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    Senior Writer/Founder- Brant Houghton

    Co-Lead Blogger- Sam Klein

    Featured Contributor- Griffin Van Nest

    Featured Contributor- Josh Dhani

    Graphics Designer- Tristan Meiselbach

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  • Miami Dolphins 2010 Draft Picks

    * 28th - 1st Round- Jared Odrick
    * 40th- 2nd Round- Koa Misi
    * 73rd - 3rd Round- John Jerry
    * 119th - 4th Round-A.J. Edds
    * 145th - 5th Round-Nolan Carroll
    * 163rd - 5th Round-Reshad Jones
    * 212th - 7th Round-Chris McCoy
    * 252nd- 7th Round-Austin Spitler

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Dolphins Schedule Rundown: Weeks 1&2

The Miami Dolphins have a history of getting out to slow starts early on in the season this decade. In the last three years in the first three games, the Dolphins have started out a combined 1-8!

This year the Fins look to get out to a much hotter start, and make the stretch run that much easier by picking up as many wins as they can in the month of September, which has not treated the team nicely throughout the decade.

The first two weeks of the season, the Dolphins play the Buffalo Bills in Week 1, and the Minnesota Vikings in Week 2. Here are my expectations for the first two weeks of the season, as we start our first segment, in a series of schedule rundowns.

Week 1- Buffalo Bills:

The Dolphins will open up the season against their division rivals in what should be an easy win for the team, and a tuneup for the Week 2 matchup against the tougher Minnesota Vikings.

The Fins will look to air it out against the Bills young secondary, and rough up the Bills on the ground as well, with both Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams getting what should be extensive touches.

The Bills really have no answer for the Fins at all, on offense or defense. The Bills have weaknesses at seemingly every position, and really should be double-digit underdogs in this game.

X-Factor: Pat White- While White may not even see any gametime in this game at all, seeing as how this could very well be over by the end of the first half, White could show all of his hard work that he has put in this off-season, and fine tune his accuracy against starting defenses against the Bills. I also expect to see some Wild-Pat action as well. White is simply too good of an athlete to keep under wraps any longer. The time is now for the Fins to see what he can do early in the season, and often. Opening Day is just the right game to see potentially what they may see the rest of the season.

Prediction: Dolphins win, 27-10 in a blowout win, and the fans getting to see some of the backups during the 4th quarter.

Week 2-Minnesota Vikings:

After what should be an easy win for the Fins in Week 1 against the Buffalo Bills, the team faces a much tougher opponent in the Minnesota Vikings.

Not only do the Vikings have a high scoring offense, with a high powered run game and a dangerous passing game, but they have a stifling run defense and capable pass defense as well.

The Dolphins will look to expose their weakness and age through the air, and win the game that way, but it will be the run game that will get this team the win, along with keeping Adrian Peterson out of the endzone. The key for the Fins will be to make this team one dimensional early, so the defense can focus in on shutting down the Vikes offense all around. Brett Favre, the Vikings aging quarterback will look to pass when he can, but has been known to force the issue over his career. The Dolphins will need to make some plays off of Favre’s mistakes if they wish to win the game.

X-Factor-Randy Starks: The Dolphins will have to stop Peterson at some point, or else he will run all over the Fins all game long. Starks will have to step up in this game and help the front seven stuff the run early and often, thus forcing Favre to force the issue via the aerial attack. Starks is relatively new to playing the nose tackle position for the majority of the game, and has little experience against a top running back. It will be up to him to set the pace of the game, and not allow Peterson to get to the second level, where he can break tackles and use his elusiveness.

Prediction: Vikings win, 24-21. The Vikings simply have too many options for the Dolphins defense. The Dolphins will not be able to get a consistent pass rush against the more than viable Vikings offensive line, which will allow Favre to stand in the pocket and make enough plays to get his team the win, despite the game being close throughout.

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The State Of: The Franchise

Training camp is just around the corner, but do not forget that we are still very much in the “Dead Zone” of the off-season. But even though we cannot see it, or even hear about it, the Dolphins organization as a whole is working in preparation for the season. So with that, let’s take a look into the Dolphins organization as a whole.

The Ownership:

Last year, our previous owner, Wayne H. Huizenga sold the majority of the ownership to newly crowned owner Stephen Ross. Ross then has continued to sell small portions of the ownership stakes to celebrities stemming from all regions of the entertainment world.

But the main responsibility falls on Ross.

Ross is doing his best to ensure his team of success.

And the job that he is doing is not half bad so far. It is after all, under his reign that the Dolphins have more intensity around their home games than in any other recent year.

And it is under his reign that the Dolphins are spending more money than ever in hopes of making their team the best in the league. This has almost never happened.

Ross may be the most financially motivated owner that the Dolphins have ever seen. After all, he is giving the reigns over to Bill Parcells, and giving him all the money he needs to build a winner. That is how much this guy wants a championship.

But Ross is also willing to stay in the dark, behind the curtains, and allow his employees to take all the credit (as they should) and make the team the best it can possibly be. He will deal with the financial side of things, while he leaves the football guys to the football side of things.

Ross is on the right track. He is manuevering this franchise to great things. They are a young team, but the way that he is staying out of the headlines (for the most part) is promising that we do not have a Dan Snyder, or Al davis on our hands, who are both owners who are potentially crippling their franchises with the way that they rule their teams.

The bottom line is that we are in good hands, hopefully for a very long time!

The Front Office:

Like the owner, the Dolphins front office likes to handle their jobs in a business like manner, and try to stay out of the headlines.

When anyone mentions the Dolphins front office, the first names that come to my head are general manager Jeff Ireland, and vice president of executive operations Bill Parcells.

They are the only guys that you ever hear about in the press, and that is how the Dolphins like it. Heck, his first year on the job, you barely heard Irelands in the media anywhere!

They are in their third year together now, and gaining steam to another playoff birth. They are casually building a team with people like themselves: winners.

The tag team of Ireland and Parcells are leading the Dolphins to all new heights!

Parcells is a proven winner everywhere he goes, and that is soon to be Ireland’s title. This guy is doing an awesome job in completely rebuilding a team that went 1-15 the year before he arrived. While many consider Parcells to be the lead guy when it comes to crucial decisions, but really, Ireland is the head honcho now, and Parcells is steadily gleaning himself out of the decision making process, as he heads his way into retirement.

So far under Ireland and the rest of the front office, the team has found a franchise quarterback (Chad Henne), a top five offensive line (including elite left tackle Jake Long), one of the best future cornerback tandems (Vontae Davis and Sean Smith), stole one of the best receivers in the game (Brandon Marshall for two 2nd round picks) and lured one of the best free agents to Miami (Karlos Dansby).

In three years, that is a pretty impressive resume to have. If the Dolphins are to get to the promised land, it will be all due to the guys scouting, drafting, trading, and of course, coaching the players, for our success.

The Coaching:

What can I say about Tony Sparano? The guy leads with his heart, and truly has a passion, a love for the game of football, and it shows on the field and in his team. he takes pride in how he coaches, and coaching his players the right way, and not taking any shortcuts.

Sparano is one of the main reasons for the Fins quick turn-around.

This guy is a players coach, and everyone in Miami loves him. He reminds me of a high school football coach in the way he goes after a win. He never stops with the intensity that he brings to gametime, and that is why he is beloved by a whole fanbase. Sparano is an integral part of the rebuilding process for the Fins, and one of the biggest reasons why they rebounded so quickly from disaster.

But the other coaches cannot be ignored either. Dan Henning. Mike Nolan. I have all the confidence in the world that these guys can help bring the Dolphins back to prominence.

Sure, Nolan has not yet spent a game as a Fins coach, but the vibe around how he will change the pace of the Dolphins defense is chilling.

Gone are the days where our defense is predictable and has to adapt to opposing offenses. Because of our coach, we have a guy, and a system where the offense adapts to us.

And lets not forget Henning who, along with the help of quarterbacks coach David Lee brought the Wildcat formation to the NFL. The Dolphins offense now is multi-talented, and can come at you with a high flying aerial attack, with the help of Brandon Marshall and Chad Henne, or a high octane ground game, and not to mention the Wildcat.

Coaching is what has helped this young team succeed over the past three years, and that will not stop anytime soon. The coaching staff keeps getting better, with experts, and old veterans such as Nolan, Henning, and Lee on the staff. They all specialize in something better than over half of the other coaches in their positions in the NFL.

All of these facets of our franchise, the ownership, the front office, and the coaching staff help our team succeed in a way that is beyond what anyone realizes. Most of our team is younger than 27, and our organization is doing a job at not only coaching them, and discipling them, but also drafting smart, talented, and mature young men in the process.

With the help of the aforementioned departments of the organization, the Dolphins are positioning themselves for glory.

The State Of: The Rivalry, Jets Edition

A lot can be said about the last two seasons for the Miami Dolphins. They went from being at the bottom of the food chain in the NFL, to one of the top up-and-coming teams in the league. They made the playoffs after winning the AFC East one year, to watching their rival, New York Jets, venture deep into the playoffs the next.

The one memory of the past two seasons that sticks out in my mind is the renewal of a rivalry. The rivalry between the Miami Dolphins and the Jets is now meaningful once again, not only to the players and fans, but to the football world as well.

The hatred. The passion. The effort and preparation that goes into the Fins-Jets games from everyone involved is now on a whole new level, ever since both teams fought their way back to prominence.

While the players may not hate each other, I can assure you that more than 50% of the Dolphin and Jet fans hate each other with a passion that cannot be challenged.

Don't worry Ed, we hate you too!

I had the chance to witness the 2008 Week 17 game between these two rivals, which the Fins won to capture the AFC East division, and move on to the playoffs. I can tell you that the hatred that most of the fans treated each other with was absurd. There were numerous fights, a teenager challenging a grown man to a fight, a fan being pushed down rows of seats in the upper deck, and many other verbal battles, and ejections to go along with all of that.

The hatred is there, no matter what anyone says, and the fact of the matter is, I think it is beautiful. I mean, this is something that we all look forward too every year, the games when these two teams play each other. Personally, during the Monday Night game where the Fins edged out the Jets in 2009, I was on the edge of my seat the whole game, and was up most of the night because of the adrenaline. I couldn’t wait to brag about the win to any Jets fan I saw the rest of the week.

That’s what this rivalry is all about to us fans, bragging rights, and the fact that your team has beaten the other, and the win means something more because of that rivalry between the two teams.

This rivalry was once dead though. It was not always like this. There was a time period where games between the Dolphins and Jets did not mean as much, as they do now. Earlier in the decade, when both teams were fighting to stay in the conversation for the playoff race, there was simply not the same intensity throughout the whole fan bases as there is now.

A lot of that can be attributed to the new, young, star-studded rosters that both teams sport.

The Jets have pretty much an all-star team throughout their roster, while the Dolphins feature a very wide nucleus of young talent and wily veterans that just seem to get the job done in the end. This makes the media and the league notice the two teams and their rivalry more. This talent that both teams have, puts them on the map in the first place, and the fairness between the rosters talent wise always makes for a good game. With both teams having good enough rosters to realize that the games against each other are more important than any other regular season game, these games intensity seemingly cannot be matched.

One feature that also is a reason for all of the hype surrounding this rivalry is the duel between the young quarterbacks that are quickly becoming the faces of each of their franchises. Chad Henne for the Dolphins and Mark Sanchez for the Jets both have very promising futures ahead of them, and only increase the expectations of the games between the two, because these two young guns are leading their teams into battle.

It just so happens that one of the most talked about subjects on this rivalry is the Henne vs. Sanchez debate, and who is the better of the two. Even though these two have only been the starters of their teams for just one season, they have already created a debate that is at the front of every fans mind.

The fact is, while Sanchez led his team further into the playoffs, statistically, Henne has the better stats, while playing in one less game than the “Sanchize”.

Over 14 games, Henne amassed 2878 yards, 12 touchdowns, 14 interceptions, a 60.8 completion percentage, and a 75.2 passer rating.

Meanwhile, Sanchez passed for 2444 yards, 12 touchdowns, 20 interceptions, a 53.8 completion percentage, and a 63.0 passer rating.

While both quarterbacks have somewhat similar stats, Henne edges Sanchez out in almost every category possible. Henne completed a higher percentage of his passes, and boasted a better quarterback rating. He also threw for six less interceptions while only playing one game less than Sanchez.

Henne just edges out Sanchez in "The Battle of the Young Guns"

Yes, the Jets were mostly a running team, and relied on that heavily, but remember, the Dolphins were also a run first team as well. So as far as I’m concerned, Henne gets the nod based on those stats.

So, so far, the score is ties 1-1. Sanchez led his team to the playoffs, which gives him a point, and Henne has the better stats, which gives him a point as well. So the deciding factor will be who performed better when they battled head to head.

Both quarterbacks had some of their best games of the season against each other, with Henne dominating the first meeting, and Sanchez the next. But what stuck out to me was that both games were so close, and that Henne won both ball games. Sanchez did not do enough either game to be the deciding factor in the game.

With Henne being the deciding factor in the first matchup, he was the reason the Dolphins won the game. He passed for 241 yards and two touchdowns, while amassing a 76.9 completion percentage and a 130.4 passer rating. That game was Henne’s best all season, and it was safe to say that Henne was the difference maker in this game.

Sanchez meanwhile posted a good game in the second matchup where he took control of the tempo, but he was by no means the difference maker because his team did not get the win. Sanchez passed for 265 yards, and two touchdowns in this game, and a 100.3 passer rating.

So the final point goes to Henne, because he out-dueled Sanchez over the course of the two meetings between the two. Henne stepped up, and proved to be the difference in the rivalry.

When you mention the Dolphins-Jets rivalry, one cannot forget the two coaches, and what they bring to the table.

Rex Ryan, the coach of the Jets, is arrogant at times, brash, and outlandish at times with his predictions and confidence in his team. He flicked Miami fans off at a MMA bout. He predicted his team would make it to the Super Bowl two years running now. His mouth simply never stops.

Tony Sparano meanwhile leaves his talking for Sundays. Sparano does not give out any bulletin board material to the other team, and is confident in his team in a way that people respect him around the league, not laugh at him or ignore him.

Ryan may bring the hype to the games, but Sparano brings the toughness and all of the wins.

The two both mean so much to their teams, and are the undoubted leaders of their teams through thick and thin. Rex brings all of the media to the rivalry and hype, while Sparano brings the wins to the rivalry. Until Rex can find a way to beat the Dolphins, Sparano will always have one up on Rex.

Besides the players and coaches who bring the hype to this rivalry, the two cities that each team resides in cannot be ignored either. New York City and Miami are two of the biggest, and highly visited cities in America. This alone brings hype to games, and the fact that at least one game per year will most likely be on primetime television, shows that this rivalry is one of the best. Both cities draw in flocks of people, so the stadiums for games are rarely empty, and the buzz around these rivalry games is unmatched as well.

Let’s flash back to the 2008 game between the two teams in New York for the division title. The Dolphins have won the game. As the Fins players file back to the tunnel to enter their locker room, they stop to celebrate with the hundred or so fans that are waiting for them to pass by. The pure happiness on their faces was priceless. These guys on both teams take so much pride in beating the other it is ridiculous.  As part of that crew that celebrated with the players, I can say there is nothing better than basking in the glory of just beating our rival.

All of the players on both teams leave everything on the field, and make sure they dig down deep for that little extra push to try to win the game, and get the job done. These rivalry games are like regular season Super Bowls for both the Fins and the Jets, as well as their fans. Both parties take pride in this intense rivalry, and while it has just started to heat up again, all year round, I feel that these guys are our arch rivals, not the Buffalo Bills, or the New England Patriots. I feel that the New York Jets deserve the title of our arch rivals after the history that we have endured together in not only the past couple of years, but throughout both teams history.

Especially since the Bills are irrelevant at this point in the division race, and the Pats are starting to go into a transition period. At this point in time, the Jets are our rivals believe it or not. Based on what was said above, and the history between the two teams and fan bases, don’t you agree?

The Curious Case of Pat White

During an off-season where he has gained 18 pounds of pure muscle, and reduced his body fat percentage, Pat White has done what he needed to do to stay on the team, and potentially make a difference this year for the Miami Dolphins.

In order for White to be successful in the NFL, it was common knowledge that he needed to put on muscle, and find his accuracy when passing the ball.

You see, White has a special trait about him. Not only is he a quarterback who can run, and avoid tacklers, but he also fits the Dolphins Wildcat offense to the T.

White has the potential to be the X-Factor to the Fins offense.

The Dolphins like to use Ronnie Brown as the field general in this creative formation, but with the selection of White in the 2nd round of the 2009 NFL Draft, many thought that White would eventually take over for Brown.

As the season went along, it became more and more obvious that White was not yet ready for the NFL, at least physically. White’s accuracy failed because his hands were not quite big enough to fully grip the ball. He also was a string bean, and almost got himself killed everytime he got hit.

So White put on weight, and left his gloves at home, so he can now grip the ball. His accuracy has increased by significant amounts in OTA’s, and has somewhat of a physcial presence now at the quarterback position, for his height.

The work that White has put in this off-season has been nothing short of remarkable, and impressive, and it appears that it is about to pay off this season.

The Dolphins offense should be better than ever this year, with the addition of imposing wide receiver Brandon Marshall to scare opposing secondaries. The run game will also be utilized heavily as ever, and will continue to be a strength.

But the Dark Horse in all of this offensive hype, is the newly dubbed (by me) “WildPat”. White can make the Wildcat offense so much better with his ability to actually complete a pass at any time. White can not only burn defenders with his legs, but do not forget that he is a quarterback, and can throw the ball a little bit.

If mixed in effectively, not only can White make a difference to this team, but the WildPat can make this offense prolific.

Dolphins Quotes: Team Showing Optimism In Themselves

I feel great where we’re at. Tony Sparano feels good, Bill Parcells as well. Nothing really concerns me. (Jeff Ireland on his outlook for the team this year)
I think in February we’re going to be playing in the Super Bowl, Ross said.  [Coach Tony Sparano] thinks that, too.  So does every player on that team.  So I don’t think there’s any pressure.  You just got to go out and do it. (Stephen Ross on his expectations for his team)
If you don’t approach the season thinking that, then you shouldn’t be playing football, Williams told Tim Graham of ESPN.com, when asked about Ross’s prediction. The reason he said that is he probably heard coach Sparano say it, and that takes a lot of balls for a head coach to say it. (Ricky Williams on Stephen Ross’ Super Bowl predictions)
Pat has done a great job right now, Sparano said.  His offseason has been outstanding.  The guy has put an awful lot of time in, I mean he really has.  I mean all of these quarterbacks have to their credit.  But, I’m talking about time like second week of February, like kicking them out of here when Super Bowl teams are practicing and those kind of things.  These guys been here that long. (Coach Tony Sparano on Pat White’s off-season)

So, he’s put a lot of time in, watched a lot of tape, has done a lot of studying on his own and with [quarterbacks coach] David Lee.  So, I think that you can start to see some of that right now.  Just at the end of five practices, six practices wherever we’ve been right now, this guy is close to almost 68-69 percent completions out here right now. S o, he’s going the right places with the ball and he’s able to . . . you’re starting to see him hit some things a little bit quicker, get to some second and third progressions a little bit quicker, so I like where he has progressed. (Sparano on White)

That fire’s still burning. I didn’t want to go out with an injury. I didn’t want to be remembered like that, said Ferguson, who re-signed with the Dolphins this spring, inking a one-year deal. When I leave this game I want to walk off the field. Not be carted off it. (Jason Ferguson on why he did not retire after getting suspended 8 games)

To take 4 QBs into the regular season the coaches would need to feel that they are ALL guys who can win games on Sunday. (Dan Henning on having 4 quarterbacks during the season)

Words Of Wisdom From SI’s Peter King

Recently Playoff Bound Sports sat down with Sports Illustrated writer, Peter King. The draft was the main subject, as the draft was just recently concluded a couple of weeks ago. My first impressions of the Fins draft was not the best, but as I slowly researched these guys a little more, and saw their highlights and lowlights, I found that they all fit what the Dolphins want to do, and are all class act/high motor guys, something I have no problem with.

Without further ado, here is what King has to say:


Brant Houghton: What are some of your thoughts on the Dolphins draft?


Peter King:
From the start, it was apparent that Ireland/Parcells were intent on getting the second-round pick back that they lost in the deal for Brandon Marshall. They talked to the Eagles about moving down, then made the deal to pick up the 40th pick, then got the two positions that were most important to them at 28 and 40–the versatile 3-4 defensive end, Jared Odrick, and the rush linebacker, Koa Misi. That’s the most important thing they did.

BH: Which player do you expect to produce the most in the long run, and which player fits what the Dolphins want to do the best?

PK: Scouts I talked to really like Misi. I think he’s got a chance to be the kind of versatile outside rusher and run player Tony Sparano really wanted out of this draft.

BH: Do you feel that the Dolphins reached at all for some of their picks?


PK: Not that I saw. Odrick at 28 was a guy a lot of teams liked in the teens, and Misi went about where he should go.

BH: If you had a chance to pick one player that would fit in the Dolphins system, and they failed to pick, who would it be and why?


PK: Derrick Morgan. The organization liked him a lot, and I think he would have been the picks had they stayed at 12.

BH: What is your take on the Dolphins decision to move Randy Starks to nose tackle, do you think the Dolphins should still pursue a true nose tackle in the near future?

PK: Starks is the kind of space-eater who should do well in that role. He’s the best guy they could have put there, for now, but they’ll continue to look for a better fit there.

BH: Who was the Dolphins best, and worst pick in this years draft?

PK: Can’t tell you the worst. But I like the offensive lineman from Ole Miss. John Jerry’s got the requisite meanness and is very hard to push around. If they hit on him, he could be a 10-year starter.

BH: What is your prediction for this Dolphins team for this year after the draft has concluded?

PK: I like the Dolphins, but I don’t like the division. they’ve got to go at least 2-2 against the Jets and Patriots to have a good shot to win the AFC East, and so much of that depends on the maturity of Chad Henne an the ability of the coaches to squeeze one more good combo-platter season out of Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams.

From what it sounds like, King, and most of the scouts and people around the NFL are not as concerned with the Dolphins draft as myself. This consensus of mine is not just drawn from this interview, but from the multiple tapes, and reports I have watched/read on the Dolphins draftees, I can tell that our front office has their plans set in place, and it will be this years draft that will either solidify the Trifecta’s jobs, or throw them out the window. We would like to thank Peter King for the interview. If you don’t know where to read his stuff, check out the link, I guarantee you’ll love it!

UPDATE:Dolphins Take Koa Misi With 40th Pick

The Dolphins finally added an outside linebacker, by picking OLB Koa Misi with the 40th overall pick.

This is the Fins only 2nd round pick, and their next pick will come in the 3rd round, later tonight.

I’ll have more information on Moa a little later.

UPDATE:

Misi is not going to be a prolific pass rusher in the NFL. He was drafted for his versatility to play both inside linebacker, and outside, while playing a little bit of defensive end along the way perhaps. Misi has a high motor, and is graded as one of the workout warriors of this draft with a lot of potential. While he is athletic, agile, uses his hands well, and has an excellent burst off the line, Misi will only be average against the run, because of his size and his trouble getting off blocks.

Misi appears to be another safe pick. The Dolphins are making things a little harder to judge the picks because of this new hybrid defensive system that they are running this season. The Dolphins had a chance to get multiple prospects that have homerun potential, but instead chose Misi. If the Dolphins want a prolific pass rusher alongside Cameron Wake, they will need to go back out in the draft this weekend, and find one, because it will not be Misi.