Miami Dolphins Bye Week Adjustments: Team Should 'Go for Broke'
The Miami Dolphins are sitting out their bye week with a record of 0-4, which is not quite what fans expected. For this, I admit that I was wrong with just about every prediction I made about Miami's season (so far).
I don't see Miami even coming close to making a run at the playoffs, but the team can still find success in other areas. It may not be time to abandon the season yet, but the Dolphins need to make some major changes and find their identity.
The organization should shake things up and take risks to see if they can find a diamond in the rough in their own backyard.
Take a look at how Miami can 'Go for Broke' this season.
Fire Tony Sparano & Jeff Ireland
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Tony Sparano's career in Miami only boasts one success, which is the 11-5 season. Much of what Sparano has done since has been a complete disaster. Luckily for Sparano, he can share the blame with his partner in crime, Jeff Ireland.
I could mention Bill Parcells here, but since he is no longer with the organization he cannot help the team 'Go for Broke.'
There are a ton of ways that Sparano and Ireland have steered the team in the wrong direction, but the most bothersome has to be the signing of Dallas Cowboys castoffs. Ireland and Sparano have limited their free-agent signings almost exclusively to players they dealt with in Dallas.
Who is the best player of the 15-plus ex-Cowboys they have signed? Anthony Fasano, a mediocre tight end. Their justification of these signings is that the players know the system that they run, but how hard is it to coach a player into a new system? If a player can't adjust to a new system or a coach cannot help them into the new system, neither person deserves to be a part of the NFL.
It would be a different story if Miami picked up scraps like the New England Patriots do (can I get a Wes Welker or A.J. Edds anyone?). Their lack of success in free agency combined with the 0-4 record should lead owner Stephen Ross to make some changes.
Bench Marc Colombo
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I was rather confused and disappointed when Miami signed one of the worst-performing offensive tackles in the league from the previous season. A comment by Bleacher Report's very own Luke Taylor claimed that Marc Colombo is "half man, half turnstile", which has been true so far this season.
All jokes aside, this man is a joke at RT. In my current midseason flag football form I'm almost positive I could get by this clown if I lined up against him. Miami has been holing Fasano in on many plays to help Colombo with his blocking assignment.
Marc Colombo needs to be benched as soon as possible. It doesn't matter for who, because an inbred sea lion could do the job just as well as he does.
Trade Brandon Marshall
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I put the word star in quotes for a reason: Marshall leads the league in drops. That's not an ideal stat for a team's No. 1 wideout.
The Dolphins' coaching staff has yet to find a way to get Marshall involved in the offense as he was in Denver. More and more it's looking like he doesn't have a place in the offense, and his showboating penalties also leaving something to be desired.
Trading Marshall would allow Miami to stock up on some valuable draft picks for the 2012 draft. In his absence, the young WRs on the roster would get their chance to shine.
Roberto Wallace, Marlon Moore and Clyde Gates are all waiting for their chance to prove their worth to the team. Wallace, in particular, has similar size to Marshall and could likely develop into the receiver that Miami expected Marshall to be.
Get the Ball to Clyde Gates
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Miami needs to give Clyde Gates the chance to be the star that Mike Wallace is for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The similarities between the two are striking.
They are roughly the same size, ran almost identical 40 times at the combine, were taken in the middle rounds of their respective drafts, and had a very similar skill sets coming into the NFL. Both were very raw route-runners that had incredible speed.
Over his first few seasons in the league, Mike Wallace has made a name for himself as one of the best burners in the league. He has refined his route-running and developed a great chemistry with Ben Roethlisberger, and is close to being one of the elite WRs in the NFL.
If Miami would promote Gates to more than just a situational role, he could become the Mike Wallace of the Dolphins. He has burned defenses a few times this season and it's time Miami gives him more chances to do so.
Start Jimmy Wilson over Nolan Carroll
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If the injury to Vontae Davis has shown anything to the Miami Dolphins, it is that Nolan Carroll is not worth a starting spot. Insert Jimmy Wilson.
The seventh-round pick out of Montana showed promise in the preseason and it is time that he gets onto the field more often. Coaches labeled him a ball hawk in training camp and he has an interception to his credit already this season. Say what you want about how bad the throw was, but Wilson was in the right place (as all playmakers are) and didn't drop the ball, which is more than most of Miami's secondary can say for themselves.
Wilson is not perfect. He did give up the winning touchdown pass in the game against the Cleveland Browns. But experience is the best teacher, and the more time he spends on the field during games, the better he will get.
Utilize Charles Clay's Versatility
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Charles Clay, the Dolphins' sixth-round pick, has spent most of the season on the bench with an injury, but now that he is healthy, the ball should be going his way.
Lousaka Polite was loved by Miami fans for his success in short-yardage situations, and now that Clay holds his position, he deserves those touches. At the same time, Clay was able to reel in a 31-yard pass from Matt Moore against the Chargers.
Clay could prove very valuable catching the ball out of the backfield playing alongside Reggie Bush.
What's the Worst That Could Happen?
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Most of the above ideas are destined to fail and lead Miami to a few more losses. At the same time, Miami could find a Pro Bowl-caliber player and help develop the team for the future.
I'm not completely sold on the 'Suck for Luck' campaign, but it is time for Miami to invest a first-round pick on a quarterback.
Who knows? Maybe Roberto Wallace is the next Calvin Johnson and will be Andrew Luck's No. 1 target for years to come.