The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson surprisingly had a couple very interesting Dolphins-related nuggets in the chatter portion of his column yesterday. The first being some noteworthy Vince Young to the Dolphins speculation.
Jackson supposedly spoke with an associate that suggested Miami would be an appealing destination to Young if, or should I say when, the Titans cut him. Jackson also writes that “he’s not out of the question for Miami.”
Neither party’s interest should come as a surprise. Young is capable of starting for the Dolphins in 2011 if he can beat out Chad Henne and he’s really the most realistic solution for Miami because he’s the most capable option that wouldn’t require a high draft pick as compensation.
There’s plenty for Jeff Ireland to be intrigued about. Vince Young still has plenty of time to resurrect his career at only 28, he’s a proven winner, and he was actually in the midst of his best statistical season in 2010 by throwing for 10 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions.
But it’s far from a match made in heaven. Jackson goes on to say he also spoke with an official close to the team that cautioned the Dolphins are concerned with how Young would handle being beat out by Henne. Young was certainly a distraction in Tennessee when he lost his starting job, so when Jeff Ireland says “you can’t guess about accountability and dependability,” it’s easy to see why the Dolphins may feel he isn’t worth the risk.
Put me in the boat with those who wouldn’t mind seeing Ireland roll the dice with Young. In a perfect world I would prefer Carson Palmer or Kyle Orton in aqua and orange, but the Bengals seem pretty adamant that they aren’t interested in trading Palmer and the Broncos’ asking price for Orton may be a little too steep for the Dolphins’ liking.
The second interesting nugget from Jackson’s column is that the Dolphins reportedly consider adding a pass rusher their third-biggest need once the lockout is over, behind only quarterback and running back and ahead of offensive guard.
That is significant because we were being left to wonder whether or not the Dolphins would pursue a starting caliber outside linebacker or situational pass rusher or simply forgo addressing the need by hoping Koa Misi takes huge strides getting after the quarterback in his second season.
A legitimate pass rusher on the other side of Cameron Wake may be the final piece of the puzzle to an elite defense, but don’t expect to be blown away by this year’s free agency market. Jackson throws out names like Manny Lawson, Mathias Kiwanuka, and Antwan Barnes. Capable options, yes, but all three were held to under 5 sacks in 2010.
In a programming note, this will be an exciting week here at Phins Phocus. My co-blogger Daniel will interview none other than Davone Bess tomorrow.
The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson surprisingly had a couple very interesting Dolphins-related nuggets in the chatter portion of his column yesterday. The first being some noteworthy Vince Young to the Dolphins speculation.
Throughout the 45 years since the Miami Dolphins were established in 1966, many talented players have come and gone. Pro Bowlers, All Pro Players and Hall of Farmers have had no problem finding their success in South Florida. Players at a variety of positions have excelled in the Miami Dolphins jersey. One position however that has lacked elite star power has been the Tight End position.
Tight End is one of the more difficult positions to evaluate in the NFL due to its responsibilities on the field. Some people value a Tight End who can stretch the field and is a head ache to cover due to their pass catching abilities. While others prefer a Tight End that can effectively block and open up lanes for running backs. Personally for me, I prefer watching a Tight End that makes a difference in the passing game, someone like Antonio Gates or Dallas Clark or Kellen Winslow. Those type of players are blessed with remarkable size and skill, and when mashed together create one heck of a football player.
Miami has never really had a top tier elite tight end in its history, so this wasn’t as easy as some would think to come up with. Miami is still currently searching for that special player at Tight End to help stretch the field. While Anthony Fasano is a nice player who does a great job in the blocking game, he hasn’t really done a great job at stretching the field for the Miami offence. Miami needs that Tight End that can be Henne’s BFF.
All that being said lets look at the latest instalment of The All Time Miami Dolphins: Tight Ends
- 1) James Michael ("Mad Dog") Mandich – (1970–1977)
If you live in Miami or if your a Dolphins fan this choice was a no brainer. There is a famous quote “respect should be given when respect is deserved”, and this certainly is a good time to pay some respect to the recently passed away Mad Dog. A side from the fact that he is a two time super bowl winner, a claim which no other Dolphins tight end can make, Mad Dog has meant more to this franchise then perhaps any other player excluding Marino. Mad Dog was not only the starting tight end for many seasons but was also the voice of the people. Mad Dog was loved by all fans and kept the Miami fan based entertained whether on the field or on the air.
"When you think about Jim Mandich," said teammate Kim Bokamper, "you think Miami Dolphins."
His stats were 121 catches for 1,406 yards and 23 touchdowns at a time when tight ends weren't prolific receiving threats. In 1974, he finished with more receptions and three times as many touchdowns as Warfield, who went to the Pro Bowl that year. Mad Dog will always be remembered as a heroic member of the Miami Dolphins community. My only hope is that he is honoured on the ring of Honour in Sun Life Stadium some time soon.
All Right Miami!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2) TE Keith Jackson (1992-1994)
This was tough! After Mad Dog there is a huge drop off at the Tight End position for this franchise. Keith Jackson was a 6 time pro bowler at the tight end position, and one best of in his era. The problem with putting Jackson this high on the list is not his skill, or his stats, or repertoire but the fact he only sported the Aqua and Orange for two seasons. That being said both of Jackson’s years in Miami were pro bowl seasons. Jackson might be remembered in his NFL career as an Eagle but his two seasons in Miami were a huge success including a 2nd team All Pro team selection in 92. Jackson might be only known as Boomer Sooner the player that helped lead Oklahoma to a national championship but his play in Miami was certainly top notch.
3) Ferrell Edmunds (1989-1992)
While this name might not mean much to younger Dolphfans, Edmunds spent 5 years as the primary tight end for the phins. Edmunds had the pleasure of having his passes come from one of the greatest QB’s of all time Dan Marino, which certainly made his job easier. Edmunds career highlights include 2 Pro Bowl appearances and 117 receptions, 1612 yards and 12 touchdowns in the Aqua and Orange. Edmunds had the size (6-7) to really be a match up nightmare for most defenders.
Other memorable Dolphins Tight Ends’: Randy McMichael, Anthony Fasano
On a side note: While McMichael did not make this list, he did have probably nicest catch and score by a tight end in Dolphins history.
Stayed tuned for the next instalment of The All Time Miami Dolphins, we get down and dirty into the trenches next and start breaking down the O-Line!
I took a brief little hiatus from the blog as I went out of town for Memorial Day weekend, but fear not, we are back in business and ready to continue our break down of the All-Time Miami Dolphins. With absolutely nothing going on Dolphins-related or NFL-related for that matter, hopefully our all-time roster series has become your Dolphins’ fix as we continue our descent into the offseason doldrums.
We can only hope that Friday’s hearing will get the ball rolling in ending this lockout, but with so much uncertainty in the present, we will continue to take a look back at the proud tradition of this franchise by unveiling the top five wide receivers to ever play for the Dolphins.
Before I break down the depth chart, keep in mind that what these players accomplished in Miami is one of the biggest factors in the selecting process. For example, Wes Welker, Chris Carter, and Brandon Marshall may be three of the most talented wide outs to franchise history, but Welker has enjoyed the bulk of his success for the rival Patriots, Chris Carter played five games here on the tail-end of his career, and Marshall, who could be the best when it’s all said and done, is probably still a productive season away from being considered.
Here are my top five receivers in franchise history, factoring in talent, production, and what era they played in.
1. Paul Warfield (1970-1974): Warfield may have only spent five seasons in Miami, as opposed to eight with the Cleveland Browns, but he was a big part in this franchise’s greatest run that included three consecutive Super Bowl appearances, two Super Bowl titles, and the renowned 1972 undefeated campaign. Looking at stats alone wouldn’t do Warfield justice. Playing for some of the most dominate power running offenses in NFL history, with the Jim Brown led attack in Cleveland and the three-head monster of Csonka, Kiick, and Morris in Miami, in an era where teams only threw to keep the defense off-balanced and in desperate times anyway, Warfield didn’t get anywhere near the same amount of opportunities today’s receivers get. But he sure made the most of every opportunity he got.
He totaled 427 receptions, 8,565 yards, 85 touchdowns, six All-NFL selections, and eight Pro Bowls in his Hall of Fame career. He also possesses one of the highest yards-per-catch figures in NFL history with 20.1 yards-per-reception. But looking beyond the numbers, Warfield played a crucial role in opening up the Dolphins’ power running offense. Defenses new the Dolphins were going to line up and run the ball right down their throats, but they also were forced to respect Warfield’s speed on the outside. It’s impossible to judge to what extent, but you could argue that Csonka, Kiick, and Morris wouldn’t have been as dominate without Warfield commanding so much attention as a big-play receiver. If true, Warfield’s value to this franchise goes well beyond what the numbers say.
Hey, it’s your resident blogger Daniel Eliesen here on Phins Phocus. I am very excited about this new series we just kicked off at Phins Phocus on the All Time Dolphins Roster. Yesterday, my Co- Blogger Cody did a great job on letting you guys know who he thinks are the top 3 QB’s in Dolphins history. I don’t think there is much debate with who are the top 2 Qb’s in Dolphins history (Marino and Griese) but his 3rd choice Chad Pennington might have raised a few eye brows. As much as I love Chad, I am a Jay Fiedler guy. Perhaps the biggest problem with the Dolphins organization is that they haven’t been able to find a 3rd guy to go on that list, but here’s to hoping. Today it’s my job to turn back the time machine and carefully explore which 3 running backs I deem suitable for the All -Time Miami Dolphins Roster.
Before I fill you on my choices, I thought I should let all of you know that this list for the top 3 RBs to make the roster recognizes any Full back as a Running Back, meaning Larry Csonka will be on this list. Some might say I’m taking the easy way out calling Csonka a RB/FB but the guy ran the ball an awful lot for a FB. So without further ado, these are your top 3 Running backs that made the squad.
1) Larry Csonka (1968–1974)
Csonka a 237 pound, 6 foot 3 bowling ball was able to run over any defender that tried to take him down. Csonka is widely believed to be the top back in Dolphins history. Despite some question on whether he is a running back or fullback due to his size and Jim Kiick’s presence as the lead back, Csonka had no trouble leaving his mark in Dolphins history.
Csonka a two time super bowl champion was one of the more critical pieces on the Dolphins 72’ perfect season squad and help lead an offense that was made to pound the football into the hearts of opposing defenses. In addition to his two super bowl rings, Csonka has some extra bling in his closet after he was named Super Bowl VIII MVP. Csonka is also a 5 time Pro Bowler the most of any Dolphin at the position.
In his 8 years in Miami, Csonka piled up 6737 yards and 53 touchdowns. Csonka was an old school bulldozing back that you don’t see around much anymore but certainly will always be remember by Dolphins fans.
Okay now let the debating begin! I know that this selection of Ricky as the second best back in Dolphins history won’t go without some criticism. Many Dolphins fans still haven’t forgiven Ricky for betraying the team and quite frankly just quitting on us. While Ricky has left a bitter taste in many Dolphans mouths I’m willing to put that to the side and remember all the positives Ricky has gone through in his career as a Dolphin. In 2002, the Dolphins fan base was taken for a spin when they had been informed that Ricky Williams was traded to the Miami Dolphins on March 8, 2002 for four draft picks, including two first-round picks. The trade came with lots of praise and speculation but for my money was a good deal when all was said and done.
Ricky holds Dolphins rushing records including Most Rushing TDs in a Season (16), Most Rushing Yards in a Season (1853) and Most Rushing yards in a game (228). In his tenure as a Dolphins running back Ricky also has 17 100 yard rushing games which leads the franchise. Stats don’t lie and the stats say that clearly Ricky can run and that he ran well for us.
The 2002 season was clearly Ricky’s best and was also the best rushing year any player has ever had in the Aqua and Orange. In addition to his stats Ricky was also selected to the Pro Bowl where he won Pro Bowl MVP and was the NFL rushing leader that season. When Ricky was able to take the joints out of his mouth he was probably the most effective back in Dolphins history.
For those of you who were expecting Karim Abdul Jabar well sorry, wrong league this isn’t the NBA it’s the NFL and Karim was no Hall of famer for the Dolphins. Mercury Morris was one of the longest tenured running back in Dolphins history (which doesn’t say much) and is also considered one of the most annoying Dolphins ever by most non Phin fans. Morris has been very public about his thoughts on the 72 Dolphins and to be quite honest with you it even annoys me sometimes. Like Ricky, I decided to put aside Morris’s off the field issues with the law and simply value Morris as a member of the Dolphins on the field.
Morris didn’t really get the attempts and starts to qualify him as an all time back but also played a strong role in Miami’s special teams in the 70’s. Morris made the most of his opportunities at running back though, gaining 315 rushing yards on 57 carries for a 5.5 yard average, an average that would have led the NFL had he enough carries to qualify. That season, Morris was selected for the Pro Bowl for the first time as a kick returner, although he also was used as a running back in the game.
Morris was on both Dolphins Super Bowl winning teams as a backup running back. Now you might argue how can I have Morris as number 3 on my list when he was a backup. Well Morris despite not being on the field as much as Kiick received more rushing attempts and was clearly the main focus in the backfield. Morris was also selected to the Pro Bowl both of the Dolphins Super Bowl winning years. Morris ran for exactly 1000 yards in 72 which made him and Csonka the first ever tandem in the NFL to both rush over 1000 yards. That record today might seem trivial but at the time was very impressive. Although Morris' Super Bowl statistics don’t compare to Csonka, he excelled in several playoff games leading up to Miami's two Super Bowl championships. In 1972 he led the Dolphins in rushing in both the divisional playoff game against Cleveland and the AFC Championship Game against Pittsburgh and was a key element of the perfect season.
A couple of guys left off the list : Jim Kiick, Ronnie Brown
Let me know if you guys agree with my selection at Running Back for the All Time Dolphins Roster!
The NFL has seen better days. With the lockout preventing free agency and trades, combined with the fact that this is typically the dullest time of the year anyhow, life can be difficult for us bloggers. But that doesn’t necessarily mean we can’t have any fun.
Daniel Eliesen and I collaborated on a new series to help pass the time between now and whenever these owners and players decide to stop putting the 2011 season in jeopardy. Our idea? Put together an all-time Miami Dolphins team.
It will be constructed like a normal 53-man roster, but will feature the greatest players to ever don the ol’ aqua and orange. We are going to ignore the fact that players are typically bigger and faster these days. This team will be put together with the mindset that players that were great in the 70’s would be just as dominate in today’s game. Obviously, that is probably far from the truth, but that is the most precise way to honor the greatest and most influential players of this proud franchise.
Daniel and I are going to split up the roster and each take half of the positions. It should be interesting to see how our different viewpoints balance out and what this team ends up looking like.
Today, we kick this thing off with none other than quarterback. A difficult task to say the least. So much room for debate here. There’s just no clear cut number one quarterback in Dolphins’ history. Hopefully, you sense my sarcasm.
As always, feel free to chime in with your two cents in the comments. If you disagree with who we have here at number one, though, you probably should just quit reading now and stop watching sports all together for the rest of your life.
1) Dan Marino (1983-1999): As the greatest player in franchise history and one of the most prolific passers the league has ever seen, Dan Marino shattered nearly every statistical passing record when it was all said and done.
He exploded onto the scene in 1984 by throwing for what was an NFL record 48 touchdown passes and what still is 5,084 passing yards, in a year I still argue was the greatest single season any quarterback has ever had. At the time, most offenses were still heavily predicated on the run-first scheme. Marino was a revolutionary and was truly ahead of his time. Unfortunately, the Dolphins were beaten decisively by the 49ers in the Super Bowl that year 38-16.
But Marino was far from done, going on to lead the Dolphins to winning season after winning season and breaking records left and right while he was at it. When it was over, Marino had thrown for more yards (61,361) and more touchdown passes (420) than any other quarterback. Brett Favre has since went on to top those marks. Not taking anything away from Favre, but to put things in perspective, he had 1,811 more pass attempts in his career.
Marino gave this franchise some of the best years and most meaningful memories it’s had. But when talking about his legacy and the impact he had here in Miami, it’s always somewhat bittersweet. The biggest on-field tragedy in Dolphins’ history and arguably one of the biggest in sport’s history is that Marino never won a Super Bowl. It gives guys like Joe Montana, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady the edge when discussing the all-time great quarterbacks. But as far as Miami Dolphins’ history is concerned, Marino stands alone and is undoubtedly the number one quarterback on our depth chart.
In an effort to try and create reading material and discussion in dull times, I thought I would highlight which Dolphins I feel are a bit underappreciated by the fan base.
To make myself clear, these aren’t the top five Dolphins that are underrated on the national scale. For example, Davone Bess and Cameron Wake may be a couple of the most underrated players in the entire league, but here in South Florida, knowledgeable fans are well aware of how valuable both are to this franchise.
These are the five players that many Dolphin fans and some Miami media alike underestimate and undervalue, in my opinion.
As with any top five list, there is plenty of room for debate. Feel free to tell us which Dolphins you feel get the shaft in the comments.
5. Kendall Langford, DE: 3-4 defensive ends are some of the most underappreciated players in the game. They don’t have the appeal 4-3 DE’s do because they typically don’t get to the quarterback often as predominant run stuffers. And they don’t get the credit nose tackles do, which serve as the anchor of the 3-4 defensive line.
Regardless of appropriate recognition or not, the Dolphins are blessed to have arguably one of the best 3-4 DE tandems in the league and without a doubt one of the deepest rotations at the position. Langford may never be a household name nationwide, and probably won’t even grab many headlines locally here in Miami, but he’s becoming one of the best in the business. 2010 was his best season yet, racking up 47 tackles and 3 sacks.
There has been a lot of talk in South Florida regarding which veteran running backs could be on the Dolphins’ radar once free agency begins, but the speedy, homerun threat runner this offense is missing could already be in house. I’m referring, of course, to third year running back Kory Sheets.
Technically, there is no guarantee Sheets will be a Dolphin in 2011, as he was scheduled to be an exclusive rights free agent under the old CBA. But even in the event that the new CBA doesn’t permit exclusive rights or restricted free agents, it’s widely speculated that Sheets will remain in Miami in 2011. The Dolphins need depth at running back and Sheets will be cheap to resign.
Some may consider Sheets only a camp body with an outside shot at cracking the final-53. But looking at what Sheets could bring to the table for what was a boring and slow offense in 2010, you probably shouldn’t sleep on him as the dark horse candidate to split the majority of the carries with second-round selection Daniel Thomas.
Unfortunately for Kory, though, the Dolphins don’t exactly have a grasp on what they are getting with him. He went down early with an Achilles injury in last year’s training camp, a year after signing with the Dolphins mid-season off the 49ers’ practice squad. Camp and the preseason is when roster fringe players like Sheets get the most reps and the biggest opportunity to make an impression. Kory has yet to have either with the Dolphins.
That’s the biggest reason why I doubt Jeff Ireland will forgo acquiring a veteran back once the lockout is over. But hey, you never know. An outstanding camp and preseason or an injury to one of the projected starters, and Sheets could be right there getting an opportunity to be a playmaker for Brian Daboll’s offense.
So let’s check in with Kory to see how the Achilles is progressing, what his goals for 2011 are, and more. He was a bit brief with his responses, but minimal reading material is better than nothing at all, especially in the midst of a lockout. The interview can be seen after the jump.