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Crisis managed: For the Dolphins it's all about football

It's all about football for the Dolphins these days.

As I write in my column in today's Miami Herald, the Dolphins are focused on the New England Patriots and getting to the playoffs and little else. Yes, there is a troubling history with New England the Dolphins must overcome. But that's all about football.

The spectre of scandal and possible firings or suspensions stemming from the NFL investigation that dominated the headlines last month has faded.

The most obvious evidence the investigation has faded was an ESPN report Tuesday afternooon that said NFL investigator Ted Wells canceled his follow-up interviews with the Dolphins. The report also said the investigation may not be completed before the end of the year.

I have other news:

This investigation, completed or not, may not be released until after the Super Bowl.

Think of it, the last thing the NFL wants the final month of the season is the narrative to turn away from football and toward an uncomfortable scandal. It's unfair to the Dolphins, who are in the middle of a playoff hunt, and the league that is enjoying perhaps its most popular time of the year as fans, the media and teams gear up for the postseason.

So do the investigation findings come out now? No.

Well, how about right after the regular-season? Well, if the Dolphins are in the postseason -- which is a possibility if they win out the final three weeks starting with New England on Sunday -- that would pose a major distraction amid playoff preparations. So the findings aren't coming out then.

Indeed, even if the Dolphins are not in the playoffs the last thing the NFL wants is for the national narrative to turn away from the postseason and the league's best teams to focus on something that happened in an isolated incident or series of incidents between two players on a non-playoff qualifier months and months ago.

No, the NFL is going to make sure the integrity of its postseason is not damaged. And the postseason, as we all know, does not end until after the Super Bowl.

And that's when the league would most likely release the investigation's results.

That, of course, leaves some unresolved issues.

So let us resolve them.

I reported last month that Richie Incognito would not play for the Dolphins again once he was placed on suspension for conduct detrimental to the team. That report stands. Incognito's days in Miami are over.

There has been speculation that the Dolphins and Incognito's representatives came to an agreement that would bring the deposed guard back to the team. False. There was an agreement but that was one where the Dolphins agreed to pay Incognito in exchange for him not challenging the suspension via a grievance. Indeed, the agreement actually extended the suspension.

So Incognito basically agreed to sit out and be paid.

It has further been reported Incognito's suspension must end next week. Incognito's suspension will definitively not end next week. His camp will or has already agreed to extend the suspension through the end of the season.

Yes, he will be paid. But the suspension will continue.

The reason this is the course that must be taken is that neither the NFL (which is driving this entire situation) nor the Dolphins want to be placed in a position to make a roster decision or any type of decision on the player before the report's findings are released.

The Dolphins certainly don't want to spend at least one day next week distracted from their preparations for Buffalo because they're explaining why they cut Incognito and accounting for other Incognito-related issues like the resurfacing of questions about his, ahem, golfing escapades. Plus such a move would spark renewed interest in the whole issue and, remember, the NFL doesn't want that.

So Incognito will agree to simply remain suspended. No roster move. No headlines. No controversy. Just ... silence -- like the last few weeks.

Why, you ask, would Incognito agree to such a course?

Didn't Peter King of NBC and SI report at least one playoff-caliber team would take Incognito if he's cut? Wouldn't Incognito want that?

Yeah, whatever. The NFL doesn't want that. And Incognito is going to agree to do what the NFL wants.


That's simple: It is clear Incognito engaged in some behavior Jonathan Martin perceived as harassment or bullying. Incognito admitted to that voice mail so he's admitted to some harassment. So he is going to be punished for that. Also, bringing unwanted publicity and attention upon his team and the league -- which in of itself is a violaton of the NFL personal conduct policy -- also merits punishment.

So Incognito will agree to remain suspended the final couple of weeks of this season, with pay of course, in return for a guarantee that there will be no further discipline from the NFL beyond this season. He would be free to return to the league next season.

That return, again, would be with another team. He is an unrestricted free agent in the offseason. The Dolphins are not going to re-sign him.

As for Martin, I'm reporting his days with the Dolphins are finished as well. The Miami locker room that was clearly on Incognito's side in this whole affair will not be a suitable place for Martin to make his return. He'll be traded to the highest bidder at some point in the offseason.

Unless I miss my educated guess, that is how this story and scandal that was so explosive for multiple weeks in November will be turned into a much smaller story that captures the headlines for a short time in the offseason.

The NFL knows how to handle a crisis, folks.


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Slam, it's because above all else, McKinnie is a BAD, BAD man. He may be slow, out of shape, but he will punch you in the mouth and if he gets his hands on you, you're toast.

lux wuld have made colombo look decent at lt at Stanford

he did mark. just keep it up ok?

Haha, marc, you're a turkey.

I just use facts to support my conclusions ... how dare i?!?!?!?!

Exactly! Did you hear Pouncey said they all are afraid of him because he's so huge? Instant respect. On the other hand Jmart was the weak link who got his lunch money takin everyday!

Did you call me a JIVE TURKEY?!

Oh, hell naw..

It's just PART of the facts son!

That would be like looking at the last Patriots game's final score. You would assume we were dominated throughout.

Stats are great, but, it's not the whole story. It's clear to see that RT isn't "ELITE".

2 watt, the scat back is Shane Vereen. He didn't play the first game and scares the hell out of me after what Sproles did to the team earlier in the year.


I don't think anyone thinks he elite at the moment. He is improving and has the potential to be elite. Last year he sucked at using his te's and the middle of the field. He improved big time. Next offseason he will work on his pocket awareness and deep ball and should take his game to the next level.

What a great update. I think that Incognito or Martin can't return to this team. This team has gelled since their departure because social issues aren't the main factor (I would be curious to know if Martin could've been a successful tackle without Incognito's "leadership" because Martin is a "lunch pale" kind of lineman.). It's a story Armando worth reporting and the NFL will make it shrink, I'm glad for that.

Like Slam just said, i did say on the whole I did list come Qbs i compare his production to. BUt over the last few games, he's provided indications that he can become elite.... someday.

Or he won't and he'll be the type of guy that wins you games, but, loses them too. A guy that can play, but, never at a high enough level to be great.

Marc is 100% right Mark. Tom Bradys receivers are never open, or have a blown coverage. Every pass Brady has ever made has been a spot on bullet to the only spot it could go...

He also never fumbles.

Posted by: CommonSense | December 11, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Yeah, it's real hard scoring TDs when the refs call anything and EVERYTHING in your favor. It's difficult when a piece of dust falling off a defender hits you and it's roughing the QB. And as far as that other yahoo saying Tannehill was helped by great play by his receivers, have you dweebs ever heard the name Welker or Gronk or Hernandez or Edelman or any of the other players who consistently get YAC on that team?

Yes, Brady is a very good QB. But ALL elite QBs get help from their skill position players. So both of you spare us the one man team routine.

Marc, why don't you want Tannehill to succeed? Why can't you be happy?

Like I heard Bobby on Sons of Anarchy say last week, pop a few oxy, get a blo job, you're wound too tight. You're scaring everyone and you're scaring me...

I think too many people are in mongoloid mode this morning...Tannehill throws 3 TD's and somehow he gets no credit and it was receivers making the play? Yes the receivers made some awesome catches and some YAC. Thats what they are supposed to do, Tannehill threw the ball where he needed to on ALL 3 THROWS....I guess some people on this board just want to nitpick stuff and want Tannehill to fail

if i want to do that to manning i could easily give a lot of TD credit to the WRs catching high passes or breaking tackles. Rbs saving his but from a blitzing LB. your rational is plain silly.
i'll take the end of year stats by tannehill as a second year starter every time. he most likely will hit 4000 yards passing. that's not mediocre.
27 or 28 TD's that will be top 12.
17 int's a bit high but still a second year QB.
compare him to the two guys drafted ahead of him last season.
RG3? getting benched, so i don't really need to look at stats but they are worse.
Luck? tannehill is comparable. and luck was anointed as the second coming of peyton manning and dan marino rolled int one.

It's ok rdubs, we are in the process of sending Marc to Diosa for the deluxe package as we speak.

I never said I don't 'want him to succeed

I'm happy most wins. Unless it's an ugly win, which is the status quo.

If I'm wrong I'll be the first to admit it.

I just don't see anything that screams 'greatness' when I watch the kid throw a football.

Here's to hope...no matter how vain it may be

Rdubs, that was a PERFECT throw to Hartline in the endzone. Only place it could've been thrown, absolute perfect ball placement. These dolts don't even have half a clue. That throw was Manning-Brady-Rodgers-Brees-esque. Thing of beauty. If that throw were a woman she'd be Miss Universe.

Mando, you may wanna clue in the clueless bobbyd12 who thinks Cogs will not only play but, get a standing O.


Not only has Cogs played his last down here, Martin is done as a Dolphin as well. Who would want Cogs back anyway? HE has been nothing but AVERAGE his entire career & was going to be a FA anyway. Reports are that Phlbin wanted to cut him after the golf outing incident. We don't need nor want him back.

We do deserve compensation though for Martin being such a weenie!

Posted by: DC Dolfan | December 11, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Are you aware of sarcasm?

No worries, next year Tannehill will account for 5,000 yards and you'll still be upset because someone else did it before him.

I was aware of it!!!

Mark, you're never going to change his/their minds. As a fan like a player or not, you have to be glad when they improve. I myself had given up on Clay and had said as much. Not anymore and that's the difference between a fan and a hater.

also you can count the number of 3-4 TDs and zero ints QB's on...
even foles has 1 int so that counts him out.

your standards are way too high dude. in fact impossible to achieve. even brady's awesome season of 40+ TD's and under 7 INT's won't make your model of a great QB!!! too many INT's. after all 7 is more than ZERO!!!

there are only 3 maybe who are better then 3 TD average, and 1 int average, and i may be wrong on that!!! manning and Brees. IF Foles has enough TD's he would be the 3rd.

"Incognito admitted to that voice mail so he's admitted to some harassment. So he is going to be punished for that. Also, bringing unwanted publicity and attention upon his team and the league -- which in of itself is a violaton of the NFL personal conduct policy -- also merits punishment."

Wait a good god darned minute here,,,,,what? He's admitted to some harassment? So what? He also turned in a phone with over one thousand messages, many of which are from Jonathan Martin. The messages in question from Jonathan are of the harassing nature, according to Martins definition of harassment.

So Richie will be punished for simply using the N word which everyone in the locker room uses 24/7?

"Bringing unwanted publicity and attention upon his team and the league".

WHO,,,,,JONATHAN MARTIN?!!!!! You're talking about him right?!!!!

This whole thing, STILL a f$%^ing joke.

Richie got railroaded by a soft punk who didn't want to play football because the going got tough and he was demoted. THAT IS ALL!

Want proof? Think about it this way. Would Jonathan Martin have started this snowball rolling if the Dolphins had been leading the division with the o-line was being lauded as one of the best in the league?


I agree with every aspect of your post Armando with the exception of your conclusion that Incognito won't return. I would agree that there is a likelihood that his days in Miami are numbered, but unless you have any additional information outside of your report above, your conclusions are still speculative. Here are a few reasons why I feel Incognito could be reinstated:

1) A shorter investigation is actually a positive for Incognito. If you're establishing guilt for wrongdoing, then you better be right about it.

2) The support Incognito has received from the Dolphins management and its players before and after the incident. Granted, a suspension for the vm was warranted, but it doesn't warrant his outright removal in the context of Martin and Incognito's relationship and the context of every locker room in the NFL.

3) Incognito's conciliatory actions. My gut is that Richie, first and foremost, wants to play and he wants to play with these teammates. I think he's still doing all he can to "weather the storm".

opps, sorry i was wrong. brees is under 3 TD's per game so he is also not good enough by MARc's standards tannehill should achieve.

Posted by: DC Dolfan | December 11, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Are you aware of sarcasm?

Posted by: CommonSense | December 11, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Oh, just re-read it CS, my bad. Sometimes sarcasm camouflages itself in print. But I see we are of the same opinion on that topic.

I don't think Tanne will EVER be special. With that said, I think he can be well above average. And with a decent running game & a decent D, that's enough to win with.

With the way the NFL has become a p*ssy sport, you don't need the elite QB's anymore to make miraculous throws.

The way penalties are being called on DB's, tough throws aren't as relevant anymore. Clutch play late, knowing where to go with the ball & identifying the matchups. And I do believe Tanne has shown enough growth & competency in those areas to where he can lead this team to glory in the coming years. He needs to work on getting to his 2nd read faster & feeling the pressure & escaping the pocket sooner.

Fans need to stop thinking you need elite QB's to win. Flacco wasn't elite. Nether was Eli. What they were however was CLUTCH.

I was speaking of GAME STATS, not SEASON STATS. JUST ONE GAME where the stats are WOW!

Doesn't matter. We can bicker till we're all blue in the face.

Were ANY of you comfortable with a 6 point lead and 2 mins left in the 4th?

Would you be comfortable with the against the Pats?

If the team is down 7 or 14 points in the 4th against a playoff calibre team do would you be CONFIDENT that RT can play catch up, or would you think "Here comes the game clinching INT"

There have been impressive drives, but, they are not CONSISTENTLY impressive.

That's just my take.

Only time will tell.

Phins, doesn't even matter anymore. I agree Martin railroaded Incognito. But when an undrafted player steps in and looks just as good (if not better) then why would the team really want to bring a controversial player back for a game? It's done, Cogs is getting paid, he can continue his career somewhere else next year (Martin too). And Miami can put the whole thing behind them and look towards the future with a new (hopefully MUCH IMPROVED) line.

Marc's QB standards are absurd. There isn't a QB that has ever played that lived up to that game after game.

No problem DC, sometimes its lost on post.

ONE GAME! I am not talking about GAME AVERAGE!

Jump to conclusions much people?

yep, only one Qb averages 3 tds or more per game and that's Manning.

In real life, anything over 25 tds is a very good season by any measure.

Marc I get your point and no one is saying the guy is perfect, but I'm impressed for him being a 2nd year QB. Best QB this team has had in a long while.

Has work to be done, but has this team in the hunt so I'm happy with that. Also, at this point in the season you can make the case the he is outplaying Luck and RGIII. Foles and Wilson are also doing great. Real good QB class.

Great comments but the reality is that the coaching staff has no idea who practice better than play in the game. The guys on the bench in the beginning of the year are better players than the starters. They are the starters today and look at the game how its changed.

Who cares about one game in isolation unless it's a playoff game?? You can have one great game in isolation i.e. Chad henne. Does that make him a great QB? Kaepernick had that great game against GB, but has been below average the rest of the way. What good is that?

The game against New England is on live TV here in the UK and I shall be watching avidly. Jordan and,more probably Wake, had better sack Brady out of the game all night long.

..Alright. Here are some metrics from PFF. know some of you do not trust PFF. I think they do a good job, and trust their grading system, and metrics..

Here are some numbers that "bust" the myth that Tannehill is a poor deep ball thrower.(balls thrown over 20 yards are the qualifier)

The league average for completion percentage is 34. 5 percent. The average usage, or attempts per snap is 11.9 percent..Pretty low.

So of the Quarterbacks that fall into these categories..Russel Wilson is by far the best of the best at throwing the deep ball..60 percent completion percentage. Of the to half of the qualifiers Geno Smith is the bottom of the top @ 40 percent.

Tannehill falls in the group right in the middle. (Pff did not give all the completion percentages just the top 10 and bottom 10) Tannehill has plenty of attempts to qualify.

The bottom 10 Jake Locker is by far the worst..25.3 percent completion percentage. Eli Manning was the best of the worst at 31%...So as we can see if the league average is 34.5..Even the best of the bottom 10 isn't horrible.

Where I was bummed was PFF also showed play action metrics. Tannehill is second to Carson Palmer with the lowest attempts from play action 15 percent. But Tannehill has a QB rating when throwing from play action 118.9 rating (Rivers 151.9 rating was top from play action)

Anyway...Put to rest the myth that Tannehill is a terrible deep ball thrower. Can he improve? Yes. But he far from the worst. He is right around league average.

Bring back Richie. We need his blocking and Martin is a weak suck!

i'm going to condense, just for you.
you said you'll start giving tannehill his claim of greatness, which even his biggest supporters aren't calling him, when he throws 3-4 TD's and 0 INT's each game. i can tell you this. no QB averages 0 INT's. only about half are under 1 per game if they all played 13 games to date. so even under 1 INT per game is fairly lofty. but doable. so no doubt tannehill needs to do better. he has 1 more INT than games played. he an still get under 1 per game this season.

the other half of the equation... 3-4 TD passes per game.
a grand total of ZERO QB's are averaging 4 or more per game. in fact at 64 that would the all time record by 14. so count that goal as out for every QB that has every played.
even your goal for greatness being placed at the low end. 3 TD's per game would be 48 per season. a number met 3 times in NFL history. only by dan marino, tom brady and peyton maning. manning could do it a second time this season.

so basically for MARC, the tannehill hater, to give ryan his due he needs to be better than these 3 guys and break the TD record to be anything but mediocre???

Phins lose today...I am correct.

Posted by: FIRE ROSS KILL MARTIN JAIL POUNCEY | December 08, 2013 at 01:04 PM

Smug = Dumb
Feeling of superiority = Dumber
Thinking you know more than everyone means you know nothing.

Posted by: Good Post | December 11, 2013 at 06:55 AM

Nope, I say this was a great post. Shut that TBag queen up.


Man, everyone's kind of jumping down your throat this morning. I honestly see what you're getting at, but here's my argument. Could Tannehill succeed at the level you're suggesting within the offense that he's currently in?

It really seems to me that they're using him this year more as a game manager. He has the talent and ability to do more than that, but he's slowly getting more and more acclimated to the system, and therefore more comfortable. They're using a lot of short, high percentage passes with the hope that our playmakers can break tackles and make people miss for additional yards (that's also starting to happen as our players have grown more comfortable with the system and each other).

Don't forget that THill is fairly new to the qb position. He was a wideout his first 2 years at A&M. Therefore, his learning curve and talent potential have a much higher propensity for improvement as he grows more experienced behind center. And we're seeing that development before our eyes right now. The potential has yet to be fully discovered, but I like where he is right now.

So, that was a long-winded explanation to tell us what we already know. RT is average. Good job ;-)

so now he only needs one game with 3-4 TD passes and ZERO int's to be elite or not mediocre??

that is almost as stupid as averaging that per game!!! i will go find a lot of TERRIBLE QB's that have a game like that!

matt flynn had a 7 TD no INT game. is he above mediocre??

i'm gonna leave you with that one ad find a whole lot more!!!

DD, I am not surprised Wilson has such a good grade with the deep balls since he is averaging a whopping 8.7 yards per attempt. other Qbs who have played the majority of their games and also have strong yards per attempt are ..

Nick Foles, QB
Aaron Rodgers, QB
Philip Rivers, QB
Peyton Manning, QB
Drew Brees, QB
Matthew Stafford, QB
Colin Kaepernick, QB
Ben Roethlisberger, QB
Carson Palmer, QB

I expect these guys to grade out well too in that area.

no, it doesn't show tannehill is average. it shows you are insane!!

Why does it seem like Marc is taking the contradicting view just for fun. I seriously don't believe most of the stuff you say Marc and I'm not trying to offend you or start a fight. You just have to go back and read your posts yourself. Anytime a subject comes up that most people in here agree on you immediately take the opposite side and start debating everyone.

lmao, It seriously looks like you don't even believe some of the things that you write but are writing them to get people talking. Hey, whatever works for you.

I just can't imagine there is an actual fan out there who behaves in this manner. Constantly criticizing and never giving ANY credit to the very team he is supposedly rooting for. I never met a fan like that in 38 years of watching the NFL.

Chances are very high that the Dolphins do not win a super bowl this year and we all understand that. Heck, we could channel our inner Dungy's at this point, "PLAYOFFS?!"

But there's a small chance they could win it all, very small but stranger things have happened. And if they do, even if they make it past the first round and then done which would be amazing, you would have been the fan who spent the entire season in misery, not enjoying one moment because the team isn't perfect enough for you. THAT'S indefensible.

And now I'm experiencing deja vu because I wrote this post to another poster who acted exactly like you but used a different name. Hmmmmmmmmm

as far as yards per attempt...
we run the west last offense which relies on short slats and guys getting yards with their legs. we aren't getting a ton of YAC. this is not a run the ball to open p deep passes style offense. tannehill rarely lines up under center and we throw a lot more than we run. tough to open up the del passing game when defenses don't honor the run. wouldn't you say??

Marc, just out of curiosity what was your sign in name before you changed it?

We used to have a Marc in here a few years back but he was a totally different person, cop, talked about working out, used to get in a ton of fights. But that's not you, you were someone else and I can't remember the name. I swear we had this 'weird way to be a fan' talk about a year ago.

Oh, my bad. I thought average was somewhere between the best and the worst. Like the middle, like, average...

I think Marc is average.

The Giants won after going 9-7.

I bet you there has to be a fan that nitpicked and naysayed his way through the season.

In the end he probably spent thousands on merchandise and now walks around waving a Giants flag and telling anyone who will listen all about his undying loyalty.

Bandwagon fans are the absolute worst, ruin it for everyone.

Anyone use Sunday Ticket to watch games online? It has an option to record I was wondering how/if that works (send to your DVR, record and watch online?)

Unfortunately probably going to miss most of the game this weekend.

...Mark...Actually you maybe surprised. Here are the top deep ball throwers(over 30 attempts, Some are in the 50s P. Mamning Geno Smith) 30 and over is a good average. So I did not include guys with high percentages with low attempts..(Glennon, Cassel who had the highest percentage ad less then 20 tries)

A Smith
N. Foles
P. Manning
Geno Smith

Wilson was top of this group.

My point was..You listed some guys you thought would be in the top of this group..Nope. They fall in the middle. Just like or guy Tannehill.

allwhite,u'll b able 2 watch the phinz live next season

I think at one point or the other, all of us have complained about the coaching staff this season.

But did Philbin's press conference kind of make you look at it from a different point of view. For example the 55 yard run by D.thomas was one of the staple plays they have run all season and he mentioned another play. I think one of Clay's touchdowns.So we have been running these plays all year, with little to no results.

My point is, are the coaches sticking to their guns because they know they plays can work and the players just haven't been executing them properly?

Does that make them stubborn or do they just not panic like the media and the fans?

It is a fine line between being committed to your vision and being stubborn? But can any of us truly say which side of the line our coaching staff falls under? I dont!

Sorry for the lack of fart or Dikk jokes in this post. So LOBSTERTUBE MOFO'S!

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