To a slightly tepid response from analysts, Bill Parcells and the Dolphins continue to make subtle moves in advance of the NFL draft.
With yesterday's trade of starting center Samson Satele to Oakland, Miami will look to free-agent pickup Jake Grove, who started for Oakland last year, to fill that spot. Oakland swapped their early fourth round pick with the Dolphins pick later in the round and also gave up a sixth-round selection for Satele.
By no means a blockbuster deal, but a prototypical Parcell's move. No fireworks, but potentially packed with substance.
At first glace, most of this offseason's dealings appear only a pinch above "lateral." Anxious fans hope Parcells, the man who guided the team from 1-15 team to AFC East champions in just one year, knows something we don't.
He did last year.
The talent level at the start of last season was already higher than the previous year, with special thanks to the addition of quarterbacks Chad Pennington and Chad Henne (Henne is the hanging Chad, waiting in the wings for his chance to start). The comfort level allows the Dolphins to skip big deals for a number of smaller upgrades at different positions while reserving draft choices to fill need areas.
But with the big splashes of Draft Day pending, these baby steps are underwhelming the talking heads.
Former Raiders coach Tom Flores says that Grove's pass blocking is ''adequate. I don't think it's great. I don't think Oakland would have paid [as Miami has].
Of recently-inked cornerback Eric Green, ESPN's Matt Williamson said, "I wouldn't say there's anything he's great at...He seems to be playing a little worse than he did earlier in his career." Considering the 'Phins passed on a number of higher-quality candidates, Williamson hopes they have a particular purpose for Green in their scheme.
New safety Gibril Wilson is but "a modest upgrade" over Renaldo Hill, according to former Broncos GM Ted Sunquist.
So with each incremental move, Miami seems a little better, and improvement is always good. Programs are rarely made Super Bowl champions overnight.
But let's hope for a little more pizazz come April 15.
Janie Campbell is a Florida native who still hopes to be drafted by the Dolphins, but only for the post-game buffet. Her work has appeared in irreverent sports sites around the internet.