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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.


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I'm just trying to find out why LV has pick'em. And they really do not abound in their reasons to do so.

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

Posted by: Ellis | September 01, 2013 at 10:33 PM

So what you're saying is that you will continue to rail on this team until they're proven winners.

At which point, you'll suddenly become a Big Fan........RIGHT?

I'm SURE they have a name for that, but I'll let you fill in the Blanks.

Just making sure we all understand exactly where you........ah.......stand. OK then.......

What I'm saying is that I am an objective fan. don't chew agua bubblegum. I try to see the big picture.

The team has had some bright moments, but overall it has sucked for too many years.

It will continue to suck until they prove otherwise. There is no other way. Cheerleading won't help.

There is a name for blind idiots in denial too...but I'll let you fill in the Blanks.

At least in horse racing, every track has a handicapper that makes the pre-race odds or morning line. Many times, when the betting opens for a race, a horse that was 6-5 by the track handicapper goes to 3-1 and a horse that was 4-1 by him goes to 7-5. That bet down horse was made so by LV $ and wins ~ 40-50% of the time. That first pass by LV is the most important one and if they have said pickem between Miami and Cleveland now, no matter if the odds go in favor of Miami later, they are probably right. Pick'em.

The track is a total mind fukkk where numbers only decieve.

Cleveland also has Norv Turner.

Let me state some more obvious things........

Tannehill had an outstanding, albeit quiet, Pre-Season. I think he's been very solid and I don't think he's thrown an INT all pre season(?).

This from Alain Poupart at Dolphin.Com:

In today’s NFL, it’s pretty difficult for a starting quarterback to fly under the radar, but that’s pretty much what Ryan Tannehill has done this preseason.

The Dolphins’ first-team offense got off to a slow start in each of the first three preseason games and struggled in the red zone against Tampa Bay Saturday night, but the numbers show Tannehill doing an impressive job throwing the ball.

Through the Dolphins’ first four preseason games, Tannehill has compiled a passer rating of 98.6, a figure that would have ranked him seventh last season among all starting quarterbacks. To put that number in perspective, Tom Brady finished the 2012 season with a 98.7 rating.

“I’m progressing,” Tannehill said after the 17-16 loss against Tampa Bay Saturday night. “I think that there is still things I need to work on, but I think I’m moving in the right direction. There are still some plays that I should be better at, but I’m learning and trying not to make the same mistake twice.”

In that game against the Buccaneers, Tannehill had a 90.0 passer rating after completing 17 of 27 passes for 150 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. Keep in mind, though, that those stats would have been better had it not been for a couple of drops, including one in the end zone by Brandon Gibson.

Tannehill has been on a roll, really, since a forgettable outing in the Hall of Fame Game against Dallas. His rating was a tremendous 120.1 for the game at Jacksonville and almost just as good the following week at Houston (119.0).

For Tannehill, the measure of progress isn’t so much related to statistics.

With a Killer Defense and Great Special Teams Play, this is all we need from Tannehill. We don't need him to carry the team. We just need to him to play heads up ball and continue to improve. Especially in the Red Zone.

I always have the Rose Colored Homer Glasses on this time of year. But this time it feels different. It feels like the Teams backing me up. If all the units come together like I think they will, it will be a Great Season.

Go Dolphins!!!!

Cleveland claimed 6 Players from the waiver wire.

I pretty much agree with the Tannehill assessment.

But there are no winners in preseason.

I'm a Tannehill fan. I believe he was the right pick at 8 for a franchise deprived of a long term QB for so long.

Until they show it, they ain't it. That's all.

There is a name for blind idiots in denial too...but I'll let you fill in the Blanks.

Posted by: Ellis | September 01, 2013 at 11:01 PM




I didn't call names now Big Fella. Didn't you just admonish another poster, and I quote:

No need to get so overly defensive.

Posted by: Ellis | September 01, 2013 at 10:45 PM

Blogging Etiquette 101. Practice what you Preach Tough Guy-LOL.


Only 2 weeks ago Steve Ross said that Dolphin fans will have to be patient

Translation: We Still Stink

Thats from the owner

Did the homers get the memo?

Etiquette is for queens.


I like Dion Sims and I think he can handle being the starter.

I had some unique insight on Sims simply because of where I live. I get all the Michigan and Michigan State games. A lot of Fans don't realize that Sims was known for being a Pass Catching Tight End that struggled with Blocking Assignments.

Very athletic, especially at the lighter weight. He was recruited by multiple major schools as a Basket Ball player. He was 2nd or 3rd in Michigan's Mr. Basketball Voting coming out of HS. He also played Basketball for State as a Freshman before deciding to focus solely on Football.

He shown that he's willing too do what it takes to make it. During his final Season at State it was obvious that he had devoted himself to improving his blocking skills and techniques. He then shed 20 pounds and entered the NFL Draft as a **JUNIOR**(He turned 22 in Feb).

I said all that just to reiterate that Sims was known as a Seam Threat/Pass Catching Tight End at MSU. He's young, talented and very Coach-able. He's the BEST Tight End on our Roster PERIOD. Therefor he should be Starting against Cleveland!

I havent seen anything to tell me that Tannehill is any better than Henne or that Philbin is any better than Sparano.


Try an Eye Doctor.

If that doesn't help, try Dr. Canosa.


I hate to break it to you butt all the Michigan games are available everywhere on earth to anyone who wants to see them.

So nothing unique about your insight.

Congradulations to Jordan Kovacs for making the Practice Squad.

It ain't over til The Monkey Boy Swallo........ah.......

I mean, til the Fat Lady Sings!


So nothing unique about your insight.

Posted by: Fleck | September 01, 2013 at 11:57 PM

Regardless, that was a poor choice of words on my part.

I wouldn't mean to insinuate that any mere mortal Human Being could possibly have any type of insight. Not on this Board anyways(it upsets the numb nut Troll here too much-LOL).

All I meant to say is that I.......**ME PERSONALLY(Duh)**..........I watch all the Michigan and Michigan State Games I can(Much like a South Florida Fan might watch the Hurricanes(Hello)).

MEANING that I have watched Sims basically his entire collegiate career at MSU.

You got a Problem with any of those words.....Homey?


Dripping Sarcasm


3 nights in a row on a HOLIDAY weekend you are here.

So your hotties are where? At the truck stop? Again?

I understand.

Why are we not surprised?

This is a football blog, yet Troll Boy STILL finds a way to bring up Truck Stops.

Oh, the fond memories you must have.

Well, here's a little advice:

Keep you and your Truck Stop Fantasies too yourself. Capische?

Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.

William Shakespeare

Philbin certainly does look like a Goof at times. He just has the goofiest looks as he walks the sidelines. I'll bet Shula feels embarrassed for him. It embarrasses me as a Fan.

I see those vacant looks on his face and it makes me just want to "Smack Him In Is Mouf!

Maybe I missed something odin.

Your bevy of hotties are where this weekend?

ALL of them chose another option than to be with you?

All of them?

Well, I guess it is just a coincidence.

Philbin looks like a nice, thoughtful man and that is the perfect set of characteristics to work at WalMart as a greeter.

I'd like to hire Philbin as the maitre d for my Red Lobster restaurant. Great, decent family man.

Football coach?

Is Philbin a leader of MEN?

What is the real definition of that word?
Is it an asian indentured servant that came to America to provide labor for the railroad?

If we lose to Cleveland it will take us 2 months to have a winning record. If we beat Cleveland we can make it to our third game before we have a losing record.

Well, I guess it is just a coincidence.

Posted by: Coolie | September 02, 2013 at 12:16 AM

What are you blathering on about?

My Hottie is right here. We went to a Cookout at a Friends earlier. We came back here. She's on her I-Pad or Kindle Fire or whatever it is and I'm on mine.

Matter of fact, we just had a rough spot and we've been having "Make Up.......ah.......well.......Make Up Sex" for the past week. Oh yeah, eat your Heart Out!

Anywhoo........we're getting ready to order a Movie and Snuggle Up very shortly.

What? You don't believe me? I'll have her say Hi to you.

Honey come over here and say "Hi" to the Idiot" on the Blog.

**Hi Idiot**

SEE! She just typed that-ROTFLMAO!!!!

I'll be glad when the season gets underway and Miami starts winning and beating teams that everyone thinks that we should lose to...
Because, then the trolls will fade into the woodwork...
Or, find their way back home to Sexy Rexy and the Jets...
They really miss you guys, by the way...
Things over there just aren't the same without you...



In his NFL career, Clutts has caught eight receptions for 48 yards. He also played with the Edmonton Eskimos (CFL) in 2008-09 and Utah Blaze (AFL) in 2010. Clutts switched from defensive end to fullback while a member of the Sacramento Mountain Lions (UFL) in 2010.

Clutts was a four-year letterman as a defensive end at Fresno State University, where he played in 50 games and totaled 172 tackles and 23.5 career sacks. Born November 9, 1984 in Clovis California, Clutts attended Clovis High School where he played quarterback and defensive end and guided the Cougars to an 11-2 record and the Yosemite Division Large School championship in 2002. He also was the top-ranked wrestler in California at 215 pounds in 2002.

Faking is a Loooooooser.

I do not think that even Jeff thinks he's done. The Super Bowl; SF. vs. Baltimore was high scoring even though both teams have great defenses. Offense dominates in today's game. The Dolphins need another right OG, depth on the OL, another WR and perhaps Sims will work out at TE. I'm really not sure that Tannehill is the best QB on the team at this time.

No need for anyone to be really concerned about the Browns they are an opponent not to be taken lightly but are more of a tune-up for the Colts, Falcons and Saints.

Two words: Jelani Jenkins

The PS has been released. Not all that interesting...5 of 8 were already on the team in camp. Zzzzzz.


I have been away for a bit. Thanks for noticing.

Homers, trolls, countrymen- lend me your ears. I come to praise Ireland and Philbin, not bury them!

News flash- The dolphins are going to be good this year. We will have a top 10 defense- possibly top 5. The mike Wallace addition opens up the middle of the field for Gibson, hartline, and Simms on the intermediate routes. Lamar miller is going to surprise people who haven't caught on yet that he is electric. The offensive line is solid. Ryan Tannehill steps up his game bc he is being tutored by men who have molded qbs into great ones.

I can go on and on but the point is-there is no reason to be anything but optimistic at this point.

Whether the Dolphins finish the season with a great record or a terrible record, I hope we call all agree that Jeff Ireland did a terrific job on the roster.


Right on...no reason to be anything but optimistic at this point. Ireland has done a fine job. I'm more than willing to give Philbin/Ireland a chance to pull the team together. I don't mind being under the radar and going into the season with little hype. I see the same as PFF regarding the addition of blue chip talent on both sides of the ball. Maybe we are a little thin at some positions in terms of depth but it's only because they added front line talent like Wallace, Grimes, Clabo, Ellerbe, Keller, Gibson.

The 8-man practice squad:

31 De'Andre Presley DB
44 Jordan Kovacs S
65 Sam Brenner C
76 Jason Weaver T
78 Al Lapuaho DT
85 Brian Tyms WR
86 Kyle Miller TE
87 Marvin McNutt WR

The team is not upgraded. Expect to take a step back in year 1 of the rebuild.

Posted by: Steve in Ottawa | September 01, 2013 at 01:03 PM

Year 1 of the rebuild? This is year 10! And the Dolphins are still not rebuilt, any more than a sand castle is rebuilt during a rising tide.

Still Miami-Clev pick'em. I'm beginning to get worried that I'm really a Homer.

13-3. What you negative guys are not understanding is that Tannehill is the real deal.

He does not throw interceptions.

What you call being a homer I call being a fan. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a fan and being optimistic about your team. I never see Steelers or Packers fans waver on their team under any circumstances. Their fans probably would not mind a bit being called a homer. We have fair weather bandwagon fans...just part of it all I guess.

Now is the time of year to be hopeful and believe that it can be a great year. All I've seen is evidence of that with stats and what's happened this offseason. What do the naysayers have?? Their know it all hindsight, highly negative opinion and their fortune telling ability to see doom and gloom? Don't make me laugh.

The level of debate here is about as refined as a bunch of 3rd graders and about as unruly as a ghetto locker room.

You all are an embarrassing glimpse of modern American society.

View..What's your refined contribution here? You wish to debate something? Go right ahead let's hear what you have to say...I'll wait.

Love faking is probally a 13 year old smart a s that knows nothing about anything just a little troll he definitely don't know FOOTBALL!

I love being covered in chocolate sea men. I have Aids. I got my mother pregnant, then I banged my baby brother son. I was gang ra-ped by a group of Dolphins out in the ocean. I have a blue backpack, but I really want a red one. My favorite color is red. I like to rub my palm under my nuts when they are sweaty, and then smell it. I once put a an ant up my pee hole. My favorite hobby is pooping and peeing in the shower. My name is LOVE FAKING 17-0-IN-YUR-ASS!

Posted by: odinseye | September 01, 2013 at 11:16 PM

Odinseye I was thinking about writing something similar to this. Thank you for saving me the time! But I agree. And I feel like hopes of Tannehill being an elite qb are nice but if it doesn't happen it surely doesn't mean this team will fail in the future. There aren't a lot of "elite" guys out there. Teams find ways to win with qbs who aren't top 5 all of the time. Great defense, sound special teams, balanced offensive attack and a qb who can limit turn overs and you're in.

So I would obviously love for Tannehill to be elite some day but I also understand team success can be obtained without that happening.

What you call being a homer I call being a fan. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a fan and being optimistic about your team.

Posted by: dadsmithwest | September 02, 2013 at 11:09 AM

dadssmith please don't waste your time typing to these people. They are either trying to drum up hits for the blog or they are loser fans (because why would you hang out in your rivals blog unless you're an enormous loser?) of another team.

They don't care about facts, they don't care about being objective, they don't care about being rationale. They are only here for attention, they WILL NOT debate their statements. The same statements every day ,same exact statements every day and have been for over a year now. Therefore it's easy to deduce that they do not believe the things they write. Enjoy your Labor Day.

You all are an embarrassing glimpse of modern American society.

Posted by: View | September 02, 2013 at 11:31 AM

But you forgot your sign out. "Politicians love people like you".

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a fan and being optimistic about your team.

Posted by: dadsmithwest | September 02, 2013 at 11:09 AM

I tend to disagree. Being optimistic about the Ross/Ireland Dolphins is totally retarded. We hear the same crap every year. Its really laughable.

I would love for us to be favored by 6 over Cleveland. Pick'em is depressing when considering all the good, expensive Athletes we have.

Gotta come clean here, I was one of the guys raggin' on Ireland a couple of years ago when we missed out on the "Peyton Manning Sweepstakes". I, like many, wanted him to go after the then popular Matt Flynn...I guess that shows how much he really knew. Flynn, couldn't beat out Wilson in Seattle and now appears to be designated as a backup to Pryor in Oakland...Thank God we didn't take him and assume that salary cap anchor! Mea Culpa on my part Mr. Ireland...

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