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Barkley: Wade diminished; Parcells' last big decision under microscope

In case you missed the TNT broadcast of the Heat's far-closer-than-it-should-have-been win over the heavily depleted Spurs Thursday night, here were a few notable comments from Charles Barkley, who left the studio to work the game courtside:

### Barkley was pretty critical of Dwyane Wade: "He's starting to lose his talent," Barkley said. "He's got to learn to play below the basket. The days he can beat you one-on-one, those days are over.... He looks like he lost his explosion. He's going to have to learn to post up." When Wade missed a jumper, Barkley said: "He's got no lift."

### Barkley, on the Heat overall: "They're bored by the regular season. They need a challenge.... The only way to beat the Heat is to punish them down low.... They're not a dominant team because of their [lack of] size.... The Heat has got some issues. When they become a jump shooting team, they're streaky."

### Barkley said he had no problem with Gregg Popovich sending Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green back to San Antonio to rest them. (Commissioner David Stern was outraged and plans to punish the Spurs.) But when Reggie Miller said if he were Parker, he would want to play, Barkley cracked: "Yeah, cause he would be going against Chalmers!"

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While doing a story on Jared Odrick and Koa Misi, I started thinking about the last big decision Bill Parcells made for the Dolphins. Curious what you think of that decision 2 1/2 years later. Read on, and then weigh in: 

# # #

The decision facing Bill Parcells in his final NFL Draft with the Dolphins was a difficult one.

Should he and Jeff Ireland keep the 12th overall choice and take a potential blue-chip prospect such as Earl Thomas or Jason Pierre-Paul? Or should they trade down to the 28th and 40th picks to select two players, filling multiple needs?

Parcells opted for the latter in 2010, seizing on San Diego’s desire to move up to draft running back Ryan Mathews. Two and half years later, the merits of that decision can still be debated.

Jared Odrick and Koa Misi, Miami’s selections with those picks, have become competent starters. So it cannot be said that trading down was an unspeakably bad mistake.

But it also cannot be called a brilliant stroke, either, because the Dolphins passed on at least one All-Pro player at a high-demand position: Pierre-Paul, who was plucked by the Giants with the 15th pick and has 27.5 sacks in 2 ½ seasons, including 16 ½ last year and 6.5 this season.

The good news: Misi has improved in his third season, while Odrick has been stout against the run and produced a key sack to force a Seattle punt that set the stage for the Dolphins’ game-winning drive on Sunday.

Among players selected between 12 and 27 in 2010, a bunch have been productive: Seahawks safety Earl Thomas at 14 (nine interceptions in three years), Pierre-Paul, 49ers guard Mike Iupati at 17 (not that Miami could have justified taking a guard at 12); Steelers Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey at 18 (the Dolphins drafted a comparable player, his brother Mike, a year later).

Also: Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon at 19 (162 tackles in 2 ½ seasons), Bengals tight end Jermaine Gresham at 21 (47 catches for 558 yards this season), Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas at 22 (61 for 1015 this season), Packers right tackle Bryan Bulaga at 23 (made All-rookie team), Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant at 24 and Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty at 27 (12 picks in 2 ½ seasons).

Was passing on Bryant to trade down a mistake? Depends on how much stock a team places in off-field issues. The Cowboys require Bryant to follow a strict set of guidelines, including a midnight curfew, in the wake of his arrest this summer on a domestic violence charge involving his mother.

Bryant has 15 touchdown catches since the start of 2011 – including six this season, with 65 receptions for 880 yards – but also has been prone to fumbles and drops.

But at least Miami didn’t stay at 12 to pick Brandon Graham (15 tackles, one start for the Eagles this season) or Derrick Morgan (6.5 career sacks for the Titans).

As for Odrick, defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle called his game against Seattle his best of the season. The key sack was encouraging because he entered the game with only two.

Among defensive ends who play in a 4-3, Pro Football Focus ranks Odrick 61st and last in pass rush but 20th against the run.

“There have been too many times I’ve been too close and just missed a big play,” said Odrick, who had five sacks as a part-time starter in 2011. “I’m putting myself in the right position. [But] I’ve made leaps and bounds in the run game.”

Whereas Odrick is 310 pounds, Miami’s other starting end – Cameron Wake – is 258.

“You do realize you’re one of the biggest, if not the biggest, right ends in the league,” Odrick said. “It’s a challenge my coaches gave me and a challenge I’m giving myself to hold myself to a higher standard even though I’m a heavier end.”

Odrick estimates he has moved inside, to tackle, on about a quarter of his snaps.

“We like that he’s done a lot of jobs,” coach Joe Philbin said. “He can fit into a lot of places in the defense.”

Like Odrick, Misi also has been capable against the run, ranking 10th among 43 linebackers in a 4-3 defense, according to Pro Football Focus. He struggled against the pass early, but not in the past month in limited opportunities in coverage.

He also has 2.5 sacks and has adjusted well to playing outside linebacker in a 4-3. He has become a reliable starter, though the Dolphins in retrospect can be questioned for not instead drafting tight end Rob Gronkowski, who went to the Patriots two picks after Misi.

“You look at the work Koa’s put in to be a role player in this defense – he’s been very productive, done all the things right,” Wake said.

 # # #

Other than Pierre-Paul, is there anyone else you would have assuredly taken at 12 instead of trading down for 28 and 40? A case could be made for several of the players above. But who knows how Joe Philbin would have dealt with Dez Bryant when he had no use for Brandon Marshall or Vontae Davis?    

Comments

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Ed

I would have stayed there to take Dez. But Philbin never would have tolerated him. The only bad guys he puts up with are special teamers who choke cab drivers.

SammySmith

Would have taken Tebow at 25, then traded him to Jets for a fourth. Just kidding.

andy

wade no good anymore average player

Vince

The Heat is going to be paying Wade a lot more than he's worth as long as LeBron and Bosh are here. As for the draft thing, Parcells made a decent call. Odrick and Misi are OK.

Dolfan Mike

The decision would look better if Odrick were a better pass rusher. Maybe that sack last week will be the start of something.

Van

dolphins have a bunch of decent players but nobody great. that's been their problem for years.

ADJ

The problem is the blunder the year before. We took Pat White with the 44th pick(2nd rd) instead of taking a badly needed pass rushing 3-4 LB Connor Barwin. Who happen to go 2 picks latter to the Texans. Now add Gronk in place of Misi and we got something. Wow! Pat White OUCH!

Jo jo

Odrick....coming from Penn State and touted as a great player in College and he s so big but has basically not done but an average job as a player.I thought he d of been a real,real good one.Don t see that ever happening.He s way too slow.Odrick s just a mediocre player and has underperformed as a Professional.Expected much,much more from his supposed pedigree.

Terry King

PARCELS PROBLEMS WAS HE BUILT THE DOLPHINS WITH THEM BEING TOUGH AND PHYSICAL UP FRONT. THAT'S GOOD BUT HE AND IRELAND ARE TERRIBLE IN SELECTING SKILL PLAYERS! PARCELS ALWAYS HATED GOOD "BLACK" WIDE RECEIVERS! THEY ARE PRIMA DONAS IN HIS SIGHT. THIS IS WHY I'M CONCERNED WITH IRELAND THIS OFF SEASON! THE DOLPHINS NEED SPEEDY SKILL PLAYERS WR.CB,S AND LB. IRELAND HAS TO GET THIS RIGHT! HE HAS DONE A FINE JOB WITH POUNCEY,MARTIN AND OTHER LATE ROUND PHYSICAL PLAYERS BUT FOR THIS TEAM TO ADVANCE WE NEED SPEEDY WEAPONS FOR TANNEHILL! THE DEZ BRYANT MOVE WILL TURN OUT TO BE A GOOD MOVE. HE WOULD HAVE WENT CRAZY IN SOUTH BEACH! AT THE TIME WE ALREADY HAD ONE PROBLEM (MARSHALL) COULDN'T AFFORD ANOTHER. MISI IS A GOOD QUALITY PLAYER AND IS TURNING INTO VERY SOLID! OLDRICK IS OKAY AT TIMES BUT STILL DECENT. NOW WE NEED TO ADD PLAY MAKERS. GET IT RIGHT IRELAND AND WE MAKE THE PLAYOFFS NEXT YEAR!

felix el gato

Dump Ireland.

Marios

Well if we had a crystal ball then I would agree with you but in the draft all we knew about JPP was that he could do about 25 back flips. I would bet the fins would have opted for Derrick Morgan and that would have been worse. I remember hoping for Earl Thomas before we traded down but I was woried he seemed a bit small for an NFL safety. I think we did all right.

loneoutcast

Everything Barkley said about Wade is pretty much spot on. The Pre-Lebron Wade had swagger, passion, and was exciting to watch, so much so that you'd looked forward in anticipation of what he'd do in the next game! The Big 3 Wade is lame. There's nothing to his game, he almost looks (as Barley said) bored, uninterested, and nonchalant about the game of basketball...like "just another boring day at the office"! Jump shots with no enthusiasm (which you almost know is not going in before they even hits the basket), casually misses point blank shots in abundance (of which I'm also starting to expect too), and the old problem of make-one-miss-one from the free throw line (that has never improved but was tolerable when he was doing things on the court that quickly made you forget about that struggle) that is sticking out like a sore thumb now that the other aspects of his game has so severely diminished!
I miss the old days of when you thought about Heat basketball, Dwayne Wade was at the forefront of your mind. Now when I think about Heat basketball, The Big 3 comes to mind, followed by Lebron, then championship hopes. The problem with that is, non of this brand is as exciting to me as the Dwayne Wade featured brand was!
I guess I'm saying, I like Lebron and Chris being here, I just don't like what it's relegated D Wade to.

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