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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.

Me?

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.

Comments

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We should consider playing a younger Offensive Coordinator...or at least a different one.

Slam,
That is exactly the reason for benching. Philbin has made it know that he will rebuild through the draft. i.e. rookies. He will fill holes through FA. But having "Leaders" that are not playing with heart and not helping the team will be gone soon. Starting younger players makes sense if there is no production from your seasoned vets. Losing the locker room will not happen, it will make the rest self analyze their performance and step up or else they will be replaced. Philbin has already demonstrated he is a no nonsense guy and the team knows that they get paid to play football. Not only Phin fans watch the games but also other teams, coaches and GM. By being a rebel will only destroy your chances at free agency in the future. Look at T.O., Ochocinco and others.

This team continues to baffle me. I agree they should give guys like Matthews, Miller and Egnew more playing time. I doubt we'll see much of a drop-off with the way the veterans on offense have been playing. It seems that most other teams around the league are doing that so I don't know why it's so hard for the Dolphins. It's like they draft these guys and then they are afraid to start them...WTF?!?!

Griese did it. Bradshaw did it. And they are both HOFers now. No shame in running for your life if the OL can't protect you.

Despite his lack of experience in this type of offense Matt Moore would have done better to this point because of his NFL experience and familiarity with the players. If you remember his drive in the Jets game where he hit Fasano on the side of the endzone it was a nice throw on his part. He was able to connect with guys in a way that Tannehill, despite his familiarity with the offense, was not able to do.
I understand the importance of drafting a quarterback who can lead the team to championships and Super Bowl wins but I don't understand the urgency placed on getting Tannehill in the game when there is a quarterback on the sidelines who is more than capable of leading this team to victories. I could easily see this team being 6-4 instead of 4-6 and still in the playoff hunt. Yeah, it's great to draft a quarterback in the top ten who you think is the future of the team but it doesn't mean he needs to start immediately and forgoe a winning season because of his limited experience.
The difference with Moore being in the game is the other teams would not be able to put 8 in the box against Miami and dare them to pass because Moore is a much better quarterback at this time. Eventually Tannehill may surpass Moore and become the better quarterback but that is not the case right now.
Where Miller is concerned my understanding is he is having a difficult time learning the playbook. I don't know how true that is but what I've seen of him in interviews he has done it does not appear that he is the brightest bulb on the tree.
In any case it's apparent that the coaching staff has decided to go with what they've got and ride the season out. Philbin said it's all about execution which is probably 80% of it but it's obvious that Incognito and Jerry can't execute their blocks, Long is struggling (maybe because of Richie) and Martin is too raw. Pouncey seems to be holding his own as he was the only player who could block a Buffalo lineman without a double team.
Finally, I have once again posted my Ultimate Miami Dolphins Draft for 2013 on my site:

http://www.professorlousnfldraftsite.com/professor-lou-s-ultimate-miami-dolphins-2013-draft/

The team needs playmakers on offense. Bush is probably going to be allowed to walk so I have picked a replacment for him and for Thomas, as well. I went pure speed at the receiver position and speed rusher on the d-line. p

moore = 9-1.

The more we see of this Coaching staff down the Road, the more we'll better not understand them.

Opti,

Its not about being a rebel. You kinda took it to the extreme. Its about human nature and people not putting maximum effort forth. It happens all the time in teh workplace. When morale is low people dont work at their best.


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.

Posted by: Slam | November 20, 2012 at 10:12 AM
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I completely agree. The team as a whole, is just going thru the motions. I know this is a bold statement but I believe the team is laying down on Philbin.

I have read (Lombardi?) what he said about other teams figured out Sherman's offense. That might be partially true but that doesn't explain the lack of execution. And I'm talking about both sides of the ball. Football is a team game but you still have to beat the man in front of you. And that's not happening.

It's the O-line. They cannot pass protect. They allow frequent free runners to the blind side and constant pressure on the QB. They cannot run block. Jake Long was blown up by an aging, second string linebacker on a sweep Thursday night. Not out maneuvered: BLOWN UP.

SF is a Super Bowl contender because they have one of the best O-lines in the NFL. The protection the Pats give Brady has been consistently good or outstanding for 10 years. He wins no matter who lines up at WR, or how mediocre the defense might be.

This stuff ain't rocket science.

Cocoa....

Were not beating the man in front of us...because we CAN't for the most point...we have the INFERIOR man on our side of the ball...

Its painfully obvious to me now....it began crstalyzing after the RAMS game...this team is DEEPLY devoid of talent....

and that lies on ONE MAN'S shoulders IMO.....and its not the HC....


This team had supported Matt Moore last year and they voted him the team MVP. Moore may have struggled learning the offense earlier in the season and throughout camp but, like they always said, he plays better than he practices.
If you view it from another perspective the team may be looking at it from an offensive point of view and thinking that Tannehill wasn't the right choice out of the gate and wanted Moore to start instead since they knew what they had with him. After all he lead them to 6 wins in the last 9 games of the season last year.
The players said they supported Tannehill and said he was impressive and that's a good thing but that's the political aspect of being a team. They need to stick together and show support for their qb. However, they may also be thinking that, if Moore had been in there, he probably could have gotten them a couple more wins that Tannehill wasn't able to get them.
Think about it. Tannehill has played ok for a rookie qb with 19 college starts under his belt but the games that Miami has won were mostly due to some other unit of the team, whether it be st's or defense, getting the job done.
Tannehill has been the liability in the offense the last three games because of his inability to execute the offense and complete passes that would get the defense to play more honest. Moore's experience as an NFL quarterback and a starter would have made quite a bit of difference in this team's ability to move the ball and score. I'm not saying Moore wouldn't have taken his lumps this year with the o-line playing like it has but he got hit a lot last year and he never let it bother him.

Tester,

They cant run block either. This oline is terrible. Pouncey is the only guy worth keeping. Martin may be better with some strength but the other 3 gotta go.

Miami is just 26th in the league in scoring and 29th in yards, prompting coaches to examine and explain what is going wrong.
= rt + sherman = no clue

kris, it ain't no imo,
it is fax jax,
irecorn suxx.

Younger players need to be evaluated in real game situation. OTA, Training camp is not really a measuring platform. You practice against the same players but when exposed to other player we look terrible. I would hate to see next season wasted with bad offseason decisions. Lets see what the young ones have in them so we can evaluate and improve.

Kris, I agree with the fact and it's undeniable....we need more/better talent. But to lose and to lose in the manner I saw to the Titans? And then to the Bills? I see a team that isn't giving anywhere close to 100%

BTW, I never bought in to the 'Ireland ain't so bad' comments when the team looked halfway decent a few games ago. People have selective memory sometimes but I don't.

Yea sounds like a great idea. Lets throw our young players in against seattle and san frans defense and get our rookie qb killed.

Ross..you think fans are going to come to the stadium to see that hot garbage? I didnt even want to watch it on tv after the first quarter. The lack of passion and effort was troubling.

Cocoa...

I never bought in to those puppy love Ireland comments either....

remember when everybody was mad @ the fan because he TOLD Ireland to "fire himself"....all because we were 2-2 I believe...lol....

If that same fan...said the made the same statement on Sunday....he will probably get thrown a ticker tape parade....

How about we stop the Matt Moore talk.. should've could've would've... Matt Moore got beat out in the preseason and in 6 more games he wont be here any longer.. Stop talking about Moore starting and where we could have been and start talking about the future.
If youre not a Jeff Ireland fan thats ok, I give the man credit for the past two years that he has had full control. Did they do a good job getting another receiver in after the Marshall trade? No, I really feel that Phlbin and Co was waiting for Moore to step up or Garrard but was forced to put Tannehill in due to Garrards injury and Matt Moore plain and simple getting beat out by the rookie.
Tannehill has had a rough patch, it will pass. You have to give the kid his credit along with the bad. How many of you would be talking smack about him if he held out any longer. He signed his contract with the stipulation in it that the team can waive his guaranteed money if hes not starting his 4th year. That means two things, one the rookie is ready to step up, play, and do whatever it takes to make the team better.. leader 2. it means that if Tannehill is a draft bust then they dont have to pay him his 4th year.. a kudo for Jeff Ireland..

And now to the only optimism I've had for the past decade plus the DRAFT:

1. Miami stinks and maybe just maybe they can squeak out a win vs Seatle. But at this point I just want to see maturation from the QB position and hopefully like Armando said some young guys LAMAR MILLER!

Possible targets and weaknesses this team has which could be drafted at 10.

1. Luke Joeckel Left Tackle, Texas A&M - Ok I know what most are thinking we have Jake Long and why let him go just to replace him and it's a wasted draft pick. Simple Long is going to cost a fortune and looks like Tony Boselli more and more every week. Elite to finished in a 2 year span. Joeckel is young, cheap and ding, ding, ding knows Shermans system of course.

2. Manti Te'o, Middle LB, Notre Dame - The position dictates he won't go top 5 but Kueckly went #9 to Carolina last year so 10 is just right for Te'o. He is a natural leader and that's something this defense does not have. Te'o is also great in coverage something this defense also doesn't have. Dansby needs to be cut, period. He makes too much and too little production and NO leadership.

3. Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama - He is the #3 ranked consensus player on most boards and is supposedly the rare OG that can justify a top 10 pick. As bad as Miami's offensive line in is I wouldn't blink if they took him.

4. Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee - He is a playmaker at the college level that Tannehill and Miami desperately need. The only question to me is the knee injury from 2011. I see AJ Green but think Yatil Green.

5. Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama - He is the #1 rated CB by most and this very well be Miami's biggest need and thats's say alot since WRs are so average.

Thoughts?

I suspect you will see changes once the Dolphins drop from playoff consideration. To make those kind of changes now will, A. piss off some veterans like Bush and Fasano whose playing time will be affected, and B. piss off other players who would feel the coaching staff is conceding the season.

Andy,
I say go after Mike Wallace for the #1 receiver position and if Te'o is there when were up then get this kid. Ive watched him play and he is a beast.
I say they do a true evaluation on Long and decide whether to tag him and trade him to get another 1st round pick along with one of the 2nds or 3rds to draft Joeckle..

Yes I see our vets have played out standing. Recently Long has been beat by almost anybody he goes up against. Mario Williams started the game opposite Long and after shattering his confidence moved over and switched sides. Merriman came in and he too out played Long. Martin being a rookie has played as a rookie at times but is getting better with every game. Sitting on the bench will not make you better. All you need is one dominating series to make their morale change and that has not happened with the vets in the last three games.

Yeah Kris, a lot of people had the forget and forgive thing going. And it was mostly because of Tannehill looking good at that time. I myself had some hope that Ireland would make decisions based on what & who Philbin wanted. But that's probably a fantasy.

Matty,

NOBODY is going to give us a #1 for Jake Long...DOnt forget we will get a 3rd round compensatory pick for him if he walks during free agency.

Hmmmm time to look at the draft for improvement
Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh , we still have ireland.
Dont resign bush.....cut dansby expensive contract.
Franchise Long and give it one more yr to see if he can bounce back.
Sign Greg Jennings(best route runner in nfl)
Trade for Greg Olsen
Draft best avail CB/LB/S.

mattyNC,

I'd love Te'o in Miami. A real defensive leader and that's something that's been missing since Zach Thomas IMO.

As far as Mike Wallace. I think he will just get franchised again. I don't see Pittsburgh allowing him to go anywhere. With the 2 picks in round 2 and 2 in round 3 lucky for Miami the WR class is deep this year but I think Justin Hunter is going to be a game changer from day 1. With his size and speed and body control it all translate no matter the level of competition.

You could surround Tanneheill with an all star team and he'd still stink.

Slam,
A player and pick combo is what i was saying.. not a straight up one for Long..
If he were to walk, I dont see that happening, but if he were to and we picked up another 3rd it wouldnt be a bad deal either.

I also like the MLB if he falls to them. They need a leader and someone to build around on defense. Best spot to start. Wouldn't have to cut Dansby, could move him back outside.

Clue, they will be drafting linemen because they have been terrible and Jake Long is mia. Might not be until 2nd/3rd round though.

Also Andy, since they do have lots of needs would they be better off trading back if the chance came about. They will probably fall somewhere in the 7-15 range which is usually where there is some movement.

The team conceded the season last April when they traded Da Beast without getting an existing playmaker in return.

Agreed,
Dansby was more comfortable in the OLB position.. thats his bread and butter

Matty,

Personally, id let him walk and switch Martin over to his natural left tackle position. Pick up that extra 3rd and use it to move up in the draft. Im with you though regarding the LB from ND. Id love for the phins to find a leader of the defense. Someone who can blitz effectively and cover a te. Dansby is anohter over paid under acheiver. And he has the testies to say he is the best LB in the NFL. Talk about delusional. Id also love for the fins to draft a tall lean athletic fast tight end. Someone who can get down the field.

CommonSense,

Dansby makes 6.5 M for next season and 9.5 M the following in base salary. I would cut him. He isn't a consistent player and will be 31 next year.

Clearly, we are a much better team with Moore then with Tannehill.

Andy,
If we cut him how much dead money are we still paying him and not getting anything from him?

Switch Tanny to WR to see if he's any good there or trade him before he becomes worthless like Henne.

AndyNJ,

Can't disagree. He gets paid a lot and doesn't show up as much as you would like for that money. He was better as an OLB though. Idk, depends on how the cap is looking, wouldn't cry if he was a cap casulty. Though if they have space/cap space for him, I'd keep him for 1 more (9.5 is absurd).

NJPHIN clearly this blog is more enjoyable without you here. Go chant for Tebow...

Common,

Why keep Dansby? When is the last time the guy made an impact play. He doesnt get sacks or pressure on blitzs, he drops interceptions, cant cover backs or tight ends, isnt a leader, doesnt force fumbles and doesnt get big hits. Anything I'm missing?

Slam,
WHen he was with Arizona he was a good OLB.... IF we would be paying him dead money to play for someone else why not switch him to OLB ?

Slam,

1) Dead money, if thats an issue
2) He does make plays and isn't bad in coverage.
3) MLB isn't his natural position
4) He is playing injured

Not saying the guy is an all star, but he is definately above average. Not a spot the dolphins have to rebuild right now. Why create another hole if you don't have to?

mattyNC,

I read it before his cap hit is something like 2.5 M. I want him cut whether Miami signs, drafts or whatever at the position. He is not very good. He's terrible in coverage and a wrap and drag tackler. He doesn't stand guys up or plug holes. He stinks. Another terrible FA signing.

Going to lunch, good discussion though...

Arizona was along time ago and if he was good they wouldnt have let him go. Who cares about dead money? Dead money is for the owner to worry about. If you think he makes plays tell me the last time he had an interception, sack or forced fumble? Everyone is playing injured right now. He just came out and said it to make an excuse for his sorry play.

Tebow sucks.

The dead money counts against the cap.. thats the worry... other wise i could careless

Why not play Moore?

Which is why we couldnt go after anyone big this past off season.. 6 million in cap space and alot of it was due to dead money.. paying players to play for other teams and counting against the salary cap

Lets see NHPHIN... Hes gone in 6 games.. he wont be back next year.. why take away Tannehills experience ?

dead money counts against the cap but we have alot coming off the books. Long, Sean Smith, Starks, Fasano and bush. We also have alot of picks that will play for cheap.

Slam,
between Marshall, Carey, and Bell thats 11.45 million that counted against the 2012 cap...

The funny (but also sad) part is listening to Mike Sherman talk about offense as though he were an expert. He was fired in disgrace from Green Bay. He was laughed out of Texas A&M. 32 NFL teams had a chance to sign Mike Sherman last year, and 31 laughed and said, "Uhhh, no thanks." Guess which team was stupid enough to sign Sherman?

Thats true, we will have about 50 million in cap space but you have to think about the people they will try to resign like Hartline, maybe Long, Starks, and Fasano..

Tannehill is the future huh! Most franchise rookie QB's look good even when they are losing. Tannehill does not! I can't believe you, the team and the fan's put their hope in a QB that wasn't good enough to start and converted to wide receiver. Had a less than stellar college career, not to mention he didn't play in many games to make a good enough assessment. He may get better and may be serviceable, but lets face it. Franchise QB's make you feel good even when they are losing. Matt Moore would have gotten this team at least 3 to 7 more points a game, which also means the team would be 7-3 or 6-4!

Shermie,
Sherman can bring in talent... He is the one that set up Texas A&M for their success this year.. Who do you think signed Johnny "Football"?
Philbin brought him in for reason

Matty,

We dont need to go after anyone big in free agency. Most free agents are busts with their new teams. Go ask philly how that works out. Draft stars and sign free agent role players is the receipe for success.

sherman = henning.
favre could even make kippy brown look like a decent oc.
lol

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