EVERYONE GET EXCITED FAVREWATCH IS ON!
Signal the horn! Its everybody's favorite topic.
Today at camp, Tony Sparano said "I can't rule anything out. I'm giving you the only answer I can give you," when asked about possibly of exploring Brett Favre.
I dont know if it will mean that Favre will come back from retirement but I am ready to embrace the idea. I dont know if it would mean more wins. I dont know if it would mean the end of Henne. But I am willing to give it a shot. Why not. I dont think we have much to lose from it and hey who doesn't love Favre Watch?
On a serious note: I do think this is just fun buzz and that you wont actually see the old man in Aqua and Orange.
EVERYONE GET EXCITED FAVREWATCH IS ON!
Last night the twitterverse went wild again. Around 15 hours ago, NFL Fox Analyst Jay Glazer (@Jay_Glazer) tweeted “First Tiki sighting. Tiki Barber worked out yesterday w the Dolphins. Heard he looked good, Fins 1st wanna see how their current crop does.”
As you can imagine, this led to an uproar in the Dolphins' community. Some fans were aggravated with the news, while others took a wait and see stance on the subject.
That being said, here is my take on some guys that COULD (take note of COULD) be potential options for the Dolphins.
Tiki Barber – I am having a REALLY tough time with this one. Part of me is saying this guy hasn’t been in football for the past four years, would appear to be a terrible role model and would just be a huge question mark. Tiki is a cheater, a self absorbed person, and too be honest, we really don’t even know if he has the desire and fire to play football anymore. For me personally, there are several other running backs I would prefer, which I will list.
That being said, Tiki had a VERY productive NFL career. And if he does have some of that stuff left in the tank, he can be a valuable asset to the team.
Jason Snelling – This one is also tough because I am not sure what type of price tag he would come with, but he is a powerful running back that proved in Atlanta he can be a nice piece in a ball control offense.
Kevin Smith- Smith is a very talented running back who has suffered many injuries throughout his NFL career. However, he expressed interest in playing for Miami earlier this off-season and could be a cheap backup to help the transition to Daniel Thomas become a smooth one.
It appears the free agency frenzy is winding down. The Dolphins have cleared themselves some cap space by renegotiating with Vernon Carey and waiving Tim Dobbins. Some suggest this could lead to another big splash. But who exactly could the Dolphins be targeting?
The Broncos have named Kyle Orton their starting quarterback, so if that possibility wasn’t already dead there is now officially no pulse. The Giants are no longer willing to part ways with Osi Umenyiora, who was never tied to the Dolphins by a creditable source but was an intriguing possibility considering him and Cameron Wake would be a dominant pass rushing force together.
The only place where the possibility of making a splash exists is at receiver. Braylon Edwards and Malcolm Floyd are still floating around out there on the market, but the Dolphins like what they have at receiver. Can you blame them?
Brian Hartline is upgradeable at the number two spot, but he’s substantially better than people realize or give him credit for. Edwards or Floyd would be a potential upgrade, but their price tag wouldn’t be worth improving something good for something a little better.
All indications are pointing to the Dolphins simply shedding cap to shore up some things in house. Signing guys like Paul Soliai, Cameron Wake, and Kendall Langford long term will now be a little more manageable with the extra space.
With that said, we are inching closer and closer to pure football. Free agency talk has dominated the headlines since the NFL’s doors were reopened for business, but now it’s time to start cranking up our focus on the actual game.
That’s still not the easiest task, as the coverage of practice just doesn’t seem as in-depth as it used to be. I expect that to change soon, though, especially considering the Dolphins’ free agent acquisitions should be able to hit the practice field for the first time tomorrow.
Vernon Carey takes pay cut, moves to right guard
Vernon Carey and Tony Sparano won’t say it, but we all know what happened. Something was clearly up when Carey wasn’t present at Monday night’s practice at Sun Life Stadium. Carey was missing but hadn’t been cut.
Put two and two together and it was obvious that the Dolphins had asked Big Vern to take a pay cut. The Miami man, born and raised, willingly did to stay a member of his beloved Dolphins.
Taking less money wasn’t the only thing Miami had in store for Carey. He was seen lining up at right guard today in practice and after the workout Sparano confirmed that it would be a permanent move.
It’s a switch that has been speculated about in the past, but was essentially swept under the rug when Sparano said it wasn’t likely back in April. I guess we should have learned our lesson a long time ago when it comes to buying into anything this regime says.
At any rate, the Dolphins have found their new starting right guard, filling a huge need on the interior offensive line. The problem? They just opened up a huge hole at right tackle. Marc Colombo and Lydon Murtha will reportedly battle it out for the starting position. Not exactly reassuring considering Colombo is coming off of his worst season as pro and Murtha hasn’t given us any reason to believe he can be anything more than backup material.
The offensive line still seems like a mess to me. But what do I know? Sparano is the supposed O-line guru. My trust in his ability to carve a quality offensive line was fractured some last season when he shuffled, shuffled, and shuffled some more. The finished product? One of the worst run-blocking interior offensive lines in football. But since the offensive line is Sparano’s specialty, he deserves one more crack at this thing.
It’s time to put on our investigative boots and figure out which rumors makes sense for the Dolphins and which rumors are pure speculation. Twitter is the newest and hottest tool for the NFL world and while it is a huge asset for us fans, it is also a tool that can be taken advantage of. Rumblings and rumors have been going around since free agency has started and just about every player in the league who was on the trading block or was a free agent was at some point rumored to be headed to South Beach.
So now it’s time here at Phins Phocus to do our best David Caruso interpretation and get down to business by findind out what makes sense and what is fishy.
Update On Orton : ESPN's @AdamSchefter on #Broncos QB situation: "The Denver Broncos are not going to trade Kyle Orton. That's not going to happen."
Rumors that make NO sense
Originally the price tag for Osi was a first-round pick which left a very dry market and forced the Giants to change their demands to a second-round pick. This rumor maybe makes the least sense of all the rumors to me. Trading for Osi means giving up a 2nd round pick (which might be needed in next year’s draft to nab a QB) and signing Osi to a huge contract. I just don’t get it! Not to mention I don’t get where the buzz of Osi to Miami is coming from as Jason LaCanfora of NFL Network listed 5 teams interested and Miami was NOT one of them.
Dolphins’ fans could use a little dose of optimism these days. Negatively gets old quickly, especially when it’s irrational. How else would you describe some fans embarrassingly booing Chad Henne in his fourth practice with a new offense? That’s right, fourth practice. Not fourth game.
Truth be told, those boos and “we want Orton” chants are just the tip of the iceberg. Take a browse around the twitterverse and you’re sure to find the negativity mounting up. If it’s not Henne bashing, it’s poking fun at this regime and their sure fire last season in Miami.
And then we have the pessimistic extremists; those who feel the Dolphins should “suck for Luck,” suggesting that a football team should actually go about purposely losing in order to attain the number one overall pick that will be used to select Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. Plenty of adjectives could be used to accurately describe those “fans,” but to make a long story short, the lockout should still be in full effect for them. They shouldn’t be allowed to watch football this season.
When I see all of this, though, I can’t help but think what a shame it is for so many to be so quick to give up on a football team potentially destined for great things on the defensive side of the ball. And when I say great things, I mean Mike Nolan’s unit could actually be a top three defense, if not the very best defense in all of football.
Nothing is a given, of course. Koa Misi possibly taking a step in the wrong direction and neither Reshad Jones or Chris Clemons emerging are two potential stumbling blocks. Truly elite defenses also create turnovers, something the Dolphins didn’t do much of in 2010.
But we’re talking about a defense that is stacked with Pro Bowl caliber talent at every position besides free safety and strongside outside linebacker- two positions certainly not void of the potential to eventually become that.
A dominant defensive line that should abruptly halt running attacks before they even begin? Check. A premiere pass rusher? Check (Cameron Wake). A playmaking pair of inside linebackers? Check (Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett). A young, promising lockdown cornerback tandem? Check (Sean Smith and Vontae Davis). A tackling machine roaming the box at the strong safety? Check (Yeremiah Bell).
The only two proven positions along the offensive line, a unit still in so much flux despite this being Sparano’s fourth season after once being considering one of the top O-line coaches in football, have suddenly been hit with turmoil.
Jake Long, the best tackle in the business, is on the PUP list and is no guarantee to be healthy in time for Week 1. Meanwhile, the solid Vernon Carey wasn’t even on the practice field last night, leading the way for Ray Feinga, a 336-pound guard who was nothing more than practice squad caliber in 2010, to man the position with the first team.
I think it’s safe to say, if the Dolphins had to take the field right now, Chad Henne wouldn’t stand a chance. The Dolphins turned to free agency to answer some of these questions on Monday morning, but inking one of the worst starting tackles in the league statistically speaking from a year ago in Marc Colombo isn’t going to magically resolve anything.
Tony Sparano shed some light onto the status of both Big Jake and Carey to the Armando and the Amigo show this morning. In response to whether or not Long will be ready for the opener against the Patriots, Sparano said "I can't say 100 percent right now but that's been the plan and right now the plan is going according to script. If the plan continues we would see him actually on the field a little before that. I don't know how this is going to go but the most important thing is we have him there for New England and that was the goal from Day 1."
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.