Commentary: More Say in Personnel Matters

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Surprisingly, the Phins reached in the first round of the draft to take a Center with the 15th selection.  Nearly everyone thought the Phins were going to trade down from the 15th selection and pick up a late first rounder plus a second rounder.  With the late first rounder, the Phins could take a right tackle like Carimi (now a starter with the Bears) or Castonzo (now a backup with the Colts) and put Carey at right guard.  But, Jeff Ireland merely stated no team called to make a trade down deal and the Phins had no intention of moving Carey to guard.  Hmmm!  I think Tony exercised his “more say” in personnel matters.  I think Tony got his man and he thought the offensive line problems were solved with Long (LT), Incognito (LG), Jerry (RG), Carey (RT), and Pouncey (C).

Incredibly, the Phins did not draft nor pick up any free agent at the guard position!  Boy, it would have been nice to have taken Carimi late in the first round along with his Wisconsin line mate Moffitt (who now starts at guard for the Seahawks) in the second round.  The Phins could have been set on the offensive line with Long (LT), Moffitt (a true LG), Incognito (C), Carey (RG), and Carimi (RT).  And, it would have hardly even mattered who they chose at RB — consider the strength of the Patriots is their OL and it does not seem to matter who runs the ball.

Not Surprisingly, problems arose with the OL in training camp — again!  It became apparent, early on, that Jerry was not the solution at RG and Carey was not going to hack it at RT.  So, the Phins picked up Marc Columbo, former 10 year vet who was cut by the Cowboys, to play RT.  And, they gave Carey a personal day off to decide if he wanted to take a pay cut and play RG.  Hmmm, Carey now at right guard — what a novel idea?  I think Tony exercised his “more say” in personnel matters.  Columbo was his guy in Dallas.

So, how did the new look OL work out in the all important third game of the preseason?  Well, the OL was utterly horrible.  Yeh, I know that Murtha was filling in at LT for Long,  But, the Phins carried the ball 13 times for just 15 yards in the first half with Reggie Bush being tackled for a loss three times.  And, Henne was sacked three times.  Sparano said “to be honest, we just kind of self-destructed a little bit here … well, not a little bit … a lot”.  Hey Tony, you think?  Carey said “”we didn’t do well at all”.  Duh!  But, Sparano added “everything that happened tonight is fixable”.  Yeh right!  Have we not heard that before?  And, Long back in the lineup will not “fix” everything.

I think Jeff Ireland needs to work some magic — quickly.  I think the Phins should leverage Phillip Merling and Marlon Moore to get a good offensive lineman.  The Phins are filled to their gills with quality defensive linemen and wide receivers.  They desparately need a RG or a RT.  If they got a true RG, then they could let Carey and Columbo fight it out for the start at RT.

However, before they go out and get a RG, I would like to give a little advice.  Please do not go out and get an over-the-hill vet cut by another team — like Columbo.  Please do not go out and get someone who has a history of injuries — Like Grove or Smiley.  And please do not go out and get another Dallas Cowboy — like Leonard Davis.  But, please go out and get someone.  Or else, we are going to be in for a long season.

What do you think?


Gene Hauze



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Tags: Chad Henne Dallas Cowboys Gabe Carimi Jake Long Jeff Ireland John Jerry John Moffitt Marc Colombo Marlon Moore Miami Dolphins NFL Offensive Line Phillip Merling Richie Incognito Stephen Ross Tony Sparano Vernon Carey

  • ranadicus

    “More say” just means he’s now in the room. It doesn’t mean he’s making the decisions.

  • LongtimeFishFan

    The Dolphins need to stop looking for retreads and develop talent internally. For example, Matt Kopa likely would’ve been a 1st or 2nd round draft pick in 2009 if he had not broken his foot. He helped Toby Gerhart lead the NCAA in rushing, and anchored the offensive line for the top college QB in the country, Andrew Luck. He’s raw but has a huge upside. Moreover, he plays with a real nasty streak. Frankly, I really liked what I saw of him in the 2nd half against the Falcons and Panthers. At least, he was better than Columbo.

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  • Cornerss

    seems more of hit piece on sparano then complaining about the o-line. Something tells me you arent an avid henne supporter either

  • MOU

    Don’t get me wrong. I like Sparano and have given him every benefit of the doubt so far. I have to think that since Sparano was an OL coach, he was brought in to improve our OL first and foremost. Wouldn’t he already have FULL say over this area? Of course, these are just pre season games. Possibly the OL will be ok as we start the regular season and/or Sparano is able to get this group to continually improve over the course of the season. I am not a knee jerk reaction Fin fan and don’t want to predict gloom and doom. However I must state the obvious… It will be a crying shame if the rest of this team is ready to make the next step and Sparano still has not gotten this OL right this season. The defense was ranked 6th last season and with additions and experience looks to be very good. Of course we can kick field goals and punter is excellent. Henne is NOT the problem. Fins can win any game with him. Even the kickoff and kickoff return teams get a boost with the new kickoff rules. I predict less kickoff return TDS and we couldn’t do much worse on our returns anyhow – now it doesn’t have to be amplified by the fact that other teams get points from this area. Everything looks good to me. B Marshall is a stud, Bess is a stud and Hartline is capable or replacable. Leaving the OL and safeties as this teams glaring weaknesses.

    Now say your the coach of this team at the end of last season. Out of the playoffs, you have 6 months or so to prepare. First you have to look at your competition – strengths and weaknesses. Jets are blitzing everyone on practically every play! What does this tell you? It tells me that if this OL is not right this year and good enough to keep the Jets out of the backfield that the coach has failed at his job. Furthermore, with the amount of free agent acquisitions that the Jets and Patriots were making in the off season – it should tell you as a coach of the Dolphins – If we are going to make a run at the division we will need to make some free agent pick ups as well UNLESS you are comfortable with what you have. That is a decision that makes or breaks you as an NFL coach. Sparano has made his decision. He thought his line would be ok. Lets hope he is right. If not its pretty poor coaching. Sorry.