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Monday morning practice post -- with Sparano presser update

Welcome to my dream. The Dolphins have finished their first practice of the day and second practice of training camp. Coach Tony Sparano has also talked to the media.

The coach discussed Rothgate in which strongside linebacker Matt Roth failed his conditioning test and is missing practice because A. he's got an undefined illness as Sparano says, B. he has a strained groin as agent Drew Rosenhaus has said, C. both, or D. its the media's fault.

Sparano's take:

"We have a signed statement from Matt coming in on their medical status, ok, and his was that he had no illness and had no injury. He took the conditioning test, I mentioned that to you yesterday. And he didn't do well on the conditioning test, he didn't pass the conditioning test.

"So Matt and I visited. We visited on two occassions. We talked about what was going on and the conversation with me was that he was sick. He didn't feel good. He didn't feel right. We sent him for blood tests and that came back negative. And that's where we are right now."

So what about the strained groin Rosenhaus said on local television was the reason Roth is out?

"Only thing I can tell you," Sparano said, "is what I know. I believe Matt Roth when Matt Roth is telling me he's sick. This groin thing, first time I heard this thing came up, we're going to investigate it. But I've been told on two different occassions (by Roth) that it was an illness."

Not the groin?

"That wasn't what I was told was the reason for what I watched (in the practice bubble) yesterday by Matt -- two different times," Sparano insisted.

It was a difficult morning for the offense, which I suppose is expected since offense normally lags behind defense early in most training camps.

Chad Pennington, who avoided turnovers like the plague in 2008, threw the first interception of training camp when he was plucked by Will Allen during the team portion of drills.

And although I cannot recall one signature offensive moment throughout the morning, my notebook is brimming with one fumble on a runnning play, one fumble on a bad pitch by Chad Henne, a sack by Rodrique Wright, and very few (if any) completions down the field.

The Miami first, second and third team offenses did complete routine passes to running backs in the flat. Yippie!!!!!

"We didn't finish practice well today," Sparano said. "Ball was on the ground a couple of time, we had a couple of pre-snap penalties ... we didn't finish the practice, we had penalties, sloppy tackling."

Sparano said there were only two penalties in practice Sunday.

Sparano said he's not worried about Ted Ginn Jr. running faster, but instead wants him to play faster. It's about recognizing coverages quicker and letting instinct take over for Ginn. Sparano said he's seeing a little bit of that in practice.

Weakside linebacker Cameron Wake, working on third team, had serious struggles on the first day of camp. You know this if you read my column in today's Miami Herald. He recovered somewhat this morning. Although he is still often matched against rookie left tackle Andrew Gardner in drills, and Gardner continues to get the better of Wake, the CFL phenom did have one play in which he had good pressure on the passer.

In the one-on-one blocking drills, Wake lost two of three battles against Gardner.

The more I watch Gardner, the more I like the kid. He's raw but stout. He has a great ability stay in front of the defender and he doesn't let go. He latches on and seems difficult to shake. Obviously, I'm not saying there's a left tackle controversy on the team. But he's looking promising as a backup.

The Dolphins are working with a handful of players as punt returners -- Ted Ginn Jr., Brian Hartline, Davone Bess, and Chris Williams. Williams muffed his first opportunity to catch one this morning.

Breaking down this competition, you should know the team will put the most explosive guy back there. But all things being equal, I believe Bess and Hartline will be the favorites to win the competition because they show great consistency catching the ball (no mistakes) and Ginn will have his hands full in the base offense, causing coaches to measure whether to risk using him too much on punt returns.

Guard Donald Thomas continues to work on a limited basis only while Shawn Murphy continues to take the first-team snaps at right guard. Guard Justin Smiley was absent this morning with an excused absence. He and his wife just had a baby, so bigtime congrats!

Practice this afternoon will be held inside the Nick Saban Memorial Bubble (NSMB) and is closed to the public. So check back later this evening for the update on that one.

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Armando, I think you should pay someone to videotape the practices so we can all see them. Off the record, of course.

Whats everyone worried aboot? I'm gonna have some Waffles and Maple Syrup and come back to show all you hosers this afternoon.

thanks for all the updates. much appreciated in california.

GO FINNS!!

"Armando, I think you should pay someone to videotape the practices so we can all see them. Off the record, of course."

I hear Belicheat has some pretty good contacts for this.

Well I guess that's somewhat encouraging about Wake... but we need more from him. I feel a "It's time to Wake Up" article coming riiiiight?

So if he's unimpressive, what do the other OLBs look like? Does JT look like he's back to form or has he lost his pep?

mando (or any1 who knows) when is the afternoon afternoon practice for today??? i wanna go

This matt roth contreversy ( groin pull or illness ) is Both worrisome and disturbing. Give wake some time.

Whas really disturbing about the Matt Roth groin pull is that it wasn't his own. That's just wack, dawg.

Not shocked to see Gardner doing well. He was a 4 year starter for a major college program and was All ACC twice. My impression is that he could have been a 3rd round pick if he wouldnt have had a season ending injury late in his senior year. Nice to see him doing well

Whats up NJ Phin Fan? Should be a fun year

I hope players are being truthful about wheter they are injuried or ding'd up. This could be hugh to our run defense

maybe Matt is shaking off the swine flu.

I heard Justin Smiley has called his kid "Jett". Bad choice, is all. Bad choice.

uh-oh.. iphone application to your blogs??? that's just asking for trouble..... but i love it...

Huge

FAKE GM . what's up ? always a pleasure. I agree with you gardner. Not suprised. Shoulder Surgery prvented him from 3rd round status. Definetly a fun year , epecially this rookie class. I'm keeping an eye on Davis , smith and turner. Turner will be a steal. The OL Should also be watched carefully. They Could be real good. Keep in Touch.

A lot of people already like what they see from Turner. If he turns out to be a good player, I think Pennington will really look for him a lot b/c he is huge and has great hands. He's not fast but I think he would fit perfectly in a Pennington offense (a lot of short and intermediate stuff).

It is the 2nd day of training camp, right? My gosh, you'd think it is the week before the Super Bowl. They will give Roth time to fix whatever is bothering him. Knowing his reputation I am sure he will be back as quick as possible.

As far as the offensive line, we have time to let that all take care of itself. It is way too early to count anyone out just yet. The same can be said for Cameron Wake. Fumbles and interceptions on the second day of camp is not news. It is normal.

Fake Gm. Turner is faster then what people think. He also has quick feet for a big man.

Rosenpenis in the midst of controvery--Quelle Surprise! Can't believe Smiley allowed a day off for baby---weakness on Sparano's part.

Wow, day 2 and Wake is a bust. Cut him. He now has 4 negative paragraphs. A.S. made the call.
We haven't heard about Joey or Jason? How are they doing?

Kindry. As soon as the pads were put on wake almost had 2 sacks and was Right next to R wright when he sacked henne. He coming on . It's only day 2 GEEZ! . J. Taylor has looked good , even stout against the run. Sparano said " so far it looks like he still got it ".

Saw Gardner play a few times at GT and was very impressed with his run blocking. If he stays healthy he will one day be starting somewhere on the OL. SARASOTA BAY DOLFAN!!!

Armando,
Great work..but, please! No more mentioning of Saban in ANY WAY!

How has Henne looked, is White taking snaps behind center?

Rename the NSMB to MDPB or almost anything not having to do with nick saban!!His name should be banished from the kingdom!!

sounds like the offense is going to be the weak link again this year.
If we can score 20-24 pts per game our defense should be able to hold the line and win it going away.
That's a big "IF"
I truly hope we have a big down field threat in our receiving corps, to date we don't appear to have one.

I vote for the Nick Saban Memorial Bubble designation to continue! It's a great monument to his lone accomplishment.

Hows tednisha (all the way ) Ginn (teddys lil sister) Look?? and what about his clip board holdind daddy???

Thanks for the update Armando!

Good info!

Does any one talks football any more ?

NJ, agree on Wake, I believe he will come around because it is only day 2. This dude will come around sooner than later. I wonder what is up with Roth?

I hope wake don't become a wilford type of a OOPs. Maybe we draft better than when we pick up free agents.

Anyway I'm so glad we are at this point in the year.

KEEP IT COMING ARMANDO.

i have to go now to buy a pillow,HINT, HINT

? What

Ace. ROTH ? That's the million dollar question

Unlike wilford , Wake is a tremendous athlete. It's all about wake learning the defense. It's all about repetition and more experience. He's like a rookie so he has a learning curve. It typically takes De's ( which he played in the cfl the last 2 years ) 2 years to learn the 3-4. He starting to pick things up now with the pads on.

Yes, Wake will come around, he is a physical specimen, with time for adjustment to nfl talent he'll produce.
This Roth thing is a lil concerning, the groin was apparently a prob last year. We need him healthy
And Bess will be a stud returning kicks, he showed some streaks of greatness last season and gained mucho experience.

How about the rookie db's today?

GO Fins! Gonna be another great year for the Fins. But, I do believe this is Henne's year. Don't know, but...I get a feeling.

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