Tuesday, July 31, 2012

It all Seems Too Easy to Tannehill.

I pretty much watch every interview of Dolphins players.  I don't know exactly why I do it; perhaps inside I believe that something in the players body language or voice inflection will clue me in to what I have to expect from the team (or that player) moving forward.  I think I am fairly well skilled in reading people and have even taken some tests to back up this notion.  Sure enough, I tested very high in my ability to read body language and facial expressions.  But this article isn't about my test scores, it is about a player that kills me every time I watch an interview of him.  He kills me because I want him to be great in the worst way.  It is about Ryan Tannehill. 

I was very excited that the Dolphins took him at number 8 overall in the draft.  I was primarily excited because it meant that Mike Sherman truly had faith in him and there must be a reason for that.  But every time I watch an interview on this kid I get a bad feeling.  You might find a millisecond here and there that say otherwise, but overall he seems to indicate that all of this is easy.  I see a guy who thinks that playing quarterback in the NFL is a walk in the park (yawn).

My first reaction was to look for reasons that this might be the case.  After all he does have some unique tools in his belt.  His OC was his head coach in college and there is a lot of carry over with the play book.  He played receiver and QB in college, so he has a unique view on the quarterback position.  Less uniquely, his team mates on offense are higher caliber players than what he worked with in college.  Finally, training camp has just started so there is still time for things to get more challenging.  But is this enough to make a rookie playing the hardest position in all of sports feel like a day at the beach?

It isn't like I want things to be hard on any person or player, but the truth is that this level of play is hard for anybody and everybody.  When I see rookies acting like the NFL is no big deal, I usually see that rookie go on to struggle.  One player that Tannehill really reminds me of in interviews is Koa Misi.  I remember how casual Koa was when he first joined the team and how he felt like he was picking everything up quickly, then he got on the field and did pretty much nothing.  The successful players always seem to have an intensity about them or a focus that is almost tangible.  If it isn't hard, what is driving you to get better by overcoming your own personal challenges?  And the problem isn't just what I see, it is what I don't see.  I don't see drive, focus, determination, intensity, leadership skills, communication skills, wit, cunning or anticipation.  Do my eyes and ears deceive me?

Let me share a moment with you as I make a request to the good Lord.  Please, please, please let me be wrong about this.  Please Lord Baby Jesus allow this to be one of those moments where my instincts fail me.  Enough with the humor...  Seriously, I hope I am just misreading this.  Perhaps his stone face and easy going nature will be a true asset to him and enhance his ability to lead this team moving forward.  Perhaps his quiet confidence is fully justified and he wanted to wait until he got in the pros to set the world on fire.  But I don't really recall the college game being easy for him and I am pretty sure the NFL isn't any easier.

Don't forget, I am not a reporter.  I offer nothing more than an opinion based on my observation and it is my opinion alone! 

Remember 1983-Marino vs Woodly

Seattle signs Braylon Edwards

Armando Salguero is reporting that the Seattle Seahawks have signed free agent WR Braylon Edwards.

Who is next for Miami to work out? Plaxico Burress?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Kicking the Tires on Braylon Edwards? What? Why? Really?

When the news broke yesterday that the Dolphins recently (about a week ago) worked out free agent WR Braylon Edwards it was a bit of a shocker. I mean lets be honest the main reason Brandon Marshall was sent away was because he was a locker-room cancer and a nutcase. I mean his huge contract and tons of dropped balls didn't help, but his personality and un-likability among the locker-room was probably reason #1 for his jettison.

But why Braylon Edwards? Joe Philbin gave the politically correct answer of it's the personal guys just doing their due diligence and leaving no stone un-turned. And while maybe that is true, I think the answer is obvious. The Dolphins right now have issues at WR. Omar Kelly is reporting that the 3 rookies (Cunningham, Fuller, Matthews) have not done well at all in mini-camps and now training camps. Omar is reporting they are getting few reps in practices and when they do they drop easy catchable passes. One or two of these guys are probably locked into the practice squad and not the main roster while the other will be cut.

So that leaves this group of WR's at Chad Johnson, Brian Hartline, Davone Bess, Clyde Gates, Roberto Wallace, Marlon Moore, Julius Pruitt, and Legeduu Naanee. But if you think Miami will sign Edwards and hand him a spot opposite Chad Johnson think again. Miami can't afford to carry 2 or 3  old WR's. So "IF" Miami  signs Edwards, expect him to be competing with Johnson and Naanee for 1 roster spot. Maybe they carry 2 "of the older guys," but it's unlikely. Reason being is because the WR "depth" and "non-starters" must contribute on Special Teams. And Edwards, Johnson, Naanee can't do that at this stage in their careers.

The other person though who should be nervous if the Fins pull the trigger on Braylon Edwards is Clyde Gates. From all reports Gates has trouble running routes and executing on the field. Yes, he has blazing speed and is great on special teams. But at the WR position, where he was selected in Round 3, he struggles a lot. And he struggled in Tony Sparano/Brian Daboll's "simple" offense. In the West Coast offense Philbin runs I would expect more struggles. And from early reports of Mini-Camp's and thus far in Training camp that is what has happened. The only thing going for Gates right now is that he was a 3rd round pick and teams rarely give up on 3rd round picks after just 1 season.

Do I expect Miami to sign Braylon Edwards? NO. I mean Seattle worked out Edwards and Antonio Bryant and decided to sign Antonio Bryant, that's all you need to know. With that said, I would not be against the signing of Edwards though. IF he is healthy the guy can flat out play. Big target and would be an instant upgrade to this WR corp. He isn't the Braylon Edwards of 2007 or 2008, but he is still good.  In fact I wouldn't mind if they signed Edwards and cut Chad Johnson loose in all honesty.I think Edwards has more left in the tank (once again IF he is healthy.) This also might be a case where Miami signs Edwards AFTER Week 1 because then his contract isn't guaranteed for the season. For a guy coming off a knee injury that makes a lot of sense.

It will be interesting to see how this battle at wide receiver plays out and how many the Fins actually end up keeping come Week 1.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Braylon Edwards works out for Dolphins

Ken Rogers of HBO's Hard Knocks is reporting the team worked out WR Braylon Edwards. Armando Salguero is reporting that Braylon is healthy and is a "serious option" to be signed.

Edwards on the field when healthy is an outstanding WR and can produce. His problems have always been between the ears and his off the field issues. Some guys just find trouble and Braylon is one of those guys. Also, Braylon, and his crew who when in Cleveland had run-in's with Lebron James and his crew off the field. Braylon would once again be reunited in the same city with Lebron. Could be trouble.

Dolphins CEO Mike Dee talks about Logo Changes and many other things

Omar Kelly talked with Dolphins CEO Mike Dee about many issues including the new Dolphins logo ideas and the business aspect of the Miami Dolphins. CLICK HERE to listen. (this is from early Saturday so ignore the Tannehill isn't signed talk)

Reggie Bush speaks with media after practice

Too see more video and to see Bush, Bess, and head coach Joe Philbin discuss Saturday's training camp. CLICK HERE to watch

Don't hold your breath on those Mike Wallace to Miami rumors

There were a lot of rumors yesterday that Mike Wallace the outstanding Pittsburgh Steelers WR might be on the trade market and that the Miami Dolphins were in the mix for his services. Well, Steelers GM Kevin Colbert has told Ed Werder of ESPN that Mike Wallace is not available for trade. As I speculated yesterday I thought this would be the case. Pittsburgh is trying to win a Super Bowl and can afford to force Wallace to play this year for the restricted tender and let him walk at seasons end. Now, Steelers GM Kevin Colbert could be saying this as a negotiating stance to raise the price tag of Wallace in any potential deal. But I don't buy that either, I take Colbert at his word on this one. Although if Wallace holds out for most if not all of training camp he might force Pittsburgh to do something eventually in 3-4 weeks. But for now, I wouldn't hold your breath on any Mike Wallace trade to Miami or anywhere for that matter.

Jared Odrick defends Penn St and JoePa (no seriously he does)

Dolphins defensive linemen Jared Odrick is penciled in as a starter this year on the Dolphins defense and is in store for a huge breakout year according to many. Since training camp has started though all anyone wants to talk to him about is Penn St as that is where he attended college. And instead of saying nothing or refusing to talk about it like many PSU alums in the NFL have decided to do, Odrick has gone on the offensive of defending JoePa and Penn St.

And Odrick, like most Penn St students, fans, and faculty you hear on the radio and see on TV, still miss the big picture and simply don't get it. Here is some of what Odrick had to say with my comments as to why Odrick is lost on this issue.

“It’s being upset over what happened and what didn’t happen … in some things that should have been done, but weren’t,” Odrick said. “But it’s tough to ignore all the good things Joe did. (Seriously Jared, you want to bring up all the good JoePa has done? So what, because he did good that makes him above the law? Ya know OJ Simpson was a good guy too and donated lots of money and time to charity's as well...and then he sliced his wife's head off along with a waiter's. Sometimes the bad outweighs the good.)
“I’m acknowledging that there was some negligence. I’m not ignoring that. But it’s woulda, coulda, shoulda. And people who have no relevancy or connection to Penn State need to look at the whole picture if they’re going to judge Joe.(Nice to see you are acknowledging there is some negligence, most PSU people still have their heads burred in the sand on that issue. Just like I don't need to be standing in Iraq or Afghanistan to know a war-zone is a dangerous place, I don't need to be standing in Pennsylvania on the Penn St campus to know there are some sick people there who for over a decade aided and abetted a pedophile. And when the Freeh report came out there is enough information for any sane and rational person to "Judge JoePa" so you can stop with the silly defense. JoePa=Scumbag!)
Jared is young and doesn't get it. He is 25 years old, barley lived life, and doesn't have kids and its clear he doesn't fully understand the seriousness of what happened. He is just upset that his football program is going in the crapper for many years now and he doesn't like that his school's name is being dragged through the mud. Which is why he should take a page from another Penn St grad on the Dolphins Cam Wake. Say nothing, don't comment on the situation. Jared has to understand he is trying to defend the indefensible and it is making him look foolish. And someone on the Dolphins need to tell him to say "NO COMMENT" when the Penn St situation comes up. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ryan Tannehill Signs Contract

Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that the Miami Dolphins have come to terms with 1st round draft pick Ryan Tannehill. No word yet who won the battle on "offset language" in the contract .Per Mike Florio there is "some" offset language" in the contract but no details have been released yet. It's a 4 year deal with a club option for a fifth year. Which is standard for all 1st round NFL draft picks these days.

Rumor/Word going around is that Tannehill was unwilling to miss a lot of practice time with the team and forced everyone's hand to get the deal done.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network says their is "offset language" in the contract but the Dolphins made other concessions to get the deal done.

Mike Wallace to Miami trade Rumors heating up

Evan Silva the Senior NFL Editor for Rotoworld is reporting with Antonio Brown getting his big contract extension in Pittsburgh, that the Steelers might be looking to trade Mike Wallace. And if so look for the Colts and Dolphins as possible trade partners. He mentions that the Dolphins were willing to use a supplemental pick on Josh Gordon out of Baylor. So, obviously they are in the market to upgrade their WR corp.

Gerry Dulac of the Steelers Radio Network and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that to trade Wallace Pittsburgh would let Mike Wallace talk to teams, agree on compensation, and sign him to a tender after trade details are worked out with Pittsburgh. Dulac also reported that he believes Pitt will trade Wallace during training camp as they believe they are unable to sign and keep him long-term.

Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com is also speculating that a team like Miami or the Jets would give up a big package to land Mike Wallace.

Salary cap wise I am not sure Miami can afford Wallace this year and fit him in. It's not impossible but a few people would have to go (ie Fasano among others.) Obviously adding a Mike Wallace is an easy decision to make. He is 25 years old, great hands, blazing speed. A legit #1 WR on any team in the league who's best years are ahead of him. For a 2nd round pick or a 2nd and a 3rd, its an easy trade to make. And with the Dolphins having TWO 3rd round picks next year, they could trade a 2nd rounder and even a 3rd possibly and still have picks in rounds 1 and 3. It isn't set in stone Pittsburgh is trading Wallace but after giving Antonio Brown a mega deal last night, either Pitt will force Wallace to play the year and then let him walk next offseason. Or they will move him now and get something in return for him. I would guess they force him to play this year at the restricted tender number, but I hope I am wrong. And if Wallace is on the block, Jeff Ireland get on the phone immediately! 

Friday, July 27, 2012

ESPN: Tannehill not even in Miami; across state at IMG Academy

ESPN is reporting that Ryan Tannehill isn't currently in the Miami area. He is across the state at the IMG Madden Football Academy. He has his Dolphins playbook with him and he is working out with Chris Weinke. Sources told ESPN that Tannehill plans on staying at the Academy until his deal is worked out. He also has a full top of the line strength and conditioning staff at his disposal as well.

Jeff Ireland has created another disaster with Tannehill not even in Miami.

Ross on Ireland..."You take it one year at a time"

If Jeff Ireland wasn't already on the hot-seat, the owner has now spoken and has made it official. During today's press conference where Stephen Ross answered questions from the media, when the topic of Jeff Ireland came up, Ross had this to say (thanks too Barry Jackson's column in the Miami Herald)... "You take it one year at a time. I think we have a great team here and that's what I'm looking for... I'm committed to him. If I had any doubts, he wouldn't be here."

Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/sports-buzz/2012/07/stephen-ross-expects-to-win-hopes-he-has-playoff-caliber-talent.html#storylink=cpy

Now if hew as "committed to him" would he be taking it one year at a time? I think not. We aren't idiots and can all read between the lines. Ireland is not safe, nor should he be. And for Ireland who just drafted his "franchise quarterback" in Round 1 but has been unable to sign him, that seat is getting hotter by the minute. Why this Tannehill contract isn't complete is mind-boggling and another black eye not only for Jeff Ireland but the entire Fins organization.

Tannehill isn't asking for anything out of the ordinary and just wants a regular deal but Ireland and the organization are playing games trying to essentially low-ball/screw over the guy they selected Top 10. For the record I have been a supporter of Jeff Ireland but its stuff like this that make it harder and harder to defend him. Sign Tannehill and lets move on. This game he is trying to play will fail, he knows it will fail, and he is only hurting himself and his job status.

Full Dolphins Training Camp Schedule

Do you plan on going to Dolphins training camp? If so Ben Volin has posted the entire Dolphins Training Camp Schedule with some notes and tidbits on some "special" days and what the organization is doing. CLICK HERE to check it out

Brandon Marshall drops a ton of passes at Bears first practice

It didn't take the Bears long to figure out why Miami gave Brandon Marshall away for almost nothing. At the very first Bears practice yesterday, guess who dropped damn near every pass thrown his way?! You guessed it, Brandon Marshall.

Great first impression Brandon!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dolphins sign LG Eric Steinbach

The National Football Post is reporting the Miami Dolphins have signed veteran left guard Eric Steinbach. Philbin was Steinbach's coach in college at Iowa. Steinbach is also coming off back surgery which caused him to miss all of last season.

For Miami to make this type of move of signing a veteran guard is a bit troubling. It means the coaches aren't high on Jon Jerry at all as he is probably still overweight and not in good condition. It also is a sign that they think little of the current group which includes Art Hicks and Ryan Cook. Also a little surprising they didn't sign Jake Scott who they had in for 2 visits. Makes ya wonder if his price tag was too high or if Philbin brought in someone he knew from his college days.

Fins Report to Training Camp today

Today is the day all the players report for Training Camp in Miami. They will all receive their physicals and will under-go conditioning tests. Then on Friday the first practice takes place.

Football Season is Here!

Fins sign Egnew; Tannehill only unsigned draft pick

Omar Kelly of the Sun-Sentinel is reporting the Dolphins have signed 3rd round draft pick Michael Egnew. Leaving only Ryan Tannehill as the only un-signed Dolphins draft pick.

And if you are surprised that Tannehill hasn't signed yet, don't be. Today is the first day of cameras rolling for HARD KNOCKS and you know to "build some drama" they wanted the rookie 1st round draft pick quarterback signing his deal "On Camera."

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

SIRIUS NFL Radio: Discuss Chad Johnson now in Miami

Tim Ryan and Jim Miller on SIRIUS/XM NFL RADIO's "Movin' The Chains" discussed Chad Johnson signing with the Dolphins and his quotes in recent days. Tim Ryan calls Chad Johnson a "mental midget" and his career is over. Jim Miller also went on to say that Chad Johnson will struggle with Philbin in Miami. CLICK HERE to listen to the Audio Clip.

Fins sign 3rd round pick Vernon

ProFootballTalk.com is reporting the Dolphins have signed 3rd round draft pick Olivier Vernon out of the University of Miami. The Dolphins still have to sign Ryan Tannehill and Michael Egnew.

UPDATE: Here are the details of the contract per Armando Salugero of the Miami Herald CLICK HERE

Fins-Tannehill in contract battle

The Dolphins management and Ryan Tannehill are in a contract battle that might go for a little while. The Miami Herald confirmed the ProfootballTalk.com report that the Dolphins are trying to add offset language in the deal that would get them off the hook if Tannehill is cut in the first 4 years of his deal.

To me the Dolphins are being penny wise and pound foolish. Prior to the draft everyone knew the Fins were reaching a little by taking Tannehill Top 10. He wasn't a Top 10 player but he played QB so you could justify reaching a little. I was on board with it as were many others. So, since you took him Top 10, pay him like a Top 10 draft pick and don't try any monkey business with his contract. Also, the point which has been made by Barry Jackson and Mike Florio is 100% true; that if Tannehill is cut within the first 4 years then the entire Dolphins regime of Ireland, Philbin...etc will all be fired anyway for this colossal mistake so why fight over pennies now?!

Time to pay Tannehill and have him there for Day 1 of camp.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Message from DolphinsTalk.com

Just wanted to write everyone a little something and let you know what is going on. The news for the past month or so has been very slow. Therefore we haven't been doing much updating or writing many opinion pieces. Well, that will change later this week when Dolphins training camp begins. Expect a flurry of news and updates here on the site. DolphinsTalk.com will be your source for all things Miami Dolphins again this season like it was last season.

We have made some staff changes here at the site. We had to let a few people go for a variety of reasons. But the core of the site is still in tact and we have made an outstanding addition of Dan Madison who has done some great work in the past couple weeks.

We also have something in the works with a new Dolphins blog-site that we will be announcing shortly as well. A working relationship that will enhance things for you our readers/fans.  Expect some sort of announcement on this front in the near future.

As always if you are interested in joining or writing for DolphinsTalk.com Feel free to email me at MOliva12@verizon.net . We are always looking to add quality people to our team.

So, just wanted to give everyone a little update. Hope everyone enjoyed their summer and YES, this week Football Season is finally here! Go Dolphins!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Power Rankings (PFT - Preseason)

I saw where Pro Football Talk had the Dolphins ranked 27th in their "for fun" pre-season power rankings and thought it was worth a quick round of chatter...

I used to get a bit tweaked by stuff like this.  But over the years I have come to realize just how close this league is from top to bottom and just how hard it is to predict a season.  The ultra stable franchises like New England, Pittsburgh and now Green Bay (possibly the New York Giants) make it easier to throw out a few favorites to win a Super Bowl.  These days, stability is the only real edge that you can get in the NFL because the talent level is so close.  Unfortunately, the Dolphins have not been an image of stability over the last 10+ years and we have paid the price for it.  But we have a lot of company on the instability category.  Only a few teams have a good enough track record of stability to be relied on in the power rankings and they are the saving grace of the rankings setters.

The tool of choice for team stability these days is the combination of head coach and quarterback.  There are very few exceptions to this rule, so the obvious thought is... "when will Miami get back that much needed head coach/QB combination?"  I wish I had an answer for that, but the good news is it can happen at any time and we just have to recognise it when it does happen.  Until then, we will have to live with pathetic power rankings and realize that it is likely the fans that will see the magic happening before the national media.

Historically, the media is reactive.  I don't expect them to get anything right ahead of time and I can live with that as long as they don't try to act like they saw something coming when change finally happens.  So let me do my part and say that I would put us in the middle of the pack in the power rankings.  Look through our schedule and it is no stretch to put us at 9-7 this season.  Over/under is typically a game so that means that we should end up .500 or better for the year.  Now of course we don't play every team, but there are plenty of very beatable teams not on our schedule this year. 

Does this mean anything?  No.  All of this is just fun stuff put out there for debate.  We have a very new team dynamic brewing.  While it isn't extremely likely that we will be able to strike lightening and have a bang up year, it could happen.  Overall, our line play, run game, overall defense and special teams should be good enough to keep us no worse than middle of the road.  So forget the power rankings.  Use your mind and trust your observations to understand the status of the team. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


That since April's draft the Miami Dolphins have sold 6,000 new season tickets (per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

New Fins Logo could be something like this...

The Dolphins have announced they are in talks with the NFL for a new team logo with the goal of it being released to the world in 2013 prior to the 2013 season. My guess is you will see whatever they come up with next April around draft time so the team can start selling the new gear (hats, jersey's...etc) with the rookie draft picks displaying them. The team is claiming it won't be a drastic change with the new logo and the team colors will stay the same. It is rumored that the main difference will be with the actual dolphin itself. The rumor is the dolphin won't have a face, be smiling or wearing a helmet with an "M" on it. What they are saying is they don't like the current logo which is like a cartoon character! The new logo could be something similar to the logo the old Dolphins Stadium had. Where the Dolphin doesn't have a face and its more of an image of a dolphin.

The Dolphins have really only had 2 logos in franchise history. While I agree it might be time to change it up a bit, I hope the organization doesn't go crazy and do something stupid. Changing things up I have no problem with; its been since 1996 the Fins have had its current logo. And in that time span we have seen the worst days in franchise history. We witnessed a 62-7 playoff loss, a revolving door of garbage head coaches, a 1-15 season, Nick Saban (nuff said) and it's been just one kick to the nuts after another. So, I got no problem with changing the logo and hoping to get some good luck with a new look. They have said they aren't changing the colors which is a very good thing and it won't be drastic which is also good.

One thing I hope they consider is changing the helmet color from white to a teal. For me I don't consider that drastic although I realize some might. If they are going to go with a faceless dolphin as their logo, that is fine. But that would have little spice. And to spice things up if they put that logo on a teal helmet with an orange face-mask maybe it might be something that pops.  It's just an idea. I also hope they keep the little "SUN BURST" around the Dolphin. I have always liked that.

Another mock up that has made its way around the internet is this one below. At first I hated this one below when I first saw it, but I got to admit that it is now starting to grow on me a little. It's simple, it's clean, I like the silver/gray helmet look, and its modern yet not crazy modern ugly.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

QB Outlook '12 (part 4 of 4): Pat Devlin

This one is going to be quick, so I am going to post it the same day as the post on Tannehill.  Check out Tannehill first if you haven't read it. 

Pat Devlin, for those who don't keep up, was on our practice squad last year and believe it or not there was even some excitement about his addition to the team until his lack luster performance in preseason.  I actually believe he is more important to the team than most would think.  Moore and Garrard are working on one year deals and it is likely that one or both of them won't be in Miami next season, so I believe Devlin has a solid shot at being the backup QB of the future for the Dolphins.  Don't under value backup quarterbacks, they are critical to team success.  These days you have to have a guy that can step in and win a couple of games because chances are that the starter won't start the entire year due to injury.

I hope Devlin is listening because I am essentially saying he has the second best chance at a long term career for the Dolphins out of all four quarterbacks (#1 is Tannehill, of course).  If he does well in camp, I am sure the coaching staff would rather keep a project like him for the backup position than to start over with another project.  If you pay attention to Philbin's interviews, you may notice that he is often careful to include Devlin's name when he discusses the quarterbacks.  It doesn't matter that the media is so narrow in their vision that the forget this detail.

So in short...  We have two QBs on one year deals and a future QB that is almost guaranteed to start next year.  Unless Garrard or Moore lights it up this year, they will both be gone next year.  That leaves us with Tannehill and Devlin, so you tell me if Devlin is just a camp arm.  

So that is it for the QB outlook in 2012.  Honestly, I think the position has now become OVER-rated, although it was under-rated for a long time.  I am looking forward to posting on topics that are more often overlooked in the future.  I just felt like I had to get that out of the way.

QB Outlook '12 (part 3 of 4): Ryan Tannehill

Ryan Tannehill is difficult to talk about.  We only have a few facts and conclusions to work with.  It isn't exactly common to see a guy play receiver in college, get moved to quarterback and get drafted top 10 as a quarterback.  I am not real interested in posting a bunch of facts about Tannehill anyway; I am interested in his implications toward the future of the team.

It is nice that he is athletic and has all the physical ability to be a good modern day NFL QB, but does it really matter?  What have athletic QBs done in the NFL?  They haven't won the Super Bowl, I can tell you that much.  Is it just a matter of time before one of them does win it?  I want to say that one of them will win a Super Bowl soon simply because there are so many of them out there, but for some reason I think they will just keep on losing out to the brainy guys like Manning, Brady, Brees, Rogers.  This is wear Tannehill makes me nervous.  He is a bit on the quiet side, so I have no clue how much energy is being harnessed between his ears.  Maybe the guy is a genius and maybe the guy is a moron, all I know is that I saw a couple of college decisions he made that make me skeptical.

The absolute most positive thing about Tannehill is that he doesn't have to learn a new offense as a rookie.  I have an opinion here that I have never heard anyone say before.  I honestly believe that the most important quality for a QB to have in the NFL is the ability to read people.  Defensive alignments simply are not as complicated as we would like to believe.  Playbook verbiage sounds complicated, but it is only because fans don't use it on a daily basis.  My point is that just about anyone can learn offensive and defensive schemes, alignments and assignments but the real magic happens when you read the body language of the people on the field.  Do you really think Manning and Brady beat defenses before the snap by attacking alignments?  I hope not because defenses do everything they can to hide there intentions by showing you one thing and doing another.  They read body language and use it to determine what is going to happen when the ball is snapped.  They perfect this skill by watching hours and hours of film.  If Tannehill can use this time to learn how to read the intentions of defenses, rather than learn where his players are supposed to go and how to get them there, he has a shot to do something good once he gets behind center.

So the way I see it, this guy needs some time in the crock pot.  We can cook him faster, but in the end that would just be dry and tasteless.  I wouldn't mind seeing him sit for MORE THAN a year, but I doubt that will happen.  He will probably be starting at the beginning of next season simply because we drafted him at #8 and both Moore and Garrard have one year deals.  I don't mind seeing him get a little play time at the end of the season if we are knocked out of the playoffs and it is just a glorified practice, but I really hope that fans don't start calling for him if we start to struggle by mid season.

Final note - Beware athletic QBs!  They have the ability to make you think they are ready when they aren't.  Improvisation in preseason games can make them look like geniuses, but that stuff doesn't fly when it comes playoff time.  Let this guy develop the right way... IN HIS MIND!  That is what it is going to take to be the long term success story we are all praying he will be.  

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

QB Outlook '12 (part 2 of 4): David Garrard

Now lets look at our veteran newcomer, David Garrard.  The best part about veterans is you have a pertinent history to look at.  We know a great deal about how Garrard stacks up against NFL level talent.  He was elected to the Pro Bowl in the 2009-2010 season (and deservedly so).  The year before is when people started to really notice him after he won the AFC wildcard game against the Steelers.  He managed to unseat Byron Leftwich, who was a seventh overall pick.  In the NFL, it is rare for a relative unknown to beat out a top 10 draft pick so maybe we should let that concept marinade in our minds a bit.  Unfortunately for Garrard, his play dropped off right after his significant contract extension in 2008 of 6 years/$60 million.  He came back a bit from the bad numbers in 2010, but not enough to keep the Jags from draft Blaine Gabbert.

So what about this missing hole of the last three years?  What happened to cause the decline and overall more sporadic play?  Well, we do know that Garrard suffered a back injury and in fact had to essentially take a year off to correct it with surgery.  Unfortunately, I haven't been able to figure out when this issue started to bother him.  It is documented that he was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease in 2004 and had to have part of his intestines removed due to the inflammation.  Crohn's Disease is chronic with flare ups, so how much has this been an issue for him over the years?  The truth is that I doubt we will know the reason for the decline until this thing plays out.  He claims to be healthy, so now we have to see how much health played a role in his decline.

What I have been pleased to learn is that he seems like a really good guy, and fairly smart at that.  Look up some of his interviews if you haven't seen for yourself.  If nothing else, he appears to be an excellent teammate and representative of the organization.  Early camp reports claim that he is a quick decision maker and understands the offense well.  If Matt Moore hadn't performed so well last year, it seems evident that Garrard would be the clear cut leader to start the season.  But Moore did play well and appears to be doing all he can to retain his status of starter for the team.

Finally, let's really get down to the real issue with Garrard (in the minds of many).  The real issue is that he isn't named Peyton Manning or Matt Flynn.  This is purely a psychological issue that many casual fans aren't going to deal well with.  Is Manning the better quarterback, historically?  Absolutely!  But Manning cost a fortune and only has a couple years left in him, if any.  The price for Manning would have crippled our ability to get or retain other needed talent on the team.  Matt Flynn is a totally different case.  Flynn made sense to the fans because of his association with Philbin, but that is about it.  He racked up some awesome stats in a game where his receivers managed to kill a bad Lion's secondary after the catch.  I will give Flynn some credit in the last few minutes of that game, but I don't know if it was a future of the franchise type performance when you take away the exaggerated stat line.  Still a lot of questions to be answered on Flynn. 

Garrard has some tools and if he shows enough in practice, I could see him starting week one.  But I really think Moore has the leg up in the battle considering his contributions to the team last year.  You have to imagine that Philbin would want to show the team that good performance gets rewarded.  With Moore's performance last year, it is hard not to give him the edge.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

QB Outlook '12 (part 1 of 4): Matt Moore

This is my first post on this site so let me start with saying hello and that I am happy to be a part of the blog.  I hope to bring a perspective to the team that defies convention but maintains a sense of reason.

Unfortunately, I feel inclined to start out with something quite conventional by addressing the Dolphins' quarterback situation.  The problem is that I find a great deal of the perspectives out there to be a bit short sighted and presumptive.  I will try to evaluate the circumstances based only on what I know and what can be deducted with a high level of certainty.

First man up is Matt Moore!  I saw the same things that many of you may have seen from Moore last season.  On the good side, he came into a situation that was pitiful and with no real off season to speak of and managed to do some awfully good work.  For the first time in a long time I saw our team dominate opponents in blowout fashion.  He lead the team back to respectability when we were all thinking it might not be such a bad idea to pack it in and go for the #1 overall draft pick (AGAIN).  On the bad side, we saw some balls flutter and we saw a few last minute chances blown by either interceptions or sacks.

There is more good than that and more bad than that obviously, but I have to admit that once I looked at the big picture, I wondered why he was taking so much heat this off season.  I understood drafting a QB high.  I understood looking at quality free agents.  I understood not anointing him "the guy".  But I was surprised to hear so many people writing him off like some third stringer about to hit the waiver wire.  He played good, he is relatively cheap and he isn't a distraction so why not give him a shot and see what he can do with an actual off season?

The way I see it, Moore is up against a veteran QB trying to make a comeback, a rookie with lots of promise but not much experience and a practice squad guy trying to move up.  I have to say that his chances are pretty good.  Moore was voted team MVP from last year, so we know he has the respect of his team.  He has a body of work between Carolina and Miami that is mostly good.  He is still young enough that he can offer years of play time if for some reason he manages to light it up this year.  There are plenty of positives to consider.

But it isn't all roses.  Word is that he is a classic "gamer".  Coaches don't particularly like guys that don't look great at practice, it erodes their sense of trust.  Our new coaching staff may be nervous trusting last years film.  Plus, Moore's #1 target last year is gone and the question will be out there as to his ability to spread the ball around.  Lastly, nobody is sure how he fits into a west coast system.  His accuracy will be put to the test in this training camp and preseason to try and answer that question.

Ultimately, we have reason to believe that the preseason games are going to have a lot to do with Moore's chance at starting week one.  Even if he gets beat out, statistics on quarterback injuries would suggest he will see the field this year.  With Philbin's emphasis on faster offensive play, I think we will see an improvement in Moore's two minute and four minute situations.  But in the back of our mind, we will wonder how much of Matt Moore was made or hindered by the no longer present, Brandon Marshall.  This will be interesting to say the least.

Next up will be David Garrard.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

HBO Hard Knocks: Dolphins tease Video

Adam Schefter: Garrard winning the QB job as of now

Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that David Garrard currently has the lead in the QB competition to win the starting job over Matt Moore. Tannehill isn't in this competition as the Dolphins are going to bring him along slowly and don't want to rush him. That and the fact as he has struggled like most rookie QB's do in these early mini-camps. Slow out of the pocket and slow decision making. Yet, those that have seen Garrard in these mini-camps have said it doesn't look like he is a guy who has missed an entire season and he has played the best out of the 3 quarterbacks thus far.

Now, this report by no means Garrard has already won the jobs and a lot still to be determined in real training camp where there is contact and the bullets are flying for real.  Mini-camps are what they are, glorified workouts where guys in shorts run around and play two-hand touch. But if there is a god in heaven David Garrard will win the starting QB job and we have seen the last of Matt Moore under center in games that matter for the Miami Dolphins.

Philbin Unleashed

Joe Philbin went after Brian Biggane of the Palm Beach Post after he felt Biggane called him "disingenuous" and a "liar" in a blog he read on the paper's website. It started at the last mini-camp, which was mandatory, when Philbin said Brian Hartline wasn't there because of a "personal issue." In reality Hartline was getting an appendectomy. Biggane views a personal issue as a wedding, ill family member, something along those lines. He doesn't view surgery, (which he calls a medical issue to the player) as something that should have been covered up for lack of a better word. Biggane viewed it as deception by the first year head coach. Philbin took exception to being called disingenuous and a liar.

To me this is a little dust up over nothing but Philbin can't have a thin skin like this and should have just let it go without saying anything. He is a head coach of an NFL team now and if you are going to pick a fight with every reporter that goes after you or feels that has misquoted you then it is going to be a long season and you are going to burn yourself out real quick.