Friday, August 18, 2006

I had an interesting thought about the team...

Its funny how back in the Shula days a player was a player for life. Sure,
a lot of it had to do with the makeup of the NFL, and the pre-free-agency
era. And there were always exceptions (see jake Scott, who's still p-o-ed
at Shula for trading him). But, you knew who you had on the team, and there
wasn't a lot of turnover from year-to-year.

Then came the JJ / Dave epoch, and and there was more turnover, but there
were still core players year after year. We had Madison and Sertain. We
had Zach. Heck, even Fiedler was the QB you knew would be around.

And meanwhile, Bellicick was running a different model in New England. Its
all about a scheme and finding players that fit the scheme. You have a very
small number of core players, but even they seem expendable to some degree.

...And now under Nick, you have the same sort of thing. Chambers, Zach, and
Jason are the only true holdovers who you might call core players. And
Daunte will probably become one. But, otherwise, there's some churning.
One guy leaves, another guy steps in. Sometimes, you don't know the starter
or his immediate backup, because they turned over.

I find it interesting how it has evolved.

Say What, Seau?

What's this? Junior Seau is contemplating an end to his retirement. Only 3
days after he had a "lavish party" in San Diego, word comes that Seau will
be playing for the Patriots this season. The Patriots! Indeed.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A few comments about these players

About "Big Daddy" Wilkinson - "I can't shake that name. I've been carrying
that since seventh grade." And so he says Shaq can have the name

About Junior Say-OW - Zach said it was an honor to play with him...and lest
we forget, Jr once autographed a poster for a young Master Thomas, and Jr
once asked Zach if it still hung in his room. (we hear that it did)

About Will Poole - he wins the Yatil Green award again this year, so we may
have to rename it to something like "The Yatil Green memorial award as
emboddied by Will Poole"

Player movement

The Dolphins signed "Big Daddy" Wilkninson to help with their "youth movement" at defensive tackle. Wilkinson is 33 and a former all pro, but much younger than Keith Traylor at 37.

Junior Seau hung up his cleats for the last time and officially retired from the Phins and the NFL.

As expected, Will Poole did not reach an injury settlement with the Dolphins, meaning that he is "back with the team" albeit on a reserved/injured list. The Phins will undoubtedly place him on injured reserve, pay him while he rehabs, and allow him to work out at training camp. But, they will release him as soon as he is healthy.

And finally, Manny Wrights parents visited with their son, and have advocated that he return to camp. We'll see.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Unsung hero

At the game, the unsung hero award was presented to Jim Jensen. In his
acceptance, he thanked I checked, and the team over at
Phinatics lobbied to get Jensen on the list, and then rallied everyone to

I think it was a win for everyone, and what a nice piece of publicity for
their website.

Way to go!

Players of the week

Personally, I liked what I saw from Cleo Lemon. He showed some good awareness and skills on the field, and played - overall - the best of all the QBs.

I also liked what I saw from a number of receivers, and in particular the resillience of Cliff Russell and the strong moves of Jason (whachya talkin bout) Willis.

Jaguars 31, Dolphins 26

I know, I know, its just the first preseason game, and its really meaningless. But, I liked what I saw during the 1st and early 2nd quarters when most of the starters were on the field. Culpepper only threw twice, and they ran "max protect" to ensure that no one touched him. But, he was out there. And moved well. And when he left the game, he was a true leader, coming over to players as they came off and congratulating or consoling them.

And Harrington showed some good things early, before becoming exactly what he was in Detroit, fumbling, throwing high, etc. The runners all seemed to acquit themselves well. And the o-line actually looked solid for the most part.

On defense, they held the Jags to 28 yards rushing in that quarter or so, and Zach Thomas seemed to be saying to everyone "I'm pissed because my sister and my best friend are getting divorced, so take that!"...and even the pass defense played well against the starters and second stringers.

I didn't see anything that left me aghast, but I did get bored between the late second and early 4th quarters, because it was your trypical preseason action.

Then, it got interesting. Brock Berlin took the field, and the team was down by 12 with 5 or so minutes left. And, unfortunately, Brock looked very much like he did in his last performance in college at the U of M, and was sacked, threw wildly, and looked ugly out there.

But, he did manage one good drive that led to a last second TD. Too bad the phins were still down by 12, of course, but it was a nice effort.

Stadium Improvements

The Phins announced a series of improvements to Dolphins Stadium, and we got to see them all first hand at the game. Here are our thoughts about them:
  • The new scoreboards These are phenomenal. HD screens that make you weep based on their size and clarity. And best of all, very few ads show on them, especially as the game is being played. The only oddity is that they both show the exact same image, but the larger one (in the east endzone) stretches it, so everyone looks weird.

  • The ribbon banner This is pretty cool, but a little distracting. Especially at night. Its always moving and changing colors. The addition of scores and stats at various times is good, but it will take some getting used to.

  • Cool zone I like this...a way to go and escape the heat.

  • Fan-de-monium (or whatever they call it)...there are cheerleaders who appear in "the 400" and try and get the crowd whooped up. There are people roving around who will spray anyone with water (not with a firehose, but with a mister..darn!). And there are Fins Force members who are tossing stuff into the stands.

  • Okay, this last one is a good concept. But, it's awkward, and uneven. And my big problem had to do with the Fins Force throwing beads, small paper fans, and plastic water spray bottles to the people in the stands. Everyone wanted this junk, and so lots of people stood up to try and get it. Problem was that they were being thrown while the game was being played, so you couldn't see the field through the throngs standing and trying to catch the beads. AND, they were throwing them hard that there was a chance you might get hit if you weren't paying attention.

    Mystery solved

    Two years ago, we named Kristine our cheerleader of the year, at least in part because she popped out of her outfit during prep classes. Last year, she was also a favorite.

    During the offseason, she was the "Cheerleader insider" for Fins TV, but didn't make the roster this year, and it appeared that she didn't even try out.

    Turns out that she is still working for the cheerleaders, but as the stadium "personality" getting the fans hyped up, and doing some on big-screen cameos during the game.

    ...and while she still is nice to look at, she is kind of annoying in this role. At halftime, she did the same things that Defoe used to do, and she was much less interesting.

    At least we know what became of her...

    Saints QB hurt by collision with mascot

    Uhhhhh, this has nothing to do with the Dolphins, but it was so unusual I had to report it...

    From wire reports

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Aug. 12, 2006) -- New Orleans quarterback Adrian McPherson went to the locker room early in the third quarter after a golf cart ridden by the Titans' mascot hit him at the end of halftime.

    A Saints spokesman wasn't immediately available for an update on the quarterback, who's heading into his second season.

    The mascot was riding on a golf cart and throwing items into the stands during halftime, and was heading off the field when the Saints were returning from their locker room for the third quarter.

    The cart hit McPherson, who stayed on the field for a few minutes being checked out by a trainer on the sideline. He then walked off the field.

    Dan Marino hawks...

    Dan Marino has a fair number of products he's touting these days. Of course he has his hospital and children's charity. He also is involved a sports memoribilia company. Then there's the jewelry store, the property on Las Olas, the car dealer, the tavern with his name, and more.

    Then there are a few I don't quite get - the weight loss system and the sleep system. Would I sleep better on a Dan Marino pillow? And if the weight loss system makes me throw like he does in the commercials then forget it!

    [editor's note: the phin ranter pointed out that he "throws like a girl" in the ad]