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Worse than the Sum of their Parts

Discussion in 'Miami Dolphins Forum' started by Galant, Oct 4, 2015.

  1. Galant

    Galant Love - Unity - Sacrifice - Eternity

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    Roster improvements but worse performance.

    You know what I think we're seeing here?

    Amongst individual failures or lack of ability, I think we might be seeing the result of a bad leadership/management implementation, resulting in a lack of clear leadership, resulting in an unclear, unfocused, incapable team.

    Remember when everyone said Ross should clean house, and he didn't?
    Then remember when he had a new GM attached to his HC put himself, an out of town owner, at the top of the tree?
    And then remember when he brought in Tannenbaum and added him into the mix with still further lack of clarity?

    Answer the following questions - Who's in charge of this team? Who is it who sets vision? Who's driving?

    Those are questions I can't answer, and I'm beginning to think more and more that the team performance is a picture of the leadership situation. Which is what is supposed to happen.

    If this is the case, then here is exactly what needs to happen (assuming Ross doesn't throw the towel in and sell) - he needs to pick one person from this organisation and put them in charge with the ability to hire and fire whoever. I like Hickey but I don't think he can lead the whole team in terms of choosing a HC, I'm not sure about Tannenbaum (I'm leaning negative), I have major doubts about Philbin, I'm not sure about Lazor. So either Ross cleans house completely, or he picks one guy, but either way the Dolphins need a leader, one person in charge. Whatever else happens, that needs to happen first before anything else.

    Has that been the plan for Christmas tree? Will this be the year he takes over? I personally don't want it, but I get the feeling that's the plan. But if Ross continues this idea of team leadership by confused and competing committee, he, and we, better get used to what we're seeing this season.
     
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  2. DolphinGreg

    DolphinGreg Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Leadership doesn't matter as much as schemes matter to a developing team. Guys just need to understand their responsibilities and be put in good positions. That's 100% scheme and right now both the OC and the DC are doing terrible jobs. Leadership will come after a little bit of creativity shows it head in the schemes and the team has a little offensive/defensive success.



    This team is currently un-watchable. They are doing on either side of the ball to dictate what's going t happen. They are making every one of their opponents look like great teams. Half the guys I see on the field are completely out of their depth as starters. That's a good place to start with why this team doesn't look like it'll win a game.

    What pains me is that the coordinators aren't adjusting to initiate some sort of change. For example, Miami just used an exotic blitz with Suh out wide and what do you know? The Jets don't have an answer and Walt Aikens almost gets an interception. C'mon, why is this defense so vanilla when vanilla clearly isn't working?

    On the offensive side, we're going to see continued pressure on Tannehill and the RBs if they don't push the ball downfield. Dumping it short every play only invites the safeties to come up and the opposing DC to blitz more. People are going to blame that on the offensive line not protecting Tannehill but that's simply not true. You don't get nor do you need 3-4 seconds in the pocket to let a play develop. You can throw the ball 20 yards downfield without having more than 2 seconds to throw. As soon as Miami starts doing that they'll see the production come and the line will magically start looking better.
     
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  3. DolphinGreg

    DolphinGreg Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    ...and as I write that the team starts pushing the ball downfield and scores their first TD.


    It's really amazing what can happen when you try.
     
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  4. Tannephins

    Tannephins Banned

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    The problem here is that the leadership among the players isn't on-board with the leadership among the coaches. There isn't an organization where that sort of disconnect between key layers of the hierarchy wouldn't cause significant dysfunction.
     
  5. DolphinGreg

    DolphinGreg Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I'm sure you're right but you have to admit it feels a little bit silly to talk about the front office when this team cannot execute a basic 3-yd play.

    Let's get real, this offensive line is a joke. These guys haven't been able to open a crease for Lamar Miller more than once or twice in 3.5 games now. That's not the players failing to buy in, that's simply evidence that the players aren't very good. You combine a running game that can't block for itself and an offensive coordinator who's not willing to push the ball downfield and you're going to have a team that looks uninspired and incompetent.

    My point is just that the conversation doesn't need to extend past the players and coordinators if we're talking about performance. In general though, yes, the Owner is responsible for who he hires and the front office bares some responsibility for the roster being so bad. But Ross isn't going anywhere so that's a moot point and Tannenbaum is probably going to hang around and ruin this team with expensive FAs just like he did the Jets. I mean, I don't see the point in talking about that since we basically know the answer and can't do anything about it.
     
  6. Tannephins

    Tannephins Banned

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    How would you be able to tell the difference?
     
  7. mlb1399

    mlb1399 Well-Known Member

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    What we're watching is the culmination of poor coaching, poor player development and poor talent acquisition.

    This is the worst OL in the NFL. When your OL is this bad, you can't do anything. Relying on a LT made of glass isn't a solution. The fact that this has been our number one priority for 3-4 offseason and still is this bad is an indictment on the GM.

    On top of that, our LB corp is just god awful. We don't have one LB that would start on a good defense. I don't even know what to think about our secondary. It's frustrating that out of two corners drafted, neither of them were good enough to develop into a good CB.

    Suh is playing hard and has been in on some plays. He's not to blame for our woes but that signing is evidence of why overpaying for one player is just dumb. He isn't good enough to make up for how crappy everyone else is. And we have so many roster holes, that is just too much to tie up for one player that isn't a franchise QB.

    We'll be heading into the offseason needing LT, LG, RG, RB, DT, DE, OLB, MLB, CB, S. This team and organization is 1-2 years away from being a playoff caliber team.
     
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  8. heylookatme

    heylookatme Well-Known Member

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    There are talent deficiencies on this team, but I'm actually starting to think that Joe Philbin is Cam Cameron levels of bad.

    Just has more to work with.
     
  9. Galant

    Galant Love - Unity - Sacrifice - Eternity

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    Scheme comes from leadership, the coaches. I'm not just talking about the FO. The coordinators have issues, the HC has issues, however, this game isn't played by machines but people and people are subject to, and draw from, the influence of culture, identity, atmosphere, and leadership. All of the coordinators/HC have issues, apparently, but more than that, I believe that there is more going on here that that.

    And yeah, the OL is the biggest need on this team, along with the secondary, but take a look at the DL. They should be fine, but they aren't. The problems this team is going through, even the wider issues that come from and also add to leadership problems, cannot be solved with this current structure. Things will get more and more bitter and there will be no way to fix it. Someone needs to be the leader on this team. I believe it should be the HC. If it's not Philbin then give leadership to someone else and let them bring in their own HC. Someone, ONE person needs to be able to stand up and be able to take responsibility.
     
  10. DolphinGreg

    DolphinGreg Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Occam's Razor. In this case we're talking about plays that are so basic and simply that failure to execute simply implies a lack of ability. I'm just going with the easiest explanation. This team has lacked talent on the O-line for a long time and there hasn't been anything happen in the last few years to really change that.

    It's more reasonable for me to believe that the Jason Fox, Jamil Douglass, Dallas Thomas, Sam Brennar and JuWuan James are just not that good.

    It's also reasonable to believe that regardless of coaching, good players will show themselves on occasion. I have never been led to believe by their play that of any of the offensive lineman as good. Never have they had a good game despite the apparent bad coaching.
     
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  11. DolphinGreg

    DolphinGreg Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    You're using the word leadership as a means of isolating a specific group. That's fine. You're saying leadership as a catch-all for the people in charge. I have no issue with that. What a lot of folks on the forum mean when they say leadership though are certain qualities that people can have. That's a nebulous thing which has nothing to do with properly executing simple plays.

    Easy misunderstanding.
     
  12. Tannephins

    Tannephins Banned

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    There's a significant difference in the team's ability to run the ball this year, however, that isn't anywhere near fully explained by any differences in the talent on the line.
     
  13. DolphinGreg

    DolphinGreg Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    We're going to hear a lot of talk about motivation and discipline and leadership qualities but at the end of the day this is true.

    At some point everyone will come to understand the reality of the above statement. It may not be today. It may not be tomorrow. At some point though, everyone will understand how incompetent this roster is and how us having placed our faith in these guys was a mistake.
     
  14. Tannephins

    Tannephins Banned

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    They just posted a stat on TV about the differences in the number of sacks among the defensive linemen between this year and last. Another thing that isn't anywhere near fully explained by any differences in talent, and in fact runs completely counter to it (i.e., the acquisition of Suh).
     
  15. MikeHoncho

    MikeHoncho -=| Censored |=-

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    Bill Polian once stated a part of his philosophy for free agency: You never pay an incoming free agent more money than your best players/team leaders. His reasoning was that it creates turmoil in the locker room in part due to players' egos.

    I'm wondering if the Suh signing had an effect on Cam Wake's confidence in Dolphin management. If it was a blow to his ego.

    Speaking of the Suh signing, his contract is worth very little, with the larger bulk of the money guaranteed after this year. Who's to say he isn't just playing to stay healthy until payday?

    Either way, closer inspection reveals that this was a recipe for disaster.

    Yes, we all collectively sipped the Tannenbaum Kool-aid this offseason, and failed to see the long-term impact. It's okay because we're just fans, and indsight is 20/20, but guys in Tannenbaum's position are paid to have vision.
     
  16. DolphinGreg

    DolphinGreg Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    When I say the defense needs to be rebuilt because of a lack of talent, the D-line is the least of my concerns. The D-line is actually where the most proven and experienced talent on the defense is. The reason you might need to re-shape that unit as well is not talent it's cost and time. Wake is declining with age and Vernon is probably going to be over-paid by a team in desperate need of a young, competent DE. I wouldn't worry about Vernon as much if he were under contract. He's not.

    It's the LBs and DBs that are getting embarrassed out there. In the secondary the team honestly needs 3 of the 4 positions filled with better talent. At LB, there is maybe 1 competent piece (Jenkins) which leaves the other 2 as being holes.

    The D-line is just not living up to expectation and a lot of that is getting put on Coyle--a point I largely agree with. Given the talent, the experience and the intelligence they've got, the D-line should be capable of providing pressure on a consistent basis through better effort and strategy.


    Btw, if you're going to isolate individual stats in order to draw conclusions, I would suggest putting together a much larger sample size than 1 or 2 stats thrown out by the announcers. 1 stat, no matter what it says, is still fundamentally in question without context and supporting facts. You know this.
     
  17. Tannephins

    Tannephins Banned

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    But the same sample size is adequate to support a view that inferior talent explains the team's performance?
     
  18. DolphinGreg

    DolphinGreg Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Yes, because I'd say inadequate talent goes back years. This offensive line has been bad for a long time and none of the pieces that have been brought in were good (outside of Albert). Even James, a first round pick, was a big reach and viewed as a prospect who would be about average rather than a difference-making talent. Honestly, he was decent last year, which was a pleasant surprise. This year he's been moving backwards which speaks to the lack of abilities in the coaching behind him.

    Let's remember, while there is some excitement about Jamil Douglass, he's a 4th round rookie. Odds are, he's not going to be very good and he hasn't been thus far. When you look at Dallas THomas, the lack of ability speaks for itself. Jason Fox is another player who's had plenty of chances in the NFL and hasn't shown himself to be very good.

    I'd say there is a long list of facts supporting the fact the players aren't very good. I could say the same thing about the DBs not named Grimes and Jones or the LBs not named Jenkins, too.


    Yes, Suh is a good player but if he's double-teamed the rest of the defense has to make up for that and they've failed to do so largely because they aren't great players. Wake and Grimes are the only really elite talents and they look to be in decline and/or injured this year. ON offense, Tannehill is limited not only by his own abilities and vision but also a lack of consistent protection. His WRs have also been somewhat disappointing. I think Greg Jennings is basically a warm body at this point. If he's open he'll catch a ball but he's not that hard to guard and take out of the equation for even average CBs. Stills just isn't as good as we all hoped he be.



    The one place I think you and I agree is on the D-line. There is adequate talent there for this unit not be be embarrassed. Part of it is scheme, part of it is leadership and buy-in, part is injury and part is probably just lack of familiarity. Hell, I'm sure Coyle probably needs to get a feel for what Suh, Mosley and Philips can and can't do within his system. Still, that group of 4: Mitchell, Vernon, Wake and Suh have been disappointing and they should be more productive. I think the lack of production there though is really enhanced by the lack of good LBs behind those 4. The LBs aren't doing enough to stop the run and that's the main problem there. In the passing game, teams are routinely keeping extra guys in to block our front 4. In that case, Miami should have an advantage in coverage but the lack of talent is overwhelmingly that strategic advantage.
     
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  19. mlb1399

    mlb1399 Well-Known Member

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    To add to DolphinGreg's point, we have 3 backup caliber OL starting. Even with Albert healthy, which is another issue, this OL is below average.

    Instead of giving big pay days out, I would rather we add some veteran leaders who can hold their own. Even modest improvement in the interior of our OL, and now we can start running the ball, Tannehill isn't getting hit 1.5 seconds into a play and we try and wear out other defenses.

    No matter how complex new schemes get in the NFL, fundamentals still rules the day. You have to be able to control the line of scrimmage, tackle, catch and make plays. We aren't doing any of that right now. Everyone on this team, maybe except Landry, needs to step up their level of play.
     
  20. Rick 1966

    Rick 1966 Professional Hipshooter

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    Some of us, including me, have been saying for several seasons now that our O line should get more attention in the draft and free agency. We're seeing the results of ignoring it.
    Also, the coaching staff blows, starting at the top.
     
  21. dolphin25

    dolphin25 Well-Known Member

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    There are things good coaches do to adjust that line. Tannehill was able to throw the ball in the 4th quarter once the OC started keeping TE at the line a bit longer and keeping the RB in the backfield. good coaches do those things.

    On defense we are read and react, not many defenses are strong like that. Gotta start hitting them in the mouth and take the game to the other team.
     
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  22. DolphinGreg

    DolphinGreg Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I agree we're all guilty of sipping the Kool-aid but I doubt any of Wake's lack of production is coming from hurt feelings. For one, he's a self-motivating kind of guy which has been great for the Dolphins. Secondly, he should've been happy to have Suh come in. He was the prime benefactor in that scenario. To be fair, he's the guy who should be most to blame. There's no reason his production should be down. People say he's injured. Well, either that or he's just not that good. He's always been inconsistent and somewhat disappointing in the role of elite pass rusher.
     
  23. Piston Honda

    Piston Honda Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Two first round picks, a 2nd, 2 3rds, a 4th, FA signers Albert and Fox,
    would you say that's not enough to have at least a decent OL.
     
  24. resnor

    resnor Derp Sherpa

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    Well, either we're drafting the worst oline players of all time, or, the oline coach is the worst of all time. Regardless of the resources thrown at it, the oline is actually worse, imo, than it was 3 years ago.
     
  25. DolphinGreg

    DolphinGreg Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    We don't really need to concoct crazy hypotheses. The truth is it's been a little of everything. Free agents haven't panned out. The team has reached on certain draft picks and neglected talent when it was of value in the draft. When players come aboard they don't develop as they should which points to bad coaching. It's truly a little of everything and that's why it's as bad as it is today.


    Do keep in mind that you're talking about building a line completely from scratch. Over the last 5 years, Miami has had to replace every single starter on the offensive line. At what point can we even say we had a fair judge of talent when we acknowledge that at least 2 or 3 of the starters shouldn't be out there!? I don't know how you honestly evaluate a young G when the C and T on either side of him are playing like trash. What's to be expected of that promising young G?

    So while a team may have spent 5-6 picks, you would expect that maybe 2-3 of those wind up as starting caliber players given the odds associated with drafting. Had Albert not been dealing with injuries the O-line probably would've been a much more serviceable group but that was bad luck and a bit of misplaced trust on the part of our GM.

    When you analyze the draft picks, they aren't surprising. As you may expect, one of the two first rounders looks good (the guy who happened to be taken as the BPA) while the other was a big reach and he looks only average at best because he probably didn't deserve to be a first round pick in the first place. Ok, that's not surprising. Again, because you had to start from scratch, you had to reach on talent and by virtue of doing that you're worse off than a team that could have gone BPA.

    The 4th rounder is a rookie who's barely had any exposure to NFL football. The jury is obviously still out. The fact he's starting though is an indictment of the fact you started with no talent on this O-line.

    Finally, when you get around to the 2nd and 3rd rounders, it's just not enough. What Miami should've done was get some decent starting-caliber guards in free agency and then had Thomas, Turner, Douglass and other compete for one spot. Then, the line would've looked better prior to Albert going back down. That really needed to happen and it didn't.

    Albert's injuries are the worst though because he's a guy the team was really relying on and his absence now looks to make LT a need going into the offseason. That's not good considering the team still needs two decent Guards. Maybe Douglass will earn one of those jobs but Miami is still going to need to hit the FA market to get some solid production at either T or G while also going into the draft to find a rookie who's going to be forced to play even he's not ready.

    Look, this isn't unusual. It happens every year but because there are so many parameters involved, you need to find the right answers with some of them. You can't fail in FA and the draft and have bad luck and have a bad O-line coach. That's just a recipe for disaster I think we can all agree.
     
  26. resnor

    resnor Derp Sherpa

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    That's the problem, though. NO ONE should have expected Albert to play injury free. Pinning your hopes for a decent oline on a walking injury is stupid. But we did it again this season. The coaches and/or GM can't put together an oline. They've had what, three offseasons to get at least an average oline? I'm not asking for All-Pros at every position. Just average players, who can play at an average level.
     
  27. Piston Honda

    Piston Honda Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Albert and Fox can't stay healthy. Delmas, Moreno, Finnegan, all hurt.

    McCain is a disaster. Jennings too. Stills finally made an appearance today. 19 million a year for a DT. Starting a season with only 2 TEs and no FB is unheard of.

    All that celebrating about Ireland's departure and the personell dept has arguably gotten worse.
     
  28. Onehondo

    Onehondo Senior Member Club Member

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    What does it tell you when the quarterback has the dirtiest uniform on his team?
     
  29. DolphinGreg

    DolphinGreg Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    That's where I think you're holding too high a standard. If you're worried about injuries you just can't do business in the NFL. Keep that in mind.

    The vast majority of people, myself included, were very happy to see Albert become a Dolphin because the team really needed the help.

    What I don't like is this continued habit of signing a single player to a big money deal and washing your hands of everything and saying, 'job's done here boys.'

    That's not how you build a team. Veteran free agents should not be big money players. They should be medium money players who can man the position for a couple years while the team develops in house talent. That's exactly how the team started to rebuild under Parcells before he handed the reigns over to Jeff Ireland who proceeded to take on more risk in the draft and more money in long-terms deals. Had Parcells stayed on, things may have worked out better, Henne not withstanding. The running game and defense though would've probably developed better.

    That being said, I've never going to look at the Albert signing as being a bad thing. It's just not a smart thing. It certainly could've worked though. In most cases you can't predict a guy is going to get injured over and over.
     
  30. DolphinGreg

    DolphinGreg Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    It'll be a fun off-season. Once again, we'll have more to discuss than any other fan-base. ;)
     
  31. jcs92593

    jcs92593 Banned

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    He needs to change laundry detergent?
     
  32. resnor

    resnor Derp Sherpa

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    Greg, I'm saying what you're saying. You don't sign a guy with an injury history, and put all your eggs in his basket. This staff should be fired simply for the criminal way they've handled the oline. Especially this past offseason.
     
  33. DolphinGreg

    DolphinGreg Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Yeah, we're close but I don't blame them because they didn't see the Albert injuries coming. The term "injury prone" is not a scientific term.

    But yeah, I agree with you. I'd just say it was dumb from a team building perspective rather than mention the injuries which are less predictable. That much I can chalk up to bad luck.

    I guess, it's just hard to define who has been injured and who has an "injury history" when it comes to NFL football. After all, the 2014 injury to Albert only occurred because of the ineptitude of Dallas Thomas as I recall. It was not Albert getting hurt because he was predictably weak. It was another playing getting beating so badly it cost Albert his knee. That's not Albert's fault at all so to imply it happened because he has a "history" of injury is just not really honest.

    The fact Albert is hurt now is (I believe) the same reason Delmas is hurt. The team rushed him back. Those were more predictable injuries that came as a result of bad decisions.
     
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  34. resnor

    resnor Derp Sherpa

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    Yeah, I know they're unpredictable. But coming off his major injury last season, they shouldn't have been depending on him.

    Look at teams like the Jags, though. Backup left tackle when we played them, and he did just fine.
     
  35. DolphinGreg

    DolphinGreg Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Correct. In terms of just this year they should not have rushed him back. I'm with you on that 100%. Jason Fox was not a serviceable answer to that hole and it's been clear for the last few games.
     
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  36. Rick 1966

    Rick 1966 Professional Hipshooter

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    Refresh my memory...who is the other first round pick before James? We aren't talking all the way back to Long are we?
     
  37. Piston Honda

    Piston Honda Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Pouncey.
     
  38. jw3102

    jw3102 season ticket holder

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    I agree they have tried to use the draft and free agency to upgrade the OL. Unfortunately the individuals responsible for selecting the players and coaching these players have done a terrible job of bringing quality offensive linemen to Miami.

    Pouncey appears to be playing effectively this year, but no one else on the OL is better than below average. I thought last year that James was going to be a good player for the Dolphins. Unfortunately once they moved him to LT after Albert was hurt, he seemed to lose his confidence and it hasn't seemed to return even though he is back at RT.

    They really don't have a decent guard on their entire roster and I doubt if Albert is ever going to be completely healthy this entire season.
     

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