Dolphins coach Tony Sparano just finished his first press conference of the season, a productive session with some news nuggets. Here they are:
*Sparano said every player on the team passed their conditioning test and it seems the injury questions that plagued in the offseason are mostly resolved. [Update: Two players did not practice today. Pat White and Evan Oglesby were not at practice. Sparano had said a couple of players might miss the work today due but wasn't specific. The coach refused to discuss White missing the work. And seriously, how important is this? the guy is the fourth string QB? I'm not all that moved by his absence one way or another.]
*As I reported last week, Brandon Marshall and Ronnie Brown are "ready to go," Sparano confirmed. Both will practice today at 2 p.m.
*Wide receiver Patrick Turner (unspecified injury) is 100 percent and will be working after missing all of the offseason camps and OTA sessions. Nate Garner (foot) is practicing. Obviously Phillip Merling is out, but we already knew that.
*Quarterback Chad Pennington is healthy, according to Sparano, and ready to compete "for the backup job." Pennington missed most of last season following shoulder surgery.
*Sparano said the issue with wide receiver Brian Hartline's abandoned truck on I-75 incident has been resolved. Hartline, the coach said, was cited, he paid the cititation and the case is closed. The Herald is seeking confirmation of that from the Florida Highway Patrol. [Update: Confirmed. Hartline said, "It was a silly situation and we took care of it. I'm just ready to play football. I'm glad it's over with."
*Sparano said he's lost 55 pounds since the end of last season. He looked trim, with no belly pooch.
*The Dolphins today waived guards Ray Feinga and Dimitri Tsoumpas and announced the signing of Jared Odrick, Koa Misi and Charles Grant -- players you knew were signed days ago.
*The coach talked about what he wants to see out of his revived and revamped defense this year. "I want to see the defense turn people over," he said, referring to his desire for turnovers.
*Sparano said the club will keep defensive end on the active roster for now. But we know Merling is out of the year and I reported in the previous post his Achilles' tendon injury is serious and he will either go on Injured Reserve or the Non-Football Injury list. The Dolphins are also expected to cut Merling's salary, based on the fact they can and he suffered his injury away from the team.