Yesterday, I posted that Merling would be replaced, but that was a lucky guess and at least not until after the draft.
Jeff Ireland has solidified that he is going to take a DE somewhere in the draft. Could it be round 1? It's possible with Fletcher Cox and Melvin Ingram on the board at 8.
I certainly don't discount the contribution of Phillip Merling during the 2008 season when the Dolphins needed a play and Merling took one on defense for 6 against the Jets in a playoff and division deciding game.
However, Merling has been a bust and now Ireland must rectify that he made a mistake in picking him and not a QB, TE, or any other critical position of need.
It's quite easy for Jeff Ireland to use Parcells as the scapegoat here...was it Parcell's choice or Jeff Ireland's?
Merling has been injured often and recently after signing his tender, he did not do his part and participate in non-mandatory OTAs to be with his teammates.
At least the Dolphins can rest easy that they will not have to wait for Merling to turn on that switch from 2008 and be ready to go for the 2012 season.
Some serious questions come to mind garnering answers.
Does this change the draft plans of Ireland who many media members and draft gurus believe he is taking Ryan Tannehill on the request of owner Stephen Ross?
Do the Dolphins tip their hand slightly and go after DEs in the first and second round?
Do the Dolphins make any other moves such as looking if Sean Smith or Vontae Davis is the better corner and put either of them on the trade block to get more picks?
There are a lot of possibilities at 8, so the Dolphins look to continue their rebuilding mode if more moves are made to rectify past mistakes.
What will Ireland's countermove be after the release of Merling?
As a Dolfan, you can only hope that the Dolphins take a QB somewhere and in a year we are proudly wearing the jersey of the new QB!
Yesterday, I posted that Merling would be replaced, but that was a lucky guess and at least not until after the draft.
Folks, we are almost nearing draft eve and a lot of crazy talk is spewing out of the mouths of scouts, GMs, owners, and agents.
So, how does the knowledgeable Dolfan handle this crazy talk about owner Steve Ross pushing for Tannehill per Mike Florio at PFT?
Just shrugging and working on other important things like a master's thesis. No big deal. This is common strategy from other teams to overvalue their selection in hopes that teams get desperate to pay up to move up. No reason to speculate who actually said it.
This much we do know for sure:
On offense, the Dolphins have glaring needs at QB, OL, and WR. The Miami Dolphins can draft a viable replacement at QB to the two-headed monster that is Moore-Garrard at QB for 2013.
There is also a thought that the Miami Dolphins will be content with Daniel Thomas and he’ll be a workhorse back. I buy into some of this idea given that he is a big back that can move a pile. However, this is 2012 and the Dolphins are through with the Wild Cat and anything resembling it. I see fast, quick, and lateral as the key to using the run game with Joe Philbin. Think change of pace. I only say this because with Philbin using the running back in Green Bay, it was not the biggest feature in games. It was all Rogers all the time.
However, I think that a compliment to Reggie Bush is not Thomas. The Miami Dolphins have changed to a zone-blocking scheme that needs a very athletic and quick offensive line. Daniel Thomas hesitates when moving toward a hole. It’s almost comedic that he could not score from the 1 yard line last year. Smaller, but yet quick Steve Slaton had a goal line TD agains the NY Giants. I expect more from Slaton on Goal Line calls.
Next, the Miami Dolphins truly might benefit from zone blocking scheme and take an OL in the second round. However, what are the Dolphins doing in round 1…here is my revised take:
First Round at #8:
Scenario 1: If Tannehill is there, then they could take him. Since 1983, the Miami Dolphins have not taken a QB round 1. Tannehill is the perfect player for this offense since Philbin and Sherman appear set on a West Coast offense and I have a sneaking suspicion contrary to what scouts believe, he will play in 2012 and he will sink or swim. Ireland surely doesn’t have a year to prove his draft skills and hope they pan out in 2013. Another important detail is that Tannehill played in this offense for 19 games and is very familiar with all of Sherman’s play calls. I can imagine Moore or Garrard getting removed when they don’t know the play and Tannehill does in practice.
Why not play this season for 12 games? It is a strong possibility.
Scenario 2: Best available is Mark Barron of Alabama. Why? Because the Dolphins need an impact guy. If you want Barron, though, you trade with the Chiefs or anyone before Pittsburgh and Baltimore. Barron is a versatile and yet very explosive guy that could fill the void left after the release of Yeremiah Bell with a run-stopper. If you were around when Louis Oliver seemed to find the football often, then this is your pick. Remember when Oliver had his best game against the Bills and the Dolphins did not have to do much by halftime? Awesome.
Scenario 3: Should someone such as Matt Kalil become available, then the Dolphins should look in that direction of taking out insurance on Jake Long. Kalil is a beast and he played in an offense that featured an explosive passing game at USC. I have always considered Jake Long as a beast, but built more for the run game. Do not get me wrong, Long can handle his own and he’s a three-time pro-bowler. However, Long is starting to wear down and get beat in the pass game on bull rushes and double teams. It does not seem unreasonable for the Dolphins to revamp their o-line.
Scenario 4: I like Brandon Weeden. Everything about this guy including his leadership tells me that this guy can start day 1. Word is getting around that Weeden could play on a team where there is a veteran QB for the next year. I am not buying that talk one bit. If the Dolphins like Weeden, it does not seem like they do, but I would not be surprised if they trade back to the upper teens to take him. The Dolphins could benefit from getting a guy that can play 16 right now. 10 years of this player with his accuracy and arm strength would be an upgrade at QB right now. I don’t care if he is 29 during training camp. He’s got a fresh body and has not sustained many hits. He’d be a hit in Miami with the fans and wow the media.
I am fresh out of ideas on this one. However, I still like Quinton Coples of North Carolina. Some South Florida writers are not sold on Coples. He switched positions for crying out loud and although that motor seems to need gas at the end of a game, he played decent with 7.5 sacks at a new position for him. Jeff Ireland has a chance to right a wrong in taking Phillip Merling at the beginning of round 2 in 2008. Coples for me would be an upgrade over Koa Misi who was a disaster in his position switch to LB from DE in college. If Coples gets picked, I’d trade back just a bit just in case Richardson, Kalil or Gilmore are available and teams coveting them get desperate.
Scenario 6: This is more of an acknowledgement to Armando Salguero: Today's blog featured something about DT/DL Fletcher Cox of Mississippi State. This guy is a stud against the run and can get to the QB. Armando mentions that the Dolphins really like this guy. I think it's a possibility too. This might be the back up to the back up to the back up in Ireland's mind. In addition, I give kudos to Armando for getting a lot of these picks right, not because he knows his stuff, but because he knows people that I don't.
I am not a draftnik, but I love the draft. I am a passionate Dolfan who has his sights set on two intriguing matchups on the west coast, Arizona and SF. I plan to be at both.
Here’s to a fantastic draft eve and draft day!
Please read us at phinsphocus.com and follow @DolphinMick and @PhinsDaniel for the latest opinions and details prior to the draft!
As we prepare for the 2012 NFL draft which is only 7 days away there is an unspoken aspect of the Miami Dolphins offense which might play a bigger role than most care to discuss.
Last year Reggie Bush had a career year, rushing for over 1,000 yards for the first time in his career. It was also only time in his career where he started over 10 games. Reggie has had a track record of being knocked up and until last year had the tag of being one of those “injury prone “players.
2010 8 games played 6 games started
2009 14 games played 8 games started
2008 10 games played 9 games started
2007 12 games played 10 games started
Miami can’t take Reggie’s health for granted as there is no guarantee that Reggie will come back as strong next season or as healthy. While I have confidence in Reggie’s skill it is critical to always have a backup plan because depending on Bush would be irresponsible. In addition Bush is also in a contract year so the Dolphins might want to use even ounce of him possible.
That being said one player that needs to step up this season is Daniel Thomas.
After starting out strong out of the gates, Thomas failed to impress the fans finishing with a very mediocre rookie season.
What was more concerning was that when Thomas was given the full load of carries with Reggie being out he failed to seize the opportunity.
Thomas a 2nd round draft pick needs to be more productive for the offense to click. Most teams rely on a team 2 player backfield and the Dolphins most likely will look for their own dynamic duo to play a bigger role.
The team clearly believes in Thomas’s skills after trading up in the 2nd round to select him, now its Thomas turn to make the Dolphins look good by adding production this season on ground.no comments
When looking at the Miami Dolphins options for the 2012 draft, as a fan, it’s difficult to be excited.
One never knows if it’s a good thing that South Florida writers are pining for some hint of an existence of a quarterback as the pick, if that actually translates as a sign that the super-secret lockdown mode is all part of the plan.
That the attraction with Peyton Manning was not mutual, but rather more of a wish or a desire.
That the counter move to Manning of Matt Flynn was more of a power play, when there was no option to fall back on.
That the Miami Dolphins fell for Alex Smith, when he used them to get more money and respect from the 49ers and their happy go lucky coach.
The Miami Dolphins truly have nothing to swindle any teams with to move up in the draft and take the very best player available. Gone is Brandon Marshall, who technically was gone after the last game if you believe that Jeff Ireland was talking to the Bears at the combine and the Senior Bowl. Marshall would have been excellent trade bait to the Rams who need an alpha-receiver and a target for Sam Bradford who needs to show something to be placed in a category of bust status along with many Oklahoma quarterbacks.
Seriously, and based on reality, the Miami Dolphins have nothing but two third-round picks to move up. Not appealing to most GMs unless it is someone from the cloth of Bill Parcells.
So, here are the possibilities at number 8, because let’s be real, the Dolphins brass and Jeff Ireland count too much on late round guys to make the team so they are not trading up.
In the First Round:
Dolphins need the QB:
Option 1: Draft Ryan Tannehill
Option 2: If Tannehill somehow gets taken 3rd or 4th, then it’s time to look at wide receiver. I like Michael Floyd of Notre Dame. If they can, a trade with KC since they apparently like D at this spot. They need an LB. Take Floyd out of the top 10 and maybe that will be a better value. Matt Moore/David Garrard need a target. That’s clear. Roberto Wallace who is comparable to Marshall, is big and strong, but not ready to be that number one guy.
Option 3: If Tannehill is gone take Trent Richardson. I know. Been there done that with Ronnie Brown in 2005. If he is on the board, you can’t pass up on his potential to give the offense a boost. He runs up the middle better than any running back on the roster. He’s faster than Daniel Thomas. A Bush-Rich combo would be outstanding whent he Dolphins need to get the ground game going.
Option 4: Trade back and hope that Brandon Weeden is available. Weeden has shown more accuracy and more poise in big games last season. When it counted, he gave the Oklahoma State Cowboys opportunities to win with big play drives against a very tough Stanford team. Weeden also can come in and start right away. He’s a leader and he’s the type of guy that get the locker room to follow him because of his experience as a professional baseball player in the Yankees and Dodgers organizations.
Where do the Dolphins go in round 1? I think the best possible pick on the board will be the pick. Sure, I’d like to see the Dolphins get a QB in round 1…who wouldn’t?no comments
If there wasn’t bad news in Dolphins land there would be no news at all.
Today we learned per NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora that “Cameron Wake wasn't present for the Tuesday morning start of the Miami Dolphins' offseason program under new coach Joe Philbin, according to a team source, and the star linebacker could be absent for quite some time.”
Miami Herald’s Salguero later tweeted “Cameron Wake did not show for 1st day of offseason conditioning as a form of protest that a contract extension is not close to done.”
The real question is now, how far will Wake take this holdout. Wake has by all means earned a big payday but at 30 years old on a rebuilding team that isn’t quite there yet there is certainly a debate whether Ireland will give Wake the money he deserves.
Most fans are going with the PAYTHEMAN motto in terms of dealing with Wake as they know by now if Wake were to be traded the odds are very likely that Ireland would be able to give them the return they are hoping for.
Wake has been a VERY effective pass rusher in the league even leading the NFL that past two seasons in total QB pressures. Wake has even surpassed the NFL’s best (Allen, Ware and Peppers) in this stat. Number 91 has light up our hearts and light up the stat sheet becoming the most entertaining Dolphins defender to watch on the team. No one knew much about Wake coming from the CFL but he has certainly made his mark on this Dolphins team.
And as my buddy @PhinsRock tweeted “Trent Cole and Peppers got 12 million a year…Mario just got 16 million per…Wake might be 30, but he's not getting less than 60 million.”
Jeff Ireland is a very stubborn man, and if he believes Wake value is lower than Wake perceives it as don’t be surprised if the former CFL superstar will be on a plane elsewhere before the regular season starts. NFLPA official says Wake could be fined $10,000 per day if he misses the Dolphins mandatory three-day minicamp. So we shall see how long this lasts.
Jake Long will surely be the priority of the franchise, and while securing a long term contract with Long helps the Dolphins against the cap, Wake’s contract might not. Hopefully the organization isn’t made to choose between the two but at 30 years old and a roster that needs a lot of work, Wake’s presence on this team should not be taken for granted.
No one has the answers, because no one can think as blindly as good Ole Jeff, but if I have to my say on the matter it is time to PAY THE MAN !
Also another small bit of news, Iowa WR Marvin McNutt has met with the receiver needy Dolphins, McNutt could be a nice piece for Philbin’s west coast offense. Small note also that WR's coach Ken O'Keefe was WR coach at Iowa where McNutt had a lot of success.
Miami also worked out LB Jonathan Goff, Quentin Groves, Gary Guyton.
Sorry we haven’t been on our A game as of late, however there hasn’t been much to report on in Dolphins land.
Recent Dolphins buzz includes a tweet from the Arizona QB who tweeted, RT @BrockOsweiler Just landed in Miami...excited about my visit with the Dolphins!
For Dolphins fans who don’t know Brock, think Chad Henne but maybe even a little worse. A second round pick would be a complete waste on Brock and would essentially be another slap in the face like previous draft misses such as Chad Henne, Pat White and John Beck.
The draft now being only 17 days away has a lot of fans both nervous and excited of what the future hold.
Many fans are holding out hope that number 17 Texas A & M QB Ryan Tannehill will be the guy to take over the keys in Miami while others are hoping for Quinton Coples or Michael Flyod or even Justin Blackmon.
As we know the Dolphins brass likes to keeps everything under the table and also likes to disappoint so I wouldn’t get my hopes up to fast.
This draft could mark the beginning of something exciting or just build on the enviable frustration that Dolphins fans have become accustom too.
Either way, at least the Dolphins fans will be getting some answers shortly.no comments
The Miami Dolphins welcomed two free agents over the last few days in Tyrell Johnson and Rocky McIntosh.
Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post mentioned that the Dolphins would possibly use McIntosh as an inside Linebacker perhaps providing some competition or replacement of 3rd year linebacker Koa Misi.
It is interesting to note that Koa Misi could be in hot water regarding an alleged altercation with a college student resulting on pressed charges almost one full year after the alleged incident in California.
Koa Misi frankly has not proven his worth after his first season and has not developed into the pass rusher the Dolphins brass and Jeff Ireland envisioned him to be. Misi could be a trade target for other teams that are looking for a linebacker that can play outside or inside in a 4-3 scheme.
The other visitor Tyrell Johnson is a safety with some pop and can really bring it. He's younger than Yeremiah Bell, so it might be that Kevin Coyle, the Dolphins new DC has a new project on his hands. Tyrell Johnson has not played well in Minnesota, but is looking for an opportunity.
The Dolphins might be addressing some defensive holes with both of these two free agents or they might be "just browsing" and sign elsewhere.
However, I believe the Dolphins need a safety that can bring some heat to the wide receivers in this division that stretch the field and that point of contact is the key to setting the tone early in games. Imagine Tom Brady trying to hit one of his tight ends and a Dolphin saftey lays the wood early. Tommy won't be going after that spot on the field too often. Plus, you need a faster guy to keep up with receivers and tight ends around the league.
We'll see what happens...the draft is only 24 days away!