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Lots of tidbits on the Dolphins and Canes offenses; UM/NCAA news; Marlins trade chatter

SUNDAY BUZZ COLUMN

Chatter on the Dolphins’ and Hurricanes’ offenses:

### Whether the Dolphins’ no-huddle attack will boost their 22nd-ranked offense will be an interesting 2012 storyline. Dolphins players and coaches seem increasingly confident it will.

“This will definitely wear defenses down,” linebacker Karlos Dansby insists. “The tempo, the scheme, how they attack the defense, I’m impressed. We’ve got the most complex offense I’ve ever seen.”

Tight end Charles Clay expects Miami to use no-huddle all the time, as offensive coordinator Mike Sherman did last year when he coached Texas A&M. But coach Joe Philbin said, “I’m not saying we’re going to be no-huddle every single play.”

### The Dolphins want their no-huddle to be a hurry-up at times but not always, tight end Anthony Fasano tells us. Playing for Sherman at Texas A&M, Ryan Tannehill often stood at the line and took his time before taking the snap.

“Last year, we were having trouble getting the ball snapped before the end of the [45-second] play clock," center Mike Pouncey said. "This year, we're trying to snap it at 24 seconds."

Reggie Bush noted, “The offense is perfect for guys like me because we can use our speed and have them chase us around all day. And guard Richie Incognito vows "defenses will be back on their heels and will be winded." 

### Besides tiring out defenders and helping the Dolphins from a conditioning standpoint, there are other advantages to the Dolphins' up-tempo pace, provided they execute their offense efficiently (and that's a big if).

"We feel like the more plays run, the more opportunities you have to score points," Philbin said. Plus, "you've got to believe with all of that time you invest doing the no-huddle that your two-minute offense should hopefully not create such anxiety in the players because they're kind of used to it."

And don't overlook the fact that opponents won't be able to substitute as much against a no-huddle.

### To prepare for the fast tempo, the Dolphins are practicing at the fastest pace we've seen from a Dolphins team, with David Garrard mentioning, only partly in jest, that Miami leads the league in practice snaps. (The Dolphins are running two 11-on-11 drills at once, with one group waiting until the other group has run a play.)

The Dolphins are so serious about maintaining a fast tempo that Sherman wants players to be in “Miami Heat condition."

### For perspective, the Dolphins averaged 61.9 offensive plays last season (comparable to the Packers’ 61.7) but well below the Patriots’ 67.6. Sherman’s Texas A&M offense averaged 80.3 in 2011, but there are more clock stoppages in college.

### The Dolphins had the same number of rushing and passing attempts last season, while the Packers – where Philbin was offensive coordinator but didn’t call the plays – had far more passes (553 to 395). That degree of imbalance is unlikely here because there’s no Aaron Rodgers.

But Bush expects “a lot more passing. I’m going to be split out wide a little more, playing more receiver.”

### Sherman said the Dolphins will probably run more often and throw more play-action passes than most West Coast offense. During minicamps, we saw some stacking of receivers, with one sometimes lining up a foot behind another. We also saw a lot of quick, short passes to receivers.

Philbin wants the quarterback “to get the ball out [quickly], not sit back there and take a lot of hits.”... For three more of my Dolphins stories from Saturday, see our three previous posts.

### UM offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch said “what we’re going to do on offense is going to be special.” Problem is, the Canes lost an elite tailback, their top receiver and two key offensive linemen from a unit that finished 70th of 120 teams in total yards and 63rd in scoring (26.5). Plus, they’re breaking in a new quarterback.

### UM had 398 rushes and 339 passes last season, but one official who spoke to Hurricanes coaches expects the Canes to throw and spread the field a bit more. That would take advantage of their personnel, provided Stephen Morris plays at peak efficiency and the offensive line finally plays to its potential.

### One AFC scout who has watched both players said Morris is a much better quarterback than Ryan Williams and added: "If you have to play Williams, you’re not going to win many games.” It would be shocking if Morris is not the starter.

### Even though he missed nearly all of spring ball because of back surgery, Morris actually helped himself this offseason because, as Fisch told us: “Mentally, he has grown tremendously, how quickly he process information. It’s like having a coach back there.”

### Mike James, the favorite to start over Eduardo Clements at running back, said his 3.8 yards per carry average last season was “unacceptable,” but coach Al Golden said a toe injury was partly to blame. UM doesn’t want to overload Duke Johnson early, but “we’re going to find ways to get him the ball – in the slot, in the backfield, motion him out,” Fisch said. “He’s going to run routes and get handoffs because he’s elite.”

### Fisch plan to use Dallas Crawford selectively as a receiver, lined up wide and in the backfield…. Look for tight ends Asante Cleveland and Clive Walford “to be paired together every time we send in two tight ends,” Fisch said. “They’re going to be elite players and cause matchup problems.”

### The sense here is freshmen Malcolm Lewis and Robert Lockhart have the best chance to crack’s UM’s top-five receiver rotation, with returnees Allen Hurns, Phillip Dorsett (“our fastest player,” Fisch said) and Rashawn Scott.

“Malcolm is really, really good,” Fisch said. “Great speed, strong hands. He caught a ball in the state championship game with three defenders holding on. Robert Lockhart is a stud - very polished route runner, explosive.”

### Four spots on the offensive line are set: Malcolm Bunche and Seantrel Henderson at left and right tackle; Brandon Linder at right guard and Shane McDermott at center. At left guard, “it will be a nice battle between Jon Feliciano and Jermaine Johnson, with Jeremy Lewis involved, too,” Fisch said.

CHATTER

### In one of the most notable claims in last week's Yahoo story alleging more UM recruiting violations, Yahoo writer Charles Robinson quoted an unidentified former Canes staffer as saying Sean Allen arranged for Olivier Vernon and Anthony Chickillo to gain entrance to a strip club in Coral Gables Jan. 22, 2011 on Chickillo’s recruiting visit, and that Allen paid for drinks and entertainment that night.

Vernon on Friday vehemently denied that he went to a strip club with Chickillo and said he would be willing to say that under oath. He said Allen “wasn’t with us” and paid for nothing that night.

“It’s not true,” Vernon said, repeating it twice. "We took him out for bowling in Sunset Place. Al Golden and all the coaches stress not to take [recruits] to strip clubs.”

Yahoo cited phone records showing 12 calls between Vernon and Allen that night, but without proof of where they were or whether Allen paid for anything. The question is whether Robinson's anonymous "former UM staffer" has an ax to grind against the program.

### A Marlins official said there's a 50/50 chance the team will trade Josh Johnson before Tuesday's trade deadline. The Marlins want a lot, but they will carefully consider any offer. Texas, considered a likely suitor, reportedly has concerns about Johnson's health history and may be reluctant to deal top third base prospect Mike Olt.

### Impending free agents Carlos Lee and Carlos Zambrano are very much available in trades. The Marlins can't expect to get much for either - perhaps a mediocre prospect.

### An official with another team that made an offer for Hanley Ramirez told us: “We offered better prospects, but [the Dodgers] were going to pay his salary. New stadium and you trade so much money away in less than four months? Worst opening of a stadium we’ve ever seen.” Well, at least right-hander Nathan Eovaldi - acquired in the Ramirez trade - pitched well in his Marlins debut Saturday night. 

### Dissatisfaction with Ramirez extended beyond teammates. One Marlins official said he’s simply not a winner; the coaching staff strongly pushed for this move.

### The Marlins badly need a third baseman (there’s nobody close to ready in the system), but the free agent class is dreadful. Assuming the Mets keep David Wright (player option), the Marlins’ best potential free agent options would be past-their-prime Kevin Youkilis ($13 million White Sox option), Placido Polanco or Eric Chavez.

There are six legitimate starting center fielders due to hit free agency: Michael Bourn, Melky Cabrera, BJ Upton, Angel Pagan, Cody Ross and Shane Victorino. Most will be costly, and the Marlins might be more cautious spenders this winter.

### One Marlins executive said he still believes Larry Beinfest still has good job security, though Jeffrey Loria could easily change his mind. Remember that it was Loria who wanted John Buck, Jose Reyes and Heath Bell. And the scouting department shoulders much of the blame for numerous first-round picks that flopped, though Beinfest has final say.

### The Marlins are optimistic they have filled their longterm catcher void in the Tigers trade with left-handed hitting Rob Brantly, who’s hitting .293 this year between Double A and Triple A. “Offensively, he projects as a frontline catcher,” Tigers scout Mike Russell said. “Left-handed hitting catching is very difficult to find. He has a plus arm but his offense is ahead of his defense.”

Regrettably, Buck has one year left on his deal at $6 million. And Kyle Skipworth, drafted sixth overall by the Marlins in 2008, is hitting .213 at Double A, though he has five home runs in his past eight games and .

Comments

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Ba

I am still not convinced the Miami Hurricanes defense is dependable.

They gave up too many pass completions for 1st downs and TDs last year. The run defense was inconsistent, at times great (Georgia Tech, Ohio State) while at other times very suspect (Kansas State, Virginia Tech).

delUsionalcane

I think our D will be a lot better this year now that we have the best punter in the league. He will pin our opponents down giving our D time and distance in their favor.

CharlieRobinson

I refuse to interview Olivier, b/c what he says doesn't fit with my Joey Buttafuco style embellishment story about the U! And when pressed about it, I block my twitter feed!

Antcane

Holy cow this guy post everywhere. Thanks for hating it lets you know we doing something right. If we sucked so bad there would be noneed to hate. Weirdo

Jack

Just keep an eye on #52 he may be our best LB since Vilma! Chikillo to should be a good D lineman! The D will be improved, book it.

Dom

bottom line cane haters, and U fans. golden got hired basically beginning of 11, to clean it up and bring in top recruits. why would he intentionally have someone violate rules his 1st few mo's on job. come on. the dude got fired and now he wants to get paid. U all know its a few texts and a ride in a car. its not like golden had someone pay people. and I doubt he would do this, and fired the guy the moment he knew he was shady. B. U is loaded with talent, and this new class comin in feb 13, 7 of the 10 are already on the espn 150 and 300. Top kids, and golden aint done yet. Even if we get the USC deal, 5 scholly losses a year, we already took the bowl ban. The team is full on schollies, so 5 losses wont really effect the team because 60 or so kids are fr and soph, meaning 20 schollies a year is mmore than enough to keep depth up. This will be a good experience year, maybe some surpises, and next season, 2013, expect a loaded miami team.,

UCheat

dirty filty liers. UM Medical has been stealing from the people of this count for 25 years an the truth is finally coming to light thanks to Mr. Braman.

Soon the other shoe will drop. U are dirty and self-righteous. U deserve what you get.

UCry

Yes, UM gets city and county tax dollars. We get more from the state and even more from the federal government.

Donna draws a lot of water around here, you don't draw [expletive].

STAY OUT OF MIAMI HATER!

sflafan

How can you overwork a stallion? Ok, I understand they don't want to give Duke the ball 30 times/game. But they better try to get it in his hands 12-15 times/game. He'll be their most explosive player on offense from Day #1. And if he's hot...GIVE HIM THE DAMN BALL! I don't think Clemson getting the ball plenty to Sammy Watkings was too much of a detriment. He was that good. I think he ended up an All American. And I'm not talking just a "Freshman" All Ammerican. Give Duke the ball, he'll at least be a Freshman All American.

Lt. Lois Einhorn

I appreciate someone (probably Jackson himself given the budget of the Herald) editing my post rather than deleting it outright for blue language.

I'll add 'stay out of Miami you deadbeat' and recommend the editor watch the Big Lebowski, a flick worth anyone's time.

But as long as you're reading I have a question - Jackson's the only one at the Herald who gets answers and quotes for the questions fans have, why aren't stories like the reason for Ray Ray's dismissal and a complete denial of Charles Robinson's second hack job article showing up in the Herald? Why are they relegated to this blog, which is updated, with revelations lost forever, almost every day?

If Jackson's blog findings were put into print they would be peppering SI's "rumors" section every other day. Why is it we're sitting around all week waiting for an 'In my opinion' article from Cote or LeBatard or the great Pope? Why isn't news coming through anymore?

barry jackson

Lt. Lois Einhorn: In fact, much of what runs in this blog also runs in the hard copy of The Herald. The Wednesday and Sunday buzz columns and Friday media column always run in the hard copy, but are usually a bit longer on the blog, where there are no space restraints.

Both examples you mentioned - the Ray-Ray story and the Vernon denial of Yahoo's story - ran in the newspaper as well as the blog. Thanks for the question.

AnonymousCane

Barry Jackson is the best sports reporter the Herald has, always coming up with very good and reliable information. Simply the best read in the Sports section of the Herald.

Better than any of the paysites when it comes to news about the U, better than Canesport and the blogs like CaneInsider and a few others. CaneInsider had a report the other day on UM recruit and had his vitals wrong. That's the first thing you should know about a kid!

Barry's Buzz is still free and the best with inside information. Keep up the good work Mr. Jackson!

Off to Chick-fil-A for lunch today!

al

Whats up with all of these snitches against the U football program...i was watching the movie :limitlesst, towards the end, when Robert Denior character told the main character, "you cant go around making such allegations without consequences", something like that,

Lt. Lois Einhorn

And thanks for the response. Glad to hear these posts make it to print, like everyone else I read the Herald for free online, I only buy a paper when I'm flying somewhere.

Somehow these news items showing up on a blog and disappearing the next day with the next update would seem to minimize their exposure to people. I could be wrong but there are plenty of examples, like the Vernon story, where if it was an article online instead of a blog post I believe it would be picked up by national media. That hackey SI 'truth and rumors' section has picked up far less relevant or groundbreaking stories from this paper before, always from articles, never to my knowledge from blog posts.

JPH963

If Golden cheated, and now knows what Miami is facing from the NCAA, he'd be the head coach at one of the other schools that wanted to interview him at the end of last season.

jammer66

if the UM player`s was with allen that night why are they calling each other hello!!! something wrong with this picture

E K

When was the last time any Cane fan read any article about the Gators? Seriously, What did we do to you? Oh wait a second. You got tired of getting beat up on that you took us off the annual schedule.

It's almost like a little kid who always got picked on by their bigger cousins that finally grows up and wants to start a fight since they think they finally grew a pair. Twenty years of getting owned and one Tebow later and every gator fan thinks they own THE U. Child please. We will see you next year.

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