Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Roth Math

It's amazing how much confusion the media can cause when left unchecked, so here's the deal on Matt Roth eligibility.

NFL rules clearly state that a player on the inactive PUP list is not allowed to practice until AFTER WEEK six. This means that he is technically allowed to practice starting on Tuesday morning (10/20/09).

He's allowed to put on pads/helmet/jock, etc. and bang heads starting no sooner than that day.

The Dolphins need to have him activated by the weekly deadline in order to have him eligible for the game that week. This part I don't know for sure but I believe it is Wednesday at 7pm Eastern. This is why no one is ever traded or signed late in the week.

So, despite the fact that Matt Roth may be at practice on Tuesday morning, he will not technically be a part of the 53 man roster, therefore he is in-eligible to play until Miami makes a decision on whether to 'activate' him (he is signed, and does count against the salary cap, just not the 53), or place him on season-ending injured reserve. They have three weeks to decide.

The confusion is coming out of the fact that Miami has a BYE in week six. The rules are not about the individual team games, but the physical time, i.e. 6 weeks, not 6 games.

However, the likelihood that Miami would rush to decide on whether to activate him after only Tuesday and Wednesday practice, is low. I'm not saying it won't happen, but I know if I were the GM, I wouldn't even think about making that decision in the first week. Besides the fact that Roth would be coming in (even if 100% healthy) at week 1 speed when everyone else is at week 7 speed, there is also the conundrum of having to let another player go before activating him.

So to summarize, Matt Roth is allowed per NFL rules to rejoin the team as soon as Tuesday as an active member. Being 'allowed to be activated' and 'being activated' are too very different things and could be days or weeks apart.


  1. Who to sit by activating Roth is a tough one. I don't think Roth plays ST, so that would mean sitting a ST'er. Tough call with Cobbs gone. Roth is a valuable asset on game day and needs to be in there. The D clearly needs his playmaking abilities and fresher legs than we get with certain starters at his position (hint hint ;-)

  2. THERE! I've found a football avatar :-P

  3. Well, being the sitting blogger extraordinaire here, and there's alot of me sitting, I'll let you in on a pet peeve of mine. FIRE WANNIE-LONI! Don't worry, here's his replacement from the Dolphins own staff:

    This D is going nowhere with this former college head coach and Cowboys TIGHT END! coach. Just because Pasqualoni's from Connecticut doesn't get it in my book!

  4. Well, that's clear as mud to me!  j/k I get it.  Omar has weighed in on the subject on his blog too, if you are still unable to access it, say the word, and I'm sure some of us will post a link.

  5. I think the policy of let him show us what he's got in his first week back is a good one. If he looks ready and an upgrade over JT or JP, both of whom may be slowed by injuries, there may be a decision to make, but if not, he can be brought back fresh for the Jets. Looking at the rushing yards the Saints are piling on, we may need him Sunday week though? Those boys know how to pile on the points!

  6. <address>I think that I read somewhere(too lazy to find out exactly where)that Roth isn't allowed to practice with the team, so that means that he's had no contact. Maybe by the Jets game he'll be in game shape. He is an upgrade over a declining JT, 1 sack at ATL on opening day and 2.5 yuk-ing it up against the undermanned Bills. I was against his re-signing and if we release him he'll get picked up by one of our upcoming opponents, probably the Pats. We didn't need him last year, and, so far this year, he's taken playing time away from Wake. He's playing on his rep. </address><address>
    </address><address>Brees. Ah, what could have been! Saying again, we blew it by not drafting him when we had the chance and we blew it again when we took Culpepper instead of Brees, who then went to NO.

  7. Canam - you read it in this very blog! Your oversight is forgiven as your new avatar brings a lot to the table ;)
    I'm not giving up on JT just yet. This regime doesn't seem to put people on the field based on what they did last year, but on what they do in practice and more importantly in games, so they must see JT as the best option for now, but like you, I am excited to see if Wake can become the BEAST we all hope.
    As for Brees ..... I guess the best I can offer is everything happens for a reason? Maybe we were meant to go 1-15 so we could get Parcells, Sparano, Jake, Chad Jr etc etc and one day, in a season or two, we'll all be whooping it up, slapping each other (electronically) on the back and thinking what a good job they all did.

  8. Canam,

    I agree with UK, great avatar!!!  However after that your post went straight down hill.   Roth is NOT an upgrade over Taylor who has played well in the last two games.  Re-watch Monday night's game if you don't believe me.  If you want to find fault with our starting OLB's than take a close look at Joey Porter who is clearly not healthy & has been a non-factor so this season. 

    As for Brees, it's time to move on already.  We won the AFC East last year with Pennington.  Not good enough???  Okay then re-watch the Jet game & watch Henne's performance in the 4th quarter.  If you can tell me that Henne didn't impress you with his poise, his arm strength, his touch, & his leadership then consider this--that was Henne's 2nd start as a pro.  He's legit.  BTW--Watch the way Henne handled the Jets' blitz & in particular on the roll out when he throw a dart to Camarillo.

    Hindsight is an exact science.  How could you possibly know that Brees was going to recover from SHOULDER surgery & Culpepper wouldn't from his knee?  The answer is that you couldn't.   That train has left the station.  I'm excited about Henne & I think the sky is the limit for this kid as long as the O-line & the rest of our blockers continues to play well. 

  9. UK,

    Clearly Porter is not healthy.  He's not DONE or too old b/c he's coming off his best season as a pro last year.  However, he hasn't provided the pass rush that this team desperately needs from that OLB position so far this season.  If anyone should be giving up reps to Wake it's Joey.  With that said I love JT & Joey but Joey is just not getting done.  Taylor just got off to a slow start playing a new position but he played a good game against the Jets.

  10. WHP, I don't know which game you were watching because JT played really
    lazily for most of the game. He just doesn't have the motor that Roth does,
    groin injury or not. They are two very different players, and Taylor really
    hasn't been used the way Roth was. The defensive scheme is different this
    year so it's hard to say who would be doing better. But JT gave up on play
    after play in that game. Maybe he was tired, and that goes with the
    question of why they didn't play Cam Wake more.
    "Watch the way Henne handled the Jets' blitz & in particular on the roll out
    when he throw a dart to Camarillo."
    not nit-picking, but that play was a designed 'move the pocket' play, where
    the entire line shifted to the right. it wasn't a QB roll-out.

  11. WHP - Joey didn't practice again today, so he'c clearly dinged. But Wake got some reps in the Jets slaughter and didn't stand out like he did against the Bills (not surprisingly).
    As for JT, he's put on some lbs and as you point out, he's also doing a different job a lot of the time + he's got a shoulder injury I read somewhere? Call me an old traditionalist, but I've always been an advocate of letting the coaches decide who plays. The guys who do it for a living usually see more practices and know more than the fans I've always found.
    Two of the things we still need to improve on, however, (ST goes without saying?) are pressure on the passer and coverage in the secondary, which are inextricably linked. It's not something that fills me with confidence right now. I see an opposing QB drop back and my eyes involuntarily start to close as I brace for impact (a completion, not a sack!) >:o

  12. UK,

    Let's hope that the Giants who I believe are one of the best--if not the best--teams in the NFL, physically beat up the Saints while we're idle. 

    I think the other top teams in the NFL include the Vikings & in the AFC I'd go with the Colts since Peyton IMO is the best QB in football. I believe that our running game is unstoppable so the Saints are going to have to do what the Colts did to beat us.  Instead of Manning picking us apart they have Brees.  Now I don't think Brees & the Saints offense is as good as theirs but it's CLOSE.  In short IF we can get ANY type of decent pass rush on Brees I actually like our chances.   Right now I see our pass rushing (or lack thereof) as being the key difference in us being a team that wins the division or us going 8-8.

  13. whp, I do like Henne and see him as an improvement at QB because of his big arm and athleticism. I wouldn't change a thing on offense. But the D... I wonder if part of the reason we're ranked so high on run defense is because teams know they can pass on us.

  14. Giants/Saints is the first game on tv over here on Sunday - 2 unbeaten teams going head-to-head is some small consolation for not being able to watch the fins.
    I can't think of a team I'd choose ahead of the Giants to tenderise the Saints before we bbq them in S. Fla. on the 25th. ;)
    As for pass rush ..... it's another strange start to a season. Things were sloppy, but are slowly being tightened up, just like last year, when it all came together. I sense something similar happening now and hope this doesn't get derailed. When the pressure and the sacks started to come, so did the INTs and the Ws. I don't want to jinx things, but I hope we can repeat this success.

  15. Tins,

    JT definitely plays that LB position a LOT differently than Roth!!!  That I can agree with but when I watched the game the 2nd time I thought Taylor played well.  "Lazily for most of the game???"  I disagree.  Watch Porter. 

    BTW--Suzie Kolber did say that Taylor hurt his shoulder at some point & that the staff was taking a look at it.  "JT gave up on play after play in that game???"  The Jets happen to have a very good O-line but I thought JT was a positive factor on defense. 

    You're not nit-picking on the move the pocket play????????   I can only imagine if you were....I'm so relieved!!!  LOL!!!   I'm sure you're technically right but it was a hell of a play/throw by Henne.

  16. UK,

    As for "areas of improvement" I couldn't agree with you more.

  17. UK,

    I don't see how your optimism about "sensing" or hoping for an improvement on defense can jinx things.  It's funny that I say that since I think that holding my Dolphin football during the game will bring us good luck.  LOL!!!

  18. "I'm sure you're technically right but it was a hell of a play/throw by
    Yes I am, and yes it was, LOL.

  19. WHP - You think you have problems - I was wearing my "lucky Dolphins boxers" for the Buffalo game for the first time this season and when they won, I started to blame the 0-3 start on my forgetting to wear them before then. But we beat the Jets and as it was a 1:30am k.o. here, I was in bed wearing nothing but a smile! We still won. Just goes to show superstitions are nonsense? (I've done my laundry for the Saints game anyway!!!)

  20. Canam,

    Oh they can pass on us alright. That's for damn sure!!!  I think there is some validity to your point about our highly ranked run defense.  We did stop Michael Turner, we stopped Sproles, & we stopped the Bills with Lynch & Jackson but if Donald Brown or Leon Washington got more touches in either of those games that run defense might not be as high. 

    I also love our offense but unless we can establish a pass rush, we won't be able to beat Drew Brees or Tom Brady or even Matt Schaub.  We're giving the other team's QB WAY too much time & Manning & Rivers killed us for it. 

  21. WHP - you think you have problems - I wore my lucky Dolphin boxers for the Bills game and when we won, I started beating myself up and blaming myself for the 0-3 start when I hadn't worn them! For the Jets game though, as it was 1:30 and I was in bed with my laptop, I wore nothing but a smile and we still won! Just goes to show superstitions are a load of bollox? (I've done my laundry for the Saints game just in case!!!)
    I sat next to a Titans fan when I went to see the Fins play there a few years back and he had a lucky charm that he switched from one hand to the other depending whether they were playing O or D. It worked - they beat us 35-7!

  22. <h2>Could be good news....</h2>
    <h2>UPDATE: Dolphins want LB Matt Roth “out there” as soon as Monday</h2>

    by Carlos Frias
    <div class="entry">
    <p><span>DAVIE — That linebackers Joey Porter and Channing Crowder were riding the bike instead of practicing Thursday morning only emphasized how much they can use fresh bodies — like fellow linebacker Matt Roth, who was hitting the sled at full force outside the practice bubble.</span>
    <p><span>But this Roth situation isn’t clear cut from any angle, from how he was injured to what will happen to him when he is eligible to return on Tuesday.</span>
    <p><span>Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said today he is eager to get Roth back out on the field as soon as possible. He said general manager Jeff Ireland was calling the NFL to see whether — because Miami is coming off a bye week and does not practice Tuesday — the Dolphins could suit him up on Monday or if they would have to wait until Wednesday.</span>
    <p><span>“We want to get him out there and get him going and take a look at him,” Sparano said. “The guy’s done a lot of good work right now. We just don’t know when he would play from there.”</span>
    <p><span>Sparano said Roth could conceivably play in the Dolphins’ next game, Oct. 25 against New Orleans, “but if he’s not ready, he won’t.” The team has slated him to return the week of their rematch with the New York Jets on Nov. 1.</span>
    <p><span>The team has up to 21 days to practice Roth before they have to make any kind of roster move to make room for him. When Roth was asked this week whether he could play if he were cleared today, he said, “Heck, yeah.”</span>
    <p><span>But this Roth saga has been plagued with miscommunication and controversy.</span>
    <p><span>First, Roth reported to camp and failed his physical. He told the Dolphins then that he felt a little under the weather, while his agent said he had been slowed with the groin injury that has hampered him the last two years. The injury cost him three games in 2007 and he had offseason surgery, but still felt it last year. The Dolphins sent him to see a specialist and Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said doctors found nothing “significant.”</span>
    <p><span>That led to a host of rumors, including that this was a sort of soft holdout, since Roth’s contract expires after this year. But Roth called that ridiculous on Wednesday. The team prohibits players from talking about their injuries, or they face a stiff fine, so Roth cannot explain the situation.</span>
    <p><span>One big question is what Roth did to aggravate the injury in the offseason that landed him on the non-football injury list, a designation that means he isn’t entitled to be paid his $700,000 salary while he’s out. His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, did not respond to a request to know whether the team has paid him, regardless.</span>
    <p><span>The question all fans want to know now is when Roth will return. The NFL, ultimately, will decide if he can practice with the team on Monday or whether it will be as soon as Wednesday.</span>
    <span>And then there’s this: October 20 is also the trade deadline in the NFL. The team could activate him in the morning and he could be on his way to another team by the afternoon</span><!--EndFragment-->

  23. UK,

    That's good stuff!!!  BTW--After that pass interfence call on Will Allen on the Jets last drive I put the Dolphin ball down on the other side of the couch since CLEARLY the ball was not helping!!!

  24. I hope Roth is healthy & ready to go ASAP.   Our defense can definitely use a shot of adrenaline.

  25. Sitting in your boxers late at night beating on yourself is not something
    you need to share with the class....oh...but it gets worse, sharing that you
    watched the Jets game in the nude....I suppose that's how Mark Sanchez
    watches his game film....

  26. I think it's our defensive philosophy. We have a defensive coordinator whose claim to fame was college football. Didn't we learn anything? Wannie's back in college, Saban's back in college!

  27. thanks for the cut and paste. Two things are clear from that article. 1.
    The Dolphins are blissfully unaware of the fact that there is a game on
    Monday night despite having played 2 already this year. 2. The Dolphins
    don't practice on Tuesday so the earliest he could practice is the 21st, not
    the 20th (though he could if they held a practice that day).

  28. lol - I draw the line at wearing my trousers at half-mast ;)

  29. uk how did the England match go? I heard Rooney was out and we already
    qualified so I didn't bother to watch it.

  30. England won their first 8 games, so qualified as group winners. We played Saturday and last night. They lost 0-1 (so much for the 100% record) to Ukraine on Saturday, Ferdinand committed a howler, got the keeper sent off and we were down to 10 men for most of the game. Good job we'd already qualified. It was on the radio, but I was cooking dinner so managed to distract myself for most of it. We gave it to Belarus by way of revenge last night, spanking them 3-0.
    Btw, Utd play Chelsea at 4pm the same day as the fins travel to the Pats @ 6pm local time. So I'll have about 5 minutes to recover from the soccer before I switch sports to football. A veritable fiesta of sport!
    Right, shut-eye time. So much for my early night?!?

  31. I watched the Ukraine match. I was shocked to see David James in there.
    Thought he was about 40.