Saturday, January 16, 2016


So what are every ones thoughts on Adam Gase and his staff that he has hired so far? I honestly don't have an opinion one way or another but I think the Browns are going to be tremendously improved this year with Hue Jackson and still believe the Phins should have followed through with their interview with him...

Does age matter?

From the Wall Street Journal last week-

Florida Resort Allows Guests To Swim With Miami Dolphins - The Onion - America's Finest News Source

Gotta love the onion

Friday, January 15, 2016

Free Agent Guards

Listed below are the top 2016 free agent guards. They are ranked by Walter Football, graded by Pro Football Focus and last contract by Spotrac.

Kelechi Osemele, G/OT, Ravens. Age: 27  grade 79.6  4-yrs. $3,345,870
Evan Mathis, G, Broncos. Age: 34  grade 88.6  1-yr. $3,250,000
Alex Boone, G, 49ers. Age: 29 grade 65  2-yrs. $6,000,000
Jeff Allen, G, Chiefs. Age: 26 grade 85.8  4-yrs. $4,643,822
Richie Incognito, G, Bills. Age: 33 grade 90  1-yr. $1,100,000
Ramon Foster, G, Steelers. Age: 30 grade 82.7  3-yrs. $5,500,000

A familiar name from the Dolphins past, Incognito revived his career in Buffalo. He and Mathis are not only the top graded guards, but also the oldest. Curiously, well-regarded 49ers' Boone was graded poorly by PFF. He's also very expensive. 

GM Canamdolphin targets the Chiefs' Allen. He's still young, has an excellent grade and his last contract didn't break the bank. The Chiefs are a good run-blocking team. The Dolphins could use good run blocking to keep the sack hounds off Tannehill. Second choice is the Ravens' Osemele, for many of the same reasons. 

The Dolphins won't be able to fill all their holes with the draft. Restructuring a few large contracts would enable the Dolphins to dip a toe (fin?) in the free agent pool to bolster their offensive line. That two of the league's oldest guards had the highest grades shows how much experience matters. As the Dolphins found out, rookies on the offensive line is a risky proposition.

Special message from Rams and chargers fans

Okay so maybe Steve Ross is not *the worst* owner in football. The fans of both the Chargers and Rams have a point,...

Sent from my iPad

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Random thoughts

I'm amused at the way the NFL owners are fighting back against the lack of stadium money by moving teams.  The San Antonio Raiders?  The LA Chargers?  The LA Rams make some sense, and reminds me of a time 20-or so years ago when the Rams left LA for St. Louis. There was a sign at a restaurant in LA that said "today's special: Lack of Ram"

Now they get the Ram back.

I also noticed Doug Pederson is going to be the next coach of the Eagles.  About 15 or so years ago, I met Pederson at an event.  We chatted for a while and he was really nice.  It turned out that he was having an issue with a product from a company I was working for; I helped him get it resolved.

I tried to get him on a podcast some years later, and used the angle of having helped didn't pan out, but he was appreciative of what I did.

Just one of those odd moments in life.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Dolphins Free Agents

With a new coaching staff, roster churning is inevitable. However, there are some players who have played out their contracts and have become free agents. Here's the list of Dolphins free agents with their last contract:

DE Olivier Vernon  4-yrs. $2,848,080
RB Lamar Miller 4-yrs. $2,586,000
DE Derrick Shelby 1-yr. $2,356,000
WR Rishard Matthews 4-yrs. $2,153,612
 QB Matt Moore 1-yr. $3,600,000
DB Louis Delmas 1-yr. $2,250,000
LB Kelvin Sheppard 1-yr. $2,000,000
LB Spencer Paysinger 1-yr. $745,000
G Shelley Smith 1-yr. $745,000
LB James-Michael Johnson 1-yr. $660,000

C Jacques McClendon 1-yr. $745,000
TE Brandon Williams 1-yr. $585,000

GM Canamdolphin keeps Vernon, Miller and Shelby and lets the rest go. The Dolphins bean counters have to find a way to keep the talent they have and to make cap space for other needs, like offensive linemen. Fortunately, the free agent talent pool for offensive linemen is stacked.

There's also the matter of DE Dion Jordan, 4-yrs. $20,572,309, one year remaining at $5,143,077. Maybe the Dolphins new coaching staff will figure out how to best use Jordan, IF they keep him. Jordan is one strike away from early retirement. Maybe a switch to linebacker, a Dolphins weakness, can salvage his talents. There aren't many linebacker options in free agency.

Cam Wake, IR, signed a 5-yrs. $33,200,000 contract and has one year remaining at $8,275,000. The combination of age, 33, and injury will force a tough decision on the Dolphins. The cap hit for Wake is $9,800,000. Surely, the Dolphins are monitoring his rehab to get an early read on his chances to pick up where he left off.

Hopefully, the Dolphins keep their talent and find ways to add to it.

Stand up comedy curteousy of the owner

Monday, January 11, 2016

Tannehill pic


Making It Work

If what EVP Mike Tannenbaum said is true, the new system will entail GM Chris Grier bringing in the talent and HC Adam Gase having the authority to cut the talent.

As Tannenbaum stated at the press conference "Grier is in charge of the IN door and Gase is in charge of the OUT door."

Gase also added that the scheme's he will implement will be based upon putting the talent on the roster into the best position to win. He wants them to do what they do best.

This is very interesting situation for any franchise. And if what owner Steve Ross said is in fact true, that everyone needs to be on the same page and all nodded approvingly, then the system in place could take many years to show its rewards.

Lets say that we had a definitive scheme and then we could hopefully draft and sign free agents accordingly to fill spots for depth at needed positions.

Now I say hopefully, because were you draft and who becomes available in those picks and their corresponding value are like playing roulette. You can anticipate who may be available but you just never know when your pick actually shows up as to whether that player is available or not.

And even in free agency, you never know who will actually want to come to your franchise or who may out bid you.

So when your franchise is struggling and trying to build depth for a certain system it is so difficult to get all the stars aligned in building a roster and going from worst to first.

Now Gase sounds like a guy who just wants to coach whomever he gets. Give me 11 and lets see what they can do and I will devise a strategy from there.

So one year he could be cooking up this recipe depending on the groceries brought to him and then maybe a variation the next year.

This guy could in fact be an offensive genius and a great strategist.  Grier could be an outstanding evaluator as well.

But so much of theirs and our success will be guided by the stars as with any franchise trying to get out the whole dug so long ago.

If you are New England or Seattle or Pittsburg, you can draft your kind of guys and develop them to next man up later with out missing too many beats.

And that is were we need to get to. Figure out what we got, where we want to go and hopefully get the right guys in here to implement it.

In the meantime, Gase could be a mad scientist, or a short order cook for that matter, as he tries to make us as competitive as possible until all our stars do get aligned.

Phins Up!!!
Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971 

NFL Team Helmets Re-Imagined With Star Wars… EPIC!

new found respect for Philbin

If Armando's notes are accurate, and he wasn't a fan of Tannehill, then I guess I think more highly of Philbin than I realized.

Too bad he lost that "battle" and couldn't bench Tannehill.  Might have kept his job, and maybe the Dolphins might be good.

Clearly, the personnel people don't know how to evaluate a QB. Not saying that I do, but putting that much faith in the QB is beyond silly....

Marry- Go- Round.

How does this team consistently repeat it's failures over and over and not take another route ? The press conference sold me that this has all the makings of another failure of a hiring.  Number one, what owner goes up there and basically says, " we will be good under Gase but not next year" who says that  ?? and to listen to Ross talk is like listening to a third grader, in fact i'd rather listen to a third grader speak.  Then Gase gets up there and has no eye contact, no presence, no excitement and says nothing other than generic BS.  This organization is continuing it's dysfunction and it starts with Ross.  Sadly until he sells, I don't believe they will ever win, but... I could be wrong because they are except for on the field play, a "first class organization"

It sounds nice but then reality sets in

Yesterday, I posted that I couldn't understand why the Dolphins decided to put all of their faith in Tannehill. 

But I'm willing to set that aside and hope for the best.  Hey, its the offseason where hope springs eternal!

Then, I had another thought.  It seems clear that the new model for the NFL is for someone to play GM and he finds players. And they find a coach who can work with said GM, but his job is to manage those players.  Coach has no real input on the players, his job is to get them ready to play.

So Gase will have no control over the roster.  And the roster as it stands now is a problem.  The Dolphins haven't drafted well in the last .... many? ... years, and have many needs.

Clearly, free agency is not the answer to solving the problem.  Drafting well is.  I heard Joe Rose this morning make a comment that it sucks to see players reaching their prime and playing well elsewhere; or reaching their prime and not playing at all, meaning it was a miss.

And that's when it hit me: the time to hit your prime as a drafted player is about 4 years.  4 years!  If the Dolphins have next-to-no one on the roster they've drafted, then as they start trying to fill holes, you have to expect that it will take 4 years for them to hit their prime.

Sure, turnarounds can happen quickly.  Can.  But they don't often.  Especially when there's a lack of talent.

While there's hope, we're still probably several years away.  And with the NFL and its current win-or-die attitude, you have to wonder if this coach will survive that long.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Dolphins Looking For One Vision

After all the turmoil of the past season and all the recent changes in the hierarchy in the Miami Dolphins organization, a new way of operating has been implemented.

Do yourself a favor and go onto and watch Greg Likens' interview with owner Steve Ross on the Finsiders.

I know a lot of fans are not pleased with Ross' ownership and, after watching the interview, you will see that he realizes that he couldn't blame us.  He doesn't come right out and admit it but he does admit some interesting tidbits.

Watch it and see if you can see what I mean before I just tell you. You may be as impressed as I was.

Also watch Likens interview with new Head Coach Adam Gase. Now this one gives me mixed emotions.  You can clearly see that he is a bit uncomfortable with the media which is understandable for a young guy thrust into that position but that is what comes with the territory.

With such a young roster, Gase has to assemble a very good teaching staff and then have a couple good game managers at his disposal. He is keeping Darren Rizzi to run the Special Teams, whom I liked since his days at Rutgers.

Gase is interesting to say the least.  He does garner a lot of praise but the lack of Head Coaching experience is the big question here in my eyes.

I wish he would have had some HC time on his resume but Don Shula took over the Colts at age 33 with no HC time on his resume. So have plenty other successful Head Coaches.

But many more have failed.

So the Dolphins are in the hands of Executive Vice President Mike Tannebaum. For better or worse, his finger prints are all over the organization now.

Lets hope they got it right this time.

Phins Up!!!
Carl Leone
Dolfan since 12/25/1971

Today's games

I enjoyed the early contest, though it was interesting that the game ended on a missed field goal. Reminds me of an Ace Ventura moment...

The second game, well, that brings to mind a point. Arguably, all of the best QBs in the league (who weren't injured) not only made the playoffs with their teams, but got a bye. Brady, Peyton, Cam, and Palmer. Yep, pretty much the best....and in the wild card round, in every game the team with the better QB prevailed. Rodgers, Wilson, Rothlisberger, and Alex Smith (who doesn't get enough credit).

And consider that the one QB who I have a man crush on, Bridgewater, did everything right leading his team on what shoulda been a game winning drive. Its not his fault the kicker missed a chip shot win.

Weird that all 4 road teams won - proving (again) that its not about simply making it to the dance. Its about being good and entering the playoffs on a roll, and with a good QB.

Yesterday's playoff games -

Because, you know, it's football, I watched parts of both games yesterday. The first game was a dog (eyes roll) but the second was mostly fun.

The Texans - Chiefs game was a clear illustration of the difference between "making" the playoffs and simply getting into the playoffs. The Texans won a very weak division and were humbled by a team that was on a roll.

Teams that get it done week in and week out are generally going to win.

And on the second game, in spite of Mike Carey's report to the contrary, the officiating was haphazard and inconsistent. And sometimes just bad.

The rule about helmet to helmet contact is clear. The rule about making contact with the helmet is also clear. The defenseless receiver situation is to protect players but touching the helmet trumps that. Doesn't matte if he was defenseless. The goal is to protect players.

As I watched the game, they called a few that were right. Called a few that were iffy. And didn't call others that were clearly fouls. And each time the call - or no call - influenced the game.

But it didn't stop there. They had some lame calls in other situations that made me scratch my head.

The end game was odd. Sure, the Bungles blew it. First you had a pick where Burfict ran to the wrong end zone but (lucky for him) was called down. Then, you had the RB try and get extra yardage. You have the ball and the lead. Duh. Fumble of course.

And the steelers got close. Okay on the pass to Brown that was the right call; Burfict made contact. He led with his shoulder but came in late and hit his helmet. But tell me how that was different than the hit on the Bengals RB a few series earlier that caused a fumble. That one was helmet to helmet.

Anyway officiating took an odd turn at that point. Players and coaches were on the field tending to Brown. And Joey Porter - yes the guy who famously called out Cam Cameron - started getting in the bengals players faces. And after some back and forth jones gets called for a penalty on the bengals.

I'm sorry. What? What was porter doing on the field? And why was he trying to stir the pot? In a way, he won that game - or at least influenced the outcome. And that is just wrong.

The officials should have penalized both teams and sent them to the benches and porter should have been removed from the game.

That's just messed up.

Here's what I don't get

The Dolphins hired a guy with no head coaching experience to be the head coach, offensive coordinator, and to work with Tannehill. 

How can someone focus on *that* his first time out?  And what of the overall team, its attitude and health, the locker room, and all the nagging issues that mount through a season.  Especially from a guy who looks like he's 14?  How does he get the respect of the team?

And over on defense there's expected to be a guy who's only ever been a db coach (for a short time) who takes over.  How's that gonna work out when Suh doesn't get what he wants?

This has the makings of a disaster.

But here's the thing that really makes me scratch my head.  What do they see in Tannehill?  They have gotten him multiple coordinators, weapons, they've tried (and failed) to get the line upgraded.  And now they hired a coach who they specifically said they want to work with Tannehill to help him grow.  That seems to have been a critical part of their decision - stupid as that sounds.

But I still don't see in him that intangible that makes every great QB. Where's the moxie?  The fire?  Why wasn't he ever the captain? Why does no one consider him a leader?  Why didn't he make calls when it mattered - and I'm talking simple things like a timeout when you're on the goal line an time is running out?

So maybe he turns out to be "better" than I thought. Maybe they're right.  But I don't think he's ever gonna win you a big game.  EVER.  Even if he does get better.

And that's what I can't figure out.

But then again, Tannenbaum hired a guy that works for *him* and his ability to keep his job.  If the guy can't help Tannehill - and remember that Tannenbaum didn't draft Tannehill - then its easy to blame the previous GM, and keep the coach on a short leash.  And if things go really south, its all the coaches fault.

Hiring a bigger name with an ego wasn't good for his own career prospects.

Basically, he set up Gase to fail.  And if he succeeds he looks like a hero.  Nice.


The Dolphins have nearly perfected this "thing". Still, they're splashing around in the deep end of the news pool reserved for playoff teams.

The Hickey parting didn't make a very loud sound in the playoffs hubbub. Hiring Gase to coach/coordinate the Dolphins has split the air like a cannonball dive in a resort swimming pool.

Every fan has a right to their opinions and I respect that.

One that caught my eye raised concerns that the Dolphins head coach hire of an offensive coordinator in a division of defensive coaches was a bad move.

In actuality, the Dolphins hired a head coach who has made his living devising ways to beat defenses. It's an innovative and strategic move by a team more known for its misses!



Adam Gase.

I would have loved Hue Jackson buuuuuutttttttttttt Miami canceled their interview with him and obviously decided to hand Gase the keys to the franchise.

He can supposedly fix Tannehill and that's great. I hope he does. 

My question is, who is gonna fix the OLine, LBers, and now that Grimes has started declining, the CBs?

It is rumored that Hue Jackson is going to San Francisco as the head coach...

If the Niners make the playoffs next year and Miami does not, I will officially be a Seahawks fan! LOL

Truth is, I truly have no expectations for the Phins this next season. We have ALL been fooled too much, and I for one, will not be fooled again. I'd rather be surprised if they turn out half decent.

Good Luck Mr. Gase.