- Tanny and Fins BEAT down the Texans QB Tannehill sets an NFL completion record at 25 in a row as the Fins whip the Texans 44-26
- Dan Campbell replaces Philbin TE coach Dan Campbell is named interim head coach after Joe Philbin is let go
- Fins lose preseason game to Panthers 31-30 However, the Dolphin starters were dominate and took a 14-0 lead before they were pulled
- S Delmas lost for season Louis Delmas tore is ACL in practice with the Panthers
Change is not always good. When I began to really watch the Dolphins back in ’71 there were the haves and the have not’s just like today. The good teams had a chance with sound personnel moves to remain good. Of course injuries were more frequent, but more players played hurt.
As older teams retired people, and players regressed naturally, you had a 12 round draft to try and replace them. There was no salary cap, yet most players were loyal to their teams, Except for a short time when WFL came along in ’74. That was certainly understandable as the contracts offered were for crazy money in that day. Still, for the most part star players did not move teams until they were up in age and regressing.
Teams that competed year after year were the Dolphins, Raiders, Steelers, Colts, Chiefs, Redskins, Cowboys, Rams, and Vikings. I am sure I am forgetting a few. There would be some ups and downs, but these teams were mostly up and you could bank on it. Most were veteran teams, and the quality of the game was in my opinion far better then the quality we see today. The games today are poorly officiated even with reply. The rules are not clear. What exactly IS a catch? The answer does not always coincide with what your eyes tell you. The same with pass interference as this is the most uneven call in the game from crew to crew, game to game, and play to play. The play that happened with Suh was an embarrassment to the league. Someone please tell me how the whistle didn’t blow?
It might sound like sour grapes, but consistency is not too much to ask regardless of the infraction involved. We breathe on a QB and we seem to get flagged. To quote the great Don Shula, “It’s horseshit.”
To compete today in the era of parity you have to be a magician. Every card has to be an Ace. Teams like the Patriots skirt the rules, or at the very least push the envelope and get away with it. It’s sickening. Integrity, and doing it the right way should matter more then it does to some. They’re a great organization. They shouldn’t need to dirty the game with their antics.
What bothers me most about today’s game is free agency. It has literally ruined the game for me. Think about how you’d feel if Jason Taylor left in year 4 because Miami couldn’t afford to re-sign him. Think how the Lion fans feel about losing Suh. The other thing it does, and I never hear anyone mention it is it gives the leverage to the players rather then the coach.
Most players know all they need to do is give a half assed effort and bide their time and they’ll be able to choose from the interested teams. There’s always interested teams if you have any skill at all. So coaches have to be softer and less demanding. Hell, the CBA restricts padded practices to 14 during the season. Is it a wonder why we’re seeing some of the worst line play ever across the league? It’s literally forced the Pro game to replicate College offenses. Sad.
Because of our emotional investment we keep watching. We keep buying merchandise; we keep shelling out big money for the Sunday Ticket. Why? Because we’re addicted and the NFL knows it. They know they hold the power over our hearts and are free to do with them whatever they like.
I hope to see Miami rise again, but no matter how good they become they’ll never capture my heart the way the teams of the 70’s and 80’s did and only the NFL is to blame.
Almost every season there is a team or two that has a defining moment. Some thought it would be up in New England for this Dolphins team. I don’t subscribe to that theory. New England sets the bar. That might have been a true test for Cincinnati, or Denver, or even the Green Bay, but not this Miami team. There’s a reason they were 8 point underdogs even coming off two very impressive wins.
New England is a power house at home.
Campbell got out coached by the mighty Bill Belichick. There’s no crime in that. It happens to every coach that walks into that stadium. The team got out played from the first possession on. If you truly thought Miami had a good shot to win you were probably banking on the momentum of the previous two weeks carrying them through. The flaw in that logic was the Patriots were 6-0 and even more confident.
A week from Sunday in Buffalo, with 10 days to prepare is a true test for this team. If there ever was a defining moment this game screams it. Buffalo, you’ll remember embarrassed Miami in their home opener September 27th, 41-14. The Dolphins can learn from that film. Miami coaches can dissect that game and the others that follow in the Bills season. Buffalo has lost to those same Patriots, the Giants, the Bengals, and narrowly won against a Titan team 14-13. Coincidently, they also lost to the Jaguars.
This is a winnable game, it’s a game I’d label as a must win. If Campbell is serious about playing smash mouth football this is the week to impose their will. They’ll also have Jay Ajayi available for the first time this season. It’s a winnable game, but by no means will it be an easy game. It will take a great effort and solid coaching. It will take a better offensive effort from the offensive line. It will take a better effort from the quarterback and receivers. It will take some physical running from our Runningbacks.
If Miami can leave Buffalo with a win it could very well be that defining moment this team requires. If not, I am afraid our season is all but officially done.
The Dolphins’ second pre-season game against the Carolina Panthers brings us closer to an actual football game. Look for the starters to play into the 2nd quarter, with many other roster battles to follow.
This year’s roster battle is a bit easier to predict. I’ve divided the “Roster Odds” into 3 different tiers, with 5 specific roster battles listed below.
In regards to the 45 “In’s”, I went back-and-forth about including 5 players: G Linkenbach, LB Vigil, CB Davis, CB Lippett, and S Thompson.
QB: Tannehill, Moore
RB: Miller, Williams, Ajayi
WR: Parker, Landry, Stills, Jennings, Matthews
TE: Cameron, Sims
OT: Albert, James, Fox
G: Turner, Thomas, Douglas, Linkenbach
DE: Wake, Vernon, Shelby, Fede
DT: Suh, Mitchell, Phillips
LB: Misi, Jenkins, McCain, Tripp, Sheppard, Vigil
CB: Grimes, Taylor, McCain, McCain, Davis, Lippett
S: Jones, Thomas, Aikens, Thompson
ST: Fields, Denney
RB: James, Gillislee
WR: Preston, Hazel
TE: Robinson, Stoneburner
C: Walton, Brenner
DT: Johnson, Mosley, Francis
ST: Sturgis, Franks
LB: Paysinger, Hull
CB: Bowman, Seamster
S: Kovacs, Jones
On September 1st, NFL teams begin their first round of roster cuts, with teams trimming their rosters down to 75 players. Four days later, on Sept. 5th, things will get very interesting as the NFL teams rosters must go down to 53.
Some Dolphin player cuts will come as no surprise to anyone. (QB Josh Freeman for example.) But there are some players on the bubble, who if released, might surprise a few Dolphin fans. So hold on to your hats Fin fans! Here are 6 potential roster cuts that might be a bit unexpected.
CB Zach Bowman
Bowman was signed in the off-season as a special teamer and to provide depth for a secondary with question marks. While Bowman’s run stopping ability is not the greatest, his pass coverage skills are adequate. But with the play of Jamar Taylor and Brice McCain, as well as the development of rookie Bobby McCain, Bowman has sunk some on the depth chart.
Bowman is a veteran among a DB group with a lot of youth and inexperience. But at age 30, Bowman could be a casualty as the Dolphins give the younger players more of an opportunity to develop and shine.
Bowman’s contract had an $80,000 signing bonus, which would be the cap penalty should he be released.
At the end of last season, the Dolphins continued their playoff drought. Having not made the playoffs since 2008 of course leads to some questions about the team’s problems. Questions that fans wanted addressed in the off-season.
Some of those questions include:
Are the problems with the receivers/tight ends resolved?
Last year Mike Wallace was not a happy camper, and was benched in the final loss to the Jets. Although he had 10 TDs in 2014, he never had a season with Miami where he reached 1000 receiving yards. He certainly was not worthy of his high price tag.
Brian Hartline, who had consecutive 1000 yard seasons before 2014 and had signed a contract extension in 2013, seemed to be the odd man out in OC Bill Lazor’s offense last year. Could he find his niche? What about Brandon Gibson?
Charles Clay, a former 6th round draft pick out of Tulsa, was making a name for himself in the league, and was on the final year of his rookie contract. How would the Fins approach that?
Answer – It appears so
On paper, the Fins appeared to have improved. Miami traded away Dannell Ellerbe and a 3rd round pick for Kenny Stills. The speedy Stills has had 95 receptions for 1572 yards and 8 TDs in his two year career. Stills could be on the verge of a breakout season.
Statically, Stills’ numbers (63 receptions for 931 yards) were almost identical to Wallace’s (67 receptions for 862 yards) last season, other than TD receptions. Each is credited with 4 dropped passes, though Stills reception per target percentage is over 75% while Wallace’s is less than 60%.
The biggest difference between the two is salary. Kenny Stills has two years remaining on a rookie minimum deal while Wallace was the highest paid receiver in the NFL.