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End of Season Thoughts

Another year, another disappointing end to a Dolphins' season.  It's becoming increasingly more difficult to feel any sense of excitement or hope for this team.  It looks like all those season ticket holders that didn't buy playoff tickets had the right idea.  Who in their right mind would actually pay to watch a team that does only two things well - turn the ball over and get penalized?

Rather than rant and rave about the sorry state of the Dolphins, I've put together a list of players.  This list is made up of players that, if I had any say in the matter, just played their last game in a Miami Dolphins uniform.  

Jay Fiedler - Those that have read my articles and postings in the past will not be surprised that Jay tops my list.  He is a model of inconsistency, and he lacks the very basic ability to hit a receiver in stride.  Simply stated, the Dolphins cannot afford to endure another season of the roller coaster that is Jay Fiedler.  He is a turnover machine, and he lacks the ability to throw the most basic of passes.

Lamar Smith - Even when he was at his best in 2000, Lamar still averaged under 4 yards a carry.  Lamar is a very average running back, and the Dolphins will not get to the next level with him as their primary back.   The offensive line woes obviously contributed to Lamar's poor performance this year, but the bottom line is that he's just not very good, and he's not getting any younger.  And all the fumbles this year were inexcusable.

Heath Irwin - Speaking of the offensive line, Heath Irwin is the worst lineman I've ever seen.  He is absolutely horrible, and he can neither run block nor pass block.  The Dolphins would be better off letting a cheerleader play left guard - the results would be the same, but at a cheaper cost.

Spencer Folau - See Heath Irwin above.  Just replace "left guard" with "left tackle".

Kenny Mixon - The invisible man of the defensive line.  Mixon was a non-factor this whole season, except for the game against Denver when he returned an INT for a TD.  Mixon lost weight in the offseason in an attempt to improve his pass rush skills.  The results? He became a below average run stopper and actually got worse at rushing the passer.  

Lorenzo Bromell - With the loss of Trace Armstrong to free agency, Bromell had a golden opportunity to become the dominant pass rusher the Dolphins expected him to be.  But instead, Bromell was essentially a non-entity.  He made a few plays here and there, but not nearly enough to warrant a new contract.  Bromell was unable to take the pressure off of Jason Taylor, and it's time for Miami to look elsewhere for another pass rusher.

Jeff Ogden - Yes, he's got a pretty good punt return average.  But Ogden more often than not resembles a scared rabbit when he's back to return.  He calls fair catches when no one is in front of him, and he coughed the ball up 3 times this year.  Ogden is a nice role player as a returner and fifth receiver, but it's time for the Dolphins to upgrade.  This team needs an electrifying returner (on kicks as well as punts, by the way) that can take the ball to the house at any time.  With the horrible offense the Dolphins have, big-time returners are key.  Ogden is not a big-time returner.

Rob Konrad - Let me start off by saying that I am a huge Rob Konrad fan.  However, he may be the most underutilized player in the NFL.  He should not be purely a blocking fullback.  Rob should be a major factor in the passing game, and he should get a few carries every week.  Because the Dolphins refuse to use him correctly, I think they should let him go and allow him to play for a team that will actually take advantage of his skills.

The following players won't be going anywhere, as they were signed to long-term contracts with signing bonuses prior to the 2001 season, but if I had my way, they'd be packing their bags tonight.

Jamar Fletcher - The more I think about Fletcher, the more frustrated I get.  There was no reason to draft a CB in round one, and thus far Fletcher looks like a bust of epic proportions.  He wasn't even good enough to play in the dime package.  Just plain terrible.

Morlon Greenwood - We gave up a 2nd round pick in 2002 in order to draft this guy?   Frequently out of position and frequently missing tackles, Greenwood showed me absolutely nothing in his rookie season.  I hope Wannstedt brings in a new LB or two and creates an open competition for Greenwood's job next season.

James McKnight - McKnight was brought in to stretch the field.  Well, averaging around 12 yards per catch can hardly be called "stretching the field".  McKnight has some of the worst hands I've ever seen on a WR, and he fumbles constantly.  I was very excited when we signed McKnight after his big 2000 season with Dallas, but his play in 2001 can be summed up in one word - bust.

That's all I can write.  If I continue, I'll launch into a tirade describing the vast ineptitude of this pitiful, gutless team that we all love, and I don't want to do that.  

It's time to begin the long, painstaking process of trying to reload and take the next step - let's just hope Wannstedt is up to the task.