The Miami Dolphins took a big step over the weekend, locking up one of the best right tackles in the NFL. After working out a number of tackles last week, the Dolphins ultimately decided that Tyson Clabo was their best option. And outside of a reasonable trade with the Chiefs for Branden Albert, I have to agree with them. Clabo was the best option at right tackle for the Dolphins, although I wouldn’t have been upset if they would have signed Eric Winston. The deal with Clabo is said to be for 1 year at about $3.5 million.
Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com
As soon as Clabo was released a month ago, we wrote this post, suggesting that the Dolphins should be interested in Clabo. It may have taken a month, but the Dolphins ultimately got Clabo…at a reasonable price. Clabo is has started for the Falcons since the 2006 season and has not missed a game since then. Clabo will turn 32 years old this season and is 6’6″, 325 lbs. He is a very solid addition to the Dolphins offensive line. According to ProFootballFocus, Clabo grades out as the best right tackle in the NFL over the last 3 years:
Earlier today, Miami Dolphins GM, Jeff Ireland held his final pre-draft press conference. As you would expect, Ireland did not come out and tell the world exactly who he’s interested in the upcoming draft. He did divulge that he may move up in the draft…. or could move down…or could stay right where he is and use all 11 picks. He also said that he hasn’t completely decided which player he wants to select with the #12 pick, but he’s narrowed the field down to a few players. No, he didn’t give us anything breaking news worthy, but the key to this type of press conference is to read between the lines. So, I’ve decided to take the line-reading out for you and translate Jeff Ireland’s comments from today’s presser. For the full video of the press conference, go to Dolphins.com.
Ireland: “I think going into the draft or coming out of free agency, at least this part of free agency has helped us from…to have a little bit more idea of just being able to do what we do in the draft. And hopefully that’s just to pick the best player available that marries a need and not have to reach for anybody.”
The Miami Dolphins held a press conference this morning and welcomed back Chris Clemons, while also introducing Mike Wallace to the South Florida media. We’ll focus on Mike Wallace’s comments, because honestly, Chris Clemons was on the team last year and didn’t have anything too exciting to say. Before we get to that, the below infographic was posted on Dolphins.com and shows how the Dolphins new #1 receiver stacks up against other receivers in the NFL.
Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com
The Miami Dolphins have made it clear that they plan on pursuing Mike Wallace once free agency begins. The Dolphins can begin talking with Wallace’s representatives on Saturday. They can’t speak with Wallace himself until Tuesday at 4pm. We’re sure the Dolphins have a big elaborate plan on how they want to recruit Wallace. But, as we mentioned in our earlier post, the Dolphins would be wise to take a small contingent of players to help the recruitment process. Here’s a look at how we think it might unfold (hat tip to FinsNation.com for the format below, they created the screen play idea, I just thought it might be fun illustrate this scenario in this way):
“Hi Mike, I’m Ryan Tannehill, QB of the Dolphins. I’m here to tell you that we want you…..We’re here to do anything possible so that you’ll bring your talents to South Beach. Along with me here are Jeff Ireland our GM, Cameron Wake our Pro Bowl DE, Davone Bess, a fellow receiver, and Mike Pouncey, Maurkice’s twin brother”
“What’s up guys? You didn’t bring your owner with you?”
The Miami Dolphins have not-so-subtly leaked their top priority for free agency next week. They intend to go after Mike Wallace very aggressively. That aggressive approach will become public knowledge on Saturday morning at midnight. March 9th is the first day that the Dolphins can legally speak with Wallace’s representatives. However, they can’t speak with Wallace himself until Tuesday at 4pm according to the new NFL rules. Now, we’re all not naive enough to think that discussions have not already happened at some point. BUT, we’ll probably get a bit more news once Saturday gets here. My worry is that since the Dolphins have let news leak out that they are targeting Mike Wallace, they could be set up for a repeat of previous years.
Photo Courtesy of Jeffrey Beal via Wikipedia
If you are a Dolphins fan, and why wouldn’t you be if you’re reading this post, you’ve seen this movie before:
Scene 1: A big name coach or player becomes available
Scene 2: The Dolphins let it be known that they want to sign the big name coach or player
The Miami Dolphins front office is currently analyzing the team’s roster and identifying what needs they must address as they enter the offseason. The Dolphins plan to be active in free agency, which could set them up nicely for the Draft. Free Agency comes first, in March, and depending on what holes the Dolphins fill during that time, it will directly effect which players and positions they target in the Draft.
Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com
Because free agency will determine which players the Dolphins target in the draft, it is difficult to project whom the Dolphins will select. However, if I can offer one bit of advice to Jeff Ireland, it would be to take a very close look at the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The SEC is widely accepted as the best conference (by far) in college football. I was curious (and bored) and decided to do a little research, which I will share with you below. My conclusion is that the Dolphins would be wise to select and SEC player or 2 (or 3).
The Miami Dolphins loss on Sunday has been seen by some as a moral victory. Unfortunately, the only thing left for the Dolphins may be moral victories this season. The Dolphins battled the Patriots the entire game, but ultimately fell short of winning. Sadly, now that we know this season will end like the 3 before it, the Dolphins have fallen short of making the playoffs for four years in a row. Since the start of the 2009 season, the Dolphins are 25-35 and barring a 3-1 finish, they’ll finish below .500 for the 4th season in a row.
There has been A LOT of arguing between Dolphins fans about the job that Jeff Ireland has done in Miami. But let’s face it, we are ALL Dolphins fans and we are arguing because we love this football team and want them to win Super Bowls, right? We want them to be competitive on a yearly basis. So please, read the rest of this post knowing that we are all on the same ‘team’ here and we all want what is best for the franchise we love.
I’m writing this, knowing full well that it won’t make me any friends over at Davie. I will say that the Dolphins are a first class organization even though their public relations with fans can sometimes leave a bit to be desired. No one at Dolphins headquarters is trying to lose, they want to win as badly as us. How do I know that? Simple: Winning sells tickets. And right now, the Dolphins are SEVERELY hurting in the ticket sales area. It is in the organization’s best interest to put a winning product on the field. It makes the fans happy, which in turn sells more tickets, merchandise, and orange carpets (sorry, couldn’t help myself).
The Miami Dolphins are currently riding a 3 game losing streak that has made their hopes of the playoffs as likely as me finally getting that date with Mila Kunis. It’s not impossible, but it’s not going to happy for our Dolphins. The Dolphins season got off to a rocky 1-3 start and then the team rebounded to win 3 straight games to improve to 4-3. Unfortunately, they couldn’t sustain that solid play, even against teams that were beatable. The Dolphins 3 game losing streak has come against the Colts (6-4), Titans (4-6), and Bills (4-6). Those are games that playoff teams win, but the Dolphins didn’t.
So the question that everyone is asking is: What is wrong with the Miami Dolphins? How could a team that looked so good against the Bengals, Raiders, Jets, and Rams, look so bad in their last 3 games? We’ll look at a few of the factors that have lead the Dolphins to their 4-6 record, which leaves them 2 games back in the Wild Card race with a tough schedule coming up.
Not winning the line of scrimmage: Earlier this season, the Dolphins had the best run stuffing defense in the league. Now, they are giving up chunks of yardage to opposing running backs. The Dolphins had their streak of 20+ games without allowing a 100 yard rusher, snapped against the Titans. The Dolphins are not winning the line of scrimmage on defense.
The offensive line isn’t doing any better. The Dolphins are not creating holes for their running backs, which has lead to Reggie Bush averaging just 3.1 yards per carry in his last 5 games. This, after Bush was averaging 5.5 yards per game in the first 5 games of the season. If you’ve watched the games, you also know that the offensive line isn’t doing Ryan Tannehill any favors either. Tannehill is getting hit way too much and is going to get hurt if it keeps up. Losing at the line of scrimmage has cost the Dolphins yards, points, and games. It’s hard to pinpoint a reason for the dismal line play on both sides, because the Dolphins really haven’t had many injuries at all on either side of the line. (cont’d on page 2, click below)
The Miami Dolphins head to Indianapolis on Sunday for an important matchup with the Colts. The Dolphins will look to improve to 5-3 and move into a tie with the Patriots atop the AFC East. To do so, the Dolphins will have to play as aggressively and emotionally as they did against the trash talking Jets last week. The Dolphins cannot afford a let down after beating their hated rivals. To top it off, the Dolphins might not have their starting quarterback available for Sunday’s game.
This game, which many thought would be one of the snoozer games in week 9, turns out to be a pretty important one in the AFC playoff picture. Yes, this will only be each team’s 8th game, but if you look at the playoff standings, this game could have implications down the line. The winner of this game will move to 5-3 and will hold the head to head tie breaker against the other team, when playoff spots are awarded in January. Here’s our gameplan for what the Dolphins must do to come away with the victory:
Bend but don’t break
The Colts are lead by rookie quarterback Andrew Luck, and yet they rank #8 in the NFL in yards per game (373 ypg). That’s an impressive statistic until you realize that the Colts only rank #24 in points per game (19.4 ppg). So the Colts are racking up yards, but they are not translating them into points. The Dolphins defense, by contrast, ranks #22 in the NFL in yards allowed (363 ypg), BUT ranks #5 in the NFL in points allowed (only 18.0 ppg).
From these numbers I think we can expect the Colts to move the ball on the Dolphins defense. The key will be to force the Colts to kick field goals instead of scoring touchdowns. The Dolphins are stout against the run, which will force Andrew Luck into 3rd and long opportunities. The Dolphins defense is among the best in the NFL on 3rd downs and that must continue if they want to win. (cont’d on page 2, click below)
The Miami Dolphins have not said much since Ryan Tannehill hyper-extended his knee and bruised his quad against the Jets on Sunday. The Dolphins sent Tannehill for an MRI on Monday, but didn’t release the results. Well, actions speak louder than words would have, as Ryan Tannehill returned to the Dolphins practice field today. According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, Tannehill took snaps with the first team players during individual drills. Matt Moore then stepped in with the Dolphins starting offense. Pat Devlin took the second team snaps.
Ryan Tannehill is taking first-team snaps during open portion of practice.
Tannehill’s leg injuries will be closely monitored this week. If you want to monitor it yourself, check out the video clips the Dolphins released of Tannehill at practice today. If he cannot show the coaches that he has the mobility necessary to move fluidly, the Dolphins will probably have Matt Moore start at quarterback. Moore did a good job last week against the Jets, posting a 96.6 QB rating, while managing the offense effectively.
There is no doubt that Tannehill wants to play this weekend. Tannehill is said to have spoken with Joe Philbin on the ride home from New Jersey, saying that he will be fine. Tannehill said after the Jets game that he could’ve gone back in if the score was closer. Tannehill must prove it and must be able to practice tomorrow and/or Friday with the first team offense. Ultimately, Joe Philbin and the Dolphins coaching staff will make the final call after seeing how Tannehill moves in practice. (cont’d on page 2, click below)