Saturday, August 24, 2013

Have Breakfast With The Dolphins Sunday

When I was growing up in New Jersey, I would ask my Mom "What's for breakfast?"  And sometimes she would answer "Whatever you make."

Well those same rules apply tomorrow morning as you get to make breakfast, whether it be your favorite dish or just something fast and easy as you have a rare opportunity to share a Sunday morning with your beloved Dolphins!

The NFL Network will be replaying tonight's game against Tampa Bay tomorrow morning starting at 7 AM EST.

So roll out of bed or set your DVRs and sleep in.  Either way, you won't miss a play unless you smell something burning in the kitchen.

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

Friday, August 23, 2013

Dolphins v Buccaneers - Predictions

Predictions:

  1. Miami will play well on Defense - Starters will give up no more than 10 points in 2.5 Quarters
  2. Miami Defense backups will give up no more than 1 TD.
  3. Miami Offense will start faster than in first 3 games - They will score 24 points in 2.5 Quarters
  4. Miami running backs will rush for over 125 yards as a group.
  5. Miami Offense will surpass 375 Total Yards
  6. Miami Receivers will score twice.  The TEs will catch 7 balls.
  7. Miami will be +1 in the turnover differential
The Final Score will be 31-17 Miami.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Depth Issues - The Dolphins need the backup LBs to step-up this week.

I will agree with some of the talking heads at WQAM, Sun Sentinel, and the NFL Network.  Our last few years' LB draft-picks have yet to perform as expected.

I am surprised Jenkins from UF isn't more effective.  So far, he seems to be out of position often.  Spitler is the exact same.  He is okay at best as a LB, plays well on ST.  I don't want to go down the list of possible backup LBs.

However, I expected them to play better - as a group.  Is this coaching?  Or, is this Ireland not picking LBs well enough?  Misi is pretty good - and gets better every year.  I like that.   We need some of the other guys to step up and be more effective.

I fear we will be scouring the waiver wire for Tight Ends, Offensive Lineman, Linebackers, and Defensive Backs.   For a team that I felt was relatively deep prior to the season, it looks less and less so.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Goodell Slaps Smith's Wrist!

3 games. 2 of which are in the preseason.

That's the length of Houston Texans' Antonio Smith's suspension for ripping the helmet off of Rich Incognito and swinging it at his head. Luckily, Rich turned his head just in time or he could have suffered a broken jaw or worse.

Now, Incognito is no choir boy in this instance. It is clear in the video that he has his hand in Smith's face and then palm butts Smith in the neck just prior to Smith's retaliation.

But Smith has gone way beyond any acceptable response.  If he would have punched Incognito in the neck, I would understand that. If he would have wrestled Incognito to the ground and both of them went at it, I could accept that too.

But to use the opponent's head protection as a weapon requires more than just a 1 game suspension.

 Let's face it, Smith would have had only played a half of next week's preseason game. And would not have even seen the field for the following and final preseason game.

So what this unwarranted violent act's penalty amounts to is a suspension of one half of a preseason game and the season opener.

Smith should have been suspended for at least 3 games in the regular season. He could have killed Incognito!

If you or I tried that on the street we would not be looking at 21 days in the clink. Probably at least 6 months!

Has Goodell gotten tired of fighting with the Player's Union and their representatives and taken the path of least resistance by coming down with such a small penalty for what could be attempted murder on Ocean Blvd.

Goodell blew this one and big. He had an opportunity to truly stand up for player safety and his so called "Heads Up" program but instead he decided to stick his in the sand.

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

The TE Solution

I saw this done in College and in High School all the time.  I am surprised that I am the first to suggest this:

Let's get one of the young athletic DT or DE that we will probably have to cut anyway and risk losing before we stash them on the practice squad and turn them into a TE for the season.  Special Teams/TE and DT in a pinch.    The beauty is that they already know the playbook (in a way).  They played against one of the best in the business, Dustin Keller.   Maybe one or two of them picked up a few of his moves. I know I'm reaching :)

1. AJ Francis - this kid can play football.
2. Kheeston Randall - very athletic
3. Derrick Shelby - a beast
4. ETC...


Or, even OT Jeff Adams, the 6-7 kid out of Kentucky.   He probably has good hands - He played HS basketball.   Might be a touch slow in the 40 though...


Actually, JO Jared Odrick, big number 98 would be an awesome TE.   He has the size of a Lineman and the quickness of a DE.  I think he can catch too.

Find the fleetest of foot, most flexible guy with hands out of the group above and see if he can pick-up the nuances of TE.  At least let some of the younger coaches try.  We might be able to stash a promising DL player who might otherwise get poached. 

Egnew, Clay, and Sims in that order.... if we don't trade for a veteran

I think Phins Nation looks at the TE position through puke-green colored classes.   I actually like Egnew, Clay and Sims.  Each brings that little something different.   Ideally we would wrap the strengths of all of these guys into one Mega-TE to create the perfect Tight End.

Officially it is Clay to be the starter per Mike Sherman, our Offensive Coordinator. 

"You’d have to give the nod to Clay as the starter,” Sherman said. “He’ll play in a bunch of different packages. He’ll play in the backfield as well as on the line of scrimmage. He’ll play split out. He’ll do a lot of different things for us and he’s more than capable.” 

For some reason and based on all of the posturing by coaches and players, I believe Egnew will be the Week 1 starter when this thing shakes out.   At the very least, they will be in a number of 2 TE sets Egnew/Clay and Egnew/Sims near the goal line.   I think I have even seen a 3 TE set for the goal line.

If Sims was a more consistent receiver, he would be the starter.  He truly is a presence out there.  However, he will need to learn to play a tad faster, and get a little more flexible turning around to find the ball.  I think his "stone hands" have more to do with the fact he has no time to react to the approaching ball because his head takes too long to get around.   

Mark Malatesta (a true die-hard phins fan from way back), a good friend of mine said that Egnew cowers when he catches the ball down the middle.  I looked for that in the last game, but I could not see it.   If anyone else feels Egnew plays "scared," let me know where I can find some video to confirm that.  He has looked very good so far to me.   His blocking has been outstanding.   He has caught the ball well.  And, he looks bigger, stronger and faster than last year.

Clay is a tweener.  I love this guy.  He has the best hands of the bunch, but unfortunately makes critical mistakes all too often.  He is smaller than Sims and Egnew.  But, with his athletic skill-set he could be very dangerous.  

I hope you rise to the occasion men.  This is a perfect opportunity to shine.  And Keller, we love you.  Please call the fellas and give them tips to get better every chance you get.

 
You’d have to give the nod to Clay as the starter,” Sherman said. “He’ll play in a bunch of different packages. He’ll play in the backfield as well as on the line of scrimmage. He’ll play split out. He’ll do a lot of different things for us and he’s more than capable.” - See more at: http://blogs.palmbeachpost.com/thedailydolphin/2013/08/20/miami-dolphins-practice-notes-charles-clay-is-starting-tight-end-for-now-running-back-competition-cloudy/#sthash.sjIALaN4.dpuf
You’d have to give the nod to Clay as the starter,” Sherman said. “He’ll play in a bunch of different packages. He’ll play in the backfield as well as on the line of scrimmage. He’ll play split out. He’ll do a lot of different things for us and he’s more than capable.” - See more at: http://blogs.palmbeachpost.com/thedailydolphin/2013/08/20/miami-dolphins-practice-notes-charles-clay-is-starting-tight-end-for-now-running-back-competition-cloudy/#sthash.sjIALaN4.dpuf
You’d have to give the nod to Clay as the starter,” Sherman said. “He’ll play in a bunch of different packages. He’ll play in the backfield as well as on the line of scrimmage. He’ll play split out. He’ll do a lot of different things for us and he’s more than capable.” - See more at: http://blogs.palmbeachpost.com/thedailydolphin/2013/08/20/miami-dolphins-practice-notes-charles-clay-is-starting-tight-end-for-now-running-back-competition-cloudy/#sthash.sjIALaN4.dpuf

Should Ireland be fired if Miami gets to the Playoffs?

I am trying to understand this hatred for Ireland.  I actually like the current product.

So, should Ireland be fired this year even if Miami goes 9-7, makes the playoffs, but loses the first playoff game?

My vote is absolutely not!  1 for No!

___________________________


Should Joe Philbin be fired under the same circumstances?


___________________________


Should Tannehill throw for less than 20 TDs and he throws double digit INTs, should we dump Ryan?


____________________________

Grumpy old men

The 72 team *finally* gets its due as champions, with a trip to the Whitehouse to celebrate their achievement.

It didn't happen after the 72 season, at least in part, because the Nixon administration was involved in a few little things like, I dunno, watergate.

And it just didn't come together after that. But now the time has come and apparently all the living team members will be in attendance.

Except for Manny Fernandez, Jim Langer (who is heavily political), and Bob Keuchenberg.

Look their politics is what it is. But wtf? You don't take advantage of an opportunity to visit the office? Forget about the person and what you think about his politics.

This is an honor. Maybe Kooch does just need a hug after all. His comments and insistence that he can't / won't go only underscores his grumpiness.

Kudos to those who get it. And enjoy!!

If you want to watch it, you can go to whitehouse.gov/live around 2pm.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Bill Belicheat: Draft Classes Reviewed


Below, I have all the draft picks for New England since 2005.   However, I only went back to 2008 to see how many players are still on the present squad.  I have lined-through all the players no longer on their team.

The big reason for this post is for all you Ireland Haters...  I wanted you to see that one of the best draft geeks in the business has a so-so record for high draft picks.  It is that hard!

For draft class 2010, out of 12 picks, only 3 players remain on the team. 
For draft class 2009, out of 12 picks, only 2 players remain on the team. 
For draft class 2008, out of 7 picks, only 2 players remain on the team.

Only 7 for 31 for those 3 draft classes are still on the team.   Many of the cuts were 1st, 2nd and 3rd round picks (one number 1, four number 2s, and five number 3s).

2012 and 2011 Draft classes are mostly intact.  A 6th and 7th round pick in 2012 are gone.  And, for 2011, the 5th, 6th and 7th are all gone.  However, the first of two 2nd round picks in 2011 is in jeopardy of being cut this year (Dowling).

My main point here is that the greatest football mind in the last 25 years still has trouble picking contributing players every time.  I didn't even differentiate whether or not the players still on the team are starters.  2009 is ugly, one starter (Vollmer) and one part-time starter (Edelman).

Year Rnd Pick
Pos
2012 1 21 Chandler Jones DE
2012 1 25 Dont'a Hightower ILB
2012 2 48 Tavon Wilson FS
2012 3 90 Jake Bequette DE
2012 6 197 Nate Ebner DB
2012 7 224 Alfonzo Dennard CB
2012 7 235 Jeremy Ebert WR





Year Rnd Pick
Pos
2011 1 17 Nate Solder OL
2011 2 33 Ras-I Dowling DB
2011 2 56 Shane Vereen RB
2011 3 73 Stevan Ridley RB
2011 3 74 Ryan Mallett QB
2011 5 138 Marcus Cannon OL
2011 5 159 Lee Smith TE
2011 6 194 Markell Carter LB
2011 7 219 Malcolm Williams DB





Year Rnd Pick
Pos
2010 1 27 Devin McCourty DB
2010 2 42 Rob Gronkowski TE
2010 2 53 Jermaine Cunningham LB
2010 2 62 Brandon Spikes LB
2010 3 90 Taylor Price WR
2010 4 113 Aaron Hernandez TE
2010 5 150 Zoltan Mesko P
2010 6 205 Ted Larsen C
2010 7 208 Thomas Welch T
2010 7 247 Brandon Deaderick DE
2010 7 248 Kade Weston DT
2010 7 250 Zac Robinson QB





Year Rnd Pick
Pos
2009 2 34 Patrick Chung DB
2009 2 40 Ron Brace DT
2009 2 41 Darius Butler DB
2009 2 58 Sebastian Vollmer T
2009 3 83 Brandon Tate WR
2009 3 97 Tyrone McKenzie LB
2009 4 123 Rich Ohrnberger G
2009 5 170 George Bussey T
2009 6 198 Jake Ingram LS
2009 6 207 Myron Pryor DT
2009 7 232 Julian Edelman WR
2009 7 234 Darryl Richard DT





Year Rnd Pick
Pos
2008 1 10 Jerod Mayo LB
2008 2 62 Terrence Wheatley DB
2008 3 78 Shawn Crable LB
2008 3 94 Kevin O'Connell QB
2008 4 129 Jonathan Wilhite DB
2008 5 153 Matt Slater WR
2008 6 197 Bo Ruud LB





Year Rnd Pick
Pos
2007 1 24 Brandon Meriweather DB
2007 4 127 Kareem Brown DT
2007 5 171 Clint Oldenburg T
2007 6 180 Justin Rogers LB
2007 6 202 Mike Richardson DB
2007 6 208 Justise Hairston RB
2007 6 209 Corey Hilliard T
2007 7 211 Oscar Lua LB
2007 7 247 Mike Elgin G





Year Rnd Pick
Pos
2006 1 21 Laurence Maroney RB
2006 2 36 Chad Jackson WR
2006 3 86 David Thomas TE
2006 4 106 Garrett Mills FB
2006 4 118 Stephen Gostkowski K
2006 5 136 Ryan O'Callaghan T
2006 6 191 Jeremy Mincey DE
2006 6 205 Dan Stevenson G
2006 6 206 LeKevin Smith DT
2006 7 229 Willie Andrews DB





Year Rnd Pick
Pos
2005 1 32 Logan Mankins G
2005 3 84 Ellis Hobbs DB
2005 3 100 Nick Kaczur T
2005 4 133 James Sanders DB
2005 5 170 Ryan Claridge LB
2005 7 230 Matt Cassel QB
2005 7 255 Andy Stokes TE




























































































































































































































































































































































































Sunday, August 18, 2013

D. Thomas has earned the Starting RB position IMO

I really like Lamar Miller.  He can score from anywhere on the field.  He does need to catch the ball better.  But Miller is a very exciting running back. 

But, the difference in Daniel Thomas this year to the last two years is night and day.  Thomas looks good.  He's bigger, stronger and plays faster.   He blocks well.    He runs hard behind his line.  He cuts ONE TIME ONLY which is an issue I have with most young Running Backs.

I do feel Miller has one last game to earn the starting RB position.  Either way, he will get an abundance of carries.  As I feel, we will run a two-pronged rushing attack anyway. 

At the beginning of training camp, I said that Miller would be the starter.  I agreed with everyone who stated this to be so.  And, even when we heard how well Thomas was doing in camp, it seemed unlikely he would unseat Lamar Miller.  

And for those of you who think I sound like a know-it-all :p - I say this with my head down  - I WAS WRONG! 

Thomas has earned the starting RB spot thus far in preseason.

Injuries are a part of the game

Well I guess there is just no avoiding the inevitable effects of a violent sport.

Warriors go down. We pray for their souls and then someone else has to carry on.

So far 2013 has been tough for me as I am a Yankees fan as well.  Talk about adding insult to injury. They are a med unit disguised as a MLB franchise.

Griese went down in '72 and Earl Morrall carried on.

Luckily for us, its still week 3 of preseason. So we have a couple weeks to try to straighten out the TE position.

Short of a trade, free agent acquisition or waiver wire pick up, we have a few guys who may have to platoon at TE.

Michael Egnew looks better this year catching the ball but can't seem to keep his hands inside while blocking so the wingman official on his side will probably throw his arm out flagging Egnew for holding on running plays.  With that said, Egnew will be delegated to passing situations only until he can prove he can block without a penalty.

Charles Clay has been HBacking. He has been developed as a combo Full Back and TE. He doesn't have the speed necessary to run the deep seem route. So let's forget about him as a TE.

Dion Sims, the rookie, actually started last night's game. Sims, drafted in the 4th round out of Michigan State, is quite a physical specimen. He is 6'5", 270 lbs and runs a 4.7 40. Not too shabby.

Sims actually walked on as a freshman for the MSU basketball team after his football season ended. So we know he is athletic. But can he reliably catch the ball?

Recently signed Evan Rodriguez was drafted by the Bears in 2012 out of Temple.  He is 6'2", 240 lbs and caught only 4 passes for 21 yards last year. Since he is a bit behind, I doubt he will be in the mix for the near future.

I guess it's gonna be Sims' job to lose at this point.  Hopefully he can hang onto the ball or he certainly won't be hanging onto this starting position.

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





Take away the Keller injury, and Miami shows promise at every position

I love our starting Defense.   I think our starting Offense is showing major strides.  I am done listening to the whiners complain about Martin at LT.  He had one questionable play last night against Houston, the rest were SOLID.  Except for 3 plays Samuda whiffed, the Offensive Line played pretty well.  WE actually have a running game.  Clabo is a very good run blocker, better than expected.   When Jerry gets back, we will have a very good offensive line.  So, calm down everyone.

Also, why does Keller's  injury have to be anyone's fault.   Are we so jaded in Phins Nation that every little thing that happens in a football game is either Tannehill's or Ireland's fault?  Get real.   Tannehill is getting better every game.   I have watched Brady for years,   He's thrown hundreds of balls behind his receivers.  It happens in football every single game by every single QB.  Get over it!

Now to the loss we all never wanted to see.  Prior to the season, there were 3 players we couldn't lose on offense - Pouncey, Wallace, and Keller.  Losing Dustin Keller could be devastating.  He was the safety blanket Tannehill needed.  Sims, Egnew and Clay (even Rodriguez) have got to step up.   I suspect Ireland will be looking to add a veteran come Monday...  Cooley and Boss are available - so is McMichael.  None of which are answers in my opinion.  And, I know this will sound like sacrilege -  Maybe we trade Matt Moore or Randy Starks for a starting caliber TE...  We are so deep on the Defensive Line, we do have options.

Had Keller not gone down, I would have been telling you how I now believe that we can play with anyone.  Houston is as balanced (and as Good) a team as there is in football.    They have both a formidable offense and defense.  And, we played them straight up.  We can beat them in a real game.

Our Starting Defense did not give up a TD.   The 3rd series on Defense was mostly 2nd-string players.

Where are all the Phins lovers on South Florida radio.  Every caller is a Hater.  I am so sick of you losers...   Miami has amassed as good a roster as I have ever seen in 30 years.  Yes, we don't have a Brady or a Manning, but we have a guy with enough skills and upside to compete effectively for years.

We have a winning product.  Why can't you Ireland and Tannehill Haters see that???  Clear your heads or go root for a the Jets.