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The 6-8 Indianapolis Colts, coming off a crushing 16-10 loss at home to the Houston Texans take on the floundering 5-9 Miami Dolphins, coming off an abysmal 30-14 loss at San Diego.  The Colts are trying to keep their playoff hopes alive and need help from the Texans.  The Dolphins are just playing out the season, and if you are a Dolphin fan, you are wanting to see the Dolphins get as high a pick as possible, either to use of the trade down to acquire additional picks.

 

The game is a 1:00 kickoff in Miami on CBS, and it could very well be HC Chuck Pagano next to last game with the Colts, as he is without a doubt on the Hot Seat in Indianapolis.  I saw his name linked with Miami in the last few days, and he would be an interesting candidate.  He has had success with the Colts, but for him, there is some major friction between him and GM Ryan Grigson.  Here is an article from Conor Orr of NFL.com on the situation.

 

If Colts coach Chuck Pagano ends up being fired, will he really be in Boise, Idaho, playing with his granddaughters like he promised?

Per NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, Pagano will be a hot coaching candidate if he hits the market. The Miami Dolphins, who likely are searching for more than just the next promising coordinator, could be looking outside the box for their opening.

While this would mean that Miami owner Stephen Ross and executive vice president Mike Tannenbaum would both pass over some coaches with Bill Parcells ties -- which would be a fairly significant development -- it shows that Pagano might be more coveted than we think.

This will be Pagano's first season as a head coach in which he did not win 11 games, which is a plateau that more than half of the NFL would sign up for in a heartbeat. The fact that he has clashed with general manager Ryan Grigson in the past and the fact that Andrew Luck has yet to produce a Super Bowl are working against him, as is the fact that his deal will run out at the end of the season.

Per Rapoport, Pagano is still coaching for his job and while signs point to an eventual breakup, it could turn into a situation where the Colts realize the grass is not always greener.

Perhaps Pagano can resist those bucolic afternoons in Boise for just a little longer.

 

 

Miami Dolphins – 2015

    Well it has been awhile since my last blog. I have to hand it to sports writers. No matter how bad, they have to keep on writing. Anyway, I’ve heard the lack of talent excuse already being thrown out to excuse what’s happening in Miami. My  thoughts are that if they get a real coach, it will turn around.  Even the fan base can spot the issues… WR’s running routes in the same area…like within 5 yards of each other. Blitzes where the DBs are 10yds off the WRs…. Being in complete man coverage with a RB in the backfield…. I could go on and on but the Dolphins problems appear to all be scheme and motivation.  That’s the good news. The bad news is finding a good coach is like finding gold on a hike. It just doesn’t happen very often. It will be interesting to see how all of this drama plays out in the off-season.

    Campbell – Its hard not to give the guy a shot. He’ll likely split the last 2 and finish almost .500. Given the awful circumstances a year to find his feet might not be a bad option. What have the Dolphins got to lose? I’d say 1 year even if he loses the last 2 due to Ross shooting off his oversized mouth about wanting to pay top dollar for a coach. Ross will excuse his terrible behavior anyway he wants but until he hires a decent President and GM tandem and let them run the team, Miami might never get out of the tailspin. Contrast him with Robert Kraft. Is Kraft out there trying to fill jobs? No. He let’s his people do their jobs. The only time you hear about him is if he is out defending his players. Even his ex-players love him and its genuine. No one likes Ross…. And that permeates the organization as a whole.  My fear is we will end up witnessing another Todd Bowles situation unfold a couple of years from now with Campbell and Ross’s incompetence will again be on display.

Holes – yes there seems to be a ton but really there is Guard, CB and LB probably in that order. It isn’t uncommon to find sleeper guards and LBs in the draft. CB might be another issue altogether. Tough to draft a kid that plays that position well. The problem Miami has now is they’re saddled with two huge contracts… RT and Suh. That will limit what they can do in the FA market. Miami really needs a few things to go well for them in the off-season to be competitive next season. We’re all hoping for that.

Go RT

GD2

The 5-8 Miami Dolphins, coming off a tough 31-24 loss at home on Monday Night to the New York Giants, travel to San Diego to take on the 3-10 Chargers, coming off a 10-3 loss on the road to the surging Kansas City Chiefs.  The game is a 4:00 kickoff.

 

At this point, both teams are playing out the season and taking a look at young players and planning for the draft.  Both teams could be looking for new head coaches as well, as interim HC Dan Campbell probably will not be retained, and Chargers HC Mike McCoy has to be on the hot seat with the Chargers at 3-10.

 

In regards to Dan Campbell and his chances for the Dolphins HC position, I do believe he has come in and done a solid job with what has become very apparent over the last few months, a very flawed team with talent voids that have to be addressed.  After a 1-3 start and firing Joe Philbin, the Dolphins have gone 4-5 under Campbell.  Along the way, he fired OC Bill Lazor 2 weeks ago because of a lack of balance on the offensive side of the ball in regards to run-pass ratio.  Miami did a nice job of having a balanced attack in grinding out a 15-13 win over the Baltimore Ravens 2 weeks ago, but reverted back to the pass happy Dolphins against the Giants in the 2nd half in a game that Lamar Miller had 89 yards on only 12 carries, most of that coming in the 1st half.  If Campbell could bring in a rock solid offensive and defensive coordinators, I believe Campbell could be successful.  Whether he is given that chance remains to be seen.

 

Campbell has tried to make this more of a power team, a more physical team.  But it very apparent that pieces are missing.  Miami has been trying to build a solid OL for an extended period of time.  Both offensive guards, Billy Turner and Dallas Thomas have struggled, and both were 3rd round picks for Miami.  The Dolphins once and for all NEED to address BOTH OG spots.  Miami will not be able to TRULY know what they have in QB Ryan Tannehill until they put a compotent offensive line in front of him.  No quarterback has been sacked more than Tannehill since he came into the league.

 

The lack of physicality has REALLY showed for the Dolphins in divisional play, as the Dolphins are 0-5 in the division, 0-2 against the Jets and Bills and 0-1 against the Patriots with the last game of the year coming in Miami against New England.  In those games in the division, the Dolphins have been DOMINATED.  The offensive lin in particular, has been exposed time after time in the games within the division facing teams with very good defensive fronts like the Jets and the Bills have.  New England defensive front is not as good, but they are solid, and the Dolphins could not generate any push or offense against the Patriots earlier this year.

 

Defensively, Miami has some nice pieces in place along the defensive line in Ndamankong Suh, Derrick Shelby, Terrance Fede and Jordan Phillips.  Miami in recent weeks has added DE Quintin Couples and Damontre Moore from the New York Jets and New York Giants respectively.  Both are talented, but both have struggled with their respective teams.  Hopefully a fresh start will help revive their careers, as Couples is only 25 years old and Moore is 23 years old.  DE Olivier Vernon has come on strong after getting off to a slow start, and is a free agent after the year.  The Dolphins will have to make a decision on him.    While I would like to see more consistency out of Vernon, he is an ascending talent and drafted and developed talent, and he is only 25 years old as well.  Vernon is hitting his prime and the Dolphins should look to re-sign Vernon.  I also believe that the Dolphins should look to bring back DE Cameron Wake, who even though he has not played since that New England game, still leads the Dolphins with 7.0 sacks, while Vernon is at 6.5 sacks.  Cameron would have to come back on a restructured, team friendly deal though.  Wake is 33 years old and coming off an torn Achilles Tendon, a tough injury to come back from.  Wake is a work out monster, and I think he can come back and be effective as a spot player, and he would provide a veteran voice on a young defensive line.  I believe DT Earl Mitchell may be released to help create cap space, as will other players.

 

Miami has to address the MLB spot and the cornerback and safety spots on this defense.  MLB Kelvin Sheppard is a journeyman player, who plays hard, but is just not an impact player.  I would not mind adding talent to challenge Koa Misi and Jelani Jenkins.  This unit has to be upgraded, as the lack of playmakers at the LB position in my opinion, is more of the problem in regards to the run defense than the DL for Miami.

 

CB Brent Grimes is having a ROUGH year and carries a high cap number, and is on the wrong side of 30 at 32 years old.  The only way I see him back in Miami is if he takes a reduced, cap freindly restructured contract.  Opposite of Brent has been FA signing Brice McClain and last week, rookie Bobby McClain was given a chance to start.  Today in the San Diego game, there is a buzz that you will see a lot of rookie CB Tony Lippett, a big CB that has an intriguing upside.  Time to see what you have in Tony and the rest of these young players.  One young player that is running out of chances is CB Jamar Taylor.  Dave Blake, aka Big Dave on the boards made an interesting comment and one I would not mind seeing.  He mentioned the idea of looking at Jamar at safety, and I actually think he could be a solid safety.  He does not mind coming up and tackling, and while he has not been what you wanted as a CB in coverage, he would not match up with wide receivers as much and could match up with tight ends pretty well in my opinion.

 

At Safety, SS Reshad Jones has had a very good year, but the FS spot has been a REAL struggle for Miami, as both Walt Aikens and Michael Thomas have not been good.  Shamiel Gary came in and played against the Giants last week, and Miami will probably take a further look at him and see what eh has to offer.  The FS position has to be addressed.

 

Mark, aka swere has already started looking at the draft and I have started as well.  Just looking at some possible impact players that Miami could look at in the 1st round, Notre Dame OLB Jaylon Smith has the play making, explosive hitter type of abiltiy that Miami would like, and he can and has played ILB for the Fighting Irish as well.  He has very nice size at 6'3, 240 lbs, and would be an immediate upgrade at the MLB position.  Another possible candidate is UCLA LB Myles Jack.  Jack is coming off a knee injury that occured before the season started and has missed the entire 2015 season.  But make no mistakes about it, this kid makes plays.  He also has nice size at 6'1, 245 lbs.  At the cornerback position, Florida State CB Jalen Ramsey is that big, athletic CB that the NFL is trending towards, especially with the bigger wide receivers in the NFL.  We saw how Brandon Marshall OWNED Brent Grimes a few weeks ago, as he basically over powered Grimes.  Ramsey is 6'1, 202 lbs, is a willing hitter and has the hips and speed to be an excellent NFL CB.  He has also played safety, so he has that added versatility as well.  The other premier cornerback is Florida CB Vernon Hargreaves.  Vernon also has excellent size at 5'11, 199 lbs, and is an aggressive, bump and run cornerback.  This group of 4 are impact players, and at this moment, the Dolphins have the 9th pick in the draft, so they could be in position to grab one of these kids.

 

We have a few weeks left in the season, but I will start to look at the draft more becuase of the fact that Miami is out of the playoff race.  Once again, the Dolphins will be on the outside looking in regards to the playoffs.  Miami will also be looking to make a BIG decision in regards to a new HC, a decision which will shape this orginization.  Owner Stephen Ross has to get it right FINALLY.

 

 

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