Sunday, February 28, 2010

Blog Awards

Tin's Fins is currently in 2nd place behind The Phinsider with one day to go.

So click HERE to vote for Tin's Fins in both the Sports and Overall categories (you can vote once per category per day), and thank you for doing so.  Go Dolphins!

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Tins Fins Wonderlic

Disclaimer: This is not the actual Wonderlic (wink, wink) and any similarity between this test and those failed by NFL draft prospects every year is entirely coincidental in one way or another and I don't know what you're talking about.

Did you know?  Miami's 1st round pick, Vontae Davis, had the 8th highest score out of 328 players who took the test in 2009.

Keep in mind there are only 12 minutes to go through 50 questions, which comes out to about 14 seconds a piece, so no dilly-dallying. Your score will be provided at the end, but will not be published/shared so if you're ashamed you can rest assured most people can probably tell your IQ without needing to see your test scores. 

Click on the link below to take the test, your time starts immediately.

Below are the average scores by position in the NFL.
* Offensive tackle – 26
* Center – 25
* Quarterback – 24
* Guard – 23
* Tight end – 22
* Safety – 19
* Linebacker – 19
* Cornerback – 18
* Wide receiver – 17
* Fullback – 17
* Halfback – 16

And here is some info on notable scores taken from wikipedia:
"Pat McInally, a graduate of Harvard University, is the only football player to record a confirmed perfect score of 50.[2] Ryan Fitzpatrick, also a Harvard graduate and currently a quarterback with the NFL Buffalo Bills, had also been rumored to have scored a perfect 50 points in only nine minutes.[3] However, Fitzpatrick denied this, saying that he had left at least one of the 50 answer spaces blank.[4] The Wall Street Journal later reported that Fitzpatrick's actual score was 48 but that Fitzpatrick's claim of completing the Wonderlic in only nine minutes was accurate. As of 2005, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Kevin Curtis, a graduate of Utah State University, was reported to be tied with Fitzpatrick and Benjamin Watson of the New England Patriots as having scored a 48, the highest Wonderlic score of any active NFL player.[5] During the 2009 Combine NFL Network's Rich Eisen mentioned that Mike Mamula the "Workout Warrior" scored a 49.

On the other hand, some high profile players have scored rather low on the test. Dan Marino and Vince Young and both scored 15 on the test, though Vince Young scored a 6 on his first attempt.[7] Marcus Vick, brother of Michael Vick, scored 11. Michael himself scored an average 20."

The lowest score recorded was a 4.  Keep in mind these numbers are based primarily in rumor.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I've Got A Brand New Combine Harvester, or, Men In Shorts

It's that time of year again when over-sized men strip off into their underwear and run around in front of a bunch of fully-clothed, older men with cameras, notebooks, stop watches, and tape measures.  Before they get to all the action though, they spend 15 minutes getting to know each other in what could only be compared to Speed Dating.

It's the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine.  It runs from today through Tuesday, and its purpose is to invite every football player who is expected to be drafted down to Indianapolis for a real prodding by NFL coaches and General Managers.  And while it's true that nothing that happens over the next 7 days changes anything on tape or defines how good a football player is, it does have significant effects on how a team views a player, and anyone who thinks it doesn't has never gone through a job interview process.

Yes, references and work history are what qualify you for the job, but if the hiring manager just doesn't like you, he's not going to hire you, and that's why they hold the interviews in the first place, otherwise they'd just look at your resume, then call you up and give you the job.

Below is the official Invite List (organized by player ID number), as well as the official schedule.  As you can see, the actual drills/workouts don't start until Saturday but the lead up until then is full of interviews, medical exams, the glorious Wonderlic and the all important measurements.  The numbers obtained here will be considered the OFFICIAL numbers, as opposed to those shown in the All-Star games or on College documents.  

The game tape on these players is important but it's not the entire picture.  Pat White looked great on game tape.  So did Vernon Gholston.  So did Michael Johnson.  So did a lot of players.  But the psychological aspect of the player can only be seen up close and personally, which is why the Combine interviews and testing are so paramount to a player cementing his status.  And performing well in the drills will usually cement a top 10 player's status as well as move a late round player into a higher round.  A defensive back who was ranked as a 7th Rd/FA could move up to the late 6th/early 7th with a good showing here.   
I have obtained a Wonderlic test but am having some issues integrating it into the site so that one can take it live and get results.  I hope to have this figured out by tomorrow.  

So, who do you think will really blow up the combine?  Personally, I'm expecting big things from CJ Spiller as well as little Trindon Holliday.


Monday, February 22, 2010

A Boy Named Suh

When you think of the last few years in the draft, there have been a lot of notable players, and a lot of players who make-up the Pro-bowl rosters and All-pro teams, but heading into the draft, few of them have been considered must have or Elite talent. I haven't followed the draft or college football for the matter for more than a decade and in that time I couldn't think of more than 2 or 3 players that had that kind of label, not just someone who is considered the best in the class by many scouts/talking heads, but has the consensus label and could be a starter on all 32 teams immediately. Ndamukong Suh is one of those. 
Every year there's buzz about a dozen or so players being 'elite' or being top of the class. Well, there's usually someone who can argue against each player, but this year, Suh is keeping the pundits quiet. You see, the game tape is just too ridiculously good to argue against. The quality of his character is too good to argue against. His football smarts are too good to argue against. And his strength, determination, and coachability are also ticks in his pro column. The guy simply is the best Defensive Lineman to come along in a long time. I remember seeing him play in 2008 and immediately thinking to myself, 'this guy could be in the NFL right now'. Well, he only got better and stronger since then. And he showed he could play anywhere on the line in a 4-3, 3-4, 5-2, 3-3-5, whatever.

So, it seems only logical that we should trade up for him, because St Louis will undoubtedly either draft him into mediocrity, or pass on him to take a QB, thus making the biggest GM mistake ever. It's up to Miami to come to the rescue of my fellow Portlander (my adopted 'home-town' where I will soon return to), and add him to the Dolphins rotation. A Dolphins line that had Starks, Suh, Langford, Merling, and McDaniel would certainly make waves, and help to ease the liability at ILB.

We all have an idea of what we want with the 12th pick, although a large portion, if not a majority of Miami fans, wants to trade DOWN rather than pick at 12. But what if we were picking 1st as we did in 2008? Would you trade down to pick McClain or Bryant or Dan Williams? OR would you say to yourself, 'There's no way I'd pass on Suh'?

If you feel that Suh is the 'best in show', the elite monster that would tear up the NFL, a la Reggie White (the player he's most often compared to), then surely you would forget about McClain and Bryant and trade UP to get him.

The following is the math done for you, so you can put on your GM hats, and decide if you want to make the deal. Keep in mind, with the 1st pick overall, you can take any player you want, and you can sign him before the draft, so on draft day you can sleep in while all the other teams jostle for parking.

  1. Miami trades their 12th overall, with their 2011 1st round pick and Tedd Ginn and a mid-level player such as Paul Soliai.
  2. Miami trades their 12th overall, their 2nd round pick, Tedd Ginn, Paul Soliai, Jason Allen and Lex Hilliard.
  3. Miami trades the 12th overall, their 2011 3rd and 4th round picks and Ronnie Brown.
  4. Miami trades their 2011 1st round pick, their 2010 2nd round pick, a 2010 6th round pick, Will Allen, and Pat White.
  5. St Louis is desperate to trade out and gives us the 1st pick for our 1st pick and 4th round picks and a 2011 conditional.
  6. St Louis drafts a QB, leaving Detroit to either take Suh or trade with us for our 12th overall, and couple of O-linemen, and our 4th round pick.
  7. Stephen Ross buys the Rams, and gets them to trade picks with Miami for cash.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Tin Bits - Weekend Edition

  • This is unrelated to the Dolphins and the NFL, but I had to share this with someone and since my non-sports loving co-workers and family wouldn't give a toss, I'm sharing it with you kind folk.  This kid is clearly the next Ocho Cinco.
  • More details on the Jason Taylor shoulder surgery.  Since Taylor would be unable to work out for 3 months, he wouldn't be able to pass a physical therefore I don't think he could sign with anyone until after the draft.  He gets to avoid yet another set of voluntary OTAs.  I think we may want to plan to move on without him at this stage.  I'm not saying we shouldn't re-sign him, but that we should PLAN that he will not be starting for us in 2010.
  • Speaking of aging Dolphins, when is Miami going to sign Zach Thomas so he can retire a Dolphin?  I don't see why they haven't done it yet, but if they don't do it by the opening home game of the regular season I will have to burn something with a Dolphins emblem on it in protest.  I'm worried that the complete change of front office staff means there's no one who even remembers as far back as a few years ago.  If Stephen Ross wants to improve the atmosphere and sell more tickets to the...err...Stadium (what's it called this week?), he may want to think about honoring some football people rather than Tennis, Baseball, and Real Estate moguls.
  • Are you happy with Miami's tight-end situation?  Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc had this to say: "In Miami, I can live with Anthony Fasano Of course he isn’t real flashy, but he does sure fit the Bill Parcells mold at the position. He is smart, tough, a hammer in the run game and has been productive near the goal line. The problem here is that Miami is just so weak at wide receiver that Fasano’s lack of big-play ability is exposed. But this is a solid football player. Backup Joey Haynos gets a lot of playing time, but his role as a blocker is pretty clear. He isn’t going to cause any mismatches in the passing game."  If Fasano has been productive near the goal line, it's only in comparison to his production on the rest of the field.  He's got hands of stone, my friends.  Tony 'Stone Hands' is what they call him back 'in the neighborhood'.  IMO, Haynos has much better hands, but he's a bit too big and cumbersome to make many plays downfield.  I was disappointed the Dolphins didn't use Kory Sperry more because Fasano certainly didn't deserve to come back into the line-up after he healed from injury.  For what it's worth, I would re-sign Fasano to a reasonable contract, then trade him before the draft.  The re-signing would bump up his trade value.  I think this year's draft has a pretty good TE crop and we should be able to go there in the 4th or 5th round (after we package together a couple 6ths to move up of course).
  • This is noteworthy from 2009 - with Jake Grove in the line-up, the Dolphins ran the ball for 44 yards more per game than when he was out of the line-up.  When Jason Ferguson was in the line-up, the Dolphins held their opponents to 44 yards less per game than when he was out of the line-up.  Therefore, Grove + Ferguson = 88 yards. 
  • Now, we hear this rumour all the time as Dolfans, but whispers that Miami is close to a trade for Anquan Boldin have re-surfaced and I even heard a rumour that Chad Henne himself believes this is happening.  Personally, I think it's an expensive upgrade for an aging, injury-prone player, but when he's healthy he's a game-changer.  But I don't believe the rumours until I see an actual report and not some beating around the bush hearsay from the Miami Herald.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

AFC EAST Special Report - What Is Buffalo Thinking?

You know how it is.  Everyone has that cousin, or mutual acquaintance of a friend of a friend, who just always seems to be in trouble or has problems they never seem to be able to pull themselves out of.  In my family there are at least 2 dozen cousins, and only about 3 of us have never been to jail or in a serious crash or in Juvie or in some kind of 'program'.  Hell, I even have a cousin who's a correctional officer who's dating one of the prisoners!  I can't make that stuff up.  Of the several hundred people who read this Blog every day, I'd be willing to bet at least 10% of them are currently in trouble with the law or are constantly having problems paying their bills.  It happens.  Everyone takes their eyes off the road from time to time and hits a speed bump.  And at that point, it's up to the family, friends, and co-workers to help guide that person back onto the road.

Now, I'm in no way suggesting that the Buffalo Bills (yes this is an article about Buffalo, hence the title) are our friends or co-workers, but they are the neighbors who you constantly complain about behind closed doors, but ultimately you don't want them to stop mowing the lawn or park the lime green pinto on the lawn.  

The AFC East is the Miami Dolphins' neighborhood.  The Patriots are the snobby folk who live in the middle of the cul-de-sac and have the pool/jacuzzi combo and have the landscapers out twice a week.  The Jets are the loud, obnoxious party crowd who are constantly upgrading their subwoofers and squealing their tires.  The Dolphins are the laid back folk who have been re-tiling the roof for 2 years, with a cooler on the wrap-around porch.  The most noise they make is the occasional hammering and the once a month debris removal truck.  And then there's Buffalo.  Buffalo is the neighbor who's constantly looking through the blinds in case they have to bolt and move on at a moment's notice.  They don't bother with the grass, and eventually cover it up with artificial lawn.  Instead of investing in a long-term fix for the broken back door, they board it up with plywood.  They don't pay for cable, but spend $250 on cat food every month.

The Bills had some serious woes on their Offensive Line at this point last year.  Rather than try to develop a line that included some of the good ingredients they had in stock, they decided to just replace everyone, including their best player, Jason Peters.  They then drafted Eric Wood and Andy Levitre.  They added a couple of free agents, including aging vet and constant distraction, Terrell Owens.  They had a couple of head coaches, now on their 3rd in a year, and they had more injuries than can be counted on all your fingers and toes.  On top of these most recent issues, they have not been able to replace a head coach who retired over a decade ago.  They have drafted only two quarterbacks in the 1st round in the last 40 years.  The first was Jim Kelly in 1983.  The second was in 2004 and his name was JP Losman. 

This is a team that doesn't make good decisions, at least they haven't since the glory days of the mid 90s when we as Dolfans suspended our collective hatred of the Jets and focused all our distaste on the Buffalo Bills.  Are they moving to Canada?  Are they looking for a franchise QB (last I heard they were thinking of trading for Donovan McNabb who will be 34 this season) or did they have a plan to replace Peters?  They got 3 draft picks for him and did not pick up a single starting-caliber tackle after the trade or in the draft.  They drafted 2 cornerbacks and 2 safeties, a 3-4 rush linebacker (despite playing a 4-3) and a tight-end in addition to two interior linemen.  Ironically, they traded 2 draft picks to Dallas in order to draft Levitre, and Dallas used one of the two to draft a Tackle.

Buffalo also hired from Dolphin linebacker coach, George Edwards, and he immediately announced that Buffalo was switching to a 3-4 defensive scheme.  Then he looked at the roster and immediately backtracked.  As it stands now, Buffalo is planning on using a hybrid 4-3 with some standing up DEs sprinkled in, at least until they have the personnel to do a more traditional 3-4.

There's been a lot of back-tracking, shaky decisions, and bad luck around this team recently.  Not much one can do about the luck, but maybe getting a new training staff is the best place to start.  And here's some advice for Chan Gailey and friends from his neighbors in the AFC East:
  1. When you don't have a replacement in place, you shouldn't trade the best player on the team away, especially if he is the only Pro-Bowler on the team.
  2. Don't draft 4 players in the secondary when you already have 3 or 4 starters.  Use those picks on hard to find positions, like Offensive Tackle, especially when you haven't followed suggestion # 1 above.
  3. If your team has a hole on the roster or on the staff, fill that hole with conviction.  Don't jump to get a stop-gap player when you could have the same hole again next year, or halfway through the season. 
  4. Don't make decisions that you may have to back out of.  Figure it all out before you make the call.
  5. Do not start the 2010 season with Edwards, Fitzpatrick or Brohm as your starter.  Or even McNabb.  Make a trade for a legitimate mid to late 20s QB who can start immediately and can manage the game.  You have too many things to coordinate and improve without having to worry about gunslinging your way through games.  Take a look at Jason Campbell, or wait until after the draft to see who may become available in trade.  Bottom line is you gotta spend the picks and money on QBs and Tackles, not on cornerbacks.
Now, I open up the forum for suggestions and criticisms for the Bills.  Whereas the Dolphins went 1-15 and have spent the past two years trying to rebuild and improve, the Bills seem unwilling to take the leap of faith, or worse yet, have put their faith in the wrong place.  This is easily where the Dolphins could have been had we not brought the Trifecta in when we did.  So, please, let them know what they should be doing, or what they shouldn't be doing, but by all means, don't go as far as to instruct them how to win the Division!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Linebackers - Does Size Matter?

Joey Porter will be leaving on March 5th.  Akin Ayodele may be following him, according to the Sun-Sentinel.  Channing Crowder's radio show hosting of Porter's rant has led to speculation, and Cameron Wake, according to just about everyone except for game tape, cannot play at an NFL level.  JD Folsom is a project, Reggie Torbor is overpaid, Charlie Anderson is overpaid and over-flagged, and Quentin Moses is still a project.  Jason Taylor probably has one more year left in the tank - actually if I were a betting man I'd say it's more likely two-thirds of a year.  Erik Walden hasn't been able to handle more than special teams, and Brian Johnston couldn't even make it on the Chiefs roster.

Eleven football players with two things in common:  1.  They all play linebacker for the Dolphins, and 2. Their futures are uncertain in one way or another.

I expect by training camp we will have 5 or 6 ILBs and 7 or 8 OLBs competing for a spot.  The Dolphins's LB make-up could be very different come opening week of the 2010 season.

Now we know the top ILB in free agency is Karlos Dansby.  The top OLB is...well it's actually going to be Joey Porter, and we know we won't go there.  The truth is the youngest, most talented OLB available at this point would be Scott Fujita of the New Orleans Saints.  But he would be asked to move inside in the Dolphins defense, and at 31 years old, his conversion could be a real risk.  

No, free agency is not where we'll find any quality OLBs, at least not unless Matt Roth decides to come home.  So we look to the Draft.  And running the Draft this year will be the Trifecta and their underlings, Dan Henning, and new Defensive Coordinator, Mike Nolan.

Nolan is a branch of the Al Groh tree.  Al Groh is a branch of the Bill Parcells tree.  You may think that makes Nolan and Parcells share some core beliefs such as scheme and what they look for in personnel.  Not entirely the case.  Nolan actually started out running a 4-3, and only switched to a 3-4 in the past decade.  Nolan has been a part of drafting some significant names in the NFL, but has also worked with what he had on the roster before he showed up, whereas Parcells has more or less preferred to bring in his own players.  

So how does the replacing, bolstering, upgrading and shoring up of the linebacking corp go with Nolan in the mix?  I say with some basis in fact but even more so in speculation that Parcells wants someone with Jason Pierre Paul's measurables.  6'6", 265 lbs, 4.6 forty, and all the athleticism in the world.  Someone he can work with and mold into a future force.  Nolan, on the other hand, is more likely to take a proven player he thinks can start straight away.

With the Baltimore Ravens, Nolan drafted Peter Boulware, 6'4", 255 lbs.  With the Jets he drafted John Abraham, 6'4" 254 lbs.  You would think he would stick to that mold of player as he carried on in his career, but after he inherited Andre Carter, 6'4" 260lbs, on the 49ers squad, he suddenly started moving towards shorter, squattier guys (Brandon Moore, Parys Harrelson), before implementing the 3-4 in Denver last year and moving Elvis Dumervil, 6'0", 255lbs into a stand-up pass-rushing role.   What made him change his understanding of what a pass-rusher should look like?  

Parcells, I believe, has not changed from his ideal 6'4" and above pass-rusher.  And he hasn't changed from his belief that he can take the guy with the best measurables and make him into the player he wants him to be.  

Sparano will just want someone who brings something to the table in the locker room, in the meeting room, and who hustles on the field.  He'd prefer someone who isn't limited by his measurables, but is probably more in tune to the intangibles.

So I ask you, what linebackers do you see the Dolphins going after this off-season?  Here is my guess:

Parcells:     Jason Pierre-Paul
Sparano:    George Selvie
Nolan:        Brandon Graham
Henning:    Convert Pat White to LB - "Pat can do it all!"

Parcells:       Rolando McClain
Sparano:      Joe Pawelek
Nolan:          Patrick Angerer
Henning:      "There was this kid one time, played for the Eagles in '72, I liked that kid.  Maybe he has a kid. That's who we'll get.  Next question."

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tin Bits - Tuesday, February 16th 2009

  • Kudos to all my readers, the comments and the love have been great here in the past few weeks, and despite my IT issues, the blog has been rolling without too many hiccups. It's more up to you folks than it is to me, so thank you very much, and I'll have a little something fun for you guys up this week.
  • It's been a very busy week for me despite the 3 day weekend. First of all, I didn't know I had a 3 day weekend until Friday, when the Division office decided to switch Good Friday and President's Day on the Holiday Calendar. Of course Sunday was Valentine's Day, and being home on Monday meant having my 3 1/2 year old son attached to my hip. Late last week my favorite aunt passed away at 75 years of age to cervical cancer. It was a bit ironic that she got cervical cancer since she was a nun and never had use for her cervix in her life. I think it says something about a person who can become the favorite aunt (I have many aunts/uncles) of an atheist despite being a mother superior. She was a really pure and ultra-positive person, and I wish there was a heaven, because if anyone deserved to get there, it was her. And if you are reading this and you are religious, then yes there is a heaven and I'm just a cynical bastard. Although any God who would force a woman who gave up 60 years of her life to promoting him to undergo months of chemo, radiation, agonizing pain, etc is a complete and utter twat and should not be followed by anyone, lest he stabs you in the back also. But believe what you want to believe. Personally I feel the most important human right is the right to live your own life. I'm a firm-believer in the football gods.
  • On another note, there was a football game after the East West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl, but due to it being shown on a Network that no one gets, it took me a while before I was able to watch it. The Texas vs The Nation Game should probably be put out of its misery due to the fact that it's a bit archaic in it's concept, that is that the Texas boys are good enough to make up their own all-star team. Lately it seems like Californians are taking over the crown although Florida still ranks above Texas statistically. The rosters are watered down by the other two games anyway so these tend to lack the best players in Texas and the Nation anyway. With that said, the clear MVP of the game was someone who I've had the Dolphins picking in the draft for months now and his name is Trindon Holliday. I see no reason not to draft this kid purely as a return specialist. I remember a time when every team had a return-only guy, but the Dolphins amongst others have moved away from that. Personally, I'd rather have a guy who returns kicks and punts (about 10 plays a game) and occasionally gets a snap here and there than an offensive lineman who is never going to dress for the game on the roster.

  • In other notes from the Texas vs Nation game, Tennessee QB, Jonathan Crompton, when asked by the sideline reporter which team he would like to play for in the NFL, without hesitation said the Carolina Panthers. What a complete tool. You never answer that question, you idiot. And Minnesota LB, Simoni Lawrence shored up a spot on my draft board. If we are talking late rounds, then he's worth a look. And finally, former Miami QB, Bernie Kosar, was the Nation's QB coach. Kosar sounded like a pirate during a sideline interview.
  • So, Jason Taylor underwent shoulder surgery last week, eh? Sorry guys, when someone of his age undergoes surgery the recovery time is longer and he loses a step. He may not be a QB, but shoulder issues are tough on an outside linebacker too. Time to groom his replacement and if we resign him, it should be as a backup.
  • Tony McDaniel's signing last year set off alarm bells for me, and I wrote about it here, as I worried about his off-the-field issues with violence. By mid-season, however, he had won me over because of his play on the field. However, the latest news about his domestic issues leave only one option in my mind, and that is to let him go. This latest arrest is not a one-time thing, and unless he splits up with this girl and is given one final chance, I see no reason to keep him. The thing is, if he is given another chance and messes up again, then he is worth nothing, and would further bring down the team. However, if the charges are reduced or dropped, the Dolphins could probably trade him for a 6th round pick before the draft. We traded a 7th round pick to get him from Jacksonville. Take the pick.
  • Will Allen declared he's going to start next season, and the Miami Herald said, 'Oh no he won't!' because the Herald is clearly a part of the Dolphins decision-making team. The truth is, that there will be an open competition at cornerback and whoever 'gives the team the best chance to win' will be the starter. Granted, I think Vontae Davis will likely move to the other side should Allen beat out Sean Smith in training camp. While I like every player to be confident in his abilities, Allen should keep the 'entitlement' attitude to himself, because he's starting to sound a bit like Joey Porter.
  • In draft related news, St Louis QB, Marc Bulger has cleaned out his locker, which gives rise to more speculation that the Rams will pass on Ndamukong Suh to draft a QB. There's also that rumour that they'll go after Michael Vick. Obviously it's too early to tell what the Rams will do, but the passing on Suh would have significant ramifications on the top of the draft. Keep in mind that there are about 6 teams who could be willing to draft a QB in the top 10, and there are only 2 QBs in the class that could even be considered. So if Jimmy Clausen and Sam Bradford are taken in the top 10, then there's a good chance that someone of top quality falls to us at 12, i.e. CJ Spiller.
  • One last bit, on Dez Bryant. I noticed a lot of comments about him over the weekend. I have very mixed feelings about Bryant. On the one hand I think he's the prototypical WR and is probably the most athletic receiver in the draft, yet his Wonderlic score could give Percy Harvin a run for his money. Then again, Harvin's 12 hardly hurt him in his rookie year. Ultimately I think the money that Bryant will cost is too much considering Eric Decker will be available in the low 2nd/early 3rd and possesses some similar abilities. Decker may not be as flashy as Bryant, but he brings some similarities to the table. But then I think Bryant is something special and will likely be a beast in the NFL. Like I said, I have mixed feelings. Ultimately I think the Dolphins will stick to drafting players they want to work with rather than players who are necessarily the popular choice. And I'm really starting to drift away from any possibility of Miami picking an offensive player in the 1st round. I don't think Jason Ferguson will be back, and the Tony McDaniel issue is yet to play out. Karlos Dansby is too expensive, Scott Fujita is too old, and Channing Crowder can't stop talking. Akin Ayodele can't tackle and Reggie Torbor can't run. I just don't see us going anywhere other than defense with the first couple of picks.
  • Per Armando Salguero, the Dolphins have signed OL SirVincent Rogers. The Dolphins signed him as an undrafted rookie last year but he quit during training camp. I'm not so sure they signed him as opposed to reinstated him off the reserve list before officially releasing him.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Well you came and you gave without taking but I sent you away, Oh Joey!

Okay, he took millions of dollars.....The Dolphins have officially announced the release of Joey Porter today.  In essence the only news here is that it's happening on a Friday, rather than on a Monday.  UPDATE:  Porter's release caused the 2009 salary cap to crash, so the NFL has denied the transaction until March 5th.

So the Miami Dolphin-owned Pitbull population just got considerably smaller and the annual battle between Jason Taylor and his ego begins today.  As of now, Cameron Wake and Charlie Anderson are the most likely candidates for the vacancy left by Porter, but if JT decides to come back (and the Dolphins decide to bring him back) he will likely cause a stir over why he should start ahead of Cameron Wake.

For the record, I have contended since this time last year that the Earthq'Wake' was the best pass rusher on the team, and that contention is not going to change anytime soon.  He was phenomenal last year when you factor in the limited playing time and being out of position and it being his first year in the NFL.  Porter and JT wish they played at the level that Wake did.  This move allows Wake to stake his claim on the starting Defense and potentially become one of the 'Faces' of the team.

Porter has stated he would like to play on the West Coast in a 3-4 scheme, which leaves only San Diego and San Francisco as options.  Some people, including Porter, have listed Arizona as a good spot, but without Kurt Warner, I bet Porter has changed his mind about that.  The Cardinals are likely to lose Karlos Dansby and Antrel Rolle to free agency and have a 27 year-old Rookie about to take the reins.  I'm not saying they won't be competitive in 2010 (no one, and I mean no one - not even their own fans, picked them to make the Superbowl in 2009) but they will seem less attractive to an aging free agent than say, San Diego.  The only problem is San Diego has Shawne Merriman and Larry English, so they have no room for Porter.

San Francisco then remains the most likely option, but if you look at the 49ers defense, it's full of mostly unknown blue-collar keep your mouth shut and play type of players so once again Porter doesn't fit in, though they could use an upgrade at pass-rusher.  The question then is if Porter can still be considered an upgrade.

There are, however, three teams in the AFC East who may be interested in Porter.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tin Bits - Thursday, 2/11/10

  • Asked who was the toughest receiver he ever covered, Boise State cornerback, Kyle Wilson (the guy with his own customized RV at the Senior Bowl) said:
    "Hmm, the toughest? Davone Bess from Hawaii. When he's bad, haha, he's bad. He's a tough guy to guard in the slot. Especially that year, my sophomore year when they had Colt Brennan. Definitely one of the best. What I noticed about him was that he had really had good footwork. And in that offense, where they were very accurate and on the same page, the combo was deadly."
  • Chad Henne, fresh off his win in the Rachel Ray Super Bowl Cook Out Competition, won the Audi Efficiency Challenge as well, and has thus been the winningest NFL QB so far in the off-season. In the event, Henne had to drive from Washington D.C. to Miami in a lovely new Audi Q7 TDI.  In a Top Gear-style of logic, Audi decided to use a V-12 to showcase their fuel economy.  He competed against Osi Umenyiora and several media members including Bill Simmons of and Mike Silver of Yahoo! Sports.

  • Former Hawaii slotback and newly signed Miami Dolphin WR, Ryan Grice-Mullen was a guest instructor at last weekend's Hawaii Speed and Quickness clinics on the UH campus.  Word is that Davone Bess was also an know what they say, those who don't have speed, teach speed.  One thing I can say about these two guys, they are really loyal to Hawaii for giving them a chance. 
  • The rumor buzz is really starting to grow about the Bills trading for Dolphins' backup QB Tyler Thigpen.  The speculation really only started to take foot after Chad Pennington 's agent announced he wanted to come back to Miami.  Thigpen is linked to new Bills head coach, Chan Gailey, as he was the Kansas City offensive coordinator in 2008.  Some people are also saying that since Buffalo's O-line is so shoddy, a mobile QB like Thigpen would be the best fit.  Well that doesn't really take into consideration that Buffalo's O-line was shoddy due to trading Jason Peters and losing a handful of players to injury.  They actually have a lot of young talent on their O-line, including Eric Wood, Jamon Meredith, Andy Levitre, Richie Incognito, Demetrius Bell, etc.  There's a good chance that their O-line will be head and shoulders above the unit they had in 2009.  In any event, I don't see them drafting anymore, they are young enough on the line.  This gives them some freedom with their draft picks, of which they have 9.  Keep in mind that Miami traded their 5th round pick for Thigpen last year, so Buffalo would probably have to offer up something better than that to Miami, especially considering it would be an inside the division move, which in itself makes it unlikely.
  • Speaking of the draft, there are six teams that currently only have 5 draft picks.  Chicago is the worst off because they don't pick until the 3rd round (74th overall) due to the Jay Cutler trade.  You may recall last year, the Dallas Cowboys didn't pick until the 69th pick due to the Roy Williams trade.
  • The NY Jets are one of the teams with only 5 picks, and considering they have a lot of aging players to replace, their foray into the playoffs could be a bit of a one-hit wonder.  They have 16 players who will be in their 30s in 2010 including all 3 of their nose tackles, two of their running backs (Tony Richardson is 38), 3 of their 4 starting linebackers and almost all of their special teams specialists (Feely - 34, Izzo - 36, Dearth/LS - 34).  They are a team that also can not sign any Unrestricted Free Agents or make any trades during the off-season unless a new CBA is agreed and signed in the next few weeks.  This means they could be up shit creek in a year's time, having to play catch up.  The concept of a lockout in 2011 means the whole team could be using walkers by the time play starts up in 2012.  They need to replace several players and just don't have the picks to do it. 

    Tuesday, February 9, 2010

    How Dare You Mock Me, Sir!!

    Well, it's official, the 2009 NFL season is over, and the Saints won it all.  It was a deserved win, but I thought both the Miami vs Saints and Colts vs Miami games during the regular season were more exciting matchups than the meeting between the two there.  It made me realize that we had some obvious lines drawn in performance/results in 2009.  We won 80% of the time we played well, and lost 80% of the time we didn't.  Nothing surprising there, but based on our 7-9 final record and the almost week to week see-sawing of performance, it's pretty obvious that Tony Sparano did not get the consistency he always preaches about to the media.

    As a fan, I entered 2009 with a lot of optimism, and feeling pretty strongly about the roster.  And despite a lot of short-comings, I still feel pretty good about that roster, and I feel a couple of lucky breaks could have resulted in a playoff berth and a consecutive division crown.  Imagine if Ginn and Bess hadn't started out the season wearing Teflon gloves?  Imagine if we had a coach and offensive coordinator who didn't completely abandon the run early in the season if we were down by a score?  Imagine if we had only lost half the veteran starters to IR than we did.  I think we got the short end of the stick by the refs, and the injury gods, and our coaches did their best to lose games at times.  Yes, Gibril Wilson whiffed on a few tackles, but wasn't he set up to fail in the first place?

    In any event, the year is over and 2010 starts now.  Free Agency is less than 3 weeks away, the Combine starts in 2 weeks and in the next few weeks several players will be cut by teams as they clear off their reserves and prepare for adding fresh blood to the roster.

    It is at this point I encourage all of you who are into this sort of thing to start roughing up your Mock Drafts.  I suggest doing this before Free Agency and the Combine starts because it will allow you to decide what a team's priorities are and if they cover one in free agency you'll be able to easily switch to the next priority or if a player flops in the Combine, etc.

    I'm currently up to pick no. 59 and have taken a break for the day.  I must say, you don't realize how much talent there is in a draft until you start mocking it out.  It also helps you to see what sort of trades Miami would have to do to get the players it wants. 

    I won't reveal my Mock until a couple of days before the Combine just in case someone snaps an ACL in the meantime, so expect it on the 22nd, but I will reveal that both CJ Spiller and Rolando McClain were off the board before the 12th pick.

    Monday, February 8, 2010

    Tin Bits - Monday, 2/8/10

    For the second week in a row, I had no computer/internet access at work thanks to the retarded IT department.  By the way, if you're in to comedy, go out of your way to find 'The I.T. Crowd', a British sitcom that ran for a couple of seasons.  Ok, enough TV suggestions, time for some football talk:
    • Dolphins defensive lineman, Tony McDaniel, was arrested and charged with domestic violence over the weekend.  I don't know the details, it could easily have been another pick-up basketball game gone wrong at his house.  This could throw a spanner in the works of the off-season - imagine, McDaniel gets suspended, Ferguson retires, Soliai puts on 20 lbs....
    • Speaking of football players arrested in South Florida, Donte Stallworth's suspension was lifted on Monday and he was immediately released by the Browns, making him the first big name unrestricted free agent of the year.  Too bad his big name is for off the field news rather than on it.  One thing is certain, he will not be picked up by Miami.  
    • It should be noted that when Chad Henne said he wanted someone like Braylon Edwards to join Miami this year, he had to stress that he meant someone like him, and not Edwards himself, or it could have been considered tampering in the eyes of an overzealous official.  However, the Jets have not signed Edwards to an extension, which means they are likely to wait to see what kind of offers he gets.  Edwards is about to become a restricted free agent.  I think it's very likely that Miami will bid on him.
    • During the Super Bowl, they aired a commercial (well, actually they aired about a thousand commercials) where Gibril Wilson got leapfrogged by Reggie Bush into the end zone in super slow motion.  Forget 1-15, I think that was the single most embarrassing moment as a Dolfan - not the actual event/missed tackle, but the slow-motion whiff in the middle of the Super Bowl, which was probably watched by 300 million people.  Can anyone out there top that moment?  I suppose the loss to Jacksonville in the playoffs would be another one, but this was much more concise, about 1.5 seconds slowed down to a 30 second spot.  Ouch!
    • This is what Joey Porter would look like in a 49ers uniform:

      I propose that we keep Joey on the roster, but let him wear a 49ers uniform.  That way he can rush the passer, and he can pretend he's on a different team.  Hmm...if he thinks Tony Sparano is too tough, wait til he gets Mike Singletary breathing down his neck.

    Friday, February 5, 2010

    The Knight Who Says Ni! inspects the Nose Tackle Tree for Ripe Fruit

    The following is a guest blog from our very own reader/Barry Manilow die-hard, The Knight Who Says Ni!:

    Phillip Merling at NT?

    NT Ferguson 6-3 315 14th? (a seasoned leader and solid NT - if he re-signs)
    NT Soliai 6-4 345 4th (getting better)
    NT Merling 6-4 295 3rd (talented and will get bigger in the off-season)
    DE Starks 6-3 305 7th (coming into his own)
    DE Langford 6-6 295 3rd (solid with some more upside)
    DE McDaniel 6-7 305 5th (versatile)
    DE Dotson 6-4 290 3rd (hanging in there)
    DE Alama-Francis 6-5 290 4th (talented with potential)
    DE Baker 6-5 295 2nd (performed well in the preseason and a few games this year as a rookie)

    Notice the accumulation of DEs this year. McDaniel, Baker and Alama-Francis. Dotson has been trying to get into the mix for two years but can't with the depth we have. So that's four guys battling for playing time behind Starks and Langford. 

    I bet a lot of people forgot about the signing of Ikaika Alama-Francis, a former 2nd round pick of the Lions in 2007, who suffered a pectoral injury and didn't pan out for them. Maybe he's a good fit at 3-4 DE. He's known for having a good work ethic and he was a 2nd round pick out of Hawaii for a reason. Still a young player.

    Why all these DEs if Merling was still in the picture at DE? I think we're going to move him inside at NT at times and at DT like we have when we go to 4 man fronts. Maybe 15 plays at NT and 15 at DT. We use him at DT in 4 man fronts all the time. We seem to like him on the inside.

    Anyone else notice this year how big Merling is in the lower body? That's what you want to anchor at NT. He needs to build up his upper body and get a little bigger and stronger, and we might have a more dynamic NT in the next year or two. Sparano is always saying Merling doesn't stay blocked for very long, he has a knack for getting off the block. Run defense has always been his strength. It looks like a perfect fit. Merling is a big guy. He's almost 6-5 and has a big frame. I could see him at 305 or 310 next season and a much different looking player. Maybe he's our next Jay Ratliff.

    Merling might be a better option than some blob to take up space. It doesn't seem like the big, over-sized Dlineman is the kind of NT that we look for. Don't be surprised if we sign a no-name in FA and draft a NT prospect in the later rounds to compete. Merling might be the reason. Yet fans will yell and scream that we didn't draft some DT as a NT by the 1st or 2nd round.

    (The Pats reached and drafted DT Ron Brace out of BC last year in the 2nd round and he barely played. 9 games, 8 tackles.) 

    Is that what we want out of 1st or 2nd round picks on the DL? There aren't many college DTs ready to play 3-4 NT in the NFL. Suh would probably be the most dynamic up and coming NT in the league. With his size, power and athletic ability. This guy is going to dominate. He'd be costly but probably worth it to trade up and get him. I doubt we do it.


    As crazy as the Jets were for trading away their draft for Sanchez last year, and the Saints were for doing the same for Ricky Williams, and despite the fact I consider myself a very grounded, rational person, I am in strong support of trading up for Suh.  However, the type of value we're talking about would make it nearly impossible.  It would involve a lot of players, because it would be impossible to get the package value through picks alone unless we traded our 1st this year, our 1st next year, and a 2nd or 3rd round pick.  We could package our 1st and 2nd and at least 3 players of mid round value.  I just don't see it happening unless the Rams get desperate to avoid the 1st pick's contract.

    While I'm not convinced that Merling fits the mold that Parcells likes in the middle, and I think new DC Mike Nolan will toss out the schemes that asked Merling to get bigger and play inside, it is pure speculation on my part.  

    Knight, you may be right about reaching for a NT in the draft, but keep in mind that last year when BJ Raji and Ron Brace entered the draft together last year I practically sold my kidneys in an attempt to convince people that Raji was the real deal and Brace was a pretender.  Raji will likely be the starter heading into 2010, as will Terrance Knighton, who the Dolphins really surprised me by not picking.  He was clearly the best value and the best true NT in the draft, IMO.  Had we not gotten beer goggles for Pat White, we would've drafted Sean Smith with our first 2nd round pick and Terrance Knighton with our second 2nd round pick.  Getting 3 defensive starters with our first 3 that would've been special.  But instead we draft a 4th string QB and the rest is history.
    I still think Dan Williams would be a good pick if we traded down, but I wouldn't be surprised if someone picks him early. But there are good options later on in the draft like Torrell Troup (6'2", 310 lbs) and Boo Robinson (6'1", 298 lbs).

    It will be interesting to see where Miami goes with the position.  Keep in mind that Buffalo now plans to switch to a 3-4 scheme (which should make Aaron Maybin very happy) so the AFC East is now the only division with an entirely 3-4 set of defenses, and thus we need to be on target with these projections more so than ever.  We may also have to reach a little for front 7 defenders.

    Thursday, February 4, 2010

    Where the Buffalo roam...

    Former Miami Dolphins Linebacker Coach, George Edwards was hired as the Florida Gators defensive coordinator in January, but has now forgone that job to accept the same position for the Buffalo Bills.  Edwards said he will replace Buffalo's usual 4-3 scheme with a 3-4 scheme, meaning the entire AFC East will now compete for Nose Tackles and bigger linebackers and elite pass-rushers.

    Edwards was the a Dolphins assistant coach for the past 6 seasons in Miami.

    Wednesday, February 3, 2010

    Early Turk Special

    Some people may say it's a bit early to talk about the 2010 roster, but really, isn't that what we've been doing all along with Draft and Free Agency talk?  And while there are no certainties as to who we'll draft or add through free agency, it's becoming abundantly clear that there is going to be a shake-up of current players.  Here's a list of current players who I believe are unlikely to be on the roster in 2010:

    • Joey Porter - this one's pretty obvious.  There's no going back from Porter's statements of the past week.  This is on a scale that makes the Jason Taylor/Bill Parcells spat look like tiny raindrop in a monsoon.  Whereas that was mainly a misunderstanding or overblown media reports, Porter has gone on the record and bashed the Dolphins and the Head Coach.  The Dolphins won't even bother holding out the olive branch here because of Porter's age, history of anger issues, and inability to play nice with others.  He put on a good face for one season, acting like it was all about the team, then the following season acted like it was all about him.  He lost his leadership cred.  I expect he'll be a Cardinal this year, but not via trade.  The Dolphins attorneys will work to get some of his contract voided. 
    • Nathan Jones - the Dolphins would be hard-pressed to be able to find a younger, cheaper version of Jones in the upcoming draft.  For a similar paycheck they might even be able to get an upgrade.  Jones is a very intelligent guy but it doesn't translate onto the field.  Considering the fact he has not stood out on Special Teams the way Jason Allen, Patrick Cobbs, Vontae Davis, and even Lex Hilliard have, I see no reason other than favoritism to keep him around.  Now that his biggest supporter, Paul Pasqualoni is gone, I expect Nolan to give Jones his walking papers.
    • Paul Soliai - The current regime inherited Soliai and saw some upside there, but the truth will eventually be faced that he is not the ideal nose tackle size and would probably be better suited in a 4-3 scheme.  Nolan and Parcells both like their NTs to be 6'2" and under and more thighs than anything else.  Soliai scored a whopping NINE on the wonderlic and has been a development project for 3 years now and was used in 2009 primarily to rest other players.  I don't see Nolan preferring Soliai over one of his own recruits and I don't see the Trifecta going to bat for Soliai either.  Keep in mind that Tony McDaniel requested to be given the chance to convert to NT, which was a smart move, because he knew he could outdo Soliai in a competition to replace Jason Ferguson.  That combined with the potential move of Philip Merling into the middle as well makes Soliai pretty expendable (more on that in a future blog).  I do see some potential for trade value here though.
    • Ted Ginn Jr. - I've defended Ginn in the past, but the reality is, if the Dolphins draft a WR or two this year, there will be 10 receivers in camp of which only 5 will be kept.  Davone Bess?  safe.  Brian Hartline?  Safe.  Newly drafted guy? safe.  Greg Camarillo? Probably Safe.  That leaves one spot open with Ginn, Patrick Turner, Julius Pruitt, Taurus Johnson, Ryan Grice-Mullen and possibly another camp body to compete for the final spot.  Ginn would have to have a pretty spectacular off-season to stay on this team, regardless of how much Jeff Ireland likes him.    Personally, I think Taurus Johnson has the most upside of the contenders because he is the best blocker and has probably the best hands along with Grice-Mullen.  it will only take one of those guys to impress the coaches for Ginn to be traded away.  Speaking of trading Ginn, considering our less than perfect selection of 2010 draft picks, it's probably a better idea to trade him before the draft rather than during the summer.
    Are there any other players you feel could be on the chopping block?

    Tuesday, February 2, 2010

    Tin Bits - Tuesday, February 2nd - Senior Bowl Edition

    Before I jump into some notes on what I saw in the Senior Bowl, I want to thank everyone who wished me well in the past couple of days - for the record I do not have any medical issues - although I just jinxed it by saying that.  I just had too much on my plate to do an update and found out at 5am that Parcells was going to do a live chat - which turned out to be the biggest waste of time ever.  Then today's update was delayed by someone not paying the internet bill.  Seriously, haven't these people ever heard of automatic payments? 

    • One thing I did read into Parcells' 'chat' was that Chad Pennington will not be brought back.  Add this to comments made by Tony Sparano about Pat White, and all indications are that we'll continue into 2010's season with the same 3 QBs we ended 2009 with.  I don't know how I feel about the fact that Sparano wouldn't name Chad Henne the starter, but would put his full endorsement behind Pat White playing QB in the future, despite the results of 2009.  I'm pretty sure I'll know how to feel if we start the season with White as the 2nd string QB again...
    • The Senior Bowl was both surprising and disappointing at the same time.  On the one hand, several of the players I was expecting to do well, did, but there were few standout performances.  For one, the North's defensive line looked to be unstoppable.  The reality is, while they did play well, it was the South's offensive line's play that made it look easy.  They were AWFUL.  The North's O-line was not much better.  Even Mike Iupati  played terribly.  I think he got called for 3 penalties, and there were loads of holding calls not being made on both lines through out the game.
    • With that said, Brandon Graham did look very good, but not for easily running by the left tackle, but for his run defense.  Looking at him I can't help but see someone who could play inside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme, though he will likely go as a 3-4 OLB in the draft.
    • Sean Weatherspoon is going to be a player in the NFL.  While his game was average, his energy level was off the charts.  Now, I don't know why anyone play-caller would send Dexter McCluster on a deep fade in the end-zone, but did you see Weatherspoon in coverage?  Even a 6'5" receiver wouldn't have stood a chance there.  Weatherspoon was practically running inside of McCluster's shoes there and had enough time to turn around and wait for the ball.
    • Dan Williams.  In the first half, there was no better player on the field than Williams.  He took on double team after double team, occupying space and pushing people around.  Terrence Cody was absolutely invisible even in one-on-one situations.  Williams was clearly the best DT in the game.  The North squad had it too easy against a pathetic South O-line to be able to compare Williams with Jared Odrick and Mike Neal, though both played with a very high motor.  Personally, I'm more interested in Williams now than I was before.
    • None of the wide receivers really moved up or down the boards in my opinion.  In fact, I didn't even see some of them on the field at all.  I was quite upset with the commentators bashing on Dorin Dickerson at least twice during the game, despite the fact he was playing well.  He had a bruising block down on the goal line to open up the go-ahead TD by Blount in the 2nd quarter.  He caught a quick drop-screen and absolutely ran over Patrick Robinson for an extra 4 yards.  He created good separation on a deep slant and Tony Pike overthrew the ball.  If anything, Dickerson proved he can play outside as a WR, but he probably needed to rack up some yards to shut up the Mayock's of the world.  Had he been playing with a QB he had chemistry and time with, I think he could've had a stand out performance.  Mardy Gilyard had the biggest afternoon, but also showed off his immaturity for the cameras whenever he could.  Note to Gilyard, when you're auditioning for a job, don't act like an idiot on the sidelines whenever the camera is on you.
    • Tulane's Jeremy Williams had an amazingly inconsistent game.  I have not seen the stats for the game yet, but I would bet he had close to Gilyard's yardage if not better and definitely caught more balls, but he dropped at leat 3 if not 4 that were right in his hands, and he seemed to show no real energy - he was very sluggish between snaps.
    • South Florida's George Selvie had a mixed game.  He got several QB hurries, but no sacks.  He made a special teams tackle and was around the ball a lot, but the North always seemed to run the play away from him.  The South coaches never played him standing up, which was a huge disappointment and probably hurt his stock.  The other USF Bulls in the game, Safety Nate Allen, and Corner Jerome Murphy, both had bad games.
    • Patrick Robinson and Devin McCourty however, stood out as the two best corners in the game.  Both of them were stuck like glue to their receivers all game.  I was actually really impressed by Robinson, but since he got trucked by Dickerson, and McCourty was spectacular on special teams, I'm going to give the trophy to McCourty (who I actually had in my top 5 corners last year but he decided to stay in school).
    • My 4th ranked Outside Linebacker, Austen Lane of Murray State, lined up at DE in the game and showed tremendous speed as he recovered a fumble then returned it for a touchdown.  Now, I don't know why after showing the replay four times, not a single commentator or referee noticed that he was downed by contact by the QB (he slid into him as he recovered the ball), but it was one of the few moments of the game where someone on the field seemed to understand the rules, as he recovered on the ground, then got up and ran it in.  There were at least 10 moments in the game where guys were standing around not covering up fumbles, or lining up after a 1st down.  
    • Let's talk inside-linebackers. My 9th and 10th ranked LBs, Darryl Sharpton of Miami, and Jamar Chaney of Mississippi State were unimpressive.  My 8th ranked Daryl Washington of TCU looked good early on but his name did not get called much throughout the game.  Weatherspoon was the clear winner here, and the fact that he played both inside and outside during the game really upped his value.
    • RB Joique Bell did what I expected he would do, run-down hill with force and get his name mentioned a few times.  He didn't get a ton of reps, but he was powerful at times.
    • And finally, I don't know who the illiterate guy that NFL Network had patrolling the sidelines was, but he sounded terrible with his crackly yet ultra-nasal voice and his questions were ridiculous.  Anyone watching would be blind to have missed Jim Schwartz' body language towards the guy that said it all.  He thought the guy was a complete idiot, and so did I.   The fact that we missed a good handful of plays, including the Austen Lane fumble recovery because he was trying to make himself look good on the sidelines, really pissed me off.  Come on, NFLN, class it up a little, not all football fans want to pay to listen to some one less understandable than the players themselves.  That said, did anyone see the Myron Rolle interview?  It would be interesting to compare his speech now to how it will sound after 10 years of banging heads in the NFL.
    So, in review, there were a lot of things I wish I had seen more of in the Senior Bowl, most of all, more competition - I thought at times some of the players were goofing off too much.  I didn't mind the in between plays celebrations, I actually miss some of the spectacle that the refs have taken away, but there was a lack of energy at times and a definite lack of focus.  Even Coach Sparano looked like he was tripping on mushrooms for half the game.  I didn't see a lot of efforts of the kind you'd expect from the players who are trying to get drafted.  The East-West Shrine Game was much more competitive than this one.  And one of the players from that game, WR Freddie Barnes, remains the top WR from these all-star games.  And Mike Kafka still had the best QB performance of the two games.

    Basically, only Brandon Graham clearly moved up his stock this week, with standout performances both in practices and in the game.

    Those are my thoughts.  What about you guys?