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Thursday update: Dolphins won't get Jackson; Dolphins, Heat, Canes, Marlins quick hits

Quick Thursday morning update: The Dolphins won't be getting middle linebacker D'Qwell Jackson, who visited with the team earlier this week. Jackson has agreed to terms with the Colts, according to a close associate. The Colts gave him a four-year, $22 million deal, with $11 million guaranteed.

Jackson told NFL Network he picked the Colts because of coach Chuck Pagano. "Great coach, better person," he told former Herald colleague Jeff Darlington.

The Dolphins had interest in signing Jackson and moving Dannell Ellerbe to outside linebacker. If they choose, they can now pursue an inside linebacker in free agency from a group including Jon Beason, Brandon Spikes and Daryl Sharpton. Or they can keep Ellerbe in the middle and pursue an outside linebacker to compete with Philip Wheeler or Koa Misi. (Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle has made clear how much Miami values Misi.)

Besides Miami and Indianapolis, Jackson also visited Denver and Tennessee.

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Notes on a Wednesday night:

### There are several free agent running backs who would be an upgrade over Daniel Thomas, and Miami isn’t necessarily opposed to adding another back in free agency or the draft, according to an official who spoke to the Dolphins. But they also have given indications that it's not a high priority.

New GM Dennis Hickey was a fan of free agent LeGarrette Blount and recommended Tampa sign him, so Blount cannot be ruled out for Miami if he's available at a reasonable rate. But Blount wants his first big NFL payday after making $680,000 last season, and it would be surprising if Miami spends big money on a back.

Here are the free agent backs available and their per carry average last season: Donald Brown (5.3), Blount (5.0), Rashad Jennings (4.5) Knowshon Moreno (4.3), James Starks (5.5), Toby Gerhart (7.9), Brian Leonard (3.9), Rashard Mendenhall (3.2), Ben Tate (4.3), Ahmad Bradshaw (4.5 before early-season injury), Peyton Hillis (3.4), Jonathan Dwyer (4.0), Felix Jones (3.8), Darren McFadden (3.3), Maurice Jones Drew (3.4) and Andre Brown (3.5).

Dolphins GM Dennis Hickey said recently that he likes his running backs, a group that includes Lamar Miller, Thomas, Mike Gillislee and Marcus Thigpen.

### With Indiana losing to Charlotte tonight, the Heat moved within 1 1/2 games of the Pacers for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. And the Heat and Indy are now even in the loss column.

### LeBron James wasn’t named Eastern Conference Player of the Week in any of the four weeks in February. But he won the conference’s February Player of the Month award on Wednesday in something of a no-brainer. In leading the Heat to a 9-1 record, LeBron averaged 30.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, 6.7 assists and shot 57.5 percent from the field. He's only the second player to reach those levels over an entire month (minimum five games) –-- the first since Wilt Chamberlain in 1966. 

### NBA TV’s Chris Webber predicts James' 61-point game against Charlotte will sway MVP voters: "It reminds me that we take LeBron for granted... LeBron has his imprint on every facet of the game. Even though he had 61, he still had seven assists. He still gets people involved, still rebounds."

NBA TV’s Greg Anthony chimed in: "Sometimes you start to take LeBron for granted. And it's almost as if you're looking for a reason not to vote for him.  Kevin Durant is having a phenomenal season and if he were to win it, I wouldn't have an issue with it. But when you look at LeBron... LeBron James is shooting 58 percent. I don't think we appreciate how monumental that is.”

### ESPN's Keith Olbermann lampooned several Heat writers on Tuesday night, accusing them of overstating the significance of LeBron James' 61-point game. That seemed odd, because nobody hypes LeBron more than Olbermann's employer.

Attacked by Heat fans, Olbermann continued the narrative on Twitter on Wednesday.

Of 60-point games, Olbermann tweeted to one irked fan: "So far, Wilt has 29 of them and Kobe 4 to James' 1. Calm down, Homer."

One tweeted: "Who made u the fun police? You are now old, tired, and a has-been." Olbermann responded: "Whom you follow, Genius"?

Here was Olbermann's bottom line: "There have now been nine 60-point games in the last 10 seasons; two in the last 39 days. @KingJames was special Monday. Not immortal."

### Ryan Williams remains the front-runner for the UM quarterback job, but Kevin Olsen is clearly improved from the player who seemed hesitant and erratic during a couple of early December practices that were open to the media.

“Kevin is savvy, playing with a lot more IQ,” offensive coordinator James Coley said. “If things break down, he knows where he’s going.”... UM has its fourth practice of the spring on Thursday, then goes on spring break.

### Tom Koehler and Brad Hand entered camp as the favorites for the fifth spot in the Marlins’ rotation. But as he did last year, Kevin Slowey is again making a strong case to win a job. Koehler pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings Wednesday; in 4 2/3 innings this spring, he has allowed two hits, no runs and struck out five. There’s a decent chance Koehler or Hand (who’s out of minor league options) wins the fifth job, but Slowey still could stick as a long reliever.

### Marlins Park will host a college bowl game in December, but it passed on a chance to host a college basketball classic in November. The cost of converting the field proved too high to make it financially feasible. But Marlins Park officials would like to play host to a high-school football game before the bowl game.

Comments

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Randy Shannons' Agent

Why should Lebrons 61 where he played almost a full Q of garbage time be any more impressive than Durant scoring 42 in 3 quarters?

joe r

hickey so far as said he likes everyone but what else is he going to say...i bet he signs a back, he knows they can win with what they have, what they really need is a quality blocking FB to help with tannehill protection..im not a tannehill believer but that's what we have for now so we should protect him

Jeff

LeBron James' 61 is more impressive than Wilt Chamberlain's scoring binges for one primary reason: Wilt was over 7 feet tall in a time when most other centers were much shorter. His height advantage allowed him to score much more easily because there weren 't many players who could defend him. With that said, Chamberlain is still one of the NBA's greatest, it's just that LeBron's 61 is more impressive.

202canefan

It's dumb to compare LBJ to Kobe, when Kobe is a known ball hog..

jmike

Jeff That's actually not true, There were probably more good 7 footers back in the day than now.Check you facts.

johnnie j

Reality still is that ANY NBA player scoring 61 points against ANY NBA team is impressive.Olbermann got fired once for lack of common sense....guess he s on track to do it again.Too funny.

DJ Baracus

lebron's 61 is totally overblown. slow news day. move on.

I would agree that pagano is a better person than coach...I think hes a crappy coach. good riddance. JJenkins all the way this year. Pair him w/ Eye-Gouge Spikes please!

Fins4Life

I'll say it now and be done with it but the Dolphins need to re-sign Mckinnie to play LT for a year or so,sign Alex Mack to play center and move Pouncey to guard. Then draft CJ Moseley from Alabama to play MLB and switch to a 3-4 D with Jordon a OLB. re0sgn Solai and he can play the nose with Odrick and Vernon at the ends. Wheeler goes bye-bye.

DJ Baracus

Oline, OK
Dline, OMY
issue w B-Mac is, does he still want to play???
pouncey to G is a no-brainer to me. why waste a good player at a fillable position?

D-Rod

jmike- it actually is true, you check your facts.. No center came close to Wilts size. 7'1" 275. Russell 6'10" 215 :-o Bob Petti 6'9" 205 :-o Walt Bellamy 6'11" 225 :-o Wayne Embry 6'8" 240 :-o

Those were the All-Star Centers the year Wilt hit 100 points.

None would be considered an NBA Center today unless you are talking about Chris Bosh and J. Noah. Only Wilt would be then and now.

Emo

Fins better start overpaying to overcome reluctance of good FAs to come to joke franchise.

Dom

The point is . Lebron did it on 32-33 shots. usually when someone goes for 60 plus they shoot 40-50 times.

Catigory006

Trade Daniel Thomas, sign Darren McFadden to play running back, and LeGarrette Blount to play half back/full back. Trade Brian Hartline, and draft Kevin Benjamin to play opposite Mike Wallace.

Catigory006

Sign Sam Shields to play opposite Brent Grimes, at corner back. Sign Jairus Byrd, to play free safety. draft Lamarcus Joyner, to play nickel back.

Catigory006

Sign Eugene Monroe to play left tackle, Jon Asamoah to play left guard, Matt Slauson to play right guard, and resign Bryant McKinnie to play right tackle, and be a locker room leader.

Catigory006

Resign Paul Soliai, and sign Linval Joseph. sign Devin Hester to be a kick returner/punt returner/nickel back/free safety/slot receiver/all purpose back.

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