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Start of the College Weekend...

Armando's out so this will be David J. Neal doing my best Earl Morrall/Don Strock for the next few days. Thanks for the welcomes yesterday. Oh, by the way, I won't be policing comments as vigilantly as Armando does and I'm certainly no prude, but please try to keep it clean.

From September through December, Thursdays make me nostalgic the college weekends that started when I walked out of the last class or filed my last college newspaper story on Thursday.

Vontae Davis went through all the drills at practice, yet didn't appear to be moving smoothly. He again said his knee was OK, then ambled off looking terribly stiff. Offensive tackle Andrew Gardner had an excused absence. On Atlanta's injujry report, defensive end John Abraham fully participated at practice Thursday after limited practice Wednesday. Safety William Moore didn't practice with a bad hamstring, missing his second straight practice.

Each Thursday, the coordinators will be unmuzzled and allowed to speak to the media. They went about 20 to 25 minutes earlier than scheduled today, so I was in the midst of a McDonald's run when defensive Paul Pasqualoni spoke and was just coming back in with Darlington's Chicken McNuggets and my Double Quarter Pounder meal when Dan Henning took the podium.

Perhaps most interesting was what Henning said about Pat White. Saying White joked with him after the preseason that he's becoming a "four-minute expert" after closing the preseason games, Henning said, "That was his job under those conditions. But, he never got an opportunity to show that he can do other things and, if he has to go into the game, I'm confident that we're in a position that right now, we can manage Pat and we can win with him."

Of course, we'll only find out this season if both Chads go down. Unlikely, but hardly impossible.

One of my main themes this preseason has been "cheap points." Last season, aside from the Wildcat stuff, the Dolphins scraped by week after week without getting many quickie touchdowns -- special teams touchdowns, big plays out of the base offense, interception or fumble returns for scores or that set up touchdowns. With unspectacular special teams also not helping with field position, their touchdown drives tended to be laborious affairs, relying on a minimum of mistakes and maximum effort. Excepting the Wildcat debut and the game against Kansas City's buffet defense (take what you want, when you want), the Dolphins had 28 touchdown drives. Of those, 18 were longer than 70 yards.

Just because they were able to do it for 16 games last year, often against teams that would need GPS to find a first down marker, doesn't mean the odds favor them doing it again. You can have a good defensive game against Atlanta, New Orleans, Indianapolis (although Indy might still be in Getting Comfortable mode), New England and Houston and still wind up allowing 24 or 28 points. That's why Sparano wanted to see more from Chris Williams ("I see a guy who can change the field..."). It's why they really want Ted Ginn to develop into a true big play receiver.

I asked Henning if they would be more explosive out of the base offense. He asked, "Are you saying we weren't last year?" Well, yeah, I said. He pointed out Pennington was top five in yards per attempt (actually sixth). Then, he quickly admitted that's not yards per completion.

"Who was it, Bum Phillips, who said statistics are like a loose woman -- you can do anything you want with them?" Henning said. "We will be as explosive as people allow us to be and we had some players that are obviously explosive players -- Ricky, Ronnie, I think Teddy's an explosive player. I think, at times, Pat Cobbs can be an explosive player based on system and what they're allowing you to take. I saw in the playoff game last year, we had Davone Bess catch a pass and go 45 yards down to the 3-yard line against the Ravens.

"So, we are attempting to be what we can be. As John Wooden would say, "To be the best you can be, that's being successful."

Maybe I said this yesterday, but today, you could feel the malaise even more during the locker room and media sessions. Players, Sparano, media all just want Sunday to come so there's something else to talk about.

I'm usually not big on lists from the national publications. That said, The Sporting News put together a panel of 106 experts that actually included Hall of Fame players -- which the actual Hall of Fame selection committee should start doing -- to select the Top 100 players in the NFL. Peyton Manning came out No. 1, Tom Brady No. 2 in a mild upset. The top defensive players were Washington's Albert Haynesworth at No. 6 and Baltimore's Ed Reed at No. 7.

The only Dolphin on the list was Joey Porter at No. 48. The Lions actually had two players on the list, wide receiver Calvin Johnson at No. 82 and linebacker Julian Peterson at No. 72. With the trade (but not yet reporting) of Richard Seymour, the Raiders have two players on the list.

Personally, I find little to choose between Brady and Manning -- Brady has more rings mainly because the Pats defense threw it down hard in the Super Bowl against the Rams and in the 2003 AFC title game against Indianapolis -- but Reed would be my next choice. Whether blocking punts, returning punts, returning punts or fumbles, nobody changes a game like he does when he gets his hands on the ball. I can think four games just off the top of my head in which the Ravens were getting gangsta slapped and an Ed Reed play swung the game 180 degrees. There's a great NFL Films clip of Herman Edwards, then with the Jets, screaming at Lamont Jordan to not throw a halfback option pass with, "No, no, no! Ed Reed!" Sure enough, Reed picked it off and took it house to house (called back on a dumb block in the back by Will Demps).

That's my opinion, for what it's worth. I might update it more a little later. Talk amongst yourselves...

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Any idea which players will be on the inactive list against Atlanta. Im thinking Patrick Turner and Lionel Dotson will be on that list. And what is the number of active players for a game is it 48.

Dear Mr. David J. Neal

"Armando's out so this will be David J. Neal doing my best Earl Morrall/Don Strock for the next few days"

I would also like to see your Elton John to Armando's Liberachi or your Roy to Armando's Sigfried.

Soiled :)

Can you just stay. Like not let Arman-doh! come back. He sucks. Alot.

Less sensitive, more sensible. We could get used to this. (Not that Armando's not miles better than GC, at the sort of thing GC gets paid to do. In fact, I blame the "coaches" at the Herald; they're playing people out of position, and the worst first.)

David, your a joy. F - Armando, sick of his whining and deleting.

What are some of the match-ups we should watch for in the Atlanta game? Here are a couple of mine

Atlanta running game against Miami front seven- Michael Turner is averaging 6.9 yds a carry this pre-season. If Miami can contain the run first, then we will win this game

Miami's receiving corp against Atlanta's secondary-Yes we're all thinking we're going to run it down their throats, but I look for Fasano and Ginn to have a major day. If they can't do it against Atlanta then I may start to worry.

Anyone else have some match-ups?

Brady is over-rated. He is a product of Belicheat. (Cheating so bad they had to burn the evidence to protect the shield.) As time passes from the cheating, and older players don't give up big dollars to play for a ring, the Patsies (and Belicheat in particular) will be exposed as the frauds they really are.

Phins to repeat as AFC East Champs!!!

Match-ups...Smith vs Atl passing game

Dear Mr. David J. Neal


"Can you just stay. Like not let Arman-doh! come back. He sucks. Alot"

"Less sensitive, more sensible"

"David, your a joy. F - Armando, sick of his whining and deleting"

You must feel like the Belle of the ball with all this brown nosing and sucking up.

Soiled :)

Sammynole,

you mama never love you?

I love the Miami Herald. Sun Sentinels Omar Kelly sucks.

carlito...f you too. go 'fins.

Dear Mr. Carlito from Golfito

I have tried for countless hrs looking for Golfito on google earth but cant find it.

Does google earth block it from view for national security ?

Soiled :)

Golfito is in the Puntarenas province of Costa Rica. Southwest corner of country near to the border of Panama. Try to find it on map first. Hope this help alot.

Sammynole just mad because his Seminole been very bad for many year under leadership of senile old hillbilly. Don't take you frustration out on pobre Mando, especially when he not here to defend himself. This is not the action of man, this is action of coward... or Seminole fan

Go Dolphin!

My matchups:

no Lawyer Milloy or Dominique Foxworth returning, Atlanta's secondary might be worse than Fla. St. lol. They did sign Tye Hill and B. Williams (sp) but there is a reason these guys were let go (think eric green). I f we can't throw on Atl., we will know right away we got issues with passing game.

the big matchup for me is Tony Gonzalez and whoever or however the dolphins decide to play him, can our backers stay with him? or do we spy with a safety? we'll see. The first pass of the game will be to Gonzalez to get him going early, bet on it.

Turner, as good as he is doesn't bother me, it's our tackling, we have the speed and power to be in position, but like the panthers game w/ Deangelo Williams, poor tackling can cause a big day and gass our defense early. We must wrap up and get off the field on 3rd downs.

Expect the Falcons to do a lot of screens to try and keep our front seven honest, esp. when they have preseason tape of it working on us for a couple big plays.

the thing i will be excited to see the most is our red zone plays, how creative will we be and will we see any Pat White? prob. not but i wouldn't be surprised to see a Pat option in the red zone. And the matchup of our o-line vs. the falcons undersized d-line.

The matchup I want to see is Pennington vs the Falcons defense.
I've been in this room for 2 years demanding frozen ropes to covered receivers. You have to give the receiver a chance to make a play.
Anybody can throw a lob to a receiver that's open because the defender fell down.
I saw jacory harris play like a man, now it's Chad p's turn.

Say does anybody remember the seven dirty words you cant say on tv or radio?

Chuck,
By the third touch of Pat White's career he'll be a permanent starter and our most potent offensive player.
Check that. Pat White is already our most potent player on offense. By the third touch of his career he'll be a permanent starter.
Forget qb. Forget wildcard.
Think Wes welker.
Throw Pat white the bubble screen 10 times a game and he'll put up 250 yards.
Can you imagine Pat white running the ball in space with Long and Grove out to block for him?

Madness

matchup to watch for me is dolphins defense vs run. If dolphins win this battle, they win the game too.

Ur doing great Dave, but how did Armando get injured?

You know who SUCKS, is Channing Crowder!

Just wonderin,
I posted the 7 words but the post was blocked. They were all words to describe men that lay down with other men in the same we that we lie down with a women.

Carlito,
If you see cuban menace tell him that Leticia is looking for him.

7 words:

Sh*t
p*ss
c*ck
c*unt
motherf*cker
c*cksucker
&
t*ts

Chuck-

That's a great analysis. I especially like your take on defending the run. Though I think tackling issues probably were resolved by Sparano.

I think they will screen a lot as well in order to disrupt our blitzing schemes. If we run man-to-man that could possibly lead to some big plays. I am not sure if that was the defense we were running when our D got burned on screens.

Pricemaster-

Good analysis on both posts. Yeah, if P. White was a receiver even in the Wildcat package with R.Brown under center then the possibilities are endless because I am sure Brown can complete a screen pass no problem. He can run in motion and Brown can keep or hand-off...man I hope we see some sizzling stuff like that. Though I'd settle for a 10-7 win if it cam down to it!

3 touches and white is the starter. Not if he gets those three before 2011

7 Words:
H0m0
F@ggot
@ueer
Si$$y
G@y Boy
Lesb0
Carpet Muncher

Carlito-

I agree. If we stop the run or at least contain it to a minimum then we're ok. Though I am not under the delusion that Turner and Norwood will not have some yards-I just don't want to see a third and long that Turner turns into a 35 yard score. I don't think we can win a shoot-out vs Atlanta, but I don't think we'll have to.

Awful blog post. You could have just linked us to that dumb ranking list. How about some real journalism and insightful Dolphin information?

Pmaster-

Funny stuff. You forgot butt prate

and B0nesmoker

Rdiorio & BuckeyeFinFan,
The wildcard is a great back door strategy when no one has practiced against it.
When you're on defense and the offense lines up the wildcard you simply play man coverage with your corners and os linebackers, run blitz your inside linebackers and the safety takes whoever snaps the ball.
That's why they stopped using it in college for the most part.
It's not some unstoppable offense that the Phins invented last year. it's been around for 50 years.
Now forget about Pat white as a wildcatter and think of him as you would Reggie Bush.
Pat White can run every play that Bush does but better.

turner won't catch squat. he had what 8 catches last year? norwood could but he is kinda banged up. haven't seen white catch the ball so can't comment on screens to him but i'm on board with him in the redzone running the ball. pennington will light atlanta's secondary everychance he has.

Sammo what's up bro?

Ready for the game? I want to see how our defense will stop their running attack. I will be happy then. Few sacks would be nice too.

Pricemaster

I fortunate to never have see cuban menace with my eyes, only his words in typing.

Who is Leticia? Is she pretty? Is she a dolphin cheerleader? Go Dolphins!

Leticia is probably horrible looking if she is with cuban menace

nothing much Ace my friend. sitting around and relaxing before i head to a crazy birthday bash tonight. i'm am ever so ready for our season to start. i haven't been this excited for a dolphins season in years. i think ryan gets sacked at least 4 times but hurried alot more. also want to see sean smith display his mad play macking skills!

making my bad

David-
As good as Ed Reed is, a safety's effectiveness certainly correlates with what is in front of him, roaming behind that fantastic defense allows him to make many of those plays due to the excellent execution that is typical of those other 10 guys, best safety in the league, but if I'm starting a franchise and Brady and peyton are off the board, & I'm up picking 3rd, There is no chance that I am taking a safety

the best coffee comes from the beautiful COSTA RICA .I KNOW MOST FIN FANS DRINK MOSTLY THE CHEAPEST COFFE BUT IN CASE YOU BECOME MORE PROSPER PLEASE DRINK costa rica's COFFE .

That blog suck!

you suck ,this is the best blog ever .

Where is JT?

Miami needs to look into signing Shaun Smith! He can easily improve this team at DT!!!

Take your fair trade coffe and shove it!

Gopats, you right, costa rica have a nice coffee, Jamaica too. Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee very expensive. I don't drink coffee though.

Go Dolphins I hope they feeling good for the weekend

didn't smith sign with the lions?

Where is Ronnie Brown? Or do pro bowlers don't make the list.

David -- great post, but I have to turn to this monstrosity of a comment:

""Who was it, Bum Phillips, who said statistics are like a loose woman -- you can do anything you want with them?" Henning said."

Can you please supply contact info for Mr. Henning? I need to forward to my local N.O.W. chapter (of which I am president).

BTW...it made me LMFAO

Standly23...how are you ?

i have to go to buy pizza dough for my girl to make us a pizza w/ anchovi and fresh mozzarella and basil

I hope The Herald waives Armando.

Carlito & samminole,
Leticia: white pumps, white cigarette pants, white tank top (or halter), 5'4", 130 lbs, about 30 yrs old.

Love my Fins but until we get a score from anywhere type of player we will never make it to the promise land of being SuperBowl Champs. Remember though where we were last year at this time and we all knew it would take several years to get the players we needed so remember true fans, patients. Now lets kick some arse!!!!

I'm good football kicking off tonight, Canes break FSU hearts once again, now just need phins to take care of business, and I wll be even better!


Henne sucks, Go Dolphins!!!

Dolphins 31 Atlanta 28

OK Guys the menace haqs arrived, Whats the subject tonite???

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