From O Rob
Q – Mike, in your opinion, does the fact that Brian Hartline having spent a whole season with Ryan Tannehill create a chemistry of throw and catch with the 2? and do you think this is one of the factors that miami has pursued Hartline and signed him to the recent contract?
Rob, I most definitely believe that chemistry is important. There is comfort level, and matter of trust that is developed between a QB and receiver, whether it’s a TE, or WR. How quickly that can be developed will vary with different QB’s and receivers, but when that bond is there, it’s obvious. When I watch Peyton Manning play, he most definitely relies on the guys he trusts most. He loved Erick Decker, because he knew if Decker was supposed to be at a certain spot, he’d be there. Demaryius Thomas is the more physically gifted receiver, but I can see that manning and Decker were always on the same page, while Demaryius Thomas and manning were not.
I need to be clear that I’m not saying a player couldn’t come in here and quickly develop that kind of rapport with Tannehill as well, but Hartline is a good player, a very disciplined route runner who knows how to use the perimeter of the field to his advantage, and is a pretty sure handed guy that we developed, and he thrived in our system. Why let a guy go that’s a young player, great teammate, and big contributor to your offense? Answer is, YOU DON’T! His salary is commensurate with what he does, inflated by free agency just like any other free agent salary will be. He will get more TD’s when there are other players here that are true threats at receiver, both at WR and TE. He’s a player I’m really happy we brought back.
Q – Do you feel that we paid Hartline for future potential or for career performance? Additionally, do you feel we overpaid?
This ties into Rob’s question a bit, but it addresses a slightly different angle. I think we’re paying for both, as is usually the case. I think the only case where it’s the latter only is the rookie contract, and I personally feel like if you’re giving a player a contract for past performance only, you should be out of a job. it’s a business, and a harsh one at that. When you can no longer play at the level you once did, but expect to be paid for what you USED TO BE, it’s very likely not going to happen. Jake Long is an excellent example of that. Ireland simply can’t pay him for what he did, he has to pay for both, and I think what he can bring NOW and in the FUTURE, is the hangup. It probably resides more around $8M with tons of protection against Jake getting injured.
As far as overpaying, I do think we overpaid a bit, as I said in my response to O Rob, due to the fact that he was a free agent. Once a player enters that realm, and the team no longer has leverage, it’s going to happen. I think if we let it go another week, and we tried to sign him, it would be even more.
From Chris (drg)
Q – Hey Mike,
I’ve read where the sweet spot to find Pro Bowl caliber receivers is late first and second rounds. Outside of your obvious talents such as both Johnsons, Fitzgerald, etc. a team has just as good of chance picking a great WR with the R1P12 selection as they would a second round pick. Has that held true the last five years?
This is an excellent question! I’d figure I’d take a 5 year sampling to see how it worked out.. I’m not going to bore with you with statistics, but rather take 4 WR’s as a sample from each draft. In the 2008 draft, there were no WR taken in the 1st RD.
What I’ll do to make it a an even sample, I’ll take two WR’s from the 1st RD and two from the 2nd RD, unless like 2008, there were none taken in RD 1.
In 2008, Donnie Avery, Devin Thomas, Jordy Nelson and DeSean Jackson were taken from the top of the 2nd to the middle of the 2nd. Both Avery and Thomas have played for 3 different teams and have had less than stellar careers so far, while Jordy Nelson and DeSean Jackson have had very good careers despite being taken later than Avery and Thomas, #33 and #34 respectively (Nelson was #36 and Jackson #49)
In 2009, Darrius Heyward Bey was #7 and Jeremy Maclin #19. Kenny Britt was taken #30 and Brian Robiskie #36. Maclin has really thrived with the Eagles and Britt has done well with Tennessee, but Heyward-Bey and Robiskie have not. Heyward-Bey finally put together a good season in 2011, and a decent one in 2012, but for a #7 pick, I’m not sure his first 2 seasons would be tolerated here where he a total of 35 passes for 490 yards with 2 TD’s.
In 2010, Demaryius Thomas was the first WR off the board at #22 followed by Dez Bryant 2 picks later. In the 2nd RD, Arrelious Benn was taken at #39 and then Golden Tate went to the Seahawks at #60. Thomas had a Monster year with Peyton Manning as the QB last year, and looks all the world to be a dominant WR. Dez Bryant has also shown he is a top WR. Benn showed promise early, but only started 1 game due to injury last year. Golden Tate is steadily improving, and is a good WR who is incrementally getting better.
In 2011, AJ Green was selected at #4 and 2 picks later came the big trade up for Julio Jones. In the 2nd RD, Titus Young was taken at #44 and Torrey Smith at #58. All of these players have had good starts to their careers, with lone screw-up being Titus Young, and that was an attitude deal, not a lack of talent. Green and Jones are 2 dominant players, and Torrey Smith is also enjoying a lot of success in Baltimore. Of note, Randall Cobb was taken 2 picks after pick #62, the infamous trade up for DTinfinity.
In 2012, Justin Blackmon was the first WR off the board at #5, followed by Michael Floyd at #13. In the 2nd RD, Stephen Hill went to the Jests at #43, and Ryan Broyles went #54. It’s only one year, and hard to judge from a rookie season, but Blackmon is the real deal, and Michael Floyd had a decent rookie season, while Stephen Hill needs work and Broyles is also a work in progress.
It’s really a mixed bag, with some early 1st RD misses, and some excellent 2nd RD studs. I can’t say that 1st RD receivers have been worth it over their 2nd RD counterparts. There have been successes and failures in both rounds, but obviously, it’s easier to tolerate failure at pick #54 as compared to #4.
My take is if there is a WR you think can be a real difference to your offense, and it’s a need, and he’s there for you, take him, even in the 1st, especially if the next time you pick, the other guys you have rated close you know have no shot at being there. I don’t know if there is such a WR in this draft that we have rated very high, I suspect we don’t. I think we will be taking either a DE, OL, or CB with our 1st pick, especially if we sign either Greg Jennings or Mike Wallace.
From Lee (Wyoming85)
Q – Which of the 3 options do you like for the OL?
Long LT Martin RT
Martin LT Long RT
Martin LT Winston RT
I would prefer the last one, with Martin at LT, and Winston at RT. I just don’t see us re-signing Jake Long, and I don’t think there is a shot in hell he’d be willing to play RT. He’s a prideful guy, and he wouldn’t accept a demotion to RT in my opinion. I also believe Martin has the tools to be a good LT, and he will show it this season to all his doubters.
Q – Philbin is trying to make this team into a family, which TV family below is he most shooting for it to be like? Extra points — which did it most resemble under the Triumverate?
That’s easy. It’s the Waltons If you go to training camp, you can hear at about 10:00, Goodnight Davone, Goodnight Chas, Goodnight Chris, Goodnight Ryan, Goodnight Reggie, Goodnight Karlos, Goodnight Kevin, Goodnight Paul (And PUT DOWN THAT DRUMSTICK!), Goodnight Nolan, Goodnight Michael (And STOP SNIVELING!!!!), Goodnight Jorvorskie (And GET OFF THE PHONE WITH GIGI!), Goodnight Richie, Goodnight Brian, Goodnight Kheeston, Goodnight Sean (And STOP FUCKING TWEETING!), Goodnight Mr. Cam, Goodnight Jimmy (And PUT THAT GUN DOWN!), Goodnight Matt, Goodnight Rishard, Goodnight Marlon etc. etc. etc.