude...You mentioned a handful of names of receivers who have helped make their QB's/Teams better. Of that handful;
Wes Welker: Undrafted free agent
Donald Driver: 7th round
James Jones: Third Round
Jordy Nelson and Greg Jennings: 2nd round

You're always wanting to be stirring up shi*!

Nough said....

If you are ever a successful GM or HC, or not even successful...what you believe will have some impact.

Pirate...the last 10 years???? your point re: poor drafting is relevant, but we can't hold the present owner / GM / coaching staff responsible for what occured prior to 2008, can we?

I am so torn on this WR thing...I think we needed to draft Tannehill..if we didnt, who would we have for ANY type of future, Devlin?? Cleveland took Weeden at 22, We dont draft Tanne at 8, he wouldnt have lasted...Love Martin pick...instantly better than Colombo..Vernon addressed a need, but we could have taken a WR there..Lamar Miller, 1st Round value over a 4th round WR..all day long...love Agnew in the 3rd..he is "Like" a WR...Kaddu...some people rave about him..and was still a need..then finally they get a wr..MST all time catch leader..but I think of Anthony Armstrong, who sat on our PS for a while, Redskins get him and he catch about 40+ balls for almost 900 yards and 20 yac...DO we have THAT person on our squad for this new WCO?? Is Moore or Wallace ready to step up? Can Gates flourish in this?? Will Moore be that much better with a full off season he never got? Will Garrard coming in and blow Moore away? sooooo many questions...but with Bush, Miller, Clay, Fasano and now Agnew, will that let our stable of WR's the ability to step up more??? Time will tell....

I think the fact we have a new coaching staff who will be implementing a new offense, might make Daniel Thomas the odd man out.

The coaches evidently have a new role planned for Reggie Bush and Lamar Miller will probably get alot of carries in the middle of the field.

My guess is Thomas's role will be reduced. It surely doesn't hurt to have depth though.

The concept of the West coast offense is receivers working together to create gaps.
Two or three receivers working together can cause db's to loose containment on the targeted receiver. Its a great concept and should really help Brian Hartline and Devone Bess. Even inexperienced receivers can play in this system.

Buster no we can't hold this staff accountable for what happened prior to 2008. However post 08 hasn't been awesome either. I digress. My point about the past ten years is t necessarily pointed at this administration but is a point of contention and built up frustration weighing on the fans. So no it's not the staffs fault but it is their problem they inherited

Craig M,

You're one poster I always stop to read. You make good sense, even when I may not agree, and your always on point and interesting with your comments. Just thought I'd pass that along. I wish we had more fans like you.

The Dolphins have plenty of years to draft and develop players. It will be long time before they contend for a Super Bowl. Brady won't retire for another 4 or 5 years. Even if Tannehill turns out to be good, it's going to take him several years. This 8 year rebuilding process still has several years to go.

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