Saturday, September 04, 2010

And finally...

Released were:
S Nate Ness
CB AJ Wallace
OG Ray Feinga
OLB Chris McCoy
S Jonathan Amaya

And that is that. But. I suspect the Phins will probably swap 3-5 players tomorrow with other teams' roster casualties.

More that we know about

LB Austin Spitler (verified)
OT Andrew Gardner
FB Rolly Lumbala
WR Julius Pruitt
LB Erick Walden
DB Ross Weaver

And in a surprising move, TE David Martin was also released. Well, maybe its not all that surprising. They wrote a contract that guaranteed his salary if he was on the roster on opening day. So, who knows? They may bring him back later.

That leaves 5 to go, by my count.

Coach wants to see you...and bring your playbook

That's the line that's often uttered by "The Turk" (that is, the guy who is assigned to deliver the message to players that they've been cut).

So far, we've heard about:
ILB J.D. Folsom
DL Ryan Baker
CB Kevin Hobbs
OT Andrew Gardner
DE Lionel Dotson
DT Montavious Stanley
OL Andrew Hartline

And...
QB Pat White
G Donald Thomas
WR Patrick Turner

The real surprise here is Donald Thomas who was "the guy" before he was injured in his rookie season - but started most of last year.

The Dolphins have to cut 22 in total, so look for more to come.

By the way, you may be wondering where "The Turk" comes from. I was unable to find anything conclusive, but there are two possibilities:

(1) The NFL started using "Turk" because of the Turkish soldiers of the 17th and 18th century and their long, curved scimitars. It's a wonderful visual. Beware the Turk. He comes late at night, armed with a long, curved sword that he'll used to cut you from the team! "

and (2) In the 18th century there a mechanical man seated behind a wooden cabinet. The Turk, as it became known, was fashioned from wood, powered by clockwork, and dressed in a stylish Turkish costume. Most astonishing of all, it was capable of playing chess. People wondered about its magical powers; it moved without strings or wires...much like the mechanical magic man who brings the bad news to players.

Friday, September 03, 2010

That's just not right

"Big Ben" had his suspension reduced to 4 games.

Whatever happened to the tough stance?

Why would Goodell reduce it anyway?

Estupido

Dez & Jeff

We heard this week that Jeff Ireland wanted to seek out Dez Bryant and shake hands with him.  He apparently did just that during warmups.

We hear there is no truth to the rumor that what he said was "I saw you mom last night...."

[editor's note: we tried to tell him this was a bad joke, and yesterday's news, but he just wouldn't listen]

In sum

The second half of the game was markedly better than the first.  There was some excitement, and a fair amount of effort put forth by the reserves.

It seemed clear to me that the reserves were playing hard and *wanted* to win.  They put it on the line.

Sure, in the end Miami fell 27-25.  But at least they were trying. 

I liked what I saw from Marlon Moore, Paul Soliai, Corey Proctor, Roberto Wallace, Charles Grant, Micah Johnson, and Nate Ness in particular.  The only locks to make Miami's team are Moore and Soliai, but I suspect the rest will wind up on someone's team - or at least on a practice squad.

But as in the first half I expected more.  While there were a couple of sustained drives, and it did come down to the wire, the offense looked erratic, and Tyler Thigpen was downright bad. Okay, he had a few good plays, but I think his negative plays overshadowed the good ones. Good thing he's the #3! Meanwhile, the defense let too much happen for the Cowboys.

Nolan Carroll didn't have much opportunity to handle returns as most of the kicks were deep into the endzone.  But at least there were no big breakdowns.

So, is there cause for concern?  I'd say yes.  I'm not convinced this team is ready for primetime.  I think they're a work in progress, which is NOT what I wanted to see this offseason.  Don't give me the jibber jabber that they're still building, or they're young, or whatever. 

As I stated during the offseason:

I think the Dolphins were pretty well validated based on the games and outcomes today.  They beat the Jets twice, and narrowly lost to the Colts; they had the Saints on the ropes....

And that leads me to this: I'm setting an expectation for next year based on what I saw.  I expect the Dolphins to HOST the AFC championship game next season.
 
Anything less would be a huge disappointment. 
 
You hear that coach Sparano?  Its time to make it happen!


Lofty goal?  Yes.

But its what I expect, and lets see if this team can live up to it.  It doesn't appear to me that they made what amount to the right moves to make it so, but here's to hoping I'm wrong!

Buffalo awaits, and I guess that's when we'll know something about this team for certain.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Halftime

The consensus seemed to be - given sparanos comments - that the dolphins needed to show improvement. And really dominate with the first team against a bunch of who dats for the cowboys.

They failed in that endeavor.

The offense had a rocky performance and really didn't look that good. The first drive stalled. The second started deep and went nowhere.

And as much as it pains me to say it: Chad Pennington needs to start if this team wants to have any success. Henne hasn't shown me much and I'm underwhelmed with him. If the better player should be out there then Henne should be on the bench.

As for running, well, if you take away Ricky's one long run, you have a lame performance.

Mostly the defense looked good. And they finally showed a few wrinkles and a couple of blitz packages. But they had some lapses and allowed too many big plays.

Special teams allowed one long return but otherwise has acquitted themselves nicely.

One thing that got me: sparano said the starters would play deep; until he was satisfied that they were getting it together. Most were still gone in the 1st quarter but the team wasn't playing that well.

One potential big downer: Jake Long left the game after Carey rolled onto his leg. He had ice on his knee but we don't know the extent of the injury.

Radio broadcast

I was unaware of this until earlier this week:

The phins offered the play by play job to Dick Stockton. He turned it down to do a network broadcast, so they rehired Jimmy Cefalo to do it.

But...Stockton will do two games based on his network schedule. And Cefalo will move to a pregame studio role.

That's a bit of an odd move I think.

Koa Misi

Miami drafted him with an eye on him starting on the strong side. He practiced there and started there for three games.

During the week sparano decided to try him on the other side. But he couldn't unseat wake.

And now he's second team. At best.

A Marlins comment

Last night there was a bench-clearing brawl over at JRS during a Marlins game.  In it, Marlins 1st baseman Gaby Sanchez clothes-lined the batter who had charged the mound.  It was a great hit, as he took out the player.

I've heard several people say it was the greatest hit at JRS in the last several years.  And given the Dolphins' futility recently, I'd agree.

JT comment

In a recent interview, the guy who used to wear 99 was asked a silly question, and gave an amusing answer:

Have you ever bought something goofy off a TV ad and what was it?

I went out one night in Miami, I was young, my rookie year. And I came home, had a long night, watching TV, and they had these scissors that would cut a quarter, cut anything. And I don't know why I bought them, but I bought them. And then I broke my arm that year, I got the surgery. The team went away. And the day after the surgery, they put the cast on so tight, and it was swelling, it was killing me, I thought I was going to die. And I'm sitting on the couch, I'm like in tears, I'm holding my hand above my head, and I was like, "Those scissors I got!" So I got the scissors and I cut the cast off. I had them for a long time, too. But they worked. And I got something else free with them, like blade sharpeners. I walked in the training room Monday, and I opened the door, and I just threw my cast on the floor, and I'm holding my arm up and there's still blood coming out of my arm. They're like, 'How the hell did you cut that off!' And I was like, 'I was drunk one night and I got these scissors.'"

Something is wrong with this picture

Ben Rothlisberger will meet with the commish today to discuss his 6-game suspension.  He is expected to ask Goodell to reduce the suspension to 3 games, and a member of the Rooney family will be in attendance to try and plea the case.

Goodell had originally said he might reduce it to *4* games if Ben was a good citizen.  I'll be curious to see how the often heavy handed Goodell responds to this one.  Rothlisberger has been implicated several times in assaults on women, and I believe that the suspension should stand as-is no matter what.   But Ben's a star, and as such, he'll get preferential treatment - I have no doubt.

Now, there's another guy we should talk about here.  He's the Seahawks linebacker LeRoy Hill.  He physically attacked his girlfriend in the spring, was arrested, and was told to stay away from the off-season conditioning programs.  Goodell said he'd review the case and decide later.

But then he was arrested on another charge - marijuana possession - and was suspended for the season opener.

Months have passed, and Hill was allowed to attend training camp.  And now he's injured and will miss several weeks.

Still no word from Goodell.  The investigation has dragged on because police can't find the woman to get her to testify; and he recently decided to take a diversion program that will avoid jail.

So....Ben was never charged with a crime, but was convicted in the court of public opinion and IMMEDIATELY got a 6 game suspension, which will likely be reduced.  Meanwhile Hill was arrested and charged, and admitted guilt with the diversion program and still has no consequence with the NFL for a more heinous crime.  But he gets suspended for 1 game for his misdemeanor.

Does Goodell's system make ANY sense at all?

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

is amuses me

 

The Mark Higgs interview

I wanted to make a couple of personal comments about this interview. First, and foremost, Mark was a guy I looked up to in his playing days because he was short by NFL standards - and so am I. :)

But more than that, he seemed like a pretty good guy back in the day, and I always wanted to meet him. When the opportunity presented itself to do an interview, I was ready.

And he didn't disappoint. I thought he was pretty interesting. He tells some good tales of what it was like to be a running back behind Dan Marino, and gives a glimpse behind the curtain just a little. His comments about Bryan Cox are instant classics.

Plus, he played for Tom Landry, Buddy Ryan, and Don Shula which gives him some unique perspective on what it was like to play for different legendary (at least two of them) coaches.

What to make of an 18-game schedule

I've heard the pros and cons from various parties.  I know there's a lot at stake here.  One of the key issues is that people just aren't turning out for the preseason games.  While they may have to buy the tickets as a part of the season ticket package, its clear that they're still not showing up which means less revenue from concessions, parking, number of eyeballs seeing all the in-stadium ads, and the like.  So, Goodell correctly assess that "the fans have spoken" and that would be with their wallets.

The owners want to make more money and are in favor of expanding the number of games.  The players realize it means more wear and tear on them.

And interestingly, Goodell has said he won't start the NFL season before labor day; and the only logical conclusion is that the SuperBowl would have to be around President's Day Weekend (mid Feb)  - an idea I heard from one NFL executive.

So, here's what I would consider:

* Expand the roster of players to at least 65 players, thus making up for more wear and tear
* Change the injury rules to be more like baseball's DL, where a player is unavailable for a finite amount of time, with limits.  So maybe you can have one player who can miss 4 weeks; two can miss 6 weeks, and 4 can miss 8 weeks.  And in the time they're inactive, you can sign someone to take the roster spot.
* Give each team two byes, so the schedule is 20 weeks.  Spread them in a way, so that maybe half the teams get week 7 & 14, and the others get weeks 6 & 13, so there's no clear advantage to anyone and you have football every week.

And here's where I think things get interesting.  You have your two "scrimmages" (a/k/a preseason games) to tune up the team.  But the first two games of the season can be used to do some evaluation as well.  You allow for a larger roster with a cutdown before week 3.  Teams might want to play some of these guys in the games, and I would wager that some coaches might develop a strategy to play more of the younger guys in these first couple of games to prevent injuries.  The games still count, but coaches have to make smart choices about how deep to play some players with an eye on winning.   And if they did play some of their vets later, it may cost them later in the season.

That's my two cents.  It would make for a better product, certainly.


Feed the wolf

Sparano made a comment yesterday that he's not satisfied with his starters, and might play them deeper into the game than he normally would, maybe as far as the half.

I guess that wolf is still hungry.

Injuries

Does anyone else feel that the Channing Crowder injury is weird?

He was healthy, and then had a mysterious ailment that even coach Sparano (apparently) can't describe.  And now he's gonna see another specialist because - to paraphrase a team source - they think he might have a different injury than what they originally thought (I heard it was originally though to be a hip flexor, and now they are checking his abdomen muscles).  Odd, indeed

Joey Haynos was going to be vying for playing time in the 3-man rotation at TE, but they waived him injured.

Nate Garner went on IR due to his injury.  He was nearly my MVP last season because of his outstanding play - he will be missed

Will Allen may or may not be ready for the season opener

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A couple of interesting articles

http://www.popularmechanics.com/outdoors/sports/physics/4212171 talks about the physics of hits, and the impacts and forces involved.


http://cheapnfljerseys.mywebxite.com/2010/08/12/looking-forward-to-changes-in-nfl-football-helmets/ talks about changes to football equipment.

They're both worth a read

Dolphins weekly show

Dolphins weekly show

Dave's Bitchin' Dolphin Recap for 8-30

Posted: 30 Aug 2010 02:00 PM PDT

I head out to the Dolphins-Falcons snoozefest, er, game. I have some thoughts on the 18 game season. I replay an old interview with the recently-departed Greg Camarillo. And finally I have a new interview with former Phin Mark Higgs.


This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now


Monday, August 30, 2010

In case you missed it



Dave's Bitchin' Dolphin Recap for 8-24

Posted: 24 Aug 2010 02:00 PM PDT

A look back at the second week of preseason, and a peek ahead at next week. Plus, a look at the roster. I've got some other news and notes, and KC Joyner visits to talk a little Dolphins and some fantasy football!


This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now