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What answers do YOU have - with cool update

Maybe you know the answers.

Maybe you have seen things this preseason that have you convinced you are about to know what will happen in the coming regular-season. Me? I'm still waiting for certain answers.

In my Sunday Dolphins column I give several examples of areas where the Dolphins had questions when they opened training camp ... and still have those very questions as it draws to a close.

I mean, are we really convinced the secondary -- with a rookie starting right cornerback and less than stellar work against less than stellar competition this preseason -- will play like it has been truly upgraded? Or will we wish the team would have jumped into the unrestricted free agent cornerback market a lot earlier than the late signing of Eric Green?

Have the Dolphins found the playmaker that will get the offense "chunk yards," as Tony Sparano likes to say? Feel free to indentify him in the comments section.

Has Chad Henne convinced everyone that he ready to become a good starting quarterback and all he needs is the opportunity?

Has Ted Ginn Jr. shown you everything you need to see to feel confident 2009 will be breakout time?

Follow the improvements or lack thereof of these and other situations in the column. Then please tell me if the answers are apparent. And what those answers are. 

UPDATE:

I've been doing some research and some numbers crunching. This is what I've come up with:

The Dolphins starting offense has gotten 4 1/2 quarters of work so far this preseason. During that work, the unit has gotten three field goals and two touchdowns. That's 23 points, which is good.

Chad Pennington has had a very good preseason so far. I mean, very, very good. I would argue he's had the best preseason of any player on the team.

His completion percentage of 61.8 is down for last season's 67.4 but that doesn't really worry me because the tradeoff has been that he's been looking downfield a bit more than last season.

His yards per attempt is at 8.0 while last year it was 7.67. His TD percentage is at 5.9 while last year it was 4.0. And while he's completing more passes downfield, he's making fewer mistakes in that he has not thrown an interception. That makes his interception percentage 0.0, which is an improbable but welcome improvement from last season's outstanding 1.5 percent.

By the way, those downfield passes have brought the Dolphins hidden yardage also. Because Pennington went deep to Ted Ginn in the preseason opener, the Dolphins picked up a 34-yard pass interference penalty against Jacksonville.

Ever the perfectionist, Pennington today said, "I fell like I've been about a foot off with some of my passes." He added that he thought he could have completed 13 instead of 9 of 16 passes against the Bucs Friday. But that's not how coach Tony Sparano sees things.

The coach today called Pennington, "regular-season ready."

It has been a much slower go for Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams. Brown is averaging 3.5 yards per carry, all behind the first-team offensive line. Williams is averaging 3.9 yards on his 18 carries, with 16 of those coming behind the first-team OL.

The Dolphins have averaged 3.5 yards per rush behind their first-team offensive line so far this preseason. Not terrible. Not good, either.

The defense?

They've seemingly adopted a bend-but-don't break personality. Although the unit has yielded significant yardage, it has allowed only 16 points in 4 1/2 quarters of work this preseason. Opponents have scored only one TD and three FGs versus Miami's starters.

The unit does have work to do. I have counted 8 missed tackles so far this preseason -- or more than two per quarter of work.

The starters have three sacks -- from Jason Ferguson, Nathan Jones, and Kendall Langford. Yes, Jones is a starter in the dime package. Obviously, this mean neither Joey Porter nor Jason Taylor have a sack yet in 4 1/2 quarters of work. Nothing to get alarmed about -- yet. Taylor has been credit with three quarterback hurries this preseason but those are unofficial stats.

The starting defense has zero interceptions. Yes, Sean Smith has one interception this preseason and, yes, he is a starter now. But when he got his interception versus Jacksonville, he was playing with the backups against Jacksonville's backups.

By the way, it was funny to me that Tampa Bay named Byron Leftwich the starting QB Saturday. Watching that game again, I counted four passes, including a potential TD, that Leftwich blew with wildly inaccurate throws. Receivers were running wide open, but the plays resulted in incomplete passes because Leftwich was, as Bob Uecker would say, "juuust a bit outside."

That's good news for the Dolphins in the statistics column because the passes go down as incompletions. But Miami has to tighten up that coverage by the regular season because good NFL QBs such as Peyton Manning, Phillip Rivers, Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, Drew Brees and others likely won't throw four passes that totally miss the mark in the span of two quarters.

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Mando, how wuood.


Ja Ja Binks

Very interesting article Mando.

I am most worried about the pass defense. I HOPING that with blitz packages and game planning they will be better. I do think the rooks will have growing pains and the safety play of Bell and Wilson has been awful. However, with two weeks to prepare maybe they will get better. I think they are going to have the manufacture a pass rush.

Special teams will be ironed out by then.

However, the pass defense is very questionable.

NJ what's up bro? All this preseason talk hurts my head man. What is wrong with Justin??

Can't wait for the real games to start. Hey B. Pastermac, agree with you on the arm strength deal of Chad P. Every QB in the NFL can throw a 50 yard pass, period. However, arm strength does come into play as I stated in a previous blog. He is not a homerun hitter, but a singles hitter. That is ok and I am happy with him, you work with what you got, just saying..

Agree w/ Pasternack about Ginn, but only SO FAR- don't forget for how many receivers the third year tells the tale. Not concerned about the corners at all, safeties are a completely different story- we need a ballhawk back there BIG TIME.

If Bill Parcells wanted no part of T.O., what makes you think he wants baby T.O. (Brandon Marshall)?

reading these posts reminds me how dumb people are these two draft classes are amazing didnt anybody watching hartline,smith,long langford,davis,whiteand even clemons when he gets a chance these are starts people n two years r u kinding

n tuna i trust

Suggesting that we should trade for B. Marshall is absurd. Why would you want to risk your future for a trouble maker.

I certainly like what the Dolphins are doing right now; giving chances to their younger players (Hartline, Smith, Davis, Dotson, and Gardner); and trading the others that did not developed into better players to compete for the starting lineup (Ndukwe and Alleman - thank God he's gone).

Developing their younger players and giving them more experience will only help this team in the long-run. We're not at the Dallas Cowboys label in which we have the luxury of trading for better players in exchange for our draft picks. WE need to strengthen the nucleus of this team, by developing our younger players.

We are not going to the superbowl this year, but we will not be th worst team in the league.


PS It's a shame Louis Ellis didn't make the team, as he was one of my favorite FA, but happy because that only indicates that Soliai has improved; however, I'm surprised he was cut ahead of Ryan Baker..

I hope LB Kershaw makes the team; as well S Bryan.

Gooooo Dolphins!!!!!



OK kids the menace has arrived, Whats the topic tonite?????

It's whats going on behind the scenes at practices that intrigues me. I could be wrong but if Pat White is going to be a part of the wildcat he really needs to work as a reciever as well as q-back and rushing. That and I am still concerned about stopping the run. to me that is really a priority since the secondary may not gel right away. Trades? I believe we can make a couple very soon. We do need a specialist on returns IMO.

had my first fantasy draft yesterday, picked up matt forte aaron rodgers mcnabb greg jennings gates dallas clark and chris cooley anthony gonzalez marion barber ray rice kevin walter kenny brit mia and phil defenses and carpenter and janikowski as my kickers. Cuban or anyone else how do you think i did?

Good update Mando and fair enough on your points. I would only counter that just because some of us recognize this as a building project, that will take longer than the one year others have given them, does not mean we don't enjoy watching our team grow and on the contrary we do care very much about the season. But we're also very realistic about the teams talent and of its need to endure some growing pains without giving up on young players and signing TOO MANY pricey aging vets ala JJ, Wanny, and Shula (in his final couple of years). So for me it's not that I don't care about now, it's that I understand now is not the time. It's great to have high hopes for your team and hell yeah I would love to see a cinderella story season that's written in the pages of the NFL history books. But the fact that BP and crew haven't signed a couple of big time free agents to get us over the hump leads me to believe that no matter what they tell their players and the rest of us they themselves also know that now is not the time.

Good article. I don't think anyone, including the Trifecta, thought we were going all the way this year. No need to sign pricey vets...Maybe after one more good draft we will make a strong push.

Trade for marshall?!! U have got to b joking! That's the worst idea since we made wandstadt head coach!

sanchez the new MVP this coming season fish dead fans .he will kick your QB HENNE's ass in the first game we meet you losers .

if henne's arm is stout why do his passes hit the dirt?

Jet in Love,

Let us wait for the season to start. Then let us see where Sanchito is at. I cannot wait til we get to Sanchito. Keep on dreaming pal.

ace, what is your take on HENNE ? i always thought he's bust b/c they never let him start . hope no insults coming my way .

Hey jets in love first Sanchez needs to be rookie of the year before becoming MVP but that's gonna be difficult when your throwing on your back

Mando , Good to see the calling out of the db's , particually the safties have played poorly. One more question , who's smarter , your average kindergarten student or justin incredible ? Yoyr thoughts . Thanks

Jet in Love,

You say you always thought Henne was a bust because the never let him start. I don't know what to make of this.

Henne will be fine. I think he will do his time on the side this year, with some limited play. He will be ready in 2010. Here is my point with Sanchito. Do I want him to be a bust. I say no. Only because the Jets would suck so bad and end up getting good picks in the draft. I say I hope he only does good enough to get his Jets no better than 8 and 8 or 7 and 9. What I am saying is that I hope he becomes an average QB, but not a bust and and not a playoff caliber QB.

call ebonics?,

I would say the Kindergarten student is smarter. That being said, I guess even a Spider Monkey would be smarter than Justin.

ace, HENNE always has this look like he's the best qb in the world and never shows modesty .i predict he will be gone by 2010 not starting 2010 .so far no insults....nice

Mr Ace , i would go 1 further and state a ROCK has a higher I.Q than justin " incredibly " stupid.

these lovely people who brings in justin every 20 minutes must be living in the south 60 years ago.

Human,

What do you mean? Justin is a common name. Who do you think we are talking about?

Jet in Love,

No insults. Only thing I know is that I want is for my team to win. You want your team to win. I dont want Sanchez to be a bust for the reasons I explained earlier.

Here is a thing that I don't think many people have touched on. Why is Ted Ginn one of the starting WRs? I mean honestly, I'm not trying to bash Ted Ginn, but why is he given the starting WR automatically, he has done nothing on gameday! Brian Hartline earned his starting spot, Bess is a great slot, and I think Camarillo would be better suited for the other starting WR spot. Again, I'm not trying to bash Ted Ginn, but he is showing nothing! This team picks their players based on what they do out there, and as of now, he hasn't showed me much.

call ebonics,

Please tell us why you feel this way about Justin? I think I know, but our audience would like to know too.

ACE, tell me a story about your first love .her name, how she looks and did she have a good hand .

Human,

Name confidential, looks - beautiful, very good hands, mouth, body,...why am I doing this?

Did I mention her mouth?

what's the best part of being in love ? any body knows ?

why when a cheer girl in football game is a burnet all fans keep staring at her ?

the best part of being in love is when she starts cooking for you

Andre Goodman made a great breakup in the endzone of a sure 25yd TD pass against Cutler in the 1st half tonite.
Bowles coached him up good, just like he will with our current DB's.

he best part of being in love is when she starts cooking for you

Posted by: human

yea cooking up the fur burger with extra sauce if you know what I mean...... yea you know!

We need a real receiver and a real running game and Ronnie Brown is NOT it. They should get Marvin Harrison, yes old, but experienced and still get a couple of years from the guy, also he can help develop all the new receivers on this team. But so far this pre-season Ronnie Brown and the running game have not done anything to impress, same 1 and 2 yard gainers same as the last 10 years of this franchise.

why would want to start HEnne when Pennington just gave you a 11-5 playoff season? That's the reason Henne is on the bench.

If Pennington starts 0-3 this season, yes, make the move, but until then keep Henne on the bench.. DO you actually think he'll give us a 12-4 season this year?? Come on, now!!


the answer to why ginn is a starter.....well he does what is asked of him and in the 2 yrs hes been playing i havent heard him complain about not getting the ball.... hey teddy run deep on this play again we know the ball isnt going your way but sell the run anyways ...."ok coach!" now any of the other recievers everyone wants miami to get ..hey run this deep route again no the ball is not coming to you and sell the route .."!@#$ that crap i want the ball i dont care whom it opens up routes for!"

I think until Miami gets that homerun ball there offense will be to perdictable.Even the wildcat was becoming predictable at the end of season last year. Without that real deep threat they'll be about the same

Just to piggy back on that answer miami1354 gave. Ginn is on the other WR that demands a double team or a safety over the top. He's the reason the opposite reciever gets to play against man to man. Also, you as a fan looks soley at the numbers to determine if Ginn is doing his job. Coaches are watching every route he runs. Just because the ball wasn't thrown to him, doesn't mean he didn't do his job well. I wish fans would understand this and get off the kids back. If he wasn't doing his job, he wouldn't be playing period.

Also, to the poster on the other page who said that Ginn won't ever be Andre Johnson or Randy Moss. No chit sherlock, keep expecting that and everyone we ever get will be a failure. High expectations or what?

Sorry.. Ginn is the Only WR that demands a double team...

Armando peeks in on his chat room and says the phins not ony want to win in the future, they want to win now also. ... No freaking duh. Every team wants to win now and build for the future, but it is the subtle differences and nuances in emphasis some of us are talking about. Go ahead with whatever you were doing Armandito.

Most of you people really show you have no clue. IT IS THE PRESEASON. We have no idea what schemes, or strategies this team will be using when the bullets fly for real. Do you think the defense has done anything to give away how they'll be using JT and JP when it counts? Have you seen Pat White do much of anything? There is a reason. This group of coaches gets it. There is no reason to lay your cards down in the preseason. I am sure they will be a completely different team come opening day. Yes, we'll still have weaknesses, what NFL team doesn't? It is the coaches responsibility to hide those the best way that they can. Let this play out. Stop (GOD PLEASE STOP) bashing everyone and everything the team does and sit back and enjoy the ride. Be a fan! Support Ted Ginn (Yes, and his family). Support Henne, support the coaching staff and the decisions they make. They will not be right 100% of the time. But, then again neither are most of you. We have a 1 in 16 chance of playing in the Super Bowl just like everyone else. Is it our year? Only time will tell. Now go do something productive with your time. Like for example, go to a JETS board and remind them how bad the JETS SUCK SUCK SUCK. Just leave our team alone.

Agree with you , Mike

everybody needs to take in preseason .. evaluate what we know, based on fans - NOT coaches. Nothing worse than negative flow of words with 'what should've been' in draft picks. Gosh - look forward to hopefully another team-building season! We're on the right track ... not coughing up $$$$$ for aging players just to 'buy a championship' Grow our own, with young players and strong coaching /GM. Go Fins!!

so the starters have no INTS... we haven't gotten alot of pressure on the QB...
what worries me is NOT being able to run.. less then 4.2 yards per carry avg. is unacceptable..
from a $150+ million dollar o-line !!!

Please stop using the phrase "trifecta" you people have some blind loyalty to Parcells that borders on creepy.

There are still a ton of guys out there on the Free Agent wire!!

I'm glad the Fins went with the rookie CBs. It will pay off in the long run and probably later this year. Smith/Davis will be starters and possibly pro bowlers in the league.

Hartline will be the chunk yard guy with Bess and Camarillo the 3rd WR for some extra chunks. Camarillo would be the starter but he needs some time to get back to 100%

Henne still needs more work. He would have it if not for Penny being himself. Think Henne as a 2 year Carson Palmer (provided he eventually figures out how to look off safties and not stare down receivers).

We'll have to wait for the season to decide on Ginn but he has shown improvement and that's all we can expect at this point.

I'm not yet happy with pennington. 8 yards a pass sucks, but more importantly, HE LOOKS TO THE DUMP GUY FIRST, AND HIS THIRD DOWN PASSES (that are always completions) adds to his stats but rarely get the effin first down!
Also, if we don't pick up another veteran cornerback right now we are going to
Be sorrry!!
Lastly, ginn has been pathetic. I loved the pick, even above Quinn, he has the quality to be a Devon Hester, but he is afraid of getting hit!!!

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