Archive for: May 2011

Catching up on the Miami Dolphins….

With the Lockout in place, choking the life out of the NFL offseason, there isn’t a lot of Miami Dolphins news to share with you….So we took Memorial Day weekend off from posting!  Don’t fear though, we have been in discussions with one of the Dolphins defensive starters, about doing an interview with PhinNation.com!

Before we get to the Dolphins news, we would like to thank all of our brave men and women, that fight, or have fought for the freedoms we enjoy.  These are the true heroes!  Second, we would like to congratulate the Miami Heat on advancing to the NBA Finals!!  Best of luck to D-Wade, LeBron and crew against the Mavs.

We’ve been catching up on all things Miami Dolphins, but sadly there isn’t a lot of news to talk about.  Below are a few stories that caught our interest, so we wanted to share them with you:

Running Back Rankings

Senior NFL Analyst, Pat Kirwan took some time to compile his list, ranking running backs across the NFL.  The Dolphins own, Ronnie Brown was ranked between 31-35th best, with the notation saying that Brown would be ideal for a team looking for a 10 carry RB.  We see that 2 potential free agents are on Kirwan’s list as well, DeAngelo Williams and Ahmad Bradshaw.  They are both slotted in the 11-15 group.  Kirwan notes that Bradshaw is an explosive back who carried more of the load in 2010.  He then says that Williams has been slowed by injuries, but has been solid in his last 2, non-injured years.

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Marc Bulger should NOT be an option for the Dolphins

Over the course of the last month we’ve had great discussions about who the Miami Dolphins should bring in to compete with Chad Henne for the starting QB role.  We’ve told you that our preferences would be #1 Kyle Orton and #2 Vince Young.  We gave you a number of other quarterbacks that could be options for the Miami Dolphins.  We did NOT tell you about Marc Bulger.  Why?  Because he’s no longer the QB that he once was and he would not be an upgrade over Chad Henne as the Dolphins’ starter.

Photo by GMO66

It’s been rumored that the Dolphins might have an interest in Bulger, since he’s about to become a free agent.  Today, Armando Salguero posted on his blog that the Ravens think highly of Bulger and that he could be one of the last remaining options for the Dolphins.  He may be an option for the Dolphins, but he’s not the type of upgrade this team needs to take the next step and save Sparano/Ireland’s jobs.  In the last 3 seasons he played (2007-2009) he threw for 27 TDs and 34 INTs total.  The highest his QB was, in any of those years, was 71.4.  Is THAT the type of upgrade the Dolphins need?  No.  If the Dolphins do not want to give up a draft pick for Orton (or if the Broncos won’t trade him), then Vince Young would be our next best choice. Young has better numbers, is younger, and has proven he’s a winner in the NFL.

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Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross speaks out about CBA Mess

When Miami Dolphins Owner, Stephen Ross, purchased the Dolphins a few years ago, he knew that a drawn out CBA mess could be on the horizon.  Ross made comments yesterday and essentially says that the labor issues aren’t really labor issues at all.  The Dolphins’ Owner says that when ballplayers make an average salary of approx. $1.87 mil, you’re not really talking about normal labor issues.  Interestingly, the opposite of that particular point has been argued by the Owners.  The Owners/NFL have argued that this CBA Mess is the result OF labor issues, therefore the courts should not intervene.  Ross, apparently thinks otherwise.

Ross also pledged to repay the lost salary payments that Dolphins’ employees have undertaken because of the Lockout.  Last month, the Dolphins cut employees salaries by 10-20% depending on the actual amount of their annual salary.  Ross’s pledge to repay the lost wages are welcomed words for the employees to hear, but the NFL itself can’t be thrilled.  You see, the NFL is claiming that the Lockout is hurting them, just as much as the players.  They’ve said that cutting employees salaries is necessary because of the economic climate of the Lockout.  Ross’ pledge to repay the Dolphins’ employees salaries, makes that argument ring hallow.  In the end, we think Ross is doing the right thing by repaying the lost salaries to Dolphins employees….but they shouldn’t have really been cut in the first place..should they?

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NFL Fan Strike needs YOUR help; Time to reach out to Roger Goodell

We’re now 2.5 months into the NFL Lockout….and TODAY we’re asking for your help.  We’ll get to that in a second, but let’s take a look at where we are right now.  There have been no trades, no free agency signings…NOTHING!  Many fans look forward to the NFL offseason almost as much as the actual football season…and it’s been taken away from us.  As we’ve said before, there is plenty of blame to go around for this CBA Mess, both the owners and the players are at fault.  However, the buck stops at the man in charge of the league, Roger Goodell.  Goodell mentioned yesterday that the time is fast approaching, when decisions will be made on cancelling regular season games.   Completely unacceptable.  Taking away the offseason is bad enough, but to start to take away football on Sundays in the fall…that’s an Epic Fail.

Goodell admitted recently that he and the owners know that the fans are upset with the Lockout.  Draft ratings were down 4 million viewers this year and traffic to NFL.com has declined.  We think there are even more signs of the fans displeasure, such as declining merchandise sales, NFL network ratings, etc.  But Goodell would be wise not to admit too much.  After all, he and the Owners are the ones that imposed the Lockout, so an admission that fans efforts to voice their anger, would be an admission that they’ve done something to hurt the game. The truth is, unless MORE fans voice their displeasure, the Lockout will continue until Judge Judy, NFL style, is settled.  This most likely means that games, and perhaps the season, could be lost.

HERE’S HOW TO HELP

We need to get this message out to as many NFL fans as possible because the more people that are involved, the more impact it will have.  We’re calling on all NFL fans to write to Roger Goodell and tell him that you won’t give the NFL another dime until the Lockout is lifted.  The NFL Fan Strike has focused on boycotting ALL NFL licensed merchandise.  But this can extend even further to DirecTV subscriptions, tickets, boycotting NFL Network and NFL.com, etc.  This entire mess is about money, so the only way that they’ll listen is if fans directly effect the NFL’s collective wallet.

  • Twitter - If you’re on Twitter, you can simply tweet to Roger Goodell (@NFLcommish).  We’re thinking something like the following, which happens to be exactly 140 characters. Please feel free to copy and paste:

@nflcommish I’m a loyal NFL Fan, but until the Lockout is over, I will not purchase any NFL merchandise, tickets, DirecTV subscriptions, etc

  • Via Phone – You can contact the NFL Office in New York by calling 212-450-2000
  • Via Mail – National Football League, 280 Park Avenue #12W, New York, NY 10017

If NFL Fans flood Mr. Goodell’s twitter, voicemail, and physical mail box, the effect of the Lockout will be right in front of his face.  We implore you to not only voice your concern to Roger Goodell, but pass along this message to your friends and encourage them to voice their concern. Please post messages about the NFL Fan Strike on Facebook, Twitter, etc. to help spread the word.

If you’d like to go above and beyond, you can write to Mike and Mike (@mikeandmike) on Twitter and tell them about how NFL Fan Strike is uniting fans to help save the 2011 season.  Mike and Mike have a national audience and can help get the message out to millions of NFL Fans.  We thank you in advance for your help and hope that our collective efforts can allow our voices to be heard.  We don’t want to continue striking, WE JUST WANT FOOTBALL!

For the latest news from NFL Fan Strike, please follow us on Twitter

Dolphins Brandon Marshall is training again….

The Miami Dolphins got a scare last month, when police reports began to surface that Brandon Marshall was stabbed in a domestic incident.  As it turned out, Marshall wasn’t seriously hurt after being stabbed by his wife.  He was admitted to the hospital, but has made a full recovery.  According to the Sun Sentinel, the Dolphins #1 receiver is practicing again, and has been working out with his personal trainers at Fit Speed Inc. for the last two weeks.  Since the incident occurred, law enforcement has issued a “no contact” order, meaning that Marshall could not see or come in contact with his wife.  Marshall has reportedly not cooperated with authorities in their efforts to bring charges against Marshall’s wife.

Dolphins QB, Chad Henne, mentioned yesterday that he hopes Marshall will return this week to the Davie Dolphins organized player practices.  We hope he can join the team activities so that he can build some chemistry with Chad Henne and build on his 86 reception year in 2010.  For the past month, Marshall has not been active on Twitter and is said to have been trying to get things straightened out in his personal life.  We wish Brandon the best and hope he’s fully healthy, both as a person and has a member of the Miami Dolphins.

For the latest Dolphins news from PhinNation.com, please follow us on Twitter and Facebook

Brandon Marshall to join workouts with Dolphins, plus Crowder comments

The Miami Dolphins might not be making many headlines as an organization due to the Lockout, but the Dolphins players are speaking.  Today we learned some interesting news from Chad Henne and Channing Crowder.  The biggest headline to come out of the comments came from Chad Henne, who said he hopes to have Brandon Marshall joining the Davie Dolphins this week.  Marshall has been off the grid since the April stabbing incident involving his wife.  He hasn’t been on twitter, and hasn’t been practicing with his teammates.  To be clear, he wasn’t practicing with his teammates before the incident, he was working out with his personal trainers and was said to be in the best shape of his career.

Hopefully Brandon can meet up with his teammates to help build on the chemistry they began to build last season.  As we know, Henne was given a crash course on Brian Daboll’s offense, which he is sharing with his teammates.  Marshall should only benefit from joining them.  Henne said that he’s been working with Davone Bess, Marlon Moore, Brian Hartline, and Roberto Wallace for over two months now.  The Dolphins’ QB said that the Dolphins players-only practices have probably been more than most teams.  When asked what Henne thought he needed to improve on most, he answered “consistency”.  The longer the Lockout lingers, the better the chances are that Chad Henne will be the Dolphins quarterback, whenever the season starts…..so we hope all of this work is paying off!

Photo by Chris J. Nelson

We told you earlier that some Dolphins were working out with Jets, Bills, and Patriots players.  Channing Crowder is one of those such players.  Crowder, always a good interviewee, shared his thoughts on the Lockout, amongst other things.  Crowder said that the Lockout will likely hurt the quality of football that is played, when the season begins.  Players only workouts are great for the players to stay in shape, but they cannot duplicate the training sessions that coaches would put them through.  There has been no interaction with coaches via OTAs, mini-camps, or offseason workouts.  Crowder said the players are focusing on conditioning and agility drills.  The Dolphins middle linebacker also said the people that will be hurt most by this lack of interaction will be rookies, such as new Dolphins running back Daniel Thomas.

For the latest news about the Miami Dolphins, please follow PhinNation.com on Twitter and Facebook

Some Dolphins working out with Jets/Bills this week in OTA style camp

The Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, and New York Jets are usually the most bitter of rivals, as they battle year after year to take home the AFC East Title.  This year, is a little bit different.  This year, the players are all on one side of the table, as they continue their legal labor battle against the NFL Owners.  The NFL implemented it’s Lockout of the players in March and since then players have been working out individually to stay in shape.  We know that Chad Henne and Jake Long have been leading one group of Dolphins players in practices in Davie.  That group has consisted of about 20-25 Dolphins players, simulating some of the offseason work that the players are missing because of the Lockout.

This week, we learned that some Dolphins players, Jets players, and Bills players are joining together in an OTA style camp in Boca Raton.  OTA stands for Organized Training Activity…which is essentially what this camp is.  Dolphins players include Randy Starks, Channing Crowder, Daniel Thomas (rookie), and Benny Sapp.  Among the Jets at the camp include Bart Scott and Vlad Ducasse.  Bills receiver Donald Jones is also in attendance among others.

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Dolphins Smith and Davis were good in 2010, could be great in 2011

With the Lockout firmly in place, we are reading pretty much anything we can about the Miami Dolphins right now.  We’re STARVED for Football news.  A website that is loving every minute of the Lockout, because they focus on analyzing game film, is ProFootballFocus.com.  We recommend checking their site out if you have some free time.  They study every play of the season and analyze how different players fared in game situations.

Photo by Chris J. Nelson

Thrown at per Coverage attempt

Most recently, they did a study on how often cornerbacks were thrown at in 2010.  Not surprisingly, Nnamdi Asomugha’s receiver was only thrown at 6.58% of the time he was covering them.  Somewhat surprisingly, the Dolphins’ Sean Smith ranked in at number 2 on the list (9.82% of the time).  The reason for Smith’s high ranking could be because of his size and arm length.  Even if there’s separation, he seems to be closer to the receiver than he really is.  Now, if only he could catch a few more of those wayward footballs that come his way!

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Dolphins Crystal Ball: Where QBs will end up this offseason

You’ve heard a lot this offseason about the Miami Dolphins need to upgrade the QB position.  We’ve given you a number of candidates from Vince Young to Kyle Orton, Kevin Kolb to Donovan McNabb.  Today, we’re going to put on our ‘Phins’tradamus glasses and take a crack at where the various quarterbacks (via trade or free agency) will end up.  Let’s just hope our prediction for the Dolphins is better than Harold Camping’s prediction for this past weekend.  Please keep in mind that this list is our best guess for where these QB’s will end up…we do not really possess any psychic powers:

Washington Redskins

Despite John Beck’s recent comments about becoming a starting NFL quarterback, we think Mr. Shanahan will go out and find himself another quarterback.  I mean, did he see any game film of Beck with the Miami Dolphins?  Beck is currently on his 3rd team (Dolphins, Ravens, Redskins) and just wants his chance to finally start again.  If the Dolphins had Rex Grossman and John Beck as their QB options, we’d all have drinking problems…We think Shanny will bring in a mobile QB, and Tarvaris Jackson fits the bill.  Many think Vince Young could end up in Washington, but Shanny and Jeff Fisher are apparently close friends….meaning Fisher would tell Shanny about all of the skeletons in VY’s closet.  Jackson would bring a younger version of Donovan McNabb (to a lesser degree).  I’m still shocked the Skins didn’t draft a QB, but that’ll almost certainly happen next year.  QB solution: Tarvaris Jackson

Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks have had an aging veteran, Matt Hasselbeck, at the helm for some time.  Last year they brought in Charlie Whitehurst from the Chargers.  We think they’ll move on from Hasselbeck this offseason and look to get younger and more athletic at the QB position.  Since Pete Carroll watched Vince Young beat his Trojans a few years ago in the Rose Bowl, we think he’ll take a shot on VY.  VY is one of our top to 2 options for the Dolphins to bring in this offseason.  But, knowing Jeff Ireland’s history, he likely won’t take the risk on a guy with such serious character/motivational flaws.  If he’s released and goes to Seattle for free, it could be the Michael Vick type steal of this offseason. QB solution: Vince Young

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings are in a tough spot….No, they aren’t waiting for Brett Favre to return because even HE can’t upstage the nonsense of this NFL Lockout.  They have a solid team, that needs a good quarterback (much like a certain team in Miami).  The Bengals have made it pretty clear that they don’t intend to trade Carson Palmer, but we’ll see how solid their resolve is once the new league year finally starts.  We think he’ll eventually be traded, and we’d love for him to end up with the Dolphins, but his price tag will be too high.  We think adding Palmer to an offense that already has Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin, and Adrian Peterson, could be just what the Vikings need. They’ve shown already that they aren’t afraid to go for it all with an aging quarterback, so why not?  Many think McNabb is the QB most likely to end up in Minnesota, given his ties to Brad Childress.  We’ve heard from a number of people that this is far from a certainty.  QB solution: Carson Palmer

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What I’m reading: Dolphins Roundup for Friday, May 20th

News around the Miami Dolphins is probably going to continue to be slow until the Lockout is lifted and the new league year starts.  We’ll continue to bring you everything we find interesting or applicable to the Dolphins until that time.  In the mean time, we’ll give you the SportsCenter highlight version of the news every now and then, just to keep you posted on everything.

Miami Dolphins on Hard Knocks Debate

The link above is to the Sun Sentinel’s story about the possibility of the Dolphins taking part in Hard Knocks.  It seems that in the midst of the CBA mess, no team wants to commit to having their training camp documented by HBO’s Hard Knocks series.  The Tampa Bay Bucs were the team that the show wanted to film, but the Bucs declined.  This has brought about the question as to whether the Dolphins should be interested.  Of course, everyone is entitled to his/her opinion on this, but we would rather the Dolphins declined, if invited to take part in the series.  While it would be awesome to get a full behind-the-scenes look at the Dolphins training camp, we can live without it.  Hard Knocks would bring attention to the Dolphins and could ultimately end up being a distraction…which this team does not need.  Tony Sparano and Jeff Ireland would almost certainly be against it…however, it wouldn’t surprise us if Stephen Ross wanted some extra exposure for his investment in the team.  We’d say the chances range between 5-10% that this could actually happen, so we wouldn’t go out and order HBO just yet.

Marshall and Wake make top 100

The NFL Network, in the midst of the Lockout, is running a weekly series, unveiling the top 100 players in the NFL.  The rankings are based on player voting, so take that for what it’s worth.  This week at 8pm eastern, Brandon Marshall and Cameron Wake will be unveiled somewhere between 61-70.  We know there’s a certain basketball game on around that time, so if you are interested, set your DVR.  Jake Long has not been revealed yet, so at least we can take solace in knowing that his fellow players think he’s in the top 60…Our guess is that he would be somewhere in the top 20-30.

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