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Dolphins enter decision time

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

The Dolphins have to trim their roster from their current 75-man limit to 53 players by 6 p.m. Saturday and that means the personnel department and coaches are probably making calls that will affect careers as we speak.

One key question is whether the Dolphins will keep two quarterbacks or three quarterbacks. Ryan Tannehill is the starter. Matt Moore is the backup. And then there's Pat Devlin, who was asked late Thursday night if he thinks the Dolphins should keep three QBs on the roster.

“Absolutely," Devlin said with a wry smile. "Absolutely. I mean, there are pros and cons to everything and the coaches have to take all of that into account."

Devlin (pictured below in a Joe Rimkus photo) has not been told one way or another what the decision will be. Basically, it will boil down to whether he's one of the best 53 or not. That's how the Dolphins want to look at it. They think there is enough room for adjustment within their decisions that they can vary the number of players at key position.

DevlinthrowIn other words, the team doesn't feel it must keep a tight end or five or six wide receivers, or four tight ends, or three quarterbacks. If, for example, the third quarterback is a better player and fit on the team than the fullback, then the QB makes the team ahead of the FB. If the fourth tight end is a better player than the fifth receiver, then the fifth receiver is in trouble.

“I think we’re open to any combination," coach Joe Philbin said of the wide receiver spot. "There’s been no decisions made as to how many we’re keeping."

Devlin had his best performance of the preseason. He completed 22 of 38 passes for 259 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. The night didn't look quite nearly so good when he first left the game late in the third quarter. At that point he was 17 of 30 for 167 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.

But then Aaron Corp suffered an injury (either to his shoulder or collarbone, it's unclear as the Dolphins do not report injuries) and Devlin was thrust back into the game.

He then completed 5 of his next 8 passes for 98 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown was a 56-yard connection to Marvin McNutt.

Now, that's the way to make a statement.

“I think there’s a lot of room for improvement," Devlin said. "I think it was fun to get out there in a game situation.  Not going against our defense, it was a lot of fun."

McNutt (pictured right courtesy a Joe Rimkus photo) obviously made a strong case to be the fifth receiver. Rishard Matthews seems to be the team's choice as the fourth receiver.Mcnutt td

“It’s definitely a great feeling to play like that, even though coaches have to make the decision," McNutt said. "I just hope that I proved enough today that I want to be here.  I want to be a guy that can step up and make a play when it counts."

The other side of the McNutt coin was in the locker stall right next door.

Chad Bumphis was clearly the most impressive young receiver in camp early on. He led the team in receptions through three games. Then something happened two weeks ago.

Suddenly, he seemed to be on the outs. He got only three wide receiver snaps in the dress rehearsal game versus Tampa Bay. And he didn't get in last night's game until late in the fourth quarter -- when he still caught two passes for 27 yards

"No idea," Bumphis responded when I asked why he'd been shelved suddenly. "I wasn't told anything. I just went in the game when they told me and did what they asked me to do. I was expecting to play more but, I mean, things happen. They got decisions to make upstairs and I just control what I can control."

It doesn't seem as if Bumphis will make the team. Perhaps the Dolphins bring him back to their practice squad. But it just seems Bumphis, exclusively a slot receiver, suddenly fell out of favor. Perhaps it's because he doesn't play all the receiver spots. Perhaps it's because he's only 5-11 and not 6-1 which the Dolphins prototype seeks.

No idea.

I do have an idea that you'll see Bumphis playing in the NFL at some point. Call it a gut feeling. Call it guessing. I just think the kid has what it takes to play in the league.

And so does he, even if it might not be with Miami.

"Either way, I was blessed just to be here," he said. 'I'm thankful for the opportunity and I'm going to continue to get better. But I know somewhere down the road I'll still be playing football. I felt I showed some good things when I got the chance to show. It will depend on team's needs and what they're looking for at certain times. We'll see how it goes.

"It will make my story that much sweeter when I do make it. When I find a home, I'll make sure I keep it."

Comments

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Pro,
I agree.
I listed the 10 easiest for us.

Sign OT Max smith who was cut from San Diego

Posted by: Joe | August 31, 2013 at 08:45 PM


Typical fin fan always thinking some other teams discarded garbage will turn to gold in aqua.

Daisy,
I believe that you ould get on wonderfully with my friend Dashi, are you married?

Ha!

How tough is it for an Idiot to make a bunch of unaccountable and unsustainable comments?

Apparently pretty easy here at Dolphins In Depth!

The Dolphin brass hates the fans and media LOL

Jamie McCoy TE texas am 1st yr so Tannehill's and Sherman are familiar and could learn playbook faster.

Hank Goldberg says 5-11

FIRE ROSS | August 31, 2013 at 06:42 PM

The 2012 "EVALUATION PERIOD" was a NICE way of saying we were toast until we unloaded the OVERBLOWN CAP! In 2012 we had the 6th HIGHEST payroll in the NFL, seems you failed to take that into account! We ate a chunk of the signing bonus we gave CANCER Marshall as well, cleansed ourselves and got it right!!

Earlier some were posting about the loss of Long & Bush while needing to sign Solia and Grimes long term without taking into consideration that 2/3's of the OL will be UFA next Yr (Cogs, Clabo, Jerry) with Pouncey up for UFA in 2015 yet we should have taken the CAP purge (building working CAPITAL) in 2012 and buried it on a washed up LT and Utility Back featured as power RB on the team???

It's this type of DAMNED thinking that's the real problem here! Tannahill may yet kill the Coaching career of Philbin and Co. given their futures are intertwined but building CAP room to sign a CORE GROUP keeping them together for sometime is the right thing to do. The way contracts are thrown around today you end up like the Jets with 85% of the roster tied into less than 10 guys on a one and done mission which they didn't close! I want our CORE GROUP together for the long haul which was the real secret to N.E.'s run!

Im so sick of Ireland and his shenanigans. WTF's the big deal in announcing cuts?

Just when you begin to feel you no longer at least hate him, then he'll find some sort of "petty bs" to make you wonder wtf again.

Ireland seriously needs to hire a PR coach. Sometimes he can make a fan find laying top of hot coals more appealing than having him as gm.

The Dolphins have a lot better chance at a high draft choice than they do at a wild card.

Ireland hates the fans LOL

Of course, what's Jesse Agler going to say? He works for the Miami Dolphins and does not belong to the 4th Power or even the 5th, now.

At times I believe Ireland purposely does these things just irritate dolfans. It's no wonder why this org has trouble selling season tickets or filling the home stadum. Its spelled:

J-E-F-F..........I-R-E-L-A-N-D...

Ireland hates the fans LOL

Posted by: Empty Stadium | August 31, 2013 at 08:55 PM

The fans hate Ireland.

My purpose here is football only.

I choose my partners myself, and never from cyberland.

I want a CORE GROUP of young guys leading the team forward with revolving support cast not a supporting cast with a revolving door of BIG NAME CONTRACT PLAYERS!

Somebody brought up the Pats and that they haven't won it all in a while well chalk it up to the loss of CORE guys on D due to age. That team hasn't been the same since they lost Bruschi, McGinnist, Vrabel, Seymour and Harrison. This was the CORE D GROUP that kept that engine flowing in the close ones, period!

The Pats have shifted O philosophy as someone pointed out but not 3 times during the SB runs in 01, 03,04 during that run they were a run oriented attack 1st and foremost with Antwain Smith and later with Corey Dillon and always utility guy Kevin Faulk!!

By the way it was precisely this shift and loss of run game that cost them perfection in 07. Some of you watch but don't take in what you see! The Pats were getting themselves back into the 1st SB with N.Y. till Faulk was lost to injury and then left with Maroney they were toast cause Brady had to throw every down exposing the one weakness in Mr. Perfects game and don't forget about the Vinatieri factor either!

Remember Belichik didn't trust Kicker Steven Gostkowski to kick a 44 yarder before the half of that SB choosing to go for it instead which weighed at the end heavily! This NEVER ending Pats GREATNESS talk is BS! There at this point Marino Fins 2.0 with the exception that there D seems to always get the T.O.'s their taught to get to give Brady more possessions.

Could there be some strategic reason for not announcing the cuts?

I don't know.

Otherwise it is discourteous to the fans.

Not that it even matters one hoot one way or the other if we find out 2 hours later who was cut.

ETF...have thought about it but can't come to a clear definition of BACKDOOR! Please enlighten.

I don't agree, 17. The buck stops with Ross. Are we going to start the same he wants to move the Team. WTH is going on, Ross? You don't like us here, move! Or we'll make you.

Fukkkk you!!

Only strategic reason for announcing cuts is not tipping our hand in some sort of 11th hour trade going on. Or Ross really does want the fans to hate the team to soften us up for a future move.

By the way don't know how many watch College Football but the Georgia - Clemson game is a real barn burner on ABC!

Mando tweets McNutt cut

Pretty surprised McNutt and Randall got cut.

NFL NETWORK has a tracker with every teams cuts including the Pats but not Miami? I agree about this being frustrating!

How can anyone support these jokers?

Tell you guys something alot of talk about Stephen Morris and Teddy Bridgewater as high QB picks in the 2014 draft but I really like the cannon arm on Aaron Murray from Georgia. Guy just made a 3rd down throw scrambling right across his body that was an Elway like dart from back in the day!

Pro,
If it were an individual refusing to disclose the cuts then we would assume the person was a protected cass.

When it occurs on an institutional level then it falls under the BACKDOOR umbrella.

Former Dolphins draft picks Austin Spitler and Kheeston Randall were among the 22 players released Sunday as the team got down to the NFL-mandated roster limit of 53 players.

Spitler was a seventh-round selection in 2010 who appeared in 43 games in his three seasons with the Dolphins, while Randall was a seventh-round pick in 2012 who appeared in 12 games as a rookie.

Also released on Saturday were four wide receivers — Chad Bumphis, Brian Tyms, Keenan Davis and Marvin McNutt, who had four catches for 99 yards and a game-winning 56-yard touchdown in the 24-21 victory against the New Orleans Saints in the preseason finale Thursday night.

The player with the longest NFL resume to be released Saturday was defensive end Antwan Applewhite, a five-year veteran who has played for San Diego and Carolina.

The other player released included QB Aaron Corp (waived-injured), CB De’Andre Presley, RB Jonas Gray, CB Julian Posey, S Keelan Johnson, S Jordan Kovacs, LB Lee Robinson, T Jeff Adams (waived-injured), G Chris Barker, C Sam Brenner, DE Tristan Okpalaugo, T Andrew McDonald, DT A.J. Francis, and DT Tracy Robertson.

All the players released Saturday are eligible for the practice squad except for Spitler, Randall and Applewhite. The Dolphins can establish their practice squad Sunday.

All nine members of the Dolphins’ 2013 draft class remained on the roster after the moves Saturday.

The initial 53-man roster, following Saturday’s cuts, breaks down this way by position:

Quarterbacks (3): Ryan Tannehill, Matt Moore, Pat Devlin
Running backs (4): Lamar Miller, Daniel Thomas, Mike Gillislee, Marcus Thigpen
Fullbacks (1): Evan Rodriguez
Wide receivers (4): Brian Hartline, Mike Wallace, Brandon Gibson, Rishard Matthews Tight ends (3): Charles Clay, Dion Sims, Michael Egnew
Offensive linemen (9): Jonathan Martin, Richie Incognito, Mike Pouncey, John Jerry, Tyson Clabo, Nate Garner, Josh Samuda, Dallas Thomas, Will Yeatman
Defensive linemen (8): Olivier Vernon, Cameron Wake, Jared Odrick, Paul Soliai, Randy Starks, Derrick Shelby, Dion Jordan, Vaughn Martin
Linebackers (7): Koa Misi, Dannell Ellerbe, Philip Wheeler, Jason Trusnik, Jelani Jenkins, Jonathan Freeny, Josh Kaddu
Defensive backs (11): Brent Grimes, Dimitri Patterson, Chris Clemons, Reshad Jones, Kelcie McCray, Jimmy Wilson, Nolan Carroll, Jamar Taylor, Will Davis, Don Jones, R.J. Stanford
Specialists (3): Brandon Fields, Caleb Sturgis, John Denney


Tell you guys something alot of talk about Stephen Morris and Teddy Bridgewater as high QB picks in the 2014 draft but I really like the cannon arm on Aaron Murray from Georgia. Guy just made a 3rd down throw scrambling right across his body that was an Elway like dart from back in the day!

Posted by: fin4life | August 31, 2013 at 09:19 PM

Johnny Manziel is in a class by himself.

fins4.....that plays into my thoughts on the 'Phins running prospects this year. Either because of deficient OL play or a lack of talent at RB I just can't see the following: Steady, if unspectacular, production during the game to take some of the pressure off T-Hill. I can see Miller going for 15 or 20 yards once or so per game but I see his other 15 carries going for, say, 35 yds.

With a first and goal on the 3 we can't expect the running game to get us into the end zone. Also, in closing out a game with the clock in our favor getting that important first down, I just can't see it being done with us running the football.

Whether it is the lack of talent on the OL or our RBs we, at present will need to pass to get anything in the way of points. Of all the potential problems we may have this is the one that concerns me the most. Even with an 'improved' T-Hill w/o a running game his effectiveness will suffer. Most people will blame it on T-Hill when, in reality, we only have a one dimentional offense.

Progolf667,

Good QB's can hide and overcome weaknesses. TanneBust cant.

If that's the current roster anyone have any idea where that might put us cap wise?

Also, if we pick up anyone on the wire I see Jones and Stanford as the first casualties.

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