I had a fun discussion today about where the blame should go for the defensive woes.
The Dolphins defense had tons of issues, but how much can you blame on former Defensive Coordinator Paul Pasqualoni? He certainly made some mistakes. Nate Jones covering Andre Johnson near the top of the list. Though, I don't know if any of this was his fault?
1. He had injuries to deal with.
A. Best Run Stopper: Jason Ferguson - INJURED
B. Most experienced CB: Will Allen - INJURED
C. Best ILB: Channing Crowder - INJURED (at the end)
2. There were some personnel shortcomings.
A. No true FS: - Gibril Wilson (nuff said)
B. Aging Veterans: - Joey Porter (also injured), Ferguson, Ayodele, and poor Jason Taylor who I thought played well inspite playing out of position all season.
C. The ups & downs of youth & inexperience: Merling & Langford regressed in my eyes. Vontae & Sean had their moments. Though, it's expected out of rookies.
D. No real depth.
The tale of the tape says they went from 15th to 22nd in total defense.
So, what we came up with was very few guys can scheme their way to the playoffs with all those deficiencies. Again, no one is saying we should absolve Pasqualoni of blame. All I'm saying is that some of it was circumstance and the decision makers should take some heat too. Not just the guy who took the fall.
BTW: There is also no shame in wanting to go in a different direction because someone you covet might have become available (Ex: Crennel, Groh or Zimmer).
One more thing. Just want to give some love to the guys at Phins.com
They did a nice Q & A piece w/ Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland.