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Sparano by the substitute

If Armando equates to Johnny Carson in the Dolphins blogosphere, that makes me, David J. Neal, today's David Brenner. I'm standing in while the star takes a day of rest. To those feeling grand, crushing disappointment on this Friday, I hope your day gets better.

From Dolphins coach Tony Sparano's State of the Day address:

On Saturday's scrimmage: "We're not going to play a game out there. I'll be a series of 10 plays and coaches will be off the field. We will use all of the proper equipment from caoch to quarterback and defensive equipment to keep this thing going and get personnel in and out." It'll be 90 to 110 plays.

On Phillip Merling: "He's started out...OK and has gotten a little better in the last few days. " He clearly wants to see more consistency from Merling. The Sparano standard on that is nose guard Jason Ferguson.

He also said, as far as the defensive line positions aside from Ferguson, he wants to see a better run defense to create more third and longs and one of the defensive ends to have six to eight sacks. 

We just had the annual presentation by NFL officials on rules changes and changes in emphasis. Some of the bigger changes from the video the players will see this evening:

The Tom Brady Rule: Pass rushers won't be allowed to lunge low at quarterbacks and make contact below the knee with the shoulder. The hit that ended Tom Brady's season (and, though nobody knew it at the time, started the Dolphins on the road to the playoffs) was shown as an example of what'll be penalized this season. Jared Allen blatantly missiling his shoulder into Matt Schaub's knee was shown also. And if Schaub was a handsome young buck with three Super Bowl rings, a model/actress baby mama and a model wife that gets the NFL exposure in an even wider range of media outlets, it might be The Matt Schaub Rule. But he isn't and it ain't.

The howling you'll hear later tonight is every Dolphin pass rusher when they see the video. Joey Porter should roar mightily while Jason Taylor will show annoyance, but regally. At least offensive holding will be a point of emphasis, which'll pacify some of the soon-to-be savage defensive beasts.

The Ed Hochuli Rule: Muscles the Zebra had one of those years in 2008 where he couldn't hit the ground with his flag. It all started in Week 2 when he ruled an obvious fumble by Denver's Jay Cutler that was recovered by San Diego to be an incomplete pass. By rule, the ball was dead and Denver got the ball back with another chance at a game-winning touchdown instead of San Diego getting the ball and being a few kneel downs from the win. This year, that call can be reviewed by instant replay and, if there's a clear recovery, the ball changes hands. It's similar to the change made two years ago with the down-by-contact call on a fumble.

By the way, it was a lousy call, but no rule said the Chargers had to allow not only the ensuing touchdown but the two-point conversion.

The Hines Ward Rule: No more peeling back toward your end zone and blindside blasting a defender. "It is an illegal "blindside" block if the initial force of the contact by a blocker's helmet, forearm or shoulder is to the head or neck area of an opponent when: a) the blocker is moving toward his own endline; and b) he approaches the opponent from behind or from the side." It'll be a 15-yard penalty.

The Wedge Rule: On a kickoff or free kick, no more than two players can form a wedge. A "wedge" will be defined as three or more players lined up shoulder-to-shoulder within two yards of each other.

The No More Do Over Rule: No automatic re-kick after an illegal onside kick.

If Twitter resumes behaving, I'll be tweeting practice at DavidJNeal, then blogging about it after we talk with players.


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Great, now Mando's got reinforcements. And theys a brotha.

Man, Mando don't you understand a dude's gotta feed his family. Lighten up a little bit.

And give us more Mista Neal. Very short post here.

Outside of those claiming to be "first", that has to be one of the worst comments I have ever read.

Where was David J Neal during those epic two weeks when all Armando deemed newsworthy was the status of Brian Hartline's contract negotiations?

So, nobody can touch Lady Brady. Is a purse part of the equipment package? Or maybe it is a Barbie lunchbox?
I can't believe the protection they give this guy. The opponent was being held ïn New England and there was not going to be a call" we all know that. So he dove at the qb to knock him down.
Not to mention that Brady runs like a skinny girl. He couldn't step back when he seen the defender coming at him? Doesn't he have to take responsibility for his own protection? Now he gets to stand there all day long and throw whatever and to whoever he wants and if anyone touches him it is a first down. This is really turning into a girlie game for the New England quarterbacks.
And it also had nothing to do with the Phins making the playoffs. They couldn't stop the Wildcat package. That is why NE didn't make the playoffs.
Well this year I hope someone lays a real good licking on Brady, because this is blatent favouritism. You know that if it was just Schaub or just Pennington got hurt there would be no rule changes.

No low hits, just sack him good and hard. Im ok with that.

Ok guys the cuban has arrived, a couple of observations #1, The tom Brady Rule... Hummmm, apparently it wasn't a good enough hit, he's playing this year(the joe theisman hit in 86 was a GREAT HIT and put that idiot out forever, unfortunately we have to hear him on sunday nites)# 2,The ED Hochuli Rule, first of all if the ref looks bigger then a def. back he shouldn't be a ref but instead should be in the W.W.E...# 3,THE HINES WARD RULE,, Who cares, # 4 The wedge rule, I thought we were talking foot ball, not golf..# 5, The "no more do over rule" Again are we talking football or golf here?? iam confused( But then again started happy hour at 4:30 today) any way enjoy your day off Mando, and Mr. Neal, You did a great job filling in for Mando...

Good one, kindry.


Agree with you. I say we sack Brady legit and many times will be his doom. Or what the heck, hope someone hits a little and does the work for us.

brady rule is bull.
you can't hit above neck,you can't hit below the knee,so why don't they put a bulleze on his chest and say that is the only place you can hit the qb.

the other thing is as long as they apply it equal to all qb's.
if the refs let one qb get creamed then the elite qb's ,like brady,if you touch them they call that penalty on you.

Way to take one for the team!

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