Jay Cutler Leads the Miami Cyber Crusade

I've was never a Cutler fan. I laughed when someone added an "N" between the "U" and the "T" thus changing Jay's name forever in my mind. I completely understand Miami signing him, even applaud it, there was never really much choice.

Yet I can’t help lament, this was the season Tannehill would finally define himself and make the leap into elite. That illusive place we've all been holding our breath hoping he would step into, but it’s not to be. Tannehill will be on the wrong side of 30 when he returns and a great season by Cutler further muddies the waters.

Cutler is a stop-gap to some future that is very fuzzy, but today, here and now Jay and Miami Dolphins will begin their crusade against cyber bullies.
 

Here and now, we remove the "N" from Cutler, click past the cigarette smoking memes. We use the hostility spewed incessantly over the vile social media dominated society to motivate the Miami Dolphins.
 

I shut down Facebook, turned off Twitter and stopped reading faceless snippets from losers with nothing better to do than disparage other people.

Cyber bullies… Think of those poor kids. I was always of the thought, “suck it up you little weaklings.” Now I see more clearly in the treatment of a grown adult how hard it must be when the keyboard warriors attack a child.

I’m going to make a dolphinshout out to all Miami Dolphin fans. How about we make a stand? Not just against these faceless Cutler haters and their ruthless memes, tweets and posts, let’s do it for the kids. Let’s dedicate this Miami season to shutting down the cyber hate.

Jay has a big load on his shoulders, he’s the leader of our little campaign and he doesn’t even know it. Adam Gase will get the most out of Cutler and Miami can be a decent team, but a Dolphin crusade against cyber bullies in all their forms could be a difference maker.

The curse of Joe Robbie has never been exorcised. Ever since Wayne Huizinga sold out the Robbie name on the stadium Joe built, the Dolphins have been cursed. Somewhere up there Joe’s been looking down with his Voodoo doll, piercing a pin in Marino’s Achilles tendon, Tossing Marty Lions on the back of Dwight Stevenson’s knee, pricking Tannehill’s ACL.

We need a cause! We need to show Joe Robbie that Miami fans will rise above putting the "N" in Cutler... In a society more and more dominated by negative information saturation, we can save the children. We can raise a mighty middle finger to all of those who dare add “Ns” to our quarterback’s name.
 

Drink in the faceless hate, let it resonate inside our hearts, like the Grinch who finds Christmas until it swells and pulsates into a superpower. Rally around our new mantra!

“Jay, Jay he’s our man! Ride his naked butt to the promised land…”

or something like that…

Go to the schools, find the sad little one with bottle-bottom-glasses and bring him to the center of the field for the coin flip. Let him get all the way down on his knees to read that thing and then raise him on our shoulders!


“Jay, Jay he’s our man! Ride his naked butt to the promised land…”

This is our crusade, the cyber bullying stops here. There will be no more “N” in Cutler. Every hateful meme, every smoking Jay image, every nasty tweet, every ugly Facebook quote and every child thrown under the cyber bus is our fuel. We welcome the hate because the hate is our fire, the hate is what fuels us to try a little harder.

Bring it… Bring all you got! Cause we got Jay and in Gase we trust…

“Jay, Jay he’s our man! Ride his naked butt to the promised land…”

Miami Dolphins Land Quarterback Jay Cutler

As we all know Ryan Tannehill sustained a setback to his 2016 knee injury last week/Thursday. The severity of the setback is still inconclusive. In a best case scenario, he may rehab and hope to return in 6 to 8 weeks. The potential alternative is surgery which would finalize his 2017 season though (if done immediately) should have him at 100% for 2018's start.

Miami has been deliberating what their next course of action should be.

Today on Sunday August 6th Adam Gase pulled a former proven QB of his from the clutches of a 2 month free agent/semi-retirement hiatus.

Miami signed 11 year starting QB veteran Jay Cutler to a (reported) one year 10 million contract with incentives that could earn him in the 13 million neighborhood.

Cutler played for Gase as OC in 2015 for Chicago which resulted in the most (efficient) and impressive year of the gunslingers career (to date). 3,659 yards, with a two to one TD/int ratio 21 & 11, and a single touchdown run for the 22nd. He's produced bigger seasonal numbers over his career but Gase led him to his most efficient season with a 92.3 QB rating.

He is 34, stands at 6-3, 231 and has 208 Touchdown passes to his credit as the Bears all-time leader. His first three NFL years was spent in Denver.

Cutler has an accurately scoped rifle of an arm with great touch, and a SIX shoot'n gunslingers mentality. He has good footwork but can get the ball wherever it needs to be off of one foot, flat-footed or from many an awkward position/angle with a fairly quick release, and throws a very catchable pretty ball. He has good pocket awareness as a savvy 11 year starting QB veteran, he's mobile and is a tough runner that will lay his body on the line if need be.

But what is most important is that he and Adam Gase will be reunited and on the same page from day one with a clear understanding of one another. Cutler is already familiar with the type of offense/playbook that Gase runs, and what will be expected of him.

Matt Moore is presently the Dolphins starter and that's a good thing (minus Tannehill), but what's better is that Miami now has a legit, playoff winning starting QB in the background awaiting his opportunity to help The Miami Dolphins Win and fill the sudden, unexpected void of Ryan Tannehill.


WELCOME TO MIAMI
Jay Cutler!!!

GOFINS!!!





2017 Miami Dolphins Off-Season & Schedule

The typical Miami Dolphins off-season of the last decade and a half consist of
2/3rds of a year/8 months/34 weeks/240 days/5760 hours/345600 minutes between meaningful games.

26 weeks/185 days have passed since the final whistle of Miami's most recent postseason experience at Pittsburgh on January 8th, 2017.

Much has taken place, all cogs have been cautiously inspected, improved upon, and heavily greased.

The only player of substance lost since starting that last Dolphin playoff game was Brandon Albert while his replacement/equal for the next decade was already in place with Laremy Tunsil.

Center Mike Pouncey is the OL key, and he is scheduled to return for opening day. With a healthy Pouncey (as well as other instrumental OL cogs) healthy for 16-plus games, Miami's OL can dominate! Minus Pouncey, the Dolphins have three capable backups who started at Center (for the most part of 2016), and can at least match the efficiency that resulted in last year's playoff birth.

All of the skill position players (other than TE) from last year's playoff team are returning (totally healthy as of this moment) with an entire year under Adam Gase' offensive belt. At TE free agent Anthony Fasano replaces Dion Sims primarily for blocking purposes. In order to replace last year's never in attendance penciled-in starter/play maker Jordan Cameron. Miami also traded for head coach favorite TE stud/seam/redzone threat Julius Thomas who scored 24 times in two years under OC Gase in Denver.

The Linebacker crew has been severely upgraded (and offers the best crew since #54's) with the additions of veteran Lawrence Timmons, and rookie Raekwon McMillan to team up alongside of Kiko Alonso whom played last year's final four weeks with a broken arm.. Several backups that received extensive reps with some being in a starters role are also returning while these days the third linebacker plays just 25% of defensive snaps.

Miami's sitting pretty at cornerback (possibly the best group) since Sammy Madison & Patrick Sustain) with a healthy Byron Maxwell, Xavien Howard, Tony Lippett, Bobby McCain, and rookie Cordrea Tankersley among a handful of youthful talented others. Maxwell was playing at all-pro level prior to missing the seasons final 3 weeks. XHoward missed various portions of the season and should have been way behind schedule mentally but performed exquisetly and is an absolute stud when healthy. Tony Lippett has emerged from WR to a more than highly capable CB as he led the 2016 team in interceptions while nickle Bobby McCain has done himself worthy.

At Safety Rashad Jones returns to form from 2016's second half, and first time stint on IR.
Rashad has been Rashad alongside a different sidekick for each of the last four to five years.
2017 will be no different as Nate Allen (a relative equal to a Wilson, Delmas, or Quddus etc) was acquired via free agency. Even better, long time Dolphins Michael Thomas, and Walt Aikens are returning.
The even bigger and better bonus resides in the youthful free agent and legit stud safety TJ McDonald whom was acquired for the seasons second half playoff run! A safety combo of Jones & McDonald could be the best Dolphin safety duo since Anderson & Scott.

The D-line lost DT Earl Mitchell while adding veteran Nick Williams, along with rookies Davon Godchaux and Vincent Taylor to team with Jordan Phillips and Suh. Ten year veteran free agent DE William Hayes joins the pass rushing group of 11 game 2016 starter Andre Branch, Terrence Fede, and Julius Warmsley among others fighting for roster spots.
Meanwhile. Cameron Wake will be playing full time at 100% health at seasons start (compared to just one half season of the same last year), and Miami drafted DE Pass Rush Extraordinaire Charles Harris with the drafts 22ND pick.
Harris looks like he should instantaneously be everything we had hoped for from Dion Jordan four years ago!



And with that said.
Here's the schedule reboot.

One unusual aspect that exist in this year's Dolphin schedule is that (upon Miami's request)!
They will not get a bye after a week four trip to London vs Saints!

A not so unusual aspect that the NFL schedule makers burdened Miami with is versus last seasons Super Bowl participants.
The Atlanta Falcons have the luxury of their week 5 bye to prepare for hosting the Dolphins.
Miami's week 11 bye leads to Foxboro in late November!

The Dolphins were awarded just one game in the advantageous September sweltering heat of Miami, and that game is versus the fellow floridian Bucs! Meanwhile. Miami has at least three and possibly five games on the late season road that will likely include snow, (if not potential blizzards)!

The three weeks (8 - 10) previous to the Dolphins week 11 bye includes..
THREE CONSECUTIVE WEEKS ON NATIONALLY TELEVISED PRIME TIME!
(4 TOTAL for the season, 5 for those with the NFLNetwork)!

BACK IN THE SPOTLIGHT, AT'A'BOY Adam (on the case) GASE!!!

After the week 11 bye a tough stretch for Miami begins on week 12 at New England's Patriots,
week 13 vs Broncos, and then a second head to head week 14 matchup vs the Champion Pats on MNF!!!

To close the regular season The Dolphins go to Buffalo, Kansas City,
and face Buffalo again on week 17 in Miami.
(For The Miami Dolphins Post Season Tuneup).


Rookies (in just four days) report to training camp on July 20th,
the vets make the team whole five days later,
and two weeks after that your Dolphins preseason kicksoff on August 10th.


Your 2017 Miami Dolphins Regular Season Schedule
All games are on Sunday unless illustrated otherwise.


1) vs Bucs (September 10, Sunday 1 pm est)


2) @ LA Chargers 4:05

3) @ Jets 1:00

4) vs Saints (London 9:30 AM est NFLNetwork)

5) vs Titans 1 pm

6) @ Falcons 1 pm (Atlanta has week 5 bye)


7) vs Jets 1 pm

8) @ Ravens (Thurs Night Football) 8:30

9) vs Raiders (Sunday Night Football) 8:30

10) @ Panthers (Monday Night Football) 8:30

11) BYE

12) @ Pats (November 26, 1 pm)

13) vs Broncos 1 pm

14) vs Pats (Monday Night Football) 8:30


15) @ Bills (December 17, 1 pm)

16) @ KC (December 24, 1 pm)


17) vs Bills 1 pm


Here's to a seven month 2018 offseason!
That's just 30 days more than half a calender year
to schedule and execute a multitude of parades!
GOFINS!!!

The Miami Dolphins are Living in Reality

Those dudes in Vegas are rich for a reason, the deck is stacked...

Stacked in the realm of reality.
 

Picking Miami to have 7.5 wins says most betting people don't believe Miami can duplicate or even reach last year's record. The odds are set so that Vegas wins. If most people think the line is wrong, it will move up or down.

Miami had a negative point differential last season, it is exceedingly rare for a NFL team to have a winning record when they score less than their opponents. Miami had a 1-5 record against teams with a winning record last season.


Winning 10 games is nice, but it also leads to a 2nd place division schedule, meaning Miami plays more games against winning teams this year.

These are the reasons Vegas has Miami picked at 7.5 wins. We as Miami fans cannot be so pragmatic in our expectations. We would rather chug from the glass half full...

Outside the confines of fandom, reality beckons…

71 points were given away to the Ravens, NE and Pitt in losing games at the end of the season, 103 points against Miami - to 32 points for Miami. The Dolphins won 8 of 11 other games decided by 7 points or less. The trend is, Miami lost big to good teams and squeaked out wins against bad teams. With that in mind, it’s easy to see where the 7.5 Vegas number comes from.

So the reality in Miami is – more-better blues...

Miami will play better teams and last season was an anomaly. The Miami defense has to get better to compete with better teams, I believe the season hinges on the defense. Obviously, our first 3 picks in the draft were on defense. That happening for the first time in team history shows how much the coaches agree with this assessment.

That gives me hope, because we’re now dealing in reality…

Many times in the past, I saw things that I thought were apparent and the team didn't seem to be on the same page. Clearly there are no illusions going on in Miami. I honestly think Adam Gase told his team and management, "we have a long way to go." The only way to get there is through hard work, seeing the truth and not believing in illusions.

Let’s live in reality people!

The truth can be liberating, the team is smiling and encouraged because the challenge is clear. Clear understanding of weaknesses, clear understanding of what they know works, clear understanding of what needs to improve. This is how to get better, live in reality...

The illusions of the past are gone, Adam Gase lives in reality…

One Two Three, ABC Dolphin Draft Desirables

The 2017 draft is less than 2 weeks away, and the first round kicks-off on Thursday April 27th at 8pm EST. The second and third rounds start at 7pm Friday while rounds 4 - 7 begin at noon on Saturday.

Miami's Dolphins "presently" own selections at
Round 1 Pick 22  (22)
Round 2, Pick 22  (54) Overall
Round 3, Pick 33  (97) Compensatory
Round 5, Pick 22  (166)
Round 5, Pick 35  (178) Compensatory
Round 5, Pick 41  (184) Compensatory
Round 7, Pick 5  (223) From Rams/W.Hayes DE
Round 7, Pick 22  (240)

The Miami Dolphins landed a top three, if not the number one overall prospect Laremy Tunsil at pick 13 last year. Of course they would appreciate this year's top candidates having incriminating photos of them in preparation for an apocalypse posted on social media as Roger Goodall approaches the podium.

Prospects at Dolphin positions of need such as (according to draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah) the top overall player in #1 Myles Garrett DE, #2 Jamal Adams S, #3 Malik Hooker S, #5 Solomon Thomas DE, & #6 Jonathan Allen DE are not goin to land in Miami at pick 22.

This drafts first round is extremely deep. It actually feels like Miami will have more viable options at 22 in o17 than they might of had in 2016, had they not been blessed with Laremy Tunsil. The Dolphins will very likely be able to land a solid starter at 22 no matter the player at a position "of need" they choose. That player might not even be listed here as the line had to be drawn somewhere and so many others are viable possibilities.

Here are some favorites at positions of need that may or may not find their way South via an act of sabotage.

""The Miami Dolphins are on the clock""!

Round One
Pick Twenty-Two

A) LB Jarrad Davis #24 began the process outside of this Dolphins fans top five linebacker prospects. As a Canes fan there were some Gator issues that required resolve. In the end, old school linebacker Jarrad Davis became the personal favorite. However. Should Miami go linebacker with their first round pick? They can't go wrong no matter who were to possibly fall into their grasp at pick 22, or thereabouts. They could surely use a day one stud to start alongside of, or between Kiko Alonso and Lawrence Timmons while the latter is an elderly anvil, though just a two year, short term bridge!

Shoot, should have simply listed these guys as pick 22A thru Z and been done with it. The Reuben Foster #9, Haason Reddick #20, TJ Watt #35, Zach Cunningham, and Jarrad Davis' of the world are all about to explode onto the NFL scene. As a Miami Dolphin? Will one be there? We shall see soon enough! If not?

B) DE Derek Barnett #13 would be this guy's number one overall choice if he were to take an extremely unlikely fall to 22. He is Mr Consistent, well rounded and reasonably good at everything, but great at denting the turf via the quarterbacks backside with 32 sacks (10 plus per) over his starting three year Tennessee/SEC career. He is the first freshman to ever start at DL for the Vols, and he made the SEC honor roll in all three years as a starter.

Miami re-signed last year's 5.5 sack Andre Branch (27) to reunite with Terrance Fede (25), Julius Warmsley (26), and 35 year old Cam Wake. They also traded a 6th round pick for a 7th round pick and DE William Hayes (31) who has averaged just over 5 sacks per year over the last five. In 2018 the cap number of Branch doubles to 10plus million, Hayes will be 32, and CWake 36. Draft prospect Derek Barnett a 2017 Miami Dolphin?

C) OL Forest Lamp #16 is a career LT that would start at left guard for Miami on day one. He would likely push 1.4 million dollar free agent acquisition Ted Larsen to LG/RG/C backup duties while Lamp himself can play any offensive line position, including center, (if need be). His selection would enhance the possibility of having a third offensive line starting position secured for the next five or so years along with RT Ju'Waun James (who's in the final year of his rookie contract), and LT Laremy Tunsil.

RG Bushrod is likely in his final year, Center Pouncey has two bad hips, and James is scheduled to become a free agent which suggest that from C to RT may require reinforcements of 1 to 3 bodies, if not starters. Maybe Miami should lock up the left side with Tunsil/LAMP like back in the day with Richmond Webb & Keith Sims? Forest Lamp can forever help light up a dreary place that has been too dark for too long.

D) S/ Jabrill Peppers #31 could become the next Troy Polamalu of Pittsburgh Steelers fame. He can attack from everywhere defensively, and can/has also seen extensive production as an offensive and special teams secret weapon with extraordinary ball in hand skills.

The Dolphins still have perennial backups Michael Thomas and Walt Aikens. They also signed two free agent safties (Nate Allen 29 & TJ McDonald 26) with extensive starting experience to one year contracts this off-season. So a starting safety isn't exactly an immediate need, but if the well worth risk of Allen and (McDonald who's on a half season suspension) are unable to produce/stay clean in their one contracted year. Jabrill Peppers could potentially start at some point in o17, and would definitely start in 2018 alongside of Rashad Jones.

E) DT Malik McDowell 6-6, 297 was a last minute offering here due to upside (in case the rest have already been claimed). Personally I believe that Jordan Phillips is already better with every bit as much upside. Though some local radio host suggest that he doesn't display the want on every play which may be the same jacket that Malik McDowell wears. I believe differently about Phillips, he led the team in off sides penalties (which illustrates want) due to inexperience, timing, and poise. When he's right he's an opponents play/drive destroyer. He just needs a bit more coaching, experience, and poise to become a consistent force. DT Malik McDowell is offered in case those radio guys are right and/or he's the only one of substance left at pick 22.

DE's Takkarist McKinley #19 & Taco Charlton #23 are ascending one year wonders, (unlike Mr. Consistent Derek Barnett at 22B).

Takk Mc (6-2, 250 potential OLB/DE) has started the last two years at UCLA while DE Taco Charlton became a full time starter at Michigan just this past year. Both had their first 10 sack season in 2016. Though they are late bloomers, they have the necessary tools for NFL success.

Takk McKinley though small for full time NFL DE duties, he is fast for a big OLB with a relentless motor.

""Charlton's ceiling is as an all-pro, his floor is a solid starter"" suggest prospect analyst Lance Zierlein. Cam Wake is 35 years old. Ya'know that (if all else fails, and if available)? Michigan Alum Boss Ross will be suggesting to feast on a 6-6, 277 pound Taco.

F) TE OJ Howard #8 isn't going to fall to 22. Right? If so, he is an all around special tight-end, and the perfect complement to the trade acquisition of Julius Thomas. Howard actually belongs at B, C, or D of this personal list but fit better here in transition.


Round Two pick 54

A) TE David Njoku #12 at this point would be quite the steal worth taking as he is not quite the perfect first round complement to Julius Thomas (28), but Miami could use a second play-making type of TE like Njoku.

The Dolphins reacquainted themselves with the four year departed free agent TE Anthony Fasano (32) primarily for TE blocking duties. They also acquired a similarly sized, stat-less Chris Pantale (27) while Marqueis Gray (27), & Thomas Duarte (22) remain.


GOFINS!!!

Ran longer than planned above.
Felt more would be too much.
Devise is being temperamental, so I must include the not quite finished remains at the threads first comment.



The Miami Dolphins Need to Pay Jarvis Landry


“We’re building something special here…”

This quote leads to a curious case with Jarvis Landry and his value to the Miami Dolphins. Will it become a point of contention the longer the prolific wide receiver remains without a contract extension? As a slot receiver, Landry is rarely mentioned in the same sentence with his flashy college teammate Odell Beckham. Yet Landry holds the NFL record for the most receptions in his first two seasons, catching 194 passes. Landry and Beckham are tied for the most catches after three seasons with 288.

Landry is oft criticized for finding the endzone only 13 time in three seasons but he has a history of mastering perceived shortcomings. Overshadowed by Beckham and posting a pedestrian 4.61 40 yard dash allowed Landry to slip to the Dolphins in the second round. At 5’11” he’s not the biggest target, in fact, few of his tangible measurements stood out during the 2014 combine. Only when plugging in the tape does Landry’s value as a football player and teammate become apparent.

Landry is the spark plug that ignites the Miami Dolphin engine. Landry is the playmaker in moments of desperation. Landry is the leader when others lose confidence. These intangible assets, unlike 40 times, are his core value. On a team with a subdued Ryan Tannehill at QB, the fiery leadership comes from another position in the huddle. That position belongs to Juice Landry, he is the juice that gets the party started.

“We’re building something special here…”

A slot receiver is not typically a big money player, that designation goes to DeVante Parker with his first round pedigree and off the chart combine numbers. Clearly tangible measurements do not make a football player. Parker may one day live up to the team’s draft day expectations, but this is more an indictment of the process. Rewarding 40 yard dashes over demonstrated accomplishments on the football field has led to more Dion Jordan’s than Jarvis Landry’s.

Those first round mistakes created the rookie salary cap because the risk/reward of the unknown is a losing proposition. The notion of paying more to veteran players is a joke and a lie. The NFL power brokers grew tired of their own mistakes and decided to mitigate them by forcing rookies to demonstrate their worth before any big money changed greedy hands.

Under the leadership of Adam Gase, the Miami Dolphins have made a paradigm shift in personnel philosophy. Moving from perennial winners of March free agent Madness to a pay-for-play homegrown revolution. Gase’s message is simple and direct, “put it all on the field for me and you’ll get paid by me.” In the free agent age, where money-grabs rule, and players usually switch teams to obtain their perceived value, the approach is both refreshing and enlightened.

“We’re building something special here…”

The concept offers a subtle solution to the question, “how do you motivate players after they become multimillionaires?” Football players like Juice Landry are not as motivated by pure dollars as many outside the locker room would think. Football players know, a single hit or shift in a scrum pile can end their careers’ instantly. When the opportunity to get rich knocks, only a fool wouldn’t jump, especially after working their entire lives to achieve stardom in their chosen profession.

Clearly, the resounding drop-off in performance when players switch teams shows that dollars rarely motivate. The answer lies in the locker room where Jarvis Landry sits waiting on his payday and watches outsiders like Ndamukong Suh stride in with $100 million dollars in their pocket. Resentment is probably a word rarely uttered in NFL circles and yet, why did Suh leave Detroit to get paid? He now sits with two locker stalls in an obscure corner, his $100 million dollars flying like banner over his locker. Are the players around him not supposed to feel resentment?

Therein lies the answer… The Miami Dolphins (among other teams) flounder because, letting players walk out the door to get paid sends the wrong message. Bringing in players from other teams and paying them sends the wrong message. Kenny Stills could have a better contract, Kiko Alonso could have waited for free agency, Cameron Wake could have played out his contract, and Andre Branch would’ve received the same deal elsewhere. They chose to stay in Miami.

“We’re building something special here…”

Teammates motivate multimillionaires… Not coaches, not dollars, not accolades, teammates. When players jump ship to get paid, the locker room breaks down. When new players enter that are not part of the chemistry, the locker room breaks down.

Gase has made a brilliant observation, teammates motivate multimillionaires… 

When teammates hold each other accountable, the dollars are of no consequence. The bad ass defensive tackle in the corner is as much a part of the fabric as the geeky clutch kicker. Together, they strive for greatness and the dollars take care of themselves. “Play for me and I’ll get you paid.”

“We’re building something special here…”

Jarvis Landry is the embodiment of this philosophy because he does not need dollars to put it out on the field. He is the player Adam Gase envisioned when he thought through this personnel concept and now The Juice needs some oranges squeezed! Would it be surprising to learn Jarvis Landry asked his coach to, “take care of my boys first?” It is purely conjecture, but Landry making that statement rings true, because he’s the ultimate teammate.

And now, it’s time to pay The Juice.

“We’re building something special here…”

Miami Dolphins March Madness

The NFL's New Year begins with the opening day of Free Agency on March 9th.

Miami has long been famous and/or imfamous for winning the mayhem of March (on paper). So much so that in three consecutive years that include 2013, 2014 and 2015. The Dolphins landed the NFL's biggest fish at that moment in time with the acquisitions of number one free agent prospects Mike Wallace, Brandon Albert, and Ndamukong Suh respectively. Only Suh remains a Miami Dolphin.

2016 was the first year the trio tandem of Mike Tannenbaum, Chris Grier, and head coach Adam Gase worked cohesively together as Miami Dolphin decision makers. Previously to that from 2008 on, the ego-maniacs in charge didn't even include the head coach in such important roster calculations.

The 2016/present/future regime chose a different route than former trail blazers. Rather than spend the majority of cap space on one big named free agent fish they filled the bucket with potential keepers at practically every position of need, in order to give themselves draft flexibility. Expect them to take a similar approach to 2017.

Previous to the 2016 free agency period the present brass made a trade that landed significant starters in CB Byron Maxwell, LB Kiko Alonso, and a Big Fish via the draft with LT Laremy Tunsil. Though the Dolphins didn't land the biggest free agent fish for a fourth consecutive year. The trade results suggest that the Miami Dolphins won in March, April, and May as well as throughout the season via a new and/or preferred bait.

Here and now in 2017. Miami's terrific trio of brass have already approached a similar path to 2016 with an agreed upon trade on the table that becomes official on the leagues new year this coming Thursday 3-9-17. The supposed trade (in short) brings to Miami a star TE Julius Thomas (28) who accrued 24 touchdowns in just two years (2013, o14) under Adam Gase in Denver. In trade, due to the 2016 draft choice of LT Laremy Tunsil, the Dolphins found the flexibility and willingness to part with 2014 free agent and the often injured 33 year old LT Brandon Albert.


Miami has some fifteen or so 2017 free agents, some of which who could be keepers though perhaps not prior to free agency. Up to seven others could, should, may be thrown immediately into the ice chest under lock and key, though half of those may have to be hooked on their return trip from the breeding grounds.


Miami Dolphin Free Agents of some substance.

Linebackers the absolute weakest and thinnest Dolphin position.
(2016 FA Donald Butler 28, fifteen Dolphin games with five starts), the previous regimes Spencer Paysinger, or often injured Jelani Jenkins & Koa Misi. (Keep one for the sake of familiarity and/or "keeping your own"?)

Better keepers may be had via free agency at what should be highly affordable rates. According to NFL.com 35 ILB's and another 35 OLB's are scheduled to become 2017 free agents. (ILB Zach Brown 27) a preferred snag (from this vantage point) to team up with Kiko as of last years acquisition of the latter. Brown signed a one year o16 contract at 1.25 million with Buffalo. He started 16 games had 149 tackles, four sacks, two forced fumbles, and an interception in Rexxx Ryans 3-4/4-3/4-6 defense, so he's well rounded. Zach Brown is the overall 20th ranked free agent prospect of the top 101 (according to NFL.com).


Long Snapper
John Denney (38).
Talk about cohesiveness, familiarity, and/or "keeping your own" loyalty. Denney has been a productive Dolphin lifer of 12 years.

Ten long snappers are about to become free agents. Other positional prospects of potential Dolphin needs that are about to hit the market includes 9 Centers , 32 Defensive Tackles, and 42 Cornerbacks (many of which are highly qualified starters).


Safety
Bacarri Rambo (26). A 2016 free agent with nine Dolphin games played and five starts. He was picked up near midseason upon Rashad Jones' season ending injury. Rambo replaced Isa Abdul Quddus who suffered a significant shoulder injury near seasons end and may not play again anytime soon, (if ever).

Forty Safties are there for the taking.
The Packers Micah Hyde (26) is the twenty fifth ranked free agent prospect. He has played in 63 of 64 career games over his first four years with 33 starts while being part of 227 tackles with 184 being of the solo variety, and has four sacks along with 8 interceptions.


Defensive End
Andre Branch (27). Another 2016 free agent pickup who contributed in sixteen Dolphin games with eleven starts. He's ranked as the 67th overall free agent prospect.

Thirty four Defensive Ends will soon be available, three of which in (Mario Williams, Jason Jones, & Branch were 2016 Dolphins) The Patriots Jabaal Sheard (27) as the 29th rated free agent had 23 sacks his first four years in Cleveland, and 13 sacks over the last two years in New England.


Offensive Guard
Jermon Bushrod (32). Whats this? One more 2016 Dolphin free agent acquisition, and a lifetime LT that played and started 16 games for the Miami Dolphins at RG. Bushrod is not listed in the top 101.

Some twenty five of the leagues guards are scheduled to become free agents while numerous others at every position could eventually hit the market as cap casualties. The Dallas Cowboys free agent guard Ronald Leary is 27 while starting 47 of 48 games played over the last four years. He didn't play his rookie season and played/started just four games in 2015. Otherwise, Leary has been solid for a dominating Dallas offensive line. Ronald Leary is the overall 47th ranked free agent prospect.


Tight End
Dion Sims (26), 6 - 4, 271. If there is a Gronk in Miami it is Sims. Though he's not in the top 101, he's an ascending player and an important type of cog in the Dolphins scheme of things. A Four year Dolphin with 22 starts, eleven in 2016 and the perfect ying to the yang of soon to be an official Miami Dolphin (Julius Thomas).

The Dolphins entire 2016 cast of Tight Ends that included Dion Sims, Dominique Jones, Marqueis Gray, and Jordan Cameron are all scheduled to become free agents this week along with 24 of the leagues other tight ends. This leaves just Julius Thomas at TE in Miami if and when the previously mentioned trade comes to fruition, so several somethings need to be scaled at the tight end table. From a fish eye point of view, none of the free agent tight ends are a better option than is Dion Sims.


Wide Receiver
Kenny Stills (24) is the overall rated 52nd free agent prospect. A two year Dolphin with sixteen 2016 starts, 42 receptions, 726 yards, and nine touchdowns. He'll be targeting double digit millions of dollars per year and/or number one receiver type money, while he would likely be the number three in Miami. Slightly side-tracked early while learning the Gase way. Devante Parker started half as many 2016 games (8) while producing more receptions and yards than the Dolphins touchdown leading Stills.

There is a lot of money to be thrown around throughout the league. The 2017 cap is set at 162 million. Cleveland alone has over 100 million of cap space available while a handful of other teams aren't far behind. Many teams with a ton of ducats are in need of a Kenny Stills over the top type speedster, if not as there number one guy, (though he doesn't have the well rounded game or body type of a true number one receiver).

Maybe Miami goes ahead and gives him the 8, 9, 10-plus million per year he'll be targeting? Maybe they do so, and structure the deal in accordance to when that type of dough will be required to lockup Parker? A ways of proving days and/or a couple years down the road! But then again, Jarvis Landry will be a 2018 free agent that Miami needs to lockup at near double-digit millions ASAP, and (long before o18)! Hopefully, Stills loves Miami and Adam Gase so much that he'll give an affordable home team rate, but that would cut into his agents income who holds zero loyalty to the Dolphins. So don't count on that taking place!

Linebacker
Kiko Alonso (26). 2016 trade acquisition with 15 games played/started that included 115 tackles, two interceptions and several of the Dolphins top defensive plays of the year! Throw him on ice already!! Apparently NFL.com thinks it's a done deal, or they don't think very highly of Kiko as they don't have him in the top 101 while including a multitude of far less relevant others. Perhaps just an oversight as he was nearly as productive as the 20th ranked Zach Brown.


Here's to the Miami Dolphins netting another handful of The Incredible Mr Limpet type 2017 free agents!

GOFINS!!!








Miami Dolphins #99 Sacks First Ballot Hall of Fame Honors

Upon an NFL Super Stars retirement the minimum allotment of time to pass before becoming eligible to receive HOF voters consideration is five years.

The majority of deserving stars are usually denied the Gold Jacket until long after their first year of eligibility, some wait decades, some leave this earth long before being honored, some never receive enough votes.

In 1997 the Miami Dolphins Jimmy Johnson drafted a skinny kid from a small college called Akron in the drafts third round.

Jason Taylor is his name, 99 was his number. He played in the NFL for 15 years before retiring prior to the 2012 season. Today he was named a first ballot Hall Of Famer!

99 and six others made this year's final cut, only running back LT/Ladanian Tomlinson and JT were first ballot recipients while just safety Kenny Easley (58) from the early 1980's joins JT as this year's only defensive honorees.

Some of Jason Taylor's NFL accomplishments include.
139.5 sacks (7th best in history)
He led the NFL in sacks in 2002 with 18.5, was named the defensive player of the year in 2006, and the Walter Payton Man of the year in 2007. He was voted to the Pro Bowl on six occasions.

JT holds the NFL record for fumble return touchdowns with six as well as the NFL record for most touchdowns via a defensive lineman with nine.

29 fumble recoveries via 99 is also an NFL record, he stands second in NFL history in creating three safties, and shares yet another record with the most interceptions (8) via the defensive end position. JT forced 48 fumbles over his career.

JT had a sack in his first ever NFL game with a bunch more in between and including the second to last game of his career.

Most of the pundits and/or experts (especially outsiders/non Dolphin loyalists) suggested that JT was an extreme long shot and that he'd have to wait several years if not forever to be acknowledged as worthy. 99 (in his first year of eligibility) sacked all that have dissed the Dolphins for decades! Maybe 10 Adam Gase Victories is paying off in more ways than one? Maybe next year some of the 1972'ish Miami Dolphins will get their due?

Jason Taylor played 13 (with 131 sacks) of his 15 NFL seasons in Aqua & Orange and played his final career game as a Miami Dolphin which is who he will represent when instated to The Hall Of Fame.

Hopefully number 99 will grace a future HOF'er number 54/Zach with the honor of placing the Gold Jacket upon Jason Taylor's shoulders.


CONGRATULATIONS JT/99 !!!
You were surely the most exciting defensive player to ever wear the Miami Dolphins Logo and you are most definitely deserving of this highly esteemed honor!!!

THANK YOU!!!


A tear came to my eyes as he walked across the televised NFL Honors stage when he was announced.

Hopefully my eyes will leak with joy on many an upcoming Miami Dolphin occasion and/or upon many more monumental victories!!!



GOFINS!!!






The Miami Dolphins Welcome the Adam Gase Era

Miami Dolphin faithful sense a brighter future heading into this offseason after reaching the playoffs in 2016. Rookie coach Adam Gase brought intensity and a completely different mindset to a team that seemed destined for perpetual mediocrity. An improbable playoff run after a 1-4 start was exacerbated by a rash of injuries and yet this Miami team marched on, showcasing Gase’s ability to inspire players.  The “next-man-up” cliché carried Miami in contrast to previous squads that wilted when injuries sideline multiple starters.

Pro bowl players Reshad Jones and Mike Pouncey spent most of the season watching from the sidelines on Injured Reserve. Starting safety Isa Abdul-Quddus, tight end Jordan Cameron and outside linebacker Koa Misi, joined the pro bowlers on IR. Starting CBs, Xavien Howard and Byron Maxwell, LB Jelani Jenkins, DT Earl Mitchell missed much of the season nursing injuries. Starting OL Branden Albert and Laremy Tunsil missed multiple games and Arian Foster simply quit. In other seasons, under different leadership, this team would have folded.

Adam Gase set the tone early by leaving Jay Ajayi in Miami while the team traveled to Seattle for an opening season loss. Gase had named Arian Foster the starter, Ajayi was unhappy and felt he deserved the job. The Dolphins lost to Seattle by a mere two points and Foster rushed for only 36 yards. Ajayi had let his teammates down by making his personal ambition of starting more important than his commitment to the team. The Dolphins may have lost the game, but the message was clear, no player was larger than the sum of the whole. The teaching moment paid off as Ajayi went on to have three 200+ yard games and ran hard the entire season.

A 30-17 week five home debacle to the Tennessee Titans found the 1-4 Dolphins staring down another losing season. Branden Albert (virus) and Laremy Tunsil (ankle) did not suit up and the Titans sacked quarterback Ryan Tannehill six times, repeatedly planting him on his backside. Needing to send the message loud and clear, Adam Gase made what seemed like a rash decision. Gase cut offensive lineman Dallas Thomas, Billy Turner and Jamil Douglas along with RB Isaiah Pead.

Gase did not care about draft status or contract value, he was simply tired of players who did not have the sense of urgency to prepare themselves to play football at the highest level. The image of Dallas Thomas being pushed into the backfield and pancaked, while Tannehill ran for his life was etched so lucidly into Gase’s mind that he simply had enough. He knew not cutting these players would send the message that being unprepared and unaccountable was acceptable. It was not and Adam Gase decided he would rather coach committed journeymen than undisciplined, uninspired draft picks.

Some of the players in the stunned locker room looked on with trepidation. Gase opened the door for the players with the proper mindset to step up and begin leading his team. Their coach was one hundred percent committed to his craft and he expected the same commitment from his players. If they were not in it to win it, he would escort them out the door to place where common folk work their entire lives for less money than the yearly NFL minimum salary. Complacency does not happen overnight and resorting to drastic measures is sometimes what it takes to instill change. At that point, Gase was unsure he would win another game the entire season, but he was certain his players knew what was expected of them.

On October 16th, the mighty Pittsburg Steelers traveled to sunny Miami expecting to encounter a terrible 1-4 team that barely defeated the hapless Cleveland Browns. The Dolphins appeared from the outside as a team in complete disarray after cutting players five weeks into the season. Arian Foster had missed the previous three games after injuring his groin and hamstring in Miami's Week 2 loss at New England. Foster was set returned in Week 6, but this time Jay Ajayi would not be denied. The Steelers could not have prepared for the buzz-saw spinning in Miami.

With Branden Albert and Laremy Tunsil healthy, Mike Pouncey was finally in command of the entire starting offensive line. Leading 8-3 in the first quarter, perhaps the Steelers peeked ahead to the New England Patriots. The expected cruise to an easy victory was derailed by an all-out ground assault from the Miami Dolphins. 204 Jay Ajayi yards left no doubt in Adam Gase’s mind that Arian Foster would not return to the starting lineup. The Dolphins buried the Steelers 30-15, Arian Foster retired and Miami’s rise to the NFL playoffs had begun.

Over the next five weeks the Dolphins repeatedly found ways to win close football games. The Dolphins beat the Bills when Ajayi again eclipsed the 200 yard mark and the Dolphin offense scored 22 points in the final 15:18 winning 28-25. Following the bye week Miami defeated the Jets 27-23 when Kenyan Drake scored untouched on a 96-yard kickoff return to seal the victory. The comforts of home paid dividends for the Dolphins who slept in their own beds for five straight weeks including the bye. A 1-4 record prior to the Pittsburgh game was now suddenly 4-4 and Miami was peaking its head above water for the first time since 2008.

The five week home stand was rudely awakened with the Dolphins heading to the West Coast for consecutive weeks against the Chargers and the Rams. The Chargers seemed to be cruising until the defense intercepted four Philip Rivers’ passes in the fourth quarter. The take away barrage turned into victory when Kiko Alonso jumped in front of Tyrell Williams and outraced the Chargers 60 yards to the end zone with 1:01 left to give the Dolphins a wild 31-24 win. A late acrobatic TD pass from Tannehill to Parker gave Miami a 14-10 victory over the Los Angeles Rams.

The 6-4 Dolphins returned home riding a 5-game winning streak. The defense slumped into cruise control leading 31-14 in the fourth quarter against the 49ers and nearly allowed San Francisco to tie the game. Ndamukong Suh and Kiko Alonso ended the contest by stopping the much maligned Colin Kaepernick at the 2 yard-line as time expired. Winners of 6 straight games, owning a 7-4 record the Dolphins had won with a devastating ground game, they won with a kickoff return, they won with an interception return, they won on a beautiful sideline throw and catch and they won on a last ditch defensive stand. This Miami team was making huge plays to win the close games that had eluded them in past seasons.

The 2016 Miami Dolphins were indeed in good hands with rookie coach Adam Gase, but they had faced 5 consecutive opponents that would not be playing in the NFL post season. With the Baltimore Ravens looming, Miami was going to face its first real test since Pittsburgh in the beginning of their miraculous rise. Needless to say, the Dolphins didn’t show up that day, the Ravens punked Miami 38-6. Multiple injuries began to take their toll and with the Arizona Cardinals coming to town, it looked like Miami’s improbably run was about to end. At this point a two game skid would leave the Dolphins outside the NFL playoff picture.

The rain in Miami did not stop the entire game slowing the desert dwelling Cardinals’ offense to a crawl, while Ryan Tannehill threw three TDs in perhaps his best performance of the season. That all changed on one devastating late and low hit when quarterback Ryan Tannehill was lost for the season to a knee injury. The injury swapped the momentum and an easy Dolphin victory was suddenly in jeopardy as Matt Moore entered the game after watching for what seemed like forever. Moore showed the true grit this team had displayed all season and marched Miami to a last second field goal and a 26-23 Dolphins win.

With 8 wins under their belt, and a losing season behind them, even with a back-up QB, the Dolphins promptly hammered the rival Jets 34-13. 34 more points the following week in Buffalo proved too much for the Bills in a 34-31 Miami win. In consecutive weeks the Dolphins had swept the rival Jets and Bills leading to the firing of Rex Ryan in Buffalo. Casting away Ryan and his brother was perhaps one of the more satisfying consequences of the entire season. Miami had grand illusions in the final week against the powerhouse Patriots, but it was not to be. The Dolphins limped out of Hard Rock Stadium on the wrong end of a lopsided 35-14 defeat.

An improbable 10-6 record and playing in the post season for the first time in eight years greeted the Miami faithful to begin 2017. With revenge on their mind a healthy Pittsburgh team trounced the ailing Miami Dolphins 30-12 ending an implausible season in the first round of the playoffs. The final two weeks against the two of the best teams in the NFL showed the fledgling Dolphins how far they have to travel to reach Steven Ross’s goal of winning a Super Bowl.

Articles will be written about how Miami can take a step closer to being a perennial NFL contender. Pundits will point out all the deficiencies of this team, but here and now, the Miami Dolphins have far surpassed expectations. Adam Gase is no longer a rookie, he showed a mental savvy and calmness that far exceeds his age and experience. Watching this coach on the sidelines during games is a case study on maintaining composure at the height of chaos. Gase’s demeanor was so steady it could not help but rub off on his players. Even the infuriatingly lopsided officiating had little effect on the coach. He knew, any outburst by him would lead to further flag tossing.

The season is over, there will be no Lombardi Trophy aborning the case 45 years after Don Shula hoisted the last one. The truth is, during the regular season Miami was actually outscored 380 to 363 points. There are many reasons to think this season was more of an anomaly than a stepping stone. The axiom, “you are what your record says you are,” is a moniker that goes both ways, because winning is the object of the game. Statistics may, in the long run, show the sustenance behind sustained success and yet winners find way to win.

Today we celebrate winning, we celebrate a successful season, we celebrate the immergence of a new coach and new era in Miami Dolphin history. Whether it takes coach Gase 3 or 5 more years to reach the pinnacle of his profession, we can smile at the prospect that the 20 year search for a successor to Don Shula has ended.  In the cyclical nature of history, we are witnessing the beginning of a new dynasty in Miami.

Welcome Adam Gase, we look forward to being part of your legacy.

Miami Dolphins at Pittsburgh Game Chat - Special Playoff Wild Card Round Edition

Amazingly, the Miami Dolphins are in the playoffs nearly ten years after their last appearance (the Wildcat days). Can Matt Moore work his magic to send the Dolphins to New England next week?

The Miami Dolphins Will Not Accept Losing

The 1-4 Miami Dolphins posed little threat to Pittsburgh Steelers in week 6 of the NFL season. A 30-15 loss sent the Steelers home dejected and started a season altering resurgence in Miami. The Steelers learned an important lesson that day; never underestimate an NFL opponent. It won’t happen again as Miami heads to Pittsburgh for its first playoff appearance in 8 seasons.

The Steelers enter the post-season healthier than ever, while Miami limps in without its starting QB, center, both safeties, a cornerback, two linebackers and a TE. With nearly half of the Dolphins starting lineup watching from the sidelines, a miracle in Pittsburgh seems highly unlikely. Losing in week 6 to these Miami Dolphins only adds fuel to the Steeler fire.

Steeler fans are already lining up after game party favorites in expectation of a blowout victory. The ten point spread in Las Vegas is viewed as an easy bet for the Pittsburgh faithful. The weather is certain to be cold and blustery in Western Pennsylvania. Having the good fortune of playing the hapless Browns in week 17, the Steelers rested their stars in anticipation of the massacre.

In Miami, rookie coach Adam Gase and his patchwork Dolphins can only simmer watching the media bashing their right to be here at all. Miami is clearly on the wrong side of the NFL attrition game. The injury list grew until the next man up, like Bacarri Rambo, are players not even on an NFL roster when the season began…

The silence in Miami fandom is deafening. Where other post season fans have dreams of Super Bowl sugarplums, Miami fans hope the battered team will at least put up a gallant fight. It makes no sense to play the fool with false bravado and unrealistic expectations. In some circles, the playoff run is considered a hindrance to the future in terms of draft status. These circumstances echo the sentiment surrounding Miami in week 6 when another losing season loomed.

Perhaps week 6 was an anomaly, but 200+ Jay Ajayi rushing yards were not, as the feat was duplicated twice more during the season. The game plan should be simple, run the ball, control the clock and keep the defense off the field. When the defense is on the field, harass Ben Roethlisberger and do not miss tackles. Saying Miami has no chance is too much pessimism, yet the only folks truly believing in the Dolphins are smoldering players and coaches in the Miami locker room.

Even a crushing defeat will not blemish the luster of Adam Gase’s rookie season. It could be said, the Dolphins have little to lose, but this mentality is completely unacceptable to Adam Gase. He understands football is a game of emotion as much as skill. Going into a game lacking the emotion required to win undermines everything he has fought to change in Miami.

The Steelers waltzed into Miami week 6 thinking "easy win" and went home with their tail between their legs. Miami going into Pittsburgh thinking "acceptable loss" is not the mentality of a team looking to rise from the NFL ashes. Ask Tony Sparano how quickly fortunes can change from one season to the next. Making the playoffs is nice, hooray team, Gigggity Gigggity, but this is the beginning, not the end. Adam Gase will not make a career off a single playoff appearance and none of these players are going to the Hall-Of-Fame if losing is acceptable.

Stand tall Miami Dolphin fans! The Dolphins are not going to Pittsburgh expecting to lose. This is not a throw away game even if there are plenty of excuses. Adam Gase coached players understand, excuses are the justification of losers. Winners find a way to pull victory from the jaws of defeat and it starts long before the opening kickoff. It starts by staring down the mental obstacles challenging that inner desire to succeed.

Losing is not acceptable… Inevitably it will happen, but as the coach, losing is a unique opportunity to witness a player’s desire to succeed. When all the cards are stacked against you, winners rise. The Dolphins will show up in Pittsburgh, not with the mentality they have nothing to lose, but knowing…


Losers will not last long with Adam Gase in Miami...



Losing is not acceptable.