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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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Craig, I was on board with the Romo thing until you mentioned Sanchez. Geez, people still making excuses for Sanchez are even more puzzling than the Henne apologists. My opinion is neither guy is good enough .. time to move on. And Rivers is finished too. Time for him to go home and take care of his 83 kids.

Kris,

Well said @12:10pm. I'm enjoying the comments from billcale also and not because I agree with most of what he's saying. Well thought out and level headed. Hears to more posters like that.

Offseason Shopping List:

1. Ugandan bananas
2. Neutrogena Cleansing Pads
3. Nude images of Beatrice Arthur
4. Cat Oil
5. Wide Receiver

Billcale is a reasonable man, I must agree.

Happy New year to all the real fans.

Ohhh and one more thing, Armando, u are getting lazy. That is the exact same story you've ran at the end of the last three years and basically every Ireland year. That they are going to spend money, get playmakers, GET WIDE RECEIVERS AND TIGHT ENDS, and that draft picks are not working out.
The only good part was the attendance. Ross and ireland dont care about the team and especially not the fans, so i and other like minded fans have been withholding our paychecks til a change is made. I hope it continues in 2013 if we don't have two star receivers and a tight end and Ireland gone. Bengals got vontaze burfict undrafted and Ireland hasn't hit on almost EVERYRHING and nothing past the second round besides cane players and jones. 3. In how many years? In fact, how many of his draft picks have played more than 1 year and are still LEGITIMATE nfl starters for the dolphins??
Ultimate fall from grace.

Yak, add Cambodian breast milk to your list please ...

Hahaha, I miss the Dave Chappelle Show ...

How many of you noticed that the Herald's main content (including all sports stories) became a PAY site yesterday?

This blog will be included in that. VERY soon.

And it will be the end of it, aside from a very few people hanging out in an empty warehouse.

PAY for this?? No, thank you.

This blog will be history soon. Time to look for other optionsout there.

Dolphins need to clean the plate a bit with their current team. Time to let J Long, S Smith, C Clemmons, M Moore, T McDaniel, R Starks walk.
Keep: R Bush, B Hartline, A Fasano, D Patterson


I say we go into FA and pick only offensive players that have experience and a small learning curve

Wallace (Pit)
Finley (GB)
Levitre (Buf)
A. Smith (Cin)

We then use the draft for mostly definsive players

1st rd trade back to 20-25 for extra 2nd
DE - D Jordan/Ziggy Ansah/B Mingo
2nd rd (MIA) CB - D Trufant
2nd rd (trade pickup)Either FS - K Vacarro or P Thomas
2nd rd ILB - K Minter
3rd rd WR - M Wheaton
3rd rd CB - T Hawthrone
4th rd best OT/OG avail

that should get some play makers on Off and hopefully better pressure on the opposing QB which should help the pass Def. I would also explore if anyone would want to trade for Dansby for even more picks

#24 CB S. SMITH IS WORTH AROUND 6 MIL.
NEEDS TO WORK WITH FMR. DOLPHINS CB SAM MADISON
IN THE OFF SEASON ON GETTING BETTER COVERAGE
TECHNIQUE. HE LACKS TURNING HIS HEAD AROUND DOWN THE FIELD AS WELL AS HIS BODY

Yeah Mark,

Not the biggest Sanchez fan OR Romo fan. I do think that Jones will do something to shake things up. Maybe it'll be Barkley, maybe it'll be someone else. Maybe he adds a guy like Matt Moore to complete with Romo. don't know. Status quo isn't working.

All of you hoping for an increase in wins next year...Have you SEEN our 2013 schedule??? So much more difficult than the easy one we played this year. We will be lucky to get 5 wins! Here is how I see it:

The home schedule: New York Jets (W), New England (L), Buffalo (W), Baltimore (L), Cincinnati (W), Atlanta (L), Carolina (L), San Diego (W); The away schedule: New York Jets (W), New England (L), Buffalo (L), Indianapolis (L), Pittsburgh (L), Cleveland (L), Tampa Bay (L), New Orleans (L).

5-11

If I'm Rex Ryan I'm trying to get out of my contract with the NYJ. Cap situation is lousy and he's going to be working with a GM he's likely not that familiar with. Looks like there are a lot of HCing openings that would be more attractive than the job in New York. I'm not buying all the bull he's spouting (as I never have) and actually believe he's angling to get out of his job with New York.

TJ,

You've got us losing to Buffalo, Indy, Pitt, Cleveland, Tampa, Carolina, and NO? Really bud? We're not winning ANY of those?

How are you able to project that far into the future when none of us have any clue what our rosters will look like? Not getting your point.

TJ
you cant go off of what teams are like this year based on how theyll be next year... Who thought Pitt would finish 8-8?

Thank you, Yak!

Craig, Dallas and SD are both entering an interesting time. A time when solid QBs have both demonstrated that their career windows have closed. Now the question is - do they try to overcompensate by adding pieces around them like the Dolphins did (i.e. new coach, expensive FA around marino at different times) - or do they do the reasonable but very difficult thing and just start over?

Why would Rex Ryan be in demand as a Head Coach for ANYBODY?

Team has continually regressed (or is it 'digressed,' lol) under his leadership the past few years and the whole 'blowhard' act goes stale very quickly--not to mention motivating opponents.

Can't see anyone thinking Ryan would be much of a hot commodity aside from returning to defensive coordinator status.

Craig M....

I'm not sure Rex is the kind of HC that leaves one HC gig...and gets snapped up by another.....he is a SLIGHTLY better version of SPorano (as a HC)...imo....as a Coordinator...Sporano can't hold his jock strap....

Rex's act has worn thin....and he will be out as the jets HC next year...he won't have to angle to get out....he will be fired......remember...you heard it hear FIRST....

Carol Channing has been fired in Buffalo!

The entire coaching staff has been released in Buffalo

Marino should look @ how cool Elway looks now....

Hair slicked back....100,00 dollar suits...and million dollar coats cut just right.......and BEST OF ALL...the GM of the #1 seed in the AFC.......

Elway already beat Marino career wise.....

Marino needs to get off the bench (tv)....and Use Elway as motivation to give it one last shot @ a ring......

"I ain't heard no bell yet".....

Rocky (all movies i think)....

I think the Chargers job WOULD have been really attractive a couple of years ago, not so much now.

That's a pretty old squad and Rivers has really declined badly as a QB lately---even if he may well rebound to some extent.

Add into that a lousy owner and the STRONG possibility of a franchise move to Los Angeles (i.e. distraction) looming, and it starts to look like a real, long-term mess.

Bears are probably the best opportunity right now. Not sure firing Lovie sends a great message about stability, however.

Kris, not sure Marino is smart enough. Listening to him every week has ruined him for me. He could throw a football and fire up a fanbase as a player but he's a bag of rocks. Probably reason one he never won the big one. Elway on the other hand was no genius but he is a successful business man and knows the sport. And you're right, pains me to say it but Elway is the most successful QB ever in terms of stats and rings and overall career. he is the king, only matched by the douche Brady.

Agreed about Marino.

On-field success is really no barometer at all in how someone would perform as a coach and/or GM type. In fact, NFL history is littered with examples of star players being complete flops in other roles.

Can't see Dan taking on the role of personnell analyst/capologist and the dozens of other roles a modern GM must be adept at.

Elway MAY be the exception to that rule...but landing the right QB obviously makes everyone look a lot smarter.

You need look no further than former "genius" Scott Pioli's career for evidence of that.

I liked RT at first but truthfully after this season, the guy is Jay Fiedler with the ability to run. Not much more. He's not Big Ben or any of the the others.

What scares me is Miami may take 3 more years to realize that.

Inimounts with all due respect Miami hasn't had money to spend like they do this year so Armando couldn't have written that before.

IMHO!

Everybody stating we need to address out own FA's before looking elsewhere need to look up the text book definition of INSANITY (Doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result) This core group of FA's have been the cogs and catalyst on some sub par mediocre teams for a few Yrs. now and outside of maybe 2 to 3 of them I don't see how bringing them back before looking elsewhere helps long term at this point given they are what they are.

That said I don't believe you can grade the team solely based on what you saw yesterday given I believe the team packed it in like a U-Haul will travel truck before kick off.

I will say the OL gives great pause outside of Pouncey neither Guard can pull with Incognito maybe the slowest LG I've ever seen and J.Jerry who has the athletic potential perennially over weight and out of shape.He maybe the more disappointing given you wonder what he could do motivated and playing at around 325 Pds. through a proper work ethic not constantly crash dieting which hurts his stamina and affects his abilities. J.Martin is so incredibly susceptible to the straight bull rush it's down right shocking. I have for sometime been saying we can live without Long and still feel this way unless his contract demands come down by half or performance bonus laced but we obviously can't live with Martin on the blindside and if not Long then need to hope that at least the very athletic Tex A&M RT Matthews falls to our pick 2A given that at 6'6"/310 Pds. at 4.95/40 maybe able to make the switch and our OL Coach should know better than anybody.

It's become painfully evident in having watched Luck at 1:00 PM then seen Tannehill that we may have drafted a more athletic Flacco. Luck at this point really goes through his reads scanning the field while Tannehill in week 17 still stares his 1st option down and forces the ball which is what caused the 1st Int. He also later missed a wide open WR (the bum wearing #19 Mimms or Bumms) before the half on a roll out to his right taking his eyes off downfield staring at the rush, disappointing! Without any spectacular option at RB strengthening my position on the blog for sometime now about looking to stock the D Ravens style through the draft while adding what we can on O in FA.

Craig M if your out there your right about the need for another pass rusher but you must admit we can use some new blood at MLB. The TD run by Ridley were one of the Pats OG's barely touches Dansby who watches Ridley run past him sitting on his keester was down right embarrassing as well or how about his inability to audible the D. Look at what London Fletcher did last night Vs. Dallas were he switched over half the D's calls and really lit a fire under teammates making plays all over the field in his 15th Yr. The DB's also need an overhall so in summation lots of holes. Our position moving into the Off-Season requires alot of thought and we better all hope Ireland gets at least 50% of it right or this team will stay as is for sometime.

"Tj" prob was the guy in here screaming the phins would only win one this season. Projecting wins and losses in Dec when the season is 9 months away is moronic, even for a Jets fan.

Not only should Ireland be fired because of the Egnew pick but what about his failure to see the talent just a short distance from his own office at FAU and FIU.Morris and Hilton were available but for some reason he and his scouting staff passed on them.Fire Ireland and give a title of Chief of Acorn development.That's about all he's good for.

If you don't even know the mistakes you've made, how are you able to fix them?

I ask EACH poster to think about the mistakes made here in the past before moving on to what should be done this year.

I've heard some things today that are like nails on chalkboards, LIKE:

- posters complaining about the oline, and wanting to fix it. PUHLEASE! Oline was NOT the problem yesterday. News flash to anyone who didn't watch the game, there were 21 points that WE failed to muster OURSELVES, due to things ENTIRELY in our OWN ability to control, i.e. dropped handoffs, dropped passes, missing the open receiver, etc.

Fix the oline, that's ALL Ireland has tried to do in 5 years, and HE. AIN'T. DONE. IT! Craig says how many wins did V. Jackson add to the Bucs, well, I pose to him and everyone else, how many wins did Jake Long, Mike Pouncey, Jonathan Martin and every FA olinemen add to OUR TEAM? Exactly, because if you don't have playmakers, then WHO CARES who's on your oline OR what they can or can't do!!!

Some genius said (paraphrasing), look at the Pats, they concentrate on their oline, we should follow their lead. WHAT A JOKE! Yeah, it's quite easy to concentrate on the oline when you have a franchise QB, 2 elite TEs, an elite WR, and a good RB. Geez, where do some of you get your football IQ, TECMO BOWL?


- Draft vs. FA! Can we stop with the black or white? Two names: Cameron Wake/Ted Ginn Jr. One IS the best player on the defense, and happens to be a FA signing, the other was a FIRST-ROUND BUST! It's about getting the RIGHT player at the RIGHT price. Who cares WHERE you get him? If you keep putting these conditions on what you need to do, you'll probably be stuck on mediocrity forever. Step OUTSIDE the box. BE CREATIVE. Don't accept the NORM. We need talent, and that talent can be found in every round of the Draft AND in free agency (at the right price) if you know what you're doing.

- Fire Jeff Ireland! I know the thought behind it, guy had a number of years, stuck in mediocrity, can't get playmakers, so let's move on. If it only were that easy. That thinking doesn't take into account the Owners ASSESSMENT after restructuring the team LAST SEASON that the GM was worth keeping. What don't many of you get about that? And how STUPID (on the Owner's part) would it look if you made that assessment, chose to retain the GM, and then expected him to win convincingly the VERY NEXT SEASON with a rookie HC, rookie QB, bunch of young talent and still re-building from the last HC? Think about that.

The QB pick ALONE gave Ireland until the end of the 2013 Season. So the EARLIEST he can be fired is after next year. If some of you put business feelers up instead of the "I hate Ireland" blinders you have on, you'd understand that's just a fact.

Lastly, Ireland wasn't ASKED to find playmakers. He was ASKED to find linemen. Because the idiotic Parcells approach of building from the lines out. Lot of good that did. Now we're trying to find NEW linemen to replace THOSE linemen, and STILL don't have any skill position playmakers. It's like the worst of both worlds (and the reason our offense runs like Jaguar, the car that craps out after 10 miles, not the animal).

To those who keep asking whether T-Hill is our future franchise QB? You have to give this young guy a chance. I think he has played well given the circumstances. I see great upside to him. 4 of last 5 games he played very well. I even give him credit for yesterday and the guts it took to hang in there. He lost his left tackle, right tackle switched to left side, backup moved to right tackle (Garner), injured Hartline (back issues), no Bess, a receiver starting that was cut 1 1/2 weeks prior, no tight- end that can hit the seam, a dancer in the backfiled consistently keeping him in 2nd and long (Bush). Starting wide-outs when healthy are 3rd and 4th everywhere else. Now, tell me what QB can achieve in that situation? (Luck, RGIII, etc..) How do you think Manning would have looked in a Dolphins uniform this year? Do you think there is a reason he decided not to come here? Do yu think he would have home-filed throughout? Tannehill is a good young QB...period. He can read defenses, a good decision maker, can make all the throws, athletic. It's not T-Hill. He is a bright spot.

speaking of tightends... maybe ireland needs to re-think his strategy, maybe he would be wise to take a page from the book of belicheat, this game against the pats said exactly that... the pats with a good o-line re-enforced an already coheasive unit by adding TWO of the best BLOCKING and catching tightends in the business, why miami insisted on pressuring brady from the outside(with no success) is beyond me, the ONLY way to get to brady as long as those two centuries(hernendez and gronk)are posted adjacent to their right and left tackles is through the a/b gap. and from what we saw on sunday, tannehill is NOT the guy, and whoever the QB is going to be he WILL need better protection, and i don't think there is a better scheme that protects the right and left side then the one that gives brady ALL DAY to throw the football. if miami drafts TWO monster tightends with picks one and two this team would be better for it.

Entirely agreed Dc dolfan! My point entirely. We concentrated for years on building from the lines out and made wr an afterthought. Now some here are advocating more building of the I line and "waiting until next year" on our highest position of need. The very definition of insanity.

Actually V. Davis was beat most of the day by andre Johnson, And when exactly did Sean Smith do anything wrong against the Pats??
You win and lose with offensive line and ours is not good!!!!! Our Secondary with Smith, Marshall, Mcann, and Carrol are actually ok. These are our real problems in order::
1) O-line- We need to Franchise Long and use him for 1 year. replace Jerry and maybe martin
2) WR- Hartline needs to be resigned and bring in a #1 reciever like Mike Wallace or Fitzgerald.
3) line-backers- Dansby and Burnett are overrated and misi is marginal.
4) RB- we need to find a RB, but don't waste a high pick or a lot of money on one. (they really arn't that hard to find)
5) One more pass rusher to help Wake
6) TE- Fasano is good, Clay is ok, but we need one more so we can use Clay in many different ways as he is not a true TE.

Fins should hire some OUTSIDE EXPERT talent evaluators THAT AREN'T YES MEN to ensure that next year's recruits go down as the best in Fins history.

Ross should consult with his friend Peterson who to bring in.

WR GREG JENNINGS
TE JERMICHAEL FINLEY
HB PEYTON HILLIS TO REPLACE RB DANIEL THOMAS FOR SHORT YARDAGE RUNS.
TRADE A 3RD ROUND PICK FOR A BALL HAWKING SAFETY OR PASS RUSHER.
RESIGN WR BRIAN HARTLINE. DRAFT PLAYMAKERS IN THE SECONDARY

YESTERDAY'S GAME WAS BOTH BAD AND GOOD FOR THE TEAM! HAD HOUSTON TEXANS WON THE LAST TWO WEEKS THAN THE GAME WOULD HAVE BEEN A DIFFERENT RESULT. NE WOULD NOT HAVE HAD ANY THING TO PLAY FOR AND COULD NOT HAVE TOOK THE CHANCE TO PLAY THEIR STARTERS FOR THE ENTIRE GAME. THE DOLPHINS THEN WOULD HAVE PLAYED DIFFERENTLY TO FINISH 8-8. IN THE NFL YOU DO NOT DO AS TAMPA BAY DID TO ATLANTA UNLESS YOUR ARROGANT ASS COACH PLAYS HIS STARTERS IN A MEAN LESS GAME. CANNOT RISK INJURIES TO KEY PLAYERS. WHY DO YOU THINK THE GAME TIME WAS SWITCHED?
THE NFL WANTS BRADY VS MANNING IN THE AFC CHAMPIONSHIP.
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS! THE NFC IS WEAK THIS YEAR AND HAVE WON THE LAST 2 SUPER BOWLS THEY WILL LOSE THIS YEAR IF THEY FACE MANNING OR BRADY FROM THE AFC. DOLPHINS LOST 4 GAMES THEY COULD HAVE WON EASILY SO IS THIS TEAM 11 WIN TEAM OR NOT? ADD PLAYMAKERS AND THE ANSWER IS YES! BOTTOM LINE DON'T JUDGE YESTERDAY'S GAME ONLY JUDGE THE SEASON !

How in the hell we can win in the offseason with Jeff Ireland at GM? For all of you Ireland supporters , you are dumb idiots who don't have a clue about the importance of effectively evaluating talent.

It proves that this owner contiues not to care about what the fans think. They want to keep the Moron Ireland.So Dolphin fans will continue to stay away. And folks stop with the draft. I will take Free agencey any day off the crap shoot of the draft.The NFL draft is so overated. Look at the stats on that.

oscar canosa:

You are one negative dude. I have thought that on frobably 9 out of 10 of your posts over the last couple years. Jeeeeez, if you don't have a woman, or any close friends, look in the mirror. Sorry to be "negative", but all of your posts are like that. You're a "Dolphin fan"? F.ck! Look for another team, or another sport, or another hobby, man.

Few Stars?...Miami has Wake and that's it. Everyone else is average. It's the truth.

Egnew: Another Ireland bust

We are years away from the Patriots and that is an undisputable fact. They clinched the division four weeks ago! The Pats play chess while we play checkers. We all know Ireland is going to squander the picks and the money that he has on players that will not perform. He has had five years to build this roster and has failed miserably. Tannehill has not proven anything yet, other than flashes of brilliance. You can blame it all on the lack of receivers, but the last time I checked Russell Wilson didn't have a 1000 yard receiver that he was throwing to. We are still in wait and see mode with Tannehill and when you take someone at #6 there shouldn't be any doubt. Philbin and his staff was completely outcoached and humiliated in that game. As a fan who lives in Belicheat Country, I am sick of seeing them get pummeled by the hated Patriots.

I don't lie, hardcore. I call them as I see them.

Great DEs this year. Need to take one of them.

I was reading all these comments and then I saw Craig suggest Sanchez could be a big winner in Dallas and I laughed so hard I blacked out.

What I saw last Sunday was both a pusilanimous team and coach decisions. Since quite a long time we all know that the Dolphins lack talent but what it's amazing is the lack of courage and guts that season after season this franchise shows. At least that is what seems to me. The infamous Patriots had a picnic on Sunday as it's becoming a custom against the Dolphins. Philbin had nothing to loose and yet he made the team to punt after punt. At 14-0 he even tried a useless field goal that turned to be missed; it would have not mede any difference anyhow. This decision was like those in the best Sparanus days. And so it goes.
If coaches don't try to be bold the same attitude will permeate the players. Honestly I don't see how the Dolphins can become an elite team if things there do not change deeply and dramatically.

The first step: time to cut ties with Ireland, send him packing back to Chicago. He has damaged this franchise cause this team (Miami Dolphins) ruined his favorite team, the Chicago Bears, not have a perfect season in 1985. Second: Bring in Marino as a coach to put some fire into the belly of Tanno (Tannehill). This kid needs to be more competitive and take control of this offense. And third: Bring in a GM that can make trades and drafts the way this team used to do with Don Shula and his coaches who were the best in the league.

Kris, Marino was giving a personal director job by the Dolphins a couple of years back and he quitr the next day saying he didnt want to watch film and work the required hours needed. What a b i t c h! He will never be Elway. Elway is G O A T.

Marino doesnt even want to associate himself with the Dolphins at all, its a shame.

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