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Game rewind: Give me a starting WR

Just watched the Dolphins game against Carolina for the third time. The Dolphins won all three times so that speaks well of their consistency.

Here are the talking points I believe will become important this week as the team prepares for the all-important third preseason game. Remember the third preseason game is the dress rehersal for the regular season. Starters play longer. Coaches want their lineups pretty much set by this game. It doesn't count, but it gives you an idea of what to expect in the regular season.

Coming out of the victory over Carolina and heading to Tampa Bay, I believe the Dolphins have resolved their right guard situation. Donald Thomas and Shawn Murphy again split series during Saturday night's game but Thomas was clearly the better player.

Thomas threw a great block on the game's second running play, a 10-yard gain by Ronnie Brown on which Thomas and Justin Smiley both pulled right and created a seam that a truck could have fit through. Thomas threw a nice block on Lex Hilliard's 39-yard touchdown run. I couldn't find any block that Thomas missed.

Murphy had a nice night also, but he got trucked on one passing situation and it resulted in Chad Henne getting plowed under on a pass attempt that fell incomplete. Murphy is working toward becoming asolid  backup. Thomas is working on solidifying himself as the starter.

With the perennial right guard problem on the way to being resolved, I need to tell you about two other problems the Dolphins have that need similar quality resolution.

The special teams continues to hurt the Dolphins. And the Dolphins passing game, particularly as it pertains to the receiver corps, is worrisome.

Special teams: I hope you read my column regarding Chris Williams. Look, I like the idea of a cruise missle returning punts and kicks for the Dolphins as much as anyone. But Williams doesn't handle kicks cleanly. I watched the game (again and again) and he didn't handle any punt cleanly. He caught every punt at least twice in that it would hit his hands and bounce and then he'd latch on. And, of course, he had no idea on the punt that hit his facemask and turned into a fumble that led to a Carolina TD.

So, as I wrote, his opportunity has come and very likely gone.

But special teams has other issues. There was the 58-yard punt return by Captain Munnerlyn, there was the illegal block in the back on a punt return that would have been hurtful had Williams not offered a higher degree of pain with his fumble on the same play. There was also a 15-yard personal foul call on Brandon London for plowing the wedge on a kickoff, and there was the generally unspectacular return play by any Miami returner.

The Dolphins are currently averaging 3.7 yards per punt return in the preseason -- that's 27th in the NFL.

It wasn't all horrible on special teams, mind you. Adopted son focus player Chris Clemons had a recovery of a fumbled punt at the Carolina 14 in the fourth quarter. Yeah, he's earned a roster spot already.

The other concern I have following these first two preseason games is the inconsistent nature of Miami's passing game. It is a passing game that has some basic, troubling tendencies.

First, it is a passing game where running backs are generally the most effective weapons, which is terrible in today's big-play NFL. To date, Ronnie Brown and Patrick Cobbs are the most explosive pass-catchers on the offense. Brown had a 28-yard TD grab vs. Carolina while Cobbs had a 35-yard grab.

For the preseason, Brown leads the team with a 14.3 yards per catch average among players with more than one reception while Cobbs is tied with Brian Hartline for second at 14 yards per reception for players that have more than one catch. What does that mean?

It means The Dolphins do a lot of check-down passing and short-range passing. It means the wide receivers aren't getting open quick enough to become the primary targets of a majority of throws. It means the quarterbacks for now are more comfortable throwing to the backs than the receivers.

I was pleased that Ted Ginn Jr. had a solid outing in the preseason-opener, in that he only caught two passes but was targetted five times, with one of those resulting in a pass interference. If Ginn is to have tht breakout season everyone keeps talking about, he has to become the focus of the passing game. But rather than build on that last game, the Dolphins practically ignored Ginn vs. Carolina.

He was thrown one pass on a receiver quick screen and he dropped it. And he didn't have a catch all game. The leading receiver for the game? Cobbs -- a running back. He caught four passes.

Despite being practically invisible we all know Ginn will be a starter this season. So my question is who is the other starting receiver?

Davone Bess? Greg Camarillo? Brian Hartline? Patrick Turner?

The point I'm making is it is wide open and unresolved. Everyone expected Camarillo or Bess to be the other starter by virtue of their superior experience. But that superior experience has been unspectacular in the preseason.

Bess caught one pass and dropped one pass against Carolina. The week before he had two catches and two more drops. Dropping as many passes as one catches is not the way to win a starting job.

Camarillo played only four plays in the preseason opener, which has nothing to do with anything he's doing wrong. The coaching staff is being cautious as their receiver returns from last year's knee surgery. Camarillo got lots more action Saturday night. He was targetted twice and caught both passes The net gain of those two catches? Four yards.

Brian Hartline actually started vs. Carolina. That of itself should tell you the coaches are searching for a candidate to pair with Ginn as the starter and have not found that person yet. Hartline is a smart, mature kid. He doesn't act like a rookie. But he also doesn't act like Jerry Rice. He caught only one pass for 8 yards.

I am told coaches are not as high on Turner as the media. They don't see as much desire as they wish to see. They don't see nearly the consistency they want to see. And that showed against Carolina as he Turner would at times seem to have more urgency than others, and consequently sometimes get separation while getting none at other times.

The inconsistent play netted three receptions for 25 yards. But Turner was thrown to five times and he failed to make what would have been an excellent diving catch along the sideline.

So who is the starter opposite Ginn? We will have to wait for someone to step forward. Because no one really has.


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i think gopats turning to dolphins fan, you should be nicer to him, or he will turn again to dark side pats.

no carlito i am not, i just love to come and read armando and play around like you guys .



bottom line from golfito is that dolphins are fine with the receivers they have. like most people say, you can't judge anybody after a few preseason series. Ginn is ready for breakout year and camarillo and bess will be solid as #2 and # 3 again. They should be even better after one years working togethers. Anythings that Hartslines and Turner can add will be a plus.

and you are right people calling for Henne to replace Penne right now don't know elbow from @ss

Gopats , your vast knowledge of all things football and dolphins has once again shine through. Penny needs to run the team from the start of the season. Henne isn't quite ready Yet. i Love his arm, if and only if miami is out of the playoff hunt towards the end of the year , give over the job to henne. T. Difer and brad johnson won super bowls with game managing qb's. As far as the wr's , the 86 , 90 giants and the patriots won without big time wr's.

I'm a little more willing than Armando to see what becomes of the WR's that they drafted this year.

But Armando also has another point. We need a big time WR in the mold of Larry Fitzgerald, Randy Moss and Terrell Owens, someone who makes big plays when needed and attracts double coverages, thus opening up other players. Miami doesn't have that, and I don't believe Ginn can be the #1. He's a solid #2 option though.

I believe Ginn would benefit immensely playing opposite such a player, as the #1 WR would attract coverages away from him, thus allowing our o-coordinator to take advantage of his speed.

This is largely a no-name WR corps. I consider it underrated, but much like last year, don't expect a whole lot of TD's from this group. The only way that might change is if Turner becomes the end-zone threat that many believe he can become.


I never claimed to know more than NJ. You go let someone else think for you...low life. You are doing a good job taking my krap all by yourself with no help and 1/2 a brain. LOL

OMG God has answered!

Carlito what part of the body do you love?

nj loves a man's arm

cuban mamon


I alot like chris williams, I love the muff

cuidado carlito

JN PHIN CAME AND WROTE A POST and he gave fin fans reason to believe that you don't need a big time WR to win a super bowl as long as you know how to manage the QB'S .i learned some thing w/ supporting facts.

CARLITO, YOUR BOTTOM LINE IS great.can i be on nj phin's side and when he's not around or a sleep i can be on your side .lol

carlito becareful gopats wants to sleep by your side. He is a little quuuueeerrr

tomate have a nice feeling with cuban mamon

I also forgot the steelers who don't have big time true #1 wr's and won super bowls.

oooooh carlito that is a good line, can you tell us more

NJ Phin, to play advocates devil, how manys super bowls dolphins win with amazing wr marks brothers clayton and super duper?

cuban .m,,

i doubt that you went school b/c your hopes for were low.
1- when you admit that you don't as much and willing to learn from other people ,that gives you a lot of info and you sift it through then you will end up more informed .

1- i didn't pick soiled bottom to teach me football .
2- the word " influence " it's only apply to morale, politics and knowin right from wrong.we are talking here QB,WR,DL,RUSH...etc.

3-where people like you comes from ?

The sky is falling. The sky is falling. Seriously it has to be Bess Buthelezi is really better from the slot hrence Hartline. Turner is the long term solution but it will take time be patient.

Where did you learn English gopats? A DVD? I come from the stuff your dreams are made of my 1/2 brain animal. You must have been a genetic cross between an animal and man that escaped a lab. You are still an animal that 1/2 the time acts human.

yeeeessssssssss, dr pig in the house

gopats you would not knwo a school if it fell on top of you. College? You think it is some kind of face cream.

dr pig, once i write to a pig like you , i don't go over it again.
time for you to go watch HSC

Dr. Moreau don't sound too smart for be doctor. Where you went to med school? Guatemala?

gopats es un come mierdda


time to go have some tv and eat some mosaka

gopats where did you go my man

good night to humans only

I went to go have some tv and eat some mosaka

Please dont leave gopatsito, we love you very very much

posts at 10:33, 10:35 fake carlito. go dolphins! that is all.

now you getting mad and faking my name .MOSAKA

10:38 also fake carlito aka cuban mamon aka dr. mamon

fake posts at 10:38 and 10:39. Get a life

come on guys , be nice for a change.is mosaka has eggplant in it ?

if mosakka anything like cake, dr. mamon will love it

me very sleepy.go to bed after I play the skin flute. music very good

fake post at 10:42

I HAVE NO problem w/ our WR's. we have several solid ones, no clear #1 but how many teams do. Hartline is scrappy and tough, as is camarillo. Bess is inconsistent with hands but is tough and comes up big in spots. Turner is a big target and will be affective in the red zone as w/ london and ginn will hold his own
going up against top rated Cb this yr.

what concerns me is scoring td's and not settling for fg's ( which only just keep the opp. in the game longer and our spec. teams/field position. i think we r solid in all other fases. r we the '98 vikings offense-no, the 70's steel curtain D-no but we r a damn solid football team, who teams will not enjoy having to play.

now there is fake post saying my real post fake, thats pretty funny, I admit, lol

fake post at 10:47pm, claiming fake post aout a fake post then laughing. You are very sick man. Stp it

gopats where are you, you said you be by mt side.

dr mamon strikes again. kinda feel sorry for little fella.

Carlito dont you have anything better to do than fool around here you jackazzz

yes, I could give my chorizo to your mamma. Its not all me jackazzzz, someone impersonating me. You here too jackazz, what you have to say about dolphins?

There are two good reasons why the trifecta did not gamble on a first round receiver this year. First, fine QB though Pennington was and is, he's not really a deep threat QB. He's a very impressive short to mid-range QB, and has adequate receivers for that game. Now, if you brought in a deep threat WR, you'd either have an expensive toy that was mismatched with your QB, or you'd have to change the QB. That's not happening this year, but if Henne steps up next year and offers a deep threat, then it would make sense to gamble on a deep-threat WR to pair with him. As it is, the trifecta got two very promising CBs, and a couple of potential (but cheap) receivers. They covered the bases, and did a good, solid job in the process. I think they made the right call, since Henne doesn't look ready for the big time yet, although he's clearly got a lot of promise. Equally, why spend big money on a receiver that might not pan out, as many do not - and who wouldn't match your QB? The trifecta have a longterm plan, and they are assembling the pieces in a methodical way. Give them credit for doing so.

I will not play your game you little man Carlito golfito

I think once the offensive line gets the pass protection down you will see more production out of the receivers. Henne in particular did not have a whole lot of time to throw the ball deep.

Ripp you are correct. In due time, we will see Henne

Rather then nit-pick the current crop of quite young receivers, I ask you to think back to give some insight to the big picture. Think back to two young receivers we had here. Duper and Clayton. Neither started immediately their rookie year. It takes time for a WR to learn the NFL game in most cases. Give the young guys some time. This is not Marino's offense we are watching.

No big-play threats from the receiving corps? Time to install the Pat White spread package for that big-play threat.

There's an old saying that goes, "fake it until you can make it."

That's what we did last year with the Wildcat. Now we need the base offense, Wildcat 2.0 (with some looks with Pat White, hopefully) and the debut of the Pat White Spread package for more trickery and deception.

I'm ready. Are you?

A little west coast off?Not a bad thing to run every now and then,miami is running a lot of formation's.Why not open it up more?We have the back's that can catch and run for yards.????? Just a thought (How many time's have the eagles made it to the NFC champ game)?.

Ya,right now AFC champion would look good.


Thanks for the update..yes we are following it very eagerly holding onto our own fidelities.


I really don't think Ginn can flourish until Henne is behind center. That's not a knock on Pennington, but can Ginn really run an all out fly pattern without having to think the ball may be under-thrown and he may have to come back? seriously.

Just a clarification I believe the diving catch that your refering too Armando should and could of been caught by ernest wilford, I remeber seeing the play develop and Wilford was running down the sideline with turner to his right and the ball was right there just had to extend for it!

Turner is still in Big Man on Campus mode like he is still at USC. Dude is not running back to the huddle - check the game when the replay it again on NFL. They threw to him 3 straight plays in the 3rd - after a 7 yard high step over an ankle tackle, He gave up on the next two especially a fade, which you have to run through at least. Parcells and I both wanted to b..... slap him.

He looks disinterested or even worse, like he is spacing out.

Diagnosis: Crack or the chronic.
Prognosis: Survives the 9/1 cut to 75 but he's at the greyhound stop by 9/5 cut to 53.

Nice knowin' ya kid whatever your name was.

To all that think we don't need a deep threat: get your head out of the sand, you'll suffocate down there.

The pass from Pennington for 35 yds. was a designed play that worked. Henne didn't have any deep passes. He played a half. It could be they wanted him to play comfortable, gain confidence. I do wonder about the drops by Bess more than the overall concern for the receivers though. I'm looking for Bess to have a very good year. Camarillo will probably play alot when the season starts. Why risk injury in pre season? I see them keeping 5 receivers. Turner and Hartline will likely make the team. Do we really see everything in pre season?

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