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5 p.m. update: LeBron report shot down; Knee bothering Moreno and ten notes, postscripts, thoughts from Dolphins minicamp

Quick 5 p.m. update:

### Heat people and a source close to LeBron James vehemently denied a report from David Pingalore, an Orlando TV reporter, that James met for lunch with owner Micky Arison and "stormed off when asked about a pay cut."

The Heat and the associate of LeBron said none of that happened.

Pingalore went on Andy Slater's WINZ-940 show today to defend his story, insisting that James had a "few choice words" for Arison, a visual that seems ludicrous.

Again, the Heat and the LeBron associate said none of that happened.

### James, incidentally, was photographed in the Bahamas, where LeBron and his family are vacationing with Ray Allen and James Jones and their families.

Meanwhile, Bleacher Report today reported that Houston will vigorously pursue James in free agency. So, presumably, will the Clippers, who would need to dump DeAndre Jordan and Jamal Crawford and a few other pieces to clear out enough cap space to make him a max offer.

The Heat has long been considered the front-runner to retain James, who has remained publicly non-committal about his intentions.

James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have June 30 deadlines to exercise opt-out clauses.

"I can't think of a reason why LeBron would not just stay the course in Miami and put his trust in Micky Arison and Pat Riley," Jeff Van Gundy told Dan Le Batard's ESPN Radio show.

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Ten tidbits following the conclusion of the Dolphins’ offseason program (and we’ll have a lot, lot more in the next week):

### Knees were an issue for two of the Dolphins’ top free agent pickups this week.

As Pro Football Talk and NFL Network reported today, Knowshon Moreno sat out practice with a knee injury this week and might need arthroscopic surgery, based on what a doctor tells him next week. If he needs the surgery, he likely would be available for preseason games, barring a setback.

Cornerback Cortland Finnegan sat out team drills last week because of a knee issue. But the fact he participated in less grueling work during practice bodes well. Still, it’s an issue worth monitoring, considering the Dolphins’ lack of veteran depth at the position.

Oddly enough, the one free agent who came to the Dolphins with a history of knee issues (Louis Delmas) hasn’t had any problems through the offseason program. Delmas didn’t practice for the Lions last season because of his knees but played in every game after missing eight in 2012 and five in 2011.

### Considering Rishard Matthews had been in Joe Philbin’s doghouse, I found it interesting that when Philbin was asked what stood out to him in the offseason program, the first name he mentioned was Matthews. "Rishard had a really good camp," Philbin said.

Philbin then mentioned four other names: Dallas Thomas, Jelani Jenkins, Jamar Taylor and Will Davis.

Matthews said he and Philbin ironed out their issues during an offseason discussion. Matthews admitted being late to a couple of meetings, among other things.

### Philbin said something about Reshad Jones that I could not recall him saying about any player in his time here. “It’s very noticeable that he’s practicing harder” than a year ago, Philbin said, also noting that Jones is “pursuing the football more consistently.”

The Jones/Louis Delmas tandem has playmaking potential, but Jones must regain his 2012 form.

What “we liked about him and the reason we brought him here (is) we liked his play speed,” Philbin said of Delmas. “He played the game physical and aggressively and confidently. He’s had great energy. He seems to really have fit in well here, seems to enjoy his teammates and coaching staff so far. It’s been a good mesh so far.”

### A trio of undrafted defensive tackles --- LSU’s Anthony Johnson, Georgia’s Garrison Smith and Temple’s Kamal Johnson ---- all made notable plays in the three-day mini-camp this week, and it wouldn’t be surprising if one of them makes the active roster and one makes the practice squad.

### Journeyman cornerback Jalil Brown, whose 37 NFL games include two starts for Kansas City in 2012, was impressive in the offseason program and is making a strong push for a roster spot. Brown clearly has been one of the team’s top five corners; rookie Walt Aikens has been beaten several times.

### Defensive end Olivier Vernon said Bill Lazor’s offense is doing “a lot of things I’ve never seen before. They confuse the heck out of me sometimes, but they’re moving fast. Ryan Tannehill’s taking control. He’s shown his leadership ability and a lot of the guys are very impressive, especially Jarvis Landry, Brandon Gibson, coming off his injury. You couldn’t even tell he got hurt.”

By the way, Cam Wake says there’s an upshot for Miami’s defense in having to defend an offense with a lot of pre-snap motion.

“We’re realizing that it’s helping us,” Wake said. “There are teams that are going to do the same things to us. You [now] have a little bit of awareness that, hey, ‘Maybe this guy is going to move or maybe they want to shift and what’s going to happen after that?’ So it keeps you on your toes. It makes you a little more prepared.”

### Dion Jordan said he wants to develop a pass rush move that Jason Taylor had (“a long arm stick right in the chest of the offensive tackle”) but “I haven’t been able to do that much because we’re not in pads.”

He said Taylor’s biggest value to him during the offseason program has been “teaching me a lot about fundamentals.”

### Jordan isn’t the only defensive end who has put on weight. Philbin said Derrick Shelby added five or six pounds, and Wake said he has done the same. Perhaps that makes all of them a bit more stout against the run. We'll see.

### You can’t question Mike Wallace’s work ethic. He was on the field far longer than any player on Wednesday, catching balls from a machine.

“You’ve seen him after practice; nobody is holding a bat to his head,” Philbin said. “This guy is out there working and doing the little things that can make the difference when the season comes around.”

As for Wallace’s mental state, “I’m happy,” he said. “I don’t have any complaints. I think this offense fits me really well. We shake it up all of the time, not do the same things as wide receivers usually do. Being able to come from the backfield, getting all of the way to the inside in the slot, moving around, motion a lot. Just throwing the defense off. It’s always going to be fun when it’s easier to get open.”

### Some have wondered why Miami hasn’t re-signed Dustin Keller, off a serious knee surgery, but keep in mind that the Patriots passed on him after bringing him in for a visit last month.

And while the Dolphins’ backup tight ends aren’t nearly as accomplished as Keller as a receiver (heck, they aren’t even in the same area code), all made plays in the passing game during the offseason program, from starter Charles Clay (no surprise there) to Michael Egnew (got open a lot), to Arthur Lynch (several impressive catches) to Dion Sims. The concern with this group is whether they’re good enough blockers --- an area that isn’t a strength for Keller.

Comments

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Rick

Without Moreno our running game will be anemic again.

Mr. McGillicutty

Awesome... Finnegan should have never been signed in the first place... He is the NFL's version of Lance Stephenson. At least in Stephenson's case, he can still ball. Finnegan antagonizes & instigates while being too slow to cover the better Wideouts. Miami should dump him NOW and sign Brandon Flowers...

Moreno was signed for his extreme pass catching prowess... Unless he was supposed to bring Peyton with him, that shouldn't be duplicated in Miami... But I guess since he was signed on the cheap... yawn!

Rick

"You can’t question Mike Wallace’s work ethic. He was on the field far longer than any player on Wednesday, catching balls from a machine."


AT LEAST THE MACHINE HAS SOME ACCURACY LOL

ccccc

Moreno sucks he needs to give half of his chk to manning.. cant run through the tackles and had the same avg of yards after contact as Daniel Thomas..smh you can talk about the db's and d-line all you want are linebackers still cant cover or stop the run our

TGH

AT LEAST THE MACHINE HAS SOME ACCURACY LOL

Posted by: Rick | 06/20/2014 at 12:57 PM


He needs the machine for practice because Tanny cant hit him.

TGH

Moreno isnt a great back or Denver would've kept him.... but he is far better than anything on our roster. Our RB's were the worst in the NFL without Moreno. Thanks Ireland.

Frustrated DolFan

Not one positive post above. Tough to read, time to back up cause the sky is falling down. After all it is still June….

Mark in Toronto

I don't know where all this negativity is coming from regarding this post.

Actually if there is one thing to be negative about and nobody said it, it's the play of the starting OTs in the scrimmage.

Sounds like tannehill is coming along fine - good to hear but if the line isn't better, it won't matter.

At least Dallas Thomas and Jamar Taylor are doing what I expected them to do and that's make a stand as a football player - good stuff.

2 watt

mark
wtf r u talkin' bout
.
And the Ryan Tannehill-Mike Wallace connection needs work. They couldn’t connect once on four attempts, including one misfire when Wallace was open for a touchdown.

Just Sayin'

No SB win in 42 years breeds negativity.

No playoff win this century breeds negaativity.

No winning season in 7 years breeds negativity

No winning season ever for owner Steve Ross breeds negativity.

Being positive now would be like being negative after a SB win. It would be totally backwards.

Mark in Toronto

2 watt, I didn't see the play but the wide open misfire was a Wallace drop according to perkins at SS. I am less worried if Wallace is dropping them than the line and the QB not doing their jobs.

Also Omar tweeted that Wallace and Tannehill had 6 long pass opportunities in offseason camp and connected on four of them. That's good news.

2 watt

mark
it's another 6-10 season
with qb ol and coaching
being the the main culprits
lv says 7.5
lv said that last season
lv is right

Mark in Toronto

Says you and you're entitled to your opinion. If you're right, you'll have a whole new cast of suspects to complain about in 2015.

I think they can improve by a game.... still worried about the o line changes. I don't think they were as urgent as they should've been. Leaving the line up to 3 first time starters is not exactly what I envisioned given we had $40M+ in cap space and decided to do nothing about the linebackers...

David in Naples

It is great that Armando has been furloughed and his blog is dead.

TGH

Armando's blog is closed while he is surfing in Hawaii. His blog will be swamped again as soon as he returns from vacation.

Dom

Heat will go hard after Lowry and or melo. IF they all take cuts, the home run summer would be Melo N Lowry, and Add Pao Gasol on Vet Minimum(He did say he would take a cut at his age to play on a champ team)

Bad & Phony Phans

Barry thanks for the updates and perspective. Maybe you can pass along a word to whomever may be in charge of Armando's blog. The communication regarding his blog is awful and unprofessional. Just saying. No condemns him for being on leave or vacation. A little heads up would be appreciated.

Oh by the way too bad the trolls found your blog. But since no one at the Herald has done anything to curb their behavior...it is what it is.

rboud

Hey Barry - You deserve better than the idiocy that has invaded your blog. It's too bad these dopes wouldn't just continue to sully up the other blogs that they have invaded. It's hard to keep a clean slate these days. There's nothing wrong with being strongly opinionated, but the childish back and forth is ridiculous. I'm not referring to any posts made on this article, just things I've seen in the past and will see in the future. Keep plugging.

LE BRONKO JONES(itsall dope yo

The Decision part two.Start waving your flags fans for prospective cities if he leaves here he can only sign a long term deal for LESS MONEY than here.Then again I am not so sure he cant sign for one year or two years and do it again,maybe it has to do with guaranteed money and or the city thats making the offer dosent only want act 1.

dUh

What are you, retarded? All NBA contracts are fully guaranteed.

Vazman

Reports are that Bill Lazor is dissapointed in Tannehill so far. Can u say Matt Moore?

TRP

Philbin has missed his calling. He would make an excellent hall monitor.

Also, who really cares about what the prima donnas on the Heat do this summer.

IMAWriter

Reports are that Bill Lazor is dissapointed in Tannehill so far. Can u say Matt Moore?

Posted by: Vazman | 06/20/2014 at 09:48 PM

-------
WHAT reports?
When Lazor becomes HC in 2015, THEN I'll pay closer attention to your reports. LOL
However, I did notice your spelling.

odinseye

What are you, retarded? All NBA contracts are fully guaranteed.

Posted by: dUh | 06/20/2014 at 09:15 PM
=======================================

Obviously the trash that ruins Armando's Blog.

I'm quite a bit more optimistic than this demented fair weather fan. Philbin, for all his issues, really has these Dolphins on the move.

Whether the hiring of Hickey and Lazor or the emergence of the 2013 draft class, there are lots of positive signs.

Some OBVIOUS improvements to this 8-8 club. Some not so obvious improvements. It looks to me like Philbin has the program moving in the right direction.

The defense is ahead of the offense. But, that's how it usually goes. Add in Lazor's install and it's perfectly understandable. Personally, I believe Tannehill and the resat of the skill position players will catch up soon enough. Provided the O-Line comes together in a reasonable amount of time, I can see us "Jumping The Hump" this season and making a "Little Noise"!

joe r

the same mike wallace that was nowhere to be seen in the off-season..hanging around late for a couple of practices this week doesnt make for a great work ethic...he needs to be working with tannehill not a ball machine that throws a perfect spiral everytime

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