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

Devier PoseyOct 20 07:13p

The Houston Texans have declared CB Darryl Morris, WR DeVier Posey, LB Jadeveon Clowney, OT Jeff Adams, S Josh Aubrey, CB Jumal Rolle, QB Tom Savage inactive for Week 7.

R. Griffin IIIOct 20 07:08p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) is expected to be put through a rigorous workout Wednesday, Oct. 22, that will give team officials a better idea of where [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 20 07:07p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) could start in Week 8 against the Dallas Cowboys if he looks really good in practice Wednesday, Oct. 22, according to a [ More ]

Ike TaylorOct 20 07:03p

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, LB Ryan Shazier, SS Shamarko Thomas, DL Steve McLendon inactive for Week 7.

Jadeveon ClowneyOct 20 07:03p

Houston Texans DE Jadeveon Clowney (knee) will not play in Week 7 because his lateral movement is not where the team wants it to be.

Daniel KilgoreOct 20 06:53p

San Francisco 49ers C Daniel Kilgore (leg) will miss the rest of the season after suffering a broken bone in his left leg during the team's Week 7 game. [ More ]

Colt McCoyOct 20 03:23p

Washington Redskins QB Colt McCoy would start this week if QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) is unable to play, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

Brian OrakpoOct 20 03:13p

Washington Redskins LB Brian Orakpo (pectoral) will undergo surgery for his torn pectoral, according to head coach Jay Gruden. Orakpo is out for the season.

Paul PoslusznyOct 20 02:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars LB Paul Posluszny (pectoral) will undergo surgery later this week to repair his torn pectoral muscle.

Brian OrakpoOct 20 01:23p

Updating a previous report, Washington Redskins LB Brian Orakpo (pectoral) will miss the rest of the season because of a torn right pectoral muscle.

Paul PoslusznyOct 20 01:12p

Jacksonville Jaguars LB Paul Posluszny (pectoral) will be placed on the Reserve/Injured list after he suffered a torn pectoral muscle in Week 7.

Brian OrakpoOct 20 12:42p

Washington Redskins LB Brian Orakpo (pectoral) will be placed on the Reserve/Injured list.

Jay CutlerOct 20 12:23p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler threw an interception and fumbled twice in the team's Week 7 loss to the Miami Dolphins. Cutler has turned the ball over multiple times [ More ]

Philip RiversOct 20 12:13p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers extended his team record to 27 straight games with at least one touchdown pass in the team's Week 7 loss to the Kansas [ More ]

Stepfan TaylorOct 20 11:25a

Arizona Cardinals RB Stepfan Taylor vultured two touchdowns in the red zone Sunday, Oct. 19. RB Andre Ellington said he called Taylor in at the goal line and could [ More ]

Jake LockerOct 20 11:13a

Tennessee Titans QB Jake Locker (thumb) is expected to play in Week 8, according to head coach Ken Whisenhunt.

Jake LockerOct 20 10:50a

Tennessee Titans QB Jake Locker (hand) is expected to be back in Week 8. Head coach Ken Whisenhunt said Sunday, Oct. 19, that Locker's hand was still sore this [ More ]

Kiero SmallOct 20 10:43a

Cleveland Browns FB Kiero Small was added to the 53-man roster, and FB Ray Agnew III was waived Monday, Oct. 20.

Ryan TannehillOct 20 10:33a

Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill was effective in a scaled-back offense that utilized short-to-intermediate throws and reduced the number of troubling deep throws Sunday, Oct. 19. He was 25-for-32 [ More ]

Fred JacksonOct 20 10:13a

Updating previous reports, Buffalo Bills RB Fred Jackson (groin) said his adductor longus pulled off the bone about a centimeter, and he felt a pop. The injury is typically [ More ]

Jimmy GrahamOct 20 10:02a

New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham (shoulder) played 30 offensive snaps (41 percent of the offense) in Week 7 Sunday, Oct. 19. He was targeted twice but was shut [ More ]

Anthony DixonOct 20 09:23a

Buffalo Bills RB Anthony Dixon is likely to start against the New York Jets in Week 8.

Owen DanielsOct 20 08:53a

Baltimore Ravens TE Owen Daniels was targeted by QB Joe Flacco nine times Sunday, Oct. 19, and caught six balls for 58 yards and a touchdown in Week 7. [ More ]

C.J. SpillerOct 20 08:32a

Updating previous reports, Buffalo Bills RB C.J. Spiller (collarbone) is out for the season, according to a source.

Jerod MayoOct 20 02:52a

New England Patriots LB Jerod Mayo (knee) is out for the year, but his financial status may improve as a result of the injury. A total of $4.5 million [ More ]

Vontaze BurfictOct 19 11:22p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (neck) suffered a cervical strain in the Week 7 game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Leon HallOct 19 11:22p

Cincinnati Bengals CB Leon Hall (back) left the Week 7 game against the Indianapolis Colts due to a strained back, and he was unable to return.

Paul PoslusznyOct 19 11:13p

Jacksonville Jaguars LB Paul Posluszny (shoulder) will have an MRI on his right shoulder after leaving the Week 7 game against the Cleveland Browns with an injury. He left [ More ]

Allen RobinsonOct 19 11:13p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson scored his first career touchdown in the Week 7 game against the Cleveland Browns. He finished with four receptions for 60 yards and the score.

Denard RobinsonOct 19 11:13p

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Denard Robinson ran for a career-high 127 yards with a touchdown in Week 7 against the Cleveland Browns. 'The last time I carried the ball 20 [ More ]

Andre BranchOct 19 11:13p

Jacksonville Jaguars DE Andre Branch (groin) left the Week 7 game against the Cleveland Browns due to a groin injury. He left the locker room after the game on crutches.

Peyton ManningOct 19 11:02p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning left the Week 7 game against the San Francisco early in the fourth quarter due to the lopsided score. He led Denver to a [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group