I know everyone's been wondering exactly what I think about what's going in South Florida. In one of the most disappointing seasons in franchise history, phins fans everywhere have been looking forward to the off season. Great move bringing in Bill Parcells. Parcells has been a proven winner with the Midas Touch. But boy! does he have his work cut out for him. It's been great to see Tuna not waste any time to dismantle the Dolphins who have continued to sink lower and lower for the last 5 years. Parcells axed Cam Cameron (who had no business ever coming to Miami), got rid of GM Randy Mueller (maybe the number one reason why the Dolphins have sucked in recent years), and totally rebuild the coaching staff.
Next, the focus has been the players. I mean can you believe all the players Miami has let go! Talk about not messing around.
Many Phins fans still question the release of fan favorite Zach Thomas. Thomas has been the heart and soul of the franchise since Marino retired. And of course now, the Patriots are rumored to sign Thomas. Another high caliber Phin to the Pats! Next thing you know, Jason Taylor will be released and playing for New England.
Speaking of Taylor, what do you do with him? Taylor will be Dancing with the Stars this Spring and now you've got to wonder how much focus he has left on football.
Taylor has spoken before about trying to get into acting. Come on! Taylor maybe has 4 years tops left in the NFL. Considering Miami won't be able to seriously compete for another 3 years, maybe releasing Taylor wouldn't be the worse idea. I mean, Taylor is my favorite Dolphin on their current roster and I don't want to see him go. But maybe you can sign him and then trade for younger players and future draft picks. My heart tells me to sign Taylor and keep as a Phin for his career. The guy is an all world stud. He may have had a sub par season last year,
but he was also surrounded by very little talent and don't forget the fact that Miami's defense was always on the field. I guess the deciding factor will be if the Dolphins want to run a 3-4 or a 4-3 defense.
Who knows, the Dolphins still could be 8-8 or even 9-7 next year. I know, you think that's crazy, but Miami lost 6 games by a field goal or less last year, with their dismal record, they'll have a favorable schedule, and come on, it's the NFL, so many times we've seen teams come from out of nowhere to compete (New Orleans, how about the NY Giants, just in the last couple years).
With all the cuts the Dolphins have made in the last week, they're looking at about $50 million in cap space. So Miami will definitely be looking to pick up a few big names. The Dolphins need help just about everywhere but running back. Ronnie Brown was leading the NFL in yards from scrimmage before he went down for the season. Brown is a young nasty back who could really tear it up if he's not the only offensive threat. Look for Parcells to go after a few Dallas players. There's been talk about Keyshawn coming out of retirement and Chad Johnson moving to South Florida. (Not quite sure about Ocho Cinco, he was my second overall pick in one of my fantasy teams last year, didn't pan out so great).
As for the draft, there was talk about Miami trading their top pick to Dallas for Marion Barber, I don't know why.
Then it was Glen Dorsey, Chris Long (DE, Virginia), Sedrick Ellis (DT, USC). Are you kidding me! Did we not learn anything from last year's draft? We need a freakin QB! The Phins wasted their pick last year (and maybe even wasted an entire season). Matt Ryan is the pick! The guy has all the makings of an NFL QB, a precision passer with decent mobility.
So if you pick Ryan (which you better), he probably won't start until after the halfway point of the season (at least you would hope he doesn't get the call any earlier, he'd be nothing but a tackling dummy). So he sits and learns from Jonathan Beck?
The Phins second overall pick could possibly be Dan Connor (Penn St), another sick white boy linebacker to take over for Zach Thomas.
So basically Miami needs to draft well, and we all know how Parcells has fared in previous drafts, and bring in a few quality free agents, and I think in two years, this franchise will be back in the playoffs.
In honor of Zach Thomas, I found this tribute highlight video. Thanks for the all the great years Zach. We'll miss you!
In addition to being a seven-time All-Pro selection by the Associated Press and a seven-time Pro Bowl selection, Thomas earned the following awards and honors in his NFL career:
• NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month (October 1996)
• All-Rookie selection by College & Pro Football Newsweekly, The Football News, Pro Football Weekly and Pro Football Writers of America (1996)
• AFC Defensive Rookie of the Year (1996)
• Dolphins' 1996 Unsung Hero Award as selected by NFLPA
• Dolphins MVP and Newcomer of the Year by South Florida media (1996)
• Pro Bowl alternate (1996)
• AFC Defensive Player of the Month (September 1998)
• 2x NFL Alumni Association's Linebacker of the Year (1998, 2006)
• First-team All-Pro selection by the USA Today, College & Pro Football Newsweekly and Football Digest (1998)
• 1998 All-Madden Team (1998)
• 3x Dolphins' Leadership Award (1998, 1999, 2005)
• Weeks 1 & 16 2001 AFC Defensive Player of the Week (2001)
• Dolphins MVP by South Florida media and fans (2001)
• All-Iron Team as selected by CBS analyst Phil Simms (2001)
• PFWA Dolphins Chapter "Good Guy" Award (2001)
• First-team Pro Football Weekly All-AFC (2002)
• First-team Sports Illustrated All-Pro (2003)
• Second-team Football Digest All-Pro (2003)
• Week 14 AFC Defensive Player of the Week (2005)
• All-AFC selection by Pro Football Weekly and the Pro Football Writers of America (2006)
• More tackles than any linebacker currently in the Hall of Fame