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4 posts from September 11, 2013

September 11, 2013

Handful of Dolphins among nominees for HOF

The Pro Football Hall of Fame has announced its list of 126 nominees to be inducted into the venerable institution. A handful of Dolphins pepper that list and that is an accomplishment in of itself.

Linebacker Zach Thomas, cornerback Sam Madison, cornerback and cornerback Patrick Surtain are included in this year's  list of first-year eligible nominees. It's a strong group that includes Seattle tackle Walter Jones, linebacker Derrick Brooks, Mike Holmgren and Tony Dungy.

Receiver Mark Clayton is also among the nominees as are cornerback/safety Troy Vincent and former Dolphins defensive coordinator Bill Arnsparger and former Miami and Dallas coach Jimmy Johnson.

I'm not sure any of these men will make it this year.

The process is a difficult one and ultimately no more than seven men will go into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton. This current list of 126 will be reduced to 25 and then 15. That list will be announced in January.

Go luck, gentlemen.

The latest from Dolphins camp on a Wednesday

The Dolphins are practicing late today as per their new schedule and here's what's happening:

Cornerback Dimitri Patterson, nursing a tender groin, returned to practice today. Patterson, however, seemed limited during the portion open to the media. I expect Patterson will play against the Indianapolis Colts, as he told The Herald on Sunday.

But ...

It's important he not suffer a setback. It's important the Dolphins are cautious with him.

To that end, it's possible Patterson might be limited to duty as the slot corner in obvious passing situations versus Indy. In that scenario, Nolan Carroll would have to start. Obviously, if Patterson feels fully recovered, he can take his spot in the starting lineup.

Rookie cornerback Jamar Taylor also is not practicing. He's been dealing with the hernia/groin issue since the offseason. He's not going to play on Sunday.

Quarterback Pat Devlin (ankle) also is not practicing today.

What Dion Jordan learned during Week One

In setting up their locker room this year, the Dolphins put first-round pick Dion Jordan next to Cameron Wake. It is not a coincidence.

Wake is a 100-mph dude. He loves to work. He loves to play. And he plays every down like it is his last. That is one reason he is the second-rated defensive end behind St. Louis end Robert Quinn after one game, according to ProFootballFocos.com. Quinn had three sacks and two forced fumbles against Arizona.

Wake got 62 snaps. And went hard 62 snaps. He had 2.5 sacks and four hurries.

That example has quickly traveled the one foot distance separating Wake and Jordan. Jordan gets it.

And after watching Wake against the Browns and have one of his more impressive games in memory, Jordan feels like he learned something in his NFL debut.

How the game should really be played ...

"Consistency," Jordan said. "That's one thing I learned, especially watching this guy Cam Wake rush. Consistency is probably the thing I learned."

What does that mean?

It means no Jadeveon Clowney act.

It means taking no plays off.

"There's no plays off because any play can change this game and Cam made some big plays last week and changed that game last weekend," Jordan said.

This is not to suggest Jordan didn't know about going full speed every play before Sunday. It's just that the game was an illustration of what can happen when you don't. And so he won't.

"I feel if I was ever to take a play off, guys would notice it, especially the guys in my room," Jordan said. "They would notice it. But that's not my menality. I have a motor so I'm going to use it."

Jordan played 17 snaps according to PFF. He had a sack and a tackle. He also had a penalty. The metrics site gave him a negative grade for the game. (Don't ask me, that's what they did).

But Jordan seemed pleased with himself.

"I feel like I played fast ... I  played a lot of special teams, I played a lot of defense. I had a pretty decent role for the team," he said.

It was a solid start.



Bunch of thoughts about ... running the football

Normally I try to give you a clear and cogent theme on blog posts and try to do it in a logical manner that connects the dots so as to make sense.

Not this morning.

This post is about the Dolphins running game and that's as much as I can tell you. It's going to jump around. It's not going to flow. It's going to be like a stream of consciousness that perhaps makes sense only to me.


1. The Dolphins could not run the footballagainst the Cleveland Browns on Sunday and so today they are ranked No. 32 (last) in the NFL running the ball. So who's at fault? The offensive line, first, because there was no daylight. The Cleveland front seven, which I believe will prove itself to be formidable this year. The Dolphins running backs, who didn't make anyone miss or run through anyone. And finally, Miami's coaches who had no schematic answer to the Browns other than throw the football.

2. Talking to Lamar Miller on Tuesday, he's applying himself to watching more tape to get better this week. From that tape study he said the Colts are "pretty much the same front we played last week but faster." Well, that's not good news.

3. Miller said aside from watching more film this week the thing he's going to do to get different results is "try to get positive yards and run harder." He also said he has to "get more hungry and do better this week." Run harder? Get hungier? So he wasn't running as hard as he could against Cleveland? He's getting his first NFL start and he's not as hungry as humanly possible? Really?

4. Another week like last week against the Colts and the Dolphins better start shopping for available running backs. Willis McGahee comes to mind. (Does that make you hungrier, Lamar Miller)? Anyway, I'm told by a source the Dolphins have so far shown no interest in McGahee, who worked out for the Giants this week.

5. Tyson Clabo was bad against the Browns. He knows it. But he's convinced the Miami running game will get right.

"I feel like we're a unit right now," Clabo said. "We're all on the same page, communiction-wise. It's just a matter of execution. I think we'll be fine."

In the next breath, Clabo adds, "I think we have a chance to be really good up front."

6. By the way, Clabo draws lines of distinction on who is playing well up front for Miami. Good? Richie Incognito and Mike Pouncey.

"Obviously Richie and Mike are pretty good football players," Clabo said. "In my opinion, the rest of us are just trying to catch up, to play at their level. The bar is really high for us right now. I think we can get there."

And this:

"They [Incognito and Pouncey] are really talented but they do a good job, they do pretty much what they're supposed to do pretty much on every play. Physically, they don't get beat often. You're a competitor so you see that and, man, you want to do that."

7. The Dolphins have an interesting dynamic going on when deciding how to deal with a defense that is commited to stuffing the run at the expense of protecting against the pass. Offensive coordinator Mike Sherman likes to continue to try to run the ball to see if something busts loose. Head coach Joe Philbin is more apt to give up on running the ball altogether and simply throw it all the time.

“I think coach Philbin is certainly of that mindset, I don’t know if I’ve quite reached that mindset yet," Sherman said. "I like to be able to keep them honest, hand the ball off here once and a while just to eat up some clock time and also to say hey we’re still going to run the football but I think coach Philbin could possibly convince me otherwise."

That's all. Enough thinking for now.

Come back later for another update. And follow me on twitter @ArmandoSalguero