« Dolphins planning significant defensive changes; Free agent options; Kaaya's pro stock; UM, Heat, Panthers, Marlins | Main | The best and worst of sports media in 2015 »

5:30 p.m. Monday: Marlins to add pitcher; Dolphins add German League star; Reaction, notes from Dolphins locker-room; Early draft talk; Final Dolphins' PFF grades

Armando has the latest on the coaching search on his blog (Adam Gase, Mike Shanahan, Teryl Austin, Dan Campbell, Mike Smith and according to nfl.com, Doug Marrone are scheduled to interview), but here are some other Dolphins notes on locker-clean-out Monday:

### The Dolphins will have the eighth pick in April’s NFL Draft --- the same spot they used to select Ryan Tannehill four years ago --- and they will have a new top personnel man to advise vice president/football operations Mike Tannenbaum.

Chris Grier --- a 16-year Dolphins employee --- was introduced as the team’s new general manager on Monday and didn’t sugarcoat.

“The past decade has been unacceptable for this organization,” he said. “[Owner] Steve [Ross] and Mike and I will help find the right coach to lead this organization…. We will earn your trust back, both on and off the field…. The talk of dysfunction within the organization is over."

He declined to elaborate on his dysfunction comment, because “I don't want to talk ill of people at this time.”

Grier, who had been the Dolphins’ director of college scouting for the past nine years, said the defense (which finished 25th in the league) can be fixed in one offseason.

He also said Ryan Tannehill “is our guy.We can win with Ryan. We’ve moving on with him.” But he also said “I want competition, not just for Ryan, but… everybody on our roster.”

Grier, who will be involved in the coaching search, will report to Tannenbaum, who said it hasn’t been determined who will have final say on the 53-man roster.

The Dolphins believed there was a good chance Grier would have landed a GM job with another team if Miami hadn’t promoted him. Grier said he interviewed with the Jets and another undisclosed team for their GM jobs last year.

Grier started his NFL career with the Patriots as an intern in 1994, then worked as a regional scout for them until joining the Dolphins in 2000.

Grier, who thanked Bill Parcells, Nick Saban, Bill Belichick and Pete Carroll as people who have helped “shape” him, is the son of Bobby Grier, a longtime NFL personnel man who works currently as the Houston Texans’ associate director of pro scouting. Chris' brother, Michael, played in the NHL and is now a scout for the Chicago Blackhawks.

Former Redskins and Texans general manager Charley Casserly, now with NFL Network, called Grier an “excellent evaluator of people and players.”

### Before embarking on the coaching search, Tannenbaum said he has received input from Parcells, who spoke to Ross before Dan Campbell was promoted to interim coach.

### Tannenbaum, assessing the 6-10 season: “We were too inconsistent. But there are a lot of good pieces here that we can build from. Being 1-5 in the division is completely unacceptable. We have to get better. We have to figure out a way to win in the AFC East.  But with that said, there are a lot of good young players. We’re a young team. We have as many players under 24 as any other team in the league and that’s why I really believe that our future is bright.

“We looked fast and tough [against Houston and Sunday against New England] and there were other games we didn’t have it, for whatever reason. It’s up to me, starts with me. Why is that? Is it how we train? Is it the heat? We’re going to look at everything. Our first-quarter scoring differential — how would you explain?

"It’s hard to play balanced football when you’re being outscored by 40-plus points in the first quarter. It’s hard. It puts pressure on your offensive tackles. It puts pressure on your defensive secondary. There’s a lot of things when you get off to these bad starts that hurt and we’ve got to look at all those things.

### As Adam Schefter noted, the Dolphins have asked permission to speak to three AFC East assistants (Patriots coordinators Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia and Bills assistant head coach Anthony Lynn), and Tannenbaum said all coaches interviewed will be asked “theirs assessments on everything. We’re going to come out of this — and I have in the past — better for it. We’re going to learn a ton.

“We’re going to hear things we don’t want to hear. But that’s really, frankly, the only way we’re going to get better. That includes their assessment of our quarterback. And, you know, how do we win our division? What do you see as our perceived strengths? What are our weaknesses. That certainly will be a factor.”

### It’s early, but some of the players who should be in the mix with Miami’s eighth overall pick include UF cornerback Vernon Hargreaves, Clemson defensive end Shaq Lawson and potentially Oregon defensive end DeForest Buckner.

UCLA linebacker Myles Jack and Mississippi defensive tackle/end Robert Nkemdiche also can’t be ruled out.

The Dolphins would love if FSU cornerback Jalen Ramsey fell to No. 8, but he’s expected to go sooner.

The Dolphins will hope that the two quarterbacks projected as top 10 picks (Jared Goff and Paxton Lynch) are drafted before they pick, because Miami is fully committed to Ryan Tannehill.

And since the Dolphins don’t consider starting offensive tackle a need, it would also help if offensive tackles Laremy Tunsil (Mississippi) and Ronnie Stanley (Notre Dame) are selected before No. 8.

Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa is expected to be gone by 8.

### We mentioned Sunday that Olivier Vernon told the Dolphins he will not give them a hometown discount. “Wherever I end up – here or somewhere else – so be it,” he said today.

Meanwhile, Lamar Miller said today that his fit in an offense will be the No. 1 factor in his decision whether to re-sign here or go elsewhere.

He wants to know “how a team is going to use me, to my skill set” and what “type of offense they run.”

### How good was Vernon on Sunday? Here’s what Pro Football Focus said about him: “Vernon capped a monster second half of the season with a +5.8 effort that featured a sack, two QB hits, and a hurry to go with a +2.7 grade against the run. He beat Fleming for a sack with 5:33 to go in the fourth quarter, thwarting any comeback attempt from the Patriots, and Miami’s run defense was clearly better when Vernon was on the edge. After a few plays where backup DE Damontre Moore was bullied by TE Rob Gronkowski, Vernon came back in and had his way with Gronkowski to get in on five run stops. Vernon finishes the season as the No. 3 overall edge defender, and his second half was the very best at the position.”

### Jordan Cameron said today that “we’re the little brothers of the AFC’ and “we need to change that mindset, be more physical and aggressive.”

### Branden Albert said the Dolphins “need a coach who's going to be able to manage men. Everybody buy into whatever system it is next year. We've got to get some wins around here. I think we've got too much talent [not to]."

He also said: “When [Dan Campbell] started resting me, I started playing better. My game has skyrocketed, I'm playing how I'm supposed to, and I appreciate him for that….

“A lot of people doubted me. I was banged up, and injured. That's all I hear, that's all I hear, that's all I see what people write about Branden Albert. I finished. I finished stronger than I started. That was the whole point. I proved people wrong once again, and I'm going to keep proving people wrong. I do it for myself and this team, and me protecting Ryan Tannehill. You ask Ryan Tannehill if he don't trust me protecting his blind side. Go ask him. Ask the coaches. I am what I am, I do my job, and I get it done, no matter what somebody says about me. That's what I'm going to keep doing.""

### DeVante Parker said it was “very satisfying to show what I can do” over the final five weeks of the season. He said his foot is fine and needs no more procedures.

### According to draftdiamonds.com, the Dolphins signed receiver/cornerback Tyler Davis, the German Football League's MVP last season. After attending Missouri Valley College, he opted to play in Germany instead of Canada or the Arena League.

The 5-11 Davis had 26 touchdowns as a receiver and returner in Germany this past season and also had six interceptions. He worked out for the Dolphins and Rams last month.

### Here are the final Pro Football Focus ratings for Dolphins players:

Quarterback: Ryan Tannehill was 17th.

Running back: Lamar Miller was fifth.

Receiver: Among 109 receivers, Jarvis Landry was 14th, Rishard Matthews was 36th, DeVante Parker 48th and Greg Jennings 109th.

Tight end: Jordan Cameron was 42nd of 77.

Offensive tackle: Among 82, Branden Albert was 32nd, Ja’Wuan James 35th and Jason Fox 76th.

Guard: Among 79, Dallas Thomas was 78th, Billy Turner 65th.

Center: Mike Pouncey was 11th of 41.

Cornerback: Among 119, Brent Grimes was 45th, Bobby McCain 67th, Brice McCain 69th; Jamar Taylor 114th.

Safeties: Reshad Jones was 14th, Michael Thomas 47th of 87.

Linebacker: Among 92, Koa Misi was 19, Jelani Jenkins 38th and Kelvin Sheppard 77th.

Defensive tackle: Among 124, Ndamukong Suh was fifth, Earl Mitchell 96th, Jordan Phillips 106th.

Defensive end: Among 109, Olivier Vernon was third and Derrick Shelby 19th.

 

MARLINS TO ADD PITCHING

The Marlins, seeking pitching help, are closing in on a deal with veteran right-hander Edwin Jackson, according to a source.

Jackson is 88-107 with a 4.58 earned-run average in 13 seasons.

After signing a four-year, $52 million deal with the Cubs before the 2013 season, Jackson went just 8-18 and 6-15 as a starter the first two seasons, then was relegated to the bullpen last season before being released on July 27.

He signed with the Braves and finished 4-3 overall with a 3.07 ERA in 47 appearances, all in relief. He's still owed $13 million by the Cubs next season, and his Marlins contract would be a low-money deal.

The Marlins will continue looking for starting pitching beyond Jackson, who is expected to compete with David Phelps, Justin
Nicolino, Jose Urena, Adam Conley and potentially others for two rotation spots behind Jose Fernandez, Jarred Cosart and Tom Koehler.

Last week, we mentioned Jackson as one of the pitchers that the Marlins had been discussing, along with Cliff Lee and Doug Fister (who remain unsigned) and a few others.

Twitter: @flasportsbuzz

Comments