Monday, December 31, 2012

All in all a good season

Well the 2012 NFL regular season has concluded and like most seasons over the past 10 years the Dolphins have not qualified for the playoffs. It feels like just yesterday hard knocks was on and all the drama that it carried. David Garrard was supposedly going to be the starting QB throwing to Chad Johnson. Tannehill wasn't even mentioned as a possibility when training camp started. Fast forward to the last day of December and Tannehill has started all 16 games and has led this ball club to a 7-9 record.

This season has given Dolphin fans some hope for next year. We have been able to defeat a couple of playoff teams this year in the Bengals and Seahawks and have played tough against most teams. The Dolphins have close to $47 million to use on free agents and the draft and with a young roster there should be a lot of improvements next season. However there is still a lot of ground to gain to catch up to the patriots as evidence from the 28 point shutout they handed us yesterday. The number one need for this team is a wide receiver and maybe even two. I believe the Dolphins would be wise if they were to sign one and then use one of their first two picks on a wide out.  I also believe they need another CB opposite of Sean Smith. If Long does leave we need to spend some picks on the offensive line as well. Fasano is a good blocking TE but in a league where TEs have played a bigger role in the passing game we need to get a pass catching TE if the coaching staff feels that neither Clay or Egnew will pan out. Reports are Ireland is safe for this year so it is his job now to bring in talent to this team.

Playoff thoughts...and QBs

I couldn't help but notice something about the 12 playoff teams:
* 3 have rookie QBs.
* 3 have first ballot hall of famers
* 3 have second year starters
* There's a good QB in Houston
* and of course the other two are Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco who were available when Miami selected Jake Long.

Let it sink in.  6 (or half!) of the QBs who led their teams to the playoffs are rookies or are in the second year.

Miami has a rookie who was "okay" maybe even "good" but he didn't change the team they way these other 6 did.  And when you look and see he had an absolutely lousy 12 TDs (ie, less then one per game, un-freakin-believable, and ties the record for a starting QB for futility).  And he threw 13 picks.

Chad Henne did about the same in his first year starting here - and people are saying Tannehill is better?  Maybe he has more upside and potential, but numbers are what they are...

Dave Hyde made a comment to the effect of 'if Tannehill were coming out of college this year, he would probably be the top prospect'....I'm not buying that, and neither should you.  Matt Barkley and Landry Jones were "top prospects" last year who returned to school and now nobody has them high on their wishlists.   The fact is, you can't know how Tannehill would have performed in college - especially with Johnny Football on the bench behind him.  Get *that* guy on the field, and bench Tannehill might have been the theme all year.

You can argue he doesn't have the talent around him, but don't great QBs elevate the play of those around them?  I'm going to repeat something I said earlier in the season: Tannehill is not the long-term answer in Miami, and will be another in a line of QBs who never made a significant impact in the NFL.

But thank you, Jeff Ireland, for at least trying this year.  Now get back to it, and find the next guy...