The long, slow portion of the offseason is marching on. This week, official offseason training activities get underway down in Davie - which should generate some news for us to discuss. In the meantime, here's what you may have missed this weekend.
RONNIE IS NO LONGER NEEDED?
I really enjoy reading many of the great "non mainstream media" sites about our Dolphins. After all, that's exactly what this site is, too. But every once in a while, you come across something that really makes you wonder if the ease of sharing your thoughts on a particular team via the internet is a good thing.
For my example today, I offer you this ridiculous article that was posted on Bleacher Report - a site that I like to refer to as the scum of the blogosphere. In it, the author tries to sell you on the idea that the Dolphins "no longer need" Ronnie Brown. He writes:
The Dolphins surprised a lot of teams last year when they went 11-5 one year after finishing 1-15. There were a lot of key factors to last season's turnaround. One of those was Ronnie Brown. Brown scored 10 rushing touchdowns, four of which came in the Dolphins first win of the season.
But does Miami really need him anymore?
I don't think so. It's true that without him the Dolphins probably wouldn't have won as many games last year, but that doesn't mean the Dolphins need him to win this year.
The author goes on to say that the selection of Pat White - who is listed as a quarterback, keep in mind - "might be a hint" that the Dolphins will be cutting Ronnie's role. But isn't that a bit of a reach? If anything, White's selection means Ronnie will see fewer snaps as the 'Wildcat quarterback." We have no idea, though, exactly how the coaches plan to use both White and Brown. And the fact of the matter is I'd bet we'll see both White and Brown on the field together in the 'Wildcat' more often than not.
But here's the part of this article - if you can call it that - that is really ridiculous:
Miami's running game won't suffer much either with Ricky Williams still around. Williams was one of the best running backs in the league before he left for a year in 2006. He is faster and more experienced than Brown.
The Dolphins running game would probably be better without having to share the carries between backs.
The first thing that jumps out at me here is how the writer clearly lacks a high "football IQ." Hasn't he seen that two-back systems are taking over? Hasn't be noticed how having two very good running backs is becoming a necessity in the NFL these days?
More importantly, though, is that if the Dolphins were to shift to an offense in which one back got the majority of the work, it would be Brown - not Williams - getting the carries.
The writer points out that Ricky "was one of the best running backs in the league" prior to 2006. Well here's some news - Ronnie Brown was possibly the best running back in the league in 2007 before tearing his ACL. Then, less than a year removed from his ACL injury, Brown had a very good season. And now that Ronnie is 100% healthy - and history shows it's the 2nd season removed from the ACL tear when a runner is back to his pre-injury form - he could be in store for his best season yet behind what should be an improved offensive line. You don't simply give all this up in favor of a 32 year old running back who is one drug test away from the end of his NFL career.
The bottom line here is that if you want to make a case for giving one back a majority of the carries, it's Ronnie - not Ricky - who should be getting them. He's a big, physical back with good speed and is a player who is known to get better as the game progresses and as he gets more carries, getting onto a rhythm.
JASON TAYLOR KNOWS HIS ROLE
OTAs officially get underway in Davie this week. This will be the first time the media will get to see and speak with Jason Taylor since his return to Miami. It's also the first glimpse we will all get of how the Dolphins plan to use JT in 2009. But the Miami Herald is reporting that Taylor has been told he probably won't be a starter this season. In fact, the Dolphins have made it clear to Jason that his roster spot isn't even guaranteed. If he is outplayed in camp, he can and will be cut. Taylor, knowing all this, agreed to those terms.
He really must have missed being in Miami. He also must be every confident in his ability to bounce back from a tough 2008 season.
Per the article:
Taylor knows from his conversations with Sparano that he must prove he's still better than the players he's competing against. And if a roster decision comes down to him and a younger player who plays as well and also promises to be around longer, Taylor could be the odd man out based on that younger player's future value.
If that sounds cold, harsh and unfeeling, so be it. That's the way NFL teams should be run. It's the way professional players should want to be treated -- fairly, honestly and without office politics getting becoming involved. The Dolphins don't want to play games with their players, and certainly not with a player of Taylor's standing.
So they explained to Taylor their initial strategy for employing his skills and that plan is to make him a ''situational'' player who gets 20-25 snaps a game.
The idea isn't to have Taylor feel good about himself because he will start. The idea is to have everyone feel good about Taylor because he will finish -- finish sacks, finish games and finish the season.
All of this was explained to Taylor before he signed, and he had the opportunity to disagree and sign with another team. He did not.
This is pretty much on par with how I thought the Dolphins would use Taylor this season. But I'm surprised that they made it so clear - and even more surprised that Taylor agreed to all of this. This says a lot about how badly Taylor wanted to rejoin his former team and is a far cry from that "egocentric" Jason Taylor the media portrayed last offseason.
-FB Lousaka Polite received an extension that will keep him in Miami through 2011. Polite became a fan favorite here among the Phinsider community and I, for one, am glad he'll be hanging around for at least 3 more seasons.
-Greg Camarillo and Davone Bess don't seem bothered by the increased competition at wide receiver. After all, proving themselves is nothing new for these two - both were undrafted free agents.