Is the Front Office Competant?

steve_t

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It seems to me that we have been coasting on the personnel that Jimmy Johnson brought in during his tenure: Zack Thomas, Sam Madison, Pat Surtain, D. Gardner, J. Taylor et. al. Who has our current GM brought in through the draft outside of Chambers? They seem to admit that they don't know how to draft by trading our picks away. The latest bad move is cutting Gardner and trading away another draft pick for a marginal player at a position that had depth tp begin with. I don't like the look of this! Am I the only one?
 

ckparrothead

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Well the Jay Williams compensation I dont necessarily agree with but it would appear the coaches really see something that we don't.

These coaches have drafted Arturo Freeman and Morlon Greenwood...both starters. They brought in Brian Walker as a free agent he panned out nicely while here. They got Leon Searcy he looks pretty good and has been called by more than one news service what "looks like the steal of free agency" Spielman is really good at bringing in guys that you never heard of that end up making an impact like David Bowens, Scott McGarrahan, Trent Gamble, Ernest Grant and Damian Gregory, Terry Cousin. James McKnight didn't have a terrible year (he did lead the team in receptions I mean it could have been much worst considering he was in a Free Agent class with Matthew Hatchett, Isaac Byrd, and Dedric Ward and all were considered pretty equivalent to each other so in all likelihood we hit on the best of the flock). The coaches brought in a real stud in Chris Chambers and you simply CANNOT ignore that I mean the guy has the makings of a superstar top 10 WR in the league. The coaches brought in Jay Fiedler and he's won a lot of games. They brought in Lamar Smith who performed quite admirably in 2000 and (wisely) dumped the glut of RBs that JJ left us with.

But in terms of superstars of the Madison, Surtain, Gardener, JT, Zach variety well there I would just have to say that really, we got pretty lucky on a lot of those...especially Zach. But one superstar aint bad and it was an offensive superstar which is more than Jimmy ever did on offense. On defense be thankful we got Morlon Greenwood out of this regime. And Jamar Fletcher remains an unknown at this point...Surtain certainly didn't look any better than Fletch in his first year. Its hard to draft or sign superstars at positions where we've already got them. How do we draft another Zach when we've already got Zach? Its the most prominent spot in our LB corp...how do we get another DG or TimBo when we've got DG and TimBo? How do we get the next JT when we've got our RDE the very same JT? As it is Jamar Fletcher's progress will be impeded by the fact he's playing behind Surtain and Madison.
 

ckparrothead

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Crap I almost forgot about Todd Wade...

And by the way, where do you get that this regime has the habit of dumping our draft picks for trades?

We didn't have a first round pick the first year of Wann-Spiel's reign because JJ gave it away to draft Pat Surtain (very wisely I might add). We didn't have a 2nd round pick this year because Wanny traded it to draft Morlon Greenwood last year....and thats not what I call dumping a pick for a known player thats a draft exchange. The only two times I can see that we've traded prominent or semi-prominent picks are RICKY WILLIAMS and just now JAY WILLIAMS. Whats your beef man?
 

Muck

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Todd Wade, Arturo Freeman, Deon Dyer, Chris Chambers, Morlon Greenwood (who will be solid), Travis Minor, Jamar Fletcher, Seth McKinney (who might end up starting by season's end), RICKY WILLIAMS (he was our #1 draft pick this year). Jimmy had LOTS more picks to work with than the current regime does. Jimmy averaged 10 picks per draft with us.

I think part of your point is correct, Steve. Jimmy brought in tons of talent. But only on ONE side of the ball. All of those superstar players you named were on defense. Looking at the offensive side of the ball, how many superstars came via the draft from the the JJ era?? NONE. With Chris Chambers, Wanny already has Jimmy licked on that side. Heck, Jimmy only drafted TWO of our current starters. And both of those guys are battling for their jobs.

Who brought in our current starters (overall):

Johnson - 11
Wannstedt - 11
Shula - 2

See, it's closer than you think. And it will get closer with guys like Seth McKinney, Jamar Fletcher, Jaime Nails, Deon Dyer, James McKnight and Randy McMichael possibly becoming starters this year or down the road. Plus, Jimmy had 4 drafts in Miami. Dave has only had 3.

You can't blame Wanny for not replacing Jimmy's studs. Guys like Taylor, Zach, and the CBs are at the top of the mountain. You have no choice BUT to coast with them.

While I'm am worried about the future, I feel the next two drafts (along with our FA signings) will yeild plenty of talent to help us replenish.
 

Muck

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Hey CK, you and I think a lot alike. Looks like you beat me to the punch.

Ain't it crazy how this team STILL has links to good ol' Shues!!
 

steve_t

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CK and Muck: some good points there but I have to disagree on some. Our offensive line is one of the worst in the league - it will probably hinder us getting true value from the R. Williams deal. Grabbing lousy Buffalo Bills rejects at crucial offensive line positions is pathetic. Just because most of our starters on offense have been supplied by Wann-Speil does not mean that they have done a particularly good job of it. Some guys show promise - I mentioned Chambers myself but he is the only star on the horizon that I can see. My main point was that he is the only GREAT draft pick made in the past three years. JJ could take a few draft picks, trade down, get more, and DO something with them. Wann-Speil seem to think that free agents, and recently, trades are the way to go, maybe because they are not good drafters. It is going to bite us in the end because those low round draft picks come cheap. This current trend will get us in cap trouble.
 

Muck

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I disagree on the OL. INJURIES killed us last year. In 2000 (with Webb, Dixon, Ruddy, Donnalley, Wade), we were a solid run-blocking team. We stayed relatively healthy. And even Webb conceded that Brent Smith was ready to start that year. Sure we changed OL coaches. But the line still should have been solid. Injuries just hurt us.

While I can't say that our OL is great or horrible because we haven't played a down yet........I will wager that this group will be much better than last year's. Staying healthy will be a start. But we've added much more depth in the form of Searcy, Nails, and McKinney.

As for the two "rejects" from Buffalo........did you actually SEE Marcus Spriggs in training camp last year?? I did. You know what I saw?? I saw him knock JASON TAYLOR and LORENZO BROMELL on their ASSES on pass plays in a span of 10 minutes. I saw Spriggs get dirty in the run game. I was so impressed with him that I was totally comfortable with him as our starting LT.

As for Nails, I can say that he was out of shape last year. Ozzy and Co have seen him this year and say that he's looking great. Wanny says that he'll make the roster. Dude, this guy will be a ROADGRADER in the running game. He's quick and he's massive. He played LT in college. I for one am HAPPY we picked him up.

Personally, I'm very satisfied with the interior line. What I'm worried about is LT. Not from a talent standpoint, but from an injury standpoint.
 

ckparrothead

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All you can do really is count the starters. Sam Madison and Patrick Surtain were not low round draft picks. We paid for each with a first rounder. Daryl Gardener was a 1st rounder as well. Jason Taylor was a 3rd rounder. Zach Thomas really is the only star that came from a low round draft pick.

You're not giving the current regime an equal footing. They've only had 1 first round pick to draft with, and we've yet to see if he becomes a superstar on the Surtain path and it is way too unfair to judge Jamar's progress based on his first year alone because if you did that with Surtain, then you might have called him a bust. Thomas blossomed right away. Jason Taylor didn't become a real superstar until his FOURTH year. Madison became solid his second year and was great his third year. Gardener took about 3 years before be began to be noticed heavily as well. Surtain took 2 years before he became solid, 3 years before he became awesome.

You have to give the front offices equal footing on this one and just wait it out. Keep in mind that this regime hasn't even played its 3rd season yet and by far on average 3 seasons was the time it took for most of JJ's stars to shine. And also think about this fact...in Wannstedt's first year he HAD no first round pick, because JJ had already given it away. So of the 5 stars of JJ's drafting, 3 of them were either first rounders or cost a 1st rounder...and so even once this year is through if nobody from the 2000 draft class looks like a superstar it should be kept in mind that Wann-Spiel had no first rounder to work with.

Yet, this could very well be another year for Todd Wade to shine and show off all those skills he showed his rookie year. He could become a top 10 RT this year easily IMO. JJ had one guy who flourished into stardom immediately (Zach Thomas), and well so has Wannstedt (Chris Chambers). Jury has to still be out on guys like Morlon Greenwood and Jamar Fletcher...Arturo Freeman and Travis Minor. Jury's not even in SESSION on this year's draft class...

Basically what I'm tryin to say is that you've given Wannstedt too little time, and there's a definite time bias in your comparison of the two regimes. By now JJ's players have had the time to solidify their positions as great players. If you did the same comparison except with JJ's drafted players in 1998 then you have to wonder what it would look like.

On the eve of the 1998 season Gardener looked solid, not a star. Just had potential. Zach Thomas was a star. Sam Madison was good but not quite a pro bowler. Jason Taylor was just a promising young guy who was flimsy against the run and managed to get about 7 sacks a season or so. 2 solid guys, 1 good guy, and 1 star.

Well right now I'd say Wannstedt could match that. Morlon Greenwood looks solid. Arturo Freeman looks solid. Todd Wade looks pretty good. And Chris Chambers is a star already.
 

steve_t

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I thought that it was obvious after their first training camp that Madison, Surtain, Taylor, Gardner, Rodgers, Thomas would be great players. Taylor was very good right out of the box as was Madison, Gardner, and Rogers. It may have taken some time for the rest of the league to recognize it but the fans down here sure did. I can't say that about Greenwood, Fletcher, Freeman etc. - these guys have a long way to go. Even some guys that were lower picks gave us some good seasons right away like Wooden and Burton. There is the point to be made that JJ did not do well spotting offensive talent while he was here, but don't forget that he has NOT been here for three drafts, so he could have perhaps made some in-roads on that side of the ball during that time. This latest episode with Gardner has really soured me on Wann-Speil - they lost control of the team and couldn't keep the stars from back-stabbing each other. Now we have to pay the price. DG was the most important player on the defense and made everyone look better.
 

baccarat

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Originally posted by steve_t
I thought that it was obvious after their first training camp that Madison, Surtain, Taylor, Gardner, Rodgers, Thomas would be great players. Taylor was very good right out of the box as was Madison, Gardner, and Rogers. It may have taken some time for the rest of the league to recognize it but the fans down here sure did. I can't say that about Greenwood, Fletcher, Freeman etc. - these guys have a long way to go. Even some guys that were lower picks gave us some good seasons right away like Wooden and Burton. There is the point to be made that JJ did not do well spotting offensive talent while he was here, but don't forget that he has NOT been here for three drafts, so he could have perhaps made some in-roads on that side of the ball during that time. This latest episode with Gardner has really soured me on Wann-Speil - they lost control of the team and couldn't keep the stars from back-stabbing each other. Now we have to pay the price. DG was the most important player on the defense and made everyone look better.

Backstabbing? Gardner has been slacking for well over a year and the other players were sick of it. Not to mention the fact he had serious health issues.
 

ckparrothead

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Once again I have to ask. How is it possible for Daryl Gardener to be the most important piece of the defense, at LDE on run downs?

You simply CANNOT ignore the diminished role that Gardener was slated to play this year. Also what can't be ignored is that the diminished role was what was recommended by DOCTORS in the best interest of keeping DG healthy for a full season.
 

ckparrothead

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And by the way, Rodgers was excellent out of the box. Taylor was not excellent but he was making plays, but as I said he was extremely flimsy against the run. He was really solid at best for a defensive end after his first season. Potential there maybe, but people thought he'd NEVER be good against the run in a million years. Rodgers didn't have a 1998 campaign even close to his 1997 campaign.

Madison did not look that good out of the box. He was solid to good as a corner before the 1998 season. It was the 1998 season that made people take notice of him next to TBuck who was at the time considered better than Sam.

NONE and I do mean NONE of the guys (not even Thomas) were superstars after their rookie seasons. The excitement you sense from the fans was just basic fan homerism. As I said prior to the 1998 season we had one star (who solidified himself as here to stay in 1997...Zach Thomas) and a bunch of solid guys like Rodgers, Madison, and JT. JT was comin off his rookie campaign and people were taking notice of him but on the grand scale of Defensive Ends nobody would have called him upper echelon. Lots would have called him lower simply because of how weak he was at the point of attack. So like I said, its not fair you have to give the Wann-Spiel reign more time and also account for the fact that one of Wanny's 1st round picks was taken from him before he even arrived, and Wanny also did not arrive on the scene with as many draft picks as JJ had when he arrived.
 

ckparrothead

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And think of it another way. JJ spent a 3rd round pick on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and a 1st round pick on John Avery, and I forget what round I think 4th or 5th on Cecil "the Diesel" Collins, and a 3rd round pick on Rob Konrad, and a 2nd round pick on JJ Johnson...

All trying to find the Dolphins a stud runningback. With one move, Dave Wannstedt found himself a stud and he's given up far less than JJ did in order to get him. Also keep in mind that Wanny found us a stud RB for the 2000 season too...he just didn't make sure our guy was a stud in 2001. In 2002 we'll have a stud at RB again.

And the OL was terrible during JJ's reign as well. Nothing new there. I'd stand up the current Todd Wade, Chris Chambers, Jamar Fletcher, Arturo Freeman, and Morlon Greenwood next to JJ's draftees prior to the 1998 season any day.

It remains to be seen if Wanny's guys will take the next step the way JJ's guys did but don't be surprised if they dont necessarily because after all JJ had more picks to work with, and Wanny was robbed of a 1st round pick by JJ himself, and Ricky Williams REALLY HAS TO BE counted in this.
 

SuperMarksBros.

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thank you parrothead,

wade was the 1st that came to my mind...the old ragime talked alot about improving the running game, but forgot that running the ball starts up front. jj drafted 2nd tier backs such as jabbar, avery, and jj johnson. but never used a high draft pick on a stud o-line man. sure, he brought in ruddy and (the guy from tenn who never panned out), but he wasted #1 after #1 on Rb's, forgetting what made emmitt a 1500 yard back, home grown OL men
 

Muck

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I think Dave DID make sure that we had a stud runner in 2000. The way I look at it, he made Lamar prove that 2001 wasn't an abberition before he got the big money he was seeking. Lamar proved otherwise (with help from the OL) and Dave went out and GOT his stud.
 
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