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Dolphins primer to the Bucs preseason game

You get to watch the Dolphins in a game for the first time tonight since last January 3rd. Can you believe it?

For those of you outside of South Florida with satellite on your TV, the game will be on the NFL Network at 7 p.m. For those of you in South Florida, the game is on CBS-4. For all of you, there will be a live blog that includes you and me right here starting at 7 p.m. I'll put up the post for it when I arrive at Sun Life Stadium.

The Bucs do not come to town with a full squad. Tight end Kellen Winslow (knee), cornerback Aqib Talib (personal), cornerback Myron Lewis (hamstring), running back Clifton Smith (hamstring), defensive tackle Brian Price (hamstring) and safety De'von Hall (undisclosed injury) did not travel with the team.

Many of you have read my opinions and reports about who is impressing and depressing the first two weeks of training camp. Let me give you a different take from faithful Dolphins in Depth reader Greg Z.

"After watching every practice for two weeks we came away impressed with all the new guys. They looked fresh and hungry especially Jared Odrick, Koa Misi, Karlos Dansby, Tim Dobbins, Richie Incognito, Brandon Marshall, Nolan Carroll, Tyler Thigpen, Roberto Wallace, John Jerry etc.

"Sean Smith looked lost at times and hasn't proven himself as a corner. He doesn't get low enough to change direction. Jason Allen was suprisingly good in practice as a corner. I was disappointed in the O-Line and also Chad Henne in particular. Henne just doesn't look comfortable (very stiff) and doesn't "feel" or sense pressure when the D is coming. [He throws] too many checkdowns when there were open receivers downfield. I don't understand why Henne was annointed before winning the job.

"Tyler Thigpen looked better to a lot of fans and he directed second team players. I'm sure everyone has a different take on what they saw. Thats my two cents."

Wow.

I would agree with practically everything Greg Z said except on Henne, Thigpen and Smith.

I believe Smith did indeed seem out of sort early in camp, but he has gotten better of late. I was of the opinion he would be pushed for the starting job by Will Allen but that is now not going to happen because Allen is gone for the preseason after another knee surgery.

It is true, Henne doesn't get the ball out as quickly as he needs. He doesn't seem comfortable at times. But thrown the checkdown is something coaches want him to do. And he, too, has looked better in drills lately as training camp has worn on.

Thigpen? He is what he is, in my opinion. He is feast or famine and no consistency at all. He can be amazing one minute, terrible the next. He can thread the needle on a dig route one down and overthrow a nine route by 10 yards on the next down. It is what he has always been. I think it is what he will always be.

That's my two cents. See you at the live blog tonight.

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Thigpen - feast or famine?

It's interesting that many fans only see the feast part of Thigpen and proclaim him so much better than White. Those same fans seem only to see the famine part of White.... No doubt Thigpen got a big boost in the year at KC when he was allowed to run wide open. You can take risks when you are the third QB on a losing team. It worked for him most of the season but if you really look at his stats you see he peaked early and then leveled out once opposing defenses figured out his tendencies. He finished with a 76 rating but he posted two games over 100 in his first four and nothing near that in his last four.

FWIW I think Thigpen was told the job was his to lose (which may have been the cause of White's issues). But I don't think Thigpen has won the job at all - he's still too inconsistent and he still turns the ball over. Sparano may like the feast part a lot, however the famine part may be Thigpen's undoing.

wow, i didnt expect to be in the article but we did watch 2 wks of practice and formed a few opinions. mike nolan has done a great job with the D; amazing really after last years mess. the new players are really exciting to watch with new and improved energy. the weakness on D is the CB and FS position. sean allowed alot of big plays and the free safetys are a weakness. the OL was very porous as they were moving guys around constantly. the D looked alot more polished and had their way with the offense sending multiple blitz and rush pkg.s the QB position was a weakness to watch. pennington really has a feel and command but throws a floater. henne can fire it but lacks loft and touch. white looks like he did last year. thigpen could suprise if it was an open competition. the coaches actually had henne in a drill stand by the crossbar and throw it so the ball would have to clear the crossbar(to get loft) before the waiting receiver would catch it. needless to say easy for tyler;difficult for henne. coaches want the ball to clear those outstretched hands of the LB's downfield. also in the sprints tyler beat everyone by 5 yds everytime. undrafted rookie r. wallace looked better than pat turner as the 5th receiver. sheets and edds will be missed. alot of players hurt on artificial turf (bubble)

thanks mando. I guess we'll see for ourselves tonight.

Hey Zeb, if Henne goes down in a game who would you want in.........not White ,,,,pleased.

I think Greg Z's comments were terrific and on target, but I also agree with Armando's observation of inconsistency with Thigpen which sadly has prevented him from winning a starting spot in this league. When he came to the Dolphins and threw some balls, moved around in the pocket, I thought man why can't this guy get a job? Then after ints and mistakes you realize why. When I watched Henne last year it was almost like settling, but you had that safer feeling, plus he has a strong arm, youth and potential. But the glare of the lights will be on Henne this year, and potential isn't enough anymore.

I think any thinking Dolfan knows that the QB has been a question mark for a long time and it's possible our eventual QB isn't on the roster. But every one of us is hoping, praying, we're wrong and Henne steps up, and grows enough with this team.

We don't need a superstar QB if we have enough working parts on Offense, if it's clicking, IMO it still may not be. While everyone was worried about the D, I remain very worried about an offense that struggles, that is a pale version of many other offensive packages we face in games. THAT is what Henne is stepping into, and the cards he was dealt, which honestly doesn't seem fair to him. (Sure, we have Marshall now, so when teams eliminate Marshall what do we do?)

I expect, as last year, the O line to look like swiss cheese until they settle down and Sparano stops shifting them around. So I'm not going to judge them too harshly in preseason. But I want to see some glimpses of life in the other positions, I want to see if Henne can get the ball to our playmakers, I want to see if receivers have any YAC, if Hartline and Bess are benefiting when Marshall is on the field and if our running game is getting a boost as well. If not, that's bad. Can we use our tight ends as receiving tight ends and not just for blocking? Are we going to be a different offense this year - or be the same offense under the same coach? That's the bottom line. The changes on the D are fantastic, including coaching changes. But if we expect to go to the playoffs and beyond, we need to go there with something more than an average offense (if that!).

Hey mike33076, I'd rather see Henne in the game. You know that next will come Pennington, and frankly if it comes down to it by then I'd rather see White. Why? Because Thigpen hasn't proven he can WIN games. He's just too inconsistent.

Thigpen is entering his 4th year in the league. This is the year you expect solid NFL QBs to break out. He's been compared to Tony Romo. Well Romo sat for three years and in the fourth was a solid 90+ rating QB and has been one since. Aaron Rogers sat for 3 yrs and was a solid 90+ rated QB in the fourth. Maybe we see tonight that Thigpen is going to break out this year, let's hope. But if he's still the same 1 big play, 1 bad play guy then I say he's reached his peak as a player - which isn't to say he's bad, it just there's no more upside. I think White still has plenty of upside and if we get to the point where we're at the third QB I'd just as soon see White frankly.

the only way white can be effective is to take the handcuffs off him (ala vince young). he is a dead man in a traditional predictable offense because of his skill set. he could be good/exciting to watch but the coaching staff would have to develop plays for him so he could improvise or have more than one option. that would add a new dimension much like the wildcat did. sparano however may be way too conservative to give this a try. he likes field goals over TD's. and last year we played "not to lose"; not a good recipe for the precision pass happy NFL of today.

Armando is back ..live blog ......

Henne finished the season with three games of over 300 yards passing. This will be his first year starting from the beginning. Lets at least give him through next season before we crucify him.

henne is going to have a great year, remember if it's not for the mistakes made by the DL and the coach we would be in last year playoff in his first year starting .


How long has Thigpen been a white QB?

Sean Smith is not good. I am sad it is going to take another year of him getting burned consistently before we and the coaching staff face up to this fact...

I can't wait for tonight's game; I'm telling you, look for Nolan Carroll to have at least 1 interception or make a big play. He looks like a veteran in practice.
Also, I'll be looking out for Turner, hoping he turns heads in an actual game and not just in practice.

Now people are saying FS is a big concern...last year going into the first preseason game noone thought FS was going to be a huge weakness in the D, sometimes u have to not worry about the players name...u never no whos gonna step up and play well(randy starks last year)...chris clemmons can turn out to be a solid starter just like randy starks became.

Should be interesting to see the secondary deal with Arelious Benn and mike Williams today, Freeman's a good Qb can run and has a strong arm. Ghees,what with the hate for Henne, cmon its his second year, give the guy a break, trial by fire, we got a decent receiving core not that fast but good and one of the top running games, overall this is going to be a good test for the new guys, i am looking forward to it wanna see how they deal with MCcoy as well.

i think our QB's are a reflection on how the coach wants them to play. its more of a conservative approach with alot of runs on 1st down,conservative checkdowns and emphasis on not making a mistake(as in sack/int.) as a result the QB's usually choose to checkdown or kill the play before they go thru their progressions. it appears they make hurried decisions to abort the plays downfield. i was hoping to see more longer pass plays in camp to actually see interceptions occur on certain throws before the real bullets fly. i think henne will be fine as long as he's allowed to "make mistakes". thats how they learn! brett favre's still slinging it and henne has the arm! it appears he's playing alittle stiff unlike a favre/mcnabb who seem to embrace the ups and downs. again,just my opinion. lets remember how thigpen brought us back against the steelers in the 4th Q. that was fun!

Henne just does everything very slowly. He runs slow, throws slow and goes through his progressions slowly.

Congrats to greg z on the reference. Although, personally, I don't always agree with him, I always do enjoy reading his thoughts. One of the best contributors here. Way to go, man!!!

PS Henne is fine!!! Was I the only one who saw him bring the team back against Tennessee last year and lead the team over the Jets twice among other things as a 1st year starter??? People, please!!!

Hurry, the season is about to start

tradeseansmith.com

Henne will be just fine

Stop crying

***** The Dynasty Be Fins! *****

Yo Greg Z.. You have been money on quite a few things.. But um.. Sparano Is conservative?..Your joking right.. Sparano is the most non conservative coach we have had around here.. like ever.. Wannstache was conservative.. Even jimmy was conseravtive not letting Marino Audible at the LINE. Come on.. The wildcat.. Sparano signed off on that.. He gets the most out of his talent. I give him mad props for looking at his team and figuring out a way to use his best players.. Thats freaking ballsy.. call it gimmicky, or whatever. Bottom line. teams have a hard time with it. They drafted Pat White to try and improve that, Ballsy.. It hasnt worked out.. But I think they were so excited about the wildcat they were a tad "understatment"overzeoulous and reached with White, but love the guts..
This is a risk taking team all the way around.. Took a chance on Marshall, White, Letting Jason go, converting Roth to Linebacker, converting Taylor to linebacker, Not drafting a safety til the 5th, going with Clemons, Starting two rookie corners, switching Randy starks to Nose,looks like starting Odrick over proven vets, picking up Chad Pennington and riding him into the playoffs,Starting undrafted devone Bess and finding one of the best possession receivers in the NFL, letting go of a proven Kicker and sticking with a rookie kicker from Montana. I mean the list and examples go on and on.. This aint no conservative team from the top on down..

As soon as an NFL QB sustains an injury
Thigpen who is Inconsistent (with a capitol I)
Should be traded

Thigpen has good trade value now
good w/ arms & scrambling legs

Soiled Bottom
Thats scrambling legs not
... scrambled eggs

U Get That, Huh?

Agree
Good Obs Armando

In the words of Australia rock band AC/DC
"Pull It, Pull It, PULL THE TRIGGER! on thigpen

ALoco not typing in caps. I am shocked, surprised, thrilled, excited... it's almost like Christmas morning as a kid. You thought it would NEVER get here!
On a football note, I'm most interested to see Misi, Carrol, and Pat White. Other have thought White has outplayed Thigpen. I can't agree or disagree because I haven't seen the practices, but I will say it seems that every single day I'd read about Thigpen being intercepted by some one.

Sorry greg z, but I don't see thigpen with a 4.7 40 time beating white (under 4.5 40 time) in a sprint.

Good obs Dean
Home agrees Sparano is not conservative or vanilla

and when we finally started going for it on fourth down in Sparanos 1st season
We kept doing it and getting ...
Another Miami Dolphins First Down!

***** The Dynasty Be Fins! *****

One other thing Greg Z.. Your mistakenly thinking their conservative because they are a running team.. No No No... This is a physical smash mouth in your face, were gonna take ours'n and beat yours'n type of team. Thats very very different than being conservative. Granted this isnt air coryell. Think old Parcells giants with Phil Simms.. I know the NFL has changed , But think back last year.. Indianapolis.. 45 Minutes.. Thats all I am going to say.. 45 minutes.. I know we lost.. Give us a better defense and that game is a blow out.. Thats what were building.. they almost beat New orleans with a horrible defense and Indianapolis.. Granted they lost, but this team had a ridiculously difficult schedule last year.. They are possibly the most physical team in the league.. this team is going to wear teams down.. watch.. Henne will be better, the Defense will be better, the passing game way better, the line better.. This teams going to be good...

HOME WILL NOT STAND FOR ARROGANT, OBNOXIOUS CORNERBACKS!
.
.

Dean
Bring It, Man
Bring It

It`s Our First Miami Dolphin Game 2010 and ...

***** The Dynasty Be Fins! *****

Oh by the Dolfans

NostraHomeUs told me

Brandon Marshall scores TD in 1st Quarter

How Bout Them Dolphins!

***** The Dynasty Be Fins! *****

Hope tonight we start to see the positions on the OL sorted out.

Dean:

Thanks for your words...

U R
GIVING ME
'CHILLS' !!


****************************************************

IS EVERYBODY
READY FOR SOME F O O T B A L L !!!!


****************************************************

As a first year starter Henne consistantly got us in the end zone. Even when he made mistakes, he shook it off and bounced back. He's got all the "unteachable" attributes that you want in a QB.
What's more, the Trifecta continues to do an excellent job of building this offense to suit his skills. In addition to Marshall and the emergence of Hartline, we now have a TE that knows how to work the middle of the field and make the catch.
Simply put, Henne knows how to take THIS team down the field and get in the endzone. I don't care if he hands off 50 times. I don't care if he makes 20 throws or gets it in the proverbial "chunk yards". He getrs us in the endzone.
Henne's the least of my concerns at this point.

amen to that morphin, scrimmage did not go too well for the Oline

HOME,

Way to make a prediction. You know...like....before it's actually happened-lol.

Are you saying Marshall will score our first pre-season points, or just that he scores?

My prediction isn't as fanciful as yours. I'm predicting a three yard, cloud of dust TD run by Wicky :)

Hoping to see the Wildpat in its purest form tonite or in the coming preseason games, before we finally cut this kid loose before the start of regular season. want to see what they had envisioned all along with that wasted 2nd rounder.

GO DOLPHINS!!!!

As long as we're making predictions...

I think that it will take couple of weeks for the Offensive line to come together as a Unit.

Until then....there may be some moments in these games that we don't like.
.
.
But all in all... I can't wait for it all to begin.

Cheers!
.
.

I hope all the late season injuries to the O-line hasn't snake bitten Sporano and co.
It seems like they've been more concerned with trying to get guys playing in multiple pos./both sides of the line.
It's like they're anticipating possible injury scenarios more so than just finding 5 absolute starters.
It's been disturbing and aggravating. It's one of those situations where I'll just have to cop out with a "I'm sure they know what they're doing"?

........Right??

After all, Sporano is a former O-line coach so we will be fine.

.........Right????

Some how....i am sure greg z will be working w/armando as a back up for the blog .

ricky........i td
wake....... 2 sacks
crowder................. i don't know

odinseye......you r always correct ,the coaching staff will be concerned about inures tonight .

marshall will be playing only 6 minutes.
henne 2 Q

Capt. Lou,

I think that it will take couple of weeks for the Offensive line to come together as a Unit.

Awesome prediction there guy. Way to go out on a limb.

Yeah, so......a couple weeks huh?

Mr. Crowley ain't got nuttin on you........

Aloco,

Marshall's pos./role in this offense will, or should be unique to his personal skill-set. He's our "featured" WR.

The question: When he comes out of the game, who will they give some work to?

Who will be our 2nd string No.1 WR?

F it!

I'm getting head rushes and anxiety attacks and it feels like convulsions could start any second!

That's how I roll when it comes to the Dolphins. YEAH! Even pre-season games!

You guys ain't helping, nobodies here.

I guess it's time for a Rum run and some serious self medicating!!!!!

I'm out!

it live or die for thigpen tonight,he got to complete a few plays before starting to call him mr un complete as for pat white he got to the good surprise of the night .

since we are predicting....I see our D-Line as one of the tops in the NFL...it's our secondary that gives me concern.
O-line will gel, we have way too much talent and dollars spent for it not to.
Finally on the QB issue, Henne has zero flare and I'd rather watch paint dry, but the guy can move the team down the field and I predict he is our starter for all 16 games.

henne is and will be the starter. he would have to suck in 5 or 6 straight games to get the hook. it absolutely is his team and his job. if he gets hurt pennington is in, the end. he is the only other QB who actually fits the system. pocket passer who doesn't make mistakes. this is thigpen's 5th season not 4th. he has only proven he can lose games. he has yet to prove he can win a game. if you want to get technical white has already helped to win a game. the 2 point conversion. they, the coaching staff made white extremely predictable last year. 38 plays 6 pass attempts. if i'm deciding who my 3rd stringer is going to be i'd watch the preseason mainly to see if white can make some throws. if he can then he's the keeper. if it's thiggy he will do nothing but hold a clipboard. with white you get an x-factor. if either have to win games as a starter for us we are in big trouble!!!

Mr. Crowley ... good tune!!!

I don't think Thigpen deserves all the heat he's getting here lately.
He's another young guy with unlimited potential.
All he really needs to do is learn when to "eat it" and not force things.
If he takes the next step with his decision making process, he could be a starter on half the teams in the NFL.

odinseye: (@ 2:06PM)

What can I say??
I'm a Conservative guy...

I also remember how 'wonderful' they did against Tampa during LAST YEAR's Preseason Game. They simply didn't come to play... and the First and Second teams got embarrassed by inferior units.

I guess that the only FEAR...deep in the back of my mind,...is their 'Mental Consistency'.

They have lots of talent -- but we still don't know if they can motivate themselves to 'consistently' play well.


Tonight we begin to find out.
.
.

Agree with Capt. Lou
Sometimes the Fins are their worst enemy by not having a consistent mental edge...that is the reflection of the head coach.

Mark,

Good?

I know you meant well, but I ALMOST take offense.

GREAT tune-lol!

odinseyes- 5th year is no longer young guy with unlimited potential. 54% completions is mike vick bad. and 4-16 in the only live scrimmage is booty!! why does he get all this slack and white is a bust with 6 chances to throw the ball?? thigpen does deserve as much scrutiny if not tons more than a rookie who got 3rd string snaps and was thrust into games cold!

thigpen has already a nick name....mr incomplete .

Capt. Lou

At 2:06 I was joking with you.

I agree with you and do remember last years pre-season game.

It just gets frustrating hearing about how unsettled the O-line apparently is. That's why, God forbid, I'm thinking your prediction may be a little off. I'm hoping I'm wrong, but I think it might take a little longer than two weeks.

I'm sure there will be overreaction, both good if the first team has succsess, or bad if the first team falls flat. Remember this is just a few series in the first preseason game of the year. Don 't read to much into what happens tonight(unless it's an injury)Defenses don't have there full scheme, and the offenses wan't to get their best players a few reps, and out of the game to avoid injury. What is worth getting fired up about is the play of the rookies, or fringe players fighting for roster spots, they are the ones that will have an opportunity to get into the flow of the game. We should hold judgement on the starting 11's untill they get more then 1 or 2 series of play

darrl dunphy, no waiting no more ,the last few years we say let's wait this ,let's wait that .the time is now or fire the coach and get another leader to make it happens .

Jaison,

Maybe calling him a young guy with unlimited potential is a bit of a stretch.

All I'm saying and what I truly believe is that Thigpen has all the skills. His main problem is his brain. If he gets better at making decisions under pressure, he could be on a completely different level.

PS: I don't think White is a bust so much as I think he just doesn't fit with this team. This is no fault of White's. I blame it on Hennings and Parcells.

huge loss with will allen. please release pat white

we abuse the english language wen we say ((( unlimited potential ))) of thigpen .we can't even use it for henne .

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