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19 posts from August 2012

August 23, 2012

Battle of Fins/Marlins shows: Hard Knocks outclasses The Franchise; radio update; Heat news

The Friday media column is below. Scroll to the bottom for a Heat free agent note. We'll resume buzz columns this weekend, with Dolphins and Canes items.


Showtime promised to give viewers a “groundbreaking” docudrama on the Marlins, unlike any sports reality series we’ve witnessed. The irony is that in three episodes, HBO’s Hard Knocks delivered more absorbing television and enlightening behind-the-scenes access to the Dolphins than Showtime managed in eight episodes chronicling the Marlins.

This summer will probably be the only time in our lives when our NFL and Major League Baseball teams are the focus of simultaneous cable reality shows. So comparisons are natural. And Hard Knocks has been superior for several reasons:

### Hard Knocks, which has two episodes remaining (10 p.m. Tuesdays), has forged a better balance between on-field matters and human interest stories. Both programs have offered a glimpse into the personal lives of players. But Showtime aired too much of it, at the expense of more meaningful issues.

Was it necessary for “The Franchise” to spend several minutes documenting a softball game involving the Marlins’ and Tampa Bay Rays’ wives? Why was nearly 10 minutes devoted to the wives of Mike Dunn, Heath Bell, Donnie Murphy and Brett Hayes having dinner at a sushi restaurant on South Beach while watching the Marlins on TV?

Hard Knocks also has served up lighter fare: Rookie hazing antics, for instance, and the quarterbacks and Jake Long interacting with their wives. But those segments have been brisker and more entertaining than Showtime’s vignettes and haven’t been given priority over more substantive football matters.

### More insight into individual players. Hard Knocks viewers have been allowed to eavesdrop on coach’s scathing critiques of players: Offensive coordinator Mike Sherman telling Michael Egnew he was “terrible” and that he would cut Egnew “if I were general manager,” and that Charles Clay “better start picking his [expletive] up.”… Tight ends coach Dan Campbell calling Les Brown “a complete liability” as a blocker…. Coaches dubbing Roberto Wallace “ankle weights Wallace” for his difficulty separating from defensive backs. This week, we saw offensive line coach Jim Turner telling other coaches that John Jerry is “unreliable” and a “catastrophe on tape” during a recent practice.

Showtime offered none of this on The Franchise. General manager Michael Hill said the veterans have been “crapping all over themselves” but we never saw coaches or front office types candidly and privately assessing specific players. That’s the type of insight fans crave.

### More telling interaction between players. HBO has offered several revealing snippets, such as Vontae Davis telling Reshad Jones: “I’m taking acting classes to act like I’m not tired” and Jerry asking defensive lineman Chaz Alecxih to “chill for me” on a drill because “I’m tired.”

Showtime aired whimsical exchanges between players, but nothing engrossing. Hanley Ramirez was immensely unpopular in the clubhouse and several players were happy to see him traded, but Showtime never addressed that.

### More meaty exchanges between players and coaches. HBO has been fortunate here, because Chad Johnson’s release and his final meeting with Joe Philbin made for compelling television.

But there have been other memorable moments: Philbin asking Davis if he has his “bladder taken care of today” after Davis previously left practice to go to the bathroom… Defensive backs coach Lou Anarumo telling Davis his behavior “shows a lack of want. You’ve got to change your attitude, change your ways.”… Karlos Dansby, Reggie Bush and Long requesting a meeting with Philbin in the wake of Johnson’s release, and Bush asking Philbin: “If there’s a guy in trouble, can we help them in some way before you make a decision? We might have been able to save them.”

Showtime’s only memorable exchange between a player and manager Ozzie Guillen was Heath Bell telling Guillen he did not feel Guillen has his back, and Guillen strongly disputing that.

### Better in-game audio. During Hard Knocks’ highlights of the Dolphins-Carolina game, we witnessed – among other things - Turner asking nobody in particular “Am I on drugs?” after several breakdowns by his unit; receivers coach Ken O’Keefe cracking that Chris Hogan “is going to be like a cult hero”; and Philbin calmly asking Davis what happened – rather than scolding him – after a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Showtime offered nothing of the sort.

In fairness, the last-place Marlins provided few appealing storylines in the past couple of weeks. But overall, HBO not only offered better material than Showtime, but also made better production decisions.

For example: Showtime’s sleep-inducing final episode of The Franchise offered dull segments on Greg Dobbs and Steve Cishek but didn’t address any relevant issues on the team’s future. Such as: Will the Marlins spend much money in free agency? What’s the biggest offseason priority, etc.?


As expected, 790 The Ticket named Marc Hochman and Jonathan Zaslow its morning hosts. Jon Weiner opted to continue working with Dan Le Batard on the afternoon-drive show… Jorge Sedano remains in negotiations to join WQAM-560 as a talk-show host (time slot undetermined) and program director… Former CNN and WSVN-7 anchor Rick Sanchez won’t return as FIU’s football radio analyst, the school confirmed… Sunday afternoon network NFL preseason telecasts are rare, but Fox gets 49ers-Broncos at 4 p.m. Sunday, with Terry Bradshaw joining Troy Aikman as co-analysts.


The Heat did not immediately offer former Knicks center Josh Harrellson a contract after his workout for Miami on Thursday, but indicated that he's one of a few centers they're considering. Pat Riley was out of town and not at the workout.

"Still looking for my opportunity somewhere," Harrellson tweeted Thursday evening.

Harrellson's agent, Merle Scott, said: "It was a good workout, interesting for both sides. They are going to evaluate other situations they have and Josh is going to do the same. We are scheduled to talk again next week."

The 6-10, 275-pound Harrellson, who tweeted earlier this week that he would be working out for the Heat, averaged 4.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 14.6 minutes in 37 games as a rookie for the Knicks last season, making 20 of 59 three-pointers.  He was dealt in last month's Marcus Camby trade to Houston, which released him last week.

The Heat previously made an inquiry about former Nuggets center Chris Anderson - as it did in July with Darko Milicic - but as of Thursday evening, had not made an offer or booked a visit with Anderson, who's very interested in Miami.


August 06, 2012

Buzz will return

The buzz blog will return in a couple of weeks.

Joe Philbin addresses depth chart, other issues

For a look at highlights from the Dolphins depth chart released Monday, see The Herald's story on the sports home page.

Here's a look at what Joe Phibin had to say Monday:

(On the main evaluation behind the depth chart) –“It’s a little bit of everything. We’ve been at this since April 10th and then we can back July 27th and today is August 6th, so it’s a little bit of everything. I talked to the team after practice and I informed them that we were releasing a depth chart. I also told them that in no way, shape or form have the decisions been finalized or made. I said to the team that the last time I checked we were playing a game September 9th at Houston, today is August 6th and there is a lot of time in between there. I also told them ‘look if there is an issue,’ I don’t expect there to be issues, ‘if there are, come see me, and we’ll talk about it.’ I don’t anticipate that there will be any. So it’s a starting point. We have to line up someone, and Harvey (Greene) said I have to turn something into him, so that’s what I did.”


(On why Vontae Davis is listed as a backup on the depth chart) –“I think that he has actually practiced well the past couple of days. It looked like he made a couple of plays today again, and he is practicing well. I think he is doing well, but there is good competition there, and that is a good thing right now. But certainly it’s early, and I don’t think anybody should be concerned. The whole ball club needs to show a lot of improvement, and he is no different from anyone else in that regard.”


(On how the decision to start David Garrard was made) –“Yes. I went down to the quarterback room yesterday and we told them exactly what you (media) see on that piece of paper. I went through it and told them about it, and as I’ve said many times and I’m confident about it that we are going to get very, very good quarterback play out of that group. I believe we have talented players with good arm strength, good mobility with good leadership qualities. I couldn’t be happier about the four men that are in that room and I told them the same thing. This is what we’re going to do right now, today. It’s a fluid situation and things could change, but this is where we are today.”


(On if he evaluated everyone from a blank slate or if he took into account players’ previous play) –“Well obviously we peeked at the film and we looked at some things from last year, and a lot of guys performed well last year. So we looked into that, but this has been more about what’s happened since April 10thand maybe more specifically what’s happened since July 27th.”


(On if David (Garrard) will be the starter for Friday’s game) –“Not necessarily. We’ll see how practice goes. We still have a couple more days of practice, but as of right now that’s where we are at.”


(On his frustrations with fumbles at practice) –“I think we had it on the ground one of the first drills we did. If I remember correctly, we were in a situation there and the ball was on the ground. I was just watching some of the half-line stuff that we did that wasn’t even team oriented and the ball was on the ground there. It’s very disturbing. You can’t win football…we said that to the guys last night. We didn’t have any true giveaways in the scrimmage, and that’s a real positive. However, center-quarterback exchange, quarterback-running back exchange, if you start giving the ball away on those, it’s hard to overcome that.”


(On what John Jerry needs to improve in order to make an impact for this team) –“I think consistency and sustaining blocks, whether it be run or pass. Finishing on an aiming point in the running game. You know, Pass protection is a pretty simple game, once the scheme and the person gets identified in terms of who you are blocking. We often times refer to it as man-to-man defense in basketball. In basketball, your job is to try to keep the player as far away from the basket as possible, because the chances of him scoring decrease the further he moves away. Our completion percentage increases if those guys on the defensive line are far away from our quarterbacks. It’s really the same concept. So whether it’s in the running game staying on his feet, finishing on an aiming point or in the passing game handling those twists and being able to redirect against second moves of the defender and just keeping his body in front better. Those are the main areas we are looking at right now.”


(On how the weather impacted practice today) –“It altered it a little bit. We actually had a little something different planned for those one-on-one stations that we’ve done. We were actually going to do the (5:38) tomorrow but we did it today because the field is big. We were actually planning on doing three different drills, so yeah it had a little bit, not a lot, to do with the practice schedule change. We’re fortunate to have a tremendous facility inside. It’s the best bubble I’ve ever been in. I’ve worked at schools that have bubbles that were nice, but not as good as this. We have space on the side and with 90 players we can still function relatively well inside.”


(On if he thinks the proximity of the first game has anything to do with the extra aggression at practice) –“Yes. I was looking for that. This film kind of cut off and I had my back turned and I saw the ref. I was down at that drill and I had my back turned, so I don’t know how it popped up, but inevitably at camp, especially now that today was the ninth heavy practice, you’re usually going to get into something.”


(On Legedu Naanee’s training camp performance) –“I think he’s doing well. I think he had a little bit of a lull early on, but he’s really come on as of late. Sometimes receivers production is a function of a lot of different things, especially when you’re in an install where we’re still not at a stage of putting plays in, and for the offense to feature this guy or this guys against a certain coverage. We’re putting in concepts that we’re going to utilize during the regular season and post season and we want these guys to teach those guys and get them familiar with it. So he was quite there for a little period of time, and I’m not saying it was because of him necessarily. Sometimes when you get up there for a rep you’re running an out breaking route and they’ve (defense) got a cover 2 look, you’re probably not going to get the ball regardless of how well you ran the route. I do think he has come on as of late. He’s made a couple more plays and he made a couple today.”


(On if he reached out to Andy Reid amid the news regarding his son) – “I made a statement, and I’ll leave it at that.”


(On whether Rey Feinga’s absence from practice was excused) – “Yes it was.”


(On if he can provide an update on Kelcie McCray’s injury) – “No.”


(On Clyde Gates having to catch up after missing some time with an injury) – “Any time a player misses a lot of time it’s challenging, especially when your installing plays. Its’ a liitle bit different if you had gone through the whole install and then compact. Now there’s routes that he hasn’t run since May or June, now it’s August. So I think there’s a little bit of truth to him having to play some catch up, sure.”


(On any evaluation of Brian Hartline and where he fits in the offense) –“It depends on when he can practice.”


(On if there is any timeline for Hartline’s return) –“When the medical staff says he ready. Again, you guys know that we’re not the medical position and we’re not in any position, nor should we be, to tell players when they’re ready and when they’re not.”


(On his philosophy about starters playing time in preseason games) – “Well I’d like to see them move the ball, if you’re talking about offense, I’d like to see them move the ball effectively, put together a scoring drive. So maybe the first quarter, 15 plays or 20 plays. And Jonathan Martin might be a different case than Jake Long; You’re not going to have a blanket statement. If the defense goes out there three times and shuts them down and doesn’t give them a first down then nine plays might be perfect for them. I think you have a plan in place. We had a plan in place when we left in June for the preseason and we kind of revisited it yesterday. This week of practice will determine if we revisit it again Thursday. Again, we just have to stay flexible and say look, he did a great job, let’s get him out of there. Conversely if the offense goes up there and doesn’t get a first down; I remember my first year as a coordinator I think we played in Pittsburgh the first preseason game, and I think we went three-and-out four or five times in a row. We kept trying, let’s just go one more, but it didn’t work out, so you never know, and that’s the fun part of the game. You never know what’s going to happen and we’ll see. We’ll have to play it by ear a little bit.”


(On how difficult it is for him being a first-time head coach to make the decision on how long players should play) –“Yes, the game management part is huge. That’s why today we worked on a drill where we had third-and-two with 1:59 left in the game and offense was up by a point. We wanted to simulate the running back breaking free, but going down so we don’t score a touchdown and it’s 28-20 and we’ve got to kick the ball to the opposition. They have a chance to tie the game. Ultimately, it’s my responsibility and I have to do a great job of that and that’s certainly the plan.”


(On what it’s like watching an offense score a touchdown in goaline drills just about every play) –“Like I said, there’s two ways to look at it. You can walk off the field and never be happy. You can walk off the field and always be happy as a head coach. The first team in the goaline I think defensively did a nice job. They had a stop there. The two-point plays obviously we struggled a little bit from a defensive stand point on. Today, I thought…I haven’t seen the film yet, but my guess is that our third-down defense looked very very good against the offense. Obviously, I’ll be checking that here soon. There are two sides. Again, I think you’ve just got to and you’ve got to trust the film and study the tape and let your eyes do the evaluating, not necessarily  your emotion when you’re out on the middle of the practice field.”


(On how he would grade the red zone offense) –“I would say the defense is a little bit ahead in the red zone. We didn’t do a great job in the scrimmage the other day. We had a little bit in pass skelly today, not a ton of red zone. We’ll have more snaps tomorrow. We’ve been working hard at it, but I’d say it’s got to get better, it’s got to get better. We had a chance for a touchdown the other day with a dropped ball we didn’t convert, but I think it needs to improve.”


(On tackle Jonathan Martin’s transition from left to right tackle) – “I like what I, again, I really like what he’s doing and I think he’s fundamentally starting to catch on better and better and better. I said something to him in the locker room after the scrimmage. We’ve said it here in this room before that, with Cam Wake going against him a majority of snaps, not every single time, that’s a great benefit to him and I think it is. It’s still an education for him out there, but I like what I see. I think he’s intent, he wants to do the way you’re coaching him to do it. Luckily, he’s athletic enough that you can see him working towards that end. I think he’s going to do well. There’s still probably going to be a learning curve there, but I’m excited about him.”





August 04, 2012

A trio of Dolphins responding well to challenges; NCAA/UM news; Canes, Marlins, Heat tidbits



Dolphins coach Joe Philbin hasn’t publicly challenged many players in his first seven months, but Jared Odrick, Koa Misi and Sean Smith are clear exceptions.

During the spring, Philbin made clear he wants to see Odrick “really step up and emerge in year three”; called for Misi to “be more productive and make more impact plays"; and challenged Smith to be steadier, not great one minute and deficient the next.

Their response, so far, has been encouraging. All three have produced strong camps and solidified starting spots.

No Dolphins defensive back was more impressive in offseason work than Smith, who enters the final year of his contract and could earn a lucrative deal with a big year.

“I’m getting better,” he said. “My whole thing is to let the game come to me rather than trying to force things. [Former defensive backs coach] Todd Bowles taught me, before he left, to relax and do whatever it was that got me here. Where I've really improved is staying low out of my breaks.” He generally has improved his technique, something former teammate Yeremiah Bell implored him to do.

Smith, who lost 24 pounds this offseason, cut his dreadlocks, largely to reshape the way he presents himself. “It’s all about how you’re perceived on and off the field. I want a more professional, mature approach. The coaches like it.”

Pro Football Focus ranked Smith 105th of 109 cornerbacks for 2011 and charged him with five touchdowns allowed and a 90.8 quarterback rating in his coverage area. But he finished strong, with two interceptions in his final six games, after producing one in his first 41.

If there was any chance Richard Marshall would start ahead of him, Smith has seemingly eliminated that possibility.

“I like what I see in Sean,” Philbin said. “His approach has been serious and he’s adjusted well to the new scheme. There are indications he’s a hair more confident than the past. His attention to detail has been good. I think he’s maturing.”

General manager Jeff Ireland also likes what he has seen; Smith said Ireland told him to "keep up the good work."

Smith, who has been studying tapes of NFL cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha and Antonio Cromartie, likes that defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle is giving him “leeway to do whatever I choose” – pressing a receiver or playing off – and Smith will vary his strategy.

“This defense allows the secondary to make a lot more plays," he said. "There’s a lot more disguising in this defense. I love it.”

Odrick, meantime, has adjusted well to end in a 4-3 defense - a position he played some as a freshman at Penn State. He had a sack in Saturday's scrimmage and has been stout against the run throughout training camp.

“Sean Smith asked me how I like the defense,” Odrick said. “I said my position is more fun because there’s nothing stationary about the job. I get to do more.”

Odrick had five sacks in 596 snaps last season (he was rated 20th of 32 3-4 defensive ends by PFF) and said double figure sacks is a “realistic” goal. He probably will shift to tackle on third downs.

At 302 pounds, he’s bigger than traditional 4-3 ends, including 258-pound Cam Wake.

“There are not many 300-pound d-ends,” Odrick said. “People would expect less of you being a bigger guy on the edge. But it helps in setting an anchor in the run game.”

Plus, the Dolphins believe he’s athletic enough to get to the quarterback from that spot.

“He’s a very talented guy, unique in a lot of ways,” defensive line coach Kacy Rodgers said. “His athleticism is going to help him make the adjustment to doing that.”

Misi had 2 ½ sacks in his first six NFL games but four in 22 games since, though he often was used in coverage last year, allowing 11 completions in 19 passes against him.

Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said Misi is making the biggest adjustment of any player in this new defense, because he will be playing a lot more off the line of scrimmage (as a SAM linebacker) after playing on the line last year.

"It has been difficult, real challenging," Misi said. "But I'm liking it. I have a chance to make more tackles. I'm going to work a lot harder to be a better player than in the past."

Misi's solid camp so far includes an interception return for a touchdown early in camp and a sack in Saturday's scrimmage. “We’re excited about his progress,” Coyle said. “He’s improving every day.”


### CBS analyst and former NFL MVP Rich Gannon spent 90 minutes in Dolphins quarterback meetings last week and was struck by Ryan Tannehill’s “knowledge, his answers, his assertiveness. There’s uncertainty with a lot of rookies, but not him. You love his athleticism and toughness, his footwork, his mechanics. He may not be where Andrew Luck is, but he’s a lot further along than a lot of guys coming out. He'll be a really fine player.”

### The Dolphins have told people that the positions they would especially consider adding veterans at are receiver and safety, but only if the players on the roster don't impress in camp. Several of them have (including Legedu Naanee), which is why Miami passed on Braylon Edwards even though he impressed them in a workout....Though Charles Clay makes a lot of plays, his drops in practice have become a bit of a concern... Under-the-radar Anderson Russell keeps making plays in his bid for a backup safety job. ... See our last post for everything Phibin and Tannehill had to say after Saturday's scrimmage.

### A Marlins official told us management has made too many staffing changes for its own good, pointing out the the offense has performed worse under hitting coach Eduardo Perez (.241, last in National League in runs), that it did under fired predecessors Jim Presley and John Mallee. (The Marlins were hitting .250 and 10th in runs scored when Mallee was dumped in June 2011.)

Hanley Ramirez won a batting title under Jim Presley,” the official reminded. “You can’t change guys all the time. You don’t get rid of them if you can’t replace them with anyone better.” It might be awkward to dump Perez because his father Tony is a special assistant to the president.

Keep in mind that Logan Morrison, Gaby Sanchez and Chris Coghlan did their best work under Mallee, but Marlins officials didn’t like that he socialized with players, according to another team official. Though Marlins special assistants Jeff Conine and Andre Dawson probably could help, both say they are reluctant to offer the hitters advice on mechanics because they don’t want to overload them.

### An NCAA investigator visited Shelly Bloom Fashion Clothiers in Miami a couple of weeks ago to try to get Bloom to corroborate some of Nevin Shapiro’s claims. Bloom said he told the NCAA “nothing,” but “I did try to sell them some suits.”

Bloom said Yahoo! got it wrong when it reported that Bloom confirmed Shapiro spent thousands on suits and clothing for Devin Hester, Tavares Gooden and Willis McGahee. Bloom insists he never said that.

### A UM Board of Trustee member said the top of the school's administration believes the latest allegations against Al Golden (that he was aware of Sean Allen’s improper involvement with recruits at that time) are not true. “I have no doubt he’s not involved,” said one-high level UM official who speaks to Golden a lot. “He’s as clean as you can be.”

### The high level of optimism regarding Stephen Morris extends beyond UM’s walls. “I like his poise and arm strength, and the way he handles up and downs impressed me,” ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit said off the air. “He keeps the same demeanor.”... UM needs more from its defensive tackles, so it's a good sign to see starter Darius Smith get in better shape. He said he could play effectively on only about 20 plays a game at 360 pounds last season. Now he's at 323, and UM wants him to lose even more weight. "He has to become a little bit more of a playmaker, not just somebody that's hard to block," Golden said Saturday.

### A sign of the times: Recruiting starts so incredibly early now that St. Peter’s (N.J.) sophomore quarterback Brandon Wimbush reportedly has an offer from UM (plus Rutgers, Maryland and Temple) even though he hasn’t taken a single varsity snap.

### Though Miami is reportedly one of several teams that made an exploratory inquiry about former Wizards power forward/center Andray Blatche (but no contract offer), Heat president Pat Riley, making a tour of local radio stations this past week, told WQAM's Joe Rose that "unless there's an injury, we really don't need [to add a veteran] center."... 

Riley also told WMEN's Orlando Alzugaray: "I don't think [Dexter Pittman] had a very solid summer league. We need him. He's got the bulk. He's got the size. He's got the hands. He needs to break through, though.''...

An official on the Heat's basketball side said the team’s philosophy is simple: “We have to surround our great players with speed. Big, slow guys are not what we need. Size is never going to be our strength.”

### Miami Northwestern coach Stephen Field said Vernon Carey, 31, whom the Dolphins chose not to re-sign, has retired and become the Bulls’ co-offensive line coach. Carey did not generate much NFL interest this offseason.

What Joe Philbin, Ryan Tannehill had to say after Saturday's scrimmage

Here's reaction from Joe Philbin and Ryan Tannehill after Saturday's Sun Life Stadium Dolphins scrimmage, in which Tannehill completed 10 of 13 passes for 114 yards and a touchdown against the second- and third-team defenses:

(David Garrard was 9 for 17 for 57 yards and a touchdown against the second-team defense; Matt Moore 10 for 20 for 65 yards and a touchown against the first-team defense.) 



(On his evaluation of the three quarterbacks, particularly Ryan Tannehill) –“I thought he (Tannehill) threw a good ball in the first one. We’ll take a look at the tape when we get back to the office and see how close it was. (He) threw the ball down the field well. Again, I think he showed good poise. It doesn’t look too big for him being in the stadium, coaches on the side, plays coming up from the coordinator upstairs and through that whole communication process. I didn’t like one of the balls he threw in the corner down here, but, of course, I was yelling on the touchdown pass, ‘Run, run, run,’ and then he threw a touchdown.”


(On Tannehill going up against the first-team defense) – “I thought he did well. Again, I thought he looked comfortable. I thought he looked natural out there. It wasn’t too big for him. We’ll have to look, again, watch the tape a little bit closer. I think he did some good things.”


(On if he was sending a message letting Tannehill rip on a play-action pass for his first play) – “A little bit. We just wanted him to feel confident. Again, you have to, we’ve said all along, you’ve got to believe in your players. So if this guy is going to be playing for us, he’s going to be the future potentially at some point in time or whoever our quarterback is you’ve got to have faith. If a play is in the plan, it’s in the offense, it should be good enough to call and run.”


(On the defense today and the pressure they put on the offense, particularly the starting unit) – “I thought it was good. I like our package that we have. (Defensive coordinator) Kevin (Coyle) and his staff have come up with a good plan. It’s multiple and it presents a lot of challenging looks. If you don’t game plan necessarily, sometimes they can catch you unprepared, but I thought it was good. I thought it was good.”


(On the team’s progress since the start of training camp) – “I’d like to watch the tape a little bit, but I feel good about just the pace with which we’re practicing with, the effort we’re getting on a consistent basis. We’ve had, this is eight challenging practices physically and we haven’t had one bad practice so to speak as a whole football team. Certainly, there have been periods where we wished the offense had some better or the defense had done better. Just like yesterday’s practice, our offense was real effective in the red zone, but then our defense stepped up and played well in two-minute. I like the way the team is practicing.”


(On if there are concerns he has going forward) –“I don’t like our (shot-)gun snaps. We’ve put the ball on the ground a couple times, our center-quarterback exchange. You can’t do that in a game and expect to win. I’m very concerned about that, but, overall, I’m pleased with the direction we’re heading right now.”


(On if there was anybody that stood out today without looking at the practice tape) –“Nothing specific right now. Again, I kind of was just standing out, making sure we had 11 guys out on the field at the right time. One time, we didn’t. We’ll take a look at the film. Nothing really jumping out at me right yet.”


(On if he is concerned that quarterback Matt Moore produced one first down in his first three drives) –“Not really, unless there were some bad decisions or bad throws. We’ll take a look, but, again, it’s a body of work we’re looking at, not necessarily… We rolled guys through. There was no real, each guy got opportunities with the first group. We felt that was important today. We accomplished that. Sometimes, it’s hard to get exactly the right snaps based on what happens on the fieldand so forth, but I thought it was, overall, we got what we were looking to get done.”


(On if he is at the point in dividing snaps where he can say one guy will get more than another guy) –“We might do (it). We’re going to watch the tape. (We’re) going to have a personnel meeting after we all sit down. We’re going to watch the tape as a staff. Our coaches are the first guys out of here. They’re already on the bus. They’re already looking at the tape. They’re on their way back right now. We’re just going to take a look at it, we’re going to meet later after we meet with the players (and) make the corrections from the film and then we’ll see where we’re at.”


(On deciding to start the scrimmage today an hour earlier than previously scheduled) –“As you could tell, we’re real experts at the weather. That was my call. Some people wanted to stay over at Davie. That’s the great part about being a meteorologist, nobody can second-guess you, you can say, ‘Oh, the clouds came and went.’ It was my brilliant decision as you can tell. (It) didn’t work out though.”





Quarterback Ryan Tannehill



(On how close he was to completing a long pass his first throwing attempt of practice) – “I don’t exactly how close. I couldn’t really see because the line was in the way. I just have to give him a chance to catch it; I can’t put it out there too far. It was a fun play to have, but I just have to put it on him.”

(On how he feels he performed today) – “I definitely have some things to improve. I dropped a snap on a third down play when we had a great chance to get a first down. I can’t do that obviously, but it was fun. It was a good first real scrimmage action and to get out there, get the tempo of the game, the flow of the game and have a good drive, so I really had fun.”

(On what he thought about the first play call being a deep pass)  - “Yeah, I heard the play call, and a big smile lit up across my face. I saw the coverage that they were in pre snap, and I loved it, so I was really excited to hear that.”

(On his excitement on throwing a touchdown pass in the scrimmage atmosphere at Sun Life Stadium) – “It’s fun you know. Like I said the first scrimmage, I guess atmosphere, we had a lot of fans that came out and it was a fun thing to do for us to have live action. To be able to hit Anthony (Fasano) for a touchdown, it’s exciting. I threw a touchdown, my first touchdown really in (Sun Life) Stadium.”

(On if he sees his early success coming on scramble throws from outside the pocket) – “I don’t know. Hopefully I have some success as the plays are designed. I think it’s an asset to be able to extend plays and make something happen down field.”

(On if he feels caught up on the learning curve with the rest of his teammates after missing the first couple days of training camp) – “Yeah, I think so. I think I’m getting into the groove of, with the different receivers we have, getting on the same page. Obviously I have a lot of things to work on and clean up, but every practice that goes by I feel like I’m getting a little bit better, and more excited.”

(On how comfortable he feels after a few practices) – “More and more every day. Getting the play calls, going through the plays, getting more reps and seeing what the defenses are throwing at us, it just gets more and more comfortable every day.”

(On if he was more jacked up to play in Sun Life Stadium for the first time) – “Yeah for sure. Like I said, this is the first real live action that we’ve had in Sun Life Stadium, so it’s exciting. I had some adrenaline going.”

(On the biggest difference from working against the first team defense versus the second and third team defenses) – “The first team throws a little bit more stuff at you. Obviously it is the same overall defense, but they’re  better at mixing up coverage’s and disguising a little bit. We had a couple of plays that we should have made when we went against the (number) one defense, so obviously the dropped snap killed us on that drive. You can’t have that. So you never know, if I don’t drop that snap we could have had a first down.”

(On if he feels he made some gains in the QB battle today) – “I don’t know. You’ll have to ask Coach Philbin about that. I’m excited about being out here, competing, and I’m excited about having a touchdown drive, so you’ll have to ask Coach Philbin about that.”

(On if he had a moment where he saw himself playing here for a long time to come) – “Oh yeah, we pulled up you know. This is my new home. In College Station, you go to the facility and you go right out to the stadium, so as you know we don’t come out here a lot because our facility is in Davie. Drive up, and this is the office that we’re going to perform in, so it’s exciting to be here and get on the field for the first time.”



August 03, 2012

Sid Rosenberg talks about his new job and dealing with addictions: Fins, local radio news


Four months ago, Sid Rosenberg sat next to his car on a Broward County street, curled up in a fetal position, tears running down his face, according to a police report.

Within minutes, he was charged with driving under the influence.

Within days, his WQAM career was over.

But Rosenberg, 45, is a survivor, a man with a knack for rebounding from self-destructive behavior and steering his life back on track.

He has done it again, fortunate to have found another radio station willing to take a chance on his unique talent and off-air baggage.

Off the South Florida airwaves since WQAM dismissed him in April, Rosenberg returns Aug. 13 as morning host on WMEN-640, a Palm Beach station whose audiences in Dade and Broward consistently lag behind 790 The Ticket and WQAM.

“I’ve missed it a lot,” he said in a phone interview. “I have changed a lot over the last few months.”

He knows his addictions to gambling and alcohol are “lifelong diseases,” but he is encouraged by his personal growth since the April 5 incident. Rosenberg said he has been diligent about seeking treatment and has achieved a “serenity” that was lacking in the past.

“I’m working on myself,” he said. “I go to [Alcoholics Anonymous] meetings every day, sometimes more than once. I go to [Gamblers Anonymous] meetings. I have not had a drink in [nearly] four months. I haven’t made a wager of any kind since Nov. 12.

“I have found a higher power I haven’t been able to find. I finally found the spirituality I was never able to find. I don’t know why. This time around, the compulsion has been lifted. I haven’t miss [alcohol or gambling] at all.”

Rosenberg regrets his missteps and how they affected those closest to him, including his wife and two children.

"I’ve put my family through hell for a long time,” he said. “I’m grateful they stuck by me. I’m a lucky person. For people who have had multiple issues, it would be easy to say, ‘Enough is enough.’ It took me until this time to realize how lucky I am. I really feel grateful.”

Steve Lapa, who runs WMEN, said he believes Rosenberg’s problems are behind him: “He’s a talented guy, and he wants to work.”

He would have been on the air sooner, but Rosenberg and Lapa rejected WQAM’s offer to shorten his four-month non-compete clause, in exchange for Rosenberg promising he would say nothing disparaging about WQAM or its employees.

Rosenberg said he harbors no resentment toward WQAM but did not agree to the clause because “if somebody says something about me, I need to be able to retaliate. I will not attack anybody. But it’s unfair to say I can’t do this or that.”

His said his 6-10 a.m. WMEN show already has sold all its advertising spots for the first day “and advertisers haven’t lost faith” in him.

His desire to talk about New York sports “was a constant battle” at WQAM and before that, 790 The Ticket. But at WMEN, “I have been given free reign. This station’s audience is more North Broward, Palm Beach.”

So he will opine whenever he wishes on the Jets, Giants, Yankees and Mets, but “the majority” of his show will focus on South Florida sports.

Listeners should expect no change in his on-air style: “I will still have bravado.”

But off the air, “I’ve been humbled.”

Does he trust himself that his problems are behind him?

“I do,” he said. “I do meditation every day. It’s one day at a time. I can’t say six months from now I won’t fall off the wagon. But I’m in a better place mentally and physically than at any time. I’m confident that if I continue to do the things I do today, I will enjoy this serenity for the rest of my life.”


### Not only is Jorge Sedano the top choice to replace Michael Irvin on WQAM’s midday show, but Sedano also is a candidate for the program director job. Former WQAM program director Lee Feldman left to open a bed and breakfast in Costa Rica.

### Through four nights, Miami-Fort Lauderdale’s 16.7 average prime-time Olympic rating on NBC-6 ranked fourth-worst among 56 metered markets. West Palm Beach’s ratings have ranked in the top 10. Nationally, NBC's ratings through four nights were the highest for an Olympics since the 1996 Atlanta Games.

### Though Jimmy Cefalo will remain the Dolphins’ play-by-play announcer on WINZ-940, the team said it will allow studio host Jesse Agler to call the second and third preseason games, with Cefalo sharing analyst duties with Joe Rose those nights.

That’s being done so the Dolphins can keep a three-man radio booth while radio co-analyst Bob Griese works CBS-4’s preseason TV telecasts with Dick Stockton and Nat Moore. Keith Sims will join Cefalo and Rose for the other two preseason games on radio.


August 02, 2012

Highlights from Al Golden's Thursday preseason press conference

Highlights from UM coach Al Golden’s preseason news conference Thursday:

### He said players now view conditioning as “essential, not punitive. We’re much stronger than we were. There’s not even a comparison between our strength last year and this year. Our conditioning is better. These kids paid a price this summer. We got pushed around too much up front [last year]. A lot of guys made sacrifices. A lot changed their diet.”

### Beyond quarterback, Golden mentioned other positions where the competition is keen: “Receivers, because we brought in five, should be exciting. I think [freshmen] Ereck Flowers and Danny Isidora certainly will have something to say [on the offensive line].

[Guard] Jeremy Lewis is in the best shape of his life. He knows it’s his last at-bat. Jermaine Johnson wants to say something at guard or tackle. Running backs… There aren’t a lot of guys that are untouchable.”

### Offensive starters on the depth chart: Mike James at running back; Allen Hurns and Rashawn Scott at receiver;  Maurice Hagens at fullback; Malcolm Bunche, Jonathan Feliciano, Shane McDermott, Brandon Linder and Seantrel Henderson from left to right on the offensive line and Asante Cleveland at tight end.

Quarterback was listed as an either/or between Stephen Morris and Ryan Williams. Morris is considered the front-runner, but Golden said Thursday “it’s neck and neck.”

Golden said he has “never really been a fan” of splitting time between two quarterbacks: “I don’t see that right now.”

He said: “Both quarterbacks are smart and have come a long way in terms of leadership. There has to be an X factor. Who are those guys going to follow? Who has command of the huddle? Ultimately, who can we trust to execute our system?”

UM will hold scrimmages Aug. 12 and 18. Golden said a starting quarterback could be named a day or so after either of those scrimmages.

### Defensive starters on the depth chart: Anthony Chickillo and Shayon Green at defensive end; Curtis Porter and Darius Smith at tackle; Denzel Perryman, Jimmy Gaines and Ramon Buchanan at linebacker; Brandon McGee and Ladarius Gunter at cornerback; and Vaughn Telemaque and Kacy Rodgers at safety.

### Phillip Dorsett is listed as the top punt and kickoff returner, with Dallas Crawford behind him for both roles.

### Freshman running back Danny Dillard has been cleared academically and will be able to practice immediately, Golden said.

### On who has emerged as leaders in the offseason: “Hurns has been fantastic. On the offensive line, Shane and Linder. Asante has been good. Word has it that [defensive tackle] Luther Robinson maybe had the best summer of anyone on our team. McGee and Vaughn Telemaque have given us what we need on the back end.”

### On what he expects from elite newcomers Duke Johnson and Tracy Howard: “It’s too early to tell. They come in with high expectations. They have to let that go. The only way they’re going to get a promotion is accept and execute the role we give them for [Friday’s] practice. Both come in with the mindset they want to be the best.”

Golden said “the infusion of youngsters into the program has really created an energy.”

### Golden praised Dyron Dye, who is listed as the No. 4 tight end behind Cleveland, Clive Walford and David Perry: “I see a different Dyron Dye. I see a different attitude. Much more confident.”

### Golden said he’s not recruiting any players from Penn State, who are being allowed to transfer because of NCAA sanctions.

### Golden: “We have a no excuse mentality in our building. I hope we have a team that is intrinsically motivated and doesn’t make excuses.”

### Among players who missed time in the spring, Hurns, Buchanan, Shayon Green and Corey King are fully back, Golden said.  Tight end Cory White “will not be fully integrated initially.”

### Asked what areas he feels confident this team will be better – besides conditioning – Golden said, “I hope situational football, our football intelligence.”

### Golden is keeping in touch with some UM players who are now in the NFL. “I get texts from Lamar [Miller] and Olivier [Vernon].”

What Joe Philbin, Matt Moore have to say; Marlins: We got good prospect for "[bleeping] seventh inning guy"

Here's a look at what Joe Philbin and Matt Moore had to say at their Wednesday Dolphins press conferences:

For a look at tidbits from Wednesday night's episode of Showtime's reality series on the Marlins, please click on our last post.

(And check back Thursday for a report from UM coach Al Golden's season-preview press conference.)

Dolphins coach Joe Philbin:

(On how the team looked after the day off) – “I thought it was a little sluggish early, even actually inside it took them a while to get going when we were in there, but I thought overall there was a lot of good work today – good situations, good clock management situations. There was some good things for us as a staff the first time together. When are we going to call timeout or when are we going to kill the clock after a completion on what down and distance? What field position? Sometimes we kind of orchestrated things a little bit, not all the time, but a couple times we did just to kind of put us in different situations, talk to the staff. I don’t know if you noticed we had some live tackling for the first time. We didn’t have blocks below the waist, but we had some live tackling, which we felt was important…we’ve got to get a good sense. Sometimes I think you can get a false sense maybe of where you’re at or how good your running backs might be or how good your run defense might be. So we had some of that in there that we mixed in. We had practiced some short-yardage situations. We hadn’t done one in the red zone. We kind of inserted a live on there. I thought we got in a lot of good things and I thought the tempo was pretty good.”

(On if it’s realistic to expect a 1,000-yard receiving season by Chad Johnson this year) – “I like what I’ve seen. I like the energy that he brings. I think he’s caught the ball well. I think even in tight quarters he’s caught the ball well. I did notice a couple routes in the one-on-one that he ran today against press coverage that he kind of can put the stops on, put the breaks on at about 12 or 14. He’s made some contested catches that you like. Time will tell. I don’t necessarily have…we don’t have as a staff, A, he’s got to catch X amount of passes and gain X amount of yards. We don’t really have the team set yet. We’re not at that stage of game plans certain plays for certain people, but I do like what I see.”

(On the funniest thing Johnson has said to him) – “He likes football. This guy likes football a lot. He’ll pop in. I don’t know if he’s said anything overly funny. I mean he comes up to our meetings sometimes. He just wants to hang around. He’s a little bit of a gym rat in that regard, which is good. You know, you like players that like the game and he wants to know (more about the game). He’s not afraid of being coached. He has an opinion about a thing or two, which is good. I think that’s good for players to have an opinion on some of that stuff.”

(On if he’s nervous about Johnson speaking to the media) – “Not really. Everybody’s accountable for what comes out of their mouth. The players understand that. I‘m accountable for what I say as well. So I’m not overly that concerned.”

(On why Johnson can fit better here than in New England) – “Well, we’re still in the evaluation process. Again, we’re looking for a couple things at that position, specifically we’re looking for guys that can get separation against man-to-man coverage. We’re looking for guys who can possibly make plays on the ball down the field. We’re looking for guys that can win that one-on-one matchup so to speak. When he came in to work out, he showed us some things that look like, from an athletic standpoint, he had a lot of skill. We sat down and talked. I went through the whole presentation that I went through on April 10th with everybody and I shared with him what my expectations were. I shared with him what he should expect and told him, ‘You’re going to have an opportunity and nothing more.’ So far, he’s been good.”

(On how much Johnson helps the young secondary in practice) – “I think it’s good for those guys. The more competition, the better. You’re laying a foundation out here. We had I think in the first four practices 532 competitive snaps, whether it was seven-on-seven or team. There was a lot of repetition out there. The only way you can get better is by doing it in practice and obviously the better the players are that compete against one another that should elevate their game as well. It’s a process and I think the more good players you have on a team, the better.”

(On if tight end Les Brown looks like a football player or a basketball player playing football) – “At times. At times. I would say both. He’s certainly a young player. We all know he hasn’t been in pads. This is a new, kind of brave new world for him. You could probably watch a couple plays and say, ‘Boy this guy doesn’t fit in.’ Conversely, you could watch a couple plays and think he’s a five-year veteran. So I think there’s a little bit of both. I think how quickly he can eliminate those pictures or those film clips where he doesn’t look like an NFL player is going to go a long way to determining his future here.”  

(On Johnson having his fingernails painted black) – “I didn’t notice that by the way. There are certain things that are important to me (laughing) – fingernail preference isn’t high on my list right now. I don’t think right now it’s a big deal. That’s an interesting tidbit though.”

(On if Johnson’s fingernail painting could be a concern later) – “We’ll see. We want these guys to ultimately, I told Mr. (Stephen) Ross, I told the players, we want these guys to represent the franchise the right way on and off the field. It’s not a complicated formula and the game of football itself isn’t complicated. Now, we want guys to act well, behave well, be good people. It’s not that hard. Use common sense. I don’t know if, black was probably a bad color for today. He probably should have used a light blue or something (laughing).”

(On if he’s ever had a player paint his fingernails) – “Yeah, I’ve seen some, maybe, toenails for sure I remember. I’ve seen a bunch of that. I’d have to check in the research on the fingernails, not sure about that one.”

(On if he’s pleased with the young safeties and if he’s thought of replacing Kelcie McCray who said he was going to have a foot procedure) – “I’ve got to watch the last play of practice. I’m not exactly sure what the coverage call was, so I don’t want to jump to conclusions on that because I was paying attention to other things. So I’m not pleased about the last play with the ball going over the top, but I think overall we’ve been getting good performance out there. It was good to have Chris (Clemons) back out there again. It’s a work in progress like a lot of the positions are on the team.”

(On Jimmy Wilson’s switch to safety) – “Well, I think he made a pretty good impact on special teams last year if I’m not mistaken. Early on, when we we’re working with him, really, before he got to a lot of the team stuff, I’ve used that term he kind of moves around like a football player. You know what I mean? Some of the guys that said he has pretty good instincts, he’s pretty physical even though he’s not the biggest guy and so getting him in the middle of the field and getting him maybe closer to the ball would suit his talents and what we’re looking for as well. I think, I know (defensive coordinator) Kevin (Coyle’s) been high on him, (defensive backs coach) Lou (Anarumo) and (assistant defensive backs coach) Blue (Adams) I think they’re both (high on him). I think he’s making a real nice transition.”

(On his evaluation of quarterback Ryan Tannehill so far) – “The one thing, it’s funny and I’ve told this to (assistant quarterbacks coach) Zac (Taylor) and (offensive coordinator) Mike (Sherman), he’s so under control at times that he doesn’t look like he has the greatest urgency on occasion. The poise thing, it’s really not a negative, but it’s almost, at times, it’s not like we’re having trouble with the 40-second clock and he’s not getting the plays off, but he’s so kind of cool and collected. He’s going to signal the route adjustment/ He’s going to tell these guys the protection adjustment and tell the back what to do, where your check-down is. He just kind of does it in a relaxed manner, which, again works for him. Some other quarterbacks are kind of herky-jerky, really operating fast. I think it will be good to get him into games and then he can really see a true 40-second clock. We do the best we can. You see we’ve got them out there. (We) do the best we can to simulate it, but it’s not exact. But other than that, I think he’s making really good progress and it’s really not a negative, but it’s just something that’s kind of the way he operates.”             

# # #

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Quarterback Matt Moore 

(On what practice has been like now that Ryan Tannehill is sharing reps) – “It’s been great. I haven’t noticed a change. The coaches do a good job of letting us know the reps we’re getting, when we’re going in, so we’re all still getting a lot of reps. It’s good that he’s here getting his reps and learning and stuff like that, but for the other guys I think it’s been pretty much the same deal.”

(On working with Chad Johnson and whether he is one of the better receivers he has worked with) – “Yeah, it is early but Chad has been great. He’s a guy that loves football, he really does. He’s constantly asking questions, and I’m sure the coaches will tell you that he’s all over them at all times. So to work with a guy like that that is extremely interested and a guy with the accolades to still have that desire to get better and want to change his game is inspiring to be honest with you. He’s always working hard and to be an older guy in that room I think it’s showing our young receivers how to do it, but our chemistry and our relationship could not have gotten off to a better start.”

(On if he evaluates his performance after practice) – “Absolutely. Yeah there is a lot of self-talk at the quarterback position obviously so you’re constantly evaluating yourself as an individual, how you fit in on the team, changes and corrections you can make. Training camp, as well as any season, there’s going to be ups and downs but a lot of self-evaluating during practice, after practice, trying to be the best you can be.”

(On how he would evaluate himself thus far) – “I’m in the middle somewhere. I don’t know, I feel good. There are always things that I need to work on, but that’s what training camp is for, we’re still early on. If I can take a couple things each day and focus on those and change those and get better, then that will be good.”

(On how vocal Chad Johnson is on the field in terms of asking for the ball) – “Well obviously he wants the ball, he’s a wide receiver. They all want the ball. He’s good though. He understands the concepts, and he understands when he’s the primary, he understands when he has one-on-one coverage, and really be hollering for the ball then which is great. You want a guy that wants the ball. I don’t ever lack faith that he is going to make a play. He’s a guy that you can trust going to in a lot of situations and feel good about it.”

(On the funniest thing that Chad Jonhson has said thus far) – “The other night we were walking out because we had the day off, and I said ‘Chad where are you going on your break?’ He said ‘I don’t, but I’ll probably be open.’ (laughing). Which is great, I love it. That’s the kind of guy he is; he keeps everything light, and he’s really been a pleasure to work with so far.”

(On building chemistry with the receivers when he is splitting reps with the other quarterbacks) – “Well, right now I think it’s so early that we’re still learning. The chemistry will come, and I think the coaches know at that time when they need to make a decision to where the starting quarterback will be able to work with his guys all the time. But I think right now, like I said we’re early on and the time is not right for that right now. We’re working with young guys, older guys, we’re working with everybody, and how you overcome it is I think you use the time we have now to really focus on yourself. Learn the different wide receivers that you have in camp; some of the younger guys that you haven’t thrown to. And then when the time comes is when you really tighten down the screws and you trust that coaches will give you time, which they will to do that with the wide receivers.”

(On Les Brown) – “He has come a long way since spring. That’s a crazy story and the guy obviously is extremely talented physically. You throw balls to him on air or throw one-on-ones to him and he’s got a ton of speed. He’s another guy that just has that desire. I mean naturally anybody with a story like that, he knows he’s here to work hard and do those things, but like anybody else he has never blocked a guy like Cam Wake or something like that, which is difficult for a seasoned vet. So for a guy that was doing whatever he was doing last year to come in and at least attempt to do it is a huge thing, so he’s doing good and he’s going to continue to get better, I know that.

(On Chad Johnson’s painted fingernails and if it is common for receivers to paint their fingernails) – “Not for me. I haven’t seen much of it, but I think that each guy needs to be an individual, needs to be his own guy and kind of play within the rules of the team. As long as he catches the ball I don’t care what color his fingernails are.”

(On if he thinks Johnson will make the rookies paint their fingernails) – “Probably, I don’t know. I wouldn’t want to be a rookie position player, other than a quarterback. Quarterbacks seem to have it easy somewhat. But the other guys, I don’t know.”

(On if he has any plans for rookie hazing of Ryan Tannehill) – “Not from me. Maybe a little bit, but nothing crazy that you guys will hear about.” (On the types of hazing he would make Tannehill do, like fetching donuts) – “Yeah, stuff like that. I wouldn’t call that hazing, that’s just the way it goes, unless the o-line steps up and takes control of that, but the quarterbacks like I said are pretty easy going. David (Garrard) and I aren’t really the shave the head, shave the eyebrows kind of guys.”

(On the kinds of rookie hazing he has experienced) – “I mean, guys have to sing and things like that, but I didn’t have anything physically done to me.”


August 01, 2012

Marlins: We get good prospect for "[bleeping] seventh inning guy"


Wednesday night’s fourth installment of Showtime’s reality series on the Marlins offered some insight into the week-old Hanley Ramirez trade, but not nearly enough.

Despite claiming that it has access to virtually everything the Marlins do behind closed doors, Showtime did not show Marlins officials discussing the trade offers for Ramirez, either with other teams or among themselves.

But Showtime rallied, somewhat, late in the episode by eavesdropping on behind-the-scenes deliberations before the Marlins completed the Edward Mujica trade with St. Louis.

Among the highlights:

### Marlins president David Samson, sitting alongside owner Jeffrey Loria at a game, said, “I can’t believe we haven’t made the playoffs in seven years. We’re really going to have to talk about trading Hanley.”

“I know,” Loria said.

### Loria told Showtime: “The team made the decision to let’s try something else. It’s a tough decision for me and all our baseball people. He has been an interesting and spectacular athlete to be around.  My baseball people have come to me several times to say we’ve got to do something.

“We can’t continue like this. I’m not sure what’s happened with the chemistry in the clubhouse. It’s not as great as you would like to see it. We had a $95 million payroll and it hasn’t produced.”

### Showtime showed Marlins executives studying statistics for Triple A third baseman Zack Cox before acquiring him in the Mujica deal.

“You got potential for an everyday third baseman for a [bleeping] seventh inning guy?” said Marlins vice president/player personnel Dan Jennings, strongly endorsing the trade. Jennings added the Marlins weren’t going to bring back Mujica next season anyway.

### Heath Bell counted down the seconds before Tuesday’s 4 p.m. trade deadline and said to Showtime cameras: “I’m still here. I’m happy. Before long, I’ll be closing games in Miami again.”