Miami Dolphin Players: Do They Want It?

Last year I wrote a piece about some players not buying into the system. I only mention that at this time because I believe all of those players are gone. I won't mention them by name now and I appreciate everything they have done for the Dolphins. They played through injuries, criticism, and gave us fans everything they had. But, they didn't believe and they are gone because of that (and not their play). I don't think you will see me write anything about players not buying into the system this year. 

The Dolphins have not only gone after some really fine talent, they have also selected players with something to prove. Can Wallace bounce back after an off year? Is he happy with his contract and where he is playing? Will Ellerbe and Wheeler show the NFL they are the real deal, or do they simply want to pick up a paycheck How much value do Keller and Gibson add to the team? Every move the Dolphins made this year made sense to me, even if I didn't agree with all of them.

I see a team with more players that know very little about the past years of futility in Miami. I see a team that has a few players and a head coach that knows what it takes to win a Super Bowl, and they have the rings to prove it. I see a team with players that expect to win and not hope to win. All of that adds up to good things coming to the Dolphins. No Kenny, I am not on any type of drugs.

The question at this time is this: do these players want it?

Miami Dolphins New Logo Apparently Leaked on

The new Miami Dolphins logo appeared to be leaked last week when this picture surfaced online:

Well, more proof that this really might be the Dolphins logo has surfaced on the internet. put up a pick predictor here that shows this for the Dolphins logo (I took a large screenshot for validity):

Here is a blown up version courtesy of

[UPDATE]: Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reported that multiple team sources have confirmed that the above pictures are indeed the new logo.

So what do you guys think? Do you like the change? Is it too much? Give me your input.

Thanks for stopping by. Email me at I'm also on twitter @PaulDSmythe.

Looking at Possible Miami Dolphins Draft Trades

Hey Jeff Ireland, Dolphin Shout, and all Miami fans. How are you?

The 2013 NFL draft is one month down the road. It has been suggested throughout the league that beyond the top ten prospects there is relatively similar first round talent that can be had between selections 11 and 32. In the following round, the prospect talent is also of similar status, though just slightly inferior to the likely 11-32 prospects.

Your Miami Dolphins first round choice is currently pick number 12. There are several positional needs for a superstar in South Florida, and only a few of the top ten premiere prospects have any possibility of falling to Miami.

Head Coach Joe Philbin and General Manager Jeff Ireland sure could use the top prospect at offensive tackle, cornerback, tight end, receiver, or guard. The top tackle (Luke Joeckel), and defensive back (Dee Milliner) have practically zero possibility of flying south to South Beach! It has been projected that the next two best corner backs and the third or fourth best tackle will possibly be available at the Dolphins turn.

It appears as though Miami will have to take one of the also ran's at tackle (Lane Johnson) or at corner (Xavier Rhodes and Desmond Trufant). However, the top tight end (Tyler Eifert) and the top receivers (Tavon Austin, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Keenan Allen) are more than likely going to be available at twelve, but they may be considered slight reaches. There is also a slim possibility that the highly-touted top offensive guard (Chance Warmack) will be there for the taking.

With that in mind, does Miami select the top guard (if available), reach for the top tight end or receiver, or suffice with a second tier corner or tackle?


Should they take a look at trade down scenarios?
With this as another possibility, Miami could still possibly get the person that they might be forced to choose, or someone similar talent-wise to what will likely be available at twelve (all while gathering an additional second or third round prospect).

These aren't predictions, just examples. The St. Louis Rams are being illustrated because they have multiple first round choices, which offer more variations of potential trades. The Minnesota Vikings also have two first round picks right in the vicinity of the Rams selection at 22, but possible trade scenarios can be had with anybody that wants to move for a certain somebody.

Here are a few devised possibilities of what might take place between the Dolphins and Rams (or any other teams within close proximity of the Rams picks):

A trade-down scenario that would likely be most preferred by Coach Joe Philbin.

Miami gives: 12th overall (first round)
St. Louis gives: 16th overall (first round), 78th overall (third round)
In this hypothetical scenario with St. Louis, Miami would trade down from 12 to the Rams first pick at 16. The Dolphins pick holds a 200 draft trade point value advantage to the Rams pick, which is exact to the worth of Jeff Fisher's third round selection at number 78.

This particular possibility would give the Dolphins back-to-back third round picks at 77 and 78, followed by a third at number 82 simply for trading down four spots in the first round. Basically, a free extra third round pick!

Here is what a General Manager might prefer to accomplish in stock-piling second rounders via a first round trade down.

Miami gives: 12th overall (first round), 166th overall (fifth)
St. Louis gives: 22nd overall (first round), 46 overall (second round)
The Miami Dolphins number twelve pick is worth 1200 points. The Rams next first round pick is the 22nd overall selection which is worth 780 draft trade value points.

In order for Miami to re-acquire the remaining balance of 420 points and get fair compensation for trading down ten spots they might want to look at the Rams second round pick at 46 which carries a value of 440 points.

If they want to get picky about the remaining 20 points, we have a fifth round pick at number 166 worth 25 points. They have a seventh round pick worth 2.6 draft trade value points in order to cover half of the remaining five points owed to us. But let's face it, the Rams seventh round pick is a non-factor.

Yes, the Dolphins would be sliding down 10 spots in the first round from their initial pick at 12, but the end result would lead to three second round choices within 12 selections of picks 42, 46, and 54.

Basically, a free second rounder for dropping ten spots from 12 to 22. In actuality, it narrows down to the Dolphins pick 12 and 166 for the Rams picks 22 and 46. In summary, jumping 120 spots from the 5th round to the 2nd round for trading down 10 spots in the first.

Lastly, but certainly not the least! An option that all fans can hope for is that a trio of Unified Brass becomes a dreaded monster throughout the league, or at the least, they hit the 2013 draft on all cylinders!

Let's say Miami stays at 12. If they happen to like a certain player still available late in the first round it would take one of the Dolphins two second round picks, and one of their two third round selections to move back into the late first round.

To be precise, the Dolphins available selections of 42 and 88 together are of the exact equal value to pick number 28. Denver owns that particular pick, and it happens to fall one spot ahead of the Patriots first pick at 29. Effectively, it would be giving up one Dolphin 2nd and 3rd rounder for a shot at a second Miami Dolphin first round selection. 

Should all the possibilities actually be on the table, which scenario as the Miami Dolphins General Manager would you be most attracted to?

Here is the Draft Trade Point Value Chart.

Here is the Draft Order.

Thank-You for an Open-Minded read, as we look forward to your angle of view : ) !!


Four Miami Dolphins That Need to Step Up

Jared Odrick, Koa Misi, Daniel Thomas, and Davone Bess have all been serviceable for the Miami Dolphins. They each have been good team members and have their share of fans, but it's time to face facts. They could be on the bubble this season.

These Dolphins are not bad players, but their numbers have not been awe-inspiring. For different reasons (coaching, system change or injury) these guys are not quite living up to expectations that have been placed on them. This current off season has been fast-paced and deliberate and should send a clear message. The writing is on the wall.

The departure of Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett should send a message to Misi. The signing of Brandon Gibson and the anticipated training camp competition with the other receivers on the roster should get Bess' attention. The franchise tagging of Randy Starks and the chatter that Miami should draft a pass rusher opposite Wake should ring bells with Odrick. And lastly, Daniel Thomas should wake up and realize, with Bush gone, Lamar Miller is his only potential competition.

Davone Bess
5'10", 193 pounds
UDFA, 2008 Hawaii
Five seasons: 500 targets, 321 receptions, 3,447 yards, and 12 touchdowns
Entering his sixth season, Bess has been a productive receiver for The Dolphins, but in four years under Sparano he may have been victim of the outdated offensive system and below average quarterback play. Last season he had decent numbers, but he has now become a question going into 2013. Reports are Bess is still a part of the plans, but he could just be depth on the roster. With the wide receiver signings during free agency and the deep pool of wide receivers in the draft, Bess should be looking over his shoulder.

Daniel Thomas
6'1", 233 pounds
Second Round, 2011 Kansas State
Two seasons: 256 rushes, 906 yards, four touchdowns, 27 receptions, 228 yards, one receiving touchdown
Going into his third season Daniel Thomas has the potential to be an explosive power back, but two things have gotten in his way: injuries and lack of confidence. Injuries are a part of the game and I will not fault any player for them, but his lack of confidence when he runs between the tackles is another story. I am not saying he is scared. I just think he doesn't believe in himself. This can be cured with addition by subtraction. Reggie Bush was signed the same year Thomas was drafted, and with Bush talking up a storm about being a featured back running between those tackles, my theory is Thomas was in awe and overwhelmed by Bush's presence. Thomas has the ability to step up this season and be a change of pace back in the red zone. He could also be the starter if Miller goes down or doesn't produce. Now that Bush is gone, Thomas should seize the moment.

Koa Misi
6'3", 257 pounds
Second Round, 2010 Utah
Three seasons: 140 tackles, nine sacks, three forced fumbles, five passes defensed
This will be Misi's fourth season and looking at his time in Miami his numbers do not drop jaws. To his defense he has had injuries causing him to miss games. He also had his best season in 2012 under defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle's new system (65 tackles, three and a half sacks, three forced fumbles, and two passes defensed in 14 games). Misi has the size to be a force, but he needs to be more of a playmaker on defense. With the departure of Burnett and Dansby, the talk of needing to bring in a pass rusher this year, and with Vernon looking to step up his game this offseason, Misi should be concerned. But, Misi should continue to grow after a productive 2012 season and with one of the best defensive lines in football.

Jared Odrick
6'5", 302 pounds
First Round, 2010 Penn State
Three seasons: 58 tackles, 11 sacks, one forced fumble, one interception, four passes defensed
Odrick missed his entire 2010 (rookie) season because of injury, so his numbers in two seasons are very respectable for a defensive lineman. My concern with Odrick is that he is naturally a defensive tackle and the Dolphins just franchised Starks and have Soliai under contract. They also have two rookies from last season looking to work their way into the rotation, so he will have to assert his position. This year's draft is also deep with defensive linemen who can start immediately, so it wouldn't be impossible for Ireland to draft another one. Odrick is planning on losing 20 pounds to stay at defensive end, according to an article from KFFL.

So who do you think should be concerned about their future and who will end up being a Dolphin long term?

Email me at

Thank you for your opinions.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Meet Dannell Ellerbe

The Miami Dolphins went outside of the normal free agency box by euthanizing longtime, overpaid middle linebacker Karlos Dansby with the new over-the-counter, youth enhancing "wonder-drug" named Dannell Ellerbe.

It was a legally prescribed shot, although some side effects include loss of mental awareness:

Dannell is actually a Happy-Go-Lucky, laid-back kind of guy:

He was an un-drafted rookie in 2009 which resulted in his carrying a chip on his shoulder to this day! Ellerbe feels he was slapped in the face by not being drafted. Having something to prove is what drives him to become great!

Upon the announcement that the 2012 season would be the last for the All-Time Great Ray Lewis, it was basically a given that Dannell Ellerbe would be his 2013 replacement. An early season injury to Lewis actually gave Ellerbe a jump start to his career.

Here are a few Raven teammate quotes as to the possibility of his replacing a legend.

Paul Kruger, linebacker:
"I think he’s the perfect guy for the job. He plays his tail off every game. He definitely brings a similar energy that Ray brought with the big hits and exciting plays. You’ve seen the same games I have. That guy’s a beast."
Vontae Leach, fullback:
"When he’s out there, he’s always done well. He’s physical, fast, and he can cover a lot of receivers and tight ends. I hope we can hold onto him."
Ellerbe is a former Georgia Bulldog from the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens, with 89 tackles and four and a half sacks for 2012. He played through two broken thumbs and a toe injury in 13 games. He was inactive for three Raven losses with an ankle injury.

Dannell comes to the Miami Dolphins at 6-1, 240 pounds. He has a 4.6 forty yard dash, and he will be 28 years old near week 12 of the 2013 season. Ellerbe is four years to the month younger than Dansby, who was in his final contract year for Miami.

Here is Ellerbe's introductory press conference with the Miami Dolphins

What are your thoughts about the Dolphins pursuing the fountain of youth?

Thank You for an Open-Minded read, as we look forward to your angle of view : ) !!


Every Brandon Gibson Target from Last Year [Video]

On Friday the Miami Dolphins signed former Rams receiver Brandon Gibson to a three year contract. I stumbled across this video today and figured I would share it with you guys. It is every single time the ball was thrown in Gibson's direction last season.

This is a really long video, but it is a great way to see who we signed. He is number 11. Enjoy.

Thanks for stopping by. Email me at I'm also on twitter @PaulDSmythe.

The Miami Dolphins Must Never Relive the Past

The Miami Dolphins can learn from mistakes made two decades ago. Folks may not remember the 1993 Dolphin team. It was a team packaged, signed, sealed and delivered, long before the 2011 Eagles flopped with “The Dream Team.” The names still ring in the faded memories of long time Miami fans: Irving Fryar, Keith Byars, Keith Jackson, Ron Heller, Mike Golic, the list of free agents from that team goes on...

The season featured the NFL 325th win by coach Don Shula, the most wins by a coach in NFL history. The Dolphins reach a 9-2 record in the famous Leon Lett Thanksgiving game in Dallas. But the season took a dark turn in week 5 when Dan Marino ruptured his Achilles tendon. He was replaced by Scott Mitchell who was named player of the month after his first four games, only to join Marino on injured reserve. Doug Pederson and ancient Steve DeBerg tried to lead the team, but after that Thanksgiving miracle all the magic ran out and the Dolphins lost the last five games to miss the playoffs.

The 1993 version may be the best Miami team ever assembled, but the stars could not align after Marino went down and the same players never had the run Shula hoped for. The Dolphins did not fall like the Eagles because Marino was too good to allow it, but that lesson and the lesson from the Eagles, should be a warning when delving too deeply into free agency...

Teams cannot be bought in the NFL.

The 2013 Dolphins have added similar offensive talent in Mike Wallace and Dustin Kelly, but there is no Richmond Webb and Keith Simms on the offensive line. John Offerdahl and Louis Oliver are not waiting for Ellerbe and Wheeler. Ryan Tannehill is entering his sophomore season and  Miami fans can only dream Tannehill’s second season will be half as good as Dan Marino’s. 

The caution flags must be raised early, these free agents are not the final pieces like those were supposed to be twenty years ago. This class is coming aboard as part of a working plan to rebuild after four straight losing seasons. With five picks in the first three rounds, the Dolphins are poised to collect more talent in one off-season than even the '93 team. Yet, the decline of the Dolphins can be traced right back to that 1993 season when the alignment of the stars was shattered.

The term is Due Process. This is where the Miami Dolphins must exhibit the restraint of not looking too far ahead and the wisdom to allow the progress to play its course. When expectations outweigh performance, a team can find itself overwhelmed and fall off the mountain far short of the pinnacle.

Having been there and seen how even a team led by the likes of Don Shula and Dan Marino can become victims of their own success, fans must allow the process of rebuilding to gel without the failures of the past jading the future. The common thread of these free agents is not a collection of prior pro bowls, but one of youth and the anticipation for future pro bowls. Thinking the super bowl is around the next bend is not only wrong, but foolish, and should not be the realistic goal for the Miami Dolphins or their fans.

Ryan Tannehill is not Dan Marino, but he could become the next great QB in Miami if fans are patient enough to allow this team to grow together. These free agents were not acquired as mercenaries in a title season, they were acquired as pieces in a puzzle still being built. A puzzle that may take another two years to reach fruition. Waiting has become an all too familiar necessity in Miami, but this feels different, like there is a plan.

Hang on and watch it grow, but do not allow the lost 1993 season and weight of over-hyped unrealistic expectations derail the train like the fall from the side of that mountain. The Dolphins are a work in progress and these latest acquisitions are part of the progress, not the end of the road. The road is still long, but there’s a trophy with a golden football glittering in the distance.

With patience the Miami Dolphins can make it back.

With unrealistic fan expectations the team will only repeat what slipped away twenty years ago.

Dustin Keller Joins the Miami Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins have signed Dustin Keller, according to Adam Schefter. Keller's deal with Miami is for one year.

Keller was a tight end for the New York Jets for six years. He will help fill the void left by Anthony Fasano, who signed with the Kansas City Chiefs on Tuesday.

Albert Breer is also reporting that the Rams and Dolphins are negotiating with free agent Jake Long, so it's possible that Miami will end up keeping Long. According to Breer:
"Miami had a price all along. And it seems like market hasn't bared more."
I am going to be away from the computer for a few days, so I won't be able to keep you guys updated. Hopefully I can come back to some more excellent news.

Thanks for stopping by. Email me at I'm also on twitter @PaulDSmythe.

You Tell Me: Are You Happy with the Miami Dolphins Moves This Offseason?

I figured I would do a "You Tell Me" since there hasn't been much movement for the Miami Dolphins in the past two days.

So, my question to you is this: Are you happy with what the Miami Dolphins have done in free agency this offseason?

Just as a recap, the Dolphins have signed Mike Wallace, Dannell Ellerbe, Philip Wheeler, and Chris Clemons. They have released Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett. Sean Smith and Anthony Fasano have signed with the Chiefs, and Jake Long is still up in the air.

Let me know what you think. Email me at I'm also on twitter @PaulDSmythe.

Miami Dolphins Free Agency Day One Recap

It has been an action packed eight hours for the Miami Dolphins since free agency opened. Here is a quick overview of what happened in the first day of free agency officially being open.

WR Mike Wallace (5 years, $60 million, $30 million guaranteed)
LB Dannell Ellerbe (5 years, $35 million)
LB Philip Wheeler (5 years, $26 million, $13 million guaranteed)

S Chris Clemons (1 year deal)

LB Karlos Dansby
LB Kevin Burnett

Signed with another team
TE Anthony Fasano with the Kansas City Chiefs

While the biggest news of the day was Miami signing the top free agent receiver on the market in Mike Wallace, my attention is focused on former Dolphin tight end Anthony Fasano signing with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Fasano has been my favorite Dolphin for the past few years now and it is extremely disappointing to see him go. The Dolphins made a push for Jared Cook to replace Fasano at tight end, but Cook ended up signing with the Rams, so Jeff Ireland better know what he's doing here. It seems so unnecessary to me to draft a tight end early when we could have just kept Fasano.

There is also a chance Miami could end up re-signing either Jake Long or Sean Smith. Both guys are seeing how much they can get elsewhere, but it's definitely possible one or both come back. I don't expect them to, but anything can happen right now.

Thanks for stopping by. Email me at I'm also on twitter @PaulDSmythe.

Report: Miami Dolphins to Sign Mike Wallace

The Miami Dolphins will sign wide receiver Mike Wallace to a 5-year deal worth $60 million ($30 million guaranteed), according to Jeff Darlington.

Wallace is a speed receiver who will add an extra dimension to the Dolphins offense. He comes at a steep price tag, but Miami had the cap space so the move was alright.

Reports are now that Miami will make a strong push for tight end Jared Cook. We will keep you updated.

Thanks for stopping by. Email me at I'm also on twitter @PaulDSmythe.

Under the Radar Free Agent Corner Backs

Hey Dolphin Shout and all Miami Dolphin fans.

The 2013 NFL Free Agency Period is here, and these are the current Miami Dolphin cornerbacks under contract:

Nolan Carroll
Richard Marshall
Bryan McCann
Dimitri Patterson
Julian Posey
De'Andre Presley
R.J. Stanford
Dion Turner

It is apparent that the Dolphins are in dire need of at least a few cornerbacks. Though there is a multitude of projected NFL talent to be had in the 2013 draft, it would be extremely wise to add a veteran talent or two that has already proven that they belong!

For the 2013 free agency period there are roughly 45 cornerbacks scheduled to become available. Many are far beyond their prime, some no longer fit, others have never produced, and all came into the league with question marks.

The collegiate concerns on cornerbacks (size, speed, hips, footwork, ball skills, health, durability, experience) of the young and productive prospects are not as much of a concern. All that matters (for the most part) is that they have adjusted to the NFL level and have been productive in doing so.

After sifting through 45 cornerbacks of all makes and models I was able to find quite a few fairly young, very productive, play making cornerback gems that are likely to cost somewhere in the three to five million dollar range per year. That is one-third or one-half of the $8-10 million that Sean Smith is looking to get. Seven of these eight cornerbacks have equaled, doubled, and even tripled Smith's turnover production in far fewer starts!

This is what we are trying to improve upon:

Sean Smith will be 26 for 2013 and has had five interceptions with 40 passes defensed in fifty-six starts of 64 Miami Dolphin games. He has three forced fumbles and averages 52 tackles per year in his four years.

Here is some of the corner back talent that is about to become available on the free agent market:

Greg Toler of the Arizona Cardinals is 28 years old with five interceptions and two game changers in only 15 starts. In 38 games played he has two forced fumbles and 128 tackles.

He didn't start in his 2009 rookie season, but he had an interception as a backup. During 2010 he had 13 starts with two interceptions, including a 66 yard pick six. He also forced two fumbles and had a sack. A promising 2011 season was ended abruptly with a torn ACL in the preseason. Toler started only two games in 2012, but had two interceptions with one being a 102 yard return for a touchdown in a late season victory against Detroit's Matthew Stafford.

Antoine Cason was a 2012 San Diego Charger starter. A five year veteran at 27 years old with 49 starts in 80 games played. Cason has 55 passes defensed with 12 career interceptions, including a 59 yard touchdown return. With 245 total return yards he averages 20 yards per interception return. Cason has four forced fumbles with 308 tackles.

Derek Cox was a 2012 Jacksonville Jaguars twelve game starter and had four interceptions. He is a four year veteran with one forced fumble and 203 tackles in 47 games played. Cox will be 27 years old at season's start and has 32 passes defensed with 12 career picks in his 45 starts.

Captain Munnerlyn was a Carolina Panthers four year veteran at age 25 with thirty-four starts and 61 games played. He has five career interceptions and has taken three back for a touchdown, with two in 2012 (and one for 74 yards). Munnerlyn averages 28.8 yards per interception return. He also has two forced fumbles with 208 tackles and two sacks.

E.J. Biggers of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was a 2012 starter. He is 26 years old and has 26 starts and three interceptions in 35 games played. He also has two forced fumbles in 168 tackles. Biggers is the same age as Sean Smith, and in 30 fewer starts he has only two fewer picks.

Tracy Porter of the Denver Broncos is 27 years old with 43 starts, eight interceptions and two touchdown returns. He has one sack, four forced fumbles, and 194 tackles in 43 games played for the Saints.  He has a 2009 pick six of 54 yards. As a 2012 first-year Denver Bronco he had an interception touchdown return of 43 yards and 26 tackles as a backup.

Kyle Arrington: The New England Patriots starter in 2012 is a 27 year old veteran of five years. He has started 40 of 48 games over the last three years for the Patriots with 41 passes defensed, eight interceptions (seven in 2011), and a 36 yard pick-six in 2010. Arrington has one forced fumble in 251 career tackles.

Here are two young, high dollar free agent cornerbacks:

Aqib Talib became the Patriots starter at the ten game mark of the 2012 season after being traded from the Buccaneers. As a five year veteran at 27 he has 50 starts in 64 games played. Talib has 19 career interceptions and has taken four the distance to six.

And lastly, Sean Smith, who had five interceptions in 56 career starts!

Here is the entire list of 45 free agent cornerbacks

Who do you like?

THANK-YOU for an Open-Minded read, and we look forward to your return To-Da-House!!

GOFINS : ) !!

The Miami Dolphins and the Smoke Machine

Free agency is upon us, as all of you know. So now is the time to bring out our earplugs. This is the time of smoke, mirrors, and lying by NFL executives and their general managers. It is the one time of year that lying is actually condoned by the fans, or at least I think it is. That's not to say that I like it. I don't like people that lie to me, but in this instance its okay.

Right now as I write this Miami Dolphin executives are putting their spin on what they want us to hear. They are in the backrooms or upstairs at the Davie complex thinking of ways to mislead the media at the local and national level. They are doing everything they can to keep the competition off balance. If that includes a little bit of misinformation or lying, well I guess that is alright by me.

A few years ago I think the Dolphins used that misinformation in deceiving the Patriots into moving up in the draft to take Ryan Mallett. Just last year we went after Peyton Manning. Paul thinks we pursued him pretty hard. I didn't feel that way. I think what the Dolphins did to acquire him was mostly spin. The Dolphins were going to take who they thought was the best QB available to us in the draft. That player was going to start the season for us. My thoughts were the only reason Miami went after Manning at all was drive his value up for whoever took him. It worked!

Miami has also fallen prey to the same trap they tried to set for the other teams. It happened when we moved up in the draft to select Daniel Thomas. Miami wanted Thomas. There was no doubt about that. I feel they had some false information that another team was looking at him and they made some trades to facilitate that pick. There is no way I can prove any of that of course, but I would put money on that is what happened with the Thomas pick.

So here we sit. Some players are trying to re-sign with the teams they are on. Others are ready to move on for a bigger pay day. We already know most of the players that are being released across the NFL, but there will be plenty more as the season nears. The Dolphins still have some low-hanging fruit on the team that could be let go if need be.

Will the Dolphins go after Mike Wallace or Greg Jennings? Is that all talk? Are we going to re-sign Jake Long, Sean Smith, Anthony Fasano, Chris Clemons, or any of our other free agents? Does the Dolphins disinterest in those players mean anything?

The smoke is going to get really thick and the misinformation, or crap, if I may say, is going to get very deep. I would suggest that we put on our gas masks and some waist-high waders, as we muddle through the offseason.

Analysis - The Miami Dolphins Should Pass on Mike Wallace

To better understand the value of wide receivers prior to spending zillions of dollars in free agency, it is important to analyze how touchdowns are scored in the NFL passing game. Sampling the yardage of touchdown passes thrown by five top Quarterbacks and three rookie Quarterbacks can provide a baseline for the value of different types of wide receivers.

Wide Receivers are defined by strengths. Some are known for speed and the ability to get open deep, and some are known for route running and getting open in traffic. The purpose of this evaluation is to help conclude whether a WR with deep speed such as Mike Wallace is more appropriate for the Miami Dolphins than a player Like Gregg Jennings with great route running skills.

Prior to probing into the heart of the matter the following charts presented in no particular order, should be considered. These represent the yardage splits for some of the more prolific NFL QBs, along with rookies, Ryan Tannehill, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson. Charting these passers creates a snapshot illustration of the NFL as a whole. Before reading on, take a moment to identify what obvious conclusions can be drawn from the data.

The New England Patriots with Tom Brady have been one of the most prolific scoring offenses in NFL history, but in today’s game, the Packers and Saints along with Peyton Manning led teams, have also set the standard for scoring points. The Patriots have gone through several wide receiver evolutions with Brady at the helm, covering the spectrum from Randy Moss to Wes Welker and many different players in between.

When reviewing the receivers associated with these prolific passers, the unexpected realization is...


Speedy deep threat WRs are highly overrated.

The 2012 data above shows a whopping 72% of the TDs thrown by these QBs came from 20 yards or less. Staying with the Patriots as an example, it is not presumptuous to assume someone in New England did a similar analysis and came to the same conclusion.

Why bother with a deep threat Diva like Randy Moss when only 28% of the scoring opportunities come from pass plays longer than 20 yards and 80% of those scores come from throws that actually traveled 20 or less yards down the field!

Roughly 10% of all TD Passes are thrown more than 20 yards in the air.


90% of all TD passes are throws of 20 yards or less.

In view of this, it is easy to see why the Patriots know the advantage of dynamic route runners like Wes Welker coupled with physical, elusive, pass catching Tight Ends. The Packers are well aware, as are the Saints and most of the high powered offenses in the NFL. Deep threat receivers are not as important in passing offenses as was once thought.

The West Coast offense was spawned from the philosophy of using the short passing game as an effective alternative to a power rushing attack. Teams employing this attack value the wide receiver position differently than teams utilizing a power rushing attack.

Long scoring passes in the WCO are derived mainly from two scenarios, a receiver causing a missed tackle on a short pass route or the short passing game causing the safeties to creep too close to the line of scrimmage and thus allowing a receiver to get behind them. The type of receiver effective in this offense is a prolific route runner, proficient at reading defenses.

Tight ends in the WCO are pass first, block second because the short passing game is the rushing attack.

In effect, tight ends are the WCO running backs.

The power rushing attack demands different types of receivers. The tight ends in a power offense are block first, pass second. This is why Anthony Fasano was a great fit in the Sparano offense but may not be a great fit in the Sherman offense. The wide receivers in a power offense are expected to block but there is also the need for a speed receiver. The term “take the top off the defense” is derived from a speed receiver keeping the safeties from playing in the box to help in run support. Great route running or reading defenses, is not as important as safeties respecting a WRs ability to get behind them.

The free agent question facing the Dolphins is whether Mike Wallace is actually a good choice for the Miami offense. The clamoring of the fan-base should never influence the evaluation process. Years of mediocrity has the fans begging for a splash of any kind, but making a splash for the wrong receiver will lead to further mediocrity as it did with Brandon Marshall.

The price for making a mistake goes beyond the possible $60 million in salary.


Placing a mismatched receiver in the offense could be a disaster.

The Brady, Brees, Rodgers and even Manning offenses do not utilize the concept of an alpha receiver because they spread the passing attack to many receivers. This is another mainstay of the West Coast Offense. The power rushing attack is where the alpha concept makes sense because of the limited opportunities and the need to force the defense to key on a single receiver. When the defense must key on the alpha, it essentially creates a blocking scheme for the running game. The receiver removes defenders from the play by running them out of it.

The alpha - Diva - demands attention (Brandon Marshall), which happens when there is a $60 million dollar man in the huddle. Not only is it paramount from a pay for performance aspect, but there will be an expectation from the fan-base to justify the huge investment. The Dolphins already made the decision to change to the West Coast style and hence unloaded Marshall. 

Going for the big name would mean a return to the convoluted, unplanned Tony Sparano offensive formula?

For Miami, it's complete nonsense...

This is where Joe Philbin must take control and spell out the direction of the Miami Dolphin offense in perfectly clear terms. Trading Marshall came about because he was not a good fit for the football team, Wallace is in the same mold. There may be no “border line personality disorder” but the stats sheet is what has been used to define the player, not where he fits in the scheme and on the roster.

Great teams do not overpay role players and the Sherman/Philbin offense is designed to spread defenses thin by utilizing role players. In this scheme Wallace’s salary would never justify the statistical outcome. Wallace would never be happy as a role player and the offense is not designed for an alpha dog.

The Steelers build through the draft and allow players to leave if they do not fit the team concept. The Dolphins wish to follow this path. It makes little sense if they choose to overpay players other team's have discarded because they don't fit, especially when those same players do not fit the Miami scheme.

Will the Miami Dolphins be a team that builds through the draft...

Or was this lip serve?

It is simple logic when answering the question of whether Miami should spend $60 million on Mike Wallace. It doesn't matter whether Wallace is a great player, it doesn't matter whether Wallace is a good citizen. What matters is whether Wallace is a good fit for the Miami Dolphins and that is all that should matter. Hypercritical fans should never dictate team decisions, those decisions should come from researching what is proven successful.

The Dolphins need look no further than the Patriots, the Saints, the Packers, teams that have been to the dance and came home with the trophy. Most of all, the Dolphins should know that one of those teams, the Pittsburgh Steelers, allowed Mike Wallace to walk.

Miami should wave bye as he passes and hurry him along...

Bye bye now Mike, thanks but no thanks.

Report: Miami Dolphins Re-Sign Brian Hartline

The Miami Dolphins have re-signed Brian Hartline to a 5 year deal worth $31 million ($12.5 million guaranteed), according to Pro Football Talk. Hartline is coming off of a year where he had a career-high 1083 yards off of 74 receptions.

Hartline had established a repertoire with rookie Ryan Tannehill this season, so it makes sense for the Dolphins to bring him back to help their rookie quarterback.

Miami re-signing Hartline now means that the Dolphins will probably only add one more big receiver this offseason. They will likely either sign a big name free agent (Mike Wallace or Greg Jennings) or draft a receiver early on in the draft (Cordarrelle Patterson, Keenan Allen, or Terrance Williams).

Now that Hartline and Starks have both been retained by the Dolphins it will be interesting to see what happens to Jake Long, Sean Smith, Anthony Fasano, and Chris Clemons.

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

The Miami Dolphins and Draft Grades: What Is Your Take?

The NFL draft is less than 60 days away and the Miami Dolphins need to have a great draft to put us back on the right track, but what is considered a good draft? What is considered a great draft? I think most people's opinion of each would vary.

Me, I think that I am a lot harder to please than most. What I consider an average draft class several others would consider a great class. As the old saying goes "beauty is in the eyes of the beholder".

What I would like to hear from everyone is what do you think constitutes a successful draft class? To me, drafting guys who end up being starters is a great place to start. The problem with that is, if the team was terrible to begin with the players that are drafted may just be the best of a bad batch of players. Just because they are starters on a bad team doesn't make them a good draft choice.

A rule of thumb is that it takes two to three years to know what you really have in any given draft class. That would be true on a team that has talent on it. If your team is devoid of playmakers, the impact of a draft class should be more immediate. The first thing that has to happen is impact players have to be taken. You can't fill your roster with players that are average and do nothing but add depth to your roster. Those type of players are a dime a dozen.

In the first three rounds teams should be drafting this year's starters or a replacement for a current starter they assume they will need to replace in the near future. A miss here can be a disaster to the rebuilding process of a team.

The new rookie wage scale lightens the burden a little bit. When rookie wages were out of this world bad teams got worse if an early pick didn't pan out. The guaranteed money would just eat the team's cap, and they wouldn't be able to get rid of a bad player's contracts.

In rounds four through seven a starter can sometimes be found. A lot of late round gems have become All Pros. Normally these rounds are used to fill roster spots for depth and special teams players.

Unfortunately, in my humble opinion, the Miami Dolphins have done a very poor job of drafting in the past several years. And I'm not just talking about Jeff Ireland. Randy Mueller wasn't much better. The Dolphins have lacked anything that resembles a playmaker for quite some time. The Ted Ginn Jr experiment failed in the end, but I give them credit for at least an attempt on that. Ronnie Brown tried to be a playmaker, but he just wasn't. I couldn't tell you the last playmaker we had that we actually drafted. 

There have been playmakers available in the last few drafts, and why we choose to go in a different direction I have no idea. I still don't understand the Daniel Thomas pick when Torrey Smith and Randall Cobb were both still available and we were in desperate need of a playmaker wide receiver. But, we did what we did. There are several other examples just like that but I'm not going to reference them all.

I'm just not sure whose feet to lay the blame on this. Ultimately, it's the general manager's job to make the right picks, but teams pay a group of scouts hundreds of thousands of dollars to put the proper research in the general manager's hands so he can make the right choice. Quarterbacks, head coaches, and general managers get all the praise and glory when teams win, so I guess it's only fitting that they get the blame when teams lose.

So, with that being said I think we have to look at our general manager and ask "has he made the right moves to get us the playmakers to make us competitive?" My answer would be look at our record and tell me if something between 6-10 and 8-8 every year is doing a good job. I would have to say no, but that's just me.

I know I covered several points, but ultimately the question is this: does anyone think that the players we have drafted constitute us getting a passing grade and what actually constitutes a passing grade?

So, I will go back to my opening sentence: what is considered a good draft and what is considered a great draft? Please someone tell me! After the draft I will write a follow up article where everyone can give me their grade for this year's draft.

Thanks for your time and I look forward to everyone's opinion.

Miami Dolphins Place Franchise Tag on Randy Starks

The Miami Dolphins have placed the franchise tag on Randy Starks, according to Jason La Canfora. This move comes as no surprise as reports surfaced yesterday that the Dolphins were already planning on franchising Starks.

The franchise tag gives Randy Starks $8.3 million next year and keeps Miami's strong defensive line intact. With free agency just around the corner it will be interesting to see what the Dolphins do with the rest of their free agents.

Starks tweeted earlier that he didn't want to be tagged, but apparently that wasn't enough to prevent Miami from placing it on him. Hopefully he and the Dolphins will be able to agree on a long-term deal some time in the next year.

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Should the Miami Dolphins Take a Look at Dashon Goldson?

Back in January I wrote an article on free agent Safeties that the Miami Dolphins could sign. I excluded Goldson figuring he had been tagged last season and wouldn't be available this off season.

Well, now his availability is a strong possibility. Goldson did not want to be tagged and the 49ers have stated they won't (at least not yet). Like the Dolphins, the 49ers have a list of free agents to consider, and with 12 picks in this year's draft and a good group of safeties available they may cut ties with Goldson and draft one.

Both Goldson and the 49ers are far apart on a contract, with Goldson possibly looking for eight million a season. This is where the Miami Dolphins come in. Currently, we are $40 million under the cap, and with Miami looking to make waves this off season Goldson is one that cannot be ignored. The Dolphins could be looking to draft a safety, and that would be great, but imagine Reshad Jones and Dashon Goldson working together in the same secondary. Tight ends, receivers going over the middle, and quarterbacks would all have to account for the Dolphins secondary.

Goldson is 6'2", 200 pounds, and in six years in the league has earned a reputation as one of the hardest hitting safeties in the NFL. Here are some of his stats:
  • 346 tackles, 3 sacks, 5 forced fumbles, and 14 interceptions
  • Made the Pro Bowl in 2011 and 2012
  • All Pro in 2012

Here is some video on Goldson:

Goldson is always attacking the ball carrier. He hits strong and is a play stopper. I would love to see him in a Dolphins uniform, along with a drafted cornerback like Xavier Rhodes or Jonathan Banks. Our secondary would quickly become respected.

So, for me it is a definite yes. The Miami Dolphins should take a look at Dashon Goldson.

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