Caution Must Prevail In QB Search

The Miami Dolphins have a new OC in Brian Daboll. They have a verbal endorsement from Chad Pennington and former NFL QB Bernie Kosar that Daboll is the right man for the job. They even have Chad Pennington stating he wants to come back and try one more time. Regardless of whether Jeff Ireland is calling the shots, Tony Sparano was retained, Brian Daboll has been hired, or any other coach who may have been brought in, the focus for the fans and the team will be the QB.

Chad Henne has supporters in one corner and doubters in the other while haters and naysayers are housed in the other two of that box. His stats are better than Mark Sanchez in the same time from but Sanchez is going to his 2nd consecutive AFC Championship game. He has reached it in both his professional seasons. So statistics are very deceiving.

The Dolphins will look to re-shape their offense this off-season and while it may not begin with the QB it will surely end with it.

Which is exactly why the Dolphins need to proceed with extreme caution.

Nothing will set your franchise back further than banking on a QB who isn’t the right man for the job.  The Phins have a history of finding cast-offs to play “bridge” for the teams younger QB’s.  The problem is they have yet to find that younger QB that will make the move from “Padawan learner” to full blown Jedi.  Yes, I like Star Wars.

There are the fancy names that fans will throw out there, the NFL version of “sexy”.  Names like Donovan McNabb and Kyle Orton. While other savvy veterans will get some play in the papers as well.  Names like Matt Hasselbeck.  With the hiring of Brian Daboll, expect the names Seneca Wallace and Brady Quinn to get some face time as well.

All of that makes for interesting reading and better debate but none of them solve the problem at QB with Miami.  Kyle Orton may be young and a veteran but is he the right guy?  He will cost a draft pick to obtain and let’s not forget, he was benched in favor of Tim Tebow in Denver.  Has Tebow played so well that Orton is now expendable?  Kevin Kolb is in the same boat as well.  And let’s not forget the Dolphins don’t have a second round pick this year.

There simply isn’t a lot of options.  The best course of action of would be to find that veteran leader that will compete with Chad Henne and hopefully make him better.  But that kind of veteran comes with a steep price tag and is hard to find.  Matt Hasselbeck would fall into that category but given his injury history, is he the right fit for this team?

On the possible free agent market will be names like Matt Moore, Vince Young, and Matt Leinhart.  So many more.  Names with upside and a lot more downside.  In other words, no one that will be the face of the franchise anymore than the next guy or for that matter Chad Henne.  Of those younger names, none will want to “bridge” the team to a rookie.

Which takes us to the draft.

Names like Blaine Gabbart and Jake Locker get a lot of play right now, but there are a lot of teams looking for help at the same position Miami needs help with.

Some will argue that Sparano and Ireland won’t draft a QB in round one because that QB won’t help them win this year.  That’s not true.  Sanchez took the Jets to the AFC Championship game as a rookie.  So did Ben Roethlisberger.  Many rookie QB’s can find success if coached correctly.  But that still doesn’t mean they need to draft a QB simply to satisfy the fan base by doing so.

This, far more than in free agency, is where the Dolphins need to tread with caution.

Drafting a first round QB saddles the club financially with that elephant.  So if a Cam Newton is sitting at 15, do you draft him because he fills a need, might fill some seats, or do your recognize that he may not be the perfect fit for your team?  What if that name is Jake Locker?

Locker is reported to have a high ceiling for growth at this level but is nowhere near NFL ready.  Ryan Mallett is said to be NFL ready but with a lower ceiling of development.  Do you risk the reward of an impact player such as a speedy WR or tailback or maybe a road grading lineman to reach on a QB that may not actually fit what your looking for?


The decisions the Dolphins make this off-season at this position will determine the success and failures of Tony Sparano, Jeff Ireland, and newly acquired OC Brian Daboll.

I don’t think this group will pass over a QB because they simply don’t help them win now where they may keep their jobs another season.  I think this group makes decisions based on the future of the team with the assumption they will be here.  Especially in the case of Jeff Ireland who needs to hit on talent more than immediate impact players.  That being said, I don’t think they will simply draft a QB for the sake of drafting one either.

Regardless of what happens this off-season, the one certainty is this.  The Dolphins must be prudent in their search for a signal caller.  They need to do their homework and they can’t miss.

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Tags: Brian Daboll Chad Henne Chad Pennington Donovan McNabb Jeff Ireland Kyle Orton Matt Hasselbeck Miami Dolphins Tim Tebow Tony Sparano

  • mike

    Brian, I like keeping what we have. I just don’t like what might be available on the FA market. Henne and Thig are not old so they should be able to learn new tricks from the new OC as Pennington talked about. I don’t think Pennington will be able to return so they should go into camp with Henne, Thig, Brandstater, and draft in the mid to later rounds Cousins from Michigan State.

  • Brian Miller

    I think that unless Ryan Mallett falls to 15 that the team really needs to skip the first round QB and shoot, like you said for a QB later in the draft.

  • Amanda

    Give Leinart a shot, what’s the worst that can happen? He comes in to compete with Chad Henne for the job, and probably will win it, I can’t see him doing anymore damage then Henne already had done last season.

    • bahamas

      Lienart couldnt beat out Derek Anderson, why would be even think about giving him a try? Just doesnt make sense to me….We would be better off with David Carr or asking Tim Couch to come back again.
      We need a developed QB, either McNabb, Young or Orton should be considered via FA

  • Deven

    His stats are better than Mark Sanchez in the same time from but Sanchez is going to his 2nd consecutive AFC Championship game. He has reached it in both his professional seasons. So statistics are very deceiving….This is a product of Miami not putting much into the O and building our D..and the Jets taking the free Agent route while we build through the Draft..The only reason the Jets have gone twice has been a far better team not Qb.. If anything Chads #’s are better with Less talent..Fans and writers are idiots if they cant see that we have done nothing on the O side of the ball..and don’t give me Marshall when you trade away speed at Wr.. that became a push when you trade away the 1 guy that helped the running game and would have made sure that marshall was singled up more…So yes stats can be miss leading when your trying to Say mark is better and not his team..Build the Off this year

  • Snake

    If not Hasselbeck 7 td 1 int in the playoofs..I would like to see A.Smith.. 110 qb rating in the red zone..has had 6 OC’s since coming to the NFL has decent numbers and can move around..Id rather him then Lineart

  • Brian Miller

    Smith might be one of those QB’s who would do well under a new change of scenery…like Brees did…not saying that he would ever get close to that level, but a better option IMO than most of the other QB’s out there.

    I actually do like Matt Moore from Carolina as well. I think he has some solid upside to him. Don’t want Wallace but that might be a real possibility with Daboll coming to Miami…and IMO a mistake.

  • Dave

    What we have right now is not the answer. The difference between Henne and Sanchez is that Henne just doesn’t have that “it” factor and Sanchez does. Also Thigpen has never one a game as a starter so forget that. I really don’t like any QB in this draft especially the projected round 1 prospects. I’d much rather go for a Julio Jones or trade back and get a later 1st and a 2nd. Then go with Rudolph TE from Notre Dame and Leshoure RB from Illnoise. Then in the 3rd get Greg Little WR from UNC. Right there is a much improved offense. Now that leaves QB. Like I said I don’t like any in the draft so that leaves FA. I personally like the idea of Hasselback, Bulger, or Mcnabb for that “quick fix” this year and also give Henne some competition. Luck and Barkley will be in the draft next year so I’d rather wait for one of them. Also Vick will most likely be tagged and Kolb has 1 year left on his contract so come 2012 the eagles will have to make a decision on 1 and let the other go. Most likely Kolb. So basically what I’m saying is build the offseason this year and get a quick fix this year at QB and find our franchise QB next year.

  • DolfanPTY

    I wouldnt mind at all if we find a way to trade for Kyle Orton however I doubt that will ever happen…. Aside from him I dont really see any upgrades via FA which only leaves us with the draft and that scares the hell out of me because if our FO pushes the Panic button (and dont get fooled by the contract extension BS) and reaches out for a QB we will be screwed for an even longer period of time…..

  • MiamiChris

    All of these QB names that are coming up completely turn me off….McNabb, Young, Wallace, Leinart, Anderson, Orton, Moore…none of these guys are the answer for this team. I like Kolb and Flynn as possibilites, otherwise just suck it up with Chad this year and hopefully we can pick up Luck in the next draft lol
    -Go Phins!

    • imawriterrobj

      Flynn will not be allowed to leave.
      Too bad Vince Young is VINCE YOUNG…would that we could transplant Chad Pennington’s head on Vince’s body.

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