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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.


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I would NOT let Ireland be in charge of next year's draft...This draft is HUGE for the future of this franchise and Ireland hasn't proven ANYTHING thus far worthy of giving him another chance...We need Bill Polian to be in charge and he can decide if we should keep this coaching staff...My opinion is Philbin and his assistants DESERVE another season simply because they had no playmakers to begin with (That's on Ireland)...Unfortunatly, if a new GM comes in, he's got to have all the power needed to turn this team around...You can't just hire someone (Polian or anyone else for that matter) and tell him this coaching staff HAS to stay on board...Doesn't work that way. So by getting rid of Ireland, it might also indicate the end of Philbin as well...

To the poster that said we've had 3 losing seasons in a row it's actually 4. The common factor in the 4 losing season is Jeff Ireland and he's still here

The beast dropped 8 of his TD passes. 8 more TDs and we would have made the playoffs. He did not have Reggie Bush. And Tanne was not pulled 40 times in the red zone for the BACKDOOR wildcat.

for one Henne wasnt a rookie, 2 Henne had a true number one. Its a 7-9 season in his first year that he wasnt expected to even start until later in the year. No WR help which couldnt be more apparent than last night. I counted 2-3 TD passes dropped and one he over threw. He was sacked 7 times last night if im not mistaken.

Anyway he started 6 games this season and threw for 2100 yards and 11 TD and 11 Int. And he made $6mil so he's doing better than me in every area.

If Henne was so great then they wouldnt have had to bring in a gimmick offense such as the Wildcat in order for him to be pulled 40 times a game. You are right he didnt have Reggie but Ricki and Ronnie.

In what decade do we get a franchise QB?

Tannehill is worse then Henne.

This is my review for the past season. We finished with a record that most people on this blog predicted we would be at the beginning of the yr.There were some good games and some very bad ones.But like Armando's column today said we are so far behind the Pats it is ridiculous and as long as we Have Ireland doing the shopping we are done.The attendance is the worst since 1989 and that is the only place we as fans can get our message thru to Ross,all the coments on the blog mean nothing,The front office don't care what is said here this is just a place to vent our feelings.We all know what this team needs but until Ross sees it we are done.I want to wish everybody on the blog a Happy 2013 especially my Canadian friends Mark and the fan in Montreal.

Henne was browbeat into becoming a robotic quarterback during his tenure. Plus the wildcat was installed not because henne or Pennington were so bad, but because they had no reliable receiver threat to throw to in 2008. The situation is virtually unchanged today,

Yeah I can see how you come up with that with your obvious "man" crush with Henne, too bad Henne got beat head to head vs Tannehill.

Cadillac, what's with the hard on for Henne??? He sucks. He had 3 years to prove himself and never did. He started again for Jacksonville and he STILL sucked...What's so difficult to understand?? He's NOT a franchise QB. He's another Ireland BUST. The guy has a strong arm and that's it. He can't read a defense, has ZERO mobility to escape pressure, can't run and is also an interception machine. Tannehill will get his chance just like Henne did and if he fails, he'll be out just like Henne was. For God Sake, get over it...

Smith has been and will always be garbage. Just cause a guy starts in miami means diddly. We have no talent so someone ha to start! However, we have no one reliabe behind him and to not create more holes should be resigned if hell take average money.

Long and Bush should go. Martins fine at LT. Yesterdays poor showing was more the result of no one ever being open.

Smith has been and will always be garbage. Just cause a guy starts in miami means diddly. We have no talent so someone ha to start! However, we have no one reliabe behind him and to not create more holes should be resigned if hell take average money.

Long and Bush should go. Martins fine at LT. Yesterdays poor showing was more the result of no one ever being open.


Bottom line Tannehill is pathetic. Why not try him at WR and start MVP Matt Moore? And draft the best QB available.

I agree on what you say except when they continued to use it, coaching decision, when they had their #1 receiver and Henne at the helm.
I fully agree about how he was coached to be robotic..

Wow someone still calling for Matt Moore.... Mike name one winning team that Moore beat.. ill be waiting.. 6-7 as a VET with a true #1 isnt franchise material... Tannehill needs one more year, to say hes pathetic after a rookie season in which no one thought he needed to start is crazy and without a true #1...

Another nightmare season. Nothing will change until Ireland is fired.

We need Mike Wallace and Dustin Keller...As far as the draft goes, apparently it's a very good draft for D-line and O-line...Get a pass rusher, a T and a G, a CB and a FS...

Jets GM Tannenbaum has just been fired. Are you paying attention, Ross?


Thank you for another year in covering the Dolphins, your articles are always great (I read them all), and you do a nice job of mixing the good and the bad.

In my opinion the Dolphins are in the worse place you can be in the NFL, not the worse but not even a .500 team with a bad general manager and no up and coming young players.

In 5 years of Jeff Ireland player selecting we have 1 player I would consider an impact player (Camren Wake), In 5 years of drafting for the Dolphins Ireland has drafted 0 (Zero) stars. I’m sure this will be year 6.
Ryan Tannehill will Joe Flacco not bad, but not great, will probably set the team bad 4-6 years. You cannot miss open receivers down field; deep ball throws are not something you improve much with time. Short and dump down Ryan will do just fine, good athlete but when you cannot hit an open receiver 25,30 yards down field, we’ll see Joe Flacco.

Next year I predict a 6-10 record, harder schedule but we do play the Jets & Buffilo 2x.
It’s just sad.

Ive read that Ross isnt firing Ireland this year, that what hes seen this year is enough to give him one more year.

First of all, they went into the season with a rookie QB with basically no playmakers on the team. Quite puzzling and disappointing in them not using Reggie Bush more in the passing game given that the WRs aren't a real strong suit on this team. Thought they'd eventually use him but they really didn't, at least not enough. Yesterday they were overmatched by a team with lots of savvy veterans and one of the best QBs in history.
This team needs a lot of work. The OL is pretty inconsistent of not downright awful with our without Jake Long. They don't open holes for RBs and they almost got Tannehill killed yesterday. I mean ,7 sacks? To the Patriots D? Really?. There are so many holes on this team that they should consider not signing Long and cutting Dansby to save cap space they will need to build a team. Shaun Smith, gimme a break..let him walk. He has teased and NEVER amounted to anything. Parcells left a mess and I think Philbin's the right guy but he needs players. I'm afraid they have to start from scratch, like they've done for like 10+ years now. Pretty damn frustrating but thats the story, like it or not.

Guys, 5th consecutive losing year next year. Bank on it.

Tannehill has alot of work to do in the offseason but with how he has handled himself with his contract signing and on the field I believe he will be working harder than anyone to take that next step.
Yesterday when he had his bell rung, fell down, and then ran sideways off the field, he could have given up and said let "mvp" lol Moore take over but he didnt.
He shall see his developement next year and getting him talented receivers around him is a part of that along with a down the field TE.

The Jests fans want us to keep Irescum!

Tony Sparano is fired as Jets OC....Ha!

....the Rams could have picked RG3 with the 2nd pick, but chose to keep Sam Bradford and never came close to making the playoffs...Ha!

Ryan Tannehill will NEVER bring this team to the Superbowl...Ha!

Peyton Manning has the highest QBR Rating & his team is the # 1 Seed in the AFC...Ha!

Tom Brady is freaking awesome....Ha!

Ireland is starting a new search for 'acorns' this morning ... HA HA HA!

"That is not what I've been told the approach will be".

Somewhat clumsy writing. Since we're being critical.

After watching TanneBust in college and in pros how the heck was he drafted in the 1st rd? LOL

Question, what about keeping Martin at the LT and brining in Loadholt to play RT?
7 sacks last night but 4 were coverage sacks, seeing the WRs couldnt get open.

Who here thinks Philbin wants Ireland gone?

...Hey Mando, do some real reporting and dig up some dirt on the Philbin/Ireland relationship and find out where the rifts are.

...there is no way Philbin likes Jeffy shopping for his groceries.

...who hear thinks that former mentor & current OC Mike Sherman 'TALKED PHILBIN INTO DRAFTING TANNEHILL'?

Philbin flat out stated on Hard Knocks that "Pat Devlin is his kind of QB" and knows that Tannehill has serious warts that are giving him some buyers remorse.

It will be extremely difficult to attract free agents to Miami with Ireland being the GM...He's got ZERO respect from players...After the Dez Bryant fiasco, that was the end...Look what happened with Ryan Clark...Peyton Manning didn't even want to waste his time meeting him...That tells you everything you need to know...

Hey Montreal...I'm in Montreal for New Years Eve!
headed down to Place Jacques Cartier tonight for the festivities!

Tannehill should've stayed another year in college. Oops, he wouldnt start in college with Manziel there! LOL

YG4E and I talked about this a couple of weeks back, at least if Philbin has been allowed to bring in his own scouts.. It would be interesting to know if its all Jeff or if Philbin brought in some of his guys to scout his type of players..
I think Philbin, if he thinks Devlin is better, will make the right call. Even though Devlin might be his type of qb that doesnt mean talent wise he is better. Training camp will tell..


I agree with your assessment, and I agree that the Dolphins are in a very good position to try to make some of those moves in the offseason. The only problem is that we have Ireland as the trigger man. I simply am not confident that Ireland can 1) identify and 2) land players that will fill our holes. It'll be like handing a 5 year old a couple hundred bucks and watching him run around Toys R Us like a spaz. I'm afraid that in the end, with Ireland's record, the picks and money will be gone with little to show for it in the way of talent.

BTW....I'm starting to believe that Ireland is more of a liability than an asset.

Too many 'acorns' not enough 'oak trees'

Montreal @ 9:47: It's hard to say. Money talks and everyone knows the Dolphins have big money to spend. I expect Jennings, Wallace and Bowes to ask for the sky. The question is will Ireland be desperate enough to give them what they're asking for? I doubt it.

Steve Ross, the worst owner in sports?

After looking at the schedule for next year (it's a killer) I see 4-12, 5-11 AT BEST.

NHFINSFAN, you'll have a blast...48-Go, we'll see...Signing Wallace and Keller would be my priority...It would change our offense completely...Both have great speed and can get open...They would also make Bess, Hartline and Fasano that much better...

Its unbelievable how far this franchise has fallen from the increasingly distant glory days. The Miami Dolphins are unrecoginizable to fans from the 80's or 90's. And its just mind boggling how now some fans seem happy with yet another losing season....

Vazman, some people are just happy with mediocrity...So Ireland is a genius for them...

Peace 71! People here will tell you the skill positions is the thing that is the most disappointing about the Dolphins team, but to me it's the O-line. You see , I expect the skill positions to stink on offense because besides and inexperienced Tannehill they haven't amde any investment there whatsoever. No receivers drafted higher than a 3rd which is a maybe draft slot - no sure things available in the third. But the o-line got two firsts, a second, and a third in Ireland's tenure and it just fukkin blew chunks this year. Disgusting performance by that unit. Almost got Tannehill killed yesterday and I'm sick of watching martin get blasted back into the pocket by EVERYONE!! Yesterday even a CB in Derek Martin pushed Johnathan Martin back into the qb on one play. A guy our left tackle outweighed by 100lbs. They better start injected that guy in the buttocks this morning because he's a sorry excuse for a man right now. Total weakling.

It ain't that easy playing in late December in New England. I was there and it was cold, really cold and the wind bit through any layers you had on. I thought Tannehill performed pretty well considering the weather conditions. Seeing in person it does appear Sean Smith is afraid to takle and the O-line was abused. Guess it's wait till next year.

Toronto...so are you advocating we back up the Brinks truck to Jake Long's locker and move Martin back over to RT?

The best course for the Dolphins is to do the exact same thing and hope for a different result.

matty, mike is Matt Moore still trying to save his job. Pathetic that he had to resort to begging the fans on the blog to start a movement. MVP Matt Moore, what a joke. An MVP who couldn't beat ONE team with a winning record.

Here is the problem! Mr Ross cant fire Ireland because he knows nothing about hiring general managers, His hands are tied. Ireland has had multiple years to acheive top performers and he has failed.

If you do not respect the people who run the organization then you are not going to play with a wining attitude. Look at the colts, perfect example!

Mr. Ross, There are companies that can help you hire a general namager. Mr Irland is blowing smoke up your A**.

Please Please Please understand this and step up and make the move. Fire Ireland. He is disrepectful, un successful and one more year of losing will only hurt the franchise even more.

Before we can host a Super Bowl, we have to win games so lets focus on a football team that can win games and work on the stadium later on.

The link to your column isn't working.

You know which part of a Unit Belichick pays most attention to? The OL. We should follow suit.

3 rookie QB's took their losing teams last year, to the playoffs this year, while Fin fans just spew 100's of excuses. Its laughable.

Mark, I agree with you on Martin...But that's on Ireland once again...He drafted him...How long should we be patient with someone who fails every year?? And a lot of the other sacks were because our WRs couldn't get open...Tannehill waited, waited, waited...We have no speed...We had one decent weapon on offense but our GM traded him for someone named Egnew...I don't care if you trade him because you think he's a cancer, he's this and that...But have a plan B to replace him...Our GM never did...Everyone in America knew we had no WRs...Yet our GM never did anything about it...But in the end it doesn't matter because our owner thinks he's a genius...Watch the bunch of crap he's going to tell the media this week...Hard to believe some people still believe this chit...

dead wrong oscar, its QB

If you want a better Organization, just model yours after the one in NE.

Dumbest thing this team could do is go out and spend all kinds of money on FAs. The DUMBEST!! Fans want instant gratification by signing a Bowe or Wallace @ $9mil a year. That's not how you build a contending team. This isn't fantasy football! 'It'll put fans in the stands'??? Are you kidding me? Miami fans are some of the most fickle fans in the NFL. They could care less how Ross spends his money....they'll still complain. What evidence is there that the fans will come out and support the team if you soend the money? Answer: NONE.

Don't listen to the fans. As Marv Levy used to say, 'If you start listening to the fans pretty soon you'll be sitting with them'. Stick to the approach! Five picks in the first 90 picks. Lots of chance to add playmakers there. I'd also add a guy like Jennings, assuming the price and term weren't too high.

F8ck the fans! Most of them on here don't spend a dime on going to the games anyways.....bunch of whining crybabies!

oscar, NE has Tom Brady...Duuhhh...How did Belicheik do in Cleveland where he didn't have the best QB ever??? Yeah, though so...

Ross has friends that are former team presidents and former GM's. Maybe thats the reason hes getting another year as a GM.
Who here really would care if Ireland was fired, meaning be upset that he didnt get another shot?
Its about whatever is best for the team. I personally feel he has one last year and if he misses hes done. I think the situation that he was brought into with Tune calling the shots and leaving in a unfavorable way was a crappy one to which fans cant really see that this is Jeffs call or if it were the Tunas.. So its hard to make a distiction outside of this year and the former...

NH, at the very least I am advocating Johnathan Martin with so many PEDs that his nuts shrink up into his abdomen. The guy is too freaking soft.

If there is anyway you can bring back Jake Long, you do it. I don't know where the cutoff point is 7,8,9 M, I don't know because he at least brings some attitude, skill, and toughness to that line. Martin is not an NFL player right now. He should've been doing what every single other NFL player did when they turned 16 or 17 and juiced up. He can't compete at all. I mean I almost cried when a 185 lbs CB bull rushed him back into Tannehill.

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