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Monday, May 12, 2008

Blog has moved so visit new blog for new posting

My blog has moved as promised so please visit the new Dolphins in Depth at this URL:

I have a new posting up on that site already so leave your reactions there.

In the next day or so the blog will be moved by the Herald so all you'll have to do is come to The Herald site as, I assume, you've been doing and click on my face to get on the blog.

See you over there.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Salguero on the radio today 9-11 a.m.

I'll be doing my weekend radio show today [Sunday] from 9-11 a.m. on 790 The Ticket.

You are invited to call in and discuss the Dolphins or any other topic on your mind. You can also call in and give a shout-out to your mom.

If you're in South Florida, you know the station can be heard on 790-AM. If you are in Siberia and all points south, you can listen live online at

If you want to call into the show, the toll free number is 1-888-790-3776.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Patriots cheated on Dolphins offense also

[For all of you that consistently criticize me but nonetheless come to this blog more often than you sit down to eat, I am announcing this is my final blog entry. More on that later.]
Today we are going to discuss the fact that the Patriots, cheaters and champions that they are, have been further busted by the NFL.
As you know, they were fined $750,000 as an organization, had to forfeit a first-round pick this year, and coach Bill Belichick was fined $500,000 for taping the defensive signals of other teams.
Seems they also stole opponents' offensive signals, too.
At least they stole the Dolphins offensive signals, according to a report by USA Today.
Among the tapes delivered by former New England video employee Matt Walsh to the NFL is a tape marked to indicate it contains the Miami Dolphins' offensive signals from an Oct. 7, 2001 game against the Patriots.

"One of the tapes is labeled that way. Until we review it, we don't know what's there," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told the newspaper.

It remains to be seen if the NFL will further cite the Patriots for this latest example of how that team trampled league rules against taping opponents. When it originally spanked the Patriots last season, the league noted the punishment was for videotaping opponents' defensive signals, never mentioning offensive signals.

By the letter of Commissioner Roger Goodell's statement, the taping of offensive signals was not included in that punishment. So further punishment seems in order if the Patriots indeed gained a competitive advantage in that game and others as a result of taping offensive signals.

Taping of signals is considered to be an advantage in an ensuing game, generally after coaches have had time to study the signals. In the best case scenario, the Patriots could have gained an advantage in the second half, after studying Miami's offensive signals at halftime.

The problem is the Patriots lost the Oct. 7 game 30-10 so no amount of cheating could really have helped them. They did win the rematch on Dec. 22, 2001, 20-13, but the thing that killed the Dolphins that game was, well, the Dolphins.
Lamar Smith fumbled at the 2 yard line, ending Miami's hopes for one score. Jed Weaver caught a pass for 19 yards and fumbled, ending another drive. Both Pat Surtain and Sam Madison drew crucial penalties inside the Miami 25 yard line that led to New England points. And Ed Perry fumbled a kickoff that led to a field goal.

So did the Patriots (and their pictured cheerleaders) cheat? Probably.

But did the Dolphins lose because of it? Didn't look that way.

[I want to say good-bye as this will be my last post on My blogs will now move to! What does that mean to me? It means The Herald is going to start making money off this blog because there will be ads about the site. For you, it means nothing. I remain in your lives! But I figured it was a chance to mess with your heads a little.]

The importance of the Parcells conditioning program

The Josh McCown column that I told you about yesterday is up on the Herald's site so if you are interested in reading what McCown has to say about this coming season and his chances to win the starting quarterback job, take a quick jump here and then make your way back.

Something I didn't get into in the column that really fascinates me is the Dolphins' new training regimen that Bill Parcells brought to the team. One of the first things Parcells was surprised with and knew he had to change when he became Lord Dolphin was the number of injuries the team suffered last year.

There were a ton, and for a team with limited depth, they were fatal. No exaggeration. The injuries killed the Dolphins season.

I've written before on this blog what folks like Bill Belichick (the freaken, fracken cheater) and Sean Payton say about the Parcells offseason regimen. They swear by it. McCown, who has played for three other NFL teams before joining the Dolphins, also is impressed.

"Everybody has a different way of doing things," he said. "And I’m not the one to say what is right or wrong. For me this system as far as the offseason approach seems very, very detailed down to the way we stretch, the way we warm up, even how we cool down. And obviously the workout and the running in between seems very detailed and says how we’re going to approach this thing.

"Throwing is something I'm doing here. It’s very detailed on how they expect me to perform and it’s specific for the things I needed to do to get better whether it’s footwork or my release or whatever the case may be. It seems a very detailed approached. They don’t just say, ‘It’s OK for you to do things your way.’ It’s the way they think is the best way to get it done. That’s the way they want you to do it.

"And they really hammer that in. For me that’s a little different and it’s exciting. I hope its beneficial and I think it will be because I like the changes I’ve made as far as myself and the way I approach football and the way I approach a day in the offseason."

If you understand how quickly this offseason workout routine makes converts of guys coming from other teams, if you recognize that assistants in the Parcells coaching tree have taken the system with them to their new teams when they become head coaches, you should then see why Parcells thinks it is so important.

Agree or not with its effectiveness, but Parcells believes in it. He apparently swears by it. That is the reason I think he was so angry and disappointed that Jason Taylor isn't participating. I believe Parcells thinks Taylor is not maximizing his chances to have a great season in 2008.

That is the bottom line.

Taylor, always in shape, may disagree. He can argue it's a voluntary program and he ain't volunteering. But the debate is not the point.

The point is Parcells thinks Taylor would be better for this team after going through his conditioning program rather than the Edyta Sliwinska (pictured) offseason program. I am not saying Parcells is right or Taylor is right.

I am just trying to make you understand why Parcells is so torqued-off by the issue. It's like the offseason program is Parcells' baby and somebody just ignored his baby.

Anyway, it also is interesting to me that after McCown admits in my column that he is adjusting his footwork and release, that makes two Dolphins quarterbacks who have been trying to do that this offseason. Remember that coach Tony Sparano said earlier this offseason John Beck was adjusting his release.

How long before Chad Henne is adjusting his release, I wonder?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Josh McCown most likely candidate to start?

Just had a very pleasant interview with Josh McCown, who is my early pick to be the Dolphins starting quarterback in the season-opener.

I lobbed the typical softballs for McCown, you know, how he's getting acclimated and stuff like that. But there were also some pointed questions during the interview that he handled well -- like a routine snap from center.

I asked him why we should believe he can be a success in Miami when he hasn't been in Oakland, Detroit or Arizona. I asked him if he believes he can be one of those late-blooming QBs such as Rich Gannon that become proficient later in his career. I asked him specifically what he believes will make him better in Miami?

So what did he say? If I tell you here, there is no need for you to read my column. I will post it here once it posts on The Herald site and update this post with more quotes.

I will tell you that McCown (pictured) isn't shy about the subject of the open quarterback competition.

"I don't feel like there's anything standing in my way that says, 'Hey, you can't be the starter,' " he told me.

Personally I believe his experience will be the over-riding factor in him earning the starting job at the beginning of the season. I think he has every bit the physical tools as John Beck or Chad Henne.

But McCown is, after all, entering his seventh season and has played in 44 NFL games. Henne is a rookie and Beck has played in only five NFL games.

Anyway, give me your breakdown of the Dolphins quarterback spot. Tell me if you agree that McCown is the guy -- at least early on -- and if you disagree, tell me why. Please have a better reason than, 'Because I'm smarter than you, Armando.'

Because you're not.

[ I wish to publicly thank Harvey Greene and his Dolphins media relations department for setting up the talk with McCown. I rip the Dolphins a lot when they act like the media is the enemy. So I want to be fair when they are cooperative on issues that don't involve competitive advantage.]

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Paul Soliai under the microscope in Year Two

One would think Paul Soliai has a great NFL future before him. He is 6-4. He weighs 344 pounds. The Dolphins thought enough of him to draft him in the fourth round last year.

But if the team knew then what it learned once he got to Miami, that fourth round pick would have been used on someone else.

For all his potential and upside, Soliai is becoming something of a disappointment. His size and bulk simply didn't translate last year as he started out the season in the defensive line rotation then regressed.

He played in nine games during his rookie year, but had only three tackles. This while he was playing right there in the middle, where every play begins and most of the running is done. Soliai played in six games in which he did not record a tackle.

Do the math: That means the most tackles he had in any one game was ... one.

It did not surprise anyone when he was inactive the final three games of the season even while lesser-known but more effective Steve Fifita got more playing time.

So what was the problem?

Well, part of it was a lack of experience and adjusting to the NFL. A lot of rookies go through that. But more troubling was Soliai's attitude and [lack of] work ethic. As one source put it to me, "He's just a big, lazy baby."

Soliai played poorly and made no substantive effort to get better. He didn't stay after practice. He didn't put more work in with the weights. He didn't do any extra tape work to study opposing linemen. He barely did enough to get by.

So now with the new Dolphins administration -- one that promises to have no tolerance for disinterested players -- Soliai will be under the microscope. His size and draft status have apparently bought him time on the roster, perhaps until July when they put on pads.

But at that time, his laid-back, minimum-effort style better disappear. Either that or Bill Parcells will make him disappear.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Where do the upgraded Dolphins rank now?

I think no one will argue the Dolphins were the NFL's worst team last season. They had the worst record. They had the No. 1 overall pick this year. They fired their coach and general manager after only one season.

They were the worst.

But where are they today?

Although no one has played a game lately, there has been plenty of activity around the NFL since February when the Giants were crowned kings. Coaching changes, free agency, and the draft have changed things in a lot of places.

Well, the changes have been exceedingly kind to the Dolphins if one studies Peter King's Monday Morning Quarterback at today. In his NFL rankings, he's got Miami at No. 27. The Dolphins, per King, are better than San Francisco, St. Louis, Oakland, Kansas City, and Atlanta, which he ranks dead last.

I have to disagree.

While I do think the Dolphins have addressed some issues this offseason, I am also quite familiar with the warts. So I don't see how the addition of Jake Long, Chad Henne, Reggie Torbor, Bill Parcells, Phillip Merling and Josh McCown has helped the Dolphins vault past the Raiders.

If you remember the Raiders pretty much handed it to the Dolphins last season. The score was 35-17 but the game wasn't really that close as Oakland so dominated the line of scrimmage that the offense needed only five pass completions to turn the game into a route.

The Raiders have the best CB tandem in the NFL today with DeAngelo Hall and Nnamdi Asomugha. They have a supremely gifted QB about to embark on his first full season in JaMarcus Russell. They just improved their running game with this guy, you may have heard of him, Darren McFadden.

And with a $143 million payroll somehow tucked into the $104 million cap, the front office is not as bereft of imagination as everyone believes.

King has the the Rams rated behind the Dolphins also. Really? Tell me how many Pro Bowls the Miami starting quarterback has been to. For that matter, who is the Miami starting quarterback?

Rams QB Marc Bulger has been to two Pro Bowls. Torry Holt is better than any receiver Miami puts on the field. The defense last year was better than Miami's and it has added Chris Long. And Orlando Pace is said to be on track with his recovery from injury while the addition of guard Jacob Bell promises stability.

Oh yeah, Steven Jackson has been more productive and more durable than Ronnie Brown. So while I don't think the Rams are ready for any sort of playoff run, I don't see how the Dolphins passed them considering the two-game difference between at the end of 2007.

King has Miami ahead of San Francisco also. I guess he believes Miami has picked up five games on San Francisco this offseason. Maybe he thinks the unsettled quarterback situation in SF is a problem. I'm more worried by the unsettled quarterback situation in Miami.

And while I trust Parcells to eventually get that QB situation addressed in Miami, I can also appreciate Mike Martz and his ability to turn OK quarterbacks -- Kurt Warner, Jon Kitna and Bulger come to mind -- into very good quarterbacks.

I do agree the Dolphins have moved past Atlanta and Kansas City, as King notes. Atlanta was the lone team that had a worse season than Miami last year, what with the Mike Vick debacle and the Bobby Petrino in-season departure and the inability to land Parcells.

The Falcons believe they've found their new franchise quarterback in Matt Ryan, the guy the Dolphins passed over. But the Falcons have holes along the OL, DL and in the secondary and Ryan may not play right away. So this team looks worse than Miami.

So does KC. The Chiefs traded away their best player -- something the Dolphins have so far resisted doing with Jason Taylor. And although they got a king's ransom back from Minnesota for Jared Allen, the Chiefs aren't likely to see the fruits of that trade immediately. The rookies selected with the extra picks will have to grow into the NFL game as might first pick Glenn Dorsey.

And talk about quarterback problems. With Brodie Croyle as their answer, KC is one NFL team with a worse quarterback picture than Miami.

So by my reckoning, the Dolphins should be ranked 30th ahead of KC and Atlanta. It is not No. 27 where has them. But at least it ain't last anymore.

Your thoughts?

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Final rookie minicamp practice over

The rookie minicamp is over and here is the update from today's work.

Chad Henne was terrible in practice today. He struggled with his accuracy and was seemingly tired because his sideline throws had very little gas on them.

"Today, I didn't have such a great practice," Henne said afterward. "I was inconsistent with my throws."

The conditioning of these players is a serious concern -- particularly considering that it wasn't very hot this weekend. Although players believed it to be blazing hot, as Jake Long noted, it was really mild.

Yet guys were clearly winded. Coach Tony Sparano told the players they needed to get in better shape on Saturday but that wasn't the only message the team sent about being well-conditioned. The message came from the Dolphins when they signed tryout player Anthony Toribio.

Notice that GM Jeff Ireland released a quote about signing Toribio: "Anthony was here on a tryout basis and really showed to everyone what can happen to a kid when he comes to camp in shape and works hard," said Ireland.

Remember that Ireland didn't release a quote when the Dolphins signed most of their veteran free agents. So yeah, it was a message.

Anyway, Jake Long is confident he improved during the three days of camp. "I got better," he said. He will return to South Florida May 16 and get settled, and hopefully start to get acclimated with the heat.

By the way, Marcel Reece continued his struggles of the weekend, dropping at least three passes today.

The Dolphins worked both the 3-4 and 4-3 set on defense.

On offense the team moved around some of the interior linemen. At one point I looked up and saw Shawn Murphy at tackle. It would not surprise if throughout training camp, coaches will move guys around so they can play alternate positions in a crunch.