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Time To Turn Up The Heat On Miami To Draft Defense

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Long Past Time For Team To Become A Contender

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

As we go through the list of first round draft choices made by NFL teams over the years, an unmistakable pattern emerges: good teams, teams that contend for, and make, the playoffs, year in and year out,  tend to draft defense in the first round. Conversely, noncontending, 'wannabe' type teams, teams which are still trying to find their footing, and become contenders, have a tendency to draft offense with their first pick in the draft.

It is as predictable as the changing of the seasons; in recent years, we've watched again and again, as teams like Atlanta, Cleveland, and our own Miami Dolphins, have expended first round picks on offensive players, while other, more successful teams, such as Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and New England, have, for the most part, gone with defense in round one.  Why?  Because as Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary once said, "If you can't score, we can't lose." Any team with a dominating defense will always be in every game.  However, as we saw with the Miami Dolphins, during the Marino era, having an out-of-this-world offense and a mediocre to bad defense will get you beat about as many times as it will get you a win.

The typical response to this argument is that teams like Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and New England already have good players who have established themselves at the quarterback position.  However, so too do Atlanta and Miami, in Matt Ryan and Ryan Tannehill, respectively.  So, what does this mean?  It means that it's time to turn up the heat.

When a head coach takes over a new team, in any sport,  he will typically say all the right things: "We're starting with a clean slate","Whatever happened in the past is in the past," or even, "Curse? What curse?"  This is understandable, since if what had happened in the recent past had been good, the old coach would still be there, thus eliminating the need for a new one.  Unfortunately, in the same way, a carriage is drawn by a horse that wears blinders,  a new regime coming in to oversee a major sports franchise will, more often than not, see only what's in front of them, and not what has transpired previously.

When it comes to bad management decisions made by the front office, Dolphin fans, like anyone else, can be a bit selective, in terms of what makes us upset, versus what doesn't.  For example, when the team failed to sign former Green Bay seventh round QB Matt Flynn a few years ago, fans showed up at team headquarters and all but hung then GM Jeff Ireland in effigy.  Yet, when we call attention to the fact that the Dolphins have drafted an offensive player in the first round eight of the past eleven years -- something that no other NFL team since at least the 1970 AFL-NFL merger has done -- the news has been greeted mostly with yawns.

Ladies and gentlemen, the time has come to turn those yawns into yells, to turn this trickle of discontent into a veritable torrent of outrage. If you're not angry by now, then get angry.  If you are angry, as well you should be, get even angrier.

To that end, here are some email addresses to some people who can send this message along.  Even though we stand little chance of actually influencing the pick outright, we can still put heat on the team, so that if and when they choose to go with offense yet again and then have another losing season, as is likely, there will be consequences. We would consider the selection of a top running back, like Ohio State's Ezekial Elliott, to be just as effective as drafting a defensive player, since he would bring roughly the same benefit to the team, as a whole.  As was the case with Georgia's Todd Gurley a year ago, however, Elliott won't be available to the Dolphins without a trade up.

Official Miami Dolphin Website, owned and run by the team -- finclub@dolphins.com

Mike Florio -- Editor of Pro Football Talk -- florio@profootballtalk.com

Adam Beasley, of the Miami Herald -- abeasley@miamiherald.com

Armando Salguero, of the Miami Herald -- asalguero@miamiherald.com

Omar Kelly, of the Sun-Sentinel -- okelly@sun-sentinel.com

All you need to do is send one an email to each of the above links (or just to one or two of them, if that's all you have time for), saying: 'Dolphins Have Drafted An Offensive Player 8 Of The Past 11 Seasons In The First Round'

Who's with me ?  Let's make some goddam noise!