Wednesday, April 23, 2014

How's This For Our Schedule?

Tonight at 8 PM, the NFL Network will announce to the world this season's NFL schedule in an epic 3 hour special highlighting some big games and all the night games with special emphasis on their own Thursday Night schedule.

First of all, I would love to see the NFL give us back our September home games that kickoff at 1 PM so we can take advantage of our heat.  The previous two years we didn't have a home game that kicked off at 1 PM until mid-October.  If the Bears, Packers, Bills and any other team can be home in 10 degrees late in the season we should be able to be home with 95% humidity early in the season.

With that in mind, here is how I would set up our schedule since we cannot get St Thomas Aquinas on it.

Week 1 Sept 7:  Lets double whammy the Chargers in a home opener at 1 PM.  Not only will they wear about as dark a jersey as any team can wear but they will also have to deal with the West Coast Team in an early East Coast kickoff time slot. Our Record 1-0.

Week 2 Sept 14: Why wait around, I want them early as long as our O-Line is together and can protect Tannehill because he will have to play well at the Patriots at 1 PM.  Since we gotta go up there anyway, I want to go up to Boston before the leaves change colors and too much is on the line.
Our Record 1-1.

Week 3 Sept 21: J-E-T-S Suck, Suck, Suck at our place and take the negatives of losing the previous week out on these dirt bags. Oh, at 1 PM of course. Our Record 2-1.

Week 4 Sept 28: 'Ello Mates. Spot of tea? We are already set to play Oakland in London and its their home game. We should play well and come out with Our Record at 3-1.

Week 5 Oct 5: Bye week as the NFL has granted byes to teams the following week after a London game. Our Record 3-1.

Week 6 Oct 9: Lets come out of the bye with a Thursday Night game at Soldier Field. Why the Bears? First of all, I don't want to go to Soldier Field any later than mid-October and secondly the Thursday night game will shorten our bye week wait and lead into a great atmosphere against a tough but beatable team. Our Record 4-1.

Week 7 Oct 19: Since we played the following week on a Thursday, we actually pick up a few extra days for preparation. So who is left on our schedule that I think we could use some extra time to prepare for?  Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers are still sitting there. We would be better off using this extra time to actually beat Rodgers than to keep it close against Manning. So welcome to Miami, Green Bay. Glad to have you here again at 1 PM. Our Record 5-1.

Week 8 Oct 26: Speaking of Manning. Lets at least have it somewhat warm in Denver at 4 PM. Our Record 5-2.

Week 9 Nov 2: After a loss its time for some payback. We should have beat these guys last year and blew it. We bounce back by beating the Ravens at 1 PM. Our Record 6-2.

Week 10 Nov 9: We don't want to wait until December to go to Buffalo so lets plug them in here. Early enough to avoid some nasty weather and still get out with a hard fought "W". Our Record 7-2.

Week 11 Nov 17: Monday Night!!! This would actually be a great Monday Night Game in Miami by having the Chiefs roll in and then roll out with a loss. Our Record 8-2.

Week 12 Nov 23: Since they play in a Dome, this game could be moved to Week 15 as well but I like going to Detroit right here. Its the Sunday before Thanksgiving Day.  The Lions always host T-Day and it is a big deal for them so maybe we can catch them looking ahead. Our Record 9-2.

Week 13 Nov 30: All good things come to an end.  Time for our inevitable split and spoiler game with the Jets as they host us and pull out a late victory with a 4 PM kickoff. Our Record 9-3. (Jets 1-11)

Week 14 Dec 7: Back on track as we spank the Vikings at home at 1 PM. Our Record 10-3.

Week 15 Dec 14: Our last road trip is not too far at all. We roll up to Jacksonville at 1 PM. This is a good spot for this game as the weather shouldn't be a factor. Hopefully we don't get "trapped" because of next week. Our Record 11-3.

Week 16 Dec 21: We knew they were coming down here sooner or later. They always do. And this game winds up being for all the marbles at 8:20 on Sunday Night. At stake, the Division Championship and a Bye in the playoffs! Hello Brady. Fuck you Brady and the refs! Screwed again. Ha Ha! Only kidding. The fired up sellout crowd helps bring us our first bye week in the playoffs in who knows how long. Our Record 12-3.

Week 17 Dec 28: Nothing to gain as Denver has locked up the 1 Seed. We are locked into the 2 Seed so we rest our starters in the second half at home and Matt Moore almost pulls it out with a late drive down to the Buffalo 6 yard line. But with timing running out, he cannot spike the ball in time and we walk off to the cheers of a standing ovation anyway. Our Record 12-4.

See how easy this is. If the NFL would just listen to me. No late cold weather games and only 1 PM kickoffs at home in September.

Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971
Carldleone@aol.com

Non football hires

The dolphins announced a couple pf hires yesterday. They announced a new director of security who used to be an FBI agent. While it's not all that odd, it just seems weird, like they need to investigate more or something.

Then they hired a new person in charge of human resources who used to hold a similar position at toys r us. I guess that makes sense since they're a bunch of highly paid children.

And finally, they hired a human resources liaison to work in the locker room. He'll be the hall monitor, and really this position was completely expected in light of the bullying deal.

And while none of these positions are unusual or surprising, together they feel more corporate; this is not a "football team" but rather a company that provides entertainment. And has a corporate structure.

Welcome to the 21st century.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Football (European style) is odd

There are a lot of reasons to think this. But strangest of all is that one team is sponsored by a sports book!

Right there, emblazoned on the jersey of stoke city is an ad for a gambling site.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

The Return of Respectability to the Miami Doplhins


When I was growing up one thing my father always wanted to impress on me was the value of being respected. When you shake someone’s hand and look them in the eye do you have their respect?  I can’t help but be reminded of that in watching the early stages of Dennis Hickey and Joe Philbin this offseason. It used to be we would often get free agent visits in the past but it was hit or miss if they would sign with the Dolphins.  I think this had a lot to do with Jeff Ireland’s personality.   His style was very iron fisted.  I think some free agents in the past were brought in to simply pressure current players to re-sign. Or the players making the visit simply did not feel like Jeff Ireland was genuine and chose to sign other places.  This point is true in almost any facet of life you are in. Would you take a job for $5000 more per year with a boss that had a reputation of being a jerk? Or would you make $5000 less to work for a boss you respected? The players signing in recent weeks are not signing massive contracts. They are signing reasonable 1 year “prove it” deals.  I feel this is because they WANT to play for the Dolphins.  Why the sudden shift in practically every free agent that has visited Miami has decided to sign and play here?  I think the obvious change is the departure of Jeff Ireland and arrival of Dennis Hickey.  As I watch one player after another join the team they have one thing in common.  They want to prove they can succeed in this league.  This suddenly is a team full of hungry players desperate to prove they can or still can succeed in this league. Will this translate into wins? Only time will tell. However, I already think you can count on one thing. The Dolphins are going to have several players on the field at a career crossroads, ready to fight for their very futures in the league come Sunday.  Playing for a coach and GM they respect. Get ready Miami fans, games in South Florida are about to become a physical fight to the death style of game.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Hickey Building Depth And Covering His Bases Just Incase...

Every draft pundit on the globe has the Miami Dolphins drafting a right tackle in the first round of April's NFL Draft. But one never knows for sure.

Does one?

There are too many variables. Teams do trade up and beat you to the punch or there can be an early run on tackles leaving nothing in the cupboard when we finally get around to # 19.

Or there is someone left there staring you right in the face that you never thought could possibly fall all the way down to you and oh, its so tempting, maybe I shouldn't, oh, what the hell, lets skip conventional wisdom and take this absolute stud at another position!

Like I said, variables. The only guarantee in the NFL draft is that there are no guarantees after Pick #1. And we have been there before.

So what does Dennis Hickey do? He realizes that the higher the number you are assigned in the draft, your chances of getting exactly whom you want decline proportionately.

Everyone would love to see us be able to trade back and pick up a couple extra picks in this year's draft that is loaded with such a ridiculously deep pool of talent AND still get a starting right tackle.

But since this is the real NFL Draft and not your fantasy draft, lets assume the tackle is there. So we grab him.

What if he isn't? Then what?

The signing of Jason Fox answers the question to that very scenario.

Is Fox an All Pro tackle? No.

Expected to be? No.

Can he start and play? Yes.

Is he an upgrade over what we had last year? 58 Sacks say that anyone who can fit into a Miami Dolphin helmet is an upgrade.

So just incase our man isn't there at 19, we should still be OK. Not great at RT but OK.

And at the very least, we should have a significant improvement in depth on the OL.

Just incase.

Phins Up!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971
Carldleone@aol.com

Monday, March 31, 2014

Miami Dolphins Press Release - Expanded Finsiders Show To Debut This Afternoon At 4 p.m


 

Expanded Finsiders Show To Debut This Afternoon At 4 p.m

 

Miami, FL – Starting this afternoon, an expanded version of the "The Finsiders" multimedia show will debut at 4 p.m. as the show will now air every weekday for three hours from 4-7 p.m. The Finsiders, the Miami Dolphins' multi-media show, originates from the Doctors Hospital Training Facility.

 

"Our goal is to provide our fans with expanded inside access to Dolphins related content," said Claudia Lezcano, the team's Chief Marketing Officer. "The additional hour will give us the opportunity to increase our coverage of the rest of the NFL and all South Florida sports."

 

The show can be heard live in its entirety on the radio on 940 WINZ-AM (Miami/Fort Lauderdale) along with streaming online at Dolphins.com and from 5-6 p.m. on 1230 WBZT-AM (West Palm Beach). The show's second hour (5-6 p.m.) can be watched live in high definition on Fox Sports Florida. Visit FOXSportsFlorida.com for channel listings.

 

Greg Likens joins the Dolphins as the new host of The Finsiders starting on Monday, April 14. He will join several prominent alumni members on the show, which features in-studio interviews with Head Coach Joe Philbin and key Dolphins players. The highly interactive show breaks down the latest Dolphins, NFL and sports news. The show also features the opinions of Dolphins fans from around the world. Fans can call the show at 1-8-555-GO-FINS; text their questions and comments to 347347; participate in the show's live chat hosted by Tristin Jones, which is the place for fans and the on-air personalities to discuss the day's topics; and reach out to the host and analysts on Twitter.

 

--DOLPHINS--


Awesome

I was listening to Frank Deforest's show this morning. He referred to the dolphins coach as "Captain Charisma"

That is freakin awesome! That name should stick!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

"Being Dennis Hickey"....Not The Movie But Your Own Mock Draft

For the past 10 days, I have been playing around on the website First-Pick.com and I must forewarn you that it is very addictive. It takes a good hour or so to get through a 7 round draft. A little longer at first as you will spend more time learning about the players who are available.

How it works: You sign up on their free site.
Click on the purple PLAY NFL DRAFT GAME 2014
Then chose NEW DRAFT
Next you pick a team so hit the scroll down arrow next to Arizona and select Miami Dolphins THEN click on SELECT TEAM
You will now be thrust into your own little War Room for the draft

Moving Through the draft:
You can chose to move one pick at a time by clicking on Continue, or the next five picks or the ever present why screw around all day and go directly to your next pick
When you finish your last pick THEN click on Finish Draft otherwise you won't get a score for Draft Ability, Player Value and Future Draft Picks

The Screen will highlight 3 positions of need and BEST AVAILABLE VALUE so you can click on a position, highlighted or not, to see available players at that position and what DAY in the draft this website predicts them to go in. If you click on a players name you will be directed either to a Pre-Combine review of the player or a google page with other choices.
Keep in mind that this site's player rankings differ from Mayock's or Davis' or Kiper's rankings and predictions of where they should be picked so the grade you get here is based on this website's values for players. Some players are viewed here to be picked a lot earlier or later than the talking head NFL draft gurus. Also, I am not sure when they updated our needs since we signed Knowshon Moreno and RB gets highlighted fairly early in the draft. So decide if you want to draft based on their score or your own.

Trading Picks:
UP: You can trade up by clicking on Propose Trade. When you offer a trade keep in mind that there is no negotiating and you have no idea if another team is offering a trade as well. You can chose what picks that you have including 1st Rounders for 2015 and 2016 as bait and click the Propose Trade

DOWN: Each time your pick comes up you should see some trade offers listed from other teams until you get into the later rounds. They are listed by best value from top to bottom but not all trades are alike. Some are only moving back a couple spots while others into another round. You cannot propose your own trade downs to other teams, either accept one of theirs or make your pick. I trade down quite a bit.

As you play the game a few times and begin to understand the players, you will see what rounds these guys should go in and when they will or should be available. You can snoop around before having to pick a player or accept a trade offer as there is no CLOCK ticking for your picks.

In the upper right hand corner they list the last five picks so you can see who you just missed out on.

After each of your picks you will get a Grade for that pick which is based on a combination of THEIR Players Value and THEIR suggestion for your needs. So if you Draft according to THEIR PLAYER VALUES and THEIR HIGHLIGHTED POSITIONS you can grade higher. I think you will wind up like me and not give a rat's ass what they think and just try to get what you believe we need and see how it goes.

Now you may not be destined for a front office job but you will be destined for your favorite guy going right before your pick so get ready for it. 

When you finish, you can see your Grades and how you ranked as a Dolphins GM and how you graded out against the other NFL teams in the draft you just completed. You are drafting against a computer so the picks can go fast if you want them to.

Below is my best draft according to their grades when I earned a 4544 prior to us signing Knowshon Moreno. The highest score listed for a Dolphins GM was from last week and "brandies" scored a 6407 so he probably has a better shot at working for Dennis Hickey than I do. Hell, for all we know, that could have been Hickey.

For now, fantasy will just have to suffice!

Phins Up!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971
Carldleone@aol.com

Round One Pick 19: Notre Dame OT Zack Martin  Grade A (in this draft he was remarkably still available but in 90% of them he is gone leaving us with choices of ILB Mosley, TE Ebron, FS Pryor, CB Fuller depending on how that draft is going)

I was offered 3 different trade options but if Martin is there at 19, we absolutely have to grab him to play right tackle

Round Two Pick 18: There are plenty of value picks here but none directly connected to our immediate needs so I traded our Pick to Houston for their 3rd Round Picks #1 and #12 and 4th Round #1. I then traded a few more times with these picks. Usually down one or two picks to pick up one other pick later when two or three guys were sitting there that I may have liked so I figured I would at least get one of them plus a later pick.

Round Three Pick 1: Tennessee OT Antonio Richardson with the plan to move him to play guard instead. Grade A-

Round Three Pick 12: Washington SS Deone Bucannon   Grade A

Round Three Pick 17: Penn State DT DaQuan Jones  Grade A

Round Four Pick 3: West Virginia RB Charles Sims  Grade A

Round Four Pick 11: Southern Cal FS Dion Bailey  Grade B+

Round Four Pick 16: LSU RB Jeremy Hill  Grade A

Round 5 Pick 18: Rutgers WR Brandon Coleman  Grade A

Round 5 Pick 25: Wisconsin OG Ryan Groy  Grade D-

Round 6 Pick 32: Oklahoma CB Aaron Colvin  Grade C

Round 7 Pick 19: Fresno State TE Marcel Jensen  Grade B-

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Don Shula's Coaching Tree

 
I was watching the NFL Network's special about the Pittsburg Steelers last night and they showed Chuck Noll on the sidelines working for Don Shula's Colts team during Super Bowl III.
 
I decided to google Shula's coaching tree and this is what I found on coachingroots.com. Hopefully you find this as interesting as I did.  
 
Its a long list with plenty of familiar names, former and current head coaches who were great assistants.
 
Enjoy and Phins Up!!!
 
Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971
 
Don Shula Coaching Tree
Don Shula is a member of the following coaching trees:

What is a coaching tree?
A coaching tree is a graphical depiction of the former assistant coaches of a certain head coach that then went on and became head coaches. The tree also shows the next generations of head coaches at each layer.
In the above Don Shula coaching tree, only the coaches named directly below Don Shula are the head coaches that were former assistants of Don Shula.
Coaching trees can be useful to track the philosophical influence of a particular coach as well as tracing the "lineage" of a coach back to various other coaches. Recently in the NFL, all 32 head coaches could be traced back to three prominent head coaches: Bill Walsh, Bill Parcells and Marty Schottenheimer.