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Dolphins beat Saints 10-7 for perfect preseason

The Dolphins did that which you must appreciate after the last game of the preseason: They came out mostly uninjured, they progressed from that bad outing vs. Tampa Bay last week, and they won.

Bring on the regular-season!

"I thought we struggled last week as a team against Tampa and that's why we came out tonight with one goal in mind and that was to execute," receiver Ted Ginn Jr. said. "I thought we did OK. Now it's time to play real football -- to get into a real game week and show what we are made of. I know we had a good preseason, but in a week or so the games count for real and that's what's important."

The Dolphins got notable performances this night from cornerback Sean Smith and quarterback Chad Henne. The concerns come in the form of a knee injury to cornerback Vontae Davis and another special teams outing that can only be described as a debacle.

Sean smith Smith had a sick one-handed interception (left courtesy Chris Graythen of Getty Images) that brought his total for the preseason to two. He had the only interceptions in the secondary this preseason. And, it should go without saying, he is in the starting lineup for the regular-season opener against Atlanta Sept. 13.

"I think this guy has tremendous ball skills," coach Tony Sparano said. "He was a receiver prior to playing in the secondary. I can remember when we started watching fiml during the draft process, out scouts showing me a play of Sean making a very similar interception like that. I believe it might have been against Wyoming or something like that. It was almost a similar play to that. You could see his ball skills show up then."

While the news is great on Smith, it is not so on Davis, who injured his left knee in the first half of the game. Davis was walking around with a protective sleeve over his leg after the game. But there was no brace and no apparent concern on his part about the injury.

"I think it's OK," Davis said after the game. He was told not to give full details of what the trainers told him and he complied.

Davis was limping but he has 10 days to treat and rehab the injury.

The Dolphins have 10 days to treat and rehab their special teams that continue to be an enormous concern. The concern this night came in the form of a 55 yard punt return touchdown by Rod Harper.

"We've got to take a look at this film," an obviously displeased Sparano said of the return. "I'm not sure what it was. We've got to look at the film. We've got to get better at it."

Moments after saying this, Sparano was seen pointedly questioning special teams coordinator John Bonamego about the play. It was, according to eye witnesses, not a cordial conversation. And it should not have been, frankly.

The Dolphins got themselves to the perfect preseason nonetheless because their backup quarterback Chad Henne played well while New Orleans backups Mark Brunell and Joey Harrington played poorly.

As I wrote in my column for The Miami Herald Henne recovered from last week's poor outing against Tampa Bay. He led Miami's only TD drive of the evening. He completed 11 of 16 passes for 89 yards. His QB rating was 82.6 which was better than last week's 16.1.

"I'm happy with the progress I've made but I know there's more out there," Henne said. "I'll watch the film and correct what I did wrong and go from there."

It also helped Henne that he didn't sit for three quarters and then get thrust into the game in the fourth quarter. But as a reserve quarterback, the truth is he needs to be ready to play and play at a high level at a moment's notice.

The Miami defense, both first and second teamers, chased Brunell and Harrington. Brunell threw the interception to Smith. Harrington was sacked eight times.

Charlie Anderson had two sacks, Tony McDaniel had two sacks, William Kershaw, Reggie Torbor, Rodrique Wright, and Lionel Dotson all had one sack each.

Miami coaches came into this game with perhaps a handful of open jobs/roster spots available. One of those was the starting receiver job opposite Ted Ginn Jr. Last week, rookie Brian Hartline seemed to take a huge step toward winning that job.

But a funny thing happened on Hartline's trip toward starting in Atlanta. Greg Camarillo and Davone Bess. Miami's coaches simply feel more comfortable with the two veterans. And although the top four WRs on the roster are Ginn, Bess, Camarillo and Hartline, it now seems the Dolphins are more comfortable with a veteran than the rookie as the starter.

"We're trying to regain chemistry because it's been a revolving door," quarterback Chad Pennington said. "We've worked a lot of guys in camp and now we're trying to hone in on the core guys who will be making plays for us on Sundays."

One WR who will not be active on Sundays? Patrick Turner, who was inconsistent much of the preseason and was practically invisible this night because he didn't earn much playing time with either Pennington or Henne in the game. Turner caught only one pass for six yards.

Finally, I'm curious to see exactly what, if any, use the Dolphins have for Pat White by the season-opener. They have had these great plans of using him in the spread offense -- a sort of second generation Wildcat package -- since they drafted him.

But as a QB, White has struggled. And those struggles continued Thursday night as he completed 2 of 6 passes for 13 yards. His passer rating was 42.4.

Yes, the coaching staff can pluck four to five plays they like for White. Yes, those plays might change the pace of things against teams. But if White is going to be effective in that role, he has to be a threat to complete passes as well as run the ball. A passer with a 42.4 rating is not much of a threat.


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Good game fins..defense was looking awesome..they had constant pressure on the qb..btw I know it's preseason but what is up with pat white..he was overthrowing receivers by 20 yards! Never thought I'd say this but that pick might have been better on a wide receiver in the draft and we could have held on to Beck as our 3rd string..that deutsch threw for 232yds and 2 TD for Baltimore tonight.

I still think Beck will be a decent starting qb.

Hate to say it people, Pat Whites still a rookie. His numbers arent any better or worse than some of the games great qb rookie numbers in thier first season.

Look up the Mannings, Elways, etc..etc.. Im sure you'll find some "real stinkers" in the path ways of thier hof careers too. I'm beginning to think because he's black he's beginning to be stereo-typed by even our own fans.

I like white he is a rookie and needs time to lean were he fits in the NFL as QB (what works at this level for him), he needs time but I would not hold him back from doing somethings he can be effective at right now like runing the ball (as a QB) or playing the wild cat let him build some confidence while he picks up the speed of the NFL, remmeber he's a lefty and that's why his WR drop so many of his pass ( the ball spins diffrent our WR need to get used to a lefty) give the kid time I see Him fit right in with us.

The common thread throughout the persistently unsatisfactory special teams play since last year has been the coach, Bonamego. Players are accountable and coaches should be too. He should be reassigned or fired. Enough already.

Beck and Cam can have each other. I'd be willing to wager that when he's not playing anymore (soon), the 232 yds Beck threw for on Thurs. will be his career-high. What happened to the ravens supposedly vaunted running attack? Could be bad news for Balmer fans. Too bad we have to wait until the playoffs to have a chance for a possible rematch. But I doubt they make it.

Taylor and Porter will co-lead the league in sacks this season, with Wake garnering double digits too. Sean Smith wins all-around Rookie of the Year while posting ten INTs. Dolphins go 12-4, win AFC East and defeat the Giants to become home Super Bowl Champions.

Good summary Mando, but just a wee bit too harsh on PWhite---only because he was playing with real scrubinis & had horrendous field position. Insofar as he is learning to take center snaps, throw w/o gloves & w/ a new throwing motion, he's progressing. I really like him on roll-outs.

Dying Breed - You're an idiot. Judging a guy on a 2-6 performance has nothing to do with his skin color.

Wow I can't belive that Miami Dolphins fans would be called racests because they think that a guy stunk up the feild last night, and oh ya that guy happen to be black. I wont insult the writer of that comment, as I think the comment insults himself enough all ready but he is obviously a raciset himself.

Pat White has played in four games and a bunch of practices and nothing yet has impressed anyone with any football knowladge. The kid was billed (by the media not the Fins) as the next M.Vick. He still has a lot to prove and he still hasn't shown us any glimmer that he is an NFL quarterback.

Yes he does have a strong arm, there are four QB in Naples Florida (where I live) who play for highschools here that also have really strong arms and could have stood, in pads, in the Dome last night and overthrown receiver after reciver and shown off there strong arm. In the end there no more an NFL QB then White.

Not because he is a Black Man but because he can't play the game at this level yet.

The problem for Pat is that Wanstadt or Cammron or Saban are not the head coach anymore and the guy who is here won't wait long to move a player on who dosn't at the very lest show improvment.

We will see. It's not like we spent a second rond pick to get him (feeley) and it's not like hes expected to start asap (he's the 3rd QB) so we can tuck him away and see what he has learned next pre-season. If he plays then like he did last night I would suspect he will be changing his address.

Again, not because he is Black but because of his evaluation as an NFL football player.

Dying breed you know Silence do Good was NJ

NJ is out on a service call for roto rooter..

I think Miami has a problem and it's to score the TD passes. Thank's God for Ronnie Brown and Patrick Cobbs.

Yeah, need ST coaching changes. I mentioned this a week or so ago and got jumped on.

One of the problems with HCs is that they are very reluctant to make coaching changes, especially during the season. Sparano needs to do it now or it's going to be more of the same the rest of the season.

I have felt all along that we squandered our first two picks in the draft. I feel like we should have taken one of the good recievers that were available with the first pick and there were a couple of good defensive players available when we took pat white. The second pick we had in the second round (Smith) was an excellent pick. Turner seems like hes going to be a bust as well. So Smith and Hartline look to be the two guys that are going to stand out from the draft for us. Hopefully they will learn to make better choices in the future drafts.

You put the Man in Mando!

Dying Breed--Football fans possibly being racist in the way they (pre)judge African-American QB? I'm shocked, shocked....

Don't let NJ & his Krew silence you!

John Bonamego is not the answer to special teams. I hope he's not a crony of Sparano because he should be fired - special teams suck - period.

Tony needs to dump this guy now.

Otherwise the Fins look solid and I expect a playoff appearance again this year. Everyone is worried about the schedule - but it should be the teams on Miami's schedule that should be worried. This team is strong, big, gritty and mean.

I hope they kick Atlanta's a s s!

Go Fins!

Sean Smith, number 1 play on sportscenter!

nj is turning the blog from football to some thing else .
please stop it .

Mando - you need to get over hating Pat White. You have a serious problem - get some help!! You and Brian McMullen must be related (and, by the way, Brian, you might want to proofread your comments before you air your ignorance to the whole world - do you even have spellcheck?) I can't believe the Dolphins own fans are tearing White up after so little time on the field. A little patience, PLEASE!

Sinorce Moss scored 2 TDs last night...he ain't going nowhere. Can I write articles too and call it 'Fin Speculation insider?

Sanchez sure looked good last night......WAY better than Henne.......strap youselves in Dolphin Fans....The Sanchez era is about to start, and Sanchez-mania will sweep the nation.

Dirty Sanchez will SUCK!!

Its only preson but Sean Smith had one hell of an interception WOW. Lets just hope for a great season and that we beat our division rivals.

castor....this is a dolphin blog....not the yets

NJ pelase speak up so you can defend youself from all the HATERS.

fishfan5689 you better leave Armando alone, we are lucky to have him. Why dont all you kerks stop hating on him! I am mad

Henne has a loooong way to go. As a long time dolphin fan and Looking at rookie QB’s around the league being happy about one drive in four pre-season games would be like kissing my mother in law in the lips ridiculously absurd and thankfully unrealistic. Keep up the pressure on this kid! He needs to show up every time he steps on the field. Danny Boy was consistent from day one of he’s carrier and I am not saying he will ever be a Dan Marino in uniform for the dolphins because Dan was and is a class act all around but a little consistency from the second year QB is all we ask. Good job pennington keep up the consistent work. Go Dolphins 2009!!

Dying Breed, I also hate to say this but a lot of rookie QB's have also had really bad games on the way to becoming really bad QB's! Lets hope this is not the case but it's probably far more likely.

Special teams will be our demise unless some changes are made, to me the rest of the team is looking solid as of now.

I think Finheavenblows! is right. Mando called it on Sinorice Moss in that he would be a huge special teams upgrade for the Dolphins. Too bad he might not get cut now. But that guy can play.

Also, please fire Bonamego immediately. He hasn't stopped sucking since he got to Miami.

I would be severely disappointed if the coaches don't use White in some creative fashion this year. The team was so decimated from years of bad management that they can't afford to throw away high draft picks on a 3rd string QB. I'm guessing the idea that they won't use him in Wildcat or spread plays until he is ready to be a starting QB is a smokescreen and we'll see him get some action in week one or two.

2009 Dolphins Song by 13 year old musician... Check it out and please comment...


Dolphins will Rock in 2009!!

Pat White played with the 2nd team o-line and 3rd team skill players in some cases. Wait til he's throwing to ronnie,ricky,ted,bess, etc. He does seem to chuck the long ball w/o any touch but that will come with confidence, he looked better than vick did though, and his 5-9 scripted plays will be run/options like ronnie last yr, i think he'll be fine.

And as for the spec. teams TD, wasn't that the 2nd team covering? My only concern is the screens, we like to get so much pressure that every team will try that on us, esp. Atlanta, who loves to screen anyway, expect alot of them wk.1 with turner

They need to say, SORRY to the fans for throwing away a 2nd round pick on a pygmy, to short to see anything other than ass crack at the line.Cut him now, don't keep paying him QB money, don't keep him around like Jason Allen. Just admit the mistake and move on.

Look fellas... The defense looks good-- they will keep us in alot of games. I am worried about the 1 to 2 yard runs we had most of last year. I sure hope this line can wear some teams down, otherwise it could be a long year. Pat white looks like a deer in the headlights. What is with that helmet anyway? We will win 9 or possibly 10 this year...it will come down to the last few games to determine if we can make the playoffs. We are still 1
year away fron OWNING the division!! Go Fins!!

Here's some observations that have weight but are seldom discussed. Have you all noticed how disciplined this team has become? For example 3 penalties-17 yards in last night's game, the exception of course special teams performance, not happy with that, then there is the physical appearance of the team, those are gun's on those boys arms. Supporting how effective that conditioning is, is the overall health of our boys in aqua & orange at the end of preseason play. One observation as a side note on nasty, did anyone catch Chris Clemons jacking (POW-POW-POW) number 81 of the Saints during the game. I thought it was indicative of the soul or maybe the heart of the Phins, (You better bring your A game, we will!)

gshock, testify!!

NJ is a crab infested crotch and his cronies here are his pubic hairs. I now officially you announce you as STD. You may now scratch and itch the bride.

Why the hate for NJfin fan?????

finheavenblows - I'll get off Mando's case when he gets off Pat White's case. In fact, all you PW haters need to take a chill pill. He has multiple MVP's and set all kinds of NCAA records, so he must have been doing something right. You can't expect him, with the very limited playing time he's had to overcome the changes asked of him since arriving in Miami; namely, he's been asked to change his mechanics AND he's had to adjust from shotgun to under center. So, let's not expect miracles right out of the gate. There's going to be a lot of Dolphin "fans" who have to eat their words and I, for one, hope they all puke on them.

I hate to say this but it looks like we are in trouble this year. The safties on this team are horrendous (Gibril Wilson got to go)and unless we get severe pressure from are front seven, we are going to be in for a long yr. Also, I like Chad P. Even though he was a jet but please can we throw the ball down the field. I know we play safe but it takes us 20 plays to get down the field and get a field goal... I just want more aggressiveness..Still love my dolphins but i just think after 11-5 last yr. It is going to be 10x harder to get back to that record this year.

It doesn't make any difference how many gold star's Pygmy White received in kindergarden. He's a Umpa Lumpa that walk's under bathroom stalls. This is the NFL.

I like the Phins chances. I like it even more that nobody else believes. Pat White is allright. He is just new and will fit in. I am just waiting for a surprise play on the kings of the NFL, the media darlings, the new england patriots. I am hoping Pat White is involved and smokes them with whatever Sparano has up his sleeve. Burn the Jets, and beat Buffalo up in Buffalo in a snowstorm. We will win all six games in our division. They won't know what hit them. Oh yeah...Pain

We wont truly know what we have in this team until we have 4qtrs of ball from the starters. The real questions to be answered are:

1. What effect will the run game have in qtr 4

2. Will the dink and dunk lead to occassional
deep td's

3. Can we stay serious injury free to key

4. Can we keep oposition "chunk yardage" to a

5. How long will ST coach Bonamego keep his job
based on ST's lack of consistentcy.

Curse you Vikings for taking Harvin!! So the first 2 picks are questionable and the Fins still need WR's and OL. Help??

the cuban menace is more like a plague then a menace. he should quit while's he ahead and take up sum old lady hobby like knitting or stinkin up the couch.

The NCAA record book is filled with names of playas who sucked in the NFL.

first we batter henne, now we are on to Pat!
In case no-one noticed when henne had the first team out there he was 7-7. Why haven't we put up penny's passer rating this week. Ummm

There are so many classless so-called Dolphin fans out there - just follow the posts of Phin4Life, along with Omar Kooky and Harvey Fialwhatever. Phin4Life - what is that, your prison sentence. You sure write like it.

Miami looks solid in every aspect of the game besides our "Oh so SPECIAL TEAMS". I think Chad Henne is ready for the NFL with a solid O-line and a good set of Backs, both of which the Dolphins have. However, one more year of experience will only do him good as it would give him the experience to lead other rookies and established veterans. Pat White was braught in with one goal in mind, Sparano will use his skills ocasionally through out the year when the time is right. I see this team defending the division title and once again making the playoffs. I'm excited about this season as I have ever been, go Fins!

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