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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Mike's Thoughts

Good Morning Humans!! After an extended vacation I am back and have a lot of thoughts on some things taking place in the Dolphins Universe that I feel the need to comment (rant) about. So, let's get right to it.


Ryan Tannehil-Adam Gase Love Affair is in Full Swing--Per the Armando Salguero report Adam Gase is now a Tannehil believer.  Gase and the rest of the assistant coaches he have hired have now reviewed tape of last season and they don't get the Tannehill hate that is in South Florida. And I for one tend to agree with them. Now I am not going to sit here and tell you Tannehill is the next superstar QB or a Top 10 QB currently, but he is also a guy who shouldn't be ran out of town and shouldn't have this ..."well its a make or break year for him" tag hanging over his head.  You have to remember, Gase didn't draft Tannehill, he wasn't here when Tannehill got a contract extension, he has no ties to Ryan Tannehill. If Gase believes Tannehill stinks, he can run him out of town and he can do it without hurting the Fins cap as the Tannehill extension is as team friendly a contract as you will ever see in the NFL where the cap hit is not crippling. As the report states, the coaching staff see's the making of a good QB and they also saw what every one of us saw as well....THE OFFENSIVE LINE STUNK! He has no time to pas the ball and has taken 184 sacks since being in the league. No QB would have success behind that line. It's the first thing they noticed. Is Tannehill a finished product, heck no and he needs to tweak his game for sure in some areas. But he isn't the problem on this team right now. In fact QB is the least of the Dolphins issues!


Ricky Williams on Celebrity Apprentice---If there was ever a total clown who needed a reality show its Ricky Williams. I know the vast majority of Dolphins fans have forgave and forgot what Ricky Williams did in his time in Miami. Mainly quitting on the team on the eve of training camp to go smoke dope in the jungle. Well, I haven't! I am not a big fan of Ricky. I think he is a phony and a fake. I think he is the same selfish guy who has 4 of 5 kids from 4 or 5 different girls who needed to be dragged to court to pay child support. Ricky Williams is not a good person. The Celebrity Apprentice (minus Trump) will probably be a train wreck of a show and not very good (that's not me being a Trump supporter, that's just me being an honest TV reviewer.)  Love him or hate him, the show was all Trump (minus when Gary Busey was on, that shit was TV GOLD.)  I don't think Ricky will last very long on this show and if his "real personality" comes out he could be exposed to the world as a fraud which people like me firmly believe he is.

Dolphins asking NFL for Scheduling Request--- In a sign this franchise has upgraded its coaching talent and moving on from the Campbell/Philbin/Sparano/Cameron disaster that has been running this team for the last decade or so. The Dolphins are asking the NFL for "special consideration" in making the schedule. Per Armando Salguero the Dolphins with 3 west coast trips next year want the NFL to make 2 of those games be back-to back- west coast road games so they can stay on the west coast the entire week and not fly back to Miami.  The Dolphins play Seattle, San Diego, and Los Angeles next year on the road. Kudos to the Fins for making this request and not making a silly request like having all home games in September and October be 4pm starts (which I know is a Stephen Ross request but still.) This is a request that makes sense for ON the field reasons.  It's the first sign that maybe this GM and Head Coach have a clue as to what they are doing.


SUPER BOWL PREDICTION--- Even though its not Dolphins related I guess I should make a Super Bowl prediction since everyone in Twitter-world is asking for my opinion and take on it.  In my 2015 predictions back before the season started I did have Denver in the Super Bowl losing to Seattle. So Kudos to me for getting 1 of the Super Bowl teams right. And while I didn't have Carolina in the playoffs I clearly stated that any of the 4 teams in the NFC South could win the division and I was just essentially throwing darts making those picks as that division is a joke on every level. While few if anyone saw Carolina going 15-1, they did step up and grab that division this year and play very well.  Everything on paper says Carolina should win the game easily. Reminds me alot of the Ravens-Giants Super Bowl 35. The Ravens were clearly the dominate team but for weeks everyone looked for and created reasons for the Giants to win.  To me Carolina is the dominate team and should win easily (and probably will) BUT there is one thing working against them. This Denver team, pretty much the entire team, was in the Super Bowl 2 years ago and was embarrassed on the national stage and Denver won't let the moment swallow them up this time. If this game is within 10 pts in the 4th quarter I could see Cam Newton and the Panthers getting swallowed up by the moment. In their only loss vs Atlanta they didn't lose because Atlanta is some great team. Oh no, they lost because they were unbeaten at the time and they were in a tight game late away from home and "the moment" swallowed them up. Cam played poorly on that final drive and the defense came up small. Now that moment is nothing compared to the microscope they will be under in the 4th quarter of a Super Bowl if its a tight game.  My Prediction: Carolina 27  Denver 13 (with Denver scoring a late garbage TD to make the game appear closer than the score indicates.) But if that point spread gets to 6 pts or more, I might throw a few boxes of ziti (reference for you fans of The Sopranos) on the Broncos because it wouldn't shock me if Denver pulls out a nail biter and if Cam Newton and the Panthers choke away a lead late in the 4th quarter and collapse under "the moment."

And some free advice to Newton; if he ever wants to be a mainstream star like Manning with a ton of endorsements and be a house hold name across America, he better cut the crap out with the 3 min Broadway choreographed post touchdown celebrations. Want to hand the ball to a kid in the stands, fine. The rest of the stuff needs to go. Makes him luck bush league and like a chump. And you can't compare it to Aaron Rodgers with is discount double check thing. When Rodgers does that it lasts all of 1.5 seconds. What Newton does actually stops the game and goes on for like 2 full minutes or so.  And if Newton doesn't cut that crap out he will always be known as the punk who was taking payouts with his father from Miss St/Auburn/Florida and every other SEC school that talked to him and his family. He can turn over a new leaf at the Super Bowl and change his reputation and image by just acting like a professional and not a professional jerk-off after they score a TD. For his sake I hope he does. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Senior Bowl: Top 3 Reasons to Watch









The Senior Bowl is where you go to answer a few lingering questions that you may have after watching a trillion hours of film. There is nothing you can possibly do to make your self 100% sure about a pick come draft day, but research is key in such an uncertain environment. Most of your film will show sub-par opponents where as the Senior Bowl will show elite competition. Since January 30th is around the corner and practices will be aired on ESPNU, Here is what Dolphin fans should pay close attention to in this years Reese's Senior Bowl.




1. REGGIE RAGLAND ILB - Reggie Ragland has the potential be a huge pick up for the Miami Dolphins. He has the decisiveness that we currently need at ILB. This guy has the streets talking and the word on the streets  is that you would be a fool not to pay close attention to his play on the field. The one knock against him is his ability to cover once he moves on to the NFL. During his press conference he explained that he will be playing Outside Linebacker to prove his versatility and ability to hold his own out in the flats.


W2W4 -  Look to see if the emphasis on coverage impairs his aggressive decision making. Watch his first steps as the ball snaps and his hips in transition. He has been working on bringing down his weight to improve his play speed, so lets also look to see if he's able to effectively get off his blocks.


2. CARSON WENTZ - If you still believe in Tannehill than it doesn't hurt to  watch this guy just for confirmation purposes, because the hype is at a all time high. If you don't  believe in Tannehil than Carson Wenetz is worth your attention. 6-6 235lbs and the ability to run out of the pocket is music to a scouts ears when referring to a QB. From a physical stand point, this is the QB you would want to run your offense. Although Wentz has the ability to be extremely elusive, I still question his pocket awareness. The NFL has the tendency to make QBs like Wentz prove he has what it takes to do his job in a tight closed-in cubical e.g., Colin Kaepernick, Johnny Manziel, Jamis Winston, Marcus Mariota.


W2W4 -  I've always said that great Quarterbacks do great in situational football.With that being said, pay close attention tot 3rd Downs, and his command of the huddle. This is harder said than done because it's the little reactions that tells the bigger story. Look to see if he displays composure when the opposing front seven plays discipline football by setting the edge. Go over his press conferences and decipher what was rehearsed and what was genuine. It's also key not to overreact to incompletions because chemistry will always play a role in these types of games.


3 - JOSHUA GARNETTE -  Most underrated skill set of this young Guard is his ability to read the opposing defense. He is always exactly where he needs to be at the second level and rarely whiffs a block. Garnett will have to show that he can hold a block pass the  initial move in pass protection.


W2W4 - At the college level offensive lineman don't get exposed enough for bad technique and  leaning in to a block, but the NFL will make you look foolish every down for those same flaws. Look to see if Garnett is staying discipline by using his hands and feet to win each battle.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Underrated is an Understatement





Reshad Jones was one of the few bright spots in an under-achieving year for the Miami Dolphins. Many went out of the way to call it a Pro Bowl type of year for this young Strong Safety. He led his position group across the NFL in tackles(124), interceptions(5), pick 6’s(2), while throwing in 2 sacks just to make the resume look pretty. As a matter of fact, only 4 players ended the season with more tackles.


The only category Reshad Jones failed to be great in was popularity. See, what many people fail to realize is that playing for a team that does not shine under the national lights put you behind the eight ball before the season even starts. Not having a victory dance after every tackle doesn't make things any better when it comes down to Pro Bowl votes. Making the Pro bowl is more about building your brand than being an excellent talent. You have to be the one the media wants to interview, you have to be the one in the headlines (good or bad), you have to be the one in contention for a playoff bid, and you have to be the one that barks just as loud as you bite.


Reshad's first thought was not to attend the Pro Bowl if he was called on as an alternate and I was proud of his stance on this issue. I was not proud because I believed  that was what it took to change the culture of the NFL, but I believed that was what it took to get the attention he deserved. Due to injuries, Jones will be getting the recognition of being a Pro Bowler by default, but Dolphin fans know there was no one else more deserving of this great accomplishment. To Reshad Jones, Congratulations and keep your Phin Up High!

Friday, January 22, 2016

The Executive 1.0





"Best part about being a fan is the Should've Would've Could've" - Delson Jeanvilma




"The Executive" will be a series of articles that will make some key decisions from a GM standpoint for the Miami Dolphins. Each new post in this series will consist of updates as key events occur such as Free Agency, NFL Combine, Pro Days, Random Arrests and the Suspension that follows. I encourage you all to do the same. As the year pass, you will have a better understanding on what it takes to run the show and allow your criticism to be more infromed. This is just based on a few weeks of research but here is what I think we should do this offseason. Feel free to let me know what you guys think.




Identity: The Identity will be what we base all of our personnel decisions on. We have to target personalities and skill sets that fits the mold. Pay close attention to see if the individuals I target fit the mold in which I will describe below.


Offense - Unpredictable


Our Offense has the necessary pieces to keep opposing defenses guessing. Our goal is to complement dual threat players such as Tannehill, Landry, Parker and Ajayi with an exceptional variation of plays being called.


Defense - Savages


Its simple, we need some nasty individuals on this defense. Suh, Jones, and Philips already brings a viciousness that intimidates, but the rest of the defense needs to follow suit.


Special Teams - Dependable


Special Teams has been great at times but this phase of the game is what you depend on as a team when you have no where else to turn. Punting, FG, and Field position is a teams life line. It's an IV when your down and out. That is why It's imperative that we stack this phase of the game with dependability.




Our Own: We have 17 players this year that will hit the open market and unfortunately, I don't see a great need to resign any of them. There are a lot of cap concerns that would create a situation where the productivity and demand would not justify the payout. I know a lot of  fans want Koa gone but we can't create  more holes in a team that is filled with question marks. As much as I would like to keep Lamar Miller, the league has proven that the RB position is the most interchangeable part to an NFL team. OV has been great to us, but unfortunately, this years draft is stacked with the same skill set. We will be Releasing the following:




Brent Grimes - Need more Physicality at this position (2016 Cap Hit 7.9 M Dead Cap 3 M)
Jordan Cameron - Need more consistency at this position (2016 Cap Hit 7.5 Dead Cap 2 M)
Quinton Coples - Money doesn't justify play (2016 Cap Hit 7.7 M Dead Cap 0)
Dion Jordan - Need more Physicality at this position (2016 Cap Hit 3.5 M Dead Cap 2.9)
Greg Jennings -Not a major need to justify the cap hit  (2016 Cap Hit 3.9 M Dead Cap 1.5)




Team Needs Ranked by Relevance: (How we plan to address it)


1. CB (Free Agency) 2. ILB (Draft) 3. OG (Free Agency) 4. DE (Draft) 5. FS (Draft) 6. RB (Draft)  7. TE (Draft)




*Free Agency will also be use to create a great supporting cast and creating a competitive environment.






Free Agent Targets: Key here is getting the people that fit what we are trying to accomplish as explained previously in "Identity." Offensive guards and Corner backs would be priority in this free agency. I need physical mauling veterans at this position and quite frankly, I don't think the draft is where I can fill this void. If I cant hit on a CB here, the plan is to keep Grimes and draft Hargreaves round 1 if Jalen Ramsey is not avail, but that's Plan B at best. Notable targets are listed below.




Brandon Brooks      OG
Alex Boone               OG
Sean Smith               CB
Nolan Caroll            CB
Janoris Jenkins       CB
CJ Anderson           RB
Vincent Ray            ILB
Jerrell Freeman     ILB
Tavon Willson        FS
Rafael Bush            FS

Mock Draft 1.0 - The draft will be dependent on what holes are filled in Free Agency. As you know, the NFL combine can drastically change the value of these prospect. So the following picks are solely based on current valuations.
If we can sure up CBs in Free Agency then Draft would look like this.
Round 1 - Reggie Ragland ILB - Might move down to pick 12-15 and get another pick in the 5th or 6th to get this guy. Leader of Men, Senior, Savage, Smart and Decisive. A little poor in coverage but this is the guy  that needs to be behind Suh, Wake, and Phillips. We need a bunch of hungry vultures in this front seven and Ragland is a vulture!



Round 2 - Shilique Calhoun DE - Talk about getting value from your picks, this guy is an instant starter as a Round 2 pick (If Avail). Always looking to bring the boom on every hit. Very discipline in setting the edge, may rely a little too much on strength than technique, but Calhoun is a guy that will bring fear to the opposing offense as a rookie.



Round 3 - Joshua Garnett OG - I'm not a fan of picking a Guard this low in the draft but this is a very unique situation. Sometimes there are NFL prospects that get under valued and you can only hope that no one picks up on it. Garnett is not your underachieving tackle that made the switch to guard. This is a true guard that will develop into something very special. Some OGs make it to the second level by neglecting the first but this guy handles his business at the first level and depletes anything remaining at the second.



Round 4 - Bryce Williams TE - This might be the biggest gamble out of all my picks. I will either hit big or lose big with this one, but I think its worth it in Round 4. Just like Charles Clay, Williams can line up anywhere on the field which fits the unpredictability mantra we have for this offense. He would be a big target for Tannehill with great hands as well.  His blocking and ability to run clean route will be the very few limitations that could potentially hold him back from being great. In late rounds you want to draft scrappy players that will fight for a big role not just the 53 man roster




Round 5 - Aaron Green RB - Aaron Greens reminds me of Darren Sproles. Defensive players continue to underestimate his play speed which creates terrible tackling angles. Shifty is the one word that will describe this guy. He is a dual threat RB that will make you look foolish in the open field. This guy would not only compliment Ajayi but our offense as a whole.  





Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Dolphins hire Father and Son coaching duo

It took a year but the Dolphins finally have landed Jim Washburn. Last year the Dolphins requested permission to speak with Jim Washburn but the Lions denied it. This year the Dolphins not only were able to hire Jim Washburn but they also hired his son Jeremiah Washburn as well.

Jim Washburn is a long time defensive line coach who was with the Lions for Ndamukong Suh's best two seasons in Detroit. The Dolphins have a big investment in Suh and to get the most out of him bringing in one of his former coaches is a wise decision. In Miami Jim Washburn will be a senior defensive assistant coach assisting with the defensive line primarily. The Dolphins retained their defensive line coach from last year Terrell Williams. Jeremiah Washurn will be the assistant offensive line coach in Miami.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Relationship Goals: Miami Dolphins

Dolphin fans, it is clear that our relationship with this organization has suffered some blows and there are plenty of blame to go around. It's important that  during this time all parties involved gain a better  understating of what we can work on to make this a match made in heaven.




Communication: Mr. Ross, you have to stop with the promises of putting a ring on it every time this ride gets rocky. In the Adam Gase press conference, you went out the way to state that this hire was with intentions of making it to the alter (Super Bowl) and giving us the ring that we deserve. I've been a supporter of the Gase hiring, but it was way too early for that statement.


Trust: I know we've been burned a lot of times during this relationship but the fact still remain that we have to retain some level of trust that this organization has our happiness and pain in mind when moves are being made. I know there are a lot of New Yorkers running the show and that in itself has been a reason for concern, but this is the same guy that reached deep in his own pocket for the renovations we are seeing today. At least we know for a fact that we're not being cheated on (Sorry St. Louis).


Accountability: There are a lot of people that we decided to fire with little change to the end result. If we fail again, who will the fingers point to. Rarely do we see someone stand up and say this one is on me. The best words to be heard in theses moments are "I was Wrong." You can't fix a flat tire without finding the leak. Mr. Ross explained that this is the first time he has gone with his gut when it comes to the Miami Dolphins, and it is his gut that has given him so much success in the past. I hope you are right Mr. Ross, because the years to come will fall on you weather we succeed or fail.


Commitment: The harsh reality of it all is that the Dolphins are not as pretty as they used to be. They don't make the romantic gestures that used to sweep us off of our feet in the past. They may have even gained a little bit of weight in places I cant even bring myself to mention, but we have to stick with them through the good and the bad. We have not been the best in this relationship either. Some fans decided to roll with a sexier team (Panthers) and realized that the grass was not as green as they thought it was. Being supportive does not mean to accept any form of abuse, but it does mean to understand when mistakes are made. It means to appreciate what we have, in a time where some cities have none. Lets say #PhinsUp with pride while no one else is giving us a chance.