According to the South Florida Times, Miami Dolphins Wide Receiver, Brandon Marshall was involved in a cab fare dispute earlier in November. Apparently Marshall attended his Dolphins’ teammate, Karlos Dansby’s 30th birthday party and decided to take a cab home. First, let me say that’s good of Brandon, better to take a cab than to drive drunk. Did you hear that Brylon Edwards and Donte Stallworth?!
Marshall said he was very tired, found a cab and he was on his way….or so he thought. After falling asleep for some time, Marshall realized the driver was a bit lost and called him on it. The driver reportedly drove from the party to Miami, then to Fort Lauderdale….Apparently this is where things broke down. The exact communication between the Dolphins star receiver and the driver is not known. Marshall insists that he pleaded with the driver to take him home but grew frustrated and eventually got out of the cab….without paying his $142 fare. Marshall said he was trying to find a translator as the cab driver had a very thick accent. The driver insisted later that Marshall was trying to skip out on the fare. Marshall’s agent insists that Brandon is completely innocent of trying to skip out on the fare.
The Miami Dolphins have been without former Pro Bowl Kicker, Dan Carpenter for 2 games now. Shayne Graham has done a good enough job filling in for Carpenter, connecting on 4 of 5 field goal chances for the Dolphins. Well, it appears the Carpenter’s groin injury is feeling better, as the Dolphins released Shayne Graham earlier today. Maybe Reggie Bush let Carpenter borrow Kim K. over the long weekend to heal his wound? Irregardless, Carpenter is coming back to the Dolphins and we expect that somewhere in Davie, Tony Sparano just gave a field goal fistpump to himself.
While Carpenter might get the headlines, the Dolphins also brought back another old friend today. Ray Feinga has been promoted from the Practice Squad! If you aren’t familiar with Ray Feinga, he’s the Dolphins offensive lineman that has been waived and resigned 1,748,352 times….don’t believe me? Here’s a look at his transaction list from Wikipedia.com:
Is it just me, or does it seem like a month since the Miami Dolphins played a football game? Yes, I know it was just a week ago that the Dolphins lost to the Cowboys, but it just feels longer…There are still 4 days to go until the Dolphins welcome in the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. The Dolphins returned to the practice field yesterday, after having the weekend off, as they prepare for Carson Palmer and the Raiders. The Dolphins, by the way, are favored in the game by 3 points. I’m no betting expert, but when was the last time a 3-8 team was favored by 3 points against a 7-4 team? Anyway….onto the Miami Musings for this week:
Breaking Down Marshall’s GREAT Catch – ThePhinsider.com
The guys over at ThePhinsider.com do a weekly segment where they break down a key play in the previous week’s Dolphins game. This week, it’s the amazing TD catch by Brandon Marshall, where the defender is choking the life out of him. Great breakdown of one of the highlight reel plays of the Dolphins season thus far.
Meet-up for Sunday’s Game – FinsNation.com
The guys at FinsNation.com are holding a meetup this Sunday to watch the Dolphins/Raiders game. They are also conducting a charity food drive in conjunction with the event. For full details, click the link above. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it, but if you’re in the area, be sure to stop by!
Even the most die-hard Miami Dolphins loyalist has to admit there is something wrong with the current Dolphins team. The big question is whether or not the problem is a lack of talent or poor coaching. The real problem is, it could be a little bit of both. It’s rare that I agree with Armando Salguero, but he wrote a blog yesterday about Peter King’s Monday Morning QB post on Monday. Mando disagrees with King’s assertion that Tony Sparano will be a very good coach at whichever his next coaching stop is AND that whomever the next Dolphins coach is, will have a good talent base to start with.
As Mando points out, it’s not really possible for Sparano to be a very good coach and for the Dolphins to have a good talent base….Otherwise, why would they be 3-8? We’ve brought this up before, but we are no closer to getting an answer. Think about it, just for a second. If the Dolphins have a talented enough roster to be a good team, then the coaching is not what it should be. Conversely, if the Dolphins have a ‘heck of a coach’, then their roster must not have enough talent to be successful. As I said above, it could also be a combination of the two. Maybe the Dolphins have a decent enough talent base, which a great coach could turn into a contending team….Or perhaps Sparano is a good enough coach that could do more if he had more talent at his disposal.
When late December and early January roll around, the Miami Dolphins will most likely be conducting a search for a new Head Coach. It’s clear that Tony Sparano will not be able to lead the Dolphins to the playoffs this season, which will ultimately lead to his dismissal. It’s also likely that the Dolphins will be looking for a new GM to replace Jeff Ireland (hopefully). Towards the end of the Dolphins 0-7 start to 2011, it became a daily rumor that Sparano would be fired. Remember all of the “Dolphins reach out to Cowher” talk? Sparano putting his house on the market? Truth is, Sparano was probably 1-2 losses away from being fired in-season. At that point, there were only a couple of other places that looked like they’d be in the market for a head coach: Jacksonville, Minnesota, and possibly St. Louis.
Now? There are more jobs that could become available in addition to those places. San Diego has lost 6 straight games after starting 4-1. Norv Turner’s conservative philosophy cost him the game yesterday against the Broncos and may ultimately end up costing him his job. Before the season, many thought the Chargers would run away with the AFC West, as they had a talent laden roster. Entering week 13, it appears Norv Turner may be on the unemployment line. Joining Turner MIGHT be Andy Reid of the Eagles. The Architect and Contractor of the Dream Team appears to have lost his Eagles team and the fan base. There were chants yesterday at Lincoln Financial Field of ‘Fire An-dy’. After 13 season in Philadelphia, THIS might be his most disappointing effort yet. Then there is the New York Giants job….WHAT? Yes, you read that right. I believe that if the Giants fail to make the playoffs, Tom Coughlin will be out as the Giants Coach. The Giants started the season 6-2, but currently sit at 6-4 and have games against the Saints (tonight) and the Packers in the next 2 weeks. Another collapse could spell the end of Coughlin’s reign in NYC.
The Miami Dolphins’ record indicates that they are closer to earning the top pick in the draft than they are to making the playoffs. Yes, sadly the 3-8 Dolphins are only 3 games behind the Colts (0-10) for the top pick, but the Dolphins are 4 games behind the Bengals (7-4) for the last playoff spot. This reality has begun to set in among Dolphins fans…at least most of us. The fact of the matter is, the Dolphins will officially be eliminated from playoff contention with their next loss or the next Bengals win over an AFC opponent. If this was week 17, it wouldn’t be so bad…..But since there are 5 games left, it’s safe to say there will be no postseason for the Dolphins in 2011. This likely means that coach Tony Sparano and Jeff Ireland will be gone when the season is over.
Having said all of that, it’s logical for Dolphins fans to begin to look to 2012. Who will the next coach be? Who will be the new GM? Where will the Dolphins finish in the standings…and more importantly the draft order. Right now, the Dolphins would hold the #5 pick in the draft. The Dolphins would pick after Indianapolis, St. Louis, Minnesota, and Carolina. Considering all of those teams will have recently drafted a QB, with Indy expected to take Andrew Luck, the Dolphins would have their choice of the other QBs. Those ‘other QBs’ could include Landry Jones, Matt Barkley, and Robert Griffen III. All of these QBs are juniors, so the Dolphins options will depend on which QBs decide to come out of college early.
On Thursday, the Miami Dolphins may have come up short, but we finally posted our first winning day of Pitiful Picks! Going into the Thanksgiving games, we were 1-6-1. But after a successful day Thursday (2-1), we ‘improved’ our record to 3-7-1! We are on a roll and thought we’d make a few more picks on the non-Dolphins football Sunday ahead. Yes, it will be a tough Sunday without a Dolphins game to watch, but having some picks on record should make it a little more interesting. Again, given our pitifulness this season, you might want to bet against the below picks….they have been pitiful this season:
San Diego Chargers -6 over Denver Broncos
Tim Tebow’s magic is finally going to wear off. In all honesty, Tebow’s magic has been made possible by the Bronco’s defense. If the Broncos defense wouldn’t continue to keep the Broncos in the game into the 4th quarter, Tebow’s 4th quarter drives wouldn’t be so impressive. I still can’t get the nightmare of Tebow’s comeback against the Dolphins out of my head…or the “We couldn’t stop Tim Tebow” song by WAARF for that matter. In fact, his struggles earlier in the game would be criticized more. Maybe this pick is too much of an anti-Tebow pick, because the Chargers are not that good either. But, I think this is the week where Tebow’s heroics won’t be enough.
Seattle Seahawks -3 over Washington Redskins
This is actually the game I feel best about picking (so I’m sure it’ll be wrong). The Seahawks have looked much better of late. They beat the Ravens two weeks ago and put a beating on the Rams last week. The Seahawks have had 2 impressive wins this year, against the Giants and Ravens. I don’t think they’ll have any trouble, at home, against a Redskins team that can’t get out of their own way. The Redskins look lost, as we saw first hand against the Dolphins. They’ll be flying cross-country to play in a place where the hometown crowd is possibly the loudest in the NFL. Give the 3 points, it’s far too little for this game.
The book on the Miami Dolphins 2011 season hasn’t been completely written yet. Unfortunately, the remaining chapters of the book will be filled with the Dolphins playing the ‘spoiler’ role. The Dolphins are currently 3-8 and for all intents and purposes, are eliminated from playoff contention. We know it was even crazy to talk about the playoffs when the team was 3-7, but the team looked so good in their previous 3 games, many Dolphins fans got their hopes up. Now, the best the Dolphins can do is finish at 8-8 and play spoiler to the remaining teams left on their schedule (Raiders, Patriots, Bills, Jets, Eagles).
Even before the Dolphins Thanksgiving Day loss to the Cowboys, we knew it would be a long shot for Tony Sparano to return. However, the talk about Sparano’s job security had died down during the winning streak. I fully expect that talk to surface again in the next couple of weeks. Before the Dolphins season started, Stephen Ross said that Sparano needed to ‘win’ this season to keep his job. That’s a very vague goal. However, taken literally, Sparano AT LEAST, needed to have a winning season and likely needed to make the playoffs, to return as Dolphins coach. At this point, neither of those goals are achievable.
After starting the season 0-7, the Miami Dolphins knew that they’d have an uphill battle to make the playoffs. We knew, to even have a chance, the Dolphins would need to win all of their remaining games. Even getting to 9 wins wouldn’t guarantee the Dolphins a playoff spot, as they’d still need A LOT of help. After a tough loss to the Cowboys on Thanksgiving, the Dolphins have essentially eliminated themselves from playoff discussions.
Give Tony Sparano credit, the Dolphins played hard against the NFC East leaders, but in the end, they came up short. The Dolphins defense played well, but couldn’t stop the Cowboys on their final drive, which led to the winning field goal. This game was lost for the Dolphins much earlier in the game. Truth is, the Dolphins kicked one too many field goals, when TDs were needed to pick up the win. Early in the game, the Dolphins defense forced Tony Romo into 2 turnovers, but couldn’t capitalize with touchdowns. Instead, the Dolphins settled for field goals, which just weren’t enough. Vontae Davis and Sean Smith each picked off Romo early in the game.
Matt Moore had an effective day, but couldn’t get the job done in the big spots. Moore threw for 288 yards and a TD, but he couldn’t move the chains late in the game when the Dolphins BADLY needed a first down. Up by 2 points, with under 4 minutes left in the game, the Dolphins needed to play keep away, but failed to convert. They gave the ball back to Tony Romo, who connected with Jason Whitten a few times, to move the Cowboys into position for the winning field goal as time expired.
There’s been a lot of talk recently (by some) about Matt Moore potentially being the QB of the future for the Dolphins, I’d expect that talk to die down. Moore showed on Thursday why he is a good backup, but why he can’t be considered “the guy”. If the had been able to convert some of those field goals into TDs, we might be talking about the Dolphins 4th straight win.
The Dolphins offensive line, which had played well of late, struggled as the game went on. Moore was harassed and didn’t have time to make the plays he needed to make. It was again made clear that the line will need to rebuild their line for 2012. The question is, who will rebuild it? Tony Sparano’s fate may be determined, as the Dolphins can only win 8 games this year, at best. But what about Jeff Ireland? Will he return? Or is the writing on the wall that Carl Peterson will be the Dolphins GM next year? Unfortunately those answers won’t come for a few weeks, only after we watch meaningless games (again) for the Dolphins in December.
Most things in life come full circle. Jason Taylor’s career with the Miami Dolphins seems to have as well. Jason Taylor has twice been let go by the Dolphins…and returned after each time. He’s not the defensive wrecking force that he used to be, but he’s still viewed as a leader for the Dolphins in the locker room and on the field.
Since Tony Sparano arrived, the Dolphins players have voted on the team captain positions. Chad Henne was one of the Dolphins captains, but he has since been placed on injured reserve and is out for the rest of the season. Usually, teams do not replace captains if they are hurt. Apparently, Tony Sparano is making an exception. As Omar Kelly writes, Sparano selected Taylor as a captain for the Dolphins game against the Chiefs. Since the Dolphins have won every game since then, Sparano doesn’t want to tempt fate. He plans to keep the streak alive, as he has informally named Taylor a team captain for the remainder of the season.
We all know how great Jason Taylor was in his prime. He was a quarterback’s nightmare…Actually, I think Tom Brady still has nightmares about Taylor harassing him in the backfield. JT has been a standup guy and will eventually end up in the Dolphins Ring of Honor…and very possibly the NFL Hall of Fame. After the Dolphins week 2 loss to the Texans, it was Taylor that called a players only meeting. Granted, it didn’t work because the Dolphins would lose 5 more games, but is shows what type of a leader Taylor is. Through 10 games, Taylor has 4 sacks and 1 forced fumble in his part time role. Hopefully, he can create a few nightmares for Tony Romo on Thanksgiving against the Cowboys.
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