Time to get to some more e-mails that I received. And as always, you can e-mail me at email@example.com. Now, onto the questions:
Q: When training camp opens, what are you going to be paying the most attention to?
This is a good question because there are so many interesting storylines to watch this year at camp. The first storyline that pops out is, of course, the QB situation. It will be fun to see how Trent Green looks day in and day out. I'll also be paying close attention to John Beck and how he is gaining a grasp of this offense. And of course, the other storyline that jumps out is that of Ted Ginn Jr. and how he grows as a wide receiver. He's going to have to start proving himself worthy of a top 10 pick or else some fans will being calling for his blood.
However, the most important thing to keep an eye on in training camp and the thing that I'll be most interested in will be the play of the offensive line and how they are coming together. Of course, the battle for the LG position will be interesting, but it's more than that. Any successful team needs solid play from the big guys up front. Without them performing at a high level, Trent will have no time to throw and Ronnie will have no room to run. So I will want to see how OL coach Hudson Houck works with this unit and helps them grow and become solid NFL offensive line. That, without a doubt, will be the most important thing to watch once training camp gets underway.
Q: Which of the many mistakes that have been made since Marino retired do you feel is the biggest one? I personally would say it's giving up 2 first round picks for Ricky Williams. We could have really used them.
I would have a hard time saying that trading for Ricky Williams was the biggest mistake. Yes, they gave up a lot. But fot those first 2 seasons, he was well worth it. Nobody could have predicted what would happen to his career. Yes, he was always a little "off," but no one thought he'd retire out of no where or fail tons of drug tests. So I think it would be unfair to call the Ricky trade the biggest mistake.
So after thinking about this, I'll give you what I feel are their top 2 mistakes since Marino. The lesser of the two would be passing taking Eddie Moore in the 2003 draft when a receiver like Anquan Boldin is still on the board. Boldin was the kind of player that could have jumped right in here and made an instant impact, much like he did in Arizona. He would have made a hell of a compliment to Chris Chambers. But now, we can only dream of that. Meanwhile, Eddie Moore just couldn't stay healthy and isn't even with this organization any more. Nice work, Wanny.
The biggest mistake, though, is a 2-part mistake. It all starts in 2001. The Dolphins were coming off of an 11-5 season despite having a combined passer rating of 72.2 by QBs Jay Fiedler and Damon Huard. The Dolphins sit at pick #26 in the draft, with Purdue QB Drew Brees staring at them in the face. So what do the Dolphins do? They select cornerback Jamar Fletcher despite already having the top corner tandem in the league with Sam Madison and Patrick Surtain. Six picks later, the Chargers nab him. So begins the QB carousel in Miami. Players like Ray Lucas, Brian Griese, Gus Frerotte, and Sage Rosenfels get the opportunity to start games as a Dolphin.
Then, in the offseason of 2006, the Dolphins have a chance to right the wrong. They have a chance at signing Drew Brees as a free agent. However, team doctors feel that Brees's shoulder injury is too much of a risk and supposedly recommend getting Daunte Culpepper instead because his knee injury is less serious. In 2006, Culpepper starts 4 games, goes 1-3, and never sees the field again. Meanwhile, Brees goes to the Saints, throws for 4,400 yards and 26 TDs, wins 10 regular season games, and goes to the NFC Championship game. Good call.
Q: This Culpepper crap is really annoying. When and how do you think it's going to end?
At this point, who knows? The hearing for the grievance that was filed is set for June 29. Of course, all that could come out of this hearing is Miami being forced to let Culpepper workout at the team's facilities and to practice. He will not be granted a release from his current contract. That will have to be done by the Dolphins.
What I expect to happen is for the Dolphins to be forced to allow DC to practice. However, practices are now over until camp starts. So I think that, one way or another, Culpepper will be out of Miami by the start of training camp in late July.
Thanks for the questions, everyone, and keep the e-mails coming.