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Monday afternoon update: Philbin challenging Miller; Dolphins, Heat, UM, Marlins notes

Some Monday tidbits:               

### Joe Philbin made clear this past week that while he likes Lamar Miller and that he has all the skills to thrive as an NFL back, Philbin is pushing him for more.

There's a good chance Miller could go from starter to backup with the addition of Knowshon Moreno.

“We want to see him make more explosive runs here and there," Philbin said of Miller. "His pass protection improved but there’s still room for development there. He can do all three things a running back needs to do -- he has good running skills, he can pass protect, he can catch the football. We thought Lamar played well."

But… “We’ve got to break more tackles. I may have been guilty of overcoaching, harping on the ball security issue. He really did a good job of that. At some point, running backs need to break tackles. It’s not that he didn’t break any. But he’s got to break some more. There is room that we could potentially utilize him more [as a pass receiver]. He has good natural hands, good speed.”

Moreno figures to be the back who catches the majority of passes among the team's running backs. Miller will compete with Moreno for the starting job, but Moreno enters as the favorite.

### Why has the run defense gotten worse over the past two years?

Here was Philbin's explanation: “They’re not magical things. But at times, the gap soundness was compromised. There are some missed tackle that led to explosive runs. That’s been a culprit. It’s been more an issue of fundamentals, technique, staying within the scheme, making sure we’re all tied together.”

Philbin and Dennis Hickey didn't say it, but it's obvious, as we have stated, that the move from Karlos Dansby/Kevin Burnett to Dannell Ellerbe/Phillip Wheeler made the Dolphins worse against the run.

And unfortunately, the Dolphins did not pursue the top run-stopping linebackers in free agency (Brandon Spikes, Jon Beason, Darryl Sharpton). They made an offer to D'Qwell Jackson, who graded out below average against the run, but he opted for the Colts.

### Queried by Bay Area reporters, Philbin said he wishes San Francisco-bound Jonathan Martin “the best. I hope his career goes in a positive direction. Jonathan came into work every single day and worked his butt off.”

### Philbin said Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson are progressing well in their recovery from significant knee injuries and both are expected back for training camp.

### Philbin didn’t sound like the Dolphins are determined to have a natural fullback on the roster. “Priority wise, it’s not at the top of our list.” 

### According to Newsday out of New York, former Dolphins cornerback Dimitri Patterson is visiting the Jets today.

### The Heat says Dwyane Wade (hamstring), Greg Oden (back) and Ray Allen (stomach virus) are all doubtful for tonight's game against Toronto. Mario Chalmers (thigh bruise) was able to complete practice this morning and is a game-time decision.

### The Heat can pull even with Indiana for the top seed in the conference if Miami wins tonight and if the Pacers lose at home against San Antonio.

### Though UM scored six touchdowns in Saturday's scrimmage (which was closed to the public and media), keep in mind that four of them came on red-zone drills inside the 10-yard line.

But the defense was victimized by a length-of-field drive engineered by Ryan Williams and culminating in a touchdown run by Walter Tucker. The UM defense was without a key piece (Olsen Pierre) as well as without (obviously) key summer arrivals Michael Wyche and Chad Thomas, among others. 

### Though linebacker remains a concern, we hear Alex Figueroa has had a good spring; Denzel Perryman has played well in his move back to middle linebacker; and Jermaine Grace has made strides. UM wants to forge a role for Grace on defense, potentially on third down. What's more, early arrival Darrion Owens had two sacks Saturday and has made a strong early impression. And Al Golden said Raphael Kirby was the best of the linebackers in Saturday's scrimmage.

### The Marlins' batting order for their opener tonight against Colorado, barring a last-minute change by Mike Redmond: 1) Christian Yelich; 2) Jeff Baker; 3) Giancarlo Stanton; 4) Casey McGehee; 5) Garrett Jones; 6) Jarrod Saltalamacchia; 7) Marcell Ozuna; 8) Adeiny Hechavarria; 9) Jose Fernandez.

Please see the last post for more Dolphins, Heat, Canes and Marlins notes.... Twitter: @flasportsbuzz

Comments

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#1 SEC & #1 FLORIDA GATORS !!!

No one wants to engage with you about your fake internet rivalry.

Posted by: Not our rival | 03/31/2014 at 01:59 PM


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

yet u continue to engage... over n over, again and again...

SEC # 1 in FOOTBALL - BASKETBALL - BASEBALL ...

#1 GATORS RANKED AHEAD of u in FOOTBALL - BASKETBALL - BASEBALL...

When's ur Spring National Championship Game ?

Not our rival

Posted by: #1 SEC & #1 FLORIDA GATORS !!! | 03/31/2014 at 02:13 PM

No sir, I have never given a single opinion or thought about the Florida Gators, because in real life Miami sports fans have no reason to care about the Florida Gators. We crushed you in football last year and we're not scheduled to play again.

You nerds' fake internet rivalry only exists on this website.

Reality Bites

Wow blog policeman you actually penned a few sentences in a row and almost wrote a whole paragraph without using "hush" or "nerd". Congrats.

"UM scored six touchdowns in Saturday's scrimmage"

" the defense was victimized by a length-of-field drive engineered by Ryan Williams and culminating in a touchdown run by Walter Tucker"

So did the canes win The Spring game?
Let me be the first to start the Williams and Tucker Heisman campaign. As usual them canes sport one of the best offenses in college football in the Spring.

Go Heat!

Not our rival

Posted by: Reality Bites | 03/31/2014 at 03:56 PM

Hush nerd, this is a sports blog, no one here cares about your fake internet rivalry.

#1 GATORS !!!

[]_[] get []_[]r []_[]CONN hats, shirts, pom poms, face paint and #1 foam fingers yet for Saturday night []_[] d[]_[]mb cl[]_[]cks ?

Go ahead and get []_[]r []_[].K. KENTUCKY BLUE Gear too while []_[]r at it for Monday night... []_[]'ll look good in BLUE crying after another blown Championship.


When is woman's field hockey?

College basketball...

Neat.

Dilbert

21-16

Ship shape

As long as the top guy in charge is a clown, the circus will continue.

Kevin

Hey Barry, any chance the Fins give Jon Vilma a try out? They say he's at UM working his tail off and wants to come back. He's healthy and would be a upgrade and his football IQ is high. He would be a low cost signing and would like to see him here.

Thanks!

blakesta

Pretty pathetic that gaytor trolls have nothing better to do than come here and talk about thier bball team.....u football team still sucks

mike

4 baseball titles gators none!

#1 FSU !!!

u canes are as dumb as the dumbass gators...

u-2 deserve one another

but u do know that the gator out smarts u everytime.

Reality Bites

Pretty pathetic that gaytor trolls have nothing better to do than come here and talk about thier bball team

Excuse me uninformed and unintelligent cane homer. It is March Madness after all. It is the eve of the Final Four. It is the time of year for college basketball all around America, in every corner of this great nation of ours. Except of course in Miami where cane clown doesn't know what The Dance is,
hasn't heard about the Final Four, and doesn't know his sorry school fields a basketball team.
Now that is what is pathetic.
Feel the Madness?
Well at least you got The Heat
Go Heat!

ChestyPuller

21-16

long time cane

Cane fans actually DO respect FSU and all of their accomplishments.Yet it seems that Canes and FSU and their fans BOTH detest Gator anything.Why is that?Class is one element of course.College sports is relative yet the immaturity you see by some Gator trolls is reduced really to something just laughable.They NEVER learn.

Not our rival

Posted by: Reality Bites | 04/01/2014 at 08:50 AM

It is a Miami blog that you're trolling because of a fake internet rivalry.

Rodger Podacter

Nice to hear Ryan Williams put together a long drive, the quick strike/three-and-out offense was partly responsible for the defense's horrible numbers last season.

That's play calling as much as execution.

Reality Bites

Actually the horrible defense allowed Williams to put together a long drive. Any decent defense will once again force Williams into those 3 and outs.
Any offense can and will score against that putrid defense.
Any defense will once again shut down that overhyped and sputtering offense.
Some things never change.

Rodger Podacter

Yikes, what a sad comment, you clearly didn't watch the scrimmage, why would you spend your time writing mean spirited things on the internet?

rboud

Although Chad Thomas is a great addition, I won't be surprised if he's a red shirt this year. If not, he probably won't get that much playing time.

Rodger Podacter

Miami is thin at defensive end, I'd be very surprised if Chad Thomas didn't earn a spot in the rotation this season.

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