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Miami Dolphins

Dolphins swung and missed in attempt to get their QB Thursday night

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Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

In the end, the Miami Dolphins did end up with a solid selection with Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick Thursday night. However, make no mistake, they were trying to get their hands on one of the two remaining quarterbacks in the top 10 of the NFL draft. And it did not happen for them, when it did for two others, including an AFC East rival.

Not surprisingly, there was a frenzy of activity on the phones, once the Cleveland Browns took Ohio State defensive back Denzel Ward with the fourth pick and the Denver Broncos at five did not trade either. And, instead, they went ahead and took Bradley Chubb, defensive end from NC State.

At that point, everyone looking strongly at a quarterback, and the Dolphins were clearly one of those teams, knew what the Colts were not going to do, next. That was, take a quarterback.

Indianapolis has Andrew Luck, who is coming off of shoulder surgery that robbed him of the entire 2017 season, but they still believe in him. Interestingly, whether there was a great offer or not on the table, the Colts also chose to pick a non-QB in Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson.

So now the question became, who could make a trade either with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the 7th pick or maybe someone just after them on the board to try to grab either QB’s Josh Allen of Wyoming or Josh Rosen of UCLA?

A source familiar with what went on last night in the Dolphins war room says to F.F.I. that they were trying on the phones, but either didn’t have the ammo Buffalo did (a second #1 pick this year) or couldn’t get someone to agree (like the Raiders did, eventually) to trade with them.

So, in the end the Dolphins watched their AFC East rival, the Bills end up succeeding, as they gave up two of their of their second round picks, to move up five spots with the Bucs, and draft Allen.

And with Josh Rosen still sitting there, the Dolphins watched, as Arizona jumped right in front of them making that deal with Oakland.

Here’s fascinating exclusive behind the scenes video from the Cardinals website, as they boldly pulled off the trade with Oakland giving up only a third round pick and a later selection to do so.

Two things stand out: as Cards GM Steve Keim reaches Reggie McKenzie of the Raiders (“Hey Reg”), he reveals that they had already been talking in advance, about this deal for the 10th pick with Oakland.

And, if you are a Fins fan, this part should frustrate, if not anger you the most: the 3rd round pick Arizona gave up was below Miami’s pick by two slots.

Also, the Dolphins have an extra fourth round pick upcoming tonight, and could have parted with that, too. Then, the trade would have easily surpassed what Arizona (their 5th rounder) was offering.

However, VP of football Mike Tannenbaum or GM Chris Grier either hadn’t laid the ground work with the Raiders, or simply decided it wasn’t worth it to keep trying.

The Cardinals, as you see in the video, then pounced on Rosen to be their quarterback of the future.

Now, it appeared all along that Baker Mayfield, who went first overall, was coach Adam Gase and the organization’s favorite QB. And, as it became more apparent that the Cleveland Browns were going to take him early, then contingency plans went into motion about the other quarterbacks. Obviously, as our source reports, the Fins didn’t have a good enough one.

Still, the argument can be made, that the Dolphins have Ryan Tannehill and have also signed Brock Osweiler as a backup.  And, they could still take one of the other quarterbacks later in this draft tonight or tomorrow to develop for the future.

But, make no mistake. While under the gun last night with “the fire flying,” and trades being made, the Dolphins were unable or at least unwilling to risk something significant to go get a quarterback.

Something that to other teams did and got into the top 10, successfully.

We will see over the course of this season and maybe a little longer, if that was a mistake by Miami or by those who made the trades.

Particularly, if one or both of the Josh’s that the Dolphins could have traded for, ends up succeeding in Buffalo and or Arizona, it looks even worse for the Fins.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Rob

    April 27, 2018 at 9:33 am

    Fake news! I know for a fact that Dolphins were not going to select Rosen even if he fell to 11. The only QB they were going to trade up for was Mayfield. When he was taken #1 the focus shifted to improving the defense. Same for Broncos, they had a deal in place to move up to #2 if Mayfield was available.

  2. JohnD

    April 27, 2018 at 9:45 am

    The fact is that Arizona and Buffalo had a bigger need to go up and get a QB. The Phins have so many needs elsewhere, particularly on defense that it didn’t make sense to give up picks to move up for one of these guys. I’m not convinced that they would have taken Rosen if he were there at 11. I get the excitement of taking one of these QB’s with all of the hype created leading up to draft night, but the fact remains that the Dolphins defense has allowed 390 and 383 points the last two seasons, which is something that needs to be addressed. Tannehill can get the job done for now, and if the Phins finish as badly as some “experts” are predicting, they can get their guy next year hopefully without having to give up valuable picks in the process. Fix the defense and go from there.

    • Rob

      April 27, 2018 at 9:46 am

      Agreed!

  3. FinFitzFan

    April 27, 2018 at 10:00 am

    I agree 1000%! Miami did not need to waste picks moving up. They did right by me staying put and grabbing the elite talent in Fitzpatrick. Well done. He is already a top 5 FS in the NFL!

    • JohnD

      April 27, 2018 at 10:08 am

      I love the pick. Aside from a TE and a kicker, I hope it’s all defense from here on out.

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Miami Dolphins

Dolphins beaten up every way possible after latest loss in Green Bay

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Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Make no mistake, the Dolphins season is not officially over at 5 – 5 headed in the bye week.

It just looks and feels that way.

Mostly, it does, because the Dolphins are banged up, not only physically, but also it appears emotionally and psychologically. So, much so, they don’t appear to have a whole lot left for the stretch run.

Let’s start with the actual physical injuries and that began Sunday with the inactives. The Fins starting offensive line was minus Laremy Tunsil and Ja’Wuan James, which were not unexpected. However, after being able to practice some this week, former number 1 pick defensive end Charles Harris was not able to play against Green Bay today, either.

Then, as the game wore on, it was one Dolphin leaving after another. Whether it was Kenyan Drake with a shoulder injury in the first half or Bobby McCain with a concussion in the third quarter or when receivers Jakeem Grant and DeVante Parker both had to leave on the same Drive, it was tough to watch the Dolphins walking wounded.

The biggest fear is for the smaller but explosive Grant, who may have torn his Achilles in the third quarter. Grant was already suffering from Achilles tendonitis and came up hobbling right away on a slant pass and could not put weight on the foot. He was then carted shortly thereafter to the Dolphins locker room.

Coach Adam Gase offered no real update on Grant’s status other than that it’s a wait-and-see. As for Parker, same thing is being hoped, even though, the media reported him walking around in the locker room after the game with his left arm in a sling. You combine those injuries with Kenny Stills being slowed by a groin injury and Albert Wilson already out for the year having hurt his hip a few weeks ago, and the Dolphins may be looking for Mark Duper or Nat Moore to come out of retirement at this point.

Bigger than just the physical injuries, the Dolphins appear spent in the figurative sense as well. The frustration mounted as Aaron Rodgers continued to carve them up throwing darts all over the football field Sunday night in the Lambeau cold. He finished with only 195 yards passing, but did have two TDs. And, they marched on the Dolphins defense, whenever he wanted.

It was almost as if Miami was just helpless to do anything against him, and they are watching their season wind down.

Consider that backup quarterback Brock Osweiler was not able to spark the team for the third consecutive game. So poor is the offensive output, that Miami has not scored a touchdown in their last nine quarters dating back to the Thursday night loss in Houston.

The Dolphins aren’t playing with any confidence, at least from the guys that are replacing the injured players. Remember, with Miami at full strength early in the year  they got off to a 3 – 0 start.

So, the bye week comes now and perhaps, starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill shoulder will be healed enough that he can practice in 10 days and maybe play at Indianapolis. It’s anybody’s guess as to who, out of the names above, will actually be healthy enough to help Tannehill and the Dolphins for the final six games.

Finally, even though Miami would appear by record to be very much in the hunt for an AFC wild-card spot, they don’t look like a playoff team.

No. They’re banged up and look like a team that will be watching the postseason like everybody else.

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Miami Dolphins

Gameday- Dolphins travel to chilly Lambeau Field

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Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Who: Dolphins (5-4) at Packers (3-4-1)

When: Sunday 4:25 p.m.

Where: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI

Spread: Packers by 10 points (Courtesy of VegasInsider.com)

Here’s what to watch:

Continue with takeaways
As double-digit underdogs at Lambeau, the Dolphins really only have one real shot to win this game with the Packers – turnovers. And lots of them.
Granted it was rookie quarterback Sam Darnold last week, but the Fins four interceptions, including Jerome Baker running one in for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, were the difference in the game. Whether it’s a strip sack of Aaron Rodgers or being able to get an interception or maybe two off of him, Miami has got to take the football away.
It hurts the Fins that linebacker Kiko Alonso, who we wrote about earlier this week is questionable with an ankle injury, but it looks like he will try to play.
Still, they other veterans on defense have got to pick up the slack and try to make something happen.
Don’t let Rodgers pick you apart
Well that’s a simple phrase above, it’s going to have to be a goal of Miami’s to not give the veteran Pro Bowl quarterback all day to throw and allow him to dissect the Dolphins secondary. Green Bay barely gives the illusion of trying to run the ball, they instead use the short passing attack with Rodgers throwing it to pick up short-yardage, convert third Downs, Etc.
If Miami pass-rushers like Cameron Wake, Robert Quinn and hopefully active after missing a few games with a calf injury, Charles Harris, can make Rogers life difficult than the fans have a better chance to hang in in this one.
Being efficient on offense
There’s no way that Miami can win a shootout against Rodgers, as backup quarterback Brock Osweiler and the weapons Miami has aren’t built for that right now.
However, the Fins can run it some with Kenyan Drake and Frank Gore and the Packers defense has been susceptible a lot of this season. Osweiler needs to convert third downs and move the chains and when Miami gets chances to score points, even field goals, they have to capitalize.
If they fall significantly behind on the road in chili Green Bay, it will be an ugly day..
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Miami Dolphins

Dolphins defensive coordinator Burke under scrutiny

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Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a tough few weeks for the Dolphins all the way around, but specifically on the defensive side of the ball, the struggles are mounting. And when you throw in a player pouting and essentially pulling a mutiny on the sidelines last Sunday, it’s not good for the defensive coordinator.

That’s what happened a week ago when Pro Bowl safety Reshad Jones refused to go back in the game on two occasions during the second half of the Dolphins close 13 – 6 win over the Jets. It’s been a big topic in South Florida for the last few days, and it obviously has defensive coordinator Matt Burke having to answer for what’s going on in the defense of meeting rooms, practices, etc.

Burke’s in his second full season as the defensive coordinator for the Fins, met with the media on Thursday:

As the press continued to poke at him about the Jones situation, you could tell that Burke is over it, as is coach Adam Gase, and they want to move on for this week. However, Jones didn’t make that any easier, when he basically refused to apologize for not wanting to play.

And, moving past it may also be easier said than done, when the opponent is All-Pro quarterback and former League MVP Aaron Rodgers at his house, Lambeau Field.

Yes, the Dolphins have some pass rushers, and that would include second-year defensive end and former number 1 pick Charles Harris returning to practice this week after a calf injury, and he may be able to play. Veteran Cam Wake came alive pressuring Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold repeatedly, and registering a couple of sacks.

However, the defensive plays have been few and far between, as the Dolphins have lost four of the last five games.

That brings us back to Burke, who was elevated after coaching the linebackers in 2016, when Vance Joseph left Miami to become Denver’s head coach. After spending his entire pro career as a linebackers coach, this is his first opportunity to be the guy in charge of the defense.

So, he and Gase can get aggravated with the questioning of what we’re seeing, but the bottom line is: if the Dolphins defense doesn’t continue to step it up, like they did last week, there is going to be much more scrutiny of him.

The oddsmakers have the Dolphins as double-digit underdogs to Rodgers and the Pack.

Now, let’s see if Burke’s unit will rally together, play solidly and give Miami a chance to win Sunday.

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