We're now less than two weeks away from the start of free agency - meaning we'll finally have some "real" news to discuss regarding our Dolphins. But that doesn't mean that this is a slow period of the offseason, that's for sure.
The big story this weekend in Miami was the arrest of cornerback Will Allen, whose blood alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit. In the coming weeks, we'll see just how serious this is. But what I don't understand is this sentiment from some that seem to think Allen is going to get released or traded now because of this incident. We know Bill Parcells and this regime don't like head aches like this. But at the same time, they don't rush to make any knee-jerk reaction. Randy Starks was arrested last summer. But as it turned out, Starks was a victim of over-zealous police and the charges were dropped.
I'm not saying that Allen's situation is similar to Randy's. After all, Allen was behind the wheel and under the influence of alcohol. That is a fact. But this regime will wait and see what happens before making any decision. And odds are, they will not cut ties with their former starting cornerback who has been a class act for the most part during his tenure in Miami.
Now onto some weekend news that isn't Will Allen related:
Experts agree: Dolphins need linebackers
You can file this into the "no sh*t" category - as NFL draft "experts" have stated the obvious: the Dolphins need help at linebacker. Earth shattering crap, right?
Maybe I'm being harsh here. After all, it is interesting that so many scouts in the media are keying on the linebacker position as the Dolphins' prime need - even more so than a number one receiver. But what doesn't come as a surprise is that all of these guys believe that Alabama's Rolando McClain would be an ideal fit in Miami.
The latest quote comes from SI's Tony Pauline:
"I think it's a good fit. But there are some question marks...He reminds me of Harry Carson - a smart, big, tough guy. But we've got to see how fast he runs. Some people think he'll struggle to break 4.85 (seconds in the 40)."
Let me say that of all the times I watched McClain this year, I never once said to myself, "Hmmm, he looks really slow out there." So even if Rolando did barely run a 4.8 40 at the combine that starts this week, he could be a guy who plays faster than he times.
With that said, though, I'd be very disappointed if McClain ran that slow at the combine. And yes - I know it's just a time on a stop watch and nothing more - but it would throw up a big red flag, in my opinion at least.
The last thing the Dolphins need is another slow inside linebacker. We've had two slow ILBs starting for this team the past two seasons. It's time to get some athleticism and speed in that group to help cover tight ends. And now I have more work to do watching McClain film, seeing if his speed - or lack thereof - is really a problem when he drops into coverage.
Ted Ginn is going to shine one day...according to Ginn himself
For those that don't know, Dolphins WR Ted Ginn Jr. is actually on Twitter. Though most of his tweets, much like his play on the field, leave something to be desired, there was an interesting tweet last week that I just read over the weekend. It was from February 15:
One day I am going to shine to the top when I do the hater going to have a lot to say thin f*ck it talk about me cause I'm good(lil wayne)
Alright then. No comment.
Just wondering when that day is going to be, that's all. Hopefully sooner rather than later.
Do Dolphins throw down field enough?
Buried in Barry Jackson's latest article is an interesting quote from Mark Duper:
"The Dolphins don't throw deep downfield enough. The rules favor receivers and they don't take enough chances."
My gut reaction is to agree with Duper here. We all noticed during the season that the Dolphins didn't have Chad Henne throw the ball down field enough. But upon a quick look at some stats, I realized that Henne there more long balls than it seemed. Below are the number of passes that traveled over 30 yards in the air by Henne as well as a random sampling of NFL quarterbacks in 2009:
Chad Henne: 17 attempts, 3.8% of total pass attempts
Matt Ryan: 8 attempts, 1.7%
Joe Flacco: 27 attempts, 5.4%
Ben Roethlisberger: 25 attempts, 4.9%
Peyton Manning: 27 attempts, 4.7%
Drew Brees: 21 attempts, 4.1%
No, the Dolphins didn't throw deep as much as we all might like to see - especially with a potential deep threat like Ted Ginn on the roster. But they also weren't as ultra-conservative as some want to think. Just imagine if you were a Falcons fan and only got to see Matt Ryan wing it deep eight times.
We also need to keep in mind that the 2009 offense was designed for Chad Pennington, not Chad Henne. So this more conservative offense by design. I expect to see that change in 2010, regardless of who lines up at receiver for the Fins.