Friday, August 27, 2010

Dolphins vs Falcons

Well last night's game may not have been fun to watch, but I'm not down on the team at all.

There were several things in the game that I wanted to see and for the most part I did see. Sure, I was disappointed by the out-of-rhythm offense, but unlike Rotoworld who bashed on Chad Henne's performance, I actually watched the game, and saw at least 5 drops in the first half. It may have been more, but those who watched know that Brandon Marshall, Brian Hartline, Davone Bess, Anthony Fasano and Ricky Williams all had dropped passes while the 1st team was in the game. That kind of performance will stink up any QB's stat-line as well as throw a spanner in the works of any gameplan, and prevent any rhythm from being created. It also took away the passing threat and made it difficult to run the ball.

Sure, that sounds terrible, but realistically do we expect Marshall, Bess and Hartline to be dropping passes regularly? Fasano, maybe, but not those guys. I still think we have the offensive weapons to open up the field and make running the ball easier, but the players need to perform to their expected levels.

Speaking of performing, I think Jake Grove's time is up as the starter. He tweaked his shoulder after barely blocking throughout the game. I'm not as convinced as the media on John Jerry - I still think Donald Thomas is a better option. I do however think Incognito Long and Carey are locks to start, but those are the only 3 I'm sure about.

The defense gave up some big plays but they weren't bad for most of the game. I admit I couldn't tell if Odrick played or not, he was invisible, but Koa Misi finally showed up for me and was all over the field as was Karlos Dansby.

The initial cuts should be easy for the Dolphins this Tuesday - they are already down to 75 players, so no cuts need to be made. However, they should sign another tight end at least for the next week regardless of whether Joey Haynos' injury is serious, which it obviously was to anyone who saw it happen.

Making the roster spot for that transaction they should cut one or more of the inside linebackers that don't stand a chance in making the team, both Trifecta draft picks, JD Folsom and Austin Spitler. They are both practice squad eligible and neither will be poached. Micah Johnson came into the team very late and has blown those two out of the water. To be honest, I think he's giving Tim Dobbins a run for his money.

But all the roster cuts can wait since we're already at 75 (though TE is still an issue). Still, keep your eyes peeled for a fun little roster quiz coming up.

Camarillo and Gone

How many pre-Trifecta players are still on this team?  Without actually counting I'd guess about 4 or 5 left after the sudden and surprising trade of Greg Camarillo to the Vikings in exchange for cornerback, Benny Sapp.

The Dolphins were busy this week, releasing DT Travis Ivey, RB Tristan Davis, and OG Randy Thomas and TE Kory Sperry in addition to the Camarillo trade.

I always liked Camarillo, but felt he made the 2008 team based on making the biggest play of 2007 and hasn't really done that much since due to his season ending injury in 2008.  His biggest play since then was catching the ball with his butt cheeks vs Atlanta in week 1 of 2009.  Ultimately, he was running as the 4th WR, and thus the trade shouldn't present a huge loss.  

Still,  he was consistent if not splashy, and it was nice to know what we had in the 4th spot, which will now be taken up by an unknown in Marlon Moore or Patrick Turner.

The Vikings were desperate for a solid WR after their top players at the position, Sidney Rice and Percy harvin are both battling injuries and looking to miss significant playing time.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What's Next?

As hard as it was to get in updates whilst at work back in Sacramento, these days, being at home with the family, it's been virtually impossible - I need to get the office set up and a lock on the door! I need my Dolphins-time!

Anyway, thanks to all who showed up to chat during the Jacksonville game - I found it impossible to watch it live and had to acquire a taping of it a few days later. As with any pre-season game, the first half was pretty interesting and the second half included me dozing off a handful of times.

I won't go into any analysis of the game as the 3rd and 4th games are the only ones of importance, but there were some worrying things in the game.  The drop-off from the starters to the 2nds on the o-line was very noticeable, as it always has been, but our depth was supposed to have made the drop-off a lot smaller.  

A couple of other notes:
  • Lex Hilliard looked much better than Patrick Cobbs, even his finesse moves were better.  I think Cobbs is still safe on the roster, but he may get much fewer snaps in games if he can't show a lot more quickness and 'slipperiness'.
  • The team badly misses Nate Garner.  One of the announcers said it, he is the 5th or 6th best lineman on the team, and his ability at tackle surpasses that of Andrew Gardner by far.
  • Tony Sparano looks amazing - where is his diet-book?

  • The sheen has worn off of rookie Nolan Carroll.  He looks serviceable, but nothing like the star we read about in all the reports out of camp.  I'm not convinced he is the 5th CB - I think Nate Ness has a shot. But with Will Allen down, I'd expect both Carroll and Ness to make the final cut.  Caroll has the special teams edge, but Ness was one of the few bright spots in kick coverage in the game, making at least 2 tackles.
  • Speaking of kick coverage, man oh man, with a crew like that, wait until we face CJ Spiller, and Percy Harvin in weeks 1 and 2.

  • Chad Pennington looked good when he came into the game, but let's not kid ourselves, his passes looked like practice lobs whereas Chad Henne's looked like NFL throws.  11 for 14 with 2 drops by receivers with 150+ yards and 2 THAT is what a starting QB does in a pre-season game.  I look forward to seeing his performance in the next one to see if he can carry it over.

  • What's hotter than NFL cheerleaders in skimpy outfits?  NFL cheerleaders in skimpy outfits covered by clear plastic ponchos doing the cha-cha - they must've been sweating like crazy under there!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Dolphins at Jaguars

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Next One - Jacksonville

When it comes to the pre-season, the young guys, mostly rookies and undrafted free agents, are the main attraction.  For the veterans its nothing more than a warm-up.  For the young-bloods, it's do or die.

Jacksonville probably had the most boring draft on paper of any team in the NFL - they went almost exclusively defensive line with a couple of SOLB prospects.  They are definitely trying to perfect their 3-4 (aren't we all?).  Tyson Alualu is the only well-known prospect and sits in much the same role as our own Jared Odrick.  Both teams are expecting a lot from their respective 1st round defensive ends.

Don't get me wrong, despite their lack of excitement on draft day 2010, they had a very sharp draft/free agency period in 2009 and most if not all of their pickups are still with the team with some experience under their belt.  Still, this game should be about as exciting offensively as a butterfly cocoon in its 2nd hour of existence.  The defenses are the real attraction here, and why shouldn't they be?  Still, with Jacksonville lining up Justin Smiley (too broken to play for Miami) and Ernest Wilford (he just sucks) against Miami, the Dolphins should know how to work around them. 

The only trouble maker here is Maurice Jones-Drew and I wouldn't expect him to play more than a series or two.

I also expect Brandon Marshall to make a solemn vow to himself to not drop any passes and for the running game to get a lot more reps.  Of course, Pat White will likely also get some reps, so I don't think it will be a complete runaway game, but I still expect Miami to have the upper hand here.

Tin's prediction: MIA 24 - JAX 13

PS, this time there WILL be the live chat open with stream if available.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I'm Back Baby!

You know you've spent too much time away from your Dolphins blog when you have difficulty finding your own web browser bookmark for it on your own computer.  But here I am, on Thursday night, about to update the blog and I start first with an apology - one for leaving the loyal readers in the lurch while I packed up and moved, er, North-West.  

It has been both an exhausting experience and already a very rewarding one.  I've had more of a good time in the last week in Portland than I had all of last year in Sacramento.  Secondly, I apologize for not reading any of the comments left during that time (unlike the big boys, I do tend to read every single comment left on this site, but I had to avoid them initially so i wouldn't have any spoilers for the Tampa game since I watched it days after the fact, and partially because there are just so many of them to go through and I thought it would be better to use my spare time to get the blog engine turning again rather than keep it in stasis while I catch up.

Tonight I plan on updating the roster and transaction sections of the blog and tomorrow  morning I'll get into the next pre-season game. Thanks for sticking around in my absence.

P.S. my Sunday Ticket dreams were smashed when the DirecTV tech could not get 'line of sight' from my humble abode.  I'm waiting on a 2nd opinion from DirecTV but there is a massive canopy of trees over the property so I partly expected the bad news.  I did, however, manage to get some proper kick-ass high speed internet this time around and have had no issues streaming video since so hopefully I won't miss any games.  I know there's some PDX fans out there who can tell me where the best spots to go are if I'm in a bind.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tinshaker's Take on P.S. Game # 1

Things have been super-hectic, but I finally got a chance to watch Saturday's game between the Dolphins and the Buccaneers, also known as the Brandon Marshall No-Show.  It's important to realize this game was essentially no more than a scrimmage against the Bucs, and in terrible weather.

Still, I have never been able to figure out why the Dolphins continue to allow Nat Moore and Bob Griese to commentate their games.  The moment Moore referred to Vontae Davis as 'Davon Davis', a door should've opened in the booth and a silencer should have slowly slid into view.

Surprisingly, Sean Smith was the stand-out of this game.  He made big tackles, put receivers on their backs and had the interception (although he was lucky the ball was off-target because he got beat on the play by the WR.

Chris Clemons missed two giant tackles in the 1st quarter, one sprung the touchdown, and the other allowed TB quarterback Josh Johnson to scramble forward for 18 yards.  

Channing Crowder looked faster than usual.

Karlos Dansby looked slower than usual and had difficulty getting off his blocks.

Jared Odrick and Koa Misi both made a couple of big plays and a couple of rookie mistakes.

The offensive gameplan looked like someone left a video game on 'demo'.  No progression.  Who's the offensive coordinator again?  Oh yeah...that guy.

Jason Allen tackled a TB receiver with nothing but his that was impressive.

Paul Soliai looked both overweight and slow, but he was good at making tackles with his hands and jumped over the moon to recover a fumble for the most exciting moment of the game.  In a better weather situation where players could make cuts, Soliai would've missed a few of the big tackles he made.

Nolan Carroll looked very uneasy returning kicks but looked at home on the field in defense.

Cam Wake was getting close alot, something he did last year, but if the ground was dry and he wasn't rushing in the mud, he would have gotten to the QB more than once.

Patrick Turner may be able to catch now, but he can't run for ****.  He should've scored on the big pass play down the middle near the end of the 1st half.  Instead, he stumbled, tripped, stutter stepped and eventually fell down in the mud.

Micah Johnson looked better than Spitler and Folsom combined.  Forget the BS penalty in the end zone, he got to the QB before he threw the ball.
Davone Bess is still the most boring punt returner in the NFL.

The second half points out a couple of things - for one, the 5th WR spot very much is up for grabs.  And Nate Ness probably earned himself a tryout with the ones.  He had a good game, but let's not forget he was playing in the nickel package most of the time as the outside guy with Nolan Carroll moving inside and Jason Allen on the other side.  Ness and Allen did a good job of keeping the coverage tight which didn't deter the BUcs from actually throwing into the tight coverage but it allowed for some broken up passes and quick tackles on completions.

To me, the most notable thing about the 2nd half was that the Dolphins went into an almost exclusive all-passing game and didn't really utilize Tristan Davis, Rolly Lumbala, etc.  I don't think Lousaka Polite had a single carry.  Lex Hilliard got almost every carry in the half and for the most part looked exactly the same as last year - good at rushing straight up the middle and breaking arm tackles, but not much else.

There could be more opportunities coming for the under-used or not used at all players in the 2nd and 3rd games, but I'd suspect the play-calling will be much the same, no finesse and no complexity.  That stuff will wait until the regular season.

Will there be a Wildcat 3.0?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Training Camp Tin Bits - August 13th, 2010

Happy Friday the 13th, everyone.  This is my last blog entry in the great State of California.  As of tomorrow I'll be in the much greener (in more ways than one) State of Oregon and while the Dolphins are playing their first pre-season game I'll be engaged in the act of moving so I'll miss the whole thing.  I will do my best to continue blogging once my internet is hooked up but I'm bound to be busy with the things you get busy with when you pack up your house and move to another State.  One thing I will do is put up a chat box for use during the game.  FinFan13, you'll have the run of the place if you like, you won't have me there to disagree with everything you type and vice versa.

Now, onto the Tin Bits:

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dolphins Pull A Fast One

The Dolphins today waived WR Taurus Johnson, a day after he received high praise from Head Coach Tony Sparano.  It was one of the few times in the last two months that the coach mentioned Taurus by name.  Johnson ran a 4.42 40 in the 2009 combine, making him arguably the fastest WR in camp this year.

Despite being lost on the depth chart, Johnson seemed to me to be a likely candidate for the 5th WR spot along with Patrick Turner, Julius Pruitt and Ryan Grice-Mullen.  In fact, the more I thought about it yesterday, I couldn't help but feel that he could beat out those three based on his versatility and play-making ability.

Alas I must have jinxed him because just a day later he's gone.

Sparano said Johnson was a "4 team guy" meaning he could play kick return, punt return, kick coverage as well as offense for the Dolphins.  He said Pruitt was a "3 team guy".  He didn't say this out loud, but I'm sure he knows that Patrick Turner is a '1 team guy' and even that is debatable, but he was a 3rd round draft pick a year ago.  Grice-Mullen sparkled in early OTAs but has since been outshined by those mentioned above. 

Meanwhile, the Dolphins have signed CB Kevin Hobbs to replace the injured Evan Oglesby and re-signed G Ray Feinga.  As far as I know, Oglesby has not been waived injured, suggesting that the Dolphins could have waived Johnson just to make space for Hobbs until a decision is made on Oglesby.  Both Oglesby and Will Allen were present but not practicing this morning.

UPDATE:  Oglesby has been placed on IR and Will Allen has made an unscheduled trip to the doctor to check out his knee issues.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Training Camp Tin Bits - August 11th, 2010

In the past I did daily updates from Camp, but this year's been too hectic and full of off-blog issues for me to be able to keep up with the other guys, so I decided not to do it this year.  However, today I would like to do a few ones as we lead in to the first Pre-Season game just to see where things stand as the selection process begins for the team that will take the field on Opening Day.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Brian Cushing - Why Can't You Just Go Away?

Honestly, I don't understand the pure level of narcissism that Cushing displayed yesterday and throughout his football career really. Yesterday's talk with the media was the biggest line of BS I've seen since the Miami media suggested that there was no way Ernest Wilford wasn't going to make the Dolphins roster in 2009.

I'm not going to dwell on it because Cushing has probably got more mention on this blog than almost all the Miami players and he plays in Houston - or I should say, he'll be sitting in the stands in Houston.  But I can't help but feel, through what little accumulated wisdom that I do have, that Cushing's best possible move would've been to lay low, stay quiet, accept your punishment, and focus on football.  Everyone knows that in the Sports/Entertainment business you're only big news until the next big news comes along, and everyone had already forgotten about his failed drug test until he brought it up again with his cockamamie defense of 'Over-trained Athlete Syndrome'.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Football Begins, No One Notices

Well, probably not 'no one', but I for one, walked into a restaurant with my family last night, and while waiting for a table (in a two-thirds empty restaurant, and we were one of about ten parties waiting, what's that all about?), I noticed that the Bengals and Cowboys were playing on the TV in the corner.  I literally said out loud to my wife, "Has football started?" and she just as literally said back, "I don't care!"

Friday, August 6, 2010

Contradicting Reports and Reporting Agendas

This happens every year during Training Camp so it should be of no surprise and proves the old adage to take something with a grain of salt.

Once again we're getting three different spins on the goings on in Training Camp. I won't go into all of them, but here's some examples of things I've read that make you go "hmmm":

Jason Allen is struggling, unlikely to make the team. -or- “Jason Allen has got his hands on more footballs than anybody out there right now,” Sparano said. “So Jason Allen deserves the opportunity to move up and to see if he can do that against the best people.”

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Guest Report - Fang at Training Camp

I love waking up to find a full report from training camp in my inbox, this one's courtesy of Fang:

I have no idea at this time what others have said, it's about 1 o'clock in the morning and we just returned home.  From what I saw today was mixed bag.  First lets start off with the ugly.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Where Are They Now?

Too soon to post updates on the Class of 2010?  I think not.  Every year I keep an eye on not only Dolphin rookies, but the few players I had on my Draft Board for that year...partly because I've sort of been following them already and want to see how they get on, but also because I want to know if I was right in touting on the individual players.  To date I think I'm well over 50%, but obviously that stat means nothing because it doesn't take into consideration the players I didn't have on the board and whether or not they outperformed the ones I did.  So it's not about is the player the best in the NFL rather than is he living up to expectations or not.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

New Dolphin - Micah Johnson, ILB

You may recall that in January I posted several Top Ten lists, broken down by position, in preparation for the then upcoming NFL Draft.

In this Top Ten inside linebackers list, I rated Kentucky Wildcat, Micah Johnson, as the 4th best ILB in the draft. I also had him listed on my draft board in the later rounds, when I thought Miami would focus on ILB. They of course went LB crazy and didn't draft Johnson.

Well, today, my draft came a little bit more accurate as the Dolphins signed Johnson to fill the vacant roster spot left by AJ Edds.

Edds All Over Before It Began

Well now we've lost Jason Ferguson to retirement, Philip Merling to injury, Brian Johnston to injury, and finally, rookie linebacker, AJ Edds, also to injury.  

Monday, August 2, 2010

On The Line

Please note that I was not on vacation last week - I was on a relocation mission.  I am officially and finally getting out of California and heading back to my adopted hometown of Portland, OR (technically I'll be in Beaverton, a suburb of the Rose City).  I am now back in Cali to pack up and finish up the project I've been working on for the last 4 years.  In two weeks, my family and I will hit the road in our moving truck and say good-bye to the Sacramento Valley for good.  The good news is that since this blog is based in the ethernet, nothing will change here - in fact, it may actually get better since I'll be upgrading my internet services just in time for the season.

Speaking of football, boy did I miss a lot of stories while I was gone.  I regret not keeping up to date but I have now updated the transactions page and caught up on the puff pieces over at The next major task is to update the roster, but that will have to wait until my lunch break.