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Fins address tipping-off-play controversy; Incognito/Martin buzz; Heat, Canes notes

The Wednesday buzz column is below, for those who haven't seen it. A quick 5 p.m. Wednesday update on a swirling issue:

A flurry of Dolphins fans, listening to audio of the games on television, say Ryan Tannehill is tipping off plays by shouting "go" before passes and "go go" before runs. Meanwhile, ESPN's Jon Gruden said John Jerry tipped off Tampa Bay by turning his head to look at Tannehill on passing plays, allowing an opposing lineman to get a jump on Mike Pouncey.

Dolphins players addressed both issues, one more strongly than the other.

Asked whether Tannehill says "go" before passes and "go-go" before runs, Dolphins tight end Michael Egnew said: "It's not always that way.... A lot of people think they know and have no idea."

Tannehill also disputed the notion that he's saying the same thing before every pass. "I don't think there's concern," he said. "We go against our defense every day throughout camp and OTAs. If we were tipping off something that was so blatantly obvious, they would tell us and they would be able to defend it as well."

Tannehill also said he changes his cadence --- and his pause during his cadence --- during the course of games.

Egnew and other Dolphins players said even if opposing players pick up any tendencies such as "go or go-go," it wouldn't provide much of an advantage because it's happening so quickly before a play. (But it would seem there would be an impact on play-action passes.)

As for Gruden's claim, Jerry refused to confirm it or deny it, despite being pressed on the issue. Asked whether he was indeed tipping off Tampa players by turning his head, he said: "I don't worry about that."

Jerry was then asked what can be done to help the running game. "That's coach's job," he responded. "That's not my job." OK then.

### A TV reporter peppered players with questions about Jeff Ireland today. Brian Hartline said he has done a good job, as other players did. Asked to assess Ireland's relationship with players, Hartline said: "The relationship is mixed. That's something we keep to ourselves."




Dolphins chatter:

### A few things we're hearing from sources close to Jonathan Martin: The Martin camp resents and disputes the theory (voiced by some fans) that Martin doesn’t want to play and crafted this plan of leaving the team so he could file a lawsuit against the Dolphins or Richie Incognito.

“He wants to play. He’s not trying to get a financial score,” a friend of Martin’s insisted, adding Martin has not explored filing a lawsuit and does not want to do that.

But Martin’s mother litigated employment cases for two decades, and a lawsuit would not be shocking if his parents or attorney David Cornwell eventually decides that’s the best course and can convince Martin of that. It’s widely believed that people close to Martin convinced him to report the bullying.

A member of the Martin camp said a few days ago that the Dolphins know more than they have let on publicly regarding his emotional issues. (We’ll reserve judgment until Ted Wells’ report is released.) The source said the Dolphins should have realized something was wrong when he skipped two days of offseason practices.

Fox’s Howie Long said Monday night that he has been “led to believe” the Dolphins “knew prior to this season there was a major problem, as major as you can get” with Martin and that the team knew for awhile he was “emotionally unstable.”

Meanwhile, a member of the Martin camp told us Incognito was not being honest when he denied knowledge of any physical attack against Martin. That alleged attack happened in 2012, away from the facility, and was witnessed by teammates. This looms as one of the biggest Incognito/Martin contradictions that Wells will need to reconcile.

### Martin hasn’t been pleased with the reaction of players in the Dolphins locker-room. What about Ryan Tannehill’s claim that he believes Martin would have identified Incognito as his best friend on the team a few weeks ago?

Martin’s friend said it might have appeared that way to Tannehill and others only because Martin was trying to befriend Incognito so that “the bully would like you” and thus stop the bullying. 

### ESPN reported Martin does not want to return to the Dolphins and likely won’t play again this season, but Martin has not conveyed that to the team. The Martin camp is curious to learn if the Dolphins instructed Incognito to “toughen up” Martin and wouldn’t be surprised if that’s true.

### Yes, most Dolphins players like Incognito. But one former Dolphins player who requested anonymity said he disliked Incognito because he was constantly teasing teammates. That player said the best way to handle Incognito was being especially physical with him at practice and hitting him after the whistle.

### Would re-signing Jake Long have helped this situation? A source close to multiple Dolphins said no, adding that Long witnessed Incognito’s teasing of Martin and never intervened. “It was a pack mentality,” the source said. “These players would rather be on Richie’s side.”

### Expect Dolphins players to be questioned about the recent Prime 112 dinner when six rookies were forced to split a $30,000 check. How could the bill be that high? Because veteran Dolphins spent $12,500 on 2 ½ bottles of Louis The 13th cognac. (They might have ordered more, but the restaurant ran out.)

The dinner was only for Dolphins defensive players. Dolphins rookies haven’t complained publicly, but a close associate of one of the players said the veterans took advantage of the rookies and this “stuff has to stop. It’s despicable.”

### For perspective on the lack of chemistry between Tannehill and Mike Wallace, consider: Among 32 receivers targeted at least 60 times, only Vincent Jackson has caught a lower percentage of passes than Wallace, who has hauled in 40 of 77 (51.9 percent). By comparison, Rishard Matthews has caught 21 of 30 (70 percent).

One factor is Wallace’s nine drops, tied with Cleveland's Davone Bess and New England's Aaron Dobson for most in the league. Another issue is Tannehill’s inaccuracy with balls thrown 20-plus yards; he's now 9 for 31 on those attempts this season after going 0 for 3 on Monday. Incidentally, Wallace’s 3.8 average per catch Monday (4 for 15) was the lowest of any game in his career.

### Please see the last post for highlights from Joe Philbin's and his coordinators' press conferences Tuesday. 


### One NFL scout, on UM’s Stephen Morris: “He broke my heart this year. He’s not progressing whatsoever, has taken himself out of the top five quarterback prospects. You can’t even go into next season projecting him as a No. 2 quarterback” on an NFL roster.

Scouts and analysts have questioned his mechanics --– issues impacted somewhat by his ankle --– but Morris insisted Tuesday that his mechanics “are fine. A lot better from the beginning of the season.” What he needs to improve, Morris said, is “being able to move around better in the pocket.”

The scout said Allen Hurns and Brandon Linder have played the best among UM senior prospects, aside from punter Pat O'Donnell.

### Though previously injured junior receiver Rashawn Scott has appeared in only two games, UM confirmed it cannot redshirt him because he played briefly in Game 8 (FSU). “We’re trying to get him in there,” Al Golden said… Beau Sandland, the nation’s top junior college tight end last season, has only nine catches, and Golden said he wants to get him more playing time. "He's earned it."

### Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas standout Anthony Moten, rivals.com's 12th-best defensive tackle prospect and a UM recruiting priority, has narrowed his choices to UM and FSU and will announce his pick on Wednesday night.

### Blame goes across the board for the Heat’s defensive shortcomings entering Tuesday’s game. According to Synergysports.com, Heat regulars allowing the highest shooting percentage to players they’re guarding are Udonis Haslem (9 of the 13 shots against him have been good) and Ray Allen. The best? Norris Cole, who's permitting opposing players to shoot just 30.8 percent.

### Talk about instant offense: Michael Beasley, who scored 19 tonight against Milwaukee, has now scored 35 points in 32 minutes this season. "We wanted to get him comfortable in the offense because we know we're going to need him," Dwyane Wade said.