Tag Archives: Miami Dolphins

Solid Dolphins Getting Beached by Joe “Queasy Does It” Philbin

11 Nov

The 2014 Miami Dolphins are the 6th highest scoring team in the AFC, just a notch behind the juggernaut Steelers. The Dolphins field the #1 defense in the AFC. So how is it that the Dolphins face Buffalo this Thursday with their playoff hopes most likely hanging in the balance? We have to regretfully place blame on the shoulders of Joe Philbin.

In an alternate universe the Dolphins have been playing to win, and have put away six straight foes. We’re 7-2, and atop the AFC East thanks to our week 1 upset of the Patsies. In that alternate universe we’ve been playing to put games away, instead of handing the ball back to Pro Bowl quarterbacks and crossing our fingers.

Alas, this is the only universe we know. It’s a universe where our coach doesn’t believe in going for the jugular. He plays not to lose, and therefore tends to do so when the going gets tough. It is a universe where we claim Ryan Tannehill is “the guy”, yet don’t trust him to close the door on our opponents. And now it’s a universe where we’re once again in the muddled pile of Wild Card hopefuls we’ve grown so accustomed to over the years.

Detroit faked two punts this weekend, and went for it on a 4th and 6. While our masterful end game was to run Daniel Thomas and Damien Williams into the teeth of the #1 rushing D in football, they closed out the contest by trusting their signal caller, who slung passes on 11 straight plays, ultimately leading them to the end zone. They played to win. They did. They’re in first place.

And until Joe Philbin has some moment of clarity, or DirecTV starts offering Sunday Ticket Alternate Universe, such heights will probably elude us.

GO DOLPHINS, and feel free to follow us on Twitter @TheBottlenose, or our lighter side is available at @VaguelyFunnyDan

Tannehill as Fantasy Starter and More Covered in Bottlenose’s Week 3 Fantasy Podcast

17 Sep

Howdy Dolfans. What a fantastic Sunday. Mike Wallace is allllliiiiiiiveee!!!

Just went live with our latest Maximum Understanding of Fantasy Football (M.U.F.F.) podcast. Someone forgot to tell Ryan Tannehill that Andrew Luck’s better than him. Please enjoy.


MUFF Episode 4 Icon copy

Meet New Dolphins Left Tackle, Jonathan Martimsislee

28 Apr

Hmm. Right around the time Jeff Ireland performed last rites on the Branden Albert idea he began hedging his bet, drafting mammoth blocking tight end Dion Sims, along with one of the best pass blocking backs in the draft in Florida’s Mike Gillislee.

We want Jonathan Martin to excel on the left side as much as anybody, but we’re not holding our breath (great analysis of Martin’s performance last season here, by the way (http://www.thephinsider.com/2013/2/4/3901992/miami-dolphins-season-in-review-offensive-line-trench-warfare). Heck, Jeff Ireland was obviously in the market for another player to protect the blind side.

But with the idea of Martin actually starting at that crucial spot becoming more and more of a reality, we made a couple of supplemental moves. Ireland grabbed Dion Sims, considered perhaps the best blocking tight end in the draft. He also imported Florida Gator Mike Gillislee, who in addition to his talent with the ball received rave reviews for his blocking skills from just about every scout and site you can name. Dustin Keller and Lamar Miller have their skill set, but legit ability to slow Demarcus Ware will probably never appear on their resume.

So perhaps we’ll be seeing a fair amount of Dion Sims just to the left of Jonathan Martin. It wouldn’t surprise us to see a whole lot of Gillislee in the backfield too, chipping whatever DEs and LBs are coming around the Martin. Oh, and let’s throw in a lot of Dr. T rolling to his right, just in case the “blind side by committee” falters.

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

Miami’s Draft: Sack or Be Sacked?

27 Apr

This will be fun to watch. Maybe not so much for Ryan Tannehill.

Heading into Thursday evening we were nowhere near the territory where “the big three” left tackles were expected to leave the draft board. Then, suddenly, with the clock almost expiring on the Raiders, our new logo appeared. We were on the board at three. Ireland had done it. With Branden Albert talks at an impasse, Jeff had taken advantage of a buyer’s market and jumped up for Lane Johnson.

Only we hadn’t. Dion Jordan’s phone rang, and the Sea Mammals had punched the freakishly athletic defender a ticket to Davie. It was of course, one of those “wow” moments. After considering the fruitless search to generate pass rush opposite Cameron Wake, and the fact that the road to our division title leads through Tom Brady, we bought in. Wake and Jordan may meet at a lot of QBs for the foreseeable future.

But along with the excitement was the belief that Miami and Kansas City would still be burning up the phone lines about Branden Albert, the 28-year old, disgruntled tackle who was ranked Pro Football Focus’ 7th best pass blocker in 2012 (9th in 2012). At the end of round 2 we would have added a unique force to our already 7th ranked scoring defense, as well as protected Ryan Tannehill’s blind side.

That trade never happened, for either salary or trade compensation reasons, depending on who you follow and trust on Twitter. Possible targets Menelik Watson and Terron Armstead off the board, our second rounder went to secure explosive cornerback Jamar Taylor to go opposite newcomer Brent Grimes (we get it, stop Brady, win the division). The draft continued. We grabbed Tennessee tackle/guard combo Dallas Thomas, who is projected to be either an interior lineman or right tackle at the next level.

From the look of it a very productive draft (we’ll review ALL the newcomers after the undrafted class is signed), with one humongous, glaring asterisk. Some are classifying the Branden Albert talks as “dead”, but who expects that situation to get better before getting worse? We expect that drama to only intensify, and we’re on record as the main suitor if and when the dung hits the fan in Chief Land. Other options may emerge of course.

Is there a sliver of hope that Jonathan Martin can somehow play left tackle at a sufficient level against NFL talent? Sure. To hope is human. However, he was generally eaten alive there last season. To be fair, he was a rookie, but we’re not prepared to go into the season depending on him. The many discussions with the Chiefs lead us to believe that Ireland’s not too comfy with that idea either.

As the dust settles, we’ve added a potential sackmaster to the ranks. Of course in doing so we may have exposed our own gunslinger. It’s sack or be sacked in Davie, and if Jeff Ireland doesn’t pull a rabbit from a hat at left tackle? Well next season’s last sack may go to Stephen Ross.

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

The Bottlenose’s 2013 Miami Dolphins Mock Draft

25 Apr

Hell, why not give it a whirl?

PICK #12. We think Tavon’s gonna be history by this pick. We’re also not sold (barring a Milliner tumble) on the corners available here being any better than the guys available in the next round. This pick may boil down to who the Sea Mammals have graded higher, Eifert or Sheldon Richardson. We’ve secured the services of both Randy Starks and Dustin Keller only for 2013, so either a TE or DT will be a need sooner rather than later. We like the TEs available later much more than the DTs. SELECTION: SHELDON RICHARDSON, DT, MISSOURI

PICK #42. Can’t bet the farm on the Grimes signing, which is another one year special Jeff Ireland cooked up. We didn’t go CB in round 1 ’cause we liked the depth later. Time to pull the trigger on a small school kid with big time talent. SELECTION: ROBERT ALFORD, CB, SE LOUISIANA

PICK #54. This pick secures Pro Football Focus’ #7 ranked pass blocker in the NFL last season. #9 ranked in 2011. That’s out of over 70+ linemen they graded. Protecting Tannehill is even more important now that he actually has targets to throw to. Let Martin progress on the right side. He’s not an NFL LT. But KC’s 28-year old malcontent IS. SELECTION: BRANDEN ALBERT, LT, KANSAS CITY

PICK #77. Nice depth at TE this year. Passing up on Eifert left this a need area, not knowing if Keller will be around beyond 2013. Hopefully this kid’s got a little Gronk in him. SELECTION: GAVIN ESCOBAR, TE, SAN DIEGO STATE

PICK#82. Misi doesn’t scare left tackles. We’re not convinced Olivier Vernon scares left tackles. We think this guy will. SELECTION: COREY LEMONIER, DE/OLB, AUBURN

PICK #110. Reggie Bush is chilling on Eight Mile now. Really think Ireland is content with Lamar Miller and Daniel “Two Yards and a Cloud of Dust” Thomas in the backfield? Exaaaactly. SELECTION: MIKE GILLISLEE, RB, FLORIDA

PICK #146. The Dolphins wait to add some wide receiver help, but a remarkably deep class leaves a pretty intriguing prospect still on the board. A possible Bess trade would make this an even smarter move. SELECTION: JOSH BOYCE, WR, TCU

PICK #166 If John Jerry isn’t the guy, then who is? We could see them adding a hard-working, smart, character guy with upside on the interior. Level of competition is suspect, but he’s got the will and the tools to put it all together. SELECTION: OG, J.C. TRETTER, CORNELL

PICK #217 Almost closing time at this point. When a 340lb, SEC battle-tested nose is sitting there you have to take notice. Let’s not forget that Soliai’s contract is up after this season too. Maybe big Paul could show this up and down youngster how consistency works. SELECTION: NT KWAME GEATHERS, GEORGIA

PICK #224 Hard to see why this physical freak isn’t projected to go higher. The Sea Mammals have shown interest, and the addition of a big, fast back like Murray, along with the addition of Lee, could easily send Daniel Thomas packing. SELECTION: LATAVIUS MURRAY, RB, CENTRAL FLORIDA

PICK #250. Why not give a look to the 6’5, 235lb safety prospect who lit up the East West Shrine Game? SELECTION: COOPER TAYLOR, S, RICHMOND

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

Top Ten Reasons to Put Away the Branden Albert “Haterade”

23 Apr

Lots of negative chatter about the SoFlo Sea Mammals’ discussions with the Chiefs regarding Branden Albert. The following list represents our best attempt at quelling this discontent as the draft approaches.

1. The trade hasn’t even happened yet.

2. Albert just turned 28, and Pro Football Focus ranked him as a top ten pass blocker the last two years (#7 last year, #9 in 2011).

3. He’ll cost us a 2nd rounder. Our most recent 2nd rounders? Jonathan Martin, Daniel Thomas, Koa Misi, Pat White, Sean Smith, Samson Satele, Philip Merling, Chad Henne and John Beck. Let’s stop acting like those second rounders are gold.

4. We’ve got TWO second rounders.

5. Jonathan Martin was a big, giant sketchball on the left side. I’m sorry. He was. He fell to the second round because people doubted his ability to lock down the blind side. He didn’t exactly face the defensive hounds of hell in the PAC 12, where 42-38 final scores are the norm.

6. To import Mike Wallace, Dustin Keller and Brandon Gibson (not to mention any additional targets we acquire in the draft) and not give Tanny enough time to get rid of the ball would be a humongous, crying shame.

7. Yes, a contract we give Albert would reflect the importance of having a good left tackle, but it will also be one that’s relatively painless to get out of after two seasons.

8. Jake Long’s last truly good season was 2010. The Rams are betting on him turning back the clock three years, and it’s an expensive gamble. Albert is playing at a high level NOW, and that means something.

9. When Jeff Ireland had to decide on Jake, the “big three” LT prospects hadn’t meteorically risen up the draft board. Things happen on a certain timeline. As things change, you play the cards you’re dealt. That’s what Jeff’s doing.

10. We’d get one less player if we traded up for a LT. Trading up would mean losing a second rounder. Suppose we did jump up. We’re talking about having just Lane Johnson, or having the guy we know is a top 10 pass blocking linemen (out of 70+ eligible players) locked in on the left side AND Tavon Austin, or Dee Milliner, or whatever player might fall to #12. Not to mention the possibility of trading down and adding more picks, and plugging more holes.

In conclusion, we’re not going to cry if we acquire a 28-year old, top ten pass blocker to protect Tannehill’s blind side, and pay him the going rate. Not to mention it’ll lessen the hurt when the trade also allows us to plug two other holes by the end of round 2.

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

Dolphins Must Still Be Bold About Receiving Corps in Draft

13 Apr

Patriots, Broncos, Saints, Redskins, Packers Giants, Falcons.

Those were the seven highest scoring teams in the NFL last year. The significance of that list? With the exception of the Redskins and dual threat Jedi RG3, all of these offenses took the field with at least two beastly receiving targets on the field.

Welker/Gronk. Demaryius/Decker. Graham/Colston. Nelson/Cobb. Nicks/Cruz. Juilo/Roddy/Gonzo.

Left tackle. Cornerback. Pass rushing end. Running back. There are other areas of obvious need for the SoFlo Sea Mammals as the draft nears. But in today’s NFL there is no such thing as too much pass catching talent.

This isn’t a knock on Keller, Bess, Hartline, Gibson, Clay or Matthews. They may all play a key role this season. But we also know now, by and large, what these players are capable of.

So when Jeff Ireland and the boys are on the clock in those first couple of rounds, here’s hoping they remember that there’s been no better time to go “best player available” at WR and TE.

If Tavon Austin is the next Harvin. If Cordy Patterson’s the next Roddy White. If Justin Hunter’s the next A.J. Green. If Zach Ertz is the next Gronkowski…

We’ve got Wallace to open things up. We love the signing, but our work isn’t done. The beastly offenses in this NFL double-down with prime time targets. If we let a star pass catcher slip through our fingers in exchange for a “physical corner” who may get flagged every time they lay a finger on an opposing receiver, or a run-blocking interior or right-side lineman, it would be a shame.

The tea leaves are clear. The NFL wants scoring. The NFL wants passing. As a defense, the only thing scarier than having to deal with Mike Wallace would be having another beast to worry about.

“But if we focus on Mike Wallace then _________________ will make us pay.”

Fill in that blank. Bess? Hartline? Keller (no spring chicken, and he’s on a 1-year deal)? If the “big 3” left tackles are gone. If Milliner hasn’t miraculously fallen. If we haven’t traded up. Or if the right guy sneaks into the second round…

Why not fill in that blank?

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

The Fibbing Fin: Lucrative Neck Brace Endorsement Awaits Ryan Tannehill

17 Mar


Jake Long’s Sunday night departure to the Saint Louis Rams could lead to a lucrative new endorsement deal for second year gunslinger Ryan Tannehill, insiders say.

“The potential move of second year tackle Jonathan Martin (54th out of 57 tackles at pass blocking in 2012) to left tackle has the neck brace industry buzzing,” medical supply analyst Wayne Phipps explained. “You may have the perfect storm of a marketable, handsome, young quarterback wearing a neck brace almost constantly.”

That fact hasn’t escaped Louis Marchon, CEO of Ready Hold Neck Braces in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. “We’ve already contacted Ryan’s representatives,” Marchon says. “We believe with Martin on the left side of the line, Ryan Tannehill could become synonymous with neck braces. Ready Hold Neck Braces.”

Of course any deal could be revoked if the Dolphins add left tackle help in the draft or via free agency. Marchon is moving forward nonetheless, already creating three prototypes for an upcoming trade show. These include a teal brace, an orange brace, and an electronic LCD brace with a constantly revolving slide show of Tannehill’s wife Lauren in a “tankini”.


Three First Round Curveballs the Dolphins Could Throw

16 Mar

We are of course in the middle of free agency. A lot can and will happen between now and the draft. But just for kicks, these are three curveballs our beloved SoFlo Sea Mammals could toss at the rest of the league come the first round of the 2013 draft.

Why? Because we may be just out of reach of elite talent at other positions. Because touchdowns win football games. Because really Brian Hartline’s deal is for two years. Because it sometimes takes that long anyway for a rookie wideout to get up to speed. Because Austin is completely and utterly filthy on a football field. Because why reach on a guy at 12 if he isn’t miles beyond what we can get at that position with our second rounders?

Why? Because Lamar Miller has 57 touches in his entire career. Because it often takes two running backs in today’s NFL. Because Daniel Thomas averages 3.5 yards per carry. Because 6.5ypc against SEC defenses. Because 5’11” 230lbs of fury, that’s why.

We know, we know, “Nobody trades within their division”. Apparently the hitch in the Tampa bay offer to the Jets was their reluctance to include their 1st rounder. Would New York really not bite if the #12 pick in the draft was dangled? If a player they truly coveted was on the board? They’d be getting rid of a disgruntled player coming off a major injury and expecting a massive payday. If things get bad enough between Revis Island and the powers that be, they might become less and less picky about their trading partners.

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.


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.


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