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17 posts from May 2012

May 29, 2012

News, notes from Tuesday's practice

Barry Jackson, making another cameo in Armando's blog after covering Dolphins, Miami Heat and Boston Celtics practices today.

Tuesday was the second of six offseason practices that will be open to the media. David J. Neal has a story - next to this blog - on the Dolphins being selected to appear on HBO's Hard Knocks, something we mentioned was a possibility in my Sports Buzz blog over the weekend. A few notes from Tuesday's session:

### With David Garrard back home in Jacksonville attending to his storm-damaged home, Matt Moore was the best of the Dolphins' quarterbacks Tuesday, but FAR from perfect. Ryan Tannehill had difficulty in the red zone, overthrowing passes to Clyde Gates and Davone Bess and throwing two interceptions to Reshad Jones.

Moore continued to get more snaps against the first-team defense than Tannehill did, but Tannehill took some of the snaps against the No. 1 defense that Garrard got in last week's sessions.  Tannehill struggled during several of those snaps. Most of his completions Tuesday were screens or short patterns over the middle. His best throw was a terrific sideline throw to Marlon Moore, who beat Arizona State rookie linebacker Shelly Lyons.

Tannehill has shown good touch during previous media availabilities (rookie mini-camp, an OTA day last week), but wasn't sharp Tuesday. No need to worry or fret, but facts are facts.

For more on the quarterback play Tuesday and several other notes (such as what rookie was dropping more passes; the troublesome issue with Clyde Gates, and Tuesday's first-team change on offense), please click here on My Sports Buzz blog:


Here are a few more notes beyond the ones in my Buzz blog:

### Besides Garrard, Reggie Bush also was missing from the voluntary practice, and Joe Philbin refused to discuss it. Bush mentioned on his twitter account on Monday that "Vegas is the Devil," which suggests what he was doing over Labor Day weekend.

### Daniel Thomas opened with the first team in Bush's absence, but Steve Slaton got a lot of work. There weren't many holes for either. Paul Soliai completely swallowed up Slaton on one play. Asked about Thomas, Philbin said he likes his size but then suggested he needs to do a better job in blitz pickup. Thomas was responsible for at least one sack last year.

### Vontae Davis and Brian Hartline were limited and three rookies (Jonathan Martin, Josh Kaddu and Dustin Waldron) were not in attendance because their classes are still ongoing. Richard Marshall, who had been with the first team at cornerback in Davis' absence, missed the last hour of practice after injuring his leg.

Marshall was covering Jeff Fuller on the play and landed awkwardly. He limped around the sideline for a while afterward. Philbin said that before the injury, "I like how Marshall is doing and his progress. Not a lot of talk [from him]. Just a lot of action."

### Jonathan Wade replaced Marshall when Marshall went out, on the opposite side of Sean Smith. But Nolan Carroll got work in the nickel package. Carroll made a nifty play, knocking away a deep pass from Tannehill to Clyde Gates.

### Lamar Miller made another nifty play, taking a screen from Pat Devlin for a score. Miller often stands out when he gets the ball, and it's clear coaches will need to carve out a role for him as a rookie.

### Philbin continues to work Reshad Jones (a favorite to start) with Chris Clemons as the first team safeties, with Jimmy Wilson and Tyrone Culver playing in the nickel package. Clemons was badly beaten on a Moore touchdown pass to Anthony Fasano over the middle.

Safety Tyrell Johnson apparently hasn't done anything to push the starters to this point. But Philbin said he he really  likes how Wilson has adapted in his move back to safety (where he played as a senior at Montana). "Good acceleration, good instincts," Philbin said.

### Philbin has become a big fan of center Mike Pouncey: "Like his quickness. Some centers are [more] stout, but we like the way he moves. Got good awareness in the middle."

### Three long-shot signings who turned heads Tuesday: Maryland rookie defensive back Trenton Hughes, who picked off a Matt Moore pass; Ohio State defensive back Anderson Russell, who poked a ball away from Legedu Naanee to prevent a catch; and Boise State rookie defensive end Jarrell Root, who had a sack.

Arkansas State safety Kelcie McCray, who drew plaudits from Jeff Ireland after rookie mini-camp, blew coverage on a pass from Moore to Davone Bess.

### A Les Brown sighting! The former accountant, who's a strong possibility for the practice squad if he shows much summer, caught a couple passes, including a short one from Tannehill than he ran in for a score. He seems to get upfield quickly after the catch.

###Cam Wake, asked about the quarterbacks: "I hate those guys!"

### The defensive line looked good overall Tuesday, with backup Tony McDaniel batting down a Moore pass. Jamaal Westerman got snaps in the nickel package and was active.

### Moore continues to make considerable use of Charles Clay, who usually finds soft spots in the defense. Make no mistake: Clay will be a valued weapon in this offense.

### Marcus Thigpen, the former CFL standout, participated in kickoff return drills with Clyde Gates and Bess.

For more Dolphins notes, please click on my Sports Buzz blog link above, and check routinely there for Dolphins notes. The next Dolphins practice open to the media is June 11. David J. Neal or I will check in then, and David J. will post any significant news here in the interim.



May 24, 2012

The decisions made and choices looming at guard, receiver, safety

Barry Jackson making another cameo in Armando's blog with a couple of quick items and my latest Dolphins Sports Buzz post.

The common theme among safety, receiver and right guard this off-season has been this: In each case, the Dolphins opted to develop their own players instead of adding a sure-fire starter at any of the positions, even though a bunch were available this offseason. Yes, Miami added receiver Legedu Naanee and safety Tyrell Johnson, but both project as likely backups unless Johnson can win the safety job (which would be mildly surprising but not out of the question).

The decision appears final at safety, barring injuries or an intriguing acorn suddenly emerging (to use a Jeff Ireland-ism). With receiver, Ireland hasn't ruled out adding a veteran if he doesn't like what he sees from the unproven young players in the coming months. We address both of these positions in my current post on my Sports Buzz Blog.

With right guard, a final decision hasn't been made, but this much is clear: Veteran starter Jake Scott would love to play for the Dolphins. He visited here in April. The Dolphins haven't told him he's no longer being considered, but they haven't told him an offer is forthcoming, either. Ireland, when asked about Scott, wouldn't rule it out. But it's also clear Ireland and Joe Philbin prefer to give John Jerry every opportunity to win the job.

The Scott/Jerry decision isn't an easy one, but the Dolphins clearly prefer to give Jerry a chance - at least for the moment - before giving more thought to signing Scott, Kyle Kosier or any other veterans available.

Unlike Jerry, Scott has been an established, quality starter, starting every game the past six years. If you believe the numbers offered up by Pro Football Focus - which reviews every snap of every game - they would tell you that Scott graded out as the seventh best among 77 qualifying guards last season.

PFF rated him a smidgen above average as a run blocker and well above average as a pass blocker. He allowed two sacks and 11 quarterback pressures. But the Titans decided to replace him with an older Steve Hutchinson, who obviously has had a terrific career.

For perspective, Vernon Carey (who remains unsigned) was rated 44th among guards last season. PFF said Jerry played 180 snaps at guard - he also got work at tackle - and allowed one sack and three pressures. Scott graded out much better than Jerry as a pass-blocker, but Jerry graded out slightly better as a run-blocker, albeit in a small sample size.

Jerry, at 25, is six years younger than Scott - and that means something to the Dolphins.

"We're going to try to get Jerry established," Ireland said. "Jerry still has that developmental upside. He played well in some games."

Joe Philbin said earlier this offseason: "We've got to find a home for him. He's got to earn a spot."

Jerry now has a home and he is being given every chance to earn that spot, ahead of Nate Garner and whomever else the Dolphins might sign there. If he doesn't perform, the Dolphins will have another reason to rue taking him 73rd in the 2010 draft - 22 spots before New Orleans took Jimmy Graham.

Scott also visited Arizona but remains unsigned. He's not going to wait for any team if he gets an offer to his liking. The Dolphins must hope that Jerry either shows enough in OTAs the next few weeks or that Scott remains available for a while if Jerry doesn't.

Couple other notes:

### Joe Philbin told ESPN he would like to name a starter before the third preseason game. "You'd love to have it done by after the second preseason game," he said. "The third preseason game is when your first unit is going to get the vast majority of the snaps in terms of your preseason allocation. I'd say by the third preseason game we'd like to have the unit established." 

### It's obvious how much Matt Moore loves an offense where he's not being told - by Brandon Marshall or anyone - to throw him the damn ball. "There's no pressure to get the ball to any one specific guy," Moore said. "So you can just go back there and wing it."

### Though Moore called it "weird" and "awkward" that a rookie knows more about the offense than he does, he says it good-naturedly. The relationship among Moore, David Garrard and Ryan Tannehill has been very good, to the point that Philbin went out of his way this week to praise them for how they're helping each other. "It's impressive to watch," Philbin said.

### Oregon linebacker Josh Kaddu became the latest Dolphins draft pick to sign, joining Jonathan Martin, Rishard Matthews, B.J. Cunningham and Kheeston Randall.

For some notes on where the Dolphins stand at safety and receiver, and what Ireland is saying about each of those positions, plus the latest bad news for Warren Sapp, please click here on my latest Sports Buzz post:


With Armando vacationing, David J. Neal will be at the next scheduled Dolphins availability next Tuesday and will post an update then. There will be four additional days of availability after next Tuesday, before camp opens in late July. I'll be on NBA Eastern Conference Finals duty next week (assuming the Heat makes it) but will have more Dolphins notes in buzz columns. Have a good weekend.



May 22, 2012

A dozen notes from OTAs

Barry Jackson making a rare (in fact, unprecedented) foray into Armando's blog to post a practice update from Tuesday. As usual, I have a lot of Dolphins notes in my Sports Buzz blog - which can be found on the Dolphins page to the right of this blog and on the sports home page - so I encourage you to check that out today and often.

The current Sports Buzz blog post has all the details about why Philbin told me (privately) that a three-way QB battle will be tricky for him, as well as what Philbin and the quarterbacks said publicly today, including their comments about Steve Ross' expectation that Matt Moore will start. It also will have reaction to Miami's up-tempo offense.

A dozen other notes:

### Moore and David Garrard took most of the snaps with the offensive starters, with Ryan Tannehill working mostly with backups. Lydon Murtha was first-team right tackle (Jonathan Martin - who agreed to a contract Tuesday afternoon - is still at Stanford taking classes) and John Jerry was first-team right guard. Joe Philbin and Jeff Ireland want to give Jerry an extended look at guard, after Jerry moved around last year between guard and tackle. Right guard is clearly his job to lose.

### Artis Hicks said he is playing tackle exclusively, behind Murtha and Jake Long. Ryan Cook is Mike Pouncey's backup center; he earned $1 million for 15 snaps last year (good work if you can get it).

### Three veterans told me in the past two weeks that Julius Pruitt has been especially impressive among the unproven receivers.  Pruitt didn't do anything notable Tuesday. Undrafted Jeff Fuller caught a slant from Tannehill.

Rookie B.J. Cunningham ran for a touchdown when he caught a Jimmy Wilson deflection. Roberto Wallace got outfought for a deep ball by Sean Smith, who picked if off. But Wallace also made a nice catch on a nifty roll-out by Matt Moore. Rookie Rishard Matthews failed to hold onto a deep, catchable ball from Ryan Tannehill and dropped a Tannehill pass on a slant.

### Expect to see Lamar Miller line up in the slot at times. He can do quite a bit of damage as a receiver because of his speed and elusiveness, and this staff knows that and will take advantage of that. Miller was as impressive as any player Tuesday. By the way, we're told that UM coach Al Golden told Ireland before the draft that if he picked Miller and Olivier Vernon, he would be getting two first-round talents a year early.

### The first-team defense, now with a 4-3 base, included Cameron Wake and Jared Odrick at end (Odrick was in ex-Dolphin Kendall Langford's spot), Paul Soliai and Randy Starks at tackle, Karlos Dansby at middle linebacker (he says he will be very good there), Kevin Burnett and Koa Misi flip-flopping between the other two linebacker spots; Chris Clemons and Reshad Jones at safety; and Sean Smith and Richard Marshall at cornerback.

Jamaal Westerman, Tony McDaniel and Olivier Vernon also worked into the defensive line rotation.

### Vontae Davis was very limited because of an injury that he suggested was not too serious. Former CFL fullback Jerome Messam also sat out after knee surgery, but he's hopeful of being back for training camp. Undrafted Notre Dame running back Jonas Gray also sat out.

### Not only was the entire practice up-tempo offensively, but the team portion began with Moore, Tannehill and Garrard also taking two plays in a frantic, no-huddle offense. Clay dropped one of Tanehill's passes in that sequence but looked very good otherwise.

### Undrafted Missouri defensive end Jacquies Smith stood out by getting pressure on the quarterback several times. He would have sacked Tannehill on one play if sacks were allowed. Ireland said recently that Arkansas State safety Kelcie McCray was an undrafted player who stood out to him at rookie mini-camp, but he enters OTAs with at least five veterans ahead of him, for now.

### All rookies were in attendance except Martin, Oregon linebacker Josh Kaddu and undrafted Portland State tackle Dustin Waldron.They're all still taking classes.

### Add Plaxico Burress to the list of receivers who would love to audition for the Dolphins. But Miami has shown no interest in the likes of Burress, Roy Williams and Braylon Edwards. Ireland said he "could be done" at receiver, but isn't certain. If the rookies don't develop this summer, Ireland might add a veteran.

### Former Packers Al Harris and Marco Rivera were Joe Philbin's guests at practice.

### Reggie Bush was used on some punt returns, as were Davone Bess (the incumbent), Miller, Matthews, Clyde Gates and Marcus Thigpen.

Please check out my currently-posted Buzz blog for all the QB news from today (and other Dolphins notes not covered here) and also check out David J. Neal's story on Miller and Vernon, which will be posted later.


4 down, 5 to go

David Neal, guesting for the vacationing Armando Salguero, coming to you live from today's OTA. How do they look? Like a bunch of big, fast athletes running around in shorts and missing their hip flags. It's an OTA day. Practice is closed to the public so the only living thing in the bleachers is a toad. In other news, the Dolphins have signed seventh-round pick, wide receiver Rishard Matthews. He's here along with most of the 2012 draft class. Stanford right tackle-to-be Jonathan Martin and Oregon linebacker Josh Kaddu aren't here. But Martin agreed to terms Tuesday afternoon.

May 20, 2012

2 signed, 7 to go

Coming to you live from South Beach, pulling my daughter in a wagon to Flamingo Park pool, this is David Neal, guest blogging for vacationing Armando. The Dolphins have signed defensive tackle Kheeston Randall, a seventh-round pick, to a four-year deal. After not participating in the signing blizzard, the Dolphins have signed Randall and sixth-round wide receiver B.J. Cunningham this week. The only certainty is Oregon's Josh Kaddu won't be the next one -- the school's on the quarters system and, by NFL rule, he can't even take a physical before June 16. I heard the third rounders around the league might take a little time also as agents actually are loathe to be early in that slotting.

May 08, 2012

Vacation time is here again

The Dolphins have done much of their offseason work. The draft is over. Free agency, for the most part, is done. There will be some OTA days. There will be a minicamp for the entire team June 19-21.

Other than that, not much going on until the opening of training camp.

That tells me, it's vacation time!!!!

I'm done for a while.

You can still come here for the latest Dolphins news as there will be guest bloggers on this site as events warrant. If you miss me or want to talk to me or yell at me, you can catch me on Armando and Perkins every morning on 640-AM in South Florida and streaming live video on this site.

You can also follow me on twitter.



May 06, 2012

Cameron Wake: 'An amazing, amazing journey'

The news of the weekend for the Dolphins continues to be the signing of Cameron Wake to a four-year extension through 2016. He spoke with the media in a conference call this evening.

This is everything he said:

(On signing his extension) - “It feels really good. Really good. It’s kind of like taking things to another level -- kind of like when I came down here from the CFL. You always try to get better. You always want to reach the next level and I’ve been trying to do that since the moment I stepped on the football field at Penn State. Having a situation like this…it’s going through the journey. There aren’t too many guys who can say that… being released from the (New York) Giants, being out of football, going to the CFL and doing well up there, coming back, being inactive my first few games here with the Dolphins, playing in the Pro Bowl -- it’s been an amazing, amazing journey. It’s definitely been an amazing ride.”

(On if there was a moment where he felt this extension wouldn’t get done) - “You know what…I had faith in the whole process. It’s one of those things where patience is best. You definitely need that going through the process that I was going through. Like I said, everything that happened to me up to this point…there were a lot of times where I thought (inaudible). Never let go of your dreams and it was a situation where I had to keep striving and hopefully good things will happen.”

(On how hard was it not let his contract situation impact him on the field and how tough was it missing some of the offseason workouts) - “I’ve said this before; football is a game for big boys. We are all grown men. There is a business side and there is a personal side. As a grown man, you start to better understand there is a business side and everything has its place and time. Going through the last couple of years, I have obviously felt a sense that you want to get something done. Nothing will happen if you don’t (inaudible). Having to go out there and do that…if I was out there every play trying to worry about ‘oh my God, what do I have to do to get a contract on this play’, I would miss a tackle or (be in) the wrong gap. That would put me away from my ultimate goal. When you are on the field…you have to block out all of the other distractions. Your contract, your girlfriend, if your leg (is) hurting, it’s hot, whatever those are. You have to throw those distractions to the side.”

(On how fans seem to be more encouraged about the team after the draft) - “I have a very strong opinion about this organization. Obviously for many reasons, the major one being I got an opportunity to come back and play football at the highest level of the game I love. This organization was the team at the forefront of bringing me out of the CFL and having me come down here and play the game of football. Obviously, I have a strong attachment. They are very near and dear to my heart. The decisions they make and the decisions they’ve made are to make sure that we are a winning organization. I’ve seen them do that and I am looking forward to this upcoming season for sure.”

(On his impression of Joe Philbin) - “So far. So good. I sat down and spoke with him one on one on more than one occasion. He kind of threw his philosophy at me and he wants to run his own ship and I like the way it is going so far. It’s fresh blood. I know you guys have, or maybe not have, seen the addition to downstairs at the facility. Just trying to make it a first class organization from top to bottom and making sure we have everything we need to be successful. I’m looking forward to many good things this offseason. We are taking big strides to make sure that 2012 will be a good season for everybody.”

(On defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle) - “He is another guy that I got a chance to speak with. He’s been…what he has already brought to the table is huge in the meetings that we have had. It (the defense) looks very polished and a lot of guys are excited about it. We’ve always have been as a defense at the top of the list in making sure we do our job on the field (rest inaudible).”

(On what he has been doing this offseason) - “Other than working out (laughing)? I’ve actually had a little time to spend with my family before we got back for the OTA’s and offseason workouts. I’m one of those guys that are an everyday guy. Family, dinner and a movie. I hang out in Miami, which as you know is a destination for most people when they get the opportunity to come down here. We are truly blessed to be playing in a city like this. Miami has a lot to offer and every time I have the opportunity, I want to take part in that, but like you said, it’s football time now.”

(On if he has a first purchase in mind with the new contract) - “I think my journey from where I’ve come from. I want to stay humble with it. I have never been one of those guys. I am not looking at a helicopter or diamonds or big tiger (laughing) or nothing like that. There is nothing out there I think I would go out there…I am kind of one of those guys that (gets) the things that I need and most of the things I want or well below my needs. Like they said “wine money with beer tastes”. I keep it pretty simple and hopefully (save money) for a rainy day in the future and hopefully for generations to come.

Cameron Wake signs extension, Dolphins on a roll

More positive news for the Dolphins: They will not have an ugly or contentious contract holdout from Cameron Wake this summer.

Wake has signed a four-year contract extension with the Dolphins that will pay him $20 million in guaranteed money, according to an NFL source. The amount of the extension is unclear although ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting it is worth $49 million. Schefter was the first to report the extension. The Dolphins have released a statement confirming it.

“We are pleased that we were able to reach an agreement with Cam and his agent, Paul Sheehy to extend Cam’s contract,” said Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland. “Cam has been a productive player ever since he joined the Dolphins, and has been a great teammate and an outstanding citizen. His work ethic and professionalism on the field and in the locker room has made him a leader by example. We also appreciate all the community activities he has done. We always try to reward our own players for their contributions to the team and Cam certainly deserves that recognition. I want to thank Cam and Paul for their hard work in getting this extension done.”

The true amount of the extension will be determined when the actual contract is signed and available for inspection.

Postive news has been a trend for the Dolphins of late, as I write in my column in today's Miami Herald. I make the point in the column that after a very, very, very rough patch in March, the club has climbed out of the mire and is getting some positive reviews from fans, the media, and others around the NFL.

The draft had a lot to do with this and, more importantly, the drafting of Ryan Tannehill.

I know a lot of you are going to ask where exactly the Dolphins are getting all this cap space for Wake. Well, the majority of the space being used is not in 2012 but in 2013 and beyond. I assume the deal has a big bonus payable this year that will be prorated over the life of the deal through 2016. That will serve in bringing Wake's pay this year, originally scheduled at $615,000, up to his current performance levels while only a prorated portion of it counts toward this year's cap.

Obviously, the Dolphins must sign their draft picks and have work to do in getting an extension with Jake Long as well but this deal should not preclude them from doing that

May 04, 2012

The rookie practice report

Ryan Tannehill had a good first day of rookie minicamp. That should not be surprising to anyone. He's the first-round pick. He said he knows approximately "80 to 85 percent" of the offense because it's similar to the one he ran at Texas A&M although "some of the concepts have changed."

So the rook is off to a good start.

Tannehill throws a very impressive ball on out patterns and comebacks. He also connected on a couple of deep passes that caught the coaching staff's collective eye. He threw what looked like a nine route to Rishard Matthews that was perhaps the play of the practice. He had another connection with UDFA A.J. Guyton that also went deep.

"He threw a couple of double-moves and deep routes well," coach Joe Philbin said.

Tannehill did throw an interception but it happened on his first pass in team drills when he hit B.J. Cunningham in the hands and the receiver couldn't come up with the football. The loose ball popped in the air and was intercepted by Vincent Agnew. Agnew had a nice practice today as he also had another notable PD later in the practice.

There were more than a couple of drops today. Free agent Derek Moye dropped one, prompting a coach to yell, "Catch the ball!"

Third-round pick Michael Egnew also suffered a drop although he was able to catch a couple also. Egnew, by the way, is Tannehill's roommate at the team hotel where players are staying.

Tannehill is obviously more familiar than any of these rookies with the offense, save receiver Jeff Fuller, because both have been in the Aggies offense. He can press his advantage here, but Philbin said he wouldn't say he'll be ahead of veterans Matt Moore and David Garrard in knowing the system.

"We've thrown a lot at those guys," Philbin said cautiously.

Second-round pick Jonathan Martin today began his indoctrination to the right tackle spot. "It's a little strange," Martin said, "but I'm getting it."

It was clear that some of these kids are out of shape. Seriously, it is 80 degrees out. There is a pleasant breeze. There is very little humidity. But some guys were "gassed," Philbin noticed.

Wait until it's July and training camp opens and they're in pads and the sauna is on full sweat mode. Some big boys better be in shape by then.

Former University of Miami quarterback Jacory Harris is here. He was running third-team behind Tannehill and Pat Devlin. He's a good kid. But he's not NFL caliber, in my opinion. I cannot fault him for chasing his dream, however, and he said next weekend he will attend the Philadelphia Eagles rookie minicamp as a tryout player. It was previously reported Harris would attend the Arizona rookie camp instead.

Tryout players on the field as well

Aside from the 16 undrafted free agents and the rookie draft picks, the Dolphins have invited 17 tryout players to this rookie minicamp. They are:

QB Jacory Harris, QB, Miami

WR AJ Guyton, Central Florida.

S Albert Evans, Purdue.

S Elton Ford, Arkansas

S Rick Volcin, Norfolk State

DB Mike Williams, Miami

CB Justin Haulcy-Batemen, Cal Lutheran

LB Ryan Lewis, Bethune-Cookman

LB Chaz Walker, Utah

LB Cort Dennison, Washington

G Kyle Bogumil, Rhode Island

G Joel Figueroa, UM

C Kreg Hunter, Ball State

OT Addison Lawrence, Mississippi State

T Andrew McDonald, Indiana

TE Nick Mandich, Southern Connecticut State

DT Justin Smith, Mississippi

Seven first-year players, including quarterback Pat Devlin, are also here.

As for the play so far?

Jackory Harris fumbled his second snap from scrimmage. And first round pick Ryan Tannehill threw a pass that bounced off B.J. Cunningham's hands and was intercepted.

Jonas Miller is here but not practicing.

Oh well.



Rookie camp opens this afternoon

The Dolphins open a three-day rookie mini-camp today along with eight other teams. Practice is at 2:30 p.m. and I'd expect approximately 40 rookie draft picks, signed undrafted free agents and tryout players to be on the field.

The Dolphins have not yet released their list of signed UDFAs and definitely haven't confirmed their tryouts, such as former University of Miami quarterback Jacory Harris, who is expected to attend.

But below is a rudimentary working list of some of the players Miami is expected to host today through Sunday. The signees and some tryouts:

Signee Trenton Hughes, DL, Maryland

Signee Shelly Lyons, OLB, Arizona State

Signee Jarrell Root, DE, Boise St

Signee Josh Samuda, OL, UMass

Signee Jacquies Smith, DE, Missouri

Signee Jonas Gray, RB, Notre Dame

Signee Derrick Shelby, DE, Utah

Signee Derek Moye, WR, Penn State

Signee Kelcie McCray, S, Arkansas State

Signee Kevyn Scott, CB, Syracuse

Signee Jeff Fuller, WR, Texas A&M

Signee Alex Alecxih, DT, Pittsburgh

Signee Derrick Dennis, OG, Temple

Signee Terence Brown, C, BYU

Signee Dustin Waldron, OT, Portland State

Signee Cameron Collins, ILB, Oregon State

Tryout Myron Johnson, S, Arkansas Tech

Tryout Jacory Harris, QB, Miami

I'll have updates before and after practice so come back throughout the day.

May 03, 2012

My reason to wait-and-see with Miami's WRs

If you've been reading me via this blog or my columns, if you've been listening to my radio show, Armando and Perkins on 640Sports in South Florida, you know I am uneasy about Miami's wide receiver situation.

It really isn't anything new. I've been uneasy about Miami's wide receiver situation since, oh, about 1995.

But as these Dolphins have zero to do with those issues dating that far back, let me explain why I'm uneasy with this administration's wide receiver situation -- the current wide receiver situation.

Let me start with history.

Frankly, this personnel department has been hit-and-miss with its wide receiver transactions. Yes, there have have been some notable successes, such as the uncovering of Davone Bess as an undrafted free agent.

But there have been some unprofitable transactions as well.

And the unprofitable stuff has seemingly out-numbered the successes.

An overview:


Ernest Wilford is signed as an unrestricted free agent: The Dolphins gave Wilford a $6 million guarantee. The guy was a presumed starter the first day of training camp. And then practices began and he started dropping down the depth chart. And then he barely made the team his first year. And then he couldn't get on the field on game day -- he was inactive nine games and caught only three passes. The next year, the club tried him at tight end. It was another fiasco and he was cut as a free agency bust.

Signed Davone Bess as an undrafted free agent. Outstanding acquisition. Bess was on the receiving end of more passes at Hawaii than a hot gal at a Luau. But his lack of speed got him overlooked in the draft. The Dolphins took him, used him immediately as a returner and slot guy and developed him into a solid team contributor and weapon. Bess eventually was given a contract extension and remains to this moment Miami's finest receiver transaction.

Extended the contract of Greg Camarillo. Camarillo was alread on campus when the current administration arrived and he was excellent in 2008 because he simply didn't drop passes. He was dependable, a good route-runner and very smart. So the Dolphins gave him a contract extension as he was leading the team in receptions. But one week after getting that contract extension Camarillo blew out his knee and went on injured reserve. Never a speed merchant, Camarillo didn't regain the explosion he had before the knee blew out and he was traded the following summer for Benny Sapp. It was nobody's fault. Sometimes stuff happens. But obviously, this is not a positive result.


Drafted Patrick Turner in the third round. Turner looks the part. And in practice he sometimes played the part. But he didn't learn very quickly. He didn't progress. To those who watched him at USC, this was not a surprise because he only had one good season there. In other words, he was a one-year wonder and he wasn't truly a huge wonder at that. The following year Turner came back stronger, bigger, faster. And he still wasn't good enough. He was cut as a draft bust. By the way, general manager Jeff Ireland recently mentioned him as a good player he drafted because Turner is still in the league with the Jets. Sorry, players no longer on this roster don't qualify as good acquisitions for this team. Just being real, here.

Draft Brian Hartline in the fourth round. The Dolphins doubled down on receiver in 2009 as they have done at other positions. Smart thinking because while Turner flubbed, Hartline flourished. He was immediately able to learn not one but several WR spots. He showed ability to get deep. In 2010, he earned the starting job and still has the job today. No, he's not a star. But this year he'll be given a chance to take a leap to being an impact player. I doubt he'll take a step backwards, although his durability is a question. There is also the chance he is what we've seen so far and only that, which is to say he's a complementary player. At any rate, a fourth-round pick who is a complementary piece is a successful acquisition.


Traded for Brandon Marshall for a second round pick in 2010 and a second round pick in 2011. It was controversial when the Dolphins added Marshall based on his history with domestic violence and other locker room issues. It was controversial when Marshall continued to have domestic violence problems and other locker room issues, including feuding with quarterback Chad Henne. And it was controversial when the Dolphins decided to trade Marshall for a couple of third-round picks this offseason. Was this acquisition a net plus? Absolutely not. It was a mistake that cost the team tons of cap space, multiple second-round picks, multiple dropped passes, including touchdowns, and more drama than anyone would ever want.

Signed Marlon Moore as an undrafted free agent. Moore came from Fresno State skinny and raw and fast. He didn't exactly wow in college. And with the exception of a 54-yard TD pass against Oakland in 2010, he hasn't wowed in Miami. This is his make-or-break training camp and season. He's either going to show he belongs or the experiment ends. Having said that, I cannot condemn the acquisition because, again, he was an undrafed free agent.

Signed Roberto Wallace as an undrafted free agent. See Marlon Moore. Same story except for the long TD pass and the fact Wallace has been a more consistent special teams contributor. Regardless, it's put-up or shut-up time. We'll see.

Traded Ted Ginn for a box of yummy hot doughnuts: The Dolphins felt compelled to do this because they decided Ginn needed a change of address and scenery. I get it. I do. I also get that Ginn is still better than any return option the Dolphins have had since he was dealt. He's never amounted to much as a wide receiver. But as a return man, he's always been good for a couple of timely touchdowns per season. In hindsight, it can be argued the Dolphins should have kept him in that capacity.


Drafted Clyde Gates in the foruth round. Gates was picked as the speed on the outside. His job is to blow the top off the defense. Yeah, well, he caught two passes for 19 yards as a rookie. But it was a redshirt year of sorts. He gets more chances this year. The club is working him with starters early this offseason. Everyone wants him to succeed. Will he? No idea. The jury is still out on this one.

As you can see, Miami's recent history with wide receiver acquisitions is mixed at best and unproductive under a more critical microscope.

And as past performance is the best predictor of future performance, I am simply skeptical about the addition of receiver talent in the sixth and seventh rounds this year. I'm not buying anyone's word that either Rishard Matthews or B.J. Cunningham are going to solve the voids Miami has in the receiver corps.

I'll believe it when I see it.

May 02, 2012

Jason Taylor on Seau: 'A leader of men'

Jason Taylor was also part of the Dolphins defense when Junior Seau was traded to the team in 2003.

Seau, who had a way of acting like he knew you even when he didn't, obviously was that way with teammates as well as reporters.

As Taylor remembers:

"I'm shocked and saddened," Taylor said. "Devastated, really. Junior was one of the most positive, uplifting people I have ever known. He was always full of life and energy and had an infectious spirit that lifted everyone around him. Junior called everyone "buddy" and treated them like he had known them forever. It would be easy for me to say he was a great friend and teammate, and a tremendous competitor, but that would be selling Junior short.

"Junior Seau was an individual of great honor and integrity, a leader of men and someone with a deep rooted passion for giving of himself to make the people, the community and especially the children around him better. This is an immeasurable loss for so many. My heart and prayers go out to Junior's family, Gina and their children. I'm going to miss you, buddy."

Zach Thomas: 'Junior was my hero'

Zach Thomas idolized Junior Seau.

I remember him joking that he didn't have nearly Seau's ability and that he "learned tons of stuff" from Seau. This was Zach Thomas, who is arguably one of the greatest linebackers in Dolphins history.

Thomas was understandably upset to learn of Seau's passing today.

He released this statement:

"I have never been around a man with more love and passion for the game of football than Junior Seau, and he lived life the same way. Junior was always fun to be around, always positive and made every person who knew him feel like he was their best friend. You never heard one negative word come out of his mouth. Junior just had this energy that followed him around wherever he went, almost like theme music. It was like he never had a bad day.

"As a young linebacker, Junior was my hero growing up and once I had the opportunity meet him I saw that he was everything I hoped he would be and more. Getting the chance to play along side of Junior Seau, the greatest linebacker to ever play the game, made my dreams come true. I am absolutely devastated to hear this news. Today I lost my hero, my friend, my buddy."

Wannstedt: Junior passing 'tragic'

Dave Wannstedt was the head coach of the Dolphins who traded for Junior Seau. Now the defensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills, Wannstedt just released a statement on the passing of the former NFL linebacker:

“Hearing this news about Junior...it’s just so tragic…it’s hard to believe. I still to this day remember the day that Junior joined our family at the Dolphins. He brought a sense of renewed energy and a spirit to the field, off the field, in the weight room, just everywhere that Junior went and everyone that Junior was associated with. He instilled a belief that we hadn’t reached our potential and that we could be better and he would find a way to help make that happen.

"I just feel terrible but I know how much he loved his kids. I remember him coming to me and the first thing we talked about was what the offseason schedule would be and what was going to be our bye week schedule. Everything he was doing was centered around getting back to San Diego from Miami to be able to spend quality time with his kids. I don’t think there’s a better way a man could be remembered than in those terms.”

Former NFL star, Dolphins LB Junior Seau passes

Junior Seau has passed away at age 43.

The former linebacker for the Chargers, Dolphins and Patriots was found this morning in his San Diego area home with a gunshot wound to the chest. The North County Times is citing unnamed sources in reporting Seau's death is an apparent suicide.

Seau played for the Dolphins from 2003-2005. His time with Miami was primarily one riddled with injuries. It was the least successful of his NFL stops as he was an impact player for the San Diego Chargers for 13 years and later helped the Patriots reach the Super Bowl during his stint there.

Named Tiana Baul "Junior" Seau when he was born in Jan. 19, 1969, Seau was drafted fifth overall by the Chargers in the 1990 draft.

He was a local legend in San Diego, first at Oceanside High School, where he lettered in football, basketball and track and field. He earned recognition as a league MVP and was named by Parade Magazine to its high school All-American Team.

Seau played collegiately down the road in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California.

He was named to the Pro Bowl 12 times and made the league's list of All-Pro starts for 10 years. Seau was traded to the Dolphins on April 16, 2003 for a fifth-round draft pick.

In October 2010, problems in Seau's life became clear following a bizarre automobile accident. On Oct. 18, he drove his SUV off an embankment in Carlsbad and was hospitalized with minor injuries.

Seau told police he fell asleep hours after he was arrested on a felony domestic violence allegation and released, police said.

The Dolphins are aware of Seau's passing. The club is forming a statement.

[Update: Dolphins CEO has tweeted a statemet: “We are stunned and saddened at the passing of Junior Seau. During his time with the Dolphins he made a unique contribution to the team and the South Florida community.

“Junior was a fierce competitor whose passion and work ethic lifted his teammates to greater heights. His enthusiasm for the game was infectious and he passed that on to everyone who was around him. He loved the game so much, and no one played with more sheer joy.

“Beyond his accomplishments on the field, though, he was as well known for his charitable accomplishments to help those less fortunate than himself, especially kids. Whether it was in San Diego, South Florida, New England or everywhere else in between, Junior loved putting a smile on a child’s face during his “Shop with a Jock” program or during one of his countless school visits. He made a difference to so many people in so many places.

"Junior was one-of-a-kind. The league will never see anyone like him again. He will be missed, and on behalf of the Miami Dolphins we want to extend our condolences to his family.”]

May 01, 2012

Still recovering from draft so enjoy this video

I got no news. I got no opinion. I got no speculation for you today. I don't want to talk about Jacoby Jones. Or Jabar Gaffney.


I do have this video montage below, sent to me by reader Joe Alvarez. Enjoy: