A Possible General Manager Alternative on Black Monday

Hello Dolphin Shout and all Miami Dolphin fans.

Traditionally, the NFL's General Managers, Head Coaches, and Staff members who are on the "Hot Seat" are quick to get burned following the league's last regular season Sunday. That final NFL Sunday of 2012 has been played, and for the teams in some sort of disarray it is followed by the next day's sunrise, referred to as "Black Monday".

It has come to the attention of most that a man by the name of Jeff Ireland of the Miami Dolphins is one that a majority of their fans would like to see burnt to a charcoaled crisp on New Year's Eve. Jeff Ireland has been the team's General Manager since 2008.

He was hired by, and under the influence of, Bill Parcells through the entirety of 2009. Ireland took over control of team management upon the beginning of the 2010 offseason, bringing in player acquisitions that played to the level of 7-9 in 2010 and 6-10 in 2011, leading to the firing of the head coach.

In 2012 Jeff Ireland, on his own accord, hired the Miami Dolphins present and first time head coach Joe Philbin, who happens to run an entirely different system to that which Ireland has been accustomed to during his career.

This type of hiring might suggest that the general manager has recognized the error in his ways. For the first time in his Dolphin tenure he has permitted the head coach to influence him in all Dolphins endeavors, from the hiring of offensive coordinator Mike Sherman, to the drafting of a first round starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill, to the trade of Vontae Davis and the release of speedster wide receiver Clyde Gates (two guys who were both Ireland favorites).

Since the new coach runs an entirely different scheme requiring an entirely different type of player, it would lead one to believe that the general manager also afforded Philbin more than his say in free agency and the 2012 draft.

Everyone knows that, from top to bottom, a team has to work cohesively to achieve success! The 2012 Dolphins with general manager Jeff Ireland, a first time head coach, and a rookie quarterback finished the season with an improved 7-9 record and second place divisional standing! They were also the most exciting Miami-based football team we have seen around these parts in a long time.

It all starts with a healthy co-existence between the general manager and head coach. Maybe we finally have our most desired franchise quarterback, though for that to come to full fruition, we must have total cohesion among the brass during that quarterback's growth.

Present Brass, and Steve Ross is a lock
Jeff Ireland was a puppet to Bill Parcells, and once he gained control of the strings he was not about to be influenced by the Parcells-hired head coach Tony Sparano. An NFL team cannot be successful without the Head Coach's input toward acquisitions, who, in all rights, has the most knowledge of his team and what it needs. Just ask the hypocrite Parcells. But, the general manager's seat was as white hot as the coaches! Who can blame Ireland for coming to his own conclusions during those particular moments in time?

What is most annoying is that he is erroneously the most disliked figure in Miami Dolphin history to a majority of their fans, mostly because he is discredited for the two year's worth of acquisitions made by Parcells!

As far as fan appreciation of the team goes, the Dolphins are practically in a no-win situation. With a majority of fans being so disenchanted with Ireland's efforts that they will always have difficulty totally supporting the team until he is gone. Others might think that Ireland should be fired with the same thought of how Ross fired Sparano because of his questionable tenure. Shoot, most of the folks that are still willing to let him ride it out won't be distraught if he were to be replaced.

However, if Jeff Ireland were to forever be forced from our lives, then his potential replacement might not like Joe Philbin, Mike Sherman, Ryan Tannehill, the west coast offense, or the 3-4 Defense. Then, the 2012 season might become a totally wasted endeavor. For many, Jeff Ireland's only saving grace to this point is the hiring of Head Coach Joe Philbin and the drafting of quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

It is understood that those who want Ireland out of Miami have had such aspirations for many years and cannot be swayed under any circumstances, though none has ever offered an available replacement's name.

In an attempt of the ultimate compromise between Pro- and Anti-Jeff Ireland Dolphin fans there is an in-house alternative.

He is not hated, he will follow through with the team's current direction, and he does not have the despicable name of Jeff Ireland! This writer is of the belief that Ireland, in fear of his own job security, would have forced this gentlemen away from the organization a few years ago, and I was extremely surprised that this individual was retained this past year with a promotion to assistant general manager. This was possibly another move that won't help the longevity of Ireland, but then again it is possibly further proof that Ireland has become a team player.

At this Black Monday moment, if a replacement at general manager is what has to be, please consider this recommendation of Assistant General Manager Brian Gaine.

Brian Gaine. Looks like a nice enough, intelligent fellow with a personality that the fans could find hope in hearing speak, and his name alone suggestively speaks of production. I am not going to bother you with his history or ability. I will leave that to those who are interested in researching for themselves, because quite honestly, for most, all that matters is that his name is not Jeff Ireland.

For the sake of only the Miami Dolphin franchise and not the fans a general manager who can productively co-exist with head coach Joe Philbin is what has to be. Therefore the most likely candidates are already Miami Dolphins!

It is time to make your peace with the general manager issue, get on board with the experienced new leaf-turning Jeff Ireland, state your case for Brian Gaine, offer a name of your own who is willing to co-exist with Joe Philbin, or forever hold your peace on the issue while totally supporting the Dolphin organization through thick and thin.

How do we get EVERYBODY (fans included) on the same page at the same time for total support toward the 2013 Miami Dolphins?

What to do? What to do?

THANK YOU for an open-minded read, and we look forward to your angle of view :) !!


The Miami Dolphins Must Wait until Next Year

Hey Cubby fans move over. Us Miami Dolphin fans need some room on that bench!

Here we are again sitting on the outside looking in. Come on over here. I have room for you on my sofa. You can sit down alongside me and watch all the other NFL teams that made the playoffs. What's that you said? Did I hear you ask for good stiff drink? No problem. How about a double Jack Daniels Old No. 7 straight up?

Well Dolphin fans. Are you numb yet? I can't tell you how sick this team makes me. That was a disgusting display of ineptitude on the Dolphins part yesterday.

It would have been nice if a few more players other than Tannehill, Bush, Hartline, Fasano, and Miller, would have shown up for the game. Is our offensive line (that is truly offensive) trying to get Tannehill and the running backs killed? That offensive line sleepwalked through that game. It would have been more pleasant to stick a finger down my throat and spend the afternoon puking than watch them play. They had seven sacks! I mean, really?

The defense was no better, allowing 14 points in the first quarter, and they got no pressure on Brady all day long. With a pass rush like we had I can see Brady playing into his 70s. I'm still trying to figure out if the Dolphin charter to New England had any players on it at all. 

I know we have a huge talent disparity compared to most of the teams that are in the playoffs. However it would have been nice if a few more players would have decided to show up and play. With all the pending free agents, I would think they would be trying to make a positive impression on the team. I guess I'm wrong.

It is going to take a few days to get over that game. So now is the time to spout off, and get it off of your chest.

A Dolphin Shout Out to Jake Long

The day following the 2012 draft, which included Stanford tackle Jonathan Martin going to the Miami Dolphins, Jeff Ireland was quoted as saying, "Last night I saw an article about Jake Long. I have plans to keep Jake Long right here for a long time. We drafted Jonathan Martin to be a right tackle on this football team. A right tackle on this football team so let's don't speculate any further than that."

That was then and this is now... As Ireland said then, the Dolphins would love to keep Jake Long in Miami for a long time, but the economics of the NFL may not allow it. Tom Condon, Long’s agent has been throwing around Joe Thomas numbers, $84 million over seven years, with $44 million guaranteed. Long currently sits on injured reserve, pulling in a tidy $11.2 million this season, in the final year of his $57.75 million rookie contract.

Jake Long was the first overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft and ended up in the Pro Bowl following each of his first four NFL seasons, but injuries have begun to take a toll. After making 42 consecutive starts, Long had missed a total of 18 snaps to start his career, participating in 99.4 percent of a total 2,838 snaps. Start number 43 would come with the help of a space-age shoulder harness. On November 14th of the 2010 season against the Tennessee Titans, Long dislocated his left shoulder and tore his labrum.

Jake Long earned the respect of the entire Dolphins organization by playing out the 2010 season with the harness. Immediately following the final game, Long had shoulder surgery to repair the torn labrum. Still rehabbing the injury, he began the 2011 pre-season on the Physically Unable to Perform list. Long could participate in conditioning and workout with the team, but he couldn’t participate in football drills until he was taken off the list. By the start of the 2011 regular season, Long was pronounced healthy and he reclaimed his left tackle position.

Long left a December 11th Loss to the Eagles with a lower back injury, he would return the following week after intense rehab. The return was short lived, in a December 24th loss to the Patriots, Long tore his right biceps, four days later he was placed on injured reserve; his 2011 season over. The biceps was surgically repaired and following another off-season of rehab, Long was pronounced healthy for the opening of training camp in 2012.

2012 training camp, with the new coaching staff was going well, the biceps a non-issue, when on August 27th, Jake Long suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his right knee during practice. Less than two weeks prior to Miami's season opener against the Houston Texas, Long was again hobbled. Like the true warrior he has proven to be, Jake Long put on the brace, took a shot of the NFL wonder drug Toradol and saddled up to face J.J. Watt and the Texans, a team Miami has never beaten.

The game started well for Long until Watt took advantage of his limitations, batting two passes that went for interceptions. The Texans forced three turnovers on three plays and scored 21 points in 1:46 at the end of the first half, taking control in a 30-10 season-opening victory. Watt has gone on to have a stellar season with 20.5 sacks, two shy of Michael Strahan's record of 22.5 set in 2001 and still one game remaining to play. Slowed by injury, Long could not hold up against Watt and looked a step slow the entire season.

On December 2nd against the rival New England Patriots, Jake Long tore his left triceps. He was placed on Injured Reserve Tuesday, Dec. 4, his 2012 season ending much like 2011. The rookie Jonathan Martin was pressed into service at left tackle and has played well enough for Dolphin fans to question whether Ireland is still sticking by the quote he made after the draft. Martin may not have the physical presence of Jake Long, but he is a perfect fit for the zone-blocking scheme that head coach Joe Philbin brought to Miami.

It is rumored that Miami could franchise Long, but it’s an expensive proposition. According to Mike Florio of NFL-Talk , the tender for an offensive lineman in 2012 was worth $9.383 million and will remain in that area as the salary cap is expected to remain flat in 2013. However, that won't matter for Long as his franchise tag would be worth $15.36 million, 120 percent his 2012 cap number of $12.8 million. That price seems disproportionate for a player who has not been healthy enough to finish his last two seasons.

Florio has also speculated that Long's agent is possibly seeking a minimum of $26.56 million in full guarantees (Long's 2012 base salary, plus his franchise tag in 2013) and over $45 million in total guarantees. Long would earn $44.992 million if he played out this season and were franchised in both 2013 and 2014 and that might be why the Dolphins aren't rushing to make a deal.  These numbers don’t make sense in light of Long’s injury history.

This is an example of when an NFL team must cut ties with a player if the right contract numbers cannot be reached. It has nothing to do with whether the Dolphins believe in Jake Long or think he could continue to be an integral part of the offense, it is pure economics. Another team may be willing to pay the price Long’s agent is asking but the Dolphins are not. It is obvious, Tom Condon has not tried to lower the price tag on Long, or an extension would have already been inked.

The only hope of Jake Long returning to the Dolphins may have to come from Long himself. If Jake Long wants to be a Dolphin and is willing to accept a contract more in-line with his performance, (still exceptional but not franchise) he will have to step in between Condon and Ireland and make the deal. Ireland would be remiss in his duties to the Miami Dolphins if he were to spend the money Condon is demanding.

For these reasons, only Jake Long can extend his stay in Miami… He is a great presence and when healthy, a great player, but the chances of Condon or Ireland blinking are not likely and Jake has probably played his last game as a Miami Dolphin.

If that turns out to be true, we at Dolphinshout would like to order up a huge…

DolphinShout Out to Jake Long! Thanks Jake from all of us at


The Dolphin's - Tom Brady Defense

Beating the Patriots is never easy with Belichick at the helm and Brady behind center, but Brady has a weakness and the Dolphins have exploited it in prior seasons. Brady is one of the hardest working QBs in professional football. He gains an edge over opponents by recognizing tendencies and understanding what to expect when he sees certain defensive alignments prior to the snap.

Coming out of college Brady’s athleticism was so gangly he dropped to the sixth round of the draft even after consistently showing the ability to come back and wins games at Michigan. The magic of Brady is in the pre-snap read and a clean pocket. He does not run around creating time with his feet or make off-balance throws dodging defenders. He methodically moves through a progression he has analyzed before the snap, while taking small precise steps to avoid pressure and maintain balance.

Brady is the most mechanically sound quarterback in the NFL. His balance and consistent arm motion are the keys to his accuracy. They are also the keys to defending him. When Brady does not play well it is because his pre-snap read has been disrupted and he is forced to throw from awkward arm angles. Easy to define perhaps, but much harder to perform when Belichick and Josh McDaniel know their own weakness.

There was a time when Rex Ryan was in consideration for reaching the status of “great NFL coach,” due to his ability to hold Belichick and Brady in check and playing in two consecutive AFC championship games. The distinction was short lived when Ryan's concept of the Amoeba Defense was diagnosed and defeated by Brady and the New England coaching staff. No self respecting Dolphin fan would ever consider stealing a page from Ryan’s playbook, but Joe Philbin and Kevin Coyle could take the concept to another level.

The Ryan defense consisted of several basic defensive packages disguised by players not coming set until seconds before the play clock expired. It was not long before Belichick realized using an up tempo no-huddle offense would catch the Jet defense out of position wandering in the Amoeba. The Jet defense was ineffective against a quick-snap offense and the Patriots also discovered they could add at least ten extra plays per game to their offense.

The Patriots then perfected the up tempo offense they currently run and the Jets sunk back into obscurity. The Ryan defense was too undisciplined and utilized too much random movement to function in the rapid succession of the Patriot offense. The idea is correct; Brady makes most of his decisions prior to the snap. Clouding his ability to recognize coverages and blitz packages forces Brady off his pre-snap read causing indecisiveness and hesitation. In those pivotal seconds the pass rush has the extra time to bring pressure.

The key for Miami is disciplined deception… Less drastic than an Amoeba approach, the idea is to combine the Amoeba concept with the zone blitz. By using movement and unusual positioning prior to the snap, then filling a predetermined zone or man coverage with the nearest player, the pre-snap read is negated. Notice the seemingly random positioning of the defenders in this example.

The defense looks almost random, but is actually aligned to quickly move to a designated zone or man coverage. In the next example, follow the sequencial movement at the snap, the arrows point to zone areas and the circles are man coverage responisibility.
The defense looks very convoluted in the initial picture but becomes a single high safety with safety help on the strong side and man coverage on the weak side. This is a cross between the Dick Labeau Zone Blitz defense and the Rex Ryan Amoeba defense.

The mistake that Rex Ryan made was to have players moving at the snap in random directions. The players in the example above are spaced at awkward intervals and have some freedom to vary those intervals, but they are essentially set at the snap. When players are moving they can be caught out of position and play can be dictated by the offense. In this scheme the defense dictates to the offense because the gaps are random and require the lineman to choose a player or a spot.

Notice how the offensive players most likely to be thrown quick passes are man covered and the defenders remain in their positions in both examples. The short passing game is defended but any attempt to work down the field will require the QB to allow the defense to rotate into position before being able to read the coverage. The extra second gives the pass rush time to bring pressure.

This is one example of how Tom Brady can be made to second guess his pre-snap read and take a little longer to deliver the football. Over the course of a game these situational additions to the defense can disrupt Brady into making bad decisions and cause turnovers.

Tom Brady and the Patriots are not going to be shutdown, but by frustrating Brady, altering his pre-snap read and getting pressure, the Dolphins can beat the Patriots and end the year on a very positive note. The illustrations were meant for example and by no means an attempt to oversimplify the task of beating Brady and the Patriots, but it can be done and the Dolphins are ready for the challenge.

Happy New Year Dolphin fans!

A Miami Dolphin Victory against New England Is Crucial

A victory this weekend against the New England Patriots would be huge for the Miami Dolphins. It would give us a three game win streak and momentum going into the offseason. The Dolphins are currently 7-8 with a 2-3 division record, and beating the Patriots would bring us to an 8-8 record and a 3-3 AFC East record, which is something solid to build on.

This win is not about us versus them, or our defense against Brady. It's about Joe Philbin against Bill Belichick. Belichick is the mastermind in Foxborough. Without Belichick and his system there wouldn't be a dynasty in New England, and Philbin should recognize this. Yes, New England has some talent, but not enough to say, "Damn, no way we win this one". We have talent on our roster and some guys with nothing to lose.

In the first matchup this year the Dolphins held Brady to 238 yards, one touchdown, one interception, and held Patriots running back Stevan Ridley to seventy one yards and a touchdown. Ryan Tannehill only passed for 186 yards, but he also didn't throw an interception and ran for a touchdown. Reggie Bush only rushed for 68 yards.

But, coming off this weekend's three touchdown performance against Buffalo, Reggie should be jacked and ready to go. I wouldn't bet against Lamar Miller, either.

This can be the game that gives Philbin the confidence on the field as a head coach to be able to out-duel Belichick, and to overcome the mystique of going to New England in December. Just look at the 49ers last week in Foxborough. Colin Kaepernick showed the confidence to not be overwhelmed by the Brady and Belichick show, and I believe Tannehill has that same confidence. If Tannehill outguns Brady and Belichick he enters the off season with a swagger that will remind some of Dan Marino.

The time is now for coach Philbin to go into Foxborough and start a new legacy of ruling the AFC East.

Thanks for stopping by. Email me shawn@dolphinshout.com.

Happy Holidays to All

May your stockings be filled with the best draft picks in the history of the Miami Dolphins, followed by a deep run in the playoffs next year.

Merry Christmas.

Reggie Bush Leads Dolphins to Victory over Bills

Reggie Bush had 107 total yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns as he led the Miami Dolphins to a 24-10 victory over the Buffalo Bills.

Dolphins rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill went 13 for 25 with 130 yards and two touchdowns. Tannehill also did really well running the ball, totaling 44 yards off six carries.

The victory was bittersweet, though, as Miami was eliminated from the playoffs after the Cincinnati Bengals beat the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Dolphins rookie running back Lamar Miller did well filling in for the injured Daniel Thomas. He ran for 73 yards on ten carries.

Miami plays New England next week. Expect to see a lot of our young guys in there just so we can see what we have.

Thanks for stopping by.

Miami Dolphins vs Buffalo Bills Live Game Chat

If Miami wants any chance at making the playoffs they need to win today against the Bills.

To Stay or Not to Stay: A Look at the Impending Miami Dolphin Free Agents

With two games left in the 2012 regular season there is a lot of chatter all over Dolphin land about what to do with the young guys on the roster. Should they get the majority of the playing time to see what we have, or should the veterans keep playing to see if the ones that are impending free agents are worth keeping?

I know some are going to say...
"Let the vets sit, we know what we have there"
...and in some cases that is probably a fair statement, but in other cases the younger guys just may not be ready. I have seen and heard several people say...
"Let's play Lamar Miller the last 2 weeks"
Well, the problem with that is that if we do we will need to draft another quarterback this year too, because it doesn't appear he will be able to help keep Ryan Tannehill upright due to his lack of blocking ability. I'm not saying that he shouldn't get some playing time, but to make him our feature back could be risky.

We are going to get a good look at Jonathan Martin on the left side to determine if he can be our left tackle of the future or if we need to look at re-signing Jake Long or someone else. This decision to put Martin at left tackle was made for us by Long's injury. In the early stages, so far, I think we have had a mixed bag from Martin. He's been steamrolled on occasion, but he has also looked good at times. I personally think a year in the weight room will do him wonders. He is a good player, but second round draft picks are supposed to be better than good. I say we give him time to develop.

I'm not going to touch on every player or every position, I just brought those two examples up because running back is a high profile position and there is usually a demand for good running backs that don't get re-signed. I brought up left tackle because of Jake's injury and Jonathan Martin already playing there.

What I would like from anyone willing to throw in their two cents is an idea of who you would like to keep. Here is a list of our impending free agents:

  • Jake Long
  • Reggie Bush
  • Brian Hartline
  • Randy Stark
  • Sean Smith
  • Tony McDaniel
  • Anthony Fasano
  • Chris Clemons
  • Matt Moore
  • Nate Garner
  • Jason Trusnik.

Here are our restricted free agents:

  • Austin Spitler
  • Jonathon Amaya
  • Bryan McCann
  • R.J. Stanford
  • Jeron Mastrud
  • Marlon Moore

And one exclusive rights free agent:

  • Pat Devlin

Please let me know if I missed anyone.

Also, please remember that we have $35 to $45 million in cap space to work with, so bringing in other free agents is a possibility, though I don't think that is Mr. Philbin's preferred method. If there is someone out there that you would like us to go after, please drop the name for discussion.

Thanks for reading along, please let us know your thoughts.

Could It Be Miller Time for the Miami Dolphins?

This Sunday begins a two game audition for Lamar Miller. This is his chance to prove his worth as a potential starter. With the future of Reggie Bush still unknown Miller will get the opportunity to showcase the skills which made him a fourth round steal, since we know he's electric with speed to burn. He hasn't done much this season because he has been learning a new system and adjusting as a rookie.

At 5'10" 218 pounds he is a decent size, but it's his 4.4 40-yard dash speed that's the killer. In the west coast offense there is a lot that can be done with him.

What happens if, in the next two games, both Miller and Bush tear it up, and help bring victories against the Bills and Patriots?

A few things could happen starting this Sunday. It's possible that Miller's play and Bush's lack of play will make Bush expendable. Another possibility is that Bush and Miller both create havoc, which will make Bush hard to ignore and make Daniel Thomas expendable.

Let's face it. Thomas isn't cutting it as a second running back for the Dolphins. Between injuries and not living up to potential he no longer seems attractive. He has not been a solid option behind Bush as a change of pace back, although injuries are not his fault.

This is time for both Bush and Miller to shine because the starting job may be up for grabs next season.

Thanks for stopping by. Email me at shawn@dolphinshout.com.

Straight from the Mouth of the Miami Dolphin Coaches

I know many of you may have read this already, but there are many that did not read or see it, so I will share it with you. This gives us an idea of what the coaches are thinking about a few of the players for the Miami Dolphins.

By far the most interesting comment came from Dolphins Head Coach Joe Philbin just a few days before last Sunday's game. I don't see how I could give you more insight into the team than what Philbin said in the last statement of this post.

Offensive Coordinator Mike Sherman on left tackle Jonathan Martin:
I think he has a chance to be a very good tackle in this league," the offensive coordinator said of Martin. "He still has some growing up to do and learning and whatnot and strength development. But I think he has a chance to be an excellent left tackle or right tackle in this league, wherever he ends up next year."

Sherman on Nate Garner:
He's put together a couple of really good games. You worry about how he's going to handle the pass rush but he's done a good job."

Sherman on Tannehill:
"I think he's had some very good games. I think he shows a lot of promise. You have to understand, he hasn't played that position as much as some other quarterbacks have at a very high level. He's learning on the job. I think he processes things and tries not to make the same mistake twice. I think he has an excellent future and he'll just continue to get better. There's not a whole lot of things we don't ask him to do."

Defensive Coordinator Kevin Coyle when asked about Odrick in the 4-3 defense:
Could he do it? Perhaps. I'm not sold that's his best position right now.

Coyle on the defensive backfield:
"We had to juggle some people around and that created some opportunities," Coyle said. "Bryan McCann played a number of snaps, quality snaps in the game and came up with some big plays later in the game."
Coyle also said that the Dolphins got their hands on more footballs and tipped more passes away than any other game.

Lastly, Philbin said gaining “momentum” into the offseason with a few wins down the stretch can be overrated, given that the team likely will look much different next year. But, he added, “I always think it’s probably better to have it.”

Thanks for stopping by.

A Look at the Miami Dolphins Selection of Jonathan Martin

Hello Dolphin Shout, and all Miami Dolphins fans!

During the 2012 NFL Draft there were two first round offensive tackle prospects in Matt Kalil and Reilly Reiff, and two second round prospects in Mitchell Schwartz and Cordy Glenn that were chosen before our second round pick of Stanford tackle Jonathan Martin. Three of those four selections prior to Martin are starters for their respective teams. The two starting second round choices were at picks number 37 and 41.

With the 42nd pick of the 2012 NFL Draft the Miami Dolphins select starting tackle Jonathan Martin!

What followed the choice of our starting tackle were three more second round tackles at 44, 56, and 60, and only the last of those three is currently a starter in Kelichi Osemele, right tackle for the Ravens.

The third round tackle prospect picks, to this point in their career, have amounted to two backup left tackles and one backup left guard. The fourth round brought one starting right tackle to Arizona at number 112 with Bobbie Massie, as well as another backup from selection 131 to the Giants.

Furthermore, the fifth round had two more choices of tackle, with the latter of the two at 153 being a starting right tackle for the Eagles in Dennis Kelly. The sixth and seventh rounds had seven tackles that have never been activated for the teams that chose them. An eighth tackle at 221 overall is Nate Potter, who is Cardinals starting left tackle and their second tackle selection of the draft.

Here's what I'm trying to say. There were three of four starting tackles chosen prior to Jonathan Martin. After our selection of Martin there were 18 more tackles taken. Of those 18 there are only four starters, five backups, three on the reserved/practice squad, and six that aren't on the roster of the teams that chose them.

It might be suggested that, just like the running back position, starting tackle is an easy position to fill at the dime a dozen cost, while the second-tier tackles are all of similar ability to one another. It might also be suggested that an equal value tackle can be found in abundance in the third through seventh rounds.

Well, I beg to differ according to the above results. We might have been lucky to have the one forth round guy, the one fifth rounder, or the one seventh round selection fall into the abyss we had at right tackle, while the possibility of those starters for other teams not fitting into our scheme is another thought in itself. There is also the possibility that one of the draft selections that are currently NFL backups, developmental players, or not on someones roster could, should, or would have become our starting right tackle and/or Jake Long's replacement.

However, in my humble opinion the Dolphins were way too thin! It would have been questionable to take a risk and wait instead of selecting the sure thing which happened to be right there in front of us.

Here is an excerpt from an article on the Sun Sentinel about Martin:

"Jonathan Martin held his own against the NFL's best quarterback hunter.
The Miami Dolphins new starting left tackle gave up one sack, about a half dozen quarterback pressures and had a false start, but his performance in Sunday's loss to the 49ers proved he wasn't overmatched against the NFL's best. 
That's a good sign moving forward. 
What was also a good sign was seeing Martin push back (ie; headbutt) when Aldon Smith tried to bully him. 
Martin, the Stanford grad the Dolphins selected in the second-round of the 2012 draft, doesn't exactly fit your typical stereotype of an NFL football player. 
He's cerebral, and introverted. Those traits got him nicknamed "The Big Weirdo" by his fellow linemen. 
But when the bullets are flying it has become clear that Martin is willing to mix it up."

Was the second round selection of the starting tackle and first round-projected pick of Jonathan Martin the correct choice for the franchise, or should we have gone after some other position of need?

THANK-YOU for an Open-Minded read, and we look forward to your angle of view : ) !


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Comparing the Drafts of Bill Parcells and Jeff Ireland

Hello Dolphin Shout and all Miami Dolphin Fans.

The 2012 NFL season is coming to an end, and the off-season will almost immediately include a plethora of maneuvering toward the following year, so we might as well get an early start from the top.

The tyrant Bill Parcells once said "they want you to cook the dinner; at least they ought to let you shop for some of the groceries." So, why not analyze the groceries he brought in?

On December 19th, 2007, it was first reported that Parcells had come to terms with the Dolphins, who then hired his pupil Jeff Ireland as general manager. The new front office under Parcells then signed over 20 little-known players in the free-agent market. However, they also released fan favorite Zach Thomas and refused to give the time of day to star defensive end Jason Taylor.

Here is a look at the drafts that Bill Parcells, as executive vice president of football operations, admitted to having the final word and ultimate say to.

Bill Parcells 2008 draft

1. Jake Long OT, Starter

2. Phillip Merling DE

2. Chad Henne QB

3. Kendall Langford DT

4. Shawn Murphy OG

6. Jalen Parmele RB

6. Donald Thomas OG

6. Lex Hilliard FB

7. Lionel Dotson DT

They also signed undrafted free agents in kicker Dan Carpenter and slot receiver Davone Bess, both starters.

Parcells 2009 draft

1. Vontae Davis CB

2. Pat White QB

2. Sean Smith CB, Starter

3. Patrick Turner WR

4. Brian Hartline WR, Starter

5. John Nalbone TE

5. Chris Clemons S, Starter

6. Andrew Gardner OT

7. J.D. Folsom OLB

The "chef's pantry", for starters, has four main courses (starters) out of 18 selections in Sean Smith, Brian Hartline, Chris Clemons, and all-pro, yet injury-prone left tackle Jake Long (rather than Quarterback Matt Ryan).

"Former Dolphins boss Bill Parcells took full blame for the 2009 second-round selection of West Virginia quarterback Pat White and admitted that Michigan tackle Jake Long was selected over Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan because he believed the lineman to be a safer pick in an edition of Peter King's Monday Morning Quarterback)."
Above per the Sun Sentinel

Parcells: “We violated our principles,” in reference to picking White. “He just wasn’t a prototypical quarterback pick. He was a great college player, and we let that color our judgment.” Parcells thought that White had the potential to be a game-changing player in the wildcat offense, but looking back on it, he thinks the Dolphins should have been looking for a pro-style passer, not an all-purpose athlete. When asked if the Dolphins should have picked QB Matt Ryan instead of offensive tackle Jake Long in 2008, Parcells said, “maybe, we should have.”
Above per Pro Football Talk

Logic would suggest that as of the start of the 2010 off-season, Jeff Ireland took over the prospect evaluation previously held by Bill Parcells. He was also, most likely, behind the trading for wide receiver Brandon Marshall just prior to the 2010 Draft. This was the type of move that Parcells would never subscribe to, and from that point on he gradually backed away from his organizational duties over the following months.

On October 19th 2010 it was reported that
"Parcells has packed his bags and moved out of the Dolphins' offices. Miami knew this move was coming, but didn't realize his departure would happen so soon. Many around the league expected him to finish the season and then move on from the organization. Parcells worked a full schedule in his (December 2007 - December 2009) first two years with the team. He arrived early each day, watched practices from a golf cart, poured over film and offered players frequent feedback. That routine drastically diminished upon the early months of 2010 and ended entirely at the conclusion of the 2010 mini-camp, but he continued to attend some practices until September."
Above per ESPN

Without Parcells, the day-to-day responsibilities fell upon general manager Jeff Ireland, and here are his drafts.

Jeff Ireland 2010 Draft
1. Jared Odrick DT, Starter

2. Koa Misi OLB, Starter

3. John Jerry OG, Starter

4. A.J. Edds OLB

5. Nolan Carroll CB, Starter

5. Reshad Jones S, Starter

7. Chris McCoy OLB

7. Austin Spitler OLB, Contributor

Ireland 2011 Draft

1. Mike Pouncey C Starter

2. Daniel Thomas RB Contributor with upside

4. Edmond Gates WR

6. Charles Clay FB Contributor with huge upside

7. Frank Kearse DT

7. Jimmy Wilson DB Contributor and sometimes starter

The specials for the day, on behalf of Jeff Ireland, include six current starters in Jared Odrick, Koa Misi, John Jerry, Nolan Carroll, Reshad Jones, and Mike Pouncey with four complimentary dishes in Austin Spitler, Daniel Thomas, Charles Clay, and Jimmy Wilson, which equates to 10 of 14 selections in two years on the current roster.

We will also compare the promising 2012 selections, which were selected to accommodate an entirely different head coach, scheme, and skill-set than the one that Jeff Ireland has been accustomed to during his entire career.

Plus, he landed a pro-style passer and athlete all in one!

Ireland 2012 Draft

Ryan Tannehill QB, Starter

Jonathan Martin OT, Starter

Olivier Vernon DE, strong contributor and eventual starter

Michael Egnew TE, on the roster

Lamar Miller RB, likely eventual starter

Josh Kaddu OLB, on the roster

B.J. Cunningham WR, on the practice squad

Kheeston Randall DT, contributor and possibly eventual starter

Rishard Matthews WR, contributor with upside

Jeff Ireland has accumulated eight starters and eight current contributors in his three official years of Dolphin drafts, while three other highly touted prospects also remain a part of the team. That equates to 19 of 23 overall Ireland selections that remain an intricate part of the Miami Dolphins.

To anyone who, under no circumstances, can take another day of Jeff Ireland I beg you. PLEASE be patient, as I am working on an alternative plan to follow shortly behind this pro-Ireland filled suggestion!

So for now, PLEASE ALLOW me to ask: how horrible has Jeff Ireland officially been?

THANK-YOU for an Open-Minded read, and we look forward to your angle of view : ) !!


Reshad Jones Has Benefited from the Miami Dolphins New System

One player that has benefited from the new defensive scheme in Miami has been Reshad Jones. In his third year out the University of Georgia, he is finally showing the abilities he displayed in college. Up until this year he was being looked at as a potential bust. In his first two years he had no more than one interception each season, was lost in the secondary at times, and wasn't taken seriously by most starting quarterbacks.

He has good size (6'1" 210 pounds), good strength (24 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press at the combine), a 39.5 inch vertical, and a 4.54 40 yard time coming out of college. In three years at Georgia he totaled 11 interceptions and 206 total tackles.

When he was drafted there was expectation that he would soon take over the starting job at strong safety, but soon it became clear the pros were too much for him. It wasn't all his fault, because some rookies need time to adjust to the speed and complexities of the NFL. He came to a team that had Defensive Coordinator Mike Nolan and Todd Bowles as an assistant, so it is hard to imagine him failing. The answer is clear: Nolan's system was not for him and Kevin Coyle's is. Coyles, as a secondary coach with the Bengals, had a reputation of being able to get the most out of his players and turn lost causes into somebodies again.

Up to this point Jones has 81 tackles, a sack, two forced fumbles, and three interceptions.

Jones has shown that he is becoming a strong presence in a secondary that needs a leader, and it is this writer's opinion that after this season he will be exactly that.
Thanks for stopping by. Email me at shawn@dolphinshout.com.

Miami Dolphin Players Still Aren't Buying into the Program

Winning the NFL is about talent and "want". Most of the players have enough talent to stay on an NFL roster. A bigger question is do they have the "want" to crack the lineup? Do they have the "want" to be the best at what they do? In order to be the best they must buy into the program that the coaches install. I don't think a coach can instill the "want" into a player any more than a teacher can instill the want for knowledge in a student. The player must want to follow what his coaches are telling him to separate himself from the pack. If he does that his talent will then make him the best he can be.

One of the problems every head coach has is getting his players buying into what he is selling them. I think the Dolphins have a number of players on this team that have not done that to date. I suspect this coaching staff has a good idea of who they are. I wish I knew who they were, because I would tell you. All I can tell you is there are still players here that haven't bought in.

Patrick just wrote a post about the lack of turnovers this team has. It is my opinion that part of the reason for that lack of turnovers is not all the players are trying to do their best. They don't believe in the system so they are late getting into position to make plays, and they are late getting to a ball that is on the ground. Some of them simply don't care.

This has been an ongoing problem for the Dolphins. It isn't new. Our record for a long time proves it. Culling through this mess is what will make Joe Philbin stand out when previous coaches before him have failed. Sometimes as a head coach, when you throw out the bath water a few of the babies must go with it. If Philbin finds the players that want to be here and buy into the system, the wins will come.

Turnovers Tell the Story in Miami

Consider the following charts...
All the talk in Miami has been about a rookie QB and whether he should be labeled "franchise." There is talk about the offensive line being well, offensive. There is talk about the talent level in Miami being inadequate. There is talk about Miami lacking breakaway speed. There is talk about the blue moon that will rise and coincide with the alignment of the planets and wipe out Joe Robbie Stadium on December 21st. There could be some truth to all of these assessments, but they are not the reason the Dolphins record is 5-8 and the team will once more watch the playoffs from their living rooms like mere mortals.

The team has lost 5 of the past 6 games. During that 6 game stretch, the Dolphins have forced 1 turnover. Miami forced 11 turnovers between Week 2 and Week 9, but the only turnover since was the Reshad Jones interception against New England in week 12. The 27th league ranking in turnover differential is pathetic and has more to do with Miami losing than Ryan Tannehill's rookie QB play.

This stat from the Palm Beach Post is amazing, the Dolphins have forced 17 fumbles this year, but recovered only three of them. Offensively, the Dolphins have fumbled 21 times and lost 11. That means overall, they have recovered only 14 of 38 fumbles (36.8 percent). Forget about Tannehill's 12 interceptions, the Dolphins have missed 24 opportunities to maintain possession or to gain an extra possession.

One look at the teams leading in turnover differential margin and it's easy to see how important this statistic is. The Colts are an anomaly, but when they get bounced from the playoffs, turnovers will be their downfall.

This has been an on-going issue in Miami for many seasons. The players on this defense never seem to be in the right place to make a play, whether it is dropping INTs or not recovering fumbles.

In his junior season prior to declaring for the NFL draft, Sean Smith had 5 INTs. In 4 seasons with the Dolphins, Smith has 3... Karlos Dansby has 15 forced fumbles, 9 recoveries and 11 INTs in his career, this year... O forced fumbles, O fumble recoveries, O INTs. These numbers are representative of the entire defense. It's not meant to be all on Smith or Dansby, this defense is incapable of forcing turnovers.

It is a major issue in Miami. If Ryan Tannehill had as many second chances as Tom Brady and NE's +24 differential the Dolphins could easily be heading to the playoffs instead of being home for the holidays.

Joe Philbin and Kevin Coyle are well aware of these numbers. It is well known at any level of football that takeaways equal victory and giveaways equal defeat. Before all the experts go off on the lack of speed or line play or even QB play, perhaps the problem in Miami is a little more basic.

Christmas is a nice time for gifts, but in the NFL, gifts will lead to losses and coaching jobs will soon follow. Even though turnover differential should land squarely on the players, it is often viewed as a coaching issue. Kevin Coyle won't last long as a defensive coordinator and Joe Philbin will follow him out the door.

If there was one single statistic that could have a significant impact on the win/loss record, turnover differential is the one. Fix it Joe!

Is the Dolphins Offensive Line as Bad as I Think It Is, or Are My Eyes Deceiving Me?

I know I've been pretty hard on our offensive line, telling everyone that will listen how bad I think they are and even telling some people who don't want to listen what I think. After doing a little homework on the subject now I'm more confused than ever. Here are the facts as we know them.

2011 Team Stats

Passing Yards
3425 total yards, or 215/game with a 60% completion percentage. We allowed 52 sacks in a 16 game season at a 10% sack rate for passes attempted.

Rushing Yards
1987 total yards, or 124/game with an average per attempt of 4.2 yards per carry.

Our Offense scored a total of 31 touchdowns in 2011, which was an average of 1.9 touchdowns per game. They also had an average yards-per-game of 339.

2012 Team Stats

Passing Yards
2690 total yards, or 224/game with a 58% completion percentage. We have allowed 25 sacks so far in our 12 games, which is a 6% sack rate for passes attempted.

Rushing Yards
1299 total yards, or 108 per game with an average per attempt of 4.0 per carry

Our offense so far in 12 games has scored 22 touchdowns for an average of 1.8 touchdowns per game with an average yards-per-game of 332.

Please keep in mind that this is only offensive touchdowns. It does not include defense or special teams.

As you can see the numbers are almost identical to last year except for the sacks are way down. I know that having a rookie QB is part of the reason that we haven't improved on some of these stats, and maybe the mobility of that QB is the reason that the sacks are down, but I would have to think that after investing a 2nd round draft pick in an offensive lineman that we should have made better gains than what we have.

Now, I'm not blaming Martin for the lack of production because, as I said, we have almost mirror stats as last year. But were we any good last year? Maybe, but just because we have the same stats doesn't mean that we weren't bad last year too. One glaring difference that we have right now is the difference in 100 yard rushing games. Last year we had a running back rush for over 100 yards five times, this year one time through 12 games. Is that the line's fault or the running back's fault?

So I will ask the question one more time.


Thanks for stopping by. I'm looking forward to someone giving me the correct answer.

Email me at todd@dolphinshout.com

A Topic of Great Miami Dolphin Concern

Hello Dolphin Shout and ALL MIAMI DOLPHIN FANS.

One would imagine that sites like Dolphin Shout are sometimes visited by new Miami Dolphin fans, or at the least a casual fan, from time to time. For those folks as well as the "always in attendance, hard core nuts" I would like to add some circumstantial input to the dilemma placed upon our 24-year old Miami Dolphin quarterback, Ryan Tannehill.

The thought from this side of the fence is that upon the Indianapolis 2012 first overall draft selection of 23-year old Andrew Luck the Colts became the first team in NFL history that will have the luxury of fielding a franchise quarterback for a likely twenty-five plus years, because as we all know Peyton Manning has moved on after thirteen illustrious Colt seasons.

It goes without saying that had the Miami Dolphins had the first overall pick in the 2012 draft, or that had Andrew Luck fallen to the actual Dolphin pick at number eight, the option of drafting Ryan Tannehill would not have existed! Not to suggest that the selection of Tannehill wasn't the correct choice. I'm just saying that it was the only choice Miami could make if we wanted to obtain our own franchise quarterback to eventually battle against Luck for playoff advancement well into and beyond the 2025 seasons!

This is "of Great Miami Dolphin Concern". The concern is not that of Ryan Tannehill becoming good or great (though he is going to have to become great). The concern is that Andrew Luck has been an NFL-ready quarterback since the start of Stanford University's 2010 season, which happens to be the same year that Tannehill was first handed the reins halfway through that same season for The Texas A&M Aggies.

Andrew Luck had a collegiate total of 38 games started at a 162.8 quarterback rating. His numbers were 713 completions off 1,064 attempts for 9,430 yards, 82 touchdowns and 22 interceptions.

Ryan Tannehill had a collegiate total of 20 games started at a 134.0 quarterback rating with 484 completions off 774 attempts for 5,450 yards, 42 touchdowns and 21 interceptions.

Andrew falls two games shy of having twice as many live games played as Ryan. Luck and Tannehill are both elite athletes with all the tools required of an NFL quarterback. The concern is that Andrew is already great and has been for several years. He was great even before Ryan first felt the warmth of a center's loins!

In watching Colts quarterback footage recently, I can't tell if I am watching past or present highlights, until I notice the number 12 or 18. That, folks, is how good Andrew Luck already is! The Colts have not lost a beat since losing Manning as their quarterback. As a rookie Andrew Luck's field presence is practically indecipherable to that of Peyton, unless one happens to notice the number. He is absolutely great, and may very well become the greatest of all time!

Mr. Andrew Luck has a collegiate eighteen games started advantage to that of our Ryan Tannehill. Therefore it is a reasonable proposition to believe that Luck has a huge head start on Ryan toward the success of their NFL careers. Andrew Luck is going to continue to get better, while Ryan Tannehill is also going to continue to get better. It might be suggested that once Tom Brady and Peyton Manning hang their cleats up the Colts Andrew Luck and the Dolphins Ryan Tannehill will be taking turns knocking each other out of AFC playoff advancement on a consistent basis. Beyond both Ryan Mallett and Brock Osweiler who will replace the above mentioned Hall Of Famers.

The question is this. Can Tannehill make up the laps that Luck has on him while becoming very good, if not great in his own right, or will the Dolphin supporting cast have to become that much better over the years to compensate for Miami having the second best AFC quarterback from the 2012 draft?

I can only hope that Ryan Tannehill, with his eventual surrounding cast, will overcome Andrew Luck's forces to the extent of winning half of the time when put head to head!

One final note. Let it be known that for seventeen years the Miami Dolphins had the absolute best quarterback as well as head coach in the AFC, if not the entire league, and went to one losing Super Bowl. Evidently the lesser-than-the-best quarterbacks have historically been able to overcome such long odds of being second best.

Thank-You for an Open Minded Read, and we look forward to your angle of view!!

When the fog lifts..

We will see more of this..

GO 7teen, GOFINS!!

Miami Dolphins Rack Up Another Loss

By now most of you know that the Dolphins have secured themselves another losing season. That makes it four in a row, and six out of the past seven years this has happened. Different coaches, different players, and nothing seems to matter. In the past 5 years there is one common denominator, but why even talk about Ireland? He is secure for one more year the way it appears.

The only thing we can't be sure of with this team is how many mistakes it will take them to secure another loss. Sometimes it will be a physical mistake like a botched punt return or Marion Moore diving for a ball he may have caught standing up and running into the end zone for a tying touchdown. Then there are the mental mistakes. One could say this entire team is a mental case, but that is a different story. A reserve linebacker carrying a punt downed at the three into the end zone for a touchback. Or two successive false start penalties with a first and goal to go inside the 10 yard line.

47 players dressed for this game, and only one player made a play for the entire game that mattered. That was the catch in the end zone by Anthony Fasano. There were no other plays made on the offensive side of the ball. 57 chances and they make "one play". Not to worry. The defense was not about to be outdone by the offense. Other than the play of Cameron Wake with his 3 sacks the defense, with the game on the line, allowed Kaepernick to go untouched 50 yards for the sealing touchdown. They had one forced fumble by Wake (of course), which was recovered by the 49ers, and that was it. I don't think they had a single pass defended all day.

I imagine we hear the usual talk about how well we played against a superior team. We will hear how much upside this team has, and that they are on the rise. Facts are facts. This team isn't very good, and this team has four losing seasons in a row to prove it. I don't drink, but I can see how this team could drive a person to do so.

Miami Dolphins at San Francisco 49ers Live Game Chat

If the Dolphins want any chance of making the playoffs this is a must-win game for them.

Click here to watch the game live. Do not download anything. There are a lot of ads. Just exit out of them and the video is underneath.

Miami Dolphins at 49ers Pregame Report

As the Dolphins head into 49er territory, I will take a look at statistics of both teams, even though I don't really like statistics. What I found was that San Francisco's numbers aren't much different than Miami's.

They have a higher rushing average per play, but their overall yards are close to what we have. It's the same with their passing yards, except our average pass play is a bit higher than what they have. We have ran close to the same number of plays, with them having a little less than us. As great as we hear their pass rush being, the Dolphins have more sacks then they do.

There are a few statistics that stick out like a sore thumb. The turnover ratio isn't even close. It isn't that the 49ers are that good, it's that the Dolphins are lousy. The 49ers are +5 and the Dolphins are -10. More startling than that, is this: the Dolphins, when facing a 3rd and less than one, have only converted 12-of-29 attempts. Those two statistics are where we are leaving wins on the field.

Statistically the 49ers aren't any better than we are. I constantly hear how the 49ers will smack you in the mouth, and that suits the Dolphins just fine. I haven't seen many teams that are more physical than Miami. So if they want to turn this into a slug fest, the Dolphins should be more than willing to play that game. Actually, I think that type of game will help the Dolphins more than hurt them.

So there you have it. Can the Dolphins win this game? I think we have a shot at it. Being that Philbin is from the NFC he should know what to expect from the 49ers. This is going to be a slug fest and I think the Dolphins are up for it.

Dolphins Tannehill Playing Like a Rookie

There was a lot of discussion about criticizing Ryan Tannehill in my last post and I thought I would demonstrate some of the reasons why I'm beginning to fall off the Tanny train. Here is the breakdown of Tannehill's first 4 passes of the New England game.

On Tannehill's 1st attempt, you can see by the coaches film, Mike Sherman has this one dialed up. Davone Bess is wide open.

Bess may have been able to catch this ball, but a decent pass from Tannehill and this was an easy catch for Bess. Tannehill left Bess at the mercy of a charging DB aiming at his ribs and the pass was incomplete. The Dolphin offense was very tight to start this game and that usually starts with the QB...

Tannehill Tries again throwing to Rishad Matthews...

See the 1st down marker, see the defender on the ground!

Tannehill completely missed him. He threw it at Matthews' feet, uncatchable. On the next play, Fields bumbles a low snap and the Dolphins are looking like dolts. This is not coaching, the play calling was exceptional. This is on Tannehill, both plays were perfectly schemed and wide open. We can't compare Mike Sherman to Dan Henning.

Tannehill's 3rd attempt... 

The important thing to recognize here is the area in yellow. It looks like Tannehill is focused entirely on Fasano coming across the middle tightly covered. Hartline and Bess are both covered at the top, Clay is wide open, but Tannehill stares down Fasano.

Tannehill has grown into a tendency to bale to his right, but this is ridiculous. There is so much space if he had taken one step up as the rush was coming, look back and forth between this and previous picture, one step and he has the amount of time associated with Tom Brady. Is this the lack of line play I hear so much about? Is this the poor play calling I hear about? No, sorry this is very poor play from the QB position, so if fans want to say the kid will grow into it, I'm okay with that, but put it where it belongs.

Hartline ended up catching the ball on a come back to rescue Tannehill, but it was short of the 1st down and another punt. Please stop making excuses is all I ask. Hope this is rookie lack of understanding, hope Sherman and Philbin can coach Tannehill up, but please don't sugar coat what is right in front of your eyes.

Okay, now you see why I'm only going to show the 1st 4 passes... It keeps getting more painful. Here's number 4.

Look at Tannehill's head, we can't see his eyes but it's pretty obvious he's zoned in on Davone Bess. I don't know who the corner is, but he's got Bess locked up. Now look at the top, holy crap!!! Reggie Bush is in single coverage on a Linebacker and he is about to go house on a wheel route! But Ryan has decided come hell or high water he's throwing to Bess.

The ball is nearly picked because Tannehill decided prior to the snap which receiver he was throwing to. Again look in the pocket, one step forward and one step right and Tannehill has all day to find Bush.

I will not say too much about the sequences presented here, simply because I don't need to. Remember one thing, these are only the first 4 passes. The folks who make excuses will say that he settled down or whatever. I will say what I said in the last post...

Tannehill needs to step up his game.

Note to Mike Sherman: Charles Clay Is the Real Deal

Charles Clay in his second year has played for two different head coaches, two different offensive coordinators, and two different offensive systems, but the numbers don't lie.

Receptions Targets Yards Touchdowns 20+ Yards Fumbles Yards After Catch First Downs
2011 16 25 233 3 6 0 84 12
2012 15 29 201 2 4 0 72 8

In his first year as a Miami Dolphin, Clay played for Tony Sparano, Brian Daboll, and (for the last three games) Todd Bowles. As a rookie he showed flashes of being a multi-functional player, a steal as a sixth round pick, and a possible TE of the future for Miami. 6 of his 16 receptions went for 20 or more yards, and he has had twelve first downs.

Things looked promising coming into his second season. Hopes were that he would grow some more and would gain more responsibilities. Joe Philbin and Mike Sherman installed a new system known as the West Coast Offense, which is an up-tempo, explosive system that Clay was expected to excel in. But, in the pre-season Clay got lost in the sauce and fell into Sherman's dog house. It could have been a sophomore slump, or he was just learning a new system with new coaches. That much is uncertain.

What is certain is that in recent games Clay is again showing his skillset and doing it consistently. 4 of his 15 receptions have gone for 20 or more yards and he has had eight first downs. His numbers show that when used he moves the chains and is a red zone threat at TE. The most important number, though, is his zero fumbles.

He may not be as good of a blocker as Fasano, but he has the ability to be a top 10 TE. He could also make fans forget about Mike Egnew being drafted and become a seam threat and safety valve for Tannehill for years to come.

Mike Sherman are you listening?

Email me at shawn@dolphinshout.com.

Dolphin Shout Is Getting Bigger!

As Dolphin Shout grows it is important for us to add on new writers to keep the content fresh and rolling. That's why I would like to announce the addition of two new writers and the return of an old favorite. You know all of them pretty well, I'm sure.

First, I would like to announce the additions of Shawn Carlson (known as "Shawn" in the comments) and Todd Bartley ("BuckeyeFinFan") as writers for Dolphin Shout.

Both Shawn and Todd have been with us for a while now, and we believe that they will contribute valuable insight and analysis to the Shout. I hope you guys are as excited as we are about them joining us in our quest to bring you the highest quality info, analysis, and (most importantly) discussion.

Next, I would like to announce the return of an old favorite. For a few months Kenny Nicholas (better known as 13kvFINS) has been helping keep content fresh on the Dolphin Shout forums, and now seemed like the perfect time to bring him back to the blog. So, Kenny is coming back as a writer on the blog. Kenny has always put a tremendous amount of time into his work, and it shows with what he writes.

There you have it. We are thrilled to have these three on the blog, and I can assure you they will help bring you incredible and thought-provoking analysis.

So please join me in welcoming Shawn, Todd, and Kenny to the crew. I know you'll enjoy what they have to say.

If you would like to email any of the three here are their email addresses.

Shawn: shawn@dolphinshout.com

Todd: todd@dolphinshout.com

Kenny: kenny@dolphinshout.com

Thanks for stopping by. Please be sure to show your support for the "new guys".

Hey Dolphins Fans: Let's Lay off the Rookie

Patrick definitely struck a nerve among Miami Dolphins fans this week with his post yesterday about Ryan Tannehill falling short in the loss Sunday against the Patriots. The post has sparked a huge reaction and the discussion has been much larger and much more intense than anything we've experienced this season. That means that it is something that you guys want to talk about, so we will happily oblige you.

Patrick was rather negative of Tannehill in his piece yesterday, so I am here now to provide an alternate point of view to you guys.

First, let me say that I think we all understand that Tannehill had a poor game against New England. We can all agree on that. He missed some throws that could have easily changed the outcome of the game. We recognize that.

What we don't seem to agree on is the degree to which Tannehill should be faulted and what it means for him long term. I personally see it as nothing more than a bump in the road for the rookie. He is bound to have his ups and downs. It is unrealistic to expect Andrew Luck-type production from any rookie quarterback, especially one who was supposed to take time to develop due to lack of in-game experience.

Others seem to want to put a more negative spin on his performance, questioning whether or not he can truly be the franchise quarterback he was drafted to be.

I'm here to tell you that he is still the franchise guy we've been looking for. He's still a great quarterback, and he will be just fine in the long-run.

Remember, just a week ago Tannehill led the Dolphins on a couple of crucial drives in the 4th quarter to beat a very good Seahawks team. Just a week ago we were praising him, but now it's like that game never happened. How quickly we forget.

Tannehill has one bad game, and all of the sudden we need to blow everything up. Nothing is right and everything needs to change. Were you guys expecting a playoff run or something? I am normally a very optimistic person, and I didn't even see us making the playoffs. I saw us in the hunt, but not actually making it. We get too emotional and it clouds our judgement.

As fans this season we have gone through a lot of ups and downs. After each high point we overreact and become overly excited, and after each low point we overreact and become overly pessimistic. What we need to work on is lowering our high points and raising our low points so we can become more even and objective.

We need to look at this team objectively. As fans it is hard, and I recognize that, but we have to. This team is still in developmental stages. It is unreasonable to expect us to play consistently great each week like the best teams in the league. It will take a few years to get to that point. This is only year one.

This won't be Tannehill's last poor game. He will have games like this where we see him struggle, but I assure you his successes will far outweigh his struggles long term. Patience, patience, patience. We need to give him time to develop. Winning when we're not supposed to is fun, but it won't be nearly as fun as a few years from now when we're really winning.

Patience is key. Now chill out and enjoy the ride (objectively of course).

Thanks for stopping by. Email me at paul@dolphinshout.com. I'm on twitter @PaulDSmythe.

Dolphins Tannehill Overwhelmed by the Spotlight

In a must win game for the Dolphins, Ryan Tannehill performs like a rookie and not even a good one. Perhaps playing against his childhood hero was a little overwhelming for the Miami quarterback, but losing to the Patriots falls squarely on the shoulders of Ryan Tannehill.

Unfortunately, the Dolphins playoff hopes were dashed by their QBs lack of big-game experience. Tannehill has performed admirably for most of the season, but when he needed to step up, he made critical mistakes that cost Miami a shot at victory.

The Dolphins lost by a single touchdown to one of the most prolific teams in the NFL, with the defense holding Tom Brady to his worst 74.8 rating of the season. Three times Tannehill had Brian Hartline open for score and three times he missed badly.

Aqib Talib was unable to cover Hartline and midway through the first quarter found himself trailing Hartline by several steps down the middle of the field.

“I just overthrew it; it was a bad throw,” Tannehill said. “You’ve got to hit those; you don’t get many shots like that.”

With Miami trailing 17-10, in the third quarter when Hartline came open again, this time down the right sideline. The throw was uncatchable and Hartline had a wide open field down the sideline.

“It was designed to be a hook up,” Tannehill said. “I looked off the safety and set my feet to throw short. He stuck his hand up and went deep. I just didn’t get enough on it.”

In the fourth quarter, with second-and-4 from the New England 7, Hartline ran  a slant over the middle again beating Talib. Tannehill’s throw was late and Hartline couldn’t get his feet down inside the back of the end zone.

“It was a look we weren’t prepared for,” Hartline said. “It threw me off a little bit and I think it threw him off a little bit, too. Just a little hesitation. We ran out of space in the back of the end zone.”

Tannehill also had a sack fumble midway through the 2nd quarter that gave the Patriots the ball on Miami's 25 yard line. Tannehill needed to take one step forward in the pocket and he could have released the pass, but he was unable to feel the pressure and took the sack.

The Dolphins have been patient with Tannehill who has thrown only 2 TD passes and 6 INTs in the last 18 quarters. There has been no hint of replacing Tannehill with Matt Moore and it would seem the Dolphin organization is telling the fans they must endure the rookies' growing pains.

“We just didn’t hit the shots that were there,” Tannehill said. “The early one to Hartline, I’m still kicking myself. You have to make that throw.” The Dolphin faithful would like to kick Tannehill as well when each week they hear how Andrew Luck made the plays that brought his team to victory. Perhaps the Colts "Suck-for-Luck" campaign wasn't such a bad idea.

It has been somewhat taboo to criticize the rookie, but when Tannehill completes just 13 of 29 passes (44.8 percent) for 186 yards and a 66.2 passer rating. The faithful begin to wonder when it will be okay to proclaim Tannehill is another Jeff Ireland bust.

coach Joe Philbin is well aware of the stakes, but he downplayed the performance with his usual aloof undefined comments, “against a team like this, you’ve got to make those plays. If you’re wide open and you’ve got a guy like that, you’ve got to make those plays.” 

Miami fans cannot bare the thought of Tannehill being a bust, it is the single most disheartening thought any true Dolphin fan could have. It is better to just stick with the rookie proclamation that he will learn from his experience.

The true question looming for Tannehill is, how long are the fans willing to wait? The whispers are getting louder, and in Miami, when they get to a full blown roar, it will not be pretty. 

Miami Dolphins Game Recap

Today's game can be best described when we look at the play of Davone Bess. In the game's first series Bess dropped the first pass of the game, and on the third play he turned the wrong way on short pass that would have netted a first down. After the Dolphins were down early because of a botched punt attempt that gave the Patriots the ball inside the red zone, the Dolphins went three-and-out with another dropped pass by Bess. The only pass caught by Bess for the entire game was a 13-yard reception on 3rd down, when the Dolphins need 14 yards for a first down. Bess had one catch for 13 yards and was targeted six times. And so it went for the Miami Dolphins.

Jake Long went out in the first quarter. Jonathan Martin moved over to the left tackle position with Garner playing in Martin's right tackle position. An MRI is scheduled for Jake Long on Monday, but the word coming out of Miami doesn't look good for his return for the remainder of this year. It appears that we will see if Martin can hold down the left tackle position. If he does the Dolphins at the very least will save themselves some cap space. This writer believes it's time to cut bait with Jake Long and let him walk. His injuries continue to add up, he is not able to play at the level he did in the past, and he most likely never will again.

Seems that there are fans out there that felt the Dolphins played halfway decent today. I am not one of them. We can take solace that the Patriots didn't clobber us as they have everyone else for the past three weeks. We at least kept them under 47 points which is what they averaged for the last three games. To me it was another loss in a game filled with mistakes both mental and physical, even though the score was kept down by our defense. The offense once again took a sabbatical scoring only one touchdown.

I suppose technically we are not out of the playoffs, but once again we sit at the bottom of the AFC East. We have played four games in our division having won only one game against the Jets. So basically, they can stick a fork in us. We are done for another year. Very disappointing.

I'll try to close this on a positive note. We have two more winnable games. I'd like to see us put those two games in the win column. Which would give us a seven win season.

Miami Dolphins vs New England Patriots Live Game Chat

This is a must-win game for the Dolphins if they want to make the playoffs.

Click here to watch the game live. Do no download anything. There are a lot of ads. Just exit out of them and the video should be below them.

Tannehill Learning to Look Off Safeties

This was fun to play around with, bare with me as the pictures are not real clear. I would need much better equipment than my laptop to do this with more clarity but if you like like it, I'll do more. Let me know in your comments.

In this first picture we see the safeties following the QBs eyes. I have the inside top receiver identified as Hartline through this sequence but I actually think it may be Moore with Hartline on the bottom. The identity really doesn't matter. See the safeties following Tannehill's eys. Tannehill is following the inside receiver as he crosses in front of Bess.
The safety continues to follow Tannehill's eyes as he tracks the receiver at the top coming back. Notice how this split second decision allows Bess to separate with no help over the top.
Too late now, Bess comes wide open for a big gain. This was all created by Tannehill following the slot receiver and in the process causing the safety to cheat just enough to spring Bess. It's a beautiful thing.

Here is another sequence with Bess and Hartline, the same thing happens.

Tannehill is looking at Hartline on the top. Look at all the defenders begin to converge on Hartline.
The entire secondary is follwing Tannehill's eyes. When I saw this I was jumping up and down! Throw it! Throw it!!! Bess is so open Tannehill nearly misses him!
It's crazy how open Bess was. If Tannehill had thrown a better ball, this was a TD. But the key growth that we see in Tannehill is using his eyes. Defenders in a zone defense are taught to cover an area and watch the QB. This is how the great ones look receivers open.

Hope you like this... It took a long time, but it was fun.