Dolfans, it's not the Super Bowl, but it's the NFL's version of a consolation prize for fans all over the country whose teams are no longer alive in the NFL playoffs (under the new format).
Today in Honolulu in Aloha Stadium, Brandon Marshall who on Twitter last week exclaimed Aloha! just said Mahalo to the "elite" quarterbacks he caught 4 touch down passes for 177 yards on only 6 receptions.
One of his catches he made after Earl Thomas of Seattle defending on the play went up for an interception and tipped it in the air into the hands of Marshall who fell down and was lying on his back.
Brandon Marshall with 4 TDs is start for a day and Pro Bowl MVP. There is no doubt that he was awesome today.
The last Miami Dolphin as Pro Bowl MVP was none other than Ricky Williams who in 2004 had a fantastic showing that he joined his friend Lenny Kravitz in a tent in India to hang out and share in some other type of activities thus missing the entire season.
Brandon Marshall is no Ricky Williams, but Brandon Marshall surely gave Dolphin fans a glimpse of what playing with an "elite" quarterback means.
Marshall caught touchdowns from Rivers, Roethlisberger, and Andy Dalton (2). Marshall caught a TD in every quarter.
While catching a toucdown in every quarter of the game, as a Dolphin fan, a lot of us can take solace in that if Marshall plays this well against NFC opponents then we can all have really good games against the NFC.
Looking at Marshall's numbers v. NFC opponents in 2011, Marshall caught 1 TD versus the Cowboys and another against the Eagles.
Against AFC opponents Marshall had TDs against the Patriots, Jets (at home, should have had one on the road), Texans, and Chiefs.
6 touchdowns and 4 today!
As Dolfans we need to embrace this moment and share in it and buy the Marshall jersey because as a pro bowler we are pround that he represented in a big way the aqua and orange!
His record setting performance can be viewed right here:
Brandon Marshall told NFL Network reporter that this game was his playoffs and he certainly played like it. The Dolphins receiver scored a single-game record four touchdowns, finishing with 176 receiving yards to lead the AFC to a 59-41 win over the NFC in the Pro Bowl on Sunday at Aloha Stadium.
Marshall had a very nice mix of acrobatic and beautiful touchdown grabs as it appeared he was one step faster and tried that much more then everyone else at this years Pro Bowl.
Marshall certainly left his mark on the game, in which he was named MVP. This game just went to show the type of talent that Marshall has. Throughout the game Mike Mayock continually stated that Marshall has the skills to be as good as Brandon Marshall wants to be. That has been the very thing that has led to all of Marshall’s success but also all of his downfalls.
Marshall put a little doubt in some of his haters down in South Beach as he gave the Dolphins fans a little flavour of the type of plays he can come up with if he only had a better quarterback to play with.
Marshall was not shy after the game complimenting his quarterbacks and basically lobbying the Dolphins brass to go find him a franchise QB. “Quarterbacks make it easier for me,” Marshall told a NBC sideline reporter during the Pro Bowl. “These guys are putting it in the right places and I’m making plays. It’s easy right now.”
“Down in Miami, getting a feel for different quarterbacks, had three or four of them throughout my two years there,” said Marshall. “Elite quarterbacks put [the ball] in the right spots,” Marshall said.
While an elite QB would not take away many of Marshall’s key drops throughout the season there is a thought that his play could be defiantly be elevated with the help of a franchise QB.
So Jeff Ireland and Stephen Ross, Brandon Marshall just played his hand, now its time to play yours…..
Despite previously mentioning that I think the Dolphins need to trade out of the 8/9th draft pick that is easier said than done and as we all know we cant always trust Ireland in being proactive.
That being said here are a couple of names that Dolphins should and most probably will monitor very heavily before deciding who to select in April.
1) Quinton Coples , DE North Carolina
Going into this season Coples was most likely slated to be a top 10 pick. With a very nice mix of size, speed and freakish arms, Coples has all the tangibles to be a great defensive end. Coples has even gotten the high praise of being compared to Julius Peppers another former Tar Heel.
He could be a defensive end or tackle in a 4-3 scheme at the next level, or he could be a defensive end or outside linebacker in a 3-4. Making him very versatile and also appealing to a team like the Dolphins. Coples had a very solid senior bowl week impressing most scouts however he did have a few blemishes including an unnecessary roughness penalty which might put into question his character.
The Dolphins like most team will be looking for an elite pass rusher and Coples could potentially fill that void.
2) Riley Reiff, OT Iowa
It would be a safe pick and one that doesn’t involve a lot of risk. To me that sounds right down Jeff Ireland’s ally. With the Dolphins having one of the worst right tackles in the league in Marc Colombo and with the addition that they most likely will let Vernon Carey walk, the addition of a offensive linemen in the draft is highly probable.
The two-time all-Big Ten left tackle on the Iowa football team is one of several very solid offensive tackles in this year’s draft. Reiff is regarded by multiple draft experts as a potential top-10 selection for the NFL's April draft
3) Ryan Tannehill, QB Texas A & M
Tannehill might be off the board when the Dolphins are selecting and the Dolphins might have already signed Matt Flynn or Peyton Manning, with that being said due to the strong ties Tannehill have with Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman.
Tannehill is a pretty athletic and made several big plays in the aggies offense with both his feet and has a strong arm. This season, Tannehill completed 62 percent of his passes for 3,744 yards with 29 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. With Barkley and Jones staying in school, Tannehill most likely will be the third QB taken in this year’s draft. Tannehill however does have serious questions as he just missed the Senior Bowl due to a foot injury which required surgery.
The injury does have the potential to drop Tannehill’s draft stock.
Notable names off the list include:
Courtney Upshaw- OLB, Alabama – A pure beast pass rusher who has the potential to slip into the top 10 if he has a nice combine.
Alshon Jeffery and Michael Floyd – Two very solid Wide Receiver prospects who could be nice playmaking options for the Dolphins. Philbin is use to having tools in GB and might want to add a few weapons to the Dolphins offense.
Justin Blackmon and RG3 who the Dolphins would obviously take a strong look at however both most likely will be off the board when the Dolphins are on the clock.
NFL Network's Jason LaCanfora reports the Dolphins have agreed to terms with Mike Sherman as offensive coordinator and Kevin Coyle as defensive coordinator.
When Sherman failed to land the Tampa head coaching gig it was pretty clear that he was going to join Miami as the new offensive coordinator.
Sherman the former head coach of the Packers who has previously worked with Philbin had decent success in the league winning three divisions 2000-2005. Sherman’s offenses were very balanced breaking the franchise record for rushing in 2003 and for passing in 2004. Sherman implemented the west coast offense throughout his career and most likely do the same in Miami where he will call the plays.
Sherman’s run blocking schemes should be helpful for Daniel Thomas and could lead to more productive for the 2nd year running back who struggled in his first year. Sherman’s offenses held passing records under Brett Farve and were always able to put up big points.
Sherman also a former Texas A&M coach might encourage Philbin to take a long look at Ryan Tannehill in this year’s draft. Sherman also previously helped the Texans improve from 28th to the 14th best offense in the league in 07.
Sherman knows Philbin well and the two should be able to work together quite nicely with Philbin organizing the game plan and Sherman calling the plays.
On the other side of the ball the Dolphins hired Kevin Coyle to run the defense. Coyle has known Philbin for years according to the Miami Herald.
Kevin Coyle, he worked in the league for 35 years and as Bengals’ defensive backs coach and has made Cincinnati ranked one of the top units in the league with 160 interceptions.
Coyle has big shoes to fill as Nolan did a pretty good job in Miami. Coyle will build around the Dolphins two young corners to try and build an elite d.
The 2011 season is winding down after another great weekend of the sport we all know, love, and follow with a passion. Championship weekend provided us with two great down to the wire football games which clearly defined the definition of playoff football agreed?
We had pretty much every ingredient you wold expect championship weekend to have, Missed field goals at the dying moments of the games, dropped touchdown catches which could have altered the outcome of the game in the opposite direction that its outcome indicates and a toe to toe overtime game which went in to the late hours of Sunday night during a stormy night.Not to mention the opportunity to relive a 2007 Superbowl rematch Between Eli and Brady Indianapolis leading to the ? will this be the last time Colts fans get to see a Manning step on to a football field in the state of Indiana?
We are still a couple of months away from getting the answer to the 28 million dollar question, and to be perfectly honest anyone who attempts to answer that question at this point in time is not giving you any concrete information so im not going to sit here and play Rob Lowe.
However if you were to read the tea leaves they would honestly tell you there is a very high probability that this was indeed his last season in Indy. I could already feel the excitement in South beach Payton to Miami? sounds great on paper right?
However i just want to point out a few things that should not be overlooked by any stretch of the imagination. We all need to remember that this organization has been in this position before, and the outcome has shown varied results.
As painful as it might be i feel the need to take a trip down memory lane as we need to put some perspective in to the whole situation. Remember when Drew Brees became available? we were all almost certain that that horrendous quarterback drought was over, he would come to Miami and we would become contenders for the next 10 yrs? ( as he was much younger then Payton is now)we had the opportunity to find that QB to lead our team for the next decade. We decided at the time that Brees was coming of a crucial shoulder injury and was too much of a risk for us to take a chance on as the shoulder is an integral part of a quarterbacks throwing mechanics, if he doesn't have a strong shoulder he cant throw adequately. We just didn't believe that that shoulder can heal to a 100 percent and Brees would never be the same again.
Well a Superbowl ring, several playoff appearances later, and a revived city later we came to find out that investing on all those Culpepper jerseys wasn't exactly the best way to go. Fast forward to the 08 season it was the start of a new era we drafted th so called quarterback of the future in Chad Henne, brought in CP10 at the last second to replace Mcown and everything seem extremely promising at the time remember?. CP10 was great and all and I'm sure we are all very grateful for he key role he played in the biggest turnaround in franchise history.
There was just one " minor" issue which clearly turned out to be of no small significance. Pennington was released from the jets for a reason, he also had dealt with not only one but several shoulder issues enough to waiv a red flag but we took a chance anyway.(Don't get me wrong im glad we did you never really know the outcome of any particular situation i.e Brees) anyways Pennington went on to struggle with that injury which pretty much ended his career in 2010. Fast forward to today, im not by any means comparing Chad to Manning but it does seem like deja vu doesn't it? BIG difference here is now we are talking about nerve damage to the neck area, an area that can not only end a players life as a professional QB, but can also cost unimaginable damage that can impact his life after football. No one really knows the extend or severity of the injury except Payton and the Colts. Anyone that tells you otherwise including Rob Lowe is basing their statements on pure speculation. I will say this though, even if the Colts do select Luck in this years draft and follow the script, it doesn't mean you release a healthy Manning that can give them at least 3 to 4 more years at a high level. Of course there is other factors that go in to the equation such as Manning's personal decision does he want to be released, what team would he like to play for? or even better does he even want to continue playing? there is a not so far fetched possibility he pulls a Marino and retires.
Manning obviously doesn't have any economical issues to worry about and his life after football is basically written down in pen as a success. One last thing i do want to point out is that that i firmly believe there is a difference between a franchise quarter back who will lead your team for over a decade and a top tier franchise qb nearing the end of his career with less then 5 yrs at the most left in the tank.