The time is now. The cards are on the table. We either fold or we're ALL IN.
To me it's become that the Dolphins' only have one option. After a dismal start, Miami is looking like a team. We're moving the ball fluidly, putting points on the board, our defense is coming together as well. More importantly we are exciting to watch again! This team does not look like the conservative team I have seen year after year. I like what Daboll is doing; how many big plays do we see every week? I have actually seen us on highlights, and on the winning end of some! We are on the right path, but our problem is consistency. Luckily I know the best way to fix this.
Listen, I'm not going to sit here and tell you how important a franchise QB is to a football team. You've seen the stats, you've heard the talk, you have probably noticed football the last ten years when you have watched teams like the Packers, Colts, Patriots and Steelers in the playoffs EVERY year, while Miami sits at home.
I'm tired of it guys. I'm tired of not being invited to the playoff party. I'm tired of watching the sidelines while other teams do all the celebrating.
I'm tired of settling.
We have the pieces in place, we need a leader. We need to take a chance. We need to "open up the playbook" and go all-in. We need a Franchise QB.
I want Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III to be on the Miami Dolphins next year. Period. No excuses, make it happen.
So, let's talk...
OK, that's great but we don't have the Number 1 pick, moron.
-I hear you. We trade whatever it takes. The entire NFL 2012 Draft, the 2013 draft, anyone on our team, the rights to Jenifer Lopez, whatever.
Whoa, I don't want to trade away [insert crazy amounts of picks here] to get a guy who has proven NOTHING.
-Obviously both teams will meet an agreement of some sort. I've heard people say "Well two first round picks are too much". OK so you're telling me that you wouldn't trade Jared Odrick and Mike Pouncey for a genuine shot at a franchise QB, because those are our last two first-rounders. Look, I wouldn't be happy giving away FOUR first-rounders, but would you do it if you got an Aaron Rodgers or a Tom Brady out of that deal? I wouldn't even blink. Some people are putting too much power in the draft considering there is a thing called Free Agency for holes to fill. Teams with high powered unstoppable offenses like the Saints, Colts and Packers, can get by with glaring weaknesses because of how the games are being played today.
How do you think the Packers would fare if they didn't have a first round pick this year? The next two years? You think they STILL wouldn't be able to make it to the super bowl?
And how many Franchise QB's have tested the Free Agency market the past 20 years?
But he's a rookie... it's too risky. What if he's not good?
- Every time you pick up ANYONE to be a part of your organization you take a risk. You take a risk of failure for the opportunity of success. This is multiplied x1000 when you are talking about a quarterback due to the fact that they control your entire offense. So if Miami drafts a QB like Luck or RGIII we have two possibilities:
1. He's good. We have finally found our franchise QB. We win every game and SB for the next 10 years. Everything is well. Rejoice.
2. He's not good. We have NOT found our franchise QB. We are in the EXACT position we are in now. Because of the fact that we have given up everything to get this guy, we really suck so we will probably end up with a TOP 5 draft pick within the next few years. We draft another TOP QB. He's good. Refer back to Option 1. Rejoice.
Or we can roll the dice with Matt Moore/Chad Henne or whatever second tier "high potential QB" you might propose...
Refer to the Dolphins records since Marino left = 2 playoff appearances in 12 years. Epic Fail.
It's really not rocket science, people.
Well I guess that makes sense, but how about Chad Henne and Matt Moore? They haven't had a fair chance!
-I'll make one thing clear, this is not an attack on Henne or Moore. I have actually been impressed by both at sometime in this season. Henne looked pretty good in the beginning and although it took some time to get acclimated this season, I commend Matt Moore for coming in and playing solid as well. He's a bit more exciting than Henne in my opinion and due to the average QB play and injuries in the AFC, I would even give him a vote for a reserve spot at the Pro Bowl.
That being said, Henne and Moore are not legitimate "Franchise QB" options. They both make plenty of mistakes and can't be the X-factor to seal victories when the game is on the line. They have competed on a offense with a handful of play-makers and have had good games and bad. Neither have shown me that they are singlehandedly TAKE OVER when we need them too. Our offensive red zone efficiency is still brutal.
How many years are we going to give Henne until we close the door on that project? Well, not another one; he's a Free Agent and won't be re-signed; let another team deal with that problem. He won't be on the team next year so I'll stop talking about him.
I admit, for the most part, Moore has looked good but he is still inconsistent. He has had good games against crappy teams and even crappier secondaries. Against good teams he has problems. Well, good teams are the teams that you face in the playoffs. And if we don't have ELITE QB play we damn sure better have the best defense in the league. Our defense is good, but it's not there yet... so obtaining a franchise QB and building around him is the best way to get VERY GOOD, and faster than you may think.
How can you say Moore and Henne will never be ELITE?
-Minus the QB position, I honestly think this team is good enough to get to the SB with an ELITE QB. Sure we have other weaknesses, but so does every team in the league. Here's the thought on a FRANCHISE QB:
We can draft a franchise QB -OR- we can attempt to try to revamp our entire team to build around a second-tier QB like Matt Moore. Miami would need to get a top OLB, SS, RT, WR, CB, new coach/coordinator, and play perfect, dominate the turnover-ratio and avoid all significant injuries, for us to have a shot at the NFL title. OR we could get a top QB, and put him on a team that can start competing with ELITE teams as soon as THIS YEAR.
We would have to have THE PERFECT team behind a guy like Moore or Henne. It's even harder than it sounds. Plus, we probably would risk being one-hit wonders, instead of building a dynasty. For example, I don't think San Francisco will win the SB due to their QB play and even by some miracle if they do, chances are they won't win it again the next decade. They might not even make the playoffs next year... Reminds me of the 2003 Chiefs team that went 13-3 and ran away with the AFC under Trent Green, a solid D, and a dominant rushing attack. Well, they lost to the Colts (And Mr. ELITE himself, Peyton Manning) in the first round and went 7-9 the following season. They have not won a playoff game since.
See the pattern? It's nearly impossible to sustain greatness without a true leader at QB.
Henne and Moore, you have been great, but as much as I like settling through 7-9 seasons with you guys I kind of want to eat with the big boys at the grown ups table. I'd love to keep Moore as a solid backup QB, but he is not the long term solution for the Dolphins, this much I'm sure. I don't even mind if he starts next year... it might be good to retain that momentum we have had late this season. But, if we don't have a STUD rookie QB second on the depth chart, don't come whining to me when we miss another playoff bid.
Well, that makes sense. But if ELITE QB's are so important what makes you think that Indy would let us even have the #1 pick and rights to Andrew Luck?
-For one, we all need to root for Rams to get that top spot, because this is absolutely a scenario. The truth remains, there is an absolute possibility that the Colts will have 2 ELITE QB's on their roster next year. The Rams would be a much better trading partner due to their investment in Sam Bradford. There also remains the possibility of a team taking Luck and trading their current QB (Manning/Bradford), which if this is the case I believe we need to give these guys a call because they both have "IT", despite some concerning question marks.
The fact that I think that Indy or St. Louis will remain open to trading with us regardless, is due to the fact that they are very very BAD football teams. We are much better than Indy, and I feel like even if Indy had Aaron Rodgers at QB they probably wouldn't win the SB with the team they have now (It's scary because it just shows you how important a QB is- I know for a fact that you are saying to yourself, "Well maybe..."). The Rams and Colts need to completely redo their defenses and still need a lot of help still on offense. A gaggle of draft picks would help these teams immensely considering they already have dependable options at QB. The Colts would have about 80% of team talent and money invested in 2 QB's and it might not be in their best interest to go that route. If Peyton is healthy, Miami would be able to give them enough to make them one of the best teams in football next year. It would be a win-win scenario for either the Colts or the Rams to trade down and get an insane collection of draft picks/players. Will it be enough?
And what will it cost? Nobody knows for sure but you can kiss multiple first-round picks goodbye. I'd root for the Colts on Sunday and hope the Rams retake the top pick... they would have MUCH MORE leverage in a trade with any team than Indy, considering Peyton's age and health (which is the reason I wouldn't give TOO much get him here as a short term option in MIami if the Colts do decide to go with Luck).
Everything is on the table. Any pick, any player. I'm open to all options, let's talk.
OK, I'm on board too.. what are our options?
- This offseason I feel we look for our next head coach (that is a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT topic and one I will not share in this post) and look to start 2012 with 2 MAIN GOALS.
1A. Trade up for Andrew Luck
1B. Trade up for Robert Griffin III
This is what is at stake and I feel as if we are essentially settling if we do not try everything in our power to get one of these two players:
ANDREW LUCK (6'4, 235- Stanford Cardinals)
Andrew Luck is the perfect college QB; he is balanced in EVERYTHING he does and in terms of the NFL Draft, where everything is based upon risk and reward... this is as safe as a pick you can ever make. For those people saying trading everything to get Luck is too risky, this is beyond the most hypocritical of statements I have ever heard. Like I said, EVERY acquistion made on your team is a risk; if Drew Brees or Tom Brady signed contracts on our team in free agency, there is STILL a risk involved, little as it may be.
For those people who are more conservative like me, and don't want to see the Dolphins get burned (like they have countless times before)... Andrew Luck is OUR top priority. There is no guarantee that Luck will take your team to the promised land, but it's about as close you can come to all but guaranteeing greatness for the next decade or more.
Because of this, his value might be astronomical, and if the Colts do in fact end up with the #1 pick, they will have a serious choice to make that could change the entire face of their franchise.
I'm thinking the high demands might take some teams with a need for a QB out of the running but I'm sure soon enough that the Browns, Redskins, Dolphins, Seahawks, Vikings and maybe even the Jets will be looking over possible trade bait to see what it would take to get the best QB prospect for the last 15 years.
As a player, Luck Brings everything you would want out of a rookie QB. Flawless footwork, Fantastic accuracy, Comfort in the pocket, Top End Intelligence and Decision Making, Great Arm Strength, Toughness, Good size, Mobility, Familiarity with a Pro Style Offense, Willingness to win, and with no off-field red flags.
But what I like EVEN more about Andrew Luck is what he can bring to this team off the field. Like I said, I stand pat when I say I think Miami really does have a good group of guys. We are one leader from being an extremely dangerous football team. We need a reason to be excited again. We need a leader. We need to make the city of Miami remember that there has been a football team in our town for the last decade.
Luck will help woo a head coach to our team as well as make us a top candidate for free agents to come sign. Our team already knows how good they COULD be, and with a new leader at QB I feel they will be especially fired up come next season. Luck has the ability to make Miami more than just a football team, he should face scrutiny and pressure wherever he goes, but I wouldn't feel more confident with anybody else under center to be our guy.
NFL Comparison: John Elway
ROBERT GRIFFIN III (6'2, 220- Baylor Bears)
There is a reason the man known as RGIII won the Heisman Trophy for the BEST player in college football; he can do it all.
Although RGIII might have a few more question marks than Luck in terms of his transition to the NFL, this guy will undoubtedly bring JUST as much excitement and chatter to his new team as likely #1 pick, Andrew Luck. For a guy who prefers to pass, teams have learned the hard way that pressuring Griffin can sometimes NOT be the best idea when he gets OUTSIDE the pocket.
RGIII, born in Okanawa Japan, is a soft spoken, well-mannered gentleman off the field and a complete BEAST on the field. In fact, if he is a Dolphin next year, he may need to talk to Brandon Marshall about getting the rights to his nickname.
Griffin came out of nowhere as early as last year, so his NFL potential still remains to be seen and debated. He is only 6'2, not as familiar with a pro-style offense and is still raw in some aspects. However, his upside is as great as anyone's (possibly even more than Luck himself) and his mobility adds a completely different skill set to the new offense he joins. He is an offensive coordinator's wet dream and a defensive coordinator's worst nightmare. Griffin will most likely be taken behind Luck so the trading price might be a bet more reasonable to try and grab RGIII in spots 2-5 in April's draft.
For the Dolphins, who desperately need to "take a shot" and stop playing it safe, RGIII might be the best of both worlds: take a risk by moving up, but without giving up as much as you would have to for Luck. RGIII might not have the immediate success that Luck should bring, but the sky is the limit for this kid and there is no doubt that he will do great things at the next level to wherever he ends up.
NFL Comparison: Cam Newton
I wish I could have both of these guys, but the truth is in a few months Luck and RGIII will likely make 2 NFL teams very happy... but will either be the Miami Dolphins?
MY FINAL CASE:
"The Definition of Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."
Since #13 has retired the Miami Dolphins have become infamous for putting in sub-par, decent options as legitimate replacements at the QB positions. Miami has not drafted a QB in the first round since 1983 where they took a risk by drafting this crazy haired kid from Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, teams like the Colts, Giants, Packers, and Steelers have had success in their first-round quarterbacks that have brought a championship to their city. More recently, the Lions, Panthers and even the Niners have turned heads as "upcoming teams to watch" largely in part of their overall #1 pick at QB. Miami has for the most part danced around an average record since 2000, winning the division only once and making the playoffs twice. Head coaches have come and gone as teams have underachieved year after year. Simply put, life has been tough for a Miami Dolphin fan.
But enough is enough. I'm tired of waiting. I'm tired of settling. There is something we can do about it. There are 2 more-than-qualified upgrades to the most important position on our team and the only reason we won't take a shot on either is because we chose to play it safe and "settle".
It's looking like the Dolphins will end up at pick 7-10 and they will most likely have two choices:
1. Trade up and get Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III so that we have a franchise QB for the next decade.
2. Settle and take an offensive lineman. Again.
What do you think Miami should do? Do you think they should play it safe, wait until next year, or try to build around what we have..... or should we finally make THIS the year, and make the decision to go ALL IN?
Do me a favor, if you have read this entire post I commend and thank you... but I have a request. I usually don't do this, but IF and ONLY IF you agree with me that this is the year we go ALL IN and get our QB for future, REC this post at the bottom. This will tell me truly how many people are on board to do whatever it takes, and feel as passionate as me about doing something about it. Also, it will keep this post up on the site longer for more to read and hopefully join in our cause. Make sure to vote in the poll and please let me know WHAT you think about the Dolphins and their upcoming draft decision by commenting below. If you don't think we should go ALL-IN, then make sure to tell me why as well!
Whatever happens, GO Dolphins! I hope we crush the Jets and end the season on a positive note as we continue to build for the future of our team. I truly hope you make an effort to go ALL IN. I want to see this team finally hit it's potential and be the powerhouse we are supposed to be.