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Wed. practice report (with 1992 Classic moment)

The Rothgate saga is almost over. These Dolphins are better at covering up embarrassing situations than Richard Nixon ever was.

The team spoke to agent Drew Rosenhaus and convinced him not to discuss Matt Roth, or his injury, or Roth's signing of a document that promised he was neither injured nor ill, when in fact, he has a strained groin and also told coch Tony Sparano he was ill. The team then made Roth available to talk to the media Wednesday afternoon as long as he talked about, well, nothing.

Roth was asked about the "misunderstanding" between him and Sparano relative to his never mentioning the groin strain when the coach asked what was wrong. 

"There's no misunderstanding," Roth said. "I'm trying to work hard, get back on the field, get out with my teammates. The medical stuff, I'm not allowed to talk about it. I just want to get back on the field and get rolling."

Did you tell coach you were sick?

"I'm not allowed to talk about anything medical," Roth replied. "It's all about football at this point."

Are you close to being 100 percent?

"Again," he said, "anything medical, I'm not allowed to talk about."

How much does it put you back not to be out there?

"It hurts," he said. "You always want to be out there with your teammates."

At this point, a somewhat frustrated Salguero says, "Tony said you signed a document that states you have no medical issues and apparently you do have medical issues because you're not practicing."

"I don't know what to tell you, man, like I said before," he said. "I'm not allowed to talk about anything medical."

And I'm not allowed to continue this sham. No more Matt Roth updates from me until someone tells the truth or he gets on the field. Period.

As to this afternoon's practice, it was another good one for rookie receiver Brian Hartline (his second in a row) and it was an inconsistent one for CB Eric Green and QB Pat White.

Hartline had a lunging catch of a Chad Pennington pass over cornerback Will Billingsley. He also had a nice pattern down the center of the field that got him open behind Billingsley, and White connected for a score.

White was erratic, however, because he overthrew Anthony Armstrong on an easy sideline pass not 5 yards beyond the line of scrimmage and also had a ball intercepted by Joey Thomas on an attempt to Anthony Armstrong.

Eric Green was beaten by Armstrong on a deep 40-yard pass from Pennington, but he got some measure of redemption when he also intercepted a Pennington pass. Fact is Pennington has thrown a good number of interceptions the past three days. I've counted five in total.

Patrick Cobbs continues to show fresh legs as he had the most impressive run of the day. He took a draw and burst through a hole and was in the secondary in a blink. I love this guy's quickness.

Cameron Wake also is showing improvement. He speed-rushed SirVincent Rogers once and basically left the rookie tackle grasping at air. In the coming days, the Dolphins will begin mixing and matching guys so they get an opportunity to play better competition. I'll be interested to see what Wake does against either Vernon Carey or Jake Long to get a truer measure of what he's about. 

As I reported to you on my twitter updates, RG Shawn Murphy spent the afternoon with the second-team after spending the first three days of training camp with the starting unit. Joe Berger took the first-team snaps this practice. Look, I will report to you when they change personnel at this position, but the fact of the matter is it's going to be happening a lot.

The Dolphins are searching for a right guard. And they will be plugging different personnel into the spot throughout the next few weeks until and unless someone grabs the job and refuses to let go. That has not happened.

And what about last year's starter out of camp, Donald Thomas? Remember those reports that claimed he was "ready to go." He's still not ready to go, as I reported to you. Yes, he's working. But he has taken a grand total of three plays in a team period. Why?

Well, because he's not really ready to go. It's going to be a couple of weeks yet.

OK, drumroll please ..... What follows is my daily Classic Training Camp Moment. It's kind of like tuning into Dolphins In Depth Classic instead of regular Dolphins In Depth. This episode from training camp in 1992.

At the beginning of the 1992 training camp, coach Don Shula decided he wanted to reward his veteran team by allowing veterans to go home a couple of nights a week rather than sleeping at the cruddy St. Thomas University student dorms.

Well, nose tackle Alfred Oglesby decided not to go home on one of those nights and instead headed out to a strip club in Liberty City. Seems he picked up a dancer, and headed back to her place, and one thing led to another, and next thing he knew it was 10 a.m. the next day.

He had missed meetings. He had missed a practice. He was in deep do.

Oh, did I mention Oglesby also crashed and abandoned teammate Richmond Webb's shiny new BMW 5-series that night?

Anyway, Oglesby shows up at camp and fabricates a story about being kidnapped by people who forced him to go to several ATMs and withdraw cash, then drove him to the edge of the Everglades and told him to start walking home.

Shula bought the story. Club Security Investigator Stuart Weinstein wasn't so sure. "He could have walked backwards back from the Everglades and the timing of the story still didn't add up," Weinstein said years later.

The problem for Oglesby is that Weinstein called Miami-Dade police to report the kidnapping. And upon arriving at Dolphins camp, they were going to take a sworn statement from Oglesby. And upon a professional police investigation of a high-profile person surely showing Oglesby to be a liar, Oglesby was going to face jail time for filing false police reports, perjury, etc ...

Weinstein made this clear to Oglesby who wisely confessed. Except that Shula had already given the media the player's concocted story. And Shula wasn't about to take the fall for Oglesby. So Weinstein and Oglesby had to go before the media and basically say that Oglesby fibbed.

That night, during the team meeting, an angry Shula informed his veterans their go-home privileges were rescinded because of Oglesby. The veterans were livid. And led by Mark Clayton, they grabbed Oglesby after the meeting and tied him to a tree.

If fellow nose tackle Shawn Lee had not untied Oglesby two hours later, he might still be tied to that tree. Not surprisingly, Oglesby was cut during that training camp.

By the way, I wrote this column for Thursday's Miami Herald. It talks about how the Dolphins are blessed. Read the column which tells you how. By the way, there's a classic training camp moment in the column. Please check it out.

Finally, you need to follow me on twitter if you're not already doing so. And if you have an IPhone, do yourself a favor and get the app as 1,500 people have already done. Yeah, a BlackBerry app is in the works.