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48 posts from January 2011

January 31, 2011

How far from best are the Dolphins in the AFC East?

You know the joke: One Dolphins fan asks another if he thinks the team is close to a championship. The other guy answers he is convinced the Dolphins are indeed close.

"We're just an offense away," the guy says.

Well, the topic of how close the Dolphins are or are not came up, in part, in my Sunday column. Several members of the Dolphins make the point in the column that they believe they are quite close. You'll learn immediately how close one person believes Miami is to the Jets and Patriots.

I never really got into a debate with the folks about how close they think they are or aren't. What's the point? It's just an opinion. And opinions are cheap.

The fact is the Dolphins thought themselves pretty close last year when owner Stephen Ross talked about going to the Super Bowl and coach Tony Sparano agreed at the team's awards dinner. They were wrong. The Dolphins were no closer than the year before.

So, frankly, the opinion in-house at Dolphins camp can be questioned.

My opinion? Hahahaha.

I picked the 2007 Dolphins to go 10-6. They were 1-15. Would you believe I was just a year ahead of schedule on my prediction?

Anyway, I'm dreadful at such predictions.

But a consensus opinion is something different.

If you, Miami's intelligent fans, combine your good thinking and come to a consensus, maybe you're better judges of just where the Dolphins find themselves today. Obviously, today is not the day that matters. The Dolphins will draft and there will be some sort of free agency and trade period.

But today gives us a baseline. Today tells us how far the Dolphins must advance this offseason.

So tell me: How far are the Dolphins from winning the AFC East, for example? Maybe if we combine all your comments, we can reach a consensus.


January 29, 2011

Ireland: Big is good, big and fast is better, and fast is a must

You know the Dolphins are a team lacking dynamic speed. They need plays that eat up yardage and the fastest way to get those on offense and special teams is to get, well, faster.

That is why the Dolphins will go into the draft and free agency looking for fast guys.

But fast guys, you must know, are often not big guys. Chris Johnson is not big. DeSean Jackson is not big. Mike Wallace is by no means big.

And that kind of runs counter to the marching orders Miami personnel people have been working under the past three years. Bill Parcells wanted big guys. He wanted physical guys that made up a physical team.

Unfortunately, that physical team was kind of plodding.

So the marching orders have changed for the personnel men. The Dolphins are looking for big, yes. But they want fast, too. And if fast means not quite as big as Miami previously wanted, an exception might be made, according to Miami general manager Jeff Ireland.

"Well, you're looking for big fast guys, too," he said during his appearance on Armando and the Amigo on 640 Sports here in South Florida. "We need to increase team speed not only on offense but on defense and special teams, too.

"They have to be the right type of guys, the right fit. Durability is a big thing for me. They got to be durable. That's something we had a little problem with this year, having a lot of guys miss games, guys are on [injured reserve]. But we've got to do a better job of increasing team speed, and if that means making an exception for a rare player, we might do that. But first and foremost, we're looking for big fast guys."

I truly believe that the Dolphins will be looking for speed at running back, speed at the punt and kick returner spots, speed in every aspect of the coming offseason.

That offseason, by the way, is split into free agency and the draft. We don't know which will come first because the NFL has an uncertain labor situation. Unless a new collective bargaining agreement is struck by March, it is likely free agency will be delayed indefinitely.

That obviously affects a team that typically fills needs in free agency and then fills out the rest through the draft.

The uncertainty has caused the Dolphins to adjust their plan of action for finding talent this offseason. The fact is the Dolphins will have two plans of action, according to Ireland.

"We're going to have a plan of action to go into it if [the labor situation] is resolved quickly," he said. "We're going to have a plan of action if it's resolved after the draft. There are a lot of unknowns and there's a lot of things you can't control. You just have to plan to attack when the time is there to attack. We're looking under every rock and looking over every acorn that falls out of the tree. Those are things I live by and we'll continue doing that same thing."

January 28, 2011

Ireland on Pat White, Henne-Marshall relationship

Dolphins related tweets and blogs lately have been discussing what really happened in the Pat White situation in the spring of 2009, with the suggestion that all the blame fell on one party or another party for making what is a lingering and painful miss for the Dolphins on the player personnel side.

Some folks are blaming Bill Parcells exclusively. Some people blame general manager Jeff Ireland. Some people absolve both men and blame ... someone else.

In light of the recent rumors and tweets, I asked Ireland during his appearance on the Armando and the Amigo show Friday, what exactly happened with Pat White.

"There's a lot of things that go into why a player that you drafted doesn't work," Ireland said. "Some of those things you can talk about, some of those things you can't talk about. But when we drafted Pat White, like I said in my press conference, Pat White had a unique set of skills. And we wanted to utilize those skills to the best of our ability to help our football team. That did not work out.

"And so we got to move on. We can't come in the office every single day and look at something that's not going to work out. We probably could have kept him and tried to keep working on it but at the time we felt like we had to move on. There's a lot of things you can blame. If you want to blame someone, blame me. I'll take the heat on that.

"But we're moving on and we're going to move on with the players we have on our football team and try to get better in the future."

I know fans want to know exactly whom to blame or credit on certain personnel moves. It is fair because it's about accountability. But I'm getting the feeling Ireland is accepting the blame because he was the one being interviewed.

Yes, he had a major role in taking Pat White. But so did Bill Parcells, who obviously signed off on the selection. So did then quarterback coach David Lee, who pitched White as a player who would bring a new set of skills to the Wildcat package and its evolution into a spread attack similar to the one run by many colleges. Coach Tony Sparano also liked White's promise.

The truth is watching White work his magic for West Virginia got Dolphins folks aflutter. A feverish optimism that it would translate in the pros took hold at the team's training facility.

I have been told it was indeed an organizational decision. Obviously Ireland is taking, as he says, the heat. But it goes further than that.

Why is the White issue even important a full two years after he was drafted?

Well, the Dolphins this offseason find themselves in a position of needing to add a quarterback so they can have insurance for the uncertain abilities and future of Chad Henne.

And so they have to cover old ground because they addressed that insurance need, they thought, by picking White in the second round of the 2009 draft. But White was the most un-Dolphins-like pick in the Parcells-Ireland-Sparano era. He was smallish. He was not exceptionally strong. He was overmatched physically on the field.

Now Miami must use another draft pick to address that need.

In the 640-Sports interview, which you can listen to in its entirety if you click here and go to the Armando and the Amigo podcast, Ireland was also asked about Henne and his relationship with Brandon Marshall.

You remember the two men had uncomfortable exchanges in several games, particularly late in the season. You'll remember toward the end of the season, Marshall made the point that Tyler Thigpen "gets it," about getting him the football while suggesting Henne didn't.

Ireland was asked if a sitdown with Henne and Marshall is in order so they can hash things out, making it possible for them to continue working together.

"Well, I think our coaching staff can help that process move forward in the right direction," Ireland said. "I think those guys, here again, you get emotional and things don't go well and things happen on the football field that can always be mended by production on the football field.

"Those two guys are very important to our offensive production moving forward. And they're going to get on the same page. They're young together. They're growing together and this whole football team needs to mature. That's not just Chad and Brandon. That's our defense, that's our special teams unit, that's our offensive unit, coaching staff, the general manager.

"We all need to mature in this whole thing. So they're just a small piece of that and they'll certainly grow together and provide some production. There's no doubt about that in my mind."

Ireland says Ricky's coach criticism not an issue

Jeff Ireland was on my radio show, Armando and the Amigo, Friday morning and we discussed several topics of interest to Dolphins fans.

One topic that interests me is the movement we're about to see at the running back position. Both Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown are free agents and it is unlikely both will return to the Dolphins for 2011. The truth is, it's possible neither return to the Dolphins in 2011.

But because Ireland talked about the possibility of one coming back during his meeting with the print media in Mobile, Ala. earlier this week, I was curious to know if Ricky Williams basically eliminated himself from contention by being critical of teammate Brandon Marshall and head coach Tony Sparano in the days following the end of the 2010 season -- a path that led Joey Porter straight out the door during the 2010 offseason. 

"Oh, I don't think so," Ireland said. "I look at the production on the field more than anything else. I mean, Ricky came out and said some things that I think he tried to come back and tried to apologize for. I know Ricky. I know Ricky's family. I  know what Ricky's about. He's a very passionate football players just as much as I am a football guy, as much as Tony is a football guy. When you've got a lot of passion involved with people coming on the radio, sometimes things come out the wrong way and maybe that's the case with Ricky."

Williams, making his paid appearance on 560-WQAM, took Marshall to task for ... well, for being honest about his displeasure with some coaches. After criticizing Marshall for doing that during the season, Williams then showed his displeasure with Sparano.

"A team takes on the personality of the head coach," Williams said. "I think the way we're coached, Tony goes through a lot of effort to show us the things that it takes to win football games: not turning the ball over, converting third downs, scoring in the red zone. He spent a lot of time saying 'If you do these things you win.' Sometimes, I feel like he does it a little bit too much.

"My personal opinion is if you have the right attitude that 'You guys are going to win,' then all that other stuff takes care of itself."

Williams tried to walk back those comments days later when he realized he might have cut himself off at the knees if he wanted to return to the Dolphins. Apparently that recanting of his comments has worked, as far as Ireland is concerned.

I asked Ireland on my show on 640 Sports here in South Florida, what factors he will weigh as he decides which, if either, of his two running backs get re-signed. I asked if durability, age, salary would be the deciding factors.

Ireland said it doesn't necessarily have to be that he signs one of the two guys. He might not -re-sign either.

"Those are just thoughts," he said. "I mean, that's not exactly 100 percent the plan. Those are thoughts. I'm thinking about doing that. All the things you just mentioned, you have to take into consideration. I've had some talks with both guys. Nothing serious about contract discussions or anything, but we've had some innuendos that we need to talk about some of those things from both agents' standpoint.

"But we're not very far down that path right now with either one of them. There are certainly thoughts and you have to take all things into consideration when making those decisions and we're just getting down to the grind and will start making some hardcore decisions here as we go along."

By the way, do not discount the Dolphins looking to Lex Hilliard for a more significant role. I'm told the new offensive staff is intrigued by his potential.

If you want to hear the entire 14-minute interview with Ireland, click here and then go to the Armando and the Amigo podcast for the 9 o'clock hour. If not, I'll update here later today on what Ireland said about the Pat White failure and the Cameron Wake success.

Dolphins are already in draft trade-down mode

The 2011 draft is three months away and already the Dolphins seem willing to trade away the No. 15 overall selection they have in the first round.

General manager Jeff Ireland is hoping, indeed perhaps expecting, to regain the second round pick the Dolphins lack in the coming draft. That pick went to Denver in the trade that sent Miami's 2010 and 2011 second round picks to the Broncos for receiver Brandon Marshall.

"You obviously know you don't have [a second-rounder] right now," Ireland said. "But like you've seen in the past, there's ways to get it back and you're obviously looking to try to do that. So as of right now we don't have one, but who knows on game day, draft day, if we'll have one."

In the past, there were a number of ways Ireland could attack the idea of getting back that second-round pick. He could study his roster and identify a player he might be willing to part with for that pick. That is out of the question for the time being, and likely for quite a while to come.

The NFL's uncertain labor situation has made the idea of trading veteran players moot. Those fanciful speculations about the Dolphins acquiring Kevin Kolb or Kyle Orton or anyone for that matter is kind if ridiculous because no NFL team can trade anyone away or trade for anyone right now. Those moves do not happen until the new league year begins in March and, even then, there will be no such moves allowed unless there is a new labor deal in place.

All the experts are saying there will be no such deal in place by then. Or by draft day. Or possibly before July or August.

Fact is the NFL has already told teams that even though it will go forward with a draft, as of right now no players can be exchanged before that draft, during that draft, or after that draft. So trading a veteran to get back that valuable second-round pick simply isn't an option.

That means Ireland will likely have only two options for getting back that second round pick and the first option isn't all that palatable. That first option is for the Dolphins to trade a future pick or picks for a second round pick in 2011. In other words, it is conceivable the Dolphins could trade their 2012 first rounder for a 2011 second rounder.

It doesn't sound like a great value, does it? That is why it is possible but not highly likely.

The more likely scenario is for Ireland to put a for sale sign on that No. 15 first round pick in 2011. He can hope to trade that mid-round first rounder for late first-rounder plus a late second-rounder. Or he can hope to trade that first-rounder for an early second-rounder plus a late second-rounder, depending on what other teams are offering.

The point would be to get a two-for-one for that No. 15 overall pick.

Yes, the Dolphins have done it before. Last year, Bill Parcells held the No. 12 overall pick but no second-rounder because of that Marshall trade. So he traded that pick plus a sixth round selection to the San Diego Chargers for their first rounder (28th overall), plus their second-rounder (40th overall), plus their fourth-rounder, plus linebacker Tim Dobbins.

It looked like a solid move until Jared Odrick, the player the Dolphins selected with the 28th overall selection only one game for the team before getting hurt. (By the way, Odrick had surgery on fractured leg and then had an injury on his other leg but finally started running again this week, according to a source.)

The Dolphins have made four trade-up or trade-down moves since Parcells-Ireland-Tony Sparano began running drafts in 2008. All but one of the moves was a trade-down.

Aside from the trade-down last year, they had a 2009 trade-down in the second round with Indianapolis to pick up a a lower second rounder and a fifth round selection. That trade netted Miami Sean Smith and Chris Clemons.

They also traded down during the third round of the 2008 draft to get back a lower third rounder plus a sixth rounder. That trade netted them Kendall Langford and Jalen Parmalee.

The trade ups?

They traded up in 2008's fourth round, giving up their fourth-rounder and a seventh-rounder to Chicago for the right to take Shawn Murphy.

The Dolphins are apparently not in trade up mode this year. They want to recover that second rounder lost to Denver. The Dolphins are in trade down mode.


By the way, Ireland will be a guest on my radio show, Armando and the Amigo, Friday morning in the 9 o'clock hour. You can listen live in South Florida at 640-AM. Or you can listen streaming live online here. I'll report back to you if he says something newsworthy either here at the blog or on twitter. So please follow me.

January 27, 2011

The wisdom level of Miami's offensive staff

None of what you are about to read is news. But all of it is truth.

None of my words are opinion. All are based strictly on facts.

Keep that in mind as you read the paragraphs that follow.

The Dolphins on Wednesday announced several changes to their coaching staff, with most of those having to do with Miami's much-promised revamped offense. The Dolphins announced Karl Dorrell is now the quarterbacks coach. The Dolphins announced Steve Bush is now the wide receivers coach. The Dolphins announced Ike Hilliard has been hired as an assistant wide receivers coach.

That adds to previous additions of Brian Daboll as the offensive coordinator, of Dan Campbell as the tight ends coach, and of Jeff Nixon as the running backs coach.

Thus, the remaking of the Dolphins offensive coaching staff seems complete.

"Once you see this staff we're going to put together, you'll see it's going to be exciting," general manager Jeff Ireland said this week after a practice at the Senior Bowl in Mobile. "It's going to have a lot of energy to it. It's going to have a lot of wisdom to it and we hope the results mirror the defensive production that we had from Mike Nolan and his staff last year and the players that were on the field."

The energy and excitement part is yet to be determined. The wisdom part also will be determined at some point in the future. But if wisdom is aquired through experience, then the Dolphins offensive staff will have to do a lot of learning on the job.

Fact is quarterback coach Karl Dorrell has never been a quarterback coach before on any level.

Fact is running back coach Jeff Nixon has never been a running backs coach in the NFL.

Fact is tight end coach Dan Campbell has never been a position coach at any level before.

Fact is wide receivers coach Steve Bush has never filled that job at any level.

Fact is wide receiver assistant Ike Hilliard has never coached in the NFL at all.

Fact is five of the six new hires the Dolphins just made to coach offense will be new to their jobs either because they never coached the position before, never held an assistant's job for that position in the NFL before, or never coached in the NFL, period.

Nixon played running back at West Virginia, but this will be his first job as an NFL running backs coach.

Dorrell has been a college offensive coordinator and head coach and was Miami wide receivers coach the past two years, a position he also coached in Denver early last decade. But he's never been a quarterbacks coach.

Bush was a college defensive coordinator at New Haven and Boston University and a high school head coach in New Jersey and New York. He was also Miami's offensive quality control coach since 2008. But he has never held a wide receiver assistant coaching job at any level.

Hilliard played wide receiver in college and was the wide receivers coach for the now defunct UFL Florida Tuskers. But this is his first job in the NFL and his first coaching NFL wide receivers.

And Campbell, an offensive coaching intern for Miami last year, played tight end for the Giants, Cowboys, Lions and Saints. But this is his first stint as a tight end coach at any level. Fact is, according to the Dolphins media guide as all these other facts are, this is his first job as a position coach at any level.

That makes offensive coordinator Brian Daboll Miami's most experienced new hire. Daboll has two years experience as an NFL offensive coordinator as he was the Cleveland Browns OC in 2009 and 2010.


Dolphins focus in on Nevada's Colin Kaepernick

Speaking of quarterbacks ....

Yeah, we'll be doing that a lot in the coming weeks and months.

On Wednesday, Tony Pauline of TFYDraft.com and si.com, tweeted that Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been drawing big-time attention from the Minnesota Vikings and the Dolphins. He added that both teams see Kaepernick as a possible second-round selection.

And, I recognize the Dolphins don't have a second-round pick. Don't worry about that. Don't get caught up in that detail. They will try to add such a pick, probably by trading down from the 15th overall selection or through other means as situations present themselves. Plus, what round the Dolphins are thinking about Kaepernick at this moment is not important because his stock might rise or fall in the coming months so that's relative.

What is important is that Miami has put such a focus on him.

Frankly, I saw him play only one game this year. It was against Boise State. He was good. I thought he was more a threat with his feet than with his arm, but I really liked his demeanor and leadership and authority on the field.

Authority is God-given. It is not earned. It is not learned. You either have it or you do not. Kaepernick carries it on a 6-4, 224-pound frame. He's got it. When he's on the field, he is in charge and the opponents recognize he's the guy they have to worry about.

Kaepernick has, by most accounts, been impressive during the practices for the North squad at the Senior Bowl in Mobile. He was especially so on Wednesday -- the last day most NFL GM types will be in town to view practices in person.

Kaepernick is on the North squad with Washington's Jake Locker and Iowa's Ricky Stanzi. Yet, he's been better than both this week and it would surprise me if he does not start for the North despite being less known and from a smaller football program than the other two. 

Kaepernick has a bit of an unorthodox delivery. It's not a hitch or a windup but it reminds a little of Phillip Rivers. One scout I speak to on a regular basis says that can be ironed out by a good QB coach but, "Why mess with it if he's effective? That isn't a big concern for me. It's not a Tim Tebow-like issue."

That works for me. You?

Well, watch the video below and tell me what you think.

January 26, 2011

Mel Kiper on Dolphins needs and quarterbacks

Heeee's baaaack.

NFL draft guru Mel Kiper, the ESPN draft analyst extraordinaire, conducted a nearly two-hour conference call with media from around the country today.

He talked University of Miami players. He thinks cornerback Brandon Harris had a tough year but will still go in the first round. He talked Florida State. He called quarterback Christian Ponder a "poor man's Chad Pennington." He talked University of Florida. He said Mike Pouncey is nowhere near as good as his brother Markice Pouncey.

And, of course, he talked about the Miami Dolphins.

Kiper says he wasn't a huge fan of Chad Henne when he came out of Michigan in 2008 and what he saw there he's seeing from Henne in the NFL.

"I've thought about Miami and that quarterback position with Chad Henne, but I think it's unfair to kick him to the curb," Kiper said. "I was not a huge Henne guy like other people were. I thought he was wobbly inconsistent at Michigan and he is wobbly inconsistent in the NFL with Miami. That's the frustrating part. You see him great one week or in a quarter or quarter-and-a-half and then you see him revert back to an inconsistent quarterback that leaves you scratching your head with some throws that you say, 'How could you miss that receiver? How did you make that decision? How did you make that throw?' He's never been great mobility-wise but he's a big strong kid. He's a hard worker. I like Henne from that standpoint. I didn't love him coming out like some others did but I thought he'd be a serviceable starting quarterback. To kick him to the curb now is premature. He's still a young quarterback."

Kiper's Big Board on ESPN.com has the Dolphins selecting Alabama running back Mark Ingram in the first round. The Dolphins have the 15th selection in the first round.

 "For Miami, running back, they're going to restructure the backfield, which they will," Kiper said. "It'll be a new stable of running backs the way it looks. Quarterbacks they're going to have to settle on Henne is he the guy or they're going to draft a young quarterback and have competition there. Offensive guard and center, the interior of the offensive line they could look at.

"I thought Mark Ingram would be a nice start. That will improve and change the whole stable of running backs there. With Ingram you see a lot of Emmitt Smith in him. He's not the game-breaker some people may want but they said the same thing about Emmitt Smith and that's the reason he went No. 17 the year he came out of college and he became a Hall of Famer ... I think Miami could go with Ingram and then think about a quarterback down the line a little bit. Maybe an Andy Dalton [TCU], maybe a Christian Ponder [FSU], maybe a Ricky Stanzi [Iowa], somebody like that they can take down the line that can be insurance in case Henne doesn't develop into a consistent quarterback."

Well, what if the Dolphins get a wild hair and want to take a QB in the first round? The likely candidates are Missouri's Blaine Gabbert, Cam Newton of Auburn, Jake Locker of Washington and Ryan Mallett of Arkansas. Personally, I don't see Newton (too few starts), Mallett (no value at No. 15) as likelihoods. But that is not from a source. That's just opinion.

Kiper's problems with each of those four:

On Mallet: "The meltdowns at the Alabama and Ohio State game late. The sloppy mechanics at times. The long-striding in the pocket, which bothers me. It affected [Byron] Leftwich negatively and for Mallet I think it could be an issue."

On Newton: "You have only those 14 starts. His accuracy is not super precise.I mean his completion percentage was high because you have those huge windows, but in the NFL the windows are tight. He's not super precise. He's more accurate than others, but the concern is there.

On Gabbert: "The system. The Missouri offense is not NFL-like. And he had the meltdown at the end of the bowl game against Iowa -- that pick when he rolled left."

On Locker: "If you can't get it down against college defenses, are you going to get it done in the NFL? He had the second chance against Nebraska and struggled in that game ... Kyle Boller to me was the same way. If Kyle Boller couldn't get it done and complete a high percent of those throws at Cal, how could he come into the NFL as a first-round pick? Well, he still went in the first round. And maybe Locker will still go in the first round. This week at the Senior Bowl is important but he hasn't wowed me with what he's done down there. He's a great kid. He'll interview well. He's a tough kid. Shanahan probably would have taken him at No. 4 last year. But he's a tough projection right now. He could go Top 10. It wouldn't shock me if he went in the first round. It wouldn't shock me if he went in the second round.  

January 25, 2011

Ireland's words about Chad Henne not an endorsement for him being the Dolphins starter

Calm down. Breathe.

I'm sure by now you've seen the tweets and the hyperventilating online headline, "GM: Henne could remain starter," and gone into something of a panic thinking the same Dolphins that are promising all this change will come back in 2011 with the same quarterback they lined up and failed with the past two seasons -- Chad Henne.

And now you're freaking.

Well, calm down. Breathe.

The Dolphins are not blind. They saw the season unfold as you did. They know Chad Henne was the fourth-best quarterback in the AFC East last season -- which wouldn't be so bad if the AFC East didn't have only four teams.

They saw the frustrating miscues. The ball to a wide open Kevin Curtis that sailed 10 yards over his head. The pass to a wide open Anthony Fasano in the Baltimore game in the end zone just prior to halftime that sailed way over his head. The pass to Brandon Marshall in the opener that was so short, Marshall had to stop and wait for it to come down. The deep pass to Brandon Marshall in the second game at Minnesota on the same play that was, again, underthrown and forced Marshall to slow down for it. The deep pass to an open and streaking Brian Hartline down the sideline in the first New England game that, again, was too far out there. I'm pretty sure there was another such overthrown pass to Hartline in another game, but I don't have the time to go through all the play-by-plays right now. You get the point.

The Dolphins saw the batted passes, after batted passes, after batted passes that killed downs and sometimes drives. They saw the 19 interceptions that overshadowed the 15 TD passes.

Guys, this is a team that benched Henne and made him share snaps in the season finale. The Dolphins know what's up.

So don't get your hackles up over a news site headline that tells you Henne could remain the starter, while leaving out that important detail that he also might not remain the starter.

I've told you since the season ended that Miami's plan is to keep Henne, for now, and work with him and try to squeeze whatever ability he has to see if that ability adds up to him being a good starting quarterback. This is not news.

It was not news when GM Jeff Ireland told reporters in Mobile for the Senior Bowl:

"He's shown some aggressive tendencies, he's shown some exciting throws. He's got all the ability in the world. We've just got to put a plan together and an offensive philosophy that fits Chad Henne, and I think we'll do that."

Of course they'll do that. Henne is the only quarterback on the team right now! They have no choice right now.

But you know what they Dolphins will also do? They'll try to find a quarterback to replace Henne. If you ask me, that should have been the headline, although that is not exactly news, either. You've known all along the Dolphins will be quarterback shopping this offseason.

And Ireland admitted as much.

”We’ll evaluate what’s out there like we do every position in free agency and the draft," Ireland said.

The only reason a team is evaluating the talent at the position is to add talent at that position. You think the Dolphins are evaluating top-tier talent at left tackle?

The headline could just as easily have been: "Dolphins to evaluate new quarterback talent." And that headline wouldn't have been news, either.

The facts are whatever Ireland said Tuesday can and probably will change three times before the 2011 season begins. You remember last year when he said the team was confident Gibril Wilson, terrible his first season in Miami, would play much better his second season? Everyone took that to mean Wilson would be on the Dolphins. He was cut a few weeks later.

Also, how smart would it be for Ireland to come out today and say, "We really, really need a quarterback so we're going shopping."

That would have been poor business because it signals the Dolphins are shopping thus are probably desperate for help. That would weaken the Dolphins. And in the NFL, the weak get eaten. So, of course, the GM's mentioned looking everywhere else for a QB as something of an afterthought.

Henne is in the plan right now, folks.

And the plan is to work with him until it is time to give up on him. Nobody knows when give up time is. But the plan is also to go out and find a possible replacement and probably two -- one for the short term, one for the long term. The plan is let everyone compete for a starting job in 2011.

The plan is to start the best quarterback on the team in 2011.

Sure, that might be Henne.

And it might not.

January 23, 2011

Live blog of Jets vs. Steelers starts now ... here

PITTSBURGH -- Will I ever cover my own team in the AFC Championship game?

Please, someone answer me.

The Dolphins are not here. The comment i get most from writers from around the country covering this game is, "What the (bleep) is going on down there?"

My answer: "I do not know. I am not responsible."

I do know the Dolphins are not a total disaster. The Dolphins split two games with these Jets. The Dolphins lost by one point to Pittsburgh. They do not totally lack ability to compete.

Anyway, let's watch this game and see what team earns the right to play the Green Bay Packers in the Super Bowl. Let's see happens.

The live blog starts in the comments section below.

Coach talk of the day, but QBs are the thing

The topic of coaching is apparently a big deal in Sunday's Miami Herald, with one columnist ripping the idea of retread coaches while also applauding the fact Bill Belichick doesn't hire retread coaches -- and thereby forgetting Belichick himself was a retread when New England hired him after a fiasco in Cleveland.

Don Shula, by the way, was also a retread. He won more games than any coach in the history of professional football but the Dolphins recycled him after Shula fell out of favor with Baltimore owner Carroll Rosenbloom, who no longer wanted Shula.

Dick LeBeau was a bust as the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals. The Pittsburgh Steelers recycled him as their defensive coordinator and he's helped them win two Super Bowl titles since 2006 and Pittsburgh has the stingiest defense in the NFL this year.

So recycling isn't so terrible if you put the right person with the right situation.


In my column, I tell you the hiring of offensive coordinator Brian Daboll is a Hail Mary by the Dolphins based on his history and the players he's likely going to have to work with in Miami.

Speaking of players, and finding players and adding players -- that is more important for the Dolphins to do this offseason than anything else. This column gives you names of a couple of veteran quarterbacks the Dolphins will absolutely consider this offseason, assuming labor peace is finally achieved.

Frankly, I'm not excited about any of the veterans likely to be available. Orton? Young? McNabb? Bulger? Flynn? Maybe Kolb, if you overpay?

Let us start out understanding that certain QBs are primarily West Coast offense types. And the Dolphins do not employ the West Coast offense. So I don't think the Dolphins will be hot in pursuit of Donovan McNabb.

Other QBs don't make sense based on what it will cost to get them. Kevin Kolb could be the starter again in Philadelphia at some point next year. Yes, the Eagles are apparently going to try to re-sign Michael Vick, but one does not get rid of a good player because you have another good player on the roster.

So the Eagles are approaching this with the idea of keeping Kolb, barring a significant and advantageous trade offer. If you are the Dolphins, do you trade a high pick or picks for a player as unproven as Kolb? Tough.

Kyle Orton? He was good last season with 20 TDs and 9 INTs. He has some chemistry with Brandon Marshall. He really does make the most sense of any veteran out there. But that assumes the Broncos are going to make him available. That assumes the price for acquiring him is not outrageous in Miami's view. That assumes much desperation by the Dolphins ...

... well, I guess he's a fit.

Carson Palmer? ESPN reported today he will ask to be traded from the Bengals. He will apparently threaten retirement if he isn't traded. The Bengals may be open to trading him, but again, the price is not going to be a bargain. Also, what has Carson Palmer won in the NFL?

This column also makes the point that adding a vet is not the only order of the day for Miami. The fact is the April draft is likely to come before a labor peace is forged. And so teams will go into the draft assuming they must address their needs in that draft without the benefit of a certain free agency ahead.

In the past, free agency came first, then the draft, then the remnants of free agency. Teams went for it in free agency, fill in with the draft where free agency failed them, and then filled in further with the last vestiges of free agency.

This time, if free agency is delayed as expected, teams will hit the draft as their first and best hope for soliving problems. And so, should the Dolphins take this approach, they will be adding a quarterback in the draft.


No idea. You know the names. Cam Newton, Ryan Mallet, Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert. The Dolphins will look at all of them.

Hopefully they pick the right one ... this once.

[BLOG UPDATE: I'm in Pittsburgh today covering the AFC Championship game. We'll have a live blog of the game when it begins at 6:30.]

January 22, 2011

Two vastly different opinions on Brian Daboll

I have a great amount of respect for Bernie Kosar. He was a star the minute he stepped on the practice field at the University of Miami as a reshirt freshman. He carried that stardom to a national title, a great NFL career, and a Super Bowl ring.

I also have respect for former Dolphins fullback and current Saints running back Heath Evans. He's smart and tough and he's got a Super Bowl ring as well.

So it's jarring that two guys who usually view the game through a similar prism disagree so vehemently on their opinions of new Dolphins offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.

Kosar knows Daboll from the offensive coordinator's last few years in Cleveland. Kosar was commissioned by Browns owner Randy Lerner to study the Cleveland offense and identify that which was right and wrong with the unit. Kosar came away convinced Daboll was among the things that was right with that offense.

"I know I've gotten a bit of a reputation for disliking and criticizing the way some offensive coaches have been doing their jobs lately, but I can honestly tell you Brian Daboll is not among those guys I would criticize too much," Kosar said during his regular Friday morning segment on my radio show, Armando and the Amigo, on 640-Sports in South Florida. 

"Brian is a guy who knows the game as well as anyone. You can sit down with him, as I have, and talk about offensive football and strategy and come away pretty impressed with his ideas and his approach  ... Brian's work with Colt McCoy was one of the reasons he played better and better as a rookie."

Well, that's reassuring, especially coming from a former quarterback who played in Cleveland, Dallas and Miami. It gives hope that if Daboll was a big reason the game didn't seem to big for McCoy, perhaps he can help Chad Henne climb out from under his struggles of the past two years.

But later in the afternoon on Friday, Evans went on ESPN 760 in Palm Beach and shared an opinion of Daboll that was nearly the polar opposite of the one Kosar shared.

"The Dolphins probably just got worse," said Evans, who played in New England from 2005-2008 thus was there while Daboll was a receivers coach for Bill Belichick. "... When he was in New England, he was never a guy I considered the brains of the operation.

"Now, listen, obviously there's been a lot of growth from his stint with [Eric] Mangini. He probably learned a lot under [Mike] Holmgren over the last year he's been there with Clevleand. As soon as I saw it, I second-guessed the decision. A franchise that is really just struggling for success, why do you take an unproven commodity? ... I second-guess it ... In the coaching realm, I'm not sure that was the right decision for an offense that already lacks a lot of the things that it needs."

And so we are left hanging for now. We are left, I suppose, waiting to see Daboll do his work to measure what the Dolphins new offensive coordinator has to offer. At that point, we'll see whether Kosar or Evans are correct.

January 21, 2011

Jason Taylor makes a push for the Super Bowl

The New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers will play in the AFC Championship game Sunday evening and for Dolphins fans the most compelling part of that might be that long-time Dolphins defender Jason Taylor will be involved.

You remember Taylor?

JT played 12 seasons for the Dolphins. He never got past the divisional round of the playoffs. He's in the AFC title game in his first season with the Jets.

So how does that make you feel?

Most long-time Miami fans invested much full-throated support on Taylor. Those same people probably invested as much in rooting against the Jets. So how does one reconcile that?

Before you answer, remember some facts.

Taylor was a free agent this summer. He wanted to return to the Dolphins. The Dolphins did not offer him a contract and gave him no guarantees they would. The Jets did. He signed with New York because he wanted to continue playing.

We're beyond whether the decision by the Miami braintrust was a mistake or not. But we are not beyond how Taylor will go down in Dolphins history, go down as a Miami all-timer. The guy was arguably the most effective pass-rusher of the past decade (2000-2010). He will be a Hall of Fame candidate some day.

I, frankly, hold nothing against Taylor. I wish him the best. I personally want the Dolphins to succeed anytime they play the Jets. But the Dolphins are long gone from the picture this season. So I'm not about to use energy on rooting against a guy who is a good man and was a fine player for Miami and still loves this town.

So where are you at with this?

Stop. Again.

Let me plant this seed for you: How do you feel about Larry Csonka as an all-time Dolphin? Do you hate him? How do you feel about Paul Warfield? Jim Kiick?

The truth is those three are esteemed among Miami all-timers. Csonka and Warfield are in the Hall of Fame and the Dolphins claim them as favorite sons despite the fact they played elsewhere. So if you love them and claim them, how can you possibly say you won't claim Taylor some day?

I know, I know. None of those guys played for the reviled Jets. I get that. But you know what? They left the Dolphins in their prime to chase more money in the WFL. They left for selfish reasons, however way you cut it. And in doing so, they probably dashed the chances the Dolphins had of repeating as Super Bowl champions for an amazing third consecutive year in 1974-75.

The Dolphins lost a thisclose game to the Raiders that year in the divisional round. I'm saying if Warfield, Kiick and Csonka had been on the team, the Dolphins might have, and probably would have, won.

[Correction: The trio of Csonka, Kiick and Warfiled played in the game against the Raiders and migrated to the WFL following the game. Sorry for the error.]

Before you make your final decision and post a comment. listen to the interview Taylor did today on my radio show Armando and the Amigo on 640-Sports. Judge the words for yourself. Click to listen. And then do what you do in the comments section. 

And, oh by the way, I'm picking the Jets on Sunday.




The players are the thing and here are 56 possibilities

Can we be real?

Conference Championship Weekend is upon us. And if the Miami Dolphin are ever going to again participate in one of these weekends, it will take TALENT on the field. Yes, it is interesting the team is hiring and firing coaches this week (check out the previous couple of posts).

But the players are the thing.

The players make the plays. The players make the difference. The players, the players, the players.

Because that is true, I am starting to shift to player-talent mode on this blog. That means the focus will be less on the coaching (not sure whether that makes coaches who read this blog happy or sad) and much more on the players (not sure whether that makes players who read this blog happy or sad).

We start today with some future prospects. The NFL has granted 56 talented (most of them) players special eligibility to enter the April 28-30 draft. Each player met the NFL's three-year eligibility rule and submitted a written application renouncing their college eligibility. The deadline for turning those applications in to the NFL was January 5.

So this is it for the underclassmen entering the draft.

Consider the players:




Adams, Darvin



Austin, Marvin


North Carolina

Ayers, Akeem



Baldwin, Jon



Bowers, Da’Quan



Brown, DeAndre


Southern Mississippi

Burton, Brandon



Casey, Jurrell


Southern California

Clay, John



Claytor, Nick


Georgia Tech

Cobb, Randall



Dareus, Marcell



Doss, Tandon



Evans, Darren


Virginia Tech

Fairley, Nick



Gabbert, Blaine



Green, A.J.



Gurley, Tori


South Carolina

Guy, Lawrence


Arizona State

Hamler, Jamel


Fresno State

Harper, Jamie



Harris, Brandon



Hill, Will



Houston, Justin



Hynoski, Henry



Ingram, Mark



Jones, Julio



Keiser, Thomas



Leshoure, Mikel



Lewis, Dion



Lewis, Javes



Little, Greg


North Carolina

Liuget, Corey



Mallett, Ryan



Moore, Rahim



Newton, Cam



Parr, Zane



Peterson, Patrick


Louisiana State

Quinn, Robert


North Carolina

Ridley, Stevan


Louisiana State

Rodgers, Jacquizz


Oregon State

Rudolph, Kyle


Notre Dame

Sands, Robert


West Virginia

Sash, Tyler



Siliga, Sealver



Smith, Aldon



Smith, Torrey



Smith, Tyron


Southern California

Tarrant, Jerrard


Georgia Tech

Todman, Jordan



Vereen, Shane



Watt, J.J.



Wilkerson, Muhammad



Williams, Aaron



Williams, Ryan


Virginia Tech

Wilson, Martez



January 19, 2011

Dolphins in the market for a RB and TE coach

The Dolphins don't just have one offensive coaching job to fill, they have as many as three because they are in the market for a running back coach and a tight end coach as well as a quarterback coach.

I have learned running back coach James Saxon is gone from the staff for reasons that, well, have to do with performance. I covered him as a running back with the Dolphins and like the man so I will not tell you he was fired. Let's say he simply has not been retained.

Tight end coach George Deleone is not on the Dolphins staff anymore, either. He was not necessarily terminated. He has been hired by the University of Connecticut as an assistant to former Dolphins defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni, who is the new head coach at UConn.

The Dolphins, who introduced new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll today, thus must still fill positions at running back, tight end coach, and quarterback coach, assuming Daboll doesn't coach the QBs. The Dolphins earlier parted ways with offensive coordinator Dan Henning and quarterbacks coach David Lee.

That means four of the six offensive assistants the Dolphins had when the 2010 season ended have moved on for one reason or another. Wide receivers coach Karl Dorrell and offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo are the remaining offensive assistants still on staff.

Saxon joined the Dolphins in 2008 after a six-year run as the Kansas City Chiefs running backs coach. This season the Dolphins running backs were a tremendous disappointment. Both Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown started the season with hopes of gaining 1,000 yards -- each.

Neither reached that goal and in fact both seemed to regress from previous seasons.

Brown gained 734 yards and averaged a career-low 3.7 yards per carry. Williams gained 673 while averaging 4.2 yards a carry. Interesting that both players are free agents and it is possible if not probable neither will be re-signed by the Dolphins.


Daboll: All QB options on table, will do whatever it takes

Tony Sparano says he spent 55 hours and talked to five people about the job and he and Jeff Ireland did a lot of homework searching for "somebody that had a really clear vision and shared the same thoughts that I might have for where we want to go offensively. Somebody that came in with an exciting demeanor and exciting plan that would bring energy to our players."

Meet Brian Daboll. 

He's the Dolphins offensive coordinator today.

Most important thing: He is not promising to turn the 2011 Dolphins into the latter day Marino Dolphins. He obviously cannot because Marino isn't coming back as a 25-year-old. So, like Dan Henning before him, Daboll is going to do the best he can with what he has.

"I think we're going to do whatever we need to do to give us a chance, whether that's spread it out ... or tighten it down. Whatever plays we think need to be in that week, that's the way it's going to be. Whether that's no-huddle, slow it down, that's the way it's going to be. That's the direction we're going to go."

Daboll shared some cursory thoughts on his offensive philosophy: "There's going to be a variety of things we're going to try to accomplish with the offense. It's not going to be one set thing where we have five-wide every play or one set crunched down into a big personnel package ... We're going to put a heavy emphasis on fundaments. Heavy emphasis character, on toughness, on the ability to go out there and execute plays under pressure ... I think these guys have the right plan set in place.

"We're going to try to use formations, different motions, different shifts to try to create mismatches within the players in this division. I think you have some good players here on the perimeter, particularly Brandon. Bess does an excellent job for you. So we'll try to create some mismatches and put them in places maybe you haven't seen them before."

What does Daboll think of the current talent on the Dolphins?

"They have some good personnel to work with," he said. "There are some pieces to work with."

In talking about whether Chad Henne has a future with the Dolphins (I've already told you the Dolphins aren't simply going to discard the guy), Daboll made clear the Dolphins are going to look at every option for the quarterbacks -- including Henne.

"Chad is on our roster," he said. "I know we're going to research every available player whether its draft or free agent, but I'm excited to work with Chad. He has some tools we can develop and anyone else out there, that's what we'll do."

I asked Daboll how responsible he believes he was in the fact the Cleveland Browns were 31st in the NFL in points in 2010 and 29th in 2009 -- the two years he was offensive coordinator.

"I think in every organization, everybody plays a role," he said. "We didn't do as well as we wanted to do that. Again, I'm putting that behind me and I'm looking forward to the opportunity here."

Dolphins vow "change in the direction of the franchise"

Yes, the Dolphins introduced Brian Daboll as their new offensive coordinator on Wednesday.

I wish I could tell you he promised to score 420 points in 2011. He didn't. I wish I could tell you he's got a plan for what the team is going to do about its quarterback situation beyond Chad Henne, whom the club is obviously keeping. If he's got that plan, he didn't reveal it.

But before we do all that, I simply want to inform you the Dolphins are going in a new direction. No big deal, right? We're headed in a new direction, or at least the Dolphins are promising.

It was evident in that there was a Brian Daboll introductory press conference. That's for sure. The club obviously reads blogs such as this one and is aware you, the fans, have been shredding the hiring for obvious reasons. The club is also aware you, the fans, pay the freight and you're unlikely to do that to any greater degree in 2011 by purchasing tickets if you hate the coaching staff before that stuff runs even one play in 2011.

So you had Brian Daboll. And I'll tell you more about him in the next post. But this post is about direction.

"You know us pretty well," general manager Jeff Ireland said to start off the presser. "This is not something we normally do. It's a little bit different than what we normally do. But we're excited about the direction of the franchise. We really are. We want to convey that to you.

"We're moving on and we're looking forward to change in the direction of the franchise. Steve Ross, I know for a fact, is committed to winning as Tony and I are, and we're looking forward to the process of changing the direction of the franchise in the next coming weeks. Today's an important part of that."

Changing the direction of the franchise is welcome. Stagnant is not a direction. And 7-9 in consecutive seasons is stagnant. So, again, changing direction is a good thing.

But the hope is the direction points up. Not down.

That is not guaranteed.


Because for all the Dolphins need to change -- the quarterback would be the No. 1 priority, in my opinion -- the people making and driving those changes are important. Get the right people making the call and the change has a greater chance of being positive. Pick the wrong people to make the call and you've buried yourself.

Get a mix of those and you have ... stagnant.

The hope here is the people that continue to make that call are the football people on football matters. Obviously Tony Sparano and Jeff Ireland agreed on Daboll so that suggests they still have sway over football decisions. I would expect if the business side was making such calls the Dolphins would have hired ... well, someone whose previous stint was not at a team that scored fewer points than Miami.

But what is the out band of that limit?

Do they have the same sway as Bill Parcells did? Or has the business side of the organization leaked over onto football decisions?

On Wednesday, it was interesting that Daboll was introduced and Ireland, Sparano and club CEO Mike Dee were in the room. Mike Dee is a marketing and business genius. Don't believe me, check the attendance figures for the Boston Red Sox the past decade or so. The guy has also turned the Dolphins into a community relations, charitable and philanthropic juggernaut.

But he never attended a football presser before. Never. Why would he? He's not a football guy.

So was he at this one to monitor? Was he there to grade the participants and report back to Ross? Was he there because he was simply passing by although his office is at Sun Life Stadium and the presser was at Dolphins camp in Davie?


The Dolphins PR department shut down this presser before those questions were allowed to be asked. Honestly, the media asks the football questions first and then gets to these other ones if time permits. Time did not permit. Nobody also bothered to ask if a hiring for a QB coach is forthcoming or if Daboll will fill those duties.I apologize for not jumping up and asking that question aside from the other ones I asked. (I suck.)

But I'm just wondering if that "changing of direction of the franchise" we've been promised in the coming weeks is a signal of greater and more open dialogue with the press, and ultimately, with you? Or if that is just the surface with the business side of the operation holding greater sway over football.

"No," has been the answer the football side of this organization has long used to hold off the business side. It was to a point that no one even asked anymore for things such as greater access to players, for example. They were, the football side would always say, preparing to play football.

Wonder if that's going to change? And I wonder if that's going to affect the football preparation?

We'll see. 

Dolphins introducing offensive coordinator at 12:30 p.m

The Dolphins have called a 12:30 press conference today to introduce their new offensive coordinator.

I assume there will no suprises and Brian Daboll will meet with the South Florida media.

The fact this availability is even happening is interesting. You'll remember last year the team hired Mike Nolan as the new defensive coordaintor and had no such availability. You'll recall for three years the team has signed free agent after free agent and not made any of them available (Brandon Marshall made himself available last year).

So why the change now?

Are the Dolphins worried about the negative reaction to Daboll because he comes to Miami from the Cleveland Browns, a team that scored fewer points than Miami the last two years? Do the Dolphins want to use this opportunity to turn the negative tide on a coach so he gets a fair shot before he calls his first play for the team?

Or have Tony Sparano and Jeff Ireland decided the way they've been doing business the past three years -- in a bunker and away from publicity -- no longer is the right way to do business now that Bill Parcells is gone?

Or is this perhaps a sign that Sparano and Ireland -- obviously weakened by last season's 7-9 record and the Parcells departure -- having to succumb to the wishes of the business side of the organization? Parcells never had to do that but, obviously, he's Bill Parcells. Now that Parcells is gone, has the business side of the organization overtaken the football side as having more power thus is dictating media availabilities to the football side?

I seriously doubt these particular questions will be answered.

But believe me, the question why the policy change will be asked.

I will be tweeting the more interesting points of the press conference in real time. Follow me on twitter.

January 17, 2011

ESPN reports Daboll is the new OC, question is why?

I know what you are thinking: You are simply wondering why him?

If ESPN's report that Brian Daboll will be hired as Miami's new offensive coordinator (The Herald has not as of this writing been able to independently confirm this), then you're asking why coach Tony Sparano hired a coordinator whose team scored fewer points than the Dolphins broken offense in 2010.

The Dolphins also scored more points than Daboll's Browns in 2009.

I don't have an explanation for you at this time. I'm hoping to get an explanation at some point. It's a tough day for that as I'm flying back from Boston today so timing might be an issue.

In the meantime, I can tell you Daboll (35 years old) is younger than Dan Henning, whom he is replacing. And he is an enthusiastic sort as the video below shows.

Daboll's NFL experience is out of the Bill Belichick coaching tree. He was hired in 2000 by the Patriots as a defensive assistant. He became wide receivers coach in 2002. He left the Pats in 2006 to go with Eric Mangini to the Jets as their QB coach.

In 2009, Daboll again migrated with Mangini, this time to Cleveland where he served as offensive coordinator. Obviously, he was on the outs in Cleveland when Mangini was fired. And now he is apparently on the ins with the Dolphins.


Maybe the Dolphins way isn't the best way

BOSTON -- On my way home today but before I depart, I want to share with you my thoughts of the AFC Championship game as it relates to the Miami Dolphins.

Look, in 2008 the Dolphins were better than the Jets. They swept the Jets. They won the division ahead of the Jets. They went to the playoffs and the Jets didn't. The Dolphins were ahead.

Today they are behind.

Does anyone argue that?

The Jets are going to the AFC Championship games ... for the second consecutive year. And the Dolphins are out of the playoffs for the second consecutive year.

And that is why I write in my column today that maybe the Dolphins should rethink, adjust, consider changing the way they do business.

I list for you in the column the many differences in approach between the Dolphins and Jets. The Dolphins, for example, rarely want anything to do with veteran free agents over the age of 30ish. They want younger guys who will be around for a long time and grow into being Dolphins.

This despite the fact Miami's most successful free agent acquisition since Bill Parcells, Tony Sparano and Jeff Ireland took over was a man over 30-years-old -- Chad Pennington, who had a near MVP season in 2008.

The Jets don't give a hoot about those limitations of age. They'll add LaDainian Tomlinson when everyone says he's too old.

The Dolphins also thought this year they were complete at WR after getting one very good one in Brandon Marshall. They believed themselves complete there. And they were wrong.

The Jets? They pile talent atop talent if they can. They had Braylon Edwards. Then they added Santonio Holmes. And they did it knowing that Holmes was about to serve a suspension and was a risk and was a guy coaches had to manage. They still got him and he has been their best WR this year.

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said at his meeting with the media that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. No, it's not original by him, but it is worthy of attention.

The Dolphins have done it their way -- as I point out, in various avenues -- for three years. It's lately not working, folks.

They have to consider making changes and I'm not just talking about making additions or subtractions to the roster. I'm talking about how they make those additions or subtraction. How they think. How they approach it.

I'm not saying the Jets have the answers. I am not a fan of many, many, many things they do. I think their coach knows defense and teach it very, very well, but he is also a gasbag who is morally vacuous. The Jets have flaws.

But you cannot ignore the things they have done that have paid dividends. And, no matter how much your distaste for them colors your opinion,  you cannot ignore their results.