Where to Start with the Disappointing Dolphins?

11 Nov

On this day in 2012, the Miami Dolphins stood at 4-5. Today, a year and one well-publicized offseason spending spree later, the Dolphins find themselves with the exact same record.

A combined $172million in in contracts went to Hartline, Wallace, Ellerbee, Wheeler, and rookie Dion Jordan. Our total offense is 30th in the league this season, and our defense is allowing almost four more points per contest.

The best left tackle in Miami Dolphins history was allowed to walk out the door and sign with the Rams, a deal that included some lofty numbers, but also protected the Rams if Long succumbed to injury. Ireland flirted with the Chiefs about their Pro Bowler Branden Albert, but ultimately balked at their demand of a high second rounder for the 28-year-old. Much of the offensive line was left to chance. Left tackle was left to chance. Tannehill has paid the price ever since.

Daniel Thomas has continues to be a major part of this offense, despite averaging over a full yard less than backfield mate Lamar Miller. Mike Sherman has made remarkably little use of Tannehill’s legs, opting to keep him in a crumbling pocket rather than rolling him out, giving him the option to either run, buy his wideouts a few more seconds before slinging the ball, or throw it away, unsacked.

And of course there’s “Bullygate”. We don’t know everything yet. Truth be told the warts on this team were several before this offseason distraction. But here we are, minus two starters on the line, setting the record for the worst rushing game in franchise history. Miami could have circled the wagons tonight. We didn’t.

Ross has let Jeff Ireland captain the ship to nowhere. He let Ireland lead a coaching search that of course eliminated any candidates qualified enough to, well, fire Ireland. Bill Parcells yanked his golden parachute and got the hell out of town. Instead of boldly moving on, Ross grabbed onto Bill’s lackey Ireland like a floatation device.

Now it looks like another sunk season for the team we all love.

GO DOLPHINS, and feel free to follow us on Twitter @TheBottlenose

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dolphins Stock Report as the Fins Look to Blast Bucs

11 Nov

Dolphins Overall Worth (DOW) as we take on Tampa.  (567.6, +69.6)

 

RISERS

 

LAMAR MILLER (NASDAQ: MILL) +3.5: Not sure what else Lamar can do to convince the powers that be to keep Daniel Thomas on the pine. Sure he fumbled, but at the end of a run Thomas can only dream of ever pulling off. The more we run him, the more good things happen.

BRENT GRIMES (NASDAQ: GRIM) +4: Massive pick six in the Bengals game. Grimes has succeeded in reclaiming his pre-injury value, and is going to be paid in full this offseason, or perhaps before if Miami opens the wallet in time.

 

CAMERON WAKE (NYSE: CWAKE) +8.5: Only the third time in NFL history that a game has ended on a sudden death safety. Three sacks against Cincy for this beast, who fell into our laps from the Canadian Football League and became a star.

 

TUMBLERS

 

 

RICHIE INCOGNITO: (NASDAQ: NITO) -2: Too little is known at this point. As evidenced by footage of Richie and Mike Pouncey out at a bar, the culture of the locker room obviously allowed for some pretty horrific things to be said by the controversial guard. Not everyone is wired to speak that way, or hear such things without being impacted. Not everyone is wired to take teasing with a grain of salt. Clearly Jonathan Martin felt uncomfortable leveling with Richie, who is part of the team’s leadership council. That’s enough to get Incognito docked a little bit here, given what we do know.

 

 

SUMMARY

Tonight will show a lot. Is this team going to circle the wagons, or spiral painfully down the pigskin drain? At 5-4 we’d be tied with the Jests for a Wild Card spot.

GO DOLPHINS, and feel free to follow us on Twitter @TheBottlenose

 

Stock Report as Best Football Team in Florida Welcomes the Bengals

31 Oct

Dolphins Overall Worth (DOW) as Cincy comes to town.  (498.0, -98.4)

RISERS

BRYANT MCKINNIE (NASDAQ: BMIK) +1: Bottom line, he didn’t allow a sack. I don’t expect that to always be the case, but it was progress. Not that we didn’t allow Tanny to get blown up six times anyway, but our left tackle situation felt slightly less laughable in Foxboro. The Bengals can straight up get after the quarterback, so Mount McKinnie will have his work cut out for him.

JARED ODRICK (NYSE: JARDO) +3.5: Nice to see this lunch pail lineman blow up the stat sheet with two sacks, and of course one of the finest celebration dances in the game today. Hopefully he can conjure some more pass rush against the red-hot Andy Dalton.

TUMBLERS

CALEB STURGIS (NYSE: STURGY): -1.5 The Honeymoon is over for the leggy youngster. He’s clearly talented though, and should be sending the ball through the uprights for many years to come.

RYAN TANNEHILL (NASDAQ: TANN) -4: Three turnovers at New England isn’t going to cut it. We’re not going to dock Ryan too much, ’cause his o-line is routinely getting him murdered and we don’t believe he’s being used properly.

MIKE SHERMAN: (NYSE: SHERM) -7.25: It just feels like Sherman isn’t sure what this offense is, or what he wants this offense to be. We watched Dr. T throw two touchdowns against the Patsies, both while rolling out. He’s clearly dangerous on the move, so why, given that our pass protection is arguably the worst in football, do we keep him in the pocket to get pummeled so often? Our running game, dominant in the first half, was missing in action in the final 30 minutes.

JONATHAN MARTIN: (NYSE: JMART) -14: Really? Has a lunchroom prank really sent a grown man, who makes a living in the gladiator’s game of football, into a downward spiral? We do wish him the best, and hope he emerges from this in a better mental state. He was put in an awful situation, being plugged in at the most important position on offense next to the QB, despite not being cut out for it. It was a desperation move by Ireland, who couldn’t seal a deal with Kansas City, where Branden Albert has continued to be a stalwart this season.

JEFF IRELAND: (NASDAQ: FIRE) -24: Our revamped defense hasn’t been appreciably better than last year’s squad. Sixty-million-dollar man Mike Wallace is on pace for a two touchdown season. Our o-line is officially a punchline. Our draft class has been whisper quiet thus far. This was the “wait and see” year for Ireland, yet he apparently managed to talk Ross into an extension during the offseason. Unless things turn around fast, that’s looking more and more like a write-off for Steve “Crazylegs” Ross.

SUMMARY

What an amazing first half up in Foxboro, huh guys? The boom lowered after halftime, and now we find ourselves in an all too familiar situation. This team needs an inspired performance, probably from Ryan Tannehill (or how about a 183-yard masterpiece from Lamar Miller?), to right the ship and declare to the world that the SoFlo Sea Mammals ain’t dead yet. Of course, Tanny doesn’t call the plays. Nor can Dr. T pass block for himself. The Bengals are capable of dominating a game in all facets. If something doesn’t change, Halloween night may be even scarier than usual.

GO DOLPHINS, and feel free to follow us on Twitter @TheBottlenose

The Fibbing Fin: Ireland Doing Fine Job, Ireland Advises Ross to Say about Ireland

28 Oct

– COCONUT GROVE, FL

Owner Stephen Ross expressed his confidence in General Manager Jeff Ireland, during a Monday morning press conference at Grand Avenue’s historic Royal Palm Puppet Theater.

“Jeff Ireland assures me that he’s doing a fantastic job,” Ross explained, a transmitter in his ear crackling with Jeff Ireland’s voice, as the beleaguered GM operated Ross’ body from high above the stage via strings and pulleys.

“Jeff Ireland has advised me to express great confidence in Jeff Ireland for years now,” Ross said, adding, “Jeff Ireland tells me Jeff Ireland’s done nothing to cause Jeff Ireland to advise me to change that opinion about Jeff Ireland.”

Ireland headed up the 2012 coaching search, which of course eliminated any candidates that might look to remove Jeff Ireland. “Jeff Ireland explained that the coaches with impressive resumes might look to remove Jeff Ireland from his post, and Jeff Ireland assured me that handing Jeff Ireland a pink slip would only reverse the work Jeff Ireland was doing, which Jeff Ireland explained was simply stellar.”

Asked about Jeff Ireland’s offseason extension Ross explained, “I sat down with Jeff Ireland this offseason, before meeting with Jeff Ireland. Ireland advised me to extend Jeff, then left the room before coming back in. I extended him on the spot.”

– BS NEWSWIRE

 

 

Stock Report as the Fins Hit Beantown

27 Oct

Dolphins Overall Worth (DOW) heading into Foxboro.  (596.4, -77.2)

RISERS

RESHAD JONES (NASDAQ: RJON) +1.5: His second straight week on the riser list after a 10 tackle, 1 sack day. He’s been living up to his contract lately. Aim for Gronk’s forearm, Reshad. Not really. Well, maybe a little.

BRANDON GIBSON (NYSE: BGIBS) +3.5: Brandon has been a solid addition for the Sea Mammals, and came up big with a pair of touchdowns against Buffalo, and those 14 straight points gave us the lead.

TUMBLERS

MIKE SHERMAN: (NYSE: SHERM) -3: A sad quartet of 4th quarter possessions handed the game to the Bills, and sent us back to .500 after our great start. We were reminded, when Tanny hit Wallace on that bomb last Sunday, how rarely we’ve thrown deep this year. I assume we brought Wallace in for something. I assume we know that the NFL’s pass interference rule is perhaps the most punitive penalty in all of sports. Hell, the Ravens had a scoring drive against us that was 90% P.I. calls. Aside from that, we think Sherm has been a bit slow to adjust to our pass blocking woes and take advantage of Dr. T’s athleticism.

JONATHAN MARTIN: (NYSE: JMART) -5: The J-Mart left tackle experiment comes to a merciful end. Now he can concentrate on getting his mojo back at right tackle, where he was at least solid last season. Bryant McKinnie has been imported from the Ravens and will start at left tackle despite turning 78 years old last month. Our tackle situation is the glaring misstep of Ireland’s offseason spree, and it cost us hugely last weekend.

TYSON CLABO: (NASDAQ: CLAB) -10: Clabo’s on his way to the bench after getting manhandled by Mario Williams all day. The last sack cost us the game. Still miraculous that Ryan Tannehill hasn’t missed any time yet, with the beatings he’s endured.

SUMMARY

And just like that the SoFlo Sea Mammals are back at square one. Only a win in traditionally cruel Foxboro can keep us from slipping into sub-.500 territory after our promising start. We’re left to start a benched tackle Bryant McKinnie on the blind side. Aside from quarterback, left tackle is the most dangerous position to gamble on in the NFL. Unfortunately Jeff Ireland entered the 2013 season rolling the dice at both ends of the o-line. This team needs a big win, a victory that will reset the tone going forward. Hopefully it’ll come today.

GO DOLPHINS, and feel free to follow us on Twitter @TheBottlenose

SoFlo Sea Mammals’ 3-0 Start Was an Illusion

21 Oct

DISCLAIMER: If you’re someone who believes that being a fan requires blind allegiance without questioning a team’s regime, this piece of scribble is not for you. We’ve never liked that idea. Fans have every right to talk about their team how they’d like. They’ve invested their mind and hearts for years, decades even. When the ball leaves the tee on game day, we all cheer like hell. So, here goes.

We were just as thrilled as anyone to look at that record. 3-0. Wow. Could it be that we’ve finally put it together? At the time our second half schedule looked like a big, honkin’ piece of cheesecake, and to start off with three victories was fantastic. We wound up on the winning end of a couple of close games, which was a refreshing change from what we’ve grown used to.

It was fool’s gold. Sure, there’s the Al Davis “Just win baby” thing, which is a fair quote to toss around. But behind those three notches in the win column was a hugely flawed team.

We were out-gained by every single team we faced, even the Browns with soon-to-be benched Brandon Weeden at the helm and with Josh “Holy Shit, That Guy’s Only 22?” Gordon still on suspension. Three games into the season our opponents’ total offense was 1,116, compared to our 958.

Even in those early victories our tackle play was abysmal. The hope was that even after the draft and scouting process pointed to Martin’s NFL potential elsewhere on the line, and even after seeing him struggle in place of Jake Long last season, he would put it all together this season. Those hopes are dashed. Now, at perhaps the second most important position on the entire football team after quarterback, we are lost. The signing of Tyson Clabo was a double-whammy. It sent Martin to the left side, and left us with, well, Clabo on the right. We were 3-0, but with 14 sacks allowed and a pocket routinely crumbling around Tannehill.

Our running game three contests into the season was also brutal. We averaged 3.24 yards per carry in those wins, a clip good for 30th in the NFL right now. Daniel Thomas has now averaged 3.5, 3.6, and 3.4 yards per carry in his three NFL seasons, and shows no signs of exiting the Miami Dolphins’ game plan any time soon. This year he’s averaging almost a full yard less than Lamar Miller. Of course we brazenly traded up for Thomas in the 2011 draft. Demarco Murray and Stevan Ridley were the next two backs selected.

The Dolphins announced an extension for Jeff Ireland after Tanny dumped that lob to Dion Sims and we toppled the Falcons. Apparently Ross was too ashamed to announce it when it happened, during the offseason. Could there be a less confident vote of confidence? Maybe if you’re afraid to tell people you’re extending a guy, that’s some sort of red flag?

Of course, looking back at the early part of the season, there were red flags all over the place.

GO DOLPHINS, and feel free to follow us on Twitter @TheBottlenose

 

Stock Report: Beached Fins Look to Swim Again vs. Bills

19 Oct

Dolphins Overall Worth (DOW) heading into battle with Bills.  (673.6, -54.1)

 

 

RISERS

MIKE WALLACE (NYSE: MWALL) +2: In our last game, which we’d like to forget almost entirely, Wallace topped 100 yards. That qualifies him as one of the precious few risers from this steaming pile of pigskin action we watched for much of the Ravens game. When we make a conscious effort to throw to him, he puts up solid games. Here’s hoping he continues trending upward against Buffalo.

RESHAD JONES (NASDAQ: RJON) +2.5: A big, timely pick six for Reshad, who was shown the money in hopes that he’d make that exact kind of play. More please, Mr. Jones. The secondary must elevate their play.

 

TUMBLERS

TYSON CLABO: (NASDAQ: CLAB) -4: Where to start with the pass blocking on our beloved SoFlo Sea Mammals? Tyson isn’t getting it done. Our pass protection is a glaring hole, and we’re sacrificing goats to the football Gods daily in the hopes that it will keep Tanny off injured reserve.

JONATHAN MARTIN: (NYSE: JMART) -5: In fairness to Martin, he lasted as long as he did in the draft because the vast majority of the NFL didn’t see him as a left tackle at this level. Also in fairness to Martin, we saw plenty of him last year at the position in Long’s absence, and he graded out very poorly. So really is he at fault here, or the GM that went into the season thinking he’d be enough to protect the blind side of the most talented quarterback we’ve had since Marino? Which brings us to…

JEFF IRELAND: (NASDAQ: JIRE) -7.5: Our scoring defense has dropped from 7th last season to 20th in the league thus far. Our passing offense is 25th. Our rushing offense is 31st. Jeff owes his recent extension to Ryan Tannehill’s late game heroics, ’cause our numbers thus far tell a very different story. So far we’ve seen a worse defense, an offense stuck in neutral, and an o-line performing like a thinly-sliced Swiss cheese. Did we mention Reggie Bush is averaging 4.8 yards per carry and Jake Long is still grading out as a top 10 left tackle? Just throwing that out there.  That all being said, there is someone who’s making Jeff look worse than necessary.

MIKE SHERMAN: (NYSE: SHERM) -8: It’s so ironic that the guy most keenly aware of Ryan Tannehill’s physical ability is leaving him the pocket to be routinely murdered. You don’t have the blocking, Mike. Roll that handsome bastard out. Let the defense in and dump screens over them. Scheme for the shit-storm of an o-line you’re working with. Did everyone notice that the biggest play of the Ravens’ game, the one that nearly saved our blowholes, was Tannehill on the run, buying time for a target to come open and throwing a 46-yarder like it was nothing? Receivers tend to come open when you give ‘em an extra moment or two. Hell, that was a big reason why Mike Wallace was so dangerous in Pittsburgh. Big Ben moved. He bought Mike that extra second, then found him for big plays. If you let Tanny do the same, we reckon their much discussed “chemistry issue” would clear up rather quickly. Oh, and Mike, enough with the Daniel Thomas already. It’s almost routinely a waste of a play to stick that ball in DT’s bread basket. At least with Miller there’s the faint hope of a game-altering play.

 

 

SUMMARY

 

Baltimore is a prime candidate to battle us for a wild card spot, and they now hold the head-to-head tiebreaker. If we want to stay a game up on them, we have to take care of business against Buffalo. If we want to be discussed with the big boys, we have to beat the teams we’re supposed to beat. New England and Cincy are on deck, so let’s notch a “W” now before the going gets tougher. Bring the house against Thad Lewis. I want two sacks for Wake, and a pair for the youngster Dion J as well. And get this? Throw in 100+ yards for Lamar Miller. Buffalo is rocking the 28th ranked rush defense in the league. Don’t waste that on Daniel Thomas.

GO DOLPHINS, and feel free to follow us on Twitter @TheBottlenose

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