Blog Entry

A tale of two cities

Posted on: May 7, 2010 2:49 pm
The Miami Dolphins have famously done little about their quarterback position since the retirement of Dan Marino. They've essentially left journeymen in the job instead of going after a top talent, and have done so year after year. On the one occurrence where they did try to fix the position, they managed one of the biggest blunders in recent free agent memory, taking an essentially done for quarterback and letting Drew Brees go to New Orleans to have career seasons ever since.

When I had this discussion with my brother, he opined that the Dolphins don't need to do anything, because they have the (highly touted?) Chad Henne on the roster. For his sake as a fan, I hope that he is right.

In Charlotte, the Panthers were faced with a similar problem. The fortunes of Jake Delhomme have been fading consistently since the Super Bowl year, to the point where the Panthers finally released him after the 2009 season. In hand is a young man named Matt Moore.

Moore and Henne have similarities. Both are young quarterbacks with limited experience who took over from injured starters last year. Henne played 14 games, had about a 60% completion rate, and threw 14 interceptions to 12 touchdowns. Moore played seven games, had about a 62% completion rate, and had an impressive ratio of 8 TDs to 2 interceptions.

From those stats, if either team was going to shore up their depth at the position thru the draft, you would think it would be the Dolphins. Yet it was the Panthers who rolled the dice on coming up with a big talent at the most important position on a football team, and came up with Jimmy Clausen. Give the Panthers credit. They were willing to do what most of a round and a half of teams before them weren't willing to do ... take a shot at greatness.

I could be wrong and I hope I am, but I fear that the Dolphins have once again willingly chosen mediocrity over a shot to be really good. Back when they drafted Dan Marino, they took a chance on a talented college QB that had a bad reputation for too high a ratio of interceptions to TDs. They thought he might work that out with experience. They were right, and came out with one of the great quarterbacks in the history of the NFL. Its sad that the current management in Miami has no such vision. The Panthers haven't really been known as a visionary team either, although they have consistently made solid moves and seem to contend at least every other year. This draft tho, the rest of the teams placed a shot at greatness right in their laps, and they didn't fumble that chance away. Now Clausen might or might not work out as a great quarterback, but if you don't reach out for it, you'll never grab the ring. The Panthers have reached, and I applaud them.

Since: Jan 3, 2007
Posted on: May 12, 2010 9:57 am

A tale of two cities

I don't watch the NFL draft and listen to the endless droning of the talking heads. (OK, I watched a bit of it a few years ago, which is why I know about that). The point is, I have absolutely no idea what Kiper said about any player, nor do I care.

In actuality, it seems that NFL teams, unless they need to give their season ticket sales staff a desperate shot in the arm, aren't taking QBs as early as they once did. They know that when they pick them really high, they have to pay really high money, and they're afraid of that due to the number of those guys who have busted at that position. If you're paying attention, every year for some years now there are a few highly touted QB prospects that slip to spots far below where you might have thought they'd go.

I'm not sure how much stock the Panthers had to 'trade up'. One reason they didn't have a first round pick is that they've done a lot of that in recent years. I would guess that they had another pick in mind for their 2nd round, and scrapped that idea when Clausen was still available when their name was called. A lot of teams who could use a shot at a QB of the future, including the Dolphins, didn't take a QB at all. I think I made it clear that my beef with the Dolphins isn't just this draft. It is virtually every draft since Marino retired, and actually before that since at a certain point they had to figure that he was in his last seasons. That covers a few coaches, GMs, and at least a couple of owners.

And Parcells' take on talent is far from infallible. Remember that he brought in Bledsoe for the Cowboys. It was only when Bledsoe got hurt 'again', and after an unremarkable set of games, that the Romo discovery was made. It turned out that he was one of those 'under the radar' guys I mentioned in my last post.

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: May 10, 2010 1:41 pm

A tale of two cities

They also thought the Fins should have took Brady Quinn with first pick because he was the QB of the future. If it's not there you can't force it. If the Panthers thought he was so great why didn't they trade up at the end of the first round to get him. That would be reaching for greatness. Not hoping someone else doesn't pick one of top 3 QBs in the first round by Kiper Jr. I think I will take Bill P's scouting instead,thank you very much. I like his history. As I like the Dolphins history (their winning percentage since their NFL inception was in the top 2 among active teams). If someone would have taken him before then the Panthers would have taken McCoy. Then they would have been reaching for greatness with McCoy. Don't get me wrong,I don't hate the Panthers. It's my daughters favorite team & I was hoping they would get one of the 3 QBs. I called my daughter to give her the news. But when the 49ers moved up in the first round to take Jerry Rice... now that is reaching for greatness. Waiting for a player to fall to you in the 2nd round......i don't think so.

Since: Jan 3, 2007
Posted on: May 10, 2010 3:15 am

A tale of two cities

I think a couple of people missed my point, or either I didn't express it clearly enough since I wasn't expecting CBS to put me on the front page ... I didn't know if anyone would ever even read this blog entry. LOL

I wasn't particularly saying that the Dolphins should have taken Clausen this year, tho they should have considered the option, and maybe they did. I'm saying that for year after year, they have avoided taking a shot at a big time QB prospect in the draft. Obviously the Panthers didn't take Clausen in the first round this year either. However, the Panthers didn't have a first round pick. LOL He was there when they finally had a chance to pick, and they snagged him.

Now I know someone above took a poke at Dan Marino for not winning a Super Bowl. However, during Marino's career, if he'd ever become a free agent, does anyone honestly believe that the line at his door wouldn't have included virtually every team in the league?

What I'm saying is that this year in particular, the Dolphins and Panthers faced similar situations. They both have young QBs with similar experience and what seem to be similar prospects for future development. Yet the Panthers took a shot. The Dolphins once again took the approach of: "Well, let's wait and see if what we've already got pans out". The problem is, its been a LONG time since "what we've already got" has panned out for the Dolphins. Their quarterback of the present should have been drafted as their quarterback of the future WAY BACK in the Jay Fiedler days.

The Panthers are taking a chance, and buying some insurance, to make sure they have that quarterback of the future. They have possibilities with both Matt Moore and Jimmy Clausen. You just have to take your best shot and hope. Obviously there are no real experts in whether a hot shot college QB is going to work out in the NFL. The failures are legendary and spectacular, while a few guys who were somewhat under the radar have become spectacular successes. The only thing for sure is that if you don't draft quarterbacks, especially when you don't have a proven guy in hand, you risk never having a great one. The Panthers didn't have a proven guy in hand, and they drafted one. The Dolphins hope to get lucky with what they've got.

Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: May 9, 2010 11:35 pm

A tale of two cities

what has Claussen done that Quinn and Henne hasnt?
well, first off, Henne is good, so passing on Clausen was not a bad move at all, it was a VERY smart move, Henne is their franchise quarterback, but what has Clausen done that Quinn hasn't, let's see here, Clausen has been killed by a line that was poor at best and a defense that REALLY sucked (at best), Quinn in his first 3 years was protected very well and had a decent defense, so teams around Quinn and Clausen were different, Clausen was highly rated out of high school, Quinn wasn't, Quinn is average, Clausen is good, Henne (in my book) has high upside and i think (if he stays healthy) he could be a franchise quarterback. I think Clausen will end up just like Mark Sanchez, both will be good, not great. Henne, it will depend, i think he could be great, but it depends on the team and coaches around him

Since: Jul 20, 2009
Posted on: May 9, 2010 8:04 pm

A tale of two cities

Dan Marino keeps getting put down for NOT WINNING THE BIG ONE. He  played with a 1000 yard rusher what ,twice I think? thier defense was almost never in the top 10. The thing that makes Dan Marino GREAT in my mind is that you KNEW he was gonna pass and you still could not stop him. Yes being a Dolphins fan I am bias be him but is it really his fault when Miami had backup offense linemen that could start on most teams and a bunch 6 and 7th rounders on defense.

Since: Jul 20, 2009
Posted on: May 9, 2010 7:54 pm

A tale of two cities

I agree with you mostly. With all those previously drafted qbs by Miami the Dolphins shouldnt be ripped on for passing on Claussen. what has Claussen done that Quinn and Henne hasnt? Miami has filled some needs quite nicely and should compete with the Jets and Patriots for the division but are not superbowl ready. I've never really been that impressed with Brady Quinn and I think Norte Dame was really overated last year.

Since: Apr 6, 2010
Posted on: May 9, 2010 7:51 am

A tale of two cities

Value,value ,value, is what we heard for three days last month.  Clausen seems to be the consenus "value pick" of the draft.  A guy who was by one guru's chart the top QB pick and you did not have to reach for him, makes the Panthers look smart.  Plus you are talking about the Dolphins, who seems more interested in WHO'S YOUR MOMMA than can he catch a pass over the middle.  Fox hopes he got Montana and not Quinn drafting the Irish signal caller.  He also can claim that he did not reach for him so if he is a bust, it's not a Jamarcus or Leaf level bust.  When a player makes the HOF, but did not win the big one, who's fault is it?  He seems to have lived up to his end of the bargain.  Or, are you reallly saying that all those owners,GM's and coaches who passed on Marino, were right??

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: May 9, 2010 12:16 am

A tale of two cities

Actually, 72fins, he didn't become the starter largely because of the season that Derek Anderson had the year Quinn was drafted.  Then, Anderson was essentially allowed to flounder in '08 before Quinn was put in as starter.  He started a few games before getting injured and being out the last 5 games of the season.  Last season, I'm not sure Mangini even really knew what he wanted.  Not to mention it would have been difficult for any QB to be successful after losing their top receiver and tight end.

As far as the Dolphins drafting a QB, why did they need Claussen?  I think they had other problems to address outside of quarterback.  Without much talent at receiver, Henne still had a pretty decent season.  I think the jury is still out on Henne.  He could become a quality enough QB to take the Dolphins places.  Especially if that defense falls in line.

Since: Jul 20, 2009
Posted on: May 8, 2010 10:18 pm

A tale of two cities

maybe if shula would have drafted some defense instead of offensive linemen every year

Since: Jul 20, 2009
Posted on: May 8, 2010 10:15 pm

A tale of two cities

Wasnt that other dude from Notre Dame suspose to be a cant miss stud in the nfl? He didnt even become the starter in CLEVELAND for christ sake. Clausen and Norte Dame were both way overrated in thier expectacions.

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