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Heat meets with Oden; Notes, quotes, musings from Tuesday's Dolphins practice

The Heat continued to explore signing Greg Oden on Tuesday, with coach Erik Spoelstra meeting with the free agent center in Indianapolis. Chet Kammerer, the Heat's vice president/player personnel, also attended the session, which included on-court work.

Oden will pick a team probably next week, agent Bill Duffy said.

Sacramento and New Orleans also attended Tuesday's workout. Atlanta will watch Oden work out Thursday, and officials from the Mavericks and Spurs have met with him previously.

"Every team [that has shown interest] remains under strong consideration," Duffy said.

Duffy said Oden did "a lot of on-court work" during Tuesday's session and "looked very good."

This was the second time the Heat has met with Oden. Oden traveled to Miami to visit with Heat president Riley earlier this year.

What the Heat, Pelicans and Kings observed Tuesday was Oden's normal workout routine, including shooting drills and off-court work that is part of his regular rehabilitation.

He did not do a traditional on-court workout against another player because he has not been cleared for contact and is not expected to be until August.

ESPN has listed the Heat and Spurs as co-favorites, but an NBA friend of Oden disputed that, saying other teams remain seriously in the mix.

Another one of Oden's agents, Mike Conley Sr., said last week that the Heat has as good a chance as any team but stopped short of calling Miami the front-runner.

The 7-foot Oden, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft, hasn't played since December 2009 because of knee problems. His agents have said he is expected to be ready for the start of the regular season.

Riley said recently he believes Oden can help the Heat "if he's healthy. I mean, he had five major surgeries. But I think if he's healthy, he's still young [25].

"Sometimes, I've made this point before and you can go back to a half a dozen athletes that started their careers -- Kurt Thomas with the broken feet, [Zydrunas] Ilgauskas -- there have been a number of players that started their career missing two or three years with injuries and then all of a sudden they never had another problem again. He's young enough to maybe be able to get by this, and only time will tell. But if he's healthy, obviously I think he would be able to help teams, yes."

Oden has appeared in just 82 NBA games and averaged 9.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 22.1 minutes per game.

The Heat could offer Oden either a contract at the league minimum ($1 million, in his case) or its $3.2 million mid-level exception. Miami appears willing to offer the minimum if he's healthy, but it's highly questionable if it would offer exception money to a player who hasn't played in nearly four years.

Meanwhile, free agent center Marcus Camby has interest in the Heat, Bulls and Rockets. The Heat has inquired but is not believed to have made a formal offer as of Monday.

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Defensive end Dion Jordan, the Dolphins’ first-round draft pick, returned from a two-day stint on the non-football injury list on Tuesday and said he expects to start participating in team drills in the next few days.

Returning from February shoulder surgery, Jordan was dressed in pads but participated only in individual drills. He indicated he expects to join team drills either Wednesday or Friday. (The team has Thursday off.)

“That’s the next step – starting to do more live drills,” he said. “I’m trying to put [the injury] behind me. I’m taking the right steps so I can be ready to go. I’m ready to go.”

Coach Joe Philbin said Jordan’s return “is going to be a gradual process. We’ll see how he responds, how he feels [Wednesday] and take it from there.

“We’re never going to rush a guy if we don’t feel he’s ready. We’ll take our time. All football players tell you they are great and ready to go.”

Philbin said Jordan isn’t falling behind because “we’re teaching him the system, getting him acclimated to the scheme, stance, fundamentals. He sat in the classroom, he’s watched all the practice film.

“Obviously, there’s going to be a point he needs to go out there and make a couple of mistakes and learn from them and move forward as a player.”

Philbin dismissed a question about whether Jordan should feel pressure to perform as the third overall pick. He is expected to compete with Olivier Vernon at defensive end.

“This program is not about one player, one position,” Philbin said. “You’re one of 90 guys competing for a job. You’ve got to earn your keep. Everybody is equal out there.”

For his part, Jordan said: “I put pressure on myself to perform. It’s not just because I’m in the NFL now or I was drafted high. It’s something I’ve always done.”

Jordan said he is “leaning a lot” from defensive end Cameron Wake and has studied film of him.

Teammates are eager to see Jordan on the field for the first time.

“I’m as curious as anybody else,” linebacker Dannell Ellerbe said. “I know we’re going to get a lot out of him.”

Said defensive lineman Jared Odrick: “He looks good in pads. He passes the eye test. He’s a grounded kid.”

Jordan was subjected to rookie hazing this week. Paul Soliai used a chemical provided by his wife on the heads of Jordan and fellow rookie linemen Emeka Onyenekwu and Tristan Okpalaugo on Monday night, leaving Jordan with an orange strip on his head.

Rookie defensive linemen Chris Burnette and A.J. Francis escaped Soliai’s prank because they are bald.

“I went first so I could get it out of the way,” Jordan said. “I’m paying my dues. I’m just doing what I’m told. I don’t know how my mother feels [about it].”

Soliai said Jordan must keep his hair that way for two weeks. “They took it as men,” Soliai said.

DEFENSE AHEAD

The defense was clearly ahead of the offense Tuesday in the first practice in pads. Ryan Tannehill threw interceptions to Chris Clemons and Ellerbe, and Jimmy Wilson picked off a Matt Moore pass.

Tannehill had a pass knocked down by Ellerbe, and his accuracy ranged from very good at times to very shaky at others.

The defense flummoxed the offense with various blitzes, resulting in sacks by Philip Wheeler and Reshad Jones, among others, and also forced Tannehill to throw sooner than he would like at times.

On the first play of 11-on-11 drills outside the practice bubble, Tannehill fell to the ground after tripping over one of his lineman’s feet.

Many of Tannehill’s completions early in camp have been on dump offs or relatively short patterns. He has established good chemistry with Dustin Keller, in particular.

His best throws Tuesday were a 30-yarder to Mike Wallace against busted coverage (Brent Grimes was closest to it) and a beautiful throw to Clay that was lofted perfectly over a defender.

But after the completion to Clay, Clemons jumped a route, picked off Tannehill and returned it for a touchdown.

Tannehill did not throw a touchdown. Moore didn’t throw one either on Tuesday but has been sharper than Tannehill the first three days of camp.

### Cornerback Jamar Taylor did not participate in practice because of lingering soreness from sports hernia surgery in May. He is not expected to be out for an extended period.

### Kicker Dan Carpenter got all four field goal attempts during Tuesday’s practice and made three of them. He kicked a 52-yarder but came up well short on one from 54 yards. Carpenter is now 12 for 14 in training camp during practice sessions that have been open to the public and media.

His competition, Caleb Sturgis, has made two of three, all coming on Monday.

 

PRACTICE HIGHLIGHTS

### Safety Chris Clemons jumped in front of Dustin Keller to pick off a Ryan Tannehill pass and returned it for a touchdown.

### Linebackers Philip Wheeler and Dannell Ellerbe were extremely active. Ellerbe had an interception against Tannehill, broke up a pass to Daniel Thomas and knocked down a Tannehill pass.

Wheeler had a would-be sack on a blitz and was decent in pass coverage. Linebackers Koa Misi and Josh Kaddu also had some good moments.

### Rookie cornerback Will Davis made two impressive pass deflections, both against receiver Armon Binns.

### Safety Jimmy Wilson cut in front of Binns and picked off a Matt Moore pass, setting up a long return.

### Mike Wallace, Binns and Brian Tyms dropped passes, and Brian Hartline dropped a punt.

 

NOTABLE

### Vaughn Martin, who has working at defensive end but also can play tackle, continues to look good early in camp. He had a would-be sack against Moore and also tipped a pass by Moore.

### Lance Louis, still working his way back from last November’s knee injury, hasn’t taken any first team snaps. John Jerry remains the starter at right guard and Texas A&M rookie Brian Thomas has been getting a lot of work on the second team.

### Wilson and Kelcie McCray have been working as the second-team safeties, behind Reshad Jones and  Clemons, who were both very good Tuesday.

### Besides Martin, Derrick Shelby has been the other second-team defensive end, behind starters Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon.

### Brent Grimes defended himself after a picture surfaced on the Internet that featured a sexual act being depicted on the front of a cake that Grimes received for his 30th birthday this past weekend.

“The people that are offended about a cake that was brought to a party by a friend as a joke need to chill,” Grimes said on Twitter. “I guess we were supposed to tell our friend to, ‘take your cake and get the hell out of our house.’ LOL. My bad.”

 

QUOTABLE

“Paul loves painting the side of peoples’ heads. Good to see the dread on peoples’ faces.”---

Jared Odrick, on Paul Soliai bleaching the heads of Dion Jordan and two other rookies.

 

PRACTICE SCHEDULE

Wednesday – 8 a.m.

Thursday – Off

Friday – 8 a.m.

Saturday – 8 a.m. (Season Ticket holders only)

Sunday – 8 a.m. (Fin Club members only)

Note: All the practices the rest of the week will be held at the team’s facility in Davie. Monday’s 7 p.m. practice will be at Sun Life Stadium. All are free.

 

 

Comments

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Sunny Dee

Great quote by Grimes. Sports is becoming gossip central. Nobody should care about a damn cake.

Omaximus

Its been interesting and embarrassing watching sports and sports coverage become more like a soap opera for men. Seems people have nothing better to do than gossip and moralize on twitter. It tracks closely with America's increasingly stifling political correctness, and the feminization of the country as a whole.

Lt. Lois Einhorn

"Nothing better to do than moralize on twitter.

Tracks closely with America's inquiretracks closely with America's increasingly stifling political correctness, and the feminization of the country as a whole."

Not a hint of irony in there, was there Omaximus?

Al Golden

Unless Dion Jordan adds something new to our "D", I am left feeling that maybe we should have gone OT with our 1st pick of the draft. The trade up cost of a 2nd rounder was not too steep, but Jordan is a risky hybrid type of guy who was drafted more on potential than actual production. Looking at his youtube tapes he seems to overrun plays, gambling all or nothing for a highlight.
Did we draft him with the Pats in mind where maybe he could run with their TEs?

Hope it pans out but "J Martin or bust" is a risky bet for the 2nd most important spot on the offense.

Marios

Anyone watch any Marlins games lately(probably not). Catcher Mathis has been impressive behind the plate gunning people down, looking like Pudge back there.
If they get a 2B and 3B upgraded with guys that can hit they will have a competitive team("IF").
I hate the way they went about it, but this new team has a lot of upside, and the team they dismantled last year had a lot of underachievers who only play hard on contract years. I miss Bonifacio, but glad to see the rest gone.
Although it would have been more interesting to see how they played without a joke for a manager like Ozzie.

Omaximus

Point taken but I hope you won't ever hear me gossiping about athlete's private lives or complaining about the number of NFL players arrested or whining when an athlete expresses a view I don't like. Sitting around talking about sports has long been a part of American culture.

But now we gossip more about their love lives than we do about their performance on the field. They can't express any interesting or nontraditional viewpoints lest the Professional Outrage Machine descend upon them. It wasn't always like this but the PC police feed people's sense of victimhood. What is First Take if not a men's soap opera? There would have been no audience for such a show 25 years ago.

Lt. Lois Einhorn

It's a fair point, little difference between the off-the-field interest in athletes and the People Magazine/US Weekly celebrity worship that women can't get enough of.

The one thing I'll never be able to understand is that men at least have the pretense of being interested in athlete's personal lives because if affects what they "really" care about, which should be the games.

Women are not the least bit concerned with how well their celebrities music or film careers are going. Only care about their personal lives.

It's all weak sauce, as you pointed out, but I don't even understand the pretense of celebrity worship.

Omaximus

Movie stars are an interesting case to me because it seems men and women react to them so differently. Women are so into their personal lives, and will choose movies based on who they like/dislike/approve of this month. While men go see movies they think look good, with little regard for the star's religious beliefs or whether he is faithful to his wife.

But with athletes we get so judgmental. If an actor gets arrested its not portrayed as some kind of black mark on Hollywood or his latest director or studio. When an athlete does the same he is shaming his whole organization. Its an interesting view into human nature, and with sports maybe their is just so much more bias and rivalry and tribalism involved.

Not to get off topic but have you noticed that half the movie stars look to be on PEDs? That doesn't seem to bother anyone.

d 1

the fins should have got a great olineman with the 2nd pick

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