There have been so many emotions that Dolphins fans have gone through with you as our franchise QB. From the moment you were drafted eighth overall in 2012, we held onto hope that you were going to be our next longtime signal caller. I remember saying, finally, we have found a QB after Marino. It began with Mike Sherman & Zac Taylor, your former college coach at A & M being named OC and QB coach by head coach Joe Philbin. The excitement was contagious and I was a huge fan of your skills and your intelligence. Fast forward to 2019 and the fans are saying goodbye to start all over AGAIN! Somewhere in between 2012 and 2019, I became disenchanted with the way things had been going. As a fan, we look for people to blame. This fan blamed you…a lot!
Lately, I have had time to reflect and recharge my batteries getting ready for the offseason activities. And I also wanted to say to you that I am sorry for blaming everything on you and I will truly miss you as a player and a person. A wise man once told me that a real man doesn’t point fingers but rather thumbs, something you have been doing since you arrived in South Florida. I am now convinced that you have been stuck in a bad situation with bad ownership, a horrendous front office and so many different offensive philosophies. I truly believe you were in a no-win situation.
First, I want to say that you are one of the most humble professional athletes I have ever seen. You never pointed fingers since you arrived in Miami. You always stood tall, no matter how difficult of a defeat and took the blame for everything that went wrong. That’s admirable. Your front office failed you repetitively. Looking back at it, it makes me sick to my stomach the amount of changes and instability this organization gave you. You were the most sacked QB in your first few seasons due to the inability to develop an offensive line. Mike Pouncey was never on the field, Bullygate hit the airwaves, you never had a TE to throw to, your receivers were subpar and then the knee injuries happened. Your physical toughness was bound to catch up with you after the weekly beatings you took in the pocket. But your mental toughness never wavered. That’s admirable.
Since the new regime arrived in Miami, it’s only fair that they wanted to hit the reset button and start from scratch. As a lifelong fan, this is the first time I have been this excited since Jimmy Johnson’s big splash in 1996. You deserve, more than anybody, another shot to be a starting QB for an organization that has some stability. Your dedication to the Tennessee Titans franchise, its fans and your teammates will earn you that opportunity. At this juncture, you are bound for greatness whether it be on the gridiron or in your personal life. Life after football isn’t that far away. You were a biology major destined for medical school. It’s never too late when your playing career is over. Your heart is second to none and I hope my son has your mental toughness and big heart when he gets older. The world would be a better place filled with people like you. Your family did an amazing job raising the young man you came to be.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all your hard work with the Miami Dolphins. This writer wishes you, Lauren and Stella Rose all the best in your future endeavors.
This story was written by James Barbaro. Follow him on Twitter: @thebigbear1977
Back in 2001, Louder Than a Bomb was founded through the Young Chicago Authors, by Kevin Coval (YCA Artistic Director) and Anna West to give middle and high school youth a place to express themselves in ways that the world had never seen before.
Then in 2013, in conjunction with Omari Hardwick bluapple Poetry Network, the Jason Taylor Foundation decided to throw their hats into the ring and start the Louder Than a Bomb Florida competition, giving the students of Broward County an opportunity to express themselves with the spoken word in a safe and comfortable environment.
"We met and spoke with the folks from Young Chicago Authors; with their blessing we brought the format to South Florida." said Vice President of Operations for the Jason Taylor Foundation, Sean Todd. "It's very rewarding to see the poets have the platform, and it's an honor for us to provide that platform to them where they can speak their truth."
39 schools across at least ten different locations competed in the preliminary bouts which spanned over two days, and the highlighted bout for this story took place at the Miramar Amphitheater, where this writer was honored with the privilege to be one of the judges for the second year in a row.
Student after student came out and gave it their all on stage, letting out what was in their hearts for the world to hear. For some, it was a simple poem, for others it was a way to vent feelings that have been bottled up for years. This was the case for one student from Charles W. Flanagan High School by the name of Isaac Bright, whose poem about a flower garden was filled with raw power, driven by his own personal life experiences.
"Mainly ... kinda family problems, but also because I really love flowers. Funny story, I actually wrote this while being socially anxious in an Applebee's." said Bright. "But, it's just when I start thinking of plants, my mind just tries to go somewhere. I don't normally do regular poetry, it's more just storytelling with fancy words.
"It took a lot of erasing, and a lot of trial and error, picking which went in and which couldn't. But really, one of my strategies is start from the end, and try to fill the points around it, that way the entire story flows together. How did we get to this point?"
Clearly the strategy worked, as Bright - along with his fellow "Writers Ink" teammates - took first place in the preliminary bout, giving them a trip to the next round, much to the pride of their coach, Kristy Modia, who is an English teacher at Flanagan High School.
"We worked hard to get here, we've been practicing ever since the beginning of the school year," she said. "So yeah, very proud."
This is just the beginning for this year's Louder Than a Bomb Florida, and it's easy to understand why the Jason Taylor Foundation puts so much effort into making this happen year after year. This empowers the youth of South Florida, lets their voices be heard and their passions put on display on a stage larger than any other. If the youth of today is the future, then maybe it's good we hear what they're thinking in the present.
This story was written by Luis Sung. Follow him on Twitter: @LuisDSung
“The Dolphins could benefit from having an in-line blocking tight end because Miami’s depth at that position is thin.
This particular part of the column bugged me because Kelly consistently and constantly criticized Gesicki’s blocking last year.
Gesicki is a 6’6” 245 pound tight end. His job is to set up mismatches in the passing game, not block. Admittedly he didn’t do as good of a job at that as most would have liked last year, but he’s still developing and it was apparent that he wasn’t ready to take on a bigger role. We shall see what happens this year when you could reasonably expect a second round tight end to bloom.
Personally, I thought Dave Hyde, also at the Sun-Sentinel, provided a more sensible analysis:
“The Dolphins’ signing of tight end Dwayne Allen says: (a) new offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea liked Allen in New England; (b) they’re not happy with blocking tight ends like fourth-round pick Durham Smythe or Nick O’Leary; c) they’re not going to ask Mike Gesicki to be an in-line blocker anymore.
This I can get on board with. Allen is an upgrade to Smythe, who will now be a backup, because he can both block and catch. And, yes, the Dolphins are rebuilding, not tanking. If you are tanking you don’t sign anyone who can help. Rebuilding means targeting only players that you think will be a part of your long-term future.
Which brings me to my only real criticism of the deal. At 29 years old, Allen is just a little older than I’d like. But rebuilds nowadays can happen quickly and it's unlikely that two years down the line at 31 years old the Dolphins will have any major regrets about the signing, particularly if Allen brings a locker room presence that can help younger players develop.
“Sam Young, who filled in admirably for an injured James as the starting right tackle for the final eight games of the 2017 season, is also a free agent. It is unclear at this moment if Miami intends on re-signing the former St. Thomas Aquinas High standout.
None of those veteran options look particularly tantalizing and it's unlikely that the Dolphins are going to find a good solution in free agency.
Given that the current make up of the Dolphins brain trust is very Patriot heavy, you wonder if they aren’t planning to follow the New England offensive line model. New England rarely pays their offensive linemen, preferring to develop unknown players and turn them into Pro Bowlers. Turning Trent Brown into one of the league's top left tackles only to let him go to the Raiders for a record contract this offseason is the latest example.
I’m all in favor of the Dolphins pulling off similar feats but I doubt they can pull it off without New England coach Dante Scarnecchia, who is universally acknowledged as the best offensive line coach in the business. Is Dolphins line coach Pat Flaherty in Scarnecchia’s class? Not that I ever heard.
Something tells me that if the Dolphins are planning to spin straw into gold on the offensive line the way New England does, they are in for a rude awakening.
“’I think that his height was inflated,’ an unnamed scout told Dan Patrick on Tuesday, and Dan relayed the story on the Wednesday edition of his show. ‘Maybe it’s the tin-foil hat theory. I just don’t see it. If he refuses to be measured at the Pro Day, that will be telling.”’
If it's a tin hat theory, then it's going around because I’m wearing a similar one. The possibility that this number wasn’t accurate was the first thing I thought of when I heard the result. Murray was measured at 5’9-5/8” at Oklahoma. Suddenly he is half an inch taller, meaning that his college substantially underestimated his height rather than inflating it as is the more standard procedure.
I’m having a hard time with that.
“I think he just wants to flex his power He has small [man’s] syndrome. I still talk to guys who are there, and trust me, there’s not much respect for him in that locker room.”
Bennett also let it be known that he will be staying in the locker room during the playing of the national anthem this season:
“’I explained to them is that my integrity mean everything,’ Bennett said, according to ESPN. ’I think they respect that about me, they respect who I am as an individual.’”
Yeah, Bennett is an individual alright. Just like his brother Martellus, Michael is an individual to a fault.
There’s a reason why Bennett will be going on the fourth team of his career (the Seahawks twice) and the third in three years. He’s an immature, high maintenance player who can be a handful in the locker room. The Patriots are betting that they have the culture to tame Bennett but it says here that if he plays for them in 2019, he won’t be there in 2020.
Talented as he is, New England could be his last stop.
I have never like the league’s procedures for replay and in my opinion this is a step in the wrong direction. The challenge system for review is hopelessly broken in part because NFL coaches are expected to do both their own job and that of the officials under the current rules.
I really don’t care what sort of system the league implements but it should be one that relieves coaches the responsibility for cleaning up the mess created by poor calls.
Personally, I favor an extra official in the booth who is responsible for deciding whether a play should be reviewed. And, of course, any on-field official should also be allowed to request a review of a call they weren’t sure of.
This story was written by Tom Shannon. Follow him on Twitter: @bearingthenews
With free agency approaching as well as trade rumors heating up, here are five possible players the Dolphins should consider trading for.
This story was written by Tanner Elliott. Follow him on Twitter: @Elliott302Tj
On Saturday afternoon, the Miami Dolphins boosted a young tight end group, signing former Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots TE Dwayne Allen to a two-year, $7 million dollar deal, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Allen, a Clemson graduate, opened his professional career with Indianapolis, totaling 1,451 yards and 19 touchdowns in five seasons of work. Once traded to New England, Allen’s production decreased tremendously, due in large part to the presence of Rob Gronkowski and being used primarily as a blocker. In two seasons, Allen concluded with just 113 yards and a touchdown.
Allen should work well with head coach Brian Flores and offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea; who both worked under Bill Belichick in New England. Miami’s tight end group, led by Mike Gesicki, Durham Smythe, A.J. Derby and Nick O’Leary, were mainly inconsistent in 2018, and now it's unlikely Derby or injured player MarQueis Gray will be brought back.
Gesicki, whom Miami drafted in the second round of this past NFL draft, contributed 202 yards and zero touchdowns, used mostly - inexplicably - as a blocker, despite his aptitude being for catching passes; Derby appeared in four games before being placed on season-ending IR; Smythe finished with 50 yards in fifteen games, and O’Leary, claimed off waivers in September, produced 86 yards and a touchdown.
Allen has a Super Bowl ring with New England and has caught footballs from arguably one of the greatest quarterbacks in history, Tom Brady. Training camp opens in late July, and Allen is set to fight with three or four tight ends for a starting job in 2019.
This story was written by Brandon Liguori. Follow him on Twitter: @BrandonRLiguori
Per sources, and as expected, the Miami Dolphins are expected to announce the release of defensive end Andre Branch.
Branch was scheduled to earn $6.9 million this upcoming season, which would have been the final year of his contract. However, by cutting the 29 year old veteran, he will only count $2 million towards the Dolphins cap this coming season.
Since joining the Miami Dolphins in 2016, Branch's on field production continued to decline. In 2016, Branch racked up 26 total tackles with 23 assists and 5.5 sacks. However, in 2017 he ended the season with 12 total tackles, 11 assists, and 4.5 sacks. This past season, he totaled 17 tackles with 8 assists and 1.5 sacks.
Although Branch started strong with the Dolphins in 2016, and was rewarded with a contract extension, he was unable to produce at a high level.
This is the first of many expected moves by the Miami Dolphins. As the offseason progresses, players such as Ryan Tannehill, Cameron Wake, Danny Amendola, Daniel Kilgore, Ted Larsen, Robert Quinn, and Kiko Alonso, who are all over 28 years old, could be released in order to create cap space and also build a foundation of younger players.
The purge has begun. Hang on!
This article was written by Ian Berger. Follow him on Twitter: @ian693
With the NFL Draft a little over two months away we take a look at how the first round of the draft can turn out. This mock draft will be a pre combine one and many things can change from now until April 25th. As we get closer to the draft we will put out more mocks as picks and team needs change, as well as more rumors come out.
Cardinals, Pick 1: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
Nick Bosa is the consensus number one pick in this year’s draft. Bosa has little to no flaws other than he was sidelined most of this past year with an injury. When Bosa got injured, he said that he would focus on the NFL Draft and sit out the rest of the season. Bosa would instantly boost the Cardinals defense and cause a lot of havoc his rookie year.
49ers, Pick 2: Josh Allen, DE/OLB, Kentucky
Josh Allen is not just a defensive end but that is what most teams think he is best at. Allen is one of the best pass rushers in this draft class, but he can also drop back in coverage. Allen has the quickness to cover some of the better tight ends in the NFL if he can get better at man coverage. Just like Bosa, Allen should boost the defense of 49ers with an already young front 7.
Jets, Pick 3: Quinnen Williams, DL, Alabama
Williams is one of the most consistent players in this draft. Defensive line is not a glaring need for the Jets, but with this pick they will be picking the best player available. Some draft experts even think that Williams is the best player in the draft. Williams was very dominant against a good LSU team and playing in the SEC proves he was consistent against good college competition. Williams can play in any defensive scheme and has good size at 6’4” and 290 pounds.
Raiders, Pick 4: Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan
Last offseason the Raiders traded away Khalil Mack and Gary could be his successor. Gary does not have the talent Mack does but the Raiders will still have a solid defensive lineman. Gary is very consistent when he is on the field. That being said, Gary does have an injury history which could cause him to fall in the draft. I would not be surprised if the Raiders trade down from this spot to get more picks in this year’s and next year’s draft.
TRADE: Redskins, Pick 5: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
Washington trades up to the fifth overall spot to take their quarterback of the future. With Alex Smith out at least all next year, the Redskins draft Kyler Murray to be their new RG3. Murray does have size concerns (which should be mitigated thanks to his combine measurements) but has a great arm and physical attributes.
Murray will already have a solid backfield behind him in Adrian Peterson, Chris Thompson, and Derrius Guice so they can take some weight off his shoulders. Washington can run the same offense they ran with Josh Johnson late in the season since both players are mobile quarterbacks. If Washington can use Murray the right way and drafts a receiver later in the draft, they would have good odds to rival the Cowboys for the division next year.
Giants, Pick 6: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
The Giants draft their signal caller of the future in Dwayne Haskins, Haskins is the top quarterback on the draft board, and they get him here at pick 6. There have been reports that Kyler Murray is too short, but at 6’3”, Haskins does not share that concern. Haskins has to clean up some of his decision making skills but with Odell Beckham Jr. and Saquon Barkley leading the offense, Haskins should have time to develop to his full potential.
Jaguars, Pick 7: Dexter Lawrence, DL, Clemson
The Jaguars are expected to release Malik Jackson this offseason, so Lawrence would be a good fit in Jacksonville. Lawrence would already be around a good rotation of pass rushers and young linebackers. Lawrence is one of the best defensive linemen in this draft and with the top two quarterbacks gone they should address the defensive tackle position.
Lions, Pick 8: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
Detroit will be looking for a new defensive end since Ezekiel Ansah will be a free agent this offseason. With 55 tackles, 11.5 sacks, and three forced fumbles, Ferrell put up good numbers last season. Ferrell is a speed rusher and relies on his quickness, speed, and elusiveness to get around offensive linemen and get to the quarterback. Ferrell could replace Ansah and potentially be a cornerstone of their defense.
Bills, Pick 9: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
Offensive line is one of the biggest needs for the Bills and here they get the best one in the draft. Taylor played on the right side at Florida so he would not be guarding Josh Allen’s blindside, but he would still give a huge boost to a below average offensive line.
Taylor had consistency issues at Florida up until last season which boosted his stock a ton. At 6’5” and 340 pounds, Taylor has the right combination of size, strength and movement to be a franchise tackle in the NFL.
Broncos, Pick 10: Devin White, LB, LSU
White is one of the best prospects in this draft but due to the amount of defensive linemen in this draft, he falls to the Broncos at the 10th pick. White is a complete linebacker and with the Broncos not picking up Brandon Marshall’s option, White would be an instant starter.
White has the potential to be the next great linebacker since he has the instincts, intangibles, and the athletic ability. Denver already has a solid defense anchored by Von Miller and Bradley Chubb so adding White to the mix would only make them that much more intimidating.
Bengals, Pick 11: Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma
Before the Bengals look to boost their defense or make a change at quarterback, they need to solidify the offensive line. Oklahoma was one of the best offensive lines in college football last year and one reason was because of Cody Ford. Ford is a very athletic offensive tackle, which is very important in today’s NFL.
Ford does have an injury history but does tough it out and did not miss one game in 2018 and only two in 2017. The only way that Ford does not suit up and play is because he absolutely cannot play. Ford also played right tackle but in today’s NFL right tackle is just as important as left tackle.
Packers, Pick 12: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State
Sweat was one of the most dominant players at this year's Senior Bowl. The Packers are a below average team without Aaron Rodgers playing so the Packers would be smart to start rebuilding the team. Their defense already has some young talent and Sweat will just add to that.
The only red flag Sweat has is that he was dismissed from Michigan State due to discipline issues then transferred to Mississippi State. Sweat has stayed out of trouble since and has been a very productive player. Sweat has the size to play both defensive end or outside linebacker depending what defensive scheme the Packers run under their new defensive coordinator.
Dolphins, Pick 13: Ed Oliver, DL, Houston
Oliver at one point was considered the best player in the draft and the Dolphins snag him at 13. Oliver brings a lot to the table such as the ability to play in either scheme. Dolphins defensive coordinator said the Dolphins will run a hybrid defense and Oliver fits right into that. Oliver would line up anywhere on the defensive line depending on the situation or if there are any injuries that week. Oliver would be a dream come true if he falls to Miami due to his versatility and work ethic.
Falcons, Pick 14: Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson
The Falcons defense was not the best last year and like many other teams so far they will boost their defensive line with this pick. Wilkins will be a good fit in an already young Falcons defense. Wilkins has terrific size at 6’4” and 300 pounds and should have no trouble holding his ground in the trenches. With 51 tackles and six sacks, Wilkins is more well rounded than his Clemson teammates but he also has the lowest ceiling making him one of the last drafted.
TRADE: Buccaneers, Pick 15: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
Tampa trades down in the draft and drafts the player they wanted at 5 at 15. Jacobs is the best running back in this year’s draft and running back is a big need for Tampa. Ever since Doug Martin fell off, Tampa has not had a stable running back.
Under new head coach Bruce Arians, the Buccaneers are going to need one running back that they can depend on. When Arians coached the Cardinals, he had David Johnson to work with and that helped balance out the offense. Jacobs has good size at 5'11" and 200 pounds and does have some experience catching the ball out of the backfield. His combine will really show if he is truly worth a first round pick.
Panthers, Pick 16: Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss
Offensive line is a huge need for the Panthers, especially with Cam Newton’s shoulder injury. Little would play left tackle so the Panthers should feel good about that. Little has not missed one game since he started playing college football in 2016, making him very dependable and not injury prone. At 6’6" and 325 pounds, Little should give Newton a little more time in the pocket, especially since the NFC South’s defensive lines are not the best.
Browns, Pick 17: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
The Browns have been looking for Joe Thomas’s replacement since he retired and they found him in Williams. Williams plays either right or left tackle so he will probably be protecting Baker Mayfield’s blindside. Williams has good feet and quickness but lacks lower body strength which could impact his run blocking. Once Williams puts on more lower body strength the Browns can depend on him to be their new Joe Thomas.
Vikings, Pick 18: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State
The Vikings have weapons all around Kirk Cousins, now it is time to give him some protection. Dillard really improved his stock this year at the Senior Bowl, being one of the best offensive linemen there. There have been reports that Dillard is one of the most athletic tackles in all of College Football.
Dillard has excellent feet, quickness, and technique which are all positive for an NFL prospect. Dillard does play on the left side so he will have to protects Cousins' blindside against some mediocre defensive lines in the NFC North, although the Bears have one of the defensive lines in the league.
Titans, Pick 19: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
Receiver is a huge need for the Titans since Corey Davis is not producing like we all envisioned. D.K. Metcalf has elite height at 6’4” and could be Marcus Mariota’s new favorite target. Metcalf put up good numbers this season with 26 catches, 569 yards, and five touchdowns in seven games before a neck injury kept him out for the rest of the season. He also has big play ability with his longest catch last season being 75 yards, and the Titans need big play ability.
Steelers, Pick 20: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
Due to the amount of dominant defensive linemen and offensive tackles, the Steelers grab the draft's best corner at pick 20. Williams has elite height at 6’3” which makes him very good at both man and press coverages. The Steelers will love how they can use Williams since he is long and physical. With 33 tackles, two interceptions, and nine pass deflections, Williams was a shutdown corner in college and many teams expect that to transfer over to the NFL.
Seahawks, Pick 21: Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware
Seattle finds their Kam Chancellor replacement in Adderley. Adderley has the best ball skills in this draft and also is not afraid of contact. Chancellor was great at finding the ball and attacking it and Adderley is the same way. Adderley does have some trouble reading plays, but he should get better with time. At 6’0” and 190 pounds he has decent size but has room to get bigger.
Ravens, Pick 22: Jachai Polite, DE, Florida
Polite will be a good player for an already solid Ravens defense. Polite has a very explosive first step which is important in the NFL. Polite is more of a speed rusher than a power rusher but can make offensive linemen unbalanced if he needs to. Consistency and effort are two things people see as red flags but playing for the Ravens he should get plenty of rest and always give full effort playing for a playoff team.
Texans, Pick 23: Tytus Howard, OT, Alabama State
Howard is a small school prospect but has nice film against bigger schools such as Auburn. He has played both left and right tackle so the Texans can put him wherever they feel he would help the most. Protecting franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson is very important for the Texans and they would be making an excellent pick here. Howard might be a developmental player, but he should turn out to be a great player for the Texans.
Raiders (via Bears), Pick 24: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama
Thompson will not participate in the combine because of a wrist injury that requires surgery, but there will be no long-term issues. The Raiders are boosting their defense with this pick and rumors of Karl Joseph getting traded and Reggie Nelson being a free agent, this pick makes a lot of sense. Thompson has great speed and hip movement and is a fantastic tackler, but the trend with Alabama safeties in the NFL is that teams see they lack coverage skills and eventually move them to linebacker.
Eagles, Pick 25: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
Corner is one of the biggest needs for the Eagles and they address it here with Baker. Baker is considered by some people to be the best corner in the draft but does have some off-field concerns. He is not as tall as Greedy Williams at 5’11” but Baker is a more well-rounded corner. Baker can play slot, man, press, or zone and only allowed a 40.9 passer rating this past season. Baker should have a tough rookie season going against Odell Beckham Jr. and Amari Cooper twice a piece.
Colts, Pick 26: N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
Harry would be a perfect compliment to T.Y. Hilton. Harry is a big and physical receiver that would pair nicely with Hilton’s small and fast build. Harry has terrific hands and at his height he could be making Calvin Johnson type plays. Harry is not as good at changing his direction but that should not be that big of a concern since he will be playing alongside of Hilton.
Raiders (via Cowboys), Pick 27: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
With Jared Cook being a free agent, the Raiders give Derek Carr a new weapon. Hockenson is one of the best tight end prospects to come out of the draft since O.J. Howard. At 6’5” and 243 pounds he is a big guy who should become an instant redzone threat. He is a very balanced player with great hands and run blocking. If Hockenson can adjust to the NFL quickly he become a household name just as quick.
Chargers, Pick 28: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke
Quarterback is not a glaring need for the Chargers, but it is a position that the they will need in the upcoming years. Jones is a not a day one starter, but he can develop under Philip Rivers. Jones has good accuracy and good throw power. If Jones can develop and learn the offense under Rivers, quarterback will not be a need for a very long time.
Chiefs, Pick 29: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
Murphy is viewed by some as the best corner in the draft. Corner is a huge need for the Chiefs as the defense is one of the league's worst. Murphy could be Marcus Peters' replacement after he was traded last offseason. He is a great zone coverage corner and knows his strengths since he is 6’0” and 175 pounds.
At that height he could play man but against the bigger receivers that would not be ideal. Murphy is also not the best in run support which could be an issue if the Chiefs do not fix their defense.
Packers (via Saints), Pick 30: Devin Bush Jr., LB, Michigan
Bush is a great player who would instantly become a leader on this young Packers defense. Bush excels in both pass coverage and run stopping which is very important playing in the NFC North. He would have to cover tight ends such as Kyle Rudolph and Trey Burton but also hunt down running backs like Jordan Howard and Dalvin Cook. Bush has great speed and instincts and will excel early in his NFL career.
Rams, Pick 31: Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama
Wilson is not getting as much hype as other Alabama linebackers but he's still just as good as the other ones. At 6’2” and 240 pounds, Wilson has the size to be a great linebacker in this league. He has good speed with his size and is just as good in pass coverage as he is in run support.
It will be interesting to see how Wilson fits in with the Rams defense since they will be reshaping it due to salary cap. The Rams might even make him a cornerstone in their new look defense with Aaron Donald.
Patriots, Pick 32: Brian Burns, DE, Florida State
The Patriots will more than likely trade this pick as they trade out of the first round almost every year, but if they do not, they draft a very talented edge rusher. With recent reports saying that the Patriots will not be re-signing Trey Flowers, Burns would instantly fill in as the starter. Burns is an exact copy of Flowers but with Burns' speed he could be just as - if not more - effective. Compared to Flowers, Burns is tall but weighs about 30 pounds less so it will be interesting to see how effective he is in the run game.
This story was written by Tanner Elliott. Follow him on Twitter: @Elliott302Tj
So, recently the NFL awarded compensatory picks to certain franchises. You could almost look at this metric and understand why our Miami Dolphins are in the situation they are. The first compensatory pick is pick 96. New England received picks 97 and 101 of round 3. The Los Angeles Rams received picks 98 and 99 respectively.
The Miami Dolphins receive pick zero of round zero!
Washington (96), Carolina (100) and Baltimore (102) received the other third round compensatory picks. Atlanta was the first non-playoff team from this past to receive a pick which would be the 10th such pick assigned. In fact, only 17 of the 32 compensatory picks given out were to non-playoff teams this year.
Let’s start with how you gain a compensatory pick. According to my research, under the rules for compensatory draft selections a team losing more or better compensatory free agents (CFA) than it acquires in the previous year is eligible to receive compensatory picks via NFL Communications letter.
What the heck does all this mean? It means if you lose players of value you have the opportunity to draft possible replacements. It doesn’t matter who you draft just that you have more opportunities to hit on guys. How is it that the Super Bowl teams are allocated four of the top six compensatory draft picks?
It really goes back to that “letting a guy move on a year early instead of a year late” concept!
Teams are rewarded for drafting well and grooming the next man up. Where are the Miami Dolphins in this process?
Nonexistent is the word of the day. That’s the difference between drafting well and losing a few guys who have replacements in the pipeline and a team like the Miami Dolphins who give record contracts to guys on their own agenda who barely move the needle.
The league has a recipe for success and the compensatory pick process is part of it. Dig deeper and you will find that the Miami Dolphins didn’t receive any compensatory draft picks last year either.
Bottom line, if you draft well you have a pipeline of players to replace the departures. The league then rewards you with replacements. The draft position almost doesn’t matter in today’s league. How many guys named Antonio Brown, Shannon Sharpe, Terrelle Davis, Jared Allen, Richard Sherman, Zach Thomas, or Tom Brady need to be drafted for this franchise to understand the importance of stockpiling picks.
This story was written by Steven Paulsen. Follow him on Twitter: @SarcasticPhin
According to Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald, the Miami Dolphins and WR DeVante Parker are expected to part ways, via either a trade or a full-out release. If Miami chooses to cut Parker, it will free up $9,387,000 in salary cap space. This should not come as a surprise to Miami Dolphins fans.
Parker was selected 14th overall in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. The Miami front office selected Parker mainly because of his size, athleticism and his ability to make big plays down the field. Staying healthy, however, was Parker’s biggest issue as a professional athlete. During Parker’s rookie season, the former Louisville standout started in just four games, recording 494 yards and three touchdowns. Parker’s rookie season was the end of Joe Philbin’s tenure as Dolphins head coach.
Philbin was relieved of his duties concluding Miami’s 27-14 defeat at the hands of the New York Jets. In October, Parker sustained a foot injury, sitting out two games. Parker’s sophomore season in the NFL brought a form of hope, but after suffering a hamstring pull, Parker was unable to participate in a majority of training camp, and even missed the final exhibition contest and regular season opener.
2016 was Adam Gase’s rookie season as head coach, and the Miami Dolphins got off to a sluggish start, opening the campaign 1-4. In 2016, Parker caught 56 receptions for 744 yards, all while producing four touchdowns. Miami secured a postseason berth, before falling in the wild-card round against the Pittsburgh Steelers, 30-12. In that contest, Parker caught four passes, gaining 55 yards. 2017 and ‘18 combined was not so great for Parker, managing to punch in just two scores.
Staying healthy in professional sports is a very difficult task, with the amount of training, preparation, travel schedules and competitiveness on the field. Do not put DeVante Parker’s name into the Dion Jordan category; Parker is not a bust-type football player. Parker will likely land a job quickly, because of his 6’3” size.
With the Dolphins to enter the rebuilding phase in 2019, expect Albert Wilson, who endured a season-ending hip injury in Week 7, Kenny Stills and Jakeem Grant, whose season came to a close Week 10 at Green Bay, to be the key pieces in Miami’s WR unit moving forward.
This story was written by Brandon Liguori. Follow him on Twitter: @BrandonRLiguori
"A year after Bob Costas was conspicuous by his absence from NBC’s broadcast of Super Bowl LII, the longtime face of the network’s sports telecasts explained that he was told "you’ve crossed the line" with commentary about the NFL.
Boren’s expansion in the last paragraph pretty much says it all in this situation. The line that Costas frequently crosses is, indeed, a fine one. It seperates “critic” from “self-righteous.” It’s a line that we all sometimes cross, I think, but Costas has turned it into a habit.
Costas defines himself as a journalist, which is fine. The problem is that he does it by treating sports like world peace depends upon defending its dignity. It leads to inflamatory language such as that above addressing the NFL’s concussion problem. It’s this tendency that turns off not just the NFL but those of us who are just watching for a little entertainment, not what amounts to something akin to a political tirade.
My guess is that we have seen the last of Costas on any major network for any sport, not just the NFL.
I won’t give this too much time except to say that this was a poorly thought out piece that looked like it was supposed to be about Hunt but which Jenkins couldn’t resist using to take a shot a the NFL no matter how it conflicted with her point.
For the record, I think Hunt is an animal who doesn’t “deserve” a second chance at anything not guaranteed him under the law.
“[Browns general manager John] Dorsey released a 245-word statement as part of the Browns’ announcement of the signing. He acknowledged the complexity of questions about signing Hunt but cited his relationship with Hunt in explaining the decision that ’he deserves a second chance.’
Hmmmm... he took full responsiblity, eh? Like when he lied to the Chiefs about the incident and only came clean after video of the incident came out and he knew the jig was up?
Hunt strikes me as being similar to many athletes in situations like this such as Ray McDonald, who was briefly a Chicago Bear before once again finding himself in trouble for allegedly attacking a woman. He’s a con man who has grown up as an athlete who people believed because they wanted to believe him.
Hunt is a talented running back. People who want talented running backs on their team are apt to believe that he “took full responsibility for his actions” even though the evidence clearly shows that was not the case until he could no longer deny his guilt.
Let’s tell this like it is. This wasn’t a Ray Rice situation where an instant of anger led to a fist being thrown faster than the brain could catch up. The video showed Hunt as an out of control animal who attacked this woman like a mad dog for almost two minutes.
Professional help or not, Hunt is a ticking time bomb who is just waiting to explode again.
Knowing this, signing players like this puts fans in a terrible position. You want to root for your team. But how do you do it knowing that they signed such a player? To this day, I can’t watch Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger without visions of a college girl being raped in the back room of a bar in Georgia. Having to watch players like this prevents fans from fully enjoying what should be an entertaining experience.
So, as if there weren’t enough reason already, thank heavens you aren’t a Browns fan. The Dolphins and their fans are better off without Hunt and his ilk.
"’We’ve got to develop a strong passing attack,’ Roman said. ’Lamar’s got to develop and everybody around him has got to get better in that area. Obviously, there will be more emphasis on that.’"
Jackson is problematic because he lacks arm strength and he’s not always very accurate, particularly outside the numbers. Though he had some good throws over the middle in the intermediate range in 2018, his weaknesses showed and will likely continue to be a problem as the Ravens work to build a power running game to counter the game plan with seven defensive backs that the Chargers used to beat them in their AFC Wild Card game.
Teams will undoubtedly do what they can to take the middle of the field away from Jackson and, as Brooks points out, a strong running team needs to be able to complete deep throws when they do pass the ball to get chunks of yardage. Whether Jackson has the arm to take advantage of a good play action passing game will be an open question until he proves he can do it.
“Eagles: The team reportedly is considering the use of the franchise tag on Nick Foles, with an eye toward trading him. Although this approach would violate the CBA, Foles seems to be OK with it — possibly because his agents already know that he wouldn’t get on the open market a long-term contract worth more per year than the franchise tag will pay.”
I would agree with this. My gut tells me that the payday for Nick Foles might not be what many people believe it will be.
For one thing, you need at least two teams to drive the price up for Foles. Right now, the only team that currently makes sense for him is Jacksonville.
But the major reason has to do with Foles’ performance itself. He struggled for years with the Rams, admittedly under a defensive coach with a stagnant offense. But Foles wasn’t good in those years and really hasn’t been good anywhere but Philadelphia. The fear is that you end up signing a Case Keenum, who had one good year with the Minnesota Vikings in 2017, cashed in big with the Denver Broncos in the offseason, then reverted back to under-perform in 2018.
Admittedly, Foles has come up big at the tail end of not one, but two seasons in a row now. But it's what he did at the beginning of the 2018 season when subbing in for Carson Wentz that would worry me if I were considering him as a signing. Foles wasn’t impressive. In particular, his 50.7 passer rating against the Falcons in the first game of the year sticks in my mind and makes me wonder if his days as a subpar quarterback will always be limited to those with the Rams.
Admittedly it was only two games. But I would hesitate to commit too much to Foles right now.
This story was written by Tom Shannon. Follow him on Twitter: @bearingthenews
Once again the Dolphins welcomed opened their arms to the community, as student athletes from the City of Miami Gardens Parks and Recreation athletic program, Broward County PAL, Miami-Dade County PAL, Palm Beach County PAL and the American Youth Football League came to the practice bubble on Sunday for the football experience of a lifetime.
“2. Strategically trade Xavien Howard if you’re not drafting a quarterback this spring. Howard is the best player on Team Teardown. He’d be the most expensive, too, at north of $15 million a year with a needed, new deal. At 25, he is in his prime. Of the eight Pro Bowl cornerbacks this year, one was 29. Do the timeline math, add in football risk and moving him is the best option. But don’t just trade Howard for a first-round pick (if Amari Cooper is worth one in midseason, Howard is worth more).
First, Howard is, indeed, your best young player. Which in my opinion means he’s exactly the kind of player you keep in this rebuild. He’ll still be in his prime when the Dolphins are good again and once you get done replacing veteran talent, cap space won’t be a huge issue. Yes, he’ll cost money. But you are going to have to spend money and these are the kinds of players you want to invest it in.
I will add one caveat to the above. If the deal involves accumulating picks because you have targeted a quarterback you like, either in 2019 or 2020, then I would support the trade. You do what you have to do to make that happen.
The other comment I’ll add is that I don’t think Howard brings more than a first round pick. In fact, he might not even bring that. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a good young player on the rise. But he didn’t really completely blossom until this season and I don't think he’s in the Deion Sanders class yet.
“8. Don’t sign anyone just to change “culture.” The coach sets the culture. Yes, some good veterans will help. But this is Brian Flores’ job by the standards he sets and decisions he makes. The Gase era went sideways when he began looking for other people to set his culture for him. If you can’t do that, you’re not a head coach.”
This I agree with but only to a point. You can’t just bring in “good guys.” But I don’t think you want to make the job of your first time head coach tougher by bringing in headaches that, for instance, refuse to enter a game against the Jets. I’m looking at you, Reshad Jones.
Adam Gase had some players to deal with that required delicate handling. I’m not saying he shouldn’t have handled it better but it made his job more difficult than it had to be.
I’d rather say, “sign solid pros.” They don’t have to be angels and they don’t have to be ideal. But they should be able to set an example and show young players how to win through a couple years where there might not be a lot of winning to be had.
“9. Don’t sign anyone in the first week of free agency. Or over 29 years old to be more than a one-year stop-gap.”
There are going to be a lot of holes to fill on this team and I think you want to acquire good young players anyway you can, including free agency. But you do have to be careful who you target. As I said above, no headaches. I think instead of setting the limit at 29 years old, I’d say 27 unless he’s a one-year stop gap.
The ideal candidate would be a rising young player coming off of his first contract who has not yet reached his peak. You may have to overpay a little. That’s the nature of free agency. But if you do it right, he won’t be over paid for long as he reaches his potential over the length of the contract.
“5. 'Only pay great players big money,’ [Johnson] said.
This is, I think, where Adam Gase came up short. It’s a bit speculative but my guess is that all of those contracts are ones that Gase wanted. Gase worked under the false assumption that this would make those players grateful and play harder. Show them you love them and they’ll love you back. Unfortunately it generally didn’t work that way. Just two years later Gase found himself criticizing the team for not working hard enough. Jones even flat out quit on him for one game during the 2018 season.
This balance between paying players to keep them happy and withholding money to keep them hungry for more is a very delicate one and I don't think there are easy answers. But generally speaking my guess is that Johnson has it right. Pay your great players who make plays big money. Sign the rest to team-friendly deals or replace them. Don’t get too caught up in your personal feelings over the matter.
"’Josh (Rosen) is our guy.’ – Kliff Kingsbury, Feb. 12
A couple things here:
1. In my opinion, you absolutely don’t take Murray with the first round pick. Yes, I know that Kingsbury effused that he would take Murray with that pick as the Texas Tech coach. But it was easy to say that then and, as Brooks points out later in the article, people can’t always be taken literally when commenting on such things as an opposing college coach. They are expected to exaggerate.
More to the point, where you take a player in the draft has little to do with where you think he should go and it has everything to do with where other teams will take him. Murray is almost certainly less than 5-foot-10 and has yet to show that he can throw from the pocket. He’s a risk that you don’t take with a top five pick. if you want him, you find a way to trade down and then take him.
2. It's possible that Kingsbury is smart enough to understand what he’s got in Rosen. People like to think that getting a franchise quarterback is just a matter of choosing the right guy. In my opinion, they couldn’t be more wrong. It's about developing the right guy. That means good coaching at the very minimum.
Rosen had a miserable year but he was on a miserable team with a defensive head coach who had no clue how to develop him. Whether Kingsbury has a clue remains to be seen. It seems evident to me that as the need for quarterbacks has become more acute, the NFL has gotten better at developing them with some very good young quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes, Jared Goff, Mitch Trubisky, and Deshaun Watson coming to the fore in recent years. But either way Arizona is still going to be a bad team and probably a bad situation.
Rosen is a classic NFL quarterback. He’s got the size and physical ability. He’s accurate and by all accounts he’s smart. He simply hasn’t had a chance to show what he’s capable of. If he is traded, here’s hoping it's to a team that can fully develop him and utilize his talents to give him the best chance to succeed.
Rosen doesn’t fit what I figure is general manager Chris Grier’s physical profile for an NFL quarterback. But it says here he’d look pretty good in a Dolphin uniform and wouldn’t be a big risk for a mid-round pick.
“’What percentage of the time,’ I asked Oklahoma coach and Murray mentor Lincoln Riley the other day, ’would you guess Kyler threw from the pocket this year?’
A lot of those throws were quick hitters and running an NFL offense where you frequently have to stand tall while the pocket collapses around you is quite a bit of a different story.
Having said that, it’s clear that Murray is a different kettle of fish when compared, for instance, to Johnny Manziel. Manziel not only didn’t show that he could throw from the pocket in college, it was proven conclusively that he couldn’t as the teams that beat Texas A&M his last year with the team were the ones that kept him there.
Murray could prove to be one of those rare athletes like Russell Wilson who can overcome his lack of size to succeed in the NFL. Murray is shorter than Wilson and has more of an uphill battle. But you can see why a team might pick him in the top ten. Indeed, Brooks has Murray as his #6 overall prospect which, for a quarterback, means top 5 pick.
Murray has been connected to the Dolphins in several mock drafts and where he is selected is going to be one of the more interesting draft stories in years. I’m looking forward to seeing him at the combine.
Frankly, I don’t understand Brown. He’s got a lucrative contract and this doesn’t appear to be about money. When he’s asked to explain his problem he’s all over the place. Take this response when he was asked to explain his strained relationship with Ben Roethlisberger.
“No conflict just a matter of respect!. Mutual respect! He has a owner mentality like he can call out anybody including coaches. Players know but they can’t say anything about it otherwise they meal ticket gone. It’s a dirty game within a game.”
The best I can tell he just doesn’t like criticism and doesn’t like having to work as part of a team. He reminds me a little bit of former Chicago Bear Martellus Bennett.
Wide receivers in general tend to be head cases, I think. But Brown seems to take it to a whole new level.
This story was written by Tom Shannon. Follow him on Twitter: @bearingthenews
As the Miami Dolphins gear up for a serious rebuild, general manager Chris Grier is putting together a staff specifically built to find the best young talent possible in the next few drafts. Already, Marvin Allen has been hired as the assistant general manager, and now Grier is bringing in a man who has already been in charge of a rebuild in his career, former Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie.
McKenzie, 56, was largely responsible for the young squad who made the playoffs in 2016, and that led him to being named the NFL Executive of the Year that year. Unfortunately, when the team failed to maintain the same rate of success, the Raiders hired Jon Gruden this past season, which led to a massive power struggle with Gruden that led to McKenzie's firing on December 10, 2018.
That firing was not appreciated by quarterback Derek Carr, who McKenzie drafted in the second round of his most successful draft in 2014. That class also included star pass rusher Khalil Mack (who Gruden traded to Chicago this offseason), guard Gabe Jackson (third round), nose tackle Justin Ellis (fourth round) and cornerback TJ Carrie (seventh round).
“Our relationship was special, and it always will be,” Carr said about McKenzie on back in December. “Never saw anything that would make you think this would happen. But it is what it is. I sent him my message, I said, ‘Any success that I have, I hope you feel a part of it. Whatever I do, hopefully win a lot of games and do some fun things, I hope that you feel good about it, because I want you to know that you’re a big reason for it.’”
Before joining the Raiders in 2012 and putting them back on track to compete with the rebuild he orchestrated, McKenzie spent 17 seasons with the Green Bay Packers as a director of player personnel and director of football operations.
This hire continues a series of hires where Chris Grier and head coach Brian Flores are looking for experienced individuals who can help facilitate Miami's slow rise back to relevancy over the next couple of seasons. Marvin Allen was an excellent start, and now with McKenzie, the team has two highly respected executives to assist Grier and find young players who can join the roster and grow together to make a long-term competitor.
This story was written by Luis Sung. Follow him on Twitter: @LuisDSung
The Dolphins have come a long way from when the last game of the NFL season ended to where we are now. For the first time in Ross's career as the Miami Dolphins owner, he decided that the organization's future was more important than his relationships with a defeated Adam Gase and especially Mike Tannenbaum. This was interesting in the sense of how often during his tenure Ross would stay loyal one season too long. So kuddos to you Mr. Ross. You made a big boy decision to fix a decision you shouldn't have made in the first place. Kuddos and a golf clap to you.
Then Ross promoted Chris Grier to be "The" voice in the Dolphins organization and the only individual to have his ear of influence. This initially worried me because Grier was a body that sat in the middle of the storm of disfunction caused by tension between egos. But Grier has shown that he has a basic understanding of how he wants a team built with his staff signings of Brian Flores and Marvin Allen (Assistant GM). It remains to be seen if it will translate into success, but Ill give you a tentative gold star until we see more. But this column is to let you know, Mr. Ross, that your job is far from over.
You have done a lot for this organization and have sacrificed millions of dollars to rebuild the fan experience for Dolfans at the stadium as well as your advocacy for social justice and change. You have allowed for individuals to run the team how they have wanted and all we have received is 2 playoff appearances during your ownership tenure, no playoff wins, regime turnovers approximately every 3 years, and egos clashing that lead to turmoil within your organization. This is unacceptable and its time to step up and be the owner you need to be.
Dolphins fans don't care how much you trust the people you have in place right now. There should be expectations that the offensive line be the immediate focus for this football team. The position has been neglected for so long and the only vocal common denominator from those destructive regimes that remains is you. Dolfans are fed up with watching our quarterbacks take hits consistently and needing to rationalize poor play on such a glaring need. Its unacceptable and it needs to stop. NOW.
The very next demand as the owner of this organization should be to address the quarterback situation. I can care less if it is Ryan Tannenhill for the next season or not. But I want to make it very clear...If he is not the answer, do something about it! Draft a quarterback that either competes or has the tools to be that franchise quarterback. And if he is, then get the man an offensive line and supporting cast. I truly do not care where you go, but regardless of what the decision is, the time to make changes is now.
Mr. Ross, you have built several relationships with men who have dedicated their time and body to this organization (Such as Kiko, Wake, and more). I get that, and your emotions and connections with individuals have led us to this crossroad. There will be difficult decisions that you may (or should) sign off on that will hurt in the short term, but pay off in the long term. This is not a New York style business where you can delegate heavy decisions to your closest allies. The emotional and difficult decisions you make today will effect this team for the next 2-3 years (For proof just look back at the decisions made 2-3 years ago and see how many of those paid off vs which didn't).
I do believe that Mr. Ross has it in him to lead this franchise into a tenure of consistency and winning. He has made good decisions so far this offseason, but that can all go away with one bad decision. I know that no matter what Miami Dolphins fans say, Ross will do what he wants regardless because it is his team, as he should. I am not an angry Dolfan, but a Dolfan who writes this column as a filter and microphone to other Dolfans who are fed up. Dolfans want to stop following the team, are arguing with one another, and are stuck holding on to golden days of Marino, the 72 Dolphins, and more to rationalize their dedication to your team. DolFans have spoken and we await your action Mr. Ross...not just your words.
This story was written by Carlos Camacho. Follow him on Twitter: @DolfansVoice
In a league that is full of offensive firepower and weapons, the Adam Gase led Miami Dolphins attempted to follow the trend. Gase attempted to replicate the success and potency of that historic Broncos offense, but failed. What threw more salt in the wound was watching teams like the Chiefs, Rams, and Saints succeed while being led by their respective quarterbacks. Now I know that Dolfans will read this and go straight to the "Dolphins/Tannenhill failed the other" conversation but I'm asking that you look deeper. I'm here to talk about where the Dolphins are heading and what they will need to succeed in the future.
I'm talking about franchise quarterbacks.
When someone says franchise QB, it can truly mean a number of things. Does it mean that they have to be "Elite" like Brady or Rodgers? Does it mean that they have to be a 1st round blue chipper like Haskins, Murray, and the 2020 class? Does it mean Superbowl/playoff success? How about regular season wins? I'm sure you catch my point...So this begs the question, what does "Franchise QB" mean for the Miami Dolphins? Lets take a look.
Of course Miami would enjoy having an elite quarterback and probably will strive to do so somewhere in the next few drafts. But lets be honest, Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers are not going to walk in the door out of nowhere. So lets move on from that thought.
Drafting a quarterback is realistic and provides (For the most part) optimism and hope for an organization. But just drafting a QB, even in the 1st round, does not make a player a franchise quarterback. For as many Dan Marinos and Peyton Mannings there have been Ryan Leafs and Jamarcus Russells in the world. Which leads us to my main point...
The Miami Dolphin's best/quickest chance to win consistently is to run an offense centered around a system based quarterback.
Now I am identifying this as a bare minimum for the Fins. I look around the league and I have seen guys like Jered Goff, Eli Manning,and Joe Flacco go to (And in Manning and Flacco's case win) Superbowls. Hell there are some people in social media world who would argue that Brady is a result of the system he plays in (I don't agree but to each their own). We have seen guys struggle in systems after being considered a franchise quarterback, such as Kirk Cousins going from Washington to Minnesota. We have seen individuals who could be successful franchise quarterbacks but have been let down by the system's flaws and/or their skillset not blending with the system (Ryan Tannenhill anyone?) It is not necessarily a bad thing for the Dolphins to find someone whos skill set can run Flores' offense that isnt considered a top tier quarterback.
Now one could argue that Miami has that system's based quarterback in Tannenhill, and that they let him down due to the pieces that are surrounded him (most notably the offensive line). Its true, maybe (I don't believe so) Ryan can be the system QB for Flores and the offense he dreams of running. But running the system is not only X and Os, its about the surrounding parts. And under failed regimes, that's where Miami has to make the biggest improvement, not at quarterback. Having solidified personnel will make finding a franchise quarterback (Elite or systems) easier and allow for more risk taking (Like drafting a stud rookie or trading up for one). This practice was successfully performed in Kansas City.
The Dolphins have the blueprint of how to win. They want to be physical in the trenches, have players do their jobs, and be versatile. If we stumble upon an "Elite" quarterback by luck (Because that's the only way it would truly happen) then so be it. But Miami should truly focus on rebuilding the supporting cast on offense and a defense that can produce on the road no matter the environment , weather, and etc. It is easier said than done but that is the task Chris Grier and the Dolphins have. Flores is tasked with creating a system that is sustainable as a unit, and not relying on one person to make things happen like the Fins have in the past. And the Dolphins need a system based franchise quarterback.
This story was written by Carlos Camacho. Follow him on Twitter: @DolfansVoice
Remember the last time the Miami Dolphins traded for the local guy? Remember the pain of a 2nd round pick just at the cost of ticket sales? Remember when team doctors said the other guys shoulder wasn’t attached? That Culpepper/Brees mess still haunts us all. I know the fans in Miami are waiting in excitement to see if their hometown guy Antonio Brown will beat the Vegas odds of +5000 and come home. (By the way, +5000 puts the Miami Dolphins in the bottom third in case you were wondering)
What good rebuild doesn’t come with a massive high-profile trade to acquire a guy entering the moon phase of his career? All talent depleted rosters need to overpay and trade away young draft picks, right? That’s totally the way to be successful!
Here are five concrete reasons why it just doesn’t make a lick of sense to trade for Antonio Brown:
First, the Miami Dolphins are the 8th oldest team in the NFL right now. Take out the Saints and Patriots, who have 60-year-old quarterbacks to re average the playing field, and the Dolphins are likely in the 6th spot.
Second, the Miami Dolphins can’t afford him. Sitting at around $11 million in cap space for 2019, The Miami Dolphins are 26 out of 32 teams regarding having money available to spend on players for their team. The Philadelphia Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars are projected to be over the cap in their current situation and will need to make some significant changes to get below the cap.
Also, let's not forget that the Miami Dolphins are five pro bowl players away from competing for a playoff position, not one. Sure, the team can spend a boat load of money on one or two pro bowl players, but just ask Mike Tannenbaum how that works out for teams.
Then, through media reports, it has become abundantly clear that Antonio Brown seems to have an attitude problem with a top five quarterback. If he has had so much trouble with a top tier player, how is he going to do when he is faced with a bottom five quarterback or a bottom tier quarterback?
Lastly, it’s just not the Patriot way. According to Spotrac.com, the Patriots are contracted to spend $20.5 million dollars amongst wide receiver and the running back position combined. With the new coaches in Miami being brought up in the New England Patriots system, it does not appear that they are going to sway from what has been successful.
The bottom line is that the Miami Dolphins need a youth movement, not a Brown movement. We are not one player away like the Colts or 49ers. Sure, the Fins could do some salary cap gymnastics and clear space but that does nothing to address their aging roster devoid of young pro bowl talent. The Dolphins hired a scout as a GM and surely he’s good at picking the right guys in the draft, right? Drafts win championships. Locking up a pro bowl player whilst on his rookie deal multiplied by 5, wins championships!
If Coach Flores learned anything from Bill Belichick it’s that he will let a player go one year early and will bring in a guy he only sees as extreme value who has “lightning in a bottle” upside. A rebuild is a rebuild, it’s a drafting youth movement. Collect draft picks, not trade them.
Good players across a position is the Patriot way which is not one aging stud and a bunch of roster filling guys. Believe it or not, the Miami Dolphins have some recently drafted guys who can lead the youth movement. We aren’t starting from zero, but we also aren’t starting from one man away.
The Miami Dolphins are rebuilding, it’s that simple. Ain’t nobody got time for high priced free agent diva’s, even if it might be fun for a year!
This story was written by Steven Paulsen. Follow him on Twitter: @SarcasticPhin
With the 2019 NFL draft quickly approaching, the PhinManiacs team has developed their first mock draft. The focus, as has been discussed in numerous sports columnists, is not the first round quarterback draft pick, but instead, building the offensive and defensive lines. Setting this foundation will make for a longer future for whoever ends up quarterbacking the Miami Dolphins.
Round 1, Pick 13
Teddy Bridgewater- New Orleans Saints
Bridgwater provides the perfect combination of fan buzz (From Florida) and logic. Both sides could benefit from this... Miami gets a stop gap that has potential to hold the fort for anywhere between 1-3 years (allowing a young QB to develop) and Bridgewater has a chance to start once again for his hometown team.
Ryan Fitzpatrick- Tampa Bay Bucs
Now these may not be the Dolfan favorites but hear me out. These are good options if the Fins draft a guy this year that they expect him to develop for a year (or at least half the year). Fitzmagic has shows that he can be inconsistent but that he can also hold the fort until the "future" is ready. And if he could do that for a whole season (Or even half should a rookie get drafted this year) then its a win considering our future QB could learn from the sidelines.
Frank Gore- Miami Dolphins
Frank was amazing for the Fins. He is the unofficial poster child for everything that is Miami. I would say that Drake and Ballage both learned from Frank and in all honesty, the RB group was one of the bright spots for the Fins when utilized correctly. I am in favor for a reunion with old reliable.
Mike Davis-Seattle Seahawks
Mike Davis has shows glimpses of being able to not only handle starter carries, but also produce when called upon. Not to be overlooked, is the fact that he was also a part of a loaded stable of backs in Seattle. Davis would slide in as the broke man's filler for Gore. He's also young and has shown an ability to block in the pass game.
Rob Kelly- Washington Redskins
Yes...Kelly is 2 years removed from a productive season. Yes Kelly is coming off of an injury that kept him out of last season. But, when healthy, Kelly has shown he can be a bull between the tackles. Again, the Miami backfield was and can be a strength. Adding Kelley, who is still young and with lowered expectations can find a solid niche in Miami.
Marquise Gray or AJ Derby- Miami Dolphins
Well, Gray was out for the year before starting a season he was named the starter for. And Derby was also hurt ,but had a chance to perform, where he wasn't all that impressive. Gray would make sense to come back as a compliment to Gesicki (Hopefully he takes a few steps as well next season). Derby has an interesting skill set when used correctly so he shouldn't be completely dismissed as a depth filling option either.
Luke Willson- Seattle Seahawks
Willson is an interesting player that has shown flashes in Seattle. I don't necessarily believe that Willson will blossom in Miami, especially with the hope that Gesicki develops. But Willson and Gesicki on the field at the same time (with the right mind pressing the buttons on offense) could provide 2 solid receiving safety blankets for whoever is under center.
Maxx Williams- Baltimore Ravens
Maxx Williams has been a major disappointment for the Ravens. So much so that they drafted another TE 3 seasons after bringing Maxx in hoping he could be the future at the position for them. He's had injuries and has yet to develop his pass catching skills since joining the NFL. However he is still young (24 Years old) if coached up correctly and effectively, he can be a compliment to Gesicki and pay a consistent role with this team for longer than a "Try it before you buy it" deal.
Kevin White- Chicago Bears
With the Bears not picking up White's 5th year option, it all but assures his time in Chicago is over. There's no way to sugar coat it, White (Along with draft mate Davonte Parker in all honesty) have yet to meet their lofty draft expectations, or any to be quite honest. But his tools are still tough to look past. Imagine White and Parker FINALLY reaching their potential together in Miami? (I swear I'm being semi sarcastic). But at the very least, a flier on a big target since the Fins may struggle overall seems like a scratch tickets worth purchasing?
Devin Funchess- Carolina Panthers
Funchess has had the opportunity to establish himself as Cam's top weapon, especially when Benjamin was traded to Buffalo. However, Funchess has remained inconsistent and struggles with drops. He's a solid target at 6"4 and is only 24 years old. Depending where his final price tag ends, Miami might want to consider if the WR corp has some changes to it.
Adam Humphries- Tampa Bay Bucs
As the Bucs 2nd best weapon on offense, Humphries has established a name for himself. Although he may not be totally known around the league he should be. He caught 76 catches this season with 816 yards and 5 TDs at 25 years old. If Amendola does not return and Humphries somehow makes his way into free agency, I would strongly recommend the Fins shoot their shot.
Offensive Tackle/Offensive Guard
Ja'Wuan James- Miami Dolphins
James showed the Dolphins the ability he has and how is worth the money he is asking for (Remember the Chicago game?!?) he has moments where we wonder if he went blank in the brain but he was clearly one of the most consistent performers the Fins had. With a rebuild coming, it might be good to keep one of your solid performers, especially when he and Tunsil are the only salvageable pieces of that leaky offensive line.
Cameron Fleming- Dallas Cowboys
Fleming is a familiar face and name as he was a part of the Patriots offensive line prior to joining the Cowboys last offseason. Flemming has had some moments with Dallas where he showed he can play in the league. If the Dolphins can be patient and play to his strengths, this move could pay off and this 6'6 320lbs monster can help the fins moving forward (Should they move on from James or for depth).
Mark Glowinski- Indianapolis Colts
Glowinski is one of my personal favorites on this list. He is versatile and has shown he can handle multiple positions on the line. Although Guard is not his natural position, he has filled in beautifully on that stout Indy line. Again,with a solid coaching staff willing to wait for the payoff, he can prove to help a position in Miami that has haunted us for over a decade.
Rodger Saffold- LA Rams
Saffold is a pro-bowl guard that has been one of the main components on a line that has elevated the production of Todd Gurley and protected Goff on an offense that is in the top tier of the league. Saffod is in his 9th season (and 30 years old) so he doesn't fit the mold of the "rebuild". But...if the Fins draft a rookie QB and he has a chance to start sooner rather than later, then maybe opening the checkbook makes sense for a position that has been sorely neglected for too long.
The Miami Dolphins have had a solid receiving core for the past several seasons. With the addition of Kenny Stills and Devante Parker in 2015 the Dolphins thought they had one of the top young receiving corps in the NFL.
Flash forward to 2019 and Devante Parker will more than likely get cut this offseason and Kenny Stills has been good but very inconsistent. Parker has shown flashes of talent but he has had his career riddled with injuries. Stills on the other hand has had some productive seasons, especially with the quarterbacks he has played with, but he has also been inconsistent. Stills only catches about 50% of all passes thrown his way but is a touchdown machine scoring touchdowns in his four seasons with the Dolphins. Although Stills is a good receiver he does not have Antonio Brown, Deandre Hopkins, or Julio Jones type talent. The Dolphins however do have three receivers that with the right coaching could turn into our franchise receivers.
The first player is Albert Wilson who by far the most explosive offensive weapon the Miami Dolphins had last year before his season was cut short due to a hip injury. If Wilson did not get hurt, the Dolphins offense would have looked very different last season. Wilson single handedly won the Dolphins game against Chicago with this run after the catch. If Wilson can stay healthy and can clean up his routes, he could possibly be a top 10 receiver in the NFL.
Now the Dolphins also have two other receivers that have shown flashes, but either they could not stay healthy or they did not get enough opportunities. Those players are Jakeem Grant and Leonte Carroo. Grant is at very undersized receiver at 5’7”, but he plays like he is 6’3”. Grant has worked his tail off every offseason to become more than a return specialist. The most remembered play of Grant’s receiver career is when he mossed Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler in a primetime game. When Grant did, that many Dolphins fans wondered where this was all season. If Grant can stay healthy and keep working his tail off the be a better receiver, he could continue to improve and grow with the Dolphins.
And with Leonte Carroo, he has also been a player that lacked speed but has displayed solid hands. Carroo never really was given a fair opportunity under Gase to show what he can do in game. Carroo did have some game action these past couple of years, but got very few targets. The one moment that all Dolphins fans should remember is the amazing catch he had against the Colts just this past year. Carroo mossed the corner then ran into the end zone. That play shows he has potential to be a solid receiver and it also showed that if ever gets into a footrace he should just run out of bounds.
All three of these receivers are young and they should be able to take the next step in these upcoming seasons under new offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea and Head Coach Brian Flores.
This article was written by Tanner Elliott. Follow him on Twitter @Elliott302Tj
Nick Foles, the backup Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, reportedly declined his $20.6 million mutual option with the team for the 2019 season and will pay the Eagles $2 million to become a free agent, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Since the news broke, oddsmakers have determined that the Miami Dolphins will be a top suiter for Foles stating that the odds are 5/1 for the Philadelphia backup to join the Dolphins during the upcoming season. Although the oddsmakers find it favorable for a Fins/Foles signing, the chances of this happening are slim.
First, although Nick Foles was the Super Bowl MVP of the 2017 season while leading the Philadelphia Eagles to their first ever Super Bowl victory, he has never proven to be a consistent quality quarterback. He has had some significant success, such as his 2013 Pro Bowl season with the Eagles and his 2017 Super Bowl run and MVP selection, but he has also proven to be very inconsistent as a starter. His statistics as a starter are:
As it relates to the Miami Dolphins, all of the reports coming out of Davie since the hiring of Chris Grier and Brian Flores refer to this upcoming season as a cost cutting year. The reports state that the players who are earning the highest salaries are probably going to be at risk the most to being released or traded. As Chris Grier and Brian Flores are setting the foundation for long standing success, cutting costs in 2019 will help to fund future players on the squad. Nick Foles will be looking for a multi year contract in the $20 million plus range per year and the Miami Dolphins will not want to pay that much money during a rebuilding phase.
In addition, every indication from the Dolphins organization through various news outlets is that the team will be undergoing a significant youth movement. Players who are 28 and older are at risk of no longer being with the team in 2019 as the foundation for long lasting success will begin with younger players being added to the squad and being developed by the newly named coaching staff. The odds are much better that the Miami Dolphins will give the younger quarterbacks currently on the roster, Luke Falk and Jake Rudock, a chance before bringing in a high priced 30 year old quarterback in Nick Foles.
Although it would be nice to have a Pro Bowl and Super Bowl MVP quarterback on the Miami Dolphins team, the chances of this happening are very slim. And, although the odds are in favor of Nick Foles landing with the Dolphins, I wouldn't get my hopes up, and I definitely wouldn’t bet on it!
This story was written by Ian Berger. Follow him on Twitter: @ian693
Early Friday morning, the Miami Dolphins re-signed LS John Denney to a one-year deal, according to his agent, Ian Greengross. Denney was slated to become an unrestricted free agent, when the official period begins March 13. The deal is for $1.1 million.
Denney currently leads all active NFL players in games played, and has been apart of Miami’s organization since 2005, after signing as an undrafted free agent. This past season, Denney recorded four total tackles; one solo. Denney has appeared in 224 career games as a Dolphin, and will turn 41-years-old in 2019.
This story was written by Brandon Liguori. Follow him on Twitter: @BrandonRLiguori
"It's a beautiful day for golf but an even better day for cancer fighting," said Jennifer Jehn, senior vice president of the Miami Dolphins Foundation and executive director of the Dolphins Cancer Challenge. "One hundred percent of our funds goes directly to cancer research at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer, and that includes all the golfer's participation out here today."
Since its inception in 2010, in honor of former Dolphins tight end Jim Mandich who died of cancer in 2011, the Dolphins Cancer Challenge has raised over $27.5 million for cancer research, and has touched the hearts of people all across the country, whether they're currently battling cancer, have a family member with cancer, or have already survived their bout with cancer.
Many of the latter, return to do their part to repay the effort put into helping them recover, both by participating on the golf course and through the main bike riding event which will be held on April 6 this year at Hard Rock Stadium.
"We've been proudly sponsoring the Dolphins Cancer Challenge for the last three years," said Alex Pascual, the commercial banking manager for BBVA Compass Banking. "I'm personally very honored to be involved in this with the Dolphins foundation and Sylvester. I'm a cancer survivor, I was diagnosed with phase 2 lymphoma in 2006, and when we did all our research and our due diligence to find out where would be the best place to get treated, everything pointed out to Sylvester."
Thanks to the golf tournament and the main event at the stadium, the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center has been able to make breakthroughs in the field of treating this deadly disease. But one of the most important reasons the DCC has been able to bring in the crowds it has, is that it receives support from several celebrities across all South Florida sports, from football to hockey and beyond.
Some of them even have personal stories of their own.
"There is no question that I would come and help this event because I'm a cancer survivor." said former Dolphins wide receiver, Ring of Honor inductee and legend Mark Duper. "I had kidney cancer about seven years ago, everything is good, everything is fine. I just got one kidney, but I think my other kidney got bigger, so it all averages out."
Current athletes also came out in force to support the cause; Dolphins wide receiver Jakeem Grant, defensive tackle Vincent Taylor, and offensive tackle Sam Young - who despite being a pending free agent is on the DCC board - all made appearances.
The rate of death from cancer has steadily declined over the past 25 years according to the American Cancer Society, but the reality is that any number more than zero is still too high. This is why the event is held every year, to speed up the process of eliminating cancer once and for all.
This story was written by Luis Sung. Follow him on Twitter: @LuisDSung
The Miami Dolphins franchise has been a so called laughing stock of the NFL since Dan Marino retired. Before Marino retired the Dolphins were one of the most respected teams in the history of the NFL. One reason for that is because of Dan Marino and the other is Don Shula. Shula who coached the Dolphins from 1970-1995 made the team into a winner.
During his reign as head coach, the Dolphins went to five Super Bowls and won two of those, including the only perfect season in NFL history in 1972. Without Shula as the head coach, who knows how good the Dolphins would have been. Shula has a reputation for being a leader, a tough coach and getting the most out of players. That list of traits seems similar to the traits the Miami Dolphins were looking for when looking for a new head coach.
Enter new Dolphins coach Brian Flores. Flores was hired because he is willing to rebuild this team and give them an identity. In New England, Patriots player always looked up to him and played to their fullest potential for him. Flores is also very respected throughout the league and many people endorsed him throughout his interview process. If you have not put the pieces together yet the Dolphins were looking for a coach that resembled Shula.
Now I am not comparing Flores to Shula because Shula is a legendary coach and Flores just got his first head coaching gig, but they do have similar traits. As I stated previously they are both highly respected, get the most out of their players, and are leaders. Although these coaches are coaching in a different style of the NFL, I think Flores could use an old school approach and run the team like Shula did.
Flores has two or three good running backs, like Shula did, and he might try to run the offense similar to what Shula did, but incorporate more passing. Flores will have Drake, Ballage, and possibly Bolden to be running the offense like Shula had Kickk, Morris, and Csonka.
The biggest reason I can see Flores being the next Don Shula other than the two have very similar traits is the defense. Shula was a great defensive coach and one of his defenses was even nicknamed the “No Name Defense” because Shula had a top defense in the NFL without any big name stars. Flores has a very young and an unexperienced defense that he can groom and coach anyway he wants.
If Flores puts the players in best position to be successful and the players want to play for him then this defense could be very scary in a couple years and possibly be the next “No Name Defense”.
This article was written by Tanner Elliott. Follow him on Twitter @Elliott302Tj
• Let’s start on a positive note by pointing out that the new Dolphins organizational structure is probably, finally, the right one. From Dave Hyde at the Sun-Sentinel:
‘One man at the top, El Jefe, in [general manager Chris] Grier. The head coach, [Brian] Flores, who was hand-picked by Grier. A partnership starting on the same timeline with, as Flores said, “the same principles.”’
’That’s the simple way it all should be and, oddly, the way Ross never has done it. He has been the king of the staggered starts and forced marriages of general managers and coaches that devolve into divorces and the next forced marriage.
’There remain questions of why Grier didn’t just survive this latest change but was promoted despite uneven drafts. That’s fair. But there’s no questions of who’s in charge or what the timeline to win is, as with every other season with [Dolphins owner Steve] Ross.’
I’m going to whole heartedly agree with Hyde. Having a good personnel man at the top of the organization in the form of a general manager who hires the head coach is almost always the way to go. There are, of course, organizations that work with a different structure but they almost always involve an owner who knows football at the top or an extra-ordinary individual in the head coach who can also be a GM. But generally speaking, you want a single GM who knows football and can pick talent, players, scouts and head coaches, at the top.
And there’s good reason to believe that Grier is the right guy. The last really good draft the Dolphins had was 2016 when they picked up Laremy Tunsil, Xavien Howard, Kenyan Drake, and Jakeem Grant. Probably not coincidentally, that was the last one that Grier probably was able to pick the talent without interference from former head coach Adam Gase, who very evidently was given quite a bit more power of personnel after an excellent 2016 season.
It says here that there’s a very good chance the Dolphins have the right guy in charge.
• Having said that, it may not be immediately evident that is the case. The Dolphins are in for a long, tough rebuild. They have to tear the team down before they can really build it back up and that’s probably a two year process.
They’ll have to start dumping older talent and replacing it with younger inexperienced guys. The problem is that you can’t dump all of it at once because it creates more holes than you can fill. So you gradually release and replace, release and replace, rinse and repeat until you finally get to the point that you have most of the younger pieces in place. It’s a "tear down" because you are gradually getting worse the whole time.
People have told me that perhaps the Dolphins process won’t be as bad because they have a number of younger pieces in place. I really don’t see it.
In the defensive backfield they have cornerback Xavien Howard and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. You might keep safety T.J McDonald if you have a plan for him.
Many will press to keep Rashad Jones but there’s no way that happens after he flat out quit on the team in an ugly mid-season incident. I don’t care what you think of the leadership of Adam Gase, there’s no way as an organization you can keep a guy who allows his pride to lead him to do such a thing. He’s also 30 years old which means he could be 33 before the Dolphins are competitive again.
You probably do keep the linebackers, Kiko Alonzo, Raekwon McMillan and Jerome Baker. No one on the defensive line is even worth mentioning either because they lack the talent or the youth necessary to survive the purge. This is far and away where the most work needs to be done, especially with a scheme change on the way.
On offense, the Dolphins have made it plain that they think running back Kenyan Drake is too immature to be the future at the position. They need a quarterback, guards, a younger center, and possibly a right tackle. The wide receiver and tight end positions also need a great deal of attention.
That’s a heck of a lot of work. I’d say anyone who predicts that they’ll be back to where they are now in less than two years is being wildly optimistic.
• Having said that, there are a lot of ways to build a franchise. I’ve noticed many observers predicting that the Dolphins will not be active in the free agent market. I tend to disagree.
A good, aggressive foray into the market can be a good way to find players. You just have to be careful to find the right players. Look for th e Dolphins to go hard at younger free agents coming out of their first contract. These would be players who couldn’t be resigned by their original teams either because of cap issues or because they already have established players at the position who couldn’t be moved aside to allow the younger man to start.
In particular, look for the Dolphins to target rising players who have not hit their peak yet. The key will be projecting the players talent into a future with superior coaching and more game experience. Identifying players of this nature will be one of the keys to Grier’s success.
• One of the more interesting aspects of the new Dolphins plan will be to see how Flores emerges from the other end of it.
As is well-known, Flores will try to bring the “Patriot Way” to the Dolphins. The problem is that other franchises that have tried this over the year have failed. Sometimes miserably. From Armando Salguero at the Miami Herald:
Teams have failed miserably thinking they could copy New England’s success by hiring New England coaches.
In 2017, the Detroit Lions were 9-7 to follow another 9-7 record and playoff appearance in 2016. That was deemed not good enough so the Lions hired Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia to bring the Patriot Way to Motown. He was hired by general manager Bob Quinn, who spent the first 15 seasons of his career in the New England front office before moving to Detroit in 2016.
The Dolphins run the risk of repeating past mistakes here. Defensive coordinators Romeo Crennell, Eric Mangini and Patricia all became head coaches. All failed or are struggling. The reasons why are a mystery but a clue might be found in this interesting tidbit from Adam Kilgore at the Washington Post:
’The biggest spectacle in American culture staged [Patriots head coach Bill] Belichick’s opus, but it began two weeks ago on a quiet field in Foxborough, Massachusetts. In their first practice after the Patriots beat the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC championship game, when other coaches might have rested players after an arduous, emotional game, Belichick put the Patriots in full pads and went full-bore. He added extra drills and additional practice periods. Mistakes were met with coaches demanding, "Do it again." At the end, players toiled through an extra 12 sprints.
’"It felt like we were running forever," [wide receiver Matthew] Slater said.’
Belichick has the gravitas to pull this off. Do his assistants?
Bringing the “Patriot Way” to Miami is easier said than done.
But the biggest problem I see is that Flores is a defensive head coach who is going to be very dependent upon the development of a young quarterback. The danger is that the Dolphins are in year three of their rebuild and the quarterback isn’t progressing fast enough. This leads to thoughts that an offensive head coach to further his development is needed.
Fortunately the Dolphins had the wisdom to hire an experienced, quarterback-centric assistant head coach in Jim Caldwell. Because he’s spent most of his time in the NFL coaching established quarterbacks, I do have my doubts about whether Caldwell can develop a rookie. But hiring quarterback-centric coaches was a priority for a lot of teams this year and the Dolphins did about as well as you could possibly expect under the circumstances. I have far more confidence in Caldwell than I do in new head coaches like Zac Taylor and Kliff Kingbury.
• And although most observers don’t seem to believe that the Dolphins will draft a quarterback this year, I wouldn’t rule it out. Grier says that he certainly has not.
“We may get to the process, fall in love with a couple of guys,” Grier said. “Last year, we liked two guys a lot, they both had good success this year. It could be at that point, we may say, ‘Hey, this is the guy.’ ”
Reportedly those “couple guys” were Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen, two of the bigger and more athletic quarterbacks. I have made my man crush on Drew Lock known but if I were to speculate, the fact that Sam Darnold, who has many similarities to Lock, wasn’t one of their favorites might mean he won’t be in love with Lock, either. Dwayne Haskins might fit this profile best of the top candidates.
This article was written by Tom Shannon. Follow him on Twitter: @bearingthenews
Picture this. Coach Flores is sitting with all of his coaches before the beginning of training camp, looking at them in their eyes, in as serious of a look as he can give, and says “Remember coaches, we don’t want the players out there to look too good. Our job this season is to do anything but win”. Or, it’s Sunday afternoon. The Miami Dolphins are playing the Buffalo Bills for the season opener. Coach Flores walks up to Xavien Howard and says “X, you look like you’re playing at about a nine today. We need you to be more like a five if we’re gonna lose this game today.” Can you see either of these scenarios happening? Neither can I.
Recently, a report was leaked that the 2019 Miami Dolphins are going to be tanking this upcoming season. This report states that during the Miami Dolphins head coaching interviews, the expectation of losing was part of at least one of the coach interview conversations. Let me be the first to tell you that tanking, or the expectation of losing, is not going to happen! With the new coach that was hired, the coaches that he is bringing with him, the players that Coach Flores and GM Chris Grier will be working with, expectations of the Miami Dolphins fans and the expectation of the owner, tanking is not an option and will not be the case in 2019!
Coach Flores came to the Miami Dolphins with a core plan that was aligned with that of Dolphin’s general manager, Chris Grier. As mentioned in the article Give Brian Flores a Chance Before Crowning Him a Dolphins Failure, Coach Flores came to the Miami Dolphins with four Super Bowl rings, 14 AFC East championships and seven AFC Conference championships. He did not leave the most respected franchise in the National Football League, New England Patriots, to join a team where the direction would be given for him to lose. In addition, by signing a five-year contract, which is not the norm when hiring NFL coaches, Flores will be in his role for the long-haul to prove what he can do at a high-level. He will not want to start his coaching tenure on a sour note. Who would?
And Coach Flores is still bringing in assistant coaches and position coaches. Could you imagine that conversation between Flores and prospective coaches: “Here’s the plan. We’re going to lose this upcoming season. So, what I need you to do is leave the team where you’ve been successfully coaching players to join me in a new role where we plan to lose, and lose alot”. That would really be a great recruiting tool. Not only would he not be able to bring aboard successful assistant coaching candidates, but everyone would probably laugh at him for even bringing up that type of talk. And, of course, word would get out to a much broader level than just one coaching candidate of what the plan for the team was going to be: Lose and lose a lot.
The players on the Miami Dolphins roster will also not tolerate a direction to lose. NFL players are the most competitive players in football, and they are arguably the most competitive players in professional sports. Players who have made it to the NFL, the highest level in football, are not going to put tape on film where they are possibly not giving their best effort. Every player who has made it to the National Football League is one of the best in the country and they are not going to give up a year of their career to purposely lose football games or not give full effort.
Miami Dolphins fans have been through a lot over the past 20 years. Unfortunately, there’s been a lot more losing then there’s been winning over that period of time. But, the significant majority of fans would tell you that they would prefer winning, or going down trying, versus losing on purpose. Fans are the ones who ultimately shell out their hard-earned money to support the Miami Dolphins either thru ticket sales, merchandise sales, or watching television that generates television ad revenue for the team. They deserve a high level of effort from everyone in the Dolphins organization and they wouldn’t tolerate anything less. Even the hint of a team losing on purpose could jeopardize the loyalty of a number of fans, even more than the casualties that have come from prior losing seasons. The Dolphins organization and its owner, would not take this risk.
Stephen Ross may be a lot of things: a billionaire, unfamiliar with football, a non-resident of Florida, a person who has made some questionable football leadership decisions. But one thing he is not is a loser. With all of the resources he has thrown at this football team, including the over $500 million he personally spent on an amazing football stadium at Hard Rock Stadium, the money he recently spent on the new tennis complex, the money he is going to be spending on the new Dolphins training facility, all he has done is attempt to create an atmosphere conducive for winning. Has he made some mistakes along the way, of course. But, you can’t fault him for trying. And he would be the first person to tell you that losing is not something he promotes.
Yes, he did mention during the press conference of Adam Gase’s release that the Dolphins might be a few years away from winning, which is why Adam Gase was let go. But let’s be clear, what Ross did not say was that he expected to have a losing franchise. He did not say that losing was acceptable. He did not say that losing was the plan. He was acknowledging that things needed to change with the team. And through a rebuild, it could take a few years to get to consistent winning. And not 8-8 or 9-7 winning either. REAL winning. Playoff winning and beyond.
Which leads to the real plan. No, the Miami Dolphins will not be tanking in 2019. Instead, what you will see is similar to the 2013 movie The Purge. Outside of the stadium will be the players that are getting up there in age, the players who are 28 years old and older, banging on the gates to get into Hard Rock Stadium. I can see it already: Ryan Tannehill, Sam Young, Kiko Alonso, Robert Quinn, and Andre Branch all banging at the gates yelling “let me in. let me in”. And Chris Grier, Brian Flores and company will be on the other side saying “sorry guys, we are moving on with younger players”.
After “The Purge”, the Miami Dolphins will be left with a bunch of young players. Some that were existing players on the team, some that will be brought in at a low price via free agency, and some that will be picked up in the NFL Draft in April. But, all of them will be able to create a foundation for which the Dolphins can build from and succeed in the upcoming years. So, instead of the Fins tanking in 2019, they will be fielding a different, younger, and newer looking team than in 2018. Could it be a losing season for the Dolphins, sure. But is losing the plan, absolutely not!
Shame on the coaching candidate who supposedly leaked the information to the contrary (who I’m sure is not the guy who got the job) and to the reporter who ran with the story. It can’t be farther from the truth from what the 2019 Miami Dolphins will actually be doing. They will not be tanking, guaranteed!
This article was written by Ian Berger. Follow him on Twitter: @ian693
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