Tag: Tony Sparano

Saban: Dolphins offered Brees a contract first, but he failed his physical

The Miami Dolphins think they might have finally found the franchise quarterback that they’ve been searching for, for almost 13 years.  Ryan Tannehill could be just the quarterback the Dolphins have been looking for all this time.  At least we hope so.  But, yesterday we learned something that we didn’t know about the dark era of Nick Saban in Miami.  Yesterday, during a radio interview, Saban admitted that the Dolphins first choice for a quarterback in 2006 was not Daunte Culpepper.

Practice Facility Building and logo

In fact, the Dolphins made a contract offer to Drew Brees first.  BUT, when Brees failed the physical given to him by Dolphins medical staff, the Dolphins chose instead to send a 2nd round pick to the Vikings for Daunte Culpepper.  Previously we knew that the Dolphins liked Brees, but were worried about his shoulder.  This is the first time we learned that the Dolphins actually made him a contract offer.

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Week 15: Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills – Winner Takes All…of 3rd Place…Kinda.

So…last week ey…what a week, am I right? Had high hopes, got blown-out, Sparano got fired, but now it’s on to Buffalo.  This Sunday at 1pm, our (4-9) Dolphins head north to New York to meet up with the Toronto…err… (5-8) Buffalo Bills. This preview is going to be pretty short considering the last time we faced the Bills we won by 27; then again we also still had a “permanent” head coach.

What to Watch For:

Bills’ Offense vs. Dolphin Defense:

There’s really not much to mention about the Bill’s offense at this point.  Their best offensive player, Fred Jackson, has been shut down for the remainder of the season and their QB, Ryan Fitzpatrick, has plummeted back to earth after his blazing start to the year.  The Bills offense still finds themselves ranked 11th in the rush game, but good luck against the Dolphins’ 3rd best rush defense that held LeSean McCoy, whom many consider to be an elite RB, to 38 yards last week.  I must say this about the Dolphin defense last week.  They played a hell of a game and had extremely little to do with why the Dolphins lost.  Holding McCoy to 38 yards and Vick to a 69.9 passer rating should win you a game the majority of the time.  The defense really only had one slip-up; on the Jackson blown coverage.  This week against the Bills, they will continue to dominate, much like a few weeks ago when they only allowed the Bills to score 2FGs.

Dolphin Offense vs. Bills’ Defense:

Wow, last weak (yes weak) was worse than pathetic, BUT what they hell do you expect when you lose two starting linemen, one being a pro-bowler, and have to throw in a third stringer that just got on the team a few weeks ago?  No S*&+ you are going to lose.  We had no threat of a pass and, even though Reggie is laying some lumber, he’s not going to make his own holes against a stacked box.  Sorry if I’m being harsh to Buffalo, but do not think that this matchup has anything to do with what they are going to do and is all about how the Phins bounce back.  After a pitiful performance, a changing of coach, and the season officially being scraped, do they continue to play hard and get the ship straightened?  I have to think so.  Nothing has shown me that they wouldn’t and what a perfect matchup to do so.  The only thing that would prevent this would be health issues.  Will Matt Moore play and, moore (love it) importantly, can we keep him in the upright throwing position?  Ehhh?

Two Minute Drill:

Dolphins’ Key to the GameCircle the Wagons.  Get back to what was working before last week.  We obviously aren’t ready to play with good teams, but still should blow-out the bad ones.

Bills’ Key to the GameLet it Snow. Really the only thing I can see helping the Bills end their 6 game losing streak.

Dolphins’ Player to WatchKarlos Dansby. I had expressed my disappointment with him for weeks, but he has been coming to play recently so I have to give props where props are due.

Bills’ Player to WatchSteve Johnson. The Dolphin secondary obviously can still get burnt and a slumping Bills team may try to break it with some big plays down the field. Why not?

How it plays out:  Not as bad as last time.  I can’t see it being as bad as it was in week 11 for a few reasons.  1. In Buffalo. 2. Its late December. 3. The week the Phins are coming off of. 4. Phins are banged up.

Prediction20-10 Miami.  A very cold and irrelevant game.  Playing for 3rd in the AFC East, really the only thing that can be won here is bragging rights…and a worse draft pick.

As  always, PhinsUp!                                                                                                                                                                                 -John

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @PhinNationJohn for additional Dolphin news and commentary.

Thank you for reading my article, I hope you enjoyed it and be sure to leave a comment.

Dolphins Fans, take Cowher’s comments about coaching in 2012 for what they’re worth

Rumors have been swirling for weeks about the Miami Dolphins and their desire to talk to Bill Cowher about coaching the team in 2012.  First, there were reports that the Dolphins had intermediaries reaching out to Cowher.  Then, last week, a report surfaced that claimed the Dolphine Owner reached out to Cowher’s agent.  Well, yesterday Bill Cowher decided to address the rumors on the CBS NFL Pregame show.  Here’s what he said, courtesy of the Sun Sentinel:

“I have not been contacted directly or indirectly by any football team, or any organization. It’s all speculation and it’s unfortunate because it effects the lives of many people who are in the profession” 

“I’m here to say to you today, I do not plan on coaching next year. I love where I work, and more importantly I enjoy the people I work with [at CBS].  So I can put all this speculation to rest, and if I have to repeat this in December I will.”

Cowher clearly felt that he needed to say something about the rumors connecting his name to the currently filled Dolphins head coaching job.  After all, Cowher has reportedly told ALL teams that he will not talk to them about a head coaching job that is currently filled.  Last time I checked, Tony Sparano was still the coach of the Dolphins.

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Dolphins Debate: Who should coach the Dolphins in 2012 and beyond?

This week the speculation continued about who is going to be the next Miami Dolphins coach.  We thought it would be a good time to open up the PhinNation.com forum to see what you think.  This week’s Dolphins Debate asks “Who should coach the Dolphins in 2012 and beyond?”  We feel safe in asking this question now, because Tony Sparano has about as much chance of keeping his job as I do of becoming the next Dolphins coach.  This week, we have replies from 2 of our PhinNation.com writers, as well as one reader’s suggestion.  Please remember to vote at the end and leave a comment with your endorsement for who you’d like to see coaching the Dolphins next year.

Jon Gruden - John – PhinNation.com Writer (@PhinNationJohn)

There are a few good options out there to replace Tony Sparano.  My main credential the organization has to consider when looking for a replacement is that it has to be someone from the outside.  I’m tired of seeing friends or guys with “ties” get jobs for the Dolphins.  How many of Parcell’s “guys” and other ex-Cowboys have to fail for us until we see that it isn’t working?  Another credential the new guy needs to have is history.  No more giving inexperienced assistant coaches or college coaches (with the exception of Urban Meyer) a shot at being our head coach.  Let’s get a guy who has a successful past.  With these two credentials being said, I think there are a few “wish-list” coaches that I would want.

I would obviously LOVE to get Cowher, but if we are unable to land him, I would love to see us make a serious push for Jon Gruden.  Gruden has a history of reviving bad teams; as he did with his time in Oakland and Tampa Bay.  In his eleven seasons in the NFL, he has only had 3 losing seasons, went to the playoffs 5 times, and won SB XXXVII with the Bucs.  He has a history of success and is an outside guy; check those off.  I also LOVE the intensity he brings to a team.  I have read that Tony is a passionate guy, but he is a “player’s coach.”  This organization needs a guy that will demand success and put players on a short leash.  I think Gruden fits this perfectly.  He’s also a big name and an offensive guy that will bring excitement to Miami.  We all know Gruden loves his QBs and assuming we continue to “Suck for Luck,” he will have one of the best to start fresh with.  I love Gruden for the job.  I know he just resigned with ESPN for 5 years, but as “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DeBiase used to say, “Everybody’s got a price!”  Here’s to Hoping! Always, Phins Up!

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Yeramiah Bell says Reggie Bush “stinks”, Dolphins players divided

Watching the Miami Dolphins drama unfold this season is a lot like watching the Jersey Shore on MTV.  There’s drama, dysfunction, and it’s so insanely idiotic that you can’t help but watch and laugh.  The Dolphins are a very unlikeable bunch this year…not only because they are 0-6 and have looked terrible, but because the Dolphins players seem deeply divided.  Dolphins players have lashed out at fans regarding the Suck for Luck wave that’s sweeping the country.

There’s clearly a disconnect between Dolphins players and fans….and now it seems that there is some disconnect between the Dolphins players themselves.  After the Dolphins loss to the Broncos on Sunday, Reggie Bush said that the Dolphins “stink”.  Well, apparently that didn’t sit too well with some of his teammates.   Today, Yeramiah Bell was asked what he thought of Bush’s assessment of the Dolphins….he replied “he stinks”.  He didn’t stop there, saying “That shouldn’t be said around this locker room. We know that we’re 0-6 and we’re not playing the best but at the same time there’s no need for that.”

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Is “Suck for Luck” such a crazy idea?

For the last 3 weeks I’ve listened to all of the debate about the Miami Dolphins fans’ desire to Suck for Luck.  I’ve listened to ‘experts’ on the radio/TV argue whether or not the Dolphins (or any team) should Suck for Luck…… I’ve listened to Dolphins players lash out at fans that support the movement…..I’ve listened to Dolphins fans who are arguing with one another about how loyal of a fan they are.  The truth is, no matter which side of the argument you are on, the Dolphins futility is a direct result of the inadequacy of the QB position.

Think about it, the Dolphins have brought in big name types like Jimmy Johnson, Bill Parcels, and Nick Saban.  None of them have worked.  Since Dan Marino retired, the Dolphins have started 16 different quarterbacks because none of the big name, head honchos, have been able to identify a solid QB option.  The best quarterback (since Marino) to wear a Dolphins uniform was Chad Pennington in the magical season of 2008.  To be fair though, even that season was a bit misleading.  The Dolphins DID play a very weak schedule that year, even though they managed to win the AFC East.  So does it really matter if the Dolphins bring in Bill Cowher, Jon Gruden, or Jeff Fisher to run the team?  Only, if they are bringing a franchise QB with them.

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Gruden and Cowher BOTH interested in Dolphins job in 2012?

Seriously, is there ever a dull day with the Miami Dolphins?  Earlier today the Dolphins signed JP Losman to backup Matt Moore…..and now this:

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Yes, according to Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports, both Bill Cowher and Jon Gruden have let it be known that they want to return to the sidelines in 2012.  The big question I have is whether or not one of them will choose to coach the Dolphins.   According to the report, both have suggested that they would be interested in the Dolphins job.  I wouldn’t expect either of them to say much publicly, because the Dolphins still have a head coach, Tony Sparano.  However, both of them probably want the Dolphins’ Owner, Stephen Ross, to know that they are interested.

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The Dolphins have left me no choice but to WEAR A BAG ON MY HEAD

After watching the first Miami Dolphins games of the 2011 season, the team has disappointed me more than words can express.  I thought this Dolphins team actually had a shot at the playoffs.  I, like others, ripped some of the experts for predicting that the Dolphins would win 3-4 games.  As it turns out, those experts MIGHT have been a little generous.  The Dolphins have become a laughing stock all around the NFL.  Sure, the Colts are bad, but they’re missing their All-World QB.  Sure, the Rams are bad too, but they have been bitten by the injury bug.  But the Dolphins really defy explanation.  How does the defensive unit go from being ranked #6 in the NFL in 2010 to being one of the 5 worst defenses in the NFL?  They replaced TWO players on last year’s defense and one of them was considered an upgrade.

Photo courtesy of @PhinsRock (on Twitter)

Hoping for Chad Henne to develop, plus adding some stability to the O-Line and infusing some new running backs….none of it helped.  NONE OF IT!  A vast majority of the Dolphins fan base is now actively rooting for the team to lose by joining the Suck for Luck campaign.  Add to the fact that more fans want the Dolphins to lose than win, the team cannot give away tickets……Hell, the Dolphins couldn’t sell out Sun Life stadium when the chosen one (Tebow) was to be honored at halftime!!!!  From top to bottom, this organization needs a cleansing from top to freaking bottom.  Parcells left with his tail between his legs, throwing grenades back at the franchise he was supposed to turn around.

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Week 7 Preview: Denver Broncos @ Miami Dolphins – Tebow-A-Thon

This Sunday’s 1pm matchup between the Denver Broncos (1-4) and Miami Dolphins (0-5) will be the biggest game for the Miami Dolphins all year.  Because cause it might be there best chance at winning a game this season? No.  Because a loss might spell the end to Tony Sparano’s tenure as the Miami Dolphins’ head coach? No. Then why is it the biggest game for the Miami Dolphins?  Three syllables: Tim Tebow.

What to Watch For:

Broncos’ Offense vs. Dolphin Defense:

The Denver Bronco’s offense trots into Miami being near the bottom of the barrel when it comes to offense. They are ranked 22th in rushing and 27th in passing. This has led the Broncos to finally succumb to the fan’s cries (and billboards) to let Tebow play.  How great did that play out for the Dolphin owners?  To setup, what I’m calling, “Gator Day” and have Tebow make his first start.  I wonder how many high-fives went around the office when the announcement of Tebow starting was delivered.  I feel that you have to throw out the Broncos’ previous offensive performances with this change of QB.  I like the variables that Tebow adds to this offense, with extending plays and running.  A bad team can benefit from this type of QB and the Dolphins do have trouble stopping running QBs (Sanchez TD last week).  He might have to do this with his best WR, Brandon Lloyd, being traded to the Rams this week.  Then again, this Dolphins D has not pressured a soul all year.  This Dolphin D and the supporting crowd should provide Timmy a chance to get off on the right foot.

As previously mentioned, the Broncos run game is nothing special as Knowshon Moreno and Willis McGahee have struggled.  In their last game, week 5 against the Chargers, McGahee received all of the Broncos’ RB carries (16 for 125 yards).  That performance compiled with the addition of Tebow’s rushes and their bye week leads me to believe their rush game will improve.  Although, the Dolphins are coming off a good, at least for us, defensive performance against the Jets.  On Monday, the Dolphins held the Jets to under 300 total yards and only 104 total rushing yards.  Is this the return of the strong Miami Dolphins D or the struggles of a weak Jet offense?  I’m not sure, but I would bet on the ladder of the two.

Dolphin Offense vs. Broncos’ Defense:

The Bronco defense enters with numbers just as bad as their offense.  They are rated 22nd against the pass and 23rd against the run.  This should be good news for the Dolphins, but there have been reports that Reggie Bush and Brandon Marshall have been limited in practice.  I’m not sure, no matter how bad the defense, this offense will do anything.  I was at the game this past Monday and it was hard to watch (it didn’t help having all the Jets fans there).  Thomas had a poor game, but I have to credit that to the garbage play calling.  They are so predictable, once a play works once, they think they can run it over-and-over again.  The phins have no chance in the redzone and should just consider kneeling down three time and kick the FG.  Matt Moore was bad, as expected.  Marshall DID have a good game (6rec for 109 yards), but then fades in the redzone.  O yeah, WTF was he doing on the play he ran out-of-bounds?!  I almost lost my mind in the stands.  I could not believe what I witnessed.  I can’t talk about them anymore.  The Broncos D is bad, SHOULD be a chance for the Dolphin offense to score, but they probably won’t.

Two Minute Drill:

Dolphins’ Key to the GameFill the Stadium. Let’s be honest, the only thing the organization cares about this week is filling the seats.  So a win for the Dolphins came with having no blackout of the game this weekend.  Want an actual key to the game?  Score a TD.

Broncos’ Key to the GameFeed the Tebow.  Broncos need to use the great atmosphere for Tebow’s benefit.  Get him going with some high percentage passes and give him the option to run.  Establish confidence, then build off of it.

Dolphins’ Player to WatchUmm? Karlos Dansby.  Not because I think he’s going to break out, but see if he can quite those Suck for Luckers.  SPOILER ALERT: He won’t

Broncos’ Player to WatchLeft Guard Zane Beadles.  You buy that?  Didn’t think so.  Obviously it’s Tebow.  I think he plays well (not great).  Throws for a buck-eighty a Td and runs for one.

How it plays out:  Same old, same old.  This game could be a horrid game to watch with two bad teams going at it.  Both teams struggle to do much of anything, but the Bronco’s bye week, “Gator Day,” and the Tebow boost the Broncos to make a few big plays against this Dolphin D.

Prediction24-16 Broncos.  I can’t believe I’m saying the Dolphins will score 16 points, but I feel the poor Bronco defense will allow them an opportunity to at least put on TD on the board, by accident.  Regardless, this game is a toss-up and one of the Dolphins very few opportunities to win.

As  always, PhinsUp!                                                                                                                                                                                 -John

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @PhinNationJohn for additional Dolphin news and commentary.

Thank you for reading my article, I hope you enjoyed it and be sure to leave a comment.

Week 6 Preview: Miami Dolphins at New York Jets – The Perfect Storm?

This Monday night will feature two bitter rivals when our Miami Dolphins (0-4) head to Miami North, I mean the New Meadowlands, to face-off with the New York Jets (2-3).  Both of which, have questions to answer about how the rest of their season will go.  For the Dolphins, we know all about possibly “Suck[ing] for Luck,” but for the Jets, if they want to keep up with the Pats and have a shot at the playoffs, need to start winning.  With the Jets reeling, the Dolphins rested, and Sparano’s track record in New Jersey, could this be a perfect storm brewing for the Dolphins to pickup that first W?

What to Watch For:

Jets’ Offense vs. Dolphin Defense:

The Jets’ have had rough go at things the past three weeks; going 0-3 against the Raiders, Ravens, and Pats.  In those loses, the Jets’ offense has been particularly terrible.  In their game against the Ravens, the Jet offense had 4 turnovers with 2 taken back for TDs.  Against the Pats last week, the Jets eliminated the turnovers, but could only put up 166 passing yards against a defense that Chad Henne put up 416 yardson.  This weeks’ matchup should give the Jets’ passing game a chance to get back on track.  It appears that Vontae Davis will be back for the Dolphins, but does that make any difference?  The Dolphin secondary and defense, as a whole, better have taken their off week to get things figured out or Sanchez may put up big numbers.

The Jets usually pride themselves on their running game, but currently rank 31st in overall rushing.  The Jets’ leading rusher only has 240 yards and 2 TDs (Jets only have 3 total rushing TDs) on 72 carries.  By no means do the Jets go up against a strong run (or any other part) defense, but it’s going to be interesting to see what strategy the Jets use on Monday.  With the Dolphins’ 31st pass defense, passing might the obvious choice, but it may be smart to get the run going to open up their pass game and prevent Sanchez from making mistakes.  I just hope the defense is rested and geared up for this one.  This Jets’ offense should not be the factor that wins a game, but against our D, it might.

Dolphin Offense vs. Jets’ Defense:

A Strong, hard-hitting defense is also what the Jets rely on to have success.  Granted they have faced off against 3 good teams the past few weeks, but their D has struggled somewhat.  What is more surprising is, they are struggling against the run rather than the pass; then again they do have Revis and Cromartie.  Last week, they held Tom Brady to 321 yards, 1 TD, and forced an INT.  [Side Note: How scary is it that 321 yards and 1 TD is holding Brady].  Their 5th ranked pass defense spells bad news for the Matt Moore led offense that figures to lose Brandon Marshall by the 2nd quarter; at least according to him.  I understand that getting tossed might inspire your teammates, but wouldn’t catching 20 balls and 3 TDs have a better effect?  Maybe he’s just onboard with “Suck for Luck.”  Regardless, Marshall needs to show up with his new “Monster” persona for the Dolphins passing game to survive.  If he does get tossed, who gets to visit Revis island?

The biggest blessing of the bye week might be that Daniel Thomas had an opportunity to get healthy.  If you have read my previous posts, you would know that I’m high on this kid. It’s only been two games, but I just like the way he looks when he has the ball.  Going against the 26th ranked rush defense, this week could be a good opportunity for Thomas to add another solid performance to his young career.  Though, I foresee the Jets trying to get back to the basics and, with little to worry about in Matt Moore, this means stopping the run.  I still think Thomas has a solid 80+ yard game, if he is healthy.

Two Minute Drill:

Dolphins’ Key to the Game: Get them off the Mark.  Sanchez is very turnover prone.  Already, Mark has 5 INTs and 3 fumbles (only one lost).  If the Dolphins can get Sanchez to make mistakes, then the game may be within the Dolphins’ grasp.  But that would require the defense to play good, so yeah, good luck.

Jets’ Key to the Game: Back to the Basics.  The Jets’ are reeling on the field and in the locker room.  They aren’t playing as a team or acting like one.  Super Bowl, Rex? Beat a team with a winning record first.  With that said, the Dolphins provide the Jets a great opportunity to get back to doing the small things right.  Stop the run, run the ball, take care of the ball, and get the win.

Dolphins’ Player to Watch: Brandon Marshall.  Not for how well he will do during the game, but whatever shenanigans he’s going to pull.  I honestly tried to think of a player that I thought would have a good game, but came up with nothing.  So, let’s just watch Marshall and see if he backs up his comments.

Jets’ Player to Watch: Dustin Keller.  The Jets’ TE leads the team in receiving with 19 catches on 33 targets for 268 yards and 2 TDs, but all you really needed to know is that he is a TE.

How it plays out:  Under Tony Sparano, the Dolphins have owned the Jets in New Jersey.  He is 3-0 when traveling to the Meadowlands; which might be his only redeeming quality.  Despite how bad the Dolphins are, this game is Jets-Dolphins, in the Meadowlands, in Primetime.  With the Jets struggling, having the Chargers lurking, the Dolphins coming of a bye, and yeah it’s the Jets-Dolphin, I expect this game to be another good game.  Both teams struggle early, exchanging field goals.  The Dolphins’ D remembers it’s the Dolphin D and gives up a big play and the offense can’t fight back.

Prediction: 24-13 Jets.  It’s hard to know how a Jet-Dolphin game will go, let alone how many points will be scored.  Based on these two teams’ offenses, it’s hard to foresee this game being a high scoring shootout.  The Dolphins offense continues to sputter with Moore at QB and the defense is not much better after the bye.

Despite my prediction, I hope I am wrong.  You can read see my feelings about “Suck for Luck” here.  Also, I will be in attendance of the game and will be posting live updates and possibly some images I will take during the game, so make sure you follow me on twitter @PhinNationJohn

As  always, PhinsUp!                                                                                                                                                                                 -John

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @PhinNationJohn for additional Dolphin news and commentary.

Thank you for reading my article, I hope you enjoyed it and be sure to leave a comment.