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Dolphins fans learn not to knee jerk

The waiving of receiver Anthony Armstrong Tuesday afternoon should serve as a cautionary tale against the knee-jerk or the instaneous decision or the jump to premature conclusion.

Think back seven weeks ago when the Dolphins eight spoke with the Redskins about acquiring Armstrong. Fans and some media immediately demanded Miami give up picks for the player to improve the Dolphins wide receiver corps.

When the Dolphins got Armstrong on waivers, fans and some media immediately demanded he play.

Then, when Armstrong played and failed a couple of times, some fans and some media turned their back on Armstrong.

And not long after that Jabar Gaffney became the latest "it" player -- the object of the do-it-now crowd.

Sign Gaffney immediately, those folks said.

Play Gaffney immediately, those folks said.

If Gaffney hasn't played in two weeks he's not the answer, those folks said. 

Gaffney, by the way, caught one pass in Sunday's victory over the Jets.

Start Gaffney, some folks are about to say.

And to those folks I offer this: Chill.

The NFL season is a marathon, not a sprint. The meshing of talents and coaches is a process that works on its own timetable. And no knee jerk is wise in weighing a player, coach, team or season.

With that in mind, I ask you with respect to think about what you've just read and think on it. And think on this, also:

The Dolphins are 4-3 now. That doesn't mean they are going to the playoffs. The truth is when I speak privately to folks within the organization there is very cautious optimism about the team. I stress cautious. The things they are hoping and saying privately, they are not willing to say on the record until we see more because they don't want to be proven wrong.

They don't want to knee-jerk.

So Ryan Tannehill is not a franchise quarterback. That is not hate. Remember, I said long ago he has the chance to be the best quarterback the Dolphins have had since Dan Marino. But there is a process he must undergo. He has begun the progress. And he is making strides. And there is reason for optimism. But we don't know for certain yet what he will become. He is not a franchise player yet. And we cannot guarantee he'll get there. So just enjoy watching him. But don't get crazy when he advances or regresses. That has to happen in his development.

The knee-jerk, by the way, works both ways.

And so Michael Egnew is not a bust. He is green. He is raw. He probably isn't going to factor for a long time. But do not give up on the kid yet.

Remember that it took Paul Soliai three years to figure things out. Reggie Bush was considered something of a bust early on in New Orleans. And those folks also considered Ricky Williams something of a bust, too.

John Jerry? Tell the truth, how many of you said he was a bust last year? (No, he's not a star and is currently nothing more than a C-plus player, but he's a starter now and not a bust.)

Matt Moore?

Many of you said last year he was the answer and were puzzled when he wasn't given the job early on in training camp. Others of you saw him play in the preseason and advocated trading him to Arizona.

On Sunday he proved his value to the team right where he is -- as a valuable No. 2 QB.

I admit I've sometime fallen into the knee-jerk mode. Early last year I saw little upgrade in signing Kevin Burnett and getting rid of Channing Crowder. I was wrong. I'm also not a huge fan of what I've seen from Daniel Thomas so far, although I've stopped short of calling him a bust, which he obviously hasn't had enough time to prove or disprove.

My point?

Wait. See. Watch things play out.

Nick Saban espouses this approach. So does Joe Philbin to a degree, with his not-too-high, not-too-low approach.

I know it's hard for fans who are so emotionally invested to keep an even keel and not be overcome by the first reaction they have. That's what fans do.

But you are Dolphins fans. You're more sophisticated than that. You are wiser than that. You know more about football than to always succumb to your first emotion.

You've seen how players and seasons and teams can ebb and flow. So be not deceived.  


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thought something bad happened to you mando. three days away from your job on the middle of the season. glad you are ok.

Erin Maybin, now that guy is a bust!!! I'm a Fins fan from buffalo and believe me, that guy is a bust!!!Lol,
no knee jerking there.
Anyway Rex Ryan will scoop up Armstrong. He seems to take all Miami's rejects.


Come on guy's ....nee d a place in in booooooffalo to miami tailgate!

Actually thomas is looking better. As far as a wr goes sign a number one and not these other clowns who never even get on the field and they wouldn't have to worry about it. They are 0 for 2 with armstrong. So if tannehill wants to be a franchise qb he will play against luck and we will see which qb is the teal deal!

I have no clue why think Daniel Thomas might be a bust , the guy runs hard every down , yeah he lost the handle a few times , but what running back hasn t especially as young as this kid is , if he can keep his head from getting banged up , I think he`ll turn out to be a pretty good back

Great perspective...

This is a team that is starting to learn how to win. They have turned the corner. They are on their way to being consistent. That's how the process starts. So be patient better days are coming.

U right dude, Yup U Right!

Wait. See. Watch things play out.Nick Saban expouses this approach....
LOL are you joking me!? I guess that's what he did in the one year he tried to be a NFL head coach for our team then quit after he realized he can't handle men. How long have you been watching this team for man? Get a clue....

Expouses is NOT a word.
So be not deceived? (Thou hast written.)

I dont appreciate the sarcasm here: "But you are Dolphins fans. You're more sophisticated than that. You are wiser than that."

You must mean ex-spouses. I have some of those.

I agree. It is not easy, but You just have to trust Ireland and Philbin. That is all we can do.

From the previous post: Reggie Bush is not only a good runner, he's an excellent runner; besides a great pass receiver and blocker on occassions. We'd be crazy to get rid of him.

Yeah, I know, you see Bush dancing around on occassions, but so did Barry Sanders when there was no hole and Detroit never tried to trade him, did they?

Many of us have been saying all year that the Fins are "rebuilding" and that we need to show patience. I think the coaching staff is doing a nice job getting the most of what they have in terms of talent. In many cases the players they have in certain positions are 'average' or event 'below average.' But they are getting some production from them. The coaching staff is pretty experienced and will make the right calls on talent.

John Jerry was a good example. Sparano, the supposed OLine guru, couldn't maximize Jerry's talent. Now he is proving reliable.

Everyone is calling for Lamar Miller to play more. But if he can't be relied on to protect THILL then he is a liability. This fast pace no huddle Offense requires THILL to call several audibles at the line. If he has to call a pass he can't call a run simply because Miller is in the backfield. Until Miller can pass protect he will not see play time.

When Carpenter was missing critical field goals and costing this team 2 games, I was all over him for it. He has since made many several kicks but mostly <45 yards. I think Philbin sees that and will only him to attempt long field goals when the Fins have the lead.

Finally, the team is getting decent production from Wilson, Carroll, Smith and Clemons. Their inconsistency shows they are not Stud players. But in the past few weeks they are holding their own. I really think this has a lot to do with more pass rush on the QB's. Coaches are blitzing much more because they can't trust the DBacks and give the QB's plenty of time to assess the field.

Good job COACHES!!!!

Besides, Reggie is much faster than Barry Sanders ever was. Crazy stuff that People publish here...

I hope Jabar Gaffney can catch for he sure moves well.

Been saying here for awhile that fans shouldnt give up on Egnew, or Thomas.....give them some time--Thomas looks pretty good when he's gotten the chance and when he's been healthy (a concern, yes)--dude runs hard, has scored some TDs and is still only half way through his 2nd year.....we need him to do well, since Bush could walk at years end--and Egnew clearly is talented, watch some of his play in college.....just obviously overmatched at the moment--but the kid was only drafted 6 months ago--how can so many fans write him off already?

Maybe Marino did more harm than good to the younger Dolphin's Fans here. Focusing on that greatness, they never learned what a good RB or WR are.(but theys sho know QBs).

and if you dont have confidence that this coaching staff can get Egnew to improve, and get more out of him, I'm not sure what you've been watching.

I kind of thought the article was going to lead to what was going to happen with the roster (Trade?). Anyways we will probably promote someone from the practice squad. Where do you think we could use some help right now? I would still like to see another offensive weapon acquired and I think tight end still. Also what do you think of the chance that Marcus Thigpen could get an expanded role, reciever reverse type of plays?

Well, you could be the most talented Athlete in the World and not be a Football Player(Bob Hayes=Football Player, Jimmy Hines=not). Which is Egnew now? I don't know but is not looking too good for him.

Oscar, Sanders is one of the top 5 all time backs. Bush is not even top 15 in the league *this year*.

We should be 6-1 god damn it!!!

Great article Armando.
After JJ this team missed wildly on 4 poor/terrible coaches before finally hitting on Philbin(Ross' first head coach hire).
Fact is, very little separates the talent at this level. Coaching (or lack of), evaluation, scheme & preparation, and game time adjustments are what separate 8-8 from 12-4. Franchise QB helps too. Knowing Vante Davis is a great physical talent is easy for everyone, figuring out he does not have the ability from the neck up to help your team is something only the better coaches/organizations figure out in time.
This team is in good hands now and headed in the right direction. Enjoy the ride this year will be fun & next yr better.
BTW: Ignore the trolls who show up on our blogs, everyone know they are frustrated wet,jill, or cheatriot fanboys!


I see you stopped short of your "get Fisher @ all cost" rant.....you didn't add that in your KNEE-JERK admissions....you should have....in reality...a vote for Fisher is/was a vote AGAINST Philbin.....

Yes...we ALL knee-jerk.....that's why we are FAN(atics)....that's what makes the sport so popular....

Being Calm....Cool...and Collected.....is for the GM...Coach....and to a lesser extent...the players....

Let the fans be FANATICS......

Really, Jonathan? Tell me something else. Not comparing Bush and Sanders at all(God forbid!), just the value for our Team. Bush is and WILL be the best back out of all we presently have. By far.

Hell, I never heard of Joe Philbin before Ross/Ireland brought him up.

It's been a long time since Mando wrote an article that made this much sense. Well Done.

Must admit - We lucked out in not getting Fisher. Couldn't figure out why anyone would want a retread like that anyway. Overall win/loss averages to many 8-8 seasons...
Philbin would have been someone else's great find!


study....do some research.....the internet is full of ignorant mouth-breathers such as yourself who thin the computers ONLY use is to replace the stack of play-boys you hide under your bed.....

The real question is....WTH do you know....

don't answer that....it might trigger a stroke.....

Well that's what todays media & instant information has turned us into. If anyone demonstrated patience in their opinions what would you have to talk about "now". Plus the fact constant losing & failure within an organization creates a certain anxiety within the fan base that makes it virtually impossible to be patient in their views or opinions. When times are desparate we need instant & continued success.

Yo tengo un Pin-on del cara-o, Kris.

Fact is, very little separates the talent at this level. Coaching (or lack of), evaluation, scheme & preparation, and game time adjustments are what separate 8-8 from 12-4.

Posted by: Fincanejoe | October 31, 2012 at 08:15 AM

Beautifully said.....

Now, I must prepare to go to work(on many Krises).

Wouldn't it be exciting if Moore, Gaffney, & Tannehill developed to the point where the offense could utilize a 4-wide set more? How many safeties do you think would line up "in the box" then??

Armando, I have to agree with you!! I feel like the Jets gave up very early in that game and never really tried to get back in it. I did see alot of good things out of the D though that tells me we go far this year. but Playoffs?? ALOT has to to happen including we have to be able to find a way to score more TDs!! We are still lacking big time in that dept. Special teams arent going to do every sunday what they did this sunday. In fact we can look for them to give up a TD or 2 and our offense and Defense is going to have to be able to over come that.

Finally! Mando has come back to the blog!

And fool Reggie runs scared! He will never hold Barry sanders jock.

Not only don't u know qb play! But RB play must dumbfound u! (I'm starting to think talking to u is futile! Useless!)

No wonder u are a failure as a doctor! Ur Analytic Skills Suck!!! And big time!

And Mando what was that? A post telling dolphin fans to be easy!

What still licking ur wounds from the woodshed whopping the fins gave the jets?

3 days and this is all we get! Be Easy!

No wonder Dashi says repeatedly Barry Jackson is the F'ing Man! Don't get me wrong Mando u were my boy. But over these last 2 years Dashi doesn't feel the writing as much.

Still better than the other guys. Dashi loves to here an educated opinion on my fins! Even if it's a negative one. But since we are running out of negative things to say! We are running out of things to say.

I like Tanny, but I still think Moore should have started...

knee jerk.

I agree with Jeff. Tanhill looks like a rookie and he should.

But if you look when Moore came in the Qb play looked way better. Keep telling myself this is all about getting the rook ready for the next few years, but guys I still like Moore.

Wish we had Ronnie or Ricky this year. We need a serious pound them running back and Thomas will get their, but Ronnie or Rickys play would do wonders for this offense.

Go Dolphins!! And I am buying in to this Philbin philosophy even if we lose the rest of the games. The man seems to be right more times than not.

If Moore would have started, people would be calling Tannehill a bust. Lol


The better the team plays, the less knee jerky I become.

When the Dolphins continue year after year to make the same bad choices such as no franchise QB, I become more critical of every move.

The better they become, the more patience I develop.

Please shula71, Ronnie can't get on the field, and Ricky's retired. They would be zero help. You think about them in their prime, but they are way past that point now. Two things happen in the NFL, player improve, player lose their skill later in their career. Later in their career is where both Ricky and Ronnie are.

I would inquire abou D. Bowe..KC may look into rebuilding soon.We have extra picks and he is a proven #1...Then in the draft look to improve at TE,CB,and saftey.

KC has not shown no inclination in trading Bowe, and he's only signed through this year. Unless the Phins can sign him to a long term contract, then trading for him doesn't make any sense. Bowe will will not want to sign a long term contract because he wants to test the FA market. The Phins also can't franchise him like KC can. This trade is nice to talk about, but won't happen. The best beat is pick a receiver high in the draft.

How anyone can say the offensee looks better with Moore in there is beyond me. The quarterbacking we got in games 2-6 this year were the most explosive in Miami Dolphins history since #13 was on the field. And this was from a rookie playing in his first handful of games in the NFL.

Those who think Moore is the better Qb have a serious screw loose. Please, 131 yards passing and a chunk of those came from an unconscious catch from Marlon Moore or else he would've been below 100 for the game. Moore did a good job of not giving the Jets any hope whatsoever and that was it. He did what a great backup is supposed to do and kudos to him but he's not the starter and shouldn't be.

Mr. Ireland, thank you for this coaching staff.
It is easy to not have knee jerk reactions with this group. Not only can they spot character and talent, they can teach the game.
And you are right, Armando. It is fun to watch not only Tannehill, but all the rookies. I know Philbin treats football like a business, but it is fun to watch this "business" if it is run properly.

Matt Moore could start for several teams right now. Yes, good #2, but could be someone's #1. The Cards are stupid if they don't inquire about him (or Matt Flynn for that matter).

my knee jerk reaction was moore should be the starter, and i still feel that way. and egnew is still a bust.

Excellent Armando! optimistic but very cautious. Please tell that to your colleagues. Fans know better for we have taken it on the chin in recent years.

How anyone can say the offensee looks better with Moore in there is beyond me. The quarterbacking we got in games 2-6 this year were the most explosive in Miami Dolphins history since #13 was on the field. And this was from a rookie playing in his first handful of games in the NFL.
Those who think Moore is the better Qb have a serious screw loose. Please, 131 yards passing and a chunk of those came from an unconscious catch from Marlon Moore or else he would've been below 100 for the game. Moore did a good job of not giving the Jets any hope whatsoever and that was it. He did what a great backup is supposed to do and kudos to him but he's not the starter and shouldn't be.
Posted by: Mark in Toronto | October 31, 2012 at 09:42 AM

Very good point, Mark!

NYP, yes he could start for a few teams but given the success young QBs are having around the league and the Cards just going through Kolb - you really think they would have the nerve to try to present another team's backup as their starter next year?

A more likely scenario would be him brought in to compete with a Carson Palmer or Phillip Rivers as insurance in case those vet Qbs continue to slide.

Why do you consider Daniel Thomas a bust?
Just want to see what you're seeing

Unlike you, who thinks this place is his world and some sort of dumb, juvenile popularity contest.

Posted by: odinseye | October 31, 2012 at 03:01 AM

post of the day...

I agree with you about KC..It also doesn't hurt to inquire..At that position I would rather have a proven commoditity..I worry about getting the next Justin Blackmon or Dez Bryant..Anyway they can get a gamechanger I am all for it.

Good article Armando, I agree I am guilty of that myself on a few instances and I should know better having played on the college level.

I think with the younger generation of fans, many grew up with Madden NFL video games and that has become a means of their football exposure. It's a fun game but by all means does not capture all the hours of learning the playbook, coordination, practice, and timing needed to make plays work and play up to a player's potential if they are a good fit for the system.

Dont look now but the Fins are 10-6 over their last 16 games...... and could be 12-4 if not for a few missed FG............... chew on that for a while

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