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Dolphins Strengths Shift With Misi Out And Verner In

Dolphins Strengths Shift With Misi Out And Verner In

Alterraun Verner was signed and Koa Misi ends his career with the Fins on Injured Reserve

Alterraun Verner was signed and Koa Misi ends his career with the Fins on Injured Reserve

Has Miami traded pass coverage for run-stop with Verner in and Misi out?

Miami Dolphins fans knew Koa Misi was going to miss time… but most thought he’d at least contribute a few games before the inevitable injury.

Such wasn’t the case.

Misi’s brutal neck injury wasn’t healed enough to make it through the medical. Rumors are he will announce his retirement today–although his agent denies it, so his NFL career might have come to a close.

While the 2010 2nd Round pick was oft injured, Misi gave everything he had. In the end, though disappointing for such a high pick, he wore his aqua honorably. Misi’s 84 games is a respectable career, given all his body endured. Fin Fans should wish only the best for his future.

But here’s what gets me: If Misi’s restructure in the off season wasn’t a wink-wink severance package, then you have to question the wisdom of why it was done. Miami could have parted ways with Misi for 500k prior to the restructure. Now they must shell out 2 million in the confines of a tight cap. I’m sure that 1.5 million difference could have been spent much wiser.

And then there’s the squeeze play at the Linebacker core due his absence, especially at SLB where Misi could have offered meaningful snaps on run downs. Barring an epiphany from the back-end of the squad, Miami is down to four quality LB’s: Neville Hewitt, Kiko Alonso, Lawrence Timmons, and rookie Raekwon McMillan. None of these players are experienced Sam backers. It would seem Timmons will be forced to take ownership of that role. With Misi playing there would have been more flexibility… and that could have helped Burke scheme up some plays.

It really makes you wonder if they should have coughed up the dough for Zach Brown?

While Misi filled a need, so does Verner

But on the positive side of things, with the addition of Alterraun Verner, Miami at least has some much needed help at Nickle Back… and that’s a big relief given Bobby McCain‘s rough history. If you compare their 2016 Seasons, Verner allowed a 67.9 passer rating verses McCain’s 113 rating–that’s a sizable difference.

While Verner played both wide and inside, you know he was brought in as a back-up plan for McCain. And I for one can’t complain about that.

This one-year, prove-it deal is definitely a win-win for Miami.

First, this let’s Howard, Lippett, and Maxwell focus on the boundaries and McCain and Verner battle it out inside. While I’m under no delusion that Verner is a superstar, if he can just duplicate last year’s performance, it sure will feel like he is in comparison to McCain freeway of first downs.

Yeah, maybe Verner won’t play as well as he did in 2016, but his worst season was a passer rating of 111.1, which is still slightly better than McCain last season–so at the very least the best pay per head services are predicting that he will offer depth at a very thin position.

The bottom line is, Verner has more often than not performed well, and the likelihood of him being an upgrade of McCain is pretty good. Then you always have the chance that McCain might step up given the tutelage of Verner and the competition. We can hope? Right?!

With camp opening today, we fans will start getting a real chance to begin the evaluation… but I for one think this is two steps forward and one step back. I would much preferred to have both, but kudos to the Front Office to bring some relief immediately after the loss of Misi. Go Fins!!!


 

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9 comments

  • Lemmus

    …Verner was a surprise …I thought they would sign Revis …hope they got it right

    …the defense had/has holes and none of our draft picks appear, so far, to be definitive answers …Harris looks like a situational player so far, McMillan could start but we won’t know if he could have won it outright over Misi (plus it could well affect where Timmons plays), and the Verner signing speaks not only to McCain’s weakness but to the rookie CB’s as well

    …neither of the rookie DL barked in OTAs and we needed solid depth there

    …in the mean-time, the OL remains an unsolved mystery and I fully expect both C and G pickups before the opening game …we have very strong weapons on offense but only if the OL can get it together as well …I certainly don’t expect them to be great inside …but just “competent” could be a major game changer

    • admin

      Verner was dirt cheap… Revis isn’t. Funny how Jimmy and Steve got that one right… people are now thinking about him and when he put that article, I cringed ( and many others) at putting it up.

      DL takes a while to man strength up enough to be a factor.. and I don’t expect either to be a factor in 2017.

      Yeah,interior OL is key… Pouncey had good news, but I’ll believe it when he starts beyond Week 6 or so. And competent could be amazing if James, Tunsil, and Pouncey are healthy… they started with Larsen at LG today. My bet is still on Urbik.

      • Lemmus

        …yes Verner is dirt cheap …for a reason
        …he is set to “compete” with McCain who is by far our worst CB

        …Revis would cost more but offers more, plus the ability to mentor our two future CBs …I shudder at the thought of them learning from Verner

        …que sera, sera

  • phinfreak

    Im not so sure Fins have fixed the D significantly, an injury here and there (which is normal) and we’re back to getting sliced and diced hanging our D out to dry for extended play.

    • admin

      I agree freak. But if they stat healthy and get Phillips, Harris, McMillian, and Howard to step up and make plays, this will be a far better D than 2016. Now that’s not saying a whole lot I know, but they could be competent this season with Burke making the calls… and competent would be world’s apart from last year. Of course, a few key injuries would be rough.. very rough. But even still, unless it’s an full-house MASH unit, I don’t see them being as bad as 2016 no matter what.

      • Lemmus

        …that is one huge “if” mj …huge!

        …so far, Harris has looked one dimensional as a situational pass rusher …is he going to start? …if not, that’s a blown draft pick in my book.

        …McMillan may get a start now that Misi is out but if so, that could force Timmons outside and who knows where Alonzo will go then …and the depth is now much less.

        …so far, Phillips has been inconsistent at best …if that continues then they may have to move Hayes to DT and there goes our posited run defense improvement.

        …yes, it could all work out …”if” …but in a year that everyone is betting the Pats run the table, I’d be a much happier fins fan with just a few less “ifs” at the start of camp.

        • admin

          Yeah, no doubt Lemmus. IF seems to be a key word again this season.

          McMillian is a huge key. He will get the shot at middle. Timmons will be fine outside. As a former MILB in the 3-4, he is used to less protection via help of DL. I expect him to do fine. Kiko looked okay in zone coverage last year and better in man… no sold on him being a WLB, but he could have that position schemed for his strengths. Back to McMillian: if he seizes the role and Phillips ticks up his consistency a notch or two, this D will be much better… not great, but if they can get to 21-17 it would be a huge difference. The of course that IF comes back with the interior of the OL. Harris I think will play the jack LB in the wide 9 on certain downs and if he can do that and pass rush– as long a Branch and Wake are healthy– then he will be a piece for the future and offer impact plays this season. I’d be fine with that. I’m still iffy about this FO and I’m in no way saying all these will pan out. This just needs to be a season that the team continues to gel, improve and fill it’s ranks with good players. IF they do this and get 9 plus wins with mostly close losses and I’d be satisfied with the trajectory. Last, as far as LB’s I think Hewitt gets forgotten in the scrum… with McMillian and Hewitt and that would be four functional LB’s and that’s a lot more than 2017… but that IF looms like a vulture over the season… soon we will find out the truth.

  • Trevor

    Starting in 2017 can’t each NFL team return two players off the IR in week 8?

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