Skip to content

Team checklist: Miami Dolphins

Tony Sparano

The lockout will end eventually.  When it does, every team will have a number of items to check off on their to-do list.   Without much else to write about, we’ll take a crack at each team’s post-lockout priorities.

Up now: The Miami Dolphins

1. Pair a running back with Daniel Thomas.

The Dolphins plan to use Thomas, their second round pick, in tandem with a running back to be named later.  With only Lex Hilliard and Kory Sheets behind Thomas, Miami may add two running backs to the roster.

There has been a lot of DeAngelo Williams speculation, but will the Dolphins pay top dollar when they just gave up so many picks for Thomas?  Ronnie Brown could return if he doesn’t get a better deal elsewhere.

It makes more sense for Miami to target third-down back types. They could be darkhorses for Reggie Bush or Darren Sproles.  Jason Snelling might be a nice, versatile fit.

2. Find competition for Chad Henne.

The Dolphins are talking up Henne as the likely starter, but they have to bring in another veteran.  The question is how good that veteran will be.  We think they make sense as suitors for Kyle Orton or Vince Young, if Carson Palmer isn’t available.  It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Miami aim lower with someone like Billy Volek or Rex Grossman.

3. Quickly establish offensive identity.

The lockout hurts new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll’s ability to implement his system.  Based on Tony Sparano’s words this offseason, the Dolphins may double up on their ground and pound approach.  Perhaps simplifying things in a shortened offseason won’t be that bad for them.

4. Find depth at guard.

Grabbing Mike Pouncey will help the interior offensive line, but this team still needs more competition at guard.

5. Pick up depth at outside linebacker.

We only listed offensive positions on Miami’s team needs before the draft, and that’s basically all they selected.  Now that we look at the depth chart, it’s worth noting they are very thin at outside linebacker.  Only three players are sure to be back.

Permalink 30 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Miami Dolphins, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
30 Responses to “Team checklist: Miami Dolphins”
  1. cincinnasti says: May 17, 2011 5:20 PM

    Surely bringing Ricky back has to be out of the picture.. I can only imagine what he’s done with all this free time with no type of drug testing system to keep him from smoking weed and mediating. He’s probably out of shape and stoned as we speak.

  2. hobartbaker says: May 17, 2011 5:32 PM

    6. Valium for Sparano.

  3. someguyiniowa says: May 17, 2011 5:33 PM

    Thanks to the education of Sun Sentinel’s Omar Kelly, I knew this stuff months ago.

    And I think there’s a bit of hyperbole in saying that Miami gave up a lot of picks. They basically gave up a 5 th and 7th and if you use the draft pick value chart, the Redskins got screwed in the deal: the Redskins pick was worth 284 pts whereas the value if picks Miami gave up was worth a combined value of 232 pts.

  4. FinFan68 says: May 17, 2011 5:40 PM

    1. Re-sign Lousaka Polite!!!!
    2. Get a speed back who can play on 3rd down and catch the ball out of the backfield (Sproles or Bush if not very expensive)
    3. Find a QB to compete with Henne–Orton will cost picks and is essentially the same as Henne; Young could be snagged as a FA but he has leadership issues that this team doesn’t need; Kolb/McNabb/Hasselback-NO. Grossman would be fine with me. A veteran QB that could step in if needed.
    4. Stop playing for field goals and take some calculated risks for potential big plays.
    5. Learn how to manage a two-minute drive
    6. Assign someone other than Bess to return punts

  5. FinFan68 says: May 17, 2011 5:47 PM

    7. Win a few games at home :)

  6. someguyiniowa says: May 17, 2011 5:52 PM

    Finfan68

    I’m a Polite fan too, but he lost a step with his blocking last year compared to the year before. Wasn’t just the o-line that hurt the run game.

  7. mike83ri says: May 17, 2011 6:01 PM

    “2. Get a speed back who can play on 3rd down and catch the ball out of the backfield (Sproles or Bush if not very expensive)”

    You just named two guys that collectively made like $20 million last year, then presume that they may not cost much.

    “3. Find a QB to compete with Henne–Orton will cost picks and is essentially the same as Henne”

    Really? Henne played in 2 more games than Orton last year and had 300 less yards, 5 less TDs, and 10 more INTs. Oh and all of that was after Henne got Brandon Marshall from Orton.

  8. phinfan says: May 17, 2011 6:09 PM

    1.) should be for the offense to GROW SOME BALLS!!!!!!! PUT IT IN THE AIR!!!

  9. FinFan68 says: May 17, 2011 6:28 PM

    @mike83ri,
    I didn’t presume they wouldn’t cost much. I gave an example of the type of player that would fit if they weren’t very expensive (relative term considering Ross has tons of money). Both are likely to get lower offers from their respective teams if they get offers at all. Either would be a decent addition if there was not too big a hit on whatever salary cap may exist in the future.
    I like Orton but he is not much of an upgrade over Henne when you consider how much the team is likely to give up to get him. Their numbers are very close at the same point in their careers. Orton is slightly better right now due to experience but Henne has a higher ceiling (if he plays better in a more suitable scheme)

  10. FinFan68 says: May 17, 2011 6:31 PM

    @someguyiniowa,
    I agree with your statement however I just want him back for the short yardage plays where he shines. The Dolphins should use less two back sets and get an extra receiver in the mix so play action plays could be more effective. Polite is money on 3rd/4th & 1. If he is on the field on 1st down, they are screwing up.

  11. smackingfools says: May 17, 2011 6:31 PM

    Ricky is always in shape.

  12. schmitty2 says: May 17, 2011 6:48 PM

    #6. do anything to insure your MVP on offense is NOT Dan Carpenter for the 2nd year in a row

  13. mistrezzrachael says: May 17, 2011 7:10 PM

    Dolphin fans can hope and speculate all they want…but with Ross owning team…their chances are remote at best. Throw in Ireland…who is at bottom of the barrel as a GM…and spells disaster.

    they do have a strong coach in Sparano…but he’s alame duck that Ross is dying to get rid of…because he’s not showtime.

    BUT..Noone throws a halftime show like Ross..Noone…..and their in stadium disco comes equipped w/the best Bimbo’s money can buy.

  14. brutus9448 says: May 17, 2011 7:26 PM

    They can’t give up draft picks to get a QB. Sparano is most probably in his last year. Get a QB in 2012 when you have a new coach.
    Go out and get Vince Young if you must. Henne and VY can duke it out.

  15. brutus9448 says: May 17, 2011 7:27 PM

    mike83ri,
    “Really? Henne played in 2 more games than Orton last year and had 300 less yards, 5 less TDs, and 10 more INTs. Oh and all of that was after Henne got Brandon Marshall from Orton.”

    Yes and henne out played orton in 09. So I think what you’re saying is that marshall is the problem. Get rid of marshall first.

  16. texasphinsfan says: May 17, 2011 7:39 PM

    If they get Orton and De’Angelo, I’d feel better going into next season.

  17. ampats says: May 17, 2011 8:44 PM

    With the first pick in the 2012 NFL draft the Miami Dolphins select.

    1) New Ownership
    2) New HC
    3) New fanbase
    4) Football stadium
    5) English spoken as the first language

  18. kelvinmchale says: May 17, 2011 8:59 PM

    Why do the Dolphins even bother, Tom Brady’s in their division.

  19. drumzan says: May 17, 2011 9:00 PM

    1. Sign undrafted free agent RB Mario Fannin to pair with Daniel Thomas and Ronnie Brown.

    2. Sign Marc Bulger to mentor and compete with Thigpen and Henne

    3. Sign a free safety. I have no idea why the Phins passed on Earl Thomas last year and Rahim Moore this year.

    4. Find more special teams depth.

  20. frankdatank23 says: May 17, 2011 9:09 PM

    Very good assessment of miami’s situation, I must say……….

    They will add and/or return a starting quality back and add a QB who can at least compete with chad.

    A lot of young talent coming in when you consider 2010 rookies Odrick and Edds for the defense. (both missed last year due to early injuries)

    The defense will be more than adequate, especially if they can get consistent pressure opposite C.Wake.
    The key is getting that offense up and running. No easy task if Henne doesnt improve.

  21. rajbais says: May 18, 2011 12:22 AM

    6. Shove some sanity into your owner!!!!!
    The least insane thing that he ever did was add J-Lo, Serena and Venus Williams, and Fergie to the luxury suites (hey, I would too)!!!!!!!

    90% of everything else stinks!!!!

    7. Dump Carl Peterson as an advisor!!!!
    He bought into the USFL, did nothing with the Chiefs, and doesn’t deserve an NFL job … again!!!!

  22. finsbooyah says: May 18, 2011 9:05 AM

    1. Do not spend any draft picks on a QB. Sure, bring someone in who can compete (Bulger, Volek, etc), but this year is Henne’s last chance. If he doesn’t cut it, take a QB in the first round next year. I know it’s still early, but there seems to be a few really good ones coming out – A. Luck, L. Jones, N. Foles, M. Bradley, K. Cousins.

    This team is not that far away. A top notch QB would certainly make them serious contenders. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Henne is the guy and teams don’t find franchise QB’s in free agency (or trades for the most part).

    2. Find another RB. I know it’s the obvious choice, but if Deangelo Williams is available, he’d be a great fit.

    3. OLB. Wake and Misi are very good starters, but if one of them gets hurt, Miami is royally screwed at the most important position in a 3-4 defense.

  23. marinofreakout says: May 18, 2011 9:16 AM

    the fins def didnt give up a “bunch” of picks for thomas. it is true though that they dont wanna spend a bunch on deangelo- i dont blame them considering they have ronnie wrapped around their finger

    resign ronnie
    get darren sproles or yes, reggie bush
    get VINCE YOUNG!! (this is a no-brainer IMO)

    also a bit peeved that people think that after we got an abilene christian receiever in the 4th round that we took care of our down-field threat need. Im hoping it pans out, but still…

  24. dieharddolfan6493 says: May 18, 2011 6:11 PM

    6) Take the playbook that says “wildcat” on it and throw it into the lake next to the stadium

  25. dantemania says: May 18, 2011 6:32 PM

    Ok I’m gonna spell it out for those of you who don’t see. One of the best backs in the league last year P.Hillis Dabol was his coordinator. Drafted a similar back in thomas.Henne will thrive with a running back. Marshall Bess the tight end they drafted and who ever number three will benefit if they can develop the play action.. as crazy a it sounds expect a big year from Henne to all the haters surprise.

  26. drkknght2000 says: May 19, 2011 9:01 AM

    If Miami doesn’t make the playoffs again, which is very likely then expect the following. Sparano gone, a shame but no choice. He was only signed because of the looming lockout. Jeff Ireland gone, for obvious reasons. Enter Bill Cowher and a huge change of atitude and direction by this team. We drafted as smart as we could this year with the picks that we had. We did not over reach, we did not panic and give away future draft picks. We did not draft any of the QBs that had tons of potential, but tons of questions like the one we have now Henne. It’s not all his fault, play calling for Pennington when he wasn’t on the field killed us, that and dismantling our offensive line last year killed us. Add the fact that you made Brown go up the middle and Williams to the outside just killed the running game. Palmer or Orton gives us a fighting chance. Keep one or both Ronnie or Ricky and find a safety and pray our line stays healthly. Then draft a QB next year. I still see Cowher as the future HC in Miami and hopefully he keeps Nolan.

  27. nyjyi says: May 19, 2011 11:14 AM

    It’s amazing how much Dolfans toll-post on jets articles, but yet, I don’t see a whole lot of posts from jets fans here. I guess it’s easy to take the high road when your team is just better.

  28. svallen says: Jul 11, 2011 5:39 PM

    Sign Brown, then find a possible trade for Ronnie Brown, and get pick up a top end RB next draft.

    They need to figure out their QB situation big time. This team has had issues as that position, and it doesn’t seem that any player they have is worth a real shot. I was hoping Henne would be great on this team, but he has yet to REALLY prove himself.

    3 RB and 2 QB on the free agents list (http://www.spotrac.com/free-agents/nfl/miami-dolphins/)…the Dolphins need to figure this out or they will be at the bottom of the division with the Bills!

  29. dolphincritic says: Jul 15, 2011 12:08 PM

    I really don’t see much of this happening in free agency this year because everyone will be pressed for time. The learning curve dictates that free agents won’t be productive until a little later in the season. Thigpen could be back just because he knows the playbook. The Dolphins are not going to give up big draft picks this year either. There will be too much free agent movement. I look for us to look at D’Angelo Williams, the tight end from Chicago and a guard that slips between the cracks but big paychecks and Steve Ross are not going to be the norm this year. Gosh! Ross would have let Sporano go if he had closed on Harbaugh or even the Ghost Sid Luckman.

    Here’s to you and I looking at another 7-9 or 8-8 season. I’m just praying that Henne stops making stupid mistakes and putting the defense in the jackpot. Oh, I forgot – look for Channing Crowder to get a chance at LOLB. Yes, he is chuckle headed, Brian Cox will fire him up and coach him into a starting role!

  30. markeyh says: Jul 17, 2011 1:30 PM

    Vince Young, Ronnie or ricky back, Reggie Bush & Some UDFA names I feel can help Miami and or make the pratice squad….

    QB Adam Froman,
    RB John Clay,
    CB DeAndre McDaniel,
    OG Jarriel King,
    DT Martin Parker
    OT David Mims

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!