Banner’s Banter The Jets Edition

bruce-banner-image

By Dr. Bruce Banner

Bruce Banner here again. I have not had a season as peaceful as this season in a long time. The Miami Dolphins are 9-5, in sole possession of the 6 seed in the AFC playoff picture and in control of their own destiny. Every time I get that angry feeling like things are going to implode these Dolphins do something to help calm me down. Take the last game against the Jets, they got down 7-0 early on and the Jets were driving looking for a second touchdown. I was starting to get angry, pacing, punching walls and feeling a little green and then all of a sudden a turnover. Then a score and then another one. They took the lead and didn’t look back. It had an amazingly calming effect on me. When I am calm I am very reflective and some thoughts came to mind that I would like to share with you.

First is how good Kenny Stills has been. He is not a number 1 receiver but he has been one of the best deep threats in the NFL this year. He has 7 touchdown catches, all of them over 24 yards long. 3 of them over 50 yards long. He has developed into a true stretch the field threat that could seemingly get behind any defense. In my scientific opinion I would make it a priority to resign him this off season. Our offense is undoubtedly better with him on the field.

It also occurred to me while watching the game this past Saturday night that we may have witnessed the beginning of something special in the secondary. Ronnie Lippett and Xavien Howard were on the field together as the top 2 corners for really what was the first time all season. They proceeded to take a very talented Jet wide receiver corps out of the game. Lippett demonstrated his WR ball skills on a tremendous interception while covering Marshall and then snagged another on the final play of the game. Howard had a number of fine pass break ups as well. This combination has not been on the field much due to injuries from Howard and the need to transition Lippett from a WR to a CB. However, I think we got a glimpse of the future of what these 2 young corner backs can do and I was very impressed.

It cannot be stated enough about what an impact Adam Gase has had on this franchise. First and foremost he is holding players accountable. He is putting in the rookies and giving significant responsibilities during this playoff push. There are no more kit gloves. But more than that he has brought an aggressive play calling style to the offense. We push the ball down the field and he is willing to take chances instead of the Sporano 2 yards and a cloud of dust play calls and the Philbin 3 yard curl route. His aggressive play calling was never more evident than last Saturday’s game against the Jets. With a backup QB playing and the Jets stacking the box to stop the run, Gase put the game in the hands of Matt Moore. He aggressively called for some down field shots and throwing the ball to beat the Jets. He was not afraid to put the game in the hands of his backup QB.

Finally, I must mention how impressed I am with the job Matt Moore has done. He has delivered for us 2 weeks in a row. He came off the bench cold against the Cardinals and delivered a game winning drive in adverse weather with time running out. Then he goes on the road into the house of divisional rival in the middle of the playoff hunt and throws 4 touchdowns while leading this team to a huge victory. He is not as physically gifted as Ryan Tannehill and you can see he threw a couple of flutter balls. But he also made really good quick decisions. He has a very quick release and showed a great command of the offense. If he can win one of the two remaining games and deliver this team to the playoffs he will go down with Earl Morrall and Don Strock as among the great backup QBs who have played for this franchise. Moore has done exactly what you want a backup QB to do. Be ready when called upon and if needed to go out and start some games then his job is to give you a realistic opportunity to win those games. Moore has delivered on that in spades. There are some that say trade Moore this offseason as he likely will have the highest trade value he will ever have. However, I believe that Moore’s role as the dependable backup is far more important than any trade value he will bring. His presence of knowing you can’t count on him if Tannehill goes down is a calming effect on this team. And as you guys know I am all about staying calm.

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221 Responses to Banner’s Banter The Jets Edition

  1. Rockphin says:

    Who is Ronnie Lippett?

    We have a cornterback named Tony lippett.

  2. Rockphin says:

    What I want for Christmas;

    1. Jay Ajayi end the season with over 1,350 yards
    2. A sweep of the Bills
    3. The donkey’s losing to Kansas City
    4. The first playoff game for the Dolphins since I can’t remember
    Finally this would happen after Christmas a win at home against the Pats

  3. Brian in NY says:

    On a related note, Kenny Stills’ 52-yard score against the Jets made him the first Dolphin in 30 years (Mark Duper) to record three 50-yard touchdown catches in a season.
    *
    This statistic is stunning to me.

  4. Brian in NY says:

    Good job Bruce. Signing Stills MUST be a priority before FA begins. Is he hits the open market, I have a feeling some team will throw some big money at him.

  5. olddolphan says:

    EXCELLENT BRUCE!!–Yesterday on the other site I highlighted an article on CONDITIONING by the PBP’s Hal Habib. BOTTOM LINE??–Coach Gase has done his best to INSURE your Dolphins are THE BEST CONDITIONED TEAM IN THE NFL!!!!!!!! – – JuWaun James believes this is Miami’s “Secret Ingredient” to their second half victories!! Gase has become SHULA II when it comes to having your team in primo condition!!

    How’s THAT for an early Christmas gift!!! – – Goooo-o-o-o FINS!!

  6. wyoming85 says:

  7. wyoming85 says:

    And with that I’m off to enjoy the Winter Wonderland that is Wyoming!
    If I don’t check in You all have a Happy and Healthy Merry Christmas!

  8. The Flying Pig says:

    Besides Lippett and Howard
    Maxwell has also played well
    I think Lippett and Noward may be the future
    But don’t write off maxwell

    Now let’s get a LB this offseason!

  9. The Flying Pig says:

    Can’t wait to see reshad jones in our secondary again with those cbs

  10. The Flying Pig says:

    Lock up Stills

  11. olddolphan says:

    THIS morning’s betting line in Las Vegas has moved from Buffalo favored by 3 points to the Jills favored by 4 points. Saturday’s weather shows a high of 39 with scattered showers and winds of 15-20 MPH.
    ——————
    BUFFALO will NOT be able to fully stop Miami’s air attack which features wideouts Landry, Stills and Parker PLUS a red-hot TE in Sims!! Look for Moore to make use of our speedy backs flaring out of the backfield for some nice gains, too!
    —————–
    A FEW less penalties would be a plus, BUT I wouldn’t mind taking one for a BIG HIT on Tyrod Taylor who’s the most sacked QB in the AFC as of now. Make him a SUH-WAKE sandwich!!

  12. sb7mvp says:

    Kill Kill

  13. Ken says:

    Tony Lippett Ronnie Lippett all the same to Hulk

  14. Mike E. says:

    Excellent write Bruce! I’m hoping we’ve seen the last of Hulk this season, even if I find him amusing.

  15. Mike E. says:

    I do think we should try and re-sign Stills, but sometimes, it just gets to the point where monetarily, it doesn’t make sense. If some team throws a ton of money his way, we’re going to have let him go.

  16. Mike E. says:

    Maxwell has played very well the last 8 games or so. You need to have 4-5 good CB’s, and he’s definitely one of them.

  17. The Flying Pig says:

    I propose we call him

    Oink Lippett

  18. Ken says:

    Maxwell is okay. He is better of late but I don’t trust him and don’t think he is worth the money we are paying him. To me Howard is much faster and just as physical as Maxwell

    • Mike E. says:

      You’re selling him short. 15 passes defensed, 2 INT’s, and 4 forced fumbles. He compares very well with Josh Norman, a similar player, and Maxwell is slightly better this season

      • Ken says:

        I have seen him get toasted too many times for my liking. He is feast or famine. Both Lippett and Howard have superior athletic skills and I much prefer to see them on the field.

      • Mike E. says:

        Where has Howard been most of the season though? Injured. Who’s been playing every game? Maxwell. Like I said, you have to have at least 4-5 good CB’s, and Maxwell is a good starter.

    • BoulderPhinfan says:

      I’ve heard other coaches say the same things. Stick to your process. One week at a time blah blah. the difference is Gase is winning.

  19. BoulderPhinfan says:

    Maxwell is playing well and I think we keep him next year. You can never have too many good CBs.

  20. BoulderPhinfan says:

    Miami Dolphins ‏@MiamiDolphins 19h19 hours ago
    We have signed linebacker Trevor Reilly off New England’s practice squad and waived linebacker Zach Vigil.

  21. Ken says:

    I will be surprised if we keep Maxwell next season at his current salary

  22. Mike E. says:

    Maxwell will be getting $8.5M next season, totally in line with his production as a veteran starting CB. His dead cap is $5M , so I don’t see a cut happening there.

    • BoulderPhinfan says:

      I agree I don’t see it. Imagine if we didn’t have maxwell this year when howard went down. That would have been ugly.

  23. The Flying Pig says:

    I actually think Maxwell has been one of our best defensive players this year

    And if you recall – I hated him in Sept
    I thought he was bound to suck

    He’s been excellent
    We have a great situation at CB with the young guys coming along and a vet like Maxwell

    • Mike E. says:

      I agree. I think Ken is looking at the beginning of the season where he struggled a bit, but so did most of the team. He’s been a very good player for us for a long stretch of games.

  24. Ken says:

    Maxwell is physical and has decent ball skills but he is a liability in terms of coverage. I think we have done a pretty good job disguising his liabilities with a good pass rush. I think the upside for both Howard and Lippett is far greater and Maxwells salary is not in line with a #3 CB

  25. Mike E. says:

    Ken, this is only up to Week 12, but Maxwell was #24 on this list, and he’s played well the last 3 weeks too. Keep in mind there are 64 starting CB’s.

    https://www.profootballfocus.com/pro-top-25-nfl-cornerbacks-this-season/

  26. Ken says:

    Vinnie:
    I have not seen Lippett getting burned much, especially lately but where I think he needs improvement is with his tackling

  27. Mike E. says:

    In FA, if you think you’re going to get a better one that’s cheaper, think again. In the draft, we have a lot of other needs, so why create another need?

    • Ken says:

      I think you overrate Maxwell. He is not all that. He can be replaced

    • BoulderPhinfan says:

      We’re gonna be 50m under the cap even if we keep maxwell. I don’t think he’s going anywhere. If anything we’re gonna shore up the defense not get rid of our good defensive players. Go get some LBs and DEs

  28. The Flying Pig says:

    Ken

    No matter what happens this season
    This is not an offseason to start cutting salary when guys have played well (Maxwell)
    we need to build off that performance
    this is not an offseason to make a decision to cut Maxwell bc of salary

    Its also not exactly a good cut

    His salary is 8.5M next year but if we cut him we still take a 5M cap hit

    you only save 3.5

    http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/miami-dolphins/byron-maxwell-7892/

    2 years from now – maybe you cut him
    you give Lippett more time to grow that way

    I also think you are wrong on Maxwell
    He has been good for us in 2016
    I don’t think he is easily replaceable
    even if he was
    Lets not just start trading pieces

    this will be an offseason to build off 2016
    truthfully, I don’t really want to see a lot of cuts this offseason
    I want to see them keep this core together if possible

    basically spend every penny in cap room if necessary

  29. The Flying Pig says:

    I also think Maxwell is our best CB right now

    1. Maxwell 2. Howard 3. Lippett

    I’m a supporter of the Lippett project
    but don’t crown him yet
    He’s going to need more time

    Hey look – don’t judge CBs bc they get burned
    They all get burned

    Judge them by their overall play

    I don’t think we have been vulnerable over the top or on the perimeters

    I think defensively we get beat in the middle of the field more often than not
    its usually a TE or a RB mismatch and not one our CBs are covering

  30. The Flying Pig says:

    http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/miami-dolphins/mike-pouncey-7730/

    Pouncey is a big decision for us this offseason
    but you are only saving 4M by cutting him
    I wonder if there is room to restructure him

    He’s injury situation is so problematic

  31. The Flying Pig says:

    And Albert saves us over 7M in cap space
    So I would say something is up with him this offseason
    http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/miami-dolphins/branden-albert-4311/

  32. The Flying Pig says:

    The major concern in terms of cap to me is what effect keeping our WRs will have on the cap space

    Assuming we keep Stills and resign Landry (his contract expires on 2018)

    it might cost us somewhere between 20M and 25M in cap space for both players

    They are going to eat up a lot of that cap space

    • sb7mvp says:

      We need to get to the point where we are like New Orleans, Pittsburgh, or Green Bay and can just allow guys who go aren’t affordable or irreplaceable.

    • stangerx says:

      Pig — think 20 to 25 million is a bit high, least for next year. As good as Stills has been, don;t think he will find himself with a huge contract (least not with team). He might end up in say the 6-7 mil range though. And even Landry signs for big money, normally the cap hit on early signings is pretty low first year even if they inflate in years after.

      • The Flying Pig says:

        Well the highest WRs in the league make 15m a year

        So Landry may get close to that $

      • stangerx says:

        Even with inflation and contracts, still not thinking Landry is AJ Green. He’s awesome, but not a force on the boundary combined with the middle where the money is made. He hits FA….maybe $12 mil per. Sign him early and he gets the guarantee lifetime set and maybe ten mil per year.

  33. Mike E. says:

    As far as OL FA’s for next year, OG Kevin Zeitler, Jonathan Cooper (not sure if he’ll ever be the player he once was). At C, not looking good. No real upgrades there.

  34. sb7mvp says:

    Yeah, we can’t keep shipping people out and replacing them with newer guys. We need depth, competition, and veteran leadership. Howard and Lippett have a lot of growing to do still. I’d like for them to earn their way into the starter role, not just get it through injury.

    • The Flying Pig says:

      No reason to ship anyone out really

      I think we purged ourselves the underachievers already

      Just build depth to the extent possible

  35. stangerx says:

    “Every time I get that angry feeling like things are going to implode these Dolphins do something to help calm me down.”

    Great article Bruce — and glad it is still you writing, also have a feeling that there have been still a bunch of ripped clothes before you end up hitting the key board.

    And good as Moore looked in the TD column, saw what you saw — the arm strength is not all that, even if the reads and anticipation are. Am thinking the key factor for him against the Bills is not cold or rain/sleet/snow (those hit all QBs equally), but rather wind speed.

    • The Flying Pig says:

      Hopefully we can run a little better too

      Buffalo is 27 in the NFL in run defense

      • BoulderPhinfan says:

        And stop Mccoy. If we can stop their running game, I think we win this game.

      • stangerx says:

        We will be going run first for sure. Plays into Moore’s gunslinger play action style. And we were doing that with Tanny too. Even if the results weren’t in the rush yards total that played in the pass yards one. They go eight in the box and it is almost like we keep running to keep those eight in the box.

  36. BoulderPhinfan says:

    We can’t count on Pouncey going forward. We won’t find another pouncey in FA but we can upgrade from steen and urbik.

    • The Flying Pig says:

      He doesn’t really save a lot of money if we cut him

      I’m sure he is in Miami in 2017

      He played well in the few games he played in

      Maybe he will restructure

      • BoulderPhinfan says:

        YEs he’ll be in miami but we need a better backup for him when (not if) he gets injured again.

  37. BoulderPhinfan says:

    stanger,
    isn’t landry signed through 2017? They’ll extend him but I bet that won’t happen this offseason.

    • stangerx says:

      He has one year left, but I (and Pig too) are figuring he is one of those keys to the team both on the field and off that you want to lock down for the future. Could happen next season too though after the draft is done. Only thing can see getting in the way is an agent.

    • The Flying Pig says:

      This may be the offseason to do it
      Don’t let a player like that hit FA

  38. The Flying Pig says:

    Here is a great holiday story to share with your loved ones

  39. BoulderPhinfan says:

    I can’t wait till jenkins is dumped.

    Adam Beasley ✔ @AdamHBeasley
    Jelani Jenkins is on an exercise bike to start practice.

  40. The Flying Pig says:

    For salary cap purposes
    I don’t see resigning jones as a problem

    He will probably make the same he makes now in 2018
    He makes about 8M now

  41. The Flying Pig says:

    Ken is shooting fireworks off right now

  42. The Flying Pig says:

  43. Mike E. says:

    Jenkins is a guy that makes sense to let go. He can’t stay on the field, and when he is on the field, he’s hurting, and limited., and doesn’t play well

    • D says:

      He is our best coverage LB, so if you do let him go, you better be very sure you go big at LB in the draft or FA so you can get a coverage guy back in the mix. We got ass raped by Balt for the simple reason we couldnt cover shit crossing across the middle.

  44. D says:

    I really dont care if Ajayi makes 1350 or even 1100 for that matter, other than the fact that if he hits those totals it means we won both our last games in blow out fashion. He did an amazing job this season and i more care that he finishes healthy an available in the playoffs assuming we make it.

    As for Howard, the game was a pretty good one, he has some decent press skills, good knack for slapping the ball away, however even though i was fairly impressed with him, i was a little concerned at the same time. He had too many times where he was having to recover to slap the ball away, than just there to make the play. A few of those plays would have gone for big yardage had Bryce Petty threw a crisper pass with some zip. He wont get away with that same coverage with many of the better QB’s so he better tighten up his coverage.

    As for Pouncey i fully agree with Boulder, we need to backup to him that can also provide an upgrade at OG. I really like Evan Pocic to be that guy, we would have to draft him in the 2nd at the very least possibly we would have to trade up in the round to get him, depending on where we draft. We could also possibly trade back in the first and take him if all the top LB’s are gone if we could pick up an additional 2nd or 3rd.

    Id also still add a solid CB in the draft to compete with Lippett, Howard and Maxwell. I would let the top 2 control the outside and the third place be our NCB/rotational on the outside. If all of them are pretty close we could rotate a lot keeping them fresh.

  45. Mike E. says:

    D

    Two things

    1) Jenkins is still our best cover LB when he’s on the bench because he’s hurt, which basically means it’s not saying a lot that he’s our best cover LB. lol

    2) We need to find another LB that cover and actually play in the games healthy. So many of the LB’s we liked here are flourishing in the NFL, like Bernardrick McKinney, Kendricks,. Anthony had a solid rookie season, but he’s been hurt too.

    • D says:

      Yeah i was a big fan of McKinney, and TBH i think we had our sights set on him that year but Houston jumped us and took him, which then we traded back in the round and then took Jordan Phillips.

  46. sb7mvp says:

    These pretzels are making me thirsty

  47. D says:

    I get ya Mikey, im not saying he contributes much not playing, im just saying he is a pretty solid LB when healthy and a really good coverage guy when healthy. If healthy isnt something he can stay it doesn’t really help us and with this years LB class we can and should address that. Id also look to see if Cleveland lets Collins hit FA or tries to work a trade or something because even though he got the boot in NE because he got on Belichick’s wrong side, i still think the guy is extremely talented and has good instincts for the position.If the price is right for Collins id be at least throwing a bid in.

  48. The Flying Pig says:

    Howie

    Dolphins 35
    Bills 10

    Lets ride these Bills all the way back to Miami!

  49. Rockphin says:

    I just stopped at a rest stop on the turnpike and I noticed that there is a sign over every urinal saying the water used to flush this device comes from reclaimed water do not drink. Is there a big problem with people drinking out of urinals at the rest stops? If someone is stupid enough to want to drink out of a urinal fucking let them

  50. Mike E. says:

    D

    I mentioned Collins in Ask Mike a couple of weeks ago. Supposedly he was dogging it on a TD run where he had the angle, but didn’t hustle to make the tackle. I would look at him also, but I’d do my due diligence with him, make sure he’s motivated, if it’s possible to tell that. The other guy is Chandler Jones.

  51. Rockphin says:

    They should buy new signs that say do not eat our urinal cakes either

  52. D says:

    I think those guys probably just had enough with the patriots way. and became surley. There is a certain amount of that its my way or the highway, get in line and know your place shit that some people can take before its just over. Collins had little issues until this year, and it is a contract year so it may be that he was trying to make big plays, get Von Miller like stats so he could get paid like Miller. He goes off Belicihicks very mandated script, gets disenfranchised when put in his place and then bails out. I agree about the due dilligence part and being cautious, as its always a red flag when a top guy gets cast off like a dirty rag, but it may be that he would be more successful in an environment that seems pretty player friendly, by that i mean under Gase.

  53. The Flying Pig says:

    The redskins claims vigil off waivers

  54. The Flying Pig says:

    What?

  55. Rockphin says:

    http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/barry-jackson/article121984294.html

    Barry Jackson at the Miami Herald does a good job of breaking down all the playoff scenarios in this article

  56. manitobafinfan says:

    Fins Mob Unleashed Fantasy FB Playoff update..

    Not sure if any of you were confused this morning looking at the Schedule/results on I-phones as it was down right messed up in the way it was displayed, but…

    Congrats to Mike E and Herd for advancing to the Finals of the league which go down this weekend.. looks like it will be a very close game… everyone one else does have a game this weekend, but they really don’t matter as we are relegated to LOSERS now..

    Survivor Update.. we are down to 13 survivors , and I am not liking my choices this week.. right now leaning toward San Diego over Cleveland, but GEEZ dont the Browns Have to win one game ? and it gonna be -900 F supposedly..
    or do I put it all on Cousins play last night as an anomaly and take the Skins over Chicago …
    if I get through this week I can have Oakland or Baltimore looking okay next week.. lean toward Baltimore though..(Sorry)

    oh well that’s my weekly dilemma..
    last weeks dilemma worked well Wife and I both won our Semi’s and now meet in the Finals of our Money Fantasy league.. (Thank you Matt Moore) so the house will take home about 700.00 there..
    Carry on Peeps.. Kick some Bills ASS .. GO PHINS !!!!!

    • Mike E. says:

      Go Toba!!! Good luck man! I do think Cousins and the Skins should bounce back against CHI, I think it was a bad game, but I’m not getting involved in your choice. Best of luck to both of you.

  57. 81Howie says:

    Evening Update
    DOLPHINS-BILLS
    Howie 27-23 MIA
    Naples20-17MIA
    Wyo 24-17 MIA
    Stang 17-10 MIA
    Piggy 35-10 MIA
    GO PHINS!

  58. son of a son of a shula says:

    I wouldn’t trust San Diego in December Toba.

  59. Mike E. says:

    Howie

    MIA 23 – BUF 12

  60. manitobafinfan says:

    Aaannnndddd my snowblwer crapped out grrrrrrr

  61. bookman11 says:

    Josie.

    21-13 Miami

  62. son of a son of a shula says:

    There goes the fantasy winnings. Easy come easy go.
    At least you’ll have a new blower 😎

  63. Mike E. says:

    “We’re gonna break out the hats and hooters . . . . . “

  64. BoulderPhinfan says:

    From mando FA list, I think I would keep sims and stills as must have then branch and jones and possibly Thomas.

    “That means receiver Kenny Stills, tight end Dion Sims, defensive end Andre Branch, defensive end Jason Jones, linebacker Jelani Jenkins, defensive back Michael Thomas, and offensive guard Jermon Bushrod should be on notice. The stronger these players finish this season, the better their chances of becoming offseason priorities and returning to the team next year.”

  65. son of a son of a shula says:

    I knew it before I even read that you said I’d know it.

    …sleep on the beach naked…

  66. son of a son of a shula says:

    Blue Bayou

  67. CavalierKong says:

    I’d resign Stills, Sims, and Branch.

    Resign Jones and Thomas at the right price.

    Jenkins has played about as poorly this year as I’ve ever seen an LB play…when he hasn’t been riding the pine. Literally the only time I notice him on the field is when he’s getting burned in coverage, which is often. Coaches must see something though, because they keep starting him every chance they get. I’d help him pack his stuff and shove him out the door, but due to whatever it is the coaches see, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him resigned.

    Regardless of Jenkins, we need two LBs, so draft a LB or two and/or get the second in FA.

    Keep Maxwell. I was really down on him about the first month of the season, but he has been solid for two months+ as he’s learned and developed in the system. You can never have too many CBs in this league, especially when you share a division with the Pets. If you have 3 quality CBs, you’re in good shape.

    Draft a DE with high upside even if he’s a project. Need to get younger at the position in the next couple of years.

    Pick up a center with intention to start (if Pouncey’s career isn’t over then maybe we can pick up a G/C that can duke it out with Bushrod, keep Bushrod as depth for when Pouncey inevitably misses games).

    Pick up a TE to pair with Sims (Gray as depth).

    Draft a safety to hopefully pair with Jones or develop to start, (Quaddus (sp?) and/or Thomas may still start or be depth).

    Pick up a kicker that can make a 45+ yard FG.

    SO after resigning our players, I figure we need 6-8 players and maybe a couple of upgrades at depth positions. Not too shabby. It’s attainable. Pick up 2-3 starters and a couple of developmental players in the draft and a couple of FAs, and we should be able to fill most of those needs. I think with this coaching staff, which actually knows how to develop and accentuate player skills, as long as we don’t completely whiff on our draft picks, the future looks very bright for us.

    This is the most excited I’ve been as a Fins fan in more than a decade.

    • Kenny Stills is definitely a priority for the team to re-sign. Branch would be another guy they’d definitely like to keep around and I imagine Jones could be re-signed as well. He didn’t have a major impact on the line like Branch had but he played well enough to keep him around for at least another year.
      The guys who are going to have a tough time sticking around will be Misi, Jenkins, Bushrod and Thomas. I know Thomas is a special teams guy so maybe that’s where his niche will be. Other than that I think he loses out to someone else in any kind of nickel D scheme because he’s just not good on defense. Like Misi, he was only playing due to the lack of talent at the position.

      • CavalierKong says:

        Agreed on Thomas. I don’t think we’ll use a high draft pick on a safety and for FA, we will/may need to fill another starter role, so Thomas may be our best option at depth behind Jones and Quaddus depending on how the draft plays out. If we can pick up another quality starter opposite Jones, and move Quaddus down, then i agree Thomas is gone.

        I had completely forgotten about Misi. Is he a FA this year? Unless we can pick up 2 starters at LB in the draft and FA, we may get stuck with another year of starting Misi as BPA at the position on the team.

      • Tedrick Thompson (and no, it’s not Ced Thompson in disguise) is an interesting prospect who I wouldn’t mind seeing the team take a flyer on in mid round.

  68. son of a son of a shula says:

    Thomas or Aikens on ST?

    Right now it’s Aiken and Rambo is playing well with Jones coming back.

    Tough spot for Thomas but he is a vocal leader on the team.

    • CavalierKong says:

      If it comes down to a choice between keeping Thomas or Aikens as a ST player, it’s got to be hard not to choose Aikens after the plays he’s made the last two weeks, right?

      I can’t remember the last time a Fins team has had multiple ST plays impact games like this. It’s been forever.

  69. CavalierKong says:

    I’d like to see Landry resigned before hitting FA too.This offseason would be a great time to do it. It might cost us a little more next year, but pay the man for play on the field, and sign him while he’s still trending up. We likely save in the long run.

    • CavalierKong says:

      (I say likely cost us a ‘little’ more next year because it would likely be structured to not be a big hit in the first year of the new contract.)

    • I don’t think they try and re-sign Landry this year unless it’s close to the end of the season. I think we go into the year and see what we’ve got going on; especially from a guy like Carroo. You just never know how things will turn out.

  70. From an offensive perspective, and I’ve said this before, Gase is going to get this offense to be “plug ‘n play”. It’s not there yet and has some to go but next season it’s going to be pretty close. It’s going to be more about “system” vs “player”, meaning, he’s going to be able to plug in any number of guys on the offensive side of the ball and still be successful.
    Consider that a good thing. We’ll never need to worry about players coming and going.

  71. Gil Brandt ‏@Gil_Brandt 13h
    13 hours ago

    Best records since Week 6::

    Giants 8-1
    Patriots 8-1
    Cowboys 8-1
    Dolphins 8-1

  72. Rhino says:

    As much as I enjoyed the Jets game… the Bills worry me. Their run game could hurt us like Tenn did.

    HOWIE: Miami 21 Buffalo 20

  73. ukfinfan says:

    Howie UK 20-17 MIA

  74. ukfinfan says:

    Tannehill may of course have been going to get some sunshine or doing his Christmas shopping. But it seems like a big coincidence.

  75. 81Howie says:

    Morning Update
    DOLPHINS-BILLS
    Howie 27-23 MIA
    Naples20-17MIA
    Wyo 24-17 MIA
    Stang 17-10 MIA
    Piggy 35-10 MIA
    Herd 31-20 MIA
    MikeE 23-12 MIA
    Toba 31-13 MIA
    B’man 21-13 MIA
    Rhino 21-20 MIA
    UK 20-17 MIA
    GO PHINS!

  76. olddolphan says:

    MANITOBA SAYS “And my snow blower just crapped out!”
    —————-
    WELL, as Hooper said in the movie “JAWS,” –“I can top that- – – ”
    “I just ran out of Sun Tan Lotion!! – – And it’s supposed to be 80 today in Tampa Bay!!”
    I’m sure all you Canucks feel sorry for me!!
    —————-
    HOWIE – – – HOWIE – – – HOWIE

    17-16 MIA

    A blocked extra point puts MIAMI IN THE PLAYOFFS!!!

    • The Flying Pig says:

      OD

      we are not in or out of the playoffs whether we win or lose this game
      our chances of making it are greatly affected by the result (obviously)
      but its not an automatic in if we win
      I think we need a couple more teams to lose on Sunday (if we win)

  77. Mike E. says:

    Send in your questions please . . .

    ASK MIKE nj1dolfan@yahoo.com

    Thanks!

  78. Mike E. says:

    I hope Dr. Jimmy has great news for our QB. I’d like to see him back for the playoffs.

  79. Mike E. says:

    DOLPHINS PRO BOWLERS

    DT Ndmukong Suh
    DE Cam Wake

    Th-th-th-th-at’s all folks!

    But . . . . . What we have here, is a TEAM! A group all focused on the cause, and I’ll take that baby!

    • The Flying Pig says:

      This is the weakest run defense we have played since the 49ers in week 12

      he didn’t really do well in that game (45 yards a\on 18 carries)

      in this 8-1 streak we have had the only really bad rush defenses we have played are Buffalo and the 49ers

      So some of Ajayi slowing down in terms of production the last few weeks might be attributed to better rush defenses rather than the OL

      this weekend we will see the value of Mike Pouncey
      I think he was balling out in the 2 game 200 yard streak and its a shame we don’t have him

      but I expect a better game from Ajayi then we have seen in a while
      especially after Matt Moore hit so many deep passes

  80. stangerx says:

    “Hmm. I can’t really say.”

    — Mario Williams on what he missed most about his time in Buffalo (and after a long pause).

    —————————

    Sounds like he might be up for staying for less though.

    “Here in Miami, the biggest thing is it’s just a great atmosphere. From the top to the bottom with our coaching staff all the way down to us players. We just really enjoy coming into work every day, we enjoy being around each other and going out there and practicing and everything that goes with it.”

    • Hopefully he’s willing to stay for about $100 because he’s pretty damn useless.

    • The Flying Pig says:

      His best game of the season was the Buffalo game

      he has been barely visible in almost every other game

      I hope he has a big game in Buffalo – this one is personal to him

      I like Williams, I think he has had a great career
      and I like having a guy like that buried on our depth chart
      but he has been pretty underwhelming for us this year an was the same in Buffalo last year
      I think he has a trick or 2 up his sleeve

  81. The Flying Pig says:

    Mario Williams has a 6.5M cap hit this season
    Too miuch for his production
    but when you are below the cap – not a huge issue

    next season however that cap hit balloons to 10.5M
    and the dead money if he is cut is 2M

    8.5M can be saved by a cut

    So guess which direction this is going

    But maybe he resigns for a much smaller salary

    I do think a declining veteran presence has a value to a young up and coming team
    even if the production isn’t where you want it to be

    he may have a little left in the tank to give us a little depth on the DL

  82. Mike E. says:

    I can’t imagine Super Mario will be here next year. I’d rather see an undrafted FA DE busting his butt out there each week than see MW watching the game even when he’s supposed to be playing. Unless somehow he manages to show up in the next few weeks, he’s gone.

  83. Mike E. says:

    It really is time to get the J-Train back on track. No more local making too many stops, we need the J-Train Express baby!

  84. bookman11 says:

    Mike E. says:
    December 20, 2016 at 7:48 pm
    “We’re gonna break out the hats and hooters . . . . . “

    bookman11 says:
    December 20, 2016 at 7:55 pm
    What?

    Mike E. says:
    December 20, 2016 at 7:59 pm
    When Josie comes home . . .
    I bet Son knew it. Tim probably would too. Do you know the song? Steely Dan

    Mike,

    I did not recognize the song and was like WTF? Why is Mike posting a comment about hooters out of the blue? LOL

    • Mike E. says:

      LOL – I really like Steely Dan, and it’s one of their oldies, although who am I kidding, ALL of their songs are oldies. It’s just one of their older oldies. 🙂

      Give a listen . .

  85. Piggy,

    I’m all for having veteran presences in the locker room. That’s what Wake and Suh are for. As you stated, Mario is most likely gone at the end of the season. I’ll eat 2 mill if it saves us 8.5 mil. Ideally I’d like to see us with around 60-65 mil in cap space to play with this off season.

    • stangerx says:

      Whatever happens, he won’t be getting paid the $8.5 mil more he is on the books for. He knew when he signed though that he wasn’t getting that unless he had a major show-it year……and that did not happen. So even he knows he’s essentially a FA now.

    • The Flying Pig says:

      I don’t think they can afford to keep him at that salary given his lack of production

      But if he was willing to wind down his career (after coming to the realization he is not what he used to be) and we cut him for him to resign to a one year contract with guaranteed money – I think it’s worth it.

      If you cut him you have one less player on the roster and you take that 2M salary cap

      But if you restructure and pay him 3M for 1 year
      It give the team a little bit of a cushion to work with at DE going into the offseason

      He is at that point of his career when he has to be thinking about how he finishes It if he still wants to play

      So he might be willing to play for a small sum
      And it can be an asset to us in terms of depth

      I don’t think he’s been good this year
      But I do think he has had a great career
      And I think good teams find a balance like that with aging declining vets and it fosters brining in better talent

      I want to draft a DE fairly early
      I also want to keep Branch

      I think if that happens Williams place on the roster next year is at best #4 DE
      So the salary has to match that kind of depth

      We can easily survive without him
      He’s not a great price now

      Just throwing it out there
      Generally I’m a fan of minimal turnover in 2017 if we can avoid it

  86. I don’t know about you guys, but I’d love to steal Jordan Reed this year in free agency. That dude can ball out.

    • The Flying Pig says:

      That would costs a ton of $$$
      but he is the kinda player that would help us tremendously

      Eric Berry and Jordan Reed are probably the 2 big blue chip free agents this offseason
      at least that I can think of

      I’m not so sure going after high priced FA is a good move for us
      I expect Wash to try to keep Reed too

  87. The Flying Pig says:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/2016/07/15/2017-nfl-free-agents-franchise-tag-contracts/87161916/

    In case you were wondering about some one else’s position on the top FAs this offseason
    the only one I would touch (for the Dolphins) on this list is Berry

    • Right now the Chiefs don’t have a lot of cap room. Somebody could land Berry.

      • The Flying Pig says:

        I love the player
        and he is the one high $ guy I would be all in for

        but generally I don’t want to go crazy in FA this offseason
        and I would rather concentrate on keeping this group together and building through the draft

        Jordan Reed is a really interesting option though
        If the money is right – its worth pursuing

  88. The Flying Pig says:

    I do this kind of wishful thinking
    hoping the Bills cut Charles Clay this offseason and he comes back to Miami

    but fat chance of that
    look at these crazy numbers in terms of cap hit
    http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/buffalo-bills/charles-clay-7893/

    WTF Buffalo
    9M hit in any of the next 3 years if you cut him
    that’s a dumb contract

    • stangerx says:

      Also a contract we chose not to compete with, and for good reason. With that money set only way we get him is if the Bills trade and eat part of the contract.

  89. stangerx says:

    Your AFC Offensive Player of the Week is also the NFL New Dad of the week.

    Was a big seven days for Matt Moore.

  90. The Flying Pig says:

    Its funny (in a painnful way) to see Eric Berry hit free agency

    it reminds me that 2010 was a good year for safeties and generally a good draft

    Eric Berry went #5
    Earl Thomas went #14

    but we picked Odrick at #28
    we made that pick after a trade down with San Diego from 10 to get an extra 2nd round pick

    Chargers picked Ryan Matthews (who ends up being a pro bowler)
    and we get Misi in the 2nd round

    In hindsight, that was another Ireland special

    Other probowlers that went in that draft in the first round

    Suh #2, Gerald McCoy #3, Trent Williams #4, Russell okung #6, Joe Haden #7, CJ Spiller #9, JPP #15, Iupati #17, Twin Pouncey #18, demarius Thomas #22, Dez Bryant #24

    what a draft!
    and we came away with Odrick and Misi…

    Of course I can’t be too hard on Ireland since I wanted Rolando McClain who was waived later that year when he put a gun to some guys head….

    At least we weren’t the Broncos that year – Tim Tebow #25!

  91. The Flying Pig says:

    Allright guys I got work and oinks to do
    no more procrastinating
    Catch up later

    Mike E I sent you an Oink

  92. Mike E. says:

    Piggy

    I want no part of Charles Clay unless he’s our #3 TE. I want a 6’5″ – 6’6″ TE that is a red zone threat. I also want a guy that can line up and block, and has some size. Clay is undersized, not really what I envision in this offense.

    • The Flying Pig says:

      Sims is a big TE that can block – he even has a few TDs lately

      but he’s not a great receiver

      I really don’t mind having one blocking TE and one receiving guy

      those do it all TEs – they aren’t really common

      I know you want a big receiving target
      but honestly some of those productive receiving TEs – they aren’t very good blockers

      Sims is like an extra tackle out there
      I think adding one of the TEs you want might actually take us down a notch in terms of the run game

      and given the OL the last few years we need all the help we can get….lol

  93. Mike E. says:

    LOL – Bookman understands me.

    • stangerx says:

      Mike E — even if have dreamed about that aqua Gronk for a while…..less sure of it now as a huge need. We play three WR and combined with a running game so much now. And Sims has shown he is a keeper.

      So might be we are better off taking in a seam threat who doesn’t block as much for passing downs to spell Sims. Obviously you want the all world TE, but more a luxury take now than say three years ago. Those studs cost a bunch of chips that we could put in at other positions.

  94. sb7mvp says:

    I want my MLB.
    I want that force of nature at TE. We need both to take our team to another level.
    On the Mario Williams conversation, I wish we would have retained Shelby. He at least was productive as a reserve. I understand why we did it, but I still wish we wouldn’t have and that’s what I said in the offseason.
    I’m still not ready to crown Howard and Lippett after one game against Petty. The euphoria of a win always makes guys look better. They did well, but some of you guys are going overboard.

    • stangerx says:

      Think we all want that force at LB and have no doubt we are at least going to try to bring one in.

      Maxwell should be back though and not like McCain is a slouch either. So CB seems less of a need. If I was going stud db, would put safety before CB.

  95. 81Howie says:

    Afternoon Update
    DOLPHINS-BILLS
    Howie 27-23 MIA
    Naples20-17MIA
    Wyo 24-17 MIA
    Stang 17-10 MIA
    Piggy 35-10 MIA
    Herd 31-20 MIA
    MikeE 23-12 MIA
    Toba 31-13 MIA
    B’man 21-13 MIA
    Rhino 21-20 MIA
    UK 20-17 MIA
    Old 17-16 MIA
    GO PHINS!

  96. If you want a MLB in this next draft the guy’s name is Marquel Lee of Wake Forest. CBSSports.com has him as a 4th/5th rd projection but he’s a hammer in the middle.

  97. Howie,

    Put me down for 27-16 MIA!

  98. Hal Habib
    ‏@gunnerhal
    Dolphins’ Matt Moore is AFC offensive player of the week.

  99. stangerx says:

    Kim Bokamper’s take on the team:

    “I don’t think it feels fluky at all. You’ve won eight out of nine games, you’ve beaten good football teams and you’ve beaten bad football teams. You got a smart head coach making all the right calls….I think this is the corner that needed to be turned for this franchise.”

  100. stangerx says:

    This is good news for next year. Yeah Pouncey might put a good spin on it, but probably not this much if surgery and career was in question.
    ———————

    DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey says the hip injury that ended his season isn’t career threatening, and he’ll be ready for the team’s offseason program….

    Pouncey broke his hip during the preseason, came back for Games 5 through 9 and aggravated the injury, ending his season. He said Wednesday he probably came back too soon because he was eager to play.


  101. It’s ALL OVER the place!!! When you’re backup QB gets the honor you may have something going

  102. The Flying Pig says:

    The Miami Dolphins played the Cleveland Browns in Miami on Sept. 25. And the Dolphins should have lost.

    The Browns used an emergency kicker after their regular kicker got hurt in practice that Friday. Cody Parkey, the last-minute replacement, missed three field goals in regulation, including one on the final play. The game went to overtime and the Dolphins escaped with a win.
    Again, the Dolphins lucked out to get an overtime win at home against a Browns team that is 0-14 and hasn’t lost by fewer than 13 points since October. And that was the Dolphins’ only win through five games. At 1-4, with that lone win against the Browns, the Dolphins looked like a contender for the No. 1 overall pick, not the playoffs.

    The NFL can change without warning. Usually huge changes happen season to season, like the Carolina Panthers, Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos can tell you. The teams are evenly matched for the most part, and so many games are decided in the final minutes by a bounce here or there. That’s why variance should be expected. But the Dolphins’ 2016 variance is extreme.
    [Join the $80K Baller for Week 16 | Tips for your Daily lineup]

    Miami has won eight of nine and if the season ended today, the Dolphins would be the sixth seed in the AFC playoffs. There weren’t any signs this was coming. They were competitive Week 1 at the Seattle Seahawks, though the offense scored just 10 points. They were trailing the Patriots 31-3 – with the Patriots using quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, then Jacoby Brissett after Garoppolo was injured – before a late rally. The Browns win was followed by a 15-point loss to the Bengals and a 13-point home loss to the Titans. You had to squint really, really hard to see any signs of life from the Dolphins.

    Then they turned into a different team. They beat the Pittsburgh Steelers at home and away they went. Ryan Tannehill seemed like he suddenly got first-year coach Adam Gase’s offense. Jay Ajayi, who had shown practically nothing in a year-plus in the NFL, rushed for 200 yards in back-to-back games. The receivers made plays. The defense played better, and somehow didn’t seem to miss do-everything safety Reshad Jones after his injury. Then when Tannehill went down with a knee injury, Matt Moore came out of the bullpen and threw four touchdowns in a road win over the New York Jets.

    Gase deserves plenty of credit. He kept the team together despite an awful start. He probably learned some lessons himself. All of a sudden his offense started working as we’d seen it work when he was coordinator with the Broncos and then the Bears. If there were any concerns about Gase as a head coach after five games – and it wouldn’t have been unfair to have some – they’ve been erased now.

    The Dolphins had a good Week 15. Not only did they win, the Broncos’ loss was big for them too. The Dolphins, amazingly enough, can clinch a playoff berth in Week 16 with a win over the Bills and a Broncos’ loss at the Chiefs. Miami also is guaranteed a spot if it wins out (the Miami Herald had a full explanation of the Dolphins’ playoff clinching scenarios).
    Maybe the Dolphins’ turnaround doesn’t seem unbelievable because just last year we saw the Chiefs go from 1-5 to a playoff spot. But the Dolphins’ turnaround is just as amazing, especially with a rookie head coach.

    ^^^^^^^
    This is from Frank Schwab – Yahoo Sports

  103. The Flying Pig says:

    Commenting on this

    1-4 was painful

    but the low point was the 1 win vs the Browns
    and I didn’t even know they would be 0-14 at the time we lost

    but that game was miserable bad for this team

    what happened between the Tennessee game and the Pittsburgh game?
    (Piggy shrugs)

    Here is the best theory I can come up with
    Brian in NY, who attended the Pittsburgh game, spiked the Dolphins gatoraide with Super Serum then he went back the next week and spiked it again at the FEST
    both big wins!

    Those 2 spikes were enough to carry the Dolphins to close wins from week 9 through week 14
    All of our wins through this time frame were close wins
    even a bad loss
    It makes sense
    bc Super Serum wears off over time which is common knowledge

    Then the Dolphins travel to NY to play the jests
    And surprise Brian, who conspicuously goes by Brian “IN NY”, is there to spike more Dolphin hydration

    I don’t know if you guys know this, but Buffalo, like Brian, is also “in NY”
    So I expect another spiking and a big win

    This time Brian, my suggestion to you is to use enough Super Serum to carry over to the New England game unless of course you plan on making another South Florida trip that week

    I don’t know why Yahoo Sports doesn’t touch on Brian’s involvement….

    • The Flying Pig says:

      Brian had this with him at the Fest

      I think it explains how he deals with security (codename “Roadrunner”) to get access to the thirst aid

  104. 81Howie says:

    Great past 10 days for Matt Moore.
    How about Cam Wake for Defensive Player…
    HELL YEAH!

  105. 81Howie says:

    Evening Update
    DOLPHINS-BILLS
    Howie 27-23 MIA
    Naples20-17MIA
    Wyo 24-17 MIA
    Stang 17-10 MIA
    Piggy 35-10 MIA
    Herd 31-20 MIA
    MikeE 23-12 MIA
    Toba 31-13 MIA
    B’man 21-13 MIA
    Rhino 21-20 MIA
    UK 20-17 MIA
    Old 17-16 MIA
    Vinnie 27-16 MIA
    GO PHINS!

  106. Mike E. says:

    Anyone else have a question? I’ll take a couple

    ASK MIKE nj1dolfan@yahoo.com

  107. D says:

    I can check in on Tanny if you guys want. Pensacola is my old stompin grounds, and only about 45 mins from here.

    • Mike E. says:

      World–class athletes, weekend warriors, youth athletes and everyday people have access to state–of–the–art performance training and health care services conveniently located in Gulf Breeze, Florida at the Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. Under the leadership and reputation of internationally renowned orthopaedic sports surgeon Dr. James Andrews, the Andrews Institute provides a spectrum of services in order for patients to quickly and accurately address their orthopaedic needs.

  108. 81Howie says:

    Piggy
    I was just watching Dolphins Daily on their web site and they liked to thank all you guys at Slattereys..
    They had a couple quick shots of you all inside and then outside posing for pictures.
    I was trying to pick you out but its real hard on my little phone.
    Looks like a great crew up there
    WAY TO REPRESENT!

    • The Flying Pig says:

      I avoided being in any pictures so you won’t see

      There were actually a ton of people there that are not in any of the photos I’ve seen

      It was a big crowd

  109. Mike E. says:

    Howie

    I’m going to put this up so anyone who wants to see it can see it. Thanks for mentioning it.

    http://www.miamidolphins.com/multimedia/videos/Dolphins-Daily-December-21st-2016/240fbb6e-e85f-4a61-bfd8-26dec482b680

  110. If you’re watching the bowl game tonight keep an eye on San Diego States Damontae Kazee and Calvin Munson.

  111. D says:

    Interesting Mikey, says he works with Baptist health care, which is a company I contracted with for a little while when I lived there.

  112. naplesfan2010 says:

    Emmit Smith is from Pensacola, I think.

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