Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Linebackers - Does Size Matter?

Joey Porter will be leaving on March 5th.  Akin Ayodele may be following him, according to the Sun-Sentinel.  Channing Crowder's radio show hosting of Porter's rant has led to speculation, and Cameron Wake, according to just about everyone except for game tape, cannot play at an NFL level.  JD Folsom is a project, Reggie Torbor is overpaid, Charlie Anderson is overpaid and over-flagged, and Quentin Moses is still a project.  Jason Taylor probably has one more year left in the tank - actually if I were a betting man I'd say it's more likely two-thirds of a year.  Erik Walden hasn't been able to handle more than special teams, and Brian Johnston couldn't even make it on the Chiefs roster.

Eleven football players with two things in common:  1.  They all play linebacker for the Dolphins, and 2. Their futures are uncertain in one way or another.

I expect by training camp we will have 5 or 6 ILBs and 7 or 8 OLBs competing for a spot.  The Dolphins's LB make-up could be very different come opening week of the 2010 season.

Now we know the top ILB in free agency is Karlos Dansby.  The top OLB is...well it's actually going to be Joey Porter, and we know we won't go there.  The truth is the youngest, most talented OLB available at this point would be Scott Fujita of the New Orleans Saints.  But he would be asked to move inside in the Dolphins defense, and at 31 years old, his conversion could be a real risk.  

No, free agency is not where we'll find any quality OLBs, at least not unless Matt Roth decides to come home.  So we look to the Draft.  And running the Draft this year will be the Trifecta and their underlings, Dan Henning, and new Defensive Coordinator, Mike Nolan.

Nolan is a branch of the Al Groh tree.  Al Groh is a branch of the Bill Parcells tree.  You may think that makes Nolan and Parcells share some core beliefs such as scheme and what they look for in personnel.  Not entirely the case.  Nolan actually started out running a 4-3, and only switched to a 3-4 in the past decade.  Nolan has been a part of drafting some significant names in the NFL, but has also worked with what he had on the roster before he showed up, whereas Parcells has more or less preferred to bring in his own players.  

So how does the replacing, bolstering, upgrading and shoring up of the linebacking corp go with Nolan in the mix?  I say with some basis in fact but even more so in speculation that Parcells wants someone with Jason Pierre Paul's measurables.  6'6", 265 lbs, 4.6 forty, and all the athleticism in the world.  Someone he can work with and mold into a future force.  Nolan, on the other hand, is more likely to take a proven player he thinks can start straight away.

With the Baltimore Ravens, Nolan drafted Peter Boulware, 6'4", 255 lbs.  With the Jets he drafted John Abraham, 6'4" 254 lbs.  You would think he would stick to that mold of player as he carried on in his career, but after he inherited Andre Carter, 6'4" 260lbs, on the 49ers squad, he suddenly started moving towards shorter, squattier guys (Brandon Moore, Parys Harrelson), before implementing the 3-4 in Denver last year and moving Elvis Dumervil, 6'0", 255lbs into a stand-up pass-rushing role.   What made him change his understanding of what a pass-rusher should look like?  

Parcells, I believe, has not changed from his ideal 6'4" and above pass-rusher.  And he hasn't changed from his belief that he can take the guy with the best measurables and make him into the player he wants him to be.  

Sparano will just want someone who brings something to the table in the locker room, in the meeting room, and who hustles on the field.  He'd prefer someone who isn't limited by his measurables, but is probably more in tune to the intangibles.

So I ask you, what linebackers do you see the Dolphins going after this off-season?  Here is my guess:

OUTSIDE
Parcells:     Jason Pierre-Paul
Sparano:    George Selvie
Nolan:        Brandon Graham
Henning:    Convert Pat White to LB - "Pat can do it all!"

INSIDE
Parcells:       Rolando McClain
Sparano:      Joe Pawelek
Nolan:          Patrick Angerer
Henning:      "There was this kid one time, played for the Eagles in '72, I liked that kid.  Maybe he has a kid. That's who we'll get.  Next question."

73 comments:

  1. The Knight who says Ni!February 17, 2010 at 8:51 AM

    I agree that LB will be a big 'TOP' priority and much bigger than NT as Omar suggests is the top priority.

    Tin, Nolan didn't draft any of those players in Baltimore or with the Jets. DCs have some say, but you can't give them the credit for the draft picks because they do not have final say.

    As for 3-4 or 4-3, remember Parcells ran a 4-3 with the Pats and with the Jets and used some 3-4 hybrid stuff but they employed a 4-3 base most of the time.

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  2. I think JPP, McClain and Dan Williams are our top targets right now in round 1

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  3. The Knight who says Ni!February 17, 2010 at 9:18 AM

    At #12 I hope JPP and Williams are not on our board with that pick.

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  4. Knight, true he doesn't get credit for drafting them but he would have had
    some input and would've been involved in scouting, working out, and meeting
    with the players. And he would definitely have input into who started and
    he started a rookie Boulware and rookie Abraham.

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  5. We Have Playmakers???February 17, 2010 at 9:28 AM

    I'm still convinced  that we should (& probably will) aggressively pursue Fujita who is a versatile athlete that could play either ILB or OLB.

    As for OLB's to look at in the draft, I'm leaning toward Graham.  Even though Graham is 6'1" & not the ideal height that Parcells likes, he's played all 4 years at a  Big Ten school, his production has been excellent, & he's still a big kid at 263 pounds.  I can't help but to compare him to Lamar Woodley.  I also think Sergio Kindle at 6'4"deserves some consideration but he will need to add another 15-20 pounds to make an immediate impact.  In the Texas games that I watched I was impressed with what I saw of him.

    At ILB, I'm sold on McClain. 

    I'm started to wonder if Spiller has the body size to take the pounding as a RB in the NFL.  His height is irrelevant but he doesn't have the size that smaller RB's like Ray Rice & Shonn Green have.  IMO-I highly doubt that Parcells will take Spiller or Dez Bryant if they're still on the board.

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  6. We Have Playmakers???February 17, 2010 at 9:32 AM

    OMG!  Seriously?  Those guys are reaches!  With a pick at No. 12 & considering the defensive talent in this draft I would be very disappointed if we took Dan Williams or JPP.

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  7. as a fellow alumni, i would like to see JPP on the fins, but not with the 12th overall pick.  wouldnt mind seeing the fins trade down and pick up a few extra picks and then grap JPP with a later pick.  but if trading were that easy every team would be doing it.

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  8. The Knight who says Ni!February 17, 2010 at 9:39 AM

    I think Kindle could very well be on our radar. We'll all have a better idea who fits trifecta criteria after the combine and pro days.

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  9. We Have Playmakers???February 17, 2010 at 9:45 AM

    This is from one of the only writers I like from ESPN, Tim Graham.  He usually gets it right.

    "For the third offseason in a row, receiver is Miami's sexiest offseason need. Dolfans have been begging for downfield help, and the necessity has been augmented now that Chad Henne is the quarterback. The Dolphins got by with a collection of possession receivers because of Chad Pennington's pinpoint, midrange arm. A reliable deep threat would benefit Henne.

    The Dolphins have a decision to make at nose tackle. Incumbent Jason Ferguson is coming off a season-ending leg injury and will turn 36 next season. If the Dolphins look elsewhere, then that's a big hole.

    No matter what, they must improve at inside linebacker and free safety, the positions most responsible for surrendering big play after big play throughout the season. Last year's free safety, Gibril Wilson, was paid well and gave up costly plays. Inside linebackers Channing Crowder and Akin Ayodele simply aren't playmakers. They combined last year for one sack, one interception, one forced fumble and two recoveries."

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  10. The Dolphins will spend the bulk of their draft picks on D. Why? Because the Wildcat's trigger man, Ronnie Brown, will be healthy for training camp. The Wildcat provides the kind of ball control that Parcells likes. The Dolphins problems weren't scoring points, their problems were mainly in preventing the other team from scoring points!

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  11. If we look back at the past 2 drafts the trifecta has had they picked a guy that could start from the get go.  If they stay in the 12 pick I look for them to pick someone that can be thrown into the mix in someway from day one, and that doesn't mean on special teams.  Who that someone maybe I have no idea, but it will most likely be a LB, and ILB at that because they seem to fill the need that needs the most help.  At least that is my hope.  We don't need a project with our first round pick. 

    If we sign a LB in FA look for it to be someone that had an injury last year or has injury problems for the past few years that another team has given up on because of those injuries.  A player like Grove or Smiley the year before is a good example.  That has been the MO of the trifecta so far in the off season.  I don't see them going for any of the big names out there.

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  12. The Knight who says Ni!February 17, 2010 at 10:59 AM

    It's a lot easier to make trades when you're outside of the top 10 in a deep draft. The cost isn't as high and teams tend to covet specific players. If you want to trade down and you're not bent on raking teams over the coals for outrageous compensation, you can usually get a deal done and add an extra pick or two and still get a player of value.

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  13. son of a son of a shulaFebruary 17, 2010 at 12:08 PM

    As much as I've tooted Myron's horn and would love for him to be a Dolphin I'm beginning to think that maybe they do like Mays at 12 and why not he's a hammer and offenses must account for him. He's going under the radar too (somewhat).

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  14. <p><span>This guy doesn’t weigh enough, this guy is too short, this guy is too slow, this guy only did 12 reps… It sounds more like a beauty contest than an assessment of football players. Therein lies the key phrase, “football players.” Arguably the best ILB in Dolphin history was a victim of such pageantry and all Zach Thomas did was make tackles allowing the beauty panel judges to select the Vernon Gholstons of the world. </span>
    </p><p><span>Jason Pierre-Paul, he of 6’6” 260lbs and all of 6.5 sacks playing opposite George Selvie in the monster Big East… Yes, I’m being a bit of a smart ass but this is just type of thing that gets guys like Gholston up into the high first round. All that physical prowess does not always relate to whether a guy is a football player. Does the guy really like playing football? Does the guy have natural football instincts?<span>  </span>Then take a guy like <span>Sean Weatherspoon 6’2” 245lbs, too small… I guess 396 tackles in 3 seasons was because other teams decided not to bother blocking him because he was too small.</span></span>
    </p><p><span><span> </span></span>
    </p><p><span><span>The tendency is to get caught up in the measurables and forget about whether a guy has shown the ability to play football over an extended period of time. With this in mind, I think a lot of what I have read about the Parcells preference for bigger players is a little over blown. Of course he likes bigger players, we all want the biggest badest beast we can find but there are only a few of those freaks out there and after those you settle for the next best thing, a true football player. A guy who lives to make tackles or catch passes or run with the football and work at his trade, these guys go on to be the players that make a football team great.</span></span>
    </p><p><span><span> </span></span>
    </p><p><span><span>All of my rambling aside, I really haven’t made up my mind which player I would like to see the Dolphins draft at 12, but it won’t be </span></span><span>Jason Pierre-Paul or Dez Bryant and probably not C.J. Spiller. At this point I’m leaning toward McClain because I think he is the least risky player to draft at 12, but I will stick by my conviction that Sean Weatherspoon will be converted to ILB and turn out to be a great NFL linebacker.</span><span></span></p>

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  15. son of a son of a shulaFebruary 17, 2010 at 1:33 PM

    You make good points Patrick and I think we're fortunate as Dolphin fans to have good "football" people in place. If we came away from this draft somehow with Brandon Graham and Weatherspoon I would be pretty happy. Those guys ball.

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  16. I agree that Weatherspoon will play inside in the NFL, hence why I ranked
    him on my Top 10 ILB list at # 3. And your argument is a good one,
    especially the nod to Zach Thomas. But wanting to play and loving the game
    is not enough in the NFL. These players are going to be blocked by the
    biggest and baddest, they're going to be covered by the fastest and most
    fluid, and they're going to have to out-run, out-tackle, out-jostle,
    basically out-do the competition. Speed, strength, height, reach, vertical,
    etc *are* very important when it comes to competing.
    Yes, some shorter players are better than some taller ones, and some slower
    linemen can block better than some faster ones, etc, but you can't tell any
    of that stuff until AFTER you draft them, sign them, suit them up and stick
    them in the game. So ultimately, it makes more sense to draft someone who
    does pass the 'look test' and has the measurables. And let's be fair, most
    of these 1st round players do have the college stats to back up their
    ranking, in addition to their size and speed.
    I think some readers have assumed that the picks mentioned in the above
    article are all the 12th pick. That is not the case, I simply threw out
    some names by position, not by draft rank. I'm not advocating taking JPP
    with the 12th pick, I was using him as the example of the physical specimen
    which I think he is.
    But to defend JPP a bit since everyone is giving him a hard time for having
    6.5 sacks in 2009, George Selvie had 3.5 sacks, so he actually did twice as
    well as Selvie in that regard, but he also had 16.5 TFL and 7 QBH which is
    the main reason for the love he was getting early on. Keep in mind also
    that he had 14 sacks and 10.5 sacks the previous two years and he was timed
    at 4.5 in the forty. He also chose USF over Florida, Miami, Florida State,
    and Nebraska and several other schools.

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  17. The Knight who says Ni!February 17, 2010 at 1:42 PM

    Though I'd like to see our offense become more explosive, you are right.

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  18. The Knight who says Ni!February 17, 2010 at 1:43 PM

    son, it's way too early. No combine and pro days yet. There is no radar yet. LOL

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  19. Tin, JPP spent his freshman year at College of the Canyons and then transferred to Fort Scott Community College as a sophmore before eventually ending up at South Florida and then he only played one season. Those early numbers came at the junior college level. This is a guy who scares the hell out of me. All those freakish measurables and one season of major college ball. I wouldn't touch him until the 3rd round.

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  20. Patrick, I'm well aware of JPPs history, I am a USF alum. Again, I am not
    attributing a draft grade to JPP, but talking about his athleticism and
    size.

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  21. The Knight who says Ni!February 17, 2010 at 1:52 PM

    Basically you try to find a good blend of all the measurables. You can't take guys too high based on just athleticism and you can't take guys too high based just on hustle and passion.

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  22. The Knight who says Ni!February 17, 2010 at 2:21 PM

    In 1997 many mock drafts (mostly magazines) had the Dolphins taking JT with their 1st round pick which was #15 and we took Yatil Green. We ended up getting JT in the 3rd round.

    I think any team taking JPP in the 1st round is taking a big risk.

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  23. son of a son of a shulaFebruary 17, 2010 at 2:30 PM

    The increase in teams playing the 3-4 puts more of a premium on prospects who are speed edge rushers. It's kind of like get'em while you can.
    With the success Dumerville had under Nolan maybe Graham stands a better chance and we must not forget Ross' love for his alma-mater.

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  24. When you look at JPP's measurable's, he fits the Parcell's mode - and that is what Tin said. I also think he'll be considered with our 1st round pick. I'm not saying I want him to be the pick, but I think we will take a real close look at him.  I've seen Brandon Graham play many times and think he's a great football player... Do I see us drafting him at 12? No. 

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  25. son of a son of a shulaFebruary 17, 2010 at 2:58 PM

    If we could trade out of 12 and get Graham towards 20 and get another 2nd I say yes. Someone may want Dez or Spiller if they are there.

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  26. The Knight who says NiFebruary 17, 2010 at 3:35 PM

    son, there is a premium on speed rushers for the 4-3 as well, and that's what I think JPP is probably best suited for. I don't think the 6-6 guys are the best fit for 3-4 OLB. The 6-2 to 6-4 guys seem to have the most success. They can get low and use that off the corner speed rush to get under the OT on their way to the QB. The OTs can get under the bigger OLBs a little easier IMO.

    JT is an exception but he excelled at 3-4 OLB after he established himself as a dominant 4-3 DE.

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  27. <p><span>Tin, I'm a USF season ticket holder, though I went to UM... I was fairly disappointed with the whole damn team after those early season joke games. I'm personally glad Levitt is gone though I thought it was a bit of a witch hunt at the end. The thing that amazed me was this impression that he was some kind of disciplinarian when USF was the most undisciplined team I think I have ever watched. Anyway, dude those tailgates have some of the best scenery. FFR would never leave the parking lot!</span>
    </p><p><span> </span>
    </p><p><span>Son, the Dolphins ranked 3rd in the NFL in sacks and I thought that came from one of the most vanilla defenses I have ever seen. Couple that with a bleeding secondary which didn’t account for a lot of coverage sacks and it makes me wonder whether we really have a problem with the pass rush. I think the real problem lies in the middle of the defense, NT and the ILBs so I would guess that we will see the Dolphins stick to form and draft two ILBs and two big fellas in the 1<sup>st</sup> 4 rounds.</span></p>

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  28. son of a son of a shulaFebruary 17, 2010 at 4:01 PM

    It is the middle and not even so much the nose it's horrible linebacker play. Read and React. These guys read and run into a team-mate. We need aggressive tackling machines who are also smart so they know where the hell to be. But with Porter gone and JT turning 50 we need new outside guys too. At least one outside guy to go with Wake. There are some good bigguns to be had in the later rounds.

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  29. The Knight who says NiFebruary 17, 2010 at 4:38 PM

    son, that deal you propose is close based on the Draft Trade Value Chart. Our #12 is worth 1,200 points and the the 20th pick is worth 850. The difference is 350 and the value of the 20th pick in the 2nd round (#52) is 380. So we might have to throw in a 6th to get that 2nd. We have three 6ths so that's not a crazy idea.

    I wouldn't mind trading down at all. There is good talent in this draft and after about 10, I'm not sure the next 10 are that far apart. We'll know more after the combine and pro days. But getting a top 20 pick and an additional 2nd round pick could go along way. I'd do that if the 1st round is as deep as people say it is.

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  30. The Knight who says NiFebruary 17, 2010 at 4:45 PM

    son, the ILBs were not horrible playing the run inside most of the time. But they were slow to react to cutbacks and once backs got outside it was all on the secondary. We need to groom a young nose for the future but I agree with you that it wasn't that bad with Soliai in there and we also used a 4 man front at times. If you have good aggressive hammers that can read and react/seek and destroy at ILB you can get off the field and win more games. In a 3-4 everyone says you have to have a NT. That's true. You also need 2 DEs and 4 LBs. LOL

    We're not set at LB yet to be the best 3-4 defense we can be and some of our LBs are getting up there in age and Porter will be gone. The trifecta knows that. You don't have to worry, this offseason will be about LBs.  ;)

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  31. son of a son of a shulaFebruary 17, 2010 at 5:28 PM

    See Knight the way I see it is that our D-line is the only real strength on the team. They're stout and they're gnarly.  Other groups are coming along the secondary with or without a new safety will be improved simply by experience and their is good talent back there.
    The linebackers well what a big mess who's stayin who's leaving who's hurt who's inexperienced who's special teams. We need 4 young killers, smart coachable guys then that D can go make a name for itself. Mix 4 new guys in there with Wake and whoever is left standing and go raise hell.
    In my estimation any D-lineman we get with the obvious exception of a slight few, which we ain't gettin' anyway, are gonna have a hard time getting playing time while all linebackers we get are going to play, remember we want to build special teams around the athleticism and size of the linebackers.

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  32. IFF McClain falls to us @12,and Graham doesn't fall to 43,MAYBEEE Spikes will??
    That'd be a nice LB duo!!

    Wheres Spikes sittin as of late (2nd rnd)??

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  33. PW CAN play LB, IFF he'd be allowed to throw an INT once in awhile!! ;)

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  34. McClain,AND SAPP OR KINDLE works too,(FOR ME)!!

    I'd luv to get MR back!!

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  35. Someones an SFL homer,KIDN( I like those gyz too!!)

    I sometimes think "OUR" regime pks w'their heart's too much,
    (Shaun Murphy,BP must have owed DALE a favor),
    (PW, BP got tricked by Belicheck),
    (John Nalbone,lifelong friends w'TS' sons,and part of the Sparano family)...
    Not to mention some of the gyz that were pk'd simply b/c of our regimes past relationships w' their college coaches!!

    NOT COMPLAINING cuz more have worked-out than not,
    (and definately more TriTuna pks in ONLY two yrs have worked-out than ALL the recent previous regimes combined!!! 

    Jusayin you DON'T gamble w'your heart!!  GO BPhins!!

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  36. The Knight who says Ni!February 18, 2010 at 7:01 AM

    son, I agree about our DL. I think our OL is the other area where our team is strong. That's what the trifecta did first was to address the lines on both sides of the ball first and then start adding the other elements. This is the year we add more of those other elements.

    Before Pennington went down, our QB position was strong as well. It's still good if Henne takes the next step and I think he will. I also think Thigpen is a solid backup. So when you look at how the trifecta went about building this team, they did it exactly right.

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  37. Spikes and McClain are kind of static right now since they haven't 'been on
    the radar' since the season ended. But McClain has inched up about one spot
    every week since that happened. He went from being top 15 projection to top
    10 in the last 5 weeks. Spikes was projected top 20 five weeks ago and is
    still in that 20-25 range, though some of the slippage is due to Sean
    Weatherspoon getting all the attention lately. These short lists by the
    talking heads/scouts tend to change dramatically after the combine and then
    again after pro days so it's still impossible to know what the value of each
    player is.
    Something our friend Knight doesn't like to admit, but the value of a player
    (or anything really) is what the consumer/team is willing to pay for it, not
    necessarily what it does or how well it's built.

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  38. I like Sapp with the 2nd pick, IF he falls there as the media has suggested
    recently. Personally I think he will go in the Top 25 though.

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  39. Since there is so much need for LBs, I believe we will draft at least 2 of both LB spots and possibly add 1 or 2 in free agency (assuming we drop Porter and possibly another).  However, since the LB FA pool seems slim, I bet we get a NT in FA and draft a project in later rounds.

    And don't forget that Pat White will get a shot at LB this year too!  HA!

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  40. Dude are you taking your blinders off ?  I've never seen such talk from you before. :-[   I agree with you on all points. 

    We as fans can have our favorites, but I don't expect that to happen with the trifecta.  We only need to look at NE to see this as true.  They may toss players to the side a little early, but you can't doubt there success as true NFL guys.  Do you see that with the Dolphins Yet ?

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  41. son of a son of a shulaFebruary 18, 2010 at 8:34 AM

    You know the blitz where Crowder usually runs into Ferg or Langfords ass well they think PW can squeeze that gap and pressure the passer from inside. Yeah that's the ticket, inside, yeah...

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  42. He couldn't be any more lost than Adoyele out there!  Crowder at least guesses right some of the time...

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  43. The Knight who says Ni!February 18, 2010 at 9:14 AM

    I can admit it, but people and teams do a lot of dumb things when purchasing things.  :-P

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  44. The Knight who says Ni!February 18, 2010 at 9:16 AM

    Sometimes those blitzes are designed for the ILBs to attacks the guards forcing them to block them so you get more one on one matchups with your other pass rushers. I think saying they were running into our own guys is a little bit of an exaggeration. LOL

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  45. Don't need to tell me...I still have don't know what to do with all these
    midget clowns I got for such a good price 2 years ago....

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  46. The Knight who says Ni!February 18, 2010 at 9:35 AM

    LMFAO!

    I love it when my wife buys stuff just because it was on sale. She spends $150 that didn't need to be spent but because it was on sale, she had to have it.  >:o

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  47. The blitzes work when the NT can demand double team blocking. There was a distinct difference in our defense once Ferguson went down... Soliai does not demand the same double team blocking because he is easily thrown off balnace and can be ridden to one side. Ferguson is much better at anchoring and holding his position. Once the NT is able to moved to one side or the other then cut back lanes will automatically open up and blitzes will be foiled because bodies block the path of the blitz. That is the reason we saw so few blitzes after Ferguson went down and why the ILBs had such poor statistics.

    Our eyes tend to be drawn to the guy who looks out of place but what catches our eye is usually the consequence of something that happened previously. It's like the second guy in the fight ends up getting the flag. The trifecta will be disecting mucho film and I think there will be a greater push to fix the NT position than anyone seems to be talking about. This is exactly what the trifecta wants, so while the sports writers and us fans banter for hours about LBs those guys are looking high and low for the big fellas. I expect a trade down for Williams or they might even go there at 12.

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  48. The Knight who says Ni!February 18, 2010 at 11:35 AM

    Patrick, there has been no talk about NT anywhere amongst Dolphins fans. There hasn't been a blog about it either.  ;)

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  49. What's a nose tackle?  And who is this Fergy guy? 

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  50. Patrick, I agree with all that you said, but while we're talking LB this
    week, we did spend the previous two talking about NT. For what it's worth,
    there is a sizable amount of buzz about Dan Williams in New England that has
    not subsided much since the Senior Bowl. If they don't resign Wilfork, look
    for them to have Williams penciled in at #22. If Wilfork stays, they will
    go after a pass-rusher in the 1st round.
    Meanwhile, the Jets and the Bills are looking to draft NTs too. The truth
    is, as costly as it may be, going after Wilfork might be Miami's safest
    option. But before they do that, they need to get more draft picks,
    preferably of the 2nd/3rd/4th round variety. Someone big is getting traded
    before the draft.

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  51. And that goes with the comment I made to Knight earlier, that even if he
    doesn't think Dan Williams is the 12th pick, the competition for him will
    drive up the value, thus making him a good value at #12.

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  52. Tin, I'm with you and sorry I missed some of the NT talk... Imagine being able to talk some real football without all the chemtrails and Jat fans! Your blog is quite refreshing sorry I took so long to come by.

    Wilfork might be a guy worthy of spending some big money on considering the value of the position. It would surely open the draft up big time because NTs in general take a few years to develop and we need a good one now.

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  53. Patrick, I agree about NTs in general taking a few years to develop.  That's how Tuna has done it in the past as well.  There in lies our problem.  We need one now!  Fergy might come back but I doubt he will last another season.  Soliai is a bakcup, not a starter.  That's why I think we find a NT in free agency if there is one to be had and we'll draft several LBs that will have an immediate impact.

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  54. Here's some data I stole from Armando's blog and compiled... It's interesting to look at the available FAs and maybe get an idea if there are players other than Wilfork. Aubrayo Franklin and Casey Hampton might be worth taking a look at. With an uncapped year if the Dolphins were willing to spend some money they could bring in a bunch of players with huge front loaded contracts, pick and chose who they want and discard the rest with little or no ramifications against the cap when it is reinstated.

    Years Team Player --------------Pos --Starts
    6 -----CIN --Johnson, Tank  ----DT ---13
    7 -----SD ---Scott, Ian  ----------DT ---7
    8 -----BLT --Bannan, Justin  -----DT --2
    9 -----NYJ --Douglas, Marques --DT ---12
    10 ----NYG -Robbins, Fred  ------DT ---12
    14 ----CAR -Thomas, Hollis  -----DT ---13
    6 -----MIN --Kennedy, Jimmy  ---NT ---1
    6 -----NE ----Wilfork, Vince  ------NT ---13
    7 -----OAK --Joseph, William ----NT ---0
    7 -----SF ----Franklin, Aubrayo ---NT --16
    9 -----GB ---Pickett, Ryan  --------NT --9
    9 -----PIT ---Hampton, Casey  ---NT --16
    10 ----NO ---Clancy, Kendrick ----NT ---0
    13 ----ARZ --Robinson, Bryan  ---NT ---15
    13 ----MIA --Ferguson, Jason  ---NT ---9
    16 ----HOU --Zgonina, Jeff  ------NT ---2

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  55. The Knight who says Ni!February 18, 2010 at 1:54 PM

    He'll be good value if he can actually play NT and not bust in the NFL. LOL

    So Ron Brace isn't the answer already in NE to replace Wilfork? LOL

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  56. The expectation is that Franklin & Wilfork will be franchised and Hampton is expected to resign with Pittsburgh.  These guys are hard to find...

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  57. The Knight who says Ni!February 18, 2010 at 1:56 PM

    A name people have mentioned for us at NT is Arthur Jones of Syracuse.

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  58. We Have Playmakers???February 18, 2010 at 2:05 PM

    Patrick,

    These are all very valid points.  However I don't think you can underestimate a player's work ethic & the size of his heart.  That's why undersized guys like Zach Thomas, Wes Welker, Drew Brees, Teddy Bruschi, etc. have all succeeded in the NFL. 

    Parcells may like bigger players but he's also very cognizant of a player's production in college.  Give me a football player with Brandon Graham's production who played all 4 years at Michigan over JPP any day of the week.

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  59. On a different subject, I just read an article about Dez Bryant and it really sounded like he was full of crap... "All I talked about with Deion was family." Does this guy really think we believe that? And then he signs with Parker who Deion was accused of being a runner for. It's not like he beat up his girlfriend or even got a DUI but for some reason I just hate freaking liars and he most difinitely is lying.

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  60. Well, Hampton is definitely being re-signed so don't even worry about him.
    Franklin also.
    Bannan has ended the last two years on IR and is not a starter. I'd
    consider him a very similar player to Philip Merling.
    Why do you have the Oakland guy listed as a NT? Oakland plays a 4-3. So
    does Houston and Minnesota. San Diego, Baltimore and the Jets all play
    3-4's and you have their players listed as DTs.

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  61. Arthur Jones is # 7 on my Top 10 DTs in the draft. He will be one of the
    total steals in the draft since he missed a lot of games due to injury. If
    he had come out of college in 2009 he'd have been a 1st or 2nd round pick,
    now he'll probably go mid 3rd to mid 4th.

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  62. Tin, that came straight from the Herald...

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  63. Bryant said today that he did lie and he learned his lesson to always be
    truthful. Ultimately, his lying about a meeting with Deion Sanders, who
    probably told him to lie, has absolutely no impact on how he plays
    football. Half of these guys are beating their wives, killing dogs, doing
    blow, and flashing guns in nightclubs. A lie told during a witch hunt by a
    20 year old to 'the man' is hardly a valid reason not to draft the kid.
    He's a bit of a dumb-bell, but he's definitely coachable, as you can see
    from his interviews, he knows what he's supposed to say and do. That's more
    than can be said for some of the better known players in the league.
    For the record if anyone asked me if I had lunch with Deion Sanders, I'd
    deny it as well.

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  64. We Have Playmakers???February 18, 2010 at 2:24 PM

    Canam,

    You make a very good point but what happened after Ronnie got hurt?  Then what?  I think it's a mistake to count on him carrying the weight & emphasizing the Wildcat for an entire season.  As much as I love Ronnie as a player & a person & as much as I love to run the ball, you can not ignore his history of injuries.  No matter what I believe it's extremely important to get Henne a WR or TE that is a legitimate playmaker.  You know what?  First things first--just get a receiver on the roster other than Camarillo that we can count on to hold on to the football without the drops & fumbles/

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  65. Ron Brace and Rashad Jennings, Omar's two draft heroes. Waa waa waaaah...

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  66. Probably I am bothered by the kid going to Deion's diva training school and then lying about it.

    "Now when you are running toward the endzone, put one hand behind your head and hold the ball out with the other while high stepping, then turn back and wink at your opponent."

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  67. That reminds me, you know when players used to showboat like that the NFL
    Network would call them out for it, but once they added Deion to their
    line-up, they replay every 'prime-time' impersonation as often as possible
    and all act like caged chimps with a banana casserole on the other side of
    the glass.

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  68. The NFL network is pure homey... They won't say anything bad about a player because it's one of their buds. There is absolutely no objective reporting. It's a joke.

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  69. The Knight who says NiFebruary 18, 2010 at 4:08 PM

    LOL

    Jennings is playing behind Jones-Drew though. He was only a 7th round pick and he did average 5.2 ypc. He'll be 25 years old already though.

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  70. The Knight who says NiFebruary 18, 2010 at 4:11 PM

    Yeah I read up on him. So it was you who mentioned him. On the SS I said someone else mentioned Arthur Jones weeks ago and I couldn't remember who.

    He's had two knee injuries so that's a red flag. He could drop even deeper into the mid or late rounds with his history of injuries. He has to have a good showing at the combine and pro days.

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  71. The Knight who says NiFebruary 18, 2010 at 4:13 PM

    The NFL is more than a game these days, it's entertainment. I prefer the game in it's truest sense.  :(

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  72. I DON'T wear blinders , I'm extremly open-minded to all in the world,
    and more aware than most of their immediate surroundings!!

    I THINK I answered your questions w'my initial post??

    ""I SOMETIMES THINK""
    (like immediatly upon the pre-mentioned pks,or when regime draft strategy is the day's topic),
    while I do it discreately as to not seem offensive to those I have TOTAL FAITH in!!

    ""NOT COMPLAINING cuz more have worked-out than not, 
    (and definately more TriTuna pks in ONLY two yrs have worked-out than ALL the recent previous regimes combined!!!""

    AND as far as ""only needing to look @ the bluecoats to see this as true"",
    are you referring to CHEATING??

    BP took  ""OUR"" rosterless 1-15 team to the division title/11-5 in his 1st yr,
    BeilCHEAT took an 8-8 team to 5-11 in his 1st yr!!

    Seeing that BeliCHEAT took over a respectable 8-8 roster,he obviously had several respectable starters,
    whereas WE ALL KNOW BP had minimal option's (ZERO HEALTHY RESPECTABLE STARTERS) on the roster,
    and HAD TO TAKE WHATEVER HE COULD VIA FA to throw together a DIVISION TITLE TEAM!!

    While BeliCHEAT made the postseason in his 2nd yr,I BELIEVE ""OUR"" 8+ starters on IR for a majority of the season cost us @LEAST a couple games and BPs return to the postseason,(IF NOT ANOTHER DIV TITLE),in his 2nd yr...

    BeliCHEAT didn't make the playoffs in his 3rd yr,so YEAA I think that ""OUR"" regime IS on the right track,
    and that once the core is complete to BPs standards,the francise/regime/team WILL be recognized as
    ""true NFL guys"" by even the most discontent DOLPHIN fans,and the ENTIRE LEAGUE,(W'OUT CHEATING)!!
    They ALREADY ARE from my point of view,but I'm patient and don't expect EVERY acquisition to be an instant success,especially since we were @ a severe disadvantage coming into this renewal program!!

    BeliCHEAT wasn't able to release RESTRICTED high profile types until after they found success,
    bringing them many extra early rnd pks,while simotaneously not suffering from a depth standpoint,
    b/c all of a sudden EVERYBODY wanted to play there for less money!!
    Give BP's regime a chance to accumulate more than enough guys,and maybe one day soon""OUR"" fan favorites will be getting cut for what most will see as no good reason!!

    CHEAT being the key word,I'd rather ""OUR"" regime never becoming a ""success as true NFL guys""
    especially if it brought us 3 SBs but cost ""OUR"" team it's historic integrity!!

    ""Jusayin you DON'T gamble w'your heart""
    We all learned that when our 1st broken heart forced us to remove the blinders!!

    I resent you suggesting I wear blinders,or suggesting to others that I'm lying to them,
    I'm just as aware of our weaknesses as you,I just prefer to DWELL on the GOOD the FINS bring to my heart!!

    But thanx for agreeing w'my point's that you mistakingly construed as me turning on MY francise/regime/team!! 
    That's how discreate I'm capable of being,I've often been accused of posting in code, ;) :-D !! 

    BPs regime has taken 18 draft pks,and 10 of them have already been reasonably succesfull,and the jury is still out on a few of them,while some of the undrafted FA's have already been more than reasonably succesfull!!
    I'd suggest that's a pretty good track record in only two yrs,(leaving us w'a mostly desirable starting cast along w'good depth),a complete 180 to 07!!  GOOOODSTUFFFFF, GO BPhins!!

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  73. Yeah but didn't he only have about 3 carries a game?
    The guy he replaced, Taylor, used to share reps with Jones-Drew. MJD had to
    carry the offense last year.

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