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Post-practice update from Dolphins minicamp

The first practice of the day is over here in sweltering Davie, FL., and I want to share some early knowledge based on some interviews and what I saw at practice.

Everyone is here except defensive linemen Jason Taylor and Randy Starks. Coach Tony Sparano said Starks is an excused absence. Asked if Taylor is excused Sparano seemed uncomfortable for a moment before saying, "No."

Sparano said cornerback Michael Lehan, injured in an OTA practice on Wednesday, will be out a couple of weeks. He said the team would not be looking to add CB help.

Talked to offensive coordinator Dan Henning for a few minutes. He said he was originally asked to come to Miami in an advisory role of sorts. But after speaking with Sparano, he said he got "fired up" about the idea of becoming the offensive coordinator.

And while you can bet the Dolphins offense under Henning will stress running the football, he says that's not all you can do and be successful.

"You have to be strategically flexible," Henning said. "That has to do with who you have first, and what they have second. So if you have a big, burly offensive line group and guys that can run the football, you should lean on that. But if you have guys that are good at stopping that on the other side, you still have to be flexible enough strategically to move out and challenge them in another area.

"You just can't be one-dimensional. You're not going to get it done one-dimensional anymore."

Moving on:

Remember I told you a couple of days ago that defensive end Matt Roth is getting individual work with linebackers?

Well, Roth is working as the starting right defensive end in Miami's 3-4 scheme. But when backups take their repetitions, he is working as a linebacker also. Obviously, being able to have skills at two positions makes Roth more valuable, which is good because last year he showed questionable skills at DE.

I would tell you Bill Parcells included Roth among the list of players he likes along the defensive line when he talked to me about that unit for my story today.

Another tidbit is that Renaldo Hill, who missed much of last season with an ACL injury to his right knee, is at practice today. The guy started in 2006 and the early part of 2007 but is relegated to third-team work right now.

As he progresses from his injury, I believe his skills will flash -- in other words, I think he'll be competing for a starting job when he's healthy.

Charlie Anderson, signed as a free agent from Houston, is playing Taylor's spot. The other LBs are Joey Porter at SAM with Akin Ayodele and Reggie Torbor as the inside backers. Channing Crowder, still recovering from knee surgery at the end of last year, is limited in team drills.

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Matt Roth at LB?!? Sounds sketchy to me.

Good report thus far Mando. Matt Roth still doesn't sell me but we shall see.

Are they wearing pads?

hey where is channing??

Are they maybe just short on numbers and are putting Roth back there as more of a body? If he happens to learn a thing or two and can be used as an emergency, then great.

Matt Roth is a bum....

Channing is still recovering from his knee injury.

yea eddie !! where is crowder? i like that smiling jack back !!

fasano? starks? YB ok? how is my boy Johnny doing? where the heck is merling?

good to hear on renaldo. how are the allens' doing?

Hey Mando....How do the WR'a look? Is Hagan catching anything? Is Davone Bess turning heads?

gosh, mando is gonna a few cold ones after he deals with us pup-fin-fans

Great news Armando
what position are they playing jason allen at and how is he looking?

Scary. That LB corps is really weak. One guy is a career back-up (Torbor) the other a career special teamer (Anderson). Akin left Dallas because he lost his job to our former ILB.

Dear God, please let Channing Crowder deliver on his promise. Dear God, also please let Joey Porter deliver on his paycheck. WE Dolphin fans have been out in the desert for 35 years, don't keep us out the full 40 the Israelites went through.

from watching the video highlights, both Allens seem in top form, wish I could say the same for the rest of the DBs. Ronnie Brown looks in good physical shape but is obviously not digging in, I know we have some time left but he doesn't look like he's anywhere near ready for game play.

Channing is in uniform and practicing in the video.

Stav,

Do you ever get on here to say anything positive? I'm fairly confused with what your whole point of being a fan is? We have tons of fresh new faces, we have new coaches, new management, one of the most promising drafts in recent years and all I hear from you is negative. The funny thing is I think our LB core will be one of the deepest positions we have. This ofcourse hinges on the return of Jason Taylor but either way I still feel we are deep there. I think the Matt Roth scenario is strictly an experiment to see what skills he can display. We certainly know he is not big enough to sustain at 3-4 DE for the whole year without serious substitution, therefore the coaches want to see what he can do with his hand off the ground. Anybody that saw him at Iowa knows he posseses the ability. The question is has he bulked up to much and significantly decreased his speed and agility that he once possesed.

How about you take a step back and go into this training camp and preseason with a little bit of cautious optimism. Then once we start getting severly disappointed you can start throwing in the white towel. I don't see the point of being a sports fan if you can't be unrealistically optimistic. That is the whole point of sports because every year the slate gets wiped clean and you can't start all over on your quest for a championship! So spare us the doom and gloom nonsense everyday. For GOD SAKE THIS IS THE FIRST DAY OF OUR FIRST MANDATORY MINI-CAMP....

I think we can tie the '72 Dolphins and win the Super Bowl. With Beck back there, we can reclaim the TDs in one season record from Brady. JT will be motivated to salsa across the line and break Strahan's sack record. Dan Marino will reveal exclusive video footage that implicates Pac Man Jones's posse as the ones who videotaped for the Patriots. Oh and the NFL will move the Jets to Los Angeles.

2008 Fin Fever Catch it!

Now THAT's optimism.

Armando, we're waiting for an update, hope the lull means you're getting some good interviews.

How do the Qb's look? I also read earlier that Beck and Mcnown where going to split days with the first team, will Henne see any practice time with the first team? Last question is how do the WR look, any diamonds in the very rough? Thanks in advance! We have no where to go but up!

Come on, Armando, how can you say 'based on what {you} saw at practice' and then NOT mention anything about practice other than who was absent?

that's not EARLY information....that's NO information. At least give us SOME opinion on what you saw. Please.

Wes - Mcnown was running the offense, and Henne was dropping back alongside Mcnown in practice video. Beck was not in video, so your guess is as good as mine till Armando shares with us. Wide Receivers also were not on the video which focused on defense, with a few seconds of the TEs.

Kenny is a bum. Matt Roth would squash you like a bug. Squashed bug bum. Sounds about right.

Dolphindude;
Trying to be realistic. Was there anything wrong in what I said? No. Just the facts. My optimism was expressed in the form of a prayer.

Here's where I have optimism: Ricky Williams will go over 1,000 yards total offense. Ronnie Brown might also. Jason Taylor will get us double-digit sacks and one defensive TD. That's it for optimism, lets go to HOPEFUL:

Ted Ginn will have a three TD return season and over 800 receiving yards. John Beck will prove to be a good NFL QB who responds to Parcells' pithy definition from yesterday. Jake Long will be as good as Joe Thomas. Jason Allen will develop and produce. Anthony Fasano will be a TE we can count on. The DL can stop the run. Joey Porter can pressure the QB. We beat the Jets and Pats at least once each. Merling will recover quickly from his hernia and become a starter by year end. By next year's draft the Fins front office will not have QB as a position of need.

And, thank you Ollie for showing the great optimism any true Fin Fan should have.

I see that the column is called "Post-practice update from Dolphins minicamp". Post-practice? Is it over already? How long are mini camp practices? Where is the update? There was next to NO info in this "Update"

On the other side of the coin, here's where I think we have some real problems: No wide receivers. Not a full deck at the OL (4 of 5 positions filled). No NFL level starters at any of the DB spots. And only two or three NFL starting caliber LBs when the scheme calls for four.

More hopes: Jayson Foster's I-AA highlight reel translates to the pros. Davone Bess can make it as a sure-handed 3rd WR.

man stav how are you going to talk like you are a nfl pro scout. how many times in the nfl has an average stater on on team went on to another team to lead a successful career. i dont even see why you like the dolphins. Why dont you go hope on the cheaters banwagon. then you might not have anything to complain about. Cam messed us up wit some stupid choices. And we had a bad year last year. The team is better than 1-15.

man i completely agree wit you on that on good post dolphin dude. ginn has sure hands and wilford is good. like hagan just not how many balls he drops lol hope he can drop that habit. but hopefully it will be hagon or bess at that 3rd spot ...

two practices fri and sat and one on sunday. so, i think mando meant update to the end of the first practice of the day.

armando can you actually tell us what happened on the field? who cares about the jason taylor thing anymore. describe the gameplay please.

Hey, Stav, I think you missed on the O Line. Murphy will take the Left Guard spot. Besides, this will be the first year where we are looking for one guy to hold on to the fifth spot, and let the guys around him make him better, rather than having one good player trying to get the other four to be more than just fill ins, since Simms, and Webb left.

You guys are also forgetting to throw Camarillo into the mix at WR. He is a Tall guy, with pretty decent speed. I would like to see him get a true shot to be the number three, or four. Especially with Hagan able to drop passes with the best of them. Drops are why we traded Chambers, and dumped Da Bear, maybe Hagan should pick up on that.

My biggest concern on this team is Secondary. We may need to draft 4 or 5 DB's next year.lol. I would like to see us pick up a TE that can block, AND catch passes, not just guys that can do one, or the other.

Like I told you before Armando, Roth will have a huge year. He'll be most improved on defense at least.

all this talk and not one comment about roderick wright....is he lost in the trenches and forgotten about?

tree,

yep, the secondary is where i see weakness as well. Mando said bell is looking good. i have more concerns at corner than i do at safety. somebody will step up to fill the weak side S position. but at corner, i see a lil speed but not much experience or more than anything, height. allot of tall WR out there today, think moss, TO even chad size guys. we have smaller WR but most teams we will play do not......

"Hey Mando....How do the WR'a look? Is Hagan catching anything? Is Davone Bess turning heads"


DOLFANRAY: everything i have read so far is the
wr's werre awful today and devone bess droppd just about everything thrown at him.

wilford had the drops today also.

The thing that bothers me most about Roth is he's essentially the guy we traded (drafted) for Pat Surtain. I still wish Pat was on the team.

"You just can't be one-dimensional. You're not going to get it done one-dimensional anymore."

Too bad Henning wasn't around to explain this to Wannstache.

"That LB corps is really weak. One guy is a career back-up (Torbor)...."

Just like Mike Vrabel was before the Patsies signed him away from Pittsburgh.

And Optimistic Ollie, what makes you think that LA would want the Jests?

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