Saturday, January 14, 2012

Coaching carousel

What's up fans?  Thanks for letting me post, Dave!

I'd like to talk about coaching the Dolphins.  I've always heard that coaching accounts for 10% of what happens on the field.  So in a way, why all the talk about who's "right" to coach the Fins?  What's important is that he can motivate the team and that he has a rapport with his boss.  So, if Mr. Ross finds someone he's comfortable with, that's really all that matters.

But the problem here is the way this franchise is perceived.  Ross made an overture to Harbaugh last offseason, and then kept Sparano saying "he's our guy."  Then with 3 games left, he said "he's not our guy" and "we want to have time to get the right guy.  We'll start today"  Later he said he wanted "a big name" and later it was that he wanted "a young Don Shula."  And at still another point he said after the season he'd be making a big splash to get the fans excited.  Most of these statements clash with one another, so maybe he didn't have a direction?

5 coaches got fired, including all 3 in Florida.  Then, a 6th was let go, and its still possible that others might, too.  Two coaches have been hired.  And in Miami?  Its just weird.  Ross kept Jeff Ireland, and then started two coaching searches - one that included Ireland and one that didn't. 

By most accounts, there were 4 big-name coaches.  They reached out to Cowher, and he declined to be interviewed.  Carl Peterson had dinner with John Gruden and asked what it would take for him to coach, and he likewise spurned Miami.  And then there was this little thing over a 10-day span with Jeff Fisher. 

I think it was obvious Fisher was not coming to Miami.  I have no idea why he took so long to say anything, but ultimately he said no because he wanted personnel control.  So, Jeff Ireland squashed that one.  In many ways, its fine.  He only had 6 winning seasons, and if all Ross did was pile money in front of him then he might come here for the wrong reasons, and be the next Nick or Parcells.

And the 4th is Brian Billick.  Armando at the Herald wrote a story about why Billick was never talked to, and in a nutshell Ross was trying to buy the fins in '07 when the Dolphins were winless.  Billick played it safe and went to OT, and the Fins won.  H Wayne told Ross that the price just went up $40 million because the Fins won.  Ross walked away at that point (later to be talked back into it).  And when Billick and Ross met after the ownership changed hands, Ross said to Billick "you owe me $40 million" which Billick thought was funny.  Only Ross appears to have held a grudge. this point, I really hope they find a young up-and-comer.  Someone who's hungry and wants to win.  There are some intriguing names on the market, but the fins haven't talked with any of them - at least yet.  And for the most part, the guys they've talked with haven't had many other interviews, so they're not the "hot names"...

And meanwhile, you see that Nick is probably the best coach in college, and many of the guys Miami interviewed the last two times they had openings are having success elsewhere. 

So here's to hoping they find the right guy.  The next Shula.  Someone who can put together some victories and get along with Ireland, because like it or not, he's here to stay.  I just hope that the success he had last year was actually success and not a mirage....

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

And the Jets new Offensive Coordinator is: Tony Sparano

Its official the jets are going to win the Superbowl, just ask rex in a couple of weeks. My initial reaction when this story broke was laughter, not a single worry that the offense the jets will run will be dangerous. I guess now the jets will draft an O-line man (or kicker) with the 1st round pick and during the season have drives that consist of a 2 yard run, 3 yard run and then 2 yard completion and punt and tons of Fist Pumping after FGs. I wonder how many other Dolphins fans are laughing at this. Enjoy another year of boring offense j-e-t-s fans.

Also in other news apparently the Dolphins are really close to signing Jeff Fisher, a couple of days after it was a sure thing that the Rams would get him. I am going to take a wait and see approach, but i wouldn't mind getting Fisher at all, plus the Dolphins have good pieces to run a 4-3, which Fisher ran in Tennessee.

BTW, I know who my fantasy kicker is going to be.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Why the Dolphins aren’t that far away from a contender!

When examining the Miami Dolphins, the words playoff contender don’t really go together.  It might seem that the Dolphins are so far off the mark in making the playoffs that they could almost be written off for years to come.  Not true!  When you look at the Dolphins season there a few key aspects that can be examined to explain why they had a 6-10 record.  In fact after researching the Dolphins season I truly believe with better execution in certain areas and the right off season moves, the Dolphins can make themselves a contender!
The Miami Dolphins running game was good this past season.  They were ranked 11th in offensive rushing yards per game with 124.2 yds.  There defense was excellent against the run.  They ranked 5th in run defense with 93.2 yards a game against them and the four other teams are in the playoffs. They are: the 49ers, Ravens, Falcons and Texans in their respective order.  So you might say the defense is where it needs to be against the run to contend.  The first thing you must do in the NFL or any level of football is to stop the run.
So if the Dolphins are good against the run and are adequate against the pass (they are ranked 24th) then why aren’t they better by record?  There are a few reasons.  One they fumbled on offense a league high 13 times.  You can’t win if you give the other team the ball.  Secondly the Dolphins gain a decent amount of yardage in a game but only seem to score a minimal amount of touchdowns.  The Dolphins scored 33 touchdowns and kicked 33 field goals this season.  The 33 field goals ranked second in the league but the 33 touchdowns is near the bottom.  To put that in perspective the Colts scored 24 touchdowns.  Pressure is another concern.  The Dolphins recorded 41 sacks this past season which is good however, they let up 51 sacks, not so good.  The protection of the quarterback needs to be improved. 
Let’s examine the results of some close games the Dolphins were in and lost. Specifically let’s look at the playoff teams they lost to.   Two games vs. New England:  Lost 38-24 week 1 and lost 27-24 week 16.  Lost to Houston 23-13, Lost to Denver 18-15, lost to the Giants 20-17.  Pretty close games against the league’s elite.  One Key loses was to Cleveland 17-16.  That is a combined total of 38 points.  If the Dolphins win half of those games they could be fight for a playoff spot if not the division. 
Now in the offseason what should be done?  I have a few ideas although they may be a little wild.  The Dolphins have the 8th or 9th pick depending on the coin flip.  Let’s say the Dolphins win the flip and have the 8th pick.  The Dolphins could trade the 8th pick to the Green Bay Packers for Matt Flynn.  Is this possible, maybe not but the Packers have one of the worst passing defenses in the league and two of the  best defensive backs on the board are Morris Claiborne of LSU and Dre Kirkpatrick from Alabama.  Neither will be there when the Packers choose.  Another good pick for the Packers would be a top defensive lineman and the best on the board is Quinton Coples from UNC.  Now the Dolphins could use another running back to complement Reggie Bush.  Ahmad Bradshaw could be interested in Miami due to the fact that he works out there.  Could the combination of a different quarterback and additional running back with a contrasting style put the Dolphins over the edge?  Only time will tell.
Rich Kolka is a blog contributor for Gold Star Games, a leading tailgate gear supplier.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Thats the feeling we need to experience

Wouldn't that have been great if the Dolphins were involved in the game the Broncos just had?

As you already know the Dolphins this season has been a really boring team and at some points during the season I, like most of
you, had complete apathy for whatever the Dolphins did. This fan base needs to experience what the Broncos' fans just felt right now. Its been a while since this team has won a playoff game. Sure the 08 season was special and exciting but we weren't able to win the playoff game. I would love to see a player like RG3 (or maybe someone like Flynn or Moore if he could develop more next season) in a Dolphins uniform and bring an exciting style of football here and ultimately deliver this franchise a playoff win and ultimately a Superbowl win.

Also how can you not root for Tebow? He is one of the most exciting players to watch and is a model citizen. Maybe if you didn't root for him today, I hope that you do to beat Brady. Also how fitting that Tebow threw for 316 yards. If your religious you will understand.