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Losing season over, winning offseason must begin

 FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Reggie Bush sumed it up best: “We just didn’t make enough plays, that pretty much sums up our season.”

Indeed, the Dolphins are a team of players that don't make enough plays. The team lacks playmakers. And that, I write in my column today must be Job One for general manager Jeff Ireland this offseason. He needs to be aggressive. He needs to spend money. He needs to add stars to a team that doesn't have enough of them.

I know many of you believe the Dolphins will not be a big player in free agency this offseason because that hasn't been the case in recent years. That is not what I've been told the approach will be.

Look, the Dolphins need to add big names to win more games. They also need to add big names to fill the stands because the home attendance this year was the lowest since 1989. They need to add proven stars at wide receiver and cornerback because the NFL is a passing league and the Dolphins are not good enough throwing the ball or defending the pass.

On defending the pass, let me share something about Sean Smith. Another publication "reported" Sunday that Miami might use the franchise tag on Sean Smith. That is not accurate. The Dolphins have no intention of using the franchise tag on Smith.

Smith''s a contributor. He's solid against taller, bulkier wide receivers. But he is not elite and not consistent enough to merit the $10 million tag for corners. The Dolphins will have to think long and hard before they even offer Smith half that amount on an annual basis.

Miami needs playmakers and Smith has not been that the past four seasons.

Speaking of playmakers, I am extremely, extremely disappointed with tight end Michael Egnew's rookie season. And based on what I've seen, I find it hard to believe he will simply turn it completely around and become a star in the next couple of years.

He has given no clue of being capable of that so far.

So what have I seen to give me pause? Forget that Egnew was inactive for 14 of 16 games. Forget that. But he was active last week and this week and in this one when Anthony Fasano went out with a concussion, he was replaced by Jeron Mastrud.

No disrespect to Mastrud who is a solid blocker, but he's Miami's next best tight end in the season-finale? What does that say about Egnew? 

Remember, Egnew was active last week for the first time this season. And after playing a handful of inconsequential plays early in the game last week, Egnew earned fewer important snaps this week. Last week he played early in the game. This week he was thrown in as almost an afterthought.

That is not the kind of return the Dolphins need from a third-round pick, especially not late in the year when he's had plenty of time to "get it" and understand the offense and his role and, you know, actually make some plays.

I cannot tell you the future is bright for this kid. I simply haven't seen it.

So about that big push in the offseason, including making a splash in free agency? Add tight end to that list of positions where the Dolphins should search.

One more thing: The Dolphins will have the No. 12 overall selection in the first round of the NFL draft, according to the NFL.

Comments

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sean smith is barely starter quality. afraid to tackle. joke.

We better add RB to the list of needs because Lamar Miller showed his true color Today.

I reaize now nobody should be drafting from UM,the Payers there are extremely talented but not performing.

This was a miserable effort to end the Season. Now, we not only have to worry about Ross/Ireland but also about Philbin/Staff.

Adding "stars" does not fix the situation. Stupid and silly comment.

We added "stars" with Jimmy Johnson, Nick Saban and Bill Parcells. Get quality football players.

Remember when Mando said he would have traded two #1 picks for Vince Wilfork? HA HA HA...or when Taiwan Jones was the steal of the draft a few years back? Or that Braylon Edwards was an answer at receiver this year. lol.

Stop it Mando.

What Stars did we add with Jimmy Johnson Saban and Parcells?

The dolphins have been devoid of stars since Ricky Williams in 2000.

This guy Ireland is the man who passed on Dez Bryant, Gronk, Demaryius Thomas, for missi and Odrick. Look, there is no hope.

I don't trust Ross(who does). I don't trust Ireland either(like many also). Now, I am beginning to mistrust Philbin. How I can remain a serious Fan of this Team with my mentality, beats me.

Armando writes

"Indeed, the Dolphins are a team of players that don't make enough plays. The team lacks playmakers. And that, I write in my column today must be Job One for general manager Jeff Ireland this offseason. He needs to be aggressive. He needs to spend money. He needs to add stars to a team that doesn't have enough of them."

Armando must write this from muscle memory, in his sleep. I could swear I have read the EXACT same words from Armando in his season post-mortem for the past 5 years. The big problem is the words "Jeff Ireland" and "General Manager" are always in the same sentence.

Team owner is all aggressive going after coaches in the offseason who are only as good as the players they coach. Meanwhile, he keeps Jeffy while Bill Polian, a proven GM who has sat at the Super Bowl 7 times watching teams he built play in the game is a talking head for ESPN.

I wonder why Sun Life Stadium is so empty these days......

Convert Sean Smith to a WR. Maybe we'll get some production out of him that way. Forget Egnew. Probably couldn't learn the playbook and Ireland didn't want to cut him because he was drafted so high. Let Bush & Long go and use the money on comparable free agents. Bush is 2 yards and a cloud of dust, I'm tired of hearing from a different pair of broadcasters each week that Bush can run between the tackles. Miller can take over and do much better. Long, I really hate to lose him but he's seems to have gotten soft. With work maybe Martin can fill the role. Reshard Matthews looks like he might be a very good WR.
Priority positions to be addressed:

1 Wide Receiver
2 Cornerback
3 Offensive Line
4 Safety
5 Linebacker

1. Chirp
2. Potato Chip
3. Saline Content
4. Meow
5. Abe Vigoda
6. Sex Pistols
7. Hambone Jones
8. Propulsion Squirrel
9. Calgary
10.Ernest Borgnine

Keep hearing from the announcers we found our quarterback....Well Russel Wilson, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III found the playoffs...

Hire Bill Polian..I wouldn't let Ireland pick my kids kickball team...Next year they can take that new logo, make four huge tarps like UM does and cover the four corners of the empty stadium. Atlanta was exactly where we were 4 years ago. Which roster and what results from the two teams would you rather have today...?.

I don't think it's the Players lack of talent that is keeping us down. Look at KC with 5 pro-Bowlers and they sukk. It's the Organization. IMO

It's only a new beginning for the dolphins if they fire Ireland!! This team lacks talent everywhere...

vontae looked v.good yesterday. he shut down receivers and had 2 INT's! we should have traded sean "soft" smith and kept vontae who can cover and tackle.

We stink

Dolphins can't continue to waste high draft picks on positions that have little impact on getting wins. Offensive linemen are a complete waste of picks because you can have the best line in the league, but if you lack a respectable passing game then teams can continue to blitz and cheat up without much concern. In short, a good passing game makes your offensive line better than actually having the best quality linemen.

Also Ireland is unlikely to turn around the fortunes of the Dolphins in the offseason. He's had a number of years now to make this team better and Cameron Wake seems to be the single good move he has made in what can only be described as a sea of catastrophes. This will simply be another year littered with a series of head scratching moves where the fans will be told to be patient while the Dolphins rebuild.

Ireland let his Rookie QB go into a Season with NO Help at WR`s....Donald Thomas is a Bust for a #2 pick and there is NOT much at TE either after a 3rd rd pick can`t even get into the games??????

The best thing I have to say about Tannehill is he's not awful.

Whireland?

No Mas.

I watched NFL's a Football Life about Jimmy Johnson. On the show Bill Belicheck is on the boat with Jimmy Johnson in the Keys and they are talking about drafting the "right" players, i.e, smart players. It's a good watch and definately an approach Miami needs to take with the draft picks or free agents. Egnew must be one dumb SOB.

Got to get some playmaking WR's, TE's and a real #1 RB. The pass Defense is one of the worst in the league and the LB'ers are average to awful on most plays.

Armando,

Egnew is a rookie behind a vet in Fasano. I'd say he did very well for only his first season.

Armando writes:

They need to add proven stars at wide receiver and cornerback because the NFL is a passing league and the Dolphins are not good enough throwing the ball or defending the pass.
=====================================================
The team we saw loose to the Patriots is still Parcells team. He built it not to include WR's who he did not want drafted early. He had Ireland spend money on big lineman who did not have much agility and then they were released to cause a cap problem. What all fans should be aware of is that Ireland who bought into all this was retained. He did a good job to fix the cap mess but post Parcells he has not been able to identify receivers out of college. The Dolphins want to go that direction because it's cheaper than building a team with free agents like the Jets did. So now how is Ireland going to find receivers and CB's who are skilled positions when he has not been able to identify them since Parcells left??? Egnew is an example. Ireland bought into going big and Sean Smith was that big CB at a skill position who has issues with smaller quicker receivers. He plays soft because of his lack of ability to change direction quickly. My view is that Smith is an overpaid CB and as mentioned should certainly not be franchised. SO THE QUESTION IS HOW WILL IRELAND BE ABLE TO IDENTIFY THE SKILLED TALENT NEEDED? OUTSOURCING? My hope as a fan is that Joe Philbin will give Ireland a lessson on recruiting skilled players and not just go big as directed by Bill Parcells.

We have plenty of 4,5 and 6 receivers that we like a lot.

Awesome reporting Armando.

With the 12th selection in the draft we need to go WR or CB and maybe trade down some spots. Of course that depends on free agency and who the Phins pick up.

Looks like we took a step backward this season even though we won 1 extra game.

2011 D
PPG Allowed 6th (19.8)
Pass 25th
Rush 3rd
YPG 15th

2012 D
PPG Allowed 7th (19.6)
Pass 6th
Rush 20th
YPG 21st

2011 O
YPG 22nd
Pass YPG 23rd
Rush YPG 11th
PPG 20th


2012 O
YPG 27th
P YPG 26th
RYPG 17th
PPG 27th

Whoa, it's not time to panic. Take it easy. Think about the game. How much better could NE have been yesterday? Maybe 1 more touchdown? How much better could the Dolphins have been yesterday?

In the game I saw, there were several plays that could have resulted in outright scores, extended drives or provided better field position for scoring opportunities. Playmakers just didn't make those plays.

The Dolphins don't need to spend an inordinate amount of money in order to find SOMEONE who can RELIABLY CATCH or RUN the ball up the middle. I think that's -at the very least -to be expected from professionals at their positions.

We knew going into this game that it would be tough to beat the Pats. The team didn't do well offensively or defensively. But we ALREADY KNEW that's why it would be tough to beat the Pats -we just don't have all the pieces.

It's not time to panic. Just let Ireland/Philbin work out their formula for player acquisition. For instance, how hard can it be to find someone with Binns' abilities that can actually catch? Touchdown!

Fire Ireland, Elevate Philbin to HC/GM, add an assistant GM/HC. The point is to keep Philbin usually and GM = new HC. But if that's what it takes to get Ireland out then so long Philbin.

Brian Hartline, Chris Clemmons & Matt Moore are the ONLY FA's from this team. Add Long & Bush if they are cost effective. And Ireland should have Hartline's contract done by Jan.7. He's the only one who makes plays other than Bush.

And do they really need to pay 2 average to barely above average lb's $15 mil??

I watched at least 3 plays in the first half where Dansby was out of position. They need to cut him and allocate that money to sign long for at least the short term. I hope Ireland looks long and hard ay adding a playymaker at ILB and CB.

Please address OG and WR in FA and use 4 out of 5 of the first picks on Defense. One pick on a TE or WR. One Te's that look good is the one from Rice, Macdonald (might be spelled wrong)

Good - NO franchise tag for #24 SHAUNA Smith!!
Let her walk.

Mike Shanahan, HC of the Redskins, said in an interview last night, that he told owner Dan Snyder NOT TO HIRE HIM unless Snyder was prepared to give him 5 years "to do the job right." 5 YEARS!!

Ireland/Philbin are done with year 1. If you think they have made no progress, by all means, complain, complain, complain.

If you think they made progress this year, look forward to another year of progress. And another after that. Yes, it does take time to build a team of champions. Just ask Shanahan.

Keep bush if they are smart he is the only playmaker on offense except maybe hartline and Casanova every once in a while, does anybody here think we have our qb of the future? 12 passing tds in 16 games

That was supposed to be Casanova not casnova

Fasano

Everyone needs to calm down. Yes,yesterday sucked!Going into this season I really didn't expect much. I was hoping for 3-5 wins and allowing Tannehill to work his way into the starting role by week 10. He now has a full season under his belt which I believe will payoff next season.I do agree about getting better play from our corners but I think we still need to find the pass rush opposite Wake. We're allowing QB's too much time. No CB can cover a receiver for 10 seconds. We need to enflict some pain on opposing QB's. There is no secret we need a couple playmakers at WR. Also, this coaching staff now has a season to look back on and figure out where they need to improve as well. This is hard for me to say being a life long Phins fan but be patient, I really think we are closer than you think. This is a huge off season for us with cap room and picks.

Nice catch Mr Welker. Thanks for showing me up so my name goes on a highlight reel. Do you think they seen my number?
I hope Ireland (since he ain't going nowhere) takes a look at what makes a successful pick. Not a hope and a dream acorn pick but a real honest to goodness no guessing pick. Because this acorn stuff isn't working for me.
And for you guys that don't like Incognito..y'all are missing the boat on football. At least he doesn't let the opposition knock him around like he is a little Beatch. They knock him down and the next play they might not be walking again. That is how you win. You do what you have to do. Cutting him would be stupid.
That is how NE plays the game and the Phins should start changing the house rules. You don't have to be a criminal. You can be a closet nut job and take that urge to kill on any given Sunday.

the biggest problem right now is keeping Ireland to make the decisions this off season. I fire Ireland and bring in a new GM. He's had 5 years to get us closer to NE and we're just as far as we were 5 years ago. Ireland has to go.

Don Juan says:

Keep hearing from the announcers we found our quarterback....Well Russel Wilson, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III found the playoffs...
=====================================================
Don Juan, Perhaps it has something to do with NFL personnel professionals being able to identify talented players that are needed to win in today's NFL. The ability to give those rookie quarterbacks the needed support from players that have enough talent to contribute to helping a young talented QB become a winner in the NFL.

It's time Joes's fired. Fire Joe now.

Pretty much what I've been saying for the last couple of weeks Armando...The Dolphins NEED to be active in free agency because FANS are tired of this. Ireland is now under the gun. Things better change in a hurry or he'll be our the door...And regarding Sean Smith...Everybody here knows how I feel about this guy...He's a big WUZZ...Can't stand him...Let him go...No big loss at all...

Sean Smith is a pansy

Egnew is just another wasted high pick by Ireland, and is one of the living reasons why most people think that even with 5 picks in the top 100 Ireland will not deliver.

We have now:
- 3 consecutive losing seasons
- one of the less talented rosters in football (and certainly less talented that the one Ireland inherited)
- an empty stadium

I mean, what does Ross need to fire Ireland?

Ireland is a banker. Not a football GM.

We were emasculated. So this is what it feels like to be castrated. I couldn't even get it up last night.

We know what the team has to do:

1) FIRE THE GM
2) FIRE THE HC
3) TRADE THE QB
4) DISMANTLE THE D
5) CHANGE THE ENTIRE LOOK OF THE ORG INCLUDING NAME AND CITY

Fasano is getting slower.

On Egnew... I have no idea why he was drafted by the Dolphins. If you wanted a BLOCKING TE, he certainly wasn't the choice.

Having said that, the HC, OC and DC all have reputations for developing players. Philbin looks for "coach-able" players. All three are known for placing players into offensive or defensive schemes that best suit the player's skill set.

Maybe Egnew will benefit from coaching and needed this year to learn. He may be a beast... or bust. We'll find out next year.

The Phins are friendly with the competition. Often sending Twitter notes to them and Christmas cards.

Ok, I was kidding at 8:34am (preparing to hear that all day today).

But I will say I was disappointed in many aspects of the game yesterday:

- Philbin have us hope in his adjustments this year. He's OWNED teams 2nd time around. Lost to the Jets, then wiped the floor with them. Lost to Buffalo, then wiped the floor with them (including new wrinkles in BOTH games). Yesterday, Philbin wasn't creative, didn't add any new wrinkles, and didn't make any adjustments when what they were doing wasn't working. It was an awful preparation IMO of the coaching staff. And we can't beat Belichick without a good, CREATIVE game plan.

- Craig M must have been singing to high heaven yesterday, because the game showed the #1 need for us is a COMPLIMENTARY PASS RUSHER to Cam Wake. If he has a bad game (or isn't hitting the QB) then we currently have NO ONE to be able to do it.

- Offense we know what we need (WRs, TEs, OL). Our right side of the oline was especially horrendous. Played like crap. There go our ideas of keeping Garner in place. Can't blame much of our scoreless outing on the QB, he didn't enough to get at least 2 (if not 3) TDs. Team around him failed.

- Mike Sherman. Much like I said about Philbin, NOT CREATIVE enough. If you can't throw some wrinkles into the week 16 game plan, then I don't know when! You're already out, only playing spoiler, why not let it all out. Every trick in the book, every misdirection, everything you can dream of. Pats did that, we didn't match them.

- Very lackluster game. Team threw it in (INCLUDING THE COACHES). Doesn't look good not to play a spirited game.

WRAPUP: There's a TON of things to work on this offseason. These guys (at least the ones who will be here next Season) better take a few weeks, then GET BACK TO BASICS!

Maybe Lorna can buy the dolphins and impose the same sort of personnel acumen as he has done with the marlins

Jeff Ireland and Michael Egnew have an important thing in common. The Dolphins should allow them both to fail for several more years before turning the page and moving on. Either of them good suddenly get good in a couple of years. Stability is the key to success. Just look at the Dolphins record the last few years for proof.

So, Egnew is yet another one of Ireland's moves that have not worked out.

How does the man keep his job? The team does nothing but lose more than they win. Every year is a slightly different version of the last. Its seems like just about every moves turns out in disappointment.

Nice watching Vonte and Brandon have monster years on winning teams.

This team is garbage and it starts with the reject decision maker.

Dc dolphin, who are you going to trade tannehill for? A third round draft choice that will be employed on a defensive lineman? My biggest concern is that whether it is Ireland, Parcells, or Wanstedt, the Dolphins organization has shown a complete unwillingness to draft a wide receiver in the top rounds since 2000. Excluding kick returner Ted Ginn, the only wideot taken in the top two rounds in the last thirteen seasons was Chris Chambers! It's almost as if Miami would rather have Georgia tech's offense, because they seem to have drafted for it.

Sherman publicly said that he would've cut Egnew in the preseason if he had the chance. Why should it be a surprise that he was deactivated for 14 games and played no role in the last two games? Good bye Egnew, hello Eifert or Ertz.

BTW, Sherman's comment was also directed at Ireland's talent evaluation skill.

How come when Henne put up 2 7-9 seasons it was always Henne's fault in this column. Tanne puts up 7-9 and it's everyone else's fault? With the same players?

CadillacDeVille- henne had the beast!!

When Ireland lowballs a free agent and the free agent decides to sign with a winner for more money then Ireland DID NOT help the team. The need still exists and now is there is one less available player.
All he did was spit in our face when that happens.

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