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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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Kris, my opinion since last draft is that you have to give Ireland one more year. Not really fair to fire him after a year with a rookie Qb and new coaching staff. If you made the decision to keep Ireland after last season then you made the committment to keep him for at least two.

Now if he shites the bed this offseason, then he can take the millions he made from the franchise and enjoy some undeserved time off.

I'm not his biggest fan but I know he hasn't proved to be completely incompetent either. He's a B- Gm in my opinion. Some good, some bad. But I agree that you can't continue in this fashion forever. I just think the timing right now isn't what's best for the franchise - don't care about what's fair for Ireland or not. His welfare isn't my concern. But I just want to see this through for one more year. If they don't put up 10 wins next year - hit the road.

titles and job descriptions mean little, especially when sandwiched between blowhard parcells and empy head sparano.

no fair way to evaluate ji during the parcells sparano era.

Ireland's OWN WORDS...

" I got a bunch of 4s..5s...and 6s"...

Yeah...he worth defending..


Not true on Sparano. After the furst 2-3 games last year it was clear to me that Sparano wasn't the guy. Only reason I wanted him back last year would have been because of all the turmoil a shortened season would have caused. So not true, I wanted him there until the day he was fired.

i agree with toronto. at least one more year with a full house of picks and the new regime.

look around. more teams are like the fins or worse, than better. take away the top five to seven qb's in this league and you'd have parity.


I don't get the tone of you and a lot of the fans this morning. I know you had us at 11-5 this year but I think you were one of the few. So with all that happened this year, how are people not feeling better about this team this year than we were at the end of last season? Because we got our ass8es kicked yesterday? I honestly don't know what people expected differently. You and I both agreed that the Pats were on crusie control when they beat us in Miami. Not realistic to think we're there yet. But we're the second best team in the division and it's clear we have a long way to go to be on the same level as the Pats.


He drafted this rookie QB in the 11th hour..ON
Y to buy more time.....

It was a chicken sh@t move IMO....and deserves a firing....

Lovie Smith goes 10 and 6 and the Bears fire him. Wow just ridiculous

Craig m....

Going to the computer....

Colts went out and got a franchise QB in the draft but they also added a couple of stud TEs in the draft and a great young WR in Hilton. THAT's the model we need to follow. Easiest thing would have been for them to go and blow the budget and sign guys in FA to help the QB. They didn't and they're playing great and on their way to the playoffs.

look at the cowboys, out of the playoffs again. do the redskins have a winning season without rg3? how did cutler and marshall do - nice stats - no playoffs. look at the great phil rivers no longer even considered a top qb and the chargers suck.

Craig, Marshall is a $5M a year cap hit, V Jax, $9M. YOu forego signing a CB for a WR, keeping Vontae would've been an option - although not necessary. And you would be one step closer. Marshall is not an impact player even when healthy - surely not as good as Sean Smith even. And it's not only about this year but the next five. You could still play it out with the #2 pick in your pocket for Vontae, take your lumps in the secondary for a year, the possibilities are endless. And V jax is better than any WR available this year. You'd have one fewer need for sure ... don't see any way the franchise is better off by going the way they did instead of going for jackson (whether it was ever an option or not).

Kris, don't bother...This guy is hopeless...But I do remember him defending Sparano...LOL!!! Watch, once Ireland gets fired, he'll say he never defended him...LOL!!!

Kris, I agree with your post at 11:15. Drafting Tannehill if nothing else bought him another few mill. Whether that was his prime intention or not, I don't know but it would be nieve to simply dismiss that factor.

Uhm Craig, Indy also did pay Reggie Wayne a nice sizeable contract. let's not dismiss that either.

Craig has been spewing BS for 2 str8 days I use to think he was a knowledgable poster boy was I wrong.

I think the scary part is that Ireleand has gotten us into decent position financially but has not demonstrated the ability to find the right talent to take advantage of the situation. It would e great if the Fins brought back Tom Heckert but Ross is not savvy enough to take advantage of this situation.

Chan Gailey gone in Buffalo....

No way a new HC starts with Michael Vick....I guess he can cross them off the list...

If the TE outta ND is there, we should take him at 12...dude is faster and more athletic than Gronk...beast. Bring back Long, Hartline, and Bush if he comes at a bargain...Smith sucks..period, I would consider a veteran DE as a FA, maby sign a pass rusher and CB in 2nd round...


V.jax signed a 5yr/$55,555,555.55 Million Dollar Contract.

I remember Cause Nobody Ever Has Been That Corny to Sign a Contract Like That! Donate Most Them 5's To Charity!!

But Agreed. VJ was Not The Answer.


I Would Discuss How Ireland Is The Right Choice. But Dashi knows That is A exercise in Futility!! It's Like Talking To Craig about Dansby or That DE is Not Top Priority On Defense!!

Defensive Priority

1- FS
2- CB
3- MLB
4- OLB
5- #2 CB
6- DE (Only Moves Up To #3b If We Don't Resign Starks! And Odrick has To Move Inside!! And Still Won't Be Top Priority!)

Offensive Priority

1- WR
2- TE
3- RG
4- LG
5- #2 WR
6- #2 TE

Now If We Don't Resign JAKE LONG!! LT Becomes #1 Priority!! The Reason Craig Is So Adamant That Not Resigning Jake!! Is A Huge Mistake!! Dashi Agrees!! LT is Not Even A TOP 10 Priority!! Why Make It Your #1?

Football is A Simple Game!! And The First Thing You Do In Football Is Dominate The Line!!

We Are Not Talking Flag Football Here Or Pop Warner, Where Only 1 Guy Is Allowed To Rush!!

The O-Line Has 3 Of The Best Pieces It Has Ever Had!! But A Set Group Of Ignoramus!! Wants To Destroy The O-Line!! And Make It 3/5 A Disaster!!

Instead of Just Developing 2 Young Athletic Guards!! And Dominating For The Next DECADE!!

Again, Check The O-Line Coaches Track Record!! First Season Better Than all 4 Years Of Soprano!! T A&M has 2 Tackles In The Top 25 To Be Drafted!! Give This Guy 1 More Year to Develop! And Complete Building The O-Line!! The O-Line Is Finally 1 Offseason Away from Being Complete!!


Good Thing Its Philbin and Ireland Calling The Shots!! Not Some Of You Guys!!

Ross has got himself in a sticky situation... attendance even worse, few 'stars'... he's got to be VERY nervous about an Ireland now with even more money to spend and picks to make.


Again, I don't believe it was ever about THIS year. VJax gets us where this year? 8-8? 9-7? No better. And then what? We're invested big time in this guy. Don't kid your self on this guy. He's had his problems off the field too. A couple of DUIs. Is probably close to at least a 4 game suspension. I think if he as all that the Chargers never would have let him walk away. Not saying he's not a good player but who knows what he would have been like this year with our QB still trying to figure things out. I think it would have been a mistake. I think we can get a really good player at WR in the draft and if we fail we do it again next year. Second round draft pick would be a fraction of the cost of VJax.

Shanahan, Sparano, Smith ...

Cutler and Marshall the coach killers ...

This is a crucial offseason with all the draft picks and cap room. They need to fire Ireland or it all won't matter. He will botch the draft and free agency. The guy has done nothign to improve this team in 4 years why would they give him another year is beyond me.

Agree Mark @ 11:20.....

It was a LAST DITCH effort to get another year or two out of a QB starved fan base....and because of that....we MAY NOT have gotten the best QB we could have had in the past 5 years.....

If I were Ross...this would be a fireable offence......Ireland's incompetence is COSTING HIM MILLIONS....as evidenced by the 20 year LOW attendance....

Craig, just saying that signing Richard Marshall for $5M accomplished nothing and not sure he will be on the roster next year. Signing VJax at least would've accomplished something.


Not sure who the new HC will be in Chicago (might be a guy like Andy Reid. That could be what motivated the firing of Smith). But give it time and Marshall won't get along with the HC. Don't miss this guy one little bit.

I'm going to the salon to have my nails done.

How much more time are some of you going to waste bleating about "firing Ireland?"

It is NOT happening, folks. Not today, not tomorrow, not this year. You may as well be screaming at the sun to rise in the West tomorrow.

This isn't even a defense of the guy, only a recognition of reality. It's beyond boring to read the same crap day after day bout something with ZERO chance of happening.

Get all the playmakers you want on offense, when Tannehill still overthrows everyone or continues to have have velcro feet when the pash rush comes on then what? For 2 more years everyone around Tannehill will be a bust because no one wants to blame him! Watch as his decision making slows! The offensive scheme didn't work that well in college, it ain't gonna work that well in the NFL. Mike Sherman is a hack. Remember Henne's best year was his rookie year and then he digressed tremendously.


Wayne's contract was for three years and $17.5 mil. Decent contract but NOWHERE close to the contract that VJax got.

We'll disagree that VJax was the answer here. Again, and nobody talks about this, I'm not even sure that V?Jax is Philbin's kind of guy. I believe Philbin has a lot of input on the personnel decisions and I don't believe it's accurate for us to say 'Ireland should have signed VJax'. I don't believe it's 'all about what Ireland wants' and that's how it should be.

Why is everyone flying off the handle over one meaningless loss? The Dolphins were eliminated from the Playoffs last week - obviously there is going to be a letdown. I didn't expect them to get shutout, but I didn't expect them to even come close to winning either. Go back and read some of the posts after the last preseason game- "The Dolphins will be lucky to win 3 games" - "The Dolphins will be picking first in the draft next year after winning only two games", etc., etc. Based on the preseason predictions this was a positive season - if they only would have pulled out the early winnable games against the Cardinals and the first Jets game...who knows. We are no longer the dregs of the league - and in this league the tuen around can be real quick (see Indy, Seattle, Washington, Minnesota, etc.)I have faith in Philbin - give him a chance to contribute to the drafts and get his kind of players in here and then we'll see what happens.

Remember Henne's best year was his rookie year and then he digressed tremendously.

Posted by: dolffnman | December 31, 2012 at 11:41 AM


That's not even CLOSE to what "digressed" means, lol

Buy a dictionary, dude.


Interesting too that the Colts decided against re-signing Garcon. He went to the 'skins for 6 years and $42.5 million. If this had been in Miami and Ireland had let Garcon get away, the fans would have been calling for his head. 'How can he let a guy like Garcon get away, when we have a young guy like Luck coming in. Who is he going to throw to?'. Seems to have turned out OK....for both teams.

Miami would have picked 5 or 6 slots lower in the draft if they had won yesterday. Not sure why I should be so upset toay about a completely meaningless loss.

In other news....

There are certain posters who's writing style...or stance on FIN FOOTBALL I don't agree with....so I skip over those post as soon as I recognize them....perhaps you should do the same with post you feel aren't worth reading.....

Not an attack on you....just giving you a way to navigate this site a bit better.....

And who, exactly, elected you to some position of authority on this blog or how to "navigate" it?

You're just another schmuck here. And I'll respond to any poster or anytopic however I see fit. Understand, junior?


Craig, we can agree on marshall (I put Cutler in the same boat). You can't win with either guy - both very low on character. Those two guys never lost a game. It was always someone else. Sooner or later both of them will run out of directions to point their fingers.

Glad Marshall will be watching the playoffs AGAIN!

As far as Garcon, that signing worked ok for the Skins though. Same thing I'm saying her ein Miami. I don't know what the dollar figure is - 6,7, 8, 100,000,000,000, whatever - they need to find some receivers for Tannehill. There are no easy throws for this guy. NONE!! People complain that he overthrew two receivers this year - hartline and bush yesterday but man, every QB including Brady misses those throws sometimes. Difference is - his receivers are good enough to get open again later and give him a chance to make up for it. Tannehill gets no do overs and I give the kid a lot of credit for not cracking this year because he had one of the most difficult jobs in the NFL this year.

Pittsburgh Jim @ 11:43am,

That's EXACTLY it. I don't get the negativity today. What exactly were the expectations this season? So we got our ass8es kicked yesetrday....so what. Probably the best team in the AFC, at home, in a meaningful game.

I'd rather be where we are today, rather than all the teams that are in the midst of changing coaches, GMs and QBs.....crazy carousel. We're in building mode now.....without all the distactions.

dolfnman, if you want to make a point using big words, you should know what they mean. Digressed is not the word you're looking for. Try regressed ... that is all.

As far as Egnew goes, remember NFL teams are no different than corporations. There are favorites and there are there step childs on every team. Egnew will not get playing time until someone twists Sherman's arm. Sherman hates him to a fault. Not to even give the kid a chance in the last game of the season is deplaurable! Trust me when I tell you the best players do not always play its the favorite players that do.

Dashi, like your thinking. OL very important. You could see yesterday the effect of the line not run blocking or pass protecting well. It played nothing like the Jax and Buffalo games. Can't ignore it and just try for playmakers. Need OL and DL that can stand up to Pats. Playmakers will come, then.

Sure you will @ 11:49....

you will just do it under multiple names....

Thanks for playing.....lol......

My post was neither aggressive nor confrontational.....

You're looking for an INTERNET fight....and I want to debate football....

Good day to you sir......


I agree you can't blame TH for the overthrows with very strong and cold gusty wins.

But someone gotta take some crap for that debacle they put on the field. They played like they didn't want to be there.

That culture has to change 1st and foremost. You can draft all the talent in the world but when a team gives up before the game...talent don't mean diddly.

Leadership and a winning attitude. The first thing I would look for in at least 3 key positions this year. Middle linebacker, running back and wide receiver. Guys that will hit and/or take a shot whether it is 35 below or 100 in the shade. We don't have that type of team. Czonka musta cringed yesterday watching that horror show.

Good day.


As we wind up 2012, I'm tahnkful that even though we disagree on certain issues (and we do), that we can be respectful and civil with each other. There are others on here like that as well but since you guys are here right now, I wanted to acknowledge that and say thanks.

We all wants this team to do well. That's really all that matters. We have different ideas on how to get there. I just wanted to wish you guys a Happy New Year and all the best for 2013. Here's hoping that this time next year we're talking about our first round playoff opponent.

dolffnman--who are some other players who have "digressed?"

Looking forward to talking about team NEEDS and what to do in FA and in the draft that continuing on talking history and what we SHOULD have done. It's over....time to look forward....not back. I like the guy we've got calling the shots on the field and I'm excited about getting some upgraded talent in here.

If others want to drown in missed opportunities and ancient history.....enjoy. I'm looking forward.

Craig M....

Nobody is talking about Yesterdays game.....you probably can't find 8 post in these 4 pages were somebody even mentions the PATS....

WE are evaluating (talking about) the season as a whole....and in the end...it just wasn't good enough.....Ireland just wasn't good enough.....by HIS OWN ADMISSION on HK....

and BTW....

loosing 28-0 to a DIVISION OPPONET is UNACCEPTABLE by any standards.....


Sounds like Jon Gruden's going to be somewhere next year coaching. I gotta think he'll look hard at Philly, Chicago, KC and San Diego. What say you guys?

Could be that Andy Reid's an ideal guy for SD, in that he lives in the area and might be a good fit for Rivers.

Also interested to see if Lovie Smith gets another HCing job THIS year. Maybe in KC or Buffalo?

Lastly, and I know this may be met with a lot of laughter (and that's OK), I think Dallas needs to move on from Romo. A trade for Rivers might be ideal.....but here's my hairbrain idea....I actually think Sanchez could win in Dallas. YEP....I truly believe that. I believe there's good talent there and if the OL were to hold up I believe he could win a division in Dallas. DOn't expect it to be a popular opinion but a change of scenery could be good for him.

Wow that list better not be in order of need...
Anyone putting defensive players on the list is an idiot who has been fooled for YEARS now. Our defense is always on the field, and besides picks is good. We are a horrible offense in an offensive league.

So, I'm to accept the mantra that it's a "passing league" yet ignore that it is the best RUSHING teams who largely make up the playoff participants.

Uh, yeah...ok.

Kris, agreed. ireland has to pull off some kind of Pete Carroll offseason here by finding good players throughout. An offseason where the #1 pick flashes ome talent and the #2 pick seems like a solid contributor but then nothing else in free agency or the rest of the draft will not get it done.


I agree that the loss and the season weren't good enough. No question. I can't argue that. But under the circumstances what were the expectations. Carpenter makes a couple of kicks and we finish 9-7. Better but still not good enough. It's a stepping stone.

If we're 7-9 next year, after adding talent in the draft and FA and Philbin and Tannehill another year in, I'll agree it's time for Ireland to go. We're not at that point, IMO.

Craig, you hear the rumours that Gruden was spotted in Buffalo recently having dinner with team execs??? Wouldn't it be something if he didn't think the Dolphins were a good fit but Buffalo was??? To heck with him anyway ...

Sanchez is simply not smart enough to last much longer as an NFL quarterback--at least as a starter.

THAT is his biggest issue, and you can't coach intelligence.

Craig M @ 11:56.....

Excellent post....

Happy New Year to you and you're s as well....

Like you said...we don't always agree....and @ times we defend our arguments with the passionate aggression we believe our position deserves.....

But for the most part...we are civil and respectful.....I don't believe you or I in particular have insulted each other since playoff in 2011....the chiefs/ravens game I believe.....

Happy New Year to you....and ALl the REAL/Regular posters on the Herald.....and here is to hoping we get a few new good posters in the NEW YEAR....posters like Billcale come to mind.....


Why does someone have to be an idiot because they want defence in the first round? Why do you have to be like that? I actually want a pass rusher in the first round because that's where the value is.

I believe if you take a WR or TE at 12, you're reaching. So I want Ireland to get value on EVERY pick, although like everyone else, I do recognize that our offence is the weak link.

But because someone feels this way, it doesn't make them an 'idiot'. It's just a difference of opinion. We don't all have to see things the same way.

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