Monday, June 8, 2009

Current and Future Dolphin - Jason Allen, CB

It's amazing to me how the weekend turned out for the Dolphins. While the team was out fishing, the reporters back on dry land were doing some fishing of their own. In trying to create news, both the Miami Herald and the Palm Beach Post wrote about Jason Allen's future. Surprisingly, Armando Salguero, who I've always thought had some kind of personal vendetta against Allen, wrote a piece that suggested Allen wasn't really to blame for his 'inconsistency' as the team itself had been inconsistent in what they wanted him to do. Perhaps even more surprisingly, the normally indifferent PBP allowed a non-Dolphins reporter to write a piece suggesting Allen won't even make the roster. Jason Allen, in the meantime, is not paying attention to any of the media and fan comments and is preparing himself to be, and competing to be, a starting cornerback for the Dolphins.

I'm not going to argue against either of these opinions, they are welcome to it, and it's the usual time of year for such speculation and ponderings.

But I will point out a couple of things that I believe and I'm sure MOST of the Dolphin fans out there believe as well.

1. It is pointless to assume who will make the roster before training camp even begins. We've still got a couple of weeks of OTAs for crying out loud. The media is only invited to 3 or 4 sessions out of 15, and even then they're not allowed to view the entire process. The media likes to jump to conclusions based on what they see. First, they saw rookie minicamp and saw Vontae Davis run around and said he'll be a top challeneger for the open starting spot. The next time they were allowed in they said Eric Green IS the starter. Then they said Sean Smith is doing better than Davis because he (Smith) was then playing with the first team. The truth of the matter is that Davis had already had snaps with the first team in the days before the media was let in. You know who else got snaps with the first team? Jason Allen. Possibly Nate Jones also. Let's wait till training camp to whittle down the roster. It's one thing to say someone like Todd Lowber ain't gonna make it, but Jason Allen? Let's be realistic here. And that brings me to ....

2. The Dolphins will enter the pre-season with 6 cornerbacks and 4 safeties. They currently have 6 safeties and 9 cornerbacks on the roster. That means 5 players will be axed by the end of training camp. Everyone and their mothers on the Coaching Staff and the Management side have gone on and on about how they like BIG corners, need to match up against BIG receivers in the AFC East, need position flexibility, and that the special teams are leaning towards bigger players, more linebackers/safeties and fewer corners, it seems pretty clear to me that Jason Allen actually has a better chance of making the roster than almost all of the other corners. Sure, Will Allen is a lock, and Sean Smith is bigger than Jason, but Eric Green is no superstar, being demoted in favor of a rookie and then put on inactive in Arizona. That's right, the guy was a starter in 2008 and didn't even get to DRESS for the Super Bowl, play-offs, and a few games of the regular season because he couldn't play special teams. It's possible Green doesn't even make the roster here. I said I wouldn't argue the points of those reporters above but I do apply simple logic to the UM reporter's statement that Jason Allen will lose out to Nate Jones because Jones is a better special teamer. I never saw Jones do anything on special teams but I saw Jason Allen make at least one play in every game he played in. He led the team in ST tackles, he forced fumbles, he downed punts, etc. And that brings me to...


3. Even if Parcells is such a blow-hard as to say Nate Jones is my guy and Jason Allen isn't, so Allen's out, the truth is that Parcells does not make that call. The coaching staff decides who stays and who goes and then consults with Jeff Ireland (I always envision Parcells sitting in silhouette in the background smoking a cigar and only leaning forward into the light at the end of the meeting to say, "I think we're done here. Let's get some lunch.") to coordinate the business side of things. The Coach cuts players, not the VP of Football Operations. The Coach says the best players will play. Jason Allen is better than Joey Thomas, Will Billingsley, Scorpio Babers, Nathan Jones. He might be better than Davis, Smith and Green. He should be better than at least one of them. Which brings me to...


4. Jason Allen will be a Dolphin in 2009.

(unless he gets traded) ;)

29 comments:

  1. The Knight who says Ni!June 8, 2009 at 9:34 AM

    \nTin, I agree. The media can\'t seem to grasp what OTAs are all about. How many times does Sparano have to say don\'t read too much into depth charts right now, we won\'t do any of that until we\'re in pads. We like to see all our players matchup against different people in different combinations. I remember that from last year, why can\'t the media?\n \nI posted in the AFC East blog about Donald Thomas already being back to his normal lifting routine and expects to be ready for training camp. Did you see that article on the SS? Great news!

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  2. I missed the D thomas article.  i'll get back to you on that!

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  3. I can't find this article you speak of...are you sure it was on SS?

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  4. The Knight who says Ni!June 8, 2009 at 10:56 AM

    \nhttp://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/sfl-dolphins-thomas-fishing-060609,0,95617.story

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  5. a 100lb fish vs a guy with a torn pec?  The fish must have been suicidal.

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  6. The Knight who says Ni!June 8, 2009 at 11:33 AM

    LOL\n\nHere\'s another thing the media overreacted about. The Donald Thomas possibly out for the year stuff started and the scramble for a RG started. Now only weeks later Thomas is back to his regular lifting routine so he won\'t be behind with his strength when the season starts like we thought he would be.

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  7. This was well written and I completely agree, Jason Allen will be on the team in 2009.  If the current regime lieks versatility and wants players that can play multiple positions, Jason Allen is their man.  As we all know, he has played CB, S, and ST, that's versatility and yes, he isn't the best CB or S but he is far from the worst.  I actually prefered him as a Safety than cornerback.  If he stays healthy and has a full year at one position, he'll be a solid. 

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  8. I preferred him at Safety also originally but it's funny, when we saw the Brandon London highlight reel, JA was the only guy who could cover him man on man.  His footwork and hips were excellent and at safety his hands and using his size very good as well.  If he can combine the two, he would be starting opposite the other Allen, no question.

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  9. Tin,

    As usual, very well written and you covered all the bases, the fans who go to the games, not just watch the away games and read the SS and MH know how much effort and ability JA has. when you get bounced around by three coaching staffs and each Def. Coordinator how the hell can you get consistent play ? Intelligent fans and experts alike (Omar, YOU, etc) see through all the crap and focus on the here and now and how each player progresses...they either have or they don't..keep up the great blogs...thanks for all the insight and information...true fans appreciate your hard work...

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  10. Thanks, Nick.  I appreciate you and everybody else reading and enjoying the journey along with a fellow fan.

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  11. Tin, I like you think j allen can be good. you and omar are now my fav bloggers. sorry dont comment much just busy at work. but i do read everday. Thanks for the info keep it up

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  12. Tin ;  I think this is more about us than the media.  I will use myself as an example.  I do exactly as you said I react to what the media prints and then I run with it.  I try to keep in mind that I am in a reactionary position, but I don't seem to do a very good job of that at times.  For myself I think I have trained myself because of being in business for myself for so long that if I see something wrong I need to fix it right now.  So I do what is normal for me.
     
     

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  13. I don't know what a true fan is. I thought we were all true fans.  Even though we may or may not be dolphin fans.   I do however appreciate the amount of work Tin puts into his site though.

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  14. Thanks and will do!

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  15. Fang, you're absolutely right.  We all fall into these traps even when we see them coming.  It's like a 'honey trap' for football fans.

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  16. we're all true fans, but we have different personalities and different ways of processing information.  When I read something about the team I want to know 'why' more than I want to just shake my head and agree.  But for a lot of fans they just want to be 'spoon fed' something because they're not looking for extra work at the end of the day.  I understand that completely.  There are things outside of the Dolphins that I am that way with as well. 
     
     

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  17. This brings up a point about doing some research before the media releases a story.  If the media would do that honestly they would still have a story but it would be correct.  Instead we fans get nothing more than rumors and gossup.  What we get most of the time is editorial garbage.

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  18. "<span style="">(unless he gets traded)" tin</span>
     
    <span style="">...well SOMEONE is going to get traded out of our backfield ...we have a LOT of talent there now and needs elsewhere ...like the OL.</span>
     
    <span style="">...so I'm going to play a little devils advocate here ...I'm not going to be a J Allen fan until he earns it and he simply hasn't ...he did show up a bit against Moss last year but face it, he was a first round pick and has never made it to starter ...three successive coaching regimes have turned thumbs down on him as starter ...one ok, two maybe, but three in a row? ...and yes, he seems to have all the right stuff yet somehow something has always been missing.</span>
     
    <span style="">...training camp can change everything ...but right now, imnsho, I think J Allen is trade bait ...and little more.</span>
     

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  19. The Knight who says Ni!June 8, 2009 at 7:57 PM

    Why do we need OL? Thomas is reportedly back to his normal lifting program and his target date is training camp. The SS reported that. They got it from the horse's mouth. LOL
     
    Let's see what we have before judging the depth. They might be better than we think. With Thomas back we have our starting 5. He doesn't have a body of work but he's the real deal in the eyes of the trifecta. Thomas is the guy they see at RG. 
     
    C Grove 6-4 300
    LG Smiley 6-3 315
    RG Thomas 6-4 310
    LT Long 6-7 315
    RT Carey 6-5 335
     
    That's the OL the trifecta is penciling in as the 1st team.

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  20. lemmus, that's a reasonable stance but let's be fair, the guy HAS started many games at both safety and cornerback.  Before the Trifecta misfired on Chris Croker they had J Allen penciled in as the starting FS.  It wasn't until after Renaldo Hill started showing up and they got Crocker on board that they switched Allen to Corner.  So even THIS current regime hasn't been consistent with what they want from him.

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  21. Knight I'm with lemmus here.  I don't think we have much depth on the o line, and I'm not sure if we are settled with these starters yet.  Lets look at the backups.  When both Thomas and Smilley were hurt we were unable to fill in for them.  I don't see much improvement in the backups from last year.  We can say we brought in Berger, but in what 5 years he has started all of 6 games ?  I wouldn't call him a great addition, and other than him not much has changed.  Thomas has played nearly 2 quarters of 1 game and Smilley can't make it through a full year.  That's not exactly set on the O line IHO.
     
    Plus Parcells has said in the past if a team needs rebuilding you start on the lines.  If that is true then the work is not finished on either side of the ball.
     
    Just like a player the management team must prove themselves each and every year, and we the fans do that by the number of wins the team puts up.  It's not fair but that's the way it is. I know the trifecta are a huge upgrade over what we have had for the past 10 years, and they have my confidence even though I may question a move here and there.  But if the team falters this year the short sighted nay sayers will be out in force once again.

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  22. I think Frye, Alleman, Ndukwe and Garner all have another year under their belts and willbe better than they were last year.  The whole point of these OTAs and training camp is to prepare, and after last year's injury issues they will prepare for that evntuality. 
     
    Let's not press the panic button yet on the O-line.  I'm more optimisitc than most about the line.

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  23. ...sure he started some games ...and then they replaced him ...every coach who has started him has replaced him ...like I said, I'm not sold ...not by a long shot ...and I consider that more than fair.
     
    ...I'm all for playing the best corners we have and if JA proves to be that, great ...but so far he's had three years and three coaches and three failures to become a regular starter ...its his time, either he is a starting caliber corner or we trade him for help elsewhere.

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  24. ...ok Ni, I'm going to cut you some slack here since I'm tootling all over tin as it is and I hate to be so negatory all of a sudden ...Fang said it pretty well so I'm not going to regurgitate the same stuff, eh.
     
    ...but what makes you think our OL is set? ...Thomas hasn't played a game yet ...we really don't know diddly about him ...and being all pollyannish about our backups is kind of ...well pollyannish imnsho ...they were barely adequate at RG last year and I'm being generous there ...a turnstile could have been subbed and I'm not sure we'd have noticed a difference in the stats ...and reps are nice and all that but they only help if the base talent is really there ...they got lots of reps last year and I damn near lost my voice screaming at the TV at the lack of play at the RG position all season long ...thank god there are several days between games or I'd have lost some vocal cords.
     
    ...this team was designed to run the freakin' ball down the Raven's and Steeler's throats ...and we have the offense to do it ...except at RG and OL backup ...fatal exceptions imnsho ...three of our five starting OL have recent serious injury histories ...its odds on that there will be another during the course of the season.
     
    ...so yeah, I'm looking for the trifecta to make a major move to shore up the OL ...if that's a panic button, consider it pushed.
     
    ...don't mean to beat on you but you did ask, eh :)  

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  25. BP stated that DThomas was a"godsend"!!
    That works for me!!
    He dominated 08s preseason,and played 3.5 qtrs of the 1st game w'a broken foot,(that's a tough sob)!!
    IMHO,he'll be the answer to many prayers,IF he can GET/STAY HEALTHY!!
    Though w'his questionable peck(even though he's back to his routine),JSmileys history,and AAllemans back(which I'm very concerned about),I can definately see another G being brought in..

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  26. I personally have NO DOUBT that JALLEN WILL BE an"09"FIN!!

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  27. Tin, Very well written!

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