Posts Tagged ‘ross barnes’

To Re-Sign Or Not To Re-Sign

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013

Jake Long & Reggie BushAs every season draws to a close, fans across the country whip themselves up into a frenzy about the approaching offseason and what changes it will bring to their beloved franchises. Wild speculation about who they will acquire in free agency and who will be targeted in the draft fill team forums and heated debates ensue. But the offseason is a process, and although there is a new mock draft available just about every single day at this point, the draft order has more or less been determined. The beginning of this process? Deciding who we resign from our roster and who we let walk.

Until this phase of the offseason has taken place, predicting free agents and draft picks is mostly a pointless exercise…mostly.

The Dolphins are in a great position this year in terms of spending power. Jeff Ireland, a man in need of a Hallmark year, has an estimated $44 million in cap space to work with.

The front office decisions regarding who to retain and who to let go will be a massive determining factor in who is pursued in free agency and who makes the draft board in April.

Lets have a look at the most notable, shall we?

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Injuries Keep Mounting

Friday, December 21st, 2012
Injured Dolphins

Injured Dolphins

I shall not be at another regular season game at Third and Long as I am flying home to London for the holidays. So barring a Christmas miracle of a Miami post season chances are I won’t get to catch up with many of you until the draft. So here’s to hoping.

The list of of injuries keep mounting, maybe we have been luckier than other teams for most of the season but this feel like a really bad time to start getting them.Since the Dolphins beat the Jags last week I have seen a number of articles and posts relating to the fact that the Dolphins are still alive in the playoff race here. Still alive yes, but with a very weak pulse and on life support, about ready to flat line as early as this Sunday. Week 15 produced the perfect scenario to keep us in it, all the teams that we needed to lose did just that and we won. Thing is when the playoff spot that you can theoretically get hangs in the balance of so many external factors, although it is an exciting prospect I grant you, the only thing the Dolphins can do is continue to win and let the chips fall where they will. Because without victories against the Bills this Sunday and the patriots the following Sunday it really doesn’t matter what else happens.

Ryan Tannehill needs to focus on one game at a time. He has been performing well as of late, at least to the extent where he is no making any rash decisions and turning the ball over. But is lack of TD’s seriously is concerning to me, its not really being discussed because for the most part the seasons expectations have been exceeded and he has looked decent. But in this category he is infinitely behind on all his fellow rookies, and we cannot put this purely down to the fact that he doesn’t have that elite receiver because Hartline and Bess have both been fantastic and there has been a supporting cast that can make it work. Weeden has 14 with the Browns, who the hell is he throwing the ball to? Russell Wilson has 21 in Seattle. To some extent its been the play calling. The reality is though that if the team ever wants to be competitive in a post season then we need to score more points. All the teams that will be playing in January will have QB’s who can produce in the red zone.
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Henne Vs Tanny

Sunday, December 16th, 2012
Chad Henne started the season riding the pine for his new club, the√ā¬†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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Patriots Week Preview

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

Cam Wake Sacks Tom BradyThe Miami Dolphins are about due a victory of the Patriots – in the last 4 meetings between the two teams, the Patriots are 4-0. This simply will not do. They are travelling to our turf; and if what I am hearing around the interwebs is true, then home field advantage is unlikely to be in effect, as it seems that they will have just as many of their supporters present, if not more. One report I read suggested that the Dolphins’ offense have been practicing with loud crowd noise blaring away this week in preparation for just that scenario. It’s embarrassing but it seems that that’s just the way it is.

The Brady-lead Patriots are just as good as they have ever been with the sixth round pick out of Michigan at the helm. Since taking over the mantle, Brady has made New England a perennial playoff team and a force within the AFC and the AFC East. He is to Patriots football what Marino was to Dolphins football. They will sure miss him when he is gone. Look, this isn’t me just paying lip service to the guy – the fact of the matter is that the Patriots’ success hinges on Brady. The facts are that this Sunday we face a team that is 1st in scoring, 1st in offensive yards and 4th in passing yards, on the shoulders of the QB. Brady is putting together another MVP-calibre season having thrown just the 3 interceptions and currently holding a QB rating of 105.2. They are good, but Brady is the cog in the machine that keeps this team ticking over so nicely, disrupt his game and the whole thing kinda doesn’t work so well. Yeah, the running game currently ranks 6th in the league, but make no mistake, many of those are Brady’s yards as as well, he just now has a running back who can make the most of a great passing game.

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For The Dolphins It’s Now Or Next Year

Saturday, November 24th, 2012
Michael EgnewWhen we dropped the game to the Colts, I was disappointed, but not heartbroken. We missed some opportunities, and we could not seem to stop Luck converting those big downs – the weakness that has and continues to be our secondary. Point is, it was a game we could have won. It was close, and for the most part I was pleased with the effort, the heart, that most of the team played with.
I said that the Titans game was a must-win game for a playoff contention. It really was, and we embarrassed ourselves. The offense seemed stale, no one looked prepared, and no one looked like they had the heart to put the team on their shoulders and carry it for us. Bush was benched for most of the game, a decision that I personally am not entirely on board with. This loss, to a team that had struggled in every facet of the game all season long, was the turning point in our season. The road gets harder. The loss to the Bills was much the same in way of disappointment, disappointment over the effort and how prepared we appeared to be as a team.
I just read an article by Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, in which he asserts that the season is done and, as such, it’s time to get a good look now at the youth on the depth chart before free agency and the draft.
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What Did You Expect? Then And Now

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Unlike many other sports leagues in the U.S., the NFL is a short season; it’s a brutal and punishing game that all too quickly takes its toll on those who play it. A loss at any time is big, and in the NFL it doesn’t take long for there to be one too many.

I needed a little time to gather my thoughts following Sunday’s debacle.

I have been guilty of hubris, and that arrogance made me look foolish this Sunday, as much or more so than our own beloved Dolphins. When the final whistle mercifully blew on Sunday, many fans were angry, shocked, lost for words, distraught… I could go on and on. During the game I felt many of these feelings, but as I walked home from 3rd and Long, I put it in my rear view mirror and reflected. Truth is, at the start of the regular season, had someone said that nine games in we would be 4-5, I would have been happy; I would have taken it.

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Forget The Titans

Saturday, November 10th, 2012

Dolphins Vs. TitansThe Colts snapped a 3-game winning streak. It was a game that was ultimately closely contested, so take heart, Dolphin fans. Despite the record setting day that Andrew Luck had, for his record passing yards by a rookie, the scoreline was a marginal 23-20 victory. The Colts’ strength lay in the fact that Luck is a quality signal caller. Throughout his Stanford career and the buildup to the draft, everyone knew that he had the goods to excel in the NFL, and that is why the Colts did not hesitate to pull the trigger on selecting him to replace one Peyton Manning. Luck was able to knock our secondary around for most of the game.

I do not think that will be the case with the Titans. Jake Locker (set to return this Sunday) is no Andrew Luck, furthermore he has not played now in over a month. Combine that with a team that just took an absolute drubbing to the Bears last week, and there is not a lot here to inspire much confidence among the Titans’ fan base. Through the first half of the season, this team has been lackluster to say the least; the offense has been feeble, and the defense virtually nonexistent. They rank dead last for points allowed, 30th for yards allowed, 27th in pass defense and 30th against the run.

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We Came, We Tailgated, We Conquered. What’s Next?

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

MetLife TakeoverBefore we look ahead at things to come, let’s first revel in the glory of a truly epic victory over the Jets. Rex Ryan must be sweating as his seat grows ever hotter. Perhaps even more epic than the victory itself was the event put on by Dolfans NYC – Michelle and Igor, Curtis, and all those involved with the tailgate committee – a big thank you from all who were there. Phin Nation took note, from the publicity we saw heading into the game, to the increase in membership on the Facebook page. Let’s not forget that Mr. Stephen Ross, Mike Dee, Nat Moore, Fergie and a host of Dolphin cheerleaders turned up at the tailgate as well, proving once again that the Dolphin fan base and the organization are the best in the league. Just so sweet to top it off with such a one-sided victory.

Right – this Sunday, the Dolphins head to Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Colts. Like the Dolphins, many pundits did not expect much from a team that finished in last place with their talisman QB. Seemingly landing the most coveted QB in college football would not be enough to get them back on track, but just like the Dolphins, the Colts currently hold a 4-3 record. Luck has been as good as advertised, throwing 280 yards a game. To give you a comparison here, his rookie year should and will turn out much better than his predecessor. Reggie Wayne has been the go-to guy throughout Luck’s season, catching 108 yards a game – a league best. Their defense is a capable unit: in the Colts, we have a perfect example as to why having decent QB play is so crucial for the success of a team. It isn’t just that Peyton Manning was so good, though that has a large part to do with it, it is more that Curtis Painter was so bad, the Colts were never really as bad as they appeared to be last year and, in many respects, I think that people underestimated how good many of the players on that roster still were. Enter Andrew Luck, and we have a revitalized Colts team ready to compete for a playoff spot.

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What Might Have Been; Fisher In Miami

Sunday, October 14th, 2012

Fisher StacheJeff Fisher was highly touted to be the next coach of the Miami Dolphins, but after a brief courtship, Fisher rejected the offer on the table and took the job in St. Louis, much to the dismay of many a Dolphin fan. We were left wondering who would take the helm of our beloved organization. Around the league we were being scorned, from tweets and remarks from players like Joey Porter, to the media and our own fanbase picketing outside the offices and hiring private propeller planes asking Stephen Ross to fire Ireland. It seemed like dark days indeed, until Joe Philbin emerged to take up the challenge of getting our team back on course and steering us in the way of respectability. So far he seems to be on the right track – I have not agreed with everything he has done, but then again I am not down at the practice facility every day keeping a watchful eye on everything like he is. It really does feel like a plan is starting to come together, so as we settle in for what will be a thrilling encounter, I am sure I can’t help but wonder which team got the better coach to move the franchise forward? Right now I am betting on Stephen Ross and his man Philbin.

This Sunday, the St. Louis Rams face off against the Miami Dolphins in Miami. Playing in front of a home crowd with growing expectations by the week, this game presents the Phins with a great opportunity to move to .500 on the season and put the AFC East very much back in contention heading into their bye week.

This is a real chance to get some momentum. We have looked every bit the part of a contender for most of the season but for a few sloppy mistakes where we turned the ball over. That, there has killed us, ending potentially great drives (something we have seen a bit of already this season), but worse, allowing our opposition to put points on the board and stick around in games where we were the better team for the majority of the game. But in any sport, it is never really about the team that played the best for most of the game, it is about the team who took their chances when they got them and made the most of them. The Dolphins have not. Until last week, that is. We saw the Dolphins force more turnovers than the Bengals, and what happened? We were able to win the game. Well done to a very great defensive effort here, especially you, Mr. Randy Starks. Great pressure throughout, and not only did you get your hands up on that pass but you managed to hang on to it – absolutely fantastic. Sean Smith is like a different player so far this season and Reshard Jones has stepped up big time, he was everywhere last week and his contribution in stuffing the run was inspired.

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Dolphins Commit Cardinal Sin of Turnovers

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012
Ryan TannehillSome great records were broken last Sunday, so take heart, Dolphin fans, for we may be 1-3 this season, but we are at the very least playing with a lot of heart and a lot of pride. There are guys on this team now who are stepping up. Sean Smith is looking better with every game this season. Brian Hartline continues to make a case for himself as a legitimate number 1 receiver, and this week he made a huge statement that will have the rest of the league taking note. Perhaps most impressive is young gun Tannehill who looks the part of a franchise quarterback more and more.
Just to put this in perspective for everyone, because this really was one hell of a performance here, these records are all the more impressive when you consider that it was achieved against one of the premier defenses in the league. Make no mistake about it, the Cardinals are not at 4-0 on account of their stellar offense. Credit where credit is due – Kolb has been playing more like the guy they thought they were getting, and thankfully for their sakes, more like the guy who warrants the incredible sums of money he is getting, but he is still a far cry from being an elite QB in this league. Heading into Sunday’s encounter, the Cardinal defense had proven to be punishing against both the run and the aerial game, and were getting the the quarterback seemingly with ease. As a result, I concluded that this game would be a low scoring bout between two very good defenses with neither offense getting much going, a game that would be decided by a field goal or less. I was at least right about one thing.
Tannehill was poised, he was cool, he was calm and he was collected. For the most part, he was everything you could want in a QB as he routinely carved up the Cardinals D. The thing to get excited about here is that he looks better with each game. I believe it is still to early to announce that the longtime search for a replacement for Dan Marino is over, but there is certainly hope. Not only did Tannehill break the record for most passing yards for a Miami Dolphins QB (previously held by Dan Marino), but he obliterated it – his 431 yards actually places him second on the NFL rookie passing yards for a single game behind Cam Newton. Newton’s total? 432 yards.
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