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'Everyone in the building' knows Dolphins need a burner

Rishard Matthews is going to have his playing time increase dramatically the rest of the season if things go according to plan. Earlier this week when the Dolphins cut Jabar Gaffney, they did so because they weren't thrilled with the veteran and because they have seen Matthews steadily improving in practice and deserving more playing time.

Gaffney was standing in the way of that playing time. So ...

Bye-bye.

That means the Dolphins have four wide receivers on the roster: Brian Hartline, Davone Bess, Rishard Matthews and Marlon Moore.

And that seems good to coach Joe Philbin.

"I like the guys that we have right now,” Philbin said.

Great. But Philbin is either stretching the truth or totally alone on this one because I am told "everyone in the building" at the Dolphins facility is aware the Dolphins need to add a dynamic speed receiver or two this offseason.

And that is what Miami fully intends to do somehow -- via the draft, free agency or kidnapping.

The Dolphins currently have what is commonly being termed as a red zone offense. That, by the way, is not a good thing.

A red zone offense is a unit that basically operates inside a 20- to 30-yard span of field throughout the entire field. In other words, the club doesn't have players that consistently threaten to go 70 yards for a score. The Dolphins offense doesn't have a receiver that scares the defense,

The Dolphins believe they need a receiver that a) forces the defense to game plan for that receiver and b) forces the secondary to back up because that receiver can blow the top off the defense.

Pittsburgh's Mike Wallace comes to mind.

I'm not saying the Dolphins will go after Wallace in free agency. I'm saying the team needs someone that does what Wallace is capable of doing.

Hartline, a good No. 2 wideout, is not that guy. Neither is Bess, although he's a good slot guy. Both are solid. Both have value. But both are complementary to a Wallace-type.

The ironic thing is the Dolphins have been in need of this kind of player for years. And they've been trying to some small degree to land this kind of player -- thus the drafting of Ted Ginn by Randy Mueller and Clyde Gates by Jeff Ireland.

But neither Patrick Turner nor Brandon Marshall nor several of the other wide receiver fixes the Dolphins tried to make aside from adding Ginn and Gates were flyers that made defenses respect the entire field rather than just worry about a 20 to 30 yard swath.

Ironic, isn't it? Fans have been begging for a speed receiver for a long time. But the Dolphins haven't really had a good one since Irving Fryar. That was the mid 1990s. (Hand it to Don Shula! He had Mark Duper and when Duper declined, he traded for Fryar. He also had a guy named Paul Warfield.)

But everyone not named Shula has missed on getting a bigtime deep threat.

Jimmy Johnson once famously said "separation is over-rated" by a wide receiver. The Dolphins went to big, physical but not really fast wide receivers such as Marshall and Oronde Gadsen. And even O.J. McDuffie, a possession receiver, led the team in catches.

Nothing wrong with that.

But today's game is not three-yards and a cloud of dust. It's not even 15-yards and a first down. Today's game is 49-yards over the top and touchdown!

The Dolphins apparently have come to the realization, from what I'm told. They need a productive burner on the outside.

They need to upgrade.  

Comments

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The first pick in the draft can fail and the last can succeed it all depends on the character of the person in question.
A general manager has to look at the complete picture the macro while a scout looks at the player being evaluated.The Dolphins have their lead scout in the general manager position.

Tucci every team in the NFL would like to draft a shutdown corner.The elite QB and the shutdown corner are the hardest two jobs to fill.

Since joining the Dolphins Ireland has used 14 draft choices on skill position players and not one of them has really panned out. YIKES!

Round 1, Pick 25 (25) 2009 draft

Vontae Davis

CB

5'11"

203

Illinois

Round 2, Pick 12 (44) (From Redskins)

Pat White

QB

6'0"

197

West Virginia

Round 2, Pick 29 (61) (From Colts)

Sean Smith

CB

6'4"

214

Utah

Round 3, Pick 23 (87)

Patrick Turner

WR

6'5"

223

Southern Cal

Round 4, Pick 8 (108) (From Raiders)

Brian Hartline

WR

6'2"

195

Ohio State

Round 5, Pick 25 (161)

John Nalbone

TE

6'4"

251

Monmouth (NJ)

Round 5, Pick 29 (165) (From Colts)

Chris Clemons

FS

6'0"

208

Clemson

Round 6, Pick 8 (181) (From Raiders)

Andrew Gardner

OT

6'7"

304

Georgia Tech

Round 7, Pick 5 (214) (From Browns)

J.D. Folsom

LB

6'3"

230

Weber State

Round 1, Pick 28 (28) (From Chargers)2010 draft

Jared Odrick

DT

6'5"

304

Penn State

Round 2, Pick 8 (40) (From Seahawks through Chargers)

Koa Misi

DE

6'3"

251

Utah

Round 3, Pick 9 (73)

John Jerry

OT

6'5"

328

Mississippi

Round 4, Pick 21 (119) (From Patriots through Cowboys)

A.J. Edds

LB

6'4"

246

Iowa

Round 5, Pick 14 (145) (From 49ers)

Nolan Carroll

CB

5'11"

204

Maryland

Round 5, Pick 32 (163) (From Rams through Saints, Eagles and Redskins)

Reshad Jones

SS

6'1"

214

Georgia

Round 7, Pick 5 (212) (From Chiefs)

Chris McCoy

DL

6'4"

244

Middle Tennessee State

Round 7, Pick 45 (252) (Compensatory selection)

Austin Spitler

LB

6'3"

234

Ohio State

1st: Mike Pouncey (C) Florida 2011

2nd: Daniel Thomas (RB) Kansas St

4th: Edmond Gates (WR) Ab Christian

6th: Charles Clay (FB) Tulsa

7th: Frank Kearse (DT) Alabama A&M

7th: Jimmy Wilson (DB) Montana

1.8 Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M 2012
2.10 Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
3.9 Olivier Vernon, DE, Miami
3.15 Michael Egnew, TE, Missouri
4.2 Lamar Miller, RB, Miami
5.20 Josh Kaddu, OLB, Oregon
6.13 B.J. Cunningham, WR, Michigan State
6.26 Jonte Green, DB, New Mexico State
7.8 Kheeston Randall, DT, Texas
7.20 Rishard Matthews, WR, Nevada

I'm sticking to what I've been saying since the Marino days (and it's quite a propos in today's NFL), we need a dynamic offense, to compete with other offenses in the league that work like machines. Brady is still King in our division, but let's be honest, how much longer does he really have (2-3 years)? He might play after that, but at the same caliber? I'm not so sure. If we can get one of those offenses that can score at will, with multiple weapons and a QB that's consistent, we'll be able to compete with any team. Add to that an above-average defense, and you've got a winner. So that means we need a WR, TE, and true (Gronk, Vincent Jackson-like playmakers).

On defense, I'd spend most of the draft with DBs. That's been a problem for way too long, we need to fix that sooner rather than later. Maybe try to get another pass-rusher, but with all the other issues we have, I'm fine with trying out Vernon next Season, trying to get more playmakers in the Secondary, and then giving Tannehill offensive weapons.

But this Season CAN'T be over (if there's going to be anything to work with next Season). Tannehill NEEDS to get back on track. Start looking promising again. Sherman NEEDS to call better plays, opening up the offense as much as he can with what he has. The oline MUST stiffen. Run game MUST get better (Miller needs more chances if he's going to be the "Bush-like" back next year if we don't bring Bush back). Dline must get more push. The only part of the team I absolutely have zero faith or hope that they could improve is the secondary. They've always been horrible, they are horrible, and I don't think there's anything that can make them not horrible. They just don't have the talent to compete. Almost every one of them (minus Jones and to a lesser extent Smith) are backups or 3rd stringers, nothing more.

Funny that someone on here is calling Bess and Hartline a 4th or 5th WR on any other team. What world are you living in pal? Do 4th and 5th receivers go over 1,000 yards? Where did you make up this beauty?

If this guy knew anything about football he's take a look around the NFL and see what the 4th and 5th WRs look like on NFL teams. Try Patrick Turner. Anthony Armstrong. Those are 4th or 5th guys. Are you telling me Hartline and Bess are the same as those two guys? Nobody's saying that Bess nd Hartline should be number one receivers but let's not stretch the truth completely beyond reality. Teams would love to have a guy like Hartline on their team. He gives it 15o per cent every game. Not the most talented guy but you can count on the effort from this guy every week.

How the Dolphins play the remainder of this year has virtually zero bearing on next season.

You're trying to attach more importance to these games than they actually have.

DC,

Not sure if you're around or not. Most people on here want a 'shutdown' corner with the first pick in April. It's an oxymoron. I'm not even sure such a beast exists in the NFL any more. Teams are getting lit up week after week after week. Who are the 'shutdown' corners in the league these days? Revis? I'm hardpressed to come up with anyone else.

It's a passing league and the rules are geared towards the passing game. The WR has a huge advantage over the CB because of the change in rules. Morris Claiborne was supposed to be a 'shutdown' corner but I see Dallas getting lit up for 30+ points every week. Asomaghu same deal. Supposed to be a shutdown corner. How come Philly is giving up so many points evey single week? QBs are picking these defence apart every single week. When does this change? When the QB doesn't get the time to throw and that's why we MUST draft OLB/DE in the first round. Going CB or even WR is just going to mean our secondary will continue to get beat up. We'll be having this same conversation again next year. "How could they overestimate that shutdown corner they took in the first round? They picked the wrong guy". Not true. The problem is the strategy was wrong.

I just read this morning that Jabbar Gaffeny has been suspended by the league for two games. No idea why but my guess is it has something to do with substance abuse. Could this be part of the reason the Doplhins released him? BIG dissappointment in his time in Miami. What have you got on this one Armando?

Re: Gaffney. Who cares?

Marlon Moore should be starting at wideout. Devonne Bess belongs in the slot.

Craig for some of the reasons you posted and another post earlier,I think the dolphins should mostly pick offensive players that touch the ball with most of their early round picks.

Well at least Odinstank didnt polute the blg with his 3 to 6 am rants.

If Don Shula was still coaching in his PRIME YEARS he would be on the competition committe(if there still is one)and if the rules favor passing teams Mr. Shula wouldnt fight the rules.

Craig,

I'm not really concerned with the order in the Draft, I'm going to leave that to the GM/HC. I'm not much into personnel predictions anyway. I watch enough college to know top stars, but honestly I don't know everyone in every Conference worth drafting. Plus all the other variables that go into it, I just think making draft lists is pretty useless (other than like top 5 players at each position).

But to your point, I get it, improve your Secondary by getting more pressure on the QB. I agree, to a point. Even the best pressure teams give QBs chances. In today's NFL, the offenses are better than the defenses in many areas, and can pretty much dictate the game. Therefore, you need competent DBs. You can't expect the rush to come every down. CBs CAN'T let receivers just roam free around the field (like ours do). Safeties CAN'T just be run support (like ours are). Nickel DBs can't be liabilities (like ours are). You can have a ProBowl roster of pass rushers, and that secondary will still get exposed.

Like I said, I'm not against a pass rusher (if we draft anything other than DB, that's what I'd take) I just know we need LOTS of help in the secondary. And frankly I'm sick of being exposed game after game after game. Giving up big plays, losing close games in the final minutes, ruining what's otherwise a pretty good defense. I just can't stand watching them anymore. I got my QB, so I'm happy there (at least until he proves not to be the right guy). And now I want to fill another long-time hole in the secondary.

But it's Ireland's team, he'll do what he (and Philbin) think are best.

Dolphins have had their way for many years now with West Coast teams traveling to Miami. It may be coming to an end with Seattle solidly in the running for a playoff spot and fighting to stay there.

Don't see scenarios that favor Miami. Could get ugly if Dolphins play like they have the last 3 games.

I SAY GET RID OF BESS AND HARTLINE AND START OVER.

THEY ARE 3rd STRINGERS AT BEST ON MOST TEAMS.

I DON'T THINK WE NEED JUST SPEED.

WE NEED PLAYMAKERS.

3 PLAYMAKERS ON THE OUTSIDE.

SPEED DOESN't MEAN ANYTHING IF YOU CAN't SHAKE SOMEBODY OUT THIER SHOES.

OUR GUYS CATCH THE BALL AND GO DOWN.

I BEEN SAYING THIS FOR YEARS.

EVERYBODY WANTS A QB.

WRS MAKE QBS LOOK GOOD OR BAD.

A 80 YARD SCREEN FOR A TD IS A 5 YARD PASS FOR THE QB BUT HE GETS THE YARDS AND TD.

A BALL HITS A WR IN THE HANDS AND HE NOT ONLY DROPS IT BUT HITS IT IN THE AIR AND A CB GETS A I.N.T IT GOES AS AN INCOMPLETION AND NEGATIVE TOWARDS EVERYTHING FOR THE QB.

MY POINT IS YOU ALL BLAMED HENNE FOR SOMETHING HE HAD NO CONTROL OF.

FOR THE MOST PART QBS GET TO MUCH CREDIT AND BLAME

Tough game for the Phins
http://phinsnews.com/phins-news-picks/phins-news-week-10-17-picks/phins-news-week-12/

DC,

If you're still around:

If you think back earlier this year to when this team was getting a better pass rush, the secondary looked better. We had a lot of people talking about the good play of guys like Smith, Jones and Carroll and even Clemmons. Reason? They didn't looked as exposed. When you put pressure on the QB you force him to make mistakes. When Matt Ryan had five picks a week or two ago was it because he played an exceptional secondary? No. It was because the defence forced him to throw the ball when he didn't want to. Right now we can put whoever we want back there. Until we fix the pressure on the QB we're not going to fix the secondary. I'm not saying we have a quality secondary, I'm just saying it's being made to look worse than it is. Do you the fans in Dallas are saying, 'God our secondary is so much better because we added Carr and Claiborne'? No, they're saying 'more of the same'. and it's not. It's because the QB has lots of time to throw and is making them look bad. I laugh at guys saying, 'we don't need pass rush, we have Vernon'. Where is it written that you can only have so much pass rush? The Giants won Super Bowls because they could throw the kitchen sink at the QB. Put it another way....if we want to start competing with the Pats, are we best served to do that by added secondary help or pass rush? Secondary help won't stop Brady from having all day to throw. Not saying we couldn't use help at safety but adding a top CB in the draft doesn't solve the biggest problem, which is lasck of pressures on the QB.

I just love the enthusiasm and passion of these college kids!

Actually, I could care less and am bored to tears by college football but we're supposed to say crap like that, right?

Craig M,

Your still drinking the Kool Aid and thinking you know more about the NFL than anyone else. Bess and Hartline would not start on the leading offensive teams in the NFL and most insiders know this. They do not create separation something that most insiders with knowledge are aware of. Jaws recently said the same thing. Many of us have recognized this for a couple of years now. So face the reality Craig M and stop trying to put others down with your delusional opinions.

Short and to the point my Fin fans, nothing ABSOLUTELY nothing will get better OR change until the idiot Ireland is out. You and I can rant on here all season and off season and give our scenarios but it is worthless. We need an expert GM, not this guy. Until Ireland is gone, mediocrity will continue. The identity stamp that Ireland has given this team is his seal. That needs to be removed in order for a different, new identity to come about. Our moron owner is right up there as well but we are unfortunately stuck with that. I believe Philbin is doing the best he can in his first year, but unless we get a new GM, it's same old Dolphins until he's gone.

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