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Tua Tagovailoa will work out for teams in April

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will work out for teams in April, according to his agent Leigh Steinberg.

Before the 2019 Miami Dolphins ever took the field, it was believed by many that the plan was to draft Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa, no matter whatAnd with each passing win, it seemed less and less likely that the plan would come to fruition. But then, Tagovailoa suffered a season-ending hip injury, which once again made this dream a reality. Now, with less than four months until the 2020 NFL Draft, new information could change teams’ outlook in April.

According to Tagovailoa’s agent Leigh Steinberg, the promising young QB is expected to be fully healthy and able to work out for NFL teams before the draft.

In Tagovailoa We Trust

No one can honestly say whether or not Tagovailoa will be fully healthy. As it is my belief, there are several hurdles between now and April that he must overcome. But for a player that at one point–many believed may never play football again–this is big. And for teams like the Miami Dolphins or even the Los Angeles Chargers, they must now start to devise a plan to figure out how to land the Left Arm of God. 

Truth is, Chris Grier and his henchman have done what needed to be done, to acquire as war chest of draft picks. They have the ammunition to move up and down the draft board as they deem fit–and it is my understanding they will do so for the right player. Tagovailoa, when healthy, is absolutely worth trading up for. And if he is the QB the team coveted since day one, the decision is easy.

When healthy, Tagovailoa is one of the best QBs to ever play collegiate football. Now, he has the opportunity to take his talents to the NFL-to South Florida. Now it is up to the Miami Dolphins to make that a dream a reality.

In all my years covering the Dolphins, there is not a prospect I can remember wanting more than Tagovailoa. I just hope Miami’s front office feels the same way. Because missing out on a prospect like Tagovailoa, could rival passing on Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers. It’s time to get out of the 7-9 and 8-8 hell the team has been trapped in for the last 20 years.

Save us Tua Tagovialoa, you’re our only hope.

 

This article was written by Josh Houtz (@houtz) and he really, really wants the Dolphins to draft Tua Tagovailoa.

 

Miami Dolphins: Several coaching staff changes made Sunday

The Miami Dolphins made changes to the coaching staff on Sunday

The Miami Dolphins are going to have some new coaches next year. Robby Brown will be named to the quarterbacks coach position per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. For those unfamiliar, he worked with Chan Gailey in New York while both were with the Jets.

Brown has an extensive football background. He was most recently a member of the West Virginia coaching staff. While there, he was the special assistant to the head coach. He was also the senior analyst for the offense. He was hired in March 2019. According to his West Virginia biography, one of his jobs was to help out with the game planning for the coaching staff.

Miami Dolphins make other changes to coaching staff

Another major move occurring on Sunday was the loss of Patrick Graham to the New York Giants. He was in his first year as the defensive coordinator for the Dolphins. Miami gave up 494 points on the year, most in the National Football League.

The defense gave up 397.8 yards per game which was third -most in the league. Giving up six yards per pass, that was also third -most in the league. However, Miami spent most of the year reshuffling and retooling the defense. Statistics certainly do not tell the whole story.

Josh Boyer was promoted to the position of defensive coordinator as a result. Last year was his first season with the Miami Dolphins. He served the roles of defensive pass game coordinator and cornerbacks coach. Miami ranked 12th in the National Football League with 13 interceptions on the year. They were tied with four other teams in that category.

it will be interesting to see how Boyer and Brown ease into their new roles. There has been a lot of turnover on the part of the coaching staff so far this offseason. Brian Flores wants to make sure he has everything right heading into 2020.

Ryan Tannehill One Game from Super Bowl (in Miami!)

How to feel about this?

There’s never been a seven-year itch quite like what was caused by Ryan Tannehill’s tenure as Miami Dolphins quarterback, the itch to see something new. He was good here, but never great, and just as he started to get closer — playing at a higher level during a 8-5 start to the 2016 season under Adam Gase — he got hurt, missed a season, returned and got hurt again. So even the durability argument, the one that was always in his favor, was lost.

Remember?

That was the shoulder, after the knee.

Most agreed that it was time to move on.

Even those who didn’t think Tannehill was terrible.

 

But now, what to make of Tannehill moving on to the AFC Championship in his first season as a Tennessee Titan, with the Dolphins paying most of his salary?

 

How to handle the possibility of Tannehill going on the road for a third time, now against either Kansas City or the Laremy Tunsil/Kenny Stills Houston Texans, and playing in Steve Ross’s stadium for Super Bowl LIV? And how much does it matter that Tannehill has thrown for about half as many yards in the Titans’ two playoff wins as teammate Derrick Henry has rushed for? (Check Luis Sung’s excellent column on Henry’s free agency and the Dolphins here).

Here are some of the top Tanny takes from Twitter:

 

A meme got put to good use:

There was Tua talk, of course, especially with the Alabama QB in Miami for the weekend:

 

And this from Jeff Darlington, who knows Tannehill as well as any national reporter, probably sums it up best:

Tua Tagovailoa

Tua Tagovailoa takes a weekend getaway to Miami

Tua Tagovailoa made the the trip down on Friday.

Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was spotted in Miami on social media. Could he have been visiting the Miami Dolphins on Friday?

Tagovailoa is expected to be a top quarterback in the 2020 NFL Draft. As the Dolphins hold the fifth overall pick, he could be in a spot to become a Dolphin. This is something that many Miami fans believe is the first step towards rebuilding the future. It is certainly hard to disagree with them.

Friday night, he posted on his Instagram story that he was in Miami. He also was able to visit with Larry “The Amigo” Milan. The latter posted it on his Instagram profile. At the very least, we have tangible proof that the star quarterback is checking out potential future surroundings. That is certainly intriguing to say the least.

What does this all mean? We can’t say for certain, but my guess is that Miami really likes what Tua brings to the table. He is the playmaker Miami has been lacking for years. They have longed for a quarterback with his arm strength and accuracy, and now it looks like he has fallen right into their laps. I would be a little worried in regards to his injury from last year. However  with the fifth pick, Miami should take the best player available. He certainly fits into that category.

To me this is a sign that Tua is doing his homework. He’s doing a little pre-draft scouting if you will. Miami Dolphins general manager Chris Grier has done plenty of scouting on his own, having watched the quarterback in several games. He was on hand to watch Tagovailoa take down Ole Miss in a seven-touchdown day. It’s no secret that the Dolphins as an organization love what the quarterback brings the table.

The fact that the former Alabama Crimson Tide star was in town Friday is certainly significant. It could be the start of a fruitful relationship between organization and player.

Tua Tagovailoa announces he will enter 2020 NFL Draft

Tua Tagovailoa is headed the to National Football League.

It was decision day for Tua Tagovailoa on Monday. Would he stay at Alabama, or declare for the NFL Draft? The good news for Miami Dolphins fans is, he is heading to the professional ranks.

Tagovailoa passed for 2,840 yards, 33 touchdowns and three interceptions. The three interceptions were tied for third-least in college football. The 33 touchdowns were tied for eighth-most.

For his Alabama career, Tagovailoa threw for 7,442 yards, 87 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. His best season for the Crimson Tide came in 2018. As a sophomore, he threw for 3,966 yards, 43 touchdowns and six interceptions. The 206.9 quarterback rating he recorded in 2019 was the best number of his Alabama career.

He had a very impressive resume while at Alabama. Winning the national championship, being named MVP of the 2018 Orange Bowl, and All-American honors were just some of the things he won in 2018 alone.

Miami Dolphins were able to get successful bridge year Tua Tagovailoa

His decision to declare for the NFL Draft is a very interesting one as it relates to the Miami Dolphins quarterback position. Ryan Fitzpatrick had a great year for Miami, throwing for 3,529 yards, 20 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. If the goal was for Fitzpatrick to simply be a bridge to a future quarterback, he did a great job of holding down the fort.

The Miami Dolphins have the fifth overall pick in next year’s draft. There is speculation that Tua will be there for the Dolphins to select with the fourth overall pick. They would be wise to draft him. Even with the injury he suffered last year, he has unquestionable potential to be the quarterback of the future. He has tremendous arm strength, and the mobility needed to be a quarterback in today’s National Football League.

The motto adopted by many Miami Dolphins fans was “Tank for Tua.” At the end of the day, it appears the Miami Dolphins were able to win a bit and have their shot at the quarterback anyway. This is setting up to be a fun offseason for the Miami Dolphins. Now, the waiting game begins for the NFL Draft.

Zach Thomas header

Miami Dolphins: Zach Thomas named Hall of Fame finalist

The Miami Dolphins legend is one step closer to the pinnacle of football.

A Miami Dolphins legend is one step closer to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Linebacker Zach Thomas was announced as a finalist for the 2020 class on Thursday.  Thomas was named a semifinalist in November.

Zach Thomas had a tremendous career with the Miami Dolphins. He recorded 1,633 tackles with the Dolphins in a 12-year career. He started in 182 out of the 184 games he played in. His best year came in 2006. Recording 165 tackles, he also registered three sacks. Playing in all 16 games that year, he was truly a workhorse.

Thomas made the Associated Press All-Pro First Team six times. He made the Second Team once in 2001 as an inside linebacker.

The Texas Tech standout joins a class that includes Steve Hutchinson, Alan Faneca, Torry Holt, Troy Polamalu, Richard Seymour, and Reggie Wayne.

It’s time for the Miami Dolphins great to be in Canton

I have to say this, it’s about time. He truly was a tremendous linebacker for the Miami Dolphins. He was truly consistent year in and year out. Thomas never took place off, and was a tremendous part of the Miami defense. Thomas recorded six seasons of at least 150 tackles in a row. Not only that, he started in every single game five times in his career. With how ferociously he played the game, that is also remarkable.

Not only that, he played both the inside and middle linebacker positions. He was truly somebody defenses had to watch out for, and he was someone they had to gameplan against. Thomas was one of my favorite linebackers to watch growing up, and it’s great to see him get this nod. Hopefully, he will be able to get his call to the Hall. He is going up against a stacked class. I will just say this: Getting the opportunity to watch a potential acceptance speech in Canton would be pretty sweet.

 

Running Back, not QB, may be Bigger Need for Dolphins

December 29th marked the end of the 2019 season for the Miami Dolphins.

Welcome to the offseason.

Each day it seems a new rumor or theory rises to the surface. How will the Dolphins rebuild the roster?

Fans, and owner Stephen Ross, agree that the Dolphins are in need of a franchise quarterback.

While it is undeniable that a franchise quarterback is needed in order to create a franchise worthy of competing for a Super Bowl, is finding a quarterback the top priority?

It seemed that the Dolphins were starting three or four new players each and every week. Some continuity within the roster proved Miami wasn’t as awful as some thought.

The Dolphins defeated two division winners in December (Philadelphia and New England) and saying that Ryan Fitzpatrick was the best quarterback in the AFC East may not be too farfetched.

 

Fitzpatrick completed 62 percent of his passes for 20 touchdowns, 13 interceptions and 3,529 yards. He had more passing touchdowns than Sam Darnold and tied Josh Allen, but threw for roughly 500 more yards.

Tom Brady threw for four more touchdowns and roughly 500 more yards, but started two more games than Fitzpatrick. It is important to keep in mind that the point here isn’t to say that Fitzpatrick is better than one of the best quarterbacks of all time.

However, bringing Fitzpatrick back would likely be a better option for the Dolphins than forcing a top-pick on a player Chris Grier and Miami’s front office is not sold on.

There is one stat from Fitzpatrick that must change headed into next season.

The Dolphins need to address the running back room

Fitzpatrick’s 243 yards on the ground was the most by any player by the Miami Dolphins in 2019.

The Dolphins started the season with Kalen Ballage, Kenyan Drake and Mark Walton as the team’s top backs. The room quickly crumbled.

Drake was traded after reports came out that he didn’t want to re-sign with the team.

Walton had a few strong games, but will likely never be on a football field again after some legal issues.

Ballage finished the season with three touchdowns with a steady 1.8 yards per attempt on 74 attempts on the year before suffering a season-ending injury.

Patrick Laird, Myles Gaskin and Samaje Perine were alright in limited time, but the Dolphins have the salary cap space and draft capital to give the position a major facelift.

Eight of the top 11 rushing teams earned a spot in the NFL playoffs. Despite the modern day “pass happy” NFL, there is still plenty of reasons to establish the run.

Fans want to a quarterback and who could blame them?  What would help a young signal caller more than an established running game? For that, it should be reasonable to want the Dolphins to pick one or maybe even two running backs in the first five rounds of the NFL draft.

If the Dolphins don’t want to “waste” the picks in the backfield, there are already some interesting rumors around the free agent class of backs.

After Gordon there are a still a few other names to keep an eye on.

The Dolphins have plenty of work to do this offseason. It is clear that the team needs to find the quarterback of the future, but running it back with Fitzpatrick wouldn’t be the worst outcome for the franchise.

The Dolphins cannot afford to average a league-worse 72 yards per game on the ground in 2020.

Miami Dolphins NFL 100 Presence Profound

The Miami Dolphins organization has left their footprint on the NFL 100 All-Time Team.

Over the course of the NFL’s 100 years in existence, the Miami Dolphins have fielded legendary teams and players.

Those legends take us back to a time when Miami stood at the NFL pinnacle.

The Miami Dolphins were born in 1966 and for a while seemed comical and lovable in their ineptitude.

Until one man changed the course of an entire franchise for the next three decades.

Shula Builds Winner in his Image

As present day observers of the Miami Dolphins will attest, the formula for success starts at the top.

The NFL’s all-time winningest coach (347), Shula’s rise to prominence was steady yet many challenges befell him along the way.

Don Shula joined the Dolphins in 1970 after a successful, if unfulfilled six year tenure with the Baltimore Colts.

He finished with a stellar 71-23-4 record in the regular season, but his legacy there was defined by missed opportunities.

The Colts went just 2-3 in the postseason under Shula, including upset losses in the 1964 NFL Championship and the famous 1969 Super Bowl against Joe Namath and the New York Jets.

It looked like the failures of years past would continue to haunt Shula, he lost in 1970 to Oakland in the Divisional round.

The following year Shula would guide the 1971 team to their first Super Bowl where they would fall to Dallas.

Despite that defeat, Shula and the Miami Dolphins were on the brink of history.

One team annually reminds the world that they were the first, and to this day, only undefeated Super Bowl champions.

The 1972 Dolphins were the culmination of Shula’s steady ascension to greatness.

A team so complete and unwavering in their identity, that destiny did not have a chance.

Seventeen teams tried to defeat them, with each finding a different path to failure.

Shula put all the components together for sustained success.

Combining a powerful running game with timely execution through the air, Miami bulldozed their way to perfection.

Those teams were built from the inside-out, with Hall of Fame talent on the offensive line and across the defense.

Miami would win their second (and most recent) Super Bowl the following year against Minnesota and were a consistent winner the entire decade.

The Dolphins would win at least 10 games in all but one season throughout the 1970’s, yet the slow shift to the passing attack league-wide was hastening.

Shula would embrace the new offensive climate as time went on, and his next chapter would be forever linked with Miami’s second player on this list.

Dan Marino

The standard by which every Dolphins quarterback is measured.

 

Marino not only set the bar for a franchise, he elevated the statistical requirements needed to be considered an elite modern NFL quarterback.

When Marino retired he owned most, if not all, significant records at the position.

Completions (4967)

Attempts (8358)

Passing yards (61,361)

Touchdowns (420)

More importantly, he won.

A lot.

Marino still ranks fifth all time in wins with 147, and led the Dolphins to the postseason 10 times in his career.

After an MVP campaign in 1984 which ended with a loss to San Francisco in the Super Bowl, nothing seemed impossible for the Dolphins.

Along with Coach Shula, Marino gave the organization a second era of consistent excellence and stability which has yet to be captured again.

He never made it to the Super Bowl after 1984, but his legacy is without doubt when you set foot in Hard Rock Stadium.

His number 13 is one of only three to be retired for the Miami Dolphins, along with Bob Griese (12) and Larry Czonka (39).

For two decades the Miami Dolphins have tried to find his heir apparent as a true franchise quarterback.

Until that happens, if it ever does, Marino’s accomplishments remain the pinnacle for this organization.

Marino was inducted into the Dolphins Honor Roll in 2000 and enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005.

Dwight Stephenson

The Miami Dolphins have had legendary offensive lineman such as Jim Langer and Larry Little, both NFL Hall of Famers.

Langer was the first great center to wear a Dolphins uniform, a true ironman he played 128 consecutive games. He worked his way up from a role player to a perennial All-Pro with incredible determination and work ethic.

Little redefined the guard position with his athleticism on pulls and grace in pass protection. Or he could simply power over an opponent on a sweep, then glide fast enough to escort Czonka, Kiick, or Morris to the house. Little was also a superb mentor to younger players and would later become a coach in the college ranks.

Stephenson epitomized both of them when he took hold of the starting center job in 1981, his second season. Defined by an unwavering drive, Stephenson never took a play off. He was an All-American at Alabama but was primarily a special teamer early on until an injury to starting center Mark Dennard in 1981 opened the door.

 

Despite a career cut short by injuries, Stephenson was regarded as the best center of his time. Marino’s battery mate, his consistency was a catalyst in the Dolphins offensive line allowing the fewest sacks in the NFL for six straight seasons. Stephenson is one of only four centers to make the NFL 100 list. He was added to the Dolphins Honor Roll in 1994 and selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998.

Paul Warfield

Part of the 1972 undefeated team, Warfield was one of the first true NFL deep threats at wide receiver.

Warfield retired as the NFL’s all-time leader in receiving touchdowns (85) and led the league in receiving scores on two occasions.

In an age where the air attack was still finding prominence, Warfield found the end zone at least 10 times in four different seasons.

 

Warfield would spend five seasons in Miami after playing his first six for the Cleveland Browns. He would make seven consecutive Pro Bowls (when it meant something), including all five of his years in Miami.

For his career Warfield caught 427 passes for 8,565 yards along with 85 touchdowns.

Warfield rejoined the Browns for his final three seasons and retired after the 1977 season. He would be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1983 and the Dolphins Honor Roll in 1990.

Junior Seau

Seau played three seasons in Miami from 2003-2005 where he appeared in 30 games, registering five sacks. Most of Seau’s career was spent in San Diego where he was an eight time All-Pro and led the Chargers to their only Super Bowl appearance. He would be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame posthumously in 2015.

 

 

Miami Dolphins part ways with several coaches on Black Monday

The Miami Dolphins parted with several coaches on Monday.

In what is known as Black Monday in National Football League circles, the Miami Dolphins have parted ways with coaches of their own. According to multiple media reports, the team has parted ways with safeties coach Tony Oden, offensive line coach Dave Deguglielmo, and offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea.

Deguglielmo was promoted to offensive line coach during training camp. He served in the capacity of an analyst role prior to that, having been hired this spring. This was his third stint with the Miami Dolphins. He was the offensive line coach from 2009-2011 and was an offensive assistant in 2017.

The Dolphins offensive line gave up 58 sacks in  2019. That number was tied with the Carolina Panthers for the most in the National Football League. They also allowed 146 quarterback hits. That was the most in the league by far. The next closest team was the Atlanta Falcons with 135.

Oden was hired as the teams safeties coach on February 8, 2019. That was the same day head coach Brian Flores announced his entire coaching staff.

Although the Miami Dolphins were able to get production from the safety position, there was certainly room for improvement. Eric Rowe was by far the best for Miami. He had 54 tackles, a forced fumble, and an interception. Stephen Parker was the starting strong safety. The rookie from Oklahoma had a decent year, recording 15 tackles and two interceptions.

Dolphins

O’Shea led offensive charge in first season with Miami Dolphins

This was O’Shea’s first season with the team. The Dolphins averaged 310 yards per game and recorded 34 total touchdowns on the year. They ranked 18th in the league with 19.7 first downs recorded per contest. Recording 94 offensive penalties, they ranked at the bottom of the league in that category.

It is certainly Black Monday for Miami Dolphins coaches. The organization obviously wants to go in a different direction, and it will be interesting to see who the replacements are. The foundation is there for the Miami Dolphins to succeed. Now, they want to take the next step.

Xavien Howard

Dolphins CB Xavien Howard arrested for domestic battery

Per ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe, the Miami Dolphins’ star cornerback, Xavien Howard, was arrested on Sunday by the Davie police department on charges for domestic battery in an incident with his fiancée.

According to the police report, Howard and his fiancée got into a verbal argument about the recent purchase of a purse that wasn’t disclosed in the report. The incident became physical when Howard grabbed his fiancée’s arm and pushed her back against a mirrored glass wall in the hallway of their bedroom. Howard then released her, causing her to fall onto her right arm, landing on Howard’s crutches.

Howard’s fiancée suffered physical scratches as well as redness on her right wrist and forearm. Howard also complained of knee pain according to the report. He was then taken to the BSO jail by Davie police, where Howard currently is now. This is Howard’s first offense as his record has been clean up to this point.

Monday morning, the Miami Dolphins released a statement regarding Howard’s arrest.

“We are aware of the situation and currently gathering information. We will have no further comment at this time.”

Howard’s camp has been silent regarding the incident, though Andy Slater of Fox Sports did reveal video of Howard – on crutches – appearing in court and refusing the counsel of a public defender.

Miami’s star player missed most of 2019 due to a knee injury that required surgery to repair. He’s now under a 5-year, $75 million dollar contract the Dolphins rewarded him with for his on-field performance.

Unquestionably, Xavien Howard is the best player on this Dolphins roster. He’s viewed as one of the cornerstone pieces of this long term rebuild. But incidents of domestic violence are inexcusable. Former Dolphins running back Mark Walton was unceremoniously waived after being arrested for aggravated battery of a pregnant woman back in mid-November.

Even if the Dolphins deem it fit to keep Howard after this incident, he will be subject to league discipline.

Luis Sung has covered the Miami Dolphins for numerous outlets such as Dolphins Wire for six years. Follow him on Twitter: @LuisDSung