Saturday, May 10, 2014

Miami Dolphins Draft Picks Rounds 1-3


Ja’Wuan James  -   My first impulse on this selection was bit of reach, a plug and play need pick. However, after I looked more into him I see he was four year starter against top level college teams. He has the physical size and athletic movement to play tackle in the NFL.  I watched his interview and he comes off as a smart, humble, and hard working kid.  As I looked over the Dolphin options I have come around  to think this was a good choice considering their need at tackle.  Let’s review the Dolphins options

1.)    Trade up for the 3 tackles clearly ranked higher than James who were all gone long before Miami picked.  Using Buffalo’s trade as a bar it would have cost a lot to get up there. I don’t like giving up first round picks in the new era of rookie contracts and salary cap. Not only are 1st round picks loaded with talent they are cap friendly so you can address other areas.  If I was Hickey I would not pay a huge price to move up in deep draft like this.

2.)    Trade up for Zack Martin. – I am sure Martin is a solid lineman and he would have upgraded the Dolphins. However, the fact is he has short arms.  At the NFL level you have people like Cam Wake that are crazy fast off the ball and short arms are a liability at the tackle position. It is my opinion Martin will be a good guard in the NFL, I just don’t think he has the frame to be a tackle.  Miami needed to lock down the tackle spot first, there just are not as many guys with the physical frame and quickness to do it. I don’t think I would have given up picks to move up to get a guard.

3.)    Take a different tackle. Kouandijo is monster but an arthritic knee is no joke. This is not like a shoulder injury or broken leg etc. It is a chronic condition and there is a strong possibility he will get more limited in time.  No way would I put my 1st round pick on that kind of risk.  Morgan Moses? Lazor would have been beating the table for him if he was a stud. He fell down a ways which tells me scouts had reservations on him.

4.)    Trade down then draft James later – I personally think Miami could have pulled this off but if you look at the teams after them there was some risk they would take James.  As covered in 3 there really was not another suitable tackle that you feel like you could start on opening day.  If Miami had some fall back options in case James was drafted I could see taking the risk but let’s face it, Miami could not afford to roll dice and not get a tackle. If they missed James that means they had to reach further or get a free agent.  I am tired of the Clabo’s and Columbos.  Don’t screw around and get your starter. That is what they did.

Jarvis Landry – This guy is bad ass when it comes to fighting for the ball. Look at his highlights. He has elite body control and hands. He is not however very fast. Think Cris Carter type of WR. (No I am saying he is  Cris Carter just saying he is that type of WR)   I don’t see him being able to step in for Wallace or Hartline on the outside. He does look like and ideal fit for the slot.  Miami does not have a full back or 2nd tight right now. They are going to be running the 3 WR set again as their base offense. Gibson’s health is going to be unknown going into camp.  They had to have a tough reliable guy that would be able to play the slot as a rookie. Landry gives us a safety net in case Gibson can’t go. Miami wisely traded down based on the WR depth in the draft and added some picks before grabbing Landry.  I like the pick but I will say though it would have been very very hard for me to not grab Carlos Hyde at that spot in the draft.


Billy Turner - Something spooked the Dolphins because they jumped up to get him. I watched some highlights of him and listened to his interview. This kid has a major nasty streak and is very athletic. I think very good chance he will start at guard. What I also like is he capable of playing tackle.  We will have to see if Miami should have went pure guard vs Turner but I like his attitude.

Summary – The change is apparent in the new management of Phillbin and Hickey.  Ireland was big on talent measures  like 40 times and was always looking to develop those players.  He had a tendency to accept injured players base on their talent. Dion Jordon, Jamar Taylor, and Lamar Miller were all players that really needed a year to get healthy.  These three picks this year all appear like players meant to come and play NOW. Not players to develop and play in a year or two.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Dave's take

I was on a flight during the first part of last nights draft.

The plane lands and I flip on my phone and see the picks to this point. Only one qb taken, a run on linemen. And the next pick is Miami.

As you know, I have a man crush on Teddy Bridgewwater. And there he is, waiting to be taken. The TE from UNC is gone. Several other studs are gone.

I actually found myself thinking "maybe...?" And scarier still, I actually thought "man if they draft him, I might even jump on the bandwagon and watch the team..."

And of course the dolphins select "the guy we wanted all along" (good luck finding any gm who would tell you otherwise), a lineman who wasn't so highly touted. Yawn.

And then Pouncey shows he hasn't learned a single thing and immediately takes to twitter to start the hazing. Ya gotta believe the nfl - which still hasn't punished him yet for his role in bully gate - will notice.

And for what it's worth, I'll be checking out some Vikings games this year. Plus I'll follow Bartles and Manziel as they start their careers.

Miami has a Problem a Tackle Can't fix

In my rankings for Offensive Line changes in the Miami Dolphins Confidential I think some people were surprised I gave Mike Pouncey a negative three for the upcoming season. This had nothing to do with his ability. I just wanted to make the point he was the most likely player on the team to cause an  off the field distraction.  Well Mike must have wanted to make me look good in the accuracy of my predictions. From his twitter tonight regarding the new lineman.

Mike Pouncey         @MikePouncey
Great pick! I can't wait for our gifts he's getting us lol
 
 
I am sure that will help with any punishment they will put on hi for the bully scandal.
 
You can't fix stupid

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Ja'Wuan James selected 19th overall by Dolphins

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
We had heard his name rumored today to the Dolphins and now it is official, Ja'Wuan James is a Dolphin. He played Right Tackle at Tennessee so he would likely just fill in as a starter. It was very simple, we need Right Tackle help and we got it. Solid pick which make the Dolphins better.

Miami Dolphins Confidential Issue 9 "Special Teams"


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 , 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. In the final Issue number nine will review the special teams.

 
Special Teams

                                                                                                Chad’s Take                          Carl’s Take

2013 Position Rank
4 out of 10                       3 out of 10
2014 Prediction
6 out of 10                       5 out of 10

 

Predicted Depth Chart
2014 Improvement/Decline Prediction
Brandon Fields
0                                          0
Caleb Sturgis
+2                                        +2 or Cut
Marcus Thigpen
0                                          0 or Cut

 

Carl: Here is where the rubber hits the road.

Chad: The Dolphins special teams were not that special in 2013.  The bright spot was punter Brandon Fields who has turned into one of the better punters in the league. He is developing good placement skills and has a boomer for a leg.  Punters typically don’t drop off much so I would expect another solid year out of Fields. 

Carl: Fields is the best in the league. Hands down. He has consistently been a stat leader since entering the league and he got robbed by a few bonehead penalties by our cover team.

Chad: Caleb Sturgis was inconsistent through 2013 as you might expect with a rookie kicker.  He missed two kicks inside 39 yds.  Not acceptable from a NFL caliber kicker.

Carl: He is not going to survive the season if he doesn’t get straightened out in camp. If they move the extra point line back permanently he would be gone already. He had a good half dozen extra points just slide inside the goal posts. I am dying to see how this plays out the first couple preseason games.

Chad:  He also missed two from the range of 40-49 yards and he missed 4 from over 50 yards.  Keeping in mind he was only a rookie, I expect a jump in improvement this year. I would expect him to be 100% inside 39 yards and 90% inside 49 yards and finally 75% in the 50-59 range.

Carl: 75% is a lot to ask any kicker from 50-59 yards. I would take 50% any day.

Chad: Let’s all hope he reaches that this season.  2 or 3 missed kicks can be the difference in the making the playoffs.

Carl: 2 or 3 missed kicks and you get fired. Clean out the locker. I expect competition in camp and Sturgis may not survive. Although he does boom those kick offs.

Chad: Marcus Thigpen was ok but not spectacular in 2013. He brings some additional value as a player that can get in on a few other plays out of the backfield as he showed in the New England game. 

Carl: If we draft a WR that can return kicks then Thigpen is a goner. 

Chad: I am not a big fan of bringing the ball out of the end zone on kick returns unless you are behind with only seconds remaining. I think you have to make it to the 30 yard line to make it worthwhile.  Every time you return a kickoff you are risking a game changing turnover as well as risking injuries to players.  So in my mind it is not worthwhile to give a roster spot to a return “specialists”. In particular if it takes away a solid #5 WR or #4 RB off your roster.

Carl: Injuries are a legitimate concern but they are part of the game. Our return units cannot block to save their lives. We also made too many bonehead mistakes covering great kicks, getting penalized and then having to re-kick only to have them get a great return. I thought the Specials Team coach should’ve been fired. In the middle of the season! This unit, other than Fields and Denny, our long snapper, needs a makeover. Big time.

 

Live draft show


Hey all...I will be doing a 3 hour live broadcast tonight of the draft. If anyone can let your readers know in case they can't watch it they can listen.

 Www.blogtalkradio.com/finsradio. Then click on the fins ide show then play. It's my 3rd night of broadcasting as we did 2 hours Tuesday night and 2 on Wednesday

NYC folks we let our listeners know about the draft mixup and to go to slattery. If anyone has any announcement I can make on air for you. I will be on 8-11 tonight.

Thanks !


And with the 19th pick the dolphins select...

Here's your chance to make a prediction. Post below with who you think - or maybe who you hope - the dolphins draft tonight.

Or maybe you think they trade out of the pick. Let everyone know!

I'll start things off by predicting they draft Zach Northern, a long snapper out of Baylor ;)

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

In the 2014 Mike Mayock Mock Draft the Dolphins select Cyrus Kouandjio

(USA Today Sports Images)
Mike Mayock is one of the best draft analysts on TV right now and in my opinion I think he is the best. So whenever Mayock speaks I listen. He recently released his first and last mock draft, something he does only once a year and it occurs just before the draft. This year he predicts the Dolphins picking Cyrus Kouandjio with the 19th overall pick. Mayock also warned that this is a trade down alert and he thinks the Dolphins could trade out of this spot with the top tackles gone and CJ Mosley gone as well. I believe the Dolphins will ultimately trade down if no one slips down to them and acquire some picks and maybe take Kouandjio or Morgan Moses, the OT from Virginia which Lazor coached.  Also as an interesting note he has Manziel going number 16 to Dallas.

Miami Dolphins Confidential Issue 8 " D-Line"


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 , 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 Eight will review the D-Line.

Defensive Line

                                                                                                Chad’s Take                          Carl’s Take

2013 Position Rank
8 out of 10                             7.5 out of 10
2014 Prediction
10 out of 10                           8.5 out of 10

 

 

Predicted Depth Chart
2014 Improvement/Decline Prediction
Cameron Wake
0                                                0
Olivier Veron
+1                                             .5
Dion Jordon
+1                                             1.5
John Shelby
0                                                0
Randy Starks
0                                              -1
Jared Odrick
0                                                0
Earl Mitchell
0                                                0

 

Comments: 

Chad: The Dolphins have one the best defensive lines in the NFL.  The unit pretty much has everything you could want.  Proven pro bowl players, up coming talent and immense depth.  Cameron Wake had a bit of down year due to suffering a sprained knee which limited through a chunk of the season. That did not stop him from blowing through the Bengals to close out a game with a safety.

Carl: What an incredible ending to that game. That game had so many big plays in it. Wake can be a beast.

Chad:  He keeps himself in tip top shape and is a relentless pass rusher, one of the best in the game. Olivier Vernon is another player in amazing shape and he is still has a lot of upside. He registered double digit sacks in his first true year as a starter.

Carl: I thought he played very well last year. And he is young.

Chad: Despite a lot of reports being negative on Dion Jordon,I liked what I saw.  He is a rare talent. There are not many men that height who also have that kind of physical build and speed. He has a massive arm span and in limited action he caused a couple huge interceptions. He will now have a full workout during the offseason and also a full camp. I think Dion is going to be a beast.

Carl: He has got to get in the weight room and build up his upper body strength. When opposing tackles got their mitts on him, they threw him around like a rag doll. He has that burst of speed that I thought Coyle could have utilized more with stunts. But Jordan did come up with some big plays. I think he can improve immensely and graded him as such.

Chad: Derrick Shelby is no slouch and would start on half the teams in the league. He’s probably the best DE against the run and still gets after the passer. He actually reminds of former Dolphins DE Jeff Cross.

Carl: Good call. Shelby gets some big sacks. Boy, we have some good Defensive Ends.

Chad: Coming into the offseason it looked like we were going to have a set back on the interior.  However, give Dennis Hickey some credit. He was able to get a young athletic DT in Earl Mitchell and pulled off an unexpected free agency win by keeping Randy Starks.

Carl: So far so good with Hickey. He has done much better than I thought he would do, given the way the press was picking other candidates to get for our GM. I am afraid that Starks may be getting a little long in the tooth. I think he is starting to decline now and graded him as such.

Chad:  Mitchell, Starks, and Odrick can all rush the passer from the interior and are disruptive players. I know Paul Solia was a massive run stopper however his inability to control his weight rendered him practically worthless at rushing the passer.

Carl: Yeah but he could plug the middle. That is an issue with this unit. We gotta get back to stuffing the run.

Chad: In summary, what was already a very sound unit looks like it will only get better.   I actually think it is the best D-Line overall in the league.

Carl: I agree Chad. I cannot think of a better unit in the league although the Jets D-Line has a couple great players too but we have more depth.  If Jordan hits the weights hard, he can be an unstoppable force. I think we will draft a DT at some point in the draft just to shake things up a bit. But we are loaded on the D-Line.

 

"'Twas The Night Before The Draft"

Tomorrow night at 8 PM the NFL Draft will begin.

Since this event is just like Christmas to many football fans, why not continue a tradition and grab a cold one, sit down with your loved ones and recite the following on NFL Draft Eve.

I hope it brings you good luck and good cheer.



'Twas The Night Before The Draft

                                         By Carl Leone

‘Twas the night before the draft and all through the league,
Not a GM had rested, all feeling fatigue.
Their draft boards assembled, each scout had his say,
From highest to lowest,  “Oh, that one can play”.
The prospects were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of great riches danced in their heads.

Since end of last season, teams knew were they’d pick,
From the worst to the first, their spot was affixed.
To trade up or trade down or snag that one guy,
Decisions, decisions, which one do they try.
From Kiper and Davis and even Mayock,
All threw in their two cents with many a mock.

They run a spread offense and defense, a zone.
Make sure he fits in or this choice they’d have blown.
When free agents sign, when picks they are traded,
Each mock is redone ‘fore they’d even faded.
We’ve seen and we’ve heard from all who attest,
They love this one player, now that one is best.

Agents are bragging, their client’s a stud,
But rumors can circle, now he’s just a dud. 
They pimp them, now primp them so all are impressed,
From Armani to Brioni, to the T’s they are dressed.                                     
Come ‘morrow at night, the invitees will shine,
For GMs and coaches, their jobs on the line.

They’ll wait in the green room, some are brought to tear.
To fall like Brady Quinn, is their greatest fear.
The NFL Network and SportsCenter tell
All of their stories ‘tween hugs from Goodell.
The owners get checks out and practice with smile,
“He’s who we wanted. Look! He’s on my speed dial.”

Some fans will be happy, some fans will be sick,
As the winning contestant announces a pick.
Who knows whats the answer, no future is clear,
Will they bring them Lombardi or even a cheer?
There’s no proven science nor certain gimmick,
Just all fervent prayers to Dear Ole Saint Pick!

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

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Miami Dolphins Confidential Issue 7 " Linebackers"


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 , 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 Seven will review the Linebackers.

Linebackers

                                                                                                Chad’s Take            Carl’s Take

2013 Position Rank
3 out 10               3 out of 10
2014 Prediction
4 out of 10          5 out of 10

 

Predicted Depth Chart
2014 Improvement/Decline Prediction
Dannell Ellerbe
0                                     +1  
Phillip Wheeler
0                                     0
Koa Misi
0                                     0  
Jelani Jenkins
+1                                   0


Comments: 

Chad: This unit would have been the biggest bust if not for the complete meltdown of the O-Line.

Carl: You got that right.

Chad: Dannell Ellerbe was supposed to be the middle linebacker and leader of the defensive.  He appeared to be out of shape and did not appear to stand in well at the point of attack.

Carl: A big disappointment.

Chad: On the positive side he did display excellent side line to side line speed for a man his size and had some interceptions in coverage.

Carl: Yeah but he is not a 4-3 middle linebacker. Our run support stunk. That used to be one of our best stats. Defending the run.

Chad: I am not big on players that don’t keep their bodies in peak shape. It tells me that they lack commitment so I am skeptical Ellerbe will ever be the answer at inside linebacker. In fact I think the reports are true that the Miami Dolphins are going to move him back outside.  I think if he were 10-20 pounds lighter he would be more successful in an outside linebacker role. However, that is a big if and I can’t give him any points. If he shows up to camp out of shape again he will become negative points.

Carl: I would love to see us trade back a couple picks and still get C.J. Mosley. He is gonna be a beast and can cover Tight Ends very well. I think we will get him so I see Ellerbe going outside and gaining a point.

Chad: Phillip Wheeler on the other hand is a great shape and a beast.  The only problem is he is a not a great cover linebacker.  He is much more suited as a pass rusher.   Koa Misi is a bit of a hybrid DE/Linebacker  who is also more of a run stopper and pass rusher. To his credit he was in great shape and did a decent job on the run and did what was asked.  It would be a very tight head to head battle between Misi and Wheeler.

Carl: If we don’t get Mosley, then what?

Chad:  I personally don’t think Misi would be any better in the middle. Yes he would be great at run support, but he simply does not have Ellerbe’s coverage ability. Jelani Jenkins showed some flashes and was starting to get some more playing time as the season wore on.  I don’t expect him to change from a back-up role however, if Ellerbe shows up overweight I would not be shocked to see Jenkins take over for him.

Carl: I am getting a headache. We need a new middle linebacker. We better draft one.

Chad: In summary Miami does not have linebackers matching up well to fit the scheme they are being asked to perform in. There has been a lot of buzz about CJ Mosley and if they were to land him, my 2014 prediction will take a big jump.

Carl: That’s the extra point I added to get our linebacker unit to a 5. We draft a middle linebacker.

Chad: I hope so  Carl. I am hoping for Mosley. I know we need O-Line but I feel like you can address the right tackle and guard position in this draft after the first round. To be fair the Dolphins offense was part of our bad run defense. They did A LOT of 3 and out’s the last two games because we had no ability to run what so ever against the solid D-Lines of the Bills and Jets. You can’t keep throwing your linebackers out there over and over and expect them to not wear down. With that being said if Ellerbe had his ass in shape he may have not gotten tired and sloppy.  Also, the defensive has been designed as an attack defense. Not as a stout run stuffing type of unit. They could put two loads in there at D-Tackle and use stronger linebackers at the point of attack and shut down the run. Only problem is those guys get torn up by teams like the Patriots who will just pass all game. If our offense turns it around and scores more points, our defense will become beasts.  We have 3 D-Ends that can really get after the passer.  Starks, Mitchell, and Odrick also can shoot gaps and pressure up the middle. Finally, all of the current linebackers have solid pass rushing skills.  That along with all our talent in the D-Backfield will make us very difficult to handle in obvious passing downs. We just have to get leads that dictate teams to have to throw.  I would love to make the Jets and Bills have to throw most of the 2nd half of games. Right now neither of them have the personal to do it. Last year’s losses to them were so frustrating.  Both those teams had HORRIBLE passing games yet were able to beat us because our offense was unable to put them into a position where they had to throw.

 

Monday, May 05, 2014

Miami Dolphins Confidential Issue 6 " D-Backs"


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 , 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 Six will review the D-Backs.


Defensive Backs

                                                                                               Chad’s Take                       Carl’s Take

2013 Position Rank
5 out 10                        6 out of 10                             
2014 Prediction
9 out of 10                   7.5 out of 10

 

Predicted Depth Chart
2014 Improvement/Decline Prediction
Brent Grimes
0                                                 0
Cortland Finnegan
0                                                 0
Jamar Taylor
+1                                                 .5
Will Davis
+1                                                 .5
Reshad Jones
+1                                                   0
Louis Delmas
+1                                                  .5
Jimmy Wilson
0                                                     0

 
Comments:

Chad: The Miami defensive backfield did an adequate job in 2013. They were able to limit big plays and keep Miami in most games. However they still struggled to cause enough turnovers to change the course of a game. The top player was Brent Grimes by a long ways.  He is the best corner we have had since the days of Madison and Surtain.  He is a pro bowl player and he is the reason the defensive backfield was respectable. I can’t expect Grimes to improve in 2014 simply because he played terrific in 2013.

Carl: Grimes didn’t give up a TD catch last year. That’s amazing! Gonna be tough to improve on that. He made so many big plays for us. The Pick-6 against Cinncinnati was terrific. As far as pass defense, we only gave up 17 TD passes (tied for 2nd) last year against 18 Interceptions (tied for 10th). Now some picks were by linebackers and some TD’s were against linebackers in coverage too. The point is I think we made as many big plays as we gave up.

Chad: Dimitri Patterson was a play maker in limited action but was never able to stay healthy during his time here.  Nolan Carroll had his best season and has turned into a serviceable outside cornerback.   Reshad Jones did not produce the number of big plays people were expecting.  However, he is still a young talented player whom I expect will bounce back in 2014.  Chris Clemons is another serviceable player that will not win games for you but also won’t be a complete liability.   2014 brought some significant changes.  Kevin Coyle is a very good secondary guru and I have to believe he did not feel the 2013 unit was being aggressive enough at challenging opposing teams.  This led to the departure of Carroll, Patterson, and Clemons.

Carl: Patterson had injury issues with his back so he had to go. I think he had 3 picks with limited time on the field but a back injury can come back to haunt you.

Chad: Coming in are two very aggressive players in Cortland Finnegan and Louis Delmas.  These are both in your face players and I love the addition of them. Tom Brady and his WR’s will pick you apart if you get on your heels.  You have to be disruptive making it hard to get off the line and also make them pay the price to make some catches over the middle. 

Carl: I think against Brady you have to have tight coverage and pressure him up the middle to get him off his spot plus hit him as much as possible. And they love to run those crossing patterns underneath a zone.

Chad: Also, don’t discount Will Davis and Jamar Taylor. They both struggled with injuries but still were able to get some valuable time learning the pro game and Coyle’s system. They will now get a full camp and all reports are they are healthy and ready to go.

Carl: I was dying to see those two on the field. They may have to step up this year.

Chad: This unit has the potential to feature a good mix of two solid veteran CBs matched with two talented young CBs to learn from them. Throw in Jimmy Wilson and you have 5 solid guys that can play cornerback.  Most teams are not in that position.  Factoring in: Coyle’s coaching, pro bowl veterans, young talent, and overall depth.

Carl: Well my jury is still out on Davis and Taylor. But having another camp and being healthy, I give them each a half point improvement.

Chad:  This is my big pick as the unit that will show massive improvement.

Carl: That’s a mouthful Chad. I am not sure they will improve more than our O-Line as a unit will improve this year. Coyle is an excellent secondary coach so I think they will improve too but only by 1.5 points. I am concerned about Finnegan and Delmas staying healthy. I believe we will draft a safety at some point in this draft. The problem with that is that after the top three, there is a significant drop in the talent level of the safety pool in this draft.  We may have to grab one early if we want a very good one. And if Coyle doesn’t have confidence in Davis and Taylor, we can grab a corner in the 7th round. There are plenty of good corners in this draft. The draft will tell us if Coyle is confident or not in Davis and Taylor. Let’s hope so.
Chad: I always say you can never have enough good corners in the NFL. But I don't see Taylor, Davis, Grimes, Finnegan or Wilson getting cut. So if we use a pick on a D-Back I have to imagine it will be a safety. With Delmas on a one year deal they may go that route. But I would want to use Coyle to my advantage so I would draft a high talent but raw type player that Croyle can work with this year vs a player that has to come in and play now. Maybe a 4-5th round safety unless he is just  clearly the best player on the board. I would rate safety behind Oline, #2 TE, and Linebacker. It is more a want than a need at this point.