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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Dolphins day on NFL network

Another Sunday without football is coming but Dolphins fans who get the NFL Network can get an offseason fix this Sunday, June 11.

Beginning at 1 p.m. on the east coast, NFL Network will air Dolphins programming for 11 consecutive hours. That's a lot of Dolphins football, people.

Here's the programming schedule:
1:00 PM ET: NFL Network Game of the Week: 2005, Week 5 -- Panthers/Dolphins.
2:00 PM ET: NFL Network Game of the Week: 2002, Week 17 -- Dolphins/Panthers.
3:00 PM ET: NFL Network Game of the Week: 2000, AFC Wild Card -- Colts/Dolphins.
4:00 PM ET: NFL Network Game of the Week: 1998, AFC Wild Card -- Bills/Dolphins.
5:00 PM ET: Lost Treasure of NFL Films: Super Bowls I-VIII.
6:00 PM ET: Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders: Making the Squad -- Episode 1.
7:00 PM ET: Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders: Making the Squad -- Episode 2.
8:00 PM ET: Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders: Making the Squad -- Episode 3.
9:00 PM ET: Dan Marino Heart of a Champion.
10:00 PM ET: 1984 Dolphins Team Highlight.
10:30 PM ET: 1986 Dolphins Team Highlight.
11:00 PM ET: 1972 Dolphins Team Highlight.
11:30 PM ET: Super Bowl VII Highlight.
12:00 PM ET: 1973 Dolphins Team Highlight.
12:30 PM ET: Super Bowl VIII Highlight.

OK, so the making of the cheerleaders is a stretch (especially for three consecutive hours). After all, how much beautiful women in clingy, skimpy attire can a guy take? But you guys watched the draft for 12 hours a few weeks ago, so you have capacity for this telethon.

Meanwhile, I'm going out of town for a couple of weeks -- yep, going to miss this weekend's minicamp -- so you guys keep the blog tidy while I'm gone.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Recounting Rick Spielman's legacy

Rick Spielman's year as the Dolphins general manager was a nightmare and fans and media mock him for his mistakes of inexperience and desperation he made.

But every coin has that other side and, taking a cue from Minnesota's recent hiring of Spielman as their vice president for player personnel, I endeavor today to give you both the heads and tails of the yearlong stint Spielman had as Miami's GM.

The idea here, Dolphinheads, is to leave you with the COMPLETE picture of the Spielman year rather than a tainted, slanted negative view. Now after reading the following, you might still think Spielman was a GM bust, but at least you will think that after weighing both good and bad.

The negatives:

*Yes, he made the A.J. Feeley trade and that was a debacle. That trade was still affecting Miami this offseason because Feeley wasn't even good enough to be Miami's backup. So the Dolphins had to invest a sixth-, and potentially a fifth-round pick, on Joey Harrington to be the backup.

*Spielman also traded away a 2004 fourth round pick to Minnesota to move up one spot and pick Vernon Carey, which was a move of desperation and inexperience. Moreover, he picked Carey ahead of University of Miami nose tackle Vince Wolfork, who was rated higher on the Miami draft board, an example of picking for need rather than talent.

*He also got snuckered on the Lamar Gordon trade, which was also born of desperation because the Dolphins didn't have a running back on the roster good enough to start when Ricky Williams went AWOL before the season.

*He picked Tony Bua in the fifth round. Bua, a better at partier than professional football player, was too slow to play safety and too small to play linebacker. That seemed OK because he was picked to be a special teams wizard. He supposedly reminded Spielman of Larry Izzo. Except Izzo was a Pro Bowl special teams performer and he didn't cost Miami a draft pick, having been signed as an undrafted free agent.

*He signed Reggie Howard and paid him like a starter.

The positives:

*He drafted Rex Hadnot, who is a starter.

*He signed Jeno James, who is a starter.

*He resisted the tempation to re-sign Todd Wade, who has become something of a bust in Houston.

*He picked Derrick Pope in the seventh round, which was a good pick.

*Finally, and perhaps most controversially, he made the Adawale Ogunleye trade. In hindsight,, this trade has been OK for the Dolphins. Yes, they gave up a young dominant defensive end and those are extremely difficult to come by. Ogunleye led the Bears with 10 sacks last season.

But the Dolphins got serviceable starter Marty Booker in the deal plus a draft pick that turned out to be Channing Crowder. So would you take Booker and Crowder over Ogunleye? It's probably a push right now, but you should also consider that the trade allowed the Dolphins to shift part of their salary cap funding toward the offense, where it was lacking, and away from the defense, which is where Dave Wannstedt and Jimmy Johnson had it so unevenly for such a long time.

The trade also separated Ogunleye from Jason Taylor, who at times in 2003 seemed to have a strained relationship.

So there you have it, both good and bad. Now you decide if Spielman was as awful as you thought, or has hindsight absolved him of a bad legacy?