Dudes. My son's due date is in 10 days. Trust me, I have wayyyy more important stuff to be doing. But when I saw comments from Jason La Canfora recently, I felt obligated to retort on behalf of the Dolphins community. For anyone who doesn't know me, I'm a frequent poster and responder, but have gotten lackadaisical with the, ummm, oh, I forget. Oh yeah, the birth of my son. Anyway, here is what he said, and here is what I think about what he said. Take it for what it's worth.
On cbssports.com, Jason listed his 3 "surprises" and 3 "disappointments" for the upcoming football season. Of all the 32 NFL teams, Miami ended up on his short "disappointment" list (Kansas City and Minnesota being the other 2).
No team has been flashier since the start of free agency in March, loading up on free agents, throwing cash around and then making a bold trade up to the third overall pick in draft to nab Dion Jordan.
Yeah, I'm sure the goal of Jeff Ireland's offseason was to be as "flashy" as possible. Hey, why the hell not, let's throw some cash around. Let's aimlessly throw money at players and see what happens. See my point? Just because you spend a lot of money doesn't mean you intend to do it recklessly. Is their historical evidence of this? Yes. Just look at the Washington Redskins. At the same time, look at the SF 49ers. They went from 5-11 to an NFL Champsionship game in one regime change. Getting new players (or coaches) and spending money for them does not equal a PR stunt, as Mr. La Canfora would have you believe. We needed players, and to get players, you need to spend money. This is sensationalization at its finest. We spend the most money in free agency, therefore we are flashy. I don't see the connection. We are trying to field a good football team, and good players cost money. There is a faulty correlation that he is spreading, and it is this: if you spend a lot of money in free agency, it will not equate to wins. He is basing EVERYTHING on this assumption. Oh, and trading up to 3 is "bold" when you only trade a 2nd rounder for it? I would say it's dumb for NOT doing it. Trading from 12 to 3 for a 2nd rounder, by EVERY calculation I have seen, is one of the biggest steals in draft history. DRAFT HISTORY. Let that sink in. If you think it's bold to pay a dollar for a filet mignon, then I think you have the wrong definition of the word "bold." All of this depends on Dion Jordan being a player worthy of the #3 selection. I have no doubts that he is fully worth that selection...
I'm just not sure how much better they're going to be. Questions remain at left tackle and in the secondary and in the running game, to name a few. Suddenly there is a buzz about this being a team on the rise and ready to enter the playoff equation.
So, you aren't sure how much better they will be, but you are willing to label them a "disappointment"? If you aren't sure, if I were an "expert", then I would leave them off my list. But here we are. Questions remain at left tackle? We have Jonathan Martin, and I would agree that this IS a question mark...but not so much of a question mark that I am willing to label the entire Dolphins team a "disappointment" over 31 other NFL teams. There are "ifs" in the secondary, but we have a lot of escape routes when it comes to these "ifs". My assumption: either Richard Marshall or Brent Grimes will man 1 starting spot, and Jamar Taylor or Marshall/Grimes/Will Davis will man the other starting spot. The remaining will compete for nickel and dime duties, not to mention we have Patterson and Carroll. We have "ifs", but so does every other NFL team at this position. This is a kind of position where no one is EVER satisfied - too many passes happen in the NFL to be complacent at this position. But we are by no means a disappointment in this category. By my estimation, we have answers at CB, not questions. We have a former Pro Bowler (Grimes), a CB that some experts believe COULD be a Pro Bowler (Marshall), and 2 rookies that are "more polished than Vontae and Sean Smith" at rookie minicamps (Taylor and Davis). We have no more questions at CB than any other team, yet it's cause to label us a "disappointment." Questions in the running game assume that Lamar Miller, Daniel Thomas, and Mike Gillislee won't be able to carry the torch. Lamar Miller had almost 5 yards per carry; Daniel Thomas is on my black list of people to axe as soon as they screw up again so I can't say anything positive about him; Mike Gillislee demonstrates good WC skills in a running back. But, again, I don't see an up-and-coming RB followed by an adequate rookie and a sketchy veteran as a "disappointment". Am I happy? No. But am I disappointed? No. The Jets just had their #1 RB arrested and will possibly be released from the team, and yet, WE are the disappointment. Interesting. Frankly, all it tells me is that Mr. La Canfora didn't watch Lamar Miller run last year. He is decisive, a perfect fit for a zone blocking scheme, and has the speed and quickness to elude tacklers.
Usually, when you bring in this much outside talent, it either doesn't take at all, or it takes more than a year to click. We'll see how Ryan Tannehill progresses in his second season as their quarterback and if there is a leadership void with guys like Karlos Dansby no longer around.
This much outside talent? So we bring in 2 WR's and 2 LB's, and it's an entire off-season purge? Clabo is an OL, so I don't even count him in this assessment. Grimes wasn't wanted by his former team for the price he was asking for. Wallace and Gibson have been working with Tannehill off the clock for hours a day getting prepared for the season. Every NFL team brings in multiple new people to invigorate and rejuvenate, as well as provide competition for every position on the roster. Yet, this same tactic is used to demonstrate Miami as a "disappointment." Since when was Karlos Dansby our leader? He was outspoken, sure. Talked wayyyy too much. I want Tannehill to be our leader, and he is already doing that by example, not by getting diarrhea of the mouth through the media. Tannehill will be a baller in year 2, mark my words.
I still don't see them being any real threat to the Patriots in the AFC East, and with teams like the Colts and Bengals still likely in the wild card scene, I don't see Miami unseating anyone being much more than an 8-8 team at best. Not sure there is enough bite on defense surrounding Cameron Wake, and not sure this team will be able to grind out wins down the stretch.
Interesting. So a team the Dolphins beat last year (Bengals) and SHOULD HAVE beat (Colts...remember that TY Hilton catch in double coverage to win the game?) are firmly entrenched in the Wild Card scene? Not enough bite on defense? We were top half of the league in sacks, and will only get better with the addition of Dion Jordan. Kacy Rodgers, our DL coach, is the BEST DL coach in the entire league. Look at what he's produced with Wake (CFL), Soliai (4th round), Starks (3rd round), and Odrick/Vernon (1st/3rd round). We have one of the best DL's in the NFL, and just imagine what a guy like Rodgers can do with a diamond like Dion Jordan. Potential is through the roof. Not to mention the effect that our improved pass rush will have on our secondary. Not able to grind out wins? Tannehill did it against the Seahawks. Does Jason La Canfora know how resilient and determined this team will be to close out games down the stretch in 2013? Fack no. He has an opinion. I just think that opinion is stupid and illogical.