Connect with us

Miami Dolphins

Dolphins Release DE Andre Branch

Chris Kowalewski

Published

on

After three seasons with the Dolphins, defensive end Andre Branch’s time in Miami has come to an end. It was announced early Saturday morning the team will release him.

Branch, 29, was entering the final year of a contract he signed with the Dolphins prior to the 2016 season. He recorded 11.5 of his 25.5 career sacks during his time here while only missing four games due to injury.

Releasing the seven year pro will ultimately save the Dolphins $7 million dollars in cap space for the upcoming 2019 season. On the flip side it creates another $2 million in dead cap.

Miami is also expected to move on from defensive end Robert Quinn in the coming weeks. With Cameron Wake also set to be a free agent, the Dolphins pass rush could be completely revamped in 2019.

Entering free agency before his eighth NFL season, Branch will undoubtedly find a landing spot. While the stats don’t blow you away, there will be some sort of market for a 29 year old rotational pass rusher.

Make sure to visit LockedOnDolphins.com for all of the latest updates regarding anything and everything Miami Dolphins. Providing daily news, commentary and analysis, Locked On Dolphins is the go to place for all of your Miami Dolphins information.

Physically located across the pond, but mentally always in Miami. A qualified lawyer, NFL sponge, aspiring writer and self-proclaimed IKEA furniture construction expert, he’s looking ahead to a brighter future for the Dolphins after decades of wading in the depths of mediocrity. Always on the search for any excuse to talk all-things Dolphins.

Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Miami Dolphins

24 Things Miami Dolphins Fans Should Be Grateful For

Jason Hrina

Published

on

Image Credit: Associated Press

Nobody heard the news about Kobe Bryant‘s death and believed it. There’s no way it could be true. Moments turned to minutes as most of us stood stoically still, dumbfounded and in denial.

And I think even now, most of us still are. Even with all of the facts clearly laid out we don’t believe the events that took place Sunday morning actually occurred. We clutch for answers; for something to validate what happened. All without taking into account that we are lucky enough to clutch our loved ones at the end of the night.

You don’t have to attend a sermon or read the biblical text of your choice to confirm that gods exist; one of them was walking among us this entire time.

The legendary basketball star transcended not only the four major professional sports leagues, but he transcended sports itself. All you need to say is “Kobe” and people will know who you were talking about; no Bryant needed.

Some people bickered whether or not he was the best basketball player of our generation. Whether Kobe or Michael Jordan were more-clutch. Whether Kobe or Shaquille O’Neal was the reason for the Los Angeles Lakers dynasty. Not realizing the luxury we all have; to be so healthy, happy and well-off that our biggest “issue” is whether or not we can convince that random stranger across the United States whether or not Kobe or LeBron James was better this decade.

These past 24 hours have made us realize that those trivial arguments mean nothing compared to the joy and luxury that is life.

Though this won’t lift any hearts or nullify the sympathy we feel, this list can, at the very least, give us something else to think about:

  1. The Miami Dolphins have been with us since 1966, and though we have had plenty of ups-and-downs, they have always been there. They have never changed cities. Never changed names. Changed logos a couple of times, but the aqua and orange has been in a staple in all of our lives for over 50 years. We take it for granted, but the Miami Dolphins – and sports in general – ground us more than we realize. They might piss us off, but they keep us sane, and none of us really realize that we’d be lost without them.
  2. Tom Garfinkel hears what you have to say and he listens to what the fans really want. The Dolphins annually upgrade their in-stadium amenities so fans and families can enjoy a memorable experience. How many of you remember your first time in a ball park, arena or stadium? I bet you’re reminiscing about that day right now. You know who won, what the score was and which snacks you chowed down on. For some people, it’s their first and only time they will be able to see or afford a live, in-stadium experience, and the Miami Dolphins do everything they can to ensure all of it is perfect.
  3. Jason Jenkins has enhanced the genuine love and devotion the Miami Dolphins put into their local communities. We are lucky enough to look at the Miami Dolphins as our favorite football team, but some children look at the Miami Dolphins as a reason to be warm, comfortable and happy at night. Sometimes the world makes you think that no one cares. The Miami Dolphins make it a point to show these communities that someone really does care about them.
  4. Stephen Ross is willing to invest his own money in the football team, the stadium, and the community. We have an owner that not only yearns for a winning product, but an owner that realizes that owning a football team goes beyond the 22 players that are on the field.
  5. Brian Flores is a coach that ONLY wants to win.
  6. Chris Grier is a general manager that is only going to make moves that benefits the future of this franchise, even if it means the public perception will be against him (as it was evident with the Laremy Tunsil and Minkah Fitzpatrick trades). Grier could operate desperately and wildly. Instead, the team is more important than the job or the title.
  7. Reshad Jones wanting to be a life-long Miami Dolphin, despite the fact that the team didn’t experience much success during his tenure.
  8. Watching Cameron Wake unleash the beast after every sack…which is almost as deadly as a mamba snake.
  9. The fact we get to root for one of the best defensive players of all time as he tries to get elected into the Hall of Fame this Saturday. Though he should be a sure-fire Hall of Famer, we are all uncomfortably unsure if Zach Thomas will make it. But whether or not he does, we should all realize how fortunate we were to have watched #54 proudly perform in aqua and orange – as an elite, all-decade player – for 12 years.
  10. For Don Shula, his burgers, and the fact that you can still see him happily living his life at the ripe young age of 90.
  11. For having the only undefeated team in the history of professional sports. For showing us that hard work, dedication, perseverance, and properly calculated risks can reap the greatest rewards.
  12. Dan Marino flipping off the Chicago Bears and their almost-perfect season in 1985. That sometimes, with all of its negativity, life can be beautifully poetic.
  13. Bobby McCain‘s charisma and jovial spirit that we all want to see more of. Some fans might see this as corky, but his free-spirit is refreshing to see and lightens up an otherwise violent game.
  14. The health of everyone on our team, and how fortunate we are that career-threatening injures such as Alex Smith‘s and Ryan Shazier’s have been mostly avoided. We can all speculate over a player’s worth and if they should be retained or cut based off of their health and performance, but none of us strain our bodies the way athletes do, just to have strangers analyze how much all of that hard work should pay off.
  15. How Kendrick Norton is alive to tell his tale, no matter how tragic it is.
  16. How we can bicker about minuscule aspects of our football team on social media without ever stopping to realize how fortunate we are to have a cell phone or a laptop, how we have internet, and how we have enough free time to not only view social media but interact with others on it as well.
  17. Being able to laugh about Adam Gase despite his team outperforming ours in 2019. It shows that we are not simply looking at results and we have the free-thinking ability to deduce our own opinions based on what we see.
  18. That we can vividly argue whether or not the Miami Dolphins should draft Tua Tagovailoa, Jordan Love, Justin Herbert, Jake Fromm, Jalen Hurts or someone else, because it means the most-troublesome thing we have on our minds doesn’t actually/directly affect us and we are able to think about other things in this world.
  19. Getting agitated after you purchase a jersey of a player who leaves the team shortly after. It means we have expendable income and enough clothes on our back that we can afford a replica of someone else’s name.
  20. I have no idea what defensive scheme the Miami Dolphins are going to deploy next season, but thankfully I can think 8 months ahead and don’t have to worry about where I’ll sleep tonight, if I’ll be able to eat, and whether or not I’ll be warm.
  21. For all of the players that put themselves through the physical pain they endure every week, risking life-long complications and discomfort just for our entertainment.
  22. For the crazy, overpriced NFL TV packages that are out there. It might be the worst aspect about Capitalism, but it also means we have the ability to watch our favorite football team without restriction or fear of government retaliation. There are lots of amendments and laws we can argue about, but at least we can argue about them openly.
  23. That we are all able to read this article, because it means we’re healthy and our problems are trivial compared to what others are going through.
  24. The future for the Miami Dolphins looks bright, and how we are all blessed to be able to witness it.

Rest in Peace, Kobe Bryant. Your legacy will live on for all eternity.

And may we also never forget the other victims in this tragedy.

Regardless of who you root for, which side you’re on, or what your ideology is, nothing is worth more than your ability to live your life happily. Make sure you do everything you can this week to take advantage of that.

Continue Reading

Miami Dolphins

Gerald Alexander Named Miami Dolphins Defensive Backs Coach

Jason Hrina

Published

on

Image Credit: Lianne Frick / The Daily Californian

The Miami Dolphins have found a new defensive backs coach after promoting Josh Boyer to defensive coordinator.

According to George Wrighster III, creator of the Unafraid Show, Gerald Alexander has been hired to be the new Miami Dolphins defensive backs coach.

Previously serving as the University of California (Cal) defensive backs coach, Alexander has recently began ascending the coaching ladder after a moderate playing career.

Contrary to previous coaching maneuvers made by Brian Flores, which saw the team bring on three former coaches from the 2016 New York Jets squad (that went 5-11) – one of which is new offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, who just turned 68 – Alexander is coming from a successful Cal defense and will be 36 years young by the time the 2020 season begins.

Though his resume may not have much depth, his potential may be worth investing in.

Early speculation is the addition of Alexander may also mean the possible addition of Ashtyn Davis, who played safety for Cal and is projected to be an early-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Ironically, Alexander was active for two games with the Dolphins back in 2011. He did not record any stats.

Continue Reading

NFL Draft

Miami Dolphins 2020 Senior Bowl Practices Takeaways

Travis Wingfield

Published

on

Position-by-position review of the Senior Bowl from a Miami Dolphins Lens

That’s a wrap from Mobile. The game is scheduled for Saturday, but that’s more pageantry than quality scouting material. The coverage of the event wasn’t up to the standard set in previous years, and use of time from either coaching staff was curious, to say the least. Still, we harvested a plethora of information ahead of the Dolphins most important draft this century.

Miami’s needs are as well-documented as they are vast. The downside of a roster in-need of reinforcement — well that’s evident from the 2019 win-loss record. In a glass half-full spirit, there are two upshots that come with Miami’s present territory.

1.) The benefit of a true best-player-available approach — Every team preaches this mentality, but few truly put it into practice. Last year’s Jaguars were the beneficiaries of a curious decision by the Oakland Raiders, and the New York Giants bypassing B.P.A for a pressing roster need.

The result: The Jags drafted for value and wound up with a 10-sack season from Josh Allen, and a right tackle that played every snap in Jawaan Taylor.

Miami can execute B.P.A. not just because of current makeup of the roster, but also the quantity of draft picks within the team’s possession. The latter provides an ideal segue into point number two.

2.) The simplification of targeting scheme fits — The Patriots and Lions run identical defensive systems, and have shown a proclivity for taking players higher than their perceived stock would suggest. But it’s not just the scheme that curates this philosophy. The Seahawks regularly shock the draft world by selecting players to fit the identity of the football team.

These two points are critical this week. The Senior Bowl’s draft production is not only at an all-time high, the efficacy of the players that shine in Mobile, then go onto the leagues’ big stage (Deebo Samuel, Dre Greenlaw and Fred Warner) is becoming increasingly tangible.

Several of these players stand a great chance to don the aqua and orange next season. And of those player, a significant crop will go on to play at pro-bowl levels.

With a presumed seven picks in the top-100, the Dolphins can completely restore the foundation of this team under Brian Flores.

No pressure.

Quarterbacks

First, kudos to Jim Nagy for getting first-round quarterbacks every year. Justin Herbert and Jordan Love will wind up in the top-15 this April, and they both showcased the eye-popping physical traits all week in Mobile.

The ball jumps off of their hands, and their ability to cut the wind with tight spirals made for an easy separation between the big-arms and the popguns on the field.

Love’s most intriguing moment — for my money — came from an interview he did on the Move the Sticks Podcast. When asked about his dip in production, Love eluded to the coaching staff changes and losing nine starters on offense. He described the season as a grind as it wasn’t until very late when things starting to click for the offense. The words speak volumes, but the tone was indicative of a player that was frustrated by his situation all year.

I’ll bang the table for Jordan Love. His best football is ahead of him and I believe his 2018 season is a better representation of his skills. He remains option B if the Dolphins can’t find a way to select Tua Tagovailoa, and it’ll take the fifth pick to make that happen.

When it comes to Herbert, I think a reprieve-of-sorts is in order. Well, not a reprieve, but I should be more appreciative of his skill set. When I say he reminds me of Ryan Tannehill, I focus on the downside of that comparison, but not the intriguing qualities. I wrote an article in 2016 stating, “if a coach can’t figure out how to win with [Tannehill], then maybe he’s just not a good coach.”

And the reason for that statement came from the multiple ways in which Tannehill can beat a defense. He opens the zone-read game. He’s deadly on boots and naked rolls. He’s a big-armed quarterback that can dice the defense on every throw within the structure, and make the occasional wow-play.

That’s Herbert in a nutshell.

But the Oregon product is also saddled with similar red flags as the former Aggie. And I’m an ex-lover scorned. A true lack of urgency. Watch the way both of these quarterbacks operate when time is of the essence. Watch the consistency of their mechanics and the trust of what they see when it’s do-or-die time.

Both Herbert and Tannehill are heavy-legged with a slow internal clock under duress. That’s the deadliest combination there is for a quarterback, and in the most condemning way imaginable.

Ultimately, if the coaching staff determined that Herbert was the guy they covet, and for the reasons I mentioned, then let’s go — I trust this iteration of the Dolphins brass. Especially a staff that knows how to cater to the strengths of the player. With Herbert, Miami could justify making a run at Derrick Henry, the perfect complimentary type to Herbert’s strengths.

While Herbert impressed in the all-star game practices, that’s merely a small piece of the puzzle. Another piece — a much larger piece — of that puzzle, are the big moments where Herbert continuously came up small in college. That matters to me. And it will anchor the evaluation on Hebert regardless of how he performs in the run up to the draft.

Jalen Hurts is more project than legit contender to start in his rookie season. It’s difficult to envision a scenario where Miami drafts a quarterback indisputably outside the top-five of his class, and tailors an offense around that player — not after all the work to get into this phase of the rebuild. Hurts throwing inconsistencies need a year of work — at least.

Anthony Gordon might be more of a project. His footwork and spatial awareness in the pocket need more grooming than the nation’s leading passing attack could provide last season.

Steven Montez and Shea Patterson are not draftable prospects.

Running Back

Joshua Kelly was ripping through lanes and getting to the second level as quick as any back that played this week. He pairs vision and burst well to alter angles of potential tacklers, and doesn’t have to stop his feet to find the cutback. He works the backside in zone as well as any back in this class, and he won regularly in one-on-one pass catching drills.

Lamical Perine is similar in his ability to press the hole and find the wind back lane in wide zone concepts. He too is a physical runner that finishes moving forward.

Antonio Gibson is the most intriguing player at the position, but he might be a master of none. He’s explosive as all get out, but he only carried the ball 38 times last year. He caught 33 passes with a chunk of that production coming as a slot receiver. His versatility will attract teams.

Wide Receiver

The Dolphins don’t need receivers, but they are growing on trees in this class. The elite group of pass catchers aren’t in Mobile, but there are several immediate contributors participating this week.

K.J. Hill is the next Ohio State receiver to show a penchant for elite route running. He’s twitched-up, uses his hands extremely well to keep himself clean, and almost always wins immediately of the line. I saw Hill compared to Emmanuel Sanders on Twitter; Sanders has been atop my offseason WR wish list for some time.

Van Jefferson put on a route-running clinic all week. He knows how to attack leverage, then go to work on the defender’s blind spot. He might be a good day-three option to fill in for Preston Williams until the ACL is fully healthy.

Denzel Mims is an anomaly. He’s big, strong, plucks the ball away from his frame and has a unique sense of body control and field awareness when he works the perimeter and end lines.

Chase Claypool won all week at the L.O.S, Quartney Davis is a physical technician, Devin Duvernay has track speed and the best YAC numbers in the country, and Michael Pittman is a crafty player that can alter his releases, tempo, and moves at the top of the route. SMU’s James Proche has the look of an effective slot — he’s got a lot of wiggle at the line.

It’s too bad Brandon Aiyuk didn’t participate — he’s the best of the impressive bunch.

It would behoove the Dolphins to capitalize on the value of this position with a day-three selection to groom behind a good receiving corps.

Tight Ends

Adam Trautman entered the week with buzz, and now enters the game with a legitimate shot of hearing his name called on Friday of the draft. He’s huge, athletic, and surprisingly polished in his route running for a player that’s relatively new to the position.

Bryce Hopkins isn’t new to tight end, and it shows in his route running. He’s going to catch a lot of touchdowns for somebody and serve as a cover-2 seam buster.

LSU’s Stephen Sullivan probably made the biggest jump of the group. He was consistent as an inline blocker, which is a major feather in the cap of a player that entered college as a wide receiver.

Offensive Line

This position provided the most encouraging development of the week with regards to Miami’s draft plan. What originally looked like a dud of an interior O-line class suddenly has some life. We also identified another first-round tackle, and that’s where we’ll start.

Josh Jones is a fringe first-rounder for some scouts. He entered the year with questions about his technical prowess, but you wouldn’t know it from this week of work. He was the talk of the practice on Thursday showing exceptional mirror ability and greatly improvement hands.

Replicating Laremy Tunsil’s typewriter feet is impossible, but Jones is a good consolation. He’s athletic as all get out.

Two tackles with very little fanfare coming into Mobile will leave with a positive impression. Texas Tech’s Terrance Steele and Connecticut’s Matt Peart had good weeks. I’ll go back to the film room before I speak further on their respective games.

It was the interior line that made the best impression, starting at center.

Lloyd Cushenberry is a first-round prospect, probably OC1 after this week. He’s a monster. His hands touch his knees from an upright position with an 83-inch wingspan. He plays low and with incredible strength to execute reach and scoop blocks, and anchor in pass protection.

Damien Lewis isn’t a center, but he’s nearing OG1 status in his own right. His angles flowing to the second level are terrific, and he has the same low pad-level as his Tiger teammate.

Back to center, Temple’s Matt Hennessy made quite an impression all week. The video below showcases not just the easy-glide feet, but the symbiotic relationship between his feet and his eyes that help him maintain balance and power with his punches.

Nick Harris had a difficult week, but his tape is still the best of all draft eligible centers. His work in space is unmatched in this class.

San Diego State has been dubbed Stanford South for their run-heavy program. Center Keith Ismael anchored that group for the last four years. He had a good week of practices helping his draft stock in the process.

John Simpson is a mountain of a left guard and he was blocking out the sun on Wednesday’s practice. He had some issues with Javon Kinlaw and Marlon Davidson on day-one, but he bounced back with a strong finish to the week. He’s a day-one starter.

Defensive Line

Javon Kinlaw entered the week as the best player in Mobile and he’ll leave in the same fashion. He was utterly dominant on just about every individual rep he took — unblockable.

Marlon Davidson only practiced Tuesday, but he showcased the violent hands, length, and get-off that could serve him well as a chess piece pass rusher. He’s strong enough to hold the point, two-gap with an innate ability to stack-and-shed, and can play multiple positions across the line.

Jason Strowbridge is listed as an tackle, but pigeonholing this beast is disingenuous. He played inside for the Tarheels, but at 285 he might be a heavy end that condenses inside in rush situations. That combination of size and explosiveness makes for yet another attractive positionless piece up front for Miami.

Bradlee Anae is a hand-in-the-dirt end. His long arm was the best we saw all week, and he proved the most consistent pressure off the edge. That should be no surprise, he’s got the best arsenal of rush moves out there — super polished player.

Back inside, Davon Hamilton continues to rate highly on my board. His first step is rare for a player his size. That athletic ability, paired with a 330-pound frame, conjures up thoughts of Danny Shelton in this defense. He has the power to two-gap and the get-off to be an impact interior rusher.

Linebacker

No defender helped himself as much as Joshua Uche. Locking down anything and everything in coverage, but also showing a twitched-up rush package headlined by a wicked dip-and-rip, he’s a good fit in Miami’s positionless defense.

Zack Baun gives Miami the option of adding a third Badger to the linebacker corps. He was an issue for most tackles he went against with a terrific combination of speed and counter moves. He’s a polished rusher that can turn around and cover as well.

Malik Harrison picked off Jordan Love in Wednesday’s team period. He’s a thumper, but features enough athletic ability to play on all three downs. He’s a candidate to rush from all six gaps on passing downs.

Terrell Lewis is a first-off-the-bus type. He’s a rocked up 260-pounds with the athletic profile to match. A former basketball player, Lewis is more athlete than pure rusher, but he spoke about his own versatility on the Move the Sticks Podcast. Lewis referenced playing stack backer in dime running down the pipe in zone, rushing from the 3-technique, and playing outside.

Evan Weaver was the most consistent downhill run defender in team periods, which should be no surprise given his work at Cal. I still struggle to find a fit in Miami’s defense, but he’s a good football player.

Defensive Backs

Darnay Holmes had the most impressive week among the cornerbacks. He got beat a few times, but he was always in position to make a play, and his competitive spirit stood out from the rest.

Players like that raise the bar in practice and make everyone else better. Daniel Jeremiah described Holmes as having “nickel temperament,” in that he has the mindset to play the most difficult position on defense.

Troy Pride Jr. was the most consistent corner. He’s exceptional at recognizing tells in the receiver’s movements to lead him to the catch point. He anticipated routes all week and got his hands on footballs.

Dane Jackson fits the size profile, and he had a good week of one-on-one drills. He gets beat deep at times, due to some lacking long speed, but he likes to get his hands on guys at line — something Miami does with regularity.

Terrell Burgess will make his money in the box as a safety, but his ability to flex out and cover will really intrigue the Dolphins.

Alohi Gilman impressed in similar fashion. He was in hip-pockets all week, but he’s listed as a safety by the Fighting Irish.

Recap

This game sets up nicely for Miami’s biggest areas of need. Outside of quarterback, the trenches on either side of the ball need several reinforcements, and the Senior Bowl is chock full of tested, versatile players in both of those areas.

The Senior Bowl had more than 90 players drafted last year and 49 of the top 100 picks. A handful of these guys could get on the field immediately for Miami in 2020, but also serve as long-term pillars of the sustained success Stephen Ross covets.

@WingfieldNFL

Continue Reading
Advertisement

LATEST

Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending