Pro Bowl, Parcells and draft

We're halfway through Senior Bowl week, but the news involving the Dolphins these days hasn't involved prospects they might be interested in. Rather, it's been about a prospect they drafted last year and, more importantly, the guy who has been in charge of the football operation. We offer our thoughts on the latest developments involving Jake Long, Bill Parcells and more.


Let's start with Parcells since it's probably the most important bit of news involving the Dolphins. Everyone knows by now the sale of the Dolphins from Wayne Huizenga to Stephen Ross has been completed, which means Bill Parcells now has a 30-day window where he can walk away from the last three years of his contract and still get paid.

Parcells has been very quiet on the subject, although he did talk to three Dolphins beat reporters in Mobile, Ala., on Tuesday. The only problem is that while Parcells hinted he wasn't going anywhere, he never made any definitive statements that he was staying.

Parcells also said whatever decision he winds up making isn't about the money because he's got more than than he needs.

One of the reasons Parcells indicated he didn't want to say anything was because circumstances could arise to make him decide to leave and he doesn't want to be called a liar -- you know, the way Nick Saban was after he declared, "I'm not going to be the Alabama coach."

So if it's not about the money, what's the issue? Logic would tell us Parcells wants to get a feel for what it's going to be like working for Ross before making any kind of full-blown statement. It's well known that Parcells really enjoyed working for Huizenga, so now it'll be up to Ross to not rock the boat and make Parcells want to leave.

If Parcells does wind up leaving -- and we have no reason at this point to think he will, although his track record lets you know he's impossible to predict -- the Dolphins won't fall apart. He said upon his hiring last year that his goal was to put a structure in place that would allow the Dolphins to be successful, and you could argue that's already be done.

Still, any Dolphins fan would feel better if Parcells stuck around.


It came as good news the announcement that offensive tackle Jake Long would go to the Pro Bowl as an injury replacement for Buffalo's Jason Peters, but it doesn't change the fact the Pro Bowl voting -- and this is nothing that hasn't been mentioned before -- is a joke.

We're not talking about Long not being voted in to start with, or the fact that maybe fellow rookie Ryan Clady from Denver should have been the first alternate instead of Long, but rather we want to touch on the subject of Chad Pennington again.

Not sure if you caught wind of that, but along with Long, Tennessee quarterback Kerry Collins also will be going to the Pro Bowl after both Brett Favre and Philip Rivers bowed out of the game.

Favre had been selected to the game, while Rivers was the first alternate at quarterback, making Collins the second alternate.

Uh, where is Pennington in all of this? You know, the guy who tied for second in MVP voting? The guy who was second in the AFC in passer rating behind Rivers? The problem most responsible for the Dolphins going from 1-15 to 11-5 and AFC East champs?

According to the Pro Bowl voting, he was no better than sixth among AFC quarterbacks behind Peyton Manning, Jay Cutler, Favre, Rivers and Collins.

Two words: Absolutely ridiculous.

Make that two words in ALL CAPS for emphasis: ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS.


Finally, we would be remiss not to touch on the draft, being that this is indeed Senior Bowl week.

While it's too early to discuss specific prospects for the Dolphins, partly because the fact they pick 25th makes it more difficult to pin down who'll be available for them in Round 1, we would advise every Dolphins fan to keep an eye on linebackers, more specifically linebackers who can project in a 3-4 defense.

The signing this week of CFL defensive stud Cameron Wake might have alleviated the need for a pass-rushing outside linebacker somewhat, the Dolphins still have a need inside, particularly if Channing Crowder leaves via free agency.

We would also advise to keep an eye on wide receivers, as well as interior offensive linemen and defensive linemen.

And when you're looking at defensive linemen, think big. If you see a top defensive tackle prospect and he's listed at 6-3, 290, forget about him for the Dolphins because that won't cut it in a 3-4 defense. Think more 6-5 or 6-6 and around 285-290 pounds for a defensive end, and 6-2, and at least 320 pounds for a nose tackle.

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