• RB Moreno Injured RB Moreno Injured Expected to be out at least a month. Fins resign RB Daniel Thomas
  • Fins rout Pats in 2nd half 33-20 Fins rout Pats in 2nd half 33-20 Miami scored 23 unanswered points in the 2nd half to beat Pats
  • Fins finish preseason with a win Fins finish preseason with a win The Fins scored two TDs in the 4th quarter to beat the Rams 14-13
  • Marino to join front office Marino to join front office Miami has hired Marino as a special adviser to Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and CEO Tom Garfinkel

     

Dolphins – Mo Money Mo Problems

I got 99 problems but a QB ain’t one!

How sweet it is to enter the off-season with that mindset. This off-season I am looking toward the draft to build this franchise for long term sustainable success and provide Tannehill with the support that he needs. However, the Dolphins have a lot of cash in their pockets and can do a bit of shopping if they so desire. The talk has naturally been focused on the wide receiver position with Mike Wallace, Greg Jennings and Brain Hartline available. But what about other positions of need? Here is a list of toys I would consider buying with the Dolphins credit card this off-season, I am limiting my choices to one player from a particular position of need and I have excluded wide receivers.

 

Position Player Height Weight Age
Right Tackle
Eric Winston
6’7″ 302lbs 29

eric winston texans chiefs Dolphins   Mo Money Mo Problems

Ok so what if the guy looks like Fred Flintstone! It’s time for Eric to come home, and I don’t mean back to Houston with the Texans. Eric played his college ball at the University of Miami and it’s time for him to return to South Florida. Eric was released by Houston in 2012, after he had failed a physical due to an ankle injury. The Dolphins had pursued him in Free Agency but Winston decided to sign with the Kansas City Chiefs. A year later and we are back at square one, after the Chiefs surprisingly released the veteran Right Tackle yesterday.

Eric had a solid season with the Chiefs and has extensive experience in the zone blocking scheme, Eric has always been one the best run blockers in the league at RT, although at times he may be susceptible versus speed rushers. Eric is still performing at a high level and I see no reason for Miami not to have an interest in him this off-season again. Winston had signed a 4yr 22m deal in 2012 with KC, but with the surplus of tackles available in free agency and in the draft, Winston level of compensation should be slightly lower this offseason, though not by much.

If Miami can sign Eric Winston it will certainly push Jonathan Martin over to the LT spot and also free up an early round draft pick to be used elsewhere. However, Eric Winston will have many suitors. Teams that should be interested in Eric Winston are: PHI, DET, NYJ, MIA, STL, MIN, IND. The aggressiveness with which Miami pursues offensive tackles in free agency will allow us to gauge what they are thinking about with regards to draft strategy.

 

Position Player Height Weight Age
Tight End
Jared Cook
6’5″ 248lbs 25

cook td2 Dolphins   Mo Money Mo ProblemsYou want a sure fire can’t miss signing in free agency, it’s Jared Cook, money well spent! Cook has been a grade “A” player in college and at the Pro level. He is a freakish athlete with great size and speed (4.49s 40). He’s got great hands and a strong grip, Cook can jump out of the building with a 41in vertical, together with his 35.75in arms, you got a player with amazing range and catching radius. He would have surely been franchise tagged if Tennessee had not played him in the slot for so many snaps last season, thus he qualified to be franchise tagged at WR money.

Cook is currently rehabbing his shoulder from surgery to repair his rotator cuff, and that should not be a major issue for any team looking to acquire his services. In my opinion Cook is one the best Tight Ends in the game today, he is excellent in space and has elite body control allowing him to make adjustments to the football. Cook has all the skills of wide receiver without the huge down side of poor blocking which is normally associated with pass catching Tight Ends.

Cook is a player on the cusp of becoming a household name like the GRONK, he is as good as Jimmy Graham, all Cook needs now is to get as far away as possible from CJ2K and that Titans offense. Was his production elite with the Titans? No, but don’t look at that, you got to watch this guy play and wonder why the hell they did not force feed him the ball.

Cook relishes contact, he is agile, he is faster than most Safety’s in the game today and definitely faster than the majority of Linebackers, he will split defenses right up the middle and will fill the highlight reel with spectacular catches. I am hoping that he lands in an offense where he can be one of the focal points, he is a Pro Bowler waiting to happen.

To be honest if I were the Packers, I will cut Finley and throw my hat into the ring for Cook. I love Eifert, but give me Jared Cook before any TE in the draft! Teams that will be interested in Cook should be: CLE, TAM, MIA, NYG, CHI and ATL. Cook will be my priority in free agency if I were a man in charge of such things, he is better than a certified pre-owned Honda with 100 point inspection check!

 

Position Player Height Weight Age
Defensive End
Connor Barwin
6’4″ 270lbs 26

6458065647 a3de0a4d70 z Dolphins   Mo Money Mo ProblemsYea he is currently a stand up pass rushing OLB with Houston. But Connor Barwin has everything it takes to be Jared Allen 2.0 in the 4-3 defense. Coming into the NFL out of Cincinnati, Barwin was known to be a versatile athlete. Barwin played on both sides of the football as a DE/LB and as a TE. He blew up the combine showing exceptional explosiveness with a 40.5in vertical and a 10’8” broad jump at 256lbs. Unreal! He showed quickness with a 4.59s 40yard dash and a superb first step with a 1.53s 10yard split.

Since entering the NFL, Barwin has bulked up and now plays up at a menacing 270lbs. Barwin has been extremely productive in his career thus far, leading the Texans with 11.5 sacks in 2011.The Texans offered Barwin an extension but he turned it down a season ago. Re-signing him this off-season is a goal for the Texans but that pesky salary cap and numerous suitors will stand in their way.

Barwin has experience rushing from both the weak and strong side of the defense, he is excellent against the run and shows exceptional ability to shed blockers on his way to the ball carrier. Like all the Texans, he is a gym rat and a workaholic. With Barwin’s versatility I am sure the New England Patriots would love to get their hands on him, he is exactly the type of player Bill Belichick covets. Barwin has not closed the door on the possibility of playing at Defensive End; therefore with his positional flexibility the number of teams that will be interested in Barwin will be numerous. You can expect JAC, CLE, DET, NYJ, MIA, PHI, NO, IND, NE, ATL, and SEA to all have varying degrees of interest.

At just 26years, I put Barwin ahead of everyone in the free agent DE class and on par with Cliff Avril. And Barwin will be cheaper than Avril. A lot will depend on if Barwin wants to put his hand in ground or stand up at OLB in the 3-4.

 

 

Position Player Height Weight Age
Cornerback
Sean Smith
6’3″ 218lbs 25

 Dolphins   Mo Money Mo ProblemsFor me it does not make sense writing anything unless I ruffle some feathers. Ok I agree Sean is asking for a little too much money, but I don’t understand all the hate towards him. All I am going to say is this; Sean is a strong candidate to be our next Wes Welker. We will watch, wonder and ask ourselves repeatedly why the hell is he not on this team anymore. Just wait and see.

Miami in 2012 had a one dimensional pass rush, no blind side pressure, and a 304lbs DT that runs a 5.03s 40yard dash playing Right Defensive End. Yet we expected our defensive backs to cover for how long? Every single QB we faced in 2012 was right handed, therefore our strong side pressure from Wake was in their line of sight, allowing for QBs to make better decision with what to do with the football as the pocket collapsed.

Miami did not force QBs to speed up their mental playclocks with weak side pressure, this explains a lot when you consider the lack of turnovers generated despite our healthy sack count. When you watch most of Wake’s sacks in 2012, you can see that the opposing QB saw it coming and did what was needed to be done to secure and protect the football. Seriously even Revis Island would sink with one dimensional pass rush up front and QBs not having to worry about what’s potentially coming at their backs. There I said it! Whew! Feels good to be an outlier.

 

Position Player Height Weight Age
Safety
Anyone
Plus 6ft N/A N/A

app full proxy Dolphins   Mo Money Mo ProblemsOk maybe not anyone, no one wants to see Jim Leonhard in aqua and orange. But here is the thing about our safety position. Our previous DC Mike Nolan split the field into two halves with no communication or split responsibilities for our FS and SS. Nolan required the FS at the time Reshad Jones to play what is known as the “Robber” technique. Reshad was responsible for making his reads off of the opposing teams #2 WR. Reshad would play Man-to-Man coverage on the #2 WR on seams, verticals, post, bench routes etc and was responsible for breaking down into crossing patterns and fitting in the alley when he read run or if the #2WR stayed shallow. Not a very instinctive role at all. Neither of our safety’s thrived in this system.

In came Kevin Coyle and his defense in 2012. The scheme for the FS and SS in Coyle’s system is very different from Nolan’s system. Coyle does not split the field in half for the FS and SS. He requires the FS and SS to share responsibilities playing a lot of cover 2 man and soft coverage. This allowed for the FS and SS to have more freedom within the system. Often times the cover 2 becomes a soft cover 1, as the defense shifts towards the offensive play.

Reshad in 2012 moved to SS position and Clemons assumed the FS role. No longer does the FS take his reads off of one player. Now the FS reacts to the play, and is able to abandon his coverage sooner to make a play on ball knowing that the SS will overlap and assume some of his responsibility. This did not happen in Nolan’s system, in Nolan’s system if a FS made the wrong read on the #2 WR on a “hitch n go” or “play action” there was no one covering for him, and it would have been a blown coverage for six points.

The safeties roles were more rigid in Nolan’s system, and their reads were critical and naturally I would assume they played more conservative with no help. In Coyle’s system with the Corner playing press man/man coverage the FS and SS work in tandem, where they can take more chances and become play-makers. Reshad and Clemons clearly excelled in Coyle’s system. As did Reggie Nelson in Cincinnati, who was written off before thriving under Coyle.

Coyle’s system does wonders for safeties, sort of like what Mike Shanahan system does for running backs. Bring back Clemons, bring in a veteran, draft a Rookie, I don’t really care, just make sure they got half a brain, field awareness and have great instincts. Just don’t go spending big time money, it’s not necessary.

 

Twitter @Max__Lukas

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3 Responses to Dolphins – Mo Money Mo Problems

  • We shall see, a lot of teams looking for the Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner type DBs. Think there will be some copycat defenses and schemes to reflect what Seattle does with their guys. Looking for Jacksonville to be a strong bidder for Sean Smith with their coach coming from that system. First day of Free Agency Sean Smith will have a job, probably 6-7million per.

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  • James Lancaster

    I like Chris Houston a lot….enough that i would of put him on this list.

    I do think Sean Smith gets a bit more criticism than he deserves….for the reasons you mentioned.

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