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Fins touting young receivers

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The Miami Dolphins traded receiver Brandon Marshall to the Bears as the clock struck 4:00 p.m. ET on March 13, the launch of the 2012 league year and, in turn, the trading period.

They have not replaced him with a free agent or a hot-shot rookie, and they are now embracing the ensuing youth at the position.

“As it stands right now we’re going in with a young group,” G.M. Jeff Ireland recently said, via Brian Briggane of the Palm Beach Post.  “I’ve got a couple of players with a lot of experience in Davone Bess and Brian Hartline.  They have a tremendous amount of experience at the position.  We’ve got a couple of other guys, Legudu Naanee, who looked really good in the on-field sessions, and we’ve got some young guys who are very good football players.”

Use of the phrase “as it stands right now” means that the door is open for possible additions, possibly if for example “Packer for life” Donald Driver ends up being a “Dolphin for a year.”

“We’ve got draft choices, we’ve got Marlon Moore and Roberto Wallace that have shown well on this football team.  [Clyde] Gates still has to develop,” Ireland added.  “We’ve got a lot of young guys that have a  developmental ceiling, they haven’t developed yet, and we’re going to see that this year hopefully.”

It was a calculated risk to refrain from pursuing any of the various free-agent wideouts who were available as of the moment Marshall became a Bear.  And while it appeared when the trade was made that the Dolphins were merely dumping a guy who was facing another legal entanglement and potential suspension, he has been cleared of any charges arising from the allegation that he punched a woman in the face.

And so there’s a chance that the performance of the Dolphins’ receivers will leave the fans feeling like they’ve been punched in the gut.  Again.

That said, a great quarterback can help make great receivers.  But while the Dolphins used the eighth overall pick on a quarterback, they’re trying their best to make sure no one anoints him prematurely as a guy who’s supposed to be great.

And it’s starting from the top of the organization.

“We drafted [Ryan] Tannehill because we thought he’d be a great franchise quarterback,” Stephen Ross said.  “He has all the intangibles, [he’s] a great athlete.  The important thing is not to have great expectations up front, and bring him along.  See how it works for him.  He certainly has the talent, and you don’t want to get a guy down early.  We’ve seen that before.  So it depends on each individual.  Obviously there’s a big competition for the quarterback slot.  We’re not going to rush him into it, that’s for sure.”

Maybe Reggie Bush really will lead the league in rushing this year.  If he’s capable of staying healthy during each of his 600 attempts.

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49 Responses to “Fins touting young receivers”
  1. bigwalt2990 says: May 20, 2012 7:48 AM

    So they don’t expect a lot out of Tannehill this year…that’s nice. “Set your goals low” that’s the Miami motto.

  2. canetic says: May 20, 2012 7:49 AM

    What a train wreck. Driver can stay in Green Bay. Just play out the season, lose all your games, fire Ireland, and start drafting some real talent. Maybe we’ll see the playoffs in five years.

  3. mistrezzrachael says: May 20, 2012 7:53 AM

    Hartline & Bess,,,,Really Ireland????

    This roster full of 2nd rate players,,god he’s starting to sound like Rex Ryan talking about his QB’s.

    Dolphins do not have 1 bonafide NFL starter @ receiver…which is ok…IF you have a Brady, Rodgers…or a shot to get Manning,,oh oh

  4. joetoronto says: May 20, 2012 7:57 AM

    “Fins fans touting new owner.”

  5. lostsok says: May 20, 2012 8:13 AM

    Personally, I have no issue with Miami going young at WR. They took several big-body guys late and in post-draft free agency (including the all-time receiving record holder for Michigan State and a 90+ catch guy from Nevada, plus Jeff Fuller from Texas AM who, if he can show more consistent hands, already knows the offense and has worked with Tannehill).

    Gates has the great speed to be a very dangerous weapon and he was all but ignored by Sparono/Daboll. He was only used on deep fly routes and seldom thrown to (and even more rarely saw an accurate pass from Henne, who couldn’t hit the broad side of anything past 25 yards). Given more route options, he could really contribute.

    Personally, I think the Naanee signing was an insurance policy. I’m from Boise, and have see Legadu play for many years. He has all the tools, but lacks the character and work ethic to be a great player. He’s the fallback if none of the rookies step up.

    If a solid corp doesn’t gel, that’ll be the priority next year, but for now Miami has a lot of moldable guys that fit the WCO. And that’s not counting two lethal hands out of the backfield in Bush and Lamar Miller, along with Clay and the rookie Egnew from the FB/TE/H-back positions.

    The bigger question is still whether Moore or Garrard can play at a high enough level with enough consistency not to rush Tannehill. If so, they will have plenty of weapons to throw to…

  6. mistrezzrachael says: May 20, 2012 8:39 AM

    Loving the Miami fans’ optimism…Many of the same who protested in Davie with paper bags on their heads.

    Will repeat again…Dolphins will not be a factor until next draft day…as long as Ross owns the team,,,and Ireland the GM. God, as bad as they have been 1 thing for certain,,,last 10 years they have had the worst bottom 25 players in the NFL.

    Miami fans a funny bunch

  7. 1972wasalongtimeago says: May 20, 2012 9:14 AM

    Brandon Marshall was a huge disappointment. The Dolphins’ record this year would be the same with him or without him. It’s a team that’s starting over, building for 2013 & 2014. They had a ton of holes coming into this offseason. After the draft and FA, they addressed them all, except safety maybe. Not too shabby I’d say.

  8. daaabears says: May 20, 2012 9:18 AM

    This is the same garbage that Lovie was spewing the last 3 years about our receivers.

    Good luck with that, Miami.

  9. devinmr711 says: May 20, 2012 9:21 AM

    Now when I look at the Dolphins receiving core, I see no one better than T.O.

  10. billsfan1 says: May 20, 2012 9:23 AM

    really? having a lot of receivers isnt that same as having alot of weapons… Bush is there only weapon. Lamar Miller is a poor mans reggie bush…. very poor. They have no real inside threat or short yardage back….

    SO its like this…. Hartline and Bess have no real vertical speed to threaten. Buffalo throws Gilmore and Aaron WIlliams to take them out. The real question becomes, can Bush or Miller get open before the pass rush of Mario Williams, Kyle WIlliams, Marcel Dareus and Mark ANderson gets to DAvid TanneMoore? In other words, Miami’s offense (on paper) is exactly what we have been dealing with in Buffalo for a number of years… a whole bunch of really? who are they?

    and the Bills arent even the best team in the division… good luck with that

  11. j0esixpack says: May 20, 2012 9:38 AM

    Now if they can just perfect that Tupac hologram technology to have Marino throwing to them.

    Heck, most Miami fans would probably be happy with Tupac lining up behind center at this point.

  12. markeyh says: May 20, 2012 9:47 AM

    To many haters of Miami….

  13. randallflagg52 says: May 20, 2012 9:53 AM

    Well once Tannehill flops at QB they can move him to WR, problem solved?

  14. dolphinfannc says: May 20, 2012 10:02 AM

    With all the perfect coaches and GMs on this board, why not take these minds to the NFL and make some real money instead of wasting them on a stupid message board? I’m the first one to say they know more than I do, they’re there and I’m here.

  15. bchapman2011 says: May 20, 2012 10:12 AM

    Some people just don’t understand that mike shermans wc offense does not require a number one receiver. It is all predicated on creating mismatches. That is why miami invested in two tight ends one of which runs a 4.34 40 and drafted speedy lamar miller. Keep an eye on jeff fuller. This guy was a 1st round pick going into last year but plummeted due to dropped passes

  16. Fred says: May 20, 2012 10:14 AM

    You know what’s funny billsfan1? You team got swept by the Dolphins including a 35-8 blowout were Marshall on had 5 yards.. The other game wasn’t much better without the garbage time points.

    Have fun with your 5th straight season at the bottom of the AFC East standings.

  17. jjbadd says: May 20, 2012 10:33 AM

    T.O. is surely better than this bunch! Give him a shot, he’ll agree to any terms you put forth…as a Bronco fan, we ain’t in much better shape & I’d be glad to have T.O.!

  18. cavemanna says: May 20, 2012 10:40 AM

    Ed Gates, runs a 4.3 and is starting his 2nd season. D. Bess IS a solid slot receiver. B Hartline is a solid receiver who I think is gonna explode in Philbins offense like J Nelson. R Matthews and B Cunningham are two solid rookie receivers who have a chance to succeed, and Nanee is capable of producing. Throw in M Egnew at TE and Bush and Miller out of the backfield. Whats the concern again? We dont have B Marshall? No concern here, we’ll be fine. And when one or more of the young guys rise up it will be received on the cheap contract wise. This is a non issue.

  19. mfpepin says: May 20, 2012 10:43 AM

    Where is the touting?

  20. markeyh says: May 20, 2012 10:44 AM

    I agree 100% about T.O. I just do not see Jeff or this coaching staff wanting him on this team…it is what it is.

    Look for them to trade with the packers for one of their WR’s if they keep Driver…

  21. markeyh says: May 20, 2012 10:48 AM

    For some of you fans of other teams on here attacking the Dolphins I can say thank you…I feel your fear. This team is young with a lot of untapped talent that our last HC had no clue how to develop……

    NE is still the team to beat so I suggest you go to their site and spew your anger. This Dolphin team is on the rise…..

  22. billhicks666 says: May 20, 2012 10:55 AM

    Fred says:

    “You know what’s funny billsfan1? You team got swept by the Dolphins including a 35-8 blowout were Marshall on had 5 yards.. The other game wasn’t much better without the garbage time points.

    Have fun with your 5th straight season at the bottom of the AFC East standings.”

    All that being said…Fred…I wouldn’t expect Buffalo to be the cellar dwellers in the AFC East for the forseeable future. They did a lot more to substantially improve this offseason than your Dolphins did. You can’t possibly deny that. We’ll see how the new offense goes in Miami, but from a personnel standpoint, Buffalo clearly outclasses Miami.

  23. billhicks666 says: May 20, 2012 10:58 AM

    markeyh says:

    “..This Dolphin team is on the rise……”

    You keep telling yourself that, markeyh, and maybe one day, you’ll actually believe it.

  24. drumzan says: May 20, 2012 11:11 AM

    Check back next week folks when Florio subtly bashes the Phins again. Same Florio time, same Florio channel!

  25. packers1996 says: May 20, 2012 11:34 AM

    Bess and Hartline have experience 4 years for bess 3 for hartline at total of 16 touchdowns between the 2 n if roberto wallace n moore have such great potential why in 3 years have they not stepped on the field? Ireland u suck as a gm u suck at lying ur time is up u made ur bed lye in it

  26. yankeemofo says: May 20, 2012 11:39 AM

    Good thing the Jets are going to fight you for the AFCE basement!

  27. eagles92 says: May 20, 2012 11:46 AM

    Honestly anyone who really thinks the dolphins are solid at wr is just retarded… I mean granted they could prove me wrong with their play. But on paper this is a very very weak wr core

  28. detroitrollin22 says: May 20, 2012 12:02 PM

    The Best Wr on the Fins Roster is BJ Cunningham. If Tanny can get the ball to him, Cunningham is going to be one of the biggest steals of the 2012 Draft.

    He was a beast at MSU, but somehow slipped into the later rounds in the draft. Cunningham has all the tools to be a great WR in this league.

  29. patsman12 says: May 20, 2012 12:15 PM

    It’s nice and quiet in the AFC East MY team always on top (BB and Bradman) watching the 3 dwellers try and reach us. Buffalo robbed a swiss bank for Super “M” and that will put them at 2nd……That leaves you and the Jerkoff Jets for the cellar……Beautiful isn’t it?

    Bring back Spoog!!!!!!

  30. savephil says: May 20, 2012 12:21 PM

    Ahhh, seems like the Bills fans have taken the offseason title from the three-time champion New York Jets. Enjoy the ride Bills fans – it ends when the games start in September.

  31. markeyh says: May 20, 2012 12:25 PM

    As a true Dolphin fan I can say I am concerned with our WR’s but I also realize that if they spread the ball around (See Packers WR’s) that 3-4 WR’s will out produce what Brandon Marshall did for us last year when he was targeted way to much while Bess & Hartline’s numbers suffered.

    I do feel we drafted well but I was disappointed that they did not take a WR in the first 3 rounds.

    With that being said I still like this team they have enough weapons and finally competent coaching….

    It will be a battle in our division and instead of focusing on what the Dolphins are doing it would be nice for any other team not named the Patriots win this division…

    May the best team win!

  32. dryzzt23 says: May 20, 2012 12:37 PM

    Do NOT disrepect Brian Hartline just b/c he is a white WR.

    He is a young Wes Welker. IF the’Phins would be patient and get a better QB, they would see that.

    Hartline is a very dependable WR, the most dependable on the team in fact. But since he is white and is not a diva, he gets no respect.

  33. billsfan1 says: May 20, 2012 12:53 PM

    You know what’s funny billsfan1? You team got swept by the Dolphins including a 35-8 blowout were Marshall on had 5 yards.. The other game wasn’t much better without the garbage time points.

    Have fun with your 5th straight season at the bottom of the AFC East standings

    says the guy whos team tried to replace the head coach and when that failed, they rewarded said head coach with contract extention.. then let him go.. Buffalo’s front office may have been bad but you guys now take the cake.

  34. billsfan1 says: May 20, 2012 1:00 PM

    This guy was a 1st round pick going into last year but plummeted due to dropped passes

    isnt catching passes the number one job of a WR ? and i love when people say that offense doesnt need a #1 wr.. Maybe in college where Texas A/M was ok, but in the pro’s you absolutely need one…. In GB Sherman had DOnald Drive and javon walker.. both #1’s.. keep telling yourself that you dont need a #1….well unless you are tom brady.. but listening to Dolphins fans, Tannehill is the new Brady…

  35. wannstache says: May 20, 2012 1:21 PM

    As we have already learned, words mean nothing coming from Ross’ Dolphins. They talk way more than they back it up, so this is just another lame attempt to sell tickets. According to Ross & Ireland, all the pieces are in place, so anything less than a playoff win or two this year is a complete failure. So quit talking and get to work.

  36. bleed4philly says: May 20, 2012 3:01 PM

    Packers South

  37. phinfan says: May 20, 2012 3:21 PM

    All those guys drafted have experience in some sort of west coast offense style of play… The guys on the roster right now have allot to learn to get up to speed and all on the roster are not safe even hartline and bess and roberto (sad to say but true) if this o is not West Coast by start of regular season

  38. valentino8100 says: May 20, 2012 4:26 PM

    Maybe, if we combined the rosters of both Cleveland and Miami we could field a team capable of standing in with the Crimson Tide for a quarter or two. Oh wait… we would still lack a starting QB in a passing league. Horrible, horrible personnel descisions by both teams. Disappointing for the fans of two storied franchises.

  39. justentertainingthestupid says: May 20, 2012 4:46 PM

    Yawn…… 7-9. I refuse to let them disappoint me anymore. Hope for the Best, expect the worst.

  40. FinFan68 says: May 20, 2012 4:56 PM

    This WCO does not require a true #1 playmaking wide receiver (and the phins don’t have one). It is based on mismatches and hitting the open receiver rather than targeting a diva playmaker most of the time (whether open or not). Chemistry is huge in this offense and it has yet to be proven that the Dolphins have it. If they do, the receivers and QB will “grow up” together and become more dangerous down the road. Sparano/Daboll failed to use the players’ strengths effectively. If Philbin just fixes that, the team is good for 3 wins better than last year. The Dolphins should win at least 8 and could get 11 with a couple breaks.

  41. miamiron says: May 20, 2012 5:42 PM

    Hartline…1 td in the past 26 games

    Bess…yardage dropped from 820 yards receiving in 2010 to 537 yards receiving in 2011 playing the same amount of games…11 tds in 4 years

    Legedu Naanee…4 tds in 69 games

    Gates…2 receptions-0 tds last season

    Moore…0 receptions-0 tds last season

    Wallace…6 receptions and 0 tds in two years

    6 receivers returning from last season with 4 tds
    Anyone think a secondary other than pop warner
    would fear these guys???

  42. bearsfan4life says: May 20, 2012 6:02 PM

    Ah yes…. WR by committee…. if you want to know how well that works, ask a Bears fan to name the best WR not named Booker or Robinson in the last 15 years and you’ll hear a lot of answers that prove there is no such thing.

    You either have a number 1 or you don’t.

    I won’t say Marshall is the answer to all of the Bears passing game problems (yet) but the proof will come soon enough.

    Emory stole him from Miami. 2 3rd round picks… highway robbery!

    I won’t be convinced you improve your team when you trade away one of your best guys.

  43. 69finfan says: May 20, 2012 6:40 PM

    Hey billsfan1;

    A Bills Fan talking smack, especially after being owned by Miami last year. Granted, on paper the Bills improved tremendously but it’s not going to matter. Your team is jinxed by the bad memories and bad karma of all those SB appearances without even 1, I repeat 1 win. How did those 4 losses in a row on the biggest sports stage feel? And don’t say at least we made it because remember according to Ricky Bobby, if you aint first you’re last. Go Fins!

  44. Jalen0595 says: May 20, 2012 8:36 PM

    Packers GM and Philbin are VERY good friends. Don’t be surprised if Ted trades 1 or 2 “starter caliber” players (which they will have to cut because of depth) for conditional 7th rounders. The “condition” is most likely that the player make a pro bowl, so it is basically giving the player away without going through waivers. Ted has done this before

  45. markeyh says: May 21, 2012 5:46 AM

    bearsfan4life: Let’s try this again. Miami will spread the ball around to 4 to 5 WR’s now that they got rid of that Cancer named Brandon Marshall and I for one was very happy that we got a steal in getting two #3 picks for him because I would have traded him for a Chicago style hotdog!

    Look at his numbers, the guy had only 6 TD’s last year, because he dropped at least 6. He undermined every QB on the team. Every year in Denver and Miami he had off field issues and his history shows he is a woman beater, alcoholic and a head case as well as is a very good manipulator.

    He has gone off on the coaches, players, people in his life and cares only about his stats because in a blowout win vs. Buffalo last year he was looking like he lost after the game because he had only 5 yards receiving. Despite the fact that they targeted him way more than any other WR on the team, he was never happy. I know he says he has some personality disorder and that just might be the case but true or not it a huge distraction and problem. I can not imagine any of his teammates liking him because he is extremely selfish.

    Good riddance!!!!!!!

  46. bearsfan4life says: May 21, 2012 9:16 AM

    I got what you’re saying. Loud and clear. The guy directly caused the murder of a teammate. He’s a me first guy. He dropped so many passes it caused his team to lose games. He whines after wins if his stats are awful. Loud and clear.

    Not only that, I’ll give you that those are all spot on assessments.

    With that being said, what about double coverage? Did he draw it? How did that effect the 2nd WR? Did Best have more than say 30 catches? Have you seen a passing game where the best guy on the field is the RB and the WRs are just average? Thats is the majority of the past 15 years in Chicago. That is your future barring an elite QB like Brady, Marino, Manning. It kills the running game because there is no threat. An average at best O-line looks worse. The defense is on the field more often and wears down faster.

    It doesn’t work. It won’t work. It can’t work.

    Again, Im not say Marshall is a good dude. I’m not denying a single word of your 1st hand experience. I’m simply saying that your team will not be as good when they lose a top flight WR.

    That is my 1st hand knowledge.

  47. markeyh says: May 21, 2012 10:33 AM

    bearsfan4life says:

    You might be right, I just did not like Brandon Marshall as a Dolphin player and so to me I was happy they got rid of him.

    Now when you look at both Bess and Hartline’s numbers before BM came to Miami they were pretty good. And IMO Reggie Bush was and still is our best weapon as a running and receiving threat that can take it to the house anytime he touches the ball.

    I do agree that BM would require a double team and that alone is worth something, but in my opinion the bad far outweighed the good and when the team went 0-7 and ended up 6-10 nobody is safe. So in looking at him the management must have concluded he was not worth the trouble, and I agree.

    Now I can not say what these new young WR’s we have will do or if Miami is done in the FA or Trade market this year as far as WR time will tell.

    They had quite a few holes to plug and did a pretty good job on paper in doing so. I will have to see how this year unfolds before I project that maybe a WR will be our #1 Need in the draft next year…

    As a Bears fan you should be happy with him because he seems too really like Cutler so that might be the best place for him and I wish him and your team well…

  48. Deof Movestofca says: May 21, 2012 2:48 PM

    drumzan says:May 20, 2012 11:11 AM
    “Check back next week folks when Florio subtly bashes the Phins again. Same Florio time, same Florio channel!”

    Florio, bash the ‘Phins? Say it ain’t so!

    billhicks666 says:May 20, 2012 10:55 AM
    “Buffalo… did a lot more to substantially improve this offseason than your Dolphins did. You can’t possibly deny that. We’ll see how the new offense goes in Miami, but from a personnel standpoint, Buffalo clearly outclasses Miami.”

    Philly “did a lot more to substantially improve [last] offseason than” any other team. Ask them how much that helped.

    “You keep telling yourself that, markeyh, and maybe one day, you’ll actually believe it.”

    Mr. Pot? Mr. Pot? Phone call from Mr. Kettle, line one.

    bearsfan4life says:May 20, 2012 6:02 PM
    “Ah yes…. WR by committee…. if you want to know how well that works, ask a Bears fan to name the best WR not named Booker or Robinson in the last 15 years and you’ll hear a lot of answers that prove there is no such thing.”

    Did the Bears run a WCO?

    “Emory stole him from Miami. 2 3rd round picks… highway robbery”

    Only if he manages to remember how to hold on to passes, especially those thrown in the end zone.

    bigwalt2990 says:May 20, 2012 7:48 AM
    “So they don’t expect a lot out of Tannehill this year…that’s nice. ‘Set your goals low’ that’s the Miami motto.”

    And what were the Packers expectactations for Rodgers his rookie year?

    mistrezzrachael says:May 20, 2012 7:53 AM
    “Dolphins do not have 1 bonafide NFL starter @ receiver…which is ok…IF you have a Brady, Rodgers…or a shot to get Manning,,oh oh”

    First, Salary Cap 101: the Dolphins never had a shot at Manning unless they wanted to gut the team at other positions. Second, It’s not like Brady, Rodgers, and Manning will be the last franchise QBs ever drafted.

  49. justafanofitall says: May 26, 2012 8:08 AM

    Maybe with Marshall gone we’ll really see what these young receivers can do…you never know there could be a sleeper among the group.

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