Time for Dolphins to call Brett Favre
By DAVE HYDE
Published Wednesday, August 3, 2011
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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Do they break the glass? Do they call 911? Do the Dolphins think this quarterback situation is dire enough to utter the two words that could solve all their problems immediately?
These two words: Brett Favre.
Followed by these two words: Don’t laugh.
Oh, that’s not fair. Go ahead and laugh. It’s funny. It’s crazy. It’s absurd. It’d be the most desperate act imaginable in a training camp where the Dolphins already have some measure of desperation.
But when you finish having a good chuckle, take a deep breath and ask yourself this: Doesn’t this move make some good sense if Favre is healthy enough? Admittedly, that small word – if – can clog this dream up in a quick phone call.
But here’s the laundry list of reasons why the Dolphins should be making that phone call to Hattiesburg, Miss.
1. With this defense, this team is an average quarterback away from a 10-win season that would save a lot of good work.
2. Favre is smart, very experienced at 41 and a one-year rental for only dollars, not draft picks.
3. For as bad as 2010 was for him, he’s a season removed from a 33-touchdown, seven-interception season with Minnesota.
4. Brian Daboll, the new offensive coordinator, was Favre’s quarterback coach in 2008 with the New York Jets.
5. He’d immediately turn the Dolphins from a team no one’s talking about to one everyone is.
Don’t dismiss that final point. The Dolphins’ season-ticket sales have dropped off dramatically the last several years, a serious issue for the business side of this franchise.
Here’s the real question: Is this franchise ready to set sail into 2011 with Chad Henne at quarterback? Because if they are, we’re at the point it’s time to stand up and say so.
Dolphins coach Tony Sparano did a commendable job when asked how he felt to hear fans boo Henne and chant, “We want Orton” at the welcome-back, feel-good practice at Sun Life Stadium on Monday.
“Besides the fact it really makes me sick?” Sparano said.
The problem is, for the last six months everyone in the organization from the owner on down has discussed finding a quarterback to challenge Henne, at the very least. That’s the mindset they’ve developed.
No matter what people think, General Manager Jeff Ireland and Sparano have built a solid roster. Look at it. The defense is one of the league’s best. The offensive line, though costly, now looks solid. There are weapons like Brandon Marshall and Reggie Bush.
The special teams? Well, let’s wait and see on that.
The point is, this team needs a quarterback. Maybe Henne becomes that guy. If not, the draft didn’t bring anyone. Matt Moore isn’t that guy. Kyle Orton was the hope, but even Denver admitted Wednesday that that deal is dead.
As the other answers fell away, one by one, isn’t Favre the best answer? And might he not be the perfect one?
Will he want to play? Who knows? He’s retired, after all. But that hasn’t exactly stopped him in the past. Favre could look at this defense, this offensive line, some of the weapons waiting for him and decide it’s worth getting off the couch. He can’t be happy he threw 11 touchdowns, 19 interceptions and had a 69.9 quarterback rating in his last year.
Is he healthy enough? Motivated enough? That’s easy enough to find out. Pick up the phone. Make the call. Sell him on this role. (And by all means have him take a physical.)
When the Marlins hired 80-year-old Jack McKeon as manager, who didn’t chuckle? But it made sense when you wrapped your mind around it. Look how it’s played out, too.
Those “We Want Orton” chants weren’t the time and place, just as Sparano said.
But here’s another thought as this franchise keeps you wondering just what they think of their quarterback.
“We Want Favre.”
By NFL.com Staff
Really, all it takes is for one meddling columnist to connect some wayward
dots and then … sound the Brett Favre Watch!
Yes, we’re talking about Favre. Again. And you thought this was over.
It all started Thursday when Dave Hyde of
the Sun Sentinel laid out a list of reasons why the Dolphins should put in a
phone call to Hattiesburg, Miss. It escalated when Omar Kelly posed the question
to Dolphins coach Tony Sparano, who did nothing to squash the
“I can’t rule anything out. … I’m giving you the
only answer I can give you,” Sparano said about possibly exploring Favre, according to a Tweet from Kelly.
“We always have our eyes open, and are always
exploring possibilities,” Sparano added when asked if the team is still looking for
Yikes. And Chad Henne woke up this
morning probably thinking things couldn’t get any worse.
But NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora jumped into the
fray and checked in with Favre’s agent, Bus Cook, who when
asked if the Dolphins or another team could entice Favre to return, responded
with “He’s retired.”
So, in other words, there’s really no closure here.
– Frank Tadych
If you’re going to be a truly horrible personnel executive, it’s best to have your moves still wreaking havoc with your former team even after you’ve moved on to greener pastures. Such is the case for Josh McDaniels, who did quite the waste job on Denver’s roster in less than two full seasons before he was summarily dismissed late in the 2010 season. Getting rid of Jay Cutler(notes), Brandon Marshall(notes), Peyton Hillis(notes) and Alphonso Smith(notes) were the moves that set off bombs at the times they happened, but it was a 2010 first-round draft pick that may leave the largest impact — and not necessarily a good one.
When the Broncos selected Tim Tebow(notes) 25th overall in 2010, it moved the media hype around Tebow from Florida to the Mile High City, especially when Tebow played reasonably well in Denver’s last few games after starter Kyle Orton(notes) suffered a season-ending rib injury. This offseason, the Broncos tried to engineer an Orton trade to the Miami Dolphins, but it hasn’t happened yet. New team president John Elway and head coach John Fox may still move Orton, and if they do so in favor of Tebow, it sounds like the team’s veteran offensive skill players might not be too happy about that.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Jim Trotter, the Broncos are weighing two divergent factors: It’s clear that Orton is far ahead of Tebow at this point, and even third-stringer Brady Quinn(notes) may be ahead of Tebow at this point in a pure football sense. But the Tebow mystique — the intangibles and off-field aura that have made him a star before he’s done much in the league — have Denver’s fans clamoring to see a guy whose jersey sales have far outstripped his football accomplishments to date.
“It’s the Tebow Thing,” receiver Brandon Lloyd(notes) told Trotter. “They’ll put Kyle on the trading block because they don’t want to deal with the Tebow Thing. But it’s not going to end until [Tebow] plays. The faster they get this Tebow Thing over with, one way or the other …
“I spent the entire offseason preparing myself for Tim being the quarterback, because the organization put Kyle on the trading block at the end of the year … what pass plays are we going to be running? Are we going to be running sprint plays? Throwing from outside the pocket? Running routes is easy, especially with a pure drop-back passer like Orton. But with Tim, the ball is going to be coming from different spots and different angles. That takes getting used to.”
Tebow is a left-handed quarterback who’s better out of the pocket, and the option offense he ran at Florida left him with a major uphill battle when it comes to acclimating to a complex pro-style offense. The Broncos were able to scheme around Tebow’s limitations last year when the season was long over and everyone was marking time, but things become far more complicated if Tebow is truly named the face of the franchise sooner than later.
At that point, the Broncos are building for the future, as opposed to trying to win now. That’s never something the fans want to hear — and as much as they may want to see Tebow now, the glow could wear off fairly quickly when he’s asked to lead the team and those limitations show up under a microscope. Many tape junkies have insisted that Tebow simply isn’t ready for the NFL (not even close, in some cases), and ESPN “NFL Matchup” analyst Merril Hoge is one of them.
From his Twitter feed Wednesday morning (tweets slightly edited on our side):
Sitting watching tape of Bronco offense from last year! Orton or Tebow? It’s embarrassing to think the broncos could win with tebow!!
Orton or tebow? QB play is not just about who works hard gives rare rare college speeches or who is a good guy!! Because orton works hard and is a good guy as well.
It’s about who can play!! I just watched Tebow throw 5 out routes to a wide open WR! He was 1 for 5! 2 went in Dirt 2 in the stands!
That throwing motion he changed? U can’t change who u r! Just watched 2 throws and he throws like he did in college!!
You must possess a skill set to play! Tebow struggles with accuracy!
Football sense or fan pressure? Which way will the Broncos go? McDaniels, who’s now working with Sam Bradford(notes) as the St. Louis Rams‘ offensive coordinator, must be having a bit of a chuckle over the drama he created.