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No drama but plenty of surprises this preseason

As I wrote earlier this training camp, this has been a drama-free preseason for the Dolphins. Not much that was out of the ordinary happened.

Some players stepped up. Some stepped back. No one of consequence has gotten hurt.

But there have been some surprises. And most of the surprises are pleasant so far.

I would categorize strong side linebacker Quentin Moses as a pleasant surprise. His chances of making the team when camp began seemed bleak. He was deep on the depth chart and with Matt Roth and Jason Taylor ahead of him, his prospects didn't look to bright.

But then Moses batted a pass here, registered a sack there, defended pretty well against the run over there, and batted another pass over there. And now, Moses looks like he's about to secure a roster spot on the team, particularly as Roth seems headed to the physically unable to perform list.

“I think Quentin’s progressed nicely," Tony Sparano said Monday. "I think that he’s doing a good job, to me, at the point of attack. I’ve seen, I’ve seen just a lot of improvement out of Quentin since the time that we’ve started now, you know, with him this year. Particularly starting in OTA’s, I seen a lot of improvement out of him. So, stronger player, better knowledge of the position, one of those things."

More surprises?

Look no further than rookie Sean Smith. Drafted in the second round, he is on the verge of locking up a starting job for the regular-season opener. He's tall and big, he's physical, he has excellent ball skills and the coaches love the fact he doesn't back down from opponents. He fights back and battles as he did against Tampa Bay when they started picking on him a little bit. Smith also has the secondary's only interception of the preseason.

Paul Soliai has been something of a pleasant surprise. He was overweight this offseason. The microscope was on him because he had this reputation as not being a good professional. Well, he lost the weight and is playing with great motor of late.

He has locked up the No. 2 nose job behind Jason Ferguson. He has begun to earn the respect of people high up in the organization.

Brian Hartline has surprised folks. Few rookie receivers are good enough to challenge for a starting job right away, particularly ones drafted in the fourth round. And yet, Hartline is on the verge of earning that job if he produces against New Orleans as he did last week against Tampa Bay.

Hartline is today leading the team with 107 receiving yards and a 21.4 yard per catch average.

Randy Starks hasn't really been a surprise, but he's opened eyes with his ability to earn a starting job. That starting job at right defensive end had Phillip Merling's name all over it. Merling had the starting job at the start of training camp. But Starks has been better in practice and mostly better in games, particularly on early pass downs, when he provided some solid pressure.

It has been surprising the Dolphins haven't really gotten their tight ends involved as much as one might expect during this preseason. Anthony Fasano has one catch for 2 yards. David Martin has two catches for 12 yards. John Nalbone has one catch for 3 yards and Joey Haynos has not caught any passes in the preseason.

There are other mild surprises, I know. But if I outlined them all for you, you'd have nothing to do in the comments section. Well?

Add more suprises. 


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I don't think Soliai would fit under a microscope

How about Hilliard?

Hilliard seems destined for the practice squad again, he was a flavor of the week and he sputtered out against the bucs and remember, all if not most of his yards came against 2nd and 3rd stringers...

I was surprised by Matt Roth, not all surprises are good ones....

I thought crowder has look very good lately! Very surprised and happy!


I don't really agree with you on Hillard for one simple reason. None of our running backs looked good in that game. The running game as a whole looked bad. He had the one fumble but he doesn't seem fumble prone. At least not in games. Not sure if he puts the ball on the carpet during practice though.

I think Pennington improved arm strength is a the biggest surprise and Henne not being able to challenge him at all. Especially with how most had the kid as the next Dan Marino.

Fellow Fin Fans an even surprise can happen at the end of the season if Pennington continues to perform like he id last season and Miami locks him up.

Soulja, How about Chris Williams, good surprise at first, bad surprise in the end

Quentin Moses , Baby !

"I think Pennington improved arm strength is a the biggest surprise" Robert

You are kidding, right?

Sean Smith!

I think Pennington has looked good this preseason and will probably even surpass his numbers from last year

LMAO@ Ace , i was just about to say That .


I agree that the running game as a whole looked bad in the Tampa game, but I also think that the guys saying the Phins should trade Ricky Williams to make room for HIlliard are insane...

the only good surprise is if we get Marshall from the Broncos!! lol
They traded away their franchise QB why not a receiver also! lol
what a clown the new coach is.... had to come from the Pats!!

Biggest suprise as far as disappointing for me is philip merling. After the performance against the jets in the last game and miami getting rid of holliday , i thought he would step it up and become a starter.

Guys , good night !

i agree with ace, penny's throw look terrible during the tampa game. (the only game i saw, and it was wet, but looked so so).

Soulja, ody, nj I am out


Think there's room enough for you and Armando to swing from Moses nuts?

Just kidding. You called it on that one bro.
Moses has been kicking A%S

Odinseye , yes i did call it on moses didn't i ? ( patting myself on the back ). good night buddy.



Peace Out!

NJ Phin Fan,

You did call it on Moses. Nice job cuz!! He looks like a player. Wouldnt it be nice if he's starting within a month and JT can go back to just scaring QBs?

Armando left out Cameron Wake. No one knew if he would even make the team when this whole thing started. But he's a player, has a great first step, and he can flat out just get after the QB. It's nice when your backup linebacker can get after the QB like that.

One more pleasent surprise: Shaun Murphy. He was useless last year, and this year he was in the conversation to be a starter. Thats great progress out of a 4th round pick I thought was headed to the trash heap very fast.


I am not sure why anyone is surpised after the contract $$$ that he receieved.

DISAPOINTED that they let Goodmnan go. He has looked very strong in Denver and our replacements have been a joke for much more money. Bad decision!!!

Sean smith and vontae Davis are no joke. Have you even watched them play? Wow.

The Matt Roth situation is not drama?

Donald Thomas has looked pretty nasty at times for tho O line.

The big surprise is that you aren't getting dumped on as much this year. To me, the surprises will start in the first game.

Hilliard will be picked up by the Pats if we put him on PS.





However to me it has to be ROTH.

He's a baby like the one's that Michael and Uncle Sam likes to play with.

Like the one's that NJ and the worst president in US history BUSH would send to war to fight for their punk @ss instead of fighting themselves.

But unlike them most of the FINS are not scared to step up. They may not always be PRETTY like ACE little cute @ss. Sticking up for his man. But these DOLPHINS are winners.

(YO NJ you and ACE are B.O.Fs now that's sweet.)

LAST TIME I HEARD 12 out of the last 13 games the DOLPHINS won.

12 out of 13

So what were you saying jet fans.

GOPATS no really you're gone.

++++++++++++ ++++++++++ ++ ++
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4 LIFE!!!!!


PENNY will throw 4,000 yards

GINN 1200 yards

BROWN 1400 yards

I was surprised by Moses and Wake. I don't think I've ever seen this much pass rushing talent on one team (and not just the Dolphins). I know Wake has trouble in coverage, but I thought he'd have a harder time make the transition from the CFL. He is routinely running by tackles (he looks like Dwight Freeny with that shoulder dip move he does so well).

What's the record for most sacks by a team in one season? If everything falls right, I think the Dolphins can challenge it. If the offense can put up some points early and make other teams play from behind, they got 4 or 5 linebackers who can really rush, plus Lankford and Starks up front get a great push on pass plays. I'd rather have this group rushing the passer than the Steelers with Greene and Kirkland.

On the negative side, our big name FA this year and our big name FA last year are both gone before we even cut to 53... I wonder if Green and Wilford fell into the money trap. "I got mine, so what do I have to work for now?"

If there is any problem I see with this regime it's the less than stellar record in free agency.

Good that Soliai can fit under the microscope now.

Davis and Smith will prove to be one of the best defensive back combos in the NFL.

Henne will be a great quarterback, just like that other guy that came from Michigan, you know, the one that plays near Boston?

Matt Roth is the biggest suprise to me....all we've ever heard about this guy is his toughness...motor....& heart then this.....I would really LOVE to know the whole story behind this....probably never will know the truth tho.....what do u think Armando????

my pick is chad pennington.

the A/C joint injury & repair(shoulder)he suffered takes 12-18 months longer to return to normal functioning than a ACL,PCL,MCL,LCL (kmee)injury does.

Akia, 2nd base with the TB Rays, came back from a ACL,PCL injury, late May 2009, in less than 90 days. amazing.

that means somewhere mid-to the end of the season Chad was at close to full function regarding his shoulder.

his off season work was evident in that "over the top" throw, not an under thrown-come backer to Hartline deep down the sideline & that reverse roll out TD to Fasano against Tampa.

He knew he was going to take a hit as well. He hit Fasano in the numbers with a crisp throw across his body on the move.

Re-sign Chad Pennington.

Apparently Justin Credible, having exhaused the English language, has resorted to using Morse Code to post his inflammatory juvenile crap.

Justin ace is ok. NJ has already confirmed who you think he is. not much on reading are you? funny how it's ok for you to bash people and say whatever you want but the minute someone else does you blow up about it. talk about ignorant. keep your comments to be only about the dolphins. you sound as if you have a semblance of intelligence when you do. anything else and all bets are off.

Gary you give Justin too much credit. you have to use the English language in order to exhaust it. Now if you had said ebonics..........

I will begin posting as soon as I finish watching Glenn Beck show, so I know what to think.

NJ phin,
Bout time u watch something other than Oberman!! U can only have a tingle in your leg for so long....

My biggest surprise is how Greg Cote sucks more with each story!! Now it's Brandon Marshall!!!

the biggest dissappointment has been chad henne. ater we annointed him to be the heir to the throne we found out he can't play. why not let him prove himself first like everyone else. he is another john beck; mediocre at best.

I think the biggest surprise is our consistant lack of a running game behind a line that was supposed to be upgraded from last season. I mean I know it's preseason but I was expecting a little more from the o-line play.

I would agree that Pennington looks like he is stonger-but it's not like he's got a bionic arm now.

My biggest surprise is how everyone is so high on Lex Hilliard....let the paties have him..
he is not very good....watch the games....

at the end of the the Dolphins team will be
the biggest surprise..SB champs


I am dumber for having read your posts.

NJ Phin Fan:

Do you have a new man crush and does Vontae Davis know about this?

I'm surprised I still have a job after writing the same stupid article over and over and over about which loser player the Dolphins should get.

Donald Thomas's speedy recovery from two serious injuries over a one year span surpised me. On the negative side, I didn't expect Henne and Jake Long to be as inconsistent as they've been. Hopefully nothing more than some preseason rust.


What the he|| is wrong with you? A couple a days ago, you go off on a rant posting 18 times to uncle sam. I thought you were on something that day. You think nj and sam are the same person? I cannot confirm on deny that. Then you call me"pretty". Is that a compliment or what? My advice to you is to stop talking politics and the white stuff and you will be ok. You want to insult me fine, you wont be the last one here to do that and you are not the first. Yeah I got friends on here, just cool dudes that are passionate about the fins, kinda like you in a sick way. Remember, I got my eye on you. Chill

confirm on deny that = should be confirm or deny

One last thing Justin
What was this?

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Oh I know, this is your brain on drugs. Any questions?

I tried watching the bucs game on Justin.tv. What a pain. Kept freezing up & missed most plays. Does everyone else have that problem?Bush NO longer worst now that Obama has become our first militant communist fascist President hell bent on destroying this country

I think Eric Green getting cut so early in camp was a surprise. I expected him to win the starting job opposite Will Allen. I believe the plan was for Green to hold the job for a year, possibly two, until the rookies were ready to step up. The fact that he didn't even make the team and was cut so early in camp was a surprise to me.

"jason Taylor would first have to make the team" lol, yeah right, good one!

Moses has stood out, the D not giving up many points, the wildcat plays working again,

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