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The doings for the Dolphins as NE prep begins

The Dolphins are preparing for the Patriots today and that preparation included some interesting nuggets.

Coach Tony Sparano told his team that following a fourth-quarter meltdown at Buffalo, they were going to work on a fourth-quarter period in practice today. And during that period the coach wanted to see every play run right.

And so if a play wasn't run right, practice reverted back to the play and it was run until it was done right. That, by the way, usually does not happen.

"The message was that we have lights out there," Sparano said. "Whatever it took for us to get it right, we were going to get it right. And every player in that locker room was on board for that. Those guys are anxious to get it right. They really are. But to be honest with you, practice ran over about six minutes."

The Dolphins practiced for two hours and 35 minutes, according to Sparano.

As I reported to my twitter followers, center Jake Grove didn't practice today. Sparano said he's "getting a little bit better," as he nurses his ankle injury, but still didn't work. Joe Berger worked with the first-team offensive line at center.

It's a big week for Berger. He faces New England nose tackle Vince Wilfork, one of the most dominant NTs in the NFL. If you remember, the Patriots moved Wilfork to DE throughout the game against Miami Nov. 8.

That hasn't been the case since. 

"It really hasn't shown up since our game," Sparano said. "It's hasn't shown up. Two plays since our game, that move has shown up. I don't know why they did it since our game. I don't know if it was matchup or tendency of runs, those kind of things. I have my hunches, but I'll keep my hunches to myself."

Good natured, fun-loving dude Joey Porter talked to the media gaggle for a few minutes today. He didn't really say anything interesting about the Patriots, which is probably wise considering he fired that team up before the last meeting by saying they "cheated" him out of a Super Bowl trophy and that Tom Brady could force officials to call penalties at will.

He wasn't asked about that today, but The Herald's David J. Neal asked Porter if it's tough being athlete today in the fishbowl of twitter and facebook and cell phone cameras with the Tiger Woods scandal as the obvious backdrop.

And so Porter bit at that like a Great White on a defenseless tuna.

"It is what it is. It depends how far ya'll want to dig for a story," he told the gathered reporters. "Ya'll can dig as deep as you want to. It depends on what ya'll want to put out there. The athletes haven't changed. The access to athletes has changed. So I think we made ourselves too accessible to you.

"And at the end of the day it backfires on the athletes. We don't get to write a story about ya'll. The secrets, the stuff ya'll trying to keep away from other people and stuff like that, they don't write that story about sports writers. But athletes make that mistake, everybody wants to write about it. That's how it happens. Ya'll get to put all the stuff you do bad out there. Nobody put out the stuff everybody else do bad out there. So it's a one-way street. That's how it always been. If we don't give you nothing to write about, you can't write about it. That's how it go."

I'm going to miss Porter next year.

The injury report just came out. The Patriots have 22, count 'em, 22 guys on the report. Only one of those players -- running back Fred Taylor -- did not practice. He has an ankle injury. The Dolphins listed four players on their injury report. Aside from Grove missing, DE Lionel Dotson was limited with an ankle injury, while SS Yeremiah Bell (thumb) and RB Ricky Williams (chest) were able to practice full.

Final word that might be interesting only to me: After ripping his team for looking like a "3-7" unit during the fourth quarter of Sunday's Buffalo loss, Sparano was doing a little rehabilitation of his troops today. He made the point his team is 4-1 in games decided by seven points or less. He also noted the Patriots are 2-3 in those games. 

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Here's a clip from an article from CSNNE.com

"Without Brown, Dolphins offense still dangerous"
By Danny Picard


Belichick acknowledged that Miami had used the "Pat White package" successfully against the Patriots in Week 9. White's 45 yards on six rushes in the wildcat offense marks the only time this season in which he's rushed for more than six yards and which he's had more than one rushing attempt.

Even so, the Patriots aren't willing to take his skill-set lightly.

"We did a lot of work on him at West Virginia," said Belichick. "We know he can throw the ball. He was a good passer, and he is a good passer.

"Ronnie's not the passer that Pat is, and Pat's not the runner that Ronnie is, but they both can do elements of both," added Belichick. "That's how they give you problems. That's why they use them the way they have, they're effective. They both can run, they both can throw. They have enough versatility to put a lot of pressure on the defense."

==============================================================================================

After reading this, can we expect to only see Henne under center the whole game?

Will Hilliard, Pat White or someone other than Henne or Williams put up some points? Could some of the defensive players come of age and have a pick for a touchdown? Will the special teams score?

I swear, the injuries have hurt the Fins a lot this season and they taken the fans on a real roller coaster ride. Being ahead and then losing, coming from behind to win, definitely games that can't be watched in real time if you have heart trouble.

I'm not sure if you noticed in the Pats game that Belichick seemed to be biting his fingernails when the Fins were starting their final drive that could have given them the lead with 3 plus minutes left. Then Henne throws the interception, game over, literally.

Fins cannot make any mistakes if they expect to win.

No Pat White this week Also I'm getting a little tired of Tom Brady's whinieng and I'm a Michigan man. A real Michigan player Charles Woodson you think Brady would give up Two million dollars for sick kids no need GQ makeovers to look pretty here's hoping we treat him like N.O. did

You alls a bunch of flags.

Was at the game last week - it broke my heart. I did not want to believe we lost.. I am still in a daze about it..

I mean, I always believe we have a chance to win every game. I look at every schedule at the beginning of every season and feel we have a chance in every game..

Then this year we have had bad calls against us by the refs, lack of push off calls on a few opposing receivers, we've been decimated by injuries, yet we are mathematically alive... and I still think we can run the table and make the playoffs.

I see how we could have beat the Colts.. and did just as well against them as the Pats did... I see how we should have beat the Saints.. (bad calls / fumble) and played the Saint much better than the Pats did.. I see how we swept the Jets (even a 2-14 season would be a success if we swept the Jets), but I see these things and it gives me hope.

I am a fan - I Believe.

I wont miss porter next year!

If we beat the pats this week we will win the afc east, pats will go south and billecheat will retire at the end of this season.. I say the dolphins can win if they dig deep

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