What a night at Sun Life Stadium. The Dolphins were in full pads Monday night in front of over 10,000 fans for a scrimmage-like practice under the lights.
Several key players are still being forced to sit out until Thursday due to the new CBA, Brian Daboll’s offense is far from being installed, and the offensive line is in complete chaos.
So, needless to say, these opening practices are far from pretty. Things turned downright ugly when Chad Henne began to struggle…
Fans boo Henne, chant “We want Orton”
Chad Henne is three practices in on the season. He’s running a new offense he’s seeing for the first time. His All-Pro left tackle is on the PUP list. His solid right tackle, Vernon Carey, wasn’t even at the stadium. And the defense is usually miles ahead of the offense this early on, especially an elite defense compared to what was a bottom feeder offense a year ago. Give the guy a break.
Fans booing Chad Henne, the starting quarterback whether you like it or not, the guy who holds the fate of the 2011 season in his hands, is pathetic. I’m not calling out all of the fans that were at Sun Life Stadium Monday night, as I’m sure it was a select few that booed and chanted for Orton. But to those select few, do us all a favor and jump on the bandwagon of a different NFL team.
The Dolphins need fans that back their starting quarterback. Maybe there is a time where booing is justified. Perhaps, a multiple interception game in the middle of an underwhelming season would be understandable. But the fourth practice of the year? Are you kidding me? To quote Allen Iverson, "We talkin' about practice."
This little fiasco caught national news late Monday night, by the way. Congratulations to those fans that started this nonsense, you’re now an embarrassment nation-wide.
What is going on with the offensive line?
Another shocker under the lights at Sun Life was the absence of Vernon Carey. What did the first-team O-line look like without its two benchmark tackles? Ray Feinga at right tackle, John Jerry at right guard, Mike Pouncey at center, Richie Incognito at left guard, and Matt Kopa at left tackle. Talk about a mess.
With Carey missing from the action and Marc Colombo added earlier today, many began to speculate that the Dolphins had cut ties with Carey. But Sparano reportedly just gave him the night off. The Dolphins have the day off tomorrow, so I really don’t see the rationale behind that.
Hopefully, this had everything to do with Carey’s contract. Carey is a Miami guy. He grew up here, played for the Hurricanes, and has been a Dolphin since 2004. Sensing that he could become a camp causality with his salary and the Dolphins’ signing of Colombo, Carey and his agent may have reached out to Jeff Ireland to restructure his deal. That’s purely speculation, but it would be a fantastic scenario for the Dolphins.
Marc Colombo was statistically one of the worst starting tackles in the league last year. Vernon Carey needs to be the starting right tackle for the Dolphins in 2011.
Shaun O’Hara, who visited with the Dolphins early Monday, reportedly had a great visit and checked out physically. He left town without a contract, but only because he wanted to go home and talk it over with his wife face-to-face, not over the phone. Expect O’Hara to be added to the mix soon, assuming the Mrs. signs off on moving to South Beach. It should be interesting to see how Sparano shuffles the line from there.
Dolphins waive ILB Tim Dobbins
In somewhat of a surprising move in light of his value on special-teams, the Dolphins waived Tim Dobbins on Monday. Dobbins was adequate in relief duty for Crowder and Dansby in 2010, and has been a special-teams standout in the past.
The Dolphins are apparently fairly high on 2010 fourth-round pick A.J. Edds, though, and want to give him more opportunities to have an impact on Mike Nolan’s defense.
To replace Dobbins, Miami came to terms with undrafted rookie free agent Mark Masterson. The Dolphins also waived nose tackle Chris Baker on Monday; likely a result of his health and the addition of Ronald Fields.
Sources: Ken LaVicka, Omar Kelly, Ben Volin