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  Offense Should Be Scrapped
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by Chris Shashaty, Phins.com Columnist

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14 games, 228 points. 16.3 points per game.


In 2006 only three teams have scored fewer points than your Miami Dolphins.


The worst offense in Dolphin history, scoring-wise, was the 1966 squad. They produced 15.2 points per game.


When your 2006 Dolphins are a measly point per game better than an expansion squad offense, the truth becomes painfully obvious.


Itís time to start over. What they have and what they are doing just isnít working.



Itís time for Nick Saban to look at his below average offensive players coldly and objectively as a squad seriously devoid of legitimate playmakers.


Itís time for Saban to judge his offensive coaches for what they are: badly overpaid, overstaffed, overrated, overprotected, and consistently outcoached. Most should be fired at seasonís end.


Itís time for Saban to look in the mirror. After all, he orchestrated this mess.


Isnít that what an offense is that scores 30+ points just once? A mess?


Theyíre at least that.


Yes, the Dolphins are missing three of their best offensive playmakers in Ronnie Brown, Daunte Culpepper, and Ricky Williams. They matter.


But so does the pure overall lack of talent at wide receiver and tight end, as well as the disturbingly unsettled situation at quarterback, where Culpepper is no sure bet to ever return to form and Joey Harrington continues to confirm that he is not the answer.


Witness the latest debacle at Buffalo, with Harrington doing his best Animal House imitation with regards to his passer rating.


ďMr. Blutarsky, zeroÖpointÖzeroĒ.


Thankfully this miserable season will be over in two weeks. In that time, and thereafter, the absolute worst thing Saban can do is deny the state of things. Itís one thing to publicly support players and coaches, itís another to allow loyalty to corrupt oneís judgment.


First and foremost, Saban must accept that Chris Chambers, a so-called #1 receiver, is a fraud. Instead of getting better, he is getting worse. He whines and moans about not getting his chances, yet forgets to mention he does little to create his own opportunities. His route running is abysmal and his continued penchant for body catching the ball is ruinous. Too easily eliminated by opposing defenses, Chambers is essentially harmless. He just isnít a difference-maker.


Neither is Randy McMichael. He has proven himself to be completely untrustworthy as a receiving threat and out loud laughable as a big play tight end.


Itís time for the Dolphins to admit that they made serious mistakes in giving Chambers and McMichael big contracts and cut their losses before another season of disappointments can come to pass.


Both players will have some value in a draft day deal. Itís time to draft and/or acquire replacements, guys who can deliver the goods.


Speaking of delivery, Saban would agree that quarterback will require the greatest of thought.


As things stand today we can expect that Culpepper and Harrington will likely be battling it out for the starting job, come next season.


One Cleo Lemon will probably do his darnedest to crash the party. Saban should give him a better chance by starting him over the final two games of this lost season.


But what if Culpepper, the hoped-for savior, canít get himself right?


Saban will need to make a call here, and soon. Just how much slack should be given to Culpepper, all things considered?


Probably not a lot.


As such, it would seem that the Dolphins may need another legitimate option at QB because Saban would be an outright fool to put all his eggs in the Harrington basket.


Clearly, Sabanís forte is not offense. One might argue he has very little feel for it, especially when it comes to quarterbacks.


Why on Earth would Saban stick with Harrington, tossing blanks against the Bills, when it was clear Harrington was ineffective? Why not insert Lemon earlier, while there was still a chance?


We all know that Saban waited too long for Culpepper to come around, a decision he has come to regret. Before that, Saban was fooled into believing that Culpepper was ready for the season when there was real concern he was truly not.


As it is with Major League Baseball managers, NFL head coaches must know when his starting pitcher has had enough. Either Saban doesnít have a feel for this or he has too much faith in his quarterbacks.


Assuming Saban and GM Randy Mueller can make the right personnel calls this time, finding the right offensive coaching staff is imperative.


Saban must start with an offensive coordinator he can trust, someone who can successfully match a philosophy with people. Someone who knows playmaking talent and how/when to use it.


Mike Mularkey isnít the answer for Miami. He wasnít in Buffalo, either. Staying with him for the sole purpose of maintaining continuity would be a serious mistake.


To quote Sabanís own prophecy, ĎKeep doing what youíre doing and youíll get the same results, guaranteedí.


Saban would do well to practice what he preaches as he reflects on this terrible, miserable failure of a season. Continued trust in the same coaches and players wonít get it done.



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