Posts Tagged ‘brandon marshall’

Will Miami Regret Passing on Randy Moss?

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Randy Moss is going to the Tennessee Titans, who claimed the enigmatic wide receiver off waivers from the Minnesota Vikings.  Since waiver priority is determined by the inverse order of the current standings, the 4-3 Miami Dolphins would have acquired Moss had they decided to put in a claim.  Did the team make a big mistake by passing up the chance to feature two 2009 Pro Bowlers in a revamped vertical game?

Tmoss-frohere were plenty of reasons for Miami to pass on Moss, who can be the best player on the field if he’s motivated, and a head-case who doesn’t respect his teammates or coaches and carries far more baggage than he’s worth if he’s disinterested. 

Despite playing for Bill Belichick, one of very few coaches who has earned Moss’s admiration, the wide receiver still found a ticket out of New England after questioning his role in the offense and getting into a spat about Tom Brady’s hair (I don’t actually think that last part is true, but it’s hilarious nonetheless). 

Through his career, Moss has been repeatedly chastised for his lack of effort, failure to finish routes and make blocks, and an alarming attitude in the locker room that largely contributed to his release from Minnesota.

But hate him or love him, Moss is one of the most talented WRs in NFL history, and players of his caliber are hardly ever so readily available.  He’s two and a half years removed from a season in which he recorded nearly 1,500 receiving yards and caught an NFL-record 23 touchdown passes.   For his career, he ranks second in league history in TDs (153), fourth in receiving yards per game (76.6), fifth in total receiving yards (14,778), and eight in catches (948).  Those skills didn’t suddenly diminish overnight.

Perhaps the Miami coaches didn’t think they could keep him happy in a run-first offense, or didn’t want to deal with the distractions and media circus that surrounds the outspoken and constantly unhappy Moss.  But his off-putting personality aside, the Dolphins sure could’ve used him on the field.

The team ranks 25th in the league in passing plays of over 20 yards (17) with an anemic average of 6.7 yards per pass attempt.  Miami hasn’t had a true deep threat (at least one who can catch the ball) in years, and Moss would’ve commanded double-teams and opened the field for Brandon Marshall — who publicly lobbied for the acquisition — and slot receiver Davone Bess.

It would’ve been a relatively low-risk and low-cost gamble for the Dolphins, since Moss is owed $3.388 million for the remainder of the season, the final year of his contract.  Even he has to realize that at this point, no team would hesitate to cut him if he continues to exhibit an oversized ego and a poor attitude, and that he could find himself out of a job in the offseason if he burns yet another bridge.  

The Dolphins could’ve gotten a playmaker whose talents could’ve single-handedly brought the division title back to South Beach.  Instead, they’ll have to settle for seeing Moss catch passes only once this year, when the visiting Titans come to Miami on November 14.

Phins Fantasy Football: QBs and WRs

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

With the NFL season right around the corner, and fantasy football drafts already in full-swing, it’s time to take a look at what to expect from the Miami Dolphins’ skill players in 2010.  Today, we’ll cover the quarterbacks and wide receivers, with running backs, tight ends, and the defense to be posted in the coming weeks.

Sorry, Chad!
Sorry, Penny!

Chad Henne, QB - All things considered, Henne had a solid 2009 after being thrown into the fire following Chad Pennington’s shoulder injury in Week 3.  (As a sidenote, I still feel responsible for causing that to happen, because I spontaneously decided to pick up Henne in my fantasy league minutes before that game started).  Henne completed 60.8% of his passes and had 12 TD passes in 14 games despite having one of the weaker WR corps in the league.  He threw for over 300 yards in three of his last five games, and should have no problem continuing that trend with the Dolphins’ acquisition of two-time Pro-Bowler Brandon Marshall.  Considering that Kyle Orton threw for over 3,800 yards and 21 TDs last season with Marshall as his top receiver, Henne could be in line for a spectacular year if he can improve his decision-making (10 INTs in the final six games).  He’s a borderline number-one QB, and has more potential than the likes of Donovan McNabb, Eli Manning, and Matt Ryan, all of whom are all  being drafted ahead of him in ESPN leagues.

2009 Statistics:  2,878 passing yards, 12 TDs, 14 INT
2010 Prediction:  4,161 passing yards, 25 TDs, 13 INT

Chad Pennington / Tyler Thigpen / Pat White, QB – Unless you’re in a 14-team, two-QB league (like me), none of the Dolphins’ backups should be on your radar.  Thigpen is likely to begin the year second on the official depth chart, though it wouldn’t be surprising if Miami turned to the veteran Pennington if Henne were to miss any games.  White, who didn’t complete a single pass last year, is, um, still on the team as of this writing.

Brandon Marshall, WR – Marshall, who set the NFL record with 21 receptions to go along with 200 yards and two TDs in Week 14, will catch more passes by Week 3 than the Dolphins’ previous #19 did all year (38).  The problem is that the volatile WR has been arrested at least four times on charges of assault, domestic violence, and DUI, and was suspended by the Denver Broncos for the final week of 2009 for exaggerating an injury.  Still, Marshall’s talents are undeniable — he’s caught over 100 passes and totaled over 1,100 receiving yards in three straight seasons and has averaged the fourth-most receiving yards per game (80.7) in the NFL since 2007. His off-the-field problems, combined with playing for a new team and a different offense, make him a somewhat risky pick in the second round (currently being drafted 19th overall), but you could talk me into taking Marshall ahead of the aging Randy Moss and the Kurt Warner-less Larry Fitzgerald (especially in Point Per Reception leagues). 

2009 Statistics:  101 catches, 1,120 receiving yards, 10 TDs
2010 Prediction:  107 catches, 1,250 receiving yards, 8 TDs

Predicting Bess' 2010 output can get a little hairy...
Predicting Bess' 2010 output can get a little hairy...

Davone Bess, WR – Bess had a fantastic sophomore campaign, leading the Dolphins in catches (76; 22nd in NFL), receiving yards (758), and punt return yards (209).   His stats are bound to take a serious hit with Marshall firmly entrenched as the top receiver, but Bess should still get his fair share of targets out of the slot.  Bess is a decent fourth WR in PPR leagues with some upside, and at the very least, is a smart insurance policy if Marshall gets in Coach Sparano’s doghouse.

2009 Statistics:  76 catches, 758 receiving yards, 2 TDs
2010 Prediction:  57 catches, 570 receiving yards, 4 TDs

Brian Hartline, WR – Hartline led the Dolphins in TDs (3) and yards per catch (16.3; 11th in NFL) , and finished third on the team in receiving yards (506) as a rookie.  He dropped only three passes in 54 targets,  and could end up being the beneficiary of Marshall’s double-teams if he wins the number two receiver spot in training camp.  Still, with Bess expected to see more targets and Greg Camarillo also in the picture, Hartline is only worth a late-round flier in standard leagues.

2009 Statistics:  31 catches, 506 receiving yards, 3 TDs
2010 Prediction:  43 catches, 660 receiving yards, 3 TDs

Greg Camarillo, WR – Camarillo, who should be fully recovered from a torn ACL he suffered in November 2008, was one of the most sure-handed receivers in the NFL last season, catching the highest number of passes without a drop and a stellar 70% of his total targets.  He quietly placed second on the team in both receptions (50) and receiving yards (552) in 2009, but stands to see a reduced role behind the quicker and younger Hartline in 2010.

2009 Statistics:  50 catches, 552 receiving yards, 0 TDs
2010 Prediction:  38 catches, 414 receiving yards, 1 TDs

Coming soon:  How will Ronnie “The Wildcat” Brown and Ricky Williams share the backfield?

Miami Drops Ginn

Monday, April 19th, 2010

I bought a Ted Ginn, Jr. jersey before the start of the 2009 season and targeted him in the middle rounds of my fantasy football drafts.

Ted Ginn, Jr. catches a TD pass against New York Jets (Hector Gabino/El Nuevo Herald/MCT)
Ted Ginn, Jr. catches a TD pass against New York Jets (Hector Gabino/El Nuevo Herald/MCT)

It’s easy to forget now, but after Ginn’s terrific sophomore campaign, he had “third-year breakout” written all over him.  In 2008 — when the Dolphins went 11-5 and won the AFC East — he led the team in catches (56), receiving yards (790), return yards (711), and all-purpose yards (1,574; 18th in NFL), while scoring four touchdowns (two receiving and two rushing).  Those numbers may not jump off the page, but they stacked up very favorably to several All-Pro wide receivers who blossomed after their second seasons, including Steve Smith (1.0) and Santana Moss (not to mention, Steve Smith (2.0) and Sidney Rice last season).

Of course, Ginn didn’t come close to living up to the expectations thrust upon him as the Dolphins number one WR, taking a major step backwards to the point of being benched in favor of rookie Brian Hartline.  Ginn had only 38 receptions on the year, tied for 69th among WRs, and his 11.95 yards per reception tied him for 68th with 74-year-old 32-year-old Laveranues Coles.  He dropped nine passes — Dolphins fans would argue that’s actually being generous — which tied him for fourth in the league behind Dwayne Bowe (11), Vernon Davis (11), and Santonio Holmes (10).

Despite his struggles on offense, however, Ginn was sensational on special teams.  While his critics often lamented him for avoiding contact by running to the sidelines, Ginn led the league in yards per touch (17.9), ranked fifth in kickoff return yards (1,296), fifth in yards per return (24.92), 10th in all-purpose yards (1,826), and tied for fourth in non-offensive touchdowns (2).

He single-handedly led the Dolphins to a road victory against the New York Jets on November 1, 2009, becoming the first player in NFL history to record two 100-yard return TDs in the same game (and in one quarter, no less), on a day when the Dolphins mustered just 104 total yards on offense.  I proudly wore my Ginn jersey, just as I did on every other game day, and heard his name praised for perhaps the only time that season.

The very next week, the Dolfans’ love-hate relationship with Ginn was right back on, as he was yet again getting blamed for a loss to the New England Patriots.  He managed just one catch for seven yards, dropping several passes late in the game, and wasn’t as dramatically effective in the return game.

Once the Dolphins acquired Brandon Marshall from the Denver Broncos last week, Ginn became immediately expendable.  The San Francisco 49ers acquired him for a fifth-round pick (145th overall), hoping to use him as a situational deep threat while reviving one of the league’s worst return games.  Still only 25 years old and among the fastest and most athletic players in the league, he leaves Miami with 128 catches for 1,664 yards, a modest 34.7 receiving yards per game average, and five receiving touchdowns over three seasons.

For Ginn, it’s a fresh start in a place where he doesn’t have to deal with the giant shadow of being selected ninth overall in 2007, and hearing the boos that have haunted him since draft day, when fans were hoping to land Brady Quinn (how did that one turn out?).   While he certainly didn’t produce as well as expected, he was routinely forced to play a role that wasn’t suited to his strengths and became the scapegoat for the team’s offensive struggles.

Could Ginn have been better utilized in the slot and opposite Marshall, a true number one possession receiver?  Could he have stretched the field and found himself wide open down the field when Marshall faced double teams?  At the very least, could a proven return specialist, whose role will now need to be filled by the undoubtedly slower Davone Bess, Patrick Cobbs, and Brian Hartline, have made the offense more productive and dangerous than any player the Dolphins can draft in the fifth round?

“I wouldn’t say a sense of relief, but it’s always good to have a new start,” Ginn said. “Leaving Miami, I don’t hold any grudges, no bad feelings about anything. My time was up there. I enjoyed it there, and now it’s time to move on.”

I truly hope that he does well in San Fransisco, and while I’ll always cheer for Miami, I’ll be sure sure to wear my Ginn jersey the next time he plays against the Dolphins.

Brandon Marshall & The Draft

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Wow. We just traded two 2nd round draft pics to the Broncos for Brandon Marshall. That is nuts.  I went to bed and when I woke up we were suddenly a much better football team.  And yes, the pics are worth it.  Marshall has had domestic violence issues and problems with Josh McDaniels in Denver, but as far as I am concerned he is well worth the risk.  He is going to make Chad Henne so much better, he is going to spread the field and make the run game so much better, he is going to make the recievers so much better.  The Phins are evidently trying to trade Ted Ginn, but with Marshall there is no way you can double Ginn, or Bess or Hartline or whoever is on the other side.

Someone pointed out on a forum that this trade could be a good PR move and mabye lessen the hurt of Jason Taylor going to the Jets, but to me this is a response to the Jets trading for Cromartie and Holmes.  It also takes away a second round pick that could have been used to fill the whole that JT and Porter left.  If we resign JT we can wait another year to see how Cam Wake pans out before drafting an ouside linebacker early.  We can focus on nose or safety with our first round pick and spend the rest of the draft trying for the other.  OUr offense could use another guard and maybe a TE, but other than that, it’s really all defense in the draft. I can’t wait.

Speaking of the draft, Dolfans NYC is making a group trip to Radio City Music Hall for the draft.  You have to get in line at 10pm on Wednesday night to get a wrist band and then come back the following afternoon to get in line for tickets.  DolfansNYC is going to meet up around 6pm at a near by bar and send scouts out to see if they are giving out tickets before 10pm like they did last year. We will be sending out a Facebook message and email with all the details, so make sure you join our Facebook group.

Also, Michelle is going to be filming the Draft and our meet up for MiamiDolphins.com so anyone who comes out can get in the video and see yourself on the Phins official web site.  That should be big press for the club!

Lastly, we have some more exciting news!  We will have DolfansNYC T-shirts for the draft.  They are aqua with the DolfansNYC logo printed on the front.  They are insanely bad ass.  They will be on sale at the draft meet up and at games next year for $15.  I hope you pick one up so we can really represent at the draft.  We spent a good deal of money on them, so we need to sell a bunch of them to break even.  After that the money will be used for promotional stuff for the club, raffle items and other club expenses. Last year Michelle and I dropped a lot of money on this club, and it would be nice to at least break even this year. Anyway, the shirts will be amazing so I don’t think I am going to have to guilt anyone into picking them up… heh.

The shirts won’t be ready until next week, but to see the logo in action, check this picture Michelle took of the DolfansNYC banner her friend printed up for us. This will be hanging out front of Third and Long every Sunday.  Get excited!

I Can't Wait To Bring This To The Jets Game!
I Can't Wait To Bring This To The Jets Game!

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