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Sparano: 'We may keep four quarterbacks'

Coach Tony Sparano just said that contrary to speculation, the Dolphins may not cut any of their four quarterbacks. It just might be a very crowded quarterback room if the coach is being honest.

"Throughout the rest of training camp ... we'll see how things go," Sparano said. "I expect that we'll have four quarterbacks for a while. We may keep four quarterbacks. I mean, that's the truth. We might just keep four quarterbacks at the end of this thing. I mean, the team we just played has got a bunch of them."

It is hard to fathom that the same coach who has been working guys at multiple positions, including trying veteran defensive linemen Vonnie Holliday and Matt Roth at outside linebacker for what he calls "position flexibility," will use a roster spot on a QB that would never have the opportunity to play or even run the scout team.

Anyway here is some other stuff off of Saturday night's 13-6 loss to Tampa Bay:

*Ricky Williams, who has not played a preseason game since 2003, looked excellent. He rushed five times for 31 yards -- a 6.2 yard per carry average. "It's a preseason game and I just wanted to come in and get a feel for it again and see where I was at," Williams said. "I did OK, but like the rest of the team, I have a ways to go."

*Ronnie Brown, who rushed three times for 4 yards, had a successful evening in that he didn't get hurt and probably is more confident about his surgically repaired knee than he was before the game. "It's kind of weird," Brown said. "I felt good throughout camp and just coming in today, every now and then I got a little soreness. I expected a little bit of that during the game, but coming out I felt really good. I was surprised. It's kind of like, 'Hold on. Where the soreness at?' But I have a lot to build on and I think that was just the first step on getting ready for the season."

*I really like Josh McCown as a person. He's salt of the earth material. So it is tough to see when good people have to face tough situations. McCown faced that in the fourth quarter and in the locker room afterward. In that fourth quarter he played behind the last-team offensive line and with players who are not going to be in the NFL next month. He nonetheless completed 5 of 8 passes for 35 yards, which amazingly gave him a 72.4 QB rating, the highest on the team.

Afterward, McCown faced questions about his future with the Dolphins from media assuming the Dolphins will keep only three quarterbacks. "They said over and over they're going to do what they have to do to help this team win," McCown said of Miami's addition at QB. "For us as quarterbacks, that's just part of it. It doesn't change anything. We were competing before and we're still competing."

*The Dolphins defense has the makings of a unit that will be better this year. But ... This is a unit that has to find playmakers. Granted neither Joey Porter nor Holliday played tonight while Roth played out of position at OLB. But the team has to identify players that will make big plays on third down so they can get off the field. The Bucs were 11 of 20 on third down tonight (a completely unacceptable 55 percent success rate). As a result they ran 76 offensive plays to Miami's 47 offensive plays, while holding the ball 36:11 to Miami's 23:49.

*During Pennington's press conference, he addressed the universal criticism of his arm strength. I thought it was a very insightful moment when this guy admitted he has heard the talk of his game's weakness and talked about what he's done about it. Here is what he said:

"I spent a lot of time this offseason really taking a look at the criticisms of me as a professional and seeing what I can do in bettering myself. One thing I tried to do was totally change my mechanics. I wanted to create the consistency on the down-the-field throws and velocity on the ball. It's never been a question on the velocity, but the consistency is where the criticisms always come from. It's a work in progress. It's hard to change something you've been doing for 25 years, but I found some really good results in training camp up to this point."

*The Dolphins reported two guys on the injury report. They were Charlie Anderson (hamstring) and Kelvin Smith (knee). The seriousness of the injuries will be fully determined later Sunday.

*Finally the column I wrote off the game centered on the Dolphins' receivers. They are struggling right now and you should read the offering to understand how bad it is and why improvement is needed. I also offer a possible solution to the problem.

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