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Tony Sparano breakfast: The quickie take

Tony Sparano has just finished an hourlong breakfast meeting with the local media.

This is the synoptic (look it up) version of the most pertinent points:

1. Sparano, who declined to name Chad Henne his starter after the 2009 ended, named Henne his starter today. Henne is the starter and Sparano confirmed an earlier Miami Herald report saying Chad Pennington is the No. 3 QB.

2. Sparano did not name the No. 2 and No. 4 QB but that is quite obvious. Tyler Thigpen starts out at No. 2 and Pat White is the No. 4.

3. Sparano said Pennington is the No. 3 because he doesn't need as many snaps as the mystery No. 2 guy. I asked the coach if Pennington's surgically repaired throwing shoulder has rehabilitated to the point he can throw a 15- to 18-yard out and he said, "Yes."

4. Sparano said there was "100 percent" attendance at the start of Miami's offseason conditioning program Monday. That included restricted free agents Anthony Fasano, Ronnie Brown and Quintin Moses. Not present at the program was guard Justin Smiley, whom the team is trying to trade.

5. On Smiley, Sparano said his injury history was part of his evaluation process but the coach said, "other things were also involved" in the decision to break ties with him.

6. Sparano shot down the ridiculous rumors that Phillip Merling will be moving to OLB. He (the player) weighed 295 pounds at the end of the 2009 season. Yeah, he's a 3-4 defensive end.

7. Sparano opened the door for the Dolphins chasing older unrestricted free agents the remainder of this offseason. In the past, the team has concentrated on UFAs that generally were in the 25-28 year old range because those were still in their prime. But desperate times call for desperate measures. So Sparano said the "philosophy is to find the best player" regardless of age. My opinion? Keep an eye on unrestricted free agent safety Darren Sharper.

8. It doesn't sound as if Jason Taylor is a big priority for coming back to the Dolphins. At this point it looks as if the team is planning to go on without Taylor in 2010. I asked Sparano if the team intended to bring the team's all-time sack leader back in 2010 and Sparano said, "I'm not going to make a comment on that ..." before going on to saying JT is a "super guy" and that he "enjoyed having him on my team."

9. Sparano said the team is obviously not hiring another coach for the outside linebackers. Last year Miami had an ILB coach and an OLB coach. Bill Sheridan will handle both ILBs and OLBs this year and defensive coordinator Mike Nolan will also be involved in the process.

10. Sparano said he'd feel comfortable if the wide receiver corps going into 2010 was the same as the 2009 wide receiver corps "because we know exactly what we're getting." OK, step off that ledge because I still expect the Dolphins to draft a wide receiver (or two). The coach has to say this because it's part of his job. And I have to share it with you because it's part of my job.

11. I asked Sparano his reaction to the string of arrests this offseason, three in all so far, and whether he might ever cut a player based on being convicted after an arrest.

"Obviously we're not happy about it," Sparano said. "Absolutely I'm not happy. Anybody that brings negative light to the team disappoints me. At the same time the team is getting all the facts on  this ..."

The coach said he would weigh a player's history when deciding that player's fate on the roster following an arrest or conviction. 

12. Sparano said newly signed Richie Incognito is "more a right guard-type of guy for us right now," suggesting he and Donald Thomas will compete for that job. The question is who starts at left guard when Justin Smiley is no longer on the team?

The obvious answer is the team can move Nate Garner to left guard where he started a game last year and played a lot. "We're going to put all of them out there and let them go and see what happens," Sparano said.

13. Incognito's reputation for suffering lapses of anger were partially the cause of him being dropped by St. Louis. Sparano addressed those lapses.

"We spent an awful lot of time together," the coach said. "This wasn't something that was just done very, very fast. We did our due diligence this way with Richie. But in spending our time together I wanted to hear why he thought some of these things happened and then I wanted to voice my opinion on where we were. And where we are right now is one of the lowest-penalized teams in the National Football League for the two years that I've been here. It is a way to win and lose in this league and not something that I'm going to tolerate. I think Richie understands that very clear. One of the things, I think, with Richie is to get a fresh start, a new start. I'm looking forward to being able to help him with that."

[BLOG NOTES: Check back as I'm updating as I write.]


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Actually it's large, fast and productive players...strength comes from the weight room.

WR could use upgrading, but we are a running team that needs to play good Def to win. The defense needs players a lot more. There is a lot of youth on the WR group. Wr's develop over time. Look at S. Rice on MN, sure he got Favre but he blew up last yeah. I would love to add a WR to the mix, but not at the expense of improving the DEF.

Funny how there is a new opening at left gaurd. Mike I in the draft maybe?

Fishypete. hild please. big strong smart and productive. the end.

I'm with you NJack. I want a WR somewhere in the draft but want defense more. Miami's defense was horrible last year. There has been some addition by subtraction with cutting Porter amd Wilson. The signing of Dansby was big as well. The defense has added anything else though. Miami needs another OLB, FS, NT and in that order to me. There is no one one who capable of starting opposite Cam Wake and that's assuming they let Wake play. At FS Clemons and Culver but who knows if they can start because they weren't ready last year to unseat Wilson. At NT I like Soliai but not completely sold he is the answer so addressing the position somewhere is a must.

NO way, don't even start the O-line talk. Yes the Left Tackle was a #1, look t the rest of this group, these guys don't use #1's on O-lineman, they find them later, trade for em.

The 2 biggest holes are OLB and FS, those holes are too big to go anywhere else.

Yup I am with you on your order Andy. I think NT is definitely 3rd. We have some guys they like and have been working with there. OLB and FS are weak with no depth. They have to be addressed first.

You won't see a receiver drafted for a couple of years. Team built from inside out. Funny how Henne got sacked alot by rush up the middle. Also the ball was run up the middle on us like the great divide.You will see offensive gaurd 1st round NT second round.New offensive line J Long Mike I[draft] J Grove R Incognito V carey. I just hope the fans will understand.

Jamillion - You stated at 11:01 that trading Smiley would free up salary cap space. It is an UNCAPPED year

ZERO chance this group takes an OG in the First Round, ZERO

better value for guards later in draft. prob only see one guard go in 1st. kid from idaho. I don't see miami going there.

Don't have time to read everything but saw this and thought it deserved mention. We always want to hand out a PLUNGIE, but what award do we have for a BURN post of the day?

lol, so far, my vote goes to:

Dolphins F.O. sucks at drafting? You suck at thinking.

Posted by: carlito from golfito | March 23, 2010 at 11:27 AM

If Dez falls to #12 the Phins will trade with Dallas for there #1 and #2. We WILL take the best gaurd in the draft then Mike I. Then we have a lower #1 and two #2 and two #3 if we get a 3 for Smiley. Plenty of other players in round 2 and 3. With those picks you will see NT and LB. They took receivers last year and will see if they develop. I like our team if no injuries occur. Still need depth.

is it just me or is Nancy Pelosi jus f**ng hot ?

bang that iron box all night

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