Posts Tagged ‘brandon marshall’

Miami Dolphins Deal CB Vontae Davis to Colts

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

Vontae DavisLast season, Vontae Davis claimed that he was one-half of the NFL’s best cornerback tandem. Today, the Dolphins traded the 24-year-old to the Indianapolis Colts for a second and a conditional sixth round draft pick, according to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports.

“We appreciate all the contributions Vontae has made to the Dolphins since we drafted him in 2009 and we want to wish him the best of success in Indianapolis,” said GM Jeff Ireland in a press release.

Davis, drafted 25th overall in 2009, had started 36 games of 44 games for Miami over three seasons, racking up 143 tackles, nine interceptions — including a team-high four in 2011 — and one sack, but never seemed to get on the right track with the new coaching staff, who questioned his maturity and conditioning. Davis had already lost his starting job to free agent pickup Richard Marshall, and the Hard Knocks cameras showed Coach Joe Philbin pulling No. 21 aside for his unprofessional behavior during training camp.

Having already dealt Brandon Marshall for a pair of third-round picks and released Chad Johnson during the offseason, the front office and coaching staff have shown a commitment to high character, but have also done little to replace three of their most skilled players on the field in the short-term (Terrell Owens, anyone?) while starting a rookie quarterback who has been up-and-down in the preseason.

While picking up future assets is essential for a rebuilding team, in Davis, the Dolphins are giving up on another young player with Pro Bowl-caliber talent, while also losing significant depth at cornerback, where Marshall, Sean Smith and Nolan Carroll are the only players with veteran experience.

After losing their first seven games to begin last season, there might be a sense of déjà vu in South Florida in 2012.

Best of luck to Davis, who will get a chance to face his former team in Week 9 at Indianapolis.

Dolphins Trade Brandon Marshall to Bears

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Perhaps we’ll know more about Jeff Ireland’s master plan within the next few days (hours?), but as it stands right now, the Dolphins have traded Pro Bowl WR Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears for two third-round picks. Miami, of course, gave up two second-round picks for the talented but controversial wideout two years ago.

It’s possible, albeit unlikely, that the move was done to clear salary cap space to sign Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne, Pierce Garcon, Dallas Clark, Marvin Harrison, Brandon Stokley, Qadry Ismail and every other past and present Indianapolis Colts pass-catcher who hopes to take his talents to South Beach.

If – at this point, let’s face it, when – Manning signs elsewhere, the Dolphins would conceivably turn their focus to Matt Flynn, as well as hopefully another top-tier WR to replace Marshall (as much as I like Davone Bess, Brian Hartline and Clyde Gates and all). And let’s not even think about what this team will look like if Miami strikes out there.

I’ll reserve further judgment until the dust settles, since as Miami Herald columnist Armando Salguero reports, a team source said to “be patient” (possibly my two least favorite words).

Brandon Marshall Wins Pro Bowl MVP

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

Brandon Marshall catches a touchdown in the Pro BowlBrandon Marshall admitted he came into the Pro Bowl with the goal of winning the MVP award, calling it his Playoff game.

After catching a Pro Bowl record four touchdowns — two less than he had during the entire regular season — to go with 176 receiving yards, Marshall had his wish, driving out of the stadium with a brand-new SUV as his prize. Marshall joined Ricky Williams (2002) and Garo Yepremian (1973) as the third Dolphin to earn the honor.

Sure, Marshall’s impressive statistics can be viewed as meaningless when the two teams combined to score 100 points, but just look at the highlight-reel catches the Dolphins wide receiver made in the game. One TD came when he was able to keep his concentration after the ball sailed through two defenders and bounced off Marshall’s own foot. On his final score, he once again caught the ball in traffic, twisting his body in the back of the end zone and dragging both feet inbounds while being held by the defender.

When he was interviewed mid-game by NBC sideline reporter Alex Flanagan, Marshall wasted no time in crediting the Pro Bowl quarterbacks for making spectacular plays, simultaneously throwing every Dolphins signal caller under the bus.

“Down in Miami, getting a feel for different quarterbacks — had three or four of them throughout my two years there — and the (Pro Bowl) quarterbacks make it easy for me,” he said. “These guys are just putting it in the right places and I’m making the plays, so it’s easy right now.”

If you’re counting, the “three or four” Miami QBs would be Matt Moore, Chad Henne, Tyler Thigpen and Chad Pennington (for a few snaps), as well as J.P. Losman, for good measure. And just in case he wasn’t abundantly clear the first time around, Marshall reiterated that the Pro Bowl quarterbacks were responsible for his MVP performance after the game.

“Since Jay Cutler (with the Denver Broncos), I’ve had a few different quarterbacks, and being in the Pro Bowl, you have these elite quarterbacks you’re playing with,” he said. “It’s all them — they put (the ball) in the right spots and it’s easy for me to make the catch.”

It’s not that Marshall is factually wrong, since the five Dolphins QBs he’s played with were mostly mediocre. But Marshall didn’t exactly help matters, dropping 12 passes (officially) during 2011 season and making countless mistakes on the field. It should also be noted that Moore finished 12th in the NFL in Passer Rating, and that Marshall caught 59 passes for 901 yards and five TDs in Moore’s 12 starts.

It’s obvious that Marshall, as well as owner Stephen Ross and every Dolphins fan, want an upgrade at the QB position. But calling out his teammates on national television with a wide grin — especially since there’s still a chance that Moore could be back next season — isn’t the right time or place to make his point or help the organization in its search. Marshall’s acrobatic catches and record-setting numbers speak much louder than his words for any interested free agents.

Marshall also chose to praise former Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano while referring to Joe Philbin simply as, “the new coach.” Make of that what you will.

“When you look at what Coach Sparano was able to do, the foundation was built. A lot of people don’t give him enough credit, but we have a solid locker room, high character guys and leadership there,” said Marshall when asked about the Dolphins’ future. “The new coach coming in, he’s inheriting a strong team.”

It’ll be interesting to see who that team will add to throw the ball to the never-outspoken MVP-winner.

Dolphins Look to Continue Thanksgiving Day Dominance

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

For most Dolphins (and Cowboys) fans, a Dallas-Miami Thanksgiving match-up conjures up images of Leon Lett’s infamous blunder in 1993. Down one point with 15 seconds left on the clock, Dolphins kicker Pete Stoyanovich lined up for a 40-yard field goal to win the game, but slipped on the ice and had his kick blocked by Dallas defensive tackle Jimmie Jones. As the Cowboys players and coaches began to celebrate, Lett inexplicably attempted to fall on the rolling football, only to lose control of it as he slipped on the ice. Miami recovered the ball on the Dallas one-yard line, and Stoyanovich nailed a short field-goal as time expired to give Miami an improbable 16-14 victory.

18 years later, the video remains just as, if not more hilariously fun to watch.

The 1993 Snow Bowl is one of four Fins-Cowboys Thanksgiving games – Miami has won two of the other three contests on the holiday and leads the all-time series 7-5.

November 22, 1973 – Dolphins 14, Cowboys 7

The Dolphins jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter on a Larry Csonka one-yard run and a 45-yard touchdown strike from Bob Griese to Paul Warfield. Griese threw only 10 passes all game, as Csonka rushed for 80 yards and Mercury Morris chipped in with 49 to lead the Miami ground attack.

November 25, 1999 – Cowboys 20, Dolphins 0

This is one that the Dolphins, and especially Dan Marino, would like to forget. After a scoreless first half, the Cowboys took a 7-0 lead when Dexter Coakley returned a Marino interception 46 yards for the score. Troy Aikman later connected with Rocket Ismail for a 65-yard touchdown, and Emmitt Smith finished with 103 rushing yards. Marino completed only 15-of-36 passes for 178 yards and tied a career-high with five picks (good for a 17.8 quarterback rating). He was pulled late in the fourth quarter for backup Damon Huard. Let’s move on.

Jay Fiedler scores against the Cowboys.Novemeber 27, 2003 – Dolphins 40, Cowboys 21

That’s better. The last time these two teams met on Thanksgiving, the 8-3 Cowboys, led by QB Quincy Carter, never stood much of a chance. Miami took a quick lead on a Jay Fiedler one-yard scramble, and wide receiver Chris Chambers would go on to catch a career-best three TD passes. The Dolphins picked off Carter three times, and Jason Taylor returned a fumble for another score.

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DolfansNYC Podcast, Episode 6: Ben Volin

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

The Dolphins are off to an 0-3 start following a heartbreaking loss to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, and Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post joins us to talk about the team’s future. The topics up for discussion include conservative and questionable play-calling; continued defensive breakdowns and poor chemistry between Chad Henne and Brandon Marshall; and the status of the coaching staff and front office.

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Music Credit: Solo D, “DolfansNYC Anthem”

DolfansNYC Podcast, Episode 5: Tony Sparano

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Last week, DolfansNYC attended Web Weekend, an annual event hosted by the Miami Dolphins for the team’s top fan websites. Prior to Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans, Coach Tony Sparano addressed the crowd and spoke about a number of key topics, after which we he took time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions for our podcast.

Below are the main portions from the group Q&A, followed by our exclusive one-on-one interview with Coach Sparano, in which he talks about his football playing career, the decision behind hiring offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, and his thoughts on New York and DolfansNYC.

On under-the-radar players to watch for:

I think a guy that you should watch out for, predicated on what I’ve seen throughout training camp – and I don’t like singling any players out, as I’m sure you guys know – I’ll tell you that Reshad Jones is a guy I would watch.   This guy had 13 tackles (against the Patriots), and has had a really good training camp, has really good range and ball skills back there.  I think he’s a guy that could have a really good year as a young player for us.

I’m hoping that Jared Odrick will continue to get better.  He needs to play, and he obviously hasn’t played in a long time.  So, Jared would be a guy that I would say the same thing about.  And then maybe a young guy like Daniel Thomas.

On the roster decision-making process:

The first thing we identify, is where the need is – obviously, just because there’s a player out there, he might not satisfy our needs at that particular time.  There were a lot of good players out there when free agency hit at the end of the lockout, but we had a particular plan in mind, knowing what we had coming back and knowing maybe a little bit about what we needed.

This year, business was done a little bit differently, only because the draft was done before free agency.  So, in the draft, we got to fill some needs like Clyde Gates, in getting speed, or Mike Pouncey, in finding a center, and Daniel Thomas, in finding a (running) back.  At that point, it became, “okay, we’ve got Daniel Thomas – what’s the next piece?  Well, there’s this Reggie Bush that might be out there.”  That was a scenario there where (it was) a hunch on our part, only because Reggie had made a lot of money where he was, (and could have been) a cap casualty.  And we had all of those things – our scouting department has a list of players that we think are going to be released, a list of players that are free agents, and potential cap casualties.  And this was a scenario where we were able to get a good player in that situation and bring him to our team.

But the way the process works, is identifying the problem first, then Jeff (Ireland) and I will sit down and go over the possibilities.  We’ll have what we call a “short list,” a list of players in that area, that we’ll start putting together, we’ll go through, and if we feel like there’s a chance that we can strike a deal with somebody there that might be a good deal for us, then we’ll push towards that.  So, it’s mutual, both of us together, but most of the time, it’s about me bringing a need first.

On his thoughts about bringing back the Wildcat:

No, no real thoughts about the Wildcats right now.

The reason the Wildcat originated, was that at that particular time, we didn’t have the personnel that we have on our football team right now.  You look at Brandon Marshall, and Davone Bess, and Brian Hartline, and Clyde Gates, and Reggie Bush, and (Anthony) Fasano, and these types of people that you can get the football to – we didn’t have that necessarily; we had Ronnie (Brown) and Ricky (Williams) at the time.  So, (with) Ronnie and Ricky, how can we get them on the same field at the same time and maybe get the ball in their hands enough times?  That was kind of the reason why we went with something like that.  I don’t know that the Wildcat is something that we’re really too interested at this time.

(After audience applauds) You weren’t clapping way back when – it was genius at that point.

On the biggest difference in Chad Henne this season:

I would say that the biggest difference isn’t necessarily in Chad – the difference is in how the team perceives Chad.  Chad is the same Chad that I know from the previous years.  The difference is, if the lockout was good for anything from my end, as a football coach, the lockout was good because Chad had to be out there running these workouts on his own.  He had the keys to the closet and he was the only guy that really knew about the offense, contrary to popular belief out there.  The players needed him – they had to come to him for the answers.  So, in these player-only workouts that took place out there, Chad had all the answers for them, so obviously he got them lined up, he organized the practices, he did everything from that standpoint.  So now, when Chad says something, it isn’t, “well, let me go find somebody else to get the answer,” it’s, “I got it, Chad.”  At the quarterback position, he drives the bus, and at the end of this thing, it really sets on his shoulders.  So he needs to have that respect, and I think that Chad clearly has the respect right now.

DolfansNYC Podcast with Coach Tony Sparano:

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Music Credit: Solo D, “DolfansNYC Anthem”

Coach Sparano, in which he talks about his football playing career, the decision behind hiring offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, and this thoughts on New York and DolfansNYC.

DolfansNYC Podcast, Episode 4: Brian Biggane

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

In the aftermath of Sunday’s home loss to the Houston Texans, Brian Biggane of the Palm Beach Post joins us to break down the reasons behind the Miami Dolphins’ early struggles. The topics up for discussion include poor red zone execution and Chad Henne’s miscues; the backfield split between Daniel Thomas and Reggie Bush; and defensive adjustments.

[buzzsprout episode=”31803″ player=”true”]

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Music Credit: Solo D, “DolfansNYC Anthem”

Behind Enemy Lines: Dolphins-Texans Preview

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

With the Dolphins facing off against the Houston Texans on Sunday, DolfansNYC collaborated with State of the Texans for an in-depth game preview, focusing on the burning topics for each team. We cover the Texans’ offseason; Wade Phillips, Mario Williams and the much-improved defense; the aftermath of the Fins-Patriots game; the match-up problems Reggie Bush and Cameron Wake pose for Houston; and much more.

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DolfansNYC Podcast, Episode 1: Andy Kent

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

We’re excited to introduce the official DolfansNYC Podcast, which will feature special guests, including many of the team’s top writers and media members, players, and most passionate fans, as well as the return of our weekly fantasy football feature.

On the premiere episode, MiamiDolphins.com senior writer Andy Kent joins us to talk about Chad Henne’s remarkable improvement, Brandon Marshall’s season outlook, Reggie Bush’s workload, the most impressive players in camp, and much more.

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Dolphins Preseason News and Notes

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

More often than not, preseason statistics are completely meaningless. Coaches rarely reveal their game-plans, test out new and sometimes faulty plays, and most importantly, give rookies and fringe players a chance to solidify their roles or make the final roster. It’s no surprise then, that through two games, the NFL passing, rushing and receiving yards leaders are Stephen McGee, Stevan Ridley and Chastin West, respectively, while Michael Vick has thrown three interceptions en route to posting a 50.7 QB rating.

With that in mind, the Miami Dolphins have yet to officially name a starting quarterback, have two new running backs to integrate into the offense, and no less than three players vying for the fifth and likely final wide receiver spot.  Let’s take a look at how the position battles have gone so far.

QB Comp Atts Pct Yds Y/G TDs INT Long 20+ Sck Rate
Chad Henne 19 32 59.4 271 135.5 1 2 44T 4 0 71.2
Matt Moore 17 28 60.7 196 98.0 2 1 28T 3 1 90.8
Pat Devlin 0 2 0.0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 2 39.6
  • After a poor preseason opener (4-of-8 passing for 77 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions) against the Atlanta Falcons, Chad Henne looked better against the Carolina Panthers (who doesn’t?) in the second contest, completing 15-of-24 passes for 194 yards with no turnovers. His biggest problem so far has come with the deep ball, as he has continued to miss open receivers downfield.
  • Even though Matt Moore outplayed Henne in the opener (11-of-18 passing for 123 yards and two TDs)  and has posted a higher QB rating two games, Coach Tony Sparano has so far made it clear there is no competition for the starting quarterback job. Moore hasn’t played with the first-team offense in the preseason at all, indicating he will enter the season as the primary backup, barring a couple of disastrous outings from Henne.
  • The battle for the third quarterback spot is shaping up to be epic:  Pat Devlin is 0-of-2 with two sacks in clean-up duty, while Kevin O’Connell has more kneel-downs (two) than pass attempts (0).
RB Att Rsh Yd Avg Y/G TD Lng Rec Rec Yd Lng Fum
Reggie Bush 8 48 6.0 48.0 0 17 2 33 17 0
Daniel Thomas 16 57 3.6 28.5 1 10 1 25 25 0
Kory Sheets 17 43 2.5 21.5 0 8 2 5 3 0
Lex Hilliard 8 28 3.5 14.0 1 8 0 0 0 0
Nic Grigsby 10 21 2.1 10.5 0 8 0 0 0 0
  • Playing one half, Reggie Bush had eight carries for 48 yards and caught two passes for 33 yards in his Dolphins debut on Friday. Early reports indicated the coaching staff planned to give Bush, who averaged only nine touches per game over the last two years with the New Orleans Saints, a heavy workload on offense without using him as a punt returner, and so far, the RB looked quicker and more exciting than any RB the Dolphins have had in years.
  • Daniel Thomas has sported an unimpressive 3.6 yards per carry average, busting out just one run of 10 yards.  Expected to be a power-back capable of breaking tackles and moving the pile, he couldn’t get into the endzone on two carries inside the five-yard line early against the Panthers (Lex Hilliard scored on the next play).  Thomas did have a four-yard TD run in the second quarter, and while he’ll need time to get used to the NFL, his workload should increase as the season progresses.
  • Hilliard all but solidified his hold on the number three RB job after scoring at the goal line, while Kory Sheets managed only 43 yards on a team-high 17 carries against second-stringers.
  • The Dolphins released Sheets on Tuesday and unexpectedly signed veteran Larry Johnson, who hasn’t played a down in the NFL since Week 2 of last season with the Washington Redskins. Johnson had five carries for two yards in 2010 and a terrible 3.2 YPC in 2009; at age 31, he makes little sense for Miami.
  • Undrafted rookie Nic Grigsby hasn’t done much (2.1 YPC) to suggest he’s in the team’s immediate future.

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