Miami Dolphins rebuild linebacker unit- New Article

Discussion in 'Miami Dolphins Forum' started by catch22, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. catch22

    catch22 New Mexico Fin Fan

    Joined:
    Aug 2006
    Messages:
    795
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    0
    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/...uild-linebacker-unit-20130312,0,7400767.story


    Re-posted below for those who don't have digital access

    By Omar KellySun Sentinel9:52 p.m. EDT, March 12, 2013


    "Never put off tomorrow what you can do today." - Thomas Jefferson.
    That's the best way to explain why the Miami Dolphins used Tuesday, the start of free agency, to rebuild the team's linebacker unit.
    Karlos Dansby, a team captain the past three years, got released earlier in the day. His partner on and off the field, Kevin Burnett, got released in the afternoon.
    The Dolphins signed former Ravens linebacker Dannell Ellerbe and Phillip Wheeler, an NFLjourneyman who spent last season with the Raiders, to take their place as two-thirds of a linebacker trio that also features strong side linebacker Koa Misi.
    There are a couple of issues that need to be addressed to help us understand Miami's decision.


    They are age, personality, money, and performance. I've split them all up so we can properly dissect this.
    Age: Dansby is turning 32 later this year. Burnett turns 31 on Christmas eve. Wheeler turns 29 in December, and Ellerbe turns 28 in November. So the Dolphins technically got younger, but not by much. Ellerbe is four years younger than Dansby and Wheeler is three years younger than Burnett.
    Personality: I don't know Ellerbe and Wheeler so I won't pretend to know their personalities, but Dansby and Burnett were two strong-willed individuals with uncompromising personalities. If they felt wronged they usually spoke up. I can't help but think that was held against them by this regime.
    Money: I've hinted that this would likely be Dansby and Burnett's last season in Miami based on their rising costs. What the Dolphins did was a pre-emptive strike. By cutting Dansby and Burnett, voiding the final years of their deals, the Dolphins clear $7.125 million in cap space. Dansby's release alone creates $3.9 million in additional cap room. However, Ellerbe signed a five-year, $35 million contract, which makes him the seventh highest paid inside linebacker in the NFL. Wheeler got five-years, $26 million (which features a $7 million signing bonus, and an initial cap hit of $2.4 million). I'm guessing the pair of new linebacker will cost Miami about $7-8 million in cap space all together. Dansby and Burnett were supposed to cost the Dolphins $14.275 million in cap numbers.
    Performance: What's odd about Wheeler's signing is that Miami brought him in for a workout last season when the team was searching for linebacker depth. Wheeler competed with Quentin Groves and Gary Guyton in the same workout and Miami signed Guyton. Guyton didn't make it to the team's 53-man roster, but Wheeler started 16 games for the Raiders and contributed 109 tackles, three sacks and forced two fumbles.
    His production was clearly impressive, but Profootballfocus.com rated Burnett a better linebacker based on last season's play. Burnett, who contributed 110 tackles, 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble, was rated the NFL's fourth best 4-3 outside linebacker and Wheeler checked in at No. 6.
    Ellerbe started seven games, filling in for the injured Ray Lewis, and contributed 92 tackles, 4.5 sacks and one forced fumble. ProFootballFocus.com rates him the 14th best inside linebacker in the NFL, putting him one spot behind Dansby, who contributed 134 tackles and one sack last season.
    However, what's clear is that Ellerbe and Wheeler are superior blitzers to Dansby and Burnett. Wheeler was the second best pass rushing 4-3 outside linebacker, trailing only Denver's Von Miller last season. Burnett checks in as No. 8. Ellerbe is rated by PFF as the NFL's third best blitzing inside linebacker in 2012. Dansby was 49th, with a -2.7 metric.
    But on the flip side Ellerbe struggles in coverage, which is where Dansby and Burnett excelled. PFF ranks Ellerbe 49th in coverage when it comes to inside linebackers. He has a -5.0 metric. Dansby was 16th.
    Wheeler has the fifth best outside linebacker in coverage. Burnett checks in as No. 13. But what I found interesting if that opposing quarterbacks had a 111.1 pass rating, completed 83 percent of their passes and threw two touchdowns to the players Wheeler was assigned to.
    Quarterbacks going after Burnett had a 103.5 pass rating, completed 77.6 percent of their passes, but didn't throw a touchdown on him.
    So....in summary, Ellerbe and Wheeler are SIGHTLY younger than Dansby and Burnett, obviously cheaper, and the Dolphins hope they'll be better blitzers.
     
  2. Elliott 1

    Elliott 1 Banned Hammered

    Joined:
    May 2006
    Messages:
    4,316
    Likes Received:
    40
    Trophy Points:
    0
    So we are paying 7 million a year for LB who couldn't cover his own grandma, and this in Tom Brady's division.

    These were desperate moves made by a very bad GM.

    And by the way, all these homer articles out there talking about how wheeler and Ellerbe are younger and faster; it's BS as well, both Burnett and Dansby were 4.5 guys.

    Dansby and Burnett were tall LB's with long arms and great speed. Dansby was a former WR.

    This is no step up by any means. This was a move to save cap and money in the future when Hartlines bonus and Wallace's gold mine kick in.

    Reshad Jones and Paul Soliai need new contracts. So will Odrick and Misi if we plan on keeping them next year.

    This is not an improvement of the defense. This paing a heavy price for Wallace.

    There is a lot of dead money in cutting Dansby and Burnett this year.

    The smart GM would have already drafted their replacements and would have cut them next year.
     
  3. ph0enyx

    ph0enyx Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2010
    Messages:
    448
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I dont know about Wheeler, but the fact the Ravens were so high on Ellerbe tells me something.
     
  4. fanfin

    fanfin A True Fan

    Joined:
    Dec 2012
    Messages:
    1,808
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    0
    knew even after today a few Ireland haters would come up with something. We got more athletic playmaking linebackers who are younger, cheaper, huge upgrade athletically and are superior blitzers.
     
  5. Third Eye

    Third Eye Scout Team

    Joined:
    May 2007
    Messages:
    1,128
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You are a fool if you don't think this is an upgrade. Dansby and Burnett combined made very few impact plays. Neither are ascending players. Dansby has been a descending player each year he has been in Miami. He is banged up, 32 and will project to make even fewer impact plays in 2013. Burnett is decent in coverage but again made very few impact plays.

    Miami is looking for impact players on both sides of the ball. Solid, meat and potatoes guys, isn't enough and Ireland knows this. The team needs ball hawks on defense who gang tackle and put the football on the ground. Relentless pursuit and effort. Miami forces consistently some of the fewest turnovers in the league. They must change this.

    As great as Dansby and Burnett are considered in coverage, where are the pick offs and big plays? This is an upgrade and a cap benefit on top of it. Kudos to the front office.
     
  6. Dolfan5000

    Dolfan5000 Mark my words, I'll get mine

    Joined:
    Jan 2005
    Messages:
    4,037
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Wrong, just... wrong.
     
  7. NUGap

    NUGap Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2012
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You clearly don't understand how contracts work or how these contracts are structured. Typically, in 5 year contracts, the third year is when the salary escalates and thus the cap hit escalates. Thus, the 2015 season is when we'll see the largest marginal increase in Wallace and Hartline's contracts per year. Neither Dansby or Burnett's contract stretched into 2015, therefore Dansby and Burnett's contracts had no relation to Wallace or Hartline's. If this were really a concern, you would wait until that third year and sign new LBs for the 2015 off season. That way their first year cap hit (the lowest) would be the same year Wallace and Hartline's contracts increased.

    Beside that, Ellerbe's 35 mil / 5 yrs is nearly identical to Karlos Dansby's initial contract. Wheeler's 26 mil / 5 years is around 5 mil/year which is what Burnett's contract worked out to. So the Dolphins aren't paying these guys any less or more. That to me would indicate they believe they are upgrading in some way whether that be age or talent. You don't pay guys the same money to be worse intentionally.

    I've ignored posts like this today, but this one was so ignorant I had to respond. If you need it spelled out in easier terms, I can draw a diagram with stick figures and everything!
     
  8. KTOWNFINFAN

    KTOWNFINFAN Seasoned Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 2005
    Messages:
    6,512
    Likes Received:
    33
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Not sure I can argue with anything you said. My biggest fear is we traded LBs that are better in coverage, for LBs that are better blitzers. Not sure that is the kind of trade off that makes our defense better. Glad I am not the only one overly excited about these changes. I will say I am MORE than tired of Dansby's mouth. At least Crowder was funny when he ran his mouth, Dansby just needed to learn to STFU.
     
  9. DolfanDuBbZ~

    DolfanDuBbZ~ Avoid the 'Noid

    Joined:
    Nov 2008
    Messages:
    6,402
    Likes Received:
    51
    Trophy Points:
    48
    The fact Ozzie Newsome traded away Boldin, to clear cap space for Ellerbee, says more about him...than you ever will. As with most FA's and especially those in their prime, you end up over paying. It happens.

    Like I said prior to the FA period. With people like you and many others. Ireland is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. But you made your bones here by bitching day in and day out. Its nothing new. Same **** different day.
     
    Travis34 likes this.
  10. D0lphan72

    D0lphan72 War... War never changes Donator

    Joined:
    Dec 2009
    Messages:
    3,518
    Likes Received:
    50
    Trophy Points:
    48
    yeah, i know wheeler's a solid player and if the ravens loved ellerbe like that then it must be a good sign!
     
  11. KTOWNFINFAN

    KTOWNFINFAN Seasoned Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 2005
    Messages:
    6,512
    Likes Received:
    33
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Right, I forgot that players always suddenly turn into great players just by putting on a dolphins uniform. Even though both of the new players have worse numbers in pretty much every area, and are ranked slightly lower than the two we are getting rid of, they are going to be superstars for us?? Now it makes sense, I forgot about the power of the dolphins uniform.

    I'm not saying I hate the move or that I don't like Ireland. I have supported Jeff more than most. I just don't see it as that big of an upgrade. I could be wrong, I just don't understand it. To me the one LB that needed to be replaced was Misi. We got rid of the only cover LBs and kept the one that couldn't cover a OLman, and then added two LBs that also don't cover very well. All while being in a division where the pats have two of the best TEs in the league. Not sure how it's going to work out.
     
  12. phillyphinphan

    phillyphinphan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2005
    Messages:
    653
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    I really dont care about the numbers and rankings of burnett and dansby...they constantly were a step late to the ball and lost way too many one on ones with the ball carrier. I hardly ever seen them cut off plays and redirect them back into team mates, they gave me zero confidence that on a 3rd and 7 if the ball came their way that they were gonna stop the offense short of the 1st down...
     
  13. NUGap

    NUGap Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2012
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Try reading comprehension next time, I didn't say they were upgrades. I said based on their relative contracts to Dansby and Burnett, the Dolphins believe they are upgrading. You don't pay players the same amount of money if you think they're worse. I was making a statement about what the contracts said about the players, not the value I believed the players presented.
     
  14. KTOWNFINFAN

    KTOWNFINFAN Seasoned Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 2005
    Messages:
    6,512
    Likes Received:
    33
    Trophy Points:
    48
    LOL yeah solid. You did read where Gary Guyton and Wheeler was both brought in last year and we kept Guyton. I think you will see some more moves in the LB core.
     
  15. KTOWNFINFAN

    KTOWNFINFAN Seasoned Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 2005
    Messages:
    6,512
    Likes Received:
    33
    Trophy Points:
    48
    How bout YOU try reading comprehension. I never said, or cared, what YOU said. I was showing the faults in the logic, whether it was YOURS or Ireland's, or anyone who agreed with it. Try reading before attacking with misinformation.
     
  16. KTOWNFINFAN

    KTOWNFINFAN Seasoned Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 2005
    Messages:
    6,512
    Likes Received:
    33
    Trophy Points:
    48
    I will agree Dansby was horrible at taking bad angles to runners. I made lots of post about this problem. I really thought Burnett was pretty good in both run and pass defense. Not a play maker but very solid and underrated. MUCH better than Koa.
     
  17. NUGap

    NUGap Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2012
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    0
    EDIT: Not worth it, I made the point I needed to make with my 1st post
     
  18. cullenbigcstill

    cullenbigcstill FinHeaven VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 2006
    Messages:
    958
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    18
    You're on crack if you think Dansby and Burnett are 4.5 speed LBers, have you watched them play? Why wait a year to get ahead of the curve, everyone knew LBer was going to be an issue next year, if you have conviction to correct it now, and the right players for your system are there then pounce, as they did. This team is having a speed makeover this offseason, please continue Philbin and Co. It is LONG overdue!
     
  19. luduporcu

    luduporcu Banned Hammered

    Joined:
    Feb 2003
    Messages:
    1,598
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I really believe that this will be a HUGE upgrade.

    MIAMI is in the AFC East. That means N.E.! If you can't beat N.E., you've got NO HOPE of achieving ANYTHING...WALLACE OR NO, BUSH OR NO, etc., etc., etc.!!! The GIANTS (twice!) and BALTIMORE showed everyone in the League how to beat N.E.: rush TOMMY Boy off his feet!!! Never mind sacks...that's just icing on the cake. Get a hand in his face; knock him down; and don't give him any room to step up into the "pocket". And BLITZ.

    But when you blitz a QB as good as BRADY, you'd better get there!!! DANSBY and BURNETT rarely did. That's just not good enough. Forget ability to "cover": BRADY can beat ANY "cover" LB all day long...no problem at all. You beat BRADY by pressuring him. Everything else is a distant second-best. So, bye-bye DANSBY and bye-bye BURNETT. And as far as I'm concerned, good riddance. MIAMI just got rid of one big-talking loudmouth who never seemed to back up his words; and the LB equivalent of SANCHO PANZA, or maybe the FLUB-A-DUB from HOWDY DOODY time!
     
  20. whizafriz

    whizafriz A True Fan

    Joined:
    Jan 2011
    Messages:
    1,893
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    I was reading the Raven's forum on Ellerbe leaving, and many though that we were definitely overpaying for him.
    I think that's just the nature of the business. Dansby just wasn't going to cut it much longer.

    At the same time, some thought they were definitely losing the main guy they needed, and Only felt comfortable because they had so much ungodly faith in their GM drafting a replacement soon enough.
    So, I think with Ellerbe, you can take it any which way. We'll find out come preseason.
     
  21. Atila

    Atila Atila - the freshmaker. Finheaven VIP

    Joined:
    Mar 2004
    Messages:
    4,044
    Likes Received:
    31
    Trophy Points:
    48
    I like the moves, but I feel like we overpaid for both of them.
     
  22. dlockz

    dlockz Hall Of Famer

    Joined:
    Sep 2004
    Messages:
    44,288
    Likes Received:
    76
    Trophy Points:
    48
    The new linebackers are not any faster than the ones they are replacing, not sure where this myth has surfaced
     
  23. cleezy13

    cleezy13 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2010
    Messages:
    311
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18

    Dansby and Burnett never made any impact plays thats why our D was always suspect ellerby and wheeler will be way better just for the fact that they are great at getting to the QB which Dansby and Burnett werent time for change good move getting the young guys.
     
  24. sn9ke.eyes

    sn9ke.eyes Starter

    Joined:
    Aug 2004
    Messages:
    1,025
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    38
    I think leadership came into play here too. I don't think the FO held a grudge against Dansby and Burnett as the article suggests, but I do think they weren't happy with the locker room mix and leadership that was coming from these guys.
     

Share This Page