« Special teams the emphasis on Thurs. evening | Main | JT back with team; live chat at 6 p.m. »

Clearing out the notebook and '94 Moment

Tony Sparano downplayed the fact receiver Greg Camarillo played only four snaps in Monday night's preseason-opener earlier this week. It was, the coach said, partially due to a decision to use Camarillo in half-packages, it was partially a result of not wanting to risk getting him injured in the slop of the second-half downpour.

But now all eyes will be on the coach and the receiver to see exactly how much work Camarillo gets in Saturday's preseason game against Carolina. And it will be interesting to see where Camarillo gets that work, also.

That's because even as Camarillo is practicing without a brace on his surgically repaired knee and is working every day, he has obviously been passed by Davone Bess in the competition for the starting job opposite Ted Ginn Jr.

And there have been practices where the Dolphins have experimented with using Brian Hartline, Patrick Turner and even Brandon London as the third receiver in some packages, ahead of Camarillo.

Maybe the Dolphins are conserving Camarillo. Maybe coaches have noticed Camarillo still has not regained the quickness he had before the injury. Maybe I'm just freaking imagining things.

But Camarillo is still intent on winning back the starting job he had before the injury and to do that he needs to play Saturday and he needs to play well.

"I feel good," he told me. "I'm just trying to get better on the field. My knee is not stopping me from doing anything. I'm just trying to work on my receiving skills."

And what about playing only four plays in the opener?

"The coaches made the rotation," he said. "They put me in, I go in. They keep me out, I stay out. It was just the rotation of the offense. I'm still trying to develop a role for myself. Personally, I would like to get back to the role I had last year -- starting, being consistent. But, you know, all I can do is come out here and practice the best I can every day and everything will develop from there."


I reported to you in the posting prior to this one that running back Ronnie Brown was favoring his left leg during Thursday's evening practice. And he was. Asked after practice about my observation, Brown said it was that his left toes kept hitting the front of his cleats because he was wearing turf shoes.

"And besides," Brown said with a straight face, "it was my right [surgically repaired] knee."


"Had you worried, didn't I?" he added breaking into laughter.

Yeah, hilarious.


Very good reporting by The Herald's Jeff Darlington in looking into the mysterious Matt Roth injury situation. In doing his legwork, Darlington reports Roth visited a groin specialist in Philadelphia to have his injury checked out.

The specialist, the story says, found no significant issue with Roth's groin.

But here is the amazing thing. Even as Roth continues to miss practice because of that groin injury the specialist said he really doesn't have, the control-obsessed Dolphins seem to have no real idea what is really going on.

Sparano was unhappy with Roth when the player lied to him about feeling ill as the excuse for failing his conditioning test. General Manager Jeff Ireland has been frustrated by the fact he's gotten no straight answers about Roth's prognosis because it seems only Roth can determine that.

And you just have to know that Bill Parcells is sincerely intent on showing understanding and patience with this issue, particular after a doctor said it wasn't an issue, because, well, Parcells doesn't really mind players being injured, and not contributing, and not dealing straight with the head coach. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Here is my humble take: The Dolphins have to show patience, painful as that may be for them to do. There is a chance Roth will practice sometime next week -- perhaps as early as Monday -- based on the steady progression of his conditioning drills this week. There is a chance if he gets back on the field, he can again become a contributor, although in a diminished capacity, by the time the regular season begins.

But if Roth misses next week, including the all-important third preseason game, we're looking at injured reserve becoming a more viable option because roster spots become important once cuts start getting made.

I do not see Roth getting cut. At least not at this point. Regardless of this strange episode, he has value and despite his being out of contract next year, he will not be able to leave via unrestricted free agency if no new collective bargaining agreement is reached. But who knows what Roth is thinking or doing ... and how the Dolphins might react.


The final Classic Training Camp Moment of the preseason takes us back to the summer of 1994. That year, Tim Bowens was a rookie and something of an enigma because he refused to sing or take part in any of the stupid typical rookie hazing that happens during camp.

It got to the point where Bowens was so bent on not being hazed that one day he started packing his gear and getting ready to leave training camp. He was headed back to his hometown of Okolona, Mississippi because he just was not going to be hazed darnit!

This was a fairly typical reaction from Bowens, who was always his own man. Bowens had skipped the NFL Scouting Combine that year because he had gotten aboard a plane to Indianiapolis, and upon seeing a worker de-icing the plane in stormy weather, he decided not to take the trip. He simply got off and went home.

He later worked out for scouts privately at Okolona High, which had a field where some farm animals used for grazing. Bowens had worn cut-off jeans and converse high tops to the workout.

The interesting thing is that, back then, the Dolphins handed their rookies questionnaires that gave players the opportunity to tell about themselves. It asked about family. It asked about hobbies. It asked about hometowns and places of birth and marital status.

And it asked about favorite college moment or highlight.

Well, Bowens recounted one time while he was playing for Itawamba Community College, a fight broke out between his team and its opponents. Bowens told of how he grabbed a down marker from the sideline and began to go to town against all comers.

He swung the marker, forming something of a circle about himself. Anyone trying to penetrate the dreaded down marker circle of pain got summarily knocked the heck out. Well, this story recounted by Bowens started making the rounds in the locker room.

The story was apparently a lot more impressive to teammates than the story about Bowens being stabbed three times in the back with a hunting knife by an older kid when Bowens was a high school junior. Bowens didn't press charges, but later landed in jail for kicking the living daylights out of that older dude, presumably without using a first-down marker.

Not surprisingly, as the stories became more widely known the attempts to haze Tim Bowens soon ceased. And he decided to stay with the Dolphins.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Clearing out the notebook and '94 Moment:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Hey did you ever think that Roth is:

A. Realized early that he would lose his starting job to Taylor and then was looking for an excuse to deal with this fact. The mind body connection is strong so what do you think?

Also, Chris Williams---what a story.

Finally, what has dolphins mngt done to get Penningtons arm stronger?


Can't wait to see what Miami rolls out against New England this year. My guess is a Pat White circus. Go Miami

Also, how is Clemons looking these days? I read about his brother. During an interview he seemed kinda scared and hardened at the same time. Nice story though. I think Clemons was a steal. What happened with all the contract stuff??

Why can't Miami be tougher with Roth? What is good for one is good for all no?

"seen worker de-ciing the plane in stormy weather" Manny, is this English? What were you TRYING to say?p

Here is my opinion on Rothgate, based on the facts in the Darlington article: Roth is obviously injured on some level b/c if he was completely healthy, he would obviously be practicing. He is tough, he loves football (played hard every game last year), and he is in a contract year. So if he was healthy, of course he would be practicing. I am sure he would rather be practicing than watching Jason Taylor take his job in a contract year.

But Roth is not practicing (even though he would love to) b/c he thinks the groin is not
%100 healthy and doesnt want to risk further injury by practicing. Especially in a contract year when he is still young and has a lot of leverage for a big deal. And here is where the Dolphins disagree. The team thinks that since his groin is good enough to practice, he should be practicing even though he is not
%100. The Dolphins believe the injury can heal while Roth is playing, but Roth thinks it may get worse. And that is not a chance Roth is willing to take.

You also have to remember that Roth played all of last year with a torn groin, so he has seen this movie before. This year he doesnt want to go through a year like that again, so he is only going to play/practice when he is %100.

In my opinion, the team is completely wrong in this instance. They know Roth is tough. He is the one with the injury. If he feels like practicing will make it worse, they should believe him and not be jerks about it. Do they think the guy would rather watch practice than play football? He would love to practice, but he is obviously concerned about the groin. They should respect that and let him rehab it at his pace. THE GUY PLAYED HURT ALL OF LAST YEAR. He deserves the benefit of the doubt that the groin just isnt ready to go full speed.

The team is foolish if they think they will just be able replace Roth with Jason Taylor. Roth is just a better overall LB at this point b/c he is 26 and Taylor is 34.

Playing Taylor as an every down linebacker will also diminish his impact. If he is used more than as a situational pass rusher, he will get worn out late in games, wont be fresh for the end of the year, and will be more injury prone. He also will be less prductive as a pass rusher, which is where his greatest value is.

I say he'll end up on the PUP instead of IR just in case he's needed later on in the season.

It would seem to me there is something strange about the Roth situation… This is not Cam Cameron at the helm, when the time comes to make a statement Sparano does not hesitate. Sparano has openly praised Roth’s toughness and has said little or nothing about Roth’s injury. Maybe Roth was not lying about being sick and the groin is not the problem. Maybe there is a more sinister illness at work that no one is ready to speak about at this point. I know this sounds like conspiracy theory 101 but the whole thing just does not add up. On the other side, why would Roth go to a specialist if there was some other problem? It could simply be Roth is upset about the team bringing in JT to compete for his spot.

One way or the other the Roth saga is starting to equal drama and drama is number one in the Parcells’ book of no nos. Cutting Roth would be bold, but probably foolish because if anything he has decent trade value. Sparano’s patience is surely wearing thin, like the ice Roth is skating on, and it’s going break one way or the other very soon.

I agree with Patrick on this, I think this whole thing is going to blow up and I think there could be some validity in the fact that Roth has some, "Hurt Feelings" over the fact that he gave the team all he had last year, played hurt, played very well and they "Dissed" him by bringing JT back and having him compete with him. Also to add fuel to the fire, Roth tried to get a contract deal done before training camp, but the Phins wanted nothing to do with that. All and all I think this is just a temper tantrum that is going to back fire in his face if he doesn't wise up soon. As it is his stock has probably dropped considerably and that is a shame because he has so much potential. The NFL should have some classes that help children mature into men because I think this is just the latest example of a child in a mans world.

On the Camarillo issue, I seem to remember Ronnie Brown not playing alot in his first couple of pre season games last year. Both had the same injury, and the recovery time for both has been more than impressive. Plus they have a few young receivers they want to see. It'll all play out fine.
While I understand the points FakeGM has made in his post about Roth and his injury, it does look peculiar when the specialist says he's not injured. To me, I see Rosenhaus using silly tatics to get him an extension. Hard to do when you're not playing though. He is a so so defensive end, and proved to be adequate at linebacker. He's no pro bowl player yet though. He's giving Anderson, Wake and Moses a chance. This could back fire on Roth.

Man the Phins could sure use another Tim Bowens. The guy was a monster.

Brain McMullin

I don't think the Phins dissed Roth by bringing back JT, its business!!! Roth to me is a better OVERALL LB , but JT runs circles around this guy when it comes to Pass Rushing. And thats what we need, JT is also decent with runs to the outside, yes he's older but he's made the transition from DE to LB pretty smoothly. Roth can keep playing this"I desevere respect cause I played hurt ALL last year " mess if he wants, in the end it's gonna back fire on him!!! Because he's already lost the starting Job if he comes back now he's going to be a situational player meaning less chance of making alot of plays that would show he deserves a big contract!! And mark my words , in next yrs draft the Phins will be taking LB's and DT's more than any other position!!

OH also lets not forget Roth wasn't brought in by this Regime so there are no ties there!!! The only guy that survives with NO PERFORMANCE is the 6million dollar WR/ TE /whatever else I can be to make the team and be INACTIVE ALL season!!! Name that guy ???!?!?!?! LOL

It is worth noting that Tim Bowens would go on to be named AFC Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Looking back at some of those Dolphins Teams of the early/mid nineties -- I'm amazed how much talent was there. Too bad so much of it was squandered.

Yeah its was always one sided!!! We had great offense no DEFENSE!!! Then when the Defense caught up we had no Offense!!! Then the year we had a good mix of both we had no QB!! I still wonder to this day if we had gotten Ricky W. while Dan was still here would we have a ring????

Dizzle, I don't know if Ricky would have made a difference... The line during the Marino glory years was built on pass protection. Webb, Simms, even Stevenson were great pass blockers, but the real reason we couldn’t run was because those guys could not drive block. Also, if you can remember back, Danny was terrible at play action. He not smooth at all, when he ran back to hand off it was telegraphed a mile away. I loved Danny but if we were going to win a SB it was going to be with the pass. The whole offense was built around passing the ball. That’s why it never seemed to matter who we had at running back.

Maybe , but you also have to remeber when Ricky got here our line was mediocore at best and he still lead the league that year in rushing!!! So instead of teams constantly blitzing Mr. Immobile they would have to watch for Ricky out of the back.

Good article Armando. I was beginning get worried about your writing.

I agree with Fake GM on Roth. Risking to be out all season in a contract year? I don't think so.

Groin injuries (and pulled muscles in general) if not 100% healed have the risk of becoming a nightmar, although they can also be a non issue, you just never know.

Hopefully the trifecta will be patient on this guy.

I think that Ricky would have got us that ring. No BS interceptions because playcalling would have been imaginative instead of the 2 or 3 options we had. Ricky could do some dancing and he hits back. And our d was decent.

Too bad about Roth, whatever the reason. He played great last year. I hope it isn't some crap about contracts. You sign and you play. Don't play games. It is distracting and destructive.

Hopefully Camerillo gets better fast. But his injury is one where it will take some time.

Hey Bian:

I don't think Roth thinks he has been "dissed". If so then last year when he was told he was not good enough to be a DE and made the switch to OLB, he would not have acted so classy at that time. Roth worked his tail off to become not only a back up OLB but a serviceable starter. But contrary to what both you and some others have said, he is not better than Taylor at either OLB or DE. That said I don't see his behaivor as having deeper motive because he is diminishing his value in a contract year by holding himself out so much. I think the guy believes he is legitimately hurt.

The article suggests that Roth has been less then honest with the team and also is not disclosing his status with them. With this being the case, how can you accuse the team of not being patient?

Seems to me since he is still on the team there is a level of patience being shown. The real question is for how long will they remain patient if he is slow in returning to the field?

I do not think this has anything to do with a temper tantrum. It is either him being overly cautious during a contract year or he is truly injured. Either way, he needs to disclose his mindset and condition to the coach or his days will eventually be numbered.

The guy who seemed to operate best in the Marino offense was Tony Nathan... He was great at blitz protection and receiving but was limited running between the tackles. I was never too concerned about the offense. I always thought the defense didn't hold up its end of the bargin. How many times did we watch Marino throw 5 TDs and still lose or watch the game come down to the last second?

One name, Tom Olivadotti, still makes me cringe! The king of the "Prevent Yourself From Winning" defense... I could never understand why Shula was so loyal to that guy.

Timmy BowBow was a bad ass.

Even if Roth thinks he was dissed that is BS. Does he expect the team to never bring in any competition? This coaching staff is all about competition and if he can't stand up and be counted than he's not the tough guy everyone thought he was.

Get on the damn field and prove you belong there, otherwise get your pussy ass to the Jets and play your Prima Donna act there with the rest of the sycophants...

We suck. NOw Darlington the caddie is kicking our butts. Great.

Nooooo, please Armando, continue to post Classic Moments.

Those moments are the best stuff on any Dolphins blog anywhere. They were insightful and put us fans in there with our team. I personally loved them.

Can you please do a regular season version? Maybe once a week.

Guys, let's all request Armando does a regular season version of the classic moments and maybe he'll listen to the voices of the people and give us what we want.

Is anyone else concerned that Roths problem May be mental and not physical? Why is no one talking about this? Mental problems are deabilitating physically as well...also, I think we should all be worried that Greg Camarillo may be suffering from I-already-got-my-big-contract-itis. Just ask Shawn Alexander and Seattle fans if it happens...

That Timbo story was hilarious! Please keep them coming...Timbo was one of my favorite players, and he could definitely kick anyone's ass in this current team also, and that includes Soliai...Parcell's would have loved him, I think(??


I read on the other paper that Hartline was lining up as the 1st team receiver with Ted Ginn Jr. during practices. What gives?

More Classic Moments

Alfred ogelsby disapeared durring training camp once. Anyone remember the details?

I would be looking for trade partner for Roth. Sparano always said he had a motor. I never saw it. I don't think he's that good of a player. For sure he's not great. Cut your loses now Miami. Trade him or cut him asap.

A lot of you have responded to my post, Just to clear one point up, I don't believe that Roth is as talented as JT, I just believe that he could have more value talking about being a long term full time contributer. I also have had mixed feelings about his behavior percicly for the resons many of you have stated. 1-he handled a presumable demotion with class last year and then worked hard and excelled. 2-He is in a contract year.

I pause and think about these two points for a moment. They are both great motivating reasons he should be contributing right? Now lets say, as many here have, that he "Feels" he is illegitimately hurt. Thats fine, but if it were you wouldn't you be able to convey that to your boss?

If it were you wouldn't you be in there with Saprano from day one saying, "Coach I want to play more then anything and I am more then motivated because I am in a contract year and becasue thats my M/O, just look at last year! But I am not right here. I don't know what it is but I'm not right."

If it were me and I thought that I would get my coach on my side and I would work with team trainers and doctors to nail down the issue and plan a rehab.

If an athalete is hurt this is how they act and the team, usually through the coach says, Hey the kid is hurt this is what were doing. What we have is a kid who isn't sayng anything but hes Sick, remember his agent told the Phins hes hurt and a coach telling us he dosn't know what end is up with the Kid.

That all just can't add up and on top of it all do you see any real urgency on his part to find out the problem? Remember when Zack started having issues the stories read that "HE" we on his own accord to doctor after doctor to find out what the real problem was. Roth is sitting around saying through his agent that he is hurt, he cant talk about anything thing with anyone the press or seemingly his coaches.

I hope that I am way wrong about this because although he may not be Pro Bowel talent, he certainly is a very good LB for the Dolphins.

7teks mentioned that the problem may be mental. I think that could be true. Immaturity is could be considered a temporary mental condition.

Good discussion on here today. I see the freaks have not come out yet.

I'll be gone by the time they do. But Jack, the Alfred Oglesby story you're asking about was one of Mando's classic training camp moments the past couple of weeks. Look back at the other posts and you'll find it. It was awesome.

Oh, and I don't trade Roth unless someone gives us what we paid for him -- a second round pick.

And I don't see that happening.

"Finally, what has dolphins mngt done to get Penningtons arm stronger?"

Posted by: David Meshel

David, The coaching staff has implemented a program called J.U.S.T.I.N to increase the speed in a QBs arm. JUSTIN stands for


"Finally, what has dolphins mngt done to get Penningtons arm stronger?"

Posted by: David Meshel

David, The coaching staff has implemented a program called J.U.S.T.I.N to increase the speed in a QBs arm. JUSTIN stands for



I'm right there with you. I couldn't stand Olivadotti. Granted, scoring on quick strikes means the defense was on the field more often, but damnit they couldn't stop anyone with 2 minutes left. They backed everyone off so much that the other team would march right down the field on us.

We did have some good players on D, I just don't think we used them well, or schemed correctly for opposing teams.

The comments to this entry are closed.