It appears the Miami Dolphins are once again changing the style of play that we once were sold on with the hiring of Joe Philbin (Lame Duck?) as head coach 3 years ago. Philbin a product of the “West Coast Offense” in Green Bay has failed in his transforming the Dolphins into a passing team. With all the veteran receivers being dumped, traded or allowed to walk, coupled with the big bucks shelled out for Ndamukong Suh and with Ryan Tannehill’s inability to find accuracy on his deep ball and Mike Wallace no longer on the team it seems the Dolphins will focus more on the run game on offense, I suspect we will see a defensive oriented team that will focus on a ball controlled offense that will look to run more effectively as opposed to passing a lot. Last season to my surprise the Dolphins finished 12th in the league with 117 yards average per game rushing and that was without the services of Knowshon Moreno who we lost early in the season.
Looking at this year’s draft despite many feeling Miami will take a defensive player I can see Miami going after a offensive weapon to add early in the draft. There are two special RB’s in this year’s draft that I feel are worth going after in fact despite the feeling that the draft is deep at the RB position I have always been a proponent of taking the best player at the position and that leaves two names available
- Melvin Gordon, RB 6-1/215
- Todd Gurley, RB
Both are worthy of first round picks and I would be happy with either. My preference is Gordon for two reasons the first is he is from Wisconsin he is 6’-1” tall and 215 which makes him an excellent complement to our rising star Lamar Miller. Miller and Gordon could give our offense the one two punch needed to keep our defense fresh and control the clock. My second reason for wanting Gordon over Gurley is the injury Gurley suffered.
My other choice would be at the WR position where the Dolphins are now thin thanks to the veteran purging done this offseason as it had more to do with money than anything and the perception was that none of the starters earned their contracts and the feeling was they all were overpaid. That is debatable as I blame the QB and maybe even the play calling on the lack of production from our receivers. The fact that every veteran receiver parted ways is telling. So looking at the receiver position I see two potential players on the board possibly when Miami makes their selection.
- Amari Cooper, WR
- DeVante Parker, WR
So to sum it up I feel an offensive skilled player will be the first overall selection it is just a matter of who is on the board and what position they feel is more of a need.
Who do you feel will be Miami’s first pick in the 2015 Draft? Chime in!
If you had any doubt as to whom gets the blame for Miami’s consistent mediocrity then you need look no further than this year’s free agency moves. Miami has basically cleaned house. Its receiver core has been totally remade as the veteran receivers and their high salaries have been dumped. Gone are Brian Heartline ( signed with Cleveland) Mike Wallace (Traded To Minnesota), Brandon Gibson (Signed with New England), Dannell Ellerbe (Traded to the Saints). They also cut DT Randy Starks, Released CB Cortland Finnegan and had a few defections as Jarred Odrick went to Jacksonville and Jimmy Wilson also signed with the Chargers.
Miami made a huge splash again as they spent big money for the best DT free agent on the market and most likely in the game as Ndamukong Suh signed a contract for over 114 million dollars. I like the signing but the price was steep!
So within 4 days the Dolphins purged millions of dollars of contracts and created a load of dead cap money that the 2nd riches owner in the NFL will have to pay. The good news is our new GM can do this and get away as they can blame the former GM Jeff Ireland for most of these contracts that now appear to be bad deals or were they? (More on this in a future article)
As for now the blame game has fallen on Jeff Ireland and the players that have been jettison, nothing left to blame after this season but the coaching….(I feel that is the real issue all along) The Dolphins have more holes now than before especially at the receiver position. The LB position also needs to be addressed and they have to find s big back to complement our RB’s currently on the roster.
There are plenty of more moves to be made and the draft is just weeks away I am still not excited as I still believe this Dolphins team had the talent these past two years and SHOULD have made the playoffs both years and the only reason had nothing to do with the players IMO.
So sit back and watch how things continue to unfold throughout the rest of the free agency period as well as the draft but for now Miami have digressed in talent despite adding one of the best defensive players in the game.
So tell me how you feel about the moves made to date?
It is no secret that Chip Kelly loves bringing home former college players to the Eagles and at one point rumor had it that he wanted Dion Jordan and if not for former GM Jeff Ireland moving up in the draft to take Jordan he would most likely have been an Eagle. Even last year it was rumored that the Eagles would still be interested in making a trade for Jordan.
Is it too late to propose it again? Should our brain trust make a call and see if they can make a deal? If I were the GM I would do it because I feel Dion needs to start over with a new team. The Dolphins could use another high pick (maybe ask for a 2nd rounder?) and Chip loves the kid.
Now I will admit I have not looked into the feasibility of this and if it could be done but if it I possible I say try to make it happen Miami!
Dion has been a disappointment since coming to Miami and if he has another poor season I am sure he will be headed towards being labeled a bust. Maybe Chip Kelly can get him motivated he seems to have that ability unlike a certain somebody currently dousing any seat of motivation in his players.
Miami still have Olivier Vernon who has kept Jordan at bay in landing the spot opposite Wake and in some folks opinion the Dolphins DC just might not be playing Dion the best way for him to reach his potential. Either way I feel it is time to move on from the talented young man who has failed to reach his potential in Miami and the Dolphins could use more young talent.
The good thing is Dion was not drafted by our current GM and so it makes it easier to make such a move and I say it would be a wise decision to consider it.
What do you think? Is this the perfect time to make such a move or do you feel Miami should not give up on Dion just yet?
I recall when the Dolphins hired certain coaches in the past they all came with certain expectations and reputations. Jimmy Johnson had proven to be a very good veteran head coach who EARNED the right to be given full control and authority over the team and one of the few who was capable of handling both the head coach and GM roles competently. Having won two super bowls and assembling one of the most talented teams in history while in Dallas it made sense to give Jimmy full control. The same could not be said for his predecessor Dave Wandstedt. If you go over the list of coaches both veteran head coaches and first time head coaches you will see some are deserving of full authority and others maybe should have never had that authority or power.
Looking at decisions made by Joe Philbin I have to say he is not one that should be given full authority or allowed to continue to make the final call on who should be on the roster. It goes back to the very first decision he made just after being hired. I say this knowing a GM will not get rid of a player without the consent of the head coach. The first player the Joe Philbin got rid of was Brandon Marshall and I will say I really did not have a problem with this despite how good he was because Brandon was more trouble than his worth, despite the fact that he still is one of the most talented WR’s in the NFL.
The Dolphins then brought in Chad Johnson and we all will never forget the “Hard Knocks” episode where Joe Philbin cut the talented veteran receiver after he had a domestic violence incident with his wife. That decision I did have a problem with because I felt Chad Johnson was never really a player that got into trouble and despite his outgoing personality he was really a good person and at the time I felt he still would have helped our young QB in his development. He was a talent the team could use at that time that Joe let go.
That was the beginning of what has become a pattern with Joe Philbin he does not have the ability or the desire to deal with players who might have strong personalities. That has undermined the team as some of these players were more talented than their replacements. Letting Reggie Bush go was also another bad decision along with Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnette . These were all players who were part of the leadership council that was formed after the decision to cut Chad Johnson. Joe Philbin agreed to it and then proceeded to cut just about all the members of that council.
Now fast forward to the current issue involving another talented player who had some rift with Joe Philbin, Mike Wallace. Mike Wallace is the best receiver on the team and he also is a top receiver in the NFL. In fact had Ryan Tannehill been able to be accurate on his deep ball Wallace would have been statistically a top 5 receiver.
Apparently after two years of missed opportunities Wallace let his frustrations get the best of him in the last game of the season and got into an argument with one of the coaches in how he was being used (not used)
Despite the missed connections on the deep ball Wallace still ended up having the most TD’s and had some very good receptions. He proved he is not a one trick pony and it also seemed that Ryan Tannehill was getting better at season’s end with his accuracy issues.
But speculation is that Joe Philbin is in favor of letting our best receiver go. When is enough, enough?
What has Joe Philbin done to earn the right to keep making that call? He has summarily dismissed talented players without upgrading or even matching the talent departed. His record alone says he has not done enough to earn that right.
So as the offseason gets on the way will the Dolphins allow Joe Philbin send our more talented players to play for some other team while he stock this team with players that he is comfortable with that so far has produced average records?
I have soured on Philbin and I am one of those Dolphins fans who wanted him gone this past season and now that we are stuck with another season of Joe Philbin will our GM allow Joe to get rid of our best offensive weapon?
Time will tell….
It is time to take a serious look at fixing the Dolphins and in my mind it is time to make sweeping changes. There are players on the roster whose rookie contracts are coming to an end and they and their agents are looking for a big payday. There are also some veteran players who have not lived up to their contracts that need to be addressed as the Dolphins get into position to make the needed moves this free agency period to improve the team (A MUST).
I have no issue with players getting paid but truth be told there is not one player on the team that should demand a high salary and if they and their agents are expecting a huge deal here is what the Dolphins SHOULD do. Offer them an incentive laden contract that says if you reach certain milestones both individually and as a team you get paid accordingly otherwise let them test the market and walk.
I am in favor of Ryan Tannehill getting a long-term contract but this year it might not be possible due to so many other needs that must be addressed so the smart move would be to just take the 5th year option. Besides he still has some things to improve on, and certain milestone of his own to reach. His play last year really shows he can reach some of those goals.
Mike Wallace deserves his money in my opinion and if the Dolphins are asking him to take some pay cut if I were his agent I would say no. It is not Mike Wallace’s fault that his QB has accuracy issues. Add to that the fact that when he vented that he was vilified by just about everybody, it has created a bad atmosphere and climate where it just might be in everyone’s best interest to move on. That is all I have to say about that issue for now.
Miami has already started purging the lineup by letting go both veteran WR’s Brian Heartline and Brandon Gibson clearing up over 6 million in cap space and I suspect more is to come maybe including moving disgruntled veteran receiver Mike Wallace.
Update: More purging as the Dolphins cut Nate Garner,Cortland Finnegan and reportedly placed the transition tag on Charles Clay.
As I said in the onset that I think that there are very few players if any deserving of any huge payday as this team has proven to be average with these players who have rookie contracts coming to an end and I find it hard to see any of them demanding big paydays without some strings attached.
What do you think, is there anybody you feel deserves to cash in due to their performance?
Seattle Seahawks 22
New England Patriots 26
Enjoy the game!
(Definition of the 4 categories the players fall under)
1. Players on the Rise: These are players who I feel can start for this Dolphin team they are playing the best on this team and are very good examples for the rest to try to live up to…Some can even be starters for any team in the NFL.
2. Players stuck in Neutral: These are players who might have potential but so far have been average or unimpressive, they are just collecting a check but is not thinking of the short life the NFL provides it’s players (an average of 4 years) if they don’t capitalize on their opportunity now they will soon be looking back at the wasted youth and say “I wish I would have done more” NOW IS THE TIME TO STEP UP! They can either do one of two things move their stock up or down but staying in neutral will eventually be deemed as falling stock.
3. Players whose stock is falling: These are players who for some reason like suspensions, injuries or just not playing to the standard they need to make the team, they are not living up to their potential or pay, either way it’s not a good thing for them or the Dolphins. It’s time they crap or get off the pot. Because they will end up traded or cut if their stock continues to fall.
4. Players under the Radar: These are players who can “if given the opportunity” take it to another level; they are young and full of potential and if properly coached can be special.
Players on the Rise:
Ryan Tannehill, Lamar Miller, Jarvis Landry, Ja’Wuan James, Dion Sims, Cameron Wake, Reshad Jones, Mike Wallace, Jelani Jenkins, Brandon Albert
Players stuck in Neutral:
Mike Pouncey, Dion Jordan, Rishard Matthews, Brandon Gibson, Daryn Colledge, Samson Satele, Nate Garner, Shelly Smith, Sam Brenner, Billy Turner, Jason Fox, Charles Clay, Jared Odrick, Earl Mitchell, , Olivier Vernon, Dannell Ellerbe, Koa Misi, Philip Wheeler, Brent Grimes, Louis Delmas, , Derrick Shelby, A J Francis, , Jason Trusnik, Jonathan Freeny, Don Jones, , Jamar Taylor, John Denney Daryn Colledge, Dallas Thomas, , Will Davis,
Players whose stock is falling:
Cortland Finnegan, Matt Moore, Daniel Thomas, Mike Gillislee, Knowshon Moreno, Caleb Sturgis, Brian Hartline, Jimmy Wilson, Randy Starks
Players under the Radar:
Damien Williams, Terrence Fede, Chris McCain, Anthony Johnson
If I forgot anyone or listed a player no longer on the team please let me know. Also let me know if you agree or disagree with my rankings and who you would change. I have been known to edit it if I agree.