« Garner out at least 8 weeks; decision time along the Miami Dolphins offensive line | Main | Funnyman Brandon Marshall regales media »

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.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Some contested starting jobs have already been won:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Correction: September 12th is on a Sunday! Sorry!

Has anybody actually seen Micah Johnson?

The guys an absolute Effing FREAK. 6-2-255 and his body fat percentage looks to be about 0.

NFL Draft Dog:

I kept him on the first round of my mock because I think when he gets to the all star games and workouts he will shine. Teams will see the big, fast, physical specimen and a 3-4 team will snatch him up early. I’d have to say that now though, his likely highwater mark will be the second round and he just may find himself going in rounds 4-5. If that’s the case, someone is getting one helluva steal.

The Football Expert:

He makes numerous stops behind and along the line of scrimmage; and that is excellent for a ILB; however, in order to take Johnson's game to the next level I would love to see more game changing plays (INTs, sacks, forced fumbles ect...). Overall, Johnson has a tremendous upside, an excellent skill set, and the potential to be a great threat at the ILB position in the NFL.

Folsom and Spitler could be in trouble!

Odin, a lot of the draftniks around here were very high on Micah Johnson and were hoping that he was going to be drafted by the Dolphins.

I know Carlito goes to the same gym Micah was using to prep for the combine and kept raving about his physical qualities. Looks like the administration is quite taken with him too. He will be a special teams maven in year one and provide quality depth at the ILB position. Possible future starter???

Should Berger start at center Grove will become a $30 million dollar cap casualty. With the injury history no one will take on his contract in a trade and he's to expensive to become a backup although he offers great depth.

I see why Hartline's gotten 1st team snaps. They need to get him up to snuff playing against better competition. We may also keep close eye on the waiver wire for cut centers or if Grove clears waiver(I doubt) we'll bring him back under a smaller contract.

Mark everyone was high on Micah's run stop abilities. It was rushing the passer and pass defense that were issues for him in college. Many experts only see him as a 2 down ilb.

Don't expect much from newly signed guard(Redskin)Randy Thomas. Here's why:

On September 20, 2009, Thomas suffered a severe triceps injury in a game against the St. Louis Rams, tearing the muscle completely off the bone. The injury will sideline Thomas for the rest of the season, and possibly end his career.[1] He was released on March 4, 2010.

I know Johnson was coming off a knee injury and timed slow at the combine.
Slides from 1st or 2nd rd considerations and goes undrafted.
Signs with the Giants, and is released before training camp begins.
Then he signs with Miami because of Edds injury.
Plays in his first NFL pre season game and looks like Superman against Tampa's 2nd and 3rd teamers.

It's a peculiar story, but I'm loving it already.

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..........

Posted by: odinseye | August 18, 2010 at 03:31 PM

I thought Gene Simmons was "The god of Thunder"..........

DB, I had the same analysis on Micah as a 2 down ILB in the NFL after watching him at Kentucky. However, that doesn't mean he can't be an extremely useful player, especially in a 3-4 system. A guy like James Farrior or Larry Foote for Pittsburgh comes to mind when discussing 2 down ILBs in similar systems.

That's funny, I thought Gene was "The God of UGLY"!

Gene Simmons is the "god of suck". Kiss is so overrated. Excellent marketing gimmick though.

That too......

Heard Grace-Mullins was waived, Is this true???

Heard Grace-Mullins was waived, Is this true???

Posted by: Cuban Menace | August 18, 2010 at 04:58 PM

Yup, waived for Randy Thomas.

I guess he was gonna be a long shot anyway..

Micah Johnson was nursing an injury during his senior season. He suffered another injury during Kentucky's Bowl game. Despite this, he still opted to run at the combine(4.81). He ran again at his pro day(still recovering) and clocked in the 4.7's.

As far as his coverage skills go, most of the scouting reports I've seen read like this:

He shows good range in coverage zones as well as covering backs out of the backfield.

He did only have 3 or 4 sacks in 4 seasons at Kentucky. This isn't great, but neither is it necessarily a red flag when considering he plays ILB.

Seems like Parcell's had another guy named Johnson playing ILB at one time. The guy was born and raised in Detroit, but I won't even mention the name of the college he went to.

Odin, your comparison to Pepper is very fair. They seem to be made of similar "stuff".

Chris Tiedje says:
August 18, 2010 at 12:17 pm
Payaso and NJ,
Cut this rivalry crap and keep it off the blog. You’ve both been warned, and neither seems to listen. You’re both suspended for 48 hours. Cool off, and give it a rest.

I found the post at the SS

Posted by: charlie | August 18, 2010 at 12:28 PM


I Guess week two got interesting sinse "HIS" return(Was there ever a doubt0 The guy reminds me of a cockroach, You just cant get rid of him...........

found the post at the SS

Posted by: charlie | August 18, 2010 at 12:28 PM

Charlie, WTFC??????

cuban wtfc?? Do you like the song "take me out to the ball game"?????? tu sabes???

I hated to love Pepper Johnson.
He played high school ball in Detroit and everybody thought he would go to Michigan. He ended up going to(our hated arch rivals)Ohio State.

As far as Micah Johnson, I love it when a guy overcomes a lot of adversity. His story reminds of Wakes.

Anyway, I'm rooting for the guy, he's earned a further look and some more pre season playing time.

Everybody keeps talking about finding an acorn, or the steal of the draft, WHY NOT MICAH!

cuban wtfc?? Do you like the song "take me out to the ball game"?????? tu sabes???

Posted by: Josh | August 18, 2010 at 05:34 PM

It' a Ok song, Though I think it only applies to Baseball...

cuban no soy estupido, hermano!!!

Nunca le dijo que estaba .....

Odin, I heard Sparano saying he thinks Micah tackles "thick". I don't know exactly what this means but I would not want to be on the receiving end of it and it sounds like it would be a nice weapon on special teams at least.

¿Quién es este de todos modos?.

Vamos a la playa, oh, oh oh oh oh!


Your right, but I was wishful thinking about Vincent Jackson. I also know that even if the Bolts came down on their offer, Sparano is to stubborn to evan consider the move, unles Jackson could play guard.

the worst thing you can listen to.....(( take me out to the ball game )) .


has anyone seen that Jason Taylor Espn article.... Ridiculous he goes onto saying His Shoulder is all better now and he sh0ould've had this surgery 4 years ago when doctors told him to.. He said he wanted to play golf in the offseason and didn't want to rehab. BS now i know why he isn't a Phin anymore no heart for football just selfish dancing queen. I hope Ronnie or Ricky run him over when they play

JT's new nickname is Eggs Benedict Arnold

Beer, Cant wait to see it happen in week 3, National TV, Should be a sold out crowd, Gonna be great.......

article is titled "Jason Taylor Feels Like a Kid Again" if anyone is interested

JT is an athlete getting paid. His allegiance (like all athletes) is to his family. There 100% NO WAY the crappy *ss Jets win the Super Bowl this year, so if he wants to end his career in NY, more power to him. Personally, I'd want the Miami Sun setting over me when I retire, but to each his own. So don't worry about JT, he'll see us twice a year, and after Week 3 will feel Sanchez' pain, since the dude can't beat the Dolphins if we gave him a 14 point lead. MARK MY WORDS (stole that from odinseye)!

you got to give credit to rex ryan ,he gave JT some thing ,I don't know what it is ?

MARK my word , JT is smarter than all ,he keeps making money for no thing .

I "LURKED" at the SS during Armando's extended Tahiti vacation.

It sucks. You can't disagree with Omar or the other goof.

You can't argue with the "regulars".

That Chris guy lets them say anything they want, but the ostracized newbies can't say anything.

Armando and his blog is better than all three of them and their blog.

Armando even tried to hook up his readers with a computer stream for last weeks game.

Armando RULES!!!!

well well well if it isnt the cockroach cuban menace social parasite. Talking to his minions here, buffoooooons!

There Called the "TK8" Odin, there Douchebaggery is legendary....


i agree w/your last post .i don't like kiss as s even armando but i must say armando has some thing about him ,i don't know what ,i guss 19 years doing this makes you humble .

the ss omat and the baseball guy are two goofs you got to kiss their as s every day of the week .

p.s.....how carlito like it there ,i have no clue .


We're not over on your sight calling names, whazzup?

What did we do to upset you, sweet cheeks?


I refrain from using the abbreviations "TK8"(oops!). For some reason this seems to offend the over-sensitive.

well well well if it isnt the cockroach cuban menace social parasite. Talking to his minions here, buffoooooons!

Posted by: Betsy Ross | August 18, 2010 at 06:09 PM

NJ, Do you have anything football related????

bummer about farve starting back so soon, was thinking he'd come back after the bye. scratch week 2 off our win column, he'll eat up the young confused defense.

It just pisses me off what he says like all nonchalant ""It feels like I'm 16 again," he said. "It's unbelievable. I should've (had surgery) four years ago, but I didn't want the surgery. I didn't want the recovery. I wanted to play golf in the offseason. I didn't want to have to deal with all that. I felt efficient enough, but now that I've had it done, I realize I should've done it a long time ago." - Jason Taylor should just retire and start acting becuz it's gonna be the same result if he plays either way we're all gonna be laughing at him

Odin, Well you be Representing The Mighty Air-Breathers in week 2, Ace from Texas well be at the last preseason game, Mark from Toronto will be at the Buffalo Game, And Myself will be at the Jets game in December... Will you "REPRESENT"????

Beer, Cant wait to see it happen in week 3, National TV, Should be a sold out crowd, Gonna be great.......

Posted by: Cuban Menace | August 18, 2010 at 05:56 PM

Gonna be a great game but too bad you're gonna miss it. The game is in week 2.


As soon as Armando returned from vaction I quit lurking there. I haven't spoken to Carlito about how he likes it there, but apparently he does, because I'm assuming he still goes there.

Seriously, I miss Carlito. I think he's a good poster. He doesn't agree with people just to agree, he's got his own insights and perspective and cuts right through all the BS.

Carlito! Come Home!

I have no problems with Jason Taylor going to the fins honor ring. He's earned it with his play.

I also have no problem with Jake Long breaking his fricken neck. He's earned it with his mouth.

DyingBreed .....What did JT win ?????????????????????????????????

DyingBreed .....What did JT win ?????????????????????????????????

Posted by: ALoco | August 18, 2010 at 06:30 Pm

?????????????????... I didnt say he won anything, lol.

Gonna be a great game but too bad you're gonna miss it. The game is in week 2.

Posted by: DyingBreed | August 18, 2010 at 06:24 PM

D.Breed, I'am Talking about the jet game week 3, What are you refering to??We were talking Jason(Twinkle Toes)Taylor on that post...


Never been to a game in Minnesota. I really didn't even think about it until you mentioned it. I'll have to get in touch with Darryl and see if he wants to meet me there.

I absolutely love wearing Phins jerseys to opponents stadiums. I'll show the posers what real Viking is really all about!

We played tough against last years Super Bowl teams and this year we'll be better. Farve and the wannabe Vikings don't scare me!

JT is like a gypsy . he moves around like the gypsy bret farve .

D.Breed, I'am Talking about the jet game week 3, What are you refering to??We were talking Jason(Twinkle Toes)Taylor on that post...

Posted by: Cuban Menace | August 18, 2010 at 06:32 PM

My bad we play the Vikes wk 2.

I agree with DyingBreed, the world is ending. Taylor belongs in the Ring of Honor when it's all said and done. I just didn't believe he should playing anymore, that tank is out of gas.

to beat the vikings we need the O-line to be playing at the highest level

JT belongs to the ring of shame .

Paul Warfield didnt come back to the Dolphins when the World Football League folded(went back to Cleveland) yet he's still in our Honor Ring. Have no problems with JT being placed there too.

That still doesnt mean I wouldnt like to see Jake Long break his friggin neck this season, lol.

i remember a time when i was 3 years old and my dad would through the football at me and says catch it .that was a great time .

« 1 2 3 4 »

The comments to this entry are closed.