What happened to Fiedler?

Jay Fiedler has hung on to the starting quarterback job for another week, but it might not be long before Coach Dave Wannstedt goes back to A.J. Feeley. The sad truth is that Fiedler needs to be replaced because his performance simply is unacceptable. And, believe it or not, it wasn't that long ago that Fiedler was playing very good football at quarterback. No, that was not a joke.

We take you back to the 2002 season when Fiedler's quarterback rating was an impressive 88.5 following a thrilling Sunday night victory at Denver. That's pretty impressive stuff.

But that night Fiedler injured his right thumb and missed a few weeks while Ray Lucas proceeded to self-destruct and kill his career.

Once he returned, Fiedler was never the same. That season or ever since.

The truth is Fiedler has gotten worse and worse and worse.

Why? It's because his arm isn't that strong. It never was that strong, even when he was playing really well in 2002.

The personnel around him has deteriorated, particularly along the offensive line, but that doesn't explain everything.

The book on Fiedler from the time he took over as the starter in 2000 was that he had a nasty tendency to make bad decisions at inopportune times, and that has haunted him throughout his career.

He cut down on those bad decisions severely in the first six games of the 2002 season when he had only two interceptions if you throw away a 48-30 loss at Kansas City when the Dolphins were playing catch-up the whole day.

But ever since the start of last season, Fiedler simply hasn't gotten it done. He had the one tremendous outing at Dallas last Thanksgiving, but too many bad performances.

So what has been the problem? Is it possible that Fiedler is trying to force things to win over the fan base and a coaching staff that was trying to replace him after last season?

Fiedler keeps insisting to the media that he's not worried about what is said or written about him, but he wouldn't be human if it didn't affect him at all.

This is a guy who is limited physically by an average arm and average accuracy, but who has tremendous toughness and good mobility.

That was enough to get him by for a time when he wasn't trying to do too much with his passing, but everything has gone downhill this season and there appears to be no end in sight.

Fiedler has been able to move the offense a little bit in recent weeks, but the Dolphins couldn't get in the end zone at New England and Fiedler threw that really bad interception at Buffalo when he put a screen pass right into the gut of linebacker Takeo Spikes.

Fiedler always has been and remains a good guy, but his play at quarterback took a bad downturn two years and the slide unfortunately hasn't stopped.

If it doesn't stop soon, the Dolphins simply will stop using him.


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