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Dolphins irrelevant so it's time to change gears

Allow me to share parts of the NFL schedule this weekend:

New York Giants at Atlanta.

Green Bay at Chicago.

Denver at Baltimore.

Indianapolis at Houston.

Pittsburgh at Dallas.

San Francisco at New England.

And against this backdrop of interesting and profoundly meaningful matchups, the Dolphins and the Jaguars will play at Sun Life Stadium. The visiting team is 2-11. The home team is 5-8.

The rest of the NFL may not notice.

This is what it means to be irrelevant in December. It is the fourth time in as many years the Dolphins will be playing games in December that frankly do not matter.

And you wonder why I advocate making the most of this time of year by moving on to younger players?

Michael Egnew should play this game. I already shared with you yesterday that Miami's tight ends are sub par. So why protect them by continuing to play them?

Move on to Egnew to see if he has any promise, any spark, any ability to solve the problem that the guys who have been playing ahead of him -- Anthony Fasano and Charles Clay -- have not solved despite ample opportunity.

I'm not saying Egnew's the answer. But unless you play the kid, all he represents is a question.

Last week, finally, the club turned to Lamar Miller ahead of Daniel Thomas. But as with so many things this team does, the switch was done in incomplete fashion. Miller got only three carries while being in the game three quarters. Thomas got two carries when he finally got playing time in the fourth quarter.

If you're going to sit somebody, sit him. If you're going to work somebody, work him! Do not split the difference.

On Sunday, the Dolphins may not have receiver Davone Bess. He's battling a back problem. Even if he takes a shot and can play, he's not going to be 100 percent.


Give a healthy Rishard Matthews those snaps instead. Or play Marlon Moore 40 snaps.

Look, Bess is a solid guy. He's a good slot receiver. But he's not the answer at No. 2. He would dominate in a three-wide set (with either three WRs or two WRs and a threatening TE) as the slot. But he's instead had to play out of position much of this year.

And what did that pressing of Bess to a higher service accomplish? The Dolphins are 5-8. Their offense is still terrible. Everyone knows the team needs wide receiver help.

In other words, it didn't mask anything.

Time to think outside the box. Time to push the eaglets out of the nest. Maybe they'll fall to earth with a thud. But, who knows, maybe they'll soar.

Letting them stay safe in the nest without making any attempt at all?

It's a great way to stay irrelevant in December. 



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You are right of course. We can be relevant if we take Brady out of the playoffs. Not a dirty play but just a real good hit. Or Gronkowski.

Or if we win out, we could squeek in with a miracle. That would be nice. Or we could stay with the same stats and draft in the 6-8 range.

All is then relevant.

I think the 3 quarters of play by Miller was more a test of his blocking and offensive scheme comprehension vice his running ability and n umber of touchs. As I understand it...this was the reason he was not active. If true, the 3 quarters of work was priceless and shows the coaching staff is doing exactly what you are suggesting.

Definitely, Armando, we are not going anywhere this Year. Play anybody that is ready to Play, rookies, 2nd year men. However, don't play anybody that's not ready to play, they might fukkkup and hurt themselves or others. This is not HS Football.

Problem is you don't just start playing back ups in the NFL. You play to win the game especially since your pretty much playing for your own jobs too much on the line to start giving Egnew 30 snaps a game

100%right, oscar + dbergan!

Armando do you honestly believe the coaches aren't planning for next year???
players cannot play until they are somewhere near playing. How do we know that some of these players are even in the right frame of mind to play in the NFL. I totally agree we need to try some of these players to help understand who we really need to keep/release and replace next season. Just remember it is always harder to bring NEW YOUNG players in when a team is struggling, you may get away with 1 or 2 but i doubt many more will help THEM let alone the team. I'm also pretty sure I have read somewhere that we already have the 2nd youngest roster in the NFL, which tells me we are already playing a lot of youngster.

Totally Agree, Let's give Vernon the start as well

Even if we did win out and by some ACT OF GOD make the playoffs?? What are we gonna do with it??? We dont have even close to the talent or coaching to win. We really have to have a serious evaluation of our entire front office... theres been no change in that bunch since this mess began with parcells!!!

They need to mix in all the young guys and see what we get.

Ireland has to go..

This team thru in the towel on this season last April when they dumped Da Beast and got no playmakers in return. The entire season was irrelevant. And next year doesnt look any better. 4th and then 5th consecutive losing season are in the cards. Very sad.

If egnew is not ready don't embarrass the kid

In what decade do we get a franchise QB? No light at the end of the tunnel for the Fins.

And how about giving Pat Devlin a shot

So last year they get rid of Marshall and now they may get rid of Bush? WTF? Is the plan to just cut payroll and stink forever?

Bush is the entire offense. There is NOTHING ELSE! The other RB's are horrible along with the QB and all the receivers.

Your point is flawed. If you get paid for reporting on the Dolphins, could you please report without such an opinionated view on coaching decisions? They get paid to make those and I’m sure they have a plan to replace these irrelevant players. Maybe they were evaluating Miller’s ability to block? Maybe the rookie TE isn’t ready to play in the NFL. WE got it… the team is irrelevant & so is this story.

I'm on board with giving rookies and reserves more playing time.

I've seen enough of Thomas to see he's not the future -give Miller more game time. I'd like to see more of Matthews -and Binns, if ready. Move Odrick to tackle, Vernon to DE and let's see if they can handle the right side. If Egnew's not ready for a whole game, make some plays for him and let's see what he can do. And get Bush and Miller in the passing game, roll out Tannehill and run behind the left side to check out Martin.

Great Article. Now, let's hope they listen to you. The past Dolphins coaches did not, and that is why they don't coach here anymore. Because they can't develop if they are not playing.

3 picks for D Thomas was MORONIC!

A 1st rd pick for TanneBust was MORONIC!

A 3rd rd pick for Egnew was MORONIC!

Pat Devlin would not work out in this situation. It is time to tell if the younger players can develope a chemistry with the starting QB and fellow team mates. Can holes be opened up for a different style runner, can a two WR, two TE and one back formation work with the less experienced players. All this need to be looked at with the starting QB.

Matthews has been on the field quite a bit the last 2 weeks. Unfortunately Tannehill never throws his way unless it's the last drive of the game. Maybe Tannehill only looks for Hartline or Bess. Maybe Matthews can only get open on the final drives when the game is already won & defenses are playing softer coverages.

Odrick to tackle, Vernon to DE and let's see if they can handle the right side.

I'd like to see that. Vernon was pretty good at QB pressure at UM, and Odrick can play guard. Our D line is in great shape and we do not need too much help. LB and secondary is our weakness. Don't need to waste DP and FA acquisations if we already have the undiscovered talent.

Armando, what's that you didn't understand? The coaches are telling us that Egnew isn't capable!!! They're keeping him only to help just a little bit Ireland image. Forget Egnew, he'll be out of football by the end of next training camp. Let's focus on the real issue which is the talent evaluator. This team is simply lacking talents compared to the competition.

Why does everyone think keeping Ireland has to be some kind of conspiracy?

Sherman/Philbin have no reason to protect the guy. If he is a liability to them then they would want him out as well.

if egnew hasn't earned playing time with the scrubs we have at TE then that says all you need to know.

you just don't throw guys in to "see what you have" on sundays. that's done during the preseason and during practice.

i say the herald gives "terrance in circulation" a shot at his own phins blog to see what we've got!

If Tannehill, sits and Moore or Devlin plays, the offense will become as potent as the patriots offense guaranteed! TANNEHILL IS THE RESTRAINT ON OFFENSE!

The best players should play. If Egnew can't beat out average players like Clay and Fasano - then what's the point?

As far as Lamar Miller - he's actually behind some players. I can see your point there since it is unlikely we spend money on Bush since he can't seem to beat linebackers on play passes anymore ...

Ireland has been around with coaches that have "Pound the Ball" systems. He needs to understand the WCO and how that works in order to get the players needed to fill our needs. round peg in square holes will not get us to the next level. Holmes on Homes would not be a good judge on Iron chef. You cannot give a plumber, Carpenters tools and expect him to excel in the project. Same goes on the defensive side of the ball. having shutdown CB are great but what happens if our nickle and dime packages are weak. Players have to compliment each others strenghts and fill in for their weaknesses. Hope Ireland is smart enough to get the right players for the system the HC, OC and DC needs.

Armando if they are not good enough to play don't play them. I agree with miller, Matthews, and Vernon getting snaps, but stop with this obsession over Egnew he's a complete bust and won't be with the team next year.

Can we all agree that the irrelevance of the Dolphins is not the fault of Jeff Ireland?

Agreed for now, because most of the current roster was on board before Philbin came in. Next year will definately be his fault if he cannot bring in the quality players Philbin needs to make his system work.

No, but I do believe we have a consensus that you need a life. or at the least some new lines...

Yeah Opti, I think Philbin/Sherman have worked alright with Ireland so far. I'd expect them to be involved in selecting their players. Change in philosphy = change in roster. Should be a lot of stuff going on in the offseason. I expect a lot of new faces on the team next year.

The best players should play. If Egnew can't beat out average players like Clay and Fasano - then what's the point?

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | December 14, 2012 at 09:07 AM


Try telling that to Tom Brady....


Tony Romo


Kurt Warner


CJ Spiller






Steve Young

All guys who have gotten they're chance due to injury...and they are just a few....I am sure there are lesser know...like Brown (RB from the eagles)....who will disagree with you WHOLE-HEARTEDLY....

You don't know who the BEST players is until you see them under fire....this is another SPORANO-ism (not playing rookies/unknown talent)....and we see where that landed him....

It almost feels like Tony Sparano is still coaching the team 5-8 and most likely headed to 7-9 with a win sunday against the Jags, another win next sunday against the Bills and then a massacare at New England again when the team quits after pre-game warmups.

Joe Rose said this morning that I like to block people from my twitter.

Damn Straight I do.

Jacksonville Hennes: 31
Miami Philbins: 20

Henne: 25 for 40 for 360, 4 TDs, 1 INT
Tanne: 21 for 38 for 215, 1 TD, 1 INT

Bush or Thomas: 1 rushing TD
Carpenter: 2 FGs

Mando, apparently Egnew is so stupid he could get someone hurt.

Egnew is a perfect example of the coaching staff and scouting staff not being on the same page. Secondly Egnew was incompetently scouted.

As an aside if the coaching staff wants to get guys on the field why don't they find a role for players. If Egnew is a blocking liability spread him out as a wideout. At least in the red zone. But I don't think that's his problem, it's that he has zero instincts and is horrible on special teams.

I'm not an Ireland fan at all and the fact that Egnew never saw the field when a 3rd rounder should see the field either shows he has no handle on what the team needs to become a winner year in year out. Or he's got some multi year rebuilding plan going where red shirting a high pick is considered palatable while the process is under way.

If Carpenters two field goals are made we are 7-6 and in a long shot playoff hunt ( see lowly dawgjets) . The the new regime get its sea legs. You don't learn from success's which should bode well. Your a writer not a leader , gm or coach. Thanks for keeping the pot stirred yoda.

If it 3rd and 8...EVERY KNOWS your PASSING....

so put Egnew in and see if he can beat a LB and catch a pass.....

Mando, If we lose the next 2 games then Ireland will get the axe. That's why I think we play to win these games. BTW if Egnew can't show he blongs in practice what makes you think he'll do anything in a game? I doubt he gets any snaps

Difference is Kris, those players you mentioned were sitting behind some established productive players (some even hall of famers). However, Egnew is sitting behind who? Fasano and Clay who will never get a sniff for a pro bowl. That's why I say yes to Miller (because he's sitting behind a good player in Bush) but no to Egnew (because he can't outshine players who obviously can't carry the water in Fasano and Clay).

Good point Mark....caliber of player in starting line up should be a VALID concern.....

My main concern is that coaches love ROUTINES...and FAMILIARITY.....so Fasono is a teachers pet....the best of the WORST...is he worth any wins...is he a game changer...is he EVEN CONSISTENT.....

If the answer to ALL of those questions is NO......

and we have ZERO shot @ the playoff....the guess what....imo.....the pre-season started early....so lets see what theses kids can do...

Philbin only giving guys playing time based on practice merit shows his serious about what he tells the players. He won't put a player on the field unless they earn it.

Mando, the coaches see who is playing best every week in practice. He's not getting paid to evaluate new players while trying to win a game. Why make the games even harder for tannehill than they are already. You know, with just two truly viable WRs in the whole building why bring oin guys who dont know their assignments, cant block well, and will probably just cause TOs. Would you write another glowing review of tannehill and our team if they lost to Jax like that. for some reason...i dont think so.

I don't comment much, but I felt compelled this time. I get aggravated when statement are made that simply are not true. You state that the last 4 Decembers have not mattered. I agree with you that last year and this year, the final month was/is somewhat meaningless. But, in 2009 and 2010, the Fins were in the thick of the wild card hunt. In fact, in both of those seasons, there were 7-6, only to lost their final 3 and fall out of it. But, to say that those Decembers were meaningless is just inaccurate.

Good article. We need to be seeing Egnew, Matthews, and Miller. Lots of them. And more of Vernon. Miller's already shown he can play. The ONLY justification for not playing Egnew now is if you think he's going to get Tannehil killed, which is pretty dubious because 9 times out of 10 he should be out in pattern on a pss play. Anything else by this coaching adminsitation is bad judgment and infuriating to the football-smart, loyal fans. Reshad Jones, for example, would not be half the player he is today if he did not get playing time early and time to make his mistakes and learn. DUH.

Hard to tell why the Dolphins drafted Egnew. He has no blocking skills and despite his speed, LBs cover him easily -although he makes catches when thrown to. He shows good athleticism and soft hands for a big guy, also.

He does not seem like a Philbin guy but it's hard to believe this was Ireland's decision alone. Still, he's a tantalizing prospect for an offense short on playmakers.

I've seen more then enough of Tannehill. He's just horrible. Either Moore is the answer or draft another QB until they get it right.

Thank God I wont have to watch the Dolphins this weekend. FOX should have a game,,,any game would be OK along as its not the Dolphin. Irrelevent? By all means.


One of your best articles EVER....I mean that. I agree completely in all that you've said. Very well said.

Kris, I agree with you. Egnew time! Philbin it appears is very loyal to hi vets and this isn't the time for that. We need to know what we've got for next year. Starts NOW....


Look at his size, speed, and history. This guy is a threat who just needs to learn how to block. He definitely has more upside than hernandez if he ever gets there. Your TE doesnt need to take it to the house every time. Catching passes is what the seam threat's job is and he can do that part well.

Kris, agreed that a guy can get buried behind a vet just because he has the coach's trust. We see it in all walks of life, not just sports. However, I would think the coaches see how the team is just unable to attack the deep middle of the field and would think they would try anything to get that sorted out. I'm just not holding out any hope for Egnew, I've already written him off and I'm not upset about it. 3rd round picks are maybe players anyway. Miller - I've seen enough to think he can do soemthing worthwhile - he's jsut stuck behind some decent vets right now - same with Vernon.

Egnew stinks. What dont you understand?

naya: I know, I know. Would like to see him in some games, even if only in some spot plays called for him. We've given enough time for Fasano and Clay; let's see if Egnew can produce some excitement.

Why is Marlon Moore still on the team? The guy has hands of stone

I say 5-11, don't care who plays just lose.


You may have written Egnew off....but I haven't...and I hope Mr. Ross hasn't either....Ireland traded away a TOP 5 WR in Marshall....and if Ireland misses on BOTH his 3rd RD picks....then we basically gave AWAY A PRO-BOWLER FOR NOTHING....

and that doesn't sit well with me....and it shouldn't sit well with Mr.Ross either....or you Mark....

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