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The Tues. morning Dolphins camp update -- with Sparano presser

It was an eventful session in steamy Davie, FL. this morning. 

The latest on Rothgate is that the Dolphins have placed outside linebacker Matt Roth on the non-football illness list. And yet they have sent Roth for tests on the part of his body that is actually causing him problems -- his groin.

The contradictions continue and I can see the frustration in coach Tony Sparano, even from behind his dark glasses, because the player told him one thing and it seems it's actually something else.

"As I said yesterday, going into the conditioning test, in my mind, he was healthy. I think in everybody's mind he was healthy. At the end of the conditioning test, it didn't go well. He and I sat down, we talked. We talked about him being sick. And then brought him back up and talked about him being sick again at the end of that first practice. We explained we were going to have a plan, a running plan in place and again talked about not feeling good an not feeling right and being sick. That's really what the conversation was.

"As I said yesterday, I believed Matt Roth telling me he was sick."

Sparano said the team will conduct a "standup" scrimmage on Saturday in the afternoon practice. It will be 90-115 plays that will measure exactly where this team is at before it plays its first preseason game Aug. 17 against Jacksonville.

"We'll have a pretty good go," Sparano said. "Hopefully we'll get another crowd like we had the other day."

Ernest Wilford is at 232 pounds according to Sparano and he is working at both wide receiver and tight end, but as the team has been working mostly in the base offense the first couple of days of practice, he hasn't gotten a lot of action from that H-back role.

The Dolphins did work work nickel and substitution packages for the passing game today. Sparano said there were a few blown coverages and some bad routes, but that will be addressed.

If you've been wondering how the Dolphins are going to attack the quarterback on obvious passing downs, the preliminary answer is that their first-team front on the nickel and dime package consists of Joey Porter and Jason Taylor on the edges, and Phillip Merling and Randy Starks up the middle. Dolphins are at times using three tackle types in these sets, effectively having three linemen in addition to Porter and Taylor. Obviously, Porter and Taylor are not coming on every play as they have coverage responsibilities.

And that third lineman has been Randy Starks on first team and Lionel Dotson on second team.

The back end of the nickel and dime packages consist of Will Allen, Yeremiah Bell, Gibril Wilson, Tryone Culver, Eric Green and Nathan Jones (dime only) on first team. The back end on second team consists of Rookies Vontae Davis and Sean Smith, Jason Allen, Chris Clemons, Courtney Bryan and Ethan Kilmer (dime only).

The Dolphins will work on a lot of nickel situations in the comig days so if there's going to be some shakeup in that lineup, it may come after those days.

At work during team drills, Porter had a sack while Lionel Dotson (working from the tackle spot on shifts) and Quentin Moses combined for a sack. Will Allen continues to excel as he had another interception of a Chad Pennington sideline pass.

Brian Hartline had a drop during team drills while Greg Camarillo (old faithful) continues to make himself available for Pennington whenever the QB is in trouble. If Pennington is out of the pocket, he's looking for Camarillo. I would not be surprised -- and neither should you -- if after all the talk of Ted Ginn and Patrick Turner this offseason, it is Camarillo that leads the team in receptions.

Ginn did have a productive practice today. He beat Culver on a post pattern for a 30-yard TD in the back of the end zone. He also was open deep along the sideline once but a Pennington pass got held up in the air, allowing the defender to recover and knock it away.

Ginn did drop a post-pattern TD off the arm of Chad Henne. Wide open. Perfect pass. In the hands. Doink

I continue to be fascinated by the competition between rookie left tackle Andrew Gardner and weakside linebacker Cameron Wake. It was all Gardner the first day of camp. Yesterday belonged to Wake. This morning was a deadlock.

Gardner will make the team, I predict. I asked Sparano about him and the coach said he is "certainly not close," to being a player that can get in regular-season games. But ...

"We have to change his body, we have to make him a little stronger," Sparano said. But the kid has, "a lot of athleticism and the characteristics we like."

"I like what I've seen so far," the coach concluded.

On one pass-rush, Wake leveraged Gardner into the quarterback. On the very next snap, Gardner simply rode Wake wide and out of the play.

Eric Green, who struggled covering the deep ball in the offseason camps and OTAs, is seemingly getting better. He had excellent coverage on a 9-route by Ginn this morning.

Pat White continues to be up and down. I will say this: Having played in the spread formation in college, he is clearly much more comfortable when he's not under center. On a couple of shotgun snaps this morning, White seemed to show more zip on his passes and seemed more decisive with his decisions. It didn't always result in a completion, but he was clearly better when not under center.

I honestly see backup Patrick Cobbs as an emmerging playmaker were he to be given the opportunity. Unfortunately for him, Ricky Williams, the backup tailback, isn't opening the door for Cobbs to get more snaps.

According to Sparano, Williams attended all 46 of the team's offseason workouts and is "physically in the best," condition he's seen him "in an awful long time." The coach said Williams is leaner and has less body fat than last year while his "endurance is up."

Finally, rookie Brennan Marion has a knee issue. He missed the morning practice and has gone for tests on it. Marion is still recovering from ACL surgery. Do not expect him to make the team, people.

With Marion hurting, the Dolphins worked out a couple of receivers this afternoon -- one of them former Ravens practice squad player Edward Williams.

[IPhone app update: You guys are amazing. You're buying the app like there's no tomorrow and I would say you're smart for doing so. It's worth it! Keep it going. And yes, a BlackBerry app is in the works, for those who asked.]

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Awesome work Armando.

Who do you see as our KR/PR this year?

Hey Mando how has Jake Grove looked thus far. Can see the difference between him and Satele already?

Who do you see as the first person to respond to your post?

The Answer:

Gary Stevens

Thanks, go Phins

Armando.

Can you advise as to Joey Haynos and what you are seeing there.

Also.. When in Wildcat, are there any plays where Pennington is not on the field split out wide and a replacement WR is brought in?

And one last request. It was mentioned numerous times during mini/rookie camps that Chris Clemons took on a leadership role in the secondary. How has his presence been in the Secondary so far, as its all about the CB's at the moment.

Thanks.

Six defensive backs is a dime package, not a nickel package. The sentence,

"The back end of the nickel packages consist of Will Allen, Yeremiah Bell, Gibril Wilson, Tryone Culver, Eric Green and Nathan Jones on first team."

...is a contradiction in terms. I'm guessing it was just a typo, Armando probably meant the 'dime' package.

Well, Gang, it's 3 days to go. 3 days. In 3 days I'll be sworn in as an American citizen. I haven't been so grateful since Plaxico Burress (pre-gunshot scandal) hauled in Peyton Manning's TD pass in Super Bowl XLII to defeat the Patriots and maintain Miami as the NFL's only Perfect Team.

I know you're all dying to know what my thoughts are now, so here are a few:

1) When Fonzie started on "Happy Days," he wore a white t-shirt under his leather jacket. After a number of years, the producers switched to a black t-shirt. I never cared for that. Towards the end, they switched Fonzie back to white. The switches were done to make him more youthful looking, but the fact is Henry Winkler was around 40 when the show went off the air. You can't make a 40 year old look like a kid, no matter how hard you try.

2) The best version of "God Bless America" is Kate Smith's.

3) Basically, Vince Lombardi died because he was too proud/squeamish to have a doctor stick a finger up his anus. His cancer was, therefore, not detected until too late.

4) Did you ever notice Audrey Hepburn's lips? (In addition to her grace, charm, voice and beauty.) They were so deliciously soft and pouty. And that was before collagen. I only regret I was never able to tenderly caress them with my own. (Maybe I can find where she's buried and unearth her.)

5) My wife and I have been married only 4 years, but that didn't stop me a few years ago from sending a request to the office of (then) Prime Minister Jean Chretien of Canada and asking that we receive a signed certificate from the Prime Minister honoring our 25 YEARS of marriage. By gum, we received it. I wonder if I can pull the same stunt here with the current President. As far as I can tell, he's not too careful about documentation like birth certificates, etc., so it should work.

6) The United States is the greatest country in the history of God's green earth.

Whoops. Of course I meant Eli Manning.

Great update today Mando, thank you. I just watched a video interview with Pennington and noticed that his shoulders and traps are a lot bigger than last year. It seems like he did a lot of shoulder work this offseason to improve his strength and durability. Hopefully it will better help him to have a healthy and succesful season ahead.

If Pat White gets it together I could see Miami taking the Wildcat no huddle. Teams might be able to compensate for a play or two, but what about run down the field. The added new wrinkles with White in the backfield and a no huddle run. Wow...

Thanks for the updates Mando, but I am a little confused. Our nickel package only consists of 10 players? 4 on the line and 6 dbs? And who else is in on the dime package - you only listed 4 dlinemen? Thanks.

" Ginn was wide open deep along the sideline , but a pennington pass got held up in the air allowing the defender to recover and knock it away ". So much for the great improvement in arm strength .LMAO @ justin. Once again he has no clue .

Nathaniel Dodsworth:

It was Eli, not Payton Manning who threw that pass at the SB.

Thank you, MexDolfan.

While I previously noted and corrected my error, I do appreciate your attention to detail. It's that kind of self-initiative, rugged individuality, that sets this great country apart from Europe and makes us less susceptible to civilizational decline.

good to hear positives about ricky. when he's focused he's a marine.

Nathanal, Where will you be sworn in at???, also ted (opps)Ginn dropping a pass....Sound familiar

I love this iPhone app! Maybe now one day I will be first :(

Got time between practice so if you guys have comments, questions, I will answer.

As to the nickel and dime packages set-up, I have edited and tried to make it more clear.

In the dime, Nathan Jones is the sixth DB on first team. Ethan Kilmer is that guy on second team.

Good info Armando! I really hope the light can come on for J.Allen. I know time is running out for him but I think he has great play making potential.

The O-line seems a little suspect as I thought it might be,but its still early. Hopefully it will come together before the season. Right now I dont see much depth.

I hope Dolfans wont give up on Ginn before Henne takes the reigns. Pennington is a great guy, but Ginn needs a big arm qb in order to play to his strength and reach his full potential.

Mando, How hot is it in davie??

MartinK, the Dolphins are so AWESOME, they are playing with only 10 in passing situations!

Seriously, in the dime Channing Crowder is also on the field.

Pat, Joey Haynos has been somewhat invisible, but don't take that to mean he's not performing. The truth is and Sparano has said the first couple of days of practice were mostly base offense.

In that, the H-back and TE is not a major factor. That's why you haven't heard of a ton of catches for Martin, Fasano, Haynos, Nalbone or Wilford.

Cuban I'll be sworn in at the County Courthouse. I'd give you the city, but I don't want to start a riot with all the people and paparazzi clamoring for spots.

Hey, Cuban? Were you born here?

Armando . With the pads on, it looks The light is starting to come on a little for cameron wake. Also L dotson is coming on. P. soliai is looking quicker than last year. Offensivly the wr's are improved. These are key areas.

NJ PHIN FAN: Wake obviously has ability and it shows much more with pads on. But ...

Remember he is running with the third-teamers and facing a third-teamer in practice. He has a loong way to go.

Based on what I've seen of Wake and the situation with Roth, I am very, very glad the Dolphins signed Jason Taylor.

Otherwise they would be in trouble.

Cuban, It's 94 or thereabouts today. I got in my car an hour ago to go get lunch and the temperature guage inside the vehicle read 105 when I cranked the engine.

Born in miami, left for New York when i was 18 to go to school, but my heart belongs in miami....I come back home twice a year to enjoy my moms cooking and to drink cuban coffee, they need the cuban coulture up in new york badly..

Mando. It seems like sean smith needs to improve/ be quicker on breaking to balls . particually the sideline routes. we know he can jump with wr's.

Armando,

Just out of curiosity, do you talk shop to the other beat guys at the S-S and PBP? Or do you keep your distance from them?

GLOBAL WARMING MANDO...

What have you seen from Jake Grove that Satele never showed?

Bryan R: We are cordial with each other. There are guys I like more than others. There are guys that suffer me better than they do others. Like with everything else.

Jay D, let me turn that questions around if you'll permit me.

I often saw Satele whiff on a NT because he didn't get out of his stance and get his hands up quick enough. Consequently, I saw him CHASING NTs to the QB which is a really bad moment for any center.

Grove gets out of his stance and gets his hands up fast.

Armando,

I read Terry Glenn is interning with the Phins. Have you seen his interaction with the WR corps? Is he acting as the de facto "veteran mentor"?

Mando, Does Moses have a shot of making this team? He was a stud in college..and played well last preseason. Also is Murphy still taking 1st team snaps? Can he replace D.Thomas if necessary?

Thanks for the coverage!

RosenSleaze has contrived this whole GroinGate in order to hold Roth out for more $$---sleazeball extraordinaire!

Sammydolpfan: thanks for the question. I rarely discount pass-rushers, especially OLB with burst, as guys that cannot make a team. They ALWAYS have a chance because they can get hot, have three sacks in the preseason and coaches HAVE to try to keep you.

But is he consistent? No. Is he a favorite to make the team? Probably not.

It's going to depend on if he gets hot and what the situation is with other players.

Bryan: Glenn is working here through the minority coach program. Very interesting.

I have not witnessed him giving pointers or taking guys aside. I hope it's happening, but I haven't seen it.

Thanks for the update Mando. Any word on Carpenter? How is he looking so far?

Dolfan69: Haven't seen him miss one yet.

Mando, I also thought the Fins used only 10 players due to their great ability - but didn't want to say that (as it may seem I was a smart a$$) - thanks for the clarification.

hey mando how is Ronnie Brown doing? Have not seen anything on him.

Mando,

I'm reading good things about Ginn, are you seeing a noticable improvement on the field with him in terms of route running and getting off the LOS. Last year his biggest issue seemed to be getting open early in the route, how does he look so far?

mano

Alex, Ronnie Brown looks like a beast and has taken every snap the Dolphins have asked. If he doesn't have a good season this year, you cannot blame his conditioning and preparation.

Idaho, Ginn is improved and improving. He's getting open deep on a consistent basis. We'll see if it carries over to games.

Welcome, Dodsworth. We need more Anglo Saxons here....we're awash in hispanics. Can you bring more Northern Europeans with you?

NJ,

"Pennington pass got held up in the air, allowing the defender to recover and knock it away." Don't laugh at JUSTIN. He meant that Chad had zip on 10 yard passes. Anyway, let us not get him started on this. Oh heck he will blame me anyway.

NJ And you never played FOOTBALL

Another part was PAT threw with more ZIP than before.
MAYBE HE's the only one in the world to have the control to throw hard and soft.

Justin,
I sometimes don't understand what the hell you are saying.

Good Ace.Throw some footballs around.Take NJ and go play some FLAG football.If you guys think that theres no difference in a pass that's a lob or a bullet than so be it.I relize it dosen't matter what anybody up here say most will try to twist the words around.

NJ PHIN , he never played any sport , he just goes w/ the wave .what does he know? he's good at twisting words only

Justin . you fat cow ! I've played football my whole life from pop warner to Division 1 football in pennsylvania. My career involves training people/ahletes from bodybuiding to performance and nutrition( something you know nothing about ). i own 2 gyms in northern nj. This is my life. I've forgotten more about training then you"ll ever know. do me favor get your head out of your butt and speak english.

Justin. I might just let you join my gym for free ( because your a dolphin fan) and i'll even train you , but i guarantee you'll drop dead after about i5 minutes, LMAO !

we thought you are a plumber

nj played a wr

justin fool . Chad pennington worked on his core ( mid section and lower back ) along with his hips to get more of his body in his throws. You either have a cannon of a arm or you don't. Lifting weights doesn't make you get a cannon.

Menace. i know your trying to be funny but it isn't right now.

Armando
checking in and I like the improvments from day 1. A steady stream of updates last few days and taking everyones posted questions trivial or not. Good job!


NJ Phin fan shares my affinity for smooth hips and has been watching Pennington's closely on aquavision.

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