Forum (read only)
By Rich Rodriguez
Watch out for the Jags
The Jacksonville Jaguars went into Heinz Field and beat the Pittsburgh
Steelers. Now they get to go to Gilette Field and play the 16-0 New England
Do not be surprised if the Jags upset the Patriots. The Jaguars are exactly
the type of team that gives New England fits. Excellent defense up and down
the roster. They pressure the quarterback, stop the run, force turnovers.
They do it all on defense.
They also have two very good running backs who might give the Patriots aging
linebackers fits. The Jaguars are a team that play hard-nosed defense and
can also run the ball and control the clock. The last piece to the puzzle is
also in place. David Garrard, starting quarterback for the Jaguars, only
threw three interceptions this season. He takes care of the ball, can make
plays in the passing game, but possibly most important of all, he can make
plays with his legs when nothing else is there.
I know every Dolphins fan would be overjoyed if the Jaguars pull off an
upset. I know the 1972 Miami Dolphins would be ecstatic.
If the Patriots, after going 16-0 during the regular season, lose in the
playoffs, how drastically would that change the perception people have of
Eventhough no team has ever gone 16-0, two teams have gone undefeated in the
regular season and not won a Superbowl. The 1998 Vikings went 15-1 with a
similar record-breaking offense but they lost to the Atlanta Falcons in the
NFC Championship game. It is definitely not out of the question that the
Patriots could be upset in the playoffs.
They would go from being the best team ever, which is what too many people
are calling them, to chokers.
How sweet would that be?
Next weekend, I am a Jaguars fan. GO JAGS!
By Dave Blake
The Dolphins had perhaps their most important rookie signing
yesterday as they
came to terms with 2nd round pick C/G SAMSON SATELE. With very little
done in the offseason this year and the thought of reshuffling Miami's
entire offensive line, Satele is pencilled in as the starting center. What
this means is that a lot of faith is being placed upon OL Coach HUDSON
HOUCK. The Dolphins still need to sign 6th rounder G Drew Mormino, QB John
Beck, and WR Tedd Ginn, Jr.
SATURDAY, MAY 26
By Dave Blake
The Dolphins signed
6th round pick FB REAGAN MAUIA to a 4 year contract. Miami has signed 5
of their 10 rookies to 4 year contracts. That's excellent news as long as we
are not paying them too much. Our top 3 picks will most likely take much longer
to come to an agreement, but the goal is to get everyone in by the start of
training camp which is in about a month.
The Dolphins are reporting that they have officially switched
C REX HADNOT to right guard . This is something that we've heard
about that was in the works for the past month. I like this move as I
did not want him moved to center in the first place as he does a very
nice job as a guard. He did a decent job at center last year, but to
me it was not good enough if the Dolphins want a dominant offensive line.
At right guard he has the attitude and the skills to be one of the better
guards in the NFL. Good move.
QB DAUNTE CULPEPPER, my choice as Miami's starting quarterback, was asked yesterday
what he thought about TRENT GREEN's comments that he wants to be Miami's starting
quarterback. C-Pep to him that it will not be a cakewalk, because he's
hoping to be given a chance to compete for the job. He feels that he will
be healthy enough to compete and thinks he will win the job. If Culpepper can
adjust to throwing the ball quickly rather than taking too much time, then I
would be all for it. Of course, Saban said that he tried to get Culpepper to
do that last year and did not succeed. I think he can do it and considering that
he is in the top 5 in NFL history in accuracy, it will not be easy for Trent
Green or anyone else to beat him out for the job. To me, he has to be able to
get rid of the ball quickly and be able to move laterally smoothly to win the
FRIDAY, MAY 25
By Dave Blake
Happy Friday to you all! Man, it took forever to get here. Enjoy your 3 day
weekend. We'll be here, so, stop by the forum to keep up with what is going
on with our Dolphins.
The Dolphins signed
3rd round pick RB LORENZO BOOKER, 7th round pick P BRANDON FIELDS, and 7th round
pick ABE WRIGHT . That makes 4 picks signed in the past two days. Right now,
only the Dolphins and da Bears have signed any of their draft picks, and the
Fins have the lead in the amount of picks signed. The players are going to get
the money anyways and the team is going to get the extra year, so, making it
beneficial for both parties involved is the trick. Nice job.
TSN's Mike Nahrstedt made it a point yesterday to say that he thinks QB
JOHN BECK could be the quarterback steal of the draft . Why? He is mature
at 25 years old. He's a football junkie. He embodies three of the most important
traits of an NFL quarterback: accuracy, intelligence and leadership. He is tough.
I think we may have gotten a gem of a pick myself, but you just do not know until
you put it on the field.
"That just makes him a well-kept secret
-- my favorite kind of draft pick. Here's what I love about the guy:
He is mature. Beck is 25, having served a two-year Mormon mission in Portugal
before starting his BYU career. Nothing like a couple of years abroad proselytizing
and surviving on a meager budget to help you grow up. Beck also is married and
the father of an infant son. He doesn't drink, smoke or swear. He is an Eagle
Scout. This is a guy with a good head on his shoulders.
He's a football junkie. Beck reads every football book he can find, absorbing
coaches' insights on strategy and leadership. When he isn't reading or working
out, he watches football on TV -- NFL games, Arena League games, player interviews,
whatever. He is a student of not only the current game, but also its history.
Most kids in the 2007 draft class probably can't identify Bob Griese; Beck was
thrilled when the former Dolphin quarterback and NFL Hall of Famer was among
the first people to call him after the draft.
He embodies three of the most important traits of an NFL quarterback: accuracy,
intelligence and leadership. He completed 69.3 percent of his passes last season
and 62.4 percent for his career. He can read defenses and make smart decisions
quickly. He commands the respect of his teammates and is a vocal leader.
Oh, yeah, one other important QB trait is toughness. Beck has that one nailed.
He played through one BYU season with a separated shoulder, another on a pair
of badly sprained ankles -- not that he ever told anybody -- and played well
enough to be named the Mountain West's offensive player of the year last season.
Heading into the draft he got downgraded a bit for not having the strongest arm,
but it's hard to wing it 60 yards downfield -- an overrated skill, by the way
-- when bad ankles rob your legs of their base. Even then his arm was strong
enough to make the throws NFL quarterbacks have to make 99 percent of the time."
I'm not telling anyone to stick their heads in the sand
and become a homer, but the draft picks have all been made. It's done.
Ginn and Beck could deliver some exciting football for the Dolphins. No
one is a sure thing, but I like how Mueller is shaping this team into the
speed and quickness that Cameron wants. Cameron is all about delivering
a quick strike and Ginn, Booker, and Beck is a very good start in my opinion
to build upon next year. Add Ronnie Brown to that mix. Ronnie showed us
that he has big play potential and improved last year by showing better
instincts for the hole.
THURSDAY, MAY 24
By Dave Blake
Now that's interesting. The Dolphins signed
our 7th round pick LB KELVIN SMITH to a 4 year contract. Two things strike
me about this. One, it's done in May. usually we have to wait until the very
day where they are supposed to be signed to where the Dolphins get the deal
done. It looks like when OWNER WAYNE HUIZENGA said he wants things done on time
that it filtered throughout his staff. This is very refreshing. The other thing
that sticks out to me is that it is a 4 year contract. Usually 7th rounders
only sign 3 year contracts, but we have been seeing many teams try to add another
year. Adding another year is the reason why our first round pick, JASON ALLEN,
missed a lot of camp last year. While Smith probably won't make the roster,
it is a positive sign forward for the Dolphins. As a reminder, here is ESPN
Insider's draft analysis from our PHINFEVER
DRAFT PAGE on Smith entering the 2007 draft:
Position: Inside Linebacker
Round 7 (Pick #219)
Scouts Grade: 47
Selected by: Miami Dolphins
Pick (Overall): 9(219)
Works to the whistle, flashes the ability to slip blocks in space
and takes sound pursuit angles. Squares up to the ball carrier, wraps up upon
contact and is a sound open field tackler. Plays with a mean streak and flashes
the ability to deliver the big hit. Takes the shortest path to the quarterback
and is a relentless pass rusher. Gets good depth when asked to drop into zone
coverage and flashes decent ball skills. Blocked a kick during senior season
and can contribute on special teams.
Plays too high and can get driven back. Doesn't read keys well,
takes too long to locate the ball carrier and doesn't play downhill. Lacks
sideline-to-sideline range and isn't quick enough to regularly prevent backs
from turning the corner. Takes too long to shed blocks and can get engulfed
by offensive linemen. Doesn't use hands well and is vulnerable to cut blocks.
Plays with a narrow base and gets knocked to the ground too much. Can't change
directions quickly, lacks ideal top-end speed and has problems holding up in
man coverage. Doesn't show a variety of pass rush moves and lacks ideal closing
speed. Though has experience lining up on the outside, probably isn't quick
or athletic enough to play there at the NFL.
Smith was redshirted in 2002 and then played in all 12 games as a
redshirt freshman in 2003, starting the final 11 contests at outside linebacker
after the starter suffered a season-ending injury, and was named a third team
Freshman All-American after recording 68 total tackles, six tackles for loss,
one sack, and one interception. In 2004, he again started all 12 contests registering
53 total tackles, four tackles for loss, and two interceptions returning one
for a touchdown. Smith moved inside for the 2005 season, started all 11 games,
and made 89 total tackles, seven tackles for loss, two sacks, forced one fumble,
and intercepted one pass. In 2006, he once again started every contest (12)
amassing 115 total tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, one interceptions,
two fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles, and one blocked kick.
Smith lacks the power and speed of an every-down linebacker but he is a sound
tackler who has enough natural ability to develop into a quality reserve who
also contributes on special teams.
* Player biographies are provided by Scouts Inc.
CBS Sportsline writer Clark Judge wrote yesterday that if we want TRENT GREEN
then we had better ante
up . Are you kidding me? The Chiefs pretty much screwed up any trade value
in Green by giving Huard a large contract and elevating Brodie Croyle as the
heir. Tell Chiefs GM Carl Peterson to "stick it" and that we are just going
to wait this one out. We have another interesting scenario developing with
the Dolphins in DAUNTE CULPEPPER. I'd like to have Green here, but I am also
intrigued with Culpepper. Since he understands that Cameron expects his quarterbacks
to get rid of the ball quickly, and if he gets on board with that, and he
is healthy, then what is our problem? There are too many holes on this team
right now and it is obvious that a very aged quarterback such as Green is
not the long term answer ... just a 1 year band aid.
TUESDAY, MAY 22
By Dave Blake
S YEREMIAH BELL finally signed
the one year tender offer from the Dolphins worth $1.3 million.
The reason it took this long is because talks for a long term contract
are not getting anywhere, and the only way to raise his stock is to get
back out on the field and produce for another year. A lot of us are still
scratching our heads as to why Saban took so long to insert Bell into
the starting lineup, but once he did the secondary stepped up its play
as he was the communications glue that was lacking. The former 6th round
Dave Wannstedt draft pick had a good year as he had 68 tackles, 2 sacks
and 3 forced fumbles. Should we give him that long-term contract? Remember
that we cannot keep everyone. I would see if he can do it again this
upcoming year and see if anyone else emerges from that group. With a
more simplified defensive scheme, you may see why Saban stuck with S
TRAVARES TILLMAN so long. Or, maybe not;) In any event, Bell could be
replaced in the draft next year.
Who's that familiar face riding around through South Florida trying
to recruit our kids ? Why, that's Saban. My guess is that even though his
character is seriously lacking, the kids know that the NFL respects what he puts
together at the collegiate level as it works with success. Not only does he win
but he also is a good high school recruiter and fills his teams with the type
of talent that gets drafted overall #1 .... such as QB LaMarcus Russell. Anyways,
it does not hurt to hurl some eggs at him as he drives by;)
Will we see WR KEYSHAWN JOHNSON in a Dolphins uniform? The word about Miami's
opinion of Me-shawn is that he is "not
fast enough" . That is good enough with me. Unfortunately the same is said
about WR MARTY BOOKER. I like Booker. He's not blazingly fast, but he's quick
enough to find an open seam. That takes good NFL smarts. What I like about him
is his effort. He gives 100%. Is he replaceable? Yep, but you cannot replace
everyone on offense in one year.