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.
The Miami Dolphins entered the 2011 off-season looking to add a play-making wide receiver to add to their offense. In April, they drafted Edmond Gates, the lightning quick receiver from Abilene Christian. Can they afford another wide receiver? Mike Sims-Walker seems to hope so. In a story by the Florida Times Union, Sims-Walker says this about the possibility of signing with the Dolphins and becoming teammates with Brandon Marshall again:
“We would love that,” Sims-Walker said. “Me and him, our relationship on the field and off the field. We make each other better. We compete with each other so much that we’re going to bring the best out of each other every single minute. That will be the best thing for the whole team.”
Marshall and Sims-Walker were teammates at UCF and have been working out at times together this offseason. Sims-Walker is a free agent and has hinted a few times this off-season about joining Marshall in Miami. The two are said to be best friends and would obviously like to play together again.
The Miami Dolphins are in search of another running back to add to their 2011 roster, to compliment Daniel Thomas. On Monday, a court ruling may have actually increased the chances of the Dolphins acquiring the running back they want most, DeAngelo Williams. We promise, we won’t dig too deep into the Lockout/CBA Mess in this post, if you want that you can check here. Please stay with us on this……
DeAngelo Williams has 5 years of experience in the NFL, meaning that under the old rules (prior to 2010) he would be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. The Dolphins’ and Dolfans’ fear was that the league would be forced into starting the new league year if the Court ruled that the Lockout must be lifted. Without a new Collective Bargaining Agreement in place, the league would likely have implemented the 2010 rules, which state a player must have 6 years of experience to become an unrestricted free agent. Well, on Monday the Eighth Circuit Court ruled that the Lockout could stay in place until the Appeal Hearing is ruled on in mid to late June.
Yesterday was a roller-coaster of a day for all NFL Fans. First, ESPN reported that the two sides were progressing in their court mandated mediation sessions. It seemed that the sides were starting to find some middle ground in the CBA talks. Then, the Eight Circuit Court finally made their ruling on the Owners’ request for a stay through the Appeal Process. The Court ruled that the Lockout could continue until a ruling is made on the Appeal….essentially saying that unless a new CBA is negotiated between the two sides, the Lockout will continue until at least mid-late June. DeMaurice Smith, head of the NFLPA, suggested that players could withstand a Lockout of up to two years. We’re not buying it. There’s no way the players will go that long without receiving a paycheck.
As bad as that all sounds, there is some hope. The Players now know that the Court has sided with the Owners by a 2-1 vote. The Court also said in their ruling:
And it also states that the NFL’s appeal has a likelihood of succeeding, saying, “Our present view is that Judge Nelson’s interpretation is unlikely to prevail.”
This means the Players and Owners both know that the court is likely to rule in favor of the Owners, reversing Judge Nelson’s ruling, and reinstating the Lockout. This is a major blow to the Players and could mean that they will be willing to accept a less than ideal deal from the Owners. We’re not saying the Owners should go for the kill, but if the agreement is deemed fair by the Players, they will be more likely to accept it today, than they were yesterday.
This morning we learned that the Owners made a proposal to the Players. The Players will not agree to the proposal, as it currently stands, but it’s said to be a good ‘starting point’. Very encouraging news if you ask us. The mediation continues today and we can only hope that the NFL and NFLPA close the gap and come to a new agreement soon. We’re starting to get into late May/June, when many important OTAs/Mini Camps take place. Maybe, just maybe the NFL Fan Strike will come to an end sometime soon and we can all get back to talking about what we love…..FOOTBALL!
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The Miami Dolphins front office might not be able to acquire any new talent for the team through Free Agency or the Draft….The Dolphins’ coaches might not be allowed to have any communication with the players….But that doesn’t mean the Dolphins’ players aren’t doing their part to improve for the 2011 season. Since late March, about 20-25 of the Dolphins players have been meeting in Davie to conduct private workouts to begin preparing for the upcoming season. Due to the Lockout, the players are not permitted into the Dolphins weight room or on the practice field in Davie. Instead, they are working out at NOVA Southeastern. Coaches can’t have any interaction with the players, but it is believed that Chad Henne and Brian Daboll had several cram sessions before the Lockout started. These sessions were meant for Henne to learn the new offense so he could teach it to his teammates.
Jake Long and Chad Henne are the supposed leaders at these organized, player only practices. Among the other notable Dolphins in attendance include Davone Bess, Dan Carpenter, Anthony Fasano, Lousaka Polite, Yeramiah Bell, and Roberto Wallace. Many other Dolphins, including Brandon Marshall, have chosen to workout on their own….which is certainly well within their rights. After all, if one of the players gets hurt during one of these practices, the team can void their non-guaranteed contract because the practices are not conducted under team supervision.
On Saturday, we starting looking at potential running backs that could be available to the Miami Dolphins. While we touched on the top of the potential RB crop, we thought we would dig a little deeper to see what other running backs that could be on the Dolphins radar, once free agency begins. Some of these names aren’t exactly household names, but they could serve as a nice compliment to Daniel Thomas (Dolphins 2nd round draft pick).
Jerome Harrison – RB Philadelphia Eagles
Harrison had his breakout year in 2009, while playing for the Cleveland Browns. That year, he came on in the 2nd half of the season, rushing for 862 yards and scoring 5 TDs. Against the Chiefs in 2009, he rushed 34 times for 286 yards and 3 TDs…So he’s capable of having a big day. He started 2010 in Cleveland, but was traded to the Eagles, where he played sparingly. For his career, he averages 4.8 yards per carry and 7.1 yards per reception. He could be a nice addition to help carry the load for the Dolphins backfield.
We’ve now begun the 3rd month of the NFL Lockout, meaning teams like the Miami Dolphins and Arizona Cardinals are left to wait to fill their prospective holes at the QB position. Teams like the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys must wait until the Lockout is over until they can make multi million dollar offers to Nnamdi Asomugha. Players like DeAngelo Williams must wait until the new league year starts to know whether they need to look for a new team, or if they will be back in the same uniform that they played in, in 2010. Bottom line – The Lockout stinks and has killed almost all of the excitement that usually surrounds the NFL offseason. AND, it is creeping closer to actually impacting whether or not football is going to be played to start the 2011 season.
The NFL and the former NFLPA are currently engaged in litigation, vying for leverage in the labor battle that has angered so many football fans. Here’s where we are right now; We’re waiting for the 8th Circuit Court to rule on if the Lockout can remain in effect until they rule on the bigger case. A ruling is expected any day now on whether or not the Lockout can continue. If the court rules the Lockout must end, the NFL will need to immediately impose rules and begin the new league season. That means trades and free agency can finally start. If they rule that the Lockout can stay in place, we know that the Lockout will continue until at least late June (that is, unless both side miraculously decide to negotiate…which is HIGHLY unlikely). So all fans can do right now is to wait….and boycott.
The Miami Dolphins may be looking to upgrade the QB position this offseason, but it’s also important for them to add another quality running back to their roster. Last month, the Dolphins drafted Daniel Thomas, a gifted young running back. However, they need to find a good compliment to Thomas as he is not the home run threat the team needs. Today we’re going to take a look at some of the Free Agent Running Backs that might be available to the Dolphins this offseason. We say might because the rules by which the league plays by in 2011 will determine if some of these guys are available.
DeAngelo Williams – RB Carolina Panthers
This is far and away our favorite running back choice for the Dolphins this offseason. However, if the league implements the same rules as 2010, he will be a restricted free agent. This means the Panthers will likely keep him as any team that signs him would have to forfeit draft choices. If the new league rules state that DeAngelo is an unrestricted free agent, the Dolphins and Stephen Ross should open up the check book. He’s exactly the type of home run threat the Dolphins’ offense needs. You can read about how DeAngelo compares to Ronnie Brown here. Williams could split carries with Daniel Thomas to form a lethal 2 back attack.
This morning, as I was half asleep driving to work, I heard Chris Mortenson say something that could impact the Miami Dolphins this offseason. Mort was a radio guest on ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike in the morning and he was asked what the odds would be for Kyle Orton to remain in Denver this season. Mort replied “25-30%”. That means Mort’s saying there is a 70-75% chance that Kyle Orton will be traded this offseason. This would leave behind Tim Tebow and Brady Quinn, whom Mort talked up quite a bit during the interview.
Mort is an NFL insider and often is privileged to information that others are not because of his networking abilities. If more thinks there is that good of a chance for Orton to be traded…he probably will be. If he’s on the trade market, the Miami Dolphins should DEFINITELY be interested. As we broke down in our series on veteran QB options for the Dolphins, we believe Orton would be the best option. We think he could come in, beat out Chad Henne for the Dolphins starting QB position, and could lead the team to the playoffs.
We’ve been talking a lot recently about the Miami Dolphins’ search to replace quarterback Chad Henne. Our poll is still open for who you think would be the best fit for the Dolphins. If you haven’t voted yet, please vote here. The Dolphins
should be looking to upgrade the quarterback position because Henne has had 2 years to lead the Dolphins offense and showed signs of regression in 2010. ProFootballFocus.com is a website that offers in depth statistical analysis. Today they outlined how quarterbacks fared in 2010 when blitzed by the opponents. So how did the Dolphins’ Chad Henne stack up against the other QBs in the NFL? Here’s a look:
Pass Plays Henne was Blitzed
ProFootballFocus studied all QBs that were blitzed 100 times or more and compiled a list of what percentage each was blitzed per pass play. Chad Henne ranked 24th, meaning opponents blitzed the Dolphins 36.85% of the time on passing plays. Interestingly, Peyton Manning (22nd) and Tom Brady (27th) ranked close to Henne. Opponents didn’t blitz these veteran QBs much because they feared getting beat with single coverage by cornerbacks on the outside. At the top of the list, the highester percentages are many young QBs (Bradford, McCoy, Ryan, Clausen), which you would expect.