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See why Dolphins want upgrade at MLB

Watch the video below.

It is a compilation of Alex Mack highlights from 2013. Mack, the center for the Cleveland Browns, truly is among the best at his position in the NFL. But that's not the reason the video is on here.

The reason comes around the :34 second mark.

In that play you see Trent Richardson taking the ball around his 48 yard line and gaining 11 yards to around the Dolphin 41 yard line.

In that play you see Mack getting to the second level and locking on to Dolphins middle linebacker Dannell Ellerbe. And you see Mack driving Ellerbe back ...

... and back.

... and back.

Richardson is tackled by Dolphins safety Chris Clemons. Meanwhile, a couple of more yards down the field, Ellerbe is still being blocked by Mack.

The Dolphins middle linebacker got locked up just beyond the line of scrimmage. He didn't get off the block, like, at all. And he got driven off the line of scrimmage some 15 or so yards by the time the running play ends.

And you wonder why the Dolphins run defense struggled in 2013?

And you wonder why the Dolphins are working with Koa Misi as the middle linebacker now and Ellerbe, signed to a five-year, $34.75 million contract last year, was a bust in his first year with Miami?

Yes, Ellerbe was second on the team with 101 tackles. But only three of his tackles were for a loss. Three tackles for losses is the same number Reshad Jones had in 2013.

And Jones plays safety, often 15 yards off the line of scrimmage. 

(Anyway, watch the video before I continue below. Remember, the play in question starts at the :34 second mark.)


The Dolphins hoped Ellerbe could be their new Zach Thomas or Bryan Cox (he played MLB for a year in Miami) or John Offerdahl. He had been a solid fill-in for Ray Lewis when Lewis was injured in Baltimore.

But the move simply did not translate in Miami.

And so what to do with a player who is making $6 million this year, is costing $7.425 million against the salary cap, and cannot be cut because the move would weigh the Dolphins down with $11.6 million in dead money.

So Ellerbe is headed outside, with Misi now the MLB.

Why Misi?

Well, the attempt to sign D'Qwell Jackson in free agency did not pan out. He went to the Colts. The idea of drafting Ryan Shazier did not pan out. He was drafted by the Steelers before the Dolphins could even make a decision on the clock. And Jordan Tripp, drafted in the fifth round, is not ready.

Sooo ...

Koa Misi, everyone.

"Since I’ve been here, one of the things that we’ve emphasized strongly have been fundamentals on defense whether it is block protection, pursuit, tackling, creating turnovers," coach Joe Philbin said Monday. "One of the things we’ve liked about him, that I’ve liked in particular, is when we do a year-end cut-up and we show examples how to take on a block, how to tackle properly, how to pursue the football. He shows up on a lot of those cut-ups.

"Football, as I like to tell the team, is not complicated. Defensively, we want to do those things. We want to see him do those things and we want to take a look at him from the interior, from the middle. We think he has great leadership qualities. We think his play has certainly exemplified that over the course of period of time that I’ve been here. He plays football the right way, so we are going to see how we adjust to that position and how he relates to the other players at his position and the defense in general. So far he’s done a nice job."

Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said he's not ready to commit to Misi as the starting MLB just yet. But, honestly, what choice does he presently have?

Brian Urlacher is not walking through that door. (Well, maybe he might in Dallas.)

So ... Misi.

“I’ve always been open to anything," Misi said, thus dismissing an inaccurate report that he was unhappy with the move to the middle. "Like I said to these guys, since I got here, I’ve been switching positions. I’m always open to try something new. Like I said, if it works, it works and, if not, we’ll go back to the way things were."

So far, it is working as far as adjusting to the new spot and comfort level are concerned.

"I’ve played defensive end, I’ve played outside linebacker (and) all of our reads were from the outside in," Misi said. "I was walked out on number two. I’m playing Mike (linebacker) now, I’m in the middle. I’m reading everything inside out. I’m dropping in the middle. Everything’s different. I’ve got a lot more calls to make. I’ve got a lot more reads. With work, it will get better.”

 "Once I get this defense down playing, playing Mike, I think I'll be all right.

"I’m already feeling a lot more comfortable."


The team didn't ask him what he thought of the move.

"They just told me they were thinking about some things," Ellerbe said. "I’m down for it. Where ever I can stay in and get comfortable and be able to help the team and play my best, I don’t care where they put me."

The Dolphins are still in the middle linebacker market. As they should be. They'll keep an eye out for possible candidates as teams make cuts between now and training camp and then again before the regular season.

The next phase of this experiment is obviously to see how Misi handles the middle when hitting begins. Then everyone will see how he handles the middle when the preseason games begin.

Amazingly, a team that paid so much to fill its middle linebacker spot a year ago still has uncertainty with the quality of play at that position.


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Does anyone take fckface seriously? I mean you see the name and laugh and scroll right by just like me right? It's funny because it seems like he's calling himself fckface right? Am I the only one who sees this?

This just in, The Bengals can not beat the Dolphins. Not in September, Not in November, and not in the playoffs. The Bengals do not match up well against the Dolphins, it has been proven for 3 years now. They can't handle our pass rush and they have a crap run game which forces the qb to throw the whole time.

Everyone knows this except for the wonderfully ignorant fans here at the Herald blog.

This is what happens when you commit $99 Million to 4 average outside linebackers (Ellerbe, Wheeler, Misi & Jordan) all in one offseason. Probably Ireland's greatest blunder as GM of the Dolphins (and that's saying a lot)!

Of course they wouldve made the playoffs marc, they would've had 9 wins. SD got in with 8.

MIT, I thaught SD was 9-7, but you are right. which makes my case even stronger.

hmmmmmmmm 4th and 13

odin,STFU !

who's odin?

Marino has withdrawn from concussion lawsuit. How could he prove diminished capacity when he's been dumb as shyte forever? (But still a great QB).

0 pts
and 7 pts
is y the dolphins were
home in jan. as always.
not the d

yep, it was a colossal case of missed opportunities that were right there for the taking.

Apart from the last two games against non playoff teams

Apart from the defense playing like idiots against the Panthers

There was Sherman calling a pass when we had the Bills DOA

There was Clabo again, nto ebing able to give the Qb 2 seconds to throw or get rid of the ball against Baltimore in FG territory.

People say a lot went right for this team to be 8-8, I think if the stars lined, this easily could've been a 10 win team ... flawed or not.

still need
a qb

hmmmm 4th and 13 and we could have sat all the starters last 2 games to rest

I bet Tannehill would love the rest since his body was beaten 58 times from players Johnson whipped all over his body


Exactly MassD. And the idiot Home calls for him to be our GM??? My goodness, guy can't even run his own life let alone a football team.

colossal mistake = #17

Right on Mark

And 2 twatt would never existed

I would have loved the piece and quiet on here

hmmmmmm. shammmme

Misi is too big to play MLB. He has no speed. They need to find a starter desperately.

Those last 2 games were the main story for the Phins last year. They seriously regressed as a team, when the playoffs was theirs for the taking. The defense wasn't very good in those games either. It does not bode well for this year, esp. when only the online was really improved during the off season.

"They have added a lot of talent while only losing one player on the deepest position."

This is where you are mistaken. We LOST talent at every position except LT.

Mitchell < Solai
Delmas < clemmons
Smith < Jerry
Dallas < Incogs
Juwan < clabo


In the most positive light you could call Juwan = Clabo but that still leaves 4 starters downgraded.

The Pats/Jets/Bills all upgraded.

I can't blame Tannehill for not able to do anything the last 2 games. He got beaten worst than a slave in the south that got an good ol Mississippi AZZZ beating.

Jus sayin

put a shot gun and
your mouth and try
to blow out that
p brain of u'rs
in that pathetic skull cap
between those dumbo ears u got

I can't blame Tannehill for not able to do anything the last 2 games. He got beaten worst than a slave in the south that got an good ol Mississippi AZZZ beating.

Jus sayin

1991 to 1995 is the longest year of my life

19-0 bills
20-7 jets
this and only that
is y the team is on vacation
every jan.
it's the o lead by

4th and 13

one play

sounds the easiest right guys!?


Holding a team on 4th and 13, Does seem easier than kicking a 48 yard field goal. Dbo, I agree

CRAPPY @ 3:56

It was 1979 in Uniondale, Long Island when I went over my boy Ray Harrison's house. iwalked in without knocking like i owned the place. Ray's father was sitting on the sofa, feet on the sofa, drinking a Schmidts.
I said, "How's it going Mr. Harrison?". He replied, "You don't have to call me Mr. Harrison, you can call me Bob or Fckface".

I recalled this story 2 weeks ago and immediately changedmy handle to FckFace.

People read my posts because I'm dedicated to exposing the fraud being perpetrated upon us. People dislike me because I am right.

Why do you think no one wanted the GM job?

Yeah, not sure Clabo is better than James. james was not my favourite lineman coming out but he will be better than Clabo. My left texticle can block better than Clabo these days.

Projected Depth Chart: Knowshon Moreno, Lamar Miller, Daniel Thomas, Marcus Thigpen

The Miami Dolphins had big running back issues in 2013, and they hope to have filled their need for a true feature back by bringing in free agent Knowshon Moreno. By their placement on this list, you can imagine how excited fans should be about his prospects.

Moreno is a good back, but he's not a feature back type at this stage in his career. That would be fine for many teams, but the Dolphins missed out on that with both Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller. Now both are in complementary roles with no real go-to back on the roster.

A trio of Moreno, Miller and Thomas isn't the worst in the league, but it's far from the best—especially when you consider they'll be running behind an offensive line built entirely in this offseason and with two rookies starting on that front five.

- Bleacher Report

In other words we have a backfield of career backups.

we already knew our linebackers were awful

mark toronto upset over losing bill games?

Worst RB's, LB's, WR's and oline in the league. Yeah, we'll win a lot of nothing.

First off -- Mack for Cleveland is an all pro who is the highest paid center in the league. And Ellerbe on that play at one point was being double teamed. And the second thing is that Ellerbe wants to play outside he said "I'm home". Why wouldn't you include that into your article? And the last thing -- knocking the Dolphins for the bad personnel moves from a year ago make no sense. The Dolphins fired the guy who did it. It still must get figured out. And the last thing, again, is that when the hitting starts, I wouldnt bet against MISI. The guy is a very solid human being and I wouldnt say being pushed around was ever his problem. In fact I think he flourishes in the middle because of his great pursuit and ability to shed blockers.

bobby, ellerbe is awful

By Ira Winderman
South Florida Sun Sentinel

COACHING: Spurs coach Gregg Popovich didn't lose last year's Finals by being outcoached, by not having Tim Duncan on the floor when Chris Bosh grabbed the fateful rebound that led to Ray Allen's fateful 3-pointer. If anything, he had his team well-positioned throughout the series, frustrating LeBron James with his sagging defense. Now there is the chance that Popovich moves closer to zone alignments, which he has used more often this season. For his part, Erik Spoelstra proved to be an adept counter-puncher to Popovich's moves during last year's Finals. He might not yet be Popovich's equal, but there is respect throughout the league that he is getting there. Spoelstra has seen plenty during these championship runs, but Popovich still has seen more. Edge: Spurs

INTANGIBLES: This time it's the Spurs with homecourt advantage, as well as scheduling quirks that give them multiple days off before three of their four potential home games. While the Heat are undefeated at home this postseason, they've also won at least once on the road in each of their series, as they also did during last year's Finals in San Antonio. And talk all you want about the Spurs' hunger after last year's heartbreaking seven-game loss to the Heat, but the Heat also have been on a mission to validate that their 2013 championship was about more than one unfathomable Ray Allen shot. The series' ultimate intangible could be Tony Parker's iffy ankle. The Heat got the breaks in last year's Finals, so perhaps the Spurs are due. Perhaps. Edge: Spurs

PREDICTION: This is a prediction based solely on a hunch that the first two games will wind up in a split, allowing the Heat to potentially continue the homecourt dominance that lifted them over the Pacers in the Eastern Conference finals, something along the lines of split the first two, win two at home, and even a Game 5 loss in San Antonio would lead to the chance to close out in Game 6 in Miami. Yes, the Spurs are plenty motivated. But the Heat have a healthy Dwyane Wade and a Chris Bosh who appears as confident from beyond the arc as any of the Spurs' 3-point specialists. Oh, and the Heat have LeBron James at his robust best, while the Spurs have Tony Parker entering on a gimpy ankle. Pick: Heat in six

mike quite obvious spurs win series. lebron cant win it all by himself. spurs in 5. spurs hugeeeeeeee favorites and should be, this wont be close

Worst RB's and QB in the league. Yeah, we'll win a lot of nothing.

Mike,who cares

The Spurs could win in 6 or 7 games. Heat won last year so it may the Spurs turn. Revenge is a great motivator.

agree jets def have worst rbs and qbs in league. jets go 4-12

You guys are quibbling over spit. No way the fins do anything this season. They are weak everywhere but dline.

Go gogo is unique

Only a gayfag would call himself gogo.

The fact Philbin wanted to keep Sherman tells you everything. He has to go, and he will.

You all hate me because I rip that blind that cover your eyes
My comments hurt because they are true and nothing hurts more than hearing the truth when you know is true.

I am blunt and to the point, what good is looking the other way?

Philbin has no one to blame but himself. He felt threatened by Karlos Dansby and allowed him to walk. It is no secret that Philbin Dansby. Dansby is then released and he becomes a star for Arizona. In fact he was defensive player of the year candidate. Dansby struggle here, so the question is why? Did Philbin not motivate him? Did he just not use him the right way?

One thing is clear, we would not be thinking about filling the MLB position in June if Dansby were still here. And Wow Ellerbe just got punked on that play. That is just embarrassing.

gaygo, you wish anyone cared enough to hate you.

Go, Would that be your way? No thanks

gaygo, 9 out of 10 bloggers here bash the team. your so called truth is nothing but parrot chirping. get yourself a facial.

dansby was awful here. and i agree philbin is terrible and gone after season

We are the least improved team in the division. The only sure thing we did was upgrade LT. Not enough.

Philbin had a major say on what players we got this year.
So this should be his make or break year
either way Hickey did a good job
Yes he missed on a few free agents, but it wasn't because of lack in trying
He was OK in the draft, - did not trade up for any injured players or for potential. He went with proven players all the way around
Next year he will no longer be a rookie GM and will assert himself more and more each year
Now his job is to be alert as hell looking for a good LB either from those still available or those about to get cut who might be better than Wheeler. (Wheeler would have been cut if it wasn't for the guaranteed money) Ellerby is not great, but as an OLB he isn't the worst either. (Certainly not as bad as Wheeler)
I think Wheeler is our weakest link at LB corps.
There are 2 or 3 recently retired LB's who might come back in - Brian Urlacher and Jonathan Wilma if still in good playing shape, might help for one year.
So I hope that Hickey is working hard to try to find a good LB (either from cuts or retired) someone with experience who can help us before we start the season


My question is why was Dansby bad here? He has thrived in his career before and after the Dolphins. Dansby was amazing last year with the Cardinals. Dansby seemed to regress even more when Philbin took over. That tells you a lot about Philbin.

I am trying to be optimistic about things this year but looking at Dansby as an example it kind of tells you that Philbin is not the guy. The LBs were awful last year particularly against the run and now they lost their biggest run stuffer, Soliai. The Dolphins run defense will be one of the worst in the league this year. The way I look at it, Philbin better hope Lazor can work miracles so that they can outscore teams because this defense could be scary bad.

Philbin had a major say on what players we got this year.

Posted by: Ralphflorida | June 03, 2014 at 06:06 PM

Of course you have no way to know this.

bud we improved more than any other team in div. bills did nothing to get better. replaced johnson with rookie watkins. lost one of best safeties in game. jets are flat out horrible. and pats basically stayed the same but got older

orlando watch how bad dansby will be this year in cleveland after getting another fat contract

Bills drafted the best offensive weapon in the draft.
Jet's got a vet QB and CJ and improved their defense
Pats got Brady and Belichek, that's all they need to keep winning the div.

The only thing we can say for sure is we upgraded LT. Everything else is unknown. Not enough.

ALready they are saying Moreno is a disappointment. Not good. Our running game won scare anybody.

bud careless about a rookie wr, didnt help rams much last year. jets got a run down turnover prone qb to backup awful smith. cj is way past his prime, didnt improve there d. lose the bias

not saying moreno is a disappointment, nobody is in june. he was simply out of shape

What does it say about a players attitude coming to camp out of shape? Dion bulked up, Moreno ate fries.

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