Monday, February 20, 2017

Sources Confirm Julius Thomas to Dolphins for Late Round Pick

    In confirmation of a story I wrote here three weeks ago, James Walker just wrote that sources report that the Dolphins will acquire Julius Thomas from the Jacksonville Jaguars.  I had expected Jacksonville to cut the out of favor Thomas, leading to the Dolphins signing him.  However, Jacksonville kept Thomas in order to gain some value for him in the move to Miami.

    This move makes almost too much sense.  Thomas reunites with the coach who made him great.  Gase fills a major hole without having to burn a high draft pick on a developmental player.  And the Dolphins offense picks up another potential probowler, albeit one who has had trouble staying healthy.

    If Thomas can return to something like the form he last experienced under Gase (65, 788, 12) the Dolphins will have significantly upgraded their offense for years to come.  Lets hope our coach knows what he's about- there is no reason to suspect otherwise.

    Finally, the Dolphins front office seems to be making sensible, timely choices that adhere to plain common sense.  And it pleases me to say, you heard it here first.

Jay Lopez

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Clickbait: 8 Offseason Moves and Changes the Dolphins Should Make.

Some shameless fodder for the offseason, brought to you by a football starved correspondent.  Enjoy!

1) Sign Julius Thomas.  See an earlier article to this effect, but Thomas will be cut by the Jaguars and will move into the free agent market this spring. When that happens, a reunion with Adam Gase and an upgrade from Blake Bortles to Ryan Tannehill will resurrect Thomas's career...  And save the Dolphins an early pick at a position of need.

2) Lock up Kenny Stills.  I'm still angry about the drop in Seattle, but I am also fully aware of what Stills does to coverage schemes.  Tannehill's above-average deep ball and scrambling ability make Stills a unique threat on our roster.  We need him to ensure that we don't waste any picks at WR again this season.  Our budget for receiver projects (Caroo, Parker) is already spent.  This must be a defensive draft.

3) Draft linebackers early and often.  We need mobility and toughness in the middle.  Until Atlanta imploded, they showed what a pursuit defense can do to New England and its crew of small but agile skill players.  Draft two or three LB's and get with the speed on defense movement.

4) Draft a physical corner who can jam at the line.  Our D line needs cover to earn its (inflated) pay, and physical, big DB's are at a premium in the wide nine system.

5) Anticipate expiring contracts and get extensions for key players (Landry, Jones) done right.  Send a message to the NFL that the new regime in Miami rewards gifted contributors with sound deals.  We need to reverse the perception that we are a tight-fisted, exploitative franchise that would rather bargain shop than protect its own.  I still miss Charles Clay- let's not do that again.

6) Move on from BA and let Tunsil move to guard.  I like Albert- when this line was healthy, we were terrific.  However, we need to get younger and healthier.  It may be time to free up some cap room on the offensive line so we can attract some free agent guards and a higher quality backup center.  Doing so would also allow us to distribute more money to skill positions and the defensive secondary.  The Dolphins have more money caught up in their O-line than most other teams in football.

 7)  Overhaul our scouting department.  We over draft players that can be had in later rounds and whiff too much with high picks.  We need depth; teams with no depth generally can't scout.

8) Maintain draft day discipline.  No more trading up for non-impact players (Caroo.) Lost picks hurt so much in the depth department and lead to a roster stocked with linebackers no one else was willing to draft.  Trade down, not up.  Know your targets and stop chasing the draft.

Share your thoughts- and let's hope some intern somewhere is reading and taking a note here or there.

Jay Lopez

Monday, February 13, 2017

Hard Rock Stadium nominated to become Stadium of the Year

From the site hosting the award...
Miami Dolphins’ reconstructed stadium is one of the candidates from 21 countries to become the next Stadium of the Year. 29 nominees are competing in the world’s largest vote.NFL’s Hard Rock Stadium is one of two American stadiums nominated to become Stadium of the Year 2016, along with U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Having been thoroughly reconstructed, the stadium was considered almost brand new and worthy of being listed among the best modern stadiums around the world, each of which was either opened or reopened in 2016.Now Hard Rock Stadium faces competition from 28 other sports venues from 20 countries, primarily in Europe. Majority of them are soccer-specific, representing some of the biggest teams worldwide, including England’s West Ham United or France’s Olympique Lyonnais. But, with over $500 million spent on redevelopment, Dolphins have one of the most impressive stadiums nominated for the title. So far the world’s largest stadium vote hasn’t been lucky for NFL stadia, MetLife Stadium finished 7th and Levi’s Stadium in distant 27th spot. However, NCAA’s Husky Stadium (3rd) and Kyle Field (5th) showed in previous editions that USA may eventually see its first Stadium of the Year. Maybe in the current, 7th edition?There are two ways of winning Stadium of the Year 2016. One is the Public Vote, in which everyone around the world can cast one vote. This means one vote from one device: mobile, laptop, PC, etc. In this vote victory depends on how excited fans are about their stadium, it’s simply a popularity contest and in the current edition already over 20,000 people have voted and the voting platform is open until March 4.The second way of winning the title is the Jury Vote, with a team of experienced stadium architects grading each nominee. Five specialists from different countries use their expertise to judge the 29 modern stadiums opened in 2016. This year’s Jurors are: Peters Bordas (BORD, Hungary), Przemek Kaczkowski (STOPROCENT Architekci, Poland), Mårten Leringe (C.F. Møller, Sweden), Robert Mankin (NBBJ, USA) and Andy Simons (KSS, England). Each vote will result in a separate Stadium of the Year title. Winners will be announced on March 6 (Jury Vote) and March 7 (Public Vote). Stadium of the Year is a non-commercial competition launched 7 years ago by Stadiony.net and StadiumDB.com, two websites specialized in football stadiums. It grew to become the largest open vote of its kind, in which everyone can take part.Vote here:
http://stadiumdb.com/news/2017/01/stadium_of_the_year_2016_join_the_global_vote

Friday, February 10, 2017

Off topic: spending on stadiums vs spending on schools

Every once in a while, I come across something that reminds us that we tax payers are just pawns in the stadium construction game.  We help fund the stadium, and then we turn around and pay to use it.  And often its at the expense of other things - that is, the money could be spent elsewhere. 

Here's an article from a group called FormSwift about the spending of Texas on its sports stadiums versus its spending on schools:

You might say it's a primer of sorts. Something to think about as we continue to support building of stadia. 

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Could D'Qwell Jackson Be the Stopgap Miami Needs at Linebacker?

    When the Indianapolis Colts released D'Qwell Jackson today, a potentially viable short-term solution presented itself to one of the Miami Dolphins' most glaring needs.  Jackson is old (34) and has a checkered past, but he is a football player of a very high order of magnitude.  He is a solo tackling machine and brings attitude, toughness, and physicality where he goes.
    He will likely have to settle for an incentive-based, team-friendly contract.  He will also be playing to prove he's not past his prime, which can be an excellent recipe for a one year rental.  Signing him would allow the Dolphins to shore up a position of weakness and enter the draft with fewer gaping holes, which might allow the team to draft an excellent player instead of taking what fills a gap.
    Free Agency is a great way to resolve short-term issues while preserving a draft for talent mentality.  I wonder if the Dolphins will seize an opportunity to improve the squad while incurring almost no risk?

Jay Lopez

Thursday, February 02, 2017

How about 7-11 Hogan

I remember When he was in our training camp and everybody kept talking about how he always got open or was always open.

So then roster cuts come around and he gets cut. I always wondered why if the kid was always open.

Whatever the reason, our coaches let him go rather than coach him up develop the kid who was always open.

Now he's going to the Superbowl with our worst enemy and nemesis the New England Patriots, now he is in position to burn us twice a year just like Welker did.

So thank God we have better coaches now and that's the last of the Philbin nightmares.

Hopefully our coaches can stop him from becoming Welker's second coming and get us over NE hump.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

On Moore and Tannehill

First on Tannehill:
Nearly seven weeks later, the dolphins still don't know about tannehill:
http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/nfl/miami-dolphins/article128721724.html

And with a 9 month recovery time, you're looking at the prospect of him missing 6+ weeks just to get back to health; much less not having any preseason, or actual game action until then.  So half the season is not unreasonable....time to draft another QB?

On Moore's concussion:
The NFL has issued this statement:

The NFL and NFLPA have reviewed the application of the Concussion Protocol by the Dolphins’ medical staff in the January 8th Steelers-Dolphins game. 

The Miami Dolphins were notified in a letter co-signed by Dr. Hunt Batjer, Co-Chair of the NFL Head, Neck & Spine Committee and Dr. Thom Mayer, Medical Director for the NFLPA, that the NFL-NFLPA review determined that the Protocol was not strictly followed. The letter further advised the Dolphins that they must engage their staff in a full review of the Protocol and conduct additional education, if necessary. The Dolphins were also advised that any future deviation from the Protocol may result in enhanced discipline, including monetary fines assessed against the Club. 

In the second quarter, Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore incurred a hit to the chin and mouth area which drew a roughing the passer penalty. Mr. Moore was attended to by medical staff on the field and on the sideline. The team doctor took appropriate steps to promptly and fully involve the Unaffiliated Neuro-trauma Consultant (UNC) in the medical evaluation of the player and review of the video. They jointly cleared Mr. Moore to return to the game, but did not recognize that Mr. Moore presented a documented symptom, bleeding from the mouth, that required further evaluation in the locker room under the protocol. There is no indication that competitive issues had an impact on the care that Mr. Moore received, nor did Mr. Moore demonstrate any concussion symptoms either during or at any time following the game.

It is important for us to ensure everyone understands and follows the Protocol and that we continue to reinforce its importance. The co-chairmen of the NFL’s Head, Neck and Spine Committee sent a memo to the medical staffs of the clubs participating in the playoffs reminding them of that point. 

The objective of the Concussion Protocol is to ensure a standardized process composed of best practices is used to identify and manage potential concussions. Concussion diagnosis and management is often a difficult and complex exercise, compounded by hectic game conditions. Accurate diagnosis and management of concussion requires a collaborative approach among experienced physicians on the sideline, each acutely aware of his or her responsibilities and all committed to the strict application of the protocol designed to protect players.