Posts Tagged ‘chad henne’

Henne Vs Tanny

Sunday, December 16th, 2012
Chad Henne started the season riding the pine for his new club, the Jacksonville Jaguars. Following a season-ending injury to second year bust Blaine Gabbert, Henne has already gotten his second chance at a starting job in the NFL. Thus far, he has done a very good job of ensuring that he keeps it. In less than half the amount of games as Tannehill, Henne has managed to match our rookie QB’s 8 TD passes. He returns this Sunday for the first time to square off against his old club, a place that probably does not hold too many happy memories for him, just much disappointment for promise unfulfilled. But at this point of the season, this is one of the more intriguing aspects of this game, as it holds no playoff implications. In some forums, I see that people are still calculating all the things that would need to happen to get to the postseason, but the reality is that we are done; Tannehill acknowledged as much this week. When all the things that need to happen for the postseason are mostly out of your control, it does little good to speculate on it.
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Brandon Marshall Wins Pro Bowl MVP

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

Brandon Marshall catches a touchdown in the Pro BowlBrandon Marshall admitted he came into the Pro Bowl with the goal of winning the MVP award, calling it his Playoff game.

After catching a Pro Bowl record four touchdowns — two less than he had during the entire regular season — to go with 176 receiving yards, Marshall had his wish, driving out of the stadium with a brand-new SUV as his prize. Marshall joined Ricky Williams (2002) and Garo Yepremian (1973) as the third Dolphin to earn the honor.

Sure, Marshall’s impressive statistics can be viewed as meaningless when the two teams combined to score 100 points, but just look at the highlight-reel catches the Dolphins wide receiver made in the game. One TD came when he was able to keep his concentration after the ball sailed through two defenders and bounced off Marshall’s own foot. On his final score, he once again caught the ball in traffic, twisting his body in the back of the end zone and dragging both feet inbounds while being held by the defender.

When he was interviewed mid-game by NBC sideline reporter Alex Flanagan, Marshall wasted no time in crediting the Pro Bowl quarterbacks for making spectacular plays, simultaneously throwing every Dolphins signal caller under the bus.

“Down in Miami, getting a feel for different quarterbacks — had three or four of them throughout my two years there — and the (Pro Bowl) quarterbacks make it easy for me,” he said. “These guys are just putting it in the right places and I’m making the plays, so it’s easy right now.”

If you’re counting, the “three or four” Miami QBs would be Matt Moore, Chad Henne, Tyler Thigpen and Chad Pennington (for a few snaps), as well as J.P. Losman, for good measure. And just in case he wasn’t abundantly clear the first time around, Marshall reiterated that the Pro Bowl quarterbacks were responsible for his MVP performance after the game.

“Since Jay Cutler (with the Denver Broncos), I’ve had a few different quarterbacks, and being in the Pro Bowl, you have these elite quarterbacks you’re playing with,” he said. “It’s all them — they put (the ball) in the right spots and it’s easy for me to make the catch.”

It’s not that Marshall is factually wrong, since the five Dolphins QBs he’s played with were mostly mediocre. But Marshall didn’t exactly help matters, dropping 12 passes (officially) during 2011 season and making countless mistakes on the field. It should also be noted that Moore finished 12th in the NFL in Passer Rating, and that Marshall caught 59 passes for 901 yards and five TDs in Moore’s 12 starts.

It’s obvious that Marshall, as well as owner Stephen Ross and every Dolphins fan, want an upgrade at the QB position. But calling out his teammates on national television with a wide grin — especially since there’s still a chance that Moore could be back next season — isn’t the right time or place to make his point or help the organization in its search. Marshall’s acrobatic catches and record-setting numbers speak much louder than his words for any interested free agents.

Marshall also chose to praise former Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano while referring to Joe Philbin simply as, “the new coach.” Make of that what you will.

“When you look at what Coach Sparano was able to do, the foundation was built. A lot of people don’t give him enough credit, but we have a solid locker room, high character guys and leadership there,” said Marshall when asked about the Dolphins’ future. “The new coach coming in, he’s inheriting a strong team.”

It’ll be interesting to see who that team will add to throw the ball to the never-outspoken MVP-winner.

Chad Henne Out; Matt Moore In (For Now)

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Multiple outlets have confirmed that Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne will miss the rest of the season after opting for surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder. Henne suffered the injury early in last week’s game against the San Diego Chargers, when he tried to scramble on a broken play and had his shoulder slammed to the ground.  After Henne initially indicated he’d be ready to play after the bye week, he consulted two doctors, both of whom reportedly advised him to undergo the season-ending surgery.

Henne finishes the year with a 4:4 touchdown-to-interception ratio, a career-best 79.0 QB rating, and a career-worst 57.1% completion percentage. Considering he’ll be free agent after the season, it’s possible that he’s played his final game as a Dolphin.

Matt Moore, who threw for 167 yards and a pick in relief of Henne last week, will almost surely start against the New York Jets next week (we do have a few tickets available, if you’re wondering). Since the only other QB on the roster is practice squad rookie Pat Devlin, Miami will sign another veteran back-up in the coming days; according to reports, the team has reached out to David Garrard, Jake Delhomme, and Sage Rosenfels, and worked out Brodie Croyle and Trent Edwards.

While Garrard, a 2009 Pro Bowler who was unexpectedly released by the Jacksonville Jaguars, inspires the most confidence from that list, the Dolphins have thus far balked at giving him a guaranteed contract and a starting job.  Rosenfels spent the first four years of his career with the Dolphins — throwing for 278 total yards, one TD and five picks in two starts — and his career “highlight” is this ridiculous helicopter hurdle.  I’d rather not even think rooting for Delhomme, who’s thrown 10 TDs and 25 INTs in 16 games over the last two years.

Meanwhile, Moore, like Henne, has been frustratingly inconsistent during his four-year career, throwing 16 TDs and 18 interceptions in 13 starts. After throwing eight TDs without a pick over the final four games of 2009 — including 299 passing yards and three TDs in a win over the 11-2 Minnesotta Vikings — Moore sported a 5:10 TD-to-INT ratio and lost his starting job to rookie Jimmy Clausen last season.  Perhaps Moore can still develop into a serviceable starter, but it’s looking more and more like Dolphins may be in the thick of the Andrew Luck sweepstakes.

Update: The Dolphins did indeed bring back the 33-year-old Rosenfels on a one-year contract, after also working out the likes of Kellen Clemens, Charlie Frye, J.P. Losman, and Jim Sorgi. Hey, at least it wasn’t Delhomme.

DolfansNYC Podcast, Episode 6: Ben Volin

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

The Dolphins are off to an 0-3 start following a heartbreaking loss to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, and Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post joins us to talk about the team’s future. The topics up for discussion include conservative and questionable play-calling; continued defensive breakdowns and poor chemistry between Chad Henne and Brandon Marshall; and the status of the coaching staff and front office.

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Music Credit: Solo D, “DolfansNYC Anthem”

DolfansNYC Podcast, Episode 5: Tony Sparano

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Last week, DolfansNYC attended Web Weekend, an annual event hosted by the Miami Dolphins for the team’s top fan websites. Prior to Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans, Coach Tony Sparano addressed the crowd and spoke about a number of key topics, after which we he took time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions for our podcast.

Below are the main portions from the group Q&A, followed by our exclusive one-on-one interview with Coach Sparano, in which he talks about his football playing career, the decision behind hiring offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, and his thoughts on New York and DolfansNYC.

On under-the-radar players to watch for:

I think a guy that you should watch out for, predicated on what I’ve seen throughout training camp – and I don’t like singling any players out, as I’m sure you guys know – I’ll tell you that Reshad Jones is a guy I would watch.   This guy had 13 tackles (against the Patriots), and has had a really good training camp, has really good range and ball skills back there.  I think he’s a guy that could have a really good year as a young player for us.

I’m hoping that Jared Odrick will continue to get better.  He needs to play, and he obviously hasn’t played in a long time.  So, Jared would be a guy that I would say the same thing about.  And then maybe a young guy like Daniel Thomas.

On the roster decision-making process:

The first thing we identify, is where the need is – obviously, just because there’s a player out there, he might not satisfy our needs at that particular time.  There were a lot of good players out there when free agency hit at the end of the lockout, but we had a particular plan in mind, knowing what we had coming back and knowing maybe a little bit about what we needed.

This year, business was done a little bit differently, only because the draft was done before free agency.  So, in the draft, we got to fill some needs like Clyde Gates, in getting speed, or Mike Pouncey, in finding a center, and Daniel Thomas, in finding a (running) back.  At that point, it became, “okay, we’ve got Daniel Thomas – what’s the next piece?  Well, there’s this Reggie Bush that might be out there.”  That was a scenario there where (it was) a hunch on our part, only because Reggie had made a lot of money where he was, (and could have been) a cap casualty.  And we had all of those things – our scouting department has a list of players that we think are going to be released, a list of players that are free agents, and potential cap casualties.  And this was a scenario where we were able to get a good player in that situation and bring him to our team.

But the way the process works, is identifying the problem first, then Jeff (Ireland) and I will sit down and go over the possibilities.  We’ll have what we call a “short list,” a list of players in that area, that we’ll start putting together, we’ll go through, and if we feel like there’s a chance that we can strike a deal with somebody there that might be a good deal for us, then we’ll push towards that.  So, it’s mutual, both of us together, but most of the time, it’s about me bringing a need first.

On his thoughts about bringing back the Wildcat:

No, no real thoughts about the Wildcats right now.

The reason the Wildcat originated, was that at that particular time, we didn’t have the personnel that we have on our football team right now.  You look at Brandon Marshall, and Davone Bess, and Brian Hartline, and Clyde Gates, and Reggie Bush, and (Anthony) Fasano, and these types of people that you can get the football to – we didn’t have that necessarily; we had Ronnie (Brown) and Ricky (Williams) at the time.  So, (with) Ronnie and Ricky, how can we get them on the same field at the same time and maybe get the ball in their hands enough times?  That was kind of the reason why we went with something like that.  I don’t know that the Wildcat is something that we’re really too interested at this time.

(After audience applauds) You weren’t clapping way back when – it was genius at that point.

On the biggest difference in Chad Henne this season:

I would say that the biggest difference isn’t necessarily in Chad – the difference is in how the team perceives Chad.  Chad is the same Chad that I know from the previous years.  The difference is, if the lockout was good for anything from my end, as a football coach, the lockout was good because Chad had to be out there running these workouts on his own.  He had the keys to the closet and he was the only guy that really knew about the offense, contrary to popular belief out there.  The players needed him – they had to come to him for the answers.  So, in these player-only workouts that took place out there, Chad had all the answers for them, so obviously he got them lined up, he organized the practices, he did everything from that standpoint.  So now, when Chad says something, it isn’t, “well, let me go find somebody else to get the answer,” it’s, “I got it, Chad.”  At the quarterback position, he drives the bus, and at the end of this thing, it really sets on his shoulders.  So he needs to have that respect, and I think that Chad clearly has the respect right now.

DolfansNYC Podcast with Coach Tony Sparano:

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Music Credit: Solo D, “DolfansNYC Anthem”

Coach Sparano, in which he talks about his football playing career, the decision behind hiring offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, and this thoughts on New York and DolfansNYC.

DolfansNYC Podcast, Episode 4: Brian Biggane

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

In the aftermath of Sunday’s home loss to the Houston Texans, Brian Biggane of the Palm Beach Post joins us to break down the reasons behind the Miami Dolphins’ early struggles. The topics up for discussion include poor red zone execution and Chad Henne’s miscues; the backfield split between Daniel Thomas and Reggie Bush; and defensive adjustments.

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Music Credit: Solo D, “DolfansNYC Anthem”

Behind Enemy Lines: Dolphins-Texans Preview

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

With the Dolphins facing off against the Houston Texans on Sunday, DolfansNYC collaborated with State of the Texans for an in-depth game preview, focusing on the burning topics for each team. We cover the Texans’ offseason; Wade Phillips, Mario Williams and the much-improved defense; the aftermath of the Fins-Patriots game; the match-up problems Reggie Bush and Cameron Wake pose for Houston; and much more.

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DolfansNYC Podcast, Episode 1: Andy Kent

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

We’re excited to introduce the official DolfansNYC Podcast, which will feature special guests, including many of the team’s top writers and media members, players, and most passionate fans, as well as the return of our weekly fantasy football feature.

On the premiere episode, MiamiDolphins.com senior writer Andy Kent joins us to talk about Chad Henne’s remarkable improvement, Brandon Marshall’s season outlook, Reggie Bush’s workload, the most impressive players in camp, and much more.

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Music Credit: Solo D, “DolfansNYC Anthem”

Dolphins Preseason News and Notes

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

More often than not, preseason statistics are completely meaningless. Coaches rarely reveal their game-plans, test out new and sometimes faulty plays, and most importantly, give rookies and fringe players a chance to solidify their roles or make the final roster. It’s no surprise then, that through two games, the NFL passing, rushing and receiving yards leaders are Stephen McGee, Stevan Ridley and Chastin West, respectively, while Michael Vick has thrown three interceptions en route to posting a 50.7 QB rating.

With that in mind, the Miami Dolphins have yet to officially name a starting quarterback, have two new running backs to integrate into the offense, and no less than three players vying for the fifth and likely final wide receiver spot.  Let’s take a look at how the position battles have gone so far.

QB Comp Atts Pct Yds Y/G TDs INT Long 20+ Sck Rate
Chad Henne 19 32 59.4 271 135.5 1 2 44T 4 0 71.2
Matt Moore 17 28 60.7 196 98.0 2 1 28T 3 1 90.8
Pat Devlin 0 2 0.0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 2 39.6
  • After a poor preseason opener (4-of-8 passing for 77 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions) against the Atlanta Falcons, Chad Henne looked better against the Carolina Panthers (who doesn’t?) in the second contest, completing 15-of-24 passes for 194 yards with no turnovers. His biggest problem so far has come with the deep ball, as he has continued to miss open receivers downfield.
  • Even though Matt Moore outplayed Henne in the opener (11-of-18 passing for 123 yards and two TDs)  and has posted a higher QB rating two games, Coach Tony Sparano has so far made it clear there is no competition for the starting quarterback job. Moore hasn’t played with the first-team offense in the preseason at all, indicating he will enter the season as the primary backup, barring a couple of disastrous outings from Henne.
  • The battle for the third quarterback spot is shaping up to be epic:  Pat Devlin is 0-of-2 with two sacks in clean-up duty, while Kevin O’Connell has more kneel-downs (two) than pass attempts (0).
RB Att Rsh Yd Avg Y/G TD Lng Rec Rec Yd Lng Fum
Reggie Bush 8 48 6.0 48.0 0 17 2 33 17 0
Daniel Thomas 16 57 3.6 28.5 1 10 1 25 25 0
Kory Sheets 17 43 2.5 21.5 0 8 2 5 3 0
Lex Hilliard 8 28 3.5 14.0 1 8 0 0 0 0
Nic Grigsby 10 21 2.1 10.5 0 8 0 0 0 0
  • Playing one half, Reggie Bush had eight carries for 48 yards and caught two passes for 33 yards in his Dolphins debut on Friday. Early reports indicated the coaching staff planned to give Bush, who averaged only nine touches per game over the last two years with the New Orleans Saints, a heavy workload on offense without using him as a punt returner, and so far, the RB looked quicker and more exciting than any RB the Dolphins have had in years.
  • Daniel Thomas has sported an unimpressive 3.6 yards per carry average, busting out just one run of 10 yards.  Expected to be a power-back capable of breaking tackles and moving the pile, he couldn’t get into the endzone on two carries inside the five-yard line early against the Panthers (Lex Hilliard scored on the next play).  Thomas did have a four-yard TD run in the second quarter, and while he’ll need time to get used to the NFL, his workload should increase as the season progresses.
  • Hilliard all but solidified his hold on the number three RB job after scoring at the goal line, while Kory Sheets managed only 43 yards on a team-high 17 carries against second-stringers.
  • The Dolphins released Sheets on Tuesday and unexpectedly signed veteran Larry Johnson, who hasn’t played a down in the NFL since Week 2 of last season with the Washington Redskins. Johnson had five carries for two yards in 2010 and a terrible 3.2 YPC in 2009; at age 31, he makes little sense for Miami.
  • Undrafted rookie Nic Grigsby hasn’t done much (2.1 YPC) to suggest he’s in the team’s immediate future.

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QB Shopping: Blame It On the Henne

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

It would be an understatement to say that the Miami Dolphins have not had much success in finding a franchise quarterback since Dan Marino’s retirement over a decade ago.  Consider that Jay Fiedler, who led the team to two playoff appearances but finished his Dolphins career with an uninspiring 66:63 TD-to-INT ratio, and Chad Pennington are the only Miami quarterbacks to start all 16 games over the last 11 years.

The team has consistently tried and failed with 13 other QBs, banking on the likes of John Beck, A.J. Feeley, Joey Harrington, 37-year-old Trent Green, and Cleo Lemon. And of course, the decision to sign Daunte Culpepper over Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees will forever haunt every fan’s nightmares.

The problem is that besides Brees, nearly every top-tier NFL QB – Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers, Tony Romo – was drafted, groomed, and since re-signed to a long-term contract by his respective team. The readily-available players are either well past their primes, pose serious character concerns, or come off season-ending injuries.

With that in mind, if the Dolphins are truly in win-now mode and looking to upgrade from the inconsistent Chad Henne, the best options are likely trading a first- or second-round pick for an up-and-coming talent (a la the Houston Texans dealing for Matt Schaub in 2007), or taking a chance on a veteran QB who might have enough left in the tank to guide the team to glory (the next Pennington, per se).

So, which QBs are out there and which of them are worth pursuing? Here’s a look at 15 players (2011 contract in parenthesis) who could be on Miami’s radar this offseason.

Kyle Orton, Denver Broncos ($9 million) – It’s still hard for me to accept that Kyle Orton is not only an unquestioned NFL starter, but a QB who drew some consideration for the Pro Bowl. Over the first 11 games of the season, Rex Grossman’s one-time backup completed 61.8% of his passes, threw for 3,370 yards (306 per game), and compiled a 20:6 TD-to-INT ratio.

Then again, he was dreadful over the final two games while dealing with arm and rib injuries – 40.6% completion percentage, 283 total passing yards, no TDs and three picks – before getting shut down in favor of Tim Tebow. High-priced WR Brandon Marshall, who played with Orton in 2009, also didn’t exactly give his former QB a glowing endorsement, which could make the front office think twice about reuniting the duo that led the Denver Broncos to an 8-8 record.

Kevin Kolb, Philadelphia Eagles ($12.26 million) – It’s hard to know if Kolb is as good as his 2009 numbers once suggested (64.7% completion percentage, 718 passing yards, 4 TDs in two starts) or as mediocre as he was in 2010 (1,197 yards, 7 TDs, 7 INTs, sacked 15 times in seven appearances), when he lost his starting job to Mike Vick.

The 26-year-old has drawn favorable comparison to Schaub, who shined once he became a full-time starter after, ironically enough, sitting behind Vick in Atlanta. Kolb offers plenty of upside and carries value around the League – Arizona Cardinals star WR Larry Fitzgerald has already urged his team to trade for him – and will surely cost a first-round pick.

Donovan McNabb, Washington Redskins ($10 million option) – A five-time Pro Bowler who posted a stellar 92.9 QB Rating in 2009, McNabb was bad enough in Washington to get benched for Grossman (yes, him again). The 34-year-old QB threw for 3,377 yards through the first 14 weeks of the season – higher than Aaron Rodgers, Joe Flacco, and Matt Ryan – but also threw at least one pick in 10 straight contests. He finished the year with the fewest TD passes (14) since his rookie season and the higher number of picks (15) of his career in only 13 games.

McNabb will almost certainly become available once the Redskins release him, but it’s fair to wonder how much he has left in the tank and whether his reportedly-questionable work ethic would have a negative impact in the locker room. He could, however, serve as a reputable one- or two-year stopgap while the team develops (or likely continues searching for) his successor.

Vince Young, Tennessee Titans (Free Agent) – Young made the Pro Bowl in 2009 after leading the Titans to an 8-2 finish when he was named the starter over Kerry Collins. In addition to always being a threat with his legs (12 career rushing TDs), he posted an excellent 10:3 TD-to-INT ratio and the highest passer rating (98.6) of his career last season.

Young’s off the field problems over the course of his five-year career and his public fall-out with ex-coach Jeff Fisher last season have been well documented, so the Miami nightlife is probably not the best place for a 27-year-old with so many lingering maturity concerns.

Carson Palmer, Cincinnati Bengals ($11.5 million) – Palmer, a two-time Pro Bowler, reportedly wants out of Cincinnati and still carries name recognition despite his declining skills. Ever since a torn elbow ligament ended his 2008 season, Palmer’s passer rating and completion percentage have been the lowest since his rookie year. Even more alarming is his decline in throwing the ball deep – only 574 of his 3,970 yards last season came on passes of 20 or more yards, compared to 1,013 of 4,035 yards in 2006.

That said, Palmer still ranked sixth in the NFL in passing yards and ninth in TD passes (26), while throwing the third-most INTs (20). The 31-year-old would be an obvious upgrade for the Dolphins, but his downward spiral and the hefty price tag make him a less appealing option.

Matt Flynn, Green Bay Packers ($555K) – Aaron Rodgers is clearly not going anywhere, but his talented backup could be looking for a chance to lead a team of his own. Flynn started only one game in three seasons, in which he completed threw for 251 yards and three touchdowns in a near-win against the New England Patriots. The 25-year-old could be precisely the type of potential breakout candidate the Dolphins need if the Packers were to make him available.

Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle Seahawks (FA): The 35-year-old Hasselbeck hasn’t played a full season since 2007 – the last time he made the Pro Bowl – and has thrown 34 interceptions over the last two years (third in the NFL and one more than Henne). He was, however, surprisingly impressive during Seattle’s playoff run, throwing for 530 yards, seven TDs and just one INT in two games. A veteran leader with close to 30,000 passing years on his resume wouldn’t be the worst addition to a team hoping to make it back to the postseason, though it’s a given that Henne would get a handful of starts in place of the oft-injured Hasselbeck.

Brady Quinn, Denver Broncos ($700K) – Dolphins fans were irate when the team passed on Quinn, who was perceived as a can’t-miss-prospect worthy of the top overall selection, in favor of WR/KR Ted Ginn, Jr. Four years later, neither player has done much to justify even a first-round selection, as Quinn has thrown for just 1,902 yards, 10 TDs, and 9 INTs in 14 games (66.8 QB Rating) during his career (he didn’t take a snap as the emergency third-string QB in Denver last year).

The only reason his name has been mentioned is because the Miami’s new offensive coordinator, Brian Daboll, has history with Quinn from their time in Cleveland, where Quinn couldn’t beat out Derek Anderson and Charlie Frye for a starting job. Hopefully, Miami fans won’t be subjected to a Henne-Quinn training camp “battle.”

Matt Leinart, Houston Texans (FA) – Leinart entred the 2010 season as the presumed starter in Arizona following Kurt Warner’s retirement, but continued to display poor leadership and (marginally) worse skills than the afore-mentioned Anderson. Much like Quinn, he ended up serving as the inactive third QB behind Schaub and Dan Orlovsky in Houston after getting released by the Cardinals.

The 10th overall pick the 2006 Draft has posted an uninspiring 70.8 career passer rating and a14:20 TD-to-INT ratio in 17 starts. He’s highly unlikely to suddenly put it all together and wouldn’t even be the unquestioned starter over Henne, but I suppose anything is possible.

Marc Bulger, Baltimore Ravens (FA) – It seems like eons ago that Bulger replaced Kurt Warner as the starter on the St. Loius Rams and put up perennial Pro Bowl-caliber seasons.  But he started only eight games in 2009, winning one, and didn’t take a snap as Joe Flacco’s backup on the Ravens last year. With his best days squarely behind him – he’s thrown 27 TDs and 34 INTs since 2007 – the Dolphins can safely pass on the 34-year-old QB.

Dennis Dixon, Pittsburg Steelers (Restricted FA) – Dixon didn’t throw a TD passes in his two starts last year, but completed 68.8% of his throws and displayed his athleticism and mobility with 32 rushing yards on five scrambles. He’d be worth a flier for a mid-round pick, but will almost surely be kept as Ben Roethlisberger’s backup over aging veterans Byron Leftwich and Charlie Batch.

Tarvaris Jackson, Minnesota Vikings (FA) – T-Jack appeared in three games (one start) in place of Brett Favre last season, throwing three TD passes and four INTs. Once anointed as the Vikings’ franchise QB by ex-coach Brad Childress, Jackson’s career mark of 110.7 passing yards per game is the fewest of any QB who’s made at least 20 starts since 2006. For comparison’s sake, JaMarcus Russell threw for 131.7 yards per contest. No, thanks.

Bruce Gradkowski, Oakland Raiders (FA) – Speaking of JaMarcus, his former backup on the Raiders is on the market, too. I’ve always liked Gradkowski – and not just because his name makes me think of the dreamy Kelly Kapowski – and felt that he’s a viable NFL starter. He moves an offense well down the field, and two years ago, he led the Raiders to a win against the Pittsburg Steelers with an impressive 308-yard, three-TD performance. Gradkowski wouldn’t be an exciting addition, but at the very least, he wouldn’t single-handedly lose games for Miami.

Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers (FA) – Another former top pick who hasn’t lived up to expectations, Smith appears likely to return to the 49ers. Besides, Dolphins defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, who was fired as the head coach in San Francisco after the 2008 season, would probably advise Miami to look elsewhere.

Drew Stanton, Detroit Lions (FA) – Stanton somehow managed to win two of his three starts for the Lions, throwing four TDs and three picks in the process. He also scored a rushing TD and then inexplicably danced “The Dougie”in the end-zone.  For that reason alone, I can’t take him seriously.

Honorable Mention: Kerry Collins, Tennessee Titans; Troy Smith, San Francisco 49ers; Seneca Wallace, Cleveland Browns


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