« Hard Knocks episode 3 review right here | Main | Dolphins tight ends need to get better »

Eric Steinback retires: The good and bad

For weeks we've discussed how the much-anticipated competition for the starting right guard spot between Artis Hicks and Eric Steinbach never materialized. Steinbach couldn't muster a performance worthy of giving him first-team repetitions and he certainly couldn't be asked to do that at a position the longtime left guard simply has never played.

Well, Steinbach was so unhappy with his body's ability to come back from last year's injury-riddled season that he up and retired today. He told coach Joe Philbin who passed along the message to the media.

Steinbach, as we saw on Hard Knocks, had been mulling retirement for about a week now.

So much for adding him as an acorn.

What does it mean?

It's great news for John Jerry. Out of shape and overweight as he is, he's practically assured a spot on the roster now. Simply, Jerry is the team's third-best guard at the moment and has a chance to crack the starting lineup for the regular-season opener. It makes Nate Garner more valuable, too. And if rookie Chandler Burden shows something in practice and perhaps late in Friday night's game against Atlanta, coaches might continue to consider him for a roster spot.

"We're still evaluating that position," coach Joe Philbin said. "We'll see ... I'm sure we'll be fine."

Part of the evaluation is starting Jerry Friday against the Falcons. Mike Pouncey said today that was the plan. I can confirm to you that's currently the plan.

The Dolphins will keep anywhere between eight and 10 offensive linemen.

Meanwhile, this is not great news for the Miami personnel department. They plucked Steinbach off the scrap heap as a gamble. Everyone gets that. But the perception -- true or not, thanks to Hard Knocks -- is that they signed Steinbach over Braylon Edwards.

In the first Hard Knocks episode we see both Edwards and Steinbach coming in for a workout and the club let Edwards leave town while signing Steinbach. We see the Dolphins basically evaluate two players and pick one who's skills had basically evaporated.

That's not a good look regardless of whether the perception is in fact a reflection of what actually happened.

Look, I get on the personnel department just like anyone else. If you don't believe me, check my column in today's newspaper that complains about Miami's lack of playmakers to help Ryan Tannehill.

But I have to raise the possibility that maybe, just maybe, this decision might not have been made in the context of being able to sign only one of two players and the Dolphins picking Steinbach. If that was the case, it was indeed a swing-and-miss.

But leave open the possibilty that it wasn't. Let's be fair.  


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Without even you correctly mentioning it in your article, i was going to say, I think Braylon Edwards could've really helped us more than this guy.

Oh well. Let's stink hard this year. Tannehill can play really well. Everyone else --- who cares??? Just don't get the kid injured or the David Carr syndrome.

Is John Jerry still wokring with the first teamers? I have no faith in this Artis Kicks guy. If Jerry was in shape, he'd easily be one of the best five lineman and for sure a better right tackle than Martin this year anyway.

Let's be fair? To the personnel dept.?


Mando, you lost your mind.

Mando, I'm ususally in lock-step with everything you say. But this was CLEARLY another screwup by Jeff Ireland.

We have losers playing WR while Braylon Edwards is kicking butt in Seattle. But at least on the same day Edwards slipped through our hands we signed a guy who just retired on us.

Sorry. Ireland and Philbin are sucking balls right now.

Moving on.....



Not that I'm surprised. The fact Steinbach was talking about not retiring meant to me he was done. The crazy part is that the front office didn't see this in the workout. Ireland I am officially back on the bandwagon. You suck! Braylon Edwards would have been Miami's best WR hands down. He would have given Tannehill a legit playmaker who can turn a 7 yard slant into a 20 plus yard gain.

Miami is not going to put a winner on the field until someone can evaluate talent at a competent level. Miami's front office has taken chances on Grove, Smiley now Steinbach all had their injuries show right back up. Odrick missed his rookie season with a recurring injury. Terrible Ireland, just terrible.

The problem here isn't the evaluation. The problem is this personnel department STILL values linemen over skill position players. I'll say it 'til I'm blue in the face, SKILL POSITION PLAYERS SHOULD GENERALLY TRUMP LINEMEN. Sure, Pats have great linemen, but they got Brady FIRST. Green Bay's line played well the year they won the SB, AFTER Rodgers got sick of running around for a few years. Rothlisberger gets injured seemingly EVERY game. On defense, you try to prioritize pass rushers and defensive backs (for sacks and INTs). On offense, skill position players (for TDs). It's NOT THAT HARD!

This latest 'rotten acorn' has inspired me to look back over the last decade and build the definitive list of the worst Miami Dolphins opening day starters over the past decade. I call it the ALL-INCOMPETENCE TEAM

First an important caveat – The only players I considered were those who were pencilled in as STARTERS at the end of the pre-season. Dreadful replacement players (Cleo Lemon, Eddie Moore etc) who never officially topped an end-of-preseason depth chart are not considered. So obviously Steinback does not qualify. John Jerry, however, clealry does.

To avoid confusion I also simplified the defensive scheme. The all-incompetence team plays a vanilla 4-3 scheme with interchangeable OLBs, DTs and DEs. In the spirit of the Dolphins new ‘interchangeable safeties’ defensive philosophies, I also drew all safeties out of a common pot.


QB: Daunte Culpepper (2006)
RB: Travis Minor (2004)
FB: Reagan Mauia (2007)
TE: David Martin (2007)
WR: Derrious Thompson (2002)
WR: Ted Ginn (2009)
LT: L.J. Shelton (2007)
LG: Chris Liwienski (2007)
C: Jake Grove (2009)
RG: John Jerry (2010)
RT: Marc Columbo (2011)
DE: Matt Roth (2008)
DT: Larry Chester (2003)
DT: Vonnie Holliday (2007)
DE: Kendall Langford (2010)
OLB: Morlon Greenwood (2004)
MLB: Akin Ayodale (2008)
OLB: Channing Crowder (2007)
CB: Reggie Howard (2005)
CB: Travis Daniels (2006)
S: Renaldo Hill (2007)
S: Antuan Edwards (2004)
K: Jay Feely (2007)
P: Mark Royal (2002)

Coach: Dave Wannstedt
GM: Dave Wannstedt

Some observations

1) The Dolphins have had a tremendous run of good luck on the defensive line. Vonnie Holiday, Larry Chester and Kendall Langford were all solid players for significant periods of time, yet they are, in fact at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to opening-day roster strength at the position.

This is an example of the legendary ‘Tom Brady Effect’ where, of course, the single most unqualified starting QB the Patriots have started over the past ten years…is named Tom Brady.

2) Recent starters like Koa Misi and Chris Clemmons who are potentially busts in the making were given the benefit of the doubt. If their improvement does not improve, they could be added to the list at a later date.

3) Differentiating between the QB prospects was difficult – Culpepper’s price tag, and overall stinkage however pushes him ahead of Gus Ferotte and Chad Henne for the title.

4) Only one starter (Marc Columbo at RT) from last year’s roster qualifies as an all-decade worst.

5) Single easiest call…Ted Ginn

6) Those who think that Cam Cameron or Jeff Ireland represent the low points of HC or GM incompetence forget about the malignant influence of the mustachioed one who launched the Dolphins on this decade long spiral of football degeneration.

..From the last blog..I'm on board with YG on how many games we may win this year. Let me start by saying so far the team looks pathetic..Absolutley sad. How on earth are we going to win 7-8 games?

We are going to play a bunch of teams with questions at the quarterback spot as well. Look at our a schedule and there are only 2 different teams that have Good quarterbacks..NE, Houston... All the others have question marks, are second or first year starters. This alone should keep this team in just about every game. The majority of games will end up being decided on a few plays made or not(IMO).

The teams we play are going to try and do the same thing we should do this season..Slow the game down,run it a bunch to set up the pass..Look at these squads..which ones look like scoring jugernaughts? 2 teams thats it..

Now of course none of us know what the teams on our schedule will be playing like when game day comes. Some may have it together, some may suprise. As of now, not many of them should put much fear into having to get into a scoring contest to keep up..Thus keeping us in almost every game.

This Game is also a business. Do you really believe Ireland didn't know that Steinbach and cj were practically finished and brought them in more as bodies for training Camp?

Did Ireland pick him because he was a cheaper option? Or because he only had money to spend on 1 guy? Or did he genuinely like Steinbecks workout over Edwards?

Either way, ireland just looks AWFUL.

A. If he liked the workout of a 32 yr old lineman who missed most of last year, better than an in prime WR, he has no biz being the head of personnel.

B. If he wanted to go cheap, it's because he messed up the cap so much with his signings.

C. If he only had money to spend on 1 guy, it's the same as B above.

Ireland is an incompetent failure. His dismissal should have occured with Sparano's when they tried to hire Harbaugh.


I wouldn't be at all surprised if one or more of our high-profile veterans is gone at final cuts.

The truth,

I have steered clear and defended Ireland. We never knew how much control he had while Parcells was here and the back and forth draft strategy seemed like the most idiotic thing I have ever heard of. The idea of a draft is to build. No matter the puppetry of Parcells to Ireland, no 2 people think exactly alike. But I'm done with Ireland he is not a good GM. His saving grace is going to be Tannehill ironically. Tannehill was the most obvious choice in the draft after Luck and RG3 to end up in Miami. He had no choice but to roll the dice. Tannehill has answered the bell and looks the part so far.

Tannehill will show just enough this year with this crap team for Ross to feel Ireland did a good job. It was 1 freaking pick and the most obvious one at that. Ireland sucks.

How the fock do the Dolphins sign a player who retired 2 weeks after he's signe? Steinbach looked like an ordinary fat beer drinking white guy and we signed him. SMH, meanwhile Edward look like he was in shape and prob would of been our best WR and we pass on him. Reason 103 to Fire Ireland!. This team is being ran into the ground.

we dont have any high profile veterans

The funny thing is that Ireland is right, that it is acorns time and not for Prime Beef.

Ruthless moder, uh?

I'm not a huge fan of Ginn or anything so I don't know why I'm getting roped into this, but here's a video of Ginn, healthy, making a great 25 yard gain just 4 days ago.


What are our WRs doing?

Dolphins have been playing musical chairs with garbage players since Ireland arrived, all the while sinking like quicksand. Worst franchise in sports?

Braylon Edwards wasn't worth taking a spot away from all the other receivers we have. They took a shot at a guy who wa suppurb before being injured and a guy that may have filled a major gap for us (if only for this year or the next at most). I'm not going to rip Ireland for this

Andy you forgot Gerrard (injured vets)


I believe Braylon had something left in the tank and could make the Team and be expensive. So Ireland saw it and let him go his way.

the bad news keeps on coming lol

MiamiD20, Braylon Edwards is better than every WR on the team right now, he has actually produced at a pro bowl level. To say he isnt worth taking a spot away from a guy is homer-ish, BTW hows Gates doing?

The same way we might let go of pretty good Players on final cuts, other Teams will do the same and I believe there Ireland will jump on one or more of them.

dink. j pruitt. ires oak.

LOL Edwards wasn't worth taking up a roster spot? Who exactly would you keep ahead of him?

Other than Bess, who's valuable in the slot, which of these names would you keep AHEAD of a proven player in Edwards:

Hogan, M. Moore, J. Pruitt, Gates, Fuller, Wallace, Hartline

You gotta be F-ing kidding me! Please try to use some common sense before spouting nonsense via your keyboard!

Tim Couch,

Drafting Ted Ginn's family was one of the all time low points in my many years of watching Dolphins football.

Watching Ted Ginn botch routes and drop routine catches quite possibly took years off my life.

There have been many, many humiliations I have suffered as a Dolphin fan.
Watching Jamar Fletcher and Eddie Moore get drafted. Watching Ray Lucas and Pat White try to throw a football.
Watching Dave Wannstedt draft a third round pick for Lamar Gordon, only to see him go on IR a week later.
etc etc etc...
I have tracked and recorded dozens of such humiliations...

But that ridiculous 'drafting Ted Ginn's family' moment ranks right up there with the absolute worst.

Steinbach would be dearly missed.

Now the Question is Will FatBoy Step up to the Challenge? Or throw it all up like on Hard Knocks?

Hicks is more Consistent than JJ, but if the Fins are really going Young all the Way this year? Why not Start Jerry next to Martin? Hey Sink or Swim. Maybe they can neutralize each other out. The Country Boy and the Stanford Grad.

FatBoy is Country Strong. They would've measured his bench Press at the Combine but he ate the Weights.

Maybe if Martin was a little better they would. But at least They've played them together during games. Interesting to Watch? Does Fatboy get it together and Beats out Hicks to start along the Line. Or is he cut Come next week cause they can't afford him on the Lunch Line?

Maybe they move Incognito to RG and JJ to LG? Nah, The Left side is set why F'ck with it.


Edwards is a Headcase. If we signed him we definitely would've needed a Veteran Qb. Let T-hill mold the Wr's not the other way around.

At the Time Chad was still on the roster. U imagine 2 head cases? Garrard or Moore would've had to start regardless

Here's an article from NFL.com that Says the GM in Seatle isn't sure T.O. and Edwards can Co-Exist??


Again the fix is in.

The only question we should be having at WR is are Naanee & Hartline going to be 1 of the Final 53 after cuts?

I don't see no reason why not to keep the rookies over the veterans. Specially if their performance is Equal. It would make Hartline the Worst Wr on the team, Automatically.

I see more Sense in keeping Bess with Wallace, Hogan, Pruitt and Moore. Why Not?


thats EXACTLY it....the VALUE OL OVER skill position....

thus Steinbach over Edwards....the math was easy for this FO.......

however...when you throw into the EQUATION the extremely short leash (FO self imposed) that they put on Chad Johnson.....they might have wanted to consider a variable or two....

Dashi, if you "don't see no reason," that means you see a reason. It's called a "double negative."

By the way, Gary, your "bad team" post is the greatest post I've ever seen. Nice job. LOL. Travis Minor. I remember him.

Please tell me D Thomas, who had 2 straight 100 yard games as rookie before being injured, will not be another Minor. I actually thought Thomas would be starting ahead of Bush by now.

Why not indeed, Dashi? You might include Jeff Fuller there. I know he's not white like Hogan but I believe he will be a good WR.

What kind of numbers did Edwards put up last year? You can say he was injured but thats meerly an excuse for his declining play. Not to mention he's a possible problem child; our gamble of two previous problem/diva receivers in Chad Johnson and Brandon Marshall didn't work out, why take another chance on another declining receiver. He's tall that's about it, if you want a tall problem child sign Plaxico Burress (no Ireland please don't do that either. Remember: Seattle choose Terrell Owens out of retirement over Edwards. Miami isn't the first team to pass over him. I'd rather develop Cunningham, Fuller, or Hogan than have Edwards sit the bench or only play in redzone situations. You want speed? We have Clyde Gates. You want route running? We have Cunningham, Bess, and Hartline. Want height? We have Wallace.


you DO remember EDWARDS torching us as recently as LAST YEAR...right....

I forgot....


Guys, Braylon Edwards is not that good. He had one awesome season surrounded by a barren wasteland of head-case mediocrity.

This is not unusual:

Peyton Hillis, Tommy Maddox, Rex Grossman, Drew Bennett etc etc etc

I have my opinion. These guys are just going thru the motions. 4th consecutive losing season coming up and assuredly a 5th the following year. No light at the end of this endless tunnel Ross/Ireland has the team buried in. They may try but are uncapable of producing an average team.

I remember Edwards facking us over as a Jest, but he was what a 49er last year? I don't remember, didn't hear his name enough to bother. Not to mention we had CJ at the time we worked out Edwards, the team didn't see the point in having two old receivers. No one, at the time, anticipated CJ being cut. We don't need Edwards to solve our issue, we need a legit playmaking receiver. A young receiver. We got our QB now draft me a WR early in the draft (1st round, top 10 pick please)

Do you see that it's not me , Dashi, that makes a 3 page post turn into an 8 page one? I touch a Topic and many here start to get into an endless debate which leads to nowhere. uh?

Can we please get better evualaters in the front office not named irefiend.....The guy didnt even play a game this year and is already out of football...*lmao* I guess miami will do that to certain people...

Gary, what did you think of "hard Kocks" yesterday?

It saddens me that I only have one more week to use that line.

Crying over the fact we didn't sign Edwards shows how desperate we are for a WR. He isn't good, just a marquee name...that's all he is at this point, a name.

U know what I meant

*I don't see any Reason

Yes, couch I know What a Doubl-Negative is

U, Buddy.

Always Being Insubordinate

Constant Ignorant Hate.

Thomas Should've Surpassed Bush by Now?

Really? Did Shonne Green ever Surpass LT?

Kris, I hate to have to say this (want to reduce font size but I can't), but.....maybe you were right about us keeping Chad Johnson. Shhhh! Hope no one sees that.

Mark, I was benching yesterday, and had to stop because I kept thinking about your convo with YG and laughing. Had to go to the dumbbells.

Guys - Tannenhill is set up to fail. He has no reliable target - you cant put a kid out there with no weapons - It is a shame this is going to happen - I blame ireland (made no personnel moves to compensate for loss of marshall) and philbin for throwing him to the wolves.

Too late DC...i saw that and know your gonna have to live with................*LOL*LOL*LOL*LOL*LOL*LOL*LOL*LOL*LOL*

Stevet, he did make a move to replace Marshall.

He drafted & signed 2 TE's: Egnew & Les Brown

You may laugh now.

Mando, new topic suggestion: D. THOMAS.

What's the deal with this dude? He seems to have all the physical tools. Big, strong, fast.

Had 2 consecutive 100 yd games before getting injured last year. Seemed to hit the hole hard and play fast.

Is he going to be good or what?

Hi Mark in Toronto,

I am glad you asked. Like Armando I am getting a little bored with Hard Kocks. I know that up in Canada you guys are still clamoring for Hard Kocks, and I wish I could help you out. But I can't. But at least you have the Avril Lavigne-Chad Kroeger wedding, which is about as far from Hard Kocks as you can get.

Stevet, he'll be ok. He's a generously-proportioned man (if I do say so myself). He's a college WR (therefore can take a hit). He's Pre-Med (got a head on his shoulders). He'll take it in stride.

Plus, he's the best talent we've had at that position since Marino. I personally won't let him be bashed on this blog this year. Don't worry.

superPHIN, I thought Wallace/Moore/Pruitt would step up. I mean, who DOESN'T want to be a #1? Apparently, anyone wearing teal and orange and gloves in Davie, FL.

can we make a play for MJD???...given our oline situation, i figured he could brunt the most punishment over bush and thomas and not end up in the IR at the end of the year..just sayin!!!

D. Thomas is NOT fast.

Yes Superfin,

Let us offer a trade for MJD. How about Daniel Thomas, Lydon Murtha and a bag of potato chips for the defending NFL rushing leader plus a second round pick. Then we can cut half of our defensive line to fit MJD under the cap (option B we let him move his holdout to Miami).

Yes. I wholeheartedly encourage that.


Wallace kind of stepped up, not as much as I want to see but richard mathews looked better last game also, like to see if hogan gets a chance with the first unit some time this year...what are they holding him out for seriously, can he be any worse then what we have???

DC BigMouth is now Tanny's personal body guard. Get a life you schlep! LMAO

Maybe if you bozos in DC did anything, other than spend everyone elses money, you wouldn't have time to personally defend Tannehill.

Get a life!

Vernon Gholston? Ring A Name

U know what I mean. Don't get Amnesia. U turn a regular Post in to A Neverending Story. With ur ignorant remarks and Childish Bickering. Just cause ur cool one day doesn't take away the other 1000 ways. What do u think this is a Religion?

Never Mind the 1000 Aliases.

Today U have ur mellow Characters out so it's Acceptable today. But as Soon as U bring SMF, JackSparrow, and any other Nonsense U can Come Up with, then we have issues.

Funny thing is that Even After ur stupid antics 95% of the time. We still try and Educate U on Football.

Show U the Way Of the Dolphins

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 »

The comments to this entry are closed.