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My reason to wait-and-see with Miami's WRs

If you've been reading me via this blog or my columns, if you've been listening to my radio show, Armando and Perkins on 640Sports in South Florida, you know I am uneasy about Miami's wide receiver situation.

It really isn't anything new. I've been uneasy about Miami's wide receiver situation since, oh, about 1995.

But as these Dolphins have zero to do with those issues dating that far back, let me explain why I'm uneasy with this administration's wide receiver situation -- the current wide receiver situation.

Let me start with history.

Frankly, this personnel department has been hit-and-miss with its wide receiver transactions. Yes, there have have been some notable successes, such as the uncovering of Davone Bess as an undrafted free agent.

But there have been some unprofitable transactions as well.

And the unprofitable stuff has seemingly out-numbered the successes.

An overview:


Ernest Wilford is signed as an unrestricted free agent: The Dolphins gave Wilford a $6 million guarantee. The guy was a presumed starter the first day of training camp. And then practices began and he started dropping down the depth chart. And then he barely made the team his first year. And then he couldn't get on the field on game day -- he was inactive nine games and caught only three passes. The next year, the club tried him at tight end. It was another fiasco and he was cut as a free agency bust.

Signed Davone Bess as an undrafted free agent. Outstanding acquisition. Bess was on the receiving end of more passes at Hawaii than a hot gal at a Luau. But his lack of speed got him overlooked in the draft. The Dolphins took him, used him immediately as a returner and slot guy and developed him into a solid team contributor and weapon. Bess eventually was given a contract extension and remains to this moment Miami's finest receiver transaction.

Extended the contract of Greg Camarillo. Camarillo was alread on campus when the current administration arrived and he was excellent in 2008 because he simply didn't drop passes. He was dependable, a good route-runner and very smart. So the Dolphins gave him a contract extension as he was leading the team in receptions. But one week after getting that contract extension Camarillo blew out his knee and went on injured reserve. Never a speed merchant, Camarillo didn't regain the explosion he had before the knee blew out and he was traded the following summer for Benny Sapp. It was nobody's fault. Sometimes stuff happens. But obviously, this is not a positive result.


Drafted Patrick Turner in the third round. Turner looks the part. And in practice he sometimes played the part. But he didn't learn very quickly. He didn't progress. To those who watched him at USC, this was not a surprise because he only had one good season there. In other words, he was a one-year wonder and he wasn't truly a huge wonder at that. The following year Turner came back stronger, bigger, faster. And he still wasn't good enough. He was cut as a draft bust. By the way, general manager Jeff Ireland recently mentioned him as a good player he drafted because Turner is still in the league with the Jets. Sorry, players no longer on this roster don't qualify as good acquisitions for this team. Just being real, here.

Draft Brian Hartline in the fourth round. The Dolphins doubled down on receiver in 2009 as they have done at other positions. Smart thinking because while Turner flubbed, Hartline flourished. He was immediately able to learn not one but several WR spots. He showed ability to get deep. In 2010, he earned the starting job and still has the job today. No, he's not a star. But this year he'll be given a chance to take a leap to being an impact player. I doubt he'll take a step backwards, although his durability is a question. There is also the chance he is what we've seen so far and only that, which is to say he's a complementary player. At any rate, a fourth-round pick who is a complementary piece is a successful acquisition.


Traded for Brandon Marshall for a second round pick in 2010 and a second round pick in 2011. It was controversial when the Dolphins added Marshall based on his history with domestic violence and other locker room issues. It was controversial when Marshall continued to have domestic violence problems and other locker room issues, including feuding with quarterback Chad Henne. And it was controversial when the Dolphins decided to trade Marshall for a couple of third-round picks this offseason. Was this acquisition a net plus? Absolutely not. It was a mistake that cost the team tons of cap space, multiple second-round picks, multiple dropped passes, including touchdowns, and more drama than anyone would ever want.

Signed Marlon Moore as an undrafted free agent. Moore came from Fresno State skinny and raw and fast. He didn't exactly wow in college. And with the exception of a 54-yard TD pass against Oakland in 2010, he hasn't wowed in Miami. This is his make-or-break training camp and season. He's either going to show he belongs or the experiment ends. Having said that, I cannot condemn the acquisition because, again, he was an undrafed free agent.

Signed Roberto Wallace as an undrafted free agent. See Marlon Moore. Same story except for the long TD pass and the fact Wallace has been a more consistent special teams contributor. Regardless, it's put-up or shut-up time. We'll see.

Traded Ted Ginn for a box of yummy hot doughnuts: The Dolphins felt compelled to do this because they decided Ginn needed a change of address and scenery. I get it. I do. I also get that Ginn is still better than any return option the Dolphins have had since he was dealt. He's never amounted to much as a wide receiver. But as a return man, he's always been good for a couple of timely touchdowns per season. In hindsight, it can be argued the Dolphins should have kept him in that capacity.


Drafted Clyde Gates in the foruth round. Gates was picked as the speed on the outside. His job is to blow the top off the defense. Yeah, well, he caught two passes for 19 yards as a rookie. But it was a redshirt year of sorts. He gets more chances this year. The club is working him with starters early this offseason. Everyone wants him to succeed. Will he? No idea. The jury is still out on this one.

As you can see, Miami's recent history with wide receiver acquisitions is mixed at best and unproductive under a more critical microscope.

And as past performance is the best predictor of future performance, I am simply skeptical about the addition of receiver talent in the sixth and seventh rounds this year. I'm not buying anyone's word that either Rishard Matthews or B.J. Cunningham are going to solve the voids Miami has in the receiver corps.

I'll believe it when I see it.


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DEPREESSION ??????????????

You post when you have to post.

Rick, you're not joking when you say that you have been worried since 1995. Since 1997, the Dolphins have invested minimal resources in this position and it shows. Compare Miami's history in the last decade to Green Bay when it comes to drafting wide receivers in the top three rounds and the results are striking

with the new coaching staff having no ties to what is last years recieveing corps, and the new arrivals having the small benefit of having been selected by this new regime, and maybe a slight edge to bigger recievers(using the packer corps as something we can expect, and given the west coast system)i believe the dolphins will sport a whole new look at reciever. i believe FULLER(tannehill's buddy) will understandably be given every chance to crack the line-up, i also believe that marlon moore, who was ascending in the ranks with every pass from matt moore, his desire, and his improoved physical conditioning will all play a part to land him as starter(given last years injury has not effected his abilities), i also believe our rookie tightend will wee a lot of passes thrown his way, as well as clay. if miami is going to change it's offense, i think philbin will be looking to these guys for Y.A.K., sure bess and hartline are decent, but they are NOT indisposable. flashback to the days of gadsden, chambers, mcmichaels, on the field at the same time giving secondaries sleepless nights with there tough physical play, fighting for every yard after the catch. if philbin sees this in marlin, fuller, cunningham, it will be hard to ignore the temptation to ditch the old look for what could be. the edge will be given to the bigger, more physical reciever if everything else(ability to catch + speed) is close to equal. it will be REFRESHING to see miami with a brand new look at reciever.

I'll believe it when I see some of success, at this moment we only have a mediocre WR´s corps... i can´t understand why we don´t sign Plaxico Burress, Donald Driver or Braylon Edwards... a proved and successfully veterans, to teach somethings to our average and erratict WRS...

dullfins just suck!!!! 1st pick next year and lowland is sent packing!!!!

LOL!!! Jordy Nelson was tied for 29th in the NFL for receiving. Jordy Nelson was Aaron Rodgers best WR.

I thought you folks trusted in Philbin? Its not the WR that makes the QB in Philbins system. Its the QB that makes the WR in Philbins system.

Ryan should make men out of mice according to Ross, Ireland, Philbin and Sherman.

Bottom line...

Marshall was good for at least 80 catches. We gave that up for UNKNOWN catches.

LOL!!! Brandon was 10th in receiving last year.

PS...I'm tire of folks saying this:

"with the new coaching blah blah blah"

Okay, we've had new coaching blah blah blah for two decades now.

I mean really, there are like 150 WR's in this league and Marshall was #10 in yards and receiving.

Yet, we gave that up for what? Two 3rd rounds in which we traded one away?

I hate to say it but its not the owner. Its not the coach. Its not the players.

Miami's problem is with their fascination on finding the next Dan Marino.

There can never be another Dan. So drop it! Let it go! Dan is a Junior waiting to happen.

This team, owner, fans and celebrities need to build this team proper and not build it based on finding the next young Shula or Dan Marino.

One thing for sure, in the last several years, we have rarely utilized the talent of the receivers we do have. The coaches and front office have failed to develop many of our receivers to their potential by not knowing how to deploy them properly. Until we can match wits and acquire and utilize personnel on the level of the Patriots, we will continue to go nowhere fast.

You forgot to mention that Marshall dropped about 250 points in 2 seasons, what a waste of talent!


On one of those NFL player personnel sites that rates players' league-wide, I noticed a very interesting rating concerning two Dolphins'. This particular article listed the NFL's wide receivers. Brian Hartline was ranked #140 in the league, if that wasn't bad enough, Devone Bess was ranked #104. AND Bess is considered our best wideout? If we have to go into the season with these two as our starters' we are indeed in big trouble. They scare absolutely NOBODY! While these rankings aren't gospel I believe they are at least in the ballpark, we need help. Someone we don't expect to be anything better step up.

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