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Miami Dolphins

Dolphins in quandary on trying to win games

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Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

As the Dolphins get set to travel to the Midwest and play the Indianapolis Colts, the intrigue of how hard they will try to win games in the second half of the season has heightened.

This as, Miami got their first win of the year last week at home with the Jets. And, in doing so, allowed the Cincinnati Bengals to now control their own destiny to “tank” completely, lose every game and end up with the number one overall pick in the draft.

Plus, there is still the looming game in South Florida in December for Cincinnati and the Fins. And, the Bengals have benched longtime starter Andy Dalton in favor of unproven Ryan Finley starting this week. This means that Cincy could very well still be winless, when they play Miami head-to-head in a few weeks.

Likewise, the Dolphins are now tied with the Washington Redskins with a single victory, and Washington’s win is a 17 – 16 triumph back last month at Hard Rock Stadium. So, therefore, should the two teams remain tied at the end of the year, the Dolphins would pick in front of Washington.

Yet, another Dolphins win, might be enough to now have a second team in front of them in the draft order for good.

Certainly, the Fins offense has responded over the last three games to veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick and they have actually had a double-digit lead in each of the last two contests.

Now they’re playing an Indianapolis team but not only suffered a defeat on the scoreboard at the hands of the Steelers, but also in the injury department to starting quarterback Jacoby Brissett.

Brissett suffered a sprained knee during the first half of the game and has been able to practice only on a limited basis. And, it’s still not completely known if he can play, or how effectively for Sunday? Yet, the odds makers still don’t seem to respect Miami, especially on the road this week. And, Indy remains a double digit favorite to hand Miami their eighth loss.

So, this brings us back to Miami and their mentality from here on out. Even though coach Brian Flores (celebrating last Sunday above) has maintained that they will continue to do everything they can to try to win games, the actions of the front office have demonstrated otherwise by getting rid of one starting veteran player after another.

This has been verified with the repeated trades during the season.

One thing is certain from the math: if Miami does win a game before that match up with Cincinnati, it all but assures they are not going to end up with the number one pick. And as laid out above with the hapless Redskins, it’s very likely that winning a second game puts them in front of Washington for good.

But like we said, intrigue will be everywhere on the Dolphins effort and execution starting against the Colts Sunday.

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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