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Dolphins in need of some more "acorns"

You know that immediately after the draft, general manager Jeff Ireland referred to players the Dolphins can pick up here and there as "acorns."

Chad Pennington was an acorn last year. Jason Taylor was an acorn this year.

Well, the Dolphins are a few acorns short of a full bushel.

Looking at the roster as it is currently constructed, one would have to agree the Dolphins have upgraded at various positions. They've improved (potentially) their pass-rush with the additions of Jason Taylor and Cameron Wake. They've improved (potentially) the anchor of their offensive line with the replacing of center Samson Satele with center Jake Grove. They've addressed (potentially) the secondary by adding free agents Gibril Wilson and Eric Green and drafting Sean Smith and Vontae Davis and Chris Clemons.

But there are two areas of concern to me now that were areas of concern to me when the offseason began. And I am having a hard time believing either has been significantly improved.

One area that hasn't even been addressed is the right guard spot. Right now the spot that was a revolving door problem for the Dolphins last year continues to look that way this year. Yesterday's news that Donald Thomas has a torn pectoral muscle means the Dolphins once again are without their starter at the spot. Furthermore, the injury raises questions whether Thomas can be counted on at that spot.

Thomas, in his second season, has exactly one quarter of NFL regular-season football experience. And he also has a major foot injury that caused him to miss all of 2008 and now the pec issue that will cause him to miss valuable time in the offseason program and camps. The Dolphins might think they have no recourse but to wait on him to get healthy and plug him back in, but I say the team needs an acorn at that position.

The Dolphins will/should scour the waiver wires and weigh trade possibilities leading up to the season to try and plug the leaking hole at RG.

It is fair to suggest the team doesn't need to do this because there are bodies already on the roster who can fill the void. Andy Alleman is still on the team as is Ikechuku Ndukwe -- both of whom started games last season. But that is hoping for a solution. Neither excelled at the spot last year and while the hope is they improve and become exclamation points, today they remain as question marks.

The Dolphins also have free agent signee Joe Berger and second-year player Shawn Murphy on the team as possible solutions. More hoping here. Berger has never been an NFL starter and while that doesn't mean he won't be, it says something about him that Brandon Frye, a former tackle, was running with the first team at right guard Tuesday while Berger was backing up at guard and center.

Murphy is intriguing in that he was a fourth-round pick last year. The Dolphins have high hopes for Dale Murphy's son. But he hasn't hit it out of the park yet, if you get my drift.

“With Murph, really one of the things that he needed to do, he was very young at the position," coach Tony Sparano said. "When we took him he started out on the other side of the ball and then we took him, so he didn’t have a lot of experience maybe playing the offensive line, but he has good mentality. I think what we didn’t see out of him or what we would like to see is the game being able slow down a little bit in there if that makes sense, so he can play a little bit faster.

"[Monday] he had a real good day out here, he did a nice job yesterday, did some things, played a little bit faster. You can see that he’s got a pretty good understanding [of] what’s going on, so that process I think is what we want to see him take the next step with, really the game slowing down for him so we can see the physical things come out that we seen in the draft.”

Ah, the physical things. The fact is Murphy was surprisingly soft last year. He was overweight. And he combined that with below average strength. Not a good combo.

The Dolphins are hoping that is being addressed this offseason.

“When he came in, we took some weight off of him, then when he got down in body weight, we brought him back up the right way so his body has completely changed since the time that he walked in the building here," Sparano said. "[He's] much stronger now physically, without a doubt and I think in a lot better shape, so I think we are going to see him take some steps forward here.”

Let's hope.

[BLOG NOTE: Later this afternoon, I'll update you with the other position that remains unsolved. Yes, the Dolphins did things they hope will cure their ills at the spot, but we'll discuss if you believe that's been done. So discuss the right guard spot and can you guess the other position that needs HELP in my opinion? And why?]



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GOPATS is as much as a threat as a as a BABY BUNNY SLEEPING. I KIND of LIKE THE KID. How ever I'm still wating for him ti come out of the closet.

you know who is why who the hell , you wasting your dumb ass,live and let live,go way mr creep

Well ARMANDO why are you so bias with the FINS

east champs, i like you too, it's nice to be here w/ such good people like, they don't ever speak w/ venom but smart and wit .
p.s..we just playing

NOW you just have to come out of the closet and say you're a DOLFAN

C/M. i see you're making new friends again. WOW. LMAO !

Armando is at his best when he shows his love to his bloggers by answering their questions fast,honest and with reality.

p.s...i hope no one will hold this comment against armando b/c came from me

nj phin is back to comment about others rather than engage and say some thing his own .

nj phin , we still waiting for your photo to be posted with the faucet

FYI. My son was not at the Cheatriots OTAs the past two days b/c I grounded him for not making his bed or cleaning his room. Plus, his knee is still shot and coach Belimidget is afraid to admit this to the rest of the world.

Oh, yeah, Gopats is to this blog what a wad of gum is to the bottom of one's shoe. Slightly annoying, yet still irrelevent.

I'm out.

Armando: All is not lost since Donald Thomas is out for a while with a torn Pic. He will be back before TC we hope. The Dolphins potentially have some back-ups that can replace him until he returns.

The Dolphins have the following
G Ikechuku Nduwke 6' 4" 290 (27) that played in 2008 when Donald Thomas went down.

G/C Joe Berger 6' 5" that played for Dallas in 2008 we picked him up in 2009.

G/C Andy Allerman 6' 4" 310 We picked up from Waiver Wire from N.O. in 2008.

G Mark Lewis 6' 4" 305 we got as an UDFA from Oregon. He helped Oregon to the second best rushing record with 280 yds/game. He has squated with 580 lbs.and set a personal best Shot Put over 57' 6". I bet he can get under a DT or DE and give him a shot to the mid with lift.

G/C J.D. Quinn 6' 4" 300 an UDFA from Okla/Montana that looks fast and
strong but has some baggage and DUI issues.

Some new OTs that look like they could play G if asked and trained to do so.

So Armando don't hit the panic button yet. Let us see what we have in TC and just maybe an acorn or two will fall from the tree before season. Armando don't look for an oak nut from an oak tree.

Mando, I'm not posting just to post. I am just telling you what I see. You are great when there is news to break... And when there is none, not so much... No need to get offensive... Just like you said, you have to ask what certain football terms mean, whereas I already knew what sinking your hips means... A good example of what I am talking about is the whole JT signing... You posted the day he was signed and posted this:

I don't know who gets sent packing, but if I'm Matt Roth, I'm not too thrilled all of a sudden.

The guy is in the final year of a contract and wanted to play big to earn a big payday. And now he's probably losing his starting job.

Posted by: Armando Salguero | May 13, 2009 at 01:51 PM

Just looking at how I would use Taylor I posted this...

Mando, Jason is not going to take Matt Roth's spot... He can't set the edge like Roth on run downs... He is not taking Porter's spot either... Taylor will play as a nickel and dime backer or end... Roth should be more scared of Cameron Wake taking his spot...

Posted by: Marcus | May 13, 2009 at 02:13 PM

And then the next day you post...

Understand plans can always change given a change in circumstances such as injuries and individual game strategies, but initially the Dolphins plan to use JT as a situational player. That means someone will start ahead of him and play on obvious running downs ahead of him.

I'm sure that any X's and O's talk that I read comes from some type of coach or scout through a writer but 90% comes through Omar Kelly.

Just being honest.

Update from Jets OTAs:

The team conducted a drill today where rookie QB, Pock-faced Sanchez, was sacked repeatedly so as to prepare him for this season when the paper planes play the Dolphins. Team insiders reveal that he crumples like a sheet of copy paper, just like the rest of his lame team mates.

Also, coach Rectal Ryan finally cut his hair and donated his shaven locks to former pro QB and current ESPN analyst/Dolphin hater, Trent Dilfer, so that he could weave himself a rug to cover his ugly dome and stop looking like a penis with eyebrows on TV.

Back later with more updates.

jets, jets jets jets jets

SANCHEZ will teach you

The Jets blow, blow, blow, and so will Paco Sanchez. Mark it down.

what do you eat REX ,do you eat dog food or what, you need to see some one to help you

gopats = mando or friend/co-worker/relative

I wrote Roth might lose his job and he might. I also wrote the preliminary plan is to use Taylor as a situational player. The plan can change, Marcus and Roth might still lose his job. We shall see.

Also, it's dropping your hips, not sinking your hips.

It's the same thing.

It's said both ways. Trying to be a smart ass.

The position that needs the most help is intelligent journalists to cover the Dolphins. Why don't you and Omar get a room together?

you wrong marcus

Jet in lube:

I chew up and spit out Jet pukes like you. I'm sorry that Miami punked your lame team last year when it mattered most (actually I'm not). And it's too bad that the Melts wasted so much time and effort to draft a migrant farm worker to play QB for them. Another in a long line of blunders by your GM Mike Tannenboob. Now go back to work. There is a long line of customers waiting for you at the 7-11 next to the tenament shack u live in.


For once I have to say that I agree with you. The right guard spot isn't in great shape and will need some help if all doesn't go according to plan, which things rarley do. I do like Donald Thomas and I'm sure he played the full game not just one quarter.

In my opinion its better what this staff has done with rookies and how they go about training them. No rookie is every really ready to come into the league and have the stregth to make an immediate impact. If I'm not correct he said the same thing about Chad Henne with regards to how much stronger he is today oppose to last season at this time. This is what seperates the good teams from the great teams IMO

Guys its a pectoral NOT a knee, neck or back. He will be fine, he more than likely over lifted. He will recover and or MAN UP and play 16+ games, you watch and see.

I resent you gringos calling my son a migrant farm worker. He is actually an organ grinder. Also, those are not pock-marks on his face, we always told him they were beauty marks when he was growing up.

Badgesss? We don't need no stinkin badgesss!

Mando, quit paying so much attention to this douche marcus that doesn't know his sinking from swimming from dropping.

Marcus come to our weblog and see how much we know. We have it on a very reliable source the Dolphins are still negotiating with Vernon Gholston.

Yeah, I am wrong for pointing out the obvious. Im sorry. I will leave it be.

Mando is doing the right thing. He is writing about something that causes people to reply and get interested. He can be wrong from time to time but as long as he keeps people coming back for more he is a good "journalist" Also, I would rather have someone with the contacts Mando has to be critical of the dolphins and to question the moves of management.

On the other hand, I think RG and WR are not as much of a concern as NT and ILB. We have lots of competition at WR and players with experience at RG. We don't have great depth at ILB and might or might not have the next NT. What does Coach think of our ILB and NT situation?

every one should clear out for REX AKA mrs.paco, he's in form now

Armando, don't be so sensitive. Embrace the fact that you are OK when it comes to getting some news 1st but terrible as a football analyst. It seems you just don't understand what you're watching and need someone to tell you what it is you're seeing. It's ok, maybe you understand baseball or soccer more. Just embrace and understand your limitations. Also don't be so panicky about positions and roster depth spots after 2 OTA days. Calm down.

Thanks mom. It's nice to know u care so much. What's for dinner?

Gopats..... the Dolphins were in the cellar for what?????? We have had like 5 losing seasons in the last 25 years. Get a life Bro. I remember when the Pats sucked for the last 10 before Brady. I'm sure your not a band wagon like the rest of the 85% Pats fans. You didn't even know who the Coach was until 5 years ago.

Who brung my name up.

I agree with JessieinMD....no way Ferguson can last 60 minutes of football.....we need one more proven guy. We have a lot of possibles, could work, maybes and lots of hoping but very few proven guys on this team. DT and RG need one each right away. Phins can not keep hoping that certain players will work out, we need proven talent at these positions.

I hope Thomas come's back in time for Pre season games. If he's talanted, he really doesn't need the practice. As for the other position, it's Center. Also, DT was not addressed at all except for the 6-7 guy we got from Jacksonville and he's a DE.

MitchD: You are on thin ice telling the Hispanic sportswriter who's seen and forgotten more football than you ever will that he should go cover soccer.

I think you should go cover the KKK. Embrace your inner assclown. And embrace the fact Hispanics are here to stay.

Mando Im gonna slap you in your acorns just for the hell of it

Folks, the new post is up at the top of the blog. Feel free to continue the discussion right there. Feel free to disagree with me. Feel free to be, well, wrong.

Mitch, I hope you were kidding because otherwise I feel sad for you.

Soggy, bring it on.

the patriots are the best team ever, we have the best coach and are gods gift to the nfl, and do you know why, cause we cheat , we cheat our a*&s off, we love to cheat , and we paractice at cheating, of course everybody in new england already know all this , thats why i get on a dolphins blog site so i can spread the word , and also ....hang on a sec i was just bugging the men' locker room in davie fl. for... Oops sorry, nevermind, uh mm. any ways .......ah ... go pats!

Armando and Greg Cote have been picking each other's dingle berries,,,, not acorns as they affectionately refer to.

That's what happens when you have a Duke Robinson on the board and you take a Brian Hartline instead. Hartline will struggle to make the team as a flier on specials, while Duke could have competed to start at RG.

As a Patriot fan for many years, just remember that Parcels was our head coach LONG before he joined the Muphins. Yet, he never won a SB in NE. Billchk is the true genious!

The Miami Muphins will finish 6-10. They will not have the Christmass treats of the Raiders, Seahawks, Cheifs, Denver, Jets (injured Brett), depleted Bills (twice), San Fran = that's 8 WINS last year that will turn into 2 this year. Hence, 6-10.


Miami Muphins go back to Seaworld

Dolphin fans - seriously, your draft sucked. 2-3-4-5-6-7 round busts (except for maybe Clemens, who could be okay). Pat White? You need more than Acorns!!!!

IQ test ---> Miami Muphins fan = fish food.

We should have kept Satele instead of GIVING him away for a low-round pick, he would be better in there can anyone we can pick up off of the waiver wire. Also, who do we have at Center now if something happens to Grove?

I agree with a lot that Tuna & Co. have done but THAT was a dumb move in my opinion.

Go Pats,

I take it you are not a mathematician, scientist, accountant, architect, or actuary. You said "that's 8 WINS last year that will turn into 2 this year. Hence, 6-10. " Lets see: If the Phins only win 2 out of 8 easy games plus 3 (11 - 8 = 3) that would be 5. You said 6 wins. OK then maybe the Phins win another of ther harder games. Perhaps a SWEEP of your team. You know, I might even take 6-10 next year if it means a sweep of the Patsies.

Go pats, didn't the Pansies play the same teams the Dolphins did. Brady sucks and is P whipped.


Armando, Thomas hurt himself in the first quarter, went out briefly before halftime and came back for the entire 2nd half. I found this after about a 2 minute search.

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