I don’t know if you’ve noticed or been reading some of the websites and news sites lately but you should know something and
this, at least, is something good for a change: the Dolphins are in great position to pick up additional help at many positions of need.
Clearly, Jeff Ireland makes plans and goes shopping each year to try and fill his basket with potential players. Remember last year? He picked up Brandon Marshall and Karlos Dansby as well as Linebacker Tim Dobbins and others. Trades do happen. Fans don’t always agree on the value. But I can tell you right now that Ireland is running the show without Bill Parcells and he is coordinating to pick up the needs of the Dolphins in coordination with the coaching staff. His Draft process was from the philosophy of drafting for need with the best available player but not reaching, meaning not taking players ahead of their projected value. I can tell you right now that not all of the draft choices are going to pan-out and not all of them will make the team. Even to hear some “draft experts” talk, Miami did not draft very well by their accounts. Others, notably those who are close to the team, seem to like the draft for what we got. Here is an example: WR Edmond Gates is known to be remarkably fast and was a productive player in college. Coach Tony Sparano is happy about the selection. Ireland talks about value for that pick. But we don’t even know if he’s bold enough to go over the middle and catch the football if asked to do so. Especially with people like Ray Lewis and not to mention many hard-hitting Free Safeties out there who will operate from the philosophy of, “make him pay” for those catches. But nevertheless, Sparano and Ireland think they did well with this kid. And they think it was a good “value pick” because of his speed. And they don’t even look back at Ted Ginn, Jr. having been a total failure and compare that to the present time selection that they’ve just made.
Fact is, it is the coaches job to develop players and create value for the team. And that is why a guy named Jerry Rice became #16 in the NFL draft of 1985 with then-coach Bill Walsh trading-up and giving the first 2 picks (from the San Francisco 49ers) in order to move up from #28 to take him. But if Jerry Rice had bombed-out as did Ted Ginn, Jr., then the 49ers would have had a very different decade and Bill Walsh would not have been leaving the game as one of the best coaches ever.
Look, I’m not a San Francisco fan but I wanted to give you a good example here and think the Jerry Rice story is one. Because the truth is that all of the players drafted have been successful in college and most of them were stars for their teams. But that does not mean that any of them will be successful in the NFL. They must be taught how to play in this league and their abilities.
With that said, right now there are numerous possibilities for the Dolphins to pick up already-proven players who can (potentially) help this team. And the good news further is that the percentages are much better for finding a good player who will start and help the team.
Here is the present Miami Dolphins Roster (courtesy miamidolphins.com). Here are the draft choices and some other undrafted players.
|0||Mark Restelli||LB||6-2||215||25||R||Cal Poly-Pamona ’09|
|0||Patrick Carter||WR||6-3||215||26||1||Louisville ’09|
|0||Mike Pouncey||G/C||6-5||303||21||R||Florida ’11|
|0||Daniel Thomas||RB||6-1||228||23||R||Kansas State ’11|
|0||Edmond Gates||WR||5-11||197||24||R||Abilene Christian ’11|
|0||Charles Clay||FB/TE||6-3||239||22||R||Tulsa ’11|
|0||Frank Kearse||DT||6-5||325||22||R||Alabama A&M ’11|
|0||Jimmy Wilson||DB||5-11||185||24||R||Montana ’11|
|0||James Marten||T||6-8||310||27||3||Boston College ’07|
Now, if even 4-6 of these guys can play well enough to earn a roster spot and 2-3 of them are good enough to start, it means we’ve been very smart or very lucky.
But now let’s take a look at the wealth of players available through Free Agency and Trades in the next article.