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MANDATORY minicamp over (with poll!)

Pretty uneventful practice Sunday.

I watched rookie Dan Carpenter on kickoffs and he does have a booming leg. He drove all but one of his kicks to the goal line and a couple even went out of the end zone. I will be writing a column about the kicking competition that Bill Parcels basically announced last week in the coming days. A couple of things in there will surprise you as Jay Feel attempts to keep his job.

The three quarterbacks all got first-team snaps today. John Beck had a couple of nice throws, including one in which he basically got the ball over a defensive lineman's helmet as that lineman was grabbing onto him and the rest of the pocket was breaking down.

Ernest Wilford was present for the walk-thru before the media was allowed in to watch, according to Tony Soprano. He was absent for the actual practice because he had a flight to catch, the coach said..

As to the advancements the team made during the three-day camp:

"I just told the team this at the end of practice, I thought we had an awful lot of competition during this training camp," Soprano said. "We had competition in the red zone, in two-minute situations, on third down. We were able to evaluate some of our bigger people packages and we got a chance to see our blitz-pickups and blitz packages."

So the Dolphins, like FedEx, got a look at a lot of packages this weekend.

The top performers of the weekend IMHO?

1. Ricky Williams. Looks cut, quick and strong. He is the best player on the team right now. It says something when Parcells gives the player a fist-pound after a play, which he did Saturday. By the way, Williams got all of the first-team work in team drills as Ronnie Brown is being held back from that as he recovers from ACL surgery. Brown is still well ahead of schedule.

2. Yeremiah Bell. I kidded with him that he looks like Dan Marino out there because he's wearing two ankle braces and two knee braces. He laughed but Sparano called the safety "a good quarterback out there," meaning that is the role Bell plays on D. I don't believe he blew an assignment all weekend long.

3. Vonnie Holliday. Let's face it, he is the team's best DL right now. He is healthy, he plays smart. And frankly, he looked to be schooling some of the OLinemen most of the weekend.

4. Ernest Wilford. He is the team's best receiver right now. He catches everything, he knows how to run routes and he knows how to separate even though he doesn't have the greatest speed in the world. My prediction is he leads all receivers in catches this year although Ted Ginn is the No. 1 receiver.

5. Joey Porter. I know he was something of a disappointment last year, primarily because his performance didn't match his salary. But was he a bad player? I don't think so. This weekend he spent extra time working with defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni on his pass-rush technique. He told me to expect new things we haven't seen before. We'll see.

Also, the Dolphins brought former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer to training camp today and he spoke for 45 minutes about how to deal with the media.

"The most important thing about dealing with the media is mental discipline," Fleischer told me. "The same mental discipline athletes bring to the field, they should bring to the press. That way they don’t make mistakes. They don’t get taunted into a situation. They don’t get pitted against a fellow player or coach. I told them to respect the press. They have a hard job to do. They get paid to ask hard questions and you’ve got to work with them.”

The Dolphins will be off Monday and return for OTA work Tuesday-Thursday before going on vacay.

Before you go to the comments section, let me know the answer to the poll ...


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do you see an improved John Beck this year vs. what we saw last year during the season? I hope he is the starter... I still think he could be a great leader, if he eventually performs up to the starting job,...

What do you mean Ginn is the No.1 Wilford cannot beat out a sophmore for the start?

'Mando--Spanked by the 'Budsman & no comment?!? WTF? Have they gagged you - - no wonder newspapers are dying.

HLMencken: My sports editor read the ombudsman column to me and after he did, I asked, "Did he spell my name correctly?" That is as much thought as I have given his opinion. I have thick skin and a deep conviction that my coverage on JT has been fair, balanced and accurate. That is the reason I continue to speak with BOTH sides about the issue and they continue to speak with me.

armando which one of the three quarterbacks played the best this weekend?

UCF, Wilford has been a pretty good possession guy, but he isn't the fastest guy around. Think OJ Mcduffie, not Mark Clayton. Mcduffie may have been our number one, but that was because we didn't have a true No. 1 back then. Ginn won't get as many balls, but he has the potential to break open the game, at any time. That is what you want from your No. 1. Wilford is clearly an upgrade on our former No. 2, Marty Booker. My butt cheeks clenched up every time I saw the QB LOOK in Bookers' direction last year.lol. Remember, the difference between a No.1, and a No. 2 is who is covering him, which routes he runs, and which side of the line he lines up on. Wilford's talents more match the No. 2 slot, than he does the No. 1. It's more of a skill set thing, and less of an indication of talent.

I just made you Parcells. Now I'm the Giants calling....Jeremy Shockey straight up for JT.
What now?

- JT goes to a winner.
- JT in media capital.
- JT in prime time (MNF etc) as is the case with SB Champs = priming himself for Hollywood.
- Both players are not reporting to minicamps.
- Shockey comes back to Miami.
- Shockey = big,tough, attitude = Parcells type?
- Strahan gets a rest or splits time or goes in tandem with JT,giving Giants lethal combo.
- Parcells loves him a good tight end ... mmm mm good, and gives 1st Dolphins legit threat at position since Kieth Jackson... (forget McMichael).
- Shockey has 3-4 yrs left JT has 1 maybe 2.
Cons: - Shockey = dumb = not Parcells guy.
- Shockey back from injury?


Can Beck really be a long time starter? He looked totally lost last year in the offense. I know there is a lot of factors that played in that. However, Henne has much better experiance out of college than Beck, and has more physical and mental tools. Also, McCown is much better athletically that Beck. I like Beck, but he feels like a career back-up to me. What are your thoughs Armando?

and happy anniversity to you and your wife!


first of all the whole giant thing would not work they already have osi! maybe they could put jt at olb but would not be same in a 4-3 second i would love for shockey to be here just a lil to lopsided giants couldnt get it done unless we sent a pick.

first of all the whole giant thing would not work they already have osi! maybe they could put jt at olb but would not be same in a 4-3 second i would love for shockey to be here just a lil to lopsided giants couldnt get it done unless we sent a pick.

Fair enough--if that was your attitude in response, you've got your s--- tight, as the kids say. You can't control what other people do, just how you respond to what they do, & etc. I take it that in your biz, unless and until your editors turn on you that the 'Budsman is just a minor irritant to be tolerated. By the way, for what it is worth, although I have been very critical of some of the JT coverage, esp. since I think its been overblown, I had no problem whatsoever with the "line-out" technique of sarcasm/irony (when used infrequently), which appeared to have been the crux if the 'Budsman's concern. I peruse a few political blogs that use this technique successfully. By the way, at the end of the 'Budsman's column my first response was . . . "Is that all he's got!" Much ado about nothing. I only posted early to see what you had to say. Gracias.

Armando, I love you man, but if you write at the top "pretty uneventful day at practice" I'm not gonna read the rest of your entry.

If Ari Fleischer is training the team how to deal with the press, then I know I cannot believe anything I read. Nice blogs - much appreciated, by the way.

Armando, you purport to be unconcerned with the ombudsman's criticism of your unwarranted characterization of Taylor's statements as 'lies'. Yet, you have gone back to the post in question and changed it to erase the evidence of your misdeed. In addition, you deleted my comment respectfully taking you to task by calling it beneath you.

Who is being untruthful now?

By the way, the word 'media' is the plural of medium and by writing, "...present for the walk-Thur (sic) before the media was (sic) allowed in to watch..." contains two errors. A member of the media should be able to meet its basic demands.

You should seriously re-examine your attitude and reflect on your competence. A little humility goes a long way.

Predicti, first, you need a new screen name, dude. I feel kind of dumb answering a comment from someone who goes by this sign-in. How about Joe or Bill or Bobby or Juan or any other real name?

Secondly, you are wrong. I have not changed any post. The word "lies" with the strike through it remains in the post. As to your post, I don't remember it and don't remember deleting it. I do remember there being several trolls on the blog that day and your post might have been caught up in my cleansing of the comments that day. If, indeed, the post was respectful as you claim, you are free to repost it. It's a free country.

By the way, over the weekend I posted under severe time constraints to serve the readers of this blog with the latest information as quickly as possible. Did posts have typos? Yes. Was the grammar pristine? No.

If you want copy that is nurtured, edited, spell-checked, and otherwise up to your high standards, feel free to purchase the newspaper.

In the alternative, grant me the same grace for my mistakes that I am granting you for yours.

B-Man: You ask if I would trade JT for Shockey?

Let me think about that for ... yes.

Um Armando - you delete the majority on anti-Armando sentiment especially when it s correct. There would be no need for an ombudsman if you had journalistic intergrity.

Armando, I truly appreciate the outstanding job you did this weekend being our eyes and ears at practice.

This blog continues to be invaluable to me because I used to attend a couple of practices every offseason when they were open. I can't do that now with the new rules but I've been watching on the web and reading on here to get a sense of what is going on.

Looking forward to your feeley column.

Oh, almost forgot ... Mando, what is Darlington's major malfunction? His stories are BORING. Today he wrote the players appreciate a "player-friendly" system on defense. No kidding. Make things easier on players they will love it. Challenge them and that's when you truly see the cream rising to the top. You think the Pats have a "player-friendly" system or they have a system that adapts week to week, opponents to opponents? Geez, the article was sophomoric.

The "MANDATORY" in caps and your poll question are obvious digs on Taylor. Juvenile!

who is this ombudsman? and then again who cares this is a dolphin's blog and other than the dic*s I don't think anybody cares all I know is that Armando is the only one that was updating dolphins news all weekend long even on the day of his aniversary (My girl would have killed me) the other newspapers just have carbon copys of what was going on in the herald (even the pictures are the same) so all you who are complaining if you dont like it go read the other newspapers i tried to read some article from a guy called "hyde" on the sun sentinel and it was one of the worst articles i have ever read so lets get off Armando at least the man is working hard.

JT for Shockey would be nice but the only thing I do not like about Shockey is that he is injury prone and has a bad attitude but he is one hell of a player. I think that if JT plays for us this year it will turn out better for us in the long run him practicing (eventually I hope) against J. Long and helping Jake learn how to block those speed rusher's will be much more beneficial to the team. Not to mention the things he can teach our young DL that we drafted.

Hey Armando Do you know if we will attempt to go after R. Colvin or do the dolphins feel that our linebackers are set?

I also read that C. Simms will be getting cut is there a chance we may bring him in for more competition or are we set at QB also?

Thanks Armando again for the hard work.

Actually, Juan what is juvenile is that you post at 10:12 a.m. as john q citizen and then at 10:46 as Juan.

People, I can tell when the same person posts as different bloggers. I know folks like Juan/John Q want their opinion to dominate when they are a minority, but it is disengenuous to try to fool people.

Juan/John Q, I do appreciate you spending 30 minutes on my blog during work hours. But you better hope your employer doesn't find out.

It's amazing to me that very few people understand how good Vonnie Holliday is. Some fans are even of the opinion that he could be cut down the line because we drafted some DEs. He is clearly the best defensive lineman on the team. But of course the popular Ricky Williams gets the majority of votes because they don't realize how much Holliday is respected by his teammates and around the league.

Until Ricky shows me he can make it through training camp and stay healthy when playing in pads, nothing he's doing in shorts means anything. A RB in shorts when there is no tackling better look good.

Ha ha, you just got outted big time juan-john q public. That is embarrassing, dude.

Mando, what I find interesting is that people like me come to this blog because we've been reading you since we were kids and value your opinion and analysis even when we don't always agree with you.

But it seems you've also got a following of people that don't seem to like you but can't get enough of you. They never like what you have to say, they always nitpick or argue with you. But they do not stay away. It's like they're addicted to your fricking blog ...

I guess that's how Howard Stern and Rush Limbaugh got rich.

Why would trade one the best pass rushing playmakers (JT) in the game for one of the most overrated TEs (Shockey) in the league? The Giants would throw a private party so the team as a whole could get a good laugh in if they got away with that one.

Bungle, I totally agree with you. Couldn't have said it better myself. Good poll, tho.

I don't think the Dolphins have any plans to bring in a 4th QB. I just read an article where Sparano and QBs coach David Lee don't believe you need 4 QBs in camp.

Hey Mr. Bungle what is about Ricky that you do not like Because Ricky is a pretty hardy player the only time hes ever been hurt was last year and we were pretty Desperate at that position and he was forced to play with I believe it was a week of practice (not to mention the dic* steeler that stepped on him on purpose). I'm very aware of his past but when ever he has been in pads and playing he has been a solid player and you are correct about Holiday he is are best DL but that is only until JT comes back.

Go Fins

dude, if your not getting the picture, we are soooo glad that you work hard for us. it's like the bro above said....go read some other stuff out there, and you'll really REALLY respect the fact that mando works hard to bring us first hand accurate accounts of the up and coming, rising star of the NFL (we, hope..i mean after being on the bottom for so long, we can only go up)!

Another dumb poll. Who knows who is best because we can't watch OTAs.

Another dumb poll. Who knows who is best because we can't watch OTAs.

Another dumb comment. Tomajax, it is an opinion, bro. Nothing else. The poll results won't make somebody Miami's best player. It is an opinion.

And even the people that did watch OTAs don't know for sure who the best player is because football is a game of violence and hitting and blocking and tackling and none of that was going on. It's an opinion, no one knows fer shur, as they say in jax.

Strahan just retired. I am sure as soon as Mando read espn.com he will blog it.

finfan in orlando, I don't dislike Ricky but to put him on a level with Holliday who shows up every year and plays his a$$ off and at a high level and provides leadership. So I can't say Ricky was the best player in camp when Holliday schooled most of the OL (by their own admissions) during the minicamps.

There is more to being the best player than pure athletic ability. When both are in tip top shape and playing to the max of their ability is Ricky a better RB than Holliday in a DL, yes, but I don't know where Ricky is as a player anymore. No one does. I do know that Holliday shows up every week.

You have not because you ask not.

But since you ask, I do indeed know of the Strahan retirement. ESPN did not break the story. Actually, the story was broken by Jay Glazer at foxsports because he is friends with Strahan. So I assume the report is correct.

As to whether this affects the Dolphins or not is still uncertain. Yes, there could now be a new team wanting to add a DE. But I would warn that NY already signed Renaldo Wynn as a FA as a hedge against Strahan retiring.

One thing I would tell you is that although Tom Coughlin is not the personnel guy in NY, the SB win has given him more cred inside his own organization. So he may talk to his good friend and mentor Bill Parcells about JT and, if he is convinced Taylor is good for NY, he might ask the personnel people to look into it.

Guess here: Chances JT is traded to NY are about 10 percent. But stranger things have happened.

I have calls out to see if this an issue worth writing about.

Oh, and juan/john q, I notice you avoided the spending the entire day on this blog issue. What gives?

Armando, I agree about the Giants probably not being interested in JT. As you said they just acquired Renaldo Wynn who is more of a run stopper than a pass rusher, but they're also getting Kiwanuka back and he may play more DE now than OLB.

finfan in orlando, I don't dislike Ricky but to put him on a level with Holliday who shows up every year and plays his (you know what off) off and at a high level and provides leadership, is just wrong. So I can't say Ricky was the best player in camp when Holliday schooled most of the OL (by their own admissions) during the minicamps.

There is more to being the best player than pure athletic ability. When both are in tip top shape and playing to the max of their ability is Ricky a better RB than Holliday is a DL, yes, but I don't know where Ricky is as a player anymore. No one does. I do know that Holliday shows up every week and plays well.

Good points Mr. Bungle now I see where your coming from
Just like evrything else until everyone starts hitting we will really won't know

Not only is he the best player on the roster today, but, talent wise, he could be the best running back this franchise ever had.

What a shame he's an underachiever.

Hey...should we trade JT for a cornerback or 2 some secondary? what do you guys think about that idea ;) ?

Mr Bungle, we are pretty much in agreement about Holliday, though I am more of the opinion that we can't really call any one guy "best in camp" The positions are so different, how can you really compare them? Shouldn't we have Brandon Fields on the list too? He is the only guy who had a guaranteed job coming in, quite deservedly so, I might add. Holliday didn't start all the time, but then he played inside, outside, wherever we needed him. He can play the run, or get after the QB. He is nondescript enough that he probably won't see as many double teams, which makes him even more effective. I have never heard a negative thing about him, though I wish someone would say more positive things, because he truly deserves it.

Mando, there is one thing that I really don't like about your contribution to the blog. You have a tendency to bait bloggers you have an issue with, in a pretty juvenile way. I have no issue with you responding to attacks, but coming back later to jab at a guy that didn't continue attacking you?

Oh, and juan/john q, I notice you avoided the spending the entire day on this blog issue. What gives?

I have posted my opposition to this type of posting from other members, how can I not call you out on it as well? You are supposed to be the professional here, so should hold yourself to a higher standard of civility. Like the blog enough to be here daily, but am doing my damnedest to convince people this isn't a burn blog. Please do your part in that.

Strahan just called it quits. Jayson Taylor for Jeremy Shockey makes more and more sense every day.

Armando, oh, so you take offense at being falsely accused? And then begin with an ad-hominem directed at my handle?

You can dish it out, but you can't take it, hmmmm?

Yes, I accused you of something you didn't do. You do the same all the time and do it with impunity and no shame. Yet you complain when similarly mistreated.

"...grant me the same grace for my mistakes that I am granting you for yours." I'll gracefully apologize to you when you publicly apologize to Jason Taylor for slandering him. Somehow you consider yourself above JT and feel free to cast aspersions. There was a time not too distant when impugning a man's integrity by labeling him a 'liar' would gain you a slap across the face and an invitation to a duel at dawn.

You are no gentleman unless you aplolgize.

predictitater-joebillbobbyjuan, I would pay to see you spew your obtuse verbiage to Armondo's face and then watch him slap you in the face. Methinks you would tuck tail and crawl back under your pedantic rock.

SEriously, this predic guy comes across as a huge turd wipe.

...and you guys come across as sycophantic little (by the way it's ArmAndo, joe) Armando butt-lickers. So there's really no need of a turd wipe. You guys attend to his behind quite well.

If Armando and I ever met, we'd enjoy each other's company. He'd appreciate someone with enough honesty to call him on his mistakes. He already has enough vacant hangars-on.

hey predicti-tater-joebillbobbyjuan it takes a Butt Licker to know a Butt Licker

I really hope you guys are juveniles, because that is how you guys appear. I know you are passionate about the team. That is good. I know you guys don't necessarily agree with each others' opinions. This is also good. If we were all alike, there would be no need for discussion. Hows about you guys discuss the DOLPHINS, and not each other? Didn't we have some sort of conversation about this the other day, Finfan? Whatever happened to ignoring stuff that wasn't about the fins? I am not escalating, or jumping your booty about this, I am just trying to get EVERYBODY to start discussing the DOLPHINS, so I don't have to wade through a thousand "I know you are, but what am I?" posts. Lets show a little more maturity, people (aimed at all bloggers, including Mando, and myself, not just you two).

Tree, when healthy Holliday always started for us. Whether he was at RDE in a 3-4 or DT in the 4-3, he's always been a starter. JT will tell you he's one of the best DL in the game.

I thought I remembered him coming in his first year here, subing for Trace, or one of the guys in the middle, or for JT, whoever needed out. I know he was moved around as needed. He is a great player. Plus he is nothing but a positive influence on the whole team.

Tree I understand what your saying and i did not say anything too crazy. I just said something which i thought was funny in a response to an insult he gave to all the other bloggers including you. I mention alot about the fins and i agree with you on the whole "talk about the Phins" thing. but remember the one being a Dic* to everyone around here is this "predicti-tater-joebillbobbyjuan" dude who comes in here and uses some of the names of the bloggers that come here. he has used my name and among others and signs on here just to insult Armando and the people who use this blog to discuss the phins. so if your going to direct comments about how to behave please do it to him. if he did not type the things he does none of us would get upset with him and this blog would not represent a "Burn Blog". believe me when i tell you that i'd love it to be about the phins only. I have alot of respect for you Tree and every other phin fan that comes here to talk about the dolphins but when this idiot comes in here with his insults, I can understand how it pisses people off plus he gave me a great lead in I couldn't help it....LOL

Fair enough, finfan, but if everyone expects everyone else to change first, noone will ever change. Last you will hear a non fin comment from me.

Wow. Called out by another reporter on YOUR staff...and again, this is yet ANOTHER post based on your "feelings", not fact. While I confess that, yes, I'm still reading Armando's blogs, for football CONTENT I am typically reading other sources, such as Jeff's columns or on the Sentinel. Armando's blogs typically seem based on speculation, and that's how I read his columns.

Here's some ideas I'd love to see:
How about "grading" the various positions based on your observations of the minicamps? While I know it can't be based on any game competition (yet), I'd still be curious how you "rate" the team.

What players LOOK to be in shape? Ricky looks like a adonis from what I've seen - is he in that good of shape for real?

Well That is what I'm trying to tell you. I don't think that anybody responding to this guy is coming here with the idea to exchange insults with this guy. its just something that happens. I will give you an example when I come here I come to read. I only post things when i have a question or have something to say. i will admit guilt for letting this dude get to me, but if you look at the blogs over. he comes here and starts everything so i can't change something that i'm not doing he just upsets me with his "Not dolphin related comments". I myself have not agreed with everything armando and other bloggers say on here but at the same time I have agreed with alot too but never called anybody names when discussing Dolphin business just my opinion but this guy comes on here and says

" just read the article
you suck "
(This is short and edited example)

i'm sorry but it sets me off because i'm expecting a intelligent or comical comment about the article. sometimes when I read things like that it makes me wonder if they even read the article. so that is why it sets me off

If he came out and said something about the story I would give my opinion with out the need to name call. You can go down the line and read all the blogs and it does not get ugly until this guy starts with the same "O" name "O" so i promise to keep my comments shorter I will try to refrain from long winded insults but I'm not going to promise that once and a while i won't say short sweet quick hits especially when they are set up for me so nicely....lol

For those who don't know, the Herald has a columnist called an "ombudsman" whose job it is to investigate the Herald's coverage and determine if reporters, columnists and editors did their jobs properly on a given story. These ombudsmen have been a relatively new development driven mainly by the distrust and perception of bias that many readers have about their newspapers. The New York Times famously hired an Ombudsman after the the Jayson Blair debacle (google it). Today the Times' Ombudsman is a guy who did a bit of Ombudsing for the Herald before the Herald finally hired a permanent one.

Anyway the Ombudsman took Armando to task for using "strike through" on a blog post to imply that JT was lying when he said he'd be happy to play for the Fins again if that's the final outcome.

The funny thing is that more than 200 people are expected to be laid off at the Herald by the end of the month because of declining readership and the Ombudsman is worried about an item that appeared in a blog.

The priorities are screwed when the paper goes out of its way to alienate the majority of its readers and then goes after one of the most popular journalists it has.

Before I was accosted by Armando's groupies, I had directed comments and responses to Armando. They were football and Dolphin related to the same extent that Armando's chracterizations of Taylor's statements as lies are Dolphins related.

I feel free to respond to insults directed at me.

The use of joebillbobbyjuan is at Armando's direct suggestion and has nothing whatsoever to do with any of you (read the comments in question.)

All I've done is suggest that Armando's assault on JT's character was unwarranted and unbecoming an ethical journalist. I did it in a round-about way that some folks here seem incapable of grasping. That is their problem, not mine.

Incidentally, it's interesting that one can make all the Dolphin-related comments and ask all the Dolphin related questions of Armando one wishes, yet the comments he deigns to respond to directly are mostly those he feels have pricked his ego.

While Omar over at the other paper will discuss and interchange ideas with commenters, Salguero rarely does. The trade-off is that Omar needs to re-read and edit much more than AS.

joebillbobbyjuan ~ formerly predicti-tater

Tree, Trace was gone (retired 03) by the time Holliday got here. Saban brought in Holliday along with Kevin Carter in 05.


Do you think Jason Taylor would be "just as happy" to remain a dolphin in 2008?

If so, then why ask for the trade?

"Oh, I'd like a chance to be in the playoffs in my last year but if it turns out that I'll be a Dolphin again and have to live through another losing/rebuilding season under the 4th coach in 5 years. I'll be happy with that."

Please. It strains credulity.

Henry ~ it strains your credulity - not mine. It is okay to wish and hope for something different, more satifying. But - if it doesn't happen (and that's a real possibility when you are not in control of future events,) then a psychologically healthy person can still be happy within an outcome that didn't meet expectations.

Some people are naturally optimistic and happy, others are pessimistic and unhappy.

Cheer up. If JT puts on a Dolphin uniform, and I think he will, you'll still find that same ebullient personality shining through. He won't grouse around and be a negative person.

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