Friday, January 02, 2015

In Defense of these Dolphins


Someone has to do it, here we go.  Skimming the phins news wire is a lowly task, lots of handwringing with a healthy dose of doom and gloom.  I’m not seeing it that way, even after the steaming pile of chum that remains in the wake of the loss to the mighty Jets.  Simply put, this team is moving in the right direction, and kudos to Stephen Ross for having the wherewithal not to whither to the public pressure to blow it all up. 

Now just so you don’t think I’m some pie in the sky optimist who sees the silver lining in everything, allow me to state I was usually the first one in the pool during the orgy of pessimism and ill will that Dolphins fans have bathed in over the last decade. These have been some truly awful times to be a Dolphins fan. Especially for one who has lived in Boston during these seasons of darkness (Go everyone but New England!).  As someone whose friendships rely on healthy doses of mockery and ridicule I have had little to say in defense of my squad over the last ten plus years and have had to just sheepishly take my lumps after the close of each season.  That changed this year.  For the first time in many seasons I feel like popping off a bit. 

Allow me to start at the most obvious point, Quarterback.  Though Ryan Tannehill’s detractors  have  dwindled in number as the season progressed, for those of you who still count yourselves among those ranks I ask you, what are you comparing him to? Go look at the numbers of any QB you view favorably and you will be hard pressed to show me any who seriously outperformed him in their first four season in the league. Tannehill has gone in the right direction in each of his first four seasons, and he has done so with an offensive line that no would argue has been much good over that period of time.  For the first time in Dolphins A.D. Miami has a QB that I can actually envision, enthusiastically, as being under center in Miami for ten plus years. 

Perhaps the loudest demands for change have come from those calling for Coach Philbin's job. There are certainly arguments to be made for going in a different direction, but look at the teams that have been winning Super Bowls over the past several years.  There is not a lot of upheaval in those franchises is there? Finding good young players, then giving them stability and time to develop is how you emulate teams that have had the most success over the last decade.  I would suspect Mr. Ross has taken that into consideration as well.  Yes there are a few obvious exceptions to this rule, but that is all they are, exceptions.  There is something to be said, for stability, especially when you have a young quarterback who is clearly moving in the right direction.  Think of organizations like the Packers and Giants.  They have certainly had their bumps over the last few years that have riled up the media and fans alike, but they just keep hanging around don’t they? In 2008 every Packer fan I know was calling for McCarthy and Thompson’s head, now they are all super fans again. In New York, prior to their last two Super Bowl titles there were no shortage of people who wanted to see Tom Coughlin gone.  The last two seasons haven’t been great for Giants fans, but theirs is a decade of football I would be happy to have had in Miami. I am not advocating for stability absent any encouraging signs from the current regime either.  Philbin and his staff’s ability to develop young players seems to have been as ignored as it is promising.  They are having success in that department. I’m happy to give it some more time to see if the win loss record can begin to reflect that success.
  
The most maddening of criticisms though is that Philbin in not a leader of men. Please, just stop. What a load of insipid meaningless nonsense. He is not a leader in the eyes of some because the Dolphins are not winning enough, if the Dolphins were on their way to the play offs right now I have a feeling there would be little concern in this area. Let's put it this way, if Bill Belichick did not pull one of the greatest players in NFL history out of his back side with a 6th round supplemental pick back in 2000,  I seriously doubt there would be many who were in awe of a Belichick's leadership qualities (I’ll go round and round all day with anyone on this point).  There is no style of coaching that lacks in leadership qualities when a team is winning.  

That is what it boils down to obviously, winning. I have hope there will more of that in the future. The 2014 Dolphins bested New England this year, lost two heart breakers to play-off teams against the Lions and Packers, and went toe to toe with the Broncos in Denver. A few late defensive stops and many of this organization's biggest critics would have a lot less to say. Heck that might have been true just by avoiding the loss of Brandon Albert.  The windows are closing in New England and Denver. Who strikes fear in you as the next AFC heir apparent? Is there anyone who remains that you don’t think Miami can be right there with when it is time for a changing of the guard?  Giving this team more time was the right thing to do.  There is no doubt work to be done.  The Dolphins are going to have to make some tough calls to get the cap right in order to retain key players and add new ones.  They need to figure out how to get that defense back on track. They have to hope for the best with Brandon Albert. They need to decide if Mike Wallace is their play maker for another year or if they need to look elsewhere. There are plenty of challenges but the fact remains, I have reason for optimism, even if I do skim the news wire more often than I should. 

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Bizarre Files

Former NFL head coaches:

Marrone    16-17     Opted out
Trestman   13-19     Fired
Smith          66-46     Fired
Ryan            46-50     Fired
Harbaugh   44-19-1  Fired

Philbin         23-25    Vote of confidence from owner


Smith, Ryan and Harbaugh have playoffs on their resumes.
Philbin has the same record as Ryan, but, no playoffs.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A final thought on Ross, Michigan, and the Dolphins

I watched a little of Harbaughs press conference via the hilights that ESPN showed. But I'd didn't see Stephen Ross in the crowd. I admit I was surprised by that, I expected he'd be front-and-center.

Then I saw the report I've attached below, which was filed on Saturday evening. So, it was basically a done deal before Sunday's NFL games were played. And Ross was busy planning a party for the new coach as early as Saturday night.

It's no surprise, then, that there hasn't been a word from him after an 8-8 season and a disappointing game. He was focused on his other team and (I believe the term I've used previously) hobnobbing with his mancrush.

I understand other business interests. I get that for some pro owners they have other things they're involved in. But when one of those things directly conflicts with the team, ya gotta wonder....

But other than owning the dolphins and agreeing to fund stadium improvements "himself" (and yes, that's dripping with sarcasm; its a sweetheart deal that has him coming out ahead financially without using the stadium), what has he done for the community at all?  As far as I can tell...nada.

It's like I keep saying: he likes owning AN NFL team, but it's just a hobby. You may care about it, but does he? He "bleeds maize and blue" and his ringtone is the Michigan fight song.  I'm all for loving your alma mater, but he comes about as close to owning it as one can, I suppose.

------
From http://www.chatsports.com/michigan-wolverines/a/JUST-IN-Harbaugh-Family-Michigan-Officials-Will-Take-10AM-PT-Flight-Monday-To-Michigan-10-2-6226

Chat Sports received an email late Saturday night, which has now been confirmed by Fox Sports Bruce Feldman, stating that Jim Harbaugh, his wife Sarah, their children and Michigan AD Jim Hackett and 3 other members of Hackett’s staff will fly to Michigan Monday on a 10AM PT private jet direct to a private airport near Ann Arbor.

Harbaugh and crew will board and fly directly to Ann Arbor, landing around 6PM ET. From there, Harbaugh will be welcomed to Michigan by over 50 former Michigan players and several prominent alumni, including Stephen Ross, for a private dinner celebration on Michigan’s campus.

From there, Tuesday will be an eventful day in Ann Arbor, with a press conference and basketball event welcoming the Harbaugh family to Ann Arbor. Read more on the Tuesday events here.
For more breaking news on Jim Harbaugh download the Michigan Wolverines iPhone app here or head to Michigan football news here.

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Miami "Queasy" Dolphins.

Hello all, this is my first blog and I want to thank Dave for inviting me to express my opinions and thoughts about the team.  I've been a fan since I was 6 and I have threatened to leave for as long as I can remember, but lets face it none of are going to do that.  As much as I would love to jump ship and root for a winner, my passion lays with the Phins.

Let me first say some may agree, some may not with my opinions but that is what sharing your opinions is all about.  My first blog may touch on a few different areas so i'm sorry if I'm jumping around.

Where to start, the Dolphins have been disappointing since the day Marino retired.  At least when he was under center we had something to look forward to.  How Ross can keep Philbin is beyond me, and what makes this decision even harder to comprehend is Ross said he likes the progress.  What progress ? 7-9 and two 8-8 seasons with a back to back December debacle where you could have made the playoffs in both years is not progress. Winning is progress, making the playoffs is progress.  To further that point the defense has regressed immensely in 2012 they allowed 317 YPG and were #7, 2013 335 YPG #8, and this year 2014 allowing 373 YPG and ending at #20.  They also finished in the standings 2nd in 2012, 3rd in 2013, and 3rd in 2014.  How is any of that progress? and its all under Philbin's watch.  He has given away young talent ( Smith, Davis) for older declining talent ( Grimes, Finnegan) Yes I know Grimes made the pro bowl again but he is still aging and tackling is an issue.  Philbin's dislike for " Personalities" is why this team is mediocre, and I predict he will trade Wallace away because his dislike for the personality player.

Off topic for a moment:  I don't know about you but I sense something brewing with Wallace and I've  since defended him because I truly believe he wants to be the star he knows can be and in this offense he is not given the chance to do so.  It's not about crying about not getting the ball, true play makers, true talent want the ball because they know what they can do.
( ehh hmm Dez Bryant)

I'll leave with this, Steven Ross brought back a coach who at home against the Green Bay Packers a chance to beat a good team, take a stand, change the views of the fans and the public, go for the kill decided he felt too "Queasy" to throw the ball on a deciding third down.  That is what we have in Miami, a queasy coach who was too queasy to fire Sherman, too queasy to go into a game and win instead of not lose and whom I believe will be too queasy to make the much needed decision to fire Coyle which ultimately will lead to Queasy 2015 season.


Fwd: Miller nominated for FedEx Ground player of week


Hi Dave,

 

I wanted to let you know that the Dolphins Lamar Miller was nominated for the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week for his gutsy performance against the New York Jets (tallied 178 rushing yards on 19 carries (9.4 avg.) and added a 97-yard touchdown run). This is Miller's first nomination of the year. We'd love for you could encourage your readers to go to NFL.com/FedEx to vote. If Miller wins, FedEx will make a $2,000 donation to Miami's local chapter of the American Red Cross.

 

You'll find a list of nominees below:

 

Air Nominees

·         New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith threw for 358 yards and three touchdowns for a 158.3 passer rating in the Jets' 37-24 win over the Miami Dolphins.

 

·         Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco threw for 312 yards and two touchdowns for a 107.6 passer rating in the Ravens' 20-10 win against the Cleveland Browns.

 

·         Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw for 317 yards and two touchdowns in an AFC North-clinching 27-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

 

Ground Nominees

·         San Francisco running back Frank Gore had 25 carries for 144 yards in the 49ers' 20-17 win against the Arizona Cardinals.

 

·         Miami Dolphins running back Lamar Miller tallied 178 rushing yards on 19 carries (9.4 avg.) and added a 97-yard touchdown run in Miami's game against the New York Jets.

 

·         Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray tallied 100 rushing yards on 20 carries (5.0 avg.) and added a touchdown in the Cowboys' 44-17 win against the Washington Redskins.

 

Every Monday night, following the Monday Night football game, through Thursday at 3 p.m. ET, fans may visit NFL.com/FedEx to cast votes for their favorite players nominated that week. FedEx and the NFL will announce the winners every Thursday afternoon and award a $2,000 donation in each player's name to their teams' local area chapters of the American Red Cross to assist with disaster relief and preparedness.

 

I'll send you a note if Miller gets enough fan votes to take home the Ground Player of the Week award, but make sure your readers are using #AirandGround to spread the word!


 

The joke is on all of us

It should be clear by now that Stephen Ross doesn't care about the Dolphins (or the teams fans). What he does care about is his beloved Michigan football team.

Last week, he abruptly announced that Philbin would be staying in Miami, and then the team tanks...meanwhile Harbaugh accepts the Michigan offer.  How do you like them apples?  Look, it doesn't matter if Harbuagh was the right guy for the job here - its the principle that Philbin is the *wrong* guy for the job, and Ross simply doesn't care.  Sloughing off the decision while he was finagling to get Harbuagh in Michigan should be taken as a slap in the face to all Dolphins fans.

Who's the biggest donor to Michigan football?  Who would simply have to be consulted about an offer?  Oh yeah, that would be Mr. Ross. He was willing to stand pat here, all the while trying to improve Michigan.

And as for the team tanking, well, that's where the real trouble is.  Philbin just got another year out of his owner, and then goes out the next week and says he was outcoached.  Outcoached!  So if that's how he behaves in that situation, how will it be next year when he's (maybe?) coaching for his job - or if he knows the owner simply doesn't care?

And with all of the impending free agents, little cap space and choices to make about players like Wallace, where do they go?  And what of Tannehill and his backloaded contract that pays him more in 2015, with an opt out clause.  Do they pay it?

Maybe the DC gets released, and someone new comes in.  He'll surely have a lot of new players (many of the starters are relatively old), so there's no consistency there.  And who comes here when the team is this....dysfunctional? 

And you have to wonder if Lazor will have an opportunity elsewhere now that the coaching carousel has started  Would some team up the offer to him?  Would Philbin (or Ross) let him go just because the team underperformed?  Then, you're starting over yet again on offense, too.

So the joke part is the fact that for the one year we had some information about the revenue stream (I think it was 2007?), we saw H Wayne netted $200 million in profit.  And there weren't fans in the seats those years. Gotta figure the number has gone up based on the new labor deal, and whether people show up or not, Ross makes money.  So the question is why should any of "us" expect anything different?

He's making money and doesn't appear to care about the team.  Sure, he gives it lip service, but that's just hollow words (like "show improvement"....)

VIDEO: How do Dolphins fans tailgate?

I was forwarded a link to this video, along with this:

Former Epic Meal Time star, Alex Perrault (aka. "Muscles Glasses"), is taking on tailgating in his latest endeavor — the SportsManias DieHard Tour -- a vlog-style series that profiles the tailgating experiences of diehard sports fans across the country. Alex’s last NFL stop of the season was in SportsManias’ home town of Miami before the Dolphins thrilling Week 16 win over the Vikings, where he captured the foods, vehicles and diehard fans that make up the Dolphins tailgating experience. Miami Herald Dolphins’ Insider Adam Beasley even joined the party.

Enjoy!



And my own comment is: gee, look how many open spaces there were for the game. :)

Queasy Does It

Mike Wallace is the face of many Dolphins who quit against the Jets. Like Wallace, many Dolphins quit because this was a nothing game for a nothing coach backed by a nothing owner. The only difference being that most players chose to quit on the field.

Back to Wallace. He's obviously disgruntled. Couple that with Odrick's outburst two weeks ago and it exposes a continued dysfunction in the Dolphins' locker room. Odrick is an unrestricted free agent and his loud critique on the sidelines may have sealed his fate with Queasy Joe, who palsies at thoughts of a vocal locker room.

What if the Dolphins want to move on from Wallace? His cap number is $12,100,000 for 2015.
Cut before June 1, the Dolphins eat $9,600,000 and save $2,500,000.
Cut after June 1, the Dolphins eat $5,200,000 and a save $6,900,000.

Wallace's huge contract, multiplied by his character, makes a trade highly unlikely. Still, if the Dolphins were able to trade him, they would carry $6,600,000 on the books, offset by saving $5,500,000.

In 2014, the Dolphins carried dead money to the tune of $5,701,402 for departed players Carlos Dansby, Kevin Burnett, Richard Marshall and Jonathan Martin. With that sum clearing the books in 2015, it would not be hard to imagine the Dolphins cutting Wallace after June 1, 2015.


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Some Facts And Opinion After Week The Week 17 Loss

Some FACTS from the EMBARRASSING loss to the Jets in week 17:

Joe Namath, I mean, Geno Smith had a PERFECT passer rating of 158.3 against the Phins.

The Dolphin defense allowed the Jets to score their season high 37 points

Coyle STILL HAS NOT LEARNED HIS LESSON to not put his players in a position to fail! Remember the play where Jeremy Kerley converted a 3rd and long? It was Dion Jordan defending him. Yes, a DE was covering a slot receiver.

Said it once and I'll say it again: Caleb Sturgis is a horrible kicker and needs to be replaced

Said this once and I'll say it again: players play for Rex Ryan, even in a meaningless game. "Queasy" Joe can't say the same thing

Even in a meaningless game, "Queasy" Joe shows no backbone and again, does not play to win the game but rather chooses to play not to lose. 4th and 1 on the Jets 46 yard line in the first quarter of a meaningless game, Philbin's decision: Punt.

The defense gave up yet another double digit lead.

It's been reported that a "coach", Tannehill and Mike Wallace got into some sort of argument which led to Wallace's 2nd half benching. Although it is unknown at this time what the argument was about, I'd like to think that he nicknamed Philbin "Puddin'" which would be a perfect fit

Some more interesting FACTS and opinion about the 2014 season:

Steven Ross is a liar. He said he had to see "progress" and "improvement" this year or he would strongly consider a coaching change. This came after 2013's 8-8 season record. Well here we are at the end of 2014 with yet another 8-8 record blowing our chances for a playoff berth even sooner than 2013! 

Oh wait! This team has improved right?! On paper, maybe they have BUT why identical records? Shouldn't that lead to more wins? 

Let me save you the time peanut gallery:

The offense had to learn a new system

There were a lot of injuries

The receivers dropped passes

The defense missed tackles

Ryan Tannehill didn't wear his lucky socks

Lamar Miller's left cleat was tied tighter than his right one

You know what excuses are like don't you??

The defense has regressed every year since Kevin Coyle took over as DC.

This team has been a joke for many years and it will continue. The team does not respect "Queasy" Joe. Can you blame them? I sure can't. We ended the season last year with the bully gate dysfunction and we ended the season this year with the Mike Wallace fiasco. 

It's always something with this team. 

Who needs a division title or a playoff berth??! At least they are entertaining, which is by all means, what the NFL is about! ENTERTAINMENT! Yes! The Dolphins won the title of being the most entertaining team to follow in the NFL! The season is a success!

I wonder what coaching candidates will be available for the 2016 season???











Endangered Species?

It's official. The Dolphins are a mediocre 8-8 and gift Jets QB Geno Smith a career day. I really got irritated  watching the Dolphins secondary allow a career high 13.9 pass yards per play to a career 6.34 pass yd./play quarterback. Equally distressing was Dolphins linemen watching Tannehill get inundated by a heavy Jets pass rush.

I don't know what's worse, at this point, laying down against the Jets, another year of Philbin or Coyle's defense thoroughly being mastered by a 26th-ranked qb on a three win team!

Rex Ryan threw salt on that gashed Dolphin with the fake punt first down pass. The Jets dumped a season's worth of humiliation on these beached Dolphins.

Dolphins GM Dennis Hickey is in a tough spot. How much more talent can he find, that can push these Dolphins out of their doldrums, any more than the talent they already have?


These are *your* Miami Dolphins

And you can keep them.

The owner makes his bold statement that he's keeping the coach. The media sees some potential here in the the team and if they show improvement and beat the jets, well, then....

And the team drops one that really wasn't that close. Take away Lamar Millers one run and, well, the offense was pretty bad. The defense was sad.

How can you not be prepared for this game?!

8-8. Mediocrity be thy name. It turned out pretty much as I predicted at around mis-season.

Good luck to the current fans, from what now is officially a former one.

Hahahaha. This team is a joke.