Saturday, December 19, 2015

Movin' On Up

The Chargers are in the running for the top overall 2016 draft pick, along with the Browns and Titans. All three teams are 3-10.

What does this mean for the 5-8 Dolphins, who currently hold the eighth pick?

A win for the Dolphins probably drops them out of the top ten picks. A win for the Chargers helps the Dolphins move up from eight, while not greatly affecting the Chargers bid for the top pick.

The Dolphins have a chance to get into the top five with a loss and a Ravens win vs. KC, a Cowboys win at home against the Jets, a Bengals loss at the 49ers and a Lions loss at the Saints.

Granted, some of these are a reach, and much is still to be decided in the last three games of the season. 

Yes, I'm a long-time Dolphins fan, but this season is over. It's time to start thinking about re-tooling a team with more holes to fill than available draft picks. A top five pick ensures the Dolphins have bargaining leverage to turn one pick into more down the board.

That's the best scenario. Less desirable is filling holes through free agency, a sore spot in the discussion about the Dolphins!

The salary cap problem

This terrible Dolphins team heads into this offseason about $2 milion OVER the projected salary cap. 

Given how the team has (under)performed, that goes to show you just how badly managed the team really is. Bad enough that there's a lack of talent.  Worse that they overpaid for it.

And with so many holes to fill, how will they dig themselves out? They'll cut a bunch of players.  That much we know. And that's fine, but then the dreaded word REBUILDING happens, because you have a very small  core of productive players to work with.

They'll restructure some other guys, like Suh.  As I understand the salary cap (and who does understand the confounded thing?), they can convert some of his salary to guaranteed money. There's some kind of formula for how it still counts against the cap, but over multiple years. So if they gave him $10 mil guaranteed, they could pay that over 5 years, and only have it count like $2 mil per year.

And then you need to sign players to fill out the roster, and work out contracts for them.  The danger is that you create another cap mess down the road, so they need to tread carefully.

And we're right back to: next year is going to be another waste simply because you'll have all new players, and very few high-priced ones.  There will still be holes on the roster (because there is no way they can churn the roster that much in one offseason), and a new coach.

That kind of change does not equate to winning in the short-term. Perhaps in 2-3 years, this team can be relevant again. But only if they handle this coach hire and the cap right.  Mess up either one, and you're 5 years away - yet again.

And I'll end with this, because its my favorite theme: given that the team is a couple of years away, why not go ahead and replace Tannehill now?  Get value for him, draft a new guy, and let him grow with the team.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

About those season ticket renewals

The story came out yesterday that the fins are telling some people that they can't renew because they sold too many of their tickets.

It turns out that the fins weren't just using the NFL ticket exchange as a source of checking resales. Apparently they were monitoring other sites and may have been actually visually inspecting some seats at games to see who was in them.

In at least one case, they reportedly told the fan that them reselling their tickets hurt the Dolphins because it took away the home field advantage (hey! Its the fans fault the team is bad!)

It may seem like an odd practice. Maybe even stupid. But after thinking about it, I realized it has a deeper purpose: money

Last year, when they reconfigured the seats, many season ticket holders were displaced so that big money could buy them. The better seats went to corporations or others that agreed to buy them. As I hear it, it wasn't just about selling them the seats as it was about becoming invested in the team in some way.

Then the corporations can use the tickets how they want, including giving them to fans of the opposing team.

And the story is that - as they continue the evolution of the stadium, they have more sections and seats targeted for a similar program.

So this isn't about reselling tickets as much as it is a convenient excuse to get some individual owners out, and getting some more corporations in.

It does serve to tick off some, but the Dolphins know that the fans that want to come will come anyway, perhaps sitting in other seats.

And As for those seats: the Dolphins know they're sold and increase the ticket sales as a result. And in some cases, I have no doubt that the seats are premium, meaning they don't have to revenue share them.

How's that for an owner who really only cares about the bottom line.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Info graphic of NFL broadcast

Short. Sweet. To the point. That's the beauty Dave's iPhone.

Tannehill

I'd like to give a shout out to Mike for his comments on Tannehill. It's what was thinking. Just what do people see in him?

I won't go into my thoughts (again! Ha!) since I've said it over and over and over again. I don't know how many times I have to say it (and no, I'm not gonna be the Alabama coach)

But I think the Dolphins - and fans - should take a hard look at how he plays. Most of us aren't talent evaluators and tend to be homers. We can - and should - look beyond the numbers and a drop here and there.

His failure to drive the team at the end of a close game is ON HIM. End of story.

And I for one am glad that Logan Thomas Has been moved to the active roster. Sure, it's to protect him from being signed by another team.

But I'm sincerely hoping he gets some playing time! It'd be great to see him start, but I'd settle for a few plays here and there.

It’s time for Stephen Ross to move to Miami or sell the team | ProFootballTalk

Awesome sauce...from PFT

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/12/16/its-time-for-stephen-ross-to-move-to-miami-or-sell-the-team/


Short. Sweet. To the point. That's the beauty Dave's iPhone.

About that mindset

I saw a couple of quotes from Dolphins players and coaches about the team. There seems to be a recurring theme that there's a losers mindset and that they keep seeing the same results.

And as I've said before this comes from the top. A few weeks ago, in the midst of losing, they asked people to renew their season tickets.

Then we hear today that they're telling some people that they can't renew. Hunh?

Your team is bad. You're begging for fans to come to games. You "prefer" them to be fans of your team, but don't complain when the stadium is more full than usual on Monday night - even though it seemed to be predominantly Giants fans.

In the days of yore, fans would buy a season ticket and sell any they couldn't use to a scalper, or a ticket reseller, or perhaps give them to a friend.

Then the NFL introduced the "ticket exchange" which is a means for them to control their tickets. They set the price. They make money on the transaction. And as fans "we" are assured we're getting legitimate tickets.

Then the Dolphins say that some fans have sold too many of the tickets through the program and won't be able to renew.

Isn't that going to have the effect of turning off some fans? It's not like these are the packers and people are willed tickets.

There are invariably some available. And if someone wants to buy your product - even if they intend to sell it to someone else - isn't it better to create a relationship and encourage a fan base than to just turn them away?

As I said, the team sets the price, so it's not like the ticket holders are making tons of money on reselling premium games.

And what of those people who do the same thing, but through a 3rd party like Stubhub?

It goes along with a mindset that would seem to be along the lines of lame.

Why so high on 17 ?

So, I just want to know why with every game that passes everyone always defends Tannehill, he does some good things, he shows a glimmer of hope and skill, but there is also the fat too many times when he doesn't come through.  So I just don't understand when I don't defend him and see through his mistakes that everyone seems to back him up like he is a franchise stud who proves himself.  Stat, he went 25-41 for 1 touchdown and didn't have a horrible game vs NY but the kicker is, when they needed him the most late in the game to close the gap, tie or even take a lead he went three and out.  That has happened all too often while he has been the QB of the Dolphins.  Does he deserve another chance under a new system, yes.  But what if it's the same 17 then what ? do we still defend him because we are that desperate ?

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

50 Year Celebration TV Special

The NFL Network will air a one hour special on Wednesday night, 12/16, from 8-9 PM all Dolfans will want to watch.

The show is about our 50 year history, the top 50 players and the teams past weekend celebration.

Should be a great aspirin after last night's headache.

Phins Up!!!

Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

NFL rule book

If anyone is interested in a little "light reading" and wants to become well versed in the rules, you can find the rule book here:

http://uaasnfl.blob.core.windows.net/live/1807/2015_nfl_rule_book_final.pdf

They *are* who we thought they were

Andrew Abramson at the palm beach post says the Dolphins aren't who we thought they were.

But I'd disagree. They're exactly who I thought they were (and "we" let them off the hook)

C'mon man! 8-8 was the absolute best I hoped for this season. I had no expectations of them doing well. Of Tannehill turning a corner. Of anything really.





50th celebration

I have to say that it was awfully nice of the Giants to pay tribute to the Dolphins history last night.

I mean it was terrific to see a #13 out at Joe Robbie stadium tearing it up once again!

(Har har)

Garbage time

That's what the remainder of the season is. Local reporters, and likely many fans, had convinced themselves that the Dolphins were better than the Giants and would somehow win the game.

But Eli Manning and OBJ weren't having it. And Tom Coughlin out coached Campbell. And so now the Dolphins are officially done in 2015, yet they still have to play 3 more wretched games. That's all garbage time.

As for Tannehill, he had an up and down night. But what he didn't do was find a way to win. The team had the ball with 5 minutes left, and great QBs give their team a chance to win. He went basically 3 and out and then the Giants ran out the clock. Sadly, that's what we've come to expect.

Since it's garbage time, why not start the young kid from Va Tech next week?

Setting aside my thoughts about him, where were his receivers? And in particular where was Parker? Wasn't he supposed to follow up last weeks performance and show why he's a first round pick?

Why get away from the run game so completely when it worked well in the first half?

Where was the pass rush? And what happened to the secondary? Brent Grimes got old and couldn't cover Tom Coughlin if he were running routes.

After the game, I caught that OBJ had a dolphins jersey on his shoulder during an interview. Is this a new trend? Go to the guy you beat and take his jersey? "Here's my mantle...that's the football I caught for the long TD. And there's the jersey of the guy I beat to get it."

About the 50th celebration at halftime. It makes me sad to think that's what this once-proud franchise was. And if you look at the great players from the all-time group, they all come from the first 40 years of the team. The last 10 are irrelevant and hasn't produced any memorable stars.

And the "throwback" uniforms were weird. Yeah, they had the 70s era logo on the helmets. But the jersey color was wrong, and the socks were off. It was close, but just not quite right IMHO. My point being that even when they try and honor the past in some way, they can't get it quite right.

Monday, December 14, 2015

You Had 1 Job Dolphins...

Odell Beckham JR. You know, the Giants receiver who wears #13. Shutting down or even minimizing his productivity would have increased your chances to win by you know, A LOT! And what happens? Beckham goes off, all night long. Good job Miami. 1 playoff berth in the last 14 years. Go Jacksonville, Oakland, Tampa Bay! Who woulda thought those 3 teams would be better than Miami this year!? What a joke of a franchise...

Competition needs to be brought at the QB position

This season has obviously not been what we all expected, and in a season with a weak AFC, it looks like the Dolphins will be on the outside looking in again. Now I don't believe Tannehill is the biggest problem and believe we should invest picks on the offensive line again to hopefully sure it up. I do however believe that we should use either a mid round pick on a QB, or pick up one up during free agency to at the very least bring in some other competition to push Tannehill.  I like Moore but it is apparent that he is a career back up quarterback and I don't think he poses a legitimate threat to overtake Tannehill as the starter.

I like the idea of a mid round pick on a QB because at that position you never know what you could get. Russell Wilson was a 3rd round pick and I know they are hard to find but why not take a chance in like the 4th round or so. Obviously there are other positions of need and using a pick on a quarterback might not be in the best interest to win immediately but I would like to see them take a gamble especially if we have to rebuild next season depending on what happens with the coaching staff (Possibly getting a Shula back to south Florida?). I still believe however Tannehill will be the starter come next season because in this league quarterbacks are hard to come by and we have committed the money. 

So what do you guys think? Is it foolish to invest a pick on a quarterback? If not who do you want in either the draft or free agency (Manziel or RG3?). Look what happened to Rishard Matthews, the threat of Parker pushed him to his best season of his career.       

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Stability

I was just reading about Mike Tomlin. He's *only* the 3rd coach the steelers have had since 1969, with Chuck Noll and Bill Cowher being the other two.

And they each have reached 90 wins in their careers.

That's amazing.

By the way, the steelers also own the record for wins since the merger in 69, passing the Dolphins a couple of seasons ago.

It makes you wonder where and how the Dolphins went wrong. But most likely it starts with ownership. The steelers are still owned by the same family.

A family which talks about stability as being a hallmark of the franchise.

And in case anyone forgot, Tomlin was interviewed for the coaching vacancy in Miami when Saban left.

The quarterback list

I know I bash Tannehill a lot. I'm also smart enough to realize he's not the biggest problem on this team.

Arguably (with the exception of d-line and maybe receiver) there are holes to fill in every single unit. And changing QBs doesn't solve that.

But can you imagine if there was a QB who could take advantage of the reviving corps? That would be something.

And having a top tier QB does invariably help a team to suddenly get better.

So that's why I'm always on him. He should be the face of the franchise. Rather than a guy who fills a uniform.

I thought I'd have a little fun this off Sunday and consider the starting QBs since Marino and rank them from best/most contribution to the team's limited success, to worst.

And would you look at that? Tannehill is in the upper portion. No wonder are standards are set so low. We haven't seen a good QB down here in a decade...

Chad Pennington
Jay Fiedler
AJ Feeley
Trent Green
Ryan Tannehill
Sage Rosenfels
Gus Frerotte
Damon Huard
Ray Lucas
Brian Griese
Matt Moore
Joey Harrington
Daunte Culpepper
Cleo Lemon
John Beck
Chad Henne
Tyler Thigpen
Pat White (who didn't actually start a game but did play often enough to warrant a mention)