DolfansNYC had a little run in at the 2010 NFL Draft with none other than Paul “Fitzy” Fitzgerald. Â Fitzy is some sort of YouTube clown who likes to dance around and make jokes about football. Â He was wearing a very cute Brady throwback, which I am sure confused him at first since he probably wasn’t aware New England had a football team before 2001. Â Anyway, this guy overcame all the “18 and 1” and Â “Fuck Tom Brady” chants long enough to ask some football fans some questions. Â I asked him one myself “How’s Wes Welker’s knee doing?” Â He had a cute response I am sure, but I try not to pay attention to what anyone from Boston has to say.
Eventually we came together in our hatred of the Jets, and I led DolfansNYC in a lovely J-E-T-S Suck Suck Suck chant around the 3:25 mark in the video. In all seriousness, Fitzy, aka Nick Stevens is a pretty funny dude and this video is well worth watching. Enjoy.
It was a football decision for both sides, plain and simple. The Dolphins wanted the leverage of waiting until after the Draft, while Jason Taylor jumped at an offer he feared wouldn’t be there come April 24.
The 35-year-old linebacker claimed that the New York Jets were the only team that showed interest in signing him, and wanted to continue playing football at the risk of waiting for the Dolphins to make up their mind. A part of me hates him for choosing to go to a rival he’d publicly hated and ridiculed for a dozen years, whose fans, in his own words, “take the ‘cl’ out of class.”
But as Taylor himself has shown, there’s no such thing as loyalty in sports, and I don’t fault him for going to a team that wanted him more (although it still troubles me that Taylor would be satisfied with getting the only ring of his career as a member of the Jets).
I fault him for berating the Dolphins front office for not showing him the respect he deserves when he’s continuously failed to give them the same courtesy.
Two years ago, after the Dolphins finished 1-15, Taylor wanted out of Miami in order to play for a Super Bowl contender in the latter stages of his career. The 2006 NFL Defensive Player of the Year opted to compete on Dancing With the Stars rather than attend the team’s offseason conditioning program, enraging new head of football operations Bill Parcells. Despite having two years left on his contract, Taylor announced that he only planned to play one more season.
When he was shipped to the Washington Redskins in July 2008, he quickly reversed course and said he’d honor the remaining two years of his deal. Despite his worst season in a decade — just 3.5 sacks in 13 games — the ‘Skins, who finished last in their division, wanted to keep Taylor for another season. But in a feud reminiscent of Dancing-gate, he refused to work out with the team during the offseason in order to spend time with his family, and was soon released.
In May 2009, he signed a one-year deal with the Dolphins, insisting that his heart was always in Miami. After Taylor turned down an extension in November because he felt “it wasn’t the right time,” he said Miami withdrew the proposal and never spoke to him again.
But according to a recent report, he actually declined another offer after the season, which included a significant raise, and the team was unsure if he wanted to continue playing after he underwent late shoulder surgery. By the time he was finally ready to talk, the Dolphins wanted to wait until after the Draft before making a commitment to a player who was on the downside of his stellar career.
Regardless of who’s to be believed, Parcells is as old school as they come and doesn’t let fan sentiment or presumed loyalty influence his business decisions. Hell, he cut Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith, who’d just set the NFL rushing record, shortly after coming over to the Dallas Cowboys. Parcells likely believed the team was better without the aging Taylor, even as a situational pass rusher, and certainly wasn’t going to reward him after he turned down at least one confirmed offer.
Watching Taylor line up against Dolphins in Jet green next season will be heartbreaking for many fans, many of whom will never forgive him. The irony is, he essentially chose to sign with the AFC East version of the his old Redskins squad, a New York team that has acquired numerous over-the-hill players to assemble a paper champion that’s destined to finish around .500.
Thanks for the memories, JT, and good luck with your future acting career. And thanks for at least not pulling a Brett Favre and dragging this soap opera through the entire offseason.
About a dozen members of Dolfans NYC met up at the NFL draft. There were more of us originally planning on going but there was rain and some miscommunication and not everyone showed up. Still, we had a pretty nice group as we waited in line for 5 hours on Wednesday and 3 hours on Thursday. A few of us even went back the next day, but we only stood around for about an hour. It was an awesome time despite the lines. All the football fans were talking smack and talking football. We all love the game and it was just a great time.
I can’t tell you guys anything you probably don’t already know about our draft picks, but I did meet one of Jered Odrick’s high school coaches and he had nothing but amazing things to say about the guy. He said he will make our OLB’s so much better because the Olinemen will never be able to get past him. He talked about the guys character and how psyched we should be. My freshman year roommate at Penn State still lives in State College, PA told me a lot of the same stuff, and compared him to Pittsburgh DT Aaron Smith. That’s some high praise.
Anyway, this update is mostly just to share with you some of the pictures I took at the draft. There are some nice ones, check it out.
I bought a Ted Ginn, Jr. jersey before the start of the 2009 season and targeted him in the middle rounds of my fantasy football drafts.
It’s easy to forget now, but after Ginn’s terrific sophomore campaign, he had “third-year breakout” written all over him.Â In 2008 — when the Dolphins went 11-5 and won the AFC East — he led the team in catches (56), receiving yards (790), return yards (711), and all-purpose yards (1,574; 18th in NFL), while scoring four touchdowns (two receiving and two rushing).Â Those numbers may not jump off the page, but they stacked up very favorably to several All-Pro wide receivers who blossomed after their second seasons, including Steve Smith (1.0) and Santana Moss (not to mention, Steve Smith (2.0) and Sidney Rice last season).
Of course, Ginn didn’t come close to living up to the expectations thrust upon him as the Dolphins number one WR, taking a major step backwards to the point of being benched in favor of rookie Brian Hartline.Â Ginn had only 38 receptions on the year, tied for 69th among WRs, and his 11.95 yards per reception tied him for 68th with 74-year-old 32-year-old Laveranues Coles.Â He dropped nine passes — Dolphins fans would argue that’s actually being generous — which tied him for fourth in the league behind Dwayne Bowe (11), Vernon Davis (11), and Santonio Holmes (10).
Despite his struggles on offense, however, Ginn was sensational on special teams.Â While his critics often lamented him for avoiding contact by running to the sidelines, Ginn led the league in yards per touch (17.9), ranked fifth in kickoff return yards (1,296), fifth in yards per return (24.92), 10th in all-purpose yards (1,826), and tied for fourth in non-offensive touchdowns (2).
He single-handedly led the Dolphins to a road victory against the New York Jets on November 1, 2009, becoming the first player in NFL history to record two 100-yard return TDs in the same game (and in one quarter, no less), on a day when the Dolphins mustered just 104 total yards on offense. Â I proudly wore my Ginn jersey, just as I did on every other game day, and heard his name praised for perhaps the only time that season.
The very next week, the Dolfans’ love-hate relationship with Ginn was right back on, as he was yet again getting blamed for a loss to the New England Patriots. Â He managed just one catch for seven yards, dropping several passes late in the game, and wasn’t as dramatically effective in the return game.
Once the Dolphins acquired Brandon Marshall from the Denver Broncos last week, Ginn became immediately expendable.Â The San Francisco 49ers acquired him for a fifth-round pick (145th overall), hoping to use him as a situational deep threat while reviving one of the league’s worst return games.Â Still only 25 years old and among the fastest and most athletic players in the league, he leaves Miami with 128 catches for 1,664 yards, a modest 34.7 receiving yards per game average, and five receiving touchdowns over three seasons.
For Ginn, it’s a fresh start in a place where he doesn’t have to deal with the giant shadow of being selected ninth overall in 2007, and hearing the boos that have haunted him since draft day, when fans were hoping to land Brady Quinn (how did that one turn out?).Â Â While he certainly didn’t produce as well as expected, he was routinely forced to play a role that wasn’t suited to his strengths and became the scapegoat for the team’s offensive struggles.
Could Ginn have been better utilized in the slot and opposite Marshall, a true number one possession receiver?Â Could he have stretched the field and found himself wide open down the field when Marshall faced double teams?Â At the very least, could a proven return specialist, whose role will now need to be filled by the undoubtedly slower Davone Bess, Patrick Cobbs, and Brian Hartline, have made the offense more productive and dangerous than any player the Dolphins can draft in the fifth round?
“I wouldn’t say a sense of relief, but it’s always good to have a new start,” Ginn said. “Leaving Miami, I don’t hold any grudges, no bad feelings about anything. My time was up there. I enjoyed it there, and now it’s time to move on.”
I truly hope that he does well in San Fransisco, and while I’ll always cheer for Miami, I’ll be sure sure to wear my Ginn jersey the next time he plays against the Dolphins.
Wow. We just traded two 2nd round draft pics to the Broncos for Brandon Marshall. That is nuts.Â I went to bed and when I woke up we were suddenly a much better football team.Â And yes, the pics are worth it.Â Marshall has had domestic violence issues and problems with Josh McDaniels in Denver, but as far as I am concerned he is well worth the risk.Â He is going to make Chad Henne so much better, he is going to spread the field and make the run game so much better, he is going to make the recievers so much better.Â The Phins are evidently trying to trade Ted Ginn, but with Marshall there is no way you can double Ginn, or Bess or Hartline or whoever is on the other side.
Someone pointed out on a forum that this trade could be a good PR move and mabye lessen the hurt of Jason Taylor going to the Jets, but to me this is a response to the Jets trading for Cromartie and Holmes.Â It also takes away a second round pick that could have been used to fill the whole that JT and Porter left.Â If we resign JT we can wait another year to see how Cam Wake pans out before drafting an ouside linebacker early.Â We can focus on nose or safety with our first round pick and spend the rest of the draft trying for the other.Â OUr offense could use another guard and maybe a TE, but other than that, it’s really all defense in the draft. I can’t wait.
Speaking of the draft, Dolfans NYC is making a group trip to Radio City Music Hall for the draft.Â You have to get in line at 10pm on Wednesday night to get a wrist band and then come back the following afternoon to get in line for tickets.Â DolfansNYC is going to meet up around 6pm at a near by bar and send scouts out to see if they are giving out tickets before 10pm like they did last year. We will be sending out a Facebook message and email with all the details, so make sure you join our Facebook group.
Also, Michelle is going to be filming the Draft and our meet up for MiamiDolphins.com so anyone who comes out can get in the video and see yourself on the Phins official web site.Â That should be big press for the club!
Lastly, we have some more exciting news!Â We will have DolfansNYC T-shirts for the draft.Â They are aqua with the DolfansNYC logo printed on the front.Â They are insanely bad ass.Â They will be on sale at the draft meet up and at games next year for $15.Â I hope you pick one up so we can really represent at the draft.Â We spent a good deal of money on them, so we need to sell a bunch of them to break even.Â After that the money will be used for promotional stuff for the club, raffle items and other club expenses. Last year Michelle and I dropped a lot of money on this club, and it would be nice to at least break even this year. Anyway, the shirts will be amazing so I don’t think I am going to have to guilt anyone into picking them up… heh.
The shirts won’t be ready until next week, but to see the logo in action, check this picture Michelle took of the DolfansNYC banner her friend printed up for us. This will be hanging out front of Third and Long every Sunday.Â Get excited!
The Dolphins are planning big things for the fans for the upcoming draft.Â I just got this in my inbox from the Dolphins.
MiamiDolphins.com will provide live video coverage as General Manager Jeff Ireland hosts his annual pre-draft press conference on Thursday, April 8, 2010, at 12:30 p.m.After the press conference at 1:00 p.m., Ireland will take part in a 30-minute Live Video Chat with Dol-Fans. We ask that fan please be sure to submit your first name, city and state with their question. To submit a question for the Dolphins General Manager, please go to www.MiamiDolphins.com/AskJeffIreland.
Its not often that the Dolphins give access to Jeff, much less fan access, so I hope you guys take the chance to send in a quesiton or two.Â I know I have a lot to ask… although very little of it has to do with the draft.
I think my first question might be HOW THE HELL DO YOU LET JASON TAYLOR VISIT THE STINKING JETS!!!?!?!!!??
Good lord, my heart is breaking today.Â Let’s just hope this is a smoke screen that actually works in getting JT signed for another two years.Â I want him to retire a Phin and it’s not like we are swimming in pass rushers…
On a club update, we are trying to organize a trip to watch the first round of the draft live.Â We wanted to do a draft party, but I think we instead are going to bring out a group to the draft.Â Hopefully we will have t-shirts by then! Get excited.
And lastly, remember to check out Run Ricky Run on ESPN on April 27th.Â It should be really intresting.