The Time to Plan for 2012 is Now!

The Clock is Already Ticking

For many reasons, the 2011 season will go down in franchise history as one of the most dismal ever recorded. Many are predicting the Fins to win no more than two games, and the biggest competition seems to be who will draft first overall and have an opportunity to draft Andrew Luck.

The loss of Henne for the year hurt badly and the Fins were ill prepared to go with newly signed backup Matt Moore. The inability of the defense to put any type of pressure has lead to even mediocre quarterbacks picking the secondary apart and record setting games. After three plus years the offensive line is still, well, “offensive”.  The change from Dan Henning to Brian Daboll as the OC is not even noticeable. The defense, highly ranked last year, has been a door mat even though it is primarily the same group of players. So, what can they do? Plan for next year, and here is how.

It starts at the top: Stephen Ross needs to decide what changes need to be made. Tony Sparano is almost certain to be released, but he is not totally responsible. Ross needs to determine which HC candidates he will pursue and if  Jeff Ireland will be maintained as well. It is clear that Mr. Ross lacks the experience or knowledge needed to make prudent executive personnel changes and should therefore consult with proven winners in the field. Jeff Ireland, Carl Peterson or Eric Mangini don’t particularly come to my mind.

Play the young guys: Tony needs to coach as if he were playing to win……next year. This year is a perfect year to let the youngsters develop in a real game. Let some of the young WR’s like Marlon Moore get some playing time. There is no good reason for guys like Marshall to get 10-12 passes each week. We know what he can and can’t do.  Same goes for all of our TE’s who keep the bench warm. Let’s see what Jeron Mastrud or Will Yeatman can do! How about getting some “significant” playing time for Jimmy Wilson in the secondary? This will certainly define the needs of the team more clearly going into next year.

Evaluate possible personnel changes: Ireland needs to plan like “he will be around” next year and plan as near as possible who will be retained and what the needs are for free agency and the draft. As much as I love the guy, do you see a 38 yr. old Yeremiah Bell coming back? How about 11th year Marc Colombo? Is the organization willing to pay huge dollars to keep Brandon Marshall or Paul Soliai? What do you do about Chad Henne, who is a free agent? Are they happy with the LB corp, which was supposed to be an upgrade from last year? This franchise has some major decisions looming. For the most part, the organization has been getting very poor value for the money they spend on salaries.

Re-evaluate the scouting team: I say this every year, but the next draft will be the most important in franchise history. Yes, I really mean it this time. Unless an asteroid hits North America sometime before next April, the Fins have an excellent opportunity to FINALLY draft a QB in the first round and get the franchise guy they have been searching for since “you know who.”

You don’t hear much about the scouting team, but it is a critical element to the organization. The jury is still out on the first draft since Parcells, but it looks promising. It isn’t known just how much influence the scouting team has with GM Ireland, but now is a perfect time to re-evaluate those who scout the college players.

How Should the Dolphins Precede During the Remainder of the Year?

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Topics: Andrew Luck, Brandon Marshall, Brian Daboll, Chad Henne, Dan Henning, Jeff Ireland, Jeron Mastrud, Jimmy Wilson, Marlon Moore, Matt Moore, Paul Soliai, Roberto Wallace, Stephen Ross, Tony Sparano, Will Yeatman, Yeremiah Bell

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  • Robert Rotten

    Tony Sparano will not play start or play the young or on the bench players all that much, for some reason he thinks more reps means better player. Jimmy Wilson may be the second best corner, hell second best player in our secondary but he gets no playing time because bums and old farts who are not what they used to be have more reps. Tony Sparano is not an NFL coach and is in way over his head.

  • Robert Rotten

    O and WTF did they release A.J. Edds? we get killed by TEs and he was the best cover LB on the roster. And he had a pretty good preseason, did Spitler even play in the preseason? what was that about?

  • mcordova933

    i dont even fucking know why i come to this site, your so stupid, play the young guys? huh like marlon moore, yeatman … wow their terrible play the starters period. Obviously Columbo will be gone as will Tony, and get your facts straight Yeremiah bell is 33 now will be 34 next year lol not 38 holy jeebus. The whole article your just asking questions not even giving suggestions, name should be “Questions going into 2012 for fins”.

  • fins4ever

    @mcordova933 Thanks for your comments although I could do without the profanity. My mistake, Bell is 33, still long in the tooth for a Safety. Appreciate the correction.

    Want suggestions? I suggest Ross fire all of them except maybe Nolan. Tell Soliai to take a 15 mil a year hike. Cut or trade Marshall. Cut Colombo and get a real RT. Trade Merling, they are deep at DE. Get experienced coaches, esp. HC, OC & QB coaches. Draft a QB in the first round!!!! Work out a deal to keep Henne until our pick is ready.

    How is that?

  • fins4ever

    @Robert Rotten Thanks for the painful reminder. Edds was my sleeper when he was drafted 2 years ago. I did quite a bit of research on him and our forum has a Hawkeye Alumni as a member, so we had a good read on the guy.

    A.J. was like a Zach Thomas, only slightly bigger and faster. I hated to see him go, yet keep guys like John Jerry and other “unproductives”. Edds never got a fair shot in my opinion and was just “another” personnel mistake they made.

    Yes, Spitler played and he was OK from what I saw. I think the pre-season game where he played with a bloody, broken nose may have influenced TS in keeping him.

  • fins4ever

    @Robert Rotten Preaching to the choir brother!

  • Robert Rotten

    I don’t know if you are aware that the Dolphins are 0-5, why must the starters play? to save this season Miami would have to win the next 11 games. So why again is it a must that the starters play? let the starters rest as much as possible give the players on the bench playing time to ease the mess the next regime has to fix. At least they will know what they have to work with player wise. ” play the young guys? huh like marlon moore, yeatman … wow their terrible play the starters period ” how do you know that they are (or they’re, you could have used either but just not their) terrible? NO ONE HAS SEEN THEM PLAY! you can not judge a players talent on 1 to 2 plays a reg season game or 1 to 2 plays a whole season. Let the players with something to prove play cause the starters are not proving shit.

  • mscout99

    @mcordova933 I’ve disagreed with a lot of the authors on here, but your language is uncalled for. Even if he got Bell’s age wrong, you don’t need to be dropping F-bombs on here to try and sound like some tough guy.

  • mcordova933

    @fins4ever u didnt say any of those things in the article at all. its obvious we’ll get a qb proly Luck :D if have a repeat 07 season. 33 is THAT old for a SS look at lawyer milloy or dawkins, hopefully Bell can still be productive since he only has 7 years of wear on his body. but ye u didnt mention any of those things in the article i just asked questions…

  • mcordova933

    @fins4ever u didnt say any of those things in the article at all. its obvious we’ll get a qb proly Luck :D if have a repeat 07 season. 33 is THAT old for a SS look at lawyer milloy or dawkins, hopefully Bell can still be productive since he only has 7 years of wear on his body. but ye u didnt mention any of those things in the article you just asked questions…

  • mcordova933

    @mscout99 lol “tough guy” im just cursing to curse dont over think it. what are we in kindergarden? dont be so sensitive. besides i only dropped one fbomb haha.

  • mmandia

    I agree, play the young guys. Line up R. Jones at SS, Move Clemons or Wilson to FS. Sit J. Long and let him get right. Give the young receivers (especially Gates) and TE’s significant playing time. Start playing with Thomas in the backfield and Bush in the slot. Let Hilliard spell Thomas. It’s definatly time to evaluate what we have buried on our roster. Unfortunately the coach’s seat has already burned up, so until he gets his walking papers, I don’t expect any of this to happen.

  • fins4ever

    @mscout99@mcordova933 Thanks for the support. I don’t mind readers disagreeing. I am not right all the time; far from it. I am just a “long time” fan voicing my opinion.

    Bell’s age was not the point of the article, but it is an area that needs to be addressed. The point is there is many, many important decisions the organization needs to make and they (Ross) needs to start planning now.

    Personally, I hope Matt Moore plays well enough to get a contract next year and helping us avoid signing what is bound to be a more expensive Chad Henne. Ditto for Soliai. I like Paul, but don’t consider him anywhere near worth Vince Wilfork money. Hopefully, his agent will get his head out of the clouds.

  • fins4ever

    @Robert Rotten Agree. The real advantage of playing the youngsters is it will help the team identify next years draft and FA needs. We may have a real gem warming the bench. Now is the time to find out.

    If Yeatman, Moore or others don’t progress from now until years end, then you know replacements are needed.

  • fins4ever

    @mcordova933 Heck, I hope Bell has 20 years left. ha ha

    The questions are questions the franchise faces. For those that think the Fins are only a player or two away, I wanted to point out it is more complicated than that. Actually, the more research I did, the more depressing it got. lol

    As for asking questions, I also thought it was an excellent opportunity for the readers to answer the question and have input. Like Ross Perot said when he was running for President, “if you have a better idea, I am all ears.” lol

    PS. I watched Luck for the second time last night. I want him BADLY, although Jones looked great too!!!!

  • abbeynormal

    what exactly has Edds done since the fins cut him? Uh, that would be nothing! you want us to get over the Tebow/Gator celebration get over a 4th round pick getting cut who has done nothing for us or his new team.

    @fins4ever@Robert Rotten

  • abbeynormal

    Hopefully he’s cleaning out his desk and office right now. I haven’t been this angry in a long time but Nolan should be swept out with the lot of them. This d is a disgrace.

    @Robert Rotten

  • Phinsanity

    Playing the young guys is fine but I just don’t want this losing habit that is developing to get worse. I remember when Jim Leyland took over the Detroit Tigers he said his biggest job was breaking the losing habit that Detroit had developed.

    I think a new coach will go a long way to helping. But it has to be the right coach and I don’t have confidence that Ross will make a good hire.

    J.R.

    http://www.phinsanity.blogspot.com

  • fins4ever

    @Phinsanity I agree with you that there is a psychological mentality that can be either positive or negative. For example, the more you lose, the less it affects the players. After a while, losing becomes “almost expected.”

    I hope Ross makes a good hire, but not as optimistic as you. Hearing rumors that he is going around talking to guys like Carl Peterson (the loser from KC) and Eric Mangini makes me nervous.

  • fins4ever

    @mcordova933 By the way, the next time you tell someone, “your so stupid”, use “you’re” instead of “your”.

    “Your” is possessive, “you’re” equates to “you are”.

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