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On Friday of this week, Miami 1st round pick DeVante Parker went in to have surgery on the foot that caused him to miss the first 7 games of his last season with Louisville. It had been stated that if this was the regular season, DeVante could play, but because of the time of year and wanting to get this addressed NOW so he can be healthy for the season, the procedure was done NOW.
Here is a quote from the piece Omar Kelly of the Sun-Sentinel wrote on the Parker surgery.
"The source said this surgery went well and that Parker should be ready in time to play in the Sept. 13 season opener at Washington. What isn’t known yet is how much of training camp Parker might miss, and whether that will be a setback to his early development.
At some point recently, Parker “landed and felt some pain” in the foot, the source said. The Dolphins had a choice between putting Parker’s foot in a boot or doing the surgery, and the latter was elected because all parties wanted to take care of the problem now, while the calendar works in their favor."
You hate to see this happen at this point, as Parker and QB Ryan Tannehill had been working together a good bit and were starting to form a nice chemistry, something that never seem to be the case with one Mike Wallace. Tannehill had spoken glowing of Parker, as this quote from Kelly's piece indicates.
“DeVante was great today,” Tannehill said. “You've been seeing it the past few weeks, just working on air. But today you got to see him make some tough catches with defenders on his back, in traffic, and that's what you want to see, that a guy with a big body is able to make strong catches with his hands in traffic.”
Is there reason for concern among Dolphin fans, sure there is. You hope that as it is being reported, and I believe as well that this was done to address the problem NOW in regards to replacing the screw put in place during the original surgery, a maintenance issue. The fact that he could play if this was during the regular season is encouraging, but we have seen foot injuries end careers also. Miami's own O.J McDuffie had his career short circuited due to a foot injury and Deion Sanders career ended due to Turf Toe. That said, this is a quote from Miami Herald writer Armando Salguero in regards to Jelani Jenkins having a similar injury.
"Parker's injury is similar to the injury linebacker Jelani Jenkins had last year, per a source. Jenkins missed one game as a result."
As Dolphins fans, you hope this is very much the case. DeVante Parker is exactly what the Dolphins have been looking for the last few years at wide receiver, a big body that can be a Red Zone threat, but also is capable of being dangerous after the catch. Parker can be that type of player for Miami. First things first, he has to be healthy first and foremost.
I'd like to take the time to remember those who gave their life for the freedom that we all enjoy today. Thank you!
1. OTA's .... are here!
Well, despite what our wives think, for some of us the NFL season never ends. If you are reading this blog then you are not an exception. When our season ends we are all ready thinking about free agency, the draft, rookie workouts, NFL "voluntary" offseason work outs, OTA's, Mini Camp, the preseason .... you know what I am talking about.
Tomorrow begins OTA's. That means real drills are now allowed. Here are the 10 days of OTAs:
While the pads do not go on yet, the Dolphins will start their conditioning program and even do some 11 on 11 drills. Tanne-thrill will get time to develop chemistry with his new receivers ... and boy, does he have new receivers. This is what it looks like at the moment:
WR : Kenny Stills - Rishard Matthews - Matt Hazel
WR : DeVante Parker - Greg Jennings
WR: Jarvis Landry
2. SUH ... More Is Expected Than Being Great on the Field
As the media has let us know, Ndamukong Suh showed up for the first day of Voluntary Camp and that was it. Dolphins president/football operations Mike Tannenbaum issued a face-to-face challenge to Suh to be a leader to the young players. With the cap-crippling salary the Dolphins are paying Suh, he needs to make the players around him better. Tannenbaum said this week ....
“We have a lot of young players not only on the defensive line, but on our team. If we were sitting here in 10 years and Jordan Phillips is talking about hopefully the career he’s having, I’d love for him to say that in his formative years Ndamukong Suh impacted him.”
While I think it is disappointing that Suh did not participate in the offseason program, I am not gnashing my teeth about it. Neither should you. Suh is true to himself. Anyone who thinks that he is now going to show up for voluntary camp after not doing it in the past is just looking for something to complain about. Unless it was written in his contract, expect Suh to be Suh. He has plenty of time to learn the offense and bond with teammates once things become "mandatory". Things become mandatory tomorrow.
Face it ... Suh always misses voluntary camp and he always plays like a man on a mission. He makes players around him better.
3. Philben Wants Coyle to Simplify the Defense
This is needed .... especially with the inability of young players to get on the field. I love his blitz packages and his aggressive approach, but it is very obvious that players are not getting it. It is too complicated. Dumb it down, coach, or you'll be looking for another job.
What needs to be "dumbed down" are the packages and assignments. Hey, Coyle. Here is a novel idea: why not make Cam Wake rush the passer rather than covering backs coming out of the backfield? I have another idea: stop having the cornerbacks drop off 10 yards from the receivers. Play to win, not "not to lose" defense.
This is good on two fronts. First, we are tired of players thinking too much during plays. Players need to react to what is happening around them. Second, it shows that Philben may be learning how to improve the team. It seems to me this is the only way he could keep Coyle after last season. He had to identify a problem and have a solution. Now Philbin has to figure out why his teams swoon the last half of the season. Last year he lost 5 of his last 8 games. In 2013 he lost his last two games of the season against AFC East rivals which put us out of a playoff appearance. When the defense swoons, so, does the team.
4. Lamar Miller Does NOT Need More Carries
Last year I would have said "yes, he needs more carries". Lamar Miller improved greatly last year after watching Knowshon Moreno in the preseason. He started to hit the hole harder and more aggressively. He was one yard shy of 1100 yards and he had a 5.1 ypc. He added 9 touchdowns but did fumble 3 times. Let's be honest ... we hadn't seen that type of production since Ricky Williams in his prime.
With the addition of RB Jay Ajayi, we are looking at a very nice 1-2 punch with he and Miller. In fact, we may be looking at the future of the position with Ajayi because Miller becomes a free agent after this season. It is going to be impossible to keep Miller and Olivier Vernon due to the cap hits of Suh and Tannehill.
If you haven't read our draft analysis on Jay Ajayi you'll have to check it out here. It is a very complete body of work on him. He is going to be a impact back for us if his body holds up.
5. Deflate Gate? Guilty as Charged.
Come on, we aren't stupid. While it may be personal to many fans it isn't to me. Brady had this done. Heck, who knows how many years he has had his "ball boys" tamper with the air in the balls. Heck, there is even a report that Belichick doesn't believe Brady.
Now, I think he deserves the 4 game suspension, and the team should be hit with more than 3rd round draft pick. It's cheating, and it happened on Beli-Cheat's watch. And I don't mind that we do have to play Brady twice next year because if we are to be the best then we need to beat the best. The AFC East Championship goes through New England. They are the AFC East Champions.