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Dolphins do more than preach competition

Some football teams preach competition. But come on, seriously, is there really competition in Atlanta for Tony Gonzalez today? Is there competition in Pittsburgh for Hines Ward or Ben Roethlisberger? Do you seriously believe Ray Lewis is being pushed for his starting job in Baltimore even though he's going on 34 years old?

Some teams want competition. The Dolphins live competition -- at least so far under Bill Parcells and Jeff Ireland and Tony Sparano.

This offseason, the first full offseason the current regime has enjoyed in Miami, there exists competition throughout the roster. There is competition for unaccomplished and accomplished players alike. There is competition for youngsters and veterans. Practically everyone outside of kicker Dan Carpenter has competition for his job.

Don't believe it?

Chad Pennington was the Dolphins MVP last season. He is by far their most accomplished offensive player. Coach Tony Sparano named him the starter for 2009 at the end of the 2008 season. And yet he's working his tail off this offseason because he realizes that although he's already earned and been handed the starting job, he's got to compete to keep it.

Chad Henne is on Pennington's tail and is, by any account, the regime's fair-haired. He is the franchise quarterback in-waiting. He is the future. He is pushing Pennington.

And now he is being pushed by Pat White.

"Obviously I have a high regard for Pat [based on] where we selected him," Ireland said. "And I don’t know that you can have too many good players at that position, and there’s a little bit of an unknown about Chad (Henne) and there’s obviously an unknown about how we’re going to use Pat. But I don’t think you can have too many good players at that position. Your vision's going to be for the future. Heck, I don’t even know if Chad Pennington’s not going to be here so they’re going to be competing for playing time and I feel good about having three four really good players at that position.”

How sold are the Dolphins on competition? This week the team has talked with Jason Taylor's representative about the possibility Taylor might return to Miami. That addition, were it to happen, would immediately create a competition at the weakside linebacker spot Joey Porter manned so well last season. 

And it would create competition between Taylor, Porter, Cameron Wake, Quentin Moses, Erik Walden and William Kershaw for the right to be part of the four-man line in the nickel and dime packages. It's called competition.

Ronnie Brown competed with Ricky Williams last training camp and even lost his starting job (few remember this) at the beginning of the season when Williams started the first two games. Then Brown recovered and reclaimed his starting job. Then Williams regained it for a week against Oakland. And on it went.

Coaches didn't let either get comfortable or allow either to settle for being the backup.

This training camp, both will be competing for carries with Patrick Cobbs. Yes, the Dolphins love this kid. Cobbs is a relative unknown and Brown and Williams have both been Pro Bowl players, and that will mean absolutely nothing during the competition.

Brown will also have another competition on his hands. The unquestioned triggerman of the Dolphins 2008 Wildcat package has to hold off the charge of White, who seems like a natural for the spot. The outcome of that competition could have us renaming Miami's signature offensive package the WildPat if White is the better triggerman.

Cornerback Will Allen is the most experienced member of the secondary and it would be a huge upset if he doesn't start throughout the season. But the fact is he's unsigned for 2010 and the Dolphins drafted two cornerbacks in the first two rounds. So assuming the two rookies live up to their billing and draft status, and assuming they improve with time, they could be pushing Allen by the end of the season.

I'm not predicting that will happen. Both Vontae Davis and Sean Smith would have to be cornerback prodigies to make this come to pass. But the fact is competition does not end after training camp and with a handful of Pro Bowl caliber receivers on the schedule, anything can happen.

Jake Long has the left tackle job sown up for the next decade right? Probably. But the Dolphins will give sixth-round pick Andrew Gardner, who might be as able a pass-blocker as Long, the chance to compete and earn his backup role.

I've told you in the past Bill Parcells likes tight end Joey Haynos because he is 6-8 and 270 pounds and shows promise as a redzone threat. Haynos will try to push David Martin and Tony Fasano. So what do the Dolphins do? They draft John Nalbone to be a redzone threat that pushes Haynos.

The receiver position is loaded with competition. Nobody's job is secure there. Not Davone Bess, not Greg Camarillo, not Brandon London, obviously not Patrick Turner nor Brian Hartline, and not even Ted Ginn Jr.

Although Ginn has a skill none of the others have -- namely, scary speed -- he will have to work hard on making himself more readily available to the quarterback to remain the No. 1 option. 

The fact is both Bess and Camarillo have a way of finding open spots in the defense and Ginn needs to improve on that if he wants to continue being the team's leading receiver, which he was last season only because Camarillo got injured and Bess didn't start the entire season. (Ginn caught 56 passes to lead the team, Camarillo had 55 catches and Bess 54.) 

There are other solid competitions on the roster. They involve names such as Randy Starks and Phillip Merling, Reggie Torbor and Akin Ayodele, Brandon Fields and Jy Bond, Joe Berger and Donald Thomas and Andy Alleman and Ikechuku Ndukwe.

It's about competition on the Dolphins. More players than not are in one. And that's a good thing.

I know I've missed a couple so feel free to add those in the comments section. I also expect you have an opinion on how the competitions I've laid out will turn out. So give those predictions in the comments section also.

One last thing: You might argue the Dolphins have so much competition because they are still an incomplete team that hasn't found the right combination of players yet. Fair. The only way to find that right combo is to have them compete.

But what does that say about previous incomplete Miami teams that didn't have nearly this much competition? Hmmmm.


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If we get JT I don't see him taking Porter's spot. Miami will use JT on the strong side on passing downs or even put him in the middle from time to time. He is good at rushing the passer and even in coverage but not good against the run. I see the team taking JT out and putting Roth in on rushing downs. Roth is great against the run. Wake will be used when JT is a sub for Porter or if they mix it up with the DEs. I don't think we need JT but it would sure be nice to have him around again taking ints in for 6.

With Williams on his last year I think it would be smart for the Dolphins to give Brown a big contract. Cobbs is a good backup and great as a check down but Brown is great catching the ball too, look at 2007. They will make a good one two.

They should have Pat White listed as a WR or RB. I think it would be unwise for Miami to come into the game with Penny and White active and Henne be the third. If the game is A blowout for either side it would be good to get Henne some reps. If we intend to use White during the game we can't use Henne since one will have to be inactive.

Andy Stitzer boy , you started the sister talk not me, i think you were with my brother butch cause i have no sisters.


Why are you guys so angry at each other? I just come here to talk Dolphins and find out about competition and pushing.

Ok Guys, lets leave sister's and mothers out of this...

Competition is great, but remember, all the ingredients have to jell to be successful!
If they don't play with and for each other they will be crushed.
I remeber the starting O playing harder for Jay Fiedler than his backup- whatshisname.

souljah,is jason good in pushing,do you know ?

I heard Jason is good at pushing, but he doesn't practice enough so he gets injured when he tries...


can you confirm this?

I think emmitt smith, holt and whatever other future HALL OF FAMER's name you wanna drop deserved to run out of bounds once in a while after rushing/receiving for over a hundred yards a game on a consistent basis...pretty sure these guys weren't dumb enough to do it when they're team needed to run out the clock to win the game though...you teach that stuff in pee-wee for crying out loud

I think Pat White will show us glimpses of what Ginn can do with the deep ball this year. He is goinh to be out there one on one in the wildcat and running right by his defender.

Billy boy, well played sir...btw, i did start the sister talk, but it wasnt directed towards you. My apologies if my comment got your panties up in a bunch. ( just a little joke, mellow out!! )

Andy, that was very good, thank you for replaying .

I Thnikf, pennington will or henne will end up third string, with White at No 2, if he is to remain a quarterback. I think ronnie may get packaged in a deal to bring in a true wide reciever. Ie. Ronnie and London for Boldin or Ocho Cinco

its in the ayer a ayer.

Chad Johnson is old and I refuse to call him OchoCinco...

chad is my cousin and he will dance u to death homie.

can johnson push ?

Who is the worst free agent signing in recent Dolphins history

1) Daunte Culpepper

2) Trent Green

3) Ernest Wilford

4) Nick Saban

well what do u mean like fully clothed or naked papi??

Nothing new on Anquan Boldin but his undrafted little brother D.J. Boldin signed yesterday with the Lions. Their younger sister Anquanna Boldin ( played QB for a womans flag ball team in highschool) was in talks with the Jets(who are not sure about starting Sanchez) when she abrutly left talks when Rex Ryan ate her Gucci purse!!! mistaked it for a marbled sirloin roast

I think Chad Pennington is overrated and he hust may be trade bate as well. I think his steady play was great, but his weak arm hurt us too. He limited our offence which made the wildcat necessary. Ginn is a good reciever. Pat White will make him dangerous. Whites elusiveness should let Ginn get open down field to catch the deep ball. It will also compensate for our oline until they can maintain consistency.

Gary Stevens,

What about Ray Lucas and David Boston?

tu papi johnso, i didn't understand the question

Really smart move to get Pat White. Bottom line, teams will have think real hard about blitzing the Wildcat. They'll have to continue to waste time preparing for it.

6) Cam Cameron

the wildcat was necessary because our offensive line couldn't win the battle at the line of scrimmage, so we couldn't run the ball...

u were asking if johnson could push.

7) Jay Feely

tu papi, can johnson push like jason ?

the wildcat was necessary because our offensive line couldn't win the battle at the line of scrimmage, so we couldn't run the ball...

= No respect for the passing game

8 } Chad.Henne

Woman in the jets front office became impressed with Rex Ryans long tongue but realized it was the uneaten shoulder strap from the purse

9) marcus Vick

the dolphins passing game was in the top half of the league and Chad Pennington threw for over 3,600 yards...

ohhhh most deffintaly all night long.

So hong long do you think it will be before the Menace starts showing his true colors and ends all his posts with J E T S jets jets jets like he did last year?

what are u serious A.J feely worst ever but then again i respect this kid cause he beat the pats in miami on that monday nighter.

I Just want to put this out there, those that dont think coaching is not that important think what the fin front office did with the 1 and 15 fish from the cam(cant win) camron squad last year, there were changes yes but the coaching that went on last year was incredible, how soprano didnt get coach of the year is outragous.

So how long till i flame out in this blog?

Come man at least sign your own name.

WildPat - I like it. You are the man. I like this draft even more after a week. The experts all say this or that or Grade of C, but you know what? It is like one of those Steelers drafts the last five years, not flashy or maybe not the best players on speed or combine skills, but it seems like just the right players for OUR team. The fit seems right with alot of these guys and we filled a ton of needs.

Just because you read this far I want to thank you and reward you with some archival footage of Armando I found. Just a small token of my appreciation.

and then there is this: I say we

mando have the dolphins released the list of their undrafted free agents yet?

The Dolphins have not been in this good a shape since Don Shula days. I do wish they would get a burner like Heyward-Bey to compete with Ginn though.

This Marion kid is quite explosive:


whats up with the DE's and LB's from Tulsa?

Complacency and the sense that you have "made it" are not a positive thing. Only true superstars should feel comfortable and that is because they know they will outplay any and all challengers.

I was worried during the draft that we did not find a potential #1 wide receiver and then we drafted two average receivers plus Pat White, who will probably play the position sometimes.

Then I realized that having a star receiver really is not a priority for this regime - they want big money and they say things like "give me the damn ball". A quarterback has bigger problems than satisfying the ego if his "#1 receiver", which leads to forcing throws, etc.

Cyrus, why can't you change your ugly last name for my sake ha ?

Can someone bake me a cake with a hacksaw in it?

I think Pat White could be the steal of the draft 5 yrears from now. The truth is nobody knows. All we are is like, dust in the wind, man.

Does anyone know what the undrafted FA'S are?

This team is being rebuilt bit by bit. Competition for jobs is a healthy thing because it pushes players to get better as players, be aggressive on the field (making plays), and handle pressure with mental toughness(making plays capitalizing on opportunities or when it's really needed).

Such comptetition leads to a winning mentality and overachieving. I'm sick and tired of seeing Dolphin players who either undeachieved or become overrated busts.

Chung's Wang..

are you from vietnam ? iam dying to meet some one on this blog from my native land, do you love dolphins like me ?i hope you hate jets wets

The menace is just still sore because he wanted to sit on Quinn's jock. How's he working out anyway?


if you are from vietnam, what's the main dish there and it starts with the letter R

Mr Bunglito, my best friend on this blog even if he doesn't know me but i love him dearly for his spirit and brain. who's the menace and who's jed?

No, Jed I'm not. I am a "Homer" grew up in Miramar looking at the stadium from my back yard and moved to Rockledge Fl. One of the blogs wouldn't accept Rockledgephinfan because it was too long a name so I shortened it to Rockphin.

Rockphin, you sure sound like him but let me ask you a question,do you know any thing about copper pipes or drains ?

that seems like a loaded question, but I'll bite. Yeah I work for a general contractor as an estimator and PM so what do you want to know?

do you clean sewer or you are just a plumber ?

Ummm, don't you read, I just said that I am an estimator and a project manager for a general contractor.

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