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A Great Feeley In Miami


Will the Miami Dolphins qualify for the playoffs with the help of new quarterback A.J. Feeley?

It's December. Time to lose.

A nauseating feeling overcomes every fan of the Miami Dolphins organization after Thanksgiving; a feeling that their team will underachieve as they have done every season while coached by Dave Wannstedt. Despite Super Bowl aspirations year after year, the Dolphins continuously choke like dogs during the last month of the regular season.

Blame the weather. How can the fish perform well in snow, ice and freezing temperatures, when they've grown accustomed to the beautiful environment of South Beach? How can they win while being pelted by snowballs, thrown by the New England faithful? After using that pathetic excuse for many seasons, Dolphins fans now see the light. Concluding the 2003 campaign with a record of 4-4 at home, as well as a December victory in Buffalo, will make everyone forget about the weather.

Blame the quarterback. Jay Fiedler has shouldered much of the responsibility for Miami's underachievement since 2001. Fiedler, known for his game management skills and for his ability to take care of the football, has not done a very good job during his tenure as the Dolphins' starting signal caller. In fact, he threw more interceptions than touchdowns in 2003, and only completed 57% of his passes.

Fiedler's career has gone downhill after his victory against Indianapolis in the 2000 playoffs. A week later, his team was blanked by the Oakland Raiders. A year later, they lost a home playoff game to the Baltimore Ravens, led by Elvis Grbac. Miami hasn't qualified for the playoffs since.

Blame the coach? Some intelligent Miami fans have already started calling for Wannstedt's head. Their desires will come to fruition if he can't win with newly acquired quarterback A.J. Feeley

Feeley will either be Dave Wannstedt's savior or executioner. If Miami reaches the AFC Championship or even the Super Bowl, Wannstedt will receive all the spoils that every winning coach earns: a new contract and much praise from the fans, media and his peers. If the Dolphins fail to reach the playoffs for the third consecutive season, their head coach will be exiled from South Beach.

It is more likely that the former will happen.

When the Philadelphia Eagles were losing in 2003, a major quarterback controversy arose in the City of Brotherly Love. Many Philadelphians debated that Feeley should start in place of Donovan McNabb. That's not surprising, since the former Oregon Duck led the Eagles to a 4-1 mark in 2002. Feeley facilitated a stoic offense to an impressive record, although his receivers couldn't catch a cold, much less a football. He concluded the season with a 75.4 passer rating. That may not be impressive, however, it was his poise, leadership and accuracy that enabled Philadelphia to win the NFC.

A.J. Feeley is exactly what Miami has needed since Dan Marino's retirement. A strong armed quarterback, who has mastered the art of the touch pass. He has the potential to become Miami's Tom Brady; a young passer who has the ability to lead his team to the promised land.


EXTRA YARDAGE

From great trades to poor trades, the Washington Redskins have acquired Mark Brunell for a third round pick, and they have offered him an eight year contract, worth $44 million, which includes an $8.5 million signing bonus. Not a contract that I would offer to a 34 year old quarterback, who injures frequently and has lost his ability to scramble. But then again, I'm not Daniel Snyder.

Clinton Portis might be joining Mark Brunell in D.C. Talks have opened up between the Redskins and the Broncos. Denver would send Portis to Washington, in exchange for Champ Bailey and a second round draft choice.

Mike Williams, a sophomore, will enter the draft. Williams will use the Maurice Clarett rule to leave USC in April. He is currently projected to be the third receiver selected.



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2010: Live 2010 NFL Draft Blog - April 22
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2009: Live 2009 NFL Draft Blog - April 25
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2008: Live 2008 NFL Draft Blog - April 26
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Super Bowl XLIII Live Blog


2007: NFL Draft: Day 1 Review Blog - April 28
Quarterback Rankings - June 25
NFL Kickoff Blog - Sept. 6
Chief Carl Has Lost a Step - Sept. 9
The NFL Cheated the Patriots - Sept. 16
NFL Week 3 Wrap-Up - Sept. 23
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NFL Week 5 Wrap-Up - Oct. 7
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NFL Week 17 Wrap-Up - Dec. 30
NFL Week 18 Wrap-Up - Jan. 6
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2008 Championship Sunday Diary - Jan. 20
Super Bowl XLII Live Blog - Feb. 3


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