Let me begin by borrowing from the Dolphins 2010 lexicon and feed the wolf. As I clearly have seen from the quarterback-hungry and quarterback-controversy-hungry readers and fans that follow this team, you want to be fed quarterback news.
Here you go:
Chad Henne is the starter. Matt Moore is the backup. That's the way it is going to play -- regardless of what fans want -- for the immediate future. Henne will take all the snaps with the first team offense in Friday night's home preseason opener against Carolina and Moore is not getting any of those opportunities against starters.
"I don't have that in the plan right at this second," coach Tony Sparano said Monday. "Chad is going to get the first team reps right now and Matt will be in with the second group right now."
So let me play traffic cop: Nothing to see here, folks. Move along. Nothing to see here.
At least right now.
Henne would have to suffer a serious meltdown in coming practices and games while Moore would have to go Marinolike on defenses for this situation to change, in my opinion.
I'll let you know if it changes but until then, assume it will not.
Sparano said he told the team everyone needs to be ready to play and they might play 'until I'm tired of them playing." But he went on to say he sees "some guys" going into the second quarter perhaps even until halftime.
The Dolphins will have to spend the next couple of practices and games taking a serious look at their tight end situation because, behind Anthony Fasano, no one is really making the coaching staff feel comfortable. Well, Charles Clay is getting work in Miami's double-tight package but even he is not exactly wowing folks.
"I'm happy in that I like the group of people that are there, yes," Sparano said. "As far as the production at the group right now, no not quite so. In other words, we got a lot of young players. They have a long way to go.
"It's a positiion that is muddy to me other than Fasano and I have to get to the bottom of it quickly."
After last week's dropped pass and zero-catch performance, I might throw Fasano into that mix of questionable production, but clearly the Dolphins do not.
Another area I would look for more clarity on is the offensive line. The unit isn't necessarily bad. But it isn't close to being good, either. They've got work to do and precious little time to do it. Look for this group to perhaps be among those that play a long time Friday. That is the only way to gel and get better.
On the newsy front, The Herald's Barry Jackson reports that the restructuring of Vernon Carey's contract cut the player's 2011 salary from $4.2 million to $2.5 million. The Dolphins also voided the final three years of Carey's contract. That means Carey would be an unrestricted free agent in 2012.
And that means the Dolphins will be looking to add more offensive line help next offseason.
On the injury front, Phillip Livas missed practice today after a hamstring tightened up on him. Livas returned a punt return 75 yards for a TD against Atlanta but obviously durability is an issue the Dolphins monitor closely so it's important for him to get back to his competition for a roster spot ASAP.
Livas is competing with Clyde Gates for return duties. And although you should know Reggie Bush took punts today in practice, he is not expected to fill that duty in the preseason.
Cornerback Will Allen returned to practice today after missing much of the last couple of weeks with a hamstring injury. He said afterward that he would not rule himself out of playing Friday.
Sparano gave a couple of interesting hints that could affect roster decisions. He called Lex Hilliard "one of the best two special teams players" on the team. That combined with Hilliard's ability to contribute at running back and even fullback in a pinch suggests he's got a role worthy of a roster spot.
The Dolphins have worked a lot of what they call 21 personnel, which is double tight ends and one running back but haven't shown any 22 personnel, which is two tight ends, a running back and fullback. Having not seen this, I wondered if Lou Polite was an endangered species on this roster.
Fact is fullbacks are endangered in the NFL as fewer and fewer seem to be holding jobs while team emphasize passing and using an H-back. Sparano seemed to suggest Polite has nothing to worry about.
"There's enough good things that Lou Polite does right now that will help us and somebody is going to have to do a heck of a job for me to think otherwise," Sparano said.