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Dolphins tight ends need to get better

A football team is like a series of links fastened together as a chain. When one link is weak, it weakens the entire chain.

Think of that when considering the Dolphins offense. And now tell me which is the weak link?

Well, the wide receivers, right?

It's not just me saying it. Coach Joe Philbin has made the point that he's not completely comfortable with the group. General Manager Jeff Ireland has said the group has several No. 3, No. 4, and No. 5 receivers but he's yet to see someone step up as a No. 1 or No. 2.

So that being established, the receivers are the weak link. And the problem is that affects the other links. And the link I see that could probablly be considered acceptable if the receivers were strong but now gets scrutiny is lacking because the receivers are lacking is the tight end position.

Miami's tight ends have potential. But so far that potential is unmet.

Anthony Fasano is today the best tight end on the team and we all know he is never going to be mistaken for Jason Witten or Rob Gronkowski. He's is a good blocker and would be fine as the second TE behind a dynamic pass-catcher that can threaten the middle of the field and dominate in the red zone.

But the Dolphins don't have that.

"Fasano is very steady," Philbin said. "You kind of know what we have with Anthony. He’s a guy that has good experience, he’s a good in-line blocker, he’s got good hands."

The problem is that while the Dolphins believe they have talent behind Fasano and potential behind Fasano, the production of the players behind Fasano falls off a cliff.

Charles Clay is developing but he was simply terrible the first two weeks of practice. He's been better lately but it's a long way between better and really good and consistent.

"I think Charles Clay has quietly had a good camp," Philbin said. "Early on there were some things that we weren’t totally fired up about, but I think he has really developed the last couple of weeks. The last two or three weeks he has really stepped his game up. We’re going to need him to do that obviously through the course of the year."

The Dolphins drafted Michael Egnew to be an Aaron Hernandez type of player. They want him to tear down the seam of the secondary and make it his personal pass-catching playground. Instead, he's had a terrible first training camp and has been equally bad in games. He's dropped passes, missed assignments and generally not played very fast. He has what I call the thousand yard stare, like he is overmatched with what's going on.

"I said to Mike Egnew on the field today that I thought I saw some progress with him on the tape," Philbin said this week. "Even some more with him blocking wise, where we knew he was going to be behind the curve due to his experience in college, but there are some signs there."

The Dolphins also have Jeron Mastrud and Les Brown in camp. But let's face it, Mastrud is like Fasano except not as productive, not as good a blocker and not as experienced. The team wants to upgrade from him in the best case scenario. If he's on the team, something went wrong with Egnew or Clay.

Brown? He's done. He couldn't block when he arrived in camp and he still cannot. That would be somewhat acceptable if he was a dynamic playmaker in the passing game. He is not. He gets open sometimes but the speed simply does not translate consistently enough. He should strike fear into the hearts of linebackers covering him. But they stay with him.

And I believe the Dolphins are ready to end the experiment. There will be cuts on Monday and I would expect Brown to be among them. He certainly is not making the 53-man roster. It's a shame because I love the idea of a TE that runs 4.4 in the 40 yard dash. (I wouldn't mind re-signing Brown to the practice squad and seeing if he can develop over the next month and give signs of hope.)

"Mastrud is very steady and doing a nice job, and Les, Les is learning day-by-day," Philbin said. "It’s a good group and we’re going to need those guys. We’d like to be a versatile as we can be and get different personnel groups and use them in different spots, so I think they’re capable. They’re smart guys, and they’re giving us a good work ethic, so I think we’re going to be in good shape."

I don't.

You see, getting back to the chain, the lack of dynamic receivers begs for the Dolphins to find passing yards from the tight ends. If they were great, the need at receiver would be very well hidden. Look at the New England Patriots. Aside from Wes Welker, they haven't had any great receivers on the field for a couple of years. But they've had excellent tight end play from Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. So the problem at receiver is covered up a bit. (Obviously the Patriots realized this and signed Brandon Lloyd this offseason).

But the Dolphins have neither the dynamic receiver nor the dynamic tight end. They have one "steady" tight end and two or three projects.

That's rough.

The hope, obviously, is for Clay to suddenly explode with the advent of the regular season. If he can learn the offense to the point it is instinct to him, I believe he has the potential to be the answer. The Dolphins need that to happen.

They need to tighten up that weakened chain.

Comments

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YG,

Am I dumb too? Kinda feeling left out over here........


:)

DC, I think in rounds 3 and past, you take chances in guys who have certain traits to think they may succeed even if they have significant question marks.

Vernon, Miller, heck even Egnew had certain traits or talents that made you think they may pan out. Miller and Egnew are fast and Vernon is certainly talented but had off field problems which limited his effectiveness.

I also think later rounds is where you may want to take a chance on an interior linemen or project QB if oyu have an entrenched starter. Other teams around the league are putting together interior offensive lines with guys who were drafted in the 4th to 5th round (actual 2012 starting interior lineman draft average) but we can't seem to get one without spending a 1st pick or huge free agent contract.

I am here with great pride in America and I am proud to be a Meami Dofin. Please gentlemen esscuse my Fodder for he know not what he say or do.

YG,
Am I dumb too? Kinda feeling left out over here........

:)
Posted by: Ohio Dolfan | August 23, 2012 at 01:39 PM

Yes...

If egnew pans out we will have a very successful TE group for years with Clay and Egnew. I was impressed with what I saw last year from Clay. The guy can catch and he can catch in traffic and is/was a very potent redzone threat last season. I hope they didn't whiff on Egnew. Now, neither of them can block, but in a WCO they just need to get open quick enough before the rush reaches Tannehill.

I just had some coffee. Now I believe we are going 12-4 and will win the super bowl.

bush a super star, hahahahaha.Johnson, Petterson, foster, those are super stars, not this little fragile runt who in only one hit away from more time in the tub, then on the field. Once again to try and make his point my namesake, is cluless. BGGE, Woodhead, were an udfa, and a fa that cost them nothing. BGGS did not sign for minnimum money.

Agreed Mark.

RB's, I just don't think it works like that. The GM isn't saying, "here's what I'm giving you." He's taking his cues from the HC. I can almost GUARANTEE Sparano wasn't saying in '09/'10, "I want Jimmy Graham, Jermichael Finley, Antonio Gates types." I'm willing to bet he was saying, "I need help on the right side, get me a big body that can block." Sparano wanted to run. He still wants to run. I don't think he has a CLUE what to do in the pass game. So I blame as much of the last 4 years on Sparano/Parcells as I do Ireland.

Now I blame Ireland more than some, but not as much as others. Craig's right, I've called for Ireland to be fired, but who knows if the next guy will be any better (Ireland has surely been better than the 2 jokers before him).

I'm willing to give Ireland a few years under Philbin, to see if he can improve based on Philbin creating a better system and having a better understanding of good offense (than Sparano).

MIAMID20.......,

YOU SAID .......,


(( IS/WAS A VERY POTENT REDZONE THREAT LAST SEASON ))................

WOW....MAMA MARIA..POTENT ..POTENT ,MY AZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

DC, YOU SAID .....


(( I'AM WILLING TO GIVE IRELAND FEW YEARS UNDER PHILBIN))............

AFTER SAYING THAT ,I WILL NEVER ASK YOU FOR ADVICE IN ANY MATTER ........

DC...JUST FOR THE RECORD....PHILBIN IS WORKING UNDER IRELAND ,NOT IRELAND UNDER PHILBIN ,,,,,,


MAMA MARIA...

haha.

DC,

Aloco did kind of get you on that one. Although a bit of an overreaction Aloco for someone who is always posting about love........ LOvE, To BE OR n?OT to BE

or something like that :)

Dashi,

Tony's job was in dire starits in the 2010 offseason. Remember the Harbaugh debacle? Knowing this, wth does Ireland draft a wc rb in 2011 for? Heck 2010 proved Sparano may not be around much longer. So why bring in a wc rb for whoever the next hc was going to be?

Seems to me ther are two immediate areas of concern for the Fins this season:

1st...is Ryan T the real deal? he's starting, so we should know by season's end or sooner... here's hoping he is..

2nd... do we have the complete O-line among the current personnel that will give him protection and time to throw.....otherwise...the search will still be on come next draft....

.....until we have positive solutions to those two vital areas, diverting attention to RB, WR , TE etc is essentially clouding the real issue, and thus unnecessarily complicating the two most pressing needs...

....a solid, first rate QB and the O-line that protects him is at the core of success....until we have that in place , we have very little to build on...

..just my take on it....

oscar canosa,
I was at the El Rodeo buffet for lunch. I noticed white guys spooning white sauce on their rice over and over and over.
What's up with that?

ALoco, I promise you Ireland will be around as long as Ross/Philbin think he's doing a good job (so my opinion, or yours, or anyone else's, doesn't even matter).

Also, on the Philbin/Ireland thing, do you think Ireland has the power to fire Philbin? Because I don't, I think only Ross has that power. Therefore, I put those 2 on the same level (one guy gets the talent, the other Coaches it). As I stated in an earlier post, if you look at how the 2 interact, it looks as if Ireland works for Philbin (and not the other way around). The org chart might show one thing, but in reality, it might work totally differently.

Buster, if you don't have RBs, WRs and TEs, what are you protecting RT to do? Stare down the defense?

I would prefer they got the skill position players, THEN work on shoring up the line. As it is, you have 3 core guys, and a RT you just drafted in the 2nd round (who was a LT in college, so pretty reliable). Sounds enough to get started with to me. Can't keep concentrating on the line if you've been neglecting skill positions for as long as we have. That's why we're in this position in the first place.

DC,

Maybe the RT could run an out pattern? :)


PS, no props from anyone on my Aloco impression?

LOL Ohio. Talk about ankle weights.

No one will have a clue at seasons end what Tanny is or can be. He is throwing to no one.

He will spend most of his time running for his life, taking sacks or throwing incompletions. Most of which will not be his fault.

You miss my point DC....of course the other positions need to be addressed.....but the emphasis needs to be on finding the right QB and the 5 men that give him the proper time to find those WR's, TE's RB's out of the backfield , etc.

For me...that is the primary emphasis..if Ryan is th real deal (and I think he is closest we've gotten to it since # 13) , then the O-line is next.....

....the early picks need to be about the right side of the line...Long- Incognito- Pouncey works ...now we need - RG (?) - RT (?) ....then the search for the others can be pursued in ernest..


....would be nice to have 5 guys in front of RT to get the job done for the next 5, 6 yrs..don't ya think?

Tanny will get killed with these WR's.

Jonathon Martin was supposed to be our high pick for the O-line

Amaazing, we're pretty much posting the same team needs as the 2008 offseason(1-15). While actually managing to add more. Finally, we get a 1st rd qb, that some experts had 2nd rd had Barkley and Landry come out. Sure hope he's the real, hasnt really disappointed yet.

Again U insult and try to reason. I'ma answer to the question not ur antics.

I might of used a Double-Negative. But Ur the 1 throwing out Oxymoron's. Dashi = He who knows all, Jack-As$$s

So an Undrafted FA is starting over 2-2nd rd picks?

At least Bush was drafted 2nd Overall. A SupaStar doesn't mean ur great. Tim Tebow is A SupaStar. Or is Dashi Wrong?

Now should OG be drafted in the 3rd and lower? Correct. Ireland has failed at that. OR the Guy who decideed the final 53 wanted a certain type.

I don't believe Philbin will allow Ireland to draft someone like John Jerry.

But OT and Centers only come out in the 1st and 2nd. The good one's at least.

Yes Aloco I said that Clay was a potent redzone threat. He had beautiful catches in tight coverage last year in the endzone as well as 20-30 yard completions and that's before any YAC. If he continues to develope he will be a very good TE for us, I feel he's very underrated.

The truth is.....we will know a whole lot about RT after his 1st season.....


....how does he respond to the pressure of starting......how does he adjust to the speed of the game.....how does he bounce back after a loss...is he a leader....does he earn the respect of his teammates...does he stand up to the rush or shrink in the face of it..how does he adjust eachweek to the various defenses the opponents throw at hi,,,,does he remain dedicated to establishing a ruthym with his receivers...

...that's just part of it.....a yes....we will learn an enormous amount of revealing info about RT.....no question about that....

I see MiamiD20 feels the same about Clay's potential as I do

Have you ever dropped a foot long GREEN turd???

This team will be making transactions like mad after they announce the 53. Expect them to heavily pursue any:

RG
4th CB (Carrol)
Any WR
OLB - Depth
MLB - Depth
Safety

Yo azzz whole....don't post in my name again.....immature moron !!!!

Buster, I got your point, and no, I don't agree with it. What have we been doing the last 5 years? We've been shoring up the oline. Now you're saying waste the top picks in ANOTHER draft on olinemen? When we're the joke of the league in the skill positions.

If Ryan had great WRs/TEs who ran great routes and were open all the time, guess what, he wouldn't need as much time getting them the ball. Might even be able to beat a rush. We just drafted a RT in round 2 this year. Are you really suggesting we waste ANOTHER pick on RT NEXT YEAR? Without giving Martin a chance to improve?

Sorry, bad strategy. Very Sparano/Henning-esque. You have probably loved the last few years of drafting.

Our top choices need to go to skill positions and/or pass-rushers/secondary. Find your olinemen (and dlinemen for that matter) later in the draft. Or in subsequent drafts. Ryan needs receivers NOW (not in some distant future). He needs a #1 TE NOW. Wake needs a pass-rusher on the other side NOW. The secondary needs ONE playmaker NOW. We can live with 3 good linemen and 1 rookie getting up to speed until that time comes.

Yo Armando...the post listed at 2:35 pm referencin a "GREEN turd" is not mine...is not mine:


what kind of a blog is the HERALD run ning that allows multiple e-mails to list the same user name ?......

I've seen posts in the past that use your name.....

..isn't it about time the newspaper did something about this ?

..isn't it about time the newspaper did something about this ?

Posted by: Buster | August 23, 2012 at 02:42 PM

No, it's not.

If you care so much take two seconds to set up a twitter account and sign in.

Buster, the blog has been infested with trolls for a while now. Mando or the Herald won't do anything about it (because they boost their numbers after all). We just have to live with them unfortunately. Good luck!

Why does everyone on this blog love Joe Philbin? He has Sparano's exact career path and credentials and he has the personality and charisma of a high school substitute math teacher.

DC you properly have pointed out the short - comings of the previous staff...they tried to shore up the line, but failed..


so the alternative is to get WR's who can get open...like in what 2.5 seconds?..cause that's how long it takes for a blitzer to run by a RG or RT who misses the assignment, and gives up the sack....

..okay...you made your points....I made mine...we disagree...that's what make's the world go round..

...let's leave it at that...and glad to have a logical, courteous convo any time..Thanks :-)

Mando.
Can you write something else that we already know about.. Like let's see what is the biggest position disappointment that the PHINS and JI hasn't fix within the last five years, like OL Secondary. LB that can cover a TE, Just saying but I'm a Dumba ss
I don't know crap, but I wonder when those position are going to get fix.

I know DC Dolfan....it's a losing cause...thanks for the support.....guess I'll have to put this guy on ignore..

but I don't want earnest participants to think I share the same low-life idiology as my pretender....so i had to disavow the half-witted comment...

thanks anyway , dude......

Ohio, I love Clay, especially as a 6th round pick. I think he's going to be a very good TE for us and he's young. He isn't Gronk or Jimmy G, but if we had Tom Brady or Drew Brees throwing to him I think we'd see much different results

jamarcus russell was drafted no.1. ryan leaf no.2. I guess they were super stars. Tebow a super star?

Ohio, what happened to your blog

Sal from Boca.....drafting talent is generally a crap-shoot...Russell and Leaf....let's hope Tannehill isn't listed in that group in the future...

..but crap-shoot that it is....it's the same for all 32 teams...

....and all are trying for the future Manning or Starr or Brady.... so onward we go ;> )

One quick suggestion Buster. If you sign in via typepad (above the post a comment area), you're name will appear in blue. And anyone questioning if it's really you can click on it and all your posts will appear on the jump page.

Now, a troll can still sign in with the same name, but when you click the name, it will go to their page, and you won't see any of the posts you've written (and that would distinguish the real you from the fake you). It's kind of a pain and extra steps, but it's the best way for people not to get confused).

The Dolphins need a GM that can draft better TE's....and WR's and QB's and RB's and hire a better HC.

OH okay, DC..that's kool to know...thanks dude

Joe Philbin = Cam Cameron 2.0

Clue,

It's still going..........

The only thing that matters less than preseason football, is your opinion on preseason football.

One of Jeff Ireland's problems is he doesn't realize some years are better than others for certain positions. When stars come along, you have to grab 'em if you can.

In 2010 it was one of those years for TEs. NE got Gronk in the 2nd round, 42nd overall. We got Koa Misi 2nd round 40th overall.

In the 4th round, NE selected Hernandez 113 overall. We got AJ Edds 119th overall.

We were in a position to get both but didn't

Ha Ha!

Monkey Boy questioned DC about Hogan and how good he is.

Hey Monkey Boy, how about because Reggie Bush said he's looking that good.

In this case I'd have to side with DC and Reggie as opposed to you. You know, cause of how you repeatedly prove you don't know shyt and just try Fvcking with people.

Blah, Blah and..........Blah Monkey Boy!

Bhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaant! You Failed Again ;)

cocoajoe,

Exactly right. 2011 was the best year for QB's in 15 years. 13 QB's were drafted. And Irescum took none?? WTF??

Ireland should of never got rid of Brandon Marshall he had 14 drops and caught 81 balls. There not one WR on the team that will put up the same numbers.

How happy is Brandon Marshall to be out of this cespool? lol

Da Beast was right. Henne was horrible!!!

If Henne didnt get injured we would've had Andrew Luck.

Trade for Michael Crabtree

Poor Buster....

All you here from the Riff Raff is that these Pre Season games don't mean anything. Then the Riff Raff points out how stupid anyone and everyone is for even watching.

Then of course the Riff Raff uses the performance during the Pre Season game to go on and on about how bad this team is. How bad Philbin is, How bad Ireland is, etc, etc.

Riff Raff tells you not to judge anything from the Pre Season game and then proceeds to make judgement after judgement from the Pre Season game(for Trollish reasons of course).

Riff Raff = Monkey Boy!

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