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Some contested starting jobs have already been won

The Dolphins will break training camp Thursday. That means the opportunities to win jobs, particularly starting jobs, during training camp are dwindling.

"We're going to get into the paring down process now," coach Tony Sparano said Wednesday. "We're going to spend a lot more time in meetings and a little less time on the field."

And as the coach confirmed when I asked, less time on the field means the players working with the second-team will have fewer chances of erasing the gap the players working as starters established since July 30 when camp opened.

"When you have fewer opportunities, and the team knows this because I've told them, I've been very, very clear with the fact that they need to make opportunities now," Sparano said. "Because when training camp breaks, eventually I'm charged with getting the team ready to play that's going to get ready to play. I have to start to identify those people and get those people in positions to play.

"Some of these people that have been getting a lot of reps because you have two-a-days, those things are going to be fewer and further between. When that stuff starts to happen, yeah, you get fewer opportunities. So as I told the team you need to be showing us what you want to show us right now."

Well, in some cases where jobs were available at the start of camp, the decision has been made as to the starter. I am told by a source that barring a total meltdown in the coming two games -- an unlikely proposition -- second-year man Chris Clemons has won the starting free safety job for Miami. Sparano has not confirmed that, but he makes no secret of the fact he like Clemons with veteran Yeremiah Bell back there.

"I did this math yesterday and they've played 945 plays this training camp and they have four total mental errors between the two of those guys," Sparano said. "Early on during our first year year, I couldn't tell you the number of problems we were having back there. With those two players back there there's a good influence coming with young people in the ballgame. With the Vontaes [Davis]and the Sean Smiths and the [Nolan] Carrolls, having those two back there has been pretty good."

I am told by the same source that Joe Berger has similarly beaten out Jake Grove for the starting center job.

Again, if either Clemons or Berger totally tanks in the next two weeks, then the team reserves the right to make a change. That's the case with any player that tanks throughout the season. But the decision on them as starters is otherwise made.

And they are not alone.

Rookies Koa Misi and Jared Odrick have pretty much won starting jobs at strongside linebacker and right end, respectively. Misi, barring a total meltdown, has held off Ikaika Alama-Francis for the starting job. Odrick started training camp ahead of Marques Douglas and has remained there.

As for the still undecided starting jobs at right guard and left guard, the next several days will be key.

"The separation will come here in the next several days," Sparano said.


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((( more time in meeting and less time on the field )))............

that means less injury for the players...very good .

armando seems settled in his new gig and having time to write more .

Wow, Grove Got Beat Out. Suprised At That One

Two things this organization thrives on. Competition and secrecy.
Sporano isn't going to cut off any competition by coming out and naming starters before it's neccessary.
Barring injury, the offensive line is set at guard and tackle. Long, Cognito, Jerry and Carey.
I also believe Armando's source is wrong. With Grove coming back from an injury, why rush it at this point? A good back up center is invaluable so let Berger get some more experience.
Grove, when healthy, is head and shoulders above Berger.

Mark my words, Long, Cognito, Grove, Jerry and Carey will be starting the regular season.

PS: NOTE: Carey has become the weak link in our "new" Offensive line".

By The Way, After Two 0-3 Starts This Team Needs MORE Time On Field, Not Less, Just Goes To Show Lack Of Football Knowledge Hee

odinseye are you trying to say grove w/ injury going to be the starter ? if not then armando's source is correct .

after two 0-3 starts b/c the coach over worked the players and got injured and tired .

The only real battles going on offense are between Martin and Fasano and MAYBE Hartline and Somebody. Anybody?

Even these "battles" are package specific. I think the starters on offense, especially the O-line have been basically set for awhile now.

Other than looking for a surprise, evaluating kids and solidifying depth, it's a wrap.

ALoco, I swear, even before you typed your post, I was going to ask you if you think Armando's new radio gig was interfering with his writing gig.

I guess the answer is yes.

bobbyd, I am disappointed Berger beat out Grove. I back the admnistration 9 times out of 10 but I am confused by this one. Berger is a decent centre and serviceable lineman and should start on a lot of teams. But you will have a hard time convincing me that he is Better than Grove. I noticed a considerable drop when Grove was injured last year. Maybe Grove's injuries have caught up with him - that's all I can think the reason can be.

Odin, I agree with Carey to a certain extent. I've thought for a while that he's eating himself out of the RT position and therefore re-building himself as a guard. I think his future beyond this year will be at guard, where he will be one of the best in the league.

Odin, I don't think Martin will be TE1 - I think he will come in exclusively on passing downs to take advantage of coverages that focus on Marshall's flank. This is why I wanted them to draft a receiving TE and was disappointed when they didn't grab Ed Hickson of Oregon. But Martin is very similar and much more experienced so I'm expecting big things out of Martin for his limited snaps.

BTW, I got wind that Steeler rookie RB Jonathan Dwyer (Georgia Tech) may not make the 53 man roster. This should be one potential free agent the Dolphins should be looking at or pluck him off the Steeler practice squad if they try to stash him there.

Ray Ray,

Because I am the almighty ODIN, God of WAR!!!!

Ok seriously, the "mark my words" statement was just my way of saying I really believe this. I'm not trying to pretend I'm psychic or all knowing. I'm just saying, from what I've seen of these guys, that's the way I'd go and I believe Sporano will too.

Aloco, I'm with you buddy. less time on the field at this point is key. By this time, they should know how to hit. They should know how to tackle. They should know how to throw, and they should know how to catch (except marshall). Because, if they don't know by now, then they never will.

Also, trade for vincent jackson for christ sake.

ray ray are you the same guy as the ray ray at the sentinel???

Idk why everyone is so hesitant to give Berger a chance to be the starter. Remember, he came in last season deep into the year when Grove went down and he did a pretty damn good job. Was he as effective as Grove was last yr ? No, but I believe with an offseason of working with the 1st teamers and going into the season as the starter, he will be more prepared mentally and there won't be much of a dropoff between Grove's play last season and his play this year. Berger is a very cerebral player and nobody will question his strength. There is no reason for him not to be as good as Grove. I trust Sparano on this one...

Ray Ray Berger............... Odinseye is not i reapeat not nj phin fan .he stats only what he really believes and never pulls a nj on you .

Yeah, I might be agreeing with Ray Ray on this one odinseye/Mark. You guys noticed a drop-off last year when Grove got hurt for multiple reasons: Smiley was hurt too wasn't he, so more people shifting, the team was throwing WAY more at the end of the season because of the loss of Ronnie and getting behind in games, teams were adding pressure because they knew we were basically a one-dimensional offense for the most part, etc.

I feel the opposite as you guys. I thought Grove was rough for most of the year. Berger has been playing up and from what I saw/heard has been outplaying Grove this year. Now, Grove could still be hurt (to odinseye's point), but if he is, then his health issues are now becoming a problem (he's turning into another Smiley). Parcells wants players on the field, not in the training room, so that there puts Berger over Grove.

nj suspended again

i suspended nj for 48 hours.i am sending him to you now ,he's going to sign w/a new name ,i am chris the donkey .

Thanks Aloco,

As for Grove coming back from injury, I just believe Sporano knows what he has. He doesn't want to "rush" him back and risk re-injury.
This is the perfect time to get Berger some playing time. Also, I agree with Ron Burgandy, Berger's solid and there's not alot of difference between the two. When they're both 100% I give Grove the nod at this point.

he's lurking. lol

RB, 40 yds rushing per game difference between Grove and Berger concerns me.

i dont think any of these players need 4 hours of practice in that heat in training camp. we couldnt even sit in the stands to watch sometimes. fans were actually passing out during a 2 hour practice in full sun. we need to be fresh and healthy for the long grind ahead. guys are losing the edge they had early on and more are injured. the O-Line in particular needs a few days off. sparano can use the time to work on our play calling during games.


I wasn't trying to be negative with the Carey statement. I think he's solid and the best right tackle we have at this point.
The point I was trying to make is that I believe our O-line has improved so much that Carey may now be the weak link.

Of course you have have to remember, when it comes to the Dolphins, I'm an eternal(retarded) optimist!!!!

DC, good point on the other injuries on the OL at the same time Berger took over. Look, I really don't want to be right here. I just want what's best for the Miami Dolphins.

i meant to say 4 hours of practice a day. thats 2 two full hour practices in 90 degree heat per day. doesnt help anyone.

Odin, if that was your point than I still think Carey is underrated and better than all the interior lineman. A very good RT that can play LT in a pinch is hard to come by. I just think he likes the buffet too much. All in all, a very underrated player for Miami.

the new england team doesn't practice much in preseason ,in fact they pick their day based on the weather and almost all the time around 74-80 degree ....... last practice was only to study films .players should be fresh and ready to go .they r pro .

smileys + 40.

i can tell the medical team for the dolphins is very busy group in preseason and shouldn't be that way .

Nobody has been named starters for the regular season.

We've announced one pre-pre-season depth chart.

I'm just speculating just like everyone else not named Tony Sporano.

Just the same, I'll bet I'm right..........

Dear Mr. Mark in Toronto

"I still think Carey is underrated and better than all the interior lineman"

"All in all, a very underrated player for Miami."

You told me you don't drink Beer so I'm assuming you've been drinking Yukon Jack and Canadian Club.

Soiled :)

It Has NOTHING To Do With Knowing How To Hit Or Tackle. It Has To Do With Timing, Working Together And Setting Up. That Means Time On The Field. 0-3 Had Nothing To Do With Being Tired, Thats Just A Stupid Statement. Even Coach Admitted So Much, That He Needs The Starters In These Pre Season Longer. Please ALoco, Stop Showing Your Total Lack Of Football Knowledge. Go Back To Being Justin, At Least You Make Sense

SB, no drinking but I am a combination of bored with work and drowsy from extra strength prescription allergy medication.

I still don't see how what I wrote is wrong. Not much wrong with the syntax, maybe you just disagree with my point?


I agree with you on the buffet-lol.
Maybe Carey should be hanging out with Soliai, it seems to be working for him.

bobby12, why i can't have another view than yours ? no need to call me names . it's proven when players work hard in preseason the team suffer and when you gave them a good amount of work in preseason they stay fresh and happy not TIRED AND LICKING THEIR injures and misising a lot of football in r season .

injured list;
i am forgetting about 4 more.....bobbyd12 is a great donkey.

Vernon Carey. Underated or underachiever?

I guess we know how Mr. Bottoms feels.

I honestly believe that if replaced 30 lbs of fat with 10 lbs of muscle he could be a force.

Haha, only ALoco types a post asking people not to call him names and respect his opinion then ends it like this ...

"bobbyd12 is a great donkey"

Dear Mr. Mark in Toronto

I don't think Carey is underated or think the Dolphins feel he is underated...He just signed an extension last season I think(or sometime recently).

I think Carey is ok...honestly I think Paul Solia is underated....but that may just be my Medical Herbs talking.

Soiled :)

SB, granted he's not underrated by his contract. He was justly rewarded for his contributions. However, if I ask you to name the top 10 Dolphins OL of the last 30 years, his name probably won't come up - but it probably should.

I hope Soliai becomes underated this year. SO far, he has just been disappointing and flashes brilliance every once in a while. Hopefully he breaks out this year. Keeping my fingers crossed. Having a big bad 350 Samoan on the DL would be very sweet indeed.

the abuse of the english language goes on .mark said (( flashes BRILLIANCE every once in a while )) .BRILLIANCE .it's football mark .

If Berger wins the center battle, why do you keep Grove on the payroll? You gotta dump the guy. You cant keep a 30 mill contract on a backup center. If Berger goes down, they tough luck.

History has a habit of repeating itself, and Grove has never been able to string a healthy season.

Dear Mr. Salguero

I don't really know how it happened but Mark in Toronto got me to give a football related thought.

That Canadian is a sly one Mr. Salguero...I'd watch my step around him.

Soiled :)

I don't want to get into a big argument about the weather, conditioning and being ready for the regular season, BUT..............

I do know Shula didn't use a bubble, he even had the air conditioners turned off in our own locker room at halftime.

Shula was notorious for having his team better conditioned than most. Whether it was a monsoon, 110 degrees, or a hurricane, Shula knew how to make the South Florida environment a home field advantage.

I know it's the post Shula era, but Tony and Bill could do a lot better by taking a page from the Camp Shula days.


Interesting -- the #Dolphins signed veteran guard Randy Thomas, formerly of the #Jets and #Redskins. WR Ryan Grice-Mullen has been waived

This could mean that Jerry is a concern.
What is going with Donald Thomas? He went from 1st team to the doghouse?

Sparano continues his OL jumble!

I don't see Grove being on the team next year. It's a good thing Fat Tony likes alot of OL because we seem to go them like Heff does Bunnies. We'll need to draft C, TE, OLB, and OT next year at a minimum. Not necessarily in that order

LB Headband, Randy Thomas has history with Parcells. He's one of his old boys with the Jets. You can never have enough NFL guards I guess. I guess they are leaning towards putting Nate Garner at least on the PUP.

ALoco, I was using the term "brilliance" as a figurative term, obviously not literally.

SB, pleasure having a football convo with you!!!

BTW, Grove can be on the team this year as a backup because there isn't a cap. Unless you are writing the cheques I guess.

Uh...I thought Thor was the God of War and Odin was the Father of All Gods. Oh well, we all know what you meant. Lol.

Hahaa, you going to take that, Odin?

Berger beat out Grove...wow.
I sure hope Tony knows what he's doing with this O-line experiment.
I do recall last year at this time we had all kinds of movement along the O-line, then when the season started we were running at will against some very good teams (Colts, Chargers).
I trust the right decisions are being made.

Thor is the God of Thunder, Lightning and Rain.

He is my son and I love him. Though I am pretty pissed off with the stunt he pulled at kick off last week.

He claims he was just trying to teach Tony a lesson, so I guess his heart was in the right place. Oh well, kids will be kids..........

Lebron/Mark - Randy was most recently on the Redskins, and that means I saw a lot of the guy (being in DC). I have to say, I'm VERY surprised about this pick. If you think Grove/Smiley are hurt often, wait to see Thomas this year. He was good in his prime, but he's WAY OVER THE HILL. Trust me, the Redskins were throwing guys off of the street on their O-line last year because all their starters (Thomas included) went down.

The Trifecta is seriously concerned about the OL if they're picking up Randy Thomas.

Garner is going to IR I bet with the Thomas signing.

Brett Favre should have looked at his schedule before deciding to return to Minn. Their home opener on a Thursday (Sept 12th) is at New Orleans and then on the 19th of Sept. He's got to play. Miami !!! I hope Tavares got lots of reps in Training Camp. I doubt that Favre makes it through the season. Without injury!

with all these sentinel suspensions going on, makes you wonder where is cuban menace why this was going on hmmmmmmmm

NH, your last sentence was right on point:
"I trust the right decisions are being made."

When it comes to the OL, with Sparano being a former OL coach, I don't ever doubt that squad will be ok.

But I wish Ireland would have consulted me on Randy Thomas. I could have told him to look elsewhere, because if he finishes any game he starts I'll be extremely surprised.

I think Dexter is right. Garner is going to IR so they picked up the next best scrub out of the garbage bin.

Thomas was believed to have a career ending injury last year when he tore (completely off the bone) his triceps, with the SKINS.

Does Procter and Gamble have a chance to Start?

@ DC Dolfan,
at this point of the season, Im sure there are limited options at guard. Its dumpster divin' time for Ireland.

Aloco, Cause Ur Wrong?? We Started Out The Last 2 Years 0-3. OUR Coach Has Said He Has Made A Mistake Tge Last 2 Years Andhasnt Worked Tje Starters Enough In Pre Season. Again, OUR COACH Said It, His Opinion Matters Soooo Ur Wrong And Also Clueless About Football. PERIOD

@Ace in Texas... We would have to give way too much to get V. Jackson... Plus it sounds like the Chargers aren't just gonna let him walk without getting good compensation for a good Wide Out like Jackson... I'm thinking they are shopping him around but for like a 1st or 2nd round pick, and I wouldn't want that.

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