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What's happening at this hour in Dolphinsland

The Dolphins are about to go into team meetings and coach Tony Sparano has already spoken to the press. This is what's happening:

Defensive end Philip Merling is walking around the team facility with a protective boot on his left leg. He has an ankle injury, according to coach Tony Sparano. The coach did not want to say whether the injury is serious or not.

It looks quite serious but Merling said it is not.

"It looks worse than it is," Merling told The Herald's David J. Neal.

Merling said he would be back practicing later this week. Joey Porter, who missed Sunday's game with a hamstring injury, was also in the locker room today and didn't seem to be walking with a limp. He did not speak to the media.

Sparano is obviously in a better mood now that Miami is no longer winless. He talked about being pleased he was with the two points of emphasis last week. The Dolphins emphasized turnovers and third-down conversions.

On third down, the Bills offense converted only 1 of 11 chances (9 percent), while the Miami offense coverted 9 of 17 chances (53 percent). Obviously, the Dolphins won the turnover battle, 3-0.

The coach isn't too pleased with the fact Chad Henne was sacked six times. Sparano is concerned because the Bills got those sacks without really blitzing very often.

"They had three sack against the interior line," Sparano said. "We gave up one sack that the quarterback has to get rid of the ball, and we had another sack where a guy [Ryan Denney] jumped over a guy [Ronnie Brown]." 

The Jets come with blitz, after blitz, after blitz. Sparano said the Dolphins must prepare for that. Left guard Justin Smiley said he watched tape of last year's Baltimore playoff game the other day and expects to see practically the same stuff against the Jets -- including some players such as Bart Scott and Marques Douglas.

The Miami offensive line is interesting this week in that it must contend with Rex Ryan's defensive lab experiments. But it is also interesting in that Nate Garner seems to be making inroads at the guard spot.

Garner took some snaps at right guard Sunday in place of Donald Thomas. Sparano explained that Thomas has taken a lot of snaps at the position in trying to get caught up from the injuries he's had and Garner has earned some snaps.

"I thought Garner did a good job," Sparano said.

Notice that Garner has apparently passed Shawn Murphy, who was starting at right guard to start preseason. Murphy was inactive Sunday.

The Dolphins rushed for 250 yards.They are today the No. 1 rushing team in the NFL. But, again, six sacks is six sacks.

"It's a good game at running the ball and beating up the other guy," right tackle Vernon Carey said. "But we have to be better with our protection. It wasn't the best game we had. It was a little dirty. So we have to clean up some things."

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