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Back to work: Notes and nuggets

Back to work so let's get to it ...

Much has happened since I was last allowed to work by The Herald so let's do some catching up with (hopefully) a couple of nuggets you might be interested in.

Let's begin with unfinished business about Jeremy Shockey. I shared with my twitter followers last week that there would be practically no chance of the erstwhile New Orleans TE landing in Miami if Bill Parcells were still running the show because of Shockey's age and history with injuries would have eliminated him. But with Jeff Ireland running things and there being a greater sense of desperation urgency to win now, Shockey would be in play.

How much in play he is has yet to be really determined because while lots of folks got all excited about him passing a physical with the Dolphins last week, he did it while coach Tony Sparano and Ireland were out of town. So Shockey didn't get the eyes-on approach from the two most important football guys in the organization. In other words, Shockey has zero commitment from the Dolphins.

Yet.

There will be a meeting -- probably in the next day or two -- between Shockey and the coach and general manager. At that point, the Dolphins may decide to go forward (or not) with Shockey. Obviously agent Drew Rosenhaus, a local guy, will push to get his client on the local team. And Shockey, a local hero because of what he did at the University of Miami, will welcome the idea of playing for the team in the town where he lives.

But ...

The Dolphins must weigh Shockey's value as definite upgrade as a receiving tight end versus what kind of money he wants, how that fits within his injury history, and one other thing.

The other thing is chemistry.

Let's face it, Shockey is not a wilting violet. He's a veteran. He's got opinions about things. He has a way of thinking that was formed long ago. Can that way of thinking fit in a Dolphins locker room where the quarterback situation is unstable, where the leadership in the huddle is unsettled, where Brandon Marshall is already a player the Dolphins feel they have to "manage," according to a source.

That other thing will also be weighed. So it is not as easy as answering the question whether Shockey is an upgrade. That answer seems obviously yes. The answer to the other question might not so obvious.

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The Indy scouting combine closes shop Tuesday so let me share some nuggets I've garnered from afar:

I spoke to a scout on Friday afternoon and he told me that despite the obvious glut of QBs in this draft, much of the gold that seems shiny now will tarnish as it languishes on NFL rosters in years to come. Simply, the scout said, teams are generally good at identifying quarterbacks at the top of the draft and working their way back toward the later rounds.

And, generally, those picked in the first round succeed to some degree on an NFL level between 55-60 percent of the time.

Everything after that?

The chances of success drop off the table.

I'm told QBs picked in rounds 2-3 succeed about 20 percent of the time. Everything after that drops into the single digits of success depending on the year. Yes, for every Tom Brady picked 199th overall, there are approximately 91 other guys that never start a game in the NFL.

Think about that if you're advocating that the Dolphins should not pick a QB until the third round or beyond. The chances of such a strategy working is historically low.

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Former Dolphins, Cleveland and Cowboys QB Bernie Kosar was on my radio show, Armando and the Amigo, this morning for his regular segment and he brought this nugget from the Combine:

Kosar is doing work in some capacity for Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. He is sitting in on interviews. He is talking to various players. He is also working his NFL relationships to gather information from and about other teams.

Well, according to Kosar, "most teams were fine," with the explanation Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett gave for the persistent yet unsubstantiated rumors of drug use that seem to be dogging him.

Mallett was panned by some media for not answering questions about drugs during his press conference on Saturday. He neither admitted nor denied any connection to drugs of any sort. But it did come up in his team interviews, Kosar said, and he did address the issue in that venue.

In the venue that counts most -- the field -- Mallett was apparently studly. This from the pool report by the Pro Football Writers of America:

"On deep seam routes in the middle of the field, Mallett was flawless, arching the ball with perfect touch and hitting receivers in stride. On out routes to the sideline, Mallett delivered his best fastball and was perfectly accurate. The ball exploded into receivers’ hands.

"His slant route throws were perfect although some of the throws are so hard and fast they will challenge the hands of receivers. He was particularly impressive on his post corners on the right, going four-for-four. If there was a weakness, it was his 17-yard turn-ins to his left. His first pass was high. His second one was a little off, but by the third throw he was perfect.

"Mallett has excellent deep touch on his throws. His challenge is making sure he can be accurate on his intermediate throws."

My personal opinion? I don't know Ryan Mallett from Adam. But I know he played in a pro-style system. I know he has a pro arm and probably the best arm in this draft. Mobile? No. Not at all. It's a red flag he refused to run the 40-yard dash. He cannot run to save his life. But there's a difference between mobility and footwork. I hear he's got fewer footwork issues to resolve compared to the Spread quarterbacks that dominate this draft. Do not underestimate that, by the way.

He has to tighten up his accuracy. It is, in my opinion, the real reason he's not considered a Top 10-12 pick. But neither is his accuracy Brady Quinn bad.

When Cam Newton reveals in an interview with the NFL Network that he "underestimated the timing aspect of playing quarterback," as it related to getting a quick drop, finding the receiver and hooking up with the player, that brings to light exactly how much hard work has to be done with these spread quarterbacks to get them up to NFL speed.

As Mike Mayock was overheard on air as the Network was going to commercial following Newton's throwing session Sunday, "backup," is the word that comes to mind in the short term when looking at Newton perform. If you think he'll be a starter from Day 1, well, that is truly baptism by fire stuff right there.

Mallett would also be baptism by fire. But at least he's taken a center snap in the SEC out of the pro set. At least he's dropped five steps and seven steps under pressure. He's well ahead of the other guys in that regard.

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This didn't get much attention out there because it is ultimately about a backup player so I figured I'd serve it up. The Dolphins obviously have several plans of attack for addressing the quarterback spot.

None of them really include Chad Pennington in the best-case scenario.

One also does not include Tyler Thigpen -- in that if Miami drafts a rookie and adds a veteran who can challenge to start, then Thigpen is outty.

But if the Dolphins fail to find a QB in the draft or in free agency, then a spot opens up for Thigpen. Under this scenario, Chad Henne, Thigpen and the new guy QB would make up Miami's three quarterbacks. The new guy would be either a rookie or that veteran that will challenge Henne to start.

If the Dolphins find any combination of two new guys in whom they are investing money or a considerable (relatively high) draft pick ... Thigpen's chances of being on the team for the 2011 season-opener become about zero.



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There weren't a lot of TEs on display on Saturday, but there were two that really stood out. Look for DJ Williams early and Robert Housler from FAU as a mid-round pick, Housler is a big, fast kid, who is a bit raw but showed really good hands.

Ireland's choice would probably be Zack Pianalto from North Carolina, decent hands but slowwwww.

2 words, people. Jacquizz Rodgers. His size and slow 40 time should ensure he is still there when the Dolphins pick in the 3rd round. What a steal he would be.

There were also rumors of Marino having a drug problem in 1983 what else is new. I think somebody really want Mallet in late number one pick

Its insane and a waste of a pick to select ANY quarterback after the 1st round...its lunacy and its statistically irresponsible....
That leaves only either a 1st round selection or a FA or both....
If they decide to trade down then they WONT pick a QB this year I beleive...if they do then they are completely incompetant and should be drummed out of town....it would be a waste of valuable draft picks which we cannot afford to squander...
I think they WILL trade down....that means that HENNE stays and fights with a FA to start...3rd QB most likely will not be Thigpen as he will look to find an opportunity elsewhere....I see a journeyman as No 3....great!

In this light i can see OLine as a 2nd rounder and a RB as a second rounder after a trade back..id keep both our Running backs but they wont...they need S.Teams help and will move in that direction....I dont expect DRAMATIC moves by these guys even tho they are on thin ice...theyre too stupid to see that they need to make changes and quickly...kind of like the rabbit in the headlights...they will stay slow and steady and tell their story walkin out the door im sure.....

This was posted way back at the beginning by "Dre"

"""I vote go after Mallett there is no harm of having too much talent at that position. So we draft him and add a solid veteran."""

Hahaha! Don't worry Dre QB is the one position that the current Miami Dolphins will NEVER get accused of having too much talent at. LOL! But yeah I kind of like Mallet myself. I also think Tyler Thigpen has more talent and upside than Chad Henne

I would trade down and select Christian Ponder, and use the second pick on an OG. Then I use the third pick on RB Roy Helu.

it is hardly a red flag that Mallet didn't run the 40. teams are more than aware of his lack of mobility and that he is a slow qb. he doesn't need to run the 40 to confirm that.

the rb that impressed the most was dion lewis. although a change of down back lewis made the agility drills look easy. he showed his ability to make cuts, almost without effort.

ingram looked like he had to work extremely hard to go thru the drills. contrast that to ryan williams and mikell leshoure who looked like they were much smoother running thru the drills. if we can get either in the 2nd rd we have done better than if we pick ingram in the first.

a lot of people were impressed with the performance of julio jones on sunday but torrey smith had a day that went relatively unnoticed due to so much of the focus being on jones and green. that is a good thing for the dolphins because smith will still be available come time for them to pick. don't kid yourself about smith; he has a 41" vertical, ran a 4.3 40 and did very well in all of the combine drills. he's ours and if everyone else wants to focus on jones and green that's their loss.

the one te that stood out on sunday was lance kendricks. more than any other te he made the drills look like a walk in the park. he made the routes and catches look easy and he did very well in the blocking drills. dj williams looked good also and rob housler looked good as a receiving te. however, kendricks is the guy.

stanzi also had a good day on sunday. in the timing drills stanzi was the one qb that seemed to "get it". stanzi was throwing to a position on the field rather than throwing the ball to the receiver just to make the completion.
what coaches are looking for is the qb to throw to the spot rather than to the receiver. it is the responsibility of the receiver to get to the spot on the field. most of the qb's didn't get that. they were throwing the ball to the receiver instead trying to complete the pass rather than throwing to the spot. that shows that they didn't "get it" while stanzi did. if you're throwing a ball on a timing route your job as the qb is to get the ball to the spot it is supposed to be at a certain time. the receiver needs to run the route correctly in order for the pass to be complete. stanzi showed that he has what they call "a high football iq."

0x80, @ 1:52

Maybe a more current list of Heisman Trophy winners would be more appropriate...

2010 Cam Newton Auburn Quarterback
2009 Mark Ingram Alabama Running Back
2008 Sam Bradford Oklahoma Quarterback
2007 Tim Tebow Florida Quarterback
2006 Troy Smith Ohio State Quarterback
2005 Reggie Bush USC Running Back
2004 Matt Leinart USC Quarterback
2003 Jason White Oklahoma Quarterback
2002 Carson Palmer USC Quarterback
2001 Eric Crouch Nebraska Quarterback
2000 Chris Weinke Florida State Quarterback
1999 Ron Dayne Wisconsin Running Back
1998 Ricky Williams Texas Running Back
1997 Charles Woodson Michigan Cornerback
1996 Danny Wuerffel Florida Quarterback
1995 Eddie George Ohio State Running Back
1994 Rashaan Salaam Colorado Running Back
1993 Charlie Ward Florida State Quarterback
1992 Gino Torretta Miami Quarterback
1991 Desmond Howard Michigan Wide Reciver

The evidence...

Exibit A, First we see the RBs drying up for the award. It's a QB league in the NFL now too.

Secondly, 5 outta the last 20 Heismans is not much of a track record at all.

Thirdly, in the platooning type system most every team uses, how many touches is the lead back getting?

Until we solve the riddle at QB we will never get over any humps. Now that the freakin CBA mess moves the FA period after draft we have to grab an upper escehlon QB to compete and possibly supplant Henne.

In my perfect world I am with Craig M and a few others in grabbing VY (if at all possible) and grabbing Colin Kaepernick as a QB with giant upside.

At this point I believe this regime needs to draft whomever they feel has the best chance to upgrade the position. Be it Locker, Mallet, Newton, Ponder or my fav choice Kaepernick.

Please resume your case for Ingram as you see fit but, I fear we will both go into the draft having different wants. No worries bud, you can root for your "Fix the Fins" gameplan and I will too. The draft chips will fall where they may.

It sure seems to me that ANYONE that wants Ingram can't complain about a lack of speed. Seems like the same logic when a person complains about who's in office if they didn't vote.

Cheers,

here's a question. does belichek try and move up with the 17th and 28th picks in his back pocket or is he moving down out of the 17th position and possibly the 28th to gain more picks as he usually does? let's here some thoughts.
there have been some comments that he would take ingram, if available, and that ingram would be a good fit for what he is trying to do in new england. however, with green ellis i believe he will wait until maybe the 3rd and try to pick up someone like a hunter or maybe even lewis as speedy change of pace back.

Welcome back Mando

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