WEDNESDAY BUZZ COLUMN
Of the consensus five best quarterbacks expected to be available to the Dolphins in the draft, they have spent clearly the most time with Texas A&M’s Ryan Tannehill and Arizona State’s Brock Osweiler. Though there are mild concerns internally about his lack of experience (19 starts at quarterback), the Dolphins have told people they like Tannehill and they left with a good impression after their recent private visit with him.
Some chatter on the five as we streamroll toward draft day:
### Tannehill (29 touchdowns, 15 picks): He’s riding media momentum, thanks to Mike Mayock and Todd McShay touting him. But know this: CBS’ Charley Casserley said that eight teams told him after the college season that Tannehill should be a late-first or early second round pick.
Here’s what else should concern you: He threw three interceptions against each of the top defenses he faced in 2011 (Texas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State). “The Texas game was kind of a red flag,” Kiper said. “He didn’t look like the quarterback he was in other games against lesser defenses.” He completed 20 of 49 passes in that game.
Fox’s Brian Billick said Tannehill "scares the hell out of me" as a high pick. “He has potential to be very good, but he made a lot of mistakes,” Sports Illustrated’s Tony Pauline said. “There’s too much risk” at No. 8.
But here’s the flipside: Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak said: “The upside on him is tremendous. That’s something everyone is going to take into account.” Seahawks GM John Schneider: “He has this natural toughness that players really rallied around.”
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan: “I like Tannehill an awful lot. I watched every catch he had as a receiver the first 2 ½ years, every throw as a quarterback. He’s got the ability to roam, good feet, big upside,… anticipation.” Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman loves his “poise” and said he makes players around him better, drawing comparisons to Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers in that regard.
Casserly said, “I like him better than Jake Locker and Christian Ponder. He’s more accurate and a better decision maker than Josh Freeman. I see vision and progression reading. He’s been in a pro offense. He’ll pat the ball before he throws it, telegraphs it a little. But he’s not the first guy who’s done that. Is eight too high? If you want to get him, you get him.”
### Oklahoma State’s Brandon Weeden (37, 13): “A beautiful thrower, one of the real pure passers in the draft,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told us. “But the age does factor in. He’s going to be” 29 in October.
But it’s not just the age issue. “There were some games he was making some bad throws, some bad decisions,” Kiper said, who projects him to go 37th. “He had three interceptions against Louisiana Lafeyette, a couple picks against Tulsa and Kansas State, three in a loss to Iowa State. He has a big-time arm, can beat you over the top. We know he’s got the leadership and maturity.”
### Arizona’s Nick Foles (28, 14): An option at 72 or 73 for Miami, but his stock is falling. “You can’t argue with the arm strength and size,” Kiper said. “He can throw on the move very effectively, so there’s a lot to like.” But… “He’s not as precise as you need to be throwing into those tighter windows in the NFL that he’ll see,” Kiper said. “He may be more of a developmental quarterback.”
### Osweiler (26, 13): Casserly said he’s no better than a fourth-rounder; Kiper has him in the early third. “The big thing is the bad decisions,” Kiper said, noting he completed only 45.5 percent of his passes in the red zone. “He forced a lot of balls into coverage last year. He had six games with multiple interceptions, and five of them were losses. The delivery is going to bother some. It’s a little unorthodox, but I don’t worry about that because he’s 6-7, and it didn’t hamper Phillip Rivers. He did look real good against USC, outdueling Matt Barkley.”
McShay said Osweiler, who visited Dolphins camp Monday, “has first-round natural tools but he’s not ready” to play.
### Michigan State’s Kirk Cousins (25, 10): Strong leader and good accuracy. The Dolphins have spoken favorably of Cousins, Weeden and Tannehill to NFL people.
“Amazing character and competitiveness, real chip on his shoulder,” Carroll said of Cousins. “He’s very, very impressive.”
But Pauline said even though “he has the ability to develop into a starting quarterback, he’s very indecisive and makes poor throws on occasion.” NFL Films’ Greg Cosell said he watched five of Cousins’ games and was “disappointed. Saw a limited passer with average arm strength.” He could go in round three or four.
All the others, including Wisconsin’s Russell Wilson, San Diego State’s Ryan Lindley and Boise State’s Kellen Moore, are projected for the fifth through seventh rounds, with none projecting as more than a backup.
### The Dolphins have been spending a lot of time with under-the-radar Southern California defensive end/tackle Armond Armstead, considered a first- or second-rounder before he experienced chest pains last spring. USC doctors didn’t give him clearance to play last season, but Armstead – who was summoned to Dolphins offices last week – said he’s fine and has no heart issue... For Dolphins news on Cameron Wake and the four free agent linebackers who visited Tuesday, see my story on the home page or my previous post.
WQAM fired afternoon host Sid Rosenberg on Tuesday afternoon because of his arrest last week for DUI and driving with a suspended license. The station immediately hired former University of Miami defensive lineman Dan Sileo to replace him on the 3 to 7 p.m. show, beginning immediately.
Sileo was fired by a Tampa station last month after referring to three black players - Vincent Jackson, Jonathan Vilma and Cortland Finnegan - as "monkeys." Sileo generated high ratings during his time as a morning sports talk host in Tampa.
Rosenberg, who has spoken of his problems with addictions, declined to comment Tuesday. WQAM general manager Joe Bell declined to discuss Rosenberg's dismissal beyond calling him "a friend." But a source said the station simply lost patience with Rosenberg because of past indiscretions, and this was the last straw.
Of Sileo, Bell said, "I'm confident Dan will do a great job."
It was tumultuous day in local radio, with Jorge Sedano leaving 790 The Ticket to concentrate on his job doing a fantasy sports show for CBSSports.com. That show might move to CBS Sports Network.
### If you want to make a case for why the Heat’s James Jones should play more, here's something to consider: Jones, whose shooting allows Miami to spread the floor, has logged 25 minutes all season with the Big Three, and Miami has outscored teams, 86-52, during that time (a pace of 165 points per game).
### Though the Marlins spoke with Major League Baseball, the decision to suspend Ozzie Guillen was made entirely by Jeffrey Loria. A spokesman for the owner said Loria was “appalled and very disappointed” by Guillen’s comments….
NBC’s Bob Costas, calling Thursday’s Marlins-Phillies game for MLB Network, applauded the suspension on a conference call: “The Marlins had to react forcefully without any ambiguity. There is no reason to respect or admire Castro. Five games seems equitable and reasonable to me.” The lesson for Guillen, Costas said, is this: “Regardless of Ozzie’s shoot from the hip history, he better keep it holstered on anything that goes outside baseball. The other stuff, I don’t think he has much wiggle room any more. [White Sox chairman] Jerry Reinsdorf was pretty indulgent through the years, but Ozzie has painted himself into a corner now.”
### UM offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch said Tuesday that receiver Rashawn Scott has had “the most consistent spring of anyone on offense” and that receiver Kendal Thompkins has been a pleasant surprise... Al Golden, asked why having so many NFL prospects did not equate to more wins last season: “There’s clearly a talent pool we have to get more out of. It's my problem. It's something I have to fix.'' …
Safety Rayshawn Jenkins, a summer arrival, said he has been told he also might play receiver, and Golden said he's "all for" players playing both ways if they can handle it. He mentioned linebacker Gionni Paul got some work Tuesday at fullback, where UM is depleted.... UM said center Reggie Johnson still hasn't informed them if he's going to the NBA or returning for his senior season, according to a UM spokesperson. Every other player has committed to return.