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55 posts from October 2008

October 19, 2008

Live blog of Dolphins vs. Ravens today!

Today is Cam Cameron Memorial Day at Dolphin Stadium.

The Dolphins will play the Baltimore Ravens in what is a rematch of Miami's lone 2007 victory. Ironically, the coach who won that game for Miami is now the offensive coordinator for the Ravens. Ironically, that coach has a reputation as a great offensive play-caller, yet it is the Dolphins that enter the game with the more dynamic offense.

Speaking of the Wildcat package, I happened to catch parts of the Alabama game Saturday afternoon. The announcers said former Dolphins and current Tide coach Nick Saban prepared his team for the Wildcat offense last week. He did it by practicing for it during 10 minutes on three consecutive days last week.

Voila. Prepared.

Saban told the announcing crew the way to stop it is to show multiple fronts against it and blitz it. Interesting.

On another front, receiver Terrance Copper, who had a Dolphins In Depth moment a few days ago because he was available is, well, not available anymore. He re-signed with the Saints on Saturday. The Dolphins meanwhile go into today's game with their same 'ol receiver corps. We'll see how they do today.

Anyway, we'll have a live blog today. I'll update this post later with any pertinent pregame news -- like Paul Soliai getting suspended for today's game -- and then we'll start the live blog in the comments section. We'll hop to the comments section of new posts every quarter.

See you in the comments section at kickoff.

October 18, 2008

Don't look for Wilford on any day but Thursday

A little background first: For years, Dolphins PR vice president Harvey Greene has had to find ways to cajole and convince players to speak with the media. That's because even as the NFL mandates its players cooperate with the media, some guys exercise their fundamental free speech right by, well, not speaking.

So Greene found that he could agree with certain stars to pick out one weekday in which they would make themselves available (in addition to game day). Players that otherwise didn't want to speak, or didn't want to be inundated with interview requests, or didn't want their study-weight lifting-lunch-film watching time stolen every day could compromise and talk on one day.

Zach Thomas used to talk on Thursdays. Jason Taylor used to talk on Wednesdays. Sam Madison used to talk on Thursday. Pat Surtain used to talk on Friday. Quarterbacks typically talk on Wednesday.

With no exception these guys had days because they were established stars and because if they didn't have days, they'd have a reporter wanting to talk to them practically every open locker room session. Imagine the braindrain of having to speak!

Anyway, most of the guys I just mentioned were good men, also. So if there was something important, something pressing that had to be handled on a day that was not their day to talk -- such as an injury or fine -- the players sometimes would bend their own day-to-talk agreement. They would talk.

But again, we're talking about stars. We're talking about established veterans. We're talking about guys who were so important to the team, if they didn't have interview limits, they would be inundated with requests. And again, even with these guys, there were understood exceptions.

And that brings me to Ernest Wilford.

Wilford, to quote Cam Cameron, is a Miami Dolphin. I had to say that because you might not know this fact from his 2008 production. Wilford has been inactive two of this season's five games and has been inconsequential in two other games in which he caught zero passes for zero yards.

So he has 1 catch for 15 yards this year. You've heard of the six-million dollar man? That's the six-million dollar catch.

Anyway, for some reason I cannot fathom, Ernest Wilford has an exclusive day to speak to the media. In fact, he and Chad Pennington are the only two players on this current team with days in which they speak and days in which they are off limits.

I can understand Pennington. He's the QB and has game-plan studying to do.

But Wilford? Are you kidding me?

Ronnie Brown talks whenever he's approached. Ricky Williams talks whenever he's approached. Vonnie Holliday talks whenever he's approached. Joey Porter talks whenever he's approached. No other underperforming player on the team has a day in which he cannot be approached ... except Wilford.

The troubling thing is this policy doesn't seem to be in effect to shield Wilford from an angry horde of reporters eager to extract venom from him. Rarely does anyone bother Wilford -- on his day or otherwise.

No, this policy reeks of Wilford acting big-time when he's not producing big-time. This policy is also insulating Wilford from questions about the direction of his season. So the guy that isn't separating from defensive backs can separate himself from questions like, "Why can't you get on the field, Ernest?" or "Why only one catch, Ernest?"

Colleague David Neal tried to ask Wilford some of those questions for this story he wrote in Saturday's newspaper and Wilford wanted no part of any interview.

"Today's Friday," Wilford said in declining.

And tomorrow's Sunday. That's game day. That's the day Dolphins players are expected to be in uniform and even perform. That's the day receivers that recently cashed a $6 million bonus check are expected to get their names in the stat book.

Anyway, we'll see if he's active Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens. If not, it'll be another day Wilford will neither talk the talk nor walk the walk.

October 17, 2008

Dolphins special teams need improvement, Ginn

One of my few ongoing frustrations with the Dolphins this year has been the general inability of the special teams to perform to a high standard.

I know special teams is not usually a big draw for readers. I don't expect to break page view or comment section records with this post. But it is important.

It is important enough that Miami spent much of the offseason investing in the improvement of the special teams. Davone Bess made the Dolphins primarily because of what he added on special teams. Reggie Torbor was brought to Miami, in part, because of his special teams ability. Nathan Jones was brought to Miami to play special teams. So were Keith Davis and Boomer Grigsby, though they've been cut. Dan Carpenter was kept and Jay Feely was cut, in part, to improve field position on special teams.

Special teams play is important darnit!

And yet Miami's special teams - how to put this discreetly - suck right now.

The Dolphins rank 32nd in the NFL in opponent's kick return average. They rank 29th out of 32 teams in opponent's punt return average. That means whenever the Dolphins kick off or punt, they are typically getting destroyed by the opposition.

Some proof of that is the 81-yard kickoff return, the 50-yard kickoff return, and the 70-yard punt return the Dolphins have allowed this season.

The story is not much better when the Dolphins receive. The Dolphins rank 31st out of 32 teams on kick returns. Punt returns is a slightly better story as Miami ranks 15th with a 10.5 yard per return average. But even that isn't anything impressive considering the investment and attention the Dolphins put on their special teams.

So what is the problem? On defense (punts and kickoffs) the Dolphins aren't doing a great job with lane discipline. They also get blocked fairly successfully. On offense, or their returns, the Dolphins are sometimes trying to block linebackers and fullbacks from other teams with their defensive backs and wide receivers, meaning Miami's special teams seem generally smaller than most.

And there isn't a whole lot of speed in the back getting the ball, either. Sure, Bess is well-suited for punt returns because he is elusive and quick. But he is not fast. So he is limited on kickoff returns. And why is he on kick returns, you ask, when Ted Ginn Jr. is available?

Why isn't the guy who tied the NCAA record with 8 return TDs returning punts and especially kicks for Miami?

"The difference is you got some big bodies flying down the field with a lot longer head start," coach Tony Sparano said. "So the smaller guys don't always hold up in there as long when they're returning kicks that way and Bess is just built a little bit bigger than Ted."

Translation: The receiver-poor Dolphins don't want to have Ginn broken in two on a kick return because of his thin frame and the relative small size of their people up front.

Despite this, I perceive Sparano is becoming a bit impatient with the lack of productivity on the return teams. I perceive Ginn might get more opportunites on kick returns, at least on a sporadic basis. Of course, I've perceived this for a while and nothing has happened.

"You never know what you'll see back there," Sparano said this week.

I'd like to see Ginn. I'd like to see a reverse on a kick or punt return. I'd like to see a fake punt. I'd like to see some action.

And this week would be a good time to do it. The Dolphins play the Ravens, meaning the Dolphins may struggle to score very often against the NFL's No. 1 defense. Maybe getting a special teams touchdown or, at worst, good field position would help Miami's cause.


October 16, 2008

Cameron speaks (sort of) about Dolphins

Former Dolphins head coach Cam Cameron, now the offensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens, took a break Thursday from helping last year's No. 22-ranked Ravens offense slip to No. 25 this year, just so he could double speak about his time with the Dolphins.

He was asked what happened with the 2007 Dolphins?

"I take full responsibility for what happened there. End of story," Cameron said before going into babble mode. "Now this game's about this team and, for me personally, it's about this offense getting better. [We could be playing in Nome, Alaska, any of the other 31 teams, we got some things we got to improve on. That's our focus.]"

So what did Cameron learn from 1-15?

"Another great question," he said in typical Cam tap-dancing manner. "I don't think necessarily now ... our focus is getting those guys focused in. I really appreciate these questions. I've made it really clear where my focus is. Maybe there is a time and place for that. In our situation right now, with what we're trying to do as a team, it's about us."

So does Cam Cameron, 1-15 as an NFL head coach, want to be a head coach again? He paused for a long time today after being asked that question.

"I've always approached that," he began before pausing again, "with a sole focus of what I'm being asked to do. I'm going to do the best job I can for the Baltimore Ravens, to help the Baltimore Ravens win a championship, if not more. That is my focus. With that being said, I understand now more than ever why so many guys have left here and gone on to be head coaches -- because of the experience they're afforded here by our owner, our players, people in this organization. It prepares guys to be head coaches like no place I've been.

"So you can take that any way you want, but I'm a guy, I'm going to be learning everything that's being done here, but at the same time I know why I'm here. I've got a great friend I'm working for, and I'm going to do everything I can to help this man win a championship."

Two questions:

Doesn't this sound familiar?

And can you please translate for me, because I really didn't understand anything beyond, "I take full responsibility for what happened there. End of story."

Henning: Henne just as good as Matt Ryan

There are grumblings in some circles -- among fans, not anywhere inside the Dolphins organization -- that maybe the Dolphins would have done well to pick Matt Ryan with the first overall pick.

Ryan, who went to the Atlanta Falcons with the third overall pick, is playing pretty well now. His projected stats indicate he's on pace for a 3,000-yard season.

But the Dolphins are quite happy with their pick of Jake Long No. 1 and Chad Henne later, thanks very much. That's because the Dolphins think they got a franchise left tackle and a franchise quarterback in Chad Henne in the second round.

"We think Chad Henne can play just as well as [Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco] can," Dolphins offensive coordinator Dan Henning said just minutes ago. "I'll tell you that right now. I think when he gets his opportunity he will play well. Every time we've given him an opportunity, he has played well. We also like Chad Pennington. So I think the quarterback situation here as it stands right now is better than it was Feb. 1st. I'll tell you that right now."

I believe if Brett Favre had not changed his mind about retiring, Henne would be Miami's starter now. How? Well, it would mean Pennington woul dhave stayed with the Jets and Henne was beating out both Josh McCown and John Beck in the preseason.

Henning didn't want to go there today but did say, "Without being obtuse, if we didn't have our No. 1 quarterback, we'd be starting our No. 2 quarterback. And Henne is our No. 2 quarterback."

So do you agree Henne could be as good as Ryan?

Dolphins continue to tweak the roster

The Dolphins continue looking for special teams and any other kind of help as today they signed running back/fullback Lousaka Polite and apparently waived tackle Kirk Barton, who was absent from practice.

Polite was wavied by the Bears this week. His ties to the Dolphins are that he played for the Cowboys, who else, from 2004 to 2006.

He is 6-foot and 242 pounds and was signed as an undrated free agent by the Cowboys out of the University of Pittsburgh.

Adding Polite also protects the Dolphins because regular fullback Casey Cramer (ankle) missed Wednesday's practice and wasn't working during the time open to media today.

The Dolphins will announce this move later today.

October 15, 2008

Harbaugh: Cameron did best with what he had

New Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh has a wacky very interesting opinion of the job former Dolphins head coach and current Ravens offensive coordinator did with the Dolphins last year.

"Cam's going to be a great match as a football coach for every situation," Harbaugh said during a conference call with the Miami media Wednesday. "He can coach. Everywhere he's been, he's been a very effective coach. He was an effective coach in Miami last year, even though the results weren't what people were hoping for.

"He did a great job there, with what he had to work with."

That statement was replayed to several Dolphins players by 790 The Ticket reporter Josh Friedman, who took the tape of the comment into the locker room. The last sentence was not appreciated by any players.

"With what he had to work with," repeated defensive tackle Vonnie Holliday. "I guess that's the key, huh? You know what there's not much I can much about that. It definitely was a tough season last year. What I would say is, what did we have to work with as players?"

Ronnie Brown was jarred as well: "With what he had to work with, huh? Obviously Cam came in and we were in a tough situation and had a lot of injuries and that's always going to affect you. You know, it is what it is. We're here now. We've got a new situation. We're excited with what we're doing and we've got a new team. Everything will take care of itself between the lines.

"Personally, for myself, it is added motivation. I was on the offensive side of the ball and I feel like he's talking about us to a certain extent. All I can do is show him and do what I do and that's play the game. That's how I talk I guess."

Matt Roth's reaction?

"Wow. That's his opinion," Roth said. "If we get caught up in this game it won't look good. It's a different team. Believe what you want to believe. Last year was last year ...

"We've been forwarned about this. We've got tough players. It definitely ain't last year. Truthfully I like Cam. I thought he was a good coach. It just didn't work. Sometimes it doesn't gel right. We got a good coach with our coach upstairs. Somethings just work out. But I definitely feel comfortable with this new regime."

Holliday has some advice for Harbaugh:

"I think that's just a young coach, a young head coach," Holliday said. "And I think he'll look back on that comment and wish he didn't say that."

The Dolphins and Ravens play at Dolphin Stadium Sunday.

Should Dolphins exchange Hagan for Copper?

Soon after the Dolphins traded Chris Chambers to the San Diego Chargers a year ago, then-GM Randy Mueller told me it was time for Derek Hagan to step up.

"He's like many young receivers," Mueller said. "He's inconsistent. But the time has come for him to show us if that is what he's going to continue to be or if the flashes we see in practice can translate to games."

The flashes have not translated and, in fact, Hagan seems to have regressed. Hagan has been inactive the past two games, which means he caught no fewer passes in those games than he did against the Jets and Patriots -- games for which he was active but had zero catches.

So here is the question: Isn't it time the Dolphins simply get rid of Derek Hagan?

The reason I ask this question is that there is a suitable replacement on the market for him right now. That would be Terrance Copper, who was released Monday by the New Orleans Saints. Copper is 26 years old and his career statistics say he has 46 career receptions for 600 yards and 6 TDs. But don't get too caught up on the stats. They are quite similar to Hagan's career statistics of 53 catches for 645 yards and 3 TDs.

The difference is Copper plays special teams when he's not catching passes. Hagan does not.

At a time the Dolphins are frantically searching to upgrade their special teams, at a time they need to rid themselves of dead weight and add players that will contribute, I would think replacing Hagan with Copper would be an idea worth considering -- assuming Copper is healthy, of course.

And I am told Copper is indeed healthy.

The point is the Dolphins receiver corps is the worst it has been in recent memory. They have a couple of guys that aren't good enough to be active for games because they haven't enough value as receivers or special team contributors. And that on a team that needs help at both receiver and special teams.

So maybe it is time to exchange some of the dead weight for somebody who will, you know, help on Sundays.

Your thoughts?

October 14, 2008

Dolphins sign safety to help special teams

Tony Sparano wasn't too pleased with the performance of Miami's special teams on Sunday. They haven't performed well for weeks, actually.

Well, today the team added safety Brannon Condren to help on special teams. Condren was drafted by the Colts out of Troy State two years ago and waived a couple of weeks ago. He was claimed off waivers by the Rams, but they released him over the weekend.

The Dolphins will announce his addition later tonight or Wednesday.

"I'm overly excited," Condren said Tuesday. "Two years ago when I was drafted by the Colts, one of the teams I really was hoping would take me was the Dolphins. I'm from Pensacola and I love it down here. I love the team and the atmosphere down here."

Condren is 6-1 and 205 pounds. He has been told he will be on pretty much all the special teams for the Dolphins.

"We'll see how I do there," Condren said. "And after that, we'll see what happens."

Williams traded after all to desperate Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys have completed a trade to acquire much-sought, much-talented Roy Williams from the Detroit Lions, according to a league source and several media reports.

The trade apparently includes multiple draft picks, including a first-round draft pick.

Dallas originally believed it could land Williams for a second-round pick but apparently there was at least one other team trying to land Williams so the price went up.

Assuming the Dolphins were not the other team -- it should not shock the Dolphins didn't get the quality receiver they desperately lack. Miami's brain trust would never give up a first round pick for Roy Williams.

Nor should they.

A second rounder? I would have applauded that, as I'm sure most fans would have. A first-rounder, particularly Miami's first rounder, which could be a top 15-pick? No way.

This is a long-term deal for the Cowboys as they will announced they have reworked and extended Williams' contract when he arrives in Dallas. He will not be a free agent next season.

So it goes ...

By the way, doesn't this make you wonder what the Cowboys are going to do with Patrick Crayton and Miles Austin?

Anyway, the Dolphins also didn't trade for Roy Rogers. Inside joke.

The battle versus physical receivers continues

It has become clear to the Dolphins coaching staff that Miami's secondary can hold its own against smallish, quick, agile receivers. But strong, tall, physical receivers are another story.

The Dolphins lost every single battle against Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin and Andre Johnson and Kevin Walter this year. They won or held their own against guys like Laveranues Coles, Wes Welker and others.

The problem, coach Tony Sparano says, is that Miami's 11 remaining games promises many matchups against big, strong receivers.

"We're going to see it," Sparano said. "In this league there are a lot of big receivers. We're going to see it. We've just got to do a better job of making plays. Several times with Andre Johnson, we were in position to make plays and just didn't make the play. That sounds easy, you hear it from the players, and you'll hear it from coaches. You've just got to make plays. We've got to make plays.

"That's a reality. You're in position to make the play. Or the other guy does. One way or the other somebody's going to make it and somebody's not going to make it. We need to make more than we don't. In the game that we do, we win. In the games we don't, we haven't. We're going to see more of it."

A look at Miami's schedule shows the Dolphins won't be facing prototypical big receivers the next two games against Baltimore and Buffalo. Mark Clayton and Derrick Mason for Baltimore are not imposing guys, as neither reaches 6-feet nor is at 200 pounds. Same with Lee Evans and Josh Reed for Buffalo.

But there are some games afterward that should get the attention of the Miami secondary.

Denver will come at them with 6-4 and 230-pound monster Brandon Marshall -- not to mention smallish but fleet rookie sensation Eddie Royal.

Seattle will compete with 6-1 and 205-pound Koren Robinson, 6-1, 210-pound Keary Colbert, and 6-1 and 205-pound Courtney Taylor, not to mention 6-4 and 215-pound Billy McMullen.

Oakland is starting 6-2 and 210-pound Ronald Curry and 6-3 and 215-pound Javon Walker.

The Patriots have Randy Moss, who is 6-4 and 210, but the saving grace there is he doesn't have much of a QB throwing to him these days -- just ask Joey Porter.

The Rams' best receiver is Torry Holt who isn't imposing. But Drew Bennett, their possession guy is 6-5 and 197.

San Francisco has 6-3 and 211-pounder Bryant Johnson and 6-1 and 208-pounder Arnaz Battle. Kansas City has 6-2 and 221-pounder Dwayne Bowe and 6-1 and 213-pounder Devard Darling.

That means the Dolphins have seven games remaining against teams with the type of receivers the secondary typically struggles against. None of those receivers outside of Bowe and Moss and Marshall are game-changers. But all are capable of making plays.

So what will the Dolphins do to keep those players from making too many plays?

"All we can do is keep putting them in position in practice" Sparano said of his secondary. "We have three big receivers that work every day in practice out there, every day. We had some balls, quite honestly this week in practice, that were caught in some of those competitive situations. We need to do a better job in practice of competing to get the ball out and not to allow that to happen."

October 13, 2008

Lions: Roy Williams not on the trade block

Those of you -- like me -- that would love for the Dolphins to get aggressive about their stunning ineptitude at the wide receiver position and perhaps pull of a trade for Detroit receiver Roy Williams, there is good news ...

... and bad news.

Detroit general manager Martin Mayhew said Monday the team is involved in exploratory talks with other teams about "a handful" of players as the trade deadline approaches at 4 p.m. Tuesday. That is the good news.

The bad news is, according to this report by Tom Kowalski of Michiganlive.com, Williams is not one of the players being shopped -- at least that is what Mayhew said.

Sad sigh. Groan.

Highlights of Tony Sparano's Monday presser

Tony Sparano just finished a 15-minute press conference in which he discussed the plans for this week and Sunday's 29-28 loss to the Houston Texans.

Some highlights:

Sparano is obviously not pleased with what is going on with special teams. The Dolphins yielded a 70-yard punt return and a 50-yard kickoff return that resulted in 9 points for Houston. Sparano said he counted 11 missed tackles on special teams.

"We have people we take to the game that are core special teams players," Sparano said. "They have to start playing like core special teams players."

Sparano understands his secondary struggles with big, strong wide receivers. That was the case against Arizona and it was the case against Houston.

"We're going to see it some more," Sparano said. "In this league there are a lot of big receivers. Several times our guys were in position to make plays. The thing is when you're in position to make plays, you have to make plays."

The Dolphins did not do that. Sparano said Miami defenders go their hands on the football five times in the last 11 plays. They obviously didn't come away with the ball or even knock the ball away even once in that sequence.

The interesting thing is that during practice last week, the secondary at times struggled to cover Miami's own big receivers -- Ernest Wilford, Derek Hagan and Brandon London. "There were balls, in all honesty, that were caught [on the secondary by those receivers]," Sparano said.

So let me get this right: Two of Miami's so-called big receivers -- Wilford and Hagan -- were not active for the game because they're not good enough in the coach's eyes, because, "it wasn't their time," according to Sparano. And yet they had moments in which they beat Miami's secondary during the week? That is distressing.

Sparano also said the Dolphins should have come away with five interceptions. They actually had two.

Bottom line?

"They played better," Sparano said of the Texans.

October 12, 2008

Dolphins lose disappointing one to Texans, 29-28

Houston, we have a problem.

The Texans shredded the Dolphins defense for much of the day, then stuck a knife in the team's heart with a 3 yard run with three seconds to play as the Dolphins lost to Houston today, 29-28.

Forget about the Dolphins never beating the Texans in four tries now. Other than today's loss, that's just history.

What this loss means is that Miami is not a good team. Not yet anyway.

That was the mood in the locker room after the game.

Players understand this team still has a ways to go. But that doesn't diminish the sting. That was obvious when I reminded Vonnie Holliday the team isn't on a one-year program.

"That only depends on who you ask," he said dejectedly.

Anyway, discuss...

Dolphins lead Texans 21-20 going into the 4th Q

The Dolphins and Texans traded touchdowns in the third quarter as Miami continues to cling to a 1-point advantage.

The Texans got a 12 yard TD catch from Andre Johnson to take a 20-14 lead. That came after Johnson caught a 61 yard pass to set up the score.

The Dolphins answered with a six-play drive that culminated with a 5 yard TD run by Ricky Williams to regain the lead.

The live blog continues in the comments section below.

Dolphins clinging to 14-13 lead at start of 3rd Q

The Dolphins were pretty much in control for the first half -- causing two turnovers on defense, getting big-play TDs of 80 yards and 53 yards -- and then the Texans got a special teams touchdown.

And that is why this game which Miami dominated is 14-13 as the teams prepare to come out for the start of the third quarter.

The Dolphins have gotten TDs from Patrick Cobbs on a 53 pass from Chad Pennington out of the Wildcat package and an 80-yard screen pass out of the base formation.

The Texans managed two Kris Brown field goals to trail 14-6, but then Jacoby Jones returned a punt 70 yards to give Houston life.

It should be an interesting second half. Join me in the comments section below for the continuation of the live blog

Dolphins lead Texans 7-3 at start of 2nd quarter

The Dolphins have already converted a Wildcat package play into a touchdown today.

They have tried the package three times with the last one resulting in a 53 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Chad Pennington to running back Patrick Cobbs.

On the play, Ronnie Brown took the snap from center, handed the ball to Ricky Williams, who flipped the ball to Pennington, who then threw the TD pass to a wide open Cobbs.

The Texans have moved the ball well, outgaining the Dolphins, but two interceptions have stopped drives. Andre' Goodman and Akin Ayodele have those interceptions.

The Texans drove on their third drive of the day to score on a 27-yard field goal by Kris Brown.

Join me in the comments section below for continuation of the live blog.

On Wilford, Hagan and today's live blog

If you read my column that ran in today's paper and is on the website, you would see how coach Tony Sparano believes he has three receivers on the roster whose roles are well defined. Beyond that, Sparano said, "the waters start to get muddy."

How muddy?

Well, today Ernest Wilford and Derek Hagan are both inactive for this game against Houston.

Anyway, we'll be blogging live starting in the comments section here. We'll move to a new post at the start of every quarter and jump to the comments section there.

October 09, 2008

Stay tuned for Ronnie Brown the passer

The Wildcat offense is seriously freaking the NFL out. Thursday, Dan Marino was at the Dolphins training facility to do a story for the CBS pregame show which will feature the Dolphins' recent success and their Wildcat offense.

Friday, ESPN is sending Cris Carter to the facility to do pretty much the same story. It's Wildcat this and Wildcat that on the pregame shows Sunday.

On Showtime's Inside the NFL this week, former Raiders and Bucs defensive lineman Warren Sapp went off on the Dolphins because of the Wildcat offense. He basically said he was offended by Miami's use of the offense.

"This is disrespectful to all defenses," Sapp said during the show's round table discussion. "It's disrespectful. You're taking the best player in the game, the quarterback, and you're putting him out wide, outside the numbers and you put the running back in the back. How the hell you going to pass the ball?"

A couple of things, fellas and ladies: Ronnie Brown can pass the ball. And he's getting more proficient at it because he's been doing it more in practice.

I've been told the Dolphins have been working more with Brown throwing out of the Wildcat formation this week. In fact, when the team is warming up in individual drills, Brown takes some repetitions with the other quarterbacks.

And then, obviously, he throws the ball when the Dolphins are working on pass plays out of Wildcat in practice. So look for that to show up this week against Houston.

And there is the irony in all this.

Sapp, who obviously doesn't know Brown already threw a TD pass out of the formation against New England, will have to eat his words if Brown starts slingin' it more often. And if it happens in Houston, it will come at the same venue where Brown infamously had a pass batted on a potential game-tying two-point conversion try two seasons ago.

Can hardly wait.

To pull the trigger on Roy Williams trade or not?

The situation begs attention: The Dolphins, for all their fine work the past two games, still don't scare anyone in the passing game. It's not so much that they don't have good receivers -- we can agree Anthony Fasano and Greg Camarillo are good pass-catchers.

It's just that Miami has no dynamic pass catchers.

And that is where the name Roy Williams pops to mind.

Williams is the Detroit Lions receiver who becomes a free agent at the end of this season. There are rumors circulating out of Detroit that despite Williams' desire to remain with the team, the club will try to move him before the Oct. 14 trade deadline.

So, of course, we at Dolphins In Depth must jump into the fray and remind everyone of Miami's stated stance in all such matters: 1. The Dolphins turn over every rock for available talent, suggesting they have studied Williams and have at least thought about the idea of reaching out to Detroit to gauge what is fact and fiction. 2. The Dolphins aren't in the business of giving up draft picks, which suggests even if Williams is available wholesale the Dolphins would likely pass.

But that is the point. Williams is probably available wholesale. Sure, the Lions would want a high pick. But he's not fetching a first or second round pick unless a bidding war ensues. Remember Detroit gets nothing for the guy if he become a free agent.

So would the Dolphins give up a third-round pick for a 26-year-old receiver who would immediately upgrade the Miami receiver corps and perhaps help the Dolphins take a giant leap on offense?

Would you?

Personally, I don't see this happening. Too many loose ends to tie, such as getting Williams to agree to a new contract to make sure he doesn't become a free agent next season. But fans should love the idea. It offers your team the opportunity to add a receiver whose career statistics are quite good and include a 1,310 yard season in 2006.

Not too many of those available out there and definitely none available in next year's draft because everyone in that group is unproven.

So what should the Dolphins do?