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Fins lose out on another target Wednesday; Buoniconti gives scathing assessment

 

Quick Wednesday afternoon FYI: Former Patriots linebacker/outside linebacker Mark Anderson agreed to a four-year deal with Buffalo, meaning the Dolphins will not be able to fill their need for a pass-rusher in free agency unless they bid for 32-year-old Andre Carter. There's no other real accomplished pass rusher left in free agent.

Miami never pursued Kamerion Wimbley, who signed with Tennessee. The Dolphins talked about how important it was to find pass rushers but haven't done anything in that regard beyond adding Jamaal Westerman, who has 4.5 sacks in three years as a Jets reserve. They still must replace Jason Taylor's seven sacks. They'll likely look in the draft, with Melvin Ingram a possibility with the eighth pick.

On to Wednesday's buzz column:

 

As one of the most distinguished, respected and accomplished Dolphins alums, Hall of Famer Nick Buoniconti should be taken very seriously when he speaks. And to say he is troubled by the team’s management would be an understatement.

“There is a monumental weakness in the organization,” he said Tuesday. “You can’t possibly lose out on every single individual, whether management or player or coach, without there being consequences to pay for it. They obviously don’t understand free agency. I guess the most meaningful statement was made by [Pittsburgh safety] Ryan Clark” – that nobody wants to play for the Dolphins. “That sums it up. Fans have every right to be totally disappointed.”

In evaluating a general manager, “you base it on results. And so far the results have been dismal,” Buoniconti said of Jeff Ireland. “I represented athletes for a living [as a former practicing attorney], and I’m not sure Jeff Ireland understands free agency, in terms of creating a scenario for a player that says, ‘We can really do something special with you plugged into this hole, and here’s how it would work.’

“I’m not sure that message is getting across. It’s obviously not just money. It’s the perception of a team that is in a downward spiral. This is what people don’t want to attach their future to.”

What irritates Buoniconti about the Dolphins’ personnel decisions is “there is no boldness here. They are always trying to play it safe. By playing it safe, they have lost out on how many free agents? They are not creative. The message promulgated by management has no innovation to it, no creativity to it.

“It has left the players coming in here with the feeling of, ‘Wow? This is the organization they want me to sign with?’ That’s a problem. You think [recently signed offensive lineman Artis Hicks] is going to turn around a 6-10 team? They could have targeted Vincent Jackson, and they let him slip away. They let Chad Henne go for nothing, and I would rather have Henne than David Garrard by a long shot. They let the guy go a year too soon.” 

He praises Ireland for re-signing Paul Soliai, saying that's one thing he did right, but cannot understand how the Dolphins could ship away Brandon Marshall without a plan to acquire a top veteran to replace him. (All the top free agent receivers are gone.)

Buoniconti believes the organization’s attempt to lure free agents is being damaged by several players’ very public criticism of Ireland. “You may be better off without a general manager,” Buoniconti said “facetiously.”

He said “the thing that bothers me so much is they have a valuable asset in the organization in [vice president/senior advisor] Nat Moore that for some reason, beyond my understanding, has not been put to use except on a marginal basis. He should be on the pro personnel side, as executive vice president of football operations. Don’t have [him] reporting to someone who has failed so far.

“They’re using a guy, Carl Peterson, who took a playoff team and left it in shambles in Kansas City. You combine that with Ireland and Steve Ross, who is a new owner… You have an organization in disarray. I would have surrounded myself with winners if I was Steve Ross. I’m not lumping Joe Philbin in because he doesn’t deserve to be.

“For an ex-player who knew success with Don Shula and Joe Thomas and Bobby Beathard, it’s hard for me to just sit there and say, ‘Things aren’t going in the right direction.’ They obviously aren’t.

“I’m sure Steve is now scratching his head saying, ‘Why the hell did I do this?’ You think he isn’t having buyer’s remorse?”

CHATTER

An NFL person in contact with the Dolphins said the reason Miami didn’t make a bigger offer for Matt Flynn is that Philbin and Ireland were not entirely convinced he would beat out Matt Moore, and they weren’t going to pay him more than double what Moore is due ($2.5 million). Also, the person said Ross is not inclined to order his front office to trade for Tim Tebow. The Dolphins football people do not believe he is a starting quarterback in their offense.

### Asked why he chose Seattle over Miami, Flynn said, "I felt more comfortable in Seattle. They're doing things the right way, being led by the right type of people." (And being offered more money assuredly was a big factor that he didn't mention.) 

### Several hundred people bought season tickets believing Miami would sign Peyton Manning. Oops. A bunch of them have been calling the past few days, asking for a refund. But the team said no.

### Considering Joel Anthony is a good enough athlete to block shots and defend effectively, it puzzles and frustrates the Heat that he’s not a better rebounder. Among 35 qualifying centers, Anthony ranks last in rebounds per 48 minutes (8.9).

### Among players bought out, Ronnie Turiaf is considering the Heat, Boston and others (a decision is expected shortly); Derek Fisher reportedly is working on a deal with Oklahoma City after receiving overtures from Miami; and J.J. Hickson reportedly leans toward Golden State. (WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Turiaf is close to finalizing a deal with Miami.)

### Besides offensive tackle Ereck Flowers, UM coach Al Golden said linebacker Raphael Kirby and cornerback Ladarius Gunter are the other early arrivals making a big impression this spring. The hope is that Kirby can make the type of impact as a freshman that Denzel Perryman did last year.

### Good to see Lake Mary Prep's Ray Lewis III, son of the former Canes icon, orally commit to UM on Tuesday. Lewis, who will join UM's Class of 2013, ran for 2312 yards and scored 29 touchdowns last season. But UM hasn't decided whether he will play running back or safety. "It will be an honor to be there," Lewis told CaneSport. "I will be there to finish off what [my father] started."

### UM badly needs a breakout from Shayon Green, the early front runner to start at one defensive end spot, opposite Anthony Chickillo. Green, ESPN's 102nd ranked defensive end coming out of a Georgia high school, has played in just six games in three years at Miami (no sacks, eight tackles) but is back from two ACL injuries to the same knee, in 2009 and 2011. “People haven’t seen the best of me,” he said, describing his UM career as "rocky and frustrating." Golden calls Green “strong and powerful” but said he needs to develop more speed as a pass-rusher. Ricardo Williams and early arrival Dwayne Hoilett are second team at defensive end.

### MLB Network will air a 60-minute special on the Marlins at 8 p.m. Wednesday... Among the five contenders competing for two backup Marlins outfield jobs, Austin Kearns (.364, six RBI) has been by far the best, ahead of Bryan Peterson (.267), Chris Coghlan (.238), Scott Cousins (.172) and Aaron Rowand (.100, 3 for 30). Donovan Solano (.391) has a chance to beat out Donnie Murphy (.174) for the backup infield job.

Comments

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Alex

Dolphins protest this Sunday at 1pm...SELL THE TEAM... they need thousands to show up, its time to make a stand for our city!

Get real

SOD - there's no reason to expect Philbin will be a good head coach.

He's billed as an 'offensive mastermind' even though he's never designed or called an offense in the NFL and only got his job because Aaron Rogers was so successful in Mike McCarthy's offense.

How many of Tom Brady's mastermind coordinators have gone on to be good head coaches?

vaustn

NICK HAS VERY ACCURATE ASSESSMENT OF THE MESS that is the dolphins now. ROSS AND IRELAND ARE FOOTBALL IDIOTS. There is NO BOLDNESS. NOTHING IS SURE WHEN IT COMES TO PLAYERS. THEIR REPS HAVE preceded them and is taking a toll on the team.
HENNE may have had an ARM, but it TAKES BRAINS TO PLAY QB ALSO. He had no FOOTBALL IQ. I PRAY THAT ROSS SELLS THE TEAM, even if they get moved out of town. AT LEAST THEY WON'T BE A MESS LIKE THIS!

TonyNathan

the dolphins have never been the same since the 1974 playoff loss to the raiders. nick was wearing a dolphins uniform that day.

Georgia Cane

Barry, Barry, Joel Anthony is indeed a shot blocker. But when go for a block shot you leave the spot on the floor, which was your rebound spot. For that reason, shot blockers are not good rebounders. If the Heat doesn't win this year Spolstra will be gone. Ronnie Turiaf will be a welcome addition. Dolphins suck! Everyone should return your season tickets, then Ross might get the message. Canes a few years away. I like the effort thus far in keeping your local talent.

Phil

I hate J-ello

rudyard

GeorgiaCane, Serge Ibaka leads the league in blocked shots and still averages 8.0 rebounds. Dwight Howard is among the league leaders in blocks AND leads the league in rebounding. Your argument is flawed.

Craven Morehead

Nick is 100% right. We need a GM in there who has vision and with a little gambling now and then.

Tube Salavation

Fins Fans Not everything is Lost check this link out ;)

http://youtu.be/ysNd4QGOgeY

Fireland

Bill Parcells made Ireland do all the stupid things he did. So it's not really Ireland's fault. He was just following orders.

cyrusgrey45

Great words by Buoniconti about the current situation with the Miami Dolphins. But, wait, where was 'Nick' when Huizenga was destroying the team? Where was 'Nick' when 'Wayne' didn't know what the heck to do and gave the team to incompetents like David Wanstead, and went far in his airplane and kissed Saban's butt for nothing? This is not new. It has been developing for the last twenty-five years or so, since Joe Robby died and the team was sold to 'Wayne'. 'Wayne' was just lucky he found a buyer for the Brooklyn bridge he was selling, with Parcells and company and all. WHERE WAS 'NICK' THEN? So, how come he has an opinion NOW and didn't have an opinion THEN?

sal

Nick said sometihng very important....shula had JOE THOMAS AND BOBBY BEATHEARD! Right now miami has IRELAND!...thats said it all....thanks nick for reminding some morons that a winner francise is built at the top with top people!....thanks for the great memories capt.nick! dol fan since 1970!!

joe

After reading about Buinoconti s thoughts about the disarray of the Dolphins.............he left a key point out.He just said Ross may now have second thoughts about being an ownwer.Please.IT ALL STARTS AT THE TOP.Ross is what drives this train without an engine.Ireland is clueless 90% of the time.That s alot people.How can an introvert operate in an extroverted position????????????Ireland is scared to death of the Public.His social skills are very minimal.Well-liked he does not appear in any circle.Last year when Ross went to San Francisco to try to lure Harbaraugh.What a disaster.Ross looked so naive.He gets rid of Sparano clumsily and thought to do same with Ireland.(He should have then}.Then takes a wounded and never-the-same Sparano back.Bigger disaster.Then the timidity and lack of leadership...IMMEDIATELY ..when Manning was here.......Denver at least pounced even under Ross nose.Not that I really wanted Manning.RG3 was my wish all along.All the while though......there s only Ireland to speak/represent the Dolphins as a PR person?????????Ireland is a vinegar drinking speaker who is S-C-A-R-E-D to death of people..let alone fans.He s not able to be affable enough or sociable enough to even know how to relate to people.He s introverted,he s untrusted,he s inappropriate.HE IS A VERY HORRIBLE REPRESENTATIVE OF A ONCE CLASSY ORGANIZATION.The Dolphin organization no longer operates with C-L-A-S-S.Ireland is a big reason why.

Disgruntled Dol-Fan

Give 'em hell, Nick! We need more ex-players with his pull speaking up. That may be the only way things ever get turned around. This team is descending to the level of the Bengals and the Lions under Millen. And how is anyone defending Garrard? Look at his numbers. Unimpressive! The only reason the Jags had any offensive success during his tenure was Maurice Jones-Drew.

Tony Sepulveda

Here's the deal. Philbin passed on Flynn because Flynn isnt better than Moore. They passed on Alex Smith because he isn't that much better than Moore. Matt Moore had a 87.5 QB rating last year. 18 TD to 7 INT if I'm not mistaken. That's not that bad for a QB. Had he played 16 games he would have thrown for over 20TD. Miami's best move is to pick Blackmon or Floyd with the 1st pick then Weeden in the 2nd. Weeden is ready to start day one. Imagine Weeden and Blackmon on the same team. From there they can address the pass rusher with one of the remaining picks. I think Ireland has done a good job by passing on certain free agents. And money does matter. It's going to take 6 million to sign the draft picks. Miami has less than 8 million in cap space.

TropicBob

I agree with Nick B. I would take Henne over Garrard- easy decision. Anyone who has seen several of Garrard's games would agree. Apparently Jacksonville agrees. I don't think Garrard will make the team. Free agency has been a disaster so far. I don't see how anyone can say this team has improved- it hasn't. That should have been the goal of free agency-improvement.

OrangeBowl Queen

Thank Goodness for Buoniconti coming out with what I want thrown in the face of the management! Been too much tap dancing around the issue with the press who haven't been exactly point blank with the problems going on. Just ask yourselves again, David Garrard?? Is this what our management feels will give us the best chance to win? Really????

Mark Saturday

The current Dolphins owner appears to have an obvious preoccupation with celebrity, a priority seemingly higher than returning the team to greatness. We can not judge the current head coach as this is his first head coaching job but we can certainly see the results of the current general manager.

On the "flip side" (pun intended), the original owner fired the team mascot "Flipper" because he thought it was an extravagance. It was; however, Joe Robbie's priority to bring a pro football team to south Florida. And despite being very careful with expenditures and questioned about his frugality, his desire be a part of a winner was not in question. He won two Super Bowls by bringing in two of the smartest men in football, Bobby Beathard and Don Shula, to build teams to achieve these results.

The current owner would certainly benefit by reading even deeper into the Miami Dolphin history books . . .

DragonFly34

Well, another yr "dwelling in the cellar" for the Dolphin faithfull. Ireland didnt believe Flynn could over take Matt Moore, then why have Flynn visit and began talking contract?

Jeffrey Sodusta

Nick Buoniconti is right. Ireland doesn't know anything about Free Agency. Fans want top players and winning success. Oh and Miami, they're not going to draft a QB in the Draft. THey'll draft this unknown guy and pay maybe a Million or $920 K. Ireland is just stupid.

Former dolfan

Players know when you're playing for a 'bad guy' and the word gets around...best recent example? Yeremiah Bell. Instead of asking to renegotiate his contract to try to keep him, they waited until all the other teams seeking safeties made their move. Then, they released Bell, so that he cannot get more money elsewhere, but he may come back asking for less money. It gets around. When you treat people like S*** you deserve to be treated like s****. Guys like Manning are not stupid. Fisher wanted to come here, but no way he was going to let Ireland represent the franchise...

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