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Bill Arnsparger ... a great defensive mind.
Since I am writing to mostly Dolphins fans, then you understand that Bill Arnsparger was Don Shula's Bill Bellichick ... without the "cheat". I'm not taking anything away from the greatest coach to ever coach, but there was something special between Shula and Arnsparger.
Whatever players you had, Arnsparger could get the most out of them. His "No Name" and "Killer Bee" defenses were the best in the league. When he left, the defense went downhill. When he left the second time after the Super Bowl loss to the Deadskins, his Killer Bee defense ranked #1 in the NFL. In two short years that defense fell drastically under Chuck Studley. Did you know that Studley's '84 run defense, in Danny's only Super Bowl appearance, was ranked dead last in the NFL? Yet, Dan the Man took them to the Super Bowl in a record breaking year. Yep, if Marino had Arnsparger running the defense on his teams, there would have been Super Bowl rings.
Dan Marino not good enough???
Yep, that is what the football hack writer said over at the Sun Sentinel. I would be very much tempted to buy a Sun Sentinel sports subscription due to how much I enjoy reading Dave Hyde's articles, but I've never taken the time to read much of what his protege has to say. There's little substance to Omar's blogs. Why do I have the image to the right on my site? It's due to his comment this week that Dan Marino was not good enough to win a ring ... and in my opinion, he should be run out of town. Tar and Feather him if you'd like.
Yep, in a way, to put a twist, Dan wasn't good enough to overcome the lack of talent around him, because everyone with a brain stem knows that to win Super Bowl is a team effort ... not a one man show. Before the Jimmah Johnson years, Danny had the talent to elevate the talent around him on the offensive side of the ball, but he didn't play defense.
By the way, there are 3 South Florida writers that I check out religiously every day because they are top notch:
Miami Herald's Armando Salguero and Barry Jackson, and the Sun Sentinel's Dave Hyde. My other favorites in the past, Jason Cole and Alex Marvez, moved on to bigger things in the NFL, so, I am a guy that likes quality over fluffy hype.
Nick Saban with another excuse for failure.
It came out this week that Saban blamed the NFL Draft for his team's lack of cohesiveness the past couple of post season appearances. Also, another article came out saying that he would have never left the Dolphins if his wife hadn't complained so much about living in Miami. Do you remember the time Saban said that it was Huizenga's fault because he talked him into a job that he didn't want?
Come on. Has there ever been a coach that has had so many excuses for failure? One thing I know is that it is never Saban. I honestly believe that Saban could have been a very good coach with the Dolphins if he had the patience to build, but he needs his God-complex stroked all the time.
I am happy that Saban is in his element which is College Football. There isn't anyone greater at recruiting talent and coaching that talent. But, I still remember how he left the Dolphins. I still remember that he took off to meet his adoring fans and left Huizenga to let us know that Saban was gone.
Coaching Ability = 100%
Character = 0%
Matt Moore a "serviceable stand-in"?
I'm not one of those Matt Moore guys that thinks he should have started over Ryan Tannehill in Tannehill's rookie season. Even though Moore had a very good year the year before, Tannehill showed that he could handle starting in the NFL and he was our designated franchise quarterback. Maybe I would have waited a few games before inserting in as the starter, but there is a learning curve that increases significantly with starting experience. Lucky for us that he was not ruined playing behind a poor offensive line.
NFL.COM put out their ranking of back up quarterbacks, and Matt Moore was ranked 12th. What chaps my rear end is that they have Mark Sanchez at #1, Garoppolo at #4, and a few other quarterbacks that have not shown they can win in the NFL. What are they thinking? Just because Tannehill's health and performance has kept him off the field is no excuse to insult him. The Dolphins understand his importance and are paying him accordingly.
1. Mark Sanchez, Eagles
2. Mike Glennon, Buccaneers
3. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jets
4. Jimmy Garoppolo, Patriots
5. Zach Mettenberger, Titans
6. Kirk Cousins, Redskins
7. Derek Anderson, Panthers
8. Tarvaris Jackson, Seahawks
9. Drew Stanton, Cardinals
10. Ryan Mallett, Texans
11. Chase Daniel, Chiefs
12. Matt Moore, Dolphins
13. Shaun Hill, Vikings
14. Matt Hasselbeck, Colts
15. Christian Ponder, Raiders
Stoops on rookie DT Phillips: "Just scratching the surface".
I thought the Dolphins had a very good draft this year, and one player that I am excited to see is DT Jordan Phillips. Yes, the Dolphins should have drafted an guard instead, but if you are of the "best player available" mentality, this was a very good choice as Phillips had a late first round grade. He's talented enough to be a first round pick, but his lack of consistency made him fall in the draft.
His college coach, Bob Stoops, had this to say about Phillips this week ...
You don't see guys that can do what Jordan can do athletically [at 325 pounds]. He can be an every down player. For a guy that big, his pass-rushing skills can develop. He is just scratching the surface. He’s a great kid.
ESPN Insider had this to say about Phillips in their evaluation, "He is a massive, wide-bodied nose tackle prospect with excellent strength and elite mobility for his size. There are only so many human beings his size who can move like he does."
You can check out our top notch draft analysis on Jordan Phillips here.
Personally, I might have saved the money on Mosely and made what we have step up, but there are real questions at middle linebacker at the moment. Misi can definitely play the position, but will we see him in and out of the lineup again this year?
There is one final leg of talent aquisition in the NFL, and that is the Supplemental NFL Draft, which takes place on July 9th. 7 college players will be part of the draft, Clemson offensive tackle Isaiah Battle, West Georgia edge rusher Darrius Caldwell, Houston defensive end Eric Eiland, Connecticut tight end Sean McQuillan, Kansas defensive back Kevin Short, West Georgia defensive tackle Dalvon Stuckey and North Carolina Central wideout and returner Adrian Wilkins.
Of that group, Isaiah Battle is the only player viewed as a surefire selection, as there is always needs for a raw, but talented OLT with his size, quickness and frame. He would be the 1st player drafted since Cleveland invested a 2nd round pick in Baylor WR Josh Gordon in 2012. At 6'7, 290 lbs, he would be a kid that could be bought in and looked at at a OLT of the future for some team, possibly even Miami, as this is probably the only kid the Dolphins could have an interest in possibly along with the West Georgia duo of DT Dalvon Stuckey and DE/OLB Darrius Caldwell.
That said, any time you have kids going via the Supplemental Draft, there most of the times are issues or baggage that you have to be concerned about, and that is the case with Battle. This is part of the story from CBSSports NFLDraftScout.com. a site I like to use a great deal when I prepare for the NFL Draft. Here are some quotes from their story, specifically on Battle.
"Before investing a draft pick, teams will, of course, want to investigate Battle closely. In a statement on Clemson's official athletic website Battle cited family obligations as a reason for his pursuing the NFL early. Battle has also failed several drug tests at Clemson, NFLDraftScout.com has learned.
Physically speaking, however, Battle's combination of height, arm length and easy mobility will certainly intrigue the NFL. He is still pretty raw, showing only average functional strength at this time and too often bending at the waist rather than at the knees, which leaves him vulnerable to the bull rush and counters back to the inside. His size and athleticism, however, could make him a match for a zone-blocking team. Given the season-ending ACL tear suffered this spring by left tackle Ryan Clady, the Denver Broncos could be interested. The Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans and Seattle Seahawks are also thought to be potentially interested."
Miami and 13 other teams did also attend the Pro Day of West Georgia DT Dalvon Stuckey and teammate DE Darrius Caldwell, who could be looked at in the late round as possible considerations. Caldwell had 18.5 tackles for lost and 12 sacks with West Georgia, but probably would be considered a tweener, as he is 6'5, 238 lbs. Does he have the quickness to play at an OLB along with the footwork? Stuckey has very nice size at 6'4, 300 lbs, and showed some flashes of being a playmaker inside. He had 40 tackles, 9 for loss and 4 sacks along with 3 forced fumbles.
The one thing to remember about the Supplementat Draft is that if you do take a player, you LOSE that pick in whatever round you selected the player in the 2016 NFL Draft. The Dolphins have not selected a player in the Supplemental Draft since Nick Saban choose DT Manny Wright out of Southern Cal in 2005. I would be surprised if the Dolphins went this route again, but never say never.