Q -“O-Line improvement is Miami’s greatest need in the 2014 draft. What, in your view, is our second greatest need?”
This is a pretty open ended question, and I’ll answer it as such. I’m not sure if you meant via the draft, and you may have, but in my view, we must change the General Manager of this team. Any fan of the Miami Dolphins can see there is some kind of disconnect between the GM picking the players, and the Coaching staff that evaluates the players, trains the players, prepares the players, and then plays (or doesn’t) play the players during the regular (Forget playoffs, we don’t qualify!) Something is amiss when the top talent you bring in can’t see any playing time on a very mediocre 8-8 team. It’s not like we were 12-4, and we had a dearth of talent ahead of these guys, but quite the contrary, with the exception of Dion Jordan, of which I’ll discuss later. Our O-line was a hot mess all year long, and we did draft Dallas Thomas in the 3rd RD, who has played both OT and OG. It shocks me that an UDFA like Sam Brenner leapfrogged Thomas to play G, but what about the struggles we had at LT, and RT? From all reports, Thomas is training to play LT, but do we see him there? No sir.
At CB, we had a lot of injuries, Dmitri Patterson was injured in and out most of the year, and don’t forget that Brent Grimes was coming back from a serious knee injury last year, so the need for CB’s was serious enough need to draft TWO CB’s, 2nd RD pick Jamar Taylor and 3rd RD pick Will Davis. I don’t have exact snap counts for either player, but I would guess around 5 total for Taylor, who finished the year with 1 tackle, and no other stats. Will Davis appeared in some capacity in 5 games and logged in with 8 tackles, most likely ST’s.
Dustin Keller, TE was injured right before the season began, so we had a need for a TE, right? Charles Clay had a breakout season, but we also had a TE that was drafted last year in RD 3, Michael Egnew, who played all of 1 snap in 2012. Yes, Michael Egnew, 6’6” 260, who runs a 4.64 40, and played like a WR at Mizzou. “I have a wonderful idea” says Mike Sherman, let’s play Michael Egnew at FB!!! He may have been better off trying Egnew at OLB, and sitting Philip Wheeler’s ass down instead!
What I’m getting at is this, and it can’t just be me who perceives it this way, that the people who are in charge of player personnel on the field, don’t see eye to eye with the people in charge of acquiring the players via the NFL draft. Time to usher Jeff Ireland out the door, and time to say goodbye and good luck to a really nice fellow in Joe Philbin. They were supposed to be working in tandem, and they have said as much, but if they did, WTF!!! What happened???
To cut to the chase OD, we need a new GM, and that man must be allowed to build his staff as he sees fit. No half assed attempt at rebuilding, he must choose his own Head Coach, and then the rest will be filled out by the new Head Coach. Philbin doesn’t have the heart to fire his friends, so we’ll take that responsibility from him, and give it to the new GM, who rightfully cleans house.
Q – Not talking OL or even DT, cause pretty clear those will fall into the “need” category. And assume Grimes will be back (cause he will). Whether it be a high-priced FA or high in the draft, at what position would you spend the chips for a potential impact player.
I like it! A thought provoking, challenging question! I would love to get another playmaker in the secondary. I like “The Chris Clemons”, because he keeps containment, and rarely gives up the big play, but that’s all he excels at. He never plays the ball, and Reshad Jones had a bad year, and may have been a one year wonder. If we could upgrade at S, and pair that with Grimes, that’s more turnovers for our defense.
Unfortunately, we can’t afford to spend $$$ on LB’s, and we may well see a serious competition with Jelani Jenkins and Philip Wheeler next season. While Wheeler is expensive, that doesn’t mean we have to play him, we unfortunately just have to pay him.
I could see giving a 2 year contract to RB Maurice Jones-Drew. We need a RB we can count on, and I’m rather disappointed we don’t have one, after trading up once into the 2nd RD for Daniel Thomas, and trading up in the 4th RD for Lamar Miller. Hard to say with the combination of an ineffective O-line and Mike Sherman giving up after 12 carries, but it seems like Miller may be suited as a change of pace type back, and DT simply can’t be counted on to last a full season. MJD is also an excellent pass blocker, and lord knows, we can use of those!
from Rigel (M13)
Q – Dear Mike E,
Happy New Year, Bro! Wishing you and your fam the VERY best for 2014!
Question: in the event that Jeff Ireland is canned, who are YOUR top-3 GM candidates to replace him… and why?
Thanks for your weekly column and KNOW that it’s very much appreciated by ALL!
~Rigel “BALL-HAWK!!!” Spikes
This may be a disappointment for you, but I don’t profess to know anything about GM’s, because I don’t have an inside track as to the effects any of these executive men have had for their teams. I’ll answer it this way. There are guys that learn from strong organizations, like the Baltimore Ravens, New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packer etc. The problem with that is, you never which person (s) are the driving force there, and and maybe ALL of the credit goes to one guy, rather than many from that particular organization, but we will assume that anyone underneath the wing of a successful NFL mind, say Ozzie Newsome, will be able to duplicate the success they had, having learned from that person. It may, or may not be the case.
You, GDP, Al and some others have thrown around the hot names, Rick Reiprish, Eric DeCosta, Russ Ball, etc. I’m just a fan of the Miami Dolphins, and the NFL in general, but this is really out of my realm of knowledge bro.
The most important thing is, we pick the right guy, and that obviously means the end of Ireland here, which just has to happen. That in and of itself is a step in the right direction.
from O Rob
Q – Mike,
I’m surprised at your turnabout of this team, you were more patient with Sparano and co, no way is 2 years enough to evaluate Philbin, you don’t rock the boat at this time.
if Ross were to fire Philbin and Ireland at this juncture it would be very raiderish and we would be in big trouble as that would show the NFL world Ross is a terrible owner, it would be very hard to get another solid coach in here due to the untimely firing.
Ross started this when he hired Philbin he has to stick to his guns until Philbin is given adequate time and that would mean keeping Ireland as well. i’m shocked you can’t see this.
in a year where there are 6 teams courting HCs and Lovie Smith being the top candidate there’s no good options for Ross even if he went that route. most of the ireland haters are simply acting out of emotion, they want irelands and philbins head due to disappointment but have no answers for their replacements.
we were not that bad in 2013, we beat some very good teams, we also contended up until week 17.
this team is becoming a veteran team coaching staff and players, we will be better next year.
My thoughts? Was that a question or a lecture? 🙂
See my answers to OD, they explain most of the reasons why I want Ireland fired, and why I think Joe Philbin is the right man to be our Head Coach.
Q – Happy New Year Mike E,
Serious question: you are probably the most level-headed, non-polarizing person on this board, which is why I think you are probably as well respected as you are (at least by me), so I am left to wonder how you became so adamant in your position on the team direction in the last 2 or so weeks? I think I agree with you mostly, but I felt this way for some time. I guess my question is: what finally pushed you over the edge?
I think we all see things from our own perspective, but I think it was clear enough that we had enough talent on this team to beat the NE Patriots for one entire half of football in our first meeting, and then beat them in 4 QTR’s in the second meeting. We also beat the Cincinnati Bengals, the Indianapolis Colts, the Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers and maybe our most complete game, beating the NY Jets. Except the New Orleans Saints game, we were right in almost every game, the scores were all with the outcome hanging in the balance.
We have 2 games left in the season. First game is a divisional foe, and when you play a divisional foe, they know you inside and out, and you know them inside and out. The weather was poor, lots of wind, rain, but really, not much worse than playing in Pittsburgh in the bitter cold, with snow and slush on the field. I think it’s fair to expect 2 things from your team in this game.
- Knowing the playoffs can be ours with a victory, a stellar effort from our players and coaches. (Mind you, a stellar effort does not always translate into a win)
- The games will be a close game, not only because ,most of our games went that way, but because of the fact that both teams know each other so well.
Now I’ll be the first to admit that I’m an emotional guy, maybe even hot tempered, but it takes a lot to get me to that hot tempered state. I’m a very patient guy, at least as far as what most people tell me, but I watched our team go out there 2 weeks in a row, and not play with any fire, desire or intestinal fortitude. We were outplayed, outcoached, and flat out OUT DESIRED by two teams who had no playoff chance whatsoever.
Look, I know our O-line sucks, and Doug Marrone knows it, Rex Ryans knows, but also, and most importantly, Joe Philbin knows it, and Mike Sherman knows it.
So I ask you, what steps did we take to minimize how poorly we pass protect against the Buffalo Bills? I’ll tell you, that was just for effect. 🙂
In windy, rainy Buffalo, we ran the ball TWELVE times. At no point until the 4th QTR was the game more than a 10 point differential. It was 10-0 at HALF, and neither team scored in the 3rd QTR. In fact, the Bills scored 3 FG’s in the 4th, one at the 9:48 mark, one at 3:48, and the last at 2:18 in the 4th QTR. So we’re playing against the best pass rush in the NFL, with our awful pass protection, and we’re throwing the ball all over the yard, 27 times by Tannehill, 6 times by Moore. 33 passes, 12 rushes. Is that the way you maximize your strengths? Again, just for effect. 🙂 I’ll tell you. NO, NO, NO , NO! Did we ever try running the ball with an extra O-lineman, or Dion Sims, NOT from the shotgun, and with a FB from the I-formation? Did we keep extra blockers in when we DID pass, which was a 3:1 ratio. NO!
Did the defense show up for that game? We know the offense was overmatched, but how about our vaunted defense?
Fred Jackson rushed 19 times, 111 yards, 1 TD. C.J. Spiller rushed 20 times, 77 yards. Add in a few others by the QB Thad Lewis, FB’s and WR’s, and all tolled nearly 200 yards. This is the effort our defense puts put with the playoffs on the line, and this is the gameplan our Coaches give us with the playoffs on the line. Some will say, but Mike, the defense only gave up 19 points, they did their job, it was just our offense. My answer – BULLSHIT!!!! They didn’t play inspired to make the playoffs, they played like they couldn’t wait to get the fuck out of Buffalo! Missed tackles all over the place, and only 1 sack, and NO, not from the D-line, but from Nolan Carroll. That was not the type of effort you expect in a big game.
OK, so we have more chance, at home, against the New York jets. We can not only compete with the NY Jets, we beat them in THEIR house, 23-3. OK, we know Rex will have the boys fired up, in fact, there were rumors swirling that the team was playing for Sexy Rexy’s job. This one won’t be easy, I knew that. For the same reasons above, divisional game, and all that applied to the BUF game.
I’ll preface this by saying that all those who blamed the O-line during the entire season, COULD NOT blame the O-line in this game. Tannehill was unscathed, not sacked once. Did they get pressure occasionally, sure, but he was running for his life last Sunday. We ran the ball too, 22 times. it must have KILLED Sherman to do that, but the stubborn fuck finally gave in. Now i wouldn’t say we had a devastating rushing attack, but it certainly provided a little more balance to our offense. Hartline did get injured in this game, but that doesn’t mean we cash it in. Well, unfortunately, we DID cash it in, Tannehill played possibly his worst game of the season, but once again, where is this heroic defense? Can they step it up a little with the playoffs on the line? NO, NO, NO, NO and NO!
ZERO SACKS!!! ZERO!!! 27 dropbacks by the rookie QB Geno Smith, who looked like he was playing in a scrimmage with a red shirt on. He was SMILING back there, and stood back there for 5-6, sometimes 7 seconds to scan the field. AGAIN, no tackling, as Bilal Powell rushed for 76 yards on 21 carries, Geno Smith, unthreatened by our defense ran for 44 yards on 10 carries, and Chris Ivory added 19 yards on 5 carries. 154 yards rushing, when WE needed to win to make the playoffs! Zero sacks, when we need the win to make the playoffs. 3 INT’s when we need to win to make the playoffs.
Our team went 2 weeks in a row, against what I believe to be 2 lesser foes, and for those of you will point to BUF’s record as being close (Yes the Jets are 8-8 too), BUF was 6-10, but they were 4-10 against everybody else but US!
For those of you who still believe that our team was fully prepared for both of the last 2 weeks, I don’t know how you can honestly feel that way.
TryPod, I believe I have illustrated well, what it was that pushed me over the edge. If that’s the best effort these men can give Coach Philbin with the playoffs on the line, then Coach Philbin is not the guy I want leading this team. Plain and simple, our Coaches, and our players showed poor effort, not even competing in either game.
OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!!!!
from Brian in NY
Q – Mike,
Happy New Year Buddy. I have heard a lot of excuses regarding Tannehill’s bad performances being a product of the atrocious OL, but when Miller and Thomas are discussed this is rarely brought up. I think Miller has the size and speed to play this game at a high level, but obviously needs to clean up his blocking. Thomas, who I regularly killed on the blog over the past few years, showed me a lot this year as well. What’s your take on this?
Brian in NY
The O-line didn’t help any part of our offense, that much is for sure. On the other hand, I’m starting to think that MillerTime is not a true feature back, and may be more of a 10-15 touches a game change of pace back. While I think Daniel Thomas showed us more than some of us expected, he’s far too inconsistent, and I believe it would be foolish to count on him as you feature back, because he hasn’t come close to finishing a full season yet. he’s only started 3 games in his career. In 3 seasons TOTAL, he has 1312 yards, with less than average 3.6 YPC and 8 TD’s. Some of that falls on the weak O-line, but again, he’s not a guy you put all your eggs in one basket with.
I think we need a true banger, a physical back who can run both inside and outside the tackles, and a guy who can catch the ball would nice. We can probably find a guy like that from RD3 and back, but maybe we can get that guy like MJD in FA. He might be worth it for the next 2 years, as long as we don’t have to give him too much $$$.
I haven’t started my draft research yet, because I kinds thought we’d be in the playoffs. Playoffs? Playoffs???
I think due to a QB run early 1 or 2 of the top OT will be there
Who do you like @19 ( if we go OT )?
Like I said to Brian above, I haven’t started my draft research, and I don’t watch college ball, so I’m not qualified to answer this question. I’ve heard good things about Cam Erving, and I know Taylor Lewan would have been a top 10 pick last year.
All I can say, is that hopefully, Jeff Ireland isn’t the one making the choice, because i have little faith he’ll get it right! 🙂
I’d like to thank Walker and Gigi for all of their hard work they put in during the 365 days of operation (The FME blog never sleeps!), and I also would like to wish all of my friends here from the FME blog a Happy, and a Healthy New Year!
And now for the babe of the week . . . .
Nothing sexier than a woman cleaning stuff . . .