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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.  

Comments

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Mark,

Don't listen to these fools bro. Just be assured the right guy is making the decisions (Joe Philbin) and knows better than anyone on this board. Whatever anyone thinks, Tannehill is the starter, Moore the backup (because Philbin said so). Moore DID look great vs. Jets, but so would I have against a team that was falling apart in front of our very eyes. With the special teams and defense, Moore didn't need to do much to win.

Tannehill's been improving week to week (no matter what anyone, including Armando says). It's beyond stupid to ask if he's a franchise QB yet. Was Brady? Rodgers? Either Manning? Brees, in their first 6 games? No. Frankly, it takes a year or sometimes more to know what you have in a rookie QB, so the fact Tannehill isn't a franchise QB doesn't mean he's not going to be.

People have no patience (I know you know that Mark, speaking to the choir with you), and that's why Miami hasn't ever been able to be anything but mediocre last decade plus. It takes time to change a culture and put together a winning, elite team. It doesn't happen in 6 games. No matter WHAT we do this year, we'll be better next year with more pieces, and more comfort in the system.

But we have the right HC, who knows what it takes to win in this day and age of the NFL (unlike our last few HCs) and all we have to do is sit back and watch him work.

Don't waste your breath engaging those who are clueless would be my recommendation. Not worth it.

still not buying patience from regarding ireland.. he's had his time and we need someone more competent than him making decisions regarding cap, draft and especially free agency. i think we are an ok team right now but there isn't any depth and our schedule is pretty weak this year. coaching staff is doing ok with what it has but if the gm can't bring in studs, then we will be right where we were after we made the playoffs with pennington as our qb. you need great players to be consistent year in and year out and i'm not certain we have that yet. even dumb dumb says most of our receives are 5 & 6's.. well smarty you should know since you brought them in here!! i hope we continue to improve but unless the village idiot is gone, same old same old will apply!!

STOP MENTIONING SABAN IN ANY CONTEXT pertaining to the phins. HE DESERVES NO mention with the COWARDLY LYING CRAP HE PULLED.
SABAN can go spit !!!

Tipstercal, hate to tell you this Dawn Aponte manages the salary cap for the Dolphins. She is responsible for all contracts as well, and how to structure contracts to fit under the cap. Tell me what you would have done differently on free agency and the draft.

You are right Mando, I was wrong about Matt Moore at the start of last year, and I was wrong about Reshad Jones who has developed nicely this year after being horrible last year, there is something to finding the right coaching staff and developing players takes time.

Good post. Here's my knee jerk reaction. I don't really care that we're going to suffer some ups and downs. I just LOVE watching games on Sundays and not knowing what my team is going to do on every play, believing that they can actually drive the ball 90 yards down the field, and believing we can score touchdowns.

If we somehow finish 7-9 I don't really care. This is a LEGIT NFL offense run by a coach who has a pair and I LOVE it.

do not ever compare Bush to Barry Sanders. Sanders is arguably the best running back of all time. We are have finally found a coach that knows how to develop players and trust they will only get better. Tananhill will prove to be our future if he keeps developing. He has star written all over him.

Guys I'm not saying Moore should start over Tanhill. I said this year is all about developing Tanhill for next year.

But I did watch the game on TV and the offense looked smother with Moore running it. This takes nothing away from previous Tanhill games, but this Sunday I think Moore was the better QB. And personally would like the man to get the love he deserves.

But that takes you back to this year is all about developing Tanhill for next year and beyond. And yes Moore stunk it up in pre season, but I think Moore is one of those players that when the lights come on and the games count he plays better than he practices.

Plus the games Moore started in pre-season were not game planned so much. Give the man a plan and a mission and the boy is money. Proven time in and time out.

But yes we stay the course with Tan.

Go Dolphins!!

Rex does take our rejects- he immediately hired Spurano- Our offense was worst in the league with Spurano- now the Jets have the worst offense in the league. Spurano is Mr. Fist Pump after a field goal.

This is what the Miami fanbase is all about. Knee jerk reactions.

Remember 2008 and how most were convinced that Sparano was going to be a great head coach? That lasted what, one season?

I don't expect this season to be much different. If we make the playoffs or just barely miss them, everyone will be singing Philbin's praise. And if the 2013 season ends with a losing record, the calls for his ouster will follow.

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