Miami Dolphins release initial depth chart for 2011 (take it for what it’s worth)

The Miami Dolphins are like many other franchises in the NFL, in that they don’t like to divulge any information, unless they have to.  Well, the NFL requires the Dolphins and other teams to release their depth charts at this time of the year.  The Dolphins do it reluctantly and sometimes use the depth chart release as a way to motivate players.  So please, take the below depth chart for what it’s worth (not a whole lot).  Even though we advise you not to read too much into the depth chart, we think it’s worth checking out…Just to get an overview of where certain players may fall on the team.

This will surely change between now and the time the Dolphins play the Patriots on Monday Night Football on September 12th.  Before then, the Dolphins will need to trim their roster to 53 players, and assign players to the practice squad.  Some interesting things found below are that Jared Odrick (Dolphins #1 pick in 2010, is listed as the last DE) and Reggie Bush is not listed as a punt or kick returner.  Again, this means very little at this point in time, so take it for what it’s worth.  The below depth chart is courtesy of Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald:

 

OFFENSE

WR 19 Brandon Marshall, 15 Davone Bess, 18 Roberto Wallace, 87 Brooks Foster, 11 Julius Pruitt

LT 76 Lydon Murtha, 73 Alan Barbre, 65 D.J. Jones

LG 68 Richie Incognito, 69 Ray Feinga, 61 Matt Kopa

C 51 Mike Pouncey, 67 Joe Berger

RG 72 Vernon Carey, 74 John Jerry

RT 71 Marc Colombo, 75 Nate Garner, 64 Ray Willis, 60 D.J Jones

TE 80 Anthony Fasano, 86 Mickey Shuler, 88 Jeron Mastrud

84 Brett Backett, 81 Dedrick Epps

WR 82 Brian Hartline, 10 Clyde Gates, 14 Marlon Moore, 85 Phillip Levas, 17 Patrick Carter

QB 7 Chad Henne, 8 Matt Moore, 4 Kevin O’Connell, 9 Pat Devlin

FB 36 Lousaka Polite, 31 Charles Clay

RB 22 Reggie Bush, 33 Daniel Thomas, 26 Lex Hilliard, 42 Nic Grigsby, 23 Kory Sheets

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Henne and Marshall show promise in Dolphins 1st scrimmage

Yesterday, the Miami Dolphins held their first scrimmage off training camp, and from what reports indicate, the first team offense did not disappoint.  In fact, even though it was only a practice scrimmage, we began to see some glimpses of what might be.  We saw Chad Henne, actually looking comfortable, leading the team.  We saw him completing passes to the Dolphins Alpha Receiver, Brandon Marshall.  Not only passes, but 3 of the 4 passes from Henne to Marshall went for touchdowns.

Henne finished the Dolphins scrimmage going 10 for 16 for 146 yards, 3 TDs and 1 INT.  Did we mention that was against the Dolphins first team defense?  You know, the defense that was top 10 in the NFL last year?  We’re not going to get ahead of ourselves, because after all, this was a practice scrimmage in the first week of training camp.  But maybe…just maybe, Chad Henne is starting to get it.  Maybe Brian Daboll’s new Dolphins offense will take advantage of Chad Henne’s strengths.  Maybe the Dolphins offense will focus more on letting Brandon Marshall do what he does best.  Nevertheless, it’s encouraging to see Henne and Marshall relationship growing…it can only help the Dolphins.

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Dolphins’ Rookie Clyde Gates impresses at first week of camp

In the fourth round of the 2011 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins selected the fastest wide receiver to attend the Combine this year.  The Dolphins drafted Clyde (don’t call me Edmund) Gates, hoping that he would bring some much needed speed to the Dolphins offense.  We wrote, during the lockout, that we loved the drafting of Gates.  However, we cautioned that it might take some time for the rookie to get acclimated to the NFL level of play.  After all, Gates is jumping from Division II to the NFL, which is a HUGE jump.

Since he was a 4th round pick, it was highly likely that Gates would make the Dolphins roster for 2011, but nothing is a given.  Gates is said to be a hard worker and early reports from Dolphins’ camp indicate that he’s adjusting to the NFL level, just fine.  It’s still very early in training camp, but we’ve seen a number of reports that suggest that Gates is ‘burning’ cornerbacks with his speed.  Please keep in mind that there is minimal contact in these practices….But it is encouraging to see that Clyde knows how to use his best weapon..his speed.

Gates can run a fly pattern, that much is already clear.  The thing that will make him a steal for the Dolphins in the 4th round will be his ability to run the other routes on the WR route tree.  Yes, he has the speed of a gazelle, but does he have the quickness to get in and out of breaks?  How precisely can he run his routes?  Can he make the hard catches in traffic?  It’s still WAY to early to answer those questions, but we’ll know soon enough, once the preseason games start.  If nothing else, at least the Dolphins finally have a speedster that might be able to help stretch the field come September.

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How does Dolphins QB Chad Henne compare when using Total QBR stat (by ESPN)?

Let’s face it Phin Nation, the Miami Dolphins will be entering the 2011 season with Chad Henne as their starting quarterback.  We know that the Dolphins wanted to bring a solid veteran QB to Miami this offseason, but were unable to.  So what the Dolphins have to do this upcoming season is to rely on a great defense, a solid running game, and an improved offensive line. In case you missed it, we told you last week about the familiar Blue Print the Dolphins are following.  The Dolphins thinking is to surround the quarterback (Chad Henne) with as many weapons and as much talent as possible.

Photo by Ed Yourdon

In 2010, Chad Henne was thought to have taken a step back from his decent 2009 season.  Last year he had a QB Passer Rating of 75.4, which ranked 26th in NFL.  Well, leave it to ESPN to find a way to make Chad Henne appear worse last year, even after the season was over.  ESPN didn’t like the Passer Rating calculation (neither did we actually), and decided to come up with one of their own.  They call it the Total Quarterback Rating (Total QBR).  The even had a primetime show on Friday night to explain it to all of us.  REALLY?  If you actually wanted people to understand this new statistic, why would you televise it on a Friday night?

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Dolphins sign OT Ray Willis

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: The Miami Dolphins signed another offensive lineman. Yes, the Dolphins today signed another lineman to add depth at the tackle position. Today’s lineman of choice is Ray Willis, formerly of the Seattle Seahawks.

Willis missed the 2010 season due to injury, but started all 16 games for the Seahawks in 2009. Willis adds depth for the Dolphins behind Jake Long and Marc Colombo. He’s also an insurance policy for the Dolphins in the event that Colombo can’t rebound from a sub par 2010 season.

Miami Dolphins sign QB Kevin O’Connell to 1 year deal

While reading my timeline on Twitter a few moments ago, I saw that the Miami Dolphins have signed Kevin O’Connell to a 1 year deal.  This tweet is courtesy of Adam Schefter:

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I had to stop and concentrate for a second about the Dolphins newest acquisition of this offseason….Because, if I’m not mistaken….isn’t Kevin O’Connell the short kid from Entourage?

Photo by David Shankbone

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Dolphins workout Larry Johnson, looking to add a RB

I’m not sure if the Miami Dolphins realize that it is 2011.  I say that because some of the people the Dolphins have been connected to recently, would be nice additions….if it were 2006 or so.  And NO, I’m not talking about Brett Favre!  The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson reports that the Dolphins have brought former Chiefs running back, Larry Johnson in for a workout this week.  This comes on the heels of the Dolphins bringing Tiki Barber down to Miami for a workout, earlier this week.  Maybe Jerome Bettis is next?  How about bringing in Larry Czonka?  Marshall Faulk anyone?

Photo by SteelCityHobbies via Flickr

Johnson had only 5 carries for the Redskins last year, amassing a total of 2 yards.  In 2009 he played for the Bengals and Chiefs, rushing for 541 yards on 178 carries (3.0 ypc).  Johnson put up gaudy numbers in 2005 and 2006 when he rushed for over 1,700 yards each season with the Chiefs.  Like Barber, you have to wonder how much Johnson has left in the tank.  He’ll be 32 years old in November.

We can’t say that Tiki Barber or Larry Johnson excite us as potential running back options for the Miami Dolphins….it is 2011 and not 2006, after all.  We are happy to see that the Dolphins realize that they are an injury away from relying on Lex Hilliard or Kory Sheets as a primary tailback.  As we mentioned before, there are some other running backs out there (Jerome Harrison, Ricky Williams, etc.)  We’re confident the team will add another running back, the question is “Who will it be?”

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Why the Dolphins blue print for success in 2011 CAN WORK

The Miami Dolphins entered the 2011 offseason with a strategic plan.  In fact, they came into the offseason with plans A, B, and C.  Due to moves that other teams have made, the Dolphins have needed to modify their approach and use a little of each plan.  The big question all Dolphins fans are asking now is “Will the plan work?”  That question will only be answered once games are played.

However, we are beginning to understand what the Dolphins “big picture” plan looks like.  We’ll get to what we think the plan is in a few moments.  The only problem that most of us Dolphins fans have with the roster is the quarterback position…..and rightly so.  But before we go any further, we want to see what you think about the following 2 quarterbacks.  Which one would you choose to lead the Dolphins to the playoffs in 2011?

Quarterback A – 54.8 completion percentage, 3,291 yards, 6.49 yards per attempt, 17 TDs, 5 fumbles, 75.3 QB rating.

Quarterback B – 61.4 completion percentage, 3,301 yards, 6.71 yards per attempt, 15 TDs, 1 fumble, 75.4 QB rating.

* Stats courtesy of ESPN.com

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Breaking News: The NFL Players have voted to PASS the new CBA

The Miami Dolphins moved their practice today to accommodate the big CBA vote by the players.  They also moved their practice from 11am to 7pm to ensure that their new player signings would be able to participate in today’s practice, if the CBA passed the vote.  As first reported by Jay Glazer, the NFL season is officially back:

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So at tonight’s practice, we’ll finally get to see the newest Miami Dolphins, including: Reggie Bush, Kevin Burnett, Jason Taylor, Matt Moore, Marc Colombo, and others.  Tonight’s practice will be the first time that these new Dolphins have been able to physically practice with their new team.  I’m excited to see what these new additions can bring to the Dolphins…The 5 that I mentioned should all be big contributors to the Dolphins.

Reggie Bush is likely to get 12-15 touches a game, complementing Daniel Thomas….Kevin Burnett is likely to be one of the Dolphins starting linebackers, giving more athleticism than Channing Crowder could supply……Jason Taylor makes his return to Miami, likely to be a situational pass rushing force opposite Cam Wake….Matt Moore is going to compete with Chad Henne for the starting QB position…..and Marc Colombo is likely the team’s new starting RT.  Thankfully football is OFFICIALLY back!!

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Please STOP with the Brett Favre to Miami Dolphins Nonsense

We weren’t even going to post anything about the latest rumors involving the Miami Dolphins.  Why?  Because there is no basis whatsoever to them.  Yes, we post Dolphins rumors on PhinNation.com, but only when they make sense or have some possibility of happening.  What unfolded this afternoon was absolutely insane (some of it is still ongoing).  For those of you that don’t know what in the heck I’m talking about, Brett Favre has been connected to the Miami Dolphins by certain media outlets.  Why?   WE HAVE NO IDEA.  Here’s what’s been happening:

This morning, Dave Hyde of the Sun Sentinel posted a story about why the Dolphins should reach out to Brett Favre to help their QB woes.  I immediately threw up on my computer from the thought of it….Many Dolphins fans agreed with me.  We didn’t think much of it, until a a reporter asked Tony Sparano if Favre was a possibility for the Dolphins…Tony replied that he “wouldn’t rule anything out”.

Well that set off a firestorm on Twitter and across the internet.  Of all sources, I actually agree with Armando Salguero on this one!  How can you take an unsubstantiated thought in an article, combine that with a coaches comment and make a headline out of it.  But there it was, spreading like wildfire…..Pro Football Talk had a story…so did USA Today.  By this time, my eyes were starting to bleed from the sheer nonsense of this all.  After all, Brett Favre is 41 years old, stunk last year, and is retired…..like fully retired, not “I might come back, retired”…..but I guess with him you never know.

Thankfully, just a short time ago,  Favre’s agent cleared everything up for everyone about the Dolphins/Favre talk…He even compared Favre to Elvis:

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Can we now please stop with all of this nonsense?  On the bright side, it may have distracted the main stream media enough to get them off of Chad Henne’s back for a little while!

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