If you read this blog yesterday you saw the recount of an exchange between Bill Parcells and cornerback Michael Lehan. It was pretty clear that Parcells was tweaking Lehan.
Today, I asked coach Tony Sparano about Lehan and it seems clear, reading between the lines, the team is drawing near to that moment when they want the player who has nursed a high ankle sprain for over two months to get back on the field.
"Pretty soon it becomes important," Sparano said. "We're getting to a point right now where we're trying to make decisions as we get on with this thing on this team ... We need to see Michael out there ... We want to see Michael out there."
Lehan has been working off to the side and, according to my eyes, has been moving quite well. He was cutting pretty aggressively yesterday. "It looks like he's making great progress right now," Sparano said.
And it says here that progress needs to translate to getting back out there. "There's a lot of things taking place out there right, the competition is going on and he hasn't been out there," Sparano said. "There's a lot of things going on. Once he gets out there and he's healthy, I think he'll be fine, but he has to compete just like everyone else."
Don't expect to see Charlie Anderson (hamstring) on the practice field any time soon and he is not likely to play Saturday. Vonnie Holliday, nursing the same injury, is "probably close" to returning to practice so I believe he may play Saturday.
Expect Ronnie Brown, Jason Allen, Derek Hagan, Ted Ginn Jr., and the entire starting offensive line to get more playing time against Jacksonville Saturday night.
I asked how far along Chad Pennington is in learning the play book because it is not as easy as it looks. The answer is he missed all the installation of plays from early in camp and is expected to pick those up on his own.
"We're not able to go back and start from Day 1," Sparano said. "He's had to absorb that on the fly."
Sparano said Pennington has gotten all the "basic information," meaning he knows formations, the coverages, and obviously Miami's terminology.
Coaches are pleased that Ernest Wilfork this week has recovered from two pretty bad weeks of practice. He has improved visibly the last couple of days.
Sparano also said he has noticed rookie linebacker Titus Brown more of late.
By the way, tight end Aaron Halterman, waived injured earlier in camp, went through waivers unclaimed and his agent was unable to negotiate a settlement with the team. So he is now Miami's second player on injured reserve joining Tab Perry.