What to Make of the Madness in Miami

Audio/Story posted March 16, 2012 in NFL Draft by Jon Blauvelt

Miami needs to land a legitimate, up and coming quarterback during the offseason or the organization is going to face some serious problems, said ESPN 760 Dolphins Beat Reporter Ken LaVicka.

With Chad Henne now in Jacksonville, the Dolphins aren’t exactly strong at the quarterback position.  Although Matt Moore put up some decent numbers last year, he is not the short term or long term answer to this problem.  The same and then some can be said about backups J.P. Losman and Pat Devlin.   

Thus far in the offseason, the Dolphins have shown interest in free agent quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Matt Flynn.  As for the Dolphins landing the former MVP, LaVicka believes that hope is now quickly dwindling for Miami.

“The fact that every other team in the sweepstake has been able to get Manning to their facilities and the Dolphins haven’t is telling,” he said.  “I think the Dolphins’ chances at Peyton Manning, especially with the newest revelations, are pretty much shot.”

If not Manning, then Miami fans are hoping the Dolphins will acquire Green Bay Packers Backup Quarterback Matt Flynn.  Yet, for years now, the Dolphins have had their eyes on quarterbacks like Flynn and have not been able to land them in Miami.  LaVicka said the Dolphins must change this pattern and sign Flynn or else find themselves in a chaotic situation.

“Matt Flynn should be the Dolphins quarterback in 2012,” LaVicka said.  “And if he’s not, you’re going to see blackout potential.  You’re going to see ticket sales continue to plummet, calls for Stephen Ross to abandon the ownership, calls for Jeff Ireleand’s job.  I mean that’s how dire this is.”

In the very worst case, the Dolphins will have to utilize the 2012 NFL Draft to select a quarterback to fill the void in South Beach.  With the number eight pick in the first round, Miami is looking at Texas A&M Quarterback Ryan Tannehill.  Yet, LaVicka explained how that prospect is not looking so good for the Dolphins anymore.  

“If they can’t get Flynn, Tannehill would absolutely be target A,” said LaVicka.  “But, the Browns would show interest there in the top five.  The Dolphins, picking at number eight, would have to do maneuvering.  You would have to move up and you wonder if you have the arsenal to really move up because the Browns seem pretty set on Tannehill potentially being their target.”

After the Dolphins traded stud wide receiver Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears on Tuesday, Miami also has a lack of depth at that position.  Although sufficient as role players, Davone Bess and Brian Hartline are not sufficient number one and two options.  Consequently, don’t be surprised to see the Dolphins take a wide receiver within the first few rounds of the draft.  Think of a guy like Stephen Hill from Georgia Tech or Tommy Streeter from Miami.  Both have size and speed; replacing what was lost in Brandon Marshall.  

On the defensive side of the ball, new Dolphins Defensive Coordinator Kevin Coyle is installing a 4-3 base formation in the place of what was a 3-4 scheme last year.  On first impression, it would then make sense that the Dolphins address that change in the draft as well.  Yet, what seems like a big change to many is not going to be too drastic after all, said LaVicka.

“I wouldn’t put too much stock into Coyle coming in and installing a 4-3 because you’re still gonna see a lot of 3-4 elements,” he said.  “And that’s really a trend throughout the NFL, especially in 2012.  As defenses get more athletic, you can show different sets and you can show different looks.  But, at its core, you are achieving the same sort of result that you would no matter a 4-3 or a 3-4 set. It’s really not going to change personnel evaluation all that much.”


Jon Blauvelt is a sophomore majoring in Broadcast Journalism. To contact him, e-mail: jrb5637@psu.edu