Tag Archives: Dolphins

Gone-Tae! What does it all mean?

27 Aug

Vegas has the over under on Indianapolis wins at 5.5. This was a useless tidbit for the SoFlo Sea Mammals until today, when they traded cornerback Vontae Davis to the Baby Horses for a second round pick and a conditional sixth.

First? The positives. Vontae Davis wasn’t starting. If he truly had become the nickel corner, flipping him for what is potentially a top 40 pick in the upcoming draft is borderline miraculous. With Davis starting last season we had the 25th ranked pass defense in the NFL, so we weren’t shaking up some elite unit.

Another positive, and GM Jeff Ireland was quick to point this out, is that picks are ammunition for trades that could happen in the very near future. We now possess what could be a high first rounder, two high second rounders, and two thirds. So perhaps there will be a chance to add a key piece to the team, ideally at the wide receiver position, between now and the trade deadline? That might serve to lessen the sting of the Brandon Marshall trade, which in our minds still looms large with every dropped Tannehill pass.

Negatives? Well, although players seem to ultimately understand that this is business, it is also a fraternity. We saw players ask for a meeting with Joe Philbin after the jettisoning of short-time teammate Chad Johnson. Well Vontae Davis has been in the trenches with many of these guys for a while now. There are already murmurs in the locker room. Philbin is new. And Philbin, despite his mild manners, is not treading softly in Davie. There is potential to seriously fragment this locker room.

Another negative? We’ve all seen flashes from Davis. Plenty of talent. There was a time when many of us were certain that he, along with Sean Smith, would make for a top tandem in the league. Smith has been progressing. Davis, for whatever reason, has seemed to stall. A change of scenery could be all he needs, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see Vontae flourish in Indiana.

In summary, Joe Philbin has spoken softly but carried a big stick. He’s ruffled some feathers, and time will tell how that plays out. But even if we don’t use these picks to snag some magical #1 wideout, like disgruntled speedster Mike Wallace, Philbin has set himself up to add the type of young, talented players he wants in April. As it stands, five of the first roughly ninety players selected in the 2013 draft will be headed to Miami. Maybe three of the first forty.

It’s Joe’s right to try and make this into the team he wants. Only time will tell if that’s for better or for worse.

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

Dr. T Slices and Dices in Preseason Debut

11 Aug

In August of 1983 Dan Marino stepped on the field in the second half of a preseason tilt with the Dallas Cowboys. It was his first live action, and the kid threw for 176 yards and a touchdown. Ryan Tannehill, the most talented youngster we’ve had under center since Danny Boy, had a remarkably similar debut last night.

Okay, let’s not let the hype train rumble out of control. It is what it is, a preseason game. Not to mention the Dan Marino hangover has left us all desperate to anoint a second coming. But give the youngster some credit. Hell, if Roberto Wallace hangs onto that first TD this pre-med student turned top ten pick would have logged a downright monster stat line for just over a quarter of work.

So, if this kind of play continues throughout the preseason, what will the Dolphins do with this rookie gunslinger? There are success stories from both schools of thought. There are guys who sit and watch a veteran, undoubtedly learning much along the way. Then there are guys who are thrown into the deep end, learning on the fly.

Do we think starting immediately would have ruined Aaron Rodgers? No. Do we think sitting Cam Newton would have kept him from coming in this year and demolishing the league like he did in 2011? Nope. We think the cream of the crop rises to the top in either case.

But did the Panthers have a better quarterback on their roster than Cam last season? No. Was Bruce Gradkowski better than Andy Dalton up in Cincy? Can Ryan Tannehill best Matt Moore’s 175 yards and 1.2 TDs per game from 2011?

It’s worth pointing out that we have one of the top scoring defenses in the league, and that we were only three wins from a playoff spot. We need to see more of Dr. T, but wouldn’t it be a shame if we left our best chance to score points on the bench just because some mythical handbook says it’s the right thing to do?

Remember, Rodgers sat because the Pack had Brett Favre. Do you see a Favre on this roster?

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

Tannehell Yes

25 Apr

Peyton Manning was never going to  play for Miami. Ever. The man wouldn’t even meet with our Owner, or our beloved GM Jeff Ireland. What exactly happened with Matt Flynn may never be known. Did we lowball him, assuming he’d accept because of his comfort level with Joe Philbin? Were we unsure of his ability? Or did Flynn not like seeing our #1 wideout disappear before his very eyes just before his visit? Or is the “vibe” at Seahawks headquarters that much better than in Davie? All we really know is that the Dan Marino hangover continues, while the blotches of empty seats grows wider.

The SoFlo Sea Mammals had the 22nd ranked offense in football last season, and over 20% of it was shipped to the Windy City for two 3rd rounders. This is an offensive unit that could be facing a wildly anemic season, leaving our solid defense on the field for far too long, and keeping us far from the playoff hunt. Matt Moore with Brandon Marshall had a decent rating, but threw for 192 yards per game, putting him in the bottom three starting QBs in the league. There is a small but proud faction of Dolfans who believe Moore can be “the guy” moving forward. We respectfully aren’t buying, and we don’t think the bulk of Dolphin Nation is either.

So here we are, the #6 scoring defense in football, and an offense that kind of sucked, and looks primed to suck a little harder this upcoming season. Is someone like Michael Floyd going to be the guy to turn this all around? We had a perennial All Pro at wideout already, and we were still puttering up and down the field. The truth is, you generally go as far as your quarterback will take you. We’ve been shopping at the bargain bin for too long at the worst position to do so.

Is Ryan Timothy Tannehill a sure thing? No. He’s not as experienced at the position as you’d like, having started out at wide receiver at Texas A&M. But he is a hugely intriguing quarterback prospect. That’s understating it. He’s a physical freak. Drafting him could put the Sea Mammals at the forefront of a dual threat quarterback movement that will include Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III and Jake Locker.  What’s more, our new offensive coordinator Mike Sherman knows Ryan like the back of his hand. Though injecting a rookie quarterback into an offense can be a clunky process, we think it would be excellent to begin with that head start. No football man on Earth knows more about Tannehill’s weaknesses and strengths than Sherman.

When’s the last time someone electric was under center for the Dolphins? My God it’s been for ages. Is there a chance of misfiring? Of course. But if he’s available Tannehill absolutely presents the opportunity to catch lightning in a bottle. Not to mention if there’s one position where you take a chance on hitting the jackpot it’s at quarterback. We would accept an anemic offense for now, so long as this phenomenal talent was being groomed. We would accept the time it takes to get a kid ready for live action in this league.

But are we honestly going to go into battle with a vast sea of empty seats, Ross parading B-list celebrities up and down the sidelines, and no end in sight for the Marino hangover that’s haunted us for so long?

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

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

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