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Bengals look bad enough to challenge to Dolphins for top pick

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Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The intent of the Miami Dolphins has been apparent for the past 45 days that they want to lose every game possible to try and garner the number one pick in the NFL Draft next April.

However, they are apparently not alone among bottom-feeding NFL teams that are “Tanking for Tua” and capable of losing all or almost all of their games.

A fine example was in prime time on Monday Night Football. That’s when, the Cincinnati Bengals dropped to 0-4 with a lifeless performance, losing 27 – 3 to division rival Pittsburgh.

Now, Cincinnati with their own first-year, first time, head coach, Zach Taylor, came close to beating Seattle in week one before Russell Wilson led a late comeback for a 21 – 20 victory. The Bengals were also in the game with the Buffalo Bills last weekend before dropping it, 21 – 17.

And this week, Cincinnati will get the chance to play rookie number one pick, QB Kyler Murray and the winless Arizona Cardinals, at home. However, if they cannot win that game, the Cincinnati schedule definitely gets tougher.

Over the course of October they will play at the Ravens, the Jaguars at home, the Rams at home and again, against the Ravens. The Bengals will not be favored to win any of those games and could be very easily 0 – 9 heading into the stretch run of the season.

And, even though quarterback Andy Dalton (above Monday) has led them to playoff berths, he will be 32 later this year. His final year of his six year deal is next season at $17+ million, but not any of it is guaranteed. So, if they don’t want him, he’s not the long-term future any longer in Cincinnati.

That could obviously become Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who is obviously coveted in South Florida, and elsewhere.

Interestingly, the Bengals and Dolphins are slated to meet in the second to last game of the season on December 22nd in Miami. And, it’s very possible that one or both teams will either be winless, or have at maximum one victory, when they do.

Further, it will almost be comical to watch both teams approach that game, as the winner will basically be eliminated from a chance at the top overall pick.

There is still a lot of football left to be played this season, and we have laid out that the Dolphins have an easier schedule coming up where they could sneak a win, or maybe even more, before that December date with Cincinnati.

Still, the Bengals look every bit as dysfunctional and weak as the Dolphins do, and it’s no guarantee that they will win a game, either.

Miami Dolphins

Bama QB Tua Tagovailoa present to start NFL combine

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John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Scouting Combine is getting underway in Indianapolis this week and on Monday morning, one of the prized quarterbacks that will be available early in the first round of the draft was there for official measurements and to meet with teams.

Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, whose season ended with a fractured hip last November, is on the road to recovery and he was officially measured and also, met with numerous teams that are looking at the possibility of drafting him:

In addition to not only the injured hip, but also a history of high ankle sprain problems, Tagovailoa has got to answer critics on his size. At just 6 – 0 feet there will be concerns about his ability to clearly see downfield through the massive bodies on NFL Sundays.

However, this can be combated by moving him around out of the pocket and that’s something that Alabama was successful at doing over his three years as well.

As we wrote recently, Tagovailoa was injured in Alabama’s 10th game of the season suffering a fractured hip on a sack late in the first half at Mississippi State. He missed the Tide’s final two regular-season games and then, their Citrus Bowl win January 1st, over Michigan

He came to Alabama from Hawaii and the same high school as Marcus Mariota, having thrown for over 8,000 yards which at that time was a Hawaii High School record. And, he had a career of 84 passing and 27 rushing touchdowns in three seasons.

Tua burst onto the scene nationally, when he relieved Jalen Hurts in the second half and overtime of Alabama’s thrilling title game win over Georgia in the 2018 College Football Playoff Championship Game. Tagovailoa threw the game-winning touchdown pass on the first overtime possession, as Alabama celebrated their fifth National Title in nine seasons under Saban.

In his second season at the helm in the 2018 regular season, Tagovailoa was named second-team AP All-American and was a Heisman Trophy finalist, as the Tide reached the National Title game, again, before being beaten soundly by Clemson 12 months ago.

As this junior season unfolded, Tagovailoa was named almost became synonymous with the Dolphins, who started the season horribly at 0 – 7 and the moniker “Tank for Tua” began to gain momentum in South Florida.

Tagovailoa is obviously on the Dolphins list to look at strongly to select in the top five in the draft and currently, Miami is slated to pick fifth.

It is expected that Tagovailoa will work out for teams probably later in March or maybe even, early April at the Tide’s facility in Tuscaloosa, prior to the NFL draft coming to Las Vegas.

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Colorado announced hire of Dolphins assistant Dorrel Sunday

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Former UCLA coach and recently promoted Dolphins assistant Karl Dorrell is headed back to college, as the new head coach of the Colorado Buffaloes.

The school confirmed Dorrell’s hire on Sunday evening with a five-year contract to take over their Big 12 program:

The Buffaloes have been seeking a head coach since there coach Mel Tucker abruptly left to take the Michigan State job earlier this month.

Dorrell came to the dolphins with Brian Flores this past season, as wide receiver coach and earlier last week was promoted to assistant head coach for the upcoming season. Miami’s top receiver, DeVante Parker, blossomed under Dorrell’s tutelage as the year went on. He finished the season with 72 catches for 1,202 yards and nine touchdowns becoming the favorite target of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Dorrel is the latest Dolphins assistant on the move. Flores fired the offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea he brought with him from New England. And, his defensive coordinator Patrick Graham left to take the same job with the Giants.

Dorrell had also been the Dolphins receivers coach, previously from 2008 – 10 and then, their quarterbacks coach in 2011 under the late Tony Sparano.

Colorado’s athletic director Rick George said in a statement Sunday night,

“I am excited that Karl Dorrell has agreed to become our head football coach,” George said. “Karl has had great success as a college coach, both as a head coach and an assistant, and he knows the Pac-12 Conference and West Coast well. It was important that our next coach have CU ties, and Karl has those ties having worked at CU twice previously. Karl shares my passion for Colorado and our vision for winning championships. He will be a tremendous mentor and role model for our student-athletes, and he will provide great leadership for our program going forward.” 

The CU Board of Regents still have to approve Dorrell’s contract, which will be $18 million for five seasons.

Dorrell had previously been on Colorado staffs two other times in his career, including most recently as offensive coordinator under Rick Neuheisel from 1995- 98.

Dorrell was named head coach of his alma mater UCLA in 2003, where he lasted five seasons and went to a bowl game every year finishing with a career 35 – 27 record before being fired after the 2007 season.

Dorrell had previously been receivers coach for the New York Jets 2015 – 18 under Todd Bowles (above) and two of his receivers had made the Pro Bowl during his time there.

Colorado picked Dorrell from an interview process that also included former Buffaloes player and Kansas City Super Bowl offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy, who interviewed and was under strong consideration.

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