Saturday, April 26, 2014

Miami Dolphins Confidential Issue One

The offseason goal of every team in the NFL is to improve their team.  The primary wave of free agency has passed. Next up will be the NFL draft followed by the bargain shopping in the free agency after the draft. GM’s and fans alike tend to focus on the new additions to the team when trying to get a feel for how much improvement the team will show.  However, a very important aspect of the success of all teams will hinge on how the players remaining on their rosters from the prior season improve or decline.  We at Bitchin Dave’s thought it would add some intrigue to the offseason lull to have a discussion on where we feel the team is at and where they are headed.

The prognosticators will be Carl “The Ref” Leone and Chad “ The Baumhower” Ronnebaum. We will be having a position by position debate on where the Dolphins ranked in 2013 as well as where we see them ranking at the end of 2014.  We are going to start with our pre-draft rankings and then will update this post draft and probably once or twice prior to the start of season as the final free agent signings and injuries shape the team during training camp and the preseason.

Scale: We are using a 10 point scale to rank where we felt the positions ranked against the rest of league in 2013 as well as where we predict they will rank in 2014.  5 out of 10 for example would mean we rank the unit as about the 15-16th best unit in the league.  10 out of 10 would basically feature pro bowl players at the top of the league and 0 out of 10 would be dead last or the worst unit in the league. Issue One will review the Quarterback position.


                                                                                           Chad's Take                            Carl's Take

2013 Position Rank
5 out of 10                             6.67 out of 10   
2014 Prediction
7 out of 10                             8 out of 10


Predicted Depth Chart
2014 Improvement/Decline Prediction
1 Ryan Tannehill
+2                                                +1.33
2 Matt Moore
+0                                                +0
3 Pat Devlin, Jordon Rogers
+0                                                +0



Chad: Ryan Tannehill enters his 3rd season. He is still very young, has a strong arm and by all indications he is set to improve coming into this season. The real x-factor for Ryan Tannehill is going to be learning Bill Lazor’s system. It will be the first time in his college and pro career he will be learning a system not designed by Mike “Go Go” Sherman.   RT has a full year of working with Mike Wallace, Brandon Gibson and A Binns under his belt. He also has had multiple seasons working with R. Mathews and Brian Hartline. I think QB and WR are two of the most difficult positions to learn and it takes time to really get in sync. I expect the whole passing game to take a solid step forward this season. 

Carl: I agree with you there Chad.  Our passing game will improve.

Chad: Matt Moore will be the veteran back-up this season and will give the Dolphins a starting caliber quarterback if Tannehill goes down. I like Matt Moore as a backup.  I know he has a sizeable contract for a backup but I think the Dolphins can still win with him at the helm.  I don’t expect any big changes in Matt Moore from 2013. Pat Devlin is basically unproven in any real action. He showed some flashes in the preseason last year. However, now that there is a new system being put in, I think he is going to get serious competition from Jordon Rodgers and possibly a rookie. The real question is can he take over as the back-up for Matt Moore in 2015? With his advantage of knowing the system gone now I think it is about 50/50 he makes the team. I think overall Ryan Tannehill adds +2, Matt Moore 0 and Devlin 0.

Carl: I love Matt Moore as our backup too Chad.  We may actually have the best backup in the league. Regarding our boy Tannehill, last season he threw for 3913 yards which ranked him # 10 in the league and he was a sophomore as you mentioned.  He threw 24 TDs which placed him tied for 12th.  But his 17 Interceptions put in the bottom of the starters who played the entire or most of the season.  I expect a dramatic improvement in his TD to Interception ratio this year.  Our new OC, Bill Lazor, has a history of improving those numbers for his QBs.  I put Tannehill in the top 1/3 of the league Chad, that’s why I graded the QB group a little higher than you did.

The key, to me, will be Tannehill’s ability to get the ball out quickly. He is going to have to trust his instincts more than I have seen from him.  It was almost like the receiver had to be wide open before he would throw it.  He seemed very cerebral, thinking too much.  If he can get out of his head, read the coverage and then just let it fly and trust his receivers to come down with the ball, we should see a marked improvement from Tannehill.  He is so athletic that expect Lazor to take more advantage of this quality with more roll outs then we have seen from “Go-Go” last year. 

The biggest area of concern with Tannehill will be his ability to consistently hook up with Wallace on the deep ball.  His timing with Hartline was great but we left way too many points rolling on the ground incomplete when he looked deep to Wallace.

If the O-Line can give him some time and not have him getting sacked 58 times, Tannehill has the necessary tools to be a great QB in this league and he can reach Elite status if he would just trust himself.  He isn’t that far away.
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"Go" and "Go Go" has GOT to "Go!!"
GOTTA GO !!!!!!


Ha Ha Steve.
Its gone baby gone!!!