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Team needs: Miami Dolphins

Tony Sparano AP

Tony Sparano’s Dolphins can’t seem to put it all together.   Their running game dominated in 2009, but the defense collapsed. Their running game fell apart in 2010, while the defense played well.  Both seasons finished at 7-9.

The constant on those teams: A mediocre passing game which lacks big plays.  Miami is up next in our team needs series.

G/C:  Sparano is a former offensive line coach, so the failure of this group is damning.  Starters at center and right guard could both be replaced as Miami was pushed around way too often last year for a “smashmouth” team.  Florida guard/center Mike Pouncey could be a consideration in the first round.

RB: Sparano says the Dolphins will remain a run-first team.  At this point, they have no legitimate options on the roster with Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown headed for free agency.  It’s hard to imagine a scenario where Miami doesn’t draft a running back in the first three rounds.   If they draft a third-down type, they’ll have to find their starter in free agency.

QB: The team’s lack of a second round pick really hurts here.  Miami may basically have to decide between choosing a quarterback to develop for the future or a running back that can impact the team right away. Chad Henne remains the favorite to start, and we suspect his competition will be a veteran, not a first-round rookie.

TE: Just call this need “playmaker.”  They could use speed at tight end or wide receiver.

DL: They are very deep here, but need to plan ahead.  Nose tackle Paul Soliai is on a one year deal.  Defensive ends Kendall Langford and Phillip Merling are free agents after 2011.  Tony McDaniel, an effective sub, is a free agent.  A run-stuffer would make some sense if the value was right.

Overview:  Other than safety, this group is deep with talent on defense.  The offense needs more speed at the skill positions, but they may have to find it in free agency.

With an emerging young defense and some cornerstones on offense (Jake Long, Brandon Marshall), Miami isn’t that far behind the Patriots and Jets if they can somehow improve their quarterback play.

Unfortunately, they’ve been trying to do that since Dan Marino retired.

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14 Responses to “Team needs: Miami Dolphins”
  1. jmphinsfan says: Apr 19, 2011 5:04 PM

    sadly, Sparano and Ireland both are on a relatively short leash this year and will be looking for an IMPACT NOW type player.

    its unlikely they take the time to do things right, by drafting guys that can be groomed and help in the long run rather than try and save the coach/GMs jobs.

  2. bigtony300 says: Apr 19, 2011 5:08 PM

    Palmer, Kolb, McNabb, or Orton paired with Brandon Marshall and the Dolphins Deffense make them an instant playoff team.

  3. bfridley says: Apr 19, 2011 5:11 PM

    You guys are avoiding the Ravens on purpose now… there better be some order to creating these Team Needs articles in order to explain for this…

  4. dolphins4 says: Apr 19, 2011 5:18 PM

    Henne is not the answer at QB .Hopefully the Dolphins will draft a great O-lineman like Pouncey in the 1st round and have a great draft and get a great young QB in the draft.

  5. massappeal12345 says: Apr 19, 2011 5:24 PM

    So much for Tuna Team Builder

  6. ampats says: Apr 19, 2011 5:48 PM

    Another season of Sparano fistpumping the scoring of his top playmaker Dan Carpenter.

    Andrew Luck Bowl 2011/2012 ?

  7. phoenix727 says: Apr 19, 2011 6:36 PM

    Andrew luck would decide to go back to school for his doctorate if he knew the Dolphins were drafting #1 overall.

  8. thefiesty1 says: Apr 19, 2011 7:03 PM

    Don’t you guys talk to each other? Evan says the Fins are taking Ryan Mallet. They definitely need an upgrade at QB with Henne, Pennington et al. How much longer are they going to Run Ricky Run is the question.

  9. donttouchthedirtypenny says: Apr 19, 2011 7:26 PM

    Why does Tony Sparano always look like a slob?

  10. FinFan68 says: Apr 19, 2011 7:33 PM

    The defense is too good for the dolphins to be drafting #1 even if Henne has an abysmal year. They need a receiver that can stretch the field (and actually catch the ball). My preference would be to grab Mallett at 15 and fix the rest of the holes after that. Henne can be fairly good but he needs to be pushed. Mallett would be a good back-up plan if Henne regresses any farther and we would not have to wait another year and a half to see who might be able to play. A quality RB/TE can be found in the 3rd or 4th round and there is enough cap room (if it is close to the last cap#) to find an OL in FA whenever that happens. Regardless of who they get, not much will change until the coaching staff stops settling for field goals. They have time management problems and usually try not to lose rather than send the team out their trying hard to win. Apathy was a big part of the problem and so was inappropriate play-calling. Too many drives were killed by stupidity last year. The DBs should be practicing catching skills because they dropped no less than 10 INTs and an easy 5-6 of those were cakewalks to the end zone.

  11. bsizemore68 says: Apr 19, 2011 11:20 PM

    FinFan68 is on the money, the coaches are killing this team, if they keep it up they should be kick out the door asap. Bill

  12. MichaelEdits says: Apr 19, 2011 11:47 PM

    The Dolphins need more time to recover from the Bill Parcells experience.

  13. 305phinphan says: Apr 20, 2011 2:01 AM

    The Dolphins #1 concern should be to recoup a 2nd round pick. Once they do that I say draft accordingly.

    1. Ryan Mallett
    2. Orlando Franklin
    3. Taiwan Jones
    4. DJ Williams
    5. Edmond Gates
    6. Damien Berry
    7.BPA
    7.BPA
    7.BPA

    Those are the kind of play makers the Dolphins need. I agree that the Dolphins are not that far off from the Pats but I think one more season and the Dolphins will be right on there tail.

  14. cliverush says: Apr 20, 2011 10:38 AM

    Can a pro football team be successful and be close to South Beach? Coach- “I want you guys to go home and get a good nights sleep for the big game tomorrow.” Players- “Listen to him, yeah right. I was told the flights from Europe are loaded with women looking for guys like us. See you at the beach tonight fellas.”

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