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Dolphins tight end position needs urgent upgrade

While many people understand the Dolphins will be addressing the wide receiver position this offseason and I reported last month that everyone in the building knows the team needs a burner, I believe the Dolphins better address an equally important position for the sake of their offense and young quarterback.

The Dolphins need to urgently upgrade at tight end.

Currently, the team has five tight ends on the roster. Only two -- Anthony Fasano and Charles Clay -- have generated any statistics for the team. And while I don't think their statistics are impressive or satisfactory in any regard, Dolphins coach Joe Philbin begs to differ.

“Our touchdown production has been very good," Philbin said of the scoring production by Miami's tight ends. "I think Anthony (Fasano) has played well (and) made a great play in the game the other day. I think we’d like probably some more explosive plays out of that group. We’re starting to get some of them, but probably some more explosive (plays would be good).

"I think they’ve been good down in the red zone. We’ve gotten some touchdowns out of the group. I think, again, overall offensively and them, probably we’d love to see a little more production.”

Yes, coach finally got to the point after circling for a while. The Dolphins need more production out of their tight ends and (sorry coach) that includes touchdowns.


Fasano has 30 catches for 233 yards and has scored four touchdowns. Clay has 16 catches for 204 yards with two touchdowns. That's a combined 46 catches for 437 yards and six touchdowns.

That happens to be in many respects the worst of any tight end group in the AFC East.

At the top of that comparison are the New England tight ends, obviously. Let's stipulate they are basically in another league altogether. So much so, it's not even fair comparing them to the Dolphins. But for the record, Patriots tight ends have 94 catches for 1,193 yards and 14 touchdowns this season.

Yeah, that's better than Miami.

But the trouble is even the lowly Jets and Bills in many respects are getting more tight end production than Miami.

Bills tight ends have 45 catches for 554 yards and eight touchdowns this season. That's one less catch than Miami's duo but 117 more yards and two more touchdowns.

Jets tight ends have 60 combined catches for 671 yards and four touchdowns. That's 14 more catches, 234 more yards, while scoring two fewer TDs.

I look at these statistics and look at Miami's tight ends and wonder, where's all this very good TD production? It's third in a four-team division.

Despite the sobering statistics that is not truly the reason I say the Dolphins need better tight ends.

This is:

The Dolphins want to utilize a go-fast offense that snaps the ball maybe 72-78 times per game and wears out the opposing defense, basically sucking their will to compete out of them. To do this you have to stay on the field and move the chains. You have to convert first downs.

Unfortunately for the Dolphins, they don't do this nearly enough and poor tight end production in that area is one major reason. Fasano has converted 14 first downs this year. Clay has converted eight first downs this year. The total of 22 first downs by Miami's tight ends is horrible.

The Patriots tight ends have converted 64 first downs. New York tight ends have converted 37 first downs. Buffalo's tight ends have also converted 37 first downs. All are better than Miami.

And, in fact, if you look around the NFL there are 20 individual tight ends that have converted more first downs than Fasano and Clay combined.

That means the tight end position is not, on most occasions, an outlet for quarterback Ryan Tannehill to extend a drive. Miami's tight ends don't help keep the offense on the field often enough.

Now, you might argue that's Tannehill's fault. Obviously, he has to take ownership in some of that. The passing game is the passing game and everyone is responsible for doing their part.

But Miami's receivers don't have this problem. They produce first downs. So I put it mostly on the tight ends.

Look, both Fasano and Clay fill a role. But if the Dolphins want to help Tannehill and make the offense more efficient and play as intended, the tight end position needs upgrading.





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nice analysis mando.

Jared Cook or Tyler Eifert pleeease!

Great Post!!


Fasano SUCKS!!

He's Another One that is Gone After This Season!! I would Prefer The Fins Draft a TE in The 2nd. Then Sign A FA!! (But That way Mando Is Broken Down The Position Both Might Be The Best Route!! FA & Draft)

First 5 Picks

1 Te'o
2 WR
2 CB
3 TE
3 FS

With Wallace as A FA!! And Letting Hartline Walk!!

I would Even Try and Sign! J.Finley!! (J.Lane's Step Brother!!)

That Would Be A TOTAL REVAMP!! Of The WR & TE Position!! Wallace & A Rookie For The Wr's!! And J.Finley & A Rookie For The TE's!! IF T-Hill Can't SIZZLE With That!! Expect Complete and Total REPLACEMENT!! EVEN ROSS SELL THE TEAM!! Til Then!! Can We Please Stop The Craziness!!!

Now That Would Also Mean We Keep Our 2 Biggest FA's!! Long & S.Smith!! To Not CREATE MORE HOLES!! And Possibly Keeping Starks Also!! ( I Think Signing Starks To a 4YR Deal And Letting Soliai Walk Next Season!! Would Be The Smart Thing To Do!)

* But The Way Mando Has

I guarantee you that shockey, heap, and a couple of other free agents or released guys out there that are way better than what we got.

Thanks Fin, What sucks is they call us with the results on Christmas Eve. Maybe it is a sign that it will be good news. But will be praying for it, no doubt.

We should work out a game to meet. If all goes well with my wife we will be up for going to a game, preferably fly to Miami, but we are open to anything.

Posted by: Poizen | December 12, 2012 at 04:04 PM

Poizen and I were two of the biggest Henne advocates-lol. He's a real poster, a Very Good One in my opinion.

Poizen, I just found out my Nephews Wife has a very agressive cancer. We'll include your Wife in our Prayers ;)


I missed where you announced it here, but Congrats!!!!

It's a Beautiful Thing. Embrace your Blessings!

You manipulate information to push your point across, Armando, like many here do.Bad Boys! Better, say the Truth, Fasano is a good blocker and only average as a receiver, Clay is undersized for a TE but does get very open on occassions. Yes.

its about time the media starts to shed a little light on the fact that the Fasano experiment has been a miserable failure. Get that bum off our team!

You can practically forget any expensive FA both in O or D. Philbin, I think, does not believe in them and Ireland I think has sobered up after the Dansby and Marshall signings(IF they were his signings) and is more concerned in staying within the cap, as he should do IMO.

I wouldn't mind Fasano and Clay so much if we had a True Seam threat. Fasano and Clay would make good 2nd and 3rd TE's. Then can the rest of them. Cut the fat and quit wasting all those roster spots.

We need a dynamic, athletic, pass catching TE on our roster and it doesn't matter who is QB-ing. Sure it would help Tannehill and his development. It would help anybody QB-ing our Dolphins.

Having the worst statistical group of TE's in the AFC East will make any QB struggle. Especially when you add in the WR problem.

Sorry Armando, but this has been pretty obvious to most of us for quite awhile now. And in defense of Philbin's comments, what did you expect him to say? Come on Armando, you know better. Philbin wasn't going to throw Fasano and Clay under the bus in the media. After reading your attacks on Philbin for having benched Reggie Bush, I expect you would have been the first to "Pile On" had he done so.


I think Dennis pitta will be available.

Thats exactly why Ireland drafted Egnew, odin. He is a triple-jump high level competitor(he competed with Tannehill at it in College) and so he IS very athletic. However, he seems to be lost in the schemes and Philbin just doesn't trust him in a Game yet.

Pitta's contract will be up.

But I don't believe Ozzie lets him reach the open market.

IF we are going to acquire another TE, it will be thru the Draft and , of course, that will spell doom for either Clay or Egnew(Fasano is very experienced and therefore safe).

Who is Egnew? What #?

Yep, there's some kind of problem with Egnew.

How often do you have a 3rd round pick that doesn't even get activated his rookie season?

Sure Ireland had 2 - 3rd round picks and Vernon has played well. But that doesn't mean tie one up with a Major Project.

After taking Tannehill as a project with the 8th overall pick, Ireland really needed to make the 2nd and 3rd round picks count! At the very least they should be active and ready to offer depth and special teams help.

Apparently Egnew can't even handle that. It's impossible to try and judge Egnew in any way at this point, but it's not a good indicator. Irelands behind the Que Ball with this pick.

How's Debo, odin?

Posted by: oscar canosa | December 13, 2012 at 01:53 AM

Debo's doing GREAT! Thanks for asking.

My Favorite Honey wanted a puppy so I got her one for Christmas. I got her a female puppy from the same breeder/same Mother and Father as Debo's. It looks just like a Female Debo. They look like the Boopsie Twins(well.....actually not the Boopsie Twins. These Dogs look a little too vicious for that. They aren't vicious, but they look it).

Anywhoo..........Debo has a new little Female Playmate, so he's doing FINE-LOL!

Sean Smith=10 yard cushion, horrible in Zone
Drafting Jake Long=no playoffs
Mike Sherman=run on 2nd down
Ireland=drafting another offensive lineman with 2013, 1st round pick
Daniel Thomas=fumble, concussion, 2 yard gain
Hartline=hasn't caught a end zone fade in 4 years and 4tds in 4 years, lol

In Truth, very few Teams will be drafting high priced FAs as it is much cheaper now to Draft good Players. But you have to be sure those you draft work out, like Justin Blackmon, Kendall Wright did this year.

hiring high priced FAs, meant to say.

Fasano would be an excellent number 2 TE. Our new starter should be a threat in the passing game and a decent blocker. I mean the kind of threat that when we line up in the I Form the TE could basically be a third receiver and the defense won't know until the ball is snapped. Someone they have to game plan for on defense.

I have the feeling that Henne will play a pretty average game against the Dolphins.

You know in his heart of hearts, Henne wants to stick one to the Phins(I would if I were in his shoes. Wouldn't you?). Unfortunately for Henne, his "Best" will be in the average to upper average range.

Unfortunately for us, it will probably be good enough for the Jags to hang 24 on us.

That means it probably comes down to whether or not we can figure out how to score points. The cold hard reality of the situation is that the Jags could hang a loss on us simply because we seem incapable of scoring TWO TD's in the same game.

On the brighter side, I hope Cameron Wake sacks Henne 6 times.

What we need are playmakers like Wake. Guys that can changed the game around. The whole team just needs a sprinking of stardom. Focusing on the tight ends. I think they haven't been targeted enough because the tight ends are often involved in blocking schemes and aren't free. Fasano made a heck of a catch on Sunday. And Clay has had some good games.
Basically, sign a couple of blitzers and shut down cb. Sign a burner at tight end. Draft guys that spread the field on offense and defense. I would also love to see an Adrian Peterson type back.

Yes. If you have the talent, you could go double TEs for most of the Game like NE did when Gronkowski was healthy, Darkoak. That, is a bigger headache to defend.

2 or 3 solid drafts and we may have what you are looking for klndry. We have missed on so many picks that our depth isn't there and will take time to develop.

On Kapernick's 60 yard TD run out of the read option, Trusnik(in for an injured Misi)blew it.

Trusnik had a great pre-season and looked like he might finally be getting it. But after the way he played the block and Kapernick on that TD, I would just waive the guy instead of just wasting another roster spot.

Odrick crashed down on the tackle forcing the read(I think-lol). So Trusnick had contain. He tried to olay the blocker......**TOO THE OUTSIDE**.......and jumped inside! Duuuuuuuuuuuuuh-the guy blocking didn't even try to resist Trusnick. He just let him take himself out of the play. It was like a Pop Warner mistake!

It doesn't matter now, but I needed too vent. It was embarrassing to watch as a Phin Fan!

Many times I'm amazed at LV oddmakers. What did they call for us before the Season started, 7.5 Wins? Now, we beat the Jags and Buffalo and lose at NE as expected and they were right on the $. My respects.

I agree Oscar 2 great TE's is better than one and provides depth in case of injury. Lots of great TE's coming out of college these days, very talented, big and fast The game keeps changing that's what's fun about it. The need for a solid pass catcher at TE isn't new though. But we've been filling holes for a decade and not had the luxury to grab some TE's that have been there.

I was also enthused about Trusnik in pre-Season, odin, but I saw him miss some plays then and realized he's just too slow for the Big Game, just too slow.

I don't care what Philbin says about Free Agency to the media. If there is legit WR that fits available, we'll be signing him.

WR's drafted in the 1st round take time to develop and their risky. So with that in mind, and all the other holes that need filling, I believe Philbin/Ireland will be right there trying to sign their guy.

This in turn would also give us a little more latitude later when using up those first 5 picks in the draft.

So Philbin can talk all the philosophy crap he wants to the press. But when push comes to shove you watch, he'll be active in the free agency pool.

I was also enthused about Trusnik in pre-Season, odin, but I saw him miss some plays then and realized he's just too slow for the Big Game, just too slow.

Posted by: oscar canosa | December 13, 2012 at 02:41 AM


Trusnick seems better suited for the 3-4. But even then, seemed like nothing special.

He's to slow, ESPECIALLY in the 4-3. He looked/looks lost.

Oh my god THE DOLPHINS HAVE ARMON BINNS, this was the best move all year. He will be a future Big threat- Im from Cincy and know what he can do. This unlike all the others will stick. A pleasant surprise Give him a chance he will create flash perfect fit for Miami turn him loose Philbin. i think cincy highly under rated him because of their internal politics of lockdown personnel Wr corps and they have some decent ones. Put it this way steal he much much better than Marlon Mmoore you will be surprised with Binns. Philbin should know after first practice. One more thing Binns is a normal rec in RED ZONE wont drop passes. He is young and a physical specim that can SLAM Dunk FINALLY the phins make a normal move.

Bro, I hope your right, Denny. Not because we are going anywhere big this Season, but it will ease the pressure off Tannehill so we can see what he can do with an above average receiver.

That's it. GN.

Bengals are retarded for waiving Armon BINNS HE HAD 4 catches agaiinst the dolphins in October. he is 100 times better than Marlon Moore. I think Dolphans are gonna enjoy having this is the young bigger version of Jabbar Gaffney with Brains. just let him play and ykou will see in one gamme Yards after catch. You will laugh but Binns might be the best rec miammi has JUST WATCH!!!

With that being the draft for the Dolphins out of these 5 picks at least 3 should be on offense including the TOP CHOICE.Ireland hasnt drafted well up to now they need another opinion a talent evaluator to work with him in this offseason.The offensive players that he has drafted using Philbins nomenclature, havent been as productive as he hoped when they were drafted.Tannehill will be allowed a free pass, but he has only been able to win ONE game coming from behind in the fourth quarter against Seattle, and that was after an interception in the end-zone, and a reversal by the refs on the play because of roughing the QB.If Armando wrote an article like this one on Tannehill, year to date that stat would be included(only ONE come from behind win in the 4th Quarter, and it was aided by a penalty.

I like what I've seen from Tannehill so far. He just needs to start checking down to his safety valve more. The guy tries to make too many big plays! I don't get it Maybe he can learn firsthand on Sunday from me!

This Philbin guy jus kills me. A "LITTLE" more production out of our T.E's and Offense?? SERIOUSLY! This Offense is AWFUL!! PERIOD!! Let's call it what it is, Cowher or Gruden would...

Never fear! We have Egnew to save the day. Great pickup for the Marshall trade. His one upside is he hasn't dropped a ball yet.

I think we need a QB urgently, 8 passing tds in 13 games, this is the problem with the offense, just an average Qb and we would have at least 2 more wins

Nice article, Armando!

However, exposure of the lack of production from the tight ends is not exactly a revelation to Miami fans, who've been screaming about it for years. It's more revealing that Joe Philbin would seemingly downplay their lack of contribution in the passing game.

The concept of having a tight end playing "security blanket" to the rookie QB is just about as old as the passing game in the NFL. How could Philbin and Sherman have overlooked or failed to priortize this for Tannehill?

They seem overly concerned about blocking abilities of the tight ends in their endeavors to establish a passing offense. And if they were relying on Bush and Thomas to provide a reliable ground game, pounding up the middle, they were only fooling themselves. We learned last year that Reggie doesn't work well without a downfield passing game.

If they can't develop Egnew to provide some relief next year, the Dolphins will STILL have "one more hole" to fill, never mind catching up with the Pats in tight end development and utilization. This offense doesn't look like anything envisioned by fans when Philbin's hiring was announced. That's sad.

Those of you that want Pita as a FA would have been the same ones that would have wanted him cut after his first year. Pita was a 4th round draft choice who had 1 catch his first year in Baltimore. That's one catch, (1), and was inactive for most of the season. One CATCH. I could hear it now, he's a bust, what a bum, get him out of town. Players do develop and get better.

Christ's Sake, I'm talking about YOU.




ARMANDO ,SAID.......... (( URGENT UPGRADE ))......................


THE CELLAR.............

The Dolphins are NOT going to sign a big name FA WR this offseason, so forget Mile Wallace or Dwayne Bowe, maybe Greg Jennings drom Green Bay, at the right price.






Can we find some common ground here and agree that the Dolphins problems at tight end are not the fault of Jeff Ireland?

Ireland, you want to show the world you know what your are doing?

#1 WR
#2 CB
#2 TE
#3 T
#3 ILB
#4 CB
#5 RB

If that is the next Dolphins draft I think Ireland does a good job for this team. Regardless of Free Agency. I mean it, even if they sign Wallace or Bowe in Free Agency I still think this order in the draft addresses the real issues on this team.

Many of the current FA's should be allowed to alowed to go as they clearly don't deliver palyoff caliber football in Miami. Nice guys? Sure but Pro Bowlers? No way. Thanks fellas but Bye Bye...Long, Bush, Hartline, Smith...see ya!

Please Ireland, use the extra spending money this year. All of it! In Free Agency and the Draft to build depth in key skill positions and lets give this rookie QB a REAL CHANCE next year.

TE has not been a solution either and that is problem in a day and age where teams are using hybrid H backs and dominating physical TE's that can split out if needed to cause confusion and mismatches. This can, if recognized cover up any lack of dominance at WR. Many examples around the league.

#1 - LT
#2 - LG
#3 - RG
#4 - backup LT
#5 - backup LG
#6 - backup RG
#7 - WR
#8 - RT
#9 - TE

Odin, thanks for the kind words and prayers for my wife, It is greatly appreciated.

It is concerning we are not hearing of Egnew progress. guess what I wonder is... If we are not going anywhere this year, lets find a way to get him on the game roster, and throw him out there on passing downs. I mean, it cant really hurt at this point. We are going to need to sign a stud WR, there really is not a great option I can see at our draft spot. And WR does not seem to be deep this year. which is against the Philbin rule... ugh.

Aloco, if "smarter posts" is something you'd like to see more of on this blog then I'm afraid you'll have to stop posting here. You express yourself like a fourth-grader.

Hire Bill Polian!!

The same guy that has been there for 5 years is drafting players, Passed on countless WR to draft daniels, Drafted Egnew, Traded Marshall etc.
What makes you think anything will be different ?
Hers my prediction they over pay Long and we havehuge cap # stuck on a rapidly declining player for next 5 years. They over pay S Smith who is a decent #3 CB. Skills enough to keep but not enough to live up to his hype of himself. I bet hes given up 60-70 TDs in tenure with fins. DId you see the 6th rd pick on NE blanketing Andre Johnson. NE out drafts everyone. These guys cannot evaluate talent. Look at 1 year turn around in INdy. As long as Irealnd runs the show this team will stay 5-7 win team as they have been for 4 years

need a qb 1st.

Agreed. The TE position has to be addressed.

It's all in the game plan. Without a running game the TE has to help out the "O" line in pass protection because the receivers cannot get open and Tannehill has to hold on to the ball a little longer. Short and sweet, a lot of needs on the "O" and "D" needs to be addressed. Cap solution, Let Long and Dansby walk, Binns might or might not be the WR we are looking for.
With the cap space and draft picks we have, if Ireland cannot get Philbin the players he needs to successful, Then Ireland need to be replaced.

Not to be a broken record, But the Marshall argument is useless. He did not want to be here. He never plays well when he is unmotivated and unhappy. He was unhappy here and wanted out. Loved liing in Mimai but did not want to re-build. There was no chance of he being the "beast" in Miami. Letting him go was smart. Other moves, maybe not, but that one I can not complain about.

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