Friday, February 27, 2009

The Future...NOW!!

Current first...the Dolphins have signed Joe Berger!

A glimpse into the (very) near future:

  • TJ Houshmandzadeh signs with the Philadelphia Eagles.
  • Renaldo Hill signs with the Denver Broncos.
  • Bart Scott WILL sign with the Jets. The twist is, Ray Lewis WILL be a Raven.
  • Andre Goodman will be back with the Dolphins in 2009.

Free Agency Friday

Renaldo Hill, Andre Goodman, and Al Johnson did not come to terms on new contracts with the Dolphins and are now looking for work.

Hill is reportedly on a plane to Denver to visit with the Broncos. Surprisingly there's been no news of Goodman, who I thought would be the most active of the three in free agency. Johnson will be lucky to be picked up near training camp to bolster an 80-man squad, possibly even back with the Dolphins.

I'm not going to go into the Haynesworth deal (Snyder and Al Davis should get together sometime and do something worthwhile with their money) or talk about the Jets picking up Bart Scott instead of Ray Lewis (but Lewis must be pissed).

Instead I'd like to focus on the Dolphins today and how it's been one surprise after another with this team. From the Quarterback situation of offseason '08, to the Wildcat unveiling in New England, to the amazing turnaround and eventual AFC East trophy, the emergence of undrafted rookie WR Davone Bess, the throw-first mentality of the offense, and the Parcells escape clause - none of us as fans, and likely none of the actual players saw these things coming.

In fact, a lot of the things that went right for the Dolphins in 2008 could not be foreseen by Nostradamus himself.

So as we enter free agency, and with the surprise re-signing of Crowder and Carey, and the sudden starting free safety acquisition of Gibril Wilson still fresh in our minds, let's look at what we may see in the next few days.

First of all, the Dolphins are going to work-out ANOTHER Dallas Cowboy - Joe Berger. A 26 year old, 6'7" 310lb Guard who also can play Center, Berger actually started his career as a Dolphin. He has zero starts and has only played in 7 games over 5 seasons according to NFL.com. He is what they call "competition" and will likely be brought in to push the Center that Miami eventually drafts, OR to push Satele, because one thing I've learned lately is not to trust the hype and the idea that Satele will not be playing Center in 2009 is just that so far - hype.

The next great aqua and orange hype is that recently expunged NY Jet wide receiver, Laveranues Coles will come running in search of Chad Pennington. And while there was chemistry and man-love between these two, I know from personal experience that reunited love after a break-up seldom works out. Also he would likely have to take a serious pay cut to play for the Dolphins who we know are more interested in getting younger, bigger, stronger and faster. Coles is older, smaller, feebler and getting slower by the month. Every year the drop-off gets bigger and bigger and he's already starting to slip. It might be because he's an excellent route runner and Brett Favre was more of a 'just get down-field and I'll sling it' kind of QB.

There's another Cowboy on the horizon in the shape of Kevin Burnett, a young veteran OLB, who would come cheap and provide an upgrade over the guy who's name I can never remember...so don't be "surprised" if we here his name tossed around soon.

Jason Brown won't be coming to Miami - our offer was too low. Bart Scott is gone to our bitter rival. Who else should we be taking a look at?


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Crowder, Carey, Wilson and Bell - the new 'law-firm-sounding' ...thingy!

So Yeremiah Bell has signed a 4 year $20 million deal, and Gibril Wilson signed a similar deal, and Channing Crowder signed a similar deal, and Vernon Carey signed a similar deal...okay, so the deals weren't exactly alike but they do all provide certain similarities:

1. We will not be drafting a Tackle with our first pick.
2. We will not be drafting a Safety with our first pick.
3. It's become increasingly unlikely we will be drafting a Line-Backer with our first pick.
4. We are getting closer to having a team that will likely be together for the next three years, providing consistency and continuity that only the upper eschelon of NFL teams tend to enjoy.

This Poll's For You

As many of you are probably aware, I had a very frustrating NFL Combine experience in that, despite the extended coverage by NFLN, I was unable to watch significant portions of it, including the first group of wide-receivers (the one with all the recognizable names) and the entire defensive back group. This was because my satellite receiver has gone ka-ploey! DirecTV assures me they will have a new one out to me within a month and that I can have the pleasure of paying for the time I'm NOT receiving any signal to my TV. All hope is not lost as I can still use my PS3 to re-imagine what the combine might've looked like.

But anyway, this post is to finalize all the polls we had during that time, including the latest one which I have to pull early due to unforeseen results. So here we go:

  • Most bench reps at the Combine: the winner in our poll was Brian Cushing with 60% of the vote. He DID have the most for a linebacker at 30, but the top lifter was Texas tech Guard, Louis Vasquez with 39.
  • Fastest 40-yd dash time: the winner is our poll was Captain Munnerlyn with 46%. Not even close. Darrius Heyward-Bey received just 7% in our poll but won the event with a speedy 4.30.
  • Heaviest Player at the weigh-ins: Have to be honest, this was a gimme, and we still got it wrong. Ray Feinga won the poll with 30% of the vote, but Hermann Johnson, getting just 20% of the vote was a guarantee to win. Despite losing 19 lbs in a month, he was still 27 lbs heavier (364) than his nearest competition which was BJ Raji at a 'bulky' 337.
  • Breakout Player of the Combine: To be honest, none of the players in the poll really 'broke out', but top vote-getters, Aaron Maybin (36%), Everette Brown (27%) and Brian Cushing (18%) di nothing to hurt their stock. Tied for third was Malcolm Jenkins who failed to impress scouts, and Max Unger (9%) who did not take advantage of the absence of Alex Mack. In my opinion, the 'break-out' players were: Aaron Curry, LB (proved he was worthy of a a top 3 pick); Connor Barwin, DE (put his name up there with the big ones) and Rich Eisen, Bench (scored a whopping 35 on the wonderlic!).
  • Now that Vernon Carey is locked up, who will be the next Dolphin FA re-signed? In what can only be explained by pure luck, or insider trading, 28% of you chose Channing Crowder, despite everyone in the world with any sources saying that Crowder would not be a Dolphin this year. I think the voting went the way of a popularity-vote, with Yeremiah Bell receiving 39% of the vote. I cannot explain the fact that Al Johnson received 21% of the vote since it was reported here, there, and elsewhere that his agent said he wasn't being re-signed. I chalk it up to fans disdain of Samson Satele.
For the record, the Ravens have broken off negotiations with Jason Brown and told him he doesn't fit into their plans next year. Jason Brown will either be a Dolphin or a Buffalo come one hour into free agency.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Thursday Morning Coffee

  • So by now you've heard we have our starting ILB Channing Crowder back. WTF! I've spent the last 4 weeks figuring out how to replace him through the draft! I want my damn time back! It's official, I'm no longer getting my news from the Sun-Sentinel or the Palm Beach Post. They have been wrong on everything in the last couple of months! I never bothered with the Herald because I can never find the magic 'blurb' of actual news there. So it's official, I will now get my Dolphins news from myself! LOL. Well, not FROM myself, but from my own research and that of my glorious readers and commenters.
  • Speaking of the glorious ones, I want to take a special moment to thank all of you who take the time to visit and engage in the art of blogging with me. It is especially appreciated because of the timing of it. I used to really enjoy parking on the Ol' S.S. bus and riding it through the day but lately it just hasn't been the same. So while I know I will never be able to keep up with the false reports and typos, I will continue to try to make this blog something that I would read myself, and hopefully thus, other Dolfans would as well. And with that in mind, the following video is for you guys. You will want to drop whatever you are doing right now and just take it all in...
video

Ok, now that I've ranted AND raved, let's get to some discussion points.
  • With the re-signing of Crowder, it becomes unlikely that we would go after an ILB in the first round of the draft. It also makes it unlikely we would go after Bart Scott in free agency. It's also not been reported whether or not Vonnie Holliday has restructured his contract (if that was even true, sun-sentinel). At the same time, the NFL increased the salary cap by $3 million today. So if this all pans out as being true, there is an increasing chance we would draft a defensive end with the first pick. But this is where it gets tricky. Unless they plan on converting Peria Jerry to DE (not a bad idea IMO) there really isn't any value in that pick. So if we scratch ILB, DE, DT (because only Jerry is at that level), RB, QB, OL, and S, simply because there's either no 1st round talent, the dolphins don't have a need, or we wouldn't draft so high (OL) for depth, that leaves cornerback and wide receiver as the best value picks.
Looking at the rankings provided by nfldraftscout.com, the following players are within the range of 15 to 35 (a ten point swing either way, IMO, the furthest any player would swing at this point in the first round:

CB Vontae Davis (15)
CB DJ Moore (19)
WR Percy Harvin (24)
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (28)
CB Alphonso Smith (31)
WR Hakeem Nicks (33)

So it's possible one of these guys, based on my logic, will be the next Miami Dolphins draft choice. We know the Dolphins have already invited Harvin to workout and rumours are they invited Heyward-Bey as well.

Of course, my logic could be twisted to say since Peria Jerry is the only non-CB/WR of value in a position of need, then HE is the next Dolphin draft choice.

Thursday Wake Up Call

Had you told me yesterday that the reported Dolphin signing would be Channing Crowder, I would've scoffed since every Miami Dolphins writer in the last month has flat out said that Crowder would not be back. Now it seems Yeremiah Bell will be re-signed by the end of the week as well. Goes to show that sometimes reporters have no credibility at all on half of their so-called NFL sources, league insiders, what have you. I make no bones about it, if an outside source other than myself tells me something, I'm taking it with a grain of salt. Besides, they can't seem to get the information I can get with my bluetooth super deluxe mouse.

For example, Channing Crowder's contract. I can tell you it is a three year contract worth about $20M with less than half that guaranteed. It is not the 5 year deal reported by Miami newspapers. He took a hometown discount to stay with this regime.

Update: The papers have now corrected the 5 years to 3 years but aren't reporting the value.

Wednesday Wumor!

I've just gotten wind through one of my 3 illustrious rumor-mongering sources that a Dolphins' free agent will be re-signed today. He said expect the announcement within the next 3 hours. He wouldn't tell me who it was but hinted that it was a defensive back. What an ass!

More on this later (maybe)!

Update: When asked about this rumour, Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel had this to say:

"
I see either bell or goodman being signed before Midnight because their agents should have already identified if there is a market for either, and they've probably realized stays is what's best for each. But they might be bold and go out there."

Talk about total commitment to a statement. Ok, so it's obvious Omar doesn't know the story on this, and to be honest, I disagree with his statement (the first part) because with the non-spectacular performances at Indy, free agent cornerbacks just got a pay-raise. With Asomugha and Robinson tagged, that leaves Goodman in a small group of affordable FAs. Still, my source has a stellar 50% accuracy rate so far in the off-season, so I'm not discounting the story yet.

If it does come true, this would mean the big 3's contention all along that all of our free agents would be allowed to test the market would be less than accurate.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tuesday's Kibble and Bits

  • Buzz in the combine is that Miami is buzzing about Jason Brown. I hesitate to believe any of these rumours because, well, because they are rumours spread by rumour mongers. Unless someone from the Dolphins organization says it, it's no different than one of us fans speculating about it. If Jeff Darlington has a source, he should present a full story.
  • The NFL Combine is really shaking up the mock drafts out there as well as teams' draft boards. Top guys either aren't working out by choice (Matthew Stafford, Andre Smith) or have gotten injured and thus aren't completing the work-outs (Michael Crabtree, Rey Maualuga, Brian Orakpo). Then you have people coming in undersized, slower or weaker than advertised. For the most part the group of 300+ has held its own, but some of the bigger names have not been able to blow anyone away. If you're expected to be amazing and you turn in a 'pretty good' performance, that's a bit of a let down.
  • I have not seen Sparano or Ireland during crowd shots. They might've been there during some of my satellite outages but I've seen mostly Tennessee, San Francisco, New York Giants, and Chicago reps.
  • At about 11am eastern, 8am pacific, the defensive backs will save the combine by turning in at least 6 sub-4.4 times in the 40. I'm calling it here now before it starts ;).

Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday Combine Summary

  • Connor Barwin ran a 4.66, jumped a 10'8" broad, a 40.5" vertical, a 6.87 3-cone, and a 4.18 second shuttle. At 6'4", 253 lbs, this Cincinnati DE/TE/Basketball player kicked ass today.
video
  • The other impressive guys were Aaron Curry and Clay Matthews, who bested Brian Cushing in nearly every drill with the exception of the 3-cone drill.
  • Vontae Davis put up 25 reps in the bench press. Pretty impressive for a cornerback.
  • Connor Barwin, David Veikune, and Aaron Curry were among the standouts in the 'front seven' workouts today. Barwin was strong, athletic and showed he will be a defensive player, not a tight-end as over-exaggerating NFL network analysts have been saying since day one. Veikune interests me. He's a bit smaller and will likely end up as a 4-3 end. I believe the Bills are VERY interested in Barwin so we might see Pennington running away from him next season. Curry is considered by some to be the top player in the draft. He did nothing to hurt that standing today including the top 40 time of 4.56. Clint Sintim on the other hand was a bit of a disappointment.
  • Lawrence Sidbury, not exactly a household name, had a huge Senior Bowl week and at 6'3", 257lbs and running a 4.64, is making a strong case for a first day pick.
  • Rey Maualuga pulled a hamstring and is done for the combine. He apparently has been nursing a hamstring injury leading up to the combine. He ran a 4.83 in the 40 drill before he felt a "snap" in his left leg.
  • Brian Orakpo pulled a hamstring as well but had completed most of the drills already.
  • Brian Cushing ran an unofficial 4.64. He ran a 4.74 officially. So if you've wondered what the difference between unofficial and official are, no you know. 1/10th of a second.
  • Clay Matthews ran a 4.67 officially.
  • Update on the official/unofficial times. I've looked at all the times from the linebackers today, and in an uncanny pattern, all the fast times went up and all the slow times went down. So, to put it into music terminology, the 'official' aspect of the 40 is like compression on a recording. I have not checked this pattern on the WR/RBs, etc. but would not be surprised if it held up there as well.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday Combine Summary

  • Percy Harvin was taller than expected, slimmer than expected, and slightly slower than expected. I don't know what to think about the idea of drafting him. I guess I feel it would be a step in the wrong direction.
  • Kenny Britt continued to be a bad-ass, even winking at someone as he decelerated after his 40 yard dash, which timed at a 4.48. This guy is a beast and would be a huge value at #44 but he'll possibly be gone by then.
  • DE/OLB Everette Brown shrank by more than two inches. At 6'2" 256 LBs however, he'd still be a steal if he dropped to #25.
  • Brian Cushing with all his supplements managed 30 reps at the bench press. Respectable but I thought he would do 40ish.
  • A couple of USF Bulls are at the combine, Taurus Johnson is a WR that lifted 18 reps, and ran a 4.47. Tyrone McKenzie, remains one of my top prospects, and he lifted 27 reps and will run tomorrow.
I won't go into how bad the weather here is affecting my viewing of the Combine, but at times it feels like I'm watching a Tetris competition. I think I need a bigger Satellite dish.

I missed the first group of WRs altogether since the NFL Network only showed that group once and the replayed the next group 6 times today. From now on I will try to watch it online instead, though it will be tricky on Monday morning explaining to my boss that 'it'll have to wait cuz I'm watching the broad jump!'

Bottom line, my take is, I like Britt, and Heyward-Bey and Maclin actually looked bigger and stronger than I expected. I wish I could've seen their full workouts but NFL Network is obsessed with the 40 and only replayed that portion.

The best part of the day was when they showed Beanie Wells' broad jump. I think at one point the guy jumped clear off the screen but one of his nose hairs fell out onto the ground and they made him re-jump.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Saturday Combine Summary

  • The Dolphins are VERY interested in Percy Harvin. They have already talked to him TWICE and have a full meeting set up for tomorrow. Guess I'll have to do a profile on him now.
  • The Dolphins hired an assistant special teams coach by the name of Darren Rizzi. I feel bad for him, having to work side by side with coach Bono, the fried eggs and bacon advocate.
  • Jason Smith, the tackle from Baylor, looks like an absolute beast. But if he's so good, then how come his team is SOOOOO bad?
  • LSU,s giant guard, Herman Johnson shaved off his afro, and that may have accounted for the entire 19 lbs he's lost since the Senior Bowl.
  • With Alex Mack not working out, and Max Unger looking average, and Johnathan Luigs looking like a guy off the street, Louisville's Eric Wood was the best looking Center at the Combine. Well, not 'best looking' with his brillo ginger hair, but you know what I mean.
  • Jamie Dukes is officially an idiot.
  • North Carolina's wide-out, Brooks Foster set an NFL Combine record. His 27 reps of the becnh press were the most ever by a wide receiver.
  • Kenny Britt's 23 reps were the 3rd most ever by a wide-out.
  • Andre Smith is an idiot. His agent is lying to cover for him. First he has constant weight issues, then he gets suspended for the final bowl game of his college career, then he chooses not to participate in the Senior Bowl, then he doesn't hire an agent til a couple of weeks before the combine, then he doesn't bother to work out in preparation for the combine, then he doesn't lie about why he's not working out, essentially calling himself lazy in front of all of the NFL, then he pisses off home and gets his agent to lie for him. This guy should no longer be a first rounder. He has BUST written all over him.
  • Oh, and someone named Crabtree is done for the combine with a stress fracture. He will work out at his pro-day then have surgery.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Vernon, You The Man!

Per Edgar Thompson at the Palm Beach Post, the Dolphins have re-signed offensive lineman, Vernon Carey to a 6 year, $42 million deal that includes a guaranteed $15 million!

This is shocking news if you live in walterfootball or Brian Biggane-land!

Edgar also reports that there is a 30% chance that Channing Crowder will be re-signed, which sounds low but it's higher than the ZERO percent chance that the SS and Herald have reported.

Also, Reggie Torbor is using his off-season to attend Harvard Business School. Hopefully he's working out his body as well as his mind, but it does go to show that players do have time to go to school during the offseason, and they should probably factor that in to early decisions coming out of college.

Take a Bottle drink it down Pass it Around

The biggest gossip(?) site in the business of professional football is frequently used by reporters as well as fans to keep up to date on goings on around the league. I admit I enjoy profootballtalk.com because they post links to stories within a few minutes of the story being reported by the original authors, thus you get up-to-the-minute updates on actual news in addition to the more fun stuff they can post because they're NOT technically a news organization. Just a guy with a blog and a lot of coffee and the occasional air time on TV. Still, they beat most everyone in the re-reporting game when it comes to football. So it was surprising to me that I actually mentioned the Devin Moore extra-curricular combine workout a good 20 hours before them. And it's the 2nd or 3rd time this week I've beaten the big boys to the punch. Don't worry, I'm not going to get full of myself here, quite the opposite.

I guess I just want to reiterate that even in Miami it can be hard to get accurate and timely information. The once respectable Palm Beach Post seems to have fallen by the wayside with their blog (which I thought used to be the most straightforward, honest and accurate one) now posting a lot of conjecture and mysteriously sourced information. I think I've figured out that WalterFootball.com's source for the Carey story must've been someone from that paper, possibly Brian Biggane, as they are the only ones who reported that the Dolphins wouldn't re-sign the right tackle. Omar Kelly of the Sun-Sentinel reported not once but twice that the Dolphins wanted to keep Carey and would do their best to keep him. Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald pretty much agreed with that sentiment. Only the PBP repeated their stance that Carey was leaving. But that's not the point. The point is that I had to read about it on WalterFootball.com weeks before the PBP actually published this story. Maybe they were waiting for a second source.

Well now I have WalterFootball.com, the Palm Beach Post and some speculation on my own part based on the Combine press conferences yesterday that the Dolphins are interviewing a few players and asking them how they feel about playing Right Tackle. So it seems clear that whether or not they re-sign Carey, they are planning for the possibility of having to draft a replacement around the second round of the draft (based on the players they interviewed).

So now we get to the point where we've got a little ACTUAL insight into what the Dolphins might do in the draft. This means they are not planning on having access to the top tier of Tackles in the draft thus are focusing on the second tier. So what are they focusing on in the first round? We'll find out today if it's a (shochk) wide receiver. Saturday we might find out it's a line backer or defensive lineman. PFT finally did a mock draft and puts us taking Everette Brown! Sunday we'll get the full picture when the defensive backs hold their conferences. And Tuesday being the final workout day, the Trifecta will be able to know if they've met with the right players and start putting together their Netflix Queue of film to watch.

And within a couple of weeks they'll deal with free agency. Once the dust settles a bit on that period, they will start piecing together their near final draft board. And then I will go to WalterFootball to get the scoop!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Combine is an Enchanted Forest

Where else can a giant lose 5% of his body weight in a few weeks, or a well-rounded line-backer with a couple kilos of performance enhancers in his gym locker shave 3/10th's of his 40 time which would surely move him up several places in the draft?

It's the NFL combine. Sure, it might all come crashing down when he has to do his urine test, but according to the video below from NFL Network's Path to the Draft series, Brian Cushing is running a 4.5ish 40 time in the gym.

video

If he carries that time into the Combine, he might turn out to be the fastest linebacker in the first couple of rounds in the draft. And that would likely make him very attractive to a lot of teams that may have been focusing on different areas. And that could make him crawl up the draft board. And that could make a player or two slide down closer to the #25 pick. So who would you grab if they slide down 2 to 5 spots as projected? It's very possible one of the top 5 tackles might slide to us if the Cushings of the draft step it up a notch.

  • On a side note, former Wyoming running back, Devin Moore, wasn't invited to the combine, so he held his own workout near the Indianapolis Airport. He invited all the teams, 14 of which showed, and put on an impressive workout including a 4.41 in the 40, a 10 foot long jump, and most impressively to me, 27 reps in the bench press. Did I mention Moore is 5'9" and 190lbs? He was projected as a 5th to 6th round pick.

And Now...Your 2009 Miami Dolphins!

The combine officially goes into high gear today and if my tivo is working (long story) I'll have hours and hours of NFL Network waiting for me to watch into the wee hours tonight. But what positions are bound to garner the most interest from the Trifecta? Due to the format of the combine, they'll be able to watch the quarterbacks and running backs just as much as the offensive linemen, but it's possible they'll leave the scouts to do that while Parcells, Ireland and Sparano hole up in a meeting room to discuss what they've seen from the OL and WR positions instead. The best way to speculate what our needs are is probably to look at our current roster. This idea was sprouted from the mind of contributor, Mr. Bungle, and I've done the work for us all.


You can click on the expand arrow at the top to zoom in and out and move around the roster or just click on the full screen window to see it up close. I did this in .pdf format so I can redline it as we go along to see the changes.

So let's break it down. If I am accurate there will be 10 to 15 new faces on the roster from '08 to '09. Parcells said 18. That must've made some of these guys piss their pants.


I see some obvious bottom end guys here. Our depth is not very good in about half of the positions. What do you think?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Free Agency Preview - Miles Austin

Most of us know that Miles Austin was on Hard Knocks last season making a strong move to be the number 2 receiver in Dallas' training camp. I believe they started the year with Patrick Crayton at that spot but Austin probably would've gotten there if not for his injury. Dallas thinks Crayton is an old man, T.O. may be on the way out, Roy Williams almost bankrupted the team, and Danny Amendola will try again to make the 53 man roster.

It sounds to me that the Cowboys would be wise not to let Austin go, but as he is a restricted free agent, they might be able to get a decent draft pick for him and all the reporters are saying the Dolphins are interested in Austin.
He is expected to earn a $1.45 million second-round tender. Hopefully Mr. Bungle will explain what that means, as the only tender I understand has chicken in it.

The following is an excerpt from DeFrancos Training (a NFL combine workout prep gym) website from 2006:


FREAK SHOW!

Miles Austin re-writes the DeFranco’s record board before leaving for the NFL Combine!

Miles Austin

After running a 4.41-second 40-yard dash on Monday (improving from 4.59), Miles finished his final week of intense training before leaving for the NFL Combine with a bang! On Friday, he weighed in at a shredded 219 ¾ lbs. (down from 240) and he broke the following 2 records in our College Athlete (under 220 lb.) division…

VERTICAL JUMP RECORD!

Miles on his way up to a 43” vertical jump!

225 lb. bench press test record!

Miles benching 225 lbs. 23 times!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tin's Tuesday Bits

  • Dolphins' kicking coach, Steve Hoffman (who?), was hired to be special teams coordinator by Kansas City. So right now there is a coaching vacancy in Miami (do kickers really need a 'kicking' coach?) but it's not the one we expected, i.e. Bowles.

Check it out, I've already got the right colour walls in my bedroom!
Here's some orange for you:



  • The Arizona Cardinals put the franchise tag on Karlos Dansby. So there goes THAT target as well. Now it looks like we can focus all our energy on what Baltimore's going to do in the next week. That and the combine of course. Speaking of which, I might need to upgrade my Tivo just to watch all the coverage on NFL Network. They will be showing tons of clips on NFL.com as well. The fun starts on Thursday.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Brian Cushing at # 25, Baby!

02/10/09 - NFL Draft Scout Fallers: Brian Cushing, OLB, USC: By most accounts Cushing was among the more impressive linebackers throughout the week of practice at the Senior Bowl. Rather than focusing on his athleticism and instincts on the field, however, scouts in the stands were buzzing about reports that Cushing spends thousands of dollars a month on nutritional supplements. While no one is claiming Cushing's supplements should be confused with illegal steroids, it does raise questions about how maxed out Cushing might be -- questions that could push the All-American down the board considering the top-end talent this year at linebacker. - Rob Rang, The SportsXchange, NFLDraftScout.com

Brian Cushing poses in front of his own poster.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Ronnie Brown decides to stay in Hawaii?

So there was a short mention a week or so ago on Profootballtalk.com about a team putting up certain players' jerseys, etc. at heavily discounted prices. Turns out said players got the axe. I commented on that story that MiamiDolphins.com had done a similar thing leading up to the 2008 season. Jerseys went on sale one week and the following week the correlating players were gone.

So what does it mean that Fox Sports Store has suddenly marked down Ronnie Brown jerseys by 75 % ?

It should be noted that they did the same thing to Dan Marino jerseys which are by far still the top selling Dolphin jersey. Ted Ginn jerseys are still full price.



The Blog is hereby fixed!

Comments....check.
Comment counter...check.

I will not be touching the code/script/whatever of the site for at least another 40 years!

Oh, here's something for fun and entertainment:

Friday, February 13, 2009

One Source....Good Enough!


While the media is strapped by convention and ethics, I am not.

While they get paid for printing the news, rumours, and editorials, I do not.

While certain media stories surrounding the Dolphins have been pulled this week due to lack of the elusive "second source", I would only pull a blog entry off of here if we actually draft Brian Cushing and I want to attend a game.

So while it's not huge news in Fins-Land, I have secured a second source, as in 'insider' here at Tin's Fins. Straight from the [S]orse's mouth:

"Sparano was high on him. But we’ve recently learned [Al Johnson] had two major surgeries on his knee. When I asked that same agent where he sees Johnson down the line, he said, “Unemployed.”"

So, Mr Bungle, time to adjust your O-line analysis.

I think it's fair to say that Miami will be going after a big name Center in free agency and probably a competitor in the Draft.

So you're probably thinking, hmm, the Trifecta seems to be targeting Center, Guard, and Linebacker thus far. What about the secondary? What about the DL? What about a RT since the media believes Carey is gone?

Well, personally I believe the 3 free agents in the secondary will be re-signed. I believe Vonnie Holliday will be retained on a re-worked contract. He really has no choice. No one is going to pursue him at this point in his career. He is stuck with us, so he will re-work his cap-worth. I believe guys like Cohen and Soliai will be given exactly ONE more shot through pre-season. If they do not cut it, I believe they will be offloaded and replaced by either a big trade or guys off of waivers. I do not think the Trifecta will buy more than two big name free agents (Center being one) and I don't think DL will be addressed during that period.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

2009 Offseason Trifecta Focus

While most fans were panicking over the offensive line, I was pacing in circles over the state of the Dolphins' linebacking corps. I think it's fair to say the Trifecta were worried about it as well. They only signed two new players in 2009 thus far, and they are both linebackers, were both standouts in the CFL, and once in uniform they could easily be mistaken for one another. Cameron Wake and Tearrius George are both big, fast for their size, and are known for getting to the quarterback. While Wake was having a career year in Canada, George had already made it to the NFL, first as a practice squad grunt, but eventually got on to Dallas' 53 man roster by the end of the season. Add these two to the 3 or 4 virtually unknowns that were added throughout 2008, plus the returning starters and reserves, and it looks like Miami will go into workouts with a LOT of linebackers, many of whom could end up on the team this year.

There IS a pattern to the new guys. They are all virtually the same size. BIG. And they can't all be vying for the same positions. So here's the 'speculation' which I consider more of a mildly educated guess. They are planning on building a core of LBs that can rotate into any position, or at least into multiple positions. This will allow them to show twice as many 'looks' to the opponent. If it sounds familiar, it's something that Baltimore does, Pittsburgh too, but not as much. I have a feeling this group of guys, which will also include a couple of draftees, will be the hardest worked group in the offseason.

There is a Season...churn, churn, churn...

Bill Parcells was on Sirius radio (is it just me or has Parcells suddenly got a case of the talksies?) saying that he told Huizenga he would stay for at least two drafts (which means he could still leave before training camp), and that he expected to have about 18 new faces on the roster in 2009. I can't find my comment but this lines up pretty much with what I said a couple of weeks ago. I think I said about 15 new faces. Maybe I'll do a breakdown later. Maybe Mr Bungle will do it for me. ;)

NY Jets want Pennington Back. Favre puts pen to paper.


We can talk about the pen to paper stuff in 4 months when the ink has dried, but here's a tasty morsel backing up my claims from two days ago that the Jets want Pennington back.

It should be noted that this is the point in the break-up of any relationship where one party has second thoughts, especially when they see their ex 'moving on' with someone new.

My translation of the player quote:

"Why did [I] get rid of Chad in the first place?" one player asked, speaking on the condition of anonymity. "[I] treated him like a [dog] from Day1. It was a bad decision from top to bottom, from beginning to end. Now [I'm] paying for it. [I] put [myself] in this situation. [Please come back Chad, I miss you. I can change]"

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Kibbles and Bits...and bits!

WEDNESDAY:
  • We so could've had this guy on our roster. video
  • 2009 Cap Numbers provided by ProFootballTalk. The Dolphins are a very healthy $23 Million under. That means they can afford to re-sign all their free agents. So we know if anyone doesn't get re-signed, it's not because of money.

  • The NY Jets brass will be announcing their quarterback plans at noon Eastern. At this point they will then attempt to trade for Chad Pennington. [update: In about 4 months I will announce that Brett Favre announced his retirement on February 11th.]
TUESDAY:
  • Samson Satele gets put on the butcher's block by ESPN's Tim Graham. Graham used to be a Dolphins beat writer, and now he's got some distance between him and the team, he can be more brutal about the situation than the big 3 locals.
  • Detroit defensive tackle Shaun Cody may be another guy on the way out of the Motor City. It doesn't make sense to me that Detroit would let Cody go when they're apparently also going to let DT Chuck Darby go. It looks like Detroit is planning on churning 95% of their roster in 2009. I hereby predict two wins in 2009 for Detroit.
  • The Sun-Sentinel must be desperate for clicks on their website, placing a buxom half naked woman on the front of their sports page. Normally I'd call them out on it, but she is really REALLY hot! Reminds me of when I used to live in Europe.
  • Some more crap about Bill Parcell's contract. I'm sick of talking about this (a main reason I've been staying away from the Miami blogs of late) but here Armando Salguero claims a source told him that Parcells had decided to leave and e-mails were sent, etc. So go read that and then come back and we'll never discuss it again.
  • Are you like me and can't be bothered by halftime entertainment shows? Not the studio shows but the actual on-field performances that they put on while everyone is in line at the bathroom. A lot of work, blood, sweat and probably diva tears go into making these 10 minute long extravaganzas that no one wants to watch, and if they do watch, immediately wish they had the last 10 minutes of their lives back. Well, even if you don't like Springsteen or Janet Jackson, it could be worse. You could've been at Super Bowl XIX watching your beloved Miami Dolphins getting crushed by the 49ers. Then, down 28-16 at the half, you probably were excited to see what wonderful entertainment your expensive tickets got you for relief from the stomping. That's when you probably regretted spending a month's salary on a ticket:


Caption Me.



My attempt: "You had me at, "Hello!"

Welcome Back, Squatters!

The Dolphins welcomed back Greg Camarillo, Justin Smiley, Matt McChesney, Aaron Halterman, and the legendary Donald Thomas yesterday. They were officially removed from the injured reserve list. This is just a technicality that all the teams do on this week, but it's nice to have them back anyway, even if they're not healed up yet.

As far as I can remember these are their injuries:

Camarillo - torn ACL. Typically 6 months to a year recovery post-surgery.

Smiley - broken leg. He should be fine by now and rehabbing.

McChesney - unknown knee injury. He was placed on IR just one week after being activated from the practice squad. Since he never got on the field, he must've been injured during practice.

Halterman - undisclosed back injury. He was actually waived injured at the beginning of the '08 season, thus he's not on the roster anymore (or won't be whenever they update it).

Thomas - Lisfranc fracture. Since he was injured and had surgery back in September, he should be ready to go in June/July.

Still no word on Tab Perry and why he hasn't been released from IR. He should be a free agent by now, but it is possible the Dolphins plan on keeping him on IR and resigning him later...it's more possible that they just haven't updated the IR list yet.
Update: ProFootballTalk.com put out their full lists of free agents and they have Perry listed as UFA under wide receivers.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Time to get your ass out of bed!

  • Today is the day that all those injured guys on IR last season get cleared to re-join the roster, stretch their legs, and start to get back into the mind-set of football. So far, 15 teams have cleared their infirmaries, but the Dolphins made no announcements today. It was also the first day that players could be waived. Again, the Dolphins made no announcements. Yep, that means Ernest Wilford is still a Miami Dolphin.
  • Leigh Bodden was cut by the Lions today, as part of their efforts to clear $35 million in cap room. I didn't see Bodden play last year since he was a Lion, but he was spectacular in 2007. If he doesn't have any personality issues, I suspect the Trifecta is already working him out.

Free Agency Preview - Updated 11:24am

We don't really know what the Trifecta is thinking other than they want "more players" (Parcells), "more players" (Ireland) and "more players" (Sparano). It's as if they're on the same page, however lacking in sentences that page may be. Now, we fans know that you can only have so many bodies on the team, so they must mean more "playmakers", or players who make a bigger impact on the game. And for that reason we look initially to free agency, because we know what these players can do. There will be "players" in the draft but we don't know them, or how they will pan out. We DO know that the big name free agents are big name free agents because of what they can do.

And for over a month now, the biggest buzz in free agency has been the Baltimore Ravens' linebacking corp. It should be noted that things do not look well for the Ravens in 2009. They have a much worse free agent situation than Miami, because their free agents are significantly better than our free agents. Worse than that, they are older on defense than we are, and are likely to have to sort of start halfway from scratch in replacing half their secondary, and possibly 4 or 5 starters. I know you're thinking that we're in the same boat, but the truth is, it's unlikely we lose more than two of our free agents, and the other guys on defense are pretty much locks at starting in 2009 (but anything's possible).



The Ravens have a banged up, aging group especially in the secondary. If that area becomes a major reconstruction, how can they focus on the linebackers? Ray Lewis is GOING to be a Dallas Cowboy in 2009. I'd put good money on that, but not as much as Jerry Jones is going to pay Ray. You'd think that would leave enough money for the Ravens to re-sign Scott and Suggs in an effort to keep as much of their starting D intact. But what good are those guys without Lewis in the middle? And how good would Suggs' pass rush be without a guy like Samari Rolle locking down in coverage? The Ravens are going to be crippled by poor planning for their future and cannot afford to shore up all their areas of need. They also need help on the o-line and at wide receiver.

I think the Dolphins can take an aggressive but not desperate stand in acquiring valuable free agents in 2009. I believe the Ravens may have to do the reverse.

Your thoughts?

ps. things are so bad in Baltimore, they still haven't done a blog post at the Baltimore Sun since they lost their playoff vs the Steelers. Three weeks and counting...

Update - Well I can't even have a blog up for an hour without someone contradicting me. In this case it's the actual Baltimore Ravens.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Guest Article - Mr Bungle's Assessment of the Offensive Line

The Dolphins O-line heading into 2009

These are the O-linemen listed on the official Miami Dolphins website roster. The starters I listed was the starting lineup on opening day last season.

Starters:

C/G Satele 6-3 300

LG Smiley 6-3 310 - season ending broken leg injury/minor shoulder surgery?

RG Thomas 6-4 310 - season ending foot injury?

LT Long 6-7 315

RT Carey 6-5 350 - free agency?


Backups:

C/G Alleman 6-4 310

C/G Johnson 6-5 305

G/T Ikechuku 6-4 325

G/T Frye 6-4 305

OG Murphy 6-4 315

OT Garner 6-7 320


What needs to be done with the O-line? Who stays and what positions need to be upgraded?

Who do we target in free agency and what position do we draft on the O-line?

C/G Satele 6-3 300 - it sounds like we'll move him to guard because he's athletic.

LG Smiley 6-3 310 - we need him back healthy.

RG Thomas 6-4 310 - let's hope he returns to the path he was on before he went down.

LT Long 6-7 315 - a stud

RT Carey 6-5 350 - we should probably franchise him for 09.

C/G Alleman 6-4 310 - he might stick around as a backup.

C/G Johnson 6-5 305 - Sparano really likes him but he's had trouble staying healthy.

G/T Ikechuku 6-4 325 - he's versatile but may not have any upside as a full-time starter.

G/T Frye 6-4 305 - not sure how much upside he has and at what position?

OG Murphy 6-4 315 - his technique was raw and needs to get stronger.

OT Garner 6-7 320 - a big body but I'm not sure how much upside he has.


I tend to agree with a lot of fans who want to see us go after Ravens Center Jason Brown. Brown fits the size and age parameters for the trifecta, he's 6-3 320 and he'll be only 26 in May. He's a physical lineman who did a good job in the run game and protecting the rookie QB Joe Flacco.

If we signed Brown and solidified the Center position, we would have some more options at guard with who we already have. Then maybe we could draft a OT for depth and a future starting RT.

Signing Jason Brown could be the key to upgrading the OL sooner than later. Opinions?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Just for Fun.

Prospect of The Day! - Hakeem Nicks, WR - Updated 2/9

Every time I say his name it sounds like a sternutation but this catch is nothing to sneeze at:

video

Height: 6'1"
Weight: 210lbs
40 yd time: 4.57

Compared to: Ocho Cinco
His hero: Steve Smith

Stats: 36 games: 181 catches, 2840 yards (15.7 avg), 21TD.

Opinion: Reminds me a bit of Camarillo but with added bulk/strength. I suppose I would take an improved Camarillo anyday, but not necessarily in the first round or two. For this reason I would pass on Nicks. I think he's a very good player, and he has some fabulous numbers, but he doesn't seem to have any quickness off the line which is a big priority.

Rob Rang had previously listed Brandon Pettigrew as Miami's first round pick but less than a week later, has changed his mind, and his pick to Nicks:

"Bill Parcells is generally loathe to take receivers in the first round, but considering the team's need for size at the position, he may be forced into action. Nicks may lack the national recognition of some of his peers, but scouts are quietly comparing the UNC star to Larry Fitzgerald due to their amazing body control."


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Tins Bits - UPDATED - Updated AGAIN! - and Again!

Friday updates:
  • I want me a Patrick Surtain...jersey? They pulled this last year in Miami, they slashed the price of the Jason Taylor thongs weeks before the trade.
  • The polls are closed and Obama was elected as the Commander in Chief. Oh wait, Todd Haley was. It's as if the Chiefs didn't even interview any black candidates! Ridiculous. on to a different poll...
When asked which former Dolphin (in his prime) you would add to the 2009 roster, a whopping 60% of voters said Dan Marino.

Runners-up: Klingbeil 17%, Duper 11%, Fryar 6%, Ruddy 4%, Byars 0%. I know Marino was the face of the Dolphins for so long, but Quarterback is not a position of need in 2009. I was surprised that Ruddy came in 5th.

When asked in Draft Poll #2, Who should the Dolphins draft with their #25 (1st round) pick, 40% said Percy Harvin.

Runners-up: Larry English 20%, Macho Harris 15%, Clint Sintim 10%, Alphonso Smith 10%, Louis Delmas 5%. I suspect the numbers here are skewed based on familiarity. Harvin is a Florida guy, really doesn't fit with the Dolphins unless he only runs the Wildcat (at which point we might as well trade Ronnie), but everyone who reads the Florida papers probably knows the name. Same with English, he has been mentioned in many mock drafts in the same sentence with Miami.

  • The 3rd 'Draft Poll' will be up later today, along with another 'Prospect of The Day' post.
  • Anquan Boldin still isn't happy with the Cardinals. He says, "I don't think the relationship can be repaired with the organization." If he had played all 16 games in the regular season, projections show he would've caught 102 passes for 1186 yards and 13 touchdowns. And he did this as the number TWO guy. Sure, the Dolphins don't throw that much, but if we had a guy like Boldin, we'd probably throw MORE than we do now. As I'm not a fan of math, I propose a 30 second 'how can we trade for Boldin?' brainstorm. Essentially, what do you think we can offer and what do you think the Cards would accept. Go!
  • According to BRETT FAVRE's agent, Bus Cook (I've heard of a Ship Cook, but surely a bus could just pull over and dine out), there's no pressure on Favre to decide on his future. He says Favre is deer hunting everyday. I have to admit I'm not into hunting or any of those outdoorsy rugged 'manly' sports but I couldn't help but think to myself, "they hunt deer in February?" So I went and checked it out and it turns out that deer hunting season in Mississippi is between September 12th and January 3rd, depending on what sort of deadly weapon you use. So unless Favre is using the deadly weapon that is his right arm, he's BREAKING THE LAW!! Does the NFL have a rule for this? Suspension anyone? LoL.
  • update: Thanks to seasoned deer hunter, herdfan, it has been confirmed that Favre does in fact live in and most likely hunt in 'Zone 2' which allows the use of 'primitive weapon' deer hunting until February 22nd. So he's not breaking the law, but he IS using his deadly primitive weapon, aka his arm, which means my original post was half right.

Thursday bits:

  • Was cruising the mock drafts today and found this quote from the normally reputable Matt McGuire.
    • "A source close to the Dolphins at the Senior Bowl told me he does not expect Vernon Carey to be re-signed. Right tackle is a need and Phil Loadholt fits what Bill Parcells looks for in a huge, physical offensive lineman in the mold of a Jacob Rogers, Jumbo Elliot or Jake Long (but not as good as Elliot or Long; just saying they are all big maulers)."
    • At the Senior Bowl, the Dolphins were represented by the Trifecta in person and no one else. Makes one wonder who this source is. Who was there on the media side...Omar? Armando? Edgar? Have any of these guys said they don't think Carey will be re-signed? It should be noted that McGuire made this statement TODAY rather than a couple of weeks ago when he started updating his mock draft.
  • Graham also has this blog 'scratching your mock itch'. One question - who is Jamon Meredith? He must be somebody if McShay has us drafting him ahead of William Beatty.
  • The New England Patriots announced today that they have utilized their 2009 franchise designation on quarterback Matt Cassel.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Prospect of the Day - Sean Smith, CB

I'll be honest - I didn't watch any Utah games this year. Ok, I've NEVER watched a Utah game. Have you?

Despite BYU getting its fair share of coverage over the years, I don't think their in-state rivals had garnered much press before they (according to BCS haters) won the National Championship this year. Even if they are deserving of such a title (let's face it, if there were a playoff system, it's unlikely Utah would've beaten Florida or Oklahoma or anyone else in the top 8), they still haven't gotten much press. Tim Tebow gets more love form the media before breakfast than the entire Utah team combines for in a month. There's only one player on the team I even know the name of. And that says something about that player. His name is Sean Smith.

Scouts throughout the land are comparing him to a certain cornerback with a funny name in Oakland. I don't think he's quite there yet, but he does have some similarities. It's ENTIRELY possible that he will be considered a #25 pick by Miami. Here is why:

He is 6'3", 210lbs and runs a 4.52. If he can get that under 4.50, he should guarantee himself as a first round pick.

He has played only two years as a cornerback after switching from RB/WR. In those two years he had 9 interceptions with a return average of 30 yards on 5 picks last year. Say What?!? You heard me. The guy gets the ball and runs with it.

Under the "Negatives" portion of his scouting report it says "Cocky, and talks trash." Cry me a river, scout who must have been a wide receiver in high school!

Looking Back

Here's something interesting I found today. It's a 'projected final roster' that I came up with during the offseason 2008. Its funny how some of the people on here didn't even make the team. It's funny how a couple of projected starters never got on the field whereas a couple of Special teamers ended up being starters. Just goes to show you never know how things will turn out in the end. Still, it was a fairly accurate projection considering we were 're-building'.






Position Name Number 1st String 2nd String S/T







1 QB Pennington, Chad 10

2 QB Henne, Chad 7

3 QB Beck, John 9


4 RB Williams, Ricky 34

5 RB Brown, Ronnie 23

6 RB Cobbs, Patrick 38

7 RB Parmele, Jalen 31

8 FB Grigsby, Boomer 46

9 TE Fasano, Anthony 80

10 TE Martin, David 88

11 TE Ryan, Sean 89

12 WR London, Brandon 17


13 WR Hagan, Derek 82

14 WR Ginn Jr, Ted 19

15 WR Camarillo, Greg 83

16 WR Wilford, Ernest 18


17 WR Bess, Davone 15

18 OT Carey, Vernon 72

19 OT Long, Jake 77

20 OT Ndukwe, Ikechuku 68


21 OT Garner, Nate 75


22 OG Smiley, Justin 65

23 OG Thomas, Donald 66

24 OG Murphy, Shawn 61

25 C Satele, Samson 64

26 C Alleman, Andy 57








Position Name Number 1st String 2nd String S/T
27 DE Holliday, Vonnie 91

28 DE Langford, Kendall 70

29 DE Wright, Roderique 90

30 DE Merling, Philip 97

31 DE Dotson, Lionel 71


32 NT Ferguson, Jason 95

33 NT Starks, Randy 94

34 NT Soliai, Paul 96


35 OLB Porter, Joey 55

36 OLB Anderson, Charlie 56

37 OLB Moses, Quentin 74
38 OLB Roth, Matt 98


39 ILB Crowder, Channing 52

40 ILB Ayodele, Akin 51

41 ILB Torbor, Reggie 53
42 CB Allen, Will 25

43 CB Goodman, Andre 21

44 CB Lehan, Michael 22

45 CB Jones, Nathan 33
46 FS Allen, Jason 32

47 FS Crocker, Chris 20

48 SS Bell, Yeremiah 37

49 SS Culver, Tyrone

50 SS Hill, Renaldo 24

51 LS Denney, John 92

52 K Carpenter, Dan 6

53 P Fields, Brandon 2