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Sunday press conference with Tony Sparano

Coach Tony Sparano just got done speaking to the media. The highlights:

The coach explained that veteran guard Steve McKinney didn't practice Saturday afternoon because that is how the team will bring him along as he continues to recover from his knee surgery. He will practice in the daily practices when the team has only one session. But on days the team is doing two sessions, he will workout only the morning.

"He was the furtherest away, the most recent knee injury if you will, that we had," Sparano said. "He was cleared but his progression was a little bit slower. He'll rehab in the afternoon and practice in the morning. He'll practice again today."

A couple of you took exception to me dismissing newly signed receiver Anthony Armstrong as the answer to Miami's receiver issues. Okay, here's what Sparano said about the kid today. I love Anthony Armstrong. He rocks! He is the next coming of Randy Moss!

"The one thing we knew with Anthony is he can run," Sparano said, dismissing the notion the kid uses a walker. "He really can run. So when we had the opportunity and, we're looking for speed, we had the opportunity to bring in a guy with speed and we took a shot on him, brought him in, worked him out, and signed him."

A star is born!

In all seriousness, I think Armstrong is much improved following his Arena League stint as his hands are better than they used to be. But he has to work on the route-running. The speed, as you might guess, is pretty good.

It is interesting that no one really wrote about the first round pick on the first day of camp. That's a good thing because it means Jake Long did not make any disastrous mistake nor embarrass himself.

Sparano on what surprises him about Long so far:

"What surprised me just a little with Jake, I knew his run-blocking ability," Sparano said. "I think we all did. And I knew he could play left tackle. But his feet are really, really good. When he gets out in space, these are the things he does well. He can adjust in space in the second level and those things. If you can find linemen that can play at the second level, it sounds easy, but it's not the case. The second level is not the comfort zone for linemen. When you can find ones that can play at the second level, that will help your team."

Sparano said he was pleased with rookie QB Chad Henne in his first practice, Saturday afternoon after he missed the morning drills. "I was pleased with him yesterday," Sparano said. "...He did a pretty nice job with the practice schedule."

Henne had to review what he missed from the first practice and did that last night. Sparano said John Beck and Henne will get the work today (up) while Josh McCown does not (down).

The tight end job intrigues, not just in the search for a starter but the search for roster spots.

It should concern David Martin that the coaching staff is "getting to know," him according to Sparano while he says they are very familiar with Anthony Fasano, Sean Ryan, and Justin Peelle. Martin? Not so much.

Finally, if you guys live in South Florida and are among the throngs of folks that get one of the three local papers, you probably saw the full-page ad Jason Taylor took out to thank the fans.

Taylor thanked the folks in The Miami Herald, which circulates in Miami-Dade and Broward, and thanked the folks in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, which circulates primarily in Broward. He did not put an ad in The Palm Beach Post, the paper that dominates in Palm Beach County.

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