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Dolphins problems start at quarterback position

  • By Pat Kirwan NFL.com
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The Miami Dolphins are one of the great franchises in the NFL and they are struggling like never before with an 0-7 record. They just lost their one special player on offense, running back Ronnie Brown, for the year with a knee injury and now they have to take a trip to London to play the Giants.

As I watched all the games from Week 7 in the NFL, one thing jumped out at me time and time again. This league is loaded with quarterbacks who played for the Miami Dolphins at one point in their career and the Fish let them all go in hopes of finding someone better.

Daunte Culpepper is starting for the Raiders, Damon Huard is starting for the Chiefs and Brian Griese now leads the Chicago Bears. Joey Harrington came off the bench for the Falcons and will regain his starting role for that team. Sage Rosenfels threw four touchdown passes for the Texans in a relief capacity.

Ex-Dolphins QBs:
Name Team Result Comp./Att. Yards TD/INT Miami tenure
Brian Griese Bears Win 27/41 322 1/0 2003
Damon Huard Chiefs Win 16/31 177 0/1 1999-2002
Daunte Culpepper Raiders Loss 18/29 228 1/1 2006
Joey Harrington Falcons Loss 12/18 128 0/0 2006
Sage Rosenfels Texans Loss 22/35 290 4/3 2002-05

The Dolphins are now led by the young Cleo Lemon. The fourth-year player has talent, but lacks experience. He has never led an NFL team on a game-winning fourth quarter drive. The former Dolphins playing for other teams have 37 game-winning drives in their careers -- none better than Griese's 11-play, 97-yard drive for the winning touchdown pass to Muhsin Muhammad in Philadelphia on Sunday.

The group of former Dolphin QBs went 2-3, completing 95 of 154 passes for 1,145 yards this weekend. They connected on six touchdown passes and threw five interceptions. Miami never got any compensation in the form of a trade or compensatory picks in the draft for the loss of these former players, which hurts even more.

As one former Dolphin said to me when looking at this list, "we probably should have kept Gus Frerotte after the 2005 season." He threw for 2,996 yards and 18 touchdowns to just 13 interceptions that year for Miami. Frerotte didn't start in Week 7, but he started earlier this season in place of injured Rams QB Marc Bulger.

Another former Dolphin quickly brought up that Drew Brees wanted to play for Miami but was not signed after failing a physical. He hasn't missed a game as a Saint since then.

This season is going to be tough for anyone associated with the Dolphins, but thinking about the number of quarterbacks the franchise has lost makes it even harder. When this season ends, the club must know everything it can about Lemon and rookie John Beck before entering free agency and the draft.

Given Trent Green's age and medical history, he is not likely to figure into the Dolphins' long-term plans. Because of its poor record, Miami will have a chance to take the best quarterback on the draft board when April rolls around. Now it must decide whether to do so.

Wayne Huizenga is one of the best owners in the NFL and all he wants to do is win. He will not stand in the way of whatever decisions management makes, but it is time for the personnel department to start making better choices, and that starts at the quarterback position.

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