Tag Archives: Dolphins

Manning Mania Has Makings of Mirage

6 Mar

This isn’t the surefire Hall of Famer. This isn’t the Super Bowl MVP. This isn’t the same Peyton.

If the Colts, with a fan base flush with Manning jerseys, are willing to yank the plug on him it speaks volumes. That’s even without hearing reports saying he’s not there yet, and having trouble making all the throws. It’s a backwards-looking direction, and such choices are rarely winning moves.

Agonizing for our SoFlo Sea Mammals, who have, along with all of us of course, endured a horrific post-Marino hangover. The idea of snagging a few stellar bonus years out of Peyton is alluring. This was the #5 scoring defense in football. The cupboard on offense is far from bare as well. If we could lock in a maestro for this offense, we would immediately be a playoff contender.

But there are of course a few directions to go in the search for that maestro. If the Dolphins’ “spidey sense” is tingling about RGIII, few would blame them for betting the house on him. Perhaps another rookie has caught our eye, one that should be available when our pick rolls around, or lower if we trade down?

Then of course there’s Matty “Bang Bang” Flynn. We believe he will be the next starting quarterback of the Miami Dolphins. We’ve been way too quiet about him. If you’re Joe Philbin, heading into your first ever job as a Head Coach in the National Football League, your worst nightmare is a quarterback who can’t run your offense. What a happy coincidence that you’ve had a several season head start in prepping Flynn to run that offense. Couple that with his performances in live action, and it makes far too much sense. We love him. We think he’s smart. We think he’s got swagger. He may not be the prototype 6’4″ poster boy, but we believe he would put this team in the end zone. And of course there’s the bonus of being able to use our 1st rounder at another need position (DE/OLB or RT perhaps).

Or of course we could try option 3, whipping a few more good years out of the old horse Peyton. We could grab a QB in the 2nd or 3rd to groom behind him. We would of course be curious to see if he had anything left in the tank. However, misfiring on this would set the franchise back a few years. Ask yourself, does Philbin have that luxury in his first ever stint as an HC?

We don’t think he does. We hope, and indeed we think, that the Sea Mammals will make the hit-the-ground-running choice. There are rookies, and the learning curve that almost always needs to be navigated. There’s a stud veteran who’s now failing physically and turning 36. Then there’s a 26-year old with very little wear on his arm, who knows the offense like the back of his hand and has already excelled (granted, a small sample size) against live, NFL action.

Of course it ain’t our call, but at the stroke of midnight on March 13th we’d be throwing a boatload of sand dollars in Matt Flynn’s direction.

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

If Matt Moore is the Answer, What Does Our Draft Look Like?

22 Nov

We’re going to slot us in at 6 wins this season. Not bad when you factor in an 0-7 “clusterfin” to start the year. For discussion’s sake, let’s say that Matt Moore finishes the season on an absolute tear. And let’s say that the powers that be are willing to write his name in ink as our starting quarterback in 2012. If Moore were locked in at starting QB, where would that leave us when April rolls around? After all, 99.4% of the draft chatter has been about the quarterbacks, which make up one whale of a class we might add. Here’s a look at a possible scenario.

Six wins could put us at around pick seven or eight. That is, historically speaking, far too high to draft a right tackle. So, let’s keep that need in mind (Colombo has been a strong run-blocker, but has struggled against the pass rush) and scratch it off our round one list. A seam-stretching tight end has been on many of our minds for a while. But did you catch a glimpse of H-back Charles Clay this week? Not to mention we’ve already pointed out Fasano’s under-appreciated skills in a past piece. So we’re not going to jump for a TE this high in the first round either. Marshall and Bess are locked up as our #1 and our slot. Does that move our attention to the defensive side of the ball? We think it very well could.

Our pass defense was putrid to start the year. So do we bring in a DB? A corner to replace Vontae or Sean? Another safety prospect? We don’t think so. We contend that our poor pass defense numbers were due to an inability to pressure the opposing quarterback. Mike Nolan has schemed beautifully as of late, and we’ve been getting to opposing gunslingers much more often. But we’re not enthused about the right side of our defense. Jason Taylor is on his way to Canton, and will soon be put to stud, making dozens of tiny defensive ends on a farm in Kentucky. Koa Misi is not (sniffle, sniffle) going to be a sack master. He’s high motor, but it’s simply not what he does.

Our solution? Ladies and gentlemen,  in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft the Miami Dolphins select COURTNEY UPSHAW, LINEBACKER, ALABAMA.

This is assuming he falls to us. Upshaw is going to terrorize teams at the next level. Opposite Cam Wake, we will strike fear into the heart of every quarterback we face. How do you beat Brady? You rattle him. If he has time he will slice and dice like a surgeon. If we have designs on winning the East we can’t let that happen. He would toss Sanchez around like a rag doll. But Upshaw is not merely a pass rusher. We don’t believe he’d ever leave the field. Adding a pass rush demon like him would in a sense be an upgrade to the secondary too. Exactly why it has become an elite position in this league. As of press time we’ve got the #6 scoring defense in the NFL. Imagine if we added a beast like Upshaw to that mix.

Ladies and gentlemen, in the second round of the 2012 NFL draft, the Miami Dolphins select D.J. FLUKER, TACKLE, ALABAMA.

Not an Alabama fan, I promise. Fluker is a hell of a right tackle prospect, adept at both run and pass blocking. The top of the second round is prime territory for top shelf right tackles and guards. Adding Fluker would free up our tight ends, who are often kept at the line due to our weak pass blocking on the right side. We’ve got to stop the rush on that side. It has killed us several times this year.

At this point we would have added perhaps the most talented two players at their positions. To boil it down, we will have drafted less time for opposing quarterbacks, and more time for ours. In the third, perhaps we’ll hedge our bet on Matt Moore. Can we really go all in without a potential backup plan?

Ladies and gentlemen, in the third round of the NFL draft the Miami Dolphins select BRANDON WEEDEN, QB, OKLAHOMA STATE.

A 28-year old rookie? Sure, it’ doesn’t happen every day. But Weeden’s skill set matches up with almost every quarterback in the crop. Whoever drafts Weeden will get a mature athlete with a cannon for an arm and an eye-popping resume. He was drafted by the Yankees as a starting pitcher, then returned to football in his native Oklahoma. His age, and his propensity to gamble a bit too much with the football, may push him into the third round. We’d be wise to bring him in as a supplement to Matt Moore, or even as a potential starter if Moore goes belly-up in his second frame with the Fins.

THE MATT FLYNN EXPERIENCE?

This scenario could of course also work if we made a move in free agency and handed Matt Flynn the reins (or even Josh Johnson or Vince Young). Flynn has flashed, and has learned from the best up in Green Bay. Here’s a video of every throw from his only career start, against the Patriots in Foxboro. Someone is going to make the leap. We predict that the results with Flynn will be more Schaub-esque than Kolb-ish.

ALL EYES ON MOORE

This is an insanely important stretch for the Miami Dolphins. This year presents an incredible crop of quarterbacks, and we need to decide if we’re in the market for one. Dolfans have witnessed what happens when you half-heartedly try to find a franchise QB. How good does Matt Moore need to be for us to make him “The Man”? If he just shows flashes will that be enough to keep us from calling Robert Griffin III’s name if he’s on the board? Is Moore Kyle Orton? Or does Moore have franchise potential? The guy is averaging just 192 yards per start, and we think Moore Mania is premature. If you applied his numbers as a starter to a 16 game slate you’d be looking at just over 3,000 yards, with 19TDs to go alongside 11 INTs. Those look like Chad Pennington numbers.

But are they the kind of stats that alter the course of a franchise?

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

THE OWNER (Ballad of Stephen Ross) – by Kenny Rogers

18 Oct

On a January day,
A team bound for nowhere,
Laid an egg in Foxboro,
It was a hell of a mess.
And The Owner got the feeling,
The players had stopped listening,
He headed out to San Fran’,
And so did the press.

He was meeting with a kid,
Who’d done real well at Stanford,
He’d shake hands with a coach then,
Shove him outta the way,
But the kid stayed put in NoCal,
And left The Owner hangin’,
And with another mess he,
Had to make okay,

CHORUS:
You got to know when to hire ‘em,
Know when to fire ‘em,
Know when to sign a guy,
When to make him cry,
You never give an extension,
When you’re in a downward spiral,
When the locker room is lost y’all,
It’s time to say goodbye.

Every owner knows that the secret to survivin’,
Is knowing who to pink slip,
And who to give a raise,
‘Cause every team’s a winner,
And every team’s a loser,
And the one who makes the difference,
Is the dude who calls the plays.

CHORUS

When he got home to Miami,
The Owner he turned yellow,
Called off the coaching search,
Gave raises out of fear,
He didn’t call up Chucky,
Or send a plane for Cowher,
He knew Fergie and some field goals,
Would make the Dolfans cheer.

CHORUS

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

Indianapolis Shouldn’t Be So Lucky

14 Oct

Wait, wait, wait. So the Indianapolis Colts may go from a Hall of Famer to a future Hall of Famer in the blink of an eye? 

Peyton Manning’s injury may be more of a pain in the neck than we realized. We could wind up 1-15, and who might still be picking ahead of us in April? Why only one of the winningest franchises of the last decade.

Don’t get us wrong. We aren’t advocating intentional losses, as some of the most vociferous Suck for Luckers are. However, if our lackluster play continues and the Dolphins go belly up, it would be downright criminal for the Colts to land Andrew Luck.

Quite simply, we have earned that pick. Mr. Luck has been bought and paid for with every failed starter we’ve burned through since Saint Marino removed his storied cleats. It’s a graveyard of signal callers, Lucas, Harrington, Culpepper, Frerotte. We all know the parade of names on that sad graphic they show during every other Dolphins telecast. It’s become pigskin’s version of the Vietnam Wall.

By almost every scout’s estimation Luck would make that graphic a faint memory. But if the conveniently-bad Colts somehow out-suck the SoFlo Sea Mammals, here’s hoping Landry Jones is a hell of a consolation prize.

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

Go Ahead Brandon, Enter Beast Mode

14 Oct

Why should Brandon Marshall hold back? Why should any Dolphin hold back, after this 0-4 start? Marshall has made some interesting statements about going ballistic on Monday Night Football against the hated Jets. He’s even been working on his punting again in practice. Something may be simmering inside of #19, and as long as nobody is shot, stabbed, or given a Colombian Necktie, we say unleash the beast.

Still looking for our first win, and heading into enemy territory against perhaps the best cornerback tandem in football, we would love to see Marshall shake things up. The Beast can be monstrous, and he thrives on emotion. If it takes him flirting with anger mismanagement to get him rolling, go for broke, kid.

He is a phenomenal talent. Talk of trading him is short-sighted. He’s under contract through 2014, and he’d make a hell of a safety blanket for Andrew Luck, Landry Jones, Matt Flynn, or whoever takes the reins of this offense in 2012. You bring in a first year starter without a #1 wideout and you often wind up with Sam Bradford. That isn’t a knock on Sam. His targets are what they are.  

Of course with Marshall it’s a matter of harnessing that emotion just enough, so he’s not thrown out of the game, and/or costing us field position. But really, “Calm down, Brandon”? “Take it easy”? This team needs some fire. Who’s it going to come from, Anthony Fasano? Nah.

The fire we need may have to come from the team’s most flammable source.

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

The Fibbing Fin: Dolphins Sign Reporter Omar Kelly

5 Oct

– DAVIE, FL

The Miami Dolphins know talent when they see it, so when local beat reporter Omar Kelly pummeled linebacker Kevin Burnett while Tweeting the entire time, Jeff Ireland knew it was time to face up to his mistake.

After the loss in San Diego, Burnett had several choice words for Kelly, challenging him to put on pads and “come at me like a man”. However, officials intervened before it became physical. Not so Tuesday morning, when Kevin Burnett cornered the Kelly outside of the weight room before being beaten unconscious by the 35-year-old reporter/blogger/photographer/painter/seafood enthusiast.

“It was insane,” defensive lineman Igor Olshanksy explained as he prepared a traditional broiled peacock for the upcoming Yom Kippur weekend. “That guy Kelly worked him over for fifteen minutes. It was some no mercy stuff. And Omar was Tweeting about it the whole time, which made it all the more impressive.”

Indeed Kelly sent over three dozen Tweets during the fight, including “Fighting Kevin Burnett right now. SMH”, “Tupac is better than Biggie”, “Totally beating this dude up LMAO. I need a good mix tape”, and several references to Deuteronomy 23:1. Following the fight a curious Jeff Ireland put Kelly through a workout before signing him as an upgrade at middle linebacker.

The Dolphins have also planned a charity auction to sell a 10′ x 5′ depiction of the brawl, painted by Kelly during the fight.

– BS NEWSWIRE

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

The Fibbing Fin: Bye Week a Two Point Favorite Over Dolphins

3 Oct

– LAS VEGAS, NV

A flurry of activity erupted at the Caesar’s Palace Sportsbook Monday morning, as oddsmakers made the Miami Dolphins two point underdogs to the bye week.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” visiting software developer Bindar Dundat said, on his way to place a bet. “Normally a bye week has no chance, but something tells me this is the year.”

Miami wideout Davone Bess seemed anxious via phone, as he saved orphans from a volcano in Bali. “We simply can’t lose this weekend. Seriously, we can’t. Right?”

Excitement for this weekend’s matchup has grown. NFL.com sold more bye week jerseys on Monday than in the last three months.

A bye week has never defeated an NFL team in a non-strike season.

BS NEWSWIRE

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

The Fibbing Fin: Sparano Tears Both Rotator Cuffs After Carpenter Field Goal

27 Sep

Lost in Sunday’s horrific defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Browns was an unheard of double-rotator tear suffered by Tony Sparano during a fourth quarter field goal celebration.

“I’ve warned Tony in the past,” team trainer Gordon Lemming said. “I explained to him that field goals are often a sad consolation prize, indicative of an inability to finish the drill once you’re in the red zone.” Lemming shakes his head. “Hell, they taught us that in pre-med.”

However Tony’s jubilant celebrations kept coming, despite warnings from health care professionals and family. The overwhelming joy finally took its toll when Sparano tore both his left and right rotator cuffs in a six second span following the Dan Carpenter field goal that set Cleveland up for a winning touchdown drive.

Rehabilitation is expected to take six months. Miami Owner Stephen Ross is looking into his options, including placing Sparano on Injured Reserve, or the seldom used Pack Up Your Sh*t list (PUYS).

“It’s a shame, because Tony’s improved his physique tremendously since I’ve been working with him,” Lemming adds. As of press time Sparano had lost 277lbs through a combination of judo, low-carb dieting, and medical grade crystal meth.

Sunday’s incident presents Ross with the unique opportunity to fire a Head Coach with an injury settlement.

– BS NEWSWIRE

The Fibbing Fin: Pop Star Fergie Fires 0.2% of Tony Sparano

21 Sep

– DAVIE, FL

In a surprising move, singer and Miami Dolphins minority owner Fergie has fired one-fifth of one percent of Head Coach Tony Sparano.

“It was, like, a no-brainer or whatever,” Fergie explained, looking at her reflection in a spoon at popular Coral Gables eatery Fontana’s.  “He kept like kicking the ball and like not trying to get past the orange thingie when it had a four on it. And like, every time I go to Sunkist (sic) Stadium the other team has like more points. FML, right?”

Fergie was only authorized to fire a small fraction of Sparano, unlike Stephen Ross, who nearly fired 97.4% of the coach last winter.

Sparano caught wind of the partial firing as he prepared his team for a Sunday tilt with the Browns in Cleveland. An emotional Sparano addressed the team post-practice.

“Sure, the chips are down. But I stand in front of you still 99.8% employed by the Miami Dolphins. I pledge to give you guys my all, minus the 1/500th of me that will be moving on,” Sparano told his men, tears pouring from beneath his mirrored shades and drenching his newly svelte body.

The team seemed to rally around Sparano, though several anonymous players said they were only 32% sure about that. As of press time the fired portion of Tony Sparano was scheduled to interview with the Arena Football League’s New Orleans Voodoo for a Halftime Entertainment Coordinator position.

Ironically The Blackeyed Peas are already scheduled to play at four Voodoo home games.

– BS NEWSWIRE

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

Fergie gets it started, Csonka-style.

Post-Week 1 Stock Report: Monday Night Fish Filet Has Plenty of Silver Lining

17 Sep

DOW (Dolphins Overall Worth) after the SoFlo Sea Mammals’ opening loss to the Patsies: 461 (+7)

How in the world does a team give up over 600 yards of total offense while losing to a division rival at home and still somehow post a gain in the DOW? Well, though it was an epic fail, Miami was not the first team to find themselves sliced and diced by Tom Brady. When you lay out the negative against the positive, we think the good outweighs the bad by a hair.

ON THE RISE

CHAD HENNE (NYSE: CHENN) +13:  Okay, so some of it was situational, but a 400+ day passing is nothing to sneeze at. Factor in his rushing stats and Chad was a one man wrecking crew. We loved seeing Chad with the power to audible. It seems to have boosted his confidence in a major way. The 4th down fade to Hartline was a joke, but overall we were impressed. Sad that he notched a pick at the end of the game, when forced to launch the ball into quadruple coverage. This game was a big step for Chad. Those who bought shares this offseason see a nice spike in value.

BRANDON MARSHALL (NYSE: BMARSH) +8:  7 catches for 139 yards. At times Brandon Marshall may be the least coverable receiver in football. There were a couple of chemistry glitches with Henne, but not enough to put a damper on another strong performance by “The Beast” after another tumultuous offseason. Not the most stable stock on the market, but a solid performer.

REGGIE BUSH (NYSE: REGBU) +5:  The ex-Heisman winner logged 20 touches on the night, for a touchdown and almost 100 yards. More importantly, and knock on wood, he didn’t leave the field on a stretcher. Kudos to Bush for his hard work this offseason. He deserves to stay healthy. Adding REGBU to your portfolio can pay serious dividends, so long as he can avoid injury.

BRIAN DABOLL (NASDAQ: BOLL) +4: Brian coordinated like a man who doesn’t want to get fired again. 400 yards passing, with 100 yards rushing. We mixed it up well, and got a lot of receivers involved. This offense is still a work in progress, but they did more than pull their weight against the Patsies, unlike their defensive counterparts.

TUMBLERS

MIAMI’S ENTIRE DEFENSE (NYSE: MIADF) -13: Benny Sapp was chopped after personally giving up 160 yards and 2 TDs, but this was an egg laid by pretty much the entire defensive unit. The no-huddle offense completely stupefied our D. Claims that our cornerbacks were the best in the league are now a faint memory. Vontae and Sean need to fight now just to get back to respectability. New England ran well against our line, and Paul “The Mad Islander” Soliai, who has designs on a mega-deal. This unit needs to show some pride on Sunday. They’re better than this.

TONY SPARANO (NYSE: TSPAR) -6: This guy’s seat has been hot since winter when he was nearly pink slipped. So though there were high points, every loss nudges him closer to the unemployment line. Tony has got to win some games, especially at Sun Life, where we managed just one victory in 2010. We’re avoiding this one. The Dolphins have lost five of six at this point. A few more losses and TSPAR could be in the penny stock bin.

MIKE NOLAN (NASDAQ: MNOL) -5: Once in a blue moon even the masters get schooled. Mike had no answer for Brady. We tried to drop guys into coverage, it didn’t work. We tried bringing the house with mixed results. Tom was flawless. We’re not downgrading Nolan hugely yet, as #12 has made lots of good defensive coordinators look silly over the years. We don’t believe we saw the real Miami Dolphins defense on Monday night, and we look forward to much stronger performances moving forward. This remains one of the steadiest coordinator stocks around over the long term.

SUMMARY

Two plays. A weak fade to Hartline on a 4th and short at the goal line, followed by a 99.5 yard touchdown to Wes “Why in the Hell Did We Trade that Guy?” Welker. Those two plays were a 14 point swing in what ended up being a 14-point game. Our inability to score the rock haunted us all year in 2010. When we needed to score most on Monday to keep pace with Brady and his boys, the same red zone problems popped up.  The good news? It wasn’t like that all game. This offense showed a spark in game one that we don’t remember seeing once last season.
Here’s hoping that the Sea Mammals can shake this one off. It was at times humiliating. On the flip side, we were within striking distance almost all game, and with fifteen games still facing our beloved boys in aqua and coral we’re going to stay positive.

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

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