Tonight marks the final round of the meaningless games. I, for one, cannot wait until next week and games that really matter.
But, as we all know, to include Tony Sparano, this Miami Dolphins team needs a lot of work. The pieces are there, but they aren't working together yet. Hopefully with getting some reps in tonight's game, the team will gel - and be ready for a trip to Buffalo in 10-days.
The bonus there? Well, it's Buffalo. Come on. Apparently the Dolphins' schedule utilized the college football model - put the puff team at the beginning to gain confidence and make yourselves look better. Hopefully the Bills aren't AppalachianState.
But, in getting ready for the season, it's time to spark debate. At least, that's what ESPN's John Clayton did this week, publishing his ranking of all 32 starting quarterbacks in the league, breaking them into three divisions (Elite, Chad Pennington, and Hit or Miss). Obviously, my focus is mostly on Chad Henne, but there's more to it than that.
Somehow, Clayton sees 14 quarterbacks as deserving of the "Elite" title. How you can have nearly 50% of a population listed as "elite," I don't know, but he did. His Elite Division includes the obvious with Peyton Manning (1st), Tom Brady (2nd), Drew Brees (3rd), Brett Favre (5th), and Aaron Rodgers (6th), but he also includes Matt Schaub (14th), Matt Ryan (13th), and Joe Flacco (12th) in his "Elite" class. I don't see any of those three as elite. Maybe solid with high potential, but not elite - but I cna'targue with their rankings in the high teens.
But the guy I have the most difficulty justifying his rank is Ben Roethlisberger. While, I agree Big Ben is a great quarterback in the league, and he has two Super Bowl rings, can you really say that Roethlisberger is the fourth best quarterback in the NFL? Number 4? Ahead of Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers, and Philip Rivers? Yes, Roethlisberger can lead his team. Yes, he does some great things. But I don't see him as the 4thbest quarterback in the league. In my opinion, he's on par with Tony Romo (8th), Carson Palmer (10th), and Eli Manning (11th) - but not a Top 5 QB.
Moving into the "Chad Pennington Division" (is that an insult or a compliment to CP10?), Clayton added a percent chance that the QB would become elite. This division included guys such as Jay Cutler (15th - 95% chance of being elite), Vince Young (18th - 10%), and Matt Cassel (22nd - 0%).
And then comes the "Hit or Miss Division" - and no Chad Henne before this. Interesting. I guess I can see Henne as "hit or miss" still, but not in the Top 22 QBs in the league? That puts Cassel, Alex Smith (21st - 0%), and David Garrard (20th - 0%) ahead of him. Henne has to be ahead of those guys, right?
But, it seems like age played a huge factor in Clayton's rankings.
At 23rd, Clayton ranks Mark Sanchez, with a 50% chance of being elite. Discussing Sanchez, Clayton states:
"The additions of Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes at wide receiver and LaDainian Tomlinson catching passes out of the backfield should allow Sanchez to be a 60 percent thrower. Another ally will be the motion packages offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer can install now that Sanchez has a year of experience in the offense. "
I can see that. As much as I hate the Jets, Sanchez has some upside. I, personally, don't think he will succeed - but I wouldn't be surprised if he did.
At #24, we find Kevin Kolb- a guy who has seen action in 12 NFL games. A guy who has 79 completions on 130 attempts for 885 yards, along with 4 touchdowns and 7 interceptions.
Meanwhile, at #25, we finally find Chad Henne. With experience in 17 NFL games, Henne has gone 281 for 463, 2,945 yards, 12 touchdowns and14 interceptions. While his QB rating is below that of Kolb (75.2 to Kolb's 88.9), the season of experience as a starter, and the huge difference in passing yards should mean Henne gets the nod ahead of a guy who has two starts to his name - right?
Plus, are you seriously telling me that there are only 7 quarterbacks in the league who are worse than Chad Henne?
Kolb also got a 50% chance to become Elite. Chad Henne, only a 45% chance. So, it is more likely that Sanchez and Kolb each become an elite QB over Henne.
And that's not even the elite odds that drive me crazy. It's the 30th ranked QB, with an 85% chance to be Elite. How does Sam Bradford have an 85% chance to be elite, with not only his shoulder history but the fact that he is playing for the RAMS! THE RAMS! Come on. 85% for him, but only 45% for Henne?
But, back to Henne, here's Clayton's write up:
"Henne has a strong arm and a flair for fourth-quarter comebacks, giving him a chance to be a top-level quarterback. It did seem as though defenses figured him out in the second half of the season, but Henne is smart enough to adjust. Plus, he now has Brandon Marshall as his main target. "
Well, that's my rant for this week. Once we get back to real football games, my Perspectives will once again focus on "on-the-field" things.
Targets of Opportunity
- That #99 guy on the Jets is just wrong. WRONG! I watched the Redskins/Jets game last night on NFL Network. Hard to not watch him, but so very wrong for him to be in green.
- Colin Cowherd and Trey Wingo both are picking the Dolphins to win the AFC East this year. I like it.
- In why he picked the Dolphins, Wingo pointed out that no one really knows how to stop the Wildcat yet. He also pointed out that many teams are trying to add wrinkles and make it a flashy part of their offense, but the Dolphins, who he stressed run it the best, especially with Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown in the lineup, just run the ball down your throat out of it.
- Does anyone remember we signed Karlos Dansby? It seems like he is the forgotten addition to this team. I love what I see from him, thus far. Suddenly, we have a LB who seems like he can cover a tight end. It seems like he is in on every single play. He's easily the best LB we have had since #54 became #55 in Dallas.
- The USA Today is reporting the Jeff Ireland plans to seek out Dez Bryant today to apologize again, this time face-to-face, for his questioning during the Draft Combine. Seems like a classy step.
- Somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 Dolpohins stayed for a couple of hours after practice no Tuesday, looking to find something missing from the team. Chemistry? Working on a specific play? Timing? No. Apparently, Kendall Langford forgot to take out his 2.5-carat diamond earrings before practice - losing one at some point during the day. So, Langford and a bunch of teammates stayed after practice, combing the two practice fields searching for the earring. Eventually they were forced to give up the search due to a team meeting and the grass being cut.