Thursday, October 02, 2014

Player Upgrade Value


Now that we are on Bye week I thought it would be interesting to touch on a couple players in free agency.   The last two seasons the Dolphins were in a favorable cap situation so we could go out and use free agency as a tool to try and upgrade the team.   “Upgrade” is a key word people often overlook when acquiring players.  People tend to focus on value relative to everyone else playing the position in the league.   Mike Wallace and Branden Albert are very good examples. I have seen several people state that Mike Wallace is overpaid.  So that means you are comparing him to whom?  People like Calvin Johnson, AJ Green, maybe a Julio Jones? Ok, but there is only one problem; in 2013 I don’t think those players were available.  Coming into 2013 we had to try to upgrade a team that featured Brian Hartline and Devon Bess.  I don’t think anyone is going to argue that Mike Wallace is a massive upgrade over Devon Bess. Similar we paid a large amount of money to acquire Branden Albert.  However, again I don’t think anyone will argue he is massive…wait that word does not describe it well enough, he is an ENORMOUS upgrade over Johnathan Martin.  So yes, while you can say Mike Wallace and Branden Albert are overpaid relative to where they rank against all the players average salary at that position. I would argue that the massive upgrade they provided our team over what we had justifies what the team spent on them. Or in other words I think the value of how much better the player makes your team is more important than the value they have against players on other teams (most of which are not even possible to sign) Let me know who you think had the biggest upgrade value to the team or even who downgraded the team the last couple years.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Now That The Starters Are Coming Back


One of the interesting questions I am wondering about is what is going to happen to Samson Satele and Daniel Thomas as we pass thorough the bye week.  We are going to have to cut one player very soon to make room for Reshad Jones.  All reports indicate Mike Pouncey will be back for the Packers game. Knowshon Moreno should also be very close to back as well.  I think it is pretty clear that in the very near future Knowshon and Lamar will be our 1-2 punch at running back and Pouncey will be our center.

Daniel Thomas was cut then curiously he was brought back and played ahead of the Damien Williams and Orleans Darkwa.  Thomas did play decent and had a nice game against the Raiders, well pretty much everyone did.   Damien Williams is on the kickoff return team and does flash some potential at times with his runs.  Today the Dolphins signed La Michael James to the practice squad. I have a feeling Orleans Darkwa could be the odd man out.  I don’t think they are going to cut Thomas again.

Samson Satele. – I don’t see Samson sticking around very long once Pouncey is healthy. We have plenty of guard depth. A couple of guards Billy Turner and Dallas Thomas can play some tackle in a pinch. Nate Garner can hold down the back-up center position. 

Let me know what you think, any other roster changes coming this week?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

To quote Don Shula "We need some help"


Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) tweeted at 2:41 PM on Tue, Sep 30, 2014:
The Patriots have three big things working in their favor: 1. The Bills. 2. The Jets. 3. The Dolphins. http://t.co/BwCryS0nfs
(https://twitter.com/NateSilver538/status/517021406119604224)



This week's observation

Miami had a big day against the Raiders, and got almost "no love" from the media. In fact, other than mentioning the score, I don't think it made the major sports networks cycle. They were more interested in some of the other games (as well as baseball).

In the local media, it was sort of a cautious "yeah but it was the Raiders...."
  
Today we learned that the Raider coach was fired in small part because of the loss, and in large part because it was part of a 10-game losing streak.  And that started to dominate the sports sites...

And speculation starts on who the next coach is...and it looks like it will be...Tony Sparano!

Talk about taking what could have been a nice victory and several small stories from it, and turning it into something else. 

The Sparano angle just made me laugh...


The FCC lifts the blackout rule

except that the NFL has decided to keep its own "blackout rule" in place.

From ESPN:

The Federal Communications Commission voted 5-0 to eliminate its sports blackout rules Tuesday, but the NFL said that it doesn't plan to change the way its broadcasts are handled.

"NFL teams have made significant efforts in recent years to minimize blackouts," the NFL responded in a statement Tuesday. "The NFL is the only sports league that televises every one of its games on free, over-the-air television. The FCC's decision will not change that commitment for the foreseeable future."

The FCC vote eliminated rules that were implemented in 1975 to ensure that sports broadcasts would not hurt local ticket sales.

Of course this all boils down to money. Yes, there is more to be made from selling ads than leaving seats open. But because of high sell out rates, they can artificially tweak the numbers (hey, better buy tickets before we sell out, and its blacked out locally!) to maximize both. Yay for them.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sigh of Relif


Sigh of Relief

What Relief for everyone! The coaches, the team, the fans.  If you lose that game you have a LONG plane ride home for the team and long week for the fans.  Winning cures so much in these situations. Granted we played what was probably the worst team in the league right now. Their defense was decimated by injuries and they had a rookie QB. But wow did we need to play them right now. Suddenly all the agony from the last two weeks has faded for everyone. Now the team is 2-2 along with losses by the Bills and Jets. We are going to get a whole pile of players back.  Jones, Pouncey, Misi, Turner, Shelly Smith, Randy Starks, maybe even Moreno.  We are right back in it now should be interesting to watch the moves in the coming week. Here are my quick take away after watching the game.


1.)    I see some light at the end of the tunnel for our linebackers.   Jenkins is getting better rapidly. I think he is already an upgrade over Ellerbe as he is clearly our fastest LB. Every game he looks more comfortable. Misi, Jenkins and Wheeler brings the team back to serviceable linebackers. After going through a brutal stretch of injuries at that position

2.)    Tannehill is our QB people. He has the hard part down on reading defenses and knowing where to go.  Moving in the pocket, timing and accuracy have been his issues.  Those will get better and better the more he plays. 

3.)    Will Davis needs to get better. He looked like he took a couple of plays off when the Raiders scored on him. With Jones coming back look for Wilson to take the slot back over from him. Davis and Taylor both have a long ways to go before they are able to take over for Grimes and Finnegan.

4.)     We saw Lazor use his offense in the first half.  People were shifting all over the place. He moved Tannehill all over and the Raiders had no answer.  A QB moving around and running puts a TON of pressure on the linebackers. That makes life much easier for Charles Clay and Lamar Miller. I also loved the way he used Wallace. He went back to the basics in the 2nd half as he should have since we already had the game in hand.

5.)    Even though it converted I am still very against our short yardage plays. When you put Tannehill in the shotgun it allows the DLine to penetrate gaps since they are not worried about the QB sneak. Fortunately, the Raiders were poorly coached and overplayed the center so Miller could run around the outside. That play was literally a foot to go.

6.)    We need to focus on protecting the ball better. Miller’s fumble into the endzone would have been a killer in most games as would have Landry’s fumble on a punt return.

7.)    Following Twitter it really seemed like the players had an amazing experience in England.  It was just what they needed to get away from the all the controversy swirling in the media

Just What The Doctor Ordered!

After a week of who should get benched and who should get fired, the Dolphins rode out of Dodge and into London's Wembley Stadium to take advantage of a very poor Oakland Raiders team.

Yes, its only the Oakland Raiders. A team that came out of the half and probably set a NFL record by turning the ball over on their first 4 possessions.

Didn't see that coming or did you? Or did you even notice it?

So this beat down keeps Philbin at the helm for a while.

Tannehill played very well completing 23 of 31 passes for 278 yards with 2 TDs and only 1 interception. He also rushed 5 times for 31 yards.  If you started him in fantasy you would have scored 22 points.

He looked very crisp and ran the offense superbly. He also had some drops and his interception bounced off of Dion Sims hands so how can you blame that on him.

He looked like the QB we all want him to be.

So this performance keeps Tannehill at the helm for a while.

Thank God they did what they should have done otherwise we would still be having those discussions through the much needed bye.

Yes, we need it.

We need to get some extra time between games to get a few guys back healthy and off suspension.

We need to get a few days off with a very good feeling inside and put a lot of this controversy behind us.

We needed to have gotten back in the hunt, though we never really fell out of it, even at 1-2. But 2-2 sounds so much better than the unthinkable.

When we combine this win with losses to both the Jets (1-3) and Buffalo (2-2), we've had a great day.

Everyone enjoy tonight. Have a wonderful night's rest.

I have some dishes to do.

Happily.

Phins Up!

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