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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Some thoughts about FOOTBALL

We are taking a break from the politics today because I write sports and you read sports and somehow this blog got hijacked by talk of the United Nations and its charter yesterday.

Here are my thoughts:

*Chris Chambers does indeed seem on the verge of his best season ever and I think Marty Booker is truly underappreciated by you guys. I think he's excellent and the 17 yards per catch from a season ago is proof.

*The offense line, to me, is still a problem and probably a first-round pick away from being settled. That Rex McKinney and Seth Hadnot change of indentity and positions seems forced to me. My prediction: Joe Toledo is the starting right guard before the season is over. I watched him lead a screen pass today and he was five yards ahead of the RB and the gap didn't quickly close. L.J. Shelton has not been exactly dominant in drills. There is a chance the coaching of Hudson Houck might eventually kick in, but to me, he's still the guy that Cleveland discarded.

*The third wide receiver battle concerns but it seems both Kelly Campbell and Derek Hagan have the potential to do good work -- despite Campbell's inglorious past and Hagan's lack of experience.

*The Dolphins will wish they had been stronger players in the Michael Bennett sweepstakes.

*I'm wishing the Dolphins were stronger players in the Jerry Porter trade possibility.

*In watching the first five days of camp, this team has the feel of a good football team. But not a great football team. I'm thinking 10-6 this year, folks.

24 Comments:

Anonymous Bubba K said...

If 10-6 gets the team into the playoffs and they are getting stronger rather than weaker, who knows what might happen.

I'm thinking more like 11-5 and some further.

F I N S fins fins fins :)

10:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mando: 9-7, and playoffs, bcz the Patriots will not be drop kicking any extra points this year. Everyone is a little better in the AFC. I completely agree w/ you about the line. Aside from James, it is pretty average. We're two years away...

And re: yesterday's blog being hi-jacked - didn't YOU start that by mocking the idea that the President was not a criminal. The UN discussion pretty much explained (in a little too much detail) how he IS a criminal, at least per the charter. This is a Fins blog, but you get what you ask for...

6:39 AM  
Anonymous Kurt said...

Its way too early to characterize if this is an average, good or great team.

1. This time last year the O line looked like crap, but with the exception of the Cleveland game they did well enough to give the team a fighting chance to win.

2. I gotta think Daunte is going to mean more than a 1, 2 or 3 game delta over Gus.

3. The defense which took more than half the season to figure out what they were suposed to be doing, should be significantly further along this year.

4. AFC east looks the weakest it has been since pre-marino times and the Fins have matched up really well against a lot better Patriot teams than this one.

5. I would not be surpised if they catch the Steelers napping and end up win a few other games people would not expect.

As I said it is too early, but the stage is set for a one or two loss regular season.

9:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I somehow don't think Jerry Porter is going anywhere. I'd love to have him, but Oakland doesn't want to let him go and are asking for 2 first round picks as proof.

10:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee, there's nothing in this blog about the Iraq war, the U.N., accusations of our President being a criminal...

I'm not interested anymore :D

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Brian said...

I'd have to disagree with the everyone is a little better in the AFC comment.
The Steelers lost their leader in Bettis, their QB almost killed himself, and they lost a few other players with no great replacements.
The Colts lost one of the best RB's in the league and one their best LB's.
Denver has probably improved.
N.E. doesn't seem to have gotten any better.
I don't see any improvement really in Jax and S.D. is bringing in a QB who has never started a game.
K.C. improved a little defensively, but lost both tackles on the o-line and their FB.
Cincy has had a horrible off-season with arrests and Palmer is coming back form injury.
I think the Dolphins have a chance to rise to the top of the AFC. All depends to me on how the o-line and the defensive backfield turn out. And of course how well and quickly Daunte returns.

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

miami will go 10-6 and bush will remain a criminal. too bad there is no such thing as hell: he would burn in it.

signed: a left-wing miami fan--one of the many standing next to you at the sports bars and in the stadium.

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Andyman said...

Mando:

Regarding Porter, when you say you wish they were more of a player for Porter, is it your feeling that they have the assets to make it work or are you just wishing they could somehow get him? What do you think the Raiders can realistically expect to get for him?

12:48 PM  
Anonymous thomas black said...

10-6? I am a die hard Dolphins fan and i do try to think logically. I also understand you probably know more about the Dolphins than me. However, we were 9-7 last year. 9-7 with a struggling secondary that has been improved with Will Allen, Renaldo Hill, and Jason Allen who seems to have a huge up side. 9-7 with no quarterback worthy of mentioning. 9-7 with an offensive line that has made improvements as far as who is there now, also are new offensive line coach is a genious. Finally, 9-7 with a defense that was not completely understood last year. With a full year under our belt and with a seemingly great coach and roster improvements, how can we only improve by one game?

5:19 PM  
Anonymous W said...

Anonymous 6:39 AM, 12:21 PM:

There’s a meeting of Morons Anonymous tomorrow night at the Hialeah YMCA. Thought you’d like to know.

7:20 PM  
Anonymous nottsfin said...

Send Hudson Houck to the UN - he'll straighten everything out.
Seriously, what's the deal with the o-line? Is the need just for more time to jell, or is a bit more talent needed up there?

5:11 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Hadnot was a center in college...he's probably MORE natural at that position. McKinney is another story...he may be the one without a chair when the music stops if Toledo (aka Bluto) can take the starting RG job.

I agree that Booker is underrated, though he isn't the first round quality player that Rick Spielman said he was.

11:54 AM  
Anonymous Brian said...

What the f*** are the Dolphins doing? Give Allen six years. Everyone else signed. This is ridiculous.

3:03 PM  
Blogger NYdolfan84 said...

I love the tandem of Chambers & Booker. I thought Booker was an excellent WR with the Bears and just needs more of an opportunity with us. We finally have a QB and I am optimistic for the first time since Marino left. I think the key will be the development of the offensive line. They made some strides last year but aren't yet at the level needed to contend for the title. The secondary also has a lot to prove. But with the Jets and Bills in their current states I think we make the playoffs this year and if the pieces come together give those wretched Patriots a run for their money!!

Now lets focus on getting our 1st rounder in camp!

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Jon said...

Why would Miami want to trade for Jerry Porter? He doesn't fit the kind of player Saban wants. He's a me player and he's selfish. He's basically a Chris Chambers mini me. You'd probably have to give up a 2nd or 3rd to get him, or package alower pick with Booker, which I wouldn't do. Also, as far as Bennett goes, St.Louis offered a 4th for him and the Saints turned it down, so KC probably gave up more then that which is stupid for a RB that would only get 10 touches maybe if he played down here. That's why yuo build teams through the draft. Saban's coach now, not Wannstedt!

4:53 PM  
Blogger passionfish said...

ditto to kurt, brian and thomas black. each upside and string of logic was clearly articulated and in my opinion extremely accurate. seriously-13-3, 14-2. the local press is so negative while claiming to be objective or knowledgable or realistic. all you radio and print guys, at least the ones that aren't from new york ought to just let it go and get excited about this team and what you really think our chances are versus covering your journalistic butts. say it!! say it!! the phins are going to be really really good!! as good a chance as any to win our last home game (the one in february)!!!

4:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Miami's gonna be 11-5. Look at the first 2 months of the season, they play Pittsburg, New England, and basically everyone that picked in the top 5 of the draft. Plus they have a sweet December Scheduale with 3 home games and the last game of the year against Indy will probably feature the Colts 2nd team.
In my humble opinion...
Sep 7 - at Pittsburgh, 8:30 PM L
Sep 17 - vs. Buffalo, 1:00 PM W
Sep 24 - vs. Tennessee, 1:00 PM W
Oct 1 - at Houston, 1:00 PM W
Oct 8 - at New England, 1:00 PM L
Oct 15 - at NY Jets, 4:15 PM W
Oct 22 - vs. Green Bay, 1:00 PM W
Oct 31 - Open
Nov 5 - at Chicago, 1:00 PM L
Nov 12 - vs. Kansas City, 1:00 PM W
Nov 19 - vs. Minnesota, 1:00 PM W
Nov 23 - at Detroit, 12:30 PM W
Dec 3 - vs. Jacksonville, 1:00 PM L
Dec 10 - vs. New England, 1:00 PM W
Dec 17 - at Buffalo, 1:00 PM L
Dec 25 - vs. NY Jets, 8:30 PM W
Dec 31 - at Indianapolis, 1:00 PM W

Depending on the weather in Buffalo, the health of the Jaguars and if the Bears are for real, alot of those potential losses could be easy wins. Like I said, I think they're at least 11-5

5:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My favorite was the guy who said the Dolphins would catch the Steelers napping.

Riiiiiight - catch the defending World Champs...in a Primetime opening game...at home... napping.

Its called a brain - use it.

IF they win, its not b/c the Yinzers are napping.

Thanks.

7:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think 11-5 is a fair guess. They're not as talented yet, or as experienced in certain positions, to win more -too many new players, chemistry takes time. But they're definitely making strides, and the playoffs look like a cinch, what with the AFC not looking so hot this year.

3:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And if Ronnie Brown gets injured......................................then what?

3:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Predicting a final season record is not only premature, it's ridiculous. If you look at any point in last season up to the last few games, there's no reason to believe they would have had a winning record, outside "a good feeling about it".

6:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why worry about this year's record when it won't end in a Super Bowl appearance? It looks like Saban is looking to make his presence felt in Super Bowl 2008 if everything goes well.....2009 if things don't. This team is still two good years away from winning a title. This year and next year are all about getting the right pieces in the right places and teaching them to gell and win as a team. We need a more talented offensive line, and they need a chance to learn to work together as a unit. Quarterback is fine as long as Daunte is fine. we still need a backup RB, and Ricky Williams won't be around in 2 years for one reason or another. And, that's assuming Ronnie Brown turns out to be a great professionl, which he hasn't proven yet, but I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. our receivers are slightly above average, but they won't be in 2008 unless Hagan works himself into a solid number two.....preferrably a #1 b/c i still think Chambers is still the best #2 receiver in the league. Randy McMichael's play needs to match his vocabulary, but we still don't have much to back him up. the young talent in the D-line needs to grow into something special, but we'll probably still need another quality player there for a workable rotation. I'm really looking forward to seeing how much Roth has improved this year. I'm hoping to be pleasantly surprised. Linebacker is a problem, and it would surprise me if Saban wasn't concerned about this area of his football team today and in 2008. the secondary is still rebuilding, and we'll need another two years to get it to where it needs to be. Finally, our special teams need improvement...in all phases. They may not lose a game for us, but they aren't going to win much for us either once Olindo is gone. Another big "IF" is how competitive and productive our current group of veterans will be in 2008 or 2009. Will Daunte be an all pro again? will ronnie brown be the stud people want him to be? will zach and several other veterans still be playing at a high level if at all? who will be our starting cornerbacks? Where's that stud offensive lineman(preferrably two) we still need going to come from? I can easily see the Dolphins in the playoffs this year and next, and i'm hoping it's the baptism under fire that most Super Bowl champions go through before they finally get to feel the cold, hard weight of the Lombardi in their hands.

7:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are many combinations of individual talent, team chemistry, motivation, and coaching genius that can make a championship team. It is a waste of time to fixate on invidual talent alone during the preseason camps as the indicator of what a team will do record wise during the regular season . . . but it sure is a lot of fun!

That being said, I think Saban is one of those coaches that, although he sounds somewhat riduculous when he speaks to the media, has the ability to movitate his players, bring about team chemistry, and game plan (pre-game and game-time) to beat other teams and their coaches. At first blush, it seems that the dolphins are shy the individual talent it takes to win it all, but you never know . . . some teams just develop a winning perspective, and they find a way. After following the dolphins my whole life(32 years) the last five years have been miserable. I really believe this could be a special year.

Chris Chambers is the best #2wide receiver in the league>>> he doesn't have the mental toughness or killer instincts to be great.

Why is Marty Booker so underated. After watching the guy, I am amazed at his abilities. Hell ya he is worth a first round draft pick. If the dolphins o-line gives him a chance, I expect him to shine this year.

Hey, just a question . . . has anybody else on the planet noticed the talent that Derrick Pope has at linebacker. I am just a fan, but good night, every preseason the guy goes out and MAKES PLAYS. Is Donnie Spragan that much better of a player?????

9:11 PM  
Anonymous Kurt said...

OK, I'm the guy that thinks the Dolphins may catch the Steelers napping. It was pointed out that they were the defending world champions by someone having a brilliant glimpse of the obvious. The way I see it Pitt barely made it to the superbowl and while there they looked very shaky, catching most of their breaks on broken plays. I dont think they are all that. I think they are ripe for a post superbowl slump like the patriots did the first time (though not as bad as Oakland, cowher is a good coach). I also think the first time Ben gets smacked in the face hard he will start hearing footsteps for the rest of the game. I gotta think with this sack happy defensive scheme they are going smack Ben in the face early, hard and often.

Look the team has a lot of work to get ready for their prime time comming out party, but compared to the Steelers:

1. They will be in better shape
2. They will have much less media distractions
3. They will not be under nearly as much pressure
4. They have nothing to loose by going all out, they will have a few extra days to mend up and the next games in their schedule are against their (presumably) weakest competitors.

They will be up for the game, they will beat the living blank out of the Steelers and set the tone for the rest of the season.

8:49 AM  

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