Tag: olivier vernon

Should the Miami Dolphins draft Michael Sam?

 

By Cyrus (@Cyruslassus on Twitter)

My first thought is that the Miami Dolphins have way too many holes to fill on the roster to take a defensive end in the 2014 draft, but what Missouri Tiger Michael Sam has done since August of 2013 has changed my mind.

He came out of the closet to his teammates, had a stellar season with 10 1/2 sacks and 18 tackles for loss, claimed Co-Defensive Player of the Year honors in the SEC and then decided to become the first openly gay major professional athlete in America in the months leading to the NFL draft.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

The Miami Dolphins have to step up and draft this young man at whichever point his talent merits, as a matter of principle.

Whether he fills an immediate need or not is less important than making a statement to the world.

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Dolphins Gameplan: Attack Tom Brady

 

By Cyrus (@Cyruslassus on Twitter)

This week the Miami Dolphins host the New England Patriots in another must win game.  While the possibility exists that Baltimore could lose two or three of their remaining games, Miami is already dependent on at least one loss from the defending Super Bowl champion in order to secure the 6th spot in the AFC playoffs.  Surprisingly, should Miami win this game, two more New England losses could allow the Dolphins to jump all the way into the second spot in the AFC, which is accompanied by a first round bye and at least one home play off game.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

The point is that the stakes are high and the best thing the team can do is win out, which looks doable.

The Patriots have just lost star tight end Rob Gronkowski for the season, which drops them down a peg.  Miami has had an excellent pass defense and has given up only one touchdown to a receiver all season long if you throw out last week’s three touchdowns against Pittsburgh.  Those TDs  seemed to be very much aided by the snow and ice on the field which caused many defenders to be unsure in their running and tackling technique on both teams.

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Stayin Alive: Dolphins’ comeback in the snow to beat the Steelers

The Miami Dolphins entered Sunday’s game in Pittsburgh with their playoff lives on the line.  The Dolphins were welcomed in by a snowstorm and a Steelers team that had been playing better than than their 5-7 record.  The Dolphins fell behind 7-0 early, but would rebound to take a 10-7 lead into halftime.  Ryan Tannehill was playing his first game in the snow and it showed in the first half.  He missed badly on a few passes and the offense looked out of sync.  However, the Dolphins came out of halftime strong and would take a 17-7 lead early in the 3rd quarter.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

And then, things got ugly.  The Steelers drove down the field and capped off by a 43 yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown.  On the very next series, with the game 17-14, Ryan Tannehill threw a pick-6 to Troy Polamalu.  That gave the Steelers a 21-17 lead and it looked like this game was going in the direction of so many games this season.  But the Dolphins responded immediately.  They drove the field and with some big catches by Charles Clay and solid runs by Daniel Thomas (yes, Daniel Thomas), the Dolphins capped off their TD drive with a beautiful catch by Brian Hartline, tip-toeing in the end zone.

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Referees were worse than we thought in Sunday’s Dolphins’ loss

The Dolphins this weekend were on the short end of the stick of at least three terrible officiating decisions that undoubtedly helped cost them the game.  A game which New England had just a 4% chance of winning early in the third quarter, according to ESPN statisticians.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

The first blown call was a third down, 21 yard pass interference that gave New England field goal range late in the first half.  Without this incomprehensible decision, New England goes into halftime scoreless without having even crossed midfield.  The Patriots converted a field goal which helped them go into the half down 17-3.

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Wednesday Camp Roundup: Wallace returns, Tannehill bounces back

The Miami Dolphins finished up their short week of practices on Wednesday.  They also got some good news on the injury front.  Mike Wallace returned to action and was running at full speed.  He even caught a 40 yard touchdown pass from Ryan Tannehill in the team portion of practice.  The Dolphins also welcomed back Olivier Vernon and Jared Odrick, two defensive linemen that sat out Sunday night’s game against the Cowboys.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

In addition, Ryan Tannehill had a good bounce back day on Wednesday.  After a rough practice on Tuesday where he threw 3 or 4 interceptions (depending on who you ask), he threw multiple touchdown passes and only 1 interception (to Dmitri Patterson).  It’s good to see Tannehill bounce back.  Hopefully it continues into Friday night’s showdown with the Jaguars.  Coach Philbin said the starters would probably play a little bit more in their 2nd preseason game than they did in their first.  For the record, the starters played about 10-12 plays against the Cowboys.

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That was quick! Dion Jordan returns to Dolphins practice (with orange hair)

Many Dolphins fans were worried (myself included), when the Dolphins placed 1st round pick, Dion Jordan on the NFL non-football/injury list on Sunday.  Jordan has been recovering from surgery that repaired his torn labrum, back in February.  While many voiced concern (again, myself included), everyone can take a deep breathe and exhale.  According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald via Twitter:

This is great news!  Jordan has missed most of the Dolphins offseason program because NFL rules prohibit players from practicing before they graduate.  Due to the combination of Oregon’s schedule and Jordan’s injury, he was unable to attend most of the Dolphins OTA’s and minicamps.  The Dolphins coveted Jordan enough to trade all the way up from pick #12 to pick #3 in the April draft, to grab him. Continue Reading

Dolphins Camp Day 2 highlights and notes

The Miami Dolphins took to the practice field again this morning, for the 2nd of many training camp practices.  Following a spirited first practice, the Dolphins returned to the practice field to build on what they learned on Day 1.  The Dolphins new players, like Dustin Keller, are still adjusting to the heat and humidity of South Florida.  Keller admitted that yesterday’s practice was a little sloppy, but things were cleaned up a bit today.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

If you are interested in seeing some clips of the Dolphins in action, click here, for a video from Dolphins.com.   We’ve learned a few things from the first 2 days of training camp.  Many are not all that surprising, but some of them are:

Jared Odrick is a DT

Odrick spent most of this offseason working as a defensive tackle.  We thought at the time that this was mostly because Randy Starks was not present, as he was unhappy with being ‘tagged’ by the Dolphins in March.  However, it appears that Odrick has added some weight and will be used in a 3 man rotation with Paul Soliai and Starks this season.  The Dolphins know that both Soliai and Starks are free agents after this season, so grooming Odrick makes sense.  Odrick has not played at defensive end since last season.

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Dolphins fleece Raiders in trade up for Dion Jordan…what’s next?

The Miami Dolphins shocked everyone when they traded up to the #3 pick with the Oakland Raiders.  As soon as the trade up happened, everyone assumed it was for left tackle, Lane Johnson of Oklahoma.  The next big surprise was when commissioner Roger Goodell announced: “With the 3rd pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins select, Dion Jordan, defensive end, Oregon”.  I saw watching this all unfold and was literally speechless.  The Dolphins made a very bold move, draft a player that many have compared to Jason Taylor.  I thought I was dreaming and literally pinched myself.  Then, unimaginable fear overcame me……WHAT DID THEY GIVE UP TO GET HIM?!?!

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

According to the often used NFL Trade Value chart, the Dolphins move from #12 to #3 should have cost them two 2nd round picks.  Instead, the Dolphins moved up 9 spots and surrendered only the #42 pick to do so.  Whether or not you love the pick of Dion Jordan, you can’t deny that the Dolphins essentially moved up into the top 3 for half the price of what it would normally cost.  The Raiders wanted out of the top 3 so badly and needed extra picks so badly, that they made a good deal (for the Dolphins).

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Pitiful Picks: Can the Dolphins move into first place?

The Miami Dolphins have a chance to move into a tie for first place in the AFC East this week.  The best part of that equation is that the Dolphins simply need to win to do so.  Since the Patriots are on their bye week, the Dolphins don’t have to do any scoreboard watching, they simply need to go out, play their game, and win.  If they do, at this time tomorrow, the Dolphins will be tied with the Patriots at 5-3 atop the AFC East.

Last week, we got back on the winning track with our Pitiful Picks.  We went 3-1 with our only loss coming in the Eagles/Falcons game.  This brings our season total up to 17-12.  We didn’t think the Dolphins game would be close against the Jets and it wasn’t!  This week, I have a much more uneasy feeling about the Dolphins chances, but we’ll get to that in a bit.  There are a number of close point spread lines this week, suggesting many of the games are fairly even matchups.  We’ll see what we can do in this week’s edition of PhinNation.com’s Pitiful Picks:

Atlanta Falcons -3.5 over Dallas Cowboys

Last week, we took Andy Reid’s 13-0 streak of wins following Eagles bye weeks.  We gave the Eagles too much credit and didn’t give enough to the Falcons.  I don’t think the Falcons are going 16-0 this season, but I also don’t see them losing to a Cowboys team that seems to keep shooting themselves in the foot.  The Falcons are at home and the odds makers usually give 3 points to the home team.  That means they think the Falcons are just 1/2 a point better than the Cowboys.  I disagree whole-heartedly.  I think the Falcons win this game by at least a touchdown.  Falcons 24 Cowboys 17

Detroit Lions -5.5 over Jacksonville Jaguars

The line for this game was actually lower earlier this week. However, I don’t think a desperate Lions team will mess around with a terrible Jaguars team.  The Lions are coming off of a quality home win against the upstart Seahawks and should keep their season alive with a win against the Jaguars.  The Jaguars, for those of you that didn’t know, had Chad Henne playing quarterback for them last week…..Chad Henne folks… I think this is the week that Matthew Stafford and Megatron put up a big game and the Lions route the Jaguars.  Lions 31 Jaguars 16  (cont’d on page 2, click below)

Latest news on Tannehill’s injury & status for Dolphins game on Sunday

Yesterday, the Miami Dolphins welcomed Ryan Tannehill back to the practice field.  Tannehill is still recovering from a hyperextended knee and deep thigh bruise that he suffered in the Dolphins win on Sunday.  Tannehill was limited in Wednesday’s practice, only taking part in individual drills.  Matt Moore took the majority of the actual practice snaps with the entire first team offense.  Again, this is what is being reported by the media that only gets to see a portion of the Dolphins practice.

Photo by June Rivera

On Thursday, Ryan Tannehill took all of the first team snaps with the Dolphins offense.  The Dolphins rookie has been wearing a brace and compression sleeve on his left knee during practice, which have helped.  However, Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post said today that he is still favoring the knee.  Omar Kelly had an encouraging observation, saying that Tannehill was ‘moving around better’ today.

It should be noted that Tannehill took all of the offensive snaps in the portion of practice that was open to the media. After that time, the Dolphins close out the media, but continue practicing.  It’s possible that Matt Moore took snaps with the first team during the closed portion of practice.  The Dolphins are being coy about who will be their starter on Sunday, trying to make the Colts prepare for the different styles of Matt Moore and Ryan Tannehill.  (cont’d on page 2, click below)