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Miami Dolphins players No. 1 to beyond roster limit

Drum roll please ...

It is time for the annual Miami Herald countdown of the Dolphins roster! Excited? Fired up?

Yeah, I can sense the tension.

Anyway, this is my annual countdown of the players on Miami's roster from the best to the bottom of the roster guys. It should not surprise that No. 1 on the list did not change in 2010. The rest of the list did change.

Take this in. Study it. Tell me where you agree and don't. Understand that rookies and free agents who have never played a game for Miami or even in the NFL are on this list. Those guys are included in the list as projections.

This is a lot to take in. Do it in increments if you wish. This list will be up a while as I'm going on vacation and leave and won't be back until July. Well, I will come back if something happens (like the start of free agency) because I'll only be out of town two of the weeks I'm off.

But otherwise, this is the annual summer vacay post as well as the summer roster list post. If you need to see what I'm up to, you can follow me on twitter.

The list:

1. LT Jake Long: He blew out his left shoulder in November against Tennessee. That wasn't his first injury of the season as he suffered a knee injury in the preseason finale against Dallas. No problem. Long got treatment for the knee and played without issue. He got a harness for the shoulder and continued playing despite knowing he'd need surgery after the season. And he was still a Pro Bowl player for the third time in three seasons.

2. OLB Cameron Wake: Studly. He came from part-time work to a full-time starting job and more than doubled his production. He became one of the NFL's most unrelenting and explosive pass-rushers. The scary thing is Dolphins coach Tony Sparano has said Wake has not yet reached his full potential. He might get better!

3. WR Brandon Marshall: When he's right, when he has the right people around him, when he's used correctly, he can dominate and take over a game. In 2010 he was rarely used right and didn't really have the right people around him. He was good but he and quarterback Chad Henne never meshed. There might be a personality problem going on in that relationship and the problem isn't necessarily Henne's.

4. ILB Karlos Dansby: He was as-advertised in that he was a tackle machine and was solid and a leader. But it is rare when an inside linebacker can be a game-changer. Ray Lewis has done it. Brian Urlacher has done it. Dansby can do it in the future but he didn't do it in 2010. Still, he was a significant upgrade as a free agent.

5. NT Paul Soliai: He was given an opportunity starting the second week of the season and he turned it into a $12 million franchise player payday. It was as if Soliai, at times immature, turned the corner. The question is whether the improvement was his reach for a contract that might fade once he gets paid, or a legitimate and lasting ripening of a fine player.

6. DE Randy Starks: The Dolphins need to keep Starks at one position because he plays quite well when he gets the opportunity to make a position his home. Late last season, Starks was again Miami's best defensive end after starting the year at nose tackle.

7. WR Davone Bess: Exceedingly hard worker. Reliable hands. Dependable route-runner. He is a very good possession receiver and every NFL team needs at least one of those. His receptions (79), yards (820) and TDs(5) were career highs.

8. SS Yeremiah Bell: Always excellent in run-support, he led the team in tackles again. Bell is consistent in that he's had more than 100 tackles each of the past three years. I don't understand why the Dolphins didn't blitz him more often because he's outstanding at that.

9.CB Vonate Davis: Most physical and potentially dominating cornerback on the team. He still has not made the climb from "being there" on contested balls to "winning" the battle for most of those balls. He's good now. Not excellent. Not great. Not very good. Good.

10. DE Kendall Langford: An end in the 3-4 defense is never going to be a big-playmaker if he's not named Suh. So Langford hasn't been a playmaker but has been solid and consistent. There is a step or two Langford could take to reach a level of excellence that would turn Miami's front into a dominant unit.

11. DE Phillip Merling: Merling asctually played relatively well when he returned from the non-football injury list last year. It suggests he has matured and could be ready to finally meet the potential that made him the No. 32 overall selection in 2008.

12. CB Sean Smith: He was humbled a year ago in losing his starting job to Jason Allen. Jason Allen! He didn't quit. He never gave up. He fought through adversity, although it was of his own making. He regained his job and played well. The difference between playing well and being a star? Smith drops every pass that hits his hands. He could have had eight or nine interceptions a year ago. Time to catch those, Sean.

13. WR Brian Hartline: He was open enough and effective enough to suggest he can continue to be a good deep-threat option. His stats -- 43 catches for 615 yards -- would have seemed nicer if quarterback Chad Henne had connected with him on the handful of times Hartline got open behind defenses.

14. ILB Channing Crowder: Solid. That's what he's always been when he's healthy. But excellent? Game-changing? Nope.

15. OLB Koa Misi: Starter who showed a great motor. He never gives up on a play. He is relentless. He needs to get stronger both in the upper and lower body. Once he truly becomes a technician at his craft, he has potential to be an eight- or nine-sack a year guy.

16. C Mike Pouncey: First round pick. Not exciting, but a safe pick. Why was it a safe pick? Because Pouncey is going to be a very good player. That's why. When he proves it, he'll rise on this list.

17. TE Anthony Fasano: He is unappreciated because he's not playing in a great passing offense, he's had some memorable drops in previous years, and doesn't like media attention too much. That doesn't mean he's a bad player. Fasano was second on the team with 13.5 yards per catch (among players with double-digit catches). He was fourth on the team in catches and yards. Great? No. Good? Yes.

18. RB Daniel Thomas: Second round pick better be Miami's top rusher in 2011 because, well, that's what he was picked for. He'll share the load with whatever free agent running back Miami lands. Obviously, this is a projection.

19. QB Chad Henne: Anytime a QB is not among the Top 10 best players on the team, that team is in trouble. Anytime a QB throws more interceptions than touchdowns and gets benched at least once in the season because the team isn't scoring enough, he cannot be ranked too highly and definitely not in the Top 10.

20. RB Ronnie Brown: Good man. Fearless every Sunday. But not the greatest instincts, and injuries seem to have sapped speed and explosion.

21. RB Ricky Williams: He had flashes but they are coming farther and farther apart now. He no longer has the amazing burst he once had, he no longer breaks tackles or avoids tackles in the second level.

22. G/C Richie Incognito: He was the team's best interior lineman. He was not the problem.

23. RT Vernon Carey: He has the ability to be the most frustrating player on the offensive line because he has the ability to be an A-player but has too often been a C-minus player. His best season came in 2008 when he was pushing for a new contract. He hasn't played at that level since.

24. FB Lousaka Polite: Good blocker. Good short-yardage runner. He might be replaced in 2011 if the Dolphins put their expected greater emphasis on the H-back postion over FB.

25. P Brandon Fields: He followed his best NFL season in 2009 with his second best NFL season in 2010 -- although the two blocks he suffered (not really his fault) look bad on his stat sheet. His 31 punts inside the 20 were a career high.

26. K Dan Carpenter: After connecting on 89 percent of his kicks in 2009, he dropped to a disappointing 73.2 percent in 2010 and had two kicks blocked. The end of Carpenter's season was a nightmare, as he booted only two of his seven final attempts. He did deliver 14 touchbacks on kickoffs, tying the number for the previous two years combined.

27 (tie). DE Tony McDaniel: There is thinking out there that McDaniel, a free agent in 2011, will go elsewhere because he will price himself out of the Dolphins market. That's is possible. But I would argue the Dolphins need to be very careful not to undervalue McDaniel because neither Odrick nor Merling are absolutes based on their histories. On a scale of 1-10, McDaniel is a solid 7. You don't want to lose those.

27 (tie). C Joe Berger: Berger was a pleasant surprise in that he was a solid C to B-minus center most of the year. He was the improbable starting center last year when the Jake Grove experiment proved a failure. And it would not be surprising if Berger is the starter early in training camp while Mike Pouncey gets acquainted. But that won't last barring an injury to Pouncey or others.

29. S Chris Clemons: Solid. Doesn't make mistakes. But neither does he really make any big plays. He had only one interception in 14 starts.

30. S Reshad Jones: He's a ball magnet and he will compete for a starting job with Chris Clemons in training camp. Truth is I expect him to win the job. He had one interception in two starts, which is the same as Clemons had in 14 starts. Until he wins the job, however, he finds himself just behind the starer.

31. G John Jerry: Last year it was about him being a rookie, and him being unable to get back from his early-season sickness, and his need for being stronger and his need for using better technique. This season it has to be about Jerry overcoming those issues and living up to his potential.

32. DE Jared Odrick: He was a starter the first week of the season and then was lost for the rest of the season. He has much to learn. He has much to improve upon. And he must stay healthy because durability is a category on which players are judged every bit as much as ability.

33. QB Chad Pennington: He was coach Tony Sparano's choice to lead the team in the crucial point of the season but although Pennington's spirit was willing, his flesh was weak. He sufferedanother shoulder injury on his first possession of the game he started. Having suffered another injury playing basketball this offseason, the Dolphins seem prepared to move on. If he's healthy, he's better than Henne.

34. CB Benny Sapp: He was on the team last year because Will Allen got hurt. He didn't disappoint but neither did his play impress. The Dolphins want to push Sapp to either make him better or find someone better.

35. ILB Tim Dobbins: Solid backup and that's a big deal because Crowder is injury prone and even Dansby got hurt at the end of last year. 

36. S Tyrone Culver: Solid role player in dime defense. Solid special teams tackler. He's .... solid.

37. CB Nolan Carroll: Ah, if only he'd caught that interception versus Cleveland. He could have been a hero. As it was, he was a rookie making mistakes and trying like crazy to compete. Carroll has great speed. Decent ball skills. Good work ethic. Let's see if those translate in Year 2.

38. LS John Denney: The only time one notices him is when he botches a snap. But he doesn't do that and that makes him valuable. Excellent at his craft.

39. QB Tyler Thigpen: Gutsy, willing to gamble, and strong-minded, he has the personality of a winner. But he's erratic and just as likely to throw two interceptions as two touchdowns in a game.

40. CB Will Allen: He's got to prove he can still contribute after missing two years because of injuries.

41. WR Marlon Moore: That 57-yard TD catch against Oakland was an eye-opener. But he had some troubling drops in the following couple of games and was basically iced against Buffalo before returning the final two games of the season. He had two catches for 43 yards in the season-finale so he finished on a high note. It is time to go higher.

41. WR Roberto Wallace: Big. Strong. A fine special teams player. Good hands. But still largely unproven. His special teams ability is the reason he played ahead of Moore most of the season.

42. WR Edmond "Clyde" Gates: Yeah, he doesn't like to be called Edmond. He likes Cylde. I'll call him Mr. Clyde if he lives up to his speed and blows the top off defenses likes he's supposed to. We'll see. This is obviously a projection.

43. S Jonathon Amaya: Great hitter on special teams. He might have been Miami's most effective special teams hitter late in the season.

44. RB Patrick Cobbs: His role on offense declined to practically zero last year. That showed .. 1. The coaching staff's hesitation to seek alternatives to underpeforming Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams and 2. Cobbs' inability to show himself worthy of a shot. Yes, he was the special teams captain. But Miami's special teams were terrible. Solid locker room presence. 

45. OLB Ikaika Alama-Francis: There was much buzz about Alama-Francis early in the season but injuries and circumstances prevented him from playing up to that buzz. He's a hard worker and a solid run-stopper.

46. TE Charles Clay: Hopefully this kid becomes a latter day Chris Cooley or Dallas Clark. No idea if he'll be even in the same conversation thus his low ranking.

47. DB Jimmy Wilson: A seventh-rounder who missed two years while in prison facing murder chargers, Wilson is obviously a gamble. He's also got the feels of a special teams contributor.

48. RB Lex Hilliard: Time to be more than a special teams player because the Dolphins are looking for viable running back options and he's not exactly the first name on anyone's lips among team insiders. With the team bringing in more special teams talent, 2011 could be a turning point year.

49. ILB A.J. Edds: The plan has not changed from a year ago in that he will be a passing situation substitution for Channing Crowder or Karlos Dansby if he has the abilities the team thought he did when he was drafted.

50. OLB Quentin Moses: Extremely under-rated. Mostly unknown. Can you believe he's been on the team since 2007? Says something for his latent ability which is little used. He did

51. Nate Garner: He was going to get a chance to compete to start at G when he got hurt and was lost for the year. Now the onus is on to prove he can recover and show some durability. 

52. OL Pat McQuistan: He started a handful of games. He should be a backup.

53. T Lydon Murtha: He is good stay active and take to the game as a backup. Is he good enough to displace someone on the starting unit? I doubt it, but I'd like to see him try. It can only make everyone better.

54. G Rey Feinga: His chances of winning a starting job are also dependent on the health of other players. Betting on someone to be hurt is a tough way to earn a living.

55. DT Frank Kearse: The Dolphins need a backup for Soliai not named Starks. Kearse has the opportunity to be that guy. Does he have the ability?

56. WR Julius Pruitt: He was active the regular-season finale but didn't catch a pass. He's been all about potential. It's time to be about production.

57. ILB Austin Spitler: The youngster got better at his special teams duties later in the season.

58. WR Patrick Carter: He's been in camp with Seattle, Tampa Bay, Denver, Baltimore, and was most recently on the Hartford Colonels. He's 26 now so this camp is probably his make-or-break NFL moment. Don't bet on make.

59. LB Mark Restelli: A free agent signee from the CFL. He's only 6-2 and 215 so he needs to get better. He's strictly a special teams guy if he makes the team at all.

60. T James Marten: The Dolphins are his fourth team in four years and he's still a project player.

61. QB Tom Brandstater: Late season signee and never really an option to play. Don't expect much different in 2011.

62. RB Kory Sheets: He had speed and potential before an Achilles' injury. No idea if he has either now.

63. CB Nate Ness: Cut in the preseason, then cut by Seattle when he was toasted during one game, he returned as insurance against injuries.

64. FB Deon Anderson: Dolphins have to learn that signing every Dallas Cowboys reject is not a good idea. Anderson was signed after the Cowboys dropped him and he promptly got hurt one week into his Dolphins career. He probably won't be on the team this year.

65. LB Mike Rivera: He's been jumping from practice squad to practice squad and was active only for the season-finale against New England. I simply do not know enough about him to give you an idea which direction he's going.

66. T Matt Kopa: Signed off the 49ers practice squad in November, he was mostly just insurance and was inactive the final seven games of the season.

67. DE Ryan Baker He's undersized. He's probably not the most naturally gifted player. But he works. He studies the game. He is a good guy in the community.

68. G Cory Procter: He was a backup most of the year before going on injured reserve in late November. He's likely played his final game with the Dolphins.

69 (tie). TE Dedrick Epps: Young kid. Project.

69 (tie). TE Mickey Shuler: Young kid. Project.

69 (tie). TE Jeron Mastrud: You kid. Project.

(Not rated) T Allen Barbre: He spent one week with the Dolphins last year, the final week of the season. I have no idea what he's about.

(Not rated) DT Chris Baker: Don't know enough about him.

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The owners and Dumaurice met "secretly" in Chicago yesterday. This on the eve of todays hearing in St. Louis.

I suspect the owners were attempting to hardball Smith with two "final" offers.

The first being more lucrative than the second of course, pending an agreement in principal before todays hearing was to begin.

This is all speculation on my part, but apparently Smith turned them down. If he doesn't get a favorable decision today, he'll have OFFICIALLY taken us all into the that dreaded no man's land of life without NFL football.

I am Hobo Sam. I collect cans and crap in my pants. I have a cat with one ear that I named "Mr. Scrappy" even though she is a female.

Thank You.

Dear Mr. Hobo Sam,

In light of recent developments, I have a mission for you, your cat and all your Hobo friends.

I'm not talking about the Salvation Army Mission Mr. Hobo, think bigger.

If you and all your Hobo Friends could show up today at Sun Life with some real derogatory Anti-NFLPA placards, I know where there's a whole Lawn Mower shed FULL of empty beer cans with your name on it!

odin @11:33,

You might be on to somethng there given that one of the ownwers at that meeting was Jerry Jones, who alot of the other owners trust from what I read as a negotiator, plus if there is an owner with more to loose than others it`s him remember the 4th largest seller of merchandise (aparrell) World wide are the Cowboys behind only Manchester United, the N.Y. Yankees and the L.A. Lakers.

...I think the owners reached out to the players for sure. They did not have to do this, as they definitley hold the keys at this point in the negotiation, or court case...The one thing that stuck me is that the lawyers for both sides were left out of these meetings, and that there were owners that had no idea that these meetings were taking place. At least both sides are talking. Who knows if any progress was made. Nothing is going to get done if both sides continue to posture, and do not talk.

Both sides in this matter have acted like petulant children. The owners, who wouldn't even listen to the players before the television court ruling, and now the players who stopped listening after they won their first court ruling(even though it has been overturned) Both sides have presented offers, both sides at times have thumbed their noses. Get a freekin' deal done so that we don't run out of dope.

Darryl,

I wonder what took place at those meetings considering the timing, I saw an interview with J.Jones on NFL Network were he said it was a positive exchange for whatever that`s worth. I still haven`t heard which players were present was it the player reps involved in the labor meetings that took place in March or was it an independant group given they disolved there Union?

There are still a few questions regarding what took place for me, I hope it was the latter and it was another group taking matters into there own hands because I think we won`t see any real progress until there is a crack in DeMaurice Smith`s group which is hellbent on letting litgation solve the matter, something that could very well kill the season and other groups forming that don`t want to loose a seasons worth of pay.

I think it`s also a good sign that hardline shrewed take no prisoner fat cat owners like J.Jones came of the sidelines and took such an active part in this clandestine meeting. At the end of the day though I won`t hold my breath because I firmly believe it will take a few game checks into the month of Sept. for everybody to feel enough pressure to solve this thing which includes owners by the way everybody forgets the part TV networks play here. I don`t think they simply stand around arms folded with there money being the biggest mitigating factor in all of this.

Heathens! Commoners! Peons!

It is I, your EMPRESS. Ruler of all I survey and cruel and unforgiving tyrant over the unwashed masses.

How you fill me with Royal Nausea with your simple-minded gibberish and common ways! How I cast my eyes downward in Royal Disgust at the filth and depravity of your lives! It is hardly a wonder that I am seized by the urge to have uncontrollable Royal Vomiting at the horror of it all!

There shall be severe repurcussions for the Royal Distress I have suffered.

By ROYAL PROCLAMATION I hereby sentence every man, woman, and child in my domain to 72 hours of forced viewing of Paulie Shore movies. Additionally, the music of Justin Bieber shall be played, CONTINUALLY, by roving trucks equipped with large loudspeakers until further notice.

MY ORDERS SHALL BE OBEYED! HEED MY WARNINGS!!

Tyranically Yours,

The E of P

How is DE Ryan Baker undersized when he is 6-5 300???

WE NEED TO FIND OUT WHAT WAS 911 ALL ABOUT.

WE HAVE BEEN LIED TOO ABOUT EVERYTHING.

BUSH SAID HE SAW THE FIRST PLANE GOINTO THE BUILDING BUT THERE WAS NO NEWS FOOTAGE OF THE FIRST PLANE.

FLIGHT 93 LANDED IN PA FOR EMERGENCY EVACUATION SAYS A MAYOR IN PA.

THE PLANES THAT CRASHED INTO THE TOWERS WERE MILITARY.

YOU WANTED PROOF FROM OBAMA WHAT ABOUT PROOF ABOUT THIS.

A 757 HIT THE PENTAGONE BUT NO PLANE WRECKAGE WAS FOUND AND THE HOLE IN THE BUILDING WAS ONLY 16 FEET WIDE.

we need to scout hard this year and have a solid draft for 2012 before we play another game. least henne will never play here again

Too many unanswered questions.

http://www.loosechange911.com/

What's up FINLAND????????

**BREAKING NEWS**
(If you want to call it that)


Players argued for 30 minutes that the first NFL shutdown since 1987 is not legal and they should be free to return to team facilities, begin pre-season work with coaches and trainers and prepare for a July start of training camps.

The side favored in a decision will have an upper hand in talks, with owners under pressure for new terms if they are forced to play a season and players facing a protracted legal fight with no games if they lose.

Appeals court judge Kermit Bye let both sides know he, like most NFL fans, would welcome a settlement at the negotiating table that would render the lockout issue moot.

"We wouldn't be all that hurt if you go out and settle that case," Bye said.


-What now DuhMaurice? You got any more great ideas(God, I hope not)?

Your scumbag money grubbing ambulance chasing ways aren't accomplishing ANYTHING! On the contrary, your ill-advised grandstanding is now negatively affecting EVERYONE involved(players/owners) AND EVERYONE concerned(us money paying fans)!

The all important "bottom Line", the steadily increasing growth and revenue rates are irreparably damaged. Right now, TODAY!

To quote the Great Eric Clapton: Don't forget this fact, you can't get it back.........

Ticket sales are diving. Premiums, Luxury Boxes, the whole she bang. Merchandising? You don't want to know.

The young fans, the next generation and all the fringe fans, they ALREADY don't care enough to follow what's really going on as it is. You DuhMaurice and your NFLPA are irreparably damaging the largest group of potential growth rate inhibitors each and every day that this issue remains unresolved!

FWIW - That's my Two Cents - Good Day!

ValHalla!!!!

No real news there odinseye.

Also that quote is really from JJ Cale. It's his song that Eric eventually recorded.

Odin, Burn down Maruice's Village.... Please..

Hear ye! Hear ye! Hear ye! I'm right here(?)

Here is a thought, I found this on the web, Plaxico Burress will be looking for a team really soon. Hey, the rumors have him going here and there. So let me throw this out, I believe he would be a good fit for the Phins, there's no question about his talent. He made a stupid mistake shooting himself, LOL, but he has great hands (except when it comes to holding onto that gun) and runs really good routes. I really do like that. I would like to see it happen, but that's just me.

About the lockout, the comish is talking like the sides are beginning to communicate. That's good news after the deep freeze over winter and spring.

Talk amounst yourselfs!

Izar,

You said it. That was a copy/paste waste! That's why I underlined the Headline with: (If you want to call it that) and finished with: FWIW - That's my TWO CENTS.

The civility and tone of you post was refrshing, comparatively speaking. I hope it's because your having a Good Day.

I owe you a big THANKS. I would have bet money Clapton wrote Cocaine. You one upped me there my Good Man. Though I do feel a slight tinge of embarrassment, I have to give credit where credit is due. More importantly and thanks to you, I can now say:

You learn something new everyday - THANKS!

Question Mark(nice sign in name),

We were kicking the Idea of Plaxico around here a while back.

If the price were right, I'd be tempted. You can't really question the guys talent. If we were to sign him, I'd definitely want to include a stipulation that EXCLUDES him from getting any type of Concealed Weapons permits-LOL!

For all of his Football "smarts", he sure pulled a boneheaded move in shooting himself. Hopefully he's lived and learned.

Question Mark, do you or anyone else for that matter, know what Plaxico's 40 time is? Is he a speed threat or more of the possession type?

Who's gonna throw to him??, Fat-neck Henne??BTW, You guys have a short memory, He as suspended 2 times his last season for being a distraction to the team....w

Odinseye,

As far as kicking it around a while ago, I was no where near this blog. Ok, definately a possession type. The guy is in his 30s. Still great addition, if it happens.

Gun laws are far more Liberal in Fl then NY, Maybe it'll be a good fit..........LOL

?

Plexico Burress already plays for us in his younger incarnation Brandon Marshall, if you want to compare B.Marsh to somebody in terms of ability then Plex and him could be twins. The truth is that in the class of eventual WR via FA there is no one player who could help what we need were it relates to stretch the field with speed better than what we got in the draft thru Edmund Gates.

I like your spirit and keep it coming but again we disagree, I don`t see how a player two years removed from the game helps us in the now. Remember it took Vick two years to get back, what will it take a Rec. who makes his living over the middle?

He makes perfect sense in Philly with D.Jack opposite him and Vick could help in getting him back to Football shape but even there it`s a stetch at 35 years of age. I don`t see alot of interest from teams unless there looking to fill seats. Plex shoud have known better if he doesn`t make his drunk mistake the G-Men are back in the S.B. the following year or don`t you remember they were 12-1 when he shot himself.

odinseye

Glad I could be of help with a morsel of information.

It's too bad that someone with Justin Credible's investigative zeal is stuck posting to Miami Dolphins messageboards when he should be on our nightly newscasts exposing George W Bush's plot to murder thousands of Americans for no apparent reason.

Home, on the other hand, is completely rational. Why fly planes into buildings when the Government can level entire cities with EXTREME WEATHER.

Kris -- I'll be back posting as redsky between 12:00-1:00 with a little bit of ALoco in the early morning. Later.

A.S.

Unwashed heathens. I am filled with Royal Disgust and Loathing.

Marino would still be in the top 10 on this team today! lol. Sad but true.

Who checks spelling and grammar? Unreadable.

Just sayin.

fin4life,

Good Morning, Here's back atcha, you have a good spirit too and keep it coming. I respectfully disagree with you about Plaxico. I really don't believe it will take 2 years as it did for Vick, because it's easier for a WR to come back than a QB and that is the truth. But friend, one of these days you and I will agree, probably during the upcoming season.

Thanks for trading comments with me. Your respected already.

Check you later.

THE LATEST NEWS ON THE CBA TO GET SOME DEBATE GOING!!! THIS IS THE 1ST PIECE OF POSITIVE NEWS THAT A DEAL COULD BE DONE BY TRAINING CAMP IN THE NEXT MONTH, GOOD READ!!!!

ST. LOUIS -- Lawyers for the NFL and its players met before a three-judge panel Friday at the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, with the judges considering the league's appeal of an injunction lifting the nearly three-month lockout.

Kermit Bye, the presiding judge in the hearing -- and the lone dissenter in the appeals court's previous decisions to stay U.S. District Judge Susan Nelson Nelson's April 25 ruling -- said after the 90-minute hearing that the judges would rule "in due course."

Bye added that the panel "wouldn't be all that hurt if you go out and settle that case" and warned the decision will be one that neither party likes. That decision likely will come in 2 to 6 weeks.

Paul Clement, a former U.S. solicitor general representing the league, opened oral arguments by attacking the validity of the NFL Players Association's March 11 decertification. He maintained that, because of the non-statutory labor exemption, the league should have the right to lock out its players for at least one year. He also said the fact that this is the second time the NFLPA has decertified "ought to be a problem for them."

If the union's decertification is ruled invalid, the Brady et al antitrust lawsuit against the NFL would disintegrate and cost the players almost all leverage they have in the labor fight.

Players counsel Ted Olson, Clement's predecessor as U.S. solicitor general, defended the union's decertification by emphasizing it only recertified in 1993 at the league's request.

Judges Steven Colloton and William Duane Benton repeatedly referenced the Norris-LaGuardia Act, which bars injunctions in cases arising from a labor dispute, in asking Olson why the law wouldn't make Nelson's judgment wrong.

Olson responded: "The union is not in existence anymore. The players cannot engage in collective bargaining because it's against the law." Olson also defended the validity of the Brady suit by saying the league had been found in violation of antitrust law "15 times."

Friday's hearing followed three days of clandestine talks in suburban Chicago between the league and players, who met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith in attendance, but without lawyers.

Clement was asked if those negotiations could hurt the validity of the union's decertification.

"I think what that underscores is that the union has not disappeared forever," Clement said. "Obviously, everyone can make their own judgment, but the problem with the argument on the other side is it assumes that the union is gone forever. I don't think many people who are a student of this game or a student of this industry really believe that's a fact."

Olson contended that the players' actions only were prompted by those of the owners, going back to their 2008 decision to opt out of the collective bargaining agreement that expired in March.

"We don't have much to say, other than to remind everybody that the National Football League cancelled the collective bargaining agreement that they negotiated and entered into," Olson said. "They prematurely and unilaterally cancelled the collective bargaining agreement. And then they unilaterally called a lockout, stopping football in its tracks. The players didn't do that. The National Football League did that."

Goodell was in Fort Bragg, N.C., visiting troops during the hearing, and a league spokesman tweeted that the commissioner isn't a lawyer and "wouldn't have added much to the legal proceedings." NFL general counsel Jeff Pash also didn't attend.

No NFL team owners were scheduled to be there, but the New York Jets' Woody Johnson came on his own accord.

Conversely, the contingent of active and retired players was over 20 deep. The active players included Jon Beason, Jordan Black, Matt Bryant, Tyson Clabo, Craig Dahl, Adam Goldberg, Cullen Jenkins, Brandon Moore, Jon McGraw, Rudy Niswanger, Chester Pitts, Tony Richardson, Brian Robison, Orlando Scandrick, Jake Scott, (Carolina's) Steve Smith, Andy Studebaker, Osi Umenyiora and Brian Waters.

"I think it was a great turnout because it shows where our jobs are right now, not caused by the players, but caused by the owners," said Smith, the Panthers' wide receiver. "It was important to them, important to myself, important to other players who couldn't be here that have a responsibility as a player rep.

"Maybe a guy couldn't come because his wife just had a baby, or his wife was sick, and we'll relay the message and the information that we observed. That's our responsibility and our job as reps, and also our job as teammates to inform and give each other's input on what's going on."

Spokesmen for both parties declined to comment on the negotiations earlier in the week, citing a court-ordered confidentiality agreement, and a federal magistrate canceled scheduled mediation sessions for next week in Minneapolis because of the "confidential settlement negotiations."

But George Atallah of the NFLPA was adamant that the ongoing legal battle shouldn't stop the parties from attempting to find a long-term solution, which was the aim of the Chicago summit.

"Anybody that believed with litigation or a settlement, that there was a choice between the two, those people are wrong," Atallah said. "We're here today to try and lift the lockout so players can play football. At the same time, that doesn't mean the settlement negotiations couldn't continue. You saw that over the past couple days."

The NFL, in defending its right to lock out the players, maintained that any deal has to happen through face-to-face negotiation, not litigation.

"What we tried to make clear in there is that we think the lockout is actually the best way to get players back on the field," Clement said. "And you might say, 'Why do you think that?' We think that because that's what all the labor laws say, the way you get labor peace is you allow the sides to use the tools that labor laws give them. That means employees get the right to strike and, in certain situation, employers get to lock people out.

"There are other tools available to both sides. The idea is using those tools will accomplish labor peace."

At the very least, the league and players wanted to show the seriousness of their respective approaches Friday.

"Really, our only purpose here today was to show it's important to us, and to represent our players and to show both the court and the public that it's important to us," said Goldberg, the St. Louis Rams' offensive tackle. "We want to get back to work. We want to play. We want to get back to work doing what it is we're trained to do, to put out a great product for you guys on Sundays."

Now the parties wait for the appeals court's ruling, with not much time to lose. Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said last week that he believed some decisions on opening training camps in late July needed to be made by July 4.

"We can't just go from where we are now and jump into games," free-agent offensive tackle Damien Woody, who last played for the New York Jets, told The Associated Press. "There has to at least be an abbreviated training camp to get us somewhat prepared for the season. If not, there are going to be a lot of injuries. ... Training camp usually starts in late July, and time is running out because it's already June. I think we have to get a deal done by late July at the latest."

Free-agent linebacker Ben Leber, one of 10 plaintiffs in the antitrust suit against the league, said the players haven't discussed a specific drop-dead date for reaching an agreement.

"Both sides have a day, whether they want to make it public or not," said Leber, who played for the Minnesota Vikings last season. "The biggest challenge is going to lie with whose day is going to come up first."

The Associated Press contributed to this report

?,

I don`t doubt he could given how elite he once was give a team a couple of good seasons but I have two questions regarding that team being us.

1) There is a big difference between being in good shape and being in football shape, this understated reason is why some guys come back from retirement or holding out and get hurt, it`s also why they need to solve the CBA cause if they don`t get them in the right shape there will be boatloads of injuries.

2) Why do we want to put to big possesion Rec. on the field together there both best suited in the 10 to 20 yard range and you can bet when they make there breaks the Safties will bear down on them, although it woud make for an interesting 3 to 4 Rec set I will give you that and having both of them will keep the Safties back due to there ability to break tackles opening up the run game some.

Man, looks like this blog is coming to an end. I'm headed to the Slum Sentinel---at least there's some life there.

There are five triangles. The clam awaits late results from Kansas before declaring victoire a le Crentre Pompidou en le vieux carre.

Worst blog

NOW THAT CHAD IS FORCED TO BE A LEADER BECAUSE OF THE LOCKOUT.

I KNOW HE WILL BE THE LEADER OF THIS TEAM.

I THINK THAT'S WHY THEY GAVE HIM THE PLAYBOOK.

LOSE SOME MONEY TO MAKE HIM LEAD THE TEAM.

HE HAS TO TEACH THEM THE TERMINOLOGY.

MARSHALL IS GOING TO BE IN FOR A RUDE AWAKING WHEN HE GETS BACK ON THE FIELD WITH CHAD.

I JUST READ THIS AND I LIKE IT WHAT DO YOU ALL THINK?

THE DOLPHINS DOING HARD KNOCKS.

YES NO AND WHY OR WHY NOT

Would like them to do it but my guess is it will never happen this regime is to closely tied to the parcells mentality don't give them any info and if you do make it so cryptic that not even yourself understands what you are saying... See Sparano and the way he talks...

Fin4life,

Good afternoon friend, great post (11:06). About the (11:21) post, your 2nd point was correct when you wrote about the 3rd and 4th rec set.(Wow, we agree on something. lol) Let me just say I haven't given up on Chad Henne. Please give your thoughts on him. I must say I do like this blog.

Phin fans,

Just found this, and please say it isn't so, we can't be thinking about Matt Moore as a possible replacement for Chad Henne? Here is my opinion, you don't bring in a backup QB who hasn't proven anything and believe he can unseat Henne. My real take on Henne, he never had the opportunity to be under a good coordinator. Let's hope this coordinator will do a better job!???

I can't help but feel a proven guy like Palmer would be a step up for us at QB, and Henne could learn from him. But I don't want to give up the house to get him either. One of those have cake will eat.

We are only 2 or 3 playmakers from being a contender. Please give me some names out there.

LOOSE CHANGE 911 IS CRAZY

Justin

Whye didn't Chaddy become a leader after he got his sorry arse benched? That didn't do it. And you think the playbook is going to do it?

Henne will be Buffalos 2nd string QB in 2012.

Too many unanswered questions.

View full length 2nd Edition video for FREE:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Yx9NRX37SM

Sit back and enjoy the video. Draw your own conclusions afterwards.

View full length Loose Change 2nd Edition video for FREE:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Yx9NRX37SM

Bush caught in lie #6012 about 911:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Yx9NRX37SM

Why lie about something like that? Hmmm.

They aint no mo salad dressin. I done told you that already and here you be aksin me fo mo salad dressin. THEY AINT NO MO SALAD DRESSIN!

HARMON:

YOU CAN'T TELL ME YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND THAT IT MAY BE HARD FOR HIM TO BECOME A LEADER.

HE's YOUNG AND HE's TRYING TO LEAD MEN THAT ARE MUCH OLDER THAN HIM.

PUT THAT WITH PENNY COMING IN WHO HAVE BEEN IN THE NFL FOR YEARS.

RYAN, AND FLACCO ARE NOT THE LEADERS OF THIER TEAMS JUST BECAUSE THEY HAD HELP GETTING THERE.

VETS ON THE O-LINE AND WR CORPS.

CHAD DIDN't HAVE THAT AT ALL.

HE WATCHED PENNY FROM THE BENCH TAKE US TO THE PLAYOFFS.THEN GOT THROWN IN WHEN CHAD WENT DOWN.

I'M SURE THE PLAYERS WEREN't HAPPY HE WAS IN.

LAST YEAR WAS HIS FIRST YEAR AS A STARTING QB.

HE's STILL LEARNING THE GAME. WITH REALLY NO ONE TO TALK TO.

RYAN HAD WHITE,JENKINS,TURNERVETS ON THE O-LINE.

FLACCO HAD MASON,LEWIS,VETS ON THE O-LINE.

OUR O-LINE CAREY IS NOT A LEADER LONG IS NOW BUT HE's STILL LEARNING HIMSELF. AND THE REST OF THE LINE IS IN AND OUT.

BESS IS YOUNG, HARTLINE, RONNIE IS ALWAYS HURT SO HE's NEVER THERE.

RICKY ONLY MAKES SINCE WHEN HE's HIGH.

HIM TAKEN THIS TO THE TEAM MEANS HE MUST TAKE THE BURDEN OF TEACHING THEM.

WHICH WILL FORCE HIM TO BECOME A LEADER.

LET'sPUT IT THIS WAY.

IF HENNE'S VOTED THE CAPTAIN LOOK FORWARD TO A GREAT YEAR

I see the blithering and vapid gibberish of Baboons continues.

Herewith, my punishments upon the populace and all in my Royal Domain shall be increased exponentially.

I HAVE SPOKEN!

Justin

Sounds like a bunch of lame excuses to me, sorry. Did he sign up for NFL QB or the gay mens choir? No one to talk to? Poor fellow. Should he need to be breast fed? If he hasn't shown leadership by now, he just ain't got it in him.

HARMON:

NO EXCUSES.

BUT TALKING ABOUT BABIES HE MUST CRAWL BEFORE HE WALKS BEFORE HE RUNS.

Empress!!! Hi! How are your pineapples?

Looks to me like everyone took a vacation with mando...

?,

I`m perfectly O.K. with giving Henne a shot with a new scheme and faster athlete`s around him to execute it. I remember in 09 when he got the nod vs. the Jets on Monday Night we were 0-3 with nothing to loose and he was permitted to play a litte looser and saw some things I liked about him. I thought that year he made some nice strides especially down the stretch in a nice come from behind win vs. N.E. that season.

I like everybody else have heard the arguments about him playing robotic not being able to throw a fade pass or put any air under his touch passes but believe them all coachable. I believe he can be taught to look of the D.B.`s, throw a better fade pass and put air under the touch passes as well thru practice and repetition. I ask myself given he`s been with the team thru 3 training camps what exactly his Q.B. coach David Lee was doing, given that they had to have seen the flaws in his mechanics but never really worked on them ? They instead put a horn on the feld that went of every 3 seconds so he would get hs inner clock worked out, huhh!!!

I don`t think he will reach the level of elite but given his arm strength could be every bit the game manager alot of successful Q.B.`s in the NFL are while airing it out a few times a game. Hey with all do respect to Pitt. fans I don`t think Big Ben is elite, they play sound Def. have a good run game and he air`s it out to some good W.R.`s a couple times a game keeping opponents honest. I think were Ben is much better is in feeling the rush and getting out of trouble while keeping his eyes downfield looking to make a play this is what I would like to see Henne improve on the most.

I don`t think he can go anywere but up considering the prehistoric Offense he was force fed even Dan Marino says he likes him with a better scheme and his point of view holds more water with me than anybody else at the end of the day. If Henne were to falter we go all in with our full compliment of picks to try and grab someone special in the next draft, it`s why I debated the point with you about trading for either Palmer or Orton when you can get him a good back-up to compete for free, hope you get my drift on the Henne subject God knows I`ve gone on and on already, PEACE !!!

Fin4, as much as I don't think Henne has IT, I agree, one more shot under new coaching and don't give up a draft pick for a 2nd hand QB!

Hey redsky,

How you doing buddy, yeah it would be another one of those panic mode decisions that got us Feeley for our 2nd in 04 and don`t forget that same season they went back to Philly when Ricky retired and gave up our 3 in 05 as well for Lammar Gordon. I bet everytime the phone rings and it`s us Ried`s big butt must pucker up!!!

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