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Bad center snaps are getting ridiculous

What is Joe Philbin's pain threshold? What is John Benton's pain threshold?

The question matters because as the Dolphins finished their sixth day of training camp practice Thursday, the head coach and offensive line coach no doubt saw the two more bad snaps from their starting center.

The past five practices it was Shelley Smith, who has never played center in an NFL game, firing ground balls or high pitches to quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

Midway through Wednesday's practice the Dolphins let Nate Garner start handling the starting center job. And today he misfired on two bad snaps -- rolling one and then sending another over
Tannehill's head.

The Dolphins have not had a practice in which bad snaps have not been a problem. It's seemingly a theme.

Having covered this team since Don Shula was coach, I have never, ever seen so many bad snaps in training camp -- be it the start of camp or not.

The problem is so acute that today the team tried guard David Arkin a little bit at center. "Rolling the dice," Philbin said.

And I'm thinking, is this the NFL? Is this professional football team unable to get somebody -- anybody -- to go through even one practice without flubbing a snap?

In practice!

That's not Paul Soliai (preseason game 1), Vince Wilfork (regular season opener) or Kyle Williams (second game of the regular season) leaning on Miami's centers in anger out there. This is practice.


"I'm confident we can get it fixed," Philbin said. "Football, you can't win with the ball on the ground. But I'm confident we can get it fixed. I believe those guys stayed out after practice again. We do devote a portion of our walk-thru just to the quarterback-center exchange. It's the first thing we do on the field. But we have to get it corrected. I can stand here and talk about it but you have the same set of eyes as I do. We still see the ball on the ground too much."

So when is too much ... too much?

The Dolphins will be without starting center Mike Pouncey for the start of the season and perhaps as long as seven games. How much longer are they going to let failure to do the most fundamental function a center must perform to continue to be a problem before they actually address the issue?

Benton suggested recently that the first preseason game will go a good distance toward telling him how good (or bad?) this offensive line is. So the Dolphins might wait to see how their group of centers-in-the-making play in that Aug. 8 game before making a decision to go outside the organization.

That feels like they're waiting too long.

Samson Satele is out there. Unsigned. Available. Healthy by latest accounts.

Is he a great NFL center? Anyone familiar with his first stint with the Dolphins or his time as a starter with Oakland or Indianapolis knows he is not a great center. He's not a great blocker. He's not overly strong or quick. He's functional at best. 

But functional is an upgrade right now for that position in Miami.

Functional means the snap will get to the quarterback's hands when he expects it and suddenly you are not offering up a blooper reel moment to your practice tape.

The Dolphins brought Satele in for a workout last month. They did not sign him but are keeping him in mind. They want to see how the talent they have on the roster performs before making that call.


I've seen enough. Make the call. Handle the obvious problem. Get Satele up to speed on the offensive system sooner rather than later when it may be too late and could actually affect the regular season. If Smith or Garner or some other roll of the dice corrects the problem then simply get rid of Satele during the round of cuts.

The signing doesn't have to be a marriage.

But have a backup plan. Get a guy who can actually snap the ball.

Something so fundamental cannot be that difficult.


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still need
a qb

MIT, I think Mando's been reading your posts.

Groundhog day

Were the bad snap under centre? Or in the Shotgun?

It sounds like N.Garner missed Shot gun snaps. Not under center. Shelly was missing under center.

I guess no guy named Shelly wants to play Center.

I called it on twitter to Omar Kelly.

Get Samson Satelie's agent on the phone we have no answer at center.

I know Jeff Ireland would have had Samson in camp already.

"I wanna to talk to Samson!!"

haha, MassD, and yours.

Everyone who has ever watched a game of football would make this move. It's beyond obvious.

Has to be one of the few posts Mando produced I would cut and paste and use as my own (with proper credit to the author of course).

Seems obvious... going forward your tackles should be Albert, James, Fox

OGs ... Colledge, Smith, Thomas, Turner

C Satele, Pouncey

These should be your 9 linemen this year and everyone else is camp fodder...

still need
a C

Excellent article Mando. I cannot agree more.

Mind boggling that a Satele or a Kyle Cook has not been brought in. Reckless approach by the team.

Its training camp they are trying to fix issue. I trust o-line coach more than you I'm sure if it gets to point where he feels they need to make a move they will. You just love ragging on phins!

Posted by: Mandosucks

Is Coyle interim HC yet?

Can someone please tell me whats taking so long for the Fins to sign Satele???? They're are freaking 18 million under the cap so it isnt a money issue! WTF is the problem!!!!

Quit this experimenting crap and sign Satele

You know how to tell Ireland did his job!!

All his teams underachieved!! That means the Coach was the one that fails. He didn't make the team better. But the roster was put together to have a good season.

At Best this team is starting to look like a 9-7 team on paper. If Philbin makes the Playoffs he should get an Extension!!













All Hickey had to do for the Dolphins to be a Playoff team for the next DECADE!! Was FIX THE O-LINE!! And Not even the WHOLE LINE!! JUST 3 SPOTS!! 2 TACKLES AND A GAURD!!


IRELAND LEFT HIM $40M and 9 Draft Picks to do it with!!


Excellent article Mando. I cannot agree more.
Mind boggling that a Satele or a Kyle Cook has not been brought in. Reckless approach by the team.
Posted by: Hayden Fox | July 31, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Ross cheaping out again?

wont $pend

A regular,

Agreed. And if I could add something. Even if you want to add Satele into the experiment. At worst Satele becomes your backup Center!! And you waive him during the season when Pouncey comes back.

Have D.Aponte do the contract. That way we won't get a Cap hit.


"I believe those guys stayed out after practice again." -Philbin

He believes?? How does the head coach, who knows there is a problem not KNOW that they were out working the kinks out??

I am sure Philbin and Hickey are working hand in hand on the roster moves and who to bring in, not bring in and let go, not let go. I doubt seriously Hickey is just sitting back ignoring a possible request by the HC to get another C into camp. It is a collective decision up to this point, I'm sure. Can we also forget about Ireland? I didn't have a problem with the guy but 99% of folks did. And so, he is gone now. POOF! So can we try to move on from dude?


Posted by: Dashi | July 31, 2014 at 12:25 PM

When you learn how to spell maybe someone will take you seriously. Then again, maybe not! LMAO!!

Maybe because there are RULES in place that limit the amount of time coaches can have with players and extra work must be taken soely into the hands of the individual player. Thank the new CBA.

Dashi is Yelling because it ticks me off that all Hickey had to do was fix ONE THING!!

My Yelling is Directed at Hickey!!

The only thing Hickey didn't do to truly have the worst Offseason in a while was trade our 1st or 2nd round pick.


still need
snap the ball

It will take 4-5 years to clean up Ireland's mess. I told you guys that many times.

I doubt anyone will argue this. In fact, some of us said almost the exact same thing:

Satelle is bad, but, certainly more capable than anyone on the roster at this point. Worst case you cut him after camp.

But, hey, does it really matter when RT is the QB?

Posted by: Marc | July 31, 2014 at 10:03 AM

Even if they signed 4 more OL in FA, when Pouncey went down it still would have left a void at C. I am not all up their butt about this right now, but if they can't get it right by next week they need to bring in a true C. And I think for a true C, 3 weeks would be enough time to be brought up to speed.

ear muffs?

Agree with you Dashi all the way. Carrying a big stick early in free agency would've fixed everything fast. instead he goes hunting for acorns when he had $40M in cap space. Akin to multi millionaire wearing a polyester suit (nudge nudge Lamar Hunt)

This is something that concerns me about this team.
The coaches seem to be slow in fixing big problems...they seem to laid back.
Last season with a possible playoff spot they lose horrible to Buffalo and then come back with another horrible effort against the Jets....nothing appeared to be addressed between the two games. Game after game last year the o-line was horrible and they never seemed to find a way to correct it or work around the lack of talent. Now they have this Center issue and again they are in some kind of denial. Again not in any kind of panic or real concern. This, I feel , is not a good trait for coaches to have. You have to adjust your game plan, work it better around weakness on your team. Do something instead of just hoping it will fix itself...in other words..coach!

not true deity, because a few weeks back when Satele and Colledge came in for a workout, they signed Colledge because they knew their guards sucked too in addition to the C. (They already knew Pouncey was out for a while when they worked them out)

Mando and some of these posters are THIS STUPID?
I'll tell you why the Dolphins didn't bring in Satele: THEY KNOW HE WOULD BE MANHANDLED in the first 2 games at least, and we start 0-2.
So... they are working to get the people they have up to speed instead of knowing the result if they go with Satele.
We have training camp, THEN the first 3 preseason games still. GEEEEEZZZZZ.
Also, this is an opportunity to see what we have with our OL coach and Head Coach. Coach 'em up!
Also, I'm on record that we don't let Lazor go to another team to be a Head Coach. Either we do well with an improving Philbon, or we promote Lazor.
Your thoughts Fin fans...

My Little Princess.

That just proves my point that my post was raw emotion. Didn't double-check and I don't use autocorrect. Plus, I'm not in front of a computer where you see the little red line as soon as something is misspelled.

If that is all you can find wrong with that post, Sunflower Girl, Then it proves that even in your mind you know I am right and have nothing to say except just talk nonsense.

Again, you bring nothing of substance. And your constant Fapping of Dashi is getting annoyingly painful to watch.

Posted by: Dashi | July 31, 2014 at 12:25 PM

Wow the Dashi Love Affair with the exiled GM Jeff Ireland continues. Stay tuned for the next episode of

'Dashi Loves Jeffey'

Do I have to repeat again:


You? You're no Hickey, man. I want nothing or nobody around me that reminds me we traded Wes Walker away.


I would not agree that the G's suck. C is the issue, they did not anticipate filling a hole at C during FA, I guess is my main point. At this point it is all doody, it's just which smells the least bad. And if they come to the conclusion in a week Satele smells less bad, then cool.


If that is their plan, I am OK with that.

Sorry, MIT. 25 TD's and 4K when you pass the ball nearly every play isn't that impressive. In fact, RT only had ONE GAME that he threw more than 2 TD's vs 0 INT's and 300+ yards. In TWO years! ONE!

He's only had 3 games EVER that he's had 3 TD's and the other 2 he threw 1 and 2 INT's

Standard stat line is 270 Yards, 1 TD's, 1 INT.

Hardly impressive

There was also a couple 1 TD, 3 INT games
2 games with ZERO TD's last season
7 the previous year

So, 9 out of 32 starts with LESS than ONE TD pass thrown

This is the franchise savoir?

Forgive my skepticism

Heepman, thanks for trying to be a know it all but according to Barry Jackson the Dolphins really liked Satele's workout.

They selected Colledge simply because he was the better player and he is. But Satele even with his limitations is miles better than the alternatives.

How can our team be good with managment and coaching like we are stuck with.If the patriots center goes down would belicheat not have a replacement that will do well.No rose colored glasses for me this year.MORONS coaching and playing nfl.exec.same old stuff incompetence by joe and his gang of losers.

I think it's the plan. Take a look under live fire at the scrimmage. Take a look under live fire against different color jerseys in a week. If it's no bueno...then you got 3 weeks to get Satele (or similar) signed and up to speed.

Not sure what the hesitation is.....make the call.

Actually marc, last year Tannehill was 8th in the NFL in attempts per game and 13th in yards per game. Not brilliant but not still good by league standards. The league avg for Tds per game last year was 1.6. Tannehill was at 1.6. So he wasn't a pro bowl but he was more than functional.

You can have your own personal feelings about the guy but the #s say otherwise.

You have to sign Setele. The only thing you need in a backup center is experience. There's just too much for these guys to learn. Make calls. Snap the ball. Block massive d-lineman. It's not easy.

I played center and tackle. Center is a MUCH more difficult position. MUCH! Get a guy who's a professional center. Setele!

* still good

Marc thinks a QB with a year and a half college experience and was not even really expected to even see the field for a couple/few years. Should just walk into the NFL and post numbers that even the most experieced young QB would have a hard time doing. Marc thinks a young QB should be an unwrapped All-Pro otherwise he is garbage and must be discarded. lol

Maybe they can use flag football rules where the QB just holds the ball with a 5 MISSISSIPPI rush

If what you got out of that was my Love Affair with Ireland and Not how Incompetent Hickey is. Just shows how ignorant your Hate towards Ireland is.

My point was simple!!


One hole to fill Dashi? Come on man. I agree more attention should have been paid to the OL unit, but one hole to fill? I think you are going just a hair overboard there, but JMO.

Dwight Stevenson is still in South Florida. even at 53 years old he is better than the chumps the fins are cycling through at center. For that matter Jim Langer at 65 years old could probably snap the ball better than these numbskulls.


Anyone is an upgrade to Ireland.

Everyone remembers the bad snap that started the Superbowl...it went over Mannings head for a safety and set the tone for the lopsided win.

Bad C/QB exchanges usually result in a turnover and can swing a close game. If they can get it fixed with an in-house player, who already knows Ryan Tannehill it would be ideal.

IMO, I see Nate Garner getting it fixed real quick and becoming the Center until Pouncy returns...hopefully sooner rather than later.

Every young Qb in the league has warts. I think Luck is the best of them all and through 14 games last year Tannehill was actually outperforming him. Then came those two games - harbinger of things to come or a badly times slmup - we will see.

Many of the bad exchanges have been Tannehill's fault.

Luck survives a good bit off of media speak also. It just been forced down that this guy was the second coming of Manning (great QB). Luck has been good, no doubt. But his numbers are about middle of the pack just like RT. Other than W-L record of course.

Garner playing 7 consecutive games? FOrgive me if I'm skeptical. Guy couldn't even put two decent games consecutively at OG in his career.

Mark...have you ever considered that things between Ireland & Philbin got so bad last year that Philbin sacrificed the playoffs to get Ireland fired?

I thought the line played some of their best games with Garner and Brener filling in last year Mark. He stared 6 games last year. He is just more of a jack of all trades master of none kiind of guy.

Posted by: Dashi | July 31, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Dumb Dashi are you really so dumb you're not able to recognize your own delusional love for Jeffey which clouds your own ability to recognize reality. You loved Jeffey so much and now that he's gone you're heart broken. Dude get a life! Blaming Hickey who is only cleaning up after your boy Jeffey; That is more ridiculous than a center who can't get the football to the QB at the NFL level.

NH, I hope not or Ross made a gross error in just not cleaning house completely.

Garner is football's equivalent of a reliever. He's a good guy to bring off the bench when a guy is injured but there's a reason he isn't a starter. he just can't play a few games in a row. We've seen that every time the team puts him out there.

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