As the Dolphins were busy dropping their ninth game in 11 tries Sunday afternoon in Cleveland, it was blatantly noticeable again, that pieces that were in place for their franchise we’re helping other teams succeed all over the NFL.
For example, former Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill has led a rebirth of Tennessee’s offense and saved their season, as the Titans flattened the Jaguars 42 – 20 in their latest win Sunday. Tannehill showed mobility scrambling for a 21-yard touchdown run and added another rushing score. He also threw two touchdown passes, including one to an offensive lineman on the goal line.
There is no disputing the Tannehill’s insertion into the starting role in place of Marcus Mariota has resulted in Tennessee winning four of the last five games. And, the Titans being firmly in the hunt for the AFC South and potentially an AFC wild-card spot.
Regardless of the salary cap savings, GM Chris Grier and coach Brian Flores have seen the Dolphins quarterback play has for the most part be poor. And, that includes trading for former Cardinals first round pick Josh Rosen. Rosen who began they year on the bench behind veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, but came in to start few games. However, he has now we’re going back into the deep freeze.
The argument is that Miami could have kept Tannehill by finding a creative way contractually for the cap and have a solution at QB for the near future. Instead, Tennessee is winning and Miami, with no long term QB, is floundering.
Moving on. Another key contributor for several years in South Florida was on display on the other sideline at the “Dog Pound” Sunday. Receiver Jarvis Landry had been waiting for two seasons for a shot to play against the Fins, and made the most of it Sunday with 10 catcces for 148 yards receiving and two scores.
While the argument can be made that when Mike Tannenbaum and Adam Gase decided they no longer needed Landry’s combustible personality and did not want to pay him a massive contract, there’s also no disputing that the Dolphins haven’t had a receiver anywhere near his caliber the last two years and are still searching for one.
By the way, owner Stephen Ross fired Tannenbaum and Gase for their bad personnel decisions and losing over the last two years.
Again, they are searching to replace someone who will be really good at catching the ball and impacting defenses for the next few years at least.
And then there’s number one pick from 2018, defensive back, Minkah Fitzpatrick. The Dolphins decided he did not fit into the long-term plans, even though he’s very talented player and was salary cap friendly.
The Steelers gladly grabbed him before the trade deadline for a first-round selection and all Fitzpatrick has done is collect 8 takeaways, since coming to Pittsburgh, which leads the entire NFL. And, it also includes Fitzpatrick’s two interceptions of his last name-sake, Fitzpatrick in Pittsburgh’s Monday night win back in October.
You include, Grier and Flores wanting to get rid of left tackle, Laremy Tunsil, to Houston for a #1 pick, when he could have theoretically locked down that important position for the next 8 – 10 years in South Florida, you have to be shaking your head.
Plus, you can include dumping running back Kenyan Drake, who has quickly blossomed in Kliff Kingsbury’s Arizona offense in his three games there since he was traded free late round pick. Miami has no suitable every down running back, as this year is winding down, and will have to sign or draft one.
No, the Dolphins were not going to contend for the Super Bowl this year under first-year coach Flores, but they got rid of numerous pieces that they will need still to replace to in free agency and the draft. And, Miami won’t be able to do that in just one year.
Bama QB Tua Tagovailoa present to start NFL combine
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:
Tua Tagovailoa measured at 6-0, 217 pounds at the NFL combine today. Left throwing hand at 10”
— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) February 24, 2020
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.
Colorado announced hire of Dolphins assistant Dorrel Sunday
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:
We'd like to officially introduce you to our new HC, Karl Dorrell.
— Colorado Buffaloes Football (@CUBuffsFootball) February 23, 2020
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.
“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.