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On Jeff Ireland, cuts, and PFF metrics

After the Dolphins establish their practice squad and modify the bottom of the roster a couple of times, the work of general manager Jeff Ireland will be mostly done for this roster. His work then will mostly consist of scouting and gauging how well players perform.

And that, in turn, will measure how well he performed this offseason.

My column in today's Miami Herald tells you that Ireland did well in upgrading the Dolphins from a season ago. (I know that will be unpopular with some). But it is the truth and I give you the list of compelling reasons based on what I've seen in training camp and preseason.

The Dolphins yesterday made cuts. And it is interesting not one undrafted free agent rookie made the initial 53. That's a good thing.

To me, it suggests the Dolphins have a strong enough talent base that they're not augmenting to the roster with project players that basically were rejected for one reason or another in the draft. Yes, Miami has had productive players make it as UDFA inn the past -- Davone Bess and Dan Carpenter come to mind as a couple lately.

But these players rarely become stars. They are usually mid-level talent at best.

So the fact none made it this year suggests to me the Dolphins already had plenty of mid-level talent and below and are working to fill the higher levels of talent, their blue chip player number.

As you know, I'm partnering with ProFootballFocus.com this season and will provide game insights based on their metrics film review after every game.

Here are some interesting things that showed up based on the preseason finale and how I view these results.

Offensive Summary 

After a good performance against the Bucs, fullback Evan Rodriguez crashed back to earth vs. the Saints in his most extended action of the preseason (33 snaps). He participated in 20 run blocking plays and had a negative overall grade of -1.6.

(Salguero: As you know, the Dolphins kept Rodriguez and here's my concern: Of his 33 plays, the Dolphins ran the ball 21 times, according to PFF's study. If that is accurate it means the Dolphins will typically run when Rodriguez is in the game. Offensive coordinator Mike Sherman has to keep this from becoming a trend that defenses can recognize, otherwise he'll basically be tipping his run-pass selection when Rodriguez is in the game).

[UPDATE: The Dolphins cut Rodriguez today. He broke the news on his twitter feed. Makes sense. He had an unremarkable camp and, as you just read, an unremarkable game in the preseason finale.]

Third round rookie pick Dallas Thomas allowed a sack and a hurry in 22 pass blocking snaps.

(Salguero: Honestly, this kid needs a lot of work. He's a guard. A guard. A guard. The Dolphins continue to work him at tackle).

Michael Egnew got the “start” over Dion Sims, but Sims played one more snap, 29 to 28.

Pat Devlin threw both of his interceptions in the middle of the field and less than 10 yards from the line of scrimmage. Devlin attempted just two passes 20+ yards down the field, targeting Marvin McNutt on a long TD and Rishard Matthews on an incompletion.

Dion Sims caught four of his six targets, with all four catches coming 10 yards from the line of scrimmage.

Defensive Summary

Five players missed 2 tackles, including rookie cornerback Jamar Taylor.  The team had 14 total.

Taylor was targeted four times and allowed three receptions -- to Marques Colston, Kenny Stills, and Nick Toon.

(Salguero: The Dolphins need both Taylor and Will Davis to grow up quickly. It's been rocky so far with injury setbacks for both players. Taylor is nowhere near ready to play against good NFL wide receivers and win consistently).

Backup defensive tackle Vaughn Martin had a sack and 4 defensive stops en route to a +2.5 grade.

(Salguero: Now we understand why he made the team, in part. This game was key for him. He played very, very well).

Special teams 

The Dolphins committed three penalties on special teams.

Comments

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32 GM's times 7 rounds = 224 times a GM passed on drafting Devlin.

So make no mistake, he is a project player. The chances of him ever being a viable starter are very tiny according to historical stats.

Seems like a good kid, but what we need is talent. Maybe he will be a servicable back up, but he isn't going to carry us for many games realistically speaking.

Chad Henne Had A Rocket. So did J.Russell, and how about J.P. Losman?

A WCO QB needs to be Quick with his decisions and Accurate. Think J.Montana. he had a noodle arm, but he was Quick and Accurate.

Devlin's arm is just good enough. And No One is asking him to carry the franchise. His job is to help get T-Hill prepared (Help him study, like a Sidekick) and come in for the rest of a game or start a Couple when the Starter gets hurt.

Devlin is the Smartest QB on the Team. That helps. Him and Tannehill.

Moore has value, because he is a good guy. He helps keep T-Hill level headed. He has been in the league a while. He helps fill out the room.

Very rarely will you ever see 3 QBs on a roster that would compliment each other so well. You can honestly see that they don't hate each other. They are OK with making each other better. They know their Role.

It's a good day when the trolls take it right on the chin. This article just proves how wrong and simple minded they are all the time. Just do us a favor and go away. Who cares about the Devlin chatter? Just on and on to a senseless pointless end.

go finsssssssssss

Comparing Devlin to Montana is so far fetched I won't even debate it.

Fact is no GM though Devlin worth a pick.

Fact is the % of UDFA QB's that become viable starters is very, very tiny.

Romo is one of the rare exceptions, and he is certainly far more talented than Devlin.

Being a fan doesn't mean you should be afraid of looking at things objectively.

Imagine we make the playoffs and Tannehill goes down in the first quarter. Who do you want stepping in? The experienced Moore who has led the team to NFL victories, or untested inexperienced Devilin who will be more easily confused by the opposing DC?

The final final for me is that Philbin and Sherman have coached HOF QB's and SB qb's. I trust there assessment of these players upfront and personal 100 times more than my own.

If they got Moore as #2, I got to believe they know what they are doing more than any fan who doesn't have access to even 1/100th of the information they have.

People look at the roster and see holes. I see an attacking defense that can be a top 5 defense in this league. The best part is there is still an upside to what we have seen so far. Dion Jordan and Jamar Taylor will find roles on this defense at some point and get a lot of playing time.

I see a reasonably good team but with no depth anywhere but the dline. We can't withstand too many injuries. Keller was already a major blow.

If they got Moore as #2, I got to believe they know what they are doing more than any fan who doesn't have access to even 1/100th of the information they have.

Posted by: Soren | September 01, 2013 at 08:36 PM

They had Moore as 2nd to Henne and they were WRONG!

We have depth at QB since Moore is better than Tanny.

Not this regime.

If you can't see the off season strategy of having a great defense to shorten the field for Tannehill and keep us in games even when he struggles you've missed the whole point of the off season. Can't wait to see what these guys can do to Weeden in week 1.

I'm watching the last game again.

We remember the nice pass to Mcnutt, but so far Devlins first two long balls were way off target.

This regime is making the same mistake as last regime leaving Moore on the bench.

LET'S BE HONEST HERE

12 of us just drafted for the fantasy league; neither Tanne nor Miller nor Wallace nor the Defense were taken before the 4th or 5th round and they play for the team we root for so deep down how confident are we in the team and it's players?
The only thing to play for in this ffl is humiliation, yours not mine, and none of us trust the Phins players to deliver.

mike,
Starting next Sunday Tanne will take a beating from the first play through the last.

Eventually Moore will get to play.

Posted by: ExposingTheFraud | September 01, 2013 at 09:14 PM

Even the homers know our players stink! Too Funny!

The BACKDOOR bloggers are here. I guess Kris will show up soon.

Yo Hershey what up

Matt Moore is decent when he has time in the pocket. He runs backwards upon sacks and loses extra yards.

If Moore is, better than Devlin is not by much. Devlin is everything between the hash marks. He mainly uses the middle of the field.

IT'S GOING TO BE A BEAUTIFUL SITE SUNDAY BEATING DOWN CLEVELAND...

TRUE FACT
The road that runs outside of Hershey Park in Pennsylvania is named Hershey Highway.

tough tough opening day in very loud place. lets try and pull it out

The Browns are only tough because we stink....

dusty

cleveland sucks. if we can't beat them, we suck. fk the stupid loud stadium. that is a girlie excuse.

Weeden is going to wish it was a preseason game so he could get yanked and not have to face our D. Not scared of the Browns at all.

Devlin misses Egnew twice in the end zone.

Then we recover a fumble on the ten, he has Sims wide open and misses him with a crappy pass. Right before that he led Matthews out of bounds in the end zone.

Moore > Devlin

We never beat the Browns. Not lately.

I can't believe LV considers us to be even with Cleveland. We believe we have a much improved Team and that Cleveland is a poor to mediocre Team. Are we wrong in our assessment?

No Egnew ran a bad route. TWICE! And how many times has Moore missed Hartline on the end zone fade route. PLENTY!

Are we wrong in our assessment?

Posted by: oscar canosa | September 01, 2013 at 09:38 PM

YOU are wrong in YOUR assesment lol

Then LV is right, Xerxes?

Oscar

Your assessment is not objective, since you are a fin fan. To the outsiders, we have been as stinky as Cleveland, and they have improved too.

This is an expansion team, people.

Oscar, Vegas has us 3 point favorites vs Cleveland on a neutral field.

We're even at Cleveland.

If the game was in Miami we would be 6 point favorites.

Most likely oscar

Devlin throws a pick at the goal line, very bad pass.

Take away his late bomb to McNutt and Devlin is really stinking it up.

Then what can we do besides expending huge amount of $$$ on great Players to become a talked about Team?

You get no respect until you become a consistent winner. As it should be.

Oscar, the team wins games they will get respect. The team has lots of potential, but is unproven. From Tannehill, to Miller, to Vernon, and others.

I remember the 11-5 year in 08 the team finally earned a bunch of respect by the end of the year.

If the team gets to a good record or knocks off a good team they talking heads will start talking about the Dolphins.

So we are only 3 points better than Cleveland, Captain? I expected better from this Team.

Oscar, yeah it isn't ideal. But if we beat them by 2 plus touchdowns the lines in the future will change accordingly.

Its hard to judge Devlin when he plays with scrubs.

IVE WATCHED CLEVELANDS STARTERS ALL PRE SEASON. THEY SUCK!!

DEFENSE IS HIGHLY SUSPECT AND OFFENSE STRUGGLES FOR 1ST DOWNS.

We have Mike Wallace now, we have Cam Wake. Those are game turners. Who does Cleveland has of those?

But watch out for Travis Benjamin returning kicks.

The formula for beating Cleveland is the same as it is for any other teams this year. We have to win the turnover battle. That's it. That's all.

At this point in the season we can't afford or over come the big mistakes. Especially this early in the season.

All we have to do is protect the ball until we work out the jitters. Which should be midway 2nd quarter.

Once we work out the shakes, Cleveland won't have a chance. I say we'll beat Cleveland soundly. Even though it'll be a little closer on the score board.

Cleveland has Trent Richardson for one. And improved defense.

We suck until we prove otherwise. The offseason means nothing.

We have to win the turnover battle.

Posted by: odinseye | September 01, 2013 at 10:06 PM


Genius analysis. Some of you are stuck on stating the utter obvious.

Ha!, you got that win the battle of turnovers from Philbin, odin. And it is true. But turnovers are going to happen even if you have perfect execution. Great plays by the other Team, tipped passes, sacks by great Players, broken tackles by tough runners, etc. I continue to believe Talent is foremost.

Hey, Weeden is better than Tannehill and dont they have Bess looking for revenge.

Here goes the mindless banter...we suck but Cleveland doesn't because they proved something right?? When did that happen after that 5-11 season? Hello?

Of course, even with great Talent a Team that does not execute well is bound to lose as happened in SF before Jim Harbaugh came in and implanted his System.

WHEEDEN IS A 30 YEAR OLD NEOPHITE!

What we're scared of T. Richardson at 3.6 ypc from last year? Maybe the 14 tds and 17 picks with the 72.6 rating last yr from Weeden? So our guys have to prove something but theirs don't? And you want us to believe you're a fan? That's not objective at all.

Dads, nobody is scared of us. 4 straight losing seasons. Nobody is drooling over our offseason like us.

We suck until we prove otherwise. That's how it is.

You can say I'm stating the obvious or that I got that from Philbin.

The truth is I got it during the 2008 season when we won the Division. It wasn't Parcell's, Pennington or Ronnie Brown and the Wildcat.

The MAIN REASON was we LEAD THE LEAGUE in the turnover ratio.

As far as stating the obvious, I think it was your tunnel vision and comprehension skills. Seriously, I'm not joking. If you read it a little more carefully, maybe you'd better understand what was typed.

I said that **IF** we can avoid the Big Mistakes, until we work out the jitters, we can handle the Browns. I also said that it shouldn't take us longer than a quarter and a half. Once our offense settles in, our Defense can do **MOST** of the work.

Our run D forces them into passing situations and Vernon and Wake take it from there. By games end, Weeden will know Wake **AND** Vernon very, VERY WELL!

I do believe Miami has much better talent at the starting positions than Cleveland does. We should beat them, assuming that we are properly Coached, by at least 6 or more points. Now, Cleveland has a new Coach, Chudzinsky, who may be a great Coach and he might be the reason why LV is keeping the score very close.

No need to get so overly defensive.

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