I got a few more e-mails that I wanted to address today. So let's get to it.
Which is more of a mess and which will be easier to fix. And, by fixing which one, will get us back into the win column quicker? My take is that we have to fix the o-line first because if we can't score it won't matter how good our defense is even though it may be easier to fix.
Well after last season's piss poor performance by our defensive line, especially in shutting down the run, I think we can all agree that our D-line is a bigger mess right now. However, I also think that the defensive line is easier to fix as well. And here's why. I feel that the Dolphins are really only 1 or 2 players away along the D-line. They already got a premier pass rusher in Jason Taylor. And they got some solid young talent that can really provide depth. Matt Roth, in my view, is an ideal defensive end to be part of a rotation, but not to start. I think Rod Wright is going to develop into a valuable asset along the line as a guy who can make an impact at both the DE spot and DT spot. And Paul Soliai and Quentin Moses are both guys with a lot of upside. I think what the Dolphins need is a stud nose tackle/defensive tackle and a good (but not great) defensive end to play opposite of Taylor.
With that said, I do agree that the offensive line should be a bigger priority because, as we've seen, it's very hard to do anything with a solid offensive line. It's hard to run the ball and hard to have a quality passing attack. But I think that this unit is heading in the right direction. Samson Satele is bound to be a future star - or at least as much of a star as a center can be. And Vernon Carey has proven that he can handle both the left and right tackle spot. I think that finding another tackle is a top priority. In doing that, we can move L.J. Shelton to guard where he seems to perform better.
So in a nutshell, the offensive line, I feel, is the bigger priority but the defensive line is probably the easier fix.
Any chance the Dolphins retain the services of Rex Hadnot?
Yes, there is a chance. Before Cam Cam was fired, we heard that Hadnot's agent had already been in contact with Randy Mueller about a new deal. But now we don't know how this new regime feels about Rex. So it's hard to know how likely it is for him to be back in Miami in 2008. But I will say this. If he is unsigned by February 29 (start of free agency), there will be many teams interested in his services and he will not come cheap.
But I'll also say this about Hadnot. As much of a leader he seemed to be on the field, there have been some rumblings that Rex wasn't exactly a very good team player in the locker room. Take that for what it's worth, but it's something that warrants some thought when you think about retaining Hadnot.
I really hope John Beck gets a fair shake with this new regime. What do you think? Is he going to have a shot at starting in 2008?
I'd be shocked if John wasn't in the mix for the starting job in 2008. To me, it's unfair to judge Beck on his 2007 performance because he really didn't have much help around him. Luckily for us "pro-Beck" fans, it does seem like John will have every opportunity to start from day 1 in 2008. I've heard that Jeff Ireland was high on him prior to the 2007 NFL Draft. I'd also bet the farm that John is working extremely hard this offseason and probably has a chip on his shoulder, which will only motivate him even more.
Then there's this blog post by the Sun-Sentinel's Ethan Skolnick that also tells us that John is very much in Miami's 2008 plans:
In Mobile, new GM Jeff Ireland said he had spoken to two Dolphins. Jason Taylor. John Beck. He had not spoken to Zach Thomas...
...I was told, by someone that I trust, that Parcells reviewed tape of Beck upon taking the VP of football operations job.... and was more impressed than he thought he would be.
Here's to hoping John proves he can be a top 10 NFL quarterback!!
As always, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.