The Dolphins' offseason roster moves have been fascinating. As an accident scene is to a rubbernecker. I'd love to see the guys we've signed work out brilliantly for us. But I'd also love to see TV shows resurrect all the beloved characters they've killed off, rock and R&B stars from "my era" get Top 40 radio airplay and make the charts today, and to hit those sweet six lottery numbers so I won't have to work anymore. I don't see them things happenin' neither.
Like my friend Rob and other long-suffering Dolfans, I too have begun rationalizing that the Dolphin "braintrust" knew something about BQ that the rest of the football world didn't, and that John Beck can turn out to be "our Roethlisberger" (sans motorcycle crashes please). But in light of Cam and Company's (C&C) pre-draft choices, the smart money says we're kidding ourselves and we simply have a different set of lunatics running our asylum.
I've been comparing our deals to those of a team that actually knows what it's doing: the New England Patriots, who of course are a) our divison rivals and b) way better than us. Since the '06 season ended, they've added Donte Stallworth, Randy Moss, Adalius Thomas, Wes Welker, Tory James, Sammy Morris, Kelley Washington, and Kyle Brady. In contrast, Miami has reached out to Joey Porter, David Martin, Mike Rosenthal, Cory Schlesinger, Jesse Chatman, Kelly Campbell, Az-Zahir Hakim, and Gibran Hamdan. Not listed is Trent Green, the 38-year old vet who C&C seem smitten with but who cannot possibly be a long-term answer for our honkin' QB woes.
Welker and Morris, of course, were with us last year. Losing a guy like Welker breaks my heart. As fellow blogger Rob notes, his return numbers and YPC slipped last year. But he gives 100% and catches everything thrown to him. Even if it's thrown to him well behind the first-down marker. A guy fans and teammates love. Sammy is an underrated runner and receiver who I suspect will burn us like Heath Evans did when NE scooped him up from us in '05.
As for the other new Patriots, Stallworth may be a pain in the ass but is among best WRs around. Moss virtually defines "pain in the ass," but if he wants to he can still be awesome. Welker will replace or complement the possession skills NE long received from Troy Brown, who may not be asked back for '07. Washington flew under the radar in Cincinnati because they are/were loaded with WR talent. It appears we tried for Stallworth and Washington but were outmaneuvered both times. Crap! Now: "howboutthemnewDolphins!" Well...Az-Z hasn't been effective since he was with the Rams in 1826. Campbell has been hurt or cut the past two years. Ditto Chatman, who looked good as San Diego's backup RB before mysteriously getting cut before the '05 season. I always root for older guys to relive past glories, and I rooted for "the Schles" all through his career with Detroit. But he's 34 now and has only five carries since 2003. Martin is an OK 2nd or 3rd TE. Too bad he's replacing Randy McMichael, one of the most consistent starting TEs of the past few years and a guy we had no business letting go.
Our best addition, by far, looks to be Joey Porter. I loved him as a Steeler. But even here the Pats seem to have outdone us by nabbing Adalius Thomas, who is a year younger and had better numbers last year: 11 sacks to Porter's 7 and 83 tackles to Joey's 55.
Need another slap in the face? USA Today's Sports Weekly rated the Patriots' draft an A, while Miami's got a C-. With the Quinn fiasco, I'm surprised we rated that well. In light of the above, I don't see where we had the wiggle room to take risks. I hope I'm wrong. Or, to paraphrase the recently-departed soul singer Luther Ingram, if thinking the Fins are screwed is wrong, I don't want to be right.