The Dolphins 2009 season is all about showing the league which team they truly are, the young, inexperienced 1-15 squad, or the turn-around, jump-start 11-5 team from last year.
Let’s be honest, even the most positive Dolphin fan has to agree: They’re probably somewhere in between.
Chad Pennington still has what it takes to lead a team to the playoffs, so as long as the Wildcat retains some unpredictability, and that no-name defense steps up, they still have a shot at staying competitive.
Still, there are questions that need answering, for both the present and the future.
5. Can Anthony Fasano Be an Elite Tight End?
That all depends on what you consider “elite“.
Is he going to stretch the field like Jason Witten, break a ton of tackles, or record several 100-yard games?
No. Fasano is a big, reliable target that can help move the chains and can be a factor in the red-zone. But he’s not a guy that can do a lot with the ball, and he’s not an elite play-maker.
He’ll get 40+ catches and could score some touchdowns, but he’s never going to be Antonio Gates.
4. Can Ronnie Brown Stay Healthy?
I doubt it.
Brown is definitely an elite back when on the field and fully healthy, and if he can stay on his feet, this growing offense could make him and absolute stud.
With 13 missed games due to injury in his career, Brown has work to do to convince his team that he can be counted on.
Brown did make it through a full season last year, however, and two full years removed from his knee injury could have him as strong and confident as ever.
3. Can Ted Ginn Jr. Take the Next Step?
I believe he can, and I believe he will.
Ginn was only so-so in his first year, but showed good progress with a new coach, system, and quarterback.
If he had a quarterback with a bigger arm throwing to him his value would be that much better, but Pennington is still good enough to help Ginn’s true ability shine.
After notching over 50 grabs and 700 yards in his second year, Ginn is poised for a huge season in the wide receiver’s historically lucky third year.
Over 80 catches and 1,000 yards isn’t unrealistic.
2. Will the “Wildcat” Formation Dominate Again?
With the addition of Pat White, it’s very possible that it will.
The Eagles may have one-upped the Dolphins by landing Michael Vick, but White brings a whole new dimension to the offense, and could take a lot of pressure off of Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams.
This offense is built around the running game and trick plays, keeping the defense on it’s toes, and then smashing them in the mouth with powerful inside running.
If White is all he’s cracked up to be, Miami could have a very interesting and successful offense.
1. How Will Pat White Be Used?
In every way imaginable.
He’s a very athletic natural passer who has the speed and agility to play elite football at almost every offensive position.
He will obviously play some quarterback in certain packages, while also lining up with just Ronnie Brown or Ricky Williams in the backfield, likely with some “direct snap” plays.
With great versatility and awareness, White should also be serviceable on return duties, while also spending some time working out of the slot at receiver.
White is a sensation in the open field, and with his solid passing ability, also poses a threat as a quarterback.
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Saturday, August 15, 2009
With his partial reinstatement back in the NFL, Michael Vick suddenly has a lot to think about. Or worry about, depending on your outlook on his financial situation, as well as his professional football career.
Regardless, some team out there in the NFL will be interested enough to take him on. After all, despite some bad PR for taking on such a risk, there is always the good PR for being the team that “rescued” Vick, and gave him another chance.
While conventional picks for a Vick signing, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, and Oakland all being ruled out (thanks to NFL Insider, Adam Schefter) Vick’s landing spot just got a little more difficult to predict.
Vick is currently under a special reinstatement that will allow him to participate in all team activities, including the entire training camp, as well as the final two pre-season games. His current suspension until week six is reportedly not a “done deal”, and could erode into no suspension at all.
Depending on Vick’s behavior, he could be able to play in week one.
However, that doesn’t do fans much good, considering teams aren’t exactly lining up to pay for his services.
Still, he’s still too talented to not have a place in this league, and as long as a team believes he’s truly remorseful and a changed person, he will definitely be suiting up for someone in 2009, and very possibly as the starter.
Here’s a look at five teams that could pull the trigger:
Current Starter: Chad Pennington
True, the Dolphins have a capable starter in Pennington, and have two young signal callers, Chad Henne and Pat White, who they would probably prefer to have on the roster, rather than the controversial Vick.
However, if Vick’s speed and explosiveness haven’t left him, he would potentially be a perfect fit for their Wildcat offense.
Again, White was drafted both for that, as well as a possible quarterback that could out-perform Henne.
But if Vick was just signed to a one-year deal, the Dolphins could mold the rest of their offense around him, and give it a go.
The worst case scenario would be that the team upsets the 33-year old Pennington. And considering they’ve already stated that Henne is their guy for 2010, they won’t be too worried about that.
Verdict: If it’s all about the Wildcat in Miami, then why not? Very possible.
St. Louis Rams
Current Starter: Marc Bulger
The Rams are moving in different directions on both sides of the ball. They are trying to be more defensive-minded, while changing their air attack offense into a more time-controlled ground attack.
With Steven Jackson, that’s entirely possible. With Marc Bulger? Not so much.
The Rams could really use an extra explosive weapon on offense, as well as an athletic and elusive passer that can help their line grow as a unit, rather than take sack after sack.
Bulger has been ineffective for two straight years, is mobile as a rock, and is older than Vick.
The Rams play indoors and with their current rebuilding project, would be a fine place for Vick to start over.
Verdict: If you can upgrade over Bulger, you should. Unless the Rams hate him, it’s a perfect fit.
Current Starter: David Garrard
Garrard regressed last season, but also showed improved passing skills and the ability to take over games with both his arm and legs.
However, he’s not the explosive player that Vick is. He may have better accuracy and is currently a better fit for the offense, but Vick’s potential in an offense that already doesn’t really rely on it’s air attack is quite interesting.
With a player like Vick, a patchwork offensive line turns into “not such a big deal”, while opening things up for newly acquired Torry Holt, Maurice Jones-Drew, and possibly turning the inconsistent Marcedes Lewis into a more reliable target.
The Jaguars are said to be remotely interested in his availability, and if his suspension is lifted, Jack Del Rio just might try this one last dash to save his job.
Verdict: Vick is about as good as Garrard as a passer, but blows him away in athleticism. Slightly possible.
Current Starter: Tony Romo
There’s no way Dallas would bring in Vick to take over for Romo, but if they’re truly adamant about implementing the Wildcat offense, signing Vick to a one-year deal wouldn’t be a bad decision.
After all, Jerry Jones has already shown he likes to take chances with both Terrell Owens and Adam “Pacman” Jones.
The real question isn’f if Dallas wants Vick or if he’ll fit in. We know Jones and co. loves talent.
The question is, has Jones learned his lesson?
Verdict: Jones will probably continues to take silly chances, but this is still unlikely. Vick wants a starting gig at all costs.
Current Starter: Undecided
If Brett Favre does indeed come back, this drops from unlikely to completely unrealistic.
However, if the Vikings are even slightly worried about Favre making it through a full 16 -game season, adding Vick as a situational passer wouldn’t be a terrible idea.
After all, if Favre does indeed sign, Tarvaris Jackson has reportedly said he’d want to be traded, which would leave the door open for another athletic quarterback to run special packages-if that’s something Minnesota would be interested in.
My gut tells me Favre signs, Jackson leaves, and Sage Rosenfels does what he does best: holds a clipboard and refrains from helicopter dives.
Verdict: Vick’s best shot at starting in the NFL is in St. Louis, with Miami taking the immediate backseat. Favre is likely to sign, making this move almost impossible.
Overall, there could still be random interest in Vick across the league, depending on injuries in pre-season, as well as poor play.
For example, if the Jets suddenly weren’y happy with Kellen Clemens or Mark Sanchez, it’s not too crazy to imagine them bringing Vick in.
I’m still not sold on Washington, Oakland, Seattle, and San Francisco all having no desire to even bring Vick in for a tryout.
Monitor these five situations, however, as they currently appear to be the most logical.
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Tags: atlanta falcons, brett favre, Chad Henne, chad pennington, dallas cowboys, david garrard, jacksonville jaguars, Jerry Jones, marc bulger, miami dolphins, michael vick, Minnesota Vikings, oakland raiders, Pat White, San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams, Tarvaris Jackson, tony romo, washington redskins
It’s the first day of June, which means all of those premature NFL power rankings and fantasy football rankings are no longer, well, quite as premature.
While everyone (including myself) is discussing LeBron James and his handshake phobia, the Magic and the Lakers, or Bruno’s fall into Eminem’s lap, I’ve decided to take that free fall dive into the loving arms of fantasy football.
And yes, the fantasy realm loves me back.
However, let’s pace ourselves. After all, it is in fact the first month of summer (first day, no less), and we don’t want to generate pre-football heart attacks.
I mean, Brett Favre hasn’t even made up his mind yet, so why should the rest of us be getting antsy?
Regardless, here is a team-by-team look at all 32 starting quarterbacks, their weapons, offenses, and how they may destroy or enhance your team.
Still worried about Favre’s final decision, camp battles, or injuries? I’ll do my best to fill you in, allowing you an early look at which quarterbacks may be the best bets, which could be potential sleepers, and which ones you should stay away from.
Tom Brady—New England Patriots
Matt Cassel is in Kansas City, and Brady is back in camp, meaning two things.
You have nothing to worry about, and you have nothing to worry about.
Brady has looked sharp in limited practice, and still has the same awesome weapons he had in 2007 during his 50-touchdown season. This list isn’t a ranking, but if it were, I’d have Brady at the top.
Verdict: If you can get him in the second round, you’re already winning.
Proj: 4,090 yards, 35 TD, 13 INT
Mark Sanchez—New York Jets
Don’t buy the Kellen Clemens hype (not that there actually is any).
For better or worse, Sanchez will begin the new Joe Namath era.
It won’t be as sexy or productive as either of Matt Ryan or Joe Flacco’s seasons last year, but I wouldn’t be shocked if the Jets reached the playoffs.
Verdict: Not yet an option for FF
Proj: 2,400 yards, 16 TD, 17 INT
Trent Edwards—Buffalo Bills
I like the addition of Owens, but not the loss of Marshawn Lynch to start the season.
Edwards isn’t as bad as people think, and now he has a sound offense around him. He’s a borderline top-15 quarterback, and depending on how he looks in pre-season, could crack that barrier quite easily.
Proj: 3,555 yards, 26 TD, 14 INT
Chad Pennington—Miami Dolphins
This is probably Pennington’s last hurrah with Miami, and something tells me the exciting juice that this offense had last season has all but dried up.
Pennington still doesn’t have enticing options, and he’s got two quarterbacks breathing down his neck.
He’ll be serviceable to start the season, but you won’t claim your league’s championship if he’s your starter.
Verdict: He’s a stop-gap
Proj: 3,100 yards, 17 TD, 14 INT
Ben Roethlisberger—Pittsburgh Steelers
If he endures a Super Bowl hang-over, we could see some bad numbers.
Because, as we’ve learned, the less Big Ben throws, the better he is.
He’s still a fantasy quarterback with solid weapons around him, so don’t be afraid to snatch him up.
Proj: 3,470 yards, 23 TD, 18 INT
Brady Quinn—Cleveland Browns
Personally, I think Derek Anderson has the better arm and size, but Braylon Edwards favors Quinn, and the organization is more likely to run with the young, more familiar face.
Quinn is actually a good, young quarterback, and I’m not sure why Eric Mangini isn’t higher on him.
Regardless, aside from Braylon “Mr. Drop” Edwards, Quinn has no weapons.
Verdict: Things could get ugly
Proj: 2,899 yards, 20 TD, 20 INT
Carson Palmer—Cincinnati Bengals
He was awful last season, going 0-4 before bowing out with an arm injury.
However, his weapons are still potentially elite, and if he can return to form, could easily put up numbers that will have you kicking yourself for passing him up in the fourth round.
Verdict: Possibly ends the season as a top-5 passer
Proj: 3,884 yards, 27 TD, 17 INT
Joe Flacco—Baltimore Ravens
Flacco proved to be a capable game-manager, and has reportedly looked good over the offseason.
However, the Ravens are likely to base their offense around the run, and Flacco doesn’t have superstar options surrounding him.
Verdict: See Chad Pennington
Proj: 3,335 yards, 18 TD, 16 INT
Vince Young—Tennessee Titans
Call me crazy, but I don’t see Kerry Collins finishing the first half of the season as the starter.
He’s up there in age, which makes a regression or an injury extremely likely, and if things aren’t going well, he’ll be benched rather quickly.
Young may not have a cloudless head on his shoulders, but he still can make things happen with his feet.
Verdict: Young might surprise some people
Proj: 2,467 yards, 15 TD, 13 INT, 430 r yards, 4 TD
Peyton Manning—Indianapolis Colts
Manning loses Marvin Harrison, Tony Dungy, and two other important assistant coaches.
That doesn’t mean he’ll suddenly lose his touch, but there’s only so much Anthony Gonzales and Austin Collie can make up for.
Verdict: Draft him below Tom Brady, for sure this time
Proj: 4,300 yards, 33 TD, 19 INT
David Garrard—Jacksonville Jaguars
He lost Matt Jones, but gained Torry Holt.
Something tells me Garrard won’t really notice.
Jacksonville’s offense is all about grinding it out, but they were forced to put the ball in the air more last year because of an atrocious offensive line.
Verdict: A better line means Garrard is good again
Proj: 3,090 yards, 20 TD, 12 INT, 260 r yards, 3 TD
Matt Schaub—Houston Texans
Schaub has too many weapons to fail. The only problem is, he needs to stay on the field.
If he can play even 13 games, he’ll put up huge numbers, while leaving everyone guessing, yet again, what he’d do if he played a full season.
Still, with Andre Johnson, Kevin Walter, Steve Slaton, and Owen Daniels, the future looks good for Schaub.
Verdict: He can lead your team to a title
Proj: 3,800 yards, 25 TD, 16 INT
Philip Rivers—San Diego Chargers
If Rivers’ defense can back him up, unlike in 2008, he could easily approach last year’s numbers, and possibly even surpass them.
With a healthy Antonio Gates and LT, Rivers is more confident than ever.
Verdict: Draft him like he’s Tom Brady
Proj: 4,270 yards, 30 TD, 16 INT
Jeff Garcia—Oakland Raiders
I just don’t see the JaMarcus Russell experiment lasting more than three or four losses in 2009, and wouldn’t be shocked to see him benched in the pre-season.
As long as Garcia wins a few games, Al Davis will let him start. After all, he brought him in for a reason.
Verdict: Nobody in Oakland is worth your while
Proj: 2,300 yards, 15 TD, 9 INT
Matt Cassel—Kansas City Chiefs
Cassel is in a new place with a huge drop-off as far as offensive weapons. He still has good experience from last season, combined with his solid arm and good athleticism.
However, we’ll all be left wondering what could have been, had Tony Gonzalez not been traded to Atlanta.
Verdict: Stay away in year one
Proj: 3,700 yards, 22 TD, 23 INT
Kyle Orton—Denver Broncos
Orton was putting together a solid season in Chicago before hurting his ankle. Once he came back, he played admirably through injury, and didn’t have the best options out there.
In Denver, he’ll have a friendlier offensive line and system, as well as excellent receiving options.
Verdict: Orton could make the leap to elite
Proj: 3,600 yards, 24 TD, 16 INT
The NFC Edition will be made available, depending on the reads/comments for this article. Thanks for reading, and for those basketball enthusiasts, check out my NBA blog: www.robertsroundballreport.com
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Monday, June 1, 2009
Categories: Fantasy Football
Tags: andre johnson, anthony gonzalez, antonio gates, austin collie, ben roethlisberger, brady quinn, braylon edwards, brett favre, bruno, buffalo bills, carson palmer, chad pennington, cincinnati bengals, cleveland browns, david garrard, denver broncos, derek anderson, eminem, eric mangini, houston texans, indianapolis colts, jacksonville jaguars, jamarcus russell, jeff garcia, joe flacco, kansas city chiefs, kellen clemens, kerry collins, kevin walter, kyle orton, l.a. lakers, lebron james, mark sanchez, marshawn lynch, marvin harrison, matt cassel, matt jones, matt ryan, matt schaub, miami dolphins, new england patriots, new york jets, oakland raiders, orlando magic, owen daniels, peyton manning, philip rivers, pittsburgh steelers, san diego chargers, steve slaton, tennessee titans, terrell owens, tom brady, tony dungy, tony gonzalez, torry holt, trent edwards, vince young