Monday, November 17, 2014

Turning The Corner: How The Resurgence Of Cortland Finnegan Can Help Lead The Dolphins To The Playoffs.

         This Friday, the Miami Dolphins will head into their first preseason game of the 2014-2015 season. As we momentarily turn our focus away from the offensive line and quarterback play, we will concentrate on the defense. One of the position battles that will be monitored by Dolphins coaches and fans, is the current battle for the number 2 cornerback position. After choosing not to resign Dimitri Patterson, the Dolphins decided to pursue former probowl cornerback Cortland Finnegan. Known for his trash talking and physical style of play, Finnegan will be looking to resurrect his career in Miami. Last season, Finnegan was rated the 109th out of 110 cornerbacks, for the St.Louis Rams, according to Pro Football Focus. Finnegan was said to be nursing a number of injuries in 2013, including an orbital bone fracture, which kept him out for the last nine games of the season. However, Finnegan seems poised and healthy and is currently looking to bolster miami's pass defense which rated 16th In the NFL last season. "I feel great," he said. "I feel like a '98 Honda Accord with a 350L block engine." 
         With 2013 probowl cornerback Brent Grimes locking down one of the spots, Finnegan is battling former second round pick Jamar Taylor in training camp and seems to have the upper hand. During Monday's training camp session, Finnegan jumped in front of a Ryan Tannehill pass and would've returned for a touchdown,  had it been a live game situation. On Tuesday, Finnegan continued his high level of play with a 3 interception performance. His confidence and playmaking ability will be a key factor in maintaining his position as a starter. The Dolphins will need Finnegan to return to his probowl form and will be tested early when Tom Brady and the Pats come knocking in the season opener.
        The dolphins defense was ranked 12th in the NFL in sacks last year, which will only help the secondary flourish. This season, Miami will play against top quarterbacks such as Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, Tom Brady twice, the 2013 comeback player of the year Phillip Rivers, and the M.V.P of the 2013 season, Peyton Manning. The play of the secondary will be crucial in determining the outcome of the season. If Finnegan can get back to his 2011 probowl form,  it will increase the Dolphins chances of making their first playoff appearance since 2008.

-Ryan Mackey

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

1st round NFL Mock Draft
              Let me start this off by saying that if you’re looking for this draft to be loaded with playmakers or to basically knock your socks off with its skill positional players, you might be a little bit disappointed. The 2013 NFL draft doesn’t possess an Andrew Luck or RG3 to headline it, but if you are one of those fans that enjoy the battle in the trenches, this would fit the bill. There could be at least 5 offensive linemen taken in the top 11 picks and there is a slight possibility that a quarterback/ runningback will not be selected in the first round tomorrow. The draft is always full of surprises and I expect there to be some trades to spice it up a bit. Joel and I will give you our first round Mock draft Predictions with some analysis of possible trades that could occur. So without further ado let me present to you our 2013 NFL first round Mock draft.

Joel Caro’s first round Mock                                            

1. Kansas City Chiefs – Eric Fisher                                  
2. Jacksonville Jaguars – Dion Jordan                              
3. Oakland Raiders – Shariff Floyd                                  
4. Philadelphia Eagles – Dee Milliner                             
5. Detroit Lions – Luke Joeckel                                    
 6. Cleveland Browns – Ziggy Ansah                               
7. Arizona Cardinals – Lane Johnson                              
 8. Buffalo Bills – Geno Smith                                         
 9. New York Jets – Barkevious Mingo                            
 10. Tennessee Titans – Chance Warmack                         
11. San Diego Chargers – Jonathan Cooper                     
12. Miami Dolphins – Xavier Rhodes                            
13. New York Jets – Tyler Eifert                                      
 14. Carolina Panthers – Sheldon Richardson                    
15. New Orleans Saints – Star Lotulelei                           
16. St. Louis Rams – Cordarelle Patrerson                       
17. Pittsburgh Steelers – Jarvis Jones                              
18. Dallas Cowboys – Kenny Vaccaro                             
19. New York Giants – DJ Fluker                                    
20. Chicago Bears – Tavon Austin                                 
21. Cincinnati Bengals – Deandre Hopkins                     
22. St. Louis Rams – Eric Reid                                     
23. Minnesota Vikings – Sylvester Williams                  
24. Indianapolis Colts – Cornelius Carradine                  
25. Minnesota Vikings – Bjoern Werner                          
26. Green Bay Packers – Eddie Lacy                               
27. Houston Texans – Justin Hunter                              
28. Denver Broncos – Alec Ogletree                              
29. New England Patriots – Jamar Taylor                        
30. Atlanta Falcons – Desmond Trufant                        
31. San Francisco 49ers – Margus Hunt                          
32. Baltimore Ravens – Manti Te’o                              

 Ryan Mackey’s first round Mock

1.Chiefs – Eric Fisher
 2.Jaguars – Dion Jordan
 3.Raiders – Shariff Floyd
 4.Eagles – Luke Joeckel
 5.Lions – Lane Johnson
 6.Browns– Ziggy Ansah
 7.Cardinals – Chance Warmack
 8. Bills – Jonathan Cooper
 9.Jets  - Barkevious Mingo
 10.Titans- Dee Milliner
 11.Chargers – Jonathan Cooper
 12. Dolphins – Tyler Eifert
 13. Jets – Xavier Rhodes
 14.Panthers – Star Lotulelei
 15.Saints –Jarvis Jones
 16.Rams – Tavon Austin
 17.Steelers – Bjoern Werner 
 18.Cowboys – Kenny Vaccaro
 19.Giants – Sheldon Richardson
 20.Bears – Alec Ogletree 
 21.Bengals – DJ Fluker
 22.Rams – Eric Reid
 23.Vikings -  Desmond Trufant
 24.Colts - Datone Jones

 25.Vikings - Manti Te'o
26. Packers – Matt Elam
 27Texans – Robert Woods
 28.Broncos – Tank Carradine
 29.Patriots – Dj Hayden
 30.Atlanta Falcons – Jamar Taylor
 31.49ers –  Sylvester Williams
 32.Ravens – DeAndre Hopkins

Overall Analysis

I tried warning you that there would be a run of offensive lineman in the top part of the draft :). Joel  and I both have some interesting picks. Joel has the Buffalo Bills selecting Geno Smith at number 8. However,  I believe the Bills will hang around and cross their fingers for Ryan Nassib while selecting Jonathan Cooper since they lost their best guard Andy Levitre to the Titans. If the Bills Don’t select Geno at 8, I believe he will fall far and fast unless a team trades back into the first round, similar to what the Browns did with Brady Quinn a couple years ago. All that knock on Te’o still has him being selected in both of our Mocks. There are a couple trades that could occur. Miami could move up to number 6 (Cleveland) or as high as 4, (Philly) if they really covet one of the top offensive tackles in this draft. Miami must address the cornerback position in the later rounds in my draft, but Joel stayed true to his mock and our blog and has Miami selecting Xavier Rhodes. I have Miami selecting Tyler Eifert with number 12 if they decide to stay there. I think a double tight end set with Keller and Eifert along with the addition of Mike Wallace and Brandon Gibson will make Ryan Tannehill a VERY happy camper. It’s hard to pin point where Tavon Austin is going to end up in this draft. Joel has Austin going to the Bears which is just plain scary considering they have Brandon Marshall. I have
the Rams selecting Tavon with the 16th pick because the Rams did lose Danny Amendola (Patriots) and Brandon Gibson (Dolphins) in free agency.  I think the steal in my draft would be the Ravens selecting DeAndre Hopkins as well as the Panthers having the draft Gods on their side to allow them to select Star. Joel has Cordarelle Patterson being selected before Tavon which I thought was interesting, but makes sense since Tavon is more suited as a slot guy and the Rams still need a number one Wideout. While I, like Jon Gruden have a man crush on UCLA's Datone Jones, Joel broke my heart and doesn't have him being selected in the first round. I wouldn’t be surprised if the bears, dolphins,  eagles, and browns look to trade down in this draft because acquiring extra picks would be ideal in a depth heavy draft. Well whatever happens, I hope you all have a wonderful draft weekend and Go Dolphins!!!

Written By: Ryan Mackey & Joel Caro

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Miami Dolphins: Landing their fish in free agency

Remember this???

I admit that for most of 2012, I was angry at this organization.

I admit that I was one of the people that went to Dolphins training facility when we missed out on Matt Flynn, and ROARED for Jeff Ireland to get fired, because I had no idea what he was going to do about the quarterback position.

I admit I was mad that when Peyton Manning was a free agent and didn’t think twice about stopping in Miami, even though we were willing to break the bank for him.

I admit that I was fuming when we traded Brandon Marshall for two third round picks after we gave up two Second round picks to acquire him.

I admit that I was upset when we traded Vontae Davis, but understood it after he came to camp clearly out of shape. I was even more upset when I saw Miami continued to get burned by wideouts in the regular season, while Vontae was busy catching 2 interceptions for the Colts during Wildcard weekend.

I was shocked that Miami agreed to Hard Knocks last season, but was more upset from how much little upside they showed after watching the show and the team in preseason.

Then things changed.

Ryan Tannehill showed many positive things in his rookie season. He showed that for a guy that only had 19 collegiate starts under his belt, he clearly had a good grasp of this offense. He proved that he had great understanding of this offense, possessed great accuracy when throwing on the run, and showcased his mobility after the coaching staff let him run the ball in the latter part of the season. While Ryan Tannehill didn’t get the same praise as some of his other rookie classmates, (Russell Wilson, RG3, and Andrew Luck) he did put us in a position to win. It’s also worth mentioning that Dan Carpenter missed 2 game winning field goals which would’ve put us at 9-7. (Sorry Dan)

If you follow the Miami Dolphins or are a fan of another team, it didn’t take 2 of our previous blog posts to inform you that Jeff Ireland is on the hot seat. You most likely know that in this upcoming off-season he was expected to sign key free agents, draft quality players, sell tickets, and most importantly put a winning product on the field. So far, the first part of his master plan is coming into effect.

Take a look at this quote in early January, from Miami Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross.

“Free Agency certainly isn't the answer. We’ve all seen that,” Ross explained. “You can talk about the failures in free agency more than you can about the successes.”

Call it a smokescreen.

Call him a liar.

Call it what you want, but there's no doubt that the Miami Dolphins are making headlines by running the table and rolling the dice in free agency.

Now, how many times in the NFL have you seen big spenders fail in free agency? Plenty. You saw it with the Redskins in year’s past. You witnessed the Eagles miss the playoffs the year they considered themselves the “Dream Team.” And most recently watched the Buffalo Bills pay a heck of a lot of money to Mario Williams and Mark Anderson, and guess what they have to show for it?

That would be, last place in the AFC East.          

This Year, Miami has won the undisputed championship for “Offseason Spenders,” but as we take a closer look at the moves, all of them make a ton of sense If Miami tends to exit mediocrity and starts thinking about Jim Mora's favorite word. 


A closer look at Miami's new additions.

Mike Wallace: Miami landed their big fish! Sure, it took a boat load of money to bring him on deck 5 years/$60 Mil (30 mil guaranteed) but we DESPERATELY needed a number one receiver. In the West Coast Offense, you need a guy that can not only open up a game with his speed, but will pull a safety every time he runs out, and open up things in the middle for guys like Bess, Hartline, and the guy I'm about to mention. Some may call him a one-trick-pony saying his only asset is speed, but that is exactly what this offense needs to flourish. His 32 touchdowns in 4 seasons for a wide receiver go for 5th most in the NFL.

Another Mike Wallace highlight video:

Dustin Keller: (clears throat) J.E.T.S SUCK SUCK SUCK! 

Sorry, I had to get that out of my system. There’s no doubt that the NFL is turning into a passing league and with that (as I mentioned in my last post), most successful offenses are equipped with a tight end that can stretch the seam. Dustin Keller fits that bill. Sure it’s really hard for anyone to have great stats when Mark Sanchez in your quarterback, but Keller has been one of the bright spots on the Jets passing offense over the years. Although he only made 5 starts for the Jets last season after maintain a hamstring injury, he has been very durable throughout his career and produced his best statistical season in 2011 with 65 rec, 815 yards, and 5 touchdowns.

Brandon Gibson: I think Miami got a glimpse of who Brandon Gibson was after this play.

Gibson is 6’0” 205-pound receiver had a 51 passes for 691 yards and 5 touchdowns for the Rams last season. He is a very good route runner and can make catches in traffic. He also has the ability as you can see in this video to make the “spectacular catch.” It will be interesting to see what Miami does with Davone Bess after Gibson’s signing, but Philbin has stated that it takes 4 consistent wideouts to run his offense and Miami has just that.

Dannell Ellerbe- When Miami signed Mike Wallace I knew they were serious about contending this season. When Miami signed former Ravens Linebacker Dennell Ellerbe, it made a statement to the league. I didn’t expect Miami to target strong side and weak-side linebackers this offseason, but the more I thought about it the more it made sense. Karlos Dansby has been a good leader and player for us. Last year, he lead the team in tackles with 134 and was named a captain by his teammates on defense. However, when it came to guarding tight ends he was a fish out of water. In fact, guarding the tight end seemed to be Miami's Achilles heel for the last couple of seasons. According to, last season Miami allowed 892 yards against tight end which ranked 28th in the NFL. Dannell Ellerbe is a young linebacker and is coming off a career high in tackles (92) and sacks with (4.5) He is expected to start at outside linebacker this season and the Dolphins hope he can bring speed, athleticism, and play-making ability to the position.  

Phillip Wheeler-  The Dolphins continued to get younger on defense when they signed former Oakland Raiders linebacker to a five-year, $26 million contract. The 28-year-old recorded 109 tackles and three sacks for Oakland last season. Wheeler is expected to start in place of Kevin Burnett at the weak side linebacker position. He received a lot of praise from his teammates and Raider Nation, after he became the Raiders defensive signal caller in only his first season with the team. The signing should add speed to Miami's LB unit and possibly a captain on defensive side. According to Omar Kelly, the Miami Dolphins saved just over  $7 mil towards cap in the linebacker swap.

There are still moves that have to be made. We know that Miami has glaring holes at the cornerback and  tackle position. I expect them to sign one more veteran free agent at either position (crossing fingers for Jake Long). According to the Miami Dolphins are the second youngest team in the NFL and will continue to develop young talent in the upcoming NFL draft. Whether or not these off-season moves will correlate to more wins is still a mystery, but there's no doubt that the The 2013 Miami Dolphins will be younger, faster, and could  finally have a chance of being a legitimate threat in the AFC.

By: Ryan Mackey & Joel Caro

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Miami Dolphins 7-Round Mock Draft (post-combine)

             From the moment the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine came to a close, Miami Dolphins G.M Jeff Ireland raised up his left sleeve to check his watch only to realize that his time could very well be running out. With the Miami Dolphins having their 4th consecutive losing seasons and only 1 playoff appearance in the last 11 years, very few executives in the NFL can be feeling as much pressure as Mr.Ireland.  The entire Dolphins organization and fan base understands the importance of this draft and it was evident at this year’s scouting combine when all 56 members of the dolphins scouting team (including Ireland) showed up to get a look at this year’s prospects.  The Dolphins currently have 9 picks overall and 5 in the first 82. This draft is most likely the difference between the playoffs or another 5 year rebuilding process. Miami enters the 2013 draft with many team needs mostly at Tackle, Corner, Wide Receiver, Free Safety, OLB/DE, and Tight End. It might be too early to call, but many analysts and draft experts believe that this year’s draft might not have a lot of star power, but it should be loaded with depth, especially at the offensive and defensive line positions.  In a depth heavy draft, Ireland must hit on most of his picks or he might not be able to see the sunny side of South Florida again.

Before we get into our first ever post-combine mock draft, let's make a few assumptions that could happen before draft day:

- Miami lands a top free-agent receiver either Mike Wallace or Greg Jennings.

- Miami lets Sean Smith walk.

- Jake Long and Reggie Bush sign elsewhere.

- Both Anthony Fasano and Chris Clemons are re-signed.

Now with that being said let me present to you my first Miami Dolphins Mock Draft.

Round 1 

Xavier Rhodes - CB - Florida State


6’1”, 210 Ibs, 4.43 40 yard dash, 14 bench reps, 40.5 inch vert jump, 132 inch broad jump

By a show of hands, who believes that the Miami Dolphins will start the season off with Richard Marshall and Nolan Carroll starting at cornerback?

(I really hope none of you even have one pinky up)

          With former Dolphins Cornerback Vontae Davis announcing to the Twitter world that interest between Kansas City and his buddy Sean Smith is mutual, (Don’t try to take it back now Vontae) Miami’s need for a corner increases dramatically. Rhodes has been a pretty common pick among most draft boards, but it isn’t hard to understand why. The Florida State corner has the ideal size, skill set, and tackling ability to fit in any defensive scheme. He's got the size at 6'1" and ran an impressive 4.43 in the 40 yard dash which only helped his draft stock. He may not be as fast as Dee Milliner, but is a much more consistent tackler and isn’t afraid to lay down the boom or “hit stick” as we like to call it in Madden. He takes very good angles to the ball while in coverage and can also use his frame effectively to jam receivers at the line of scrimage. I believe Rhodes will dramatically help out Miami’s 27th ranked pass defense.


Round 2

Tyler Eifert - TE -  Notre Dame
(6'6", 251 lbs, 4.68 40 yard dash, 22 bench reps, 35.5 vert inch, 119 inch broad jump) 


             In the NFL’s pass happy league, the tight end position has evolved into one of the most Go-To positions in many offensive systems. As teams try to replicate the same success that the Patriots, Saints, and Falcons offenses are having, all 3 share one thing in common, an explosive tight end. Mainly, one that can exploit mismatches and open up the middle of the field making a Quarterbacks job that much easier.  Notre Dame’s Zach Eifert is certainly the most complete tight end in this draft.  His blocking has improved, and he  has the frame to excel in this facet of his game, but his strength is his ability to catch the football. Vikings Tight End/ and Pro-Bowl MVP Kyle Rudolph also came from Notre Dame s and both are drawing similar comparisons. Eifert has great hands and great body control and he is not afraid to make the dangerous catch in traffic. Last year Eifert caught 50 passes for 685 yards and 4 touchdowns and was named the Mackey Award winner. Assuming Anthony Fasano gets resigned in the next couple of weeks , a three-headed monster in  Eifert, Fasano, and Charles Clay certainly can’t hurt Ryan Tannehill.

 Trevardo Williams - Defensive End - UCONN

(6’1”, 241Ibs, 4.57 40 yard dash, 30 bench reps, 38 inch vert jump, 124 inch broad jump)


            One of the things that I was very happy about last off-season was the resigning of one of league’s best pass rushers, Cameron Wake. While Wake at times can be a one man wrecking crew, he needs some help on the other side of the defensive line. Williams is one of the most athletically gifted players at his position and has the numbers to prove it. The UCONN product managed to tally 11.5 sacks during his senior season. This comes one year after tearing up opposing offensive lines for 12.5 sacks. At the NFL combine Williams displayed those physical gifts. His  4.57 40 was the fastest time for defensive lineman at the combine (Yes, even faster than Ziggy and Dion Jordan). He also posted a 38-inch vertical and tallied a 124-inch broad jump. Not to mention, he came in fifth among defensive linemen with 30 reps during the bench press. A great combine for Williams should increase his draft stock and If I were the Dolphins, I wouldn't wait more than 5 seconds to send the card up with his name on it.

 Round 3

Quinton Patton - WR - Louisiana Tech

 (6’0”, 204 Ibs, 4.53 40 yard dash, 8 bench reps, 33 inch vert jump, 118 inch broad jump)

            With its next second-round selection and Mike Wallace on board (crosses fingers), Miami can start adding playmakers that will help make life easier for Mr. Tannehill. Louisiana Tech's Quinton Patton is one of this draft class's best kept secrets. In 2012, he caught 21 passes for 233 yards and four touchdowns against Texas A&M and torched Illinois' highly touted cornerback Terry Hawthorne for 164 yards and two touchdowns. Though he lacks a breakaway gear, he possesses reliable hands and a quick burst off the line. Many scouts have said that during Senior Bowl week, he was one of the most consistent performers and made one of the more memorable catches in the Senior Bowl while having a defender draped on his hip. Adding Patton should improve the Dolphins abysmal 3 total touchdowns scored by wide receivers last season.

Montee Ball - RB - Wisconsin
(5’10”, 214Ibs, 4.66 40 yard dash, 15 bench reps, 32 inch vert jump, 118 inch broad jump)


 So how do you feel about going into the 2013 season with Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas as your 1,2 punch at RB ?  Hopefully a little more stoked than I am.

             I swear it seems like every time I would watch Game Day, I can almost guarantee that one of the highlights was going to be Montee Ball breaking tackles and plowing his way into the end zone. “Mr. Touchdown” Montee Ball was the star of the Wisconsin Badgers offense for two consecutive seasons. The Dolphins rb’s struggled mightily in run blocking, and punching it in for 6. Luckily, Ball is a do it all type of runner and his physical frame should help neutralize pass rushers. Last season was historic for Ball. In 2012, Ball broke Barry Sanders record for most career touchdowns with 82 (most in NCAA history) and the record most rushing touchdowns with 77. What’s most impressive is that Ball was an every-down back who averaged 25.4 carries per game in 2012 and still posted a 5.1 yards per carry average. While Ball did have an off-the-field issue a couple months ago, he is still one the best backs in this Draft. Ball is projected to go in the 3rd or 4th round and although the need for a running-back is diminishing, he might be too good for the Dolphins to pass up.

Round 4

 David Quessenberry - OT - San Jose State
(6’5”, 302Ibs, 5.08 40 yard dash, 25 bench reps, 29.5 inch vert jump, 112 inch broad jump)


           It’s no secret that the Dolphins are going to look here, there, and everywhere to replace the right side of the offensive line after Jonathan Martin is expected to take over for Jake Long. The San Jose St product Quessenberry has a lot of attributes that make a good lineman in the NFL. He has the height at 6’5. He’s a quick processor and feels comfortable playing either the tackle or guard position. He knows how to use his length to drive pass rushers out of the pocket, and, more importantly than maybe anything else, he possesses an extremely wide base and he has a naturally wide frame.. Quessenberry is a very good run blocker. His lower body strength is phenomenal for his size, and has a solid core. He plays with terrific on field intensity and does a great job of using his legs to drive defenders off the ball. He is one of the most underrated prospects of this draft. His excellent technique, combined with solid athleticism and good strength make him a player to keep an eye on. The only knock on Quessenbery is that he doesn’t possess enough bulk at 302lbs but if he adds at least 10 to 15 pounds of muscle it should make him more of an effective player.

Round 5

Sharmako Thomas - DB - Syracuse
(5’9”, 213Ibs, 4.42 40 yard dash, 28 bench reps, 40.5 inch vert jump, 133 inch broad jump)


            The track star and all state defensive back from Virginia Beach stepped into a starting role in seven games as a true freshman, moving from linebacker to safety to cornerback depending on the matchup. While he lacks the height at 5’9 he showed many of his intangibles at the combine. His 4.42 40 yard Dash was the fastest time for a Defensive Back at this years combine. His 28 bench reps are extremely impressive for his size and I see many similarities between him and former Pro-Bowler Bob Sanders. Thomas started in all 13 games as a senior, and led the Orange in tackles, with 85. He also intercepted two passes, and forced three fumbles. His outstanding play in 2012 earned him a Coaches All-Big East first-team selection. His versatility would fit well in the Kevin Coyle’s 4-3 scheme.  The Dolphins may select a safety in the earlier rounds if they lose Chris Clemons in Free Agency, but if he is retained, l could see a position battle for the Free Safety Spot on the horizon.

 Round 7

Brandon McGee - CB - Miami


 (5’11”, 193Ibs, 4.40 40 yard dash, 14 bench reps, 33.5 vert jump, 119 inch broad jump)

             Did anyone happen to watch the Thursday night game when the Miami Dolphins travelled to buffalo and Nolan Carroll stepped into a starting role? Well let me just tell you that it wasn’t pretty. While everyone is entitled to a bad game, Carroll made his mark that night by having not 1, not 2, not 3, but a total of 4 Pass Interference penalties. Carroll is expected to challenge Richard Marshall for the nickel corner spot, but something tells me that battle is going to end up with a double edged sword. When you’re in the same division as Tom Brady and will go against 4 of the top 10 Quarterbacks next year, and must have at least 4 reliable corners. I expect Miami to select 2 corners on draft day and U.M’s Brandon McGee is a very intriguing prospect. He's got blazing speed that will allow him to keep up with the burners of the NFL.  His recovery speed is also top-notch, and he uses his hands well to attack receivers and blockers. However, his draft stock is held back by an inconsistent senior season and adequate size. With proper coaching, McGee has the makings of a solid third or fourth corner that could eventually grow into a starter for Miami.

  Travis Bond
 (6’6”, 329Ibs, 40 yard dash 5.27,  22 bench reps, 22.5 vert jump, 98 inch broad jump) 


          Bond's size makes him a huge stand out on the football field, even on a North Carolina offensive line that included future NFL players. His nickname Tree Top shows you how his teammates feel about his intimidating size. John Jerry started every game this season, but he and LG Richie Incognito can use a little competition. Bond has played every game in his college career 2009, getting his first start at right guard in the Meineke Car Care Bowl against Pittsburgh.


1.Xavier Rhodes - CB - Florida State
2.Tyler Eifert - TE -  Notre Dame
2.Trevardo Williams - Defensive End - UCONN
3.Quinton Patton - WR - Louisiana Tech
3.Montee Ball - RB - Wisconsin
4.David Quessenberry OT - San Jose State
5.Sharmako Thomas - DB - Syracuse
7.Brandon McGee - CB - Miami
7.Travis Bond - G - UNC

By: Joel Caro & Ryan Mackey

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Miami Dolphins: Time to put up or shut up

Some call it hope. Some call it optimism. Heck, most even call it crazy. I am a life-long  diehard Miami Dolphins finatic. I mean I'm only 24 so I can't tell you that I witnessed the 72 and 73 dolphins first hand, but I do remember the good ol days when Dan Marino would make the hardest position in football look extremely easy with that wicked fast release.Or when that "undersized" Linebacker Zach Thomas stuffed every rb before the hole even opened. And all it took was one spin,club, or swim move before Jason Taylor put opposing qb's on the ground. I remember the days when Miami wasn't the 27th ranked pass defense and qbs would be petrified to throw against Sam Madison and Pat Surtain. I remember when the only way to bring  Ricky Williams down was by pulling his dreads as he  marched and won the rushing title in 2002 and the minute that Ronnie Brown scored 5 TD's introducing the Wildcat to the NFL.But the thing I remember most is when Miami use to be considered a football town. Now grant it, I love the Heat and everything the organization represents, but I am also a football before anything guy and I would probably give up an arm or leg just to see this team win a SuperBowl (Joking)....well sort of. The minute I saw that Bill Parcells was getting elected to the Hall of Fame.. I admit I was angry. I mean I know he had success in building teams like the Giants, Jets, and Cowboys,but  I was angry because I felt  like he walked out on a job nowhere near completing it. I'm not one of those bitter fans that say "WHY DID YOU DRAFT JAKE LONG OVER MATT RYAN" but I would've liked to see a little bit more consistency. We gave  him the keys to the car and he blew out the engine. He did it by selecting "playmakers"  whom he thought were guys like Pat White and WR like Patrick Turner or selecting guys like Vontae Davis over a game changer like Clay Mathews. He took a guy  in Koa Misi and expected him to be a dynamic pass rusher when he didn't record a lot of sacks in college. Now we can sit here and name the bad decisions that have seem to haunt the Dolphins like trading Wes Welker for a 2nd rounder to the Patriots. Or putting our faith in Dante Culpepper over  (still tough to swallow) Drew Brees, but now its time for me to talk about some of my predictions and some of the things I would love to see happen for the Dolphins to hopefully get back to the promised land.

Question of the day:  How many TD's did Miami receivers score all of last season?

Give up?

Drumroll..........A grand total of 3!!!! -____-  (wish I was joking)

So it's safe to say that if I was a betting man, Miami is 100% looking for a wideout this offseason. :)

Key Free Agent Wideouts:

Wes Welker: Been there, done that. Don't count on Wes ever wearing a Dolphins uniform. His boy toy Tom Brady restructured his deal and Welker should be the first recipient of this unfortunate generous act.

 Mike Wallace: I would absolutely positively LOVE to see Miami go after Mike Wallace. He's young (27). He's had 2 out of 3 1100+ yard seasons in his three year career. He might not be the most polished route runner or have the best hands, but he's got something that you just can't coach and that is Blazing Speed. Now I know what you're thinking...What about Ted Ginn? He was fast and had inconsistent hands. Well, one thing I can tell you is that Mike Wallace is a more polished receiver and he is not scared to run in the middle of the field like Ted Ginn was. Now is there a chance that Big Ben's newly structured deal will give Wallace a new contract? Of course there is, but Mike Wallace will do one thing and that's put the damn butts in the damn seats, while giving Ryan Tannehill a new toy downfield.

                                             Mike Wallace Highlights:

Greg Jennings: Despite his sister  stating that Jennings will take his talents to South Beach, Jennings is creating a very SMALL market for teams to invest anything in him, especially after he openly stated that he is looking for a contract that pays him 14-15 mil a season. The overall price for his services will have to be cut down, but there are reports stating that Joe Philbin isn't even interested, even though he was Jennings OC in Green Bay.

Dwayne Bowe- I just don't see it. Miami wants playmakers and Bowe gets most of his yardage in garbage time which either pisses off, or rewards many fantasy players. Bowe doesn't have game breaking speed by any means and was unfortunately blessed with VERY unreliable hands.

My take on things:

I think this is the year Miami takes some risks, unfortunately it won't be in free agency. Something doesn't seem right to me. Many reports are stating that Mike Wallace is Miami's top target this free agency, but for some reason I'm not buying it. G.M Jeff Ireland came from the Parcells other words it is a game of chess not checkers and speculation can be way off. Miami shocked the world and stocked up in this years draft with an additional 2nd round pick for trading Vontae Davis and an additional 3rd for trading Brandon Marshall last season. We have the 3rd most cap room in the league, but I think the money will be used to resign our own free agents. So my in-house predictions are:

Randy Starks- There's been a lot of Buzz that Ireland will use the tag on Randy, but I think he will resign for 2-3 years. The Dolphins defensive line continues to be the strong point of this team, why try to ruin it? UPDATE: Randy received the franchise tag at 8.45 Million. I still see the Dolphins brass trying to work out a deal to keep him here long term. Randy is a key part of the Dolphins stout defense against the run and also contributed 4 sacks in route to his second career Pro Bowl appearance.

Brian Hartline-gets a 4/5 year deal after putting up career high numbers in yards and receptions. Hopefully he scores more than 1 TD next season.

Jake Long- This kills me, but I think the bell has sounded for big Jake to remain in a Dolphins uniform. 11 million a year is just too much to pay for a guy that has been fighting multiple injuries for the last 3 seasons.  The coaching staff also believes in Jonathan Martin to fill the big man's shoes. Unless big Jake decides to lower his price tag to about 7 or 8 million a season, he will be playing elsewhere.

Sean Smith- No Thanks. I thought that the cornerback duo of Vontae Davis and Sean Smith were the second coming of Surtain and Madison, but unfortunately Smith will soon be suiting up for another team. Sean's smith's franchise tag is 10.5 million dollars and despite having good games against Larry Fitzgerald and AJ green, he has been very inconsistent and has dropped more interceptions than I can count.

Reggie Bush: The ride has been a fun one in his first 2 seasons wearing a Dolphins uniform. I believe RB has resurrected his career and proved that he can be an every down back by averaging over 1300 yards and leading the Phins in Touchdowns last season. However, MIA happened to draft a kid named Lamar Miller from the U and coaches believe he has the same skill set as Bush.

Anthony Fasano- Will most definitely get resigned. May not be the fastest guy in the world, but the coaching staff loves him and he's one of he best blocking tight-ends in the league. It also helps that he has 23 career touchdowns as a Miami Dolphin in his 5 seasons.

Sleeper Signing: Ahmad Bradshaw or Stephen Jackson.

The Dolphins had interest in Bradshaw before he resigned with the Giants and MIA still needs a 3rd down back as well as one that can pass block. Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas have yet to prove they can pass block.  Both Bradshaw and Stephen Jackson fit the mold of what the Dolphins need and it's a possibility one of them could be taking their talents to South Beach.

My final prediction and thank you for baring with me is that Miami will pass up receivers in F.A and Ireland finally grows some balls and trades a second and a third to get back into the mid-late first round to select West Virginia receiver Tavon Austin or my personal favorite Tennessee Wideout: Cordarrelle Patterson.

                                       Cordarrelle Patterson Highlights:

The point is Mr.Ireland, that if you want to remain a GM in this league especially for this team, I suggest you do whatever it takes to find playmakers. You have the cap. You have the picks. Now it's time to install your plan or witness "Fireland" in its full effect. Put up or shut up.

By: Ryan Mackey & Joel Caro