Monday, January 4, 2010

Warning: This Blog Post Contains Image Of Fat Lady Singing

Well, I suppose it's a good thing to have to wait until the 4th quarter of the final game of the season to really know your team is out of the running.  It could be worse.  The Rams have had to live with this feeling for the entire season.  They have already done 8 versions of their 2010 Mock Drafts.

The Dolphins finally succumbed to the 2009 season, which seemed to be against them from the start and from all different angles:
  • The draft (Pat White, Patrick Turner, JD Folsom, Andrew Gardner, am I missing anyone?)
  • The injuries (Donald Thomas, Chad Pennington, Will Allen, Ronnie Brown, Jake Grove, Jason Ferguson, Joey Porter, Justin Smiley, Channing Crowder, and culminating in Chad Henne and then Pat White and even Vontae Davis reportedly sprained his wrist, was forced back into the game and injured it even more).
  • The coaching (Pat-Cat, abandoning the running game, not handling 4th down well at times - like a FB dive on 4th and a long 3, or not knowing when to go for it and when to kick a FG)
  • The media (continually praising Pat White, despite the truth he had a horrible season, or dropping primetime games to favor the Favre-express).
  • The refs (the pick 6 by the Saints that wasn't a TD, the no calls on the 3 or more times we all witnessed Cameron Wake being held during the Steelers game, the opposing QB fumbles that were all called incomplete passes - there were at least 3 of those during the season, or the fact that Ted Ginn was raped from behind on the goal-line INT that Thigpen threw - face it - we got screwed a lot by the refs, not just in the Steelers game).
So, there were a lot of reasons why we lost, and some of them are above, but ultimately the 2009 season came down to just not doing enough.  We lost 3 games to start the season, two of which we were leading in the 4th quarter.  We nearly knocked off the seemingly untouchable Colts and Saints before 4th quarter collapses.  We held a 4-2 division record - something no one expected, and we swept the loud-mouth Jets.  Hell, we even beat the Patriots, and held them under 30 points in both games.  And despite losing Ronnie Brown, and Ricky getting banged up towards the end of the season, we still finished as the 4th best running attack in the entire NFL.

There were a lot of ups and downs - some quality wins - some heartbreaking losses - and a whole lot of heart palpitations in between.  We were in every game with a chance to come out victorious.  For me, the first game of the season versus Atlanta was the worst one in terms of performance, and despite the final score being only 19-7, it felt like a blow-out emotionally.  I didn't have that feeling for the rest of the season, even in the embarrassing loss to the Bills.  There were more instances of hope than there were of pure misery.  

And now as we look forward to the rest of the football happenings in the next month, we can take some time to ponder what these remaining teams have that we don't have, what they have that we do have, and what we can do to better ourselves and our team, because that's what life is all about, right?  And sports is just a microcosm of life itself.  The harder you work, the stronger you are, the faster you are, the better the results will be.

Thank you to all that visited this site in 2009, my inaugural year.  For those of you who started out with me on this journey may already know, I take the off-season almost more seriously than I do the regular season.  By the time the draft rolls around I will have watched over 200 college football games (I'm already half-way there), and I will be presenting articles, videos, photos, top ten lists, mock drafts, live chats, and guest features.  There will also be the return of the exclusive interviews and the ever-popular Tins Fins Contests.  In between all this will be sprinkled with Dolphins content of interest, including more classic video and interviews.  There are even site re-designs in the works.  As you can see there's plenty to read about and discuss in the off-season, and this is the best place to do it so please join me for 2010.

PS - This just in, Pat White is okay, drove himself to work today and was smiling.


  1. My draft board so far:

    1st Round (#12 OVR):
    - Rolando McClain, ILB, Alabama
    - Terrance Cody, NT, Alabama
    - Dan Williams, NT, Tennessee

    2nd Round (#44 OVR):
    - Brandon Spikes, ILB, Florida (only if we don't get McClain in Rd.1)
    - Jermain Gresham, TE, Oklahoma (will probably be gone, though)
    - best available WR in this order: Damian Williams, Brandon LaFell, Golden Tate, Dez Bryant, Arrelius Benn

    3rd and 4th Round picks could be spent on a true FS and another LB .

  2. At least something associated with the fins this year did good....Great first year Tin, this blog kicks ass and I passed it on to all the fin fans I know (2 people).  Thanks!   A couple thoughts.....
    -Run defense suffers without Channing, although I've been critical of him, that's a fact.  Maybe pair him with a coverage type ILB and tell him to quit talking smack he embarrassed all of us this year
    -Should have traded Porter last offseason.  Too old, inconsistent, maybe fires up the team, but hurts us by talking more smack than Crowder.  Takes away valuable playing time from youngsters.
    -50/50 on resigning Taylor.  Only if used as pass rusher with Joey gone.  Need mauler at strong side.  Everyone hypes Taylor as team leader, never really saw it...Coming back for less $ this year showed me something, but his departure to Deadskins showed true colors for me......
    -What's up with Merling?  Is he good but overshadowed by our awesome DE depth, or is a bust?  His name seems to escape critique...
    -Kory Sheets sighting was nice, although brief.  On that note.....
    -Why does it seem Sporano drags his feet starting certain guys, then throws others out there bad game after bad game?  We need a slasher on offense and special teams!!
    -I was O.K. with Pat White pick at first when I thought he'd be a WR/ situational QB.  QB first does not work!!  No snaps at WR!!  Do we trade this guy with Ginn?
    -Let's face it, Oline needs help.  If you're a trenches first guy, why put up with such crappy play?  In Pat Whites defense, it's like the Oline takes a break the moment he's in there!  Half the time he takes a snap he's killed by some unblocked pass rusher.  These guys are NOT dominant or consistent.  Spend your $ elsewhere or dump the dead weight and get a real RT!!  And some REAL depth!  Everything starts on the line, there should be no excuses....

  3. Thanks Tin for a great year with all your insight, look forward to 2010 and draft.

  4. My avatar pretty much sums up the feelings I have for the trifecta this year.

    The trifecta have a lot of questioning they should be asking of themselves.  I really thought we had the player evaluating solved bringing in BP and company.  There is no doubt the team is better than 2 years ago.  Yet I can't help thinking that they have made many mistakes.  From signing FAs,  making some pretty stupid picks in the draft, and letting some guys go that are better than who we kept.  For instance Randle Hill over G Wilson.  JT over Roth, this move ran Roth out of town.  We lost a young guy and brought back JT which pretty much sealed the fate of Roth.  At least it did from Roths point of view.  Roth did not like that signing, and no one will convince me he was injured at any time this year.  JT had a pretty good year no matter, but what did we lose because of him and what did we gain.

    Schedule be damned we lost to many games this year because of a pretty bad defense.  They were unable to stop 3rd down plays and gave up way to many easy scores. 

    Which brings me back to my avatar.  The Trifecta were...  How do you say this, "GOOFY".

  5. That's a good looking menu. Are you a USC guy? You're the first I've seen
    list Williams as best WR...I think he makes my top 12, but not number 1 (of
    course I have a few surprises in my top ten)

  6. Thanks Red Dog, good comments/questions. here's my thoughts:
    -Run defense suffers without Channing...
    -Should have traded Porter last offseason.
    *AGREED - I said that during the off-season last year, that we should try to
    trade him since he was going to decline from here on out and he had his best
    season ever, thus increasing his value.
    *-50/50 on resigning Taylor.
    *Well, he was traded to the Redskins, he didn't choose them. I don't think
    he's ever been a leader, per se, but he's always been a big playmaker, and
    he, like any other NFL player who's reaching the end, wants to be in a shot
    to win a ring. I don't blame him for that one bit. Would you blame your
    best friend in high school for leaving you in community college when they
    got a scholarship offer from Harvard?
    *-What's up with Merling?
    *I don't think anyone expected McDaniel to be such a force earlier in the
    season. He came in and pushed Merling after Starks came back in 2009 with
    something to prove. Merling is not a bust at all, we just have a very
    strong group of ends, and the coaches did that rotation thing on the line
    this year (even if they had issues doing it at linebacker) so everyone got
    fewer snaps. Langford was very quiet this year too but he was a consistent
    run-stopper. **I have no problem with Merling being 2nd string if Starks
    keeps playing the way he did this year (he was added to the pro-bowl as an
    alternate, btw)*
    -Kory Sheets
    *The first wild-cat play in weeks! He made what looked to be a huge hit on
    a kick return but he bounced off the returner (on that big return where the
    guy made JD Folsom look like an offensive lineman and the returner was
    finally pushed out by Cam Wake who tracked him from the other side of the
    Do we trade Pat White with Ginn?
    *You couldn't trade Pat White for a stick of gum now if you tried. We will
    never get that 2nd round pick back. Never.*
    -Let's face it, Oline needs help...In Pat Whites defense, it's like the
    Oline takes a break the moment he's in there!
    *All the defenses know that he's going to run the ball . That, and anytime
    a new QB is inserted the O-line is going to have to adjust on the fly.
    You've seen Pat White run, if you were a Guard, would you know where **he
    was behind you?* *It threw every thing out of rhythm including the
    blocking. Keep in mind that Thigpen was not getting any protection either,
    but was able to move around and think quickly on his feet. So, in the
    O-line's defense, LOL, Pat White is the reason Pat White sucked. Except for
    that one blitz up the middle, that was all Jake Grove's fault. I do agree
    that Vernon Carey should not be starting RT. *

  7. You're welcome, Hawk.

  8. Fang, are you suggesting Matt Roth couldn't pass the physical because he was
    sad? He clearly was injured, or something, or we wouldn't have kept him
    around if it was irreconcilable differences. We would have traded him early
    on. Personally, I don't think it was the groin injury, but something else.
    He came in during week 8's game looking like he had lost 30 lbs and looked
    pale. Perhaps he WAS sad and had clinical depression or something. Perhaps
    that's why they released him, because he couldn't bear to live in Miami
    anymore....who knows. All I know is that he didn't look so terrible on the
    field that they had no choice but to release him.
    We lost plenty of games early on because of our offense, and later in the
    season because of defense, it wasn't just the defense. Atlanta, San Diego,
    New Orleans - these were lost by our offense for the most part.

  9. Could be cause I'm a homer, but it did seem like there were an inordinate amount of bad calls / no calls against the Dolphins this year. Some mattered (as in cost us the game dispite what the team did) some didn't (like the P.I. on W.Allen in the 1st Jets game or the NON-TD TD that Braylon scored in the same game, ONE FOOT DOWN IS NOT AT TD!!!!!) Most would say "Sour grapes, Homer" but there were just SOOOOO many this year. How about our NT getting called for holding the center? or in the same game him getting called for illigal contact on the RB going out for a pass? (um last I checked the NT plays inside the 5yd boundry)

    But all that is water under the bridge, great teams find a way to overcome bad calls and our team just couldn't this year.  The F.O. needs to fix some very glaring problems this off season.  Not the least of which is our LB corps and our FS.  We don't have a FS, we have two SS.  A good pass catching TE, a #1 WR, FS, ILB (2) OLB and depth on the OL should put us in a more competative posistion next year.  Now if we can stop wasting picks on situational players like PW we MIGHT build a better team.

  10. brandon spikes in round 2.  i seriously doubt that, every thing i hear has in in early round 1.  but hey, it all changes by the time the draft rolls around.  for some reason the combine seems to hold more value then what the player actually does on the field

  11. I think Spikes will go higher than McClain because there are more 4-3 teams,
    especially in the top of the draft. On my top ten ILB list I actually have
    them tied at 1st place. I predict both will go in the top 20.

  12. i agree with you on that.  not the important question about 2010 and your blog, will you constantly be giving us pictures of girls being mauled by dolphins.  LOL

  13. I don't know, believe it or not these kinds of things are rare. Perhaps if
    someone reading this works at Sea World, we can work something out....

  14. At this point (everything can change at the combine) McClain is clearly the top ILB, a big step ahead of Spikes. McClain could be our version of Patrick Willis but I doubt he'll fall to #12. But who knows, Linebackers seemed to fall a bit in the last couple of years (e.g. Willis, Maualuga, Laurinaitis)...

    @ Tin: No, I'm not a USC guy. I just think that Damian Williams is by far the best route runner of all the WR prospects. This might not be as important in College Football, where you can get away with speed alone. But in the NFL, you need to be a good route runner to be a #1 WR (that's what seperates Dwayne Bowe from Ted Ginn).
    I'm a Florida State guy, BTW...

  15. That's true what you say about WRs. I was impressed by a couple of FSU WRs
    in the 3 games of theirs I watched this year, but I think the best one was a
    freshman or RSfreshman.....can't recall the name but he wore #80....

  16. Also, I couldn't give McClain the edge over Spikes because of the differing
    schemes and the fact that Spikes is a 4 year starter. Plus, I was shocked
    when Spikes stayed in school last year, I thought for sure he would leave
    after his junior year because he was projected to go 1st round last year,
    but maybe he knew there would be next to no competition this year.

  17. Couldn't help but notice that gimmicky play that the Jests ran against Cincy's backups.  What was that thing called again?  It looked familiar........

  18. I hear you about Taylor, I guess I'm just jealous cause my wife has his jersey.  Couldn't she root for some 4'11" kicker instead?  Good points on the oline and PW.  Would've loved to see some shred of the player I saw leading WVirginia for 4 years. 

  19. Tin, you probably mean Jarmon Fortson. He's a sophomore though, but he has big time potential. Lacks top end speed but at 6'3 and 220+ lbs, he can be a good possession receiver in a couple of years.

    I'd be willing to trade up a few spots to get McClain (to get ahead of Denver). If that doesn't work out, maybe trade down a few spots (in the 15-18 range) to pick one of the Nose Tackles (Cody or Williams) and maybe get an additional 3rd rounder...

    What if Brandon Marshall is available for a 1st and a 3rd??? Would you trade for him? (I know Parcells probably won't, but what do you guys think?)

  20. That's why College spread players never get the respect, because it usually
    doesn't translate. It doesn't matter if someone catches 150 passes and 20
    TDs, scouts are still going to look at the class and saw Brandon LaFell,
    with his 40 catches (totally guessing) is a better prospect. Every now and
    then it works out (Davone Bess for example) but an NFL QB is like a
    bullseye, and if you get rattled early, you get broken. It's happened time
    and time again. and Pat White's size just makes it that more difficult.
    With that in mind, we should draft Matt Grothe in April! ;)
    My wife has a JT jersey too but that's because I bought it on sale after he
    went to the Redskins. ;)

  21. They've been running that play since 2007. and they ran it in 2008 too.
    They just like to talk without thinking.

  22. Yes, Fortson is the name. i thought he squared up very well, reminded me a
    bit of Boldin.
    Personally, I prefer to draft a wide receiver, because there are so many
    that I like in the draft, so I wouldn't make the trade. I could see them
    going for a 1st this year and a conditional 3rd next year, but then they'd
    miss the opportunity to get a McClain, so it's a huge gamble.

  23. I want Marshall BADDD, but I'd rather have McClain(has he declared yet),
    though BP might take Spikes instead of McClain b/c of the 4 yr thing,(HOPE NOT)??!!
    Isn't MARSHALL still destined to be an o10 FA,or did Den renegotiate his contract upon initial reconciliation??

    When everybody was beggin for a 1st rnd WR last yr,(I wanted the CBs),
    b/c IMHO this yrs WR class has an abundance of BP particulars type WRs(THROUGHOUT the draft),
    and the need for a couple of 09s CB class was more desirable than o10s CB class..

    I like BURNUMS initial thoughts,I posted the same 1st rnd names in yesterdays blog!!


    To add weight,
    08 had ZERO gyz hobbled on a wkly basis,minimal gyz (DT) on IR,an easy schedule,
    leading to team COHESION,and a PLUS 17 turover ratio...

    09 had SEVERAL hobbled gyz on a wkly basis,
    an UNPARRALED number of STARTERS/LEADERS/BEST GYZ @their positions on IR,
    and the toughest schedule in the league,leading to wkly team CONFUSION,and a NEGATIVE (10?) turnover ratio...

    THOSE INJURIES played a MAJOR PART in the NEGATIVE 27 turnover ratio,
    and the end result in comparison to the 2 seasons,IMHO!!

  24. Marshall is one of 212 players who will not be UFAs unless a new CBA is
    signed soon.
    McClain has not yet declared, but probably will if Alabama wins on Thursday.
    Yes the Dolphins had no luck on their side in 2009.

  25. "OUR" FINS ???  That's low 13.  Does OUR FINS mean that we fans must wear Blinders and agree with every word and move the trifecta make ?  Are we not allowed to question the FAs that have been brought to the team ?  I guess we can't think the dolphins brass can do better and the status quo is good enough.

    So for the rest of my life I have to conform to what everyone else thinks to be a "TRUE" Dolphin fan.  How could the Dolphins be "OUR" FINS if any of us disagree with what they do. 

    Now who took my Blinders ?  The last time I used them was about 11 years ago when Shula was the coach !!!! :'(

  26. Speaking of Blinders, did everyone see that Peter King put Vernon Carey on
    the CNN/SI All-pro team?

  27. You did actually miss another Ghost from our 09 Draft; John Nalbone.

  28. Dang, I KNEW there was one missing....

  29. FANG/Dude,your trippin!!
    Where you been,I've been referring to the FINS @ these sites as ""OURS"" for 10 yrs!!
    You apparently had no problem with it until Lemmus condemed your soul,and sent you on a witch hunt!!
    Sometimes I think your one in the same,(but only two of a million)!!!!

    It's easy to disagree w'a move you didn't like after the fact/a disappointing year for that individual!!
    I'm sure the regime is questioning some of their own moves,(AFTER THE FACT)??
    HOWEVER,Sometimes even FA acquisitions take a couple yrs to mesh,just b/c they didn't excel in 09 doesn't mean it's an absolute bust of a move,THIS REGIME IS PREPARING for the LONG-TERM!!!

    I don't see why a fan that APPRECIATES the opportunity to be entertained on Sunday's by HIS team that has displayed it's mystique in legitimate attempts @ victory for 45 yrs would question whether or not ""OUR""team has EVER not given it's best effort (TOP/BOTTOM) while trying to get to the top??!!

    HOW CAN YOU QUESTION THE BRASS from your lazy-boy??
    THESE gyz are 24/7 FOOTBALL,have been their ENTIRE LIVES!!
    ANY-ONE of them gets a penil drip,and they've pissed-away more football knowledge than the entire blogging community combined has retained!!!

    BIGGG DEALLL,NOT EVERY FA or DRAFT PK works out,(EVERY TEAM has hit's/misses)!!
    I've whispered to myself,(WHY this,WHY that),but I wouldn't dare attempt to turn MY TEAMS fanbase against MY TEAM/REGIME/PLAYERS,in hopes of gathering a following of NEGATIVE VIBES being transmitted in the direction of ""OUR"" team/regime/players whom I want nothing but POSITIVE things to happen for!!
    I find that to be counter-productive!!!

    The REGIME watched hundreds of hrs of tape on EVERY acquisition,
    they spend EVERY WAKING MOMENT hand-in hand w'EVERY player on the roster,
    they KNOW EVERY PLAYER's EXACT STRENGTH's/weaknesses to a percentage point!!
    HELL,they know the combined weight/color/texture of every player's daily multiple turds.. 
    From your lazy-boyy!! Do you really think the brass plans on remaining"status quo"??

    Be as MISERABLE as you like!!!
    I prefer doing my best @ APPRECIATING MY HOME TEAM that I've LOVED for 45 yrs,
    and supporting whatever decisions are made by the""NFL LEGEND/EXPERTS""while they stand @ the urinal!!!

    HELL,I coulda been born in UTAH,then you'd have to deal w'me @ the pro-relegious sites,
    THANK HEAVEN'S,and lucky for you, I was born in MIAMI !! 

    You oughta include your initial explanation of your new avitar w'every post to avoid potential confusion,
    seeing that GOOFY has FANGS !!!
     GO MIAMI DOLPHINS ONE and ALL,until replaced/upgraded,FOREVER!!!  :-D !!!!!!!!