Friday, July 29, 2011

Dolphins need Vince Young

MIAMI -- The Dolphins' first instinct in this free agent sprint was to go after quarterback Kyle Orton, commit to him as a legitimate long-term answer and trust that he not only will be better than Chad Henne but also be good enough to make Miami contenders in a division with two teams that were excellent and getting better.

It's unfortunate, then, that those instincts might have cost them a chance at a better quarterback.
When it comes to available quarterbacks who make the most sense for the Fins, Orton isn't the best option. He's the safest option, certainly. But Miami would be better off going to the opposite end of that spectrum to find itself a quarterback.

The Dolphins should have taken advantage of this Denver delay and signed Vince Young instead.
Instead, it appears the Eagles, who don't even have a starting job available, will be Young's next team.
If there's still any hope for a last-second push, Miami should push hard.
The team that just ignored history and traded for Reggie Bush based on explosive potential needs to go the same route when it comes to the most important position in sports. And in this case, it's more than just a risk-reward benefit that makes Young a better option. It's just about everything.
Let's start with the finances.
The Dolphins are considering giving a significant multiyear contract extension to Orton. That in itself would put the Dolphins in a difficult situation because they essentially would be anointing him the starter before he ever sees the practice field in Davie, where Henne might just outplay him under a new offensive coordinator. And that's not even considering the draft pick the Broncos would get from the Dolphins, who already have given one up to acquire Bush.
Signing Young wouldn't be nearly as costly, wouldn't require any long-term commitment and certainly won't cost the team a draft pick.
Young wins that battle easily.
Now let's turn to the r(c)sum(c)s.
Orton's numbers show a lot of good things. He has 41 touchdown passes to 21 interceptions over the past two seasons, during which he started 28 games. That tells you he doesn't make costly mistakes. But the rest of the numbers tell you what you already knew: that Orton doesn't create victories.
His completion percentage last year in Denver was .588. Guess whose percentage has been better over the past two years? Here's a hint: His helmet looks like it's too tight and he enjoys throwing the check-down pass. That's right, it's Henne.
The Dolphins incumbent also has similar yards-per-attempt numbers in his first two seasons as a starter as Orton had in his first two years starting.
The point is this: Orton isn't necessarily a major upgrade " especially when you consider that acquiring him would mean making him, and his 32-29 career record, your starter for at least a few years to come.
Then there's Young. His numbers are all over the map. He has thrown the same number of touchdown passes as interceptions (42). He has fumbled 38 times, losing 21 of them, which pretty much offsets his 12 rushing touchdowns.
But then there's the one confounding number that trumps all the others.
Young is 30-17 as a starter in the regular season. He's 30-17 despite being brought in under immense pressure as the third overall pick in 2006 and starting 13 games as a rookie. He's 30-17 despite a tumultuous relationship with his head coach and despite supposed emotional issues.


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