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Clearing out the Friday notebook

We know tight end Anthony Fasano had a terrible game Sunday in that he caught two passes and fumbled both, thus giving the Atlanta Falcons two of the four turnovers the Dolphins suffered.

But what goes relatively unseen is the fact Fasano had an otherwise good game blocking.

"One of the funny things is Anthony in that game last week is one of the things that goes unknown is that he probably had one of his best blocking performances since we've had him here," Coach Tony Sparano said Friday. "I really thought he blocked well at times in that game. Protected well, run-blocked very well in that game."

That does not excuse the fumbles, obviously. But it does give you some perpsective of what really happened.

Sparano, meanwhile, has not lost confidence in the young tight end.

"And of course, there's two fumbles that are uncharacteristic of Anthony Fasano," Sparano said. "I have a lot of confidence in Anthony as well as all my players and I know that's going to get fixed."


As I reported to you earlier in the week, Monday night's game against Indianapolis will be sold out. The Dolphins continue to sell tickets but only a couple of hundred remain and those will be gone by the 8:30 p.m. deadline.

So the game will be televised nationally ... And in South Florida.


We sort of take for granted that Jason Taylor is a 13-year veteran and, as such, shouldn't have to think about getting into his stance. It should be second-nature.

But it is not.

After playing for over a decade out of a three-point or four-point stance, Taylor is still not quite comfortable in the two-point stance he is using a majority of the time in Miami's 3-4 system.

"I'm getting more used to playing in a two-point stance now coming out, particularly in pass-rush situations," Taylor said. "In years past, I was always in a three-point, or really a four-point over my career. I think I'm still more comfortable in the three or four-point. I've done it for so long. I feel more explosive. I feel a little better coming out of it, but what we like to do down here is play out of a two-point, and that's the 3-4 system, and I need to learn how to create that same explosion and quickness out of the two-point.

"It's a work in progress. At times I catch myself wanting to inch down and get back in a three-point, but I'm working on it."

The stance is defined by how many points of your body touch the ground. Standing up, both your feet are touching the ground thus defining two-point stance. One hand on the ground is a three-point, and both hands on the ground is a four-point.

"Coming out of your stance in a three-point stance or a four point stance, which I believe Jason liked to use at times, is a lot different than coming out of your stance in a two-point stance," Sparano said. "The false stepping, the actual rolling over of the front foot in a two-point stance is a little bit harder than it is coming out of one of these four-point stances from a leverage standpoint.

"Your natural reaction would be to false step when you're in a two-point stance. And if you false-step, advantage [offensive] tackle. I think that in a three-point or in a four-point stance, it's a lot easier when you get high on your front hand and you get your butt way up in the air, to roll over your front foot. Dwight Freeney is going to do it however many times we throw it this week. That's just the way he plays. I think if you took that guy and stood him up, all of a sudden it's like, 'Oh boy,' because the the rolling over of the front foot and the none-false-stepping part of this whole thing sounds easier than it really is."

That kind of makes Taylor's sack and quarterback hurry against Atlanta a litte more impressive.


The Dolphins are headed for some personnel changes, or at the very least, some assignment changes on special teams.

The coaching staff wasn't pleased with the 18.4 kick return average in the Atlanta game and has decided it wasn't an issue with either Ted Ginn (18.3 yards per return on three tires) or Patrick Cobbs (18.5 yards per return on two returns).

The problem was with the blocking and Sparano vows changes.

"We changed up some roles," the coach said. "We'll get some different people doing different things and see how that goes."