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Dolphins have much to prove -- which is good

My Sunday column is about motivation and how coach Tony Sparano loves players "with a little chip on their shoulders" because he believes that gives them an edge.

It is hard to argue with Sparano about this because he is right. He's convinced a good football player is one with talent and work ethic and that little something else that makes people reach deeper or longer for that something extra.

And one way to mine extra intangible is having players that want to prove themselves or believe they must prove themselves. So in the column I take a look at part of the Dolphins roster and name some players that have things to prove in the coming season.

We're not just talking about undrafted free agents here. Miami's starting quarterback has something to prove. Miami's most recognizable player has something to prove. The entire starting secondary has something to prove because every individual in it is shadowed by someone's doubt or skepticism.

Read the column. Check out the players I name and the reason they have a burden of proof upon them. But understand I could not and did not name every player that has something to prove.

That's why this blog exists. That's where you come into the picture.

When you come back here (I hope) name the players I've missed that, in your opinion, have something to prove to themselves, the coaches, and yes, you, the hardcore Miami fan.

If someone has already named a player and given the burden of proof he carries you can repeat that name, no problem. But can you add to that which the player has to prove? Think!

And have a great Sunday!


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the One I think has the most to prove is Wilford
He got paid like a #1 WR but could not even crack the starting line up.
We have been hearing on how he is working hard to make his come back.Maybe at HB or TE. It's time to step up.

i would say channing crowder has to prove he has that big play ability. Also philip merling has to prove his worth as a high draft pick after 3rd round pick k. langford beat him out for the DE starting spot last year. We'll see if merling can take over for holliday.

Pat White has to prove that the WildPat deserves to have his name.

......and Ted Ginn's family hasn't done anything to this point. They need to prove that they were worthy of the #9 overall pick.

Mando, does this 'something to prove' attitude go into how they look at picks as well?

How about a coach with something to prove: If Todd Bowles, the secondary coach, can teach Vontae Davis and Sean Smith to become starting caliber NFL corners in the next 2 years, perhaps that will be the tipping point that gets him a head coaching job. He was close this year (interviewing with the Lions). If he just coaches up these very talented but raw players, that could open some eyes around the league.

Here is another coach that can make a name for himself: WR coach Karl Dorrel. Next year, his most experienced receiver will be Ted Ginn, with only 2 years of experience. Camarillo (2), Bess (1), Turner (0), and Hartline (0) all have very limited NFL experience. If the group continues to improve like they did last year, he could start getting some attention as an offensive cordinator candidate. Like Bowles, he has young players to coach up, which could highlight Dorrel's work if they perform well.

Name the " PLAYER " not a coach that has something to prove. what part of that is hard to understand. Geez ! Good night.

I think this team is better than last year, and they are building it the right way - with draft picks and young free agents (as opposed to Nick Saban, who tried rebuilding by signing guys who were 33 years old to 4 year contracts). However, I hope the fans are patient next year, b/c that schedule is just brutal.


I didnt misread Armando's post. I just thought this was a blog and not a college entrance essay, so there was some room for creativity. Sorry if I offended you.

This is just like some Disney movie. A bunch of outcasts that weren't wanted on other teams. Just like Little Giants. The team was nerds, a girl, people that the other teams didn't want. But, they got creamed by those same other teams though. The only way they could win was to come up with a trick play. I think it was called "The Annexation of Puerto Rico" or "Wildcat" or something. Hey, didn't they even have a linebacker that wanted to dress up as a cherleader? or was it a tutu? There are just too many coincidences.

If I had to pick a player that Armando missed it's Paul Soliai. He is at a fork in the road in his career with 2 possible roads:

1. Have a very good camp. Make the roster. Have a solid 2009 and be on his way to a 10 year NFL career in which he'll earn millions and play a kid's game in stadiums full of people.

2. Have a bad camp. Get cut. Be out of football forever (he's had 2 years to show coaches something, which is plenty for a DT). In a bad economy, make $30,000 next year folding T-Shirts somewhere. Return to boring civilian life.

I think Ronnie and Ricky need to step up this year! we were all expecting a better year even if they did combine carries. I would like to see the O line gel and see both be around 1000 yrds rushing

Chad P and the Receivers were better than par by far lol they were money when we thought we had no checks to cash. The O line is much improved and Id like to see them push up the middle more also

Devone Bess is going to have alot to prove too. He surprised last year, but with the new and bigger WR's in camp, he might find himself on the outs.
Don't forget about #1 pick Vontae Davis. He has to prove that he's worthy of the pick and that he is not a prima donna.
Ricky still has to prove (3 times a week) that his urine passes those tests.

Cameron Wake needs to prove he belongs in the NFL and that he is not some fluke of a weaker league

John Beck has to prove that Miami were right to let him go, (sure he will). I have a feeling that Chad Henne will have to prove that he is the real deal to the number 2 QB, over White. Pat should get onto the field a lot more because of this Wildcat use and this gives him the chance to shine on his throws and make inroads on the starting job. If Pennington goes down whilst White is getting to throw maybe 3-4 attempts a game and being successful then wouldn't the smart money be on White getting the nod to start ??

To a man, the players and managment have to prove that first place wasn't a fluke and they desreve to be champoins. While each fights his own personal demons, they need every guy winning a roster spot, planning and executing a winning game plan and then to develop a cohesion that takes them to the Super Bowl. Rookies, vets and coaches all have something to prove.

I think Sparano has something to prove. He is a 2nd year coach. Last year was somewhat of a fluke. NE didn't have Tom Brady so that was at least worth one game, which would have won them the division instead of Miami. That doesn't take away from the accomplishment of turning around a 1-15 team to a 11-5 team. However, Miami got crushed by the premier teams, such as Baltimore, Arizona, and he must prove he can hang with the big boys. Even if Miami goes 10-6 this year (or worse), Sparano needs to show that the team is better, not just in talent, but in execution.

I for one don't mind the "something to prove" moniker being applied to the coaching staff as well. So, in that vein I'd like to submit Dan Henning! Think about it: an old school traditional "Run First" coach who is expected to take the most novel approach to pro football offenses since the no-huddle (even though the single-wing is older than "old school") and make it better. Not only does he have to better it from last year's version, but he is expected to outpace all the copycat coordinators who've been working on their own rendition plans during the off season as well. On top of that, the front office makes the most obvious college player to fit the skill set their top offensive target! Now he's got to avoid being charged with under utilizing White or face the consequences from the fan base and ever expecting media.
I'd say that's pressure! Out-do the Jones's, re-inspire the fan base, counter the critics that it's not a gimic but a viable pro offensive set, show that as an "old school" coach that you have not just the ability to adjust but to set the benchmark in it's application and ingenuity.
I think that Henning and Lee definitely will have something to prove in multiple facets!

Everyone's sleeping on Gibril Wilson. He had a poor season in Oakland last year, but don't forget he was a hell of a safety for the G-men. I expect this season he'll play more like he did for the Giants (even better), and prove that he is a great safety!

In fact the whole secondary has something to prove, with Vontae showing he should've been the first DB picked, and Sean Smith showing he should've been a 1st rounder. Eric Green wants to show he can play, and Will Allen certainly can't feel safe so he shld be working hard too. Clemons is a talented safety wanting to prove he shldn't have been overlooked. Our secondary should be awesome for yrs to come! You just gotta love the Trifecta! No wonder Parcells is so successful.

Dear Mr. Salguero

I think Jimmy Buffet should have a chip on his shoulder.

1-He was brought in by Mr. Ross not Bill Parcells(Tuna wanted Gloria Estefon)

2-He hasn't had a music hit in many years(Sporano believes he could probably coach one or two more hit outa him)

3-Jimmy Buffet also comes with a lot of baggage(LandSharks,"Pencil thin mustaches")Do the Dolphins really need this kind of publisity.

4-The Dolphins want to get younger, Jimmy Buffet is nothing but a "Pirate looking at 40" no make that 60.

5-Wieght problems to many "Cheeseburgers in Paradise"

6-Being the "Son of a Son of a Sailer" will he be in training camp or out to sea?

7-The Dolphins want mentally tough people not people with "Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes"

8-Past Alcohol and Drug problems "Why Don't We Get Drunk" and "Margaritaville"

You can see where Im going with this.

Soiled :)

soiled, didn't we agreed that you don't post in Breakfast time 7;30-10 ,lunch 12-2;30 and dinner 6;30-7;30. is that much to ask to not see your ugly name while people having breakfast.

Dear Mr. Sam

I remember no such agreement.

Did I sign any legal documents ?

Did we spit and shake hands ?

You seem to have alot of time for Food consumption(Dont forget to brush your teeth after meals and maybe take a nice walk )

Soiled :)

Where can I sign up for this job folding t-shirts that pays 30k a year?

You've got most of the bases covered Mando. I wonder if Ernest Wilford's chip will get him to successfully make the team... and actually play!

And Channing Crowder has to prove he can play an entire season with those knees.

Jason Ferguson has to prove he's not too old, not too likely to get injured and the nose tackle position is not too much of a worry.


Every player on this team has something to prove. I definitely think our interior linebackers (Ayodele & Crowder) need to prove they can drop back into coverage. Just look at what Heap & Gonzalez did to them last year.

In addition to that, I believe our young defensive ends (Langford & Merling) also have something to prove. Collectively, they need to prove that letting go of Holliday was the right move. Individually, I believe Langford needs to prove he can be a consistent pass rusher and sustain a high level of play throughout the ENTIRE season. Merling needs to prove he was worth a second round pick and blossom more into an every down end which he showed flashes of towards the end of last season.

"I think Sparano has something to prove. He is a 2nd year coach. Last year was somewhat of a fluke. NE didn't have Tom Brady so that was at least worth one game, which would have won them the division instead of Miami."
Posted by Marc
Marc, Brady wouldn't of kept us and San Diego from scoring at will aginst them. Everyone please take Tom I hire people to shoot at the media but the nfl sweeps it under the rug like it never happened Brady's dick out of your mouths for one second. Tom Brady is GARBAGE. That offense with Matt Cassell leading it was almost as good as when Brady ran it and i gurantee that after this season everyone will realise just how horrible Matt Cassell is. KC pulled off the single worst trade in the history of the NFL, I'd bet my car on that. And yes the whole team has something to prove this year especially with the toughest schedule in the league at least on paper. Finishing with a record over .500 would prove a lot to a lot of people I think.

I almost forgot Pat White Mando. His name was never mentioned amongst the elite rookie QB's of this draft. For someone who won every bowl game in his college football career, including the Senior Bowl which he captained and MVP'ed, White has an opportunity to prove his naysayers wrong with a breakout 2009 WildPat season debut (a fantasy football team owner's dream).

I was extremely irked as White should also be, when Todd McShay took a major swipe at the Dolphins' brain trust for drafting White "too high." I believe his exact words were, "Congratulations, you just wasted a second round pick on a third string QB."

Lastly, White would also like to prove that the questions regarding his lack of arm strength are not a hindrance to his development.

Sounds to me, like White has plenty to prove.

LOL@Fake GM. OK that's better . Paul Soliai. See that wasn't Hard. Also 30,000 for folding t-shirts ? where's this ? LOL

marc and steve. 2 more idiots who don't understand the part in this blog that says the "PLAYER " with the most to prove.

OK, fin fans w/ low IQ ;
HENNE, HENNE, HENNE, the only player has to prove he's worth all this hype.

is he a big bust or alexander the great of football as fin fans think ?

p.s....for sure he's going to start many games this year to find out.


Dear Mr. NJ Phin Fan

Its 30,000 peso's

Job is located in Mexico
You have to sneek across the border to qualify
No bebefits because you would be an illegal alien

Soiled :)

I was pretty upset with the Pat White pick until a few days ago when I watched some of his highlights on YOUTUBE. He literally takes over every game he plays. He is Michael Jordan good (and I am not exagerating, just watch the highlights). When you watch, you think a college all-american is playing against high schoolers, thats how dominant he is. Now I understand why they took him that high - he consistentlty destroyed the opposition in a major conference.

soiled, i will pay for you to go, just not to see your name in meal time

fake GM , michael Jordan, my ......., we still early and you already hit the bottle.

White had at least a 65% completion percentage the last 3 years of his college career. That is very impressive. So he is not just some dumb athlete playing QB.

Dear Mr. Sam

" i will pay for you to go"

Have your people call my people

Soiled :)

I am not saying he is going to be Michael Jordan, I am not that type of fan. I am not that guy. I am just saying, if you watch the highlights, thats how dominant he looked in college, without exagerating. He was just that good.

In the Senior Bowl, against blue chip talent, he was MVP. That wasnt a coincidence.

All Pat White did in college will mean nothing when he gets to the NFL. I get that. I am just saying, if you watch him play, you understand the pick. I get it.

Fake Gm, since nj phin comes on this blog, why you don't just ask him for his advice ,this way you get 2 things,
1-you get the right answer without making dumb statements .
2-Your football IQ goes up right away

Dear Mr. Fake GM

"All Pat White did in college will mean nothing when he gets to the NFL"

Well said

The real test is when you use live ammo(NFL players)

I for one hopes the throws grenades for touchdowns.

Soiled :)

Gopats. thanks for your kind words. You also bring something ( ? ) to the table. LOL

Soiled. now 30,000 pesos sounds more like it .

HENNE, IS going to be the most important factor for few people staying or leaving, the first two are,Chad.P and tuna.
if he turns to be a Bust,Chad.P will get a good contract other wise he will be gone to another team in the end of season.for tuna,if he's a bust ,he will leave w/money to another team to rebuild .he can't wait for new QB and start making new salsa.

Dear Mr. NJ Phin Fan

And there are people on this planet that would find that job as the job of a life time.

Soiled :)

Soiled. I agree and i would respect them because it's a job and they're working , not waiting for GOVERNMENT handouts.

soiled, try to keep in line here in football talk ,we have to let people talk football.

Q for nj phin, without the QB henne to prove he's the future for real, how can any one see the dolphins going any where ?

Having a bunch of players with something to prove is all fine and dandy, the 72 Fins did after losing the SB in 71, but had nothing to prove in 73 and won it again.

Same for the 89 Niners after winning in 88.

Or the 93 Boys after winning in 92. Ditto for the 75 and 79 Steelers, and 98 Broncos.

I suppose this helps when you are attempting to build a championship caliber team. After you win the big one it comes down to having great players with competitive fire, even though they have nothing to prove.

Gopats. Not for nothing but i agree with 100% on henne, He would have been my next choice as the player with something to prove , but i went with somebody who'll be a starter this year ( I.E. merling and crowder ).

I say Tom Brady has something to prove. He will be great, you will see. Please don't hate me.

Its not the players with something to prove that worry me - its the one with big fat new contracts. The statue from Jacksonville comes to mind and I worry a little about some of our resigning along with the big money for Grove.

This seems like a highly motivated team but the Wilford thing makes me shake my head.

Upon looking at the posts it appears that just about every player on this team has something to prove.

The only guys I can think of that do not given their consistent play over several years are Will Allen and Vernon Carey. I'd put Ferguson in that very small group too but suppose he has to prove he is not slowing down.

And maybe the waterboy, but I'm not sure if he is on the bubble this year or not as well.

So that means 20 of the 22 starters have something to prove. Let's hope by this time next year that number is down to 10, and we know who we can count on as the core of this team.

Dear Mr. Gopats

"we have to let people talk football."

I have released control of Freedom of Speech

"try to keep in line here in football talk "

I will do my best.

I know i sometimes tend to ramble on about things but I have been a laid back Phin Fan since David Woodly was the QB.

The Questions and observations that I post may not be same same ones you would ask or state.

There just different :)

Soiled :)

Hey Guys good morning:Did you see GINN's stats against the other receivers ARMANDO listed? The one to me with the most to prove is Groove. SAMPSON was a two year starter and if I'm not wrong he never missed a game.

Whatever anyone thinks about Ginn, you cant judge a reciever after two years. The position takes years to learn. This year and the next are when we will begin to see what Ginn will turn into. Armando was right on, receivers rarely make noise their first 2 years, thats just how it works.

Looks like Starks has a lot to prve now, too. Such as that he's innocent of the charges that landed in him jail last nite/this a.m. Bwahahaha. Nice Urban Weekend, dopey!

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