It's been 24 hours and I am pretty sure we can generally agree that the last thing any of us needs is yet another rehashing of the Texans game. So I will spare you and involve you all in something I was thinking about quite a bit today, while pretending to listen to people drone on and on about their pest control issues, yannow, bedbugs and rats and the like. I cannot emphasize enough that this is a HYPOTHETICAL question. It is, in no way, meant to be a prognostication or a doomsday scenario of things to come. It is simply a "what if" that I would like to have you weigh in on....
(Initiate wavy television special effects and "wurring" audio, as if drifting into a dream)
Let's say it is January 2nd, 2012. The Dolphins are fresh off their final regular season game, and have managed to endure (another) 7-9 season. The home woes continued, and the defense regressed slightly from last year, but were a solid unit, nonetheless. The key here is Henne. Let's say Henne finished the season ranked somewhere between 10 and 15 of the 32-35 QB's that started during the season, using whatever system you are comfortable with to rate QB's. Maybe 3200 yards, 22 TD's and 13 INT's, or similar. Nothing spectacular, but certainly a mile ahead of last year. OK, got all that? And wIth a 7-9 record, I think we can all agree that Sparano and Ireland are gone. So my question is this: What do you do if you are the new FO? Let's say, for the sake of this discussion, that the Dolphins will have the tenth position in the upcoming draft. Certainly high enough to be in a position to grab a QB in what is, supposedly, the deepest QB class in years. Do you start fresh, meaning draft a QB with that first round pick, and let Henne walk? Is a bird in the hand more valuable to you than the two over there in that bush? Meaning: Do you accept that you have a top-half QB and address other needs (O-line)? Do you, depending on circumstances, offer whoever has the number one spot the world for Andrew Luck? Before you jump at that one, though, my guess is that it is going to take a Ditka-esque Ricky Williams draft day trade to get a deal done (I.E. Trade your whole 2012 draft away). It's an interesting question, I think. I don't necessarily know that I would toss aside a top 15 QB, simply for a fresh start. I would for Luck, but I don't know that I would give away my whole draft for him. This is not a rhetorical question, and I have not yet decided where I would stand, if that situation arose. Unfortunately though, given the way this season has started, it is anything but far-fetched. Of course, if Henne finishes the year the way he did last year, this isn't even a discussion. So please don't respond with "Henne sucks. let him go", Because this whole hypothetical is based on him being a top-half player, at his position.
(End fantasy sequence now.)
OK, the hell with it, let's talk a little bit about Sunday. Sorry, I just couldn't help it.
Tony Sparano is running out of places to hide.
I have always liked Tony Sparano. I think he is a straight-up guy, and I think the players like him and generally play hard for him. His cover is fading however. We don't have Dan Henning to blame for a stale game plan anymore. Bill Parcells is long gone, so the idea of the boss looming over him is no longer a factor. Chad Henne can't possibly be made the fall guy over the last two weeks. If this season continues on the way it began, the music is gonna stop at the end of the season and the coach and the GM are gonna find themselves without a seat, and I am finding it harder and harder to defend either of them. And what line do I stand in to complain about the prolonged and consistent circus sideshow that is our special teams? And nevermind the abortions that were botched field goals for a minute. Why oh why can't we cover a kick off properly and tackle a guy that started the return nine yards deep in the endzone, BEFORE he gets to the thirty or thirty-five yard line? And conversely, why do our return men insist on taking the ball out of the endzone and get promptly leveled at the ten yard line? Maybe we should find the guy we fired after the Patriots game last year and fire him again, since that seemed to work so well for us. Again, at some point you look to the sidelines at the guy calling the shots and start to ask questions. Although, you may be disappointed, because after the game he announced that he was "out of answers". Now THAT'S encouraging.
Oh, and one more thing and I'll leave "Shades" alone. If you want to punt with 8 minutes left and down by two scores, I guess I can live with that, even if I don't agree with it (So much for being aggressive, huh?). But the second you decide to do that, you make every second on the clock vital. So why on earth would you waste a timeout there? I'm sorry, but that can't be called anything but awful game management.
One positive note
What the hell is Daniel Thomas doing? Hasn't he been paying attention over the last ten years? We expect, nay demand, that all second round draft picks be absolute busts! What kind of world would this be if our second round draft picks started (Gasp!)....PERFORMING!?! THe whole world would flip upside down! Jesus, whats next? A first round QB? I know, I know, I am getting ridiculous now. QB's are only to be drafted in the second round (or later). Seriously though, it was exciting to see that kind of running game. It's been a while since we have had a back perform like that...And don't sweat the fumble kid. Just keep your head down and keep running....
Mark's 'Media Sucks" moment of the week....
Our week one 14 point loss to the Patriots has been referred to everywhere as a "blowout". Today, the Chargers 14 point loss the New England Patriots? Being called a "shootout" and the game of the week. Screw you, ESPN....
Conclusion (Ravenous applause)
Here is the problem, in general: We are not a bad football team. In fact, there are times over the last few years that we look like a good football team. What we are not, however, is a "winning" football team. And I don't just mean the win-loss record. We just don't make winning plays. Our offense moves the ball very well, until it comes time to cash in. Our defense plays well, but sometimes a defense has to create offense. I mean, how 'bout a turnover boys? We are the anti-Jets. You can call them lucky all you want, but when they are presented with a chance to steal a game, they do. Regardless of how poorly they may be playing on any given night, the second they get a chance to win the game, they pounce. We need some of that. And it can't just be this coaching staff, cause this franchise hasn't had a team that plays real "winning" football in a long, long time. And I, like our head coach, don't have any answers.
I am an idea man. A bad idea man, but an idea man, nonetheless. I have been trying to make suggestions that might make the veterans happy with the overall quality of the posting on this site. Every single one of my ideas has been bad, But I am nothing if not persistant. (Probably why four different woman currently have restraining orders out against me.) So here is one more try: There is a difference between a Fanpost, and a rant. Post-game emotional rants really shouldnt be clogging up the Fanpost section. I think this is what some of the vets are talking about. So, what if a section was added for "Fan Rants"? Clear them out of the Fanpost section altogether, without excluding them from the sight. I enjoy the rants sometimes, so I would still read all of them, but maybe some further categorization would appease some of the old guard. Also, what if we fed the mayonnaise directly to the Tuna fish? (Bad "Night Shift" reference there, must mean it's time to wrap up...)