Dolphins’ fans could use a little dose of optimism these days. Negatively gets old quickly, especially when it’s irrational. How else would you describe some fans embarrassingly booing Chad Henne in his fourth practice with a new offense? That’s right, fourth practice. Not fourth game.
Truth be told, those boos and “we want Orton” chants are just the tip of the iceberg. Take a browse around the twitterverse and you’re sure to find the negativity mounting up. If it’s not Henne bashing, it’s poking fun at this regime and their sure fire last season in Miami.
And then we have the pessimistic extremists; those who feel the Dolphins should “suck for Luck,” suggesting that a football team should actually go about purposely losing in order to attain the number one overall pick that will be used to select Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. Plenty of adjectives could be used to accurately describe those “fans,” but to make a long story short, the lockout should still be in full effect for them. They shouldn’t be allowed to watch football this season.
When I see all of this, though, I can’t help but think what a shame it is for so many to be so quick to give up on a football team potentially destined for great things on the defensive side of the ball. And when I say great things, I mean Mike Nolan’s unit could actually be a top three defense, if not the very best defense in all of football.
Nothing is a given, of course. Koa Misi possibly taking a step in the wrong direction and neither Reshad Jones or Chris Clemons emerging are two potential stumbling blocks. Truly elite defenses also create turnovers, something the Dolphins didn’t do much of in 2010.
But we’re talking about a defense that is stacked with Pro Bowl caliber talent at every position besides free safety and strongside outside linebacker- two positions certainly not void of the potential to eventually become that.
A dominant defensive line that should abruptly halt running attacks before they even begin? Check. A premiere pass rusher? Check (Cameron Wake). A playmaking pair of inside linebackers? Check (Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett). A young, promising lockdown cornerback tandem? Check (Sean Smith and Vontae Davis). A tackling machine roaming the box at the strong safety? Check (Yeremiah Bell).
The only two proven positions along the offensive line, a unit still in so much flux despite this being Sparano’s fourth season after once being considering one of the top O-line coaches in football, have suddenly been hit with turmoil.
Jake Long, the best tackle in the business, is on the PUP list and is no guarantee to be healthy in time for Week 1. Meanwhile, the solid Vernon Carey wasn’t even on the practice field last night, leading the way for Ray Feinga, a 336-pound guard who was nothing more than practice squad caliber in 2010, to man the position with the first team.
I think it’s safe to say, if the Dolphins had to take the field right now, Chad Henne wouldn’t stand a chance. The Dolphins turned to free agency to answer some of these questions on Monday morning, but inking one of the worst starting tackles in the league statistically speaking from a year ago in Marc Colombo isn’t going to magically resolve anything.
Tony Sparano shed some light onto the status of both Big Jake and Carey to the Armando and the Amigo show this morning. In response to whether or not Long will be ready for the opener against the Patriots, Sparano said "I can't say 100 percent right now but that's been the plan and right now the plan is going according to script. If the plan continues we would see him actually on the field a little before that. I don't know how this is going to go but the most important thing is we have him there for New England and that was the goal from Day 1."
What a night at Sun Life Stadium. The Dolphins were in full pads Monday night in front of over 10,000 fans for a scrimmage-like practice under the lights.
Several key players are still being forced to sit out until Thursday due to the new CBA, Brian Daboll’s offense is far from being installed, and the offensive line is in complete chaos.
So, needless to say, these opening practices are far from pretty. Things turned downright ugly when Chad Henne began to struggle…
Fans boo Henne, chant “We want Orton”
Chad Henne is three practices in on the season. He’s running a new offense he’s seeing for the first time. His All-Pro left tackle is on the PUP list. His solid right tackle, Vernon Carey, wasn’t even at the stadium. And the defense is usually miles ahead of the offense this early on, especially an elite defense compared to what was a bottom feeder offense a year ago. Give the guy a break.
Fans booing Chad Henne, the starting quarterback whether you like it or not, the guy who holds the fate of the 2011 season in his hands, is pathetic. I’m not calling out all of the fans that were at Sun Life Stadium Monday night, as I’m sure it was a select few that booed and chanted for Orton. But to those select few, do us all a favor and jump on the bandwagon of a different NFL team.
The Dolphins need fans that back their starting quarterback. Maybe there is a time where booing is justified. Perhaps, a multiple interception game in the middle of an underwhelming season would be understandable. But the fourth practice of the year? Are you kidding me? To quote Allen Iverson, "We talkin' about practice."
This little fiasco caught national news late Monday night, by the way. Congratulations to those fans that started this nonsense, you’re now an embarrassment nation-wide.
What is going on with the offensive line?
Another shocker under the lights at Sun Life was the absence of Vernon Carey. What did the first-team O-line look like without its two benchmark tackles? Ray Feinga at right tackle, John Jerry at right guard, Mike Pouncey at center, Richie Incognito at left guard, and Matt Kopa at left tackle. Talk about a mess.
To Boo or not to Boo? That is the question. Well the question comes with a very easy answer.
Under no circumstance should any Dolphins' fan be booing Chad Henne. He is our starting QB, and whether you like it or not, the success of this team will revolve around him. At the Sun Life Stadium scrimmage, which over 10 thousand fans attended, Phins fans booed Henne after each mistake he made. Fans got impatient and started to chant “We Want Orton."
Most of you probably are not Hockey fans but being Canadian, I of course am. The Montreal Canadiens fans booed goalie Carey Price in the preseason and he responded with an MVP type year. Lets hope Henne can do the same!
I urge all of the fans to get behind Henne. He is our QB. If the Dolphins bring in Orton as a result of this then wonderful, but as of now, Henne is our guy. So get behind him please!
Lets just be grateful we all aren't Raiders fans!
It’s only right. One of the greatest players in franchise history couldn’t have went out a Jet. That right, Jason Taylor has agreed to come back home, announcing on his Facebook page that he’ll once again be a Miami Dolphin.
Not only does this put a smile on the faces of the fans who loved JT and can now openly embrace him as a Dolphin once again, this makes plenty of sense on the football field too. Yes, even at 36 years old.
The Dolphins are poised for great things on the defensive side of the ball, but a second pass rusher to take some of the pressure off of Cameron Wake on passing situations would be a welcomed luxury. Jason Taylor, even an old Jason Taylor, instantly becomes the second best pass rusher on this roster.
And this isn’t an indictment on Koa Misi, either. Misi figures to be a fine early down player for the Dolphins. He’s a high motor guy that began to set the edge adequately as a rookie. But he’s not a true pass rusher. JT is, and at this stage of his career, getting plugged in for situational purposes is the best case scenario for the future Hall of Famer.
Bottom line, everyone is a winner with this move. Jason Taylor comes home and restores his legacy, the Dolphins get a needed pass rusher, and the fans get one of their heroes back. Welcome home JT!
The Dallas pipeline just keeps pumping out signings for the Dolphins. This regime has once again turned to one of their former Cowboys, coming to terms with tackle Marc Colombo.
Colombo has been the Cowboys’ starting right tackle since 2006. It’s not immediately known if he’s been added to the mix to compete with Vernon Carey or possibly to move to the left side while Jake Long is on the PUP list.
Sparano weighed in to the media a short while ago, saying “He's big, tough, smart. Started about 72 games down there. My vision for him is see where we are in the tackle mix.”
While Colombo certainly adds experience and could potentially save the Dolphins some cash if Vernon Carey now becomes expendable, he’s 32 years old and was rumored to be slipping some a year ago.
With Shaun O’Hara visiting the Dolphins today, and expected to sign by many, Ireland is clearly going with a short-term patch work approach to solve this line’s deficiencies.
The preferred way to build an offensive line, in my opinion, is through the draft or at least free agents with a bright horizon. This type of move doesn’t bode well for the future, but I guess it’s easy to see why Sparano and Ireland are focusing so much on the present considering their jobs are on the line.
Are you a Madden junkie?? If so, which let's face it, you probably are, this is how the Madden ratings look for the Dolphins' roster this year.
Jake Long is the Highest Ranked player at 97 overall
Brandon Marshall is the 2nd Highest Ranked player at 92 overall