A few notes on a Wednesday night as we await the start of Dolphins' training camp in a few hours and the Marlins' completion of their latest trade with the Dodgers:
### UM's Al Golden told me he asked every one of his coaches to meet with, or visit with, coaches from at least two other teams (college or NFL) to learn new ideas. Golden made one visit (to the Dallas Cowboys).
He doesn’t want to name the teams that his assistants visited, for competitive reasons, but the Dolphins and Buccaneers were among them.
### A few former players have taken unnecessarily personal shots at Golden, primarily Phillip Buchanon nicknaming him “Al Folden.”
So is Golden ever tempted to confront them and tell them to back off?
"No,” he said, “because if they sat down across from me, or asked to meet me like some of the players I have met with and it came up then, I would address it then. I’m not going to respond to something put out on Twitter or on the radio. I can’t control that, so I’m not going to control that.
“Bennie Blades sat down with me and wanted to know how he can help. Richard Mercier is another one who said, ‘How can I help?’ If guys have concerns and express that to me, they have a dialogue with me, I owe them a response. I have that responsibility. I promise you every day of my life, I understand the standard that is the University of Miami. We are working like crazy to move the program into that realm.”
### I asked Golden about California coach Sonny Dykes, in a clear reference to UM, telling ESPN a few months ago: “There’s an unnamed ACC team that’s got this recruiting class full, another one almost full… Do they really think they’re going to sign those guys? I mean, that’s done as a signal: ‘We’re ahead of the game, we know what we’re doing, we’re really cool.’ There’s a lot more going on behind the scenes than trying to find the best players.”
Golden’s response? “I’m not answering that quote; I would hate to get into that with anybody. But you have a file and you build a resume on every kid. When you check enough of the appropriate boxes, you make the offer. We’re in one of the largest densely populated areas in the country as it relates to football per capita. We get a lot more foot traffic.
“We see kids as freshmen, then as sophomore. We see them live. They come to junior days. They come to multiple spring balls. I promise you as hard as we work as coaches, the only agenda we have is getting the right players.”
### Check out Adam Beasley's story for the latest on Branden Albert and DeVante Parker.
Couple other notes: Though the Dolphins expressed initial interest in Evan Mathis, they have not pursued Mathis in recent days. Instead, they're eager to see how their young guards perform in camp...
ESPN's Adam Kaplan said "the first change we could see" in practice Thursday is Koa Misi moving back to outside linebacker and Kelvin Sheppard in the middle.
But that isn't a big change; Sheppard got time at middle linebacker in OTAs and the Dolphins have always been open in saying they would experiment with different combinations --- one with Sheppard inside and Misi outside, and one with Misi inside and Chris McCain outside. And Misi has said this summer that the Dolphins haven't told him which position he would play....
Fifth-rounder Cedric Thompson, Don Jones and Jordan Kovacs are hoping the Dolphins keep five safeties, because Louis Delmas, Reshad Jones and Michael Thomas will be on the team, and Walt Aikens made a very strong impression in the spring and appears the front-runner for the No. 4 safety job. So Jones' shoulder injury, which has landed him on PUP, is certainly a setback....
Couple notes on the two Dolphins pickups today: Undrafted rookie receiver Kai De La Cruz started only four games in his career at Louisville, catching 41 passes for 574 yards. He's the ultimate of long shots at one of Miami's deepest positions.. And Oklahoma State defensive tackle Calvin Barnett was All-Big 12 in 2012 and 2013. He spent time on the Cleveland Browns' practice squad last year before a season-ending shoulder injury.
### Hassan Whiteside made a good point on the Heat’s starting lineup: “We can score one through five. Not every team can do that.”
Whiteside loves that LeBron James mentioned to Bleacher Report that Miami “is doing some great things” and that “they’re going to be a contender.”
### A few broadcast notes: With Josh Friedman and Chris Wittyngham indefinitely shifting to 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., 104.3 FM The Ticket is experimenting with the 7 to 10 p.m. shift.
This week, that show is being hosted by Rich Herrera, who has been doing some weekend fill-in work at the station. He previously hosted postgame shows for the Oakland A's, Tampa Bay Rays, San Francisco Giants and Golden State Warriors....
Not only will ESPN Deportes in Miami carry all Panthers home games on radio, but two of South Florida's English language stations will carry most or all of the games: incumbent rights-holder WQAM and Palm Beach-based WMEN....
And speaking of WMEN, Sid Rosenberg, host of the station's morning show, will get major exposure next week when he and Bernard McGuirk fill in for Geraldo Rivera from 10 a.m. to noon on WABC radio in New York. It's Rosenberg's first opportunity to talk politics in New York City, where he previously hosted a sports talk show before working at The Ticket, WQAM and now WMEN. "Best of Sid" shows will air on WMEN in Rosenberg's absence.