Sunday, July 31, 2011

Dolphins Are At It Again?

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

Are the Miami Dolphins at it again?

This week, the Miami Dolphins appeared to be ready to acquire QB Kyle Orton from the Denver Broncos, but for some reason the deal fell apart.

Miami signed free agent signal caller Matt Moore of the Carolina Panthers.

In 2006, the Dolphins were unsure if a torn labrum in Drew Brees right throwing shoulder was completely healed after undergoing arthroscopic surgery performed by Dr. James Andrews. Brees sustained the injury as a member of the San Diego Chargers in the Final Game of the 2005 Season against the Denver Broncos.

The Dolphins team doctors suggested that the team didn't sign him. I wonder if they're still employed by Miami now.

The Dolphins ended negotiations and traded for Minnesota Vikings QB Daunte Culpepper. Culpepper played the 2010 Season for the Sacramento Mountain Lions and former Coach Dennis Green in the United Football League.

Brees went on to sign a 6-year $60 million deal with the New Orleans Saints on March 14, 2006 and $10 Million was guaranteed. The second year option was picked up for another $12 Million.

On February 7, 2010, New Orleans defeated the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 in Super Bowl XLIV at Joe Robbie Stadium, the home of the Miami Dolphins. Brees was named Super Bowl MVP and these South Florida fans found out quickly that he was fine.

Since this poor decision by Miami management, the Dolphins have employed Joey Harrington, Cleo Lemon, John Beck, Trent Green, Chad Pennington, Tyler Thigpen and current starter Chad Henne since 2006.

Miami hasn't won a Super Bowl since 1973 and the Dolphins last AFC Championship occurred in 1984 under rookie QB Dan Marino.

In Super Bowl XIX on January 20, 1985, Marino's only Super Bowl appearance, Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49'ers thrashed the Dolphins 38-16 at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, CA., in the Bay Area.

During Marino's Hall of Fame Career, he amassed 61,361 yards and is third most in wins by a starting quarterback with 147. No. 4 is Peyton Manning of the Colts with 141 and he figures to pass Marino this season.

The last time Miami won a playoff game was during the 1999 Season when Marino guided the Dolphins to a 20-17 road win against the Seattle Seahawks in the Final Game Ever at the Kingdome in January of 2000.

But Marino's last playoff triumph would turn into embarrassment a week later as the Wild Card Dolphins  were crushed 62-7 by the Jacksonville Jaguars in Northern Florida.

This was the second worst playoff loss in NFL History. During the 1940 NFL Championship Game, the Chicago Bears slammed the Washington Redskins 73-0.

After the 1999 Season, Coach Jimmy Johnson left the team and Marino retired.

Other quarterbacks that have followed Marino before Culpepper arrived include Damon Huard, Jay Fiedler, Ray Lucas, Brian Griese, AJ Feeley, Sage Rosenfels and Gus Frerotte.

Griese's father Bob won the Dolphins a pair of Super Bowls in the 1970's but there would be no miracle in those bloodlines this time around.

As much as people like to joke around with me that the team that I follow, the Detroit Lions haven't been to a Super Bowl, I take that fact in stride. I don't care what organization you're with or follow, unless there is stability at the quarterback position, no team has a chance.

I've never cared for Dan Marino and never will! His statistics mean nothing to me!

Hall of Fame Coach Don Shula surrounded him with great wide receivers that enabled him to compile impressive numbers.  When you have targets like Mark Clayton (79), Mark Duper (55), OJ McDuffie (25), Nat Moore (24) and Jim "Crash"Jensen (19) enabling you to throw 420 touchdown passes, you're doing well.

Marino's statistics put him in the Hall of Fame, but one Super Bowl Appearance defines his playoff legacy or lack there of it. He played in 18 Playoff Games and won only eight. Two of Marino's playoff losses were blowouts. That speaks for itself.

But to these Dolphins, while I don't know if Orton would have led Miami to a Super Bowl win, I do believe that he's an upgrade.

Did Denver keep Orton because they feel second-year Florida Gators QB Tim Tebow isn't ready?

That's possible.

But there was a deal to be made here just like there was with Brees. And it didn't happen for whatever reason.

Miami fans can only hope that this decision indicates that the "Dolphins Are At It Again" isn't going to be a repeat of The Curse of Drew Brees.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at scottsports33@aol.com and his blog can be seen at www.scottsports33.com.

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