The Miami Dolphins WR Situation

Photo: Miami HeraldIf you are like me, and you probably are because let’s face it, while you like to come here and read what is going on, there are always other site stops to make.  So by now, I am sure you have read the Armando Salguero blog today titled, “The complete low down on the Dolphins’ WR’s“.

The blog is interesting because it highlights what Tony Sparano said about the unit today during the AFC coaches breakfast.  However, despite the title, and this is actually not a knock on Mando, the article itself really doesn’t give anything on our WR’s.  It’s a good read because the article has the quotes from Sparano’s presser regarding the WR’s.  What the article doesn’t address is the situation with the Dolphins WR’s.  So here it is, the Miami Dolphins’ WR situation.

The Dolphins won’t admit they have a problem.  They say the right things, deny this and that, and in true Tony Sparano fashion, send out the positive vibes to a group that is very sub-par and under-performing.  They know it, the players know it, the fans know it.  So while Sparano will say he is pleased with this “group of people” there is more than one reason why this group will not be the same group lining up come September.

If your looking for clues to disbelieve the coach look no further than starting QB Chad Henne.  Henne recently stated that he would love to have a veteran like TO or Brandon Marshall and said that a veteran would help the younger guys.  Really what he is saying is that right now, he doesn’t have that go-to-guy that is a game changer.  When your starting QB says that in not so many words, believe him that the team is well aware of the same thing.

Still, to bring one in, someone has to go and while Sparano says he likes them, this is the real reason that behind that facade things are likely different.

Ted Ginn: It’s easy to see why the Dolphins brass like the kid.  He is fast and well, he comes with a high price-tag…for now.  Ginn still has potential and I don’t think the coaches truly believe they have gotten the best of him yet.  While I am sure they may never get anything out of him, the truth is until a legit number 1 is lined up across from him, they will continue to wonder…and keep him.

Davone Bess:  Who wouldn’t like Davone Bess?  He works hard and runs good routes and unlike Ted Ginn has very good hands.  What he lacks is explosive speed and the ability to make decent separation.  When Tony Sparano talks about liking people at the position, there is no doubt Bess is one of those guys and truth be told, there is always a position on a team for a solid possession guy and that is what Bess is.

Brian Hartline:  Hartline so far has looked like a steal considering his draft position.  A hard worker with decent but not great speed.  A solid route runner and unlike Ted Ginn, a tough as nails WR that will give a hit before he takes one.  Hartline is a working mans WR in the mold of former college teammate Anthony Gonzalez who has excelled as the number 2 guy in Indy.  Hartline will continue to get better.

Greg Camarillo:  Camarillo, like Hartline is the guy who just gets it done.  The problem is he isn’t relied upon anymore.  He lost his spot last year to Hartline and Bess and was relegated to spot duty.  Even with a young QB who needed a veteran WR on the field, Camarillo spent more time off it.  In reality, the numbers don’t add up to Camarillo staying with the team.  There are no rumors out there saying he is trade bait but the Phins can only keep 4 or 5 WR’s on the roster.  With Ginn, Hartline, and Bess virtual locks for the team (unless one is traded) Camarillo is the odd man out.

Patrick Turner: The Phins haven’t seen enough from Turner yet.  They also have seen enough to know that he isn’t what they thought he might be.  Turner is a big guy but he still struggles with route running and getting off the line of scrimmage.  That has to change and Sparano even remarked about it in this mornings’ presser.  Still, Turner will either spend the season on the inactive list or he will contribute.  It will be very unlikely that Phins simply release him after one season…but stranger things have happened.

Julius Pruitt, Taurus Johnson,  and Ryan Grice-Mullen:  These three round out the Dolphins current 8 man unit and none of these three are likely to touch the field of play.  The Phins say they like what they have seen in Pruitt and Johnson but that is a far cry from saying that they will compete for a job and not just fill out a roster spot to push someone else.

The Unknown: The Dolphins have said that they need a big play WR.  Jeff Ireland said they are hard to find and that you can’t just go out and grab one.  At the same time, they won’t spend the money or the compensation on a guy like Brandon Marshall.  The Dolphins have only one place to turn and that is the NFL Draft at the end of April.  Rumors continue that the Phins may look to Dez Bryant as a solution and while that sounds like a solid option at 12, the reality is that Bill Parcells doesn’t blow 1st round picks on WR’s.

That puts the Dolphins in position to draft one in round 2.  Bryant won’t be there by the time the Phins pick but Arrelious Benn, whom the Phins just scouted at his Illinois pro-day might be.  Perhaps Brandon LaFelle  of LSU may catch their eye.  Golden Tate and a few others as well.  If the Phins go this route you can bet that someone will not be back.  Greg Camarillo or Patrick Turner.

The problem with the Dolphins receivers is easy.  They are for the most part, all alike.  They all bring similar styles of play and on any other team would be used the same way.  Hartline and Camarillo are almost identical except that Hartline is more of a bruiser and a little faster.  Camarillo and Bess are the same only Camarillo has better hands.  All three, ideally are better suited for slot work rather than number 2 outside work.  Which means none of them are suited for number 1 WR work.

With all that being said, there is Ted Ginn.  Who as I mentioned earlier may be more suited to being a real number 2 WR where he can simply sprint upfield and pull coverage.  But in order for that to be a reality, the Phins have to find a suitable body for the 1 slot.  And that person is not on the roster.

Tony Sparano can like these guys all he wants.  And he should.  But the reality is that the Dolphins are missing a big piece of the offensive air attack and because of that, they have to make a decision.  And that decision will likely mean that one or two of these guys won’t be back this season.

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Tags: Arrelious Benn Brian Hartline Davone Bess Dez Bryant Greg Camarillo Miami Dolphins Patrick Turner Ted Ginn

  • Deof Movestofca

    “The Dolphins won’t admit they have a problem.”

    I don’t think it’s so much that the FO won’t admit (at least to themselves) they have a problem, but that they think that the available solutions would create more problems and\or cost too much. The last thing I think we want them to do is start making moves out of desperation.

  • Jim Szeplaki

    I think Ginn needs to go period! He has shown nothing. Running fast means squat if you are afraid of a little contact, AND cannot catch. If they can find that type of receiver, there is room for the other three… Bess, Hartline and Camarillo. Look at the Patriots with Moss and Welker. Guess what? We have three Welkers and I think that is a good thing.

  • Steve

    Somebody humor me, would it not be an awesome idea for Miami to sign both T.O. and Jevon Walker? Low risk, low price, one year deals, huge potential, in my opinion. It’s not like they would take catches away from our other receivers… they all drop the ball just as much as T.O.!

    • finz2theleft

      Jevon Walker is shot,,it would amaze me to see someone pick this guy up..If T.O. wasn’t such a diva, i’m sure we would have given the possibility of signing him serious consideration (us, and about 20 other teams) We all know he’s talented, but there’s obvious reason why his phone isn’t ringing off the hook…Hell, what’re the Marks Bros. doing these days?!

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  • Dashall

    Three Welkers are a good thing but we do need a Moss type. Ths is Ginn’s 4th season and we are way beyond put up or shut up with him. I wonder who we will draft to replace him? But if we do take a WR in the draft who do we cut? Turner is the most logical choice but Ginn could get traded. He probably has more trade value than Turner. But what do I know?

  • Joe Y

    There’s one WR on the team that you didn’t mention: Pat White. Who’s kidding whom here? The Steeler game proved it: he can’t play QB in the NFL, and lack of experience was not an excuse at that point in the season. If nothing else, it’s just to frigging dangerous.

    But, he’s a great football player…is there no hope for getting him out to WR? In the NFL, it’s the only real place for his gifts.

  • southbeach

    Brian, Great rundown, gonna send a copy to Mondo. LOL
    Agreed on the 3 slot guys. As much as I like Cam and Bess, I believe Hartline wuld be the best option, if there were someone to take his place.

    Not giving up on Turner just yet, doubtful on Dez, and hopeful on a 2nd round success.

  • kcphins4life

    I’m still not so sure the Phins are ruling out a WR at #12. I would guarantee that if Bryant hadn’t have gotten his suspension this past year he would have been a top 5 pick.

    I see Dez being a can’t miss, impact #1 WR. The rest of the receivers in this draft are sub-par.

    Sometimes you do have to take chances and this would be the right one to take. Dez Bryan @ #12.

  • cofeblaq

    Not sure I would take a WR @#12. I think you could get better value @ WR in the 2nd round than you can @ NT in the 2nd round.

    I still believe that we should get some veteran help via FA for the WR position. If we don’t we will have all rookies, inexperience, and inability for WR’s.

  • TaT2dMtnSurFeR

    Sign T.O. and B. Marshall. Instant offensive upgrade! Makes a C grade offense into an A instantly. T.O. is only a problem when you dont win, and dont throw to him. Easy solution throw him the damn ball! Put Brandon on the other side…no defensive back group out there can stop that! Those men want to win, and if Sparano does too, he will sign at least one of them!

  • Brian Miller

    Just some FYI guys and gals as it pertains…you can discuss these topics and a lot more by simply popping into the forum. Check them out and let us know what you think!

  • spooneman

    Truth is we’ll probably draft a WR depending on the value at the pick in either the 2nd or 3rd Round. With needs at 4 key positions (OLB, NT, FS, WR) I believe we must pick up an additional 2nd or 3rd rounder. Perhaps a trade for Smiley could facilitate that. If your looking for a name to watch for try “Carlton Mitchell from USF. He’s 6-4, 212 with sub 4.5 speed. Kid looked great at the combine and his game tape is impressive!

  • ash

    give denver what they want the 2nd round pick for marshall and draft the nt in the first round

    • Fred


  • McCMack

    People have been counting Greg Camarillo out since he was a punter at Stanford. Your Brian Miller are just the latest, and will be just as wrong as all the others. Greg catches everything thrown his way. With Brandon Marshall in the line-up, he is going to find alot more open space on intermediate routes.

    Patrick Turner is the 2nd coming of Alvin Harper.