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Dolphins to host Newton,Gabbert this weekend

Maybe the Dolphins think they know something. Maybe they actually do know something. Maybe Cam Newton's draft stock will drop like a bear market and he will be available with the 15th overall selection of the first round -- the pick the Dolphins hold in the April 28 draft.

Maybe that is the reason the team is hosting a private workout with Auburn QB Cam Newton this weekend in South Florida, according to NFL.com. I am furthermore reporting Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert will also have a visit and work out for the team this weekend.

[Update: These visits-workouts are not at Miami's facility in Davie, FL. The team will fly to meet with the players rather than the other way around.]

Newton and Gabbert are among several quarterbacks this space has reported will share private workouts with the Dolphins. Colin Kaepernick is another. Ricky Stanzi is another. Tyrod Taylor is another.

But unlike those others, Newton and Gabbert are expected to go poof by the time the draft is out of the first 10 picks in the first round. Denver might take one at No. 2, Buffalo coach Chan Gailey said this week he loves both and the Bills hold the No. 3 pick. Tennessee (No. 8), Washington (10) and Minnesota (12) all might want a QB.

So what, I wonder, makes the Dolphins think either might be available when they draft at No. 15?

The possibility, my hope, is that maybe all the hype about Newton going early is just that. Hype. And maybe his lack of experience, his need to learn to read defenses and move safeties, his need to learn the pro-style footwork, all the things that make Newton a project, will push him down.

But all the way to the Dolphins?

Maybe they know something. But I get the feeling, more likely they are just covering their bases and when all is done, they will watch helplessly as Newton gets picked before they get a turn.

And while the club is indeed interested in Newton and just about every quarterback possibility out there -- they have studied them all -- coach Tony Sparano continued to do his best earlier this week to talk up incumbent Chad Henne.

That's because he was asked about Henne. Sparano said at the owner's meetings that Henne improved last season. (I am trying to write this with a straight face.)

"He completed a higher percentage of intermediate passes, which doesn’t make the fans happy and doesn’t make evidently a lot of people happy, but it should because it's a sign of progress," Sparano said Tuesday from the annual NFL owners' meeting.

"Other areas I thought he improved on was his ability to move in the pocket and create space. When you look at the number of sacks we had and the number of sacks avoided, the throwaways, those were the areas that he improved on."

Yes, but coach ... Henne stunk on long throws. Think the opener in which he missed Brandon Marshall by a mile. Think the underthrow the following week. Think the missed opportunity to hit a long TD against Cleveland. Think the missed throws of Brian Hartline in the Jets and Patriots games.

"Some of that is on us for the number of opportunities," Sparano said. "There's just a lot of factors, but when you get the green light, you’ve got to make the play, and Chad would tell you that."

Correct.

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