Hello my fellow Fins fans,
I have been at work all day and having been following along reading from the horrible app on my phone. I want to wish a welcome back to a good many of you whom are either returning to watching the dolphins at home, read up on the new coach, probably watching Hard Knocks, and most likely are familiar with our draft choices and of course are a Phinsider brethren. Also others whom have been on vacations recently, spending time with their children or celebrating a wedding my best wishes to all of you as well.
It is to you whom I will say," DON'T PANIC", yet. Things appear much worse than they are, I believe. Green Bay is 0-2 this preseason, guess what they start almost every preseason like that. It is a secondary function to win a preseason game in the mind of Mike Mcarthy, Head Coach of the Green Bay Packers. Philbin worked under Mcarthy as an O-line and TE's coach at first before being promoted to OC. It was actually Mike Sherman, our current OC, who as the head coach of Green Bay brought Joe Philbin into the league.
These men have helped put together a very good Green Bay legacy. While they are by no means identical they share a common philosophy to football. Work hard and as a family, promote from within, hold yourself accountable for your actions, fairness and straightforwardness. That is what you can expect from the new Dolphins franchise. They all believe fast past paced wco offense's and high flying risk taking defenses. They also are not afraid to sit a high round draft pick if they aren't ready, they build through the draft and promote from within, rarely acquiring free agents except as viable back ups.
They use the preseason as a tool to evaluate that young talent and give them a chance to put plays on tape, the less you hear from their starters the better their position on the team. I went and watched the Browns vs Packers Game this week and I barely saw Geeen Bay's starters, while Wheedon was in most of the game. Does anyone actually believe that once the season starts Green Bay would loose to Clevland 35-10 at Lambo Field?
Here is another factor to the preseason coaching style. The true starters, the ones that have the least to prove, sit as much or more than the third stringers. It is a bell curve of playing time at each position. We are also running our most basic type plays. We haven't split into 3-4 once on D and we all know it is coming. We have apparently installed a 5-2 Bear which has yet to be seen. And hardly and blitz calls. And the starters are being asked not to go hurt themselves. We have also not run the ball more 10 percent of our plays, partly due to the QB battle. And the starters are being asked not to go hurt themselves. They won't blow a play on purpose, but they don't want to kill these guys either. Look at Philbin's expressions in the first half, mostly emotionless. Yet he was significantly more animated when the guys he was really evaluating were on the field. Don't go running around setting fires because we haven't won a preseason game. The starters aren't in most of the game and when they are they are also making sure not to get injured. Or that is the plan. Yet purposeful exceptions exist where snap counts are concerned.
The QB battle. Philbin needs to make a choice soon but I wouldn't count on it too soon. Tannehill got more snaps and started with the ones. I do not however think that he will start next week, not because he isn't ready but if he starts this season don't expect too too much. Good, yes. Elite, not yet. I think the plan all along was to start Garrard who has a small window of career left in order to start Tannehill when he is ready. Hopefully David Garrard recovers before the preseason.
Again, hopefully, the NFLPA decides to pass the new rule regarding the one player IR exemption. It allows one player from the IR back into the roster up until a certain point in the season. Presumably the trade deadline. We could look to use this on Garrard. If this happens loo for Moore to start. If Garrard does get better before the regular season, look for a Matt Moore trade. This is the scenerio where Tannehill starts and Garrard is our aging back up QB/ clip board coach. I do believe Tanehill starts Game 1.
MATT MOORE TRADE ALERT! Moore,does not fit this style of offense, I have said that since we hired Philbin. He went 6-6 as a starter. He only beat teams with loosing records. He was a decent starter and is a phenomenal back-up. I think we have about the same odds with Tannehill's rookie year. And that is ok with me, I would rather start the future now is the present doesn't look any brighter. I think him being part of this QB competition is as trade bait. He has one year left on a small contract, a team with a QB problem who needs a starter wouldn't mind throwing us a mid round pick. If we can get a starting receiver and no pick great. If we can pick up a number WR 1 and give a low round pick and Moore then I am happy too.
I am looking at KC to play Moore as a starter. If that happened we could just take a pick here. Or we could go after a receiver, hmm I wonder which one (Only concern, cap space.) If we did that however we would most likely also have to give a late round pick as well. Or a switch of picks for next draft like we did on the Reggie Bush trade with the Saints last year. Brian Daboll is the OC there and Moore actually fits his more traditional NFL balance offense as we saw glimpses of last year. Daboll being there certainly helps us get an inside track.
Speaking of inside tracks, GB is a solid possibility as a trade partner. GB has basically no back up QB's. If Rodgers goes down, they are in a little bit of trouble. Graham Harrel can't hit the broad side of a barn. And the 3 QB is 7th round rookie B.J. Coleman. If Matt Moore goes here it is true he will still be a back up. But he might be ok with that if the packers take a Super Bowl in the next few couple of years. A Super Bowl ring possibility along with backing up the best QB in the game at the moment could go a long way in making this happen. If this happens I think we would do well to try and get James Jones. He is a proven receiver who presumably can transition to this offense quickly. We will most likely give up a draft pick a round 5-7 pick if we get Jones.
WR battle is getting tighter, I wouldn't want to be making this decision. I can only break it down for you. Heartline hasn't practiced at all but I think he is off injury list before the season and maintains a roster spot even if he doesn't start for a couple weeks as he catches up to speed.
The Locks: Bess, Heartline and apparently Nannee. (If we get a wide-out from a Moore trade Scenerio look for Nannee to be gone.He us good enough for now I hope, but not good enough that with another proven receiver he should be impeding the growth of our growing WR's.)
I think if Marlon Moore doesn't show up big in the next two games then he is gone. More rookie spots on the roster.
If these two will have to move mountains to make the 53, Cunningham to the P.S. and Gates is cut. Maybe as soon as next week, he has been out performed on special teams and has been injured and he still can't catch.
TE's- Very little battle here. Only at the bottom of the depth chart.
Fasano is really our only blocking TE. Charles Clay is a potential break out playmaker. Egnew is learning the speed of the game and the offensive scheme but as 3rd round pick he makes the 53. He is the future at TE.
With 3 locks and only 4 spots, these two guys are it. We only have one blocking TE. Masturd stays and I hope Les Brown clears the waiver wire and makes it back the practice squad.
O-LINE- No big surprises really.
Martin had a scary couple of weeks but I think is going to be getting better soon. There are concerns about his switch to right tackle from playing left tackle in college. He will work out the kinks soon. It is not a difficult transition and tons of NFL tackles have done it, I see no reason to be alarmed, yet. Artis Hicks worries me... he could go down at any time.
Murtha and Garner both play tackle, Garner and Samuda can both play center. And all three can play gaurd. No one else is needed.
RB's- Bush, Thomas, Slaton, Miller, Jonas Grey and Marcus Thigpen.
Bush is hoping for the rushing record, I would happy with a probowl out of him. We haven't run the ball hardly at all this preseason but when your top 2 guys have injury history working them too hard in preseason games can be dangerous. I think we see an awful lot of these guys com regular season. Miller, Thomas and Bush are also special team contributors
Chopping Block- Marcus Thigpen, Jonas Grey , Steve Slaton
I hope we can sneak Thigpen onto the P.S. but most likely he gets nab in the waiver wire if we do. Raise of hands. Who knew Jonas Grey was on the team? I had to look it up. Steve Slaton, he is a little older and a little wiser. I don't know, with Bush and Thomas being injury prone having two rookie back ups is the best idea.
Apparently we are keeping at one which could be a case to cut Steve Slaton. But he looked alright last night and so did Thigpen. Javorskie Lane gets the nod here. No question.
I know there are more than a few concerns about our D right now. 3 starters were out last week. Which is why we saw more hussle out of the second units except at those 3 positions where second stringers stepped up. Trusnick, Vernon and mostly Shelby. The secondary is in need of help but I think getting better. Safety is the biggest need on our team right now besides WR. But let's be honest. We lost the last game due to bad officiating. Both the call on Davis and Smith were dead wrong and would have given us the ball back but instead lead to touchdowns. The refs put up more yards than Cam Newton.
The Locks-Soliai, Starks, Randall
Soliai is good but not great and we got him at that price. Starks is a solid starter. Randall is the drafted rookie. And remember, Odrick can slide over from DE and will regularly on passing downs.
The Chopping Block- Tony McDaniels, Ryan Baker, Isaako Aaitui
I think McDaniels most likely stays, Baker is cut and Aaitui is stashed on the practice squad til next year.
Locks- All! I see us carrying all five solid DE's. Especially if Shelby continues to show he's got it.
The Locks- Karlos Dansby, Kevin Burnett, Koa Misi, Josh Kaduu
The starter plus the rookie draft pick are definately making this corps.
The Chopping Block- Austin Spitler, Gary Guyton, Jason Trusnick and Josh Linam (whom we just picked up) plus a whole bunch of other guys who won't make it past this week. I only list Linam because he is was just signed last week.
Two of these will make the roster in my opinion Spitler and Trusnik. Guyton isn't that good and Trusnik stepped it up.
The Locks- Reshard Jones, Chris Clemons, Jimmy Wilson, Tyrone Culver.
This is a solid group and I think we only keep 4 of them any way. With depth from Richard Marshall in a worst cast scenario. Flexibility is key to our defensive roster. They all need to play better!
The Chopping Block- Johnson, Mcray, Russell
I would like to see Russel on the P.S. I think he has talent. Johnson is done, as is Mcray unless we have an open P.S. spot. Doubtful though.
The Locks- Richard Marshall, Sean Smith, Vontae Davis, Nolan Caroll
I think we roll with these four. Again, Jimmy Wilson was a CB last year and in college. In the worst case he can be called upon and be better than anyone else on this list of practice bodies.
The Chopping Block- EVERYONE ELSE!
53 Man Roster Prediction/ Depth Chart
Qb (3)- Tannehill, Garrard, Devlin
WR-(7) Bess, Hartline, Naanee, Wallace, Pruiit, Mathews, Hogan
RB (4)- Bush, Thomas, Miller, Thigpen
O-line (8)- Long, Incognito, Puncey, Hicks, Martin
Murtha, Samuda, Garner
FB (1)- Lane
TE (4)- Fasano, Clay, Masturd, Egnew.
DT (4)- Starks, Soliai, McDaniels, Randall (Odrick slides in here too)
DE (5)- Wake, Odrick, Vernon, Shelby, Westerman
LB (6)- Dansby, Burnett, Misi, Spitler, Trusnik, Kaduu
CB (4)- Smith, Marshall, Davis, Caroll (Jimmy WIlson slides in here too)
S (4)- Jones, Clemons, WIlson, Culver (Marshall can play here too)
LS- John Denney
Team Total- 53
Things are not as bad as they seem, this is preseason still. Give it time. I am not saying we are going to the play offs but I think we do better than the Jets and maybe the Bills. It will be a slow start though, this is a whole new philosophy being brought to Miami. I think it is a winning one. I see us at 7-9 wins this season if we get help hopefully in the form of a trade. Do not despair Fins Fans. This is typical GB style preseason. Not to mention much limited play calling we are doing out of our base formations. Our coaches are an unknown entity and I think they are trying to be our secret weapon. Here is to hoping! FINS UP! Let me know what you think. Love it or still think we are destined to have a top 5 pick next year?