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Why not consider playing a couple of younger players?

Yesterday I shared with you the news Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman doesn't see Michael Egnew getting involved in the offense much this year and the reasons the coach gave for that.


It's bad news when a third-round draft pick playing a position that needs upgrade has been basically eliminated from playing this year. It's not a problem if a veteran ahead of him is playing great. It's fine if the rookie is simply caught in a numbers game.

But not playing based on his slow start while the guys playing are having a slow month?

Where does that make room for improvement? How does that keep the players playing from feeling entitled or too comfortable? Most importantly, where does that give Miami the opportunity to find out what talent is on the roster?

And that leads me down a road that eventually the Dolphins will travel. That leads me to thinking about the future. This year, you see, is on the brink of being over.

The Dolphins are 4-6 and have lost three consecutive games. And now comes the killer portion of the schedule. The next three weeks the Dolphins face three consecutive games against teams with winning records for the first time this season. (Also for the only time this season).

And we're not just talking about good teams. After Miami plays 6-4 Seattle on Sunday the team will welcome New England the following week and travel to San Francisco after that. The Patriots and 49'ers are Super Bowl contenders.

Unless the Dolphins find immediate answers to the issues they have been unable to solve the past several weeks, this team is going to find itself at 4-9 within the month. That's not a prediction. That is a statement of fact. The Dolphins must find their absent running game, must find a way to straighten out a suddenly leaking secondary, must get more consistent play and fewer mistakes at quarterback, and have to win battles along the offensive line or this is going to get ugly.

So think of what I'm advocating as desperate times calling for desperate measures. Sort of.

I, for one, am thinking this rebuilding season needs to get back to, well, rebuilding. The Dolphins have youngsters on the bench that may not be quite ready to play but could be the future for the team nonetheless.

Well, it's time to see what the future promises. Rishard Matthews finally got in a game last week and didn't seem overmatched.

“I thought he looked like he belonged out there," coach Joe Philbin said. "He did some good things. Hopefully, he can continue to develop. He earned the opportunity to play in the game. Some of these guys, you’ve watched them in practice and you see them make more catches, more plays, play faster and he deserved to be in the game and didn’t look out of place."

Great. Play him more.

Look, Jabar Gaffney is a better wide receiver right now. But at 32 years old next month and on a one-year contract that expires after this season, he's not going to be around next year and everyone knows that. Matthews will come to camp with the team.

So why not maximize the rookie's experience now, during a season that really isn't headed toward the playoffs anyway? You know, kind of like the Dolphins are doing with Ryan Tannehill.

Let's face it, Tannehill is in a slump because he cannot get the offense in the end zone lately. Maybe Matt Moore would do better. But the thought of a switch hasn't crossed anyone's mind (mine included) because Tannehill is the future and needs all the experience he can get now.

It's short-term pain for long-term gain.

Well, why not apply that to Matthews over Gaffney?

And while we're at it, why not apply that to Egnew over the veterans ahead of him who, by the way, are not exactly lighting it up lately and in Charles Clay's case haven't lit it up yet in over a season and a half?

Maybe Egnew doesn't have it. Maybe he was a reach or a bust. But isn't it better to find that out now than next year after the draft and free agency?

There's also the case of Lamar Miller. Perhaps I am biased because the University of Miami is my school. But the kid was dynamic in high school. He was dynamic in college. And I have seen hints that he can be dynamic in the NFL.

But he simply isn't getting many carries.

"We’re not getting a whole lot of snaps in the game," Sherman said, explaining why Miller doesn't get many chances. "If we were getting 65-70 snaps, which I envisioned -- actually I envisioned 75-to-78 snaps -- then I think there’s more snaps to be got. But when you’re not functioning like we’re not functioning, it’s hard to take a Reggie [Bush] out or a guy that has experience, whether it’s Daniel Thomas out of the game.

"I really like Miller. I think he works hard at it. I think he’s going to be a very good player. I’m excited when he gets in the game. I have no problem when he is in the game. It’s just only one of those guys can play at a time usually."

Timeout. Look, Bush is unsigned. I've told you time and again his chances of returning next year didn't look great at the start of the season. Then he got off to a fast start and that gave me pause. But he's come back to the pack and hasn't really electrified anyone to the point he must be re-signed.

He's been benched twice this year for fumbling -- once against the Jets, once against Tennesee. The foreshadowing here is obvious.

Well, why not give Miller more of a chance to show you if, indeed, he can help cure the ailing running game or at least give hope for the future?

Of course, the Dolphins don't plan anything such as I'm advocating. Philbin was asked this week if he planned any lineup changes in the midst of a three-game losing skid.

"Nothing really specific at this point," he responded.


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I agree with you Armando,nothing to lose and a lot to gain by trying some of the younger talent.

It's hard to think of playing the un-tried against teams like Seattle, SF and NE but other than being embarassed, what has Miami got to lose? Get the youngsters some playing time.

agree bush to small everydown back play miller
fasano hasnt done squat try egnew
hartline bess good for 7 yard passes
incognito whiffing on too many blocks try samuda
misi off to good start lately dont think so but trusnick and spittler not
were in trouble thanks steve and jeff u bums at least i was there in ob for undefeated team thank u jr and shoes love u

the problem is we cant run the ball and tannehill throws the ball in 1.5 seconds even the deep balls.

andy, posting and not knowing is the most stupid thing you can do. Hartline is averaging 15 yard per reception and Bess is at 12.5 per reception, where did you get this 7 yards per. 15 and 12.5 is pretty good, special when you consider that Hartline has 53 receptions and Bess 48 after 10 games. They are on track for 80 receptions each. What are you talking about.

Oh and Misi is the best of the LB's rushing the passer.

Mando, I just didn't buy the Sherman's explanation regarding lack of reps yesterday. He's a TE not a 3rd string QB waiting his turn. Not getting off his blocks? What about STs? That would get him some exposure to the speed of the game.

Sorry but this smells like another Ireland failure.

From what you read Egnew and Miller can not pass block, so their lack of skills effect other young players, such as Tannehill. I do not want him to be smacked around even more just because a 3rd RB should learn something.
Replacing Gaffney is an easy solution, but this is already the youngest team in the NFL. So there are not many older players to replace.


Everything you have indicated sounds rational. However the problem has to do with what I have been indicating about the Dolphins receivers. None including the backups seem able to create separation. Egnew who is athletic was said to be a huge liability in schemes that require him to block. This is what happens when teams start to lose. Everyone becomes the HC and director of personnel. The cause of all this happened during the Parcells' regime when they drafted guys like Turner, White etc....those draft positions were critical in acquiring some speed that can get open deeper than eight or nine yards. The Dolphins do not have anyone and that includes a guy like Bess who is getting covered within his range of short passes. Teams are taking away what the Dolphins do well; RUN WITH BUSH AND PASS SHORT. THEY GIVE UP THE DEEP BALL BECAUSE THE DOLPHINS CAN NOT CONNECT. SMART FOOTBALL TO GIVE A TEAM THE OPPORTUNITY AT A HUGE WEAKNESS. What scares me is the guy who chose Michael Egnew, Ireland can not really indentify talent at the skill positions out of college and that is the direction the Dolphins will be going to get much needed talent at the CB and the reciever positions including TE. Ireland has to shut up and listen to others when recruiting skill position players.

I think once they are out of it officially then you are right, however that other team that played pretty good for about 6 or 7 weeks in a row may show up again,and that team looked like it could play with anyone. This is why the 3 game losing streak is so frustrating, back to the point however Rishard Mathews should play some because he looks like he has some wheels and they should never run Bess deep, he just doesn't have that kind of speed but Hartline and Mathews do.Now I do like miller as well no harm it playing him some especially if you could get him and bush on the field at the same time, they have to try something different the O sucks right now, and Egnew must really suck if he can't get on the field at all!!!

Philbin is in way over his head.

Mando, I'll disagree with one part of your analysis. I agree Matthews should play ahead of Gaffney. I disagree Egnew should play ahead of Clay. Like you said, Gaffney is at the end, he won't be back next year (if he is that spells doom once again for Miami WRs). But Clay is only in his third year (or is it 2nd). He's still young, and needs experience. He might not be the answer, but he has growth still, and needs to develop. Doesn't sound like Egnew has anything. I haven't seen him, so I don't know, but from what the Coaches are saying, he's not there, he's a practice squad player pretty much. So they DO know what they have with him (not much). Which is why we'll need to look to the Draft once again for a TE (one of those holes the GM couldn't plug in 5 years and counting). But Clay has some potential, and I don't think it should be wasted on a possible bust.

"I think once they are out of it officially then you are right, however that other team that played pretty good for about 6 or 7 weeks in a row may show up again,and that team looked like it could play with anyone."

You mean the team that lost all the games to teams with losing records? You are dreaming.

I agree to an extent with Egnew. He seems to have his issues with blocking which is understandable since he didnt have to in college, he was more of a stand up TE/WR. IF they are running two TE formations or splitting the TE out then yeah give the kid a shot. Once they are mathmatically eliminated whats it going to hurt to start evaluating players that are going to be on the roster next year?

promichael, there's something called growth and improvement in player, even a 3rd round draft choice. Dennis Pitta is a 4th round draft choice of the Ravens. During his rookie season he caught 1 pass, his second season he caught 38, this season he's on pace for 60. Sometimes it takes time for a player to develop.

ireland sux.

2 watt, you're a know nothing.

Thank you for your indepth evaluation 2 watt

Mando, great point!

The 2 things that bothered me most about this team is what we are currently seeing and thats trotting out the same vets week after week. Maybe it was premature on my part but after losing to Tennessee and Buffalo its clear the year is over. The second this that bothers me and what is CAPTAIN OBVIOUS is the lack of weapons for Tannehill is hurting him big time.

1. The vets - Just as Mando pointed out why keep putting Gaffney out there. He hasn't done a thing and about 90% sure barring an "acorn" moment won't be back. Give Mathews and Marlon Moore those plays and reps. Lamar Miller needs to not just get more touches but should get the start. Daniel Thomas is terrible with his 3 yards per carry and Reggie won't be back. What seemed like a crowded position with great depth has ended up being Tony Sparano micro-managing at the position.

2. Tannehill's regression - I'm not posting this for argument's sake or to convince the naysayers, haters or people who just see it differently but for a guy who's confidence and star was rising has faded to a dull light. I don't blame Tannehill but the front office and staff have failed him in year 1. Hartline had a fluke of a game vs AZ. Bess was making plays and Reggie had a great game vs Oakland. The problem is none are consistently that good. Hartline is better suited for a #2 or #3 spot but surely not a #1. Bess is not a starter period. I love him out of the slot but nothing more. Some guys just find a niche like Bess but shouldn't be asked to do more because it's not fair. Luck was provided with playmaking rookies who have shined at times along with very good vets in Reggie Wayne and Donnie Avery who once had a bright future before a knee injury. RG3 had WRs brought in Garcon, Morgan to go with a competent running game and Russell Wilson has a great running game to go with Sidney Rice who has his moments still, Golden Tate (so-so) and Braylon who has a good couple plays a game.

What does Tannehill have? Ireland gets the QB but fails to put him in a position to grow and gain confidence.

If they dont play them when the team is mathematically eliminated then that is just plain stupid so we will have to live with the reasons given(excuses)until then.At 4-9 that is probably the point of no return.

ireland is a wannabe GM. his failure as a talent evaluator is clearly evident. our cupboards are bare.

To continue by not playing Egnew they are admitting he was a draft bust not worthy of the spot they took him in.Everyone has to realize that this has become more of a business than a sport once the players and coaches move from college to the NFL and the teams are run like corporations.you think they would admit they made a boo boo drafting Egnew but they dont they make excuses.

I agree with some of the other posters. Many of the college seam threat TE's ar4e nothing more than bigger slower wr's that are mismatch in coverage for lb's. Plus many of these types havent been asked to block in college.

Thing is, when many make it to the nfl level, not only are they asked to become nfl level blockers. They need time in the weight room to get stronger, need to add about 10-15 lbs without losing thier speed, and need to learn a playbook like anything they've ever seen in college.

Yes, when these guys come out they ave the nfl calibre speed to b e seam threats. But to be nfl calibre TE's there's a whole lot more that goes into than just having the speed to succeed. Its only just the beginning to being a finished product and many of these guys arent coming out of college finished products.

Its no surprise many of the TE breeds dont fully see the playing field until thier 2nd season.

mike = p brain.

Mike says:

promichael, there's something called growth and improvement in player, even a 3rd round draft choice. Dennis Pitta is a 4th round draft choice of the Ravens. During his rookie season he caught 1 pass, his second season he caught 38, this season he's on pace for 60. Sometimes it takes time for a player to develop.
Mike, there is something called talent that allows a team not to put a player on the field. Players like Wallace, Turner, White and others that were not given much opportunity because of what they have shown in training camp and practice just did not warrant the time. The issue is most likely with the lack of talent evaluation skills of the GM Ireland.

Makes sense to play the young guys. Though don't want to get Tannehill killed if blocking is what is holding them back (seems to be the case for Egnew/Miller). Matthews played just fine when he got in there.

I do also agree with giving Clay a bigger role. He hasn't gotten it done, but niether has Fasano. Clay at least can get open and miss the ball. Fasano doesn't get open and still misses the ball.

Side note, anyone see the SF game last night? Not looking forward to that matchup if they are playing like that!

It really dosent matter who starts. It is our O line that stinks right now. Instead of protecting the pocket if they were a lot more aggressive and extended the pocket by having the tackles throw the ends off their route and force them to go wider, that opens up passing and running lanes. Result is our running game is back, less tipped balls and Tannehill will have better vision of the field which is an absolute must in the WCO.

Well, while talking playing these young offensive players, lets start Matt Moore with them. So if they get Matt Moore killed we dont lose our 8th overall pick investment in Ryan Tannehill.

Moore's not the future anyway. He can be our human crash dummy while playing these younger guys.

u play 2 win the game.

I agree with Miller & Matthews but not Egnew. If the coaches wanted to cut him before the season but was only saved because of his draft status I think he would be overmatched now. Why Daniel Thomas gets more carries than Miller is beyond me? Every time Thomas runs into a pile of tacklers he always ends up facing backwards towards his own end zone. If Ireland has an ounce of ability he drafts Tyler Eifort next April...

i'm sure the vets are all 4 being lab rats for the remainder of the season.

turd, watch that knucklehead thomas run the wrong way and score 2 4 the other team.

titans did what again.?

While I agree with Armando in principal, there is a significant portion of the fan base that would see such a move as "conceding the season" and have a melt down. It is already beyond the ability of some to understand why starting Tannehill is so important over a back up. A great deal of fans have zero capability and even less willingness to pay forward into the future. It's all about "win now or fire everyone AGAIN"... So, great idea in principal Armando, but not in Miami, not after the last 14 years of hell.

Yesterday's Gone says:

Well, while talking playing these young offensive players, lets start Matt Moore with them. So if they get Matt Moore killed we dont lose our 8th overall pick investment in Ryan Tannehill.
Well I must admit to a good laugh over your suggestion. It's so true that there is humor. However if Ireland has final say in all of the skill positions needed nothing will matter. The Dolphins will be on course for another number one selection.

"From what you read Egnew and Miller can not pass block,

Not sure why people are pretending they were drafted to block. Both were drafted to be change of pace home run hitters. Tanny is too valuable to risk getting killed by another rookie that misses a block.

If fasano is doing bad ask why? I dont see the guy getting a lot of targets and we all know hes a good blocker with pretty decent hands

Id still rather have taken Earl Thomas instead of Orick and Misi.... We need to move Odrick back to dt, his natural position.

Id like to see us draft CB , S or LB in the early rounds. Then wr and olineman there on.

I think wr are too easy to groom and too easy to find in later rounds to pass up skill positions in the 1st round to take a chance on a wr. A shutdown corner could always contribute,even if teams stop throwing his way.

"What does Tannehill have? Ireland gets the QB but fails to put him in a position to grow and gain confidence.


I dont get it. Did people expect more from a rookie qb with 19 college starts? To be honest,not too many rookies of recently have shined for more than a year or two. They seem to either do good on their rookie year and bomb the next or vica versa. Growing pains...and game tape

3 game losing streak.
1 o td in 9.5 q's...1...
= loss.

lol. the 9'ers crushed the bears,
what will they do 2 irelands pathetic roster.?.


I agree with what you said but the overall stats isn't what bothers me it's more just the lack of confidence building parts around him.

2 watt = dumbsh*it

truth hurts now stix u head in u rectum.

We have been rebuilding since 1999! I think this team needs to be dismantled and sold off. Sell everything. The stadium ( some high school team would make better use of it). The players. The coaching staff ( I use that term loosely)and with the left over dolar go to McDonalds! If any business , busines owner or manager took over 13 years to continuosly geet it wrong they would be run out of town and be a laughing stock of the industry. Oh yeah, the Dolphins are the laughing stock of the NFL. Mando -- to hell with rebuilding.

type-o dolar is dollar

truth is your not even a fan you peice of sh*t

3 on o
3 on d
3 on st's
who dey?
every1 else blows chunks and suxx...
ireland sux.


dem fax jax.
now stick it.

phinfan, why would you even bother arguing with someone who is obviously mentally challenged?

When I see the name I picture a large walrus type figure, in a dark basement with hostess stains on an overstretched wifebeater...

Probably yelling to his mom for his reaching stick as we speak...



dolfans who go to games = morons.

homers = crying whining babies.
fax jax.

Nothing to lose?? You risk further losing the locker room. Do you think its a coincidence the fins started playing without any passion after bush got benched? Bush is a team leader and the team quit on the coach after his benching. If you start playing all your young players now, before you are mathimatically eliminated from the playoffs it sends a terrible message to the team. You risk losing out for the rest of the season, which doesnt look good on ones resume.

9:33 = lol.....

Not so sure they are losing out. Completely possibly, and yeah I will give you likely.

With that said Seattle still has to travel east, hasn't been as good on the road, and is also starting a rookie QB. So that could go either way, imo.

After watching the game last night though SF is very very scary and Alex Smith might be out of a job.

And I am sorry to say this but its obvious the fins have NO HEART. They need to get better leaders on this team. The only guy I saw balling on thursay was reshad jones. He was taking his game to a new level and showing an edge. HE WAS COMPETEING. THese other guys look like they were laying down going through the motions. O yea not to mention Cam Wake..he is always balling. Sean Smith get some heart man. You have skills but you are so menatlly weak.

Morale around this place seems to be @ an all time low....

The beatings will continue until morale improves....

If what I saw from Aldon Smith last night is consistant, they better play Matt Moore vs SF.

Listen, son, you can scramble, you were a WR. Don't just stand there and take those shots. Does nobody any good.

Jake Long..what happened to him? He's starting to remind me of Tony Boseli. If he keeps it up he'll be playing right tackle for someone next year. Shawn Merriman lit him up??? Are you kiddng me? Ireland you smug midget start drafting guys that compete and care. Start drafting athletes from the SEC. You draft all these big 10 and 12 guys who dont translate to the nfl. Whens the last time we drafted a guy from LSU or Alabama? Those guys are champions who compete and know how to win.

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