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Minicamp over, next up ... August training camp

The Dolphins have completed what coach Tony Sparano called an "excellent minicamp" with a morning practice Sunday.

During this camp the team covered repetitions in the red area, inside the tight red area (10-yard line), third-down packages on offense, sub packages on defense, and coming-out work from the two-yard line. Out of all that work, the only work Sparano wasn't happy with was the red area work.

"Didn't feel tremendous about that,"  Sparano said. The team has one more OTA session on Wednesday (closed to the media) and will address the red area issues again then.

I asked Sparano if any of the three guys who missed the minicamp with injuries -- G Andy Alleman, TE David Martin and G Donald Thomas -- would not be ready for the start of training camp. "I have no timetable on it at this time," he responded.

Sounds like guarded coachspeak to me. I get the feeling if all three were expected back for the start of training camp Aug. 1, Sparano would have probably just said that. So don't be surprised if one or more of these guys is not ready to go for the first day in pads.

The rookies will remain around the training facility through July, lifting and getting in some film work on their own, according to cornerback Vontae Davis.

Speaking of work on their own, you probably know quarterback Chad Pennington worked with his receivers twice a week this Spring inside the Nick Saban Memorial Bubble (NSMB) to help get everyone on the same page. Pennington, brilliant on the field and off, gave excellent insight into the areas some of his receivers are trying to improve upon.

On Anthony Armstrong: "I think his offseason work that he put in from March 30 until May 18, with the bubble work that we did two days a week, you can really tell the difference in his route-running from a year ago until now. He understands his speed is his weapon but only when he uses it appropriately. He can't just outrun everybody. He has to have proper technique getting off the jam and getting good, clean releases and he's done a really good job this spring of working on his releases so now he can use his speed. Otherwise the cornerbacks are good enough to wall him to the outside and not let him use his speed and now he's ineffective."

On Ted Ginn Jr.: "He's on a similar track as Anthony Armstrong is on. Because of his offseason work he's done in the weight room and the work we've done in the bubble, his confidence level is really up right now. He's another guy that's understanding how to use his spped effectively. He's understanding his body position is really important and then his speed comes next because no one can run with him."

And then came this insight that should help you understand why Pennington and Ginn weren't a good match last year but might become one. Pennington is not a strong-armed guy while Ginn has been the type of receiver who gets open, but usually it happens waaaay downfield.

So this Spring Ginn has been working on getting open earlier.

"He'll outrun every quarterback's arm, it doesn't matter who it is. If you're getting open 50 yards down the field, John Elway can't get it to you. But if he's getting open 15-20 yards down the field, then we can put the ball up early and let you go run and get it."

On Brandon London: "What I think he's worked on and is doing a good job is getting in and out of his breaks faster. As a a taller guy, it's harder for the taller guys to get in and out of breaks as opposed to the Davone Bess types, who are shorter in stature and have the quicks and agility. He's worked hard this offseason to get in and out of his breaks and get his head around and making plays. Anytime you can have a guy that's that physical and can get in and out of breaks and get open ... you have a very valuable asset."

So what has Pennington worked on for himself?

"Number one, I got to stay healthy. When I stay healthy, I give my team a pretty good chance to win. History has proven things go pretty well when I stay healthy. Number two, is putting two consistent years back to back. And building on this offense, it's my tenth year, but it's my tenth month in the offense so every day I'm learning something new and everyday I'm figuring something out.

"It's not just knowing what we're doing now. It's knowing why we're doing it and how to do it better and how to do my job better."

Some observations from today's practice:

*Joe Berger, who is expected to be the team's second-team center, took some snaps at right guard with the starting unit. The right guard spot continues to be a hole on the offensive line. The club has used no less than four players in the spot with the starting unit this offseason. And that's with prospective starter Donald Thomas not being one of them. I know Sparano has said he's not concerned about the position. Didn't he also say he was happy with the OLBs and pass-rushers on the roster before the team signed Jason Taylor?

*TE John Nalbone needs to get in front of a jugs gun and catch 100 passes a day between now and training camp because I've seen him drop too many routine passes this offseason. He whiffed on another one in the end zone Sunday.

*The base first-team secondary during the final minicamp practice: CB Eric Green, CB Will Allen, SS Yeremiah Bell, FS Gibril Wilson.

*The base second-team secondary during the final minicamp practice: CB Vontae Davis, CB Sean Smith, FS Chris Clemons, SS Tyrone Culver.

*Salguero prediction: All eight guys make the roster along with Jason Allen and Nathan Jones.

*Sparano continues to include WR as a "position where hard decisions will have to be made." Not looking too difficult to me. I see Ted Ginn Jr., Greg Camarillo, Davone Bess, Brian Hartline, and Patrick Turner on the team. That leaves room for maybe one more guy. Today that guy would be Armstrong, but we'll see what happens when the pads come on.

*Pat White returned to third-string QB duties today and didn't seem as wild high as he's been the previous two days.

*Pennington on his sister's wedding, which he attended Saturday before returning to practice Sunday: "She's on her own now. Can't help her."

*Football Czar Bill Parcells, who rarely misses a practice, was not present at practice Sunday. Word is he's back at his summer home in Saratoga, N.Y.

[RADIO NOTE: I'll be on the air between 4:30 and 7 p.m. today on 790 The Ticket. That's 790theticket.com in case you want to listen to the streaming live broadcast. If you want to call in with a question or comment the toll free number from anywhere in the universe is 1-888-790-3776.]


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Enjoy the vacation Armando, and would it be possible to disquise oneself as a blocking pad so we can have some better on the field coverage?


Excellent stuff, Mando. Thanks for your predictions. Anyone can regurgitate what the coach says.

Armando, I agree with your assessment that this 09 Fins team is better than 08. Also agree that they may take a "step back" in 09.

But...there are two ways to measure improvement, one is by W-L record, some would say that is the only measure, and its true the Fins could go 8-8 or 10-6 this year, a step back.

But the other way to measure progress is in terms of each unit and how the entire team plays, do they lose games by a blow out or are they in every game they do lose?

Is the running game better, the passing game, the secondary and D-line by measure of all the stats to track these units? If so, and they still lose more games than last year, you have to say the team is improved and has not taken a step back but is progressing to where they can win 12 games a year.

A year of experience for all our promising rookies, a few key pickups next offseason, another good draft and the Fins could be in position for a 12-4 record in 2010.

I want the Fins to win a lot of games this year, and win a playoff game or two, 12-4 is "possible" but I for one would be happy if they show improvement in every aspect of the game, and go 8-8.

Remember, this is just year two of a three year rebuilding effort.

I expect the Fins to be contenders in 2010 and through 2013 and beyond. Most of the players on this team are young and will be on the team in 2013, save for Will Allen, Ferguson, Pennigton, Porter, JT, Y Bell, and Ricky. This is a very young team all around.

Enjoy your vacation Armando.

Don't forget to tell Darlington, Cote, etc., etc., to keep us well informed.

Thank you

There is no way the Phins can improve in all areas of the game and only go 8-8. Last years team could go 8-8 against this schedule. 8-8 would be a huge disapointment as far as I am concerned.

is it true NJ PHIN in a cruise with souljbeats, if that's true , i am not at all surprised , they always liked each other.

It sounds like the making of a winner. Have a good holiday.

Kindry, do you like play hide and seek with me, the king.have a good holiday to you babay

I bet Brandon London makes the team over Armstrong. He showed real flashes last year. So, you're saying Wilford's history then?

There must have been a big horse race or two back in Saratoga that Parcells travelled to see. I guess you piranahs don't get too in depth in your investigations into the offseason travel habits of the VP of Football Operations.



why do you keep bringing up Nick Saban's name? we hate the bastard.. stop it!

Cannot understand how Eric Green is on this team. Rather have a rookie get burned and learn than this guy. He's awful.


This is the best I've ever seen from you, Armando. Thanks.

If they can rename Joe Robbie stadium to Landshark, why can't they get rid of the awful name: Nick Saban Memorial Bubble? Saban's bubble burst long ago.

I hope they put Jason Taylor on a short leash. If he really is in decline, I wouldn't like to see him hold back Cameron Wake.

I agree with Rick, lets do a poll to rename
Nick Saben Memorial Bubble

Who dumb idea was it to name it Nick Saban's bubble. What two years and he gets a bubble.Why not Dave's or Jimmy's who did more than Saban.Sh== call it Orlando Gadsen's or Scott Mitchel's.Hell I'll be O.K Armando Salguero's

name a dolphin name has no thing to do with any one,name it WILD CATS or love boat

To HE++ to what ARMANDO says The FINS ARE SUPER BOWL BOUND. The difference between attackers and victims is the fear factor.I refuse to become a victim if attacked I don't look for help I don't call the cops. I attack back and that's the difference between these FINS and the FINS of old. Even at 1-15 we were in AHELLOFALOT of games that we lost by 7 or fewer and they rolled over and accepted their defeat.A victims mentality. These FINS with many of the same players took control of the game.They didn't back down but stood up. I don't think any thing will change this year but only get better.While many of you feel playing the teams we play this year is a curse I think it's a blessing.To be the BEST you must beat the BEST.If you look at teams we play and feel we might lose that game you're a loser before the game even started.Every one of those teams are loaded with men like my FINS and I hope my FINS are the same as me when I say GOD DIDN'T MAKE A MAN THAT I FEAR!!

GOTTA get some JERSEY's again but not sure who's 77,55,23 maybe next year if he's resigned 7 didn't prove anything 10 still sees him as a jet 19 yeah right.If any who Jersey-s do you have.

yea! no more being a victim! lets kill'em all!

what victims,Figgs

elmo, did you not read the earliar post by champs, you retard.

riggs, i red it but why call them victims when they were paid their millions still.we the victims ,we should get our money back riggs figgs in your az

elhomo, it was a joke. i thought you may know the difference, how ever since you do not please try to lightin up. thanks and good day.


listen, we all want the fins to win bottom line no? thats all im saying. man relax or quit your job if you dislike it so.


the miami cat is a real victim

Vick was a victim my azz,what for 6 years?? we all make mistakes here and there but to front the money for people to bet,buy properties to have the fights,raise-fight-and kill the dogs.that is not a victim that is a loser

i got news, we are all victims as soon as you type on this blog. ha!

It's not actually called the Nick Saban Memorial Bubble. That's Armando's attempt at humor. Clearly, it didn't land with some people.

I'm a JERSEY MAN so I don't know the real name if it's not that.What is it?


Yo SAMMY: HOWARD did his part every team has at least 2 good players. The Lakers had more. As a team sport the LAKERS had to much.

You GUYS must REMEBER the reson DAN don't get his respect is that basicly NO RING. Should that define him NO. Of cause not but in today's way of thought it does.I will argue that the MARK BROTHERS was OK at best but will I give both up for RICE.YEAH. If MARINO was on the 49ers I would be a 49ers fan.THE BEST TO DO IT IMO. Do I feel THE LOVE that I think the "DOL_FANS" should have for their team is here No but I HAVE ENOUGH LOVE FOR THE DOLPHINS FOR THE ENTIRE STATE OF FLORIDA.TO ALL THE nay SAYERS.

HI HATERS!!!!!!!


jaksin knows football like carlito knows zuccini .
afc east knows football like no one knows football.

cuban knows football like jaksin knows no thing

hi, lovers

Dolphins will make to Afc championship game this year, but miss super bowl. This what the seashells and chicken bones tell me.

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