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Update from Wednesday OTA practice

Here are some nuggets from today's OTA practice, hot off the presses:

The biggest news is that John Beck is taking most of the first-team snaps at quarterback. But that's just today. It does not mean he's the starting quarterback -- remember there will be a competition -- because he and Josh McCown are splitting days taking first-team snaps.

In other words, Beck took first team snaps today, McCown will tomorrow, Beck will Friday and so on. Rookie Chad Henne, who is present despite being unsigned, doesn't know the offense well enough yet to get thrown in with starters.

"This way is better than going back and forth," McCown said of splitting first-team snaps day to day. "It's better for continuity."

Running back Ronnie Brown was on the field and working. Good news considering he is recovering from ACL surgery. But don't go overboard here. A non-contact practice in shorts and no pads is not an indication Brown is ready for the season opener. But this is encouraging.

Safety Yeremiah Bell, injured all of last year with an Achilles' tendon tear, is indeed working, and as a starter no less. So he is obviously healthy. Jason Allen is also taking first-team snaps.

Another player injured much of last year -- cornerback Andre Goodman -- is working with the starters ahead of Mike Lehan, who was the starter most of last year

Justin Smiley is working at right guard which leaves something of a hole at left guard. Look for Ikechuku Ndukwe as a dark horse at that spot -- at least for now. Obviously, Trey Darilek and rookie Shawn Murphy are possibilities, also.

The Dolphins are making the most of their linebacker acquisitions. Reggie Torbor, Charlie Anderson, and Akin Ayodele are all looking like starters at this point. Obviously that doesn't account for Jason Taylor not being here. That starting group is also joined by holdover Joey Porter.

Porter is still playing the strong side linebacker spot. Anderson is the weakside, or rush linebacker that Taylor would play if he were here.

Torbor (Giants) and Anderson (Houston) were acquired as unrestricted free agents. Ayodele came in a trade with Dallas.

Players predictably played down Taylor's absence today.

"It doesn't matter to me that he's not here," Porter said. "I'm not concerned about Jason. He'll be here eventually and he'll learn everything he needs to learn."

The Dolphins have injuries they are nursing. The most disappointing is nose tackle Paul Soliai who was practicing at the end of last year but has somehow found a way to be not able to work today. Will try and report his injury later.

Other injured players sitting out work today are safety Renaldo Hill, tight end Anthony Fasano, and guard Steve McKinney. Linebacker Channing Crowder, who finished last season on IR after knee surgery, was on the field but was limited. That's why he wasn't in with the starting linebackers when they competed in team drills.

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First!

Thanks for the info Armando, keep it coming.

What about Channing Crowder at LB? How does Ricky look?

Armando, why do you have to say "But don't go overboard here. A non-contact practice in shorts and no pads is not an indication Brown is ready for the season opener."?

Are you going to say that with every report during every minicamp and during training camp?

We all know he's coming off of an injury but the fact that he's participating today is awesome news. Basically none of what we see during the minicamps, training camp and preseason means much until the players prove it in a real game.

I thought it was pretty obvious and widely accepted that Steve McKinney is here so that Justin Smiley can be kept at Right Guard and they don't need to move him to the more unfamiliar Left Guard position just so that they can get a veteran presence next to Jake Long. That doesn't necessarily rule out Shawn Murphy, but they'll only put Murphy out there if it looks like Long doesn't need a veteran presence and having two rookies out there next to each other isn't making any difference on the negative side.

Andre Goodman starting is a big surprise. Would have thought Todd Bowles' boy Michael Lehan would get the nod. But, the last time Bowles worked with Lehan, Bowles was the nickel coach and I believe Lehan was the nickel corner...so perhaps he sees him in the same role here? Could Andre Goodman be the guy they were talking about when Sparano said they were really pleasantly surprised by how much talent they had in the corners?

Funny how Nick Saban's DB's are still around for the most part. Will Allen, Goodman, Lehan, Renaldo Hill. He picked all of them off of the scrap heap pretty much. Two regimes later and they are still here. There were alot of things Saban did that were questionable but he did know defense. That keeps showing up.

Will Allen, Andre Goodman and Renaldo Hill were all seasoned UFAs signed by Saban, they weren't picked up off the scrap heap.

It was a relative scrap heap. Will Allen was chased out of New York with a broom. Andre Goodman was allowed to walk from Detroit, a team that was extremely starved for CB talent at the time. Renaldo Hill was nothing more than a dime player for most of his career.

Saban generally did a decent job identifying secondary help, and an even better job putting them in position to overachieve. He should have, that's where the bulk of his experience lay. He was a DB himself, and I believe a DBs coach, before becoming a defensive coordinator.

Remember to also give him credit for Michael Lehan, who first arrived under Saban, and even though he didn't draft him he did bring along Yeremiah Bell and give him his shot even though he was just a late round pick with a history of injuries.

If only Jason Allen had come along more quickly, but hey whatever.

mando,

yea, what about channing and ricky? who are the 1st DE's? starks, merling or roth and at what side? what kind of shape is carey in? we are hungry man, please cover all spots on both sides of the ball? draw me a pic mando...who is working 1st team TE? run to pass ratio? thankx bud.

I'm not sure why anyone would think Josh McCown would be the starter. When they first signed him, Parcells went on the radio and said that McCown would be the backup and that John Beck "and someone else" would compete for the start.

I mean honestly, does anyone think we're going to find out what Josh McCown is in his seventh year as a pro? I don't think so. He's thrown 1,000 professional passes. That's plenty of time and experience to show people what you've got.

It's time to figure out what we have with John Beck, and what we have with Chad Henne. That's the attitude they went into this thing with and that's the attitude they'll go with, IMO.

Harricane: Channing Crowder was on the field but was limited due the knee injury he had last year.

First team DEs were Roth and Vonnie Holliday

I'd like to know more about Matt Roth. I'm pretty sure that he's going to have a big year. Can we have an update on his progress please?

ok, just watched the video on dolphins.com from the practice. beck had the fastest release, receivers, new and old did not drop a pass. ronnie looks full speed as does ricky. looks like they have picked up their relationship where it left off, as in good. neither dropped a pass and ran 80% full speed. defense working on the rush including linebackers rushing. talent rich it looks to me.

Matt Roth was working with the first-team today along with Vonnie Holliday at the other DE spot. I would think Randy Starks will get a chance to compete against Roth.

thankx mando. vonnie works for me roth may have to prove himself. thankx bud.

ckparrothead, you're wrong. Will Allen was a UFA just like any other UFA and we signed him to a long term deal for pretty good money, hardly a scrap heap deal. Andre Goodman had been a proven starter and nickel back, and Renaldo Hill had starting experience at corner and safety. So I have no idea where you're getting your information because it's inaccurate.

Thanks Armando, I think Roth will be our most-improved player. Mark my words.

I'm pretty sure Randy Starks is going to rotate at NT with Ferguson.

My information is not in any way inaccurate. Nor is yours, I might add.

Yes, Goodman had starting experience. Yes, he was also allowed to walk from a team in the Detroit Lions that had hardly any talent at the CB position. Was it due to money? Hardly, he signed here for like $5 million over 3 years.

Yes, Renaldo Hill had starting experience. Yes, the bulk of his pro experience had been in dime and nickel formations. He was also allowed to walk, even though he signed in Miami for something similar to Goodman, like $6 million over 3 years.

Hardly coveted free agents. If you'd like to pretend they were, fine with me. Everyone has the right to be wrong.

And I'm pretty sure Randy Starks himself just told the press that they've been working him mostly at DE since he arrived.

Randy Starks working at DE. Soliai, Anthony Torbio, Kory Roberson all working at DT. Well, actually, Soliai not really working now.

Man, Soliai definitely in the dumps right now. But, if so...I don't get the draft strategy. Why Shawn Murphy at #110 and not Red Bryant? If everyone are so down on Soliai, I mean heck.

because parrothead, we got a guy named jason ferguson as a FA for NT. mando can help out but i think we drafted a DL that has experience in the middle as well. anything beats keith traylor at the end of his career.

Hey Mando, have you seen some improvement in Beck's passing skills? How about our receivers?

Nobody was chasing those DB's in free-agency. You have to be wanted to be coveted. Those guys were left-overs. They definitely were tier lower than what we were use to with Surtain, Madison and Buckley being pro bowlers.

I think Beck will win the job. He is a workaholic and he has an arm. The only thing against him is he's a little shorter than you would like. McCown's experience is not greater than Beck's upside. McCown has experience losing.

I know who we drafted and I know who we traded for. We traded a future 6th round pick for Jason Ferguson. Not exactly a blockbuster deal. We didn't draft anyone with NT experience. Lionel Dotson did not play the nose in college, and he's viewed mostly as a DE with the Dolphins (with an option to be a NT a little later, perhaps...long arms).

I think GMs make mistakes when they convince themselves they've fooled the rest of the world. Rick Spielman did it with David Boston. He traded a 6th round pick for the guy, then hailed him as the second coming because he looked good a few times in OTA type activities. We had zero backup in case Boston did the predictable. Boston was worth only a 6th rounder because of injury history, attitude problems, and steroid suspicions. Sure enough, he goes on to bust his knee up, assault an airport security guard, and get caught with steroids in his pee, all in one year. His injury, not Ricky Williams' retirement, was the immediate impetus that caused Spielman to come off his 1st & 3rd round demands for Ogunleye, and trade him for Marty Booker and a 3rd. Spielman's mistake was risk management. He fell in love with his own maneuver, convinced himself he'd somehow tricked the market and picked up a good starter for a mere 6th round pick, didn't have a backup plan, and paid the price.

I'd like to think that this current brain trust is not repeating the same mistake with Jason Ferguson. They traded a future 6th for him...and you tend to get what you paid for in this league. The position is a very important one. As Ferguson said best, it isn't just about handling double teams, it's about demanding a double team. If you get singled up on the Center, you'd better blow his butt up to where the offensive line coach says to his guys you make sure this guy is doubled at all times. Then, the center of the offensive formation is all his, "from B to B" as he put it so eloquently. He's got to make the play from B gap to B gap.

That's why, if they really are as down on Paul Soliai as some suggest...I question why we go with Shawn Murphy at #110 instead of Red Bryant. Or even why go for Kendall Langford at #66 instead of Pat Sims.

Just a question, that's all.

How do you talk the LG spot and not mention McKinney, even if he didn't practice? He still HAS to be in consideration for that job if not a favorite, as he has plenty of experience at left guard and Miami has no veterans at the guard spot.

not to argue parrothead, i respect your opinion. but in my opinion, ferguson is big and has great experience in the 3-4. plus we got that 6th back in the booker trade and 6th i thought was a pretty good deal to fix this large of a need that has not been filled in a long time. remember big daddy wilkinson and carter? not really game changers. i see the wisdom by getting jason F before the draft and then working outward on the line. got at least two potential great FA LB's as well. hell, its a start, now the work begins. i am glad to see us debating which pick is better, who will stand out. how long has it been that we have somethings good to talk about.

and marcus, i like becks size, stand next to him. he is not undersized and does have a cannon.

I think he's big enough, he is not prototypical. You would like him to be at least 6'3 and about 215-220. Beck is like 6'2, 210. Doesn't sound like much difference but it will if he gets hit alot and is getting his ball batted down every other play.

ck you're making things up. parcells never said anything about mccown being the backup. mccown will start tomorrow and they will alternate daily.

Ferguson was brought in to make the 3-4 work. He is not a star by any means. Keith Traylor wasn't either but he played the nose to perfection his first years here and made it work. Ferguson was basically given away. Don't expect pro bowl from him. But he will do his job. Hopefully long enough for us to find a replacement.

Armando, what's this about JT not participating in any OTAs, mincamps, or training camp? Is he holding out? What's going on?

yitz,

let's concentrate on who is in camp. enough about JT.

ckparrothead, do you know what a scrap heap is in the sports world? It's the equivalent of picking up a player for a bag of balls. Your use of the words scrap and heap were the wrong choice of words. Saban targeted everyone of the players we're talking about. Picking up players off the scrap heap (waiver wire or off the street) is to bring in a warm body.

Will Allen has been a starter his entire career, Goodman has been a valuable corner and nickel during his career and Hill has played in every role a DB can over his career. If that's a scrap heap to you, we should go after more of them.

John Beck added muscle weight during the offseason and is reportedly weighing in at about 225 now. He played at 216 last year.

Any indication where Miami is playing Merling?

If a retread like Josh McCown is starting for us, then something has gone horribly wrong with Beck and Henne, and our scouts should be fired.

I disagree. Just because a young QB doesn't start early in his career (especially in Henne's case) doesn't mean he's not a better prospect than the veteran in front of him. Would you have said in 2003 that if Palmer didn't start over Kitna, something had gone horribly wrong with Palmer? You could make an argument that Beck should be ready to start, but he if doesn't his carer isn't over. And you definitely can't say Henne not starting in 2008 means anything bad.

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