Monday, May 3, 2010

State of the Spring Union

Hey everyone. Long time no blog! Actually it was only since Friday, but I was keeping up with the comments and the rookie camp stuff on the official web-site so I feel like a lot has been happening in Dolphin-land since I last blogged.

First of all, the Rookies got their groove on over the week-end, getting their first taste of the NFL life. The practice squadders got their first chance at being the 'ONE's for a change, and I came to a sudden realization - that this team is significantly better off than it was last year.

Sometimes it's hard to notice these things as they creep up on you, but in 2008 we had a guy by the name of Davone Bess make the team off an invite to camp - he wasn't a post-draft signed UDFA - he got a contract based on what he did in rookie camp.

He wasn't the only 'street' player picked up that year, there were actually several of them. In 2009 we carried over with the same 'rock-turning' mentality, but to a lesser degree. In 2010, I honestly don't see any room for any street free-agents to make the team. Surely that means we've improved from a personnel standpoint.

A couple of notes from rookie camp:
  • Several attendees were apparently impressed by former USF Bull WR, Taurus Johnson (who I wrote about during the 2009 draft here) who showed the ability to beat DBs deep consistently during camp. He's a guy who can return kicks as well as play the slot with the occasional kick out wide to run WR screens. This beating guys deep is a new development in his arsenal, which is promising.
  • Coach Sparano was impressed by the football smarts of the drafted LBs. There's no doubt that Koa Misi, AJ Edds and Austin Spitler are three of the calmest, most focused guys we had out there on the field.
  • Nate Ness may be listed as a safety on the roster, but he lined up at corner during camp, and Sparano said that's where he played last season (during practices) so I think it's fair to move him from the safety competition over to the corner competition.
  • I saw a couple of clips of TE John Nalbone - he looks thin and slow, and basically not what you'd expect of a guy who spent a year on the practice squad of an NFL team, especially the Dolphins. They are known for 'transforming' player's bodies - yet Nalbone looks like he's been working at the mall for the past year.
  • An interesting thing over at the official roster - updated yesterday - it lists Pat White as a rookie. Everyone else seems to have accurate experience listed.
The rookies now have to leave the training facilities for 2 weeks (they're not even allowed to lift weights on-site) before returning for OTAs on May 18th. Mandatory Mini-camp is May 28-30, though I suspect that's just a formality as last year we had 100% attendance for OTAs.


69 comments:

  1. Tim The EnchanterMay 3, 2010 at 11:47 AM

    "yet Nalbone looks like he's been working at the mall for the past year." LOL 

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  2. I think it's tough to have any idea about Tauras Johnson & Julius Pruitt, since we don't really ever see them play.  And that's not good if Nalboner doesn't look legit.  I thought he had good measured speed last year, so I was hoping he could be the down-the-field, seem busting TE.  I would say it's pretty evident that Fasano, Haynos and Sperry are quick enough for that role - although Sperry looked quite good catching last year.

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  3. We Have PlaymakersMay 3, 2010 at 11:49 AM

    I know it's only the beginning of May but I'm throwing it out there anyway--Patrick Turner better make sure he is ready to compete for a job.   If not, well, let's just say that if Parcells & Ireland aren't afraid to admit they made a mistake.

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  4. We Have PlaymakersMay 3, 2010 at 11:51 AM

    Psu,

    I was pretty surprised that we didn't use Sperry more after the game where he had three catches.

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  5. PSU, you never chimed in on the PSU corner we picked up - did he even play much?

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  6. I wonder if they are thinking of eventually moving Jerry to RT and moving Carey to RG? Then they would have Incognito and Garner to fill the other guard spot...or something along those lines.
    Cheers!

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  7. Yeah the Trifecta would never do that...lol.

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  8. Mark my words...I think that Edds will blossom on defense like Hartline did last year on offense.

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  9. Is Turner the offense's version of Jason Allen? LOL

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  10. They used him at LG for 2 practices and RG for 2 practices.  I think they want to use him exclusively at Guard with the possibility of being a back-up Tackle.  Generally you don't wait till the 3rd round to draft a starting Tackle though.  Considering Carey's giant contract, I don't see him being moved anywhere.

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  11. PSU,
    I wouldn't be surprised if Haynos' game comes up a notch this year. You are correct that they all have the speed to be a "seam buster" and he is one BIG target.

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  12. Tim The EnchanterMay 3, 2010 at 12:07 PM

    The trifecta admitted they made a mistake on Shawn Murphy. They don't come right out and say we made a mistake, they cut the player and move on. That says it all. The same with Eric Green and Gibril Wilson.

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  13. Tim The EnchanterMay 3, 2010 at 12:07 PM

    Well Jason actually plays in games. LOL

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  14. We Have PlaymakersMay 3, 2010 at 12:07 PM

    Bam-Bam,

    I hope you're right.  I'm pretty sure the media & the fans are mostly going to focus on Misi, Odrick, & Jones since we starting needs at those positions but if Edds can be a solid contributor this season our defense is going to be deeper & much improved.

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  15. We Have PlaymakersMay 3, 2010 at 12:12 PM

    I don't want Turner to be a mistake but if he is there will be guys ready to pick up the slack.  Turner REALLY has to separate himself from the other guys b/c guys like Grace-Mullen & Taurus Johnson are potential return men.

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  16. TTE, they don't like to admit those mistakes quickly - with Murphy they bumped him up to starter - he just got dumped by his third team this past week.  They continued to start Ginn despite his ineffectiveness in mid-season -and don't make me bring up the Wilford-fiasco.  They also should've cut Pat White by now....

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  17. Edds could very well push Crowder by the end of this thing - there's many months to go.

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  18. We Have PlaymakersMay 3, 2010 at 12:21 PM

    Bam-Bam,

    What I like about a guy like Jerry is that he provides the versatility to play RT.  Our overall depth on the O-line says a lot about what kind of team we're trying to be.

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  19. Sperry came in at a time when we had no production from our TEs and just blew up in that game - his first ever NFL game - but the next week Fasano came back from his injury so Sperry dropped down to special teams only.

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  20. We Have PlaymakersMay 3, 2010 at 12:27 PM

    Tinshaker,

    Three reasons to keep Pat White around;

    1) He can help us determine which receiver can jump the highest
    2) He gives the other three QB's more confidence
    3) We need someone to rub down the new balls before practice

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  21. Tim The EnchanterMay 3, 2010 at 12:28 PM

    Tin, most teams don't like to admit they made mistakes. That's why JaMarcus Russell is still a Raider and Gholston is still a Jet. I know money is a big issue with those two but if neither can play what's the point?

    Wilford lasted only one year though. The same with Murphy, the same with Wilson, the same with Beck (not their guy). You have to make sure you've tried everything before you get rid of them.

    Ginn was benched for a few games and though he may have started a lot, they weren't going to him very often and other WRs played just as much.

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  22. I meant to say Fasano, Haynos & Sperry ARE NOT quick enough for that role...

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  23. LOL at everything, but especially LOL @ <span>"He can help us determine which receiver can jump the highest".</span>

    Also, shows toughness in receivers willing to crash into Parcells' golf cart attempting to catch the ball.

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  24. TTE - when was Ginn benched?  He lost some snaps, but he still played in every game - I think the only game he didn't start was the one he had the two KR TDs in...and the coaches still started him down the stretch despite the elevation of Hartline.

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  25. We Have PlaymakersMay 3, 2010 at 12:38 PM

    LOL!!!  Hey, as long as we keep him off the field I have no problems with him.  It was mind-numbing that Henning just refused to give up on him!!!  Okay it's 3rd & 4 at our own 23 & I know Pat is colder than ice but let's see what he's got, just for laughs...

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  26. Tim The EnchanterMay 3, 2010 at 12:38 PM

    That's what I meant. Not that he didn't play at all, but he did lose quite a few snaps. Like I said even though he was still starting he didn't get any more snaps than the other WRs. We used them all. We don't have to worry about it anymore, Hartline is going to play a lot this year and Marshall is here now.  :)

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  27. Tin - My opinion of AJ Wallace is that he was never a big-time player at PSU.  They tried him on Offense his Freshman year - I think they lined him up at RB & WR.  He also returned kicks too.  I remember noticing him being fast & quick with the ball... Then they moved him to CB as a Sophomore I believe.  He just never did anything special at CB.  I don't think he blew many coverages and I think he had enough athleticism, he just didn't do much (not hearing a CB's name called isn't always a bad thing, I guess).  As a Senior, I think he played better.  To be honest, he fits the size mold but I'm not expecting anything from him.  Maybe he's just young at learning the CB position and needs some time & coaching... but I think he needs more than a 3-day mini camp's worth of attention.  I am happy for him if he somehow makes a practice squad, but that's as far as I see him going for the next year. 

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  28. Tim The EnchanterMay 3, 2010 at 12:39 PM

    You guys are brutal. LOL

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  29. <span><span>"An interesting thing over at the official roster - updated yesterday - it lists Pat White as a rookie. Everyone else seems to have accurate experience listed."</span></span>

    New NFL rule....if you totally suck, you have to repeat your rookie year.

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  30. well, then i guess ginn is going into his 4th rookie year LOL

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  31. You just can't resist it...he's not even on the team anymore...OMG, do we have to wait 3 yrs on PW too? :(

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  32. I'm just saying that Carey had a better comfort zone as a OG with the 'Canes and he has issues at times at his current position.

    Regardless, our OL has to play better in pass protection and in the running game, so we don't have to use TE's for assistance. Better to use them occasionally but prioritize their services as receivers this year.

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  33. I think rubbing the balls is what he is best suited for.

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  34. Crowder is being pushed by Dobbins, and most anyone that can stand up.

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  35. Not to get too excited, or have my heads in the clouds too much, but if Jones actually can play FS effectively and Edds is as good as people say he is in coverage, we might have just turned our biggest weakness into a young strength. Here's hoping I guess.

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  36. We Have PlaymakersMay 3, 2010 at 2:55 PM

    Bam-Bam,

    I don't like Carey as our RT.  He doesn't play with enough aggression & IMO his performance has been mediocre at best over the last two seasons.  In fact I was very surprised when he was re-signed.  With that said, one thing Sparano knows is O-linemen so he must know something I don't.  In the last two years our lackluster play @ RG MUST have contributed to Carey's performance.  First it was Ndukwe (after Thomas got hurt) & then it was Thomas who eventually gave way to Garner & now we bring in Incognito. 

    The only complimentary thing I can say about Carey at this point is that he's extremely durable which actually means a lot.  I totally agree with you that the right side needs to play better in both aspects of the offense & yes if we don't have to 'max-protect' with two TE's then Henne will have more weapons down the field.  I'm pretty sure Bess is going to be our slot-receiver & we'll utilize Hartline to stretch the field.

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  37. We Have PlaymakersMay 3, 2010 at 3:14 PM

    UFCane,

    This was a huge weakness.  Getting rid of Ayodele & bringing in Dansby was a great start but if we found another LB that can drop back in coverage & make plays then we've got something.  As for Jones, it's early but I'm optimistic as well.

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  38. That reminds me of the drinking game I invented...instead of taking a shot everytime Pat White came into the game, you'd have to drink the entire time leading up to him coming in the game, just so you couldn't notice that everytime Henne completed 5 passes in a row we'd yank him out of the game and put in the cold rookie.

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  39. Hey... once this uncapped year came they've been quicker than anyteam to admit mistakes and dump as many overpaid players as well... Now we just need to complete it with Reggie Torbor(2011: $3.05 million) and Justin Smiley(2011:$4.9 million, 2012:$4.4 million) before the season starts.

    If Will Allen goes down again... I'd cut him too. >.> 5.5 million next year. Otherwise if he stays healthy due to our lack of true cb depth you probably keep him even though he's probably getting overpaid.

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  40. I disagree completely.... I think Carey has been a big part of our success especially in the running game and wildcat. The fact is Carey was signed by this regime and his contract goes as far into the future as any player on the team, the only people scheduled to be here just as long is Marshall/Dansby and they signed their contracts a year later. They must have confidence in him. I'd say Carey gets blamed a lot for the lackluster RG play we've had the past couple years.

    Long/Carey had the highest number of snaps of any tackle combo in the league last year, they both held up well and in relation to other tackles their number of mistakes in the passing game were low, couple that with both being exceptional run blockers and I think you have the two great tackles you want on the outside for years to come.

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  41. Who's this 6-8 RT Dan Ryan I read about @ the cbs/Dolphin link ???
    6-8, 308, 5.02 , when did he get pk'd up???  I don't recall his name here?? 
    Ain't he almost tooo tall for tackle,and slow for TE ?? Another one of TS's son's childhood friends??


    """There was a GIANT guy playing right tackle.  Dan Ryan is a 6'8" rookie out of Connecticut that didn't look bad, but a guy that size you can only hope will pick things up quickly.  It's amazing how somebody that big doesn't have a better shot at a job, but at least the coaches can work with him for the time being, and then who knows.""

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  42. Tim The EnchanterMay 3, 2010 at 4:54 PM

    Well I believe Jonathan Ogden was 6-8 and Jake Long is 6-7 so I wouldn't say he's too tall for OT.

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  43. Fish, I heard Florio on the radio on my way home from work and he was calling for Ireland's job!!! These guys are out of hand, the woman obviously has issues and he makes it worse by forcing other reporters to drag her through the mub in order to get him to STFU. The guy seemed like he knew his stuff until they brought up this Bryant crap.

    He said that when Parcells retires the czar job will go to Carl Peterson, who will use this Bryant BS as a reason to fire Ireland and bring in his own guy. Now I ask you, just what has KC done in the NFL since Lenny freaking Dawson retired? I'm sorry but Peterson does absolutely nothing for me as a personnel guy. I would hate to see Ross hire a guy because he is friends with him and allow nepotism to drag us back to the dark ages we are just starting to rise from.
    Mr. Florio, how about a big heaping helping of STFU!!!

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  44. We Have PlaymakersMay 4, 2010 at 8:01 AM

    Patrick,

    Bear in mind that Carl Peterson is no spring chicken either.  I believe he's 68 so I think that's a big leap. 

    It comes down to winning.  If we have a good season Ireland isn't going anywhere.

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  45. Tim The EnchanterMay 4, 2010 at 8:04 AM

    Maybe Mike Florio should be fired for continuing to write about Dez Bryant's mother possibly being a prostitute. He's the one who keeps this fresh in everyone's mind.

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  46. Is it safe to assume that Mike Florio is a prostitute?

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  47. Sun, I would call it a sensationalism whore!  He's a prostitute to whatever will generate hits on his website.

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  48. We Have PlaymakersMay 4, 2010 at 9:48 AM

    Patrick,

    Unfortunately he's not the only one.

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  49. Patrick,

    i heard him yesterday on 620 too.  you would think it was his mom ireland insulted.  the guy has some sort of hard on for ireland and the fins.  my guess is he is just upset cause dez's mom told him, even she wouldn't do him for money

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  50. The guy has got to feel silly after finding out she got arrested for selling crack... I mean even a crack whore wouldn't do him!

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  51. Thurs 8 pm EST NFLN America's Game ( the STORY of the 72 Dolphins ), 9pm 73 Dolphins!!

    I went to several games w'my intramural league/team/coaches!!
    Hope those that were mere twinkels in their parent's eye's can, FEEL THE GLORY !!!

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  52. WOWWW, IFFFF Jones starts @ FS, that look's like FIVE 1st yr STARTERS from this draft,
    or @THELEAST 5 gyz that appear to me to be STRONG o10 contributor's and o11 starters!!

    NOT SURE on Jone's but I definately see Odrich, Misi, Jerry as o10 starters,
    w'EDDS @the least a pass defending LB every series!!
    Though I actually see his intelligence/instincts making CC upon injury(if not sooner) 
    a sideline instigator for the remainder of his career!!

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  53. So that makes two in 75 or however many yrs the league's existed!!
    Still seems a rarity to me!!!   """ ain't he ALMOST tooo tall"""???

    Posted the above earlier, then accidently deleted when I came back after checking the roster to validate my own thought's only to see how wrong I was!!!


    DAMNNNN, is this league/team gettin bigger or what???  

    We have 34 gyz on the current roster 6-4 and over, and  3 OT @ 6-7 (not including 6-8 DRyan),
    w'the other 2 OTs @ 6-5,6-6...  I hadn't realized the league/our team has gotten that BIGGG, DAMNNN!!!
     
    For Henne's sake, lucky we have 6-8 JHaynos!!  Surprised Henne doesn't have to practice the jump pass!! 
     
     

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  54. 5-5 WEDNESDAY 8pm , NOTTTTT Thursday!!!

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  55. Just watched the mini-camp highlight's day2 eve, liked #40 Jonathan Amaya's feet on the one shot of him,
    (in comparison to NNess)...

    Who were the QBs #8, 9 ???   MD.com doesn't have all the numbers I saw!!!

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  56. Is BMarshall REALLY gonna wear # ZERO ???  (No can do, I believe!!!)

    Guess we'll know in two weeks!!!

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  57. Out of left field here, but I just want to thank you Tin for having this website. I was just reading some of the comments by people on Mando's blog and the SS and it just makes me feel good to know I can come here to talk about the Dolphins and not some crazy rant about race or chemtrails, haha. Cheers

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  58. Davone Bess refuses to sell #15 - so Marshall will have to change number or
    wait until Bess gets cut after training camp, lol

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  59. one QB was Casey Dick from U of Arkansas..the other was Jameel Sewell from U
    of Virginia.

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  60. yw ufcane, thanks for being a part of it.

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  61. Tim The EnchanterMay 5, 2010 at 8:02 AM

    Tin, I was looking at your Trifecta Draftees.

    2008 - Long, Henne and Langford starting with Merling and Thomas starting at times and getting significant playing time, with Lex Hilliard being a valuable ST and backup RB and Dotson still holding on as a backup DL.

    Grade: A

    2009 - Davis and Smith starting with Hartline and Clemons getting significant playing time. White, Turner, Nalbone, Gardener and Folsom have to show more to get a better grade.

    Grade: B-

    2010 - It's too early but there is a lot of potential in the draft class.

    Grade: Incomplete

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  62. I agree, they have done a fine job rebuilding and getting rid of players who disrupt team chemistry by holding on to the laurels of the past. The only pick I think they missed on is Pat White but there is still time for him to develop into something.

    One mistake a lot of new coaches/GMs make is keeping around core players from the existing group who are not "their" players. Letting guys like JT, Zach and Porter go may look foolish on the surface but a coach needs players who buy into his philosophy and sometimes the studs from the past can hinder the chemistry of the future. When Sparano talks about certain players holding others back he is not necessarily talking about playing time as much as buying in to the philosophy. If they don't know anything else it is easier to get buy in. This could be part of the reason certain FAs don't pan out, because they don't buy in.

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  63. Ultimately, I believe last year will end up 3 starters- Davis/Smith/Hartline and nothing more... maybe i'm off on Clemons but based on what i've seen of him i've already dismissed him as a career backup at best. It's weird but of all the guys behind the 3 starters, I think the only one who even has a chance to really make an impact is Turner, he has the tools if he could just figure out how to get off the line and get some sort of seperation.

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  64. I wonder if Brandon Marshall will have an affect on Turner? When he sees a guy play at that level it could be what makes the light turn on for him.

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  65. i dont pay as much attention to the draft as many of you, but i would think, if you can get 3 starters out of a draft (unless you are NE and the league gives you 177 pics) i would think you are doing pretty good at the draft.  Every player cant be a starter, so some need to be backups. 

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  66. Tim The EnchanterMay 5, 2010 at 10:52 AM

    ffr, the Pats only got 162 picks this year.

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  67. "Jamarcus Russle is a great quarterback, get over it!"   LOL

    30 million dollar bum

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