Hey Miami Dolphins Fans: Lay off of Jeff Ireland

The hatred directed at Miami Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland will never cease to amaze me. In the eyes of some people everything is Ireland's fault.

Did it rain today? Blame it on Jeff Ireland.

Did your dog die? Blame it on Jeff Ireland.

Did you oversleep and come into work late? Blame it on Jeff Ireland.

How about your dinner? Was it burnt? It must have been Jeff Ireland's fault.

No matter what, if something happens (good or bad) to the Dolphins it is Jeff Ireland's "fault". And frankly, it's pissing me off. Jeff Ireland is a good general manager. I don't care what any fan says.

Do you know what we do way too much of? We focus on the negatives. We look at the Pat White's, the Clyde Gates', and the Chad Henne's that he drafted.

Instead of looking at what we do have we look at who we don't have and what went wrong with that player. Well, news flash, that happens to every team in the NFL. There are picks that don't pan out, and it's as simple as that. It's not Jeff Ireland's inadequacy. Every NFL GM has picks that they miss on.

And please try and convince me that the Vontae Davis trade was a bad one, because it wasn't. Vontae was Miami's 3rd best cornerback. They drafted him late in the first round, got three years of production out of him, and then got an early 2nd round pick and possibly a 6th rounder, too.

I want you guys to look at our team right now. We have a great defense, we have a good offensive line, we have great running backs, and I believe that we now have our coveted franchise quarterback. You are all led to believe (because of lazy journalism, lack of research, etc.) that the Dolphins are an all-around bad team. Well they're not. They need one or two receivers. That's a problem that can be fixed by a little trading.

I think we can all agree that our biggest weakness right now is our wide receivers. Well, you can't blame our current receivers on Jeff Ireland. If you're looking for someone to place the blame on (which you shouldn't because Miami isn't done), then blame Joe Philbin. Miami had Brandon Marshall, but Philbin didn't want a receiver with potential off-field issues so they traded him. Then Ireland brought in Chad Johnson, but he had the first arrest of his NFL career so Philbin cut him.

I am not saying that Joe Philbin should be thrown into Riverdog's "doghouse", because I really like what Philbin is doing. I'm saying that Jeff Ireland shouldn't be in the "doghouse" either.

Whenever Miami has truly had a problem at any position he's fixed it. Last year Miami needed running backs, so Ireland drafted Daniel Thomas and brought in Reggie Bush. Now, one of the Dolphins biggest strengths is running backs. This year we needed a quarterback. Ireland drafted Ryan Tannehill in the first round and brought in David Garrard who, if healthy, would be starting for the Dolphins.

What about Kyle Orton last year? Everyone who wanted him raise your hand please (my hand is raised, too. I wanted him). What did Jeff Ireland do? He brought in Matt Moore. What did Matt Moore do? He turned the team around and won team MVP. Sometimes we need to acknowledge that the people who are paid to do this sort of thing know more about it than us, and that we should trust their judgement instead of whining about them.

Bad luck has affected Miami this year, not poor management. They lost starting QB David Garrard for all of preseason due to injury. They lost starting WR Chad Johnson due to an uncharacteristic arrest. Neither was Jeff Ireland's fault, and I dare you to say otherwise.

I challenge anyone to debate this with me. Please. My email is paul@dolphinshout.com. I will discuss this as much and for as long as you would like.

Thanks for stopping by.

Miami Dolphins Cut Day Updates

Today is going to be a big day for this year's Miami Dolphins. I am going to keep a running list of every player that the Dolphins cut, sign, or trade today.

DT Ryan Baker
DT Isaako Aaitui
DE Jamaal Westerman
DE Jarrell Root
LB Cameron Collins
LB Gary Guyton
LB Shelly Lyons
WR BJ Cunningham
WR Clyde Gates
WR Jeff Fuller
WR Roberto Wallace
WR Chris Hogan (7-11)
CB Kevyn Scott
CB Vincent Agnew
CB Quinten Lawrence
OL Chandler Burden
OT Ray Feinga
OT Lydon Murtha
OT Andrew McDonald

C Ryan Cook to the Dallas Cowboys for 7th round pick

-There is a good chance Miami will trade RB Steve Slaton to the Washington Redskins for WR Anthony Armstrong. [UPDATE: Slaton has since heard that the rumors aren't true. We'll just have to see] [UPDATE #2: Anthony Armstrong has been released from the Washington Redskins so he is on the waiver wire again. Even better for the Dolphins]

-There are also rumors that the Dolphins are working on a trade with the Green Bay Packers for WR James Jones

Keep checking back. There will be updates pretty frequently.

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

Ireland is Guiding the Dolphins into the Ground

There has been a lot of speculation about Jeff Ireland among Dolphin fans, due to the lack of playmakers acquired in the five years of his tenure. A closer look at the salary cap lends credence to the negative comments constantly following the embattled GM.

The slots in this chart may not be out of line with where players rank on the team, but the problem is few of these players can be called playmakers. The Dolphins have the third highest payroll in the NFL and yet, they will be lucky to win 50% of their games. It means the money does not equate to the talent on the field.

On the chart above, the right hand number is the one that is important, because that is what it will cost the Dolphins against the cap this year. To total this up right now would be wrong because some of these players will be gone by 9:00PM tomorrow. The chart gives insight why some may stay and some may go.

The NFL formulates its salary cap from the top 51 players on the roster prior to the cuts from 90 to 53.  The chart below shows where the Dolphins are in the eyes of the NFL.


Except there's a piece missing…

All of the players Ireland has brought in 
and let go, start to add up in the form of dead cap money. We can see how Brandon Marshall may be getting the last laugh now that the data is exposed. Trading Vontae Davis cost more than giving up a first round pick for a second round pick; it cost the Dolphins $1.1Million dollars in cap space as well. This demonstrates the type of management that has the Dolphins near the top of the cap but at the bottom of the standings. They acquire players for well over their market value or simply draft players that do not live up to their contracts. All of this adds up to a product on the field that is like buying a Yugo for the price of a Mercedes. When Joe Philbin professes that coaching is only 10% of what makes NFL teams good and that 90% is the talent on the field, reading between those huge wide-open lines, he has inherited a team that has no talent. Trading Marshall and Davis also says he has inherited a team that had poor leadership. None of this bodes well for Ireland. Somehow he is in the owner's favor, and allowed to fix the poor cap management to the tune of…

All of that leads to the Dolphins salary cap woes, which adds up to...

There are a lot of numbers here to digest, but logic dictates cutting or trading a player like Carlos Dansby would be a mistake because...

As shown in the chart above cutting or trading Dansby would cost the Dolphins $11.35 Million dollars in dead cap space and they would have to give up $50,000 in cap! Now it makes sense why Carlos is not afraid to shoot off his mouth! The numbers in red in the right column are actually what the Dolphins would lose in cap space if they were to trade or cut the players listed.

Jeff Ireland somehow still has a job. The good news for him (and the Dolphins) is these numbers become much better next season... To the tune of about $50 million in cap space. They cannot bring in any free agents with prorated bonuses that will hit the cap next season.

There is a lot here, Dolphin fans, and the intention is not to inundate with numbers but to educate on the inner workings of the salary cap. Please use these numbers to see which player contracts might make a player more viable to be gone, if this season already seems like a bust.

Have fun with the numbers!

Miami Dolphins vs. Dallas Cowboys Live Game Chat

Miami is playing at Dallas tonight for the final preseason game. Expect Tannehill to not play much.

Click here to watch the game.

Miami Dolphins Hard Knocks Episode 4 Replay

Here is a replay of episode 4 of Hard Knocks with the Miami Dolphins. This was a fun one.

For some reason, just like last time the video doesn't work with Google Chrome but it does work with Internet Explorer and Firefox. Watch out for the ads.

Click here to watch the full episode

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

Report: Miami Dolphins Potentially Could Add as Many as 10 Players

This is big news for the Miami Dolphins. According to Adam Beasley (Twitter handle @AdamHBeasley), the Dolphins could have as many as 10 players on their final 53-man roster that aren't currently on the team.

There has been a lot of speculation recently that Miami would be trading for a top receiver like Mike Wallace, James Jones, or Percy Harvin. Well that is still a very strong possibility, and it appears that Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland isn't planning on stopping at receiver.

From what I can tell this week will be a crazy one for the Dolphins. If Miami were to add 10 different players to the team that would be close to a 20% change in the roster. Beasley also tweeted the following:
"10 is definitely the ceiling. My guess is more like five. But one thing's for sure: This team is going to be active."
The Dolphins could also be looking for depth at linebacker, depth at cornerback, and possibly another starting offensive lineman.

Miami has insisted that they are not rebuilding. Up until now it hasn't really looked that way, but it does appear that they are planning to win now.

I was concerned that Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins rookie QB, wasn't going to have anybody to throw the ball to. Hopefully that won't be a problem after the next few days.

Buckle up everyone, it's about to be a crazy week. Props to Adam Beasley for his great work. He's been consistently coming out with news about Miami's trade intentions. Give him a follow.

Thanks for stopping by. Let me know what you think. Email me at paul@dolphinshout.com. Follow me on twitter at @PaulDSmythe.

Joe Philbin is the Real Leader in Miami

Stephen Ross has obviously given Joe Philbin control over the players he wants on his football team and left Ireland to make the deals. It means when Philbin was hired, there was an understanding that Ireland did not have ultimate control over personnel. Regardless of how it came about, Philbin has the keys to who stays and who goes on this football team, whether good or bad, time will tell.

Brandon Marshall - Ireland trades two second rounders, Philbin sends him packing, getting only two third rounders in return. Chad Johnson - Ireland goes out on a limb to bring in the troubled wide receiver, Philbin bounces him in front of the world on Hard Knocks. Vontae Davis - Ireland uses the twenty-fifth pick in the draft, Philbin shows him the door for second and sixth round picks.

What all these moves point to is, while the Dolphins do not claim to be rebuilding, they are certainly getting rid of personnel that Joe Philbin does not think will blend well in his mix. The question that begs to be answered is, will a player like Brandon Marshall ever be a leader on a Super Bowl caliber team? Will Chad Johnson ever possess the veteran leadership a coach wants other players to emulate? Is Vontae Davis the type of player to lead a secondary?

Once these questions are presented, it becomes obvious where the Dolphins are going, and it is going to take some time to get there. The one thing these players have in common is they are all completely self-centered. They place themselves above the concept of team, while claiming to embrace the team, their actions speak much louder than their words.

Players who do not come to work as a team may as well start thinking of a new city because Philbin is not going to tolerate it. The indictment against Ireland is, what led him to draft, sign or trade for these players? But it should be pointed out that Ireland does not make any of these transactions in a vacuum, therefore Sparano and Parcells had input in trading for Marshall and drafting Davis.

As Ireland said, "We know a lot about our players, some of that includes things you don't know about them or isn't seen by the public ..." Coaches many times think they have a magic power over players and can change the attitude and actions through their ability to communicate. Most likely, Ireland was aware of the physical gifts of these players, but also informed the coaches there were attitude issues.

Brandon Marshall was not drafted until the fourth round because his personal issues overrode his ability. Vontae Davis fell to the twenty-fifth pick because there were concerns about his attitude. Cincinnati let Chad Johnson go because his performance no longer overshadowed his eccentric personality. It all means that Sparano and Parcells, like many other coaches and czars think they can change a spade to a diamond. Sometimes they can, but not very often and not over the long term.

In a sense, the Dolphins are rebuilding, they are rebuilding the personality from a team led by individuals to a team led by players that embrace the team concept. It means there will be no trades for disgruntled players, no high draft picks on falling problem children and no chances taken on eccentric personalities. Joe Philbin is not trying to rebuild the roster; he is trying to change the culture.

For Miami Dolphin fans it could be a long season, but once a team starts to play like one, players will emerge. Great teams are not built through trades or free agents. Great teams are built from an attitude that together we stand taller than any individual among us... 

Right now, it is Joe Philbin and the Miami Dolphins against the world.

Vontae Davis Traded to the Colts

The Miami Dolphins have traded CB Vontae Davis to the Indianapolis Colts for a second round pick and a conditional sixth according to Jay Glazer.

Vontae, who had been demoted to a second-string cornerback with Miami, gives the Colts the starting CB they were looking for. In return the Dolphins get a second round draft pick in next year's draft.

This means that Miami now has and additional 2nd and 3rd rounder from this trade and the Brandon Marshall trade.

I'm not quite sure what to think about the trade. I feel like we got pretty good value for Vontae. Maybe we'll use this 2nd rounder to trade for a receiver now?

Thanks for stopping by. Let me know what you think about this blockbuster trade.

Email me at paul@dolphinshout.com.

Dolphins Flashback: Remember This Game?

I figured that today would be a good day to show you guys a video of a somewhat recent Miami Dolphins victory.

The only think I will tell you is that it was against the New York Jets on a Monday night.

The only issue is that I am unable to embed the video here, so I'm going to post a link to it. Once you've watched it come back and tell me what you think.

Click here to watch the game

Wasn't that a great game? I love watching that, because that was when the wildcat worked and Miami had some respect in the NFL.

Thanks for stopping by. Let me know your thoughts on that game.

Miami Dolphins Receivers Have Become a Concern

Up until now I haven't been too concerned about the Miami Dolphins receiving options. Even after we lost Chad Johnson I wasn't really worried. I thought we would be fine.

I am a strong believer that the Dolphins offense doesn't need a number one receiver, so I figured that we would be alright with the receivers currently on the roster.

That has all changed for me now. Other than Davone Bess I don't see another receiver or tight end that we can count on to perform consistently for Miami. Legedu Naanee was supposed to be a good option for the Dolphins, but he just has a terrible game against Atlanta where he dropped multiple passes. Anthony Fasano, who is one of my favorite Dolphins, really struggled against Atlanta. He had three drops in the first half including a drop on third down in the end zone. It was a really uncharacteristic game for him and I am hoping that we won't have to see something like that again.

I was counting on one of Miami's young receivers to step up and take the number one receiver spot, but no one has distanced themselves from the competition. Roberto Wallace, Marlon Moore, Julius Pruitt, and every other young Dolphins receiver have done nothing to give the coaches reason to start them. Instead we're still left wondering two weeks away from the season opener who will be Miami's starter.

I know it's still the preseason. I know that the preseason games don't matter too much. Trust me, I've been holding out hope that somebody would step up, but I've seen absolutely nothing to make me comfortable with what we have (except for Bess of course). Miami's receivers have had more than enough time to do something and they haven't.

So what can the Dolphins do? Two things:

1. They can wait for cuts to be made and hope that a team drops a receiver they can use.


2. They can try and make a trade for a receiver like James Jones from the Packers.

I think that it is a strong possibility that Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland tries to trade for a receiver. He has to recognize that Miami's receivers aren't where they need to be. It's pretty obvious I think.

Thanks for stopping by. Let me know what you think. Email me at paul@dolphinshout.com.

On a positive note, I felt like Miami's offensive line and defense was much improved against Atlanta. We also ran the ball well, too.

Miami Dolphins vs. Atlanta Falcons Live Game Chat

Tannehill's first start with gameplanning.

Click here to watch the game.

Ryan Tannehill and a New Offense in Miami

The big news this week was the naming of Ryan Tannehill as the starter for the Dolphins, but Friday night’s game against the Falcons will give Miami fans a better idea of what to expect from the Dolphins this season. Atlanta will be the first team game-planned for in the Joe Philbin era and should be a truer indication of how Mike Sherman will use play selection to set-up the running game or the passing game.

Until this point, the preseason has been less about preparing for regular season games and more about player evaluation. Only rushing 27 times in two games, has kept the running game under wraps, while the QBs and WRs battled for starting and back-up roles. This week should unveil a different offense in Miami, the Dolphins will obviously deploy the rushing attack much more, but how it will be used is what defenses on Miami’s 2012 schedule will be looking to catalog on film.

All the evidence points to the passing game being used to set-up the run, which is like going back to the future with Ryan Tannehill taking the place of Dan Marino. Not since Marino have the Dolphins employed throwing the football as a primary means of attack, believing this transition can take place overnight is probably shortsighted. There are bound to be growing pains as Joe Philbin reverses the course Miami has followed since Marino retired.

The old adage that the running game sets up the pass is passé, as confirmation can be found in these rushing charts of some of the more prolific NFL offensive teams, with the Dolphins included for reference.































The stat line most startling is the league ranking in number of attempts for most of these teams. There seems to be an almost blatant disregard for the old school thought of run first offense. There are numerous reasons for this transformation, but what’s relevant to Dolphin fans is that Joe Philbin and his coaching staff buys into this change of the guard and that Miami will be moving in this direction.

The change was already evident in the Dolphins not caring about trying to balance the offense in the first two preseason games. But these numbers are very deceiving in the west coast offense. The traditional rushing offense is replaced by a controlled passing game that uses short passing in place of a straight ahead rushing attack. What’s missing from these stats is the amount of throws to the backs and TEs that have taken the place of running plays.

The NFL purist in the stats line has not yet made the progression from the type of stats shown above to a chart more representative of what is happening in the modern game. Miami will now have stats similar to what is shown, but the game itself has not changed that much. The forced running game is replaced by a short passing game, with “dump-offs” no longer called “check-downs” because they are planned plays. Instead of going through a receiver tree progression and then settling on an outlet receiver, Tannehill will look to the check-off first on a three step drop.

This is a complete reversal from the traditional progression then check-down. The QB looks short first and then uses his feet when the short pass is covered and goes to the next longer and so on. This makes more sense than waiting in the pocket for “a play to develop” because it looks to what could be open by sequencing the depth of the pattern tree.

This is why all the talk about Miami needing a Brandon Marshall type of receiver is way off base. Each receiver has a depth in the progression and it is up to the QB to see the weak spot in the defense and to direct the passing game without a primary receiver. This is the change Miami fans should begin to see this week against Atlanta. Thirteen years after Dan Marino retired, the Dolphins are back to being a passing team.

Beware Dolphin fans… Three yards and a cloud of dust has left the building!