1:30 update: The Dolphins have signed defensive tackle C.J. Mosley to a one-year deal, agent Harold Lewis tells me. Please see the last post for details on Mosley and how this affects Miami's defense.
WEDNESDAY BUZZ COLUMN
Nuggets and feedback on the Dolphins’ manueverings at tight end this offseason:
### You get a sense of the tantalizing possibilities with Jordan Cameron watching him get behind the defense and extend his arms for touchdowns, as he has done multiple times in practice this offseason.
Remember, this is a player who ranked second among tight ends in receiving yards two years ago (behind only Jimmy Graham) and first in yards per catch last season.
But there is a worrisome issue lingering in the background: a history of concussions, three in the past three years. We told you recently that Cameron told the team-owned radio show that “it’s annoying to hear all this concussion talk. I’m tired of hearing that stuff.”
During a private moment after practice last week, Cameron expanded on that, saying he has been given no indication that he’s at particular risk of a fourth.
“I do a lot of neck strengthening stuff to really get stability around that area of the head,” he said. “I don't think about it. A lot of other people think about it a lot more than I think about it. I have no effects of it. I don't feel any different. It's behind me.”
Others worry, though.
“It’s a step up from Charles Clay to Cameron if Cameron can step on the field,” said NFL Network’s Charley Casserly, the former Redskins and Texans general manager. “But the three concussions are scary. With three, you’re more apt to get four.”
Cameron’s three concussions, the most recent coming in Week 8 last season, have cost him eight games over the past three years. The Dolphins structured his two-year, $15 million contract in a way to limit the 2016 dead money on his contract ($2 million) if he's cut after this season for health reasons. (He presumably would not be cut for performance reasons.)
### Joe Philbin said Cameron’s catch radius “is bigger” than that of Clay, who signed with Buffalo for five years and $38 million. Philbin expects to "attack the middle of the field a little more.”
### Cameron was second among all tight ends in receiving yards in 2013 (with 917); Clay was ninth was 759.
Last season, when Cameron missed six games (including five with a concussion), he led all tight ends in yards per catch (17.7) on 24 receptions, a figure that ranked behind only five wide receivers; Clay, who missed two games (knee) was 43rd of 67 tight ends at 10.4.
### Former UM tight end Rob Chudzinski, who coached the Browns in 2013 during Cameron’s breakout season and now is the Indianapolis Colts’ associate head coach, told me that Cameron “really came a long way and developed from a guy who had this great skill set to doing it on the field. He's going to be a great player in this league.
“He can run and he's athletic. He can jump through the roof and catch. He's a real weapon, a guy you have to contend with when you're playing against him.”
Cameron was a fourth-round pick and Chudzinski quickly “found out how hard he works and how hard he committed himself to being great. Once you saw those things, you knew he was going to be a heck of a player.”
### Cameron said this offense is perfectly suited for him because “you have to be able to run in this offense, use your speed to create mismatches, and that's what I do.... This is similar to one I ran with Norv Turner a couple years ago and I had a lot of success in that system.”
Cameron said Ryan Tannehill’s skill set fits him “100 percent.”
### The Dolphins expect the 6-5 Cameron to make a difference in the red zone.
“We wanted red zone targets, big catch radius guys who could be quarterback friendly targets in the red zone when things start constricting,” general manager Dennis Hickey said. “He's been great to watch running routes in this offense. We're expecting big things.”
### ESPN.com analyst and former Browns scout Matt Williamson makes a good point:
“Only four or five tight ends can really run deep routes, and Cameron’s one of them. If you use him as a glorified receiver, he can be a Pro Bowler. He’s a really unique player. Clay’s contract was one of the worst in free agency and you can’t post him up against a 5-11 defensive back in the corner of the end zone like you can with Jordan Cameron.”
Williamson said most teams would take Cameron if give the choice of Clay and Cameron. And “the Dolphins still have Dion Sims as their in-line guy. He’s insurance if Cameron gets hurt.”
### Cameron said he wrote down his goal to be a Pro Bowler this season (for the second time in his career) because he always writes “what my goals are, things I want to work on.”
### One other item: Pro Football Focus says Clay “graded out as a significantly better blocker last season than Cameron. [But] Cameron is a much bigger playmaker than Clay. And Ryan Tannehill is the most competent quarterback Cameron has ever had throwing him the football.”
### Please see the last post for details on Miami's pursuit of defensive tackle C.J. Mosley.
### A friend of Dwyane Wade has been telling people that Miami’s preference is to give Wade $36 million over three years --- $16 million this season, then $10 million and $10 million.
That’s quite a difference from Wade’s preference for $60 million over three, according to that friend. Neither the Heat nor his agent is confirming numbers. I would expect that gap to close somewhat, but the question is how much.
### The Heat plans to bring in UCLA power forward Kevin Looney for a workout; he could go anywhere from late lottery to the early 20s.
### Joel Rodriguez, a standout offensive lineman on the Hurricanes from 2000 to 2004, informed local high school football coaches tonight that he's taking a job at UM.
According to a source, he's expected to replace Ryan McNamee as director of player development. NcNamee recently resigned. Rodriguez has been working as Fordham's offensive line coach and run game coordinator at Fordham.
### With UM headed to Omaha, how much did the six-year College World Series drought weigh on coach Jim Morris?
“During the season, you think about it every day,” he said. “During the offseason, you probably only think about it every other day. For me, it's joy about going back. We got spoiled so much from going every year. It got so much tougher and it made me really appreciate how tough it is to get there and how big a deal it is to get to Omaha.”
Morris now has as many CWS appearances in 22 years at Miami (12) as Ron Fraser had in 30 years.
“Anytime you're compared to something coach Fraser did, it's special because he was special to me and helped me in my coaching career like he did a lot of people,” Morris said.
And Morris said winning a championship would not make him rethink his plans of coaching through exactly 2018. More than 200 people have reached out to Morris to congratulate him about returning to Omaha, including Brewers outfielder and former Canes star Ryan Braun and former UM president Donna Shalala.
Right fielder Willie Abreu said the players hear fans questioning Morris’ calls during games and "he will be in the wrong all the time in everybody else’s eyes.”
His players love him. Abreu said Morris is a great communicator, "a legend. You love to play for him.”
### AJ Ramos had been 7 for 7 in saves as Marlins closer before allowing a two-run homer in the ninth of tonight's excruciating 4-3 loss.... Giancarlo Stanton is on pace for 58 homers after hitting two tonight. He has eight in his last 10 games and 21 for the season.
### Reaction on the Marlins’ first-round pick, Canadian first baseman Josh Naylor: ESPN’s Peter Gammons: “Everybody that has seen him say he is a really good pure hitter. …
Baseball America’s Jim Callis: “His No. 59 ranking might make him seem like a reach, but he had as much late helium as anyone before the Draft. He put on a show with Team Canada in a tour of the Dominican Republic, facing professional pitchers. He hit five home runs in 12 games."...
ESPN’s Eric Logenhagen: “He's a good athlete for his size and could be an above-average defender at first base, but rest assured, that's the only place he's going to play.
“Naylor would be a liability in the outfield. While Naylor has some of the best raw power in the draft, it comes with a great deal of effort, and at the expense of contact. I like Naylor, just not here.”
### Baseball America said the Marlins' second round pick, Arizona State lefty Brett Lilek, draws comparisons to veteran lefty Paul Maholm.
Here were the Marlins' picks in rounds three through 10 today:
North Carolina-based high school outfielder Isaiah White (hit .547 as a senior); UCLA RHP Cody Poteet (7-1, 2.45 ERA), UC-Santa Barbara LHP Justin Jacome (7-5, 2.70); Sarasota prep catcher Justin Cohen (Sarasota, FL); Indian Hills CC RHP Travis Neubeck; Texas-based prep RHP Chris Paddack (Cedar Park, TX); University of North Carolina RHP Reilly Hovis (Gastonia, NC); and Oklahoma Baptist University RHP Kelvin Rivas (Guaynabo, PR).
See Manny's blog for details on where UM players were drafted today.
### WQAM-560 weekend host Miko Grimes, wife of Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes, created a stir on Twitter today when she said, during a debate on racism and police brutality: "Our own country crashed plans into the twin towers, but you want me to believe in our govt and the judicial system? HA!"
### Twitter: @flasportsbuzz