2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Stability for a change at the top for Dolphins

By STEVEN WINE - AP Sports Writer
    2012-12-31 15:24

DAVIE, Fla. (AP) - The most dramatic difference for the Miami Dolphins this offseason will be what won't change: the coach or quarterback.

The Dolphins courted a new coach in January each of the past two years and have perennially been in the market for an upgrade at QB, but both jobs are settled now.

Coach Joe Philbin and quarterback Ryan Tannehill are certain to be back for a second season with Miami. Other positions are less secure, however, with a significant roster shake-up expected in the wake of the Dolphins' fourth consecutive losing season.

A 28-0 loss Sunday at New England underscored the yawning talent gap between the Dolphins and the AFC East champions. Miami finished 7-9 and is 27-37 since 2009.

``Seven-and-nine is not good enough,'' Philbin said Monday. ``Your goal is to compete for championships. So there should be nobody on our team satisfied with where we're at. We've got a lot of work to do.''

General manager Jeff Ireland has stockpiled draft picks and created sufficient salary cap space to provide lots of flexibility this offseason. Philbin prefers to build through the draft, and 10 picks, including five in the first three rounds, will give the Dolphins plenty of chances to address their multitude of needs.

With more than $40 million in cap space, Ireland might be active in free agency, but some of that money will be used to re-sign players whose contracts expire. Among those who could become free agents are running back Reggie Bush, injury-plagued tackle Jake Long, receiver Brian Hartline, tight end Anthony Fasano, defensive tackle Randy Starks, cornerback Sean Smith and safety Chris Clemons.

``We have a good nucleus of guys, building blocks we can build on going into next year,'' Tannehill said. ``It's just going to be a matter of taking advantage of the offseason and making the right moves. I'm excited that the guys upstairs will do a good job of bringing guys in here, and we can plug them in and grow from there.''

While the Dolphins managed only one more victory than in 2011, and remain without a postseason win since 2000, the additions of Philbin and Tannehill provided a sense of stability for a change. Both won rave reviews from the locker room.

``I like where this team is headed,'' Bush said. ``What coach Philbin brings to this team is really special.''

Tannehill, the first quarterback drafted in the first round by Miami since Dan Marino in 1983, became the first Dolphins rookie QB to start all 16 games. While touchdowns were tough to come by, he threw for 3,294 yards, more than acclaimed rookie classmates Robert Griffin III or Russell Wilson.

``Tannehill's great, man,'' center Mike Pouncey said. ``We got lucky when we picked that kid. He's going to be a great player in this league for a long time.

``Obviously we've got to get him some help out there.''

That will be the priority. No wide receiver scored more than one touchdown, reflecting the lack of a pass-catching deep threat. If Bush departs, there will be even more need for playmakers to bolster an offense that ranked 27th in yards.

A cornerback, pass rusher and tight end are among the other needs. Most of all, the Dolphins need stars - defensive end Cameron Wake was the only player to make the Pro Bowl.

Pouncey was candid in his postseason assessment.

``This team did a great job this year,'' he said, ``for what we had.''

Long finished the year hurt for the second season in a row, and he may be allowed to depart even though he's a four-time Pro Bowl tackle. More likely to return are Hartline, coming off the best year of his career, and Bush, who played in every game for the first time since 2006 and fell just shy of his second consecutive 1,000-yard rushing season.

``It has been a pleasure to play here these last two years,'' Bush said. ``I've really enjoyed; I feel like there's some unfinished business left. We'll see what happens when we sit down and contract time comes, but hopefully I'll be back.''

For now, the Dolphins will scatter. Tannehill wants to explore the city of Miami - he has spent a total of three hours there - and catch up on TV shows. Pouncey's heading to Hawaii to watch his brother play in the Pro Bowl. Smith looks forward to forgetting about football for a while.

``I'm going to kick back, relax, chill out,'' Smith said, ``and enjoy the beach.''

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Paul RichardsonMar 26 12:43a

Seattle Seahawks WR Paul Richardson (knee) might not be ready for the start of the season, head coach Pete Carroll indicated Wednesday, March 25. Carroll did say Richardson's rehab [ More ]

Blake BortlesMar 25 08:43p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles received an endorsement from head coach Gus Bradley Tuesday, March 24. Speaking at the AFC Coaches Breakfast at the NFL Annual Meetings Tuesday, Bradley [ More ]

Travis KelceMar 25 06:03p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce played at roughly 250 pounds in 2014, but head coach Andy Reid wants Kelce to report bigger in 2015, and Reid thinks Kelce [ More ]

Drew BreesMar 25 05:03p

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota isn't an option for the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, according to head coach Sean Payton. Payton said [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 25 04:33p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is wanted back in Minnesota, but the question is if Peterson wants to come back. Head coach Mike Zimmer said he doesn't believe Peterson [ More ]

Ifeanyi MomahMar 25 03:13p

Free-agent TE Ifeanyi Momah (Lions) signed a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals Wednesday, March 25. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Terence NewmanMar 25 01:53p

Free-agent CB Terence Newman (Bengals) agreed to a one-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings Wednesday, March 25, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jordy NelsonMar 25 12:23p

Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson (hip) underwent hip surgery this offseason and is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks.

Victor CruzMar 25 11:53a

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) could miss the start of the 2015 season with a torn patellar tendon in his knee, according to head coach Tom Coughlin. [ More ]

Josh HillMar 25 11:03a

New Orleans Saints TE Josh Hill is expected to have a bigger role in the offense in 2015. Head coach Sean Payton has mentioned him quite a bit since [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 25 10:53a

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is disgruntled and reportedly wants out of Minnesota, but head coach Mike Zimmer said the team has no plans to trade him.

Cody LatimerMar 24 09:33p

The Denver Broncos plan to use WR Cody Latimer as the third receiver behind WRs Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders in 2015. 'I think it's time for him to [ More ]

Casey MatthewsMar 24 06:32p

Free-agent LB Casey Matthews (Eagles) agreed to terms with the Minnesota Vikings Tuesday, March 24. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

R. Griffin IIIMar 24 04:42p

Washington Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan said that the team will go with the best player available in the 2015 NFL Draft with the No. 5 overall pick, which [ More ]

Michael CrabtreeMar 24 03:02p

Free-agent WR Michael Crabtree (49ers) is having a hard time being signed this offseason, reportedly due to concerns regarding lower-leg injuries and a negative perception about his attitude.

Ray McDonaldMar 24 02:02p

Free-agent DE Ray McDonald (49ers) is signing an undisclosed deal with the Chicago Bears Tuesday, March 24.

Stephen BowenMar 24 01:32p

Free-agent DE Stephen Bowen (Redskins) is signing an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Tuesday, March 24.

Geno SmithMar 24 01:22p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith will be the starting quarterback ahead of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick entering training camp this summer, according to new head coach Todd Bowles. 'You [ More ]

Zach MettenbergerMar 24 01:12p

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota is a realistic option for the Tennessee Titans with the second overall selection in this year's NFL Draft, and head coach Ken Whisenhunt is impressed [ More ]

Jarvis JenkinsMar 24 10:42a

Free-agent DE Jarvis Jenkins (Redskins) agreed with the Chicago Bears Tuesday, March 24, on a one-year deal.

Johnny ManzielMar 24 08:52a

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel is expected back with the team for offseason workouts April 20 after completing more than two months of treatment.

Adrian PetersonMar 23 07:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's agent, Ben Dogra, said Monday, March 23, that he doesn't think 'it's in Adrian's best interest to play in Minnesota' in 2015 and beyond. [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 23 06:02p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is expected to be part of the Vikings next season, according to general manager Rick Spielman. 'Adrian's a member of our football team,' Spielman [ More ]

Drew BreesMar 23 01:22p

New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees will not be traded, according to general manager Mickey Loomis. Recent speculation said that Brees may be on the trade block after his [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 23 12:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's preference is to play elsewhere than with the Vikings in 2015, according to a league source. He is under contract through the 2017 season [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 22 08:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's future remains unclear, but head coach Mike Zimmer recently said that the Vikings are 'excited' to have him back. Zimmer had previously said that [ More ]

James HarrisonMar 22 12:42p

Free-agent LB James Harrison (Steelers) signed a two-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, March 22. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Branden OliverMar 21 03:52p

San Diego Chargers RB Branden Oliver is penciled in as the starting running back at this point.

EJ ManuelMar 21 12:52a

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel is not locked in as the starting quarterback. Head coach Rex Ryan said Friday, March 20, that the quarterback competition will be open. 'It's [ More ]

Kevin VickersonMar 20 05:52p

Free-agent DT Kevin Vickerson (Chiefs) agreed to terms on an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Friday, March 20.

Matt MooreMar 20 04:32p

Free-agent QB Matt Moore (Dolphins) re-signed with the Miami Dolphins Friday, March 20. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Adrian PetersonMar 20 02:42p

Updating an ongoing story, Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is clearly wanted back by the organization, and general manager Rick Spielman once again stressed that they will make every [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group