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Monday, May 08, 2006

Minicamp wrapup

First of all, it was only a minicamp, just a minicamp, a mere minicamp and that should be taken into account in everything you read from this point forward. NFL teams do not, should not, make major decisions on most positions based on minicamps because there is no blocking or tackling.

Blocking and tackling are kind of important in football.

There is no pressure on the quarterback to speak of so the only thing you can guage from them in a mini is their ability to learn quickly, their arm-strength and accuracy. How well they read defenses, how tough they are in the pocket, and how well they move in the pocket are pretty tough to measure.

Having said that, Justin Holland was easily Miami's best quarterback at the camp. He stands 6-2 but throws over the top so he finds passing lanes. I wouldn't say he has the strongest arm in the world, but it's at the very least Jay Fiedler good. And he is quite accurate, especially on deep passes, which was the most impressive thing about him.

The Dolphins drafted two interior linemen and one offensive linemen. Rodrique Wright missed Saturday's practice because of a death in the family. When he was present he moved around well enough. But here's the thing, this is a mini. No hitting, no blocking, no tackling.

So you can't really say anything definitive about Wright (other than the fact he probably won't play in 2006 because he had surgery Monday). I believe Wright will be stashed away on IR and allowed to mature. He could eventually be asked to play a 3-4 tackle, ala Vonnie Holliday. He certainly has the build and size for it.

As for Joe Toledo and Fred Evans -- the other two interior line draftees -- who knows. Toledo worked at OG and Evans at NT. But they weren't asked to block and weren't asked to tackle.

I heard reports that former Pro Bowl tackle Kyle Turley was looking great during the camp. Really? I thought he was OK as a 260-pound TE but the thing that will make or break his comeback is his ability to become a premier blocking TE.

He's not going to be Antonio Gates. Think more like Hunter Goodwin.

So it's really tough to judge Turley for his on-field abilities in a camp where, you guessed it, there was no blocking or tackling.

“I think that first off, you’re talking about a guy who was an offensive tackle who’s strength as a tight end is probably going to be his ability to block, if anything translates from the former player he was to the player that he might be now, even though it’s at a different position and a little different body type relative to the weight that he’s lost," Nick Saban said.

"So this kind of a camp would not enhance a guy like that, because we’re out there in shorts and tee-shirts or just jerseys or whatever, and most of the blocking is just kind of fit-up, everybody stay up, tag off the runner. The guys who are the explosive good tacklers, explosive good blockers can get moving guys; they don’t really show up in this."

Saban told me the things he's gauging most about Turley is his ability to grasp the concept of the passing game, but more importantly, what his attitude was in practices, meetings, in the locker room, and particularly how he responded to coaches.

From all accounts I've heard, Turley was professional.

Now onto the players one could make some judgements about: The offensive and defensive skill positions.

You can tell whether a receiver has separation and accelaration and hands regardless of whether you're talking about a game or in a minicamp. Sure, some guys get a little nervous when they know the defense is actually hitting, but I'm assuming none of these guys will be like Charles Jordan -- looked like Tarzan during minicamps, played like Jane during the season.

Frank Murphy was without a doubt the most impressive receiver in the camp. He was smooth, he seemed more polished than the others, and he found open spots in the defenses. Obviously, the guy is older (29) than most of the other receivers in camp, so perhaps this shouldn't surprise. But at least the guy showed no ill effects of an Achilles' injury he struggled with in 2004-2005.

I'm not saying Murphy is the answer as Miami seeks a No. 3 receiver in the fall. But he'll be a good training camp addition who will raise the level of competition at the position.

A position that should concern Dolphins fans is the running back spot. Sure, Ronnie Brown is the starter, but then what?

Kay-Jay Harris?

Gerald Riggs Jr.?

Sammy Morris is still better than either of those two and I don't think the Dolphins are totally comfortable with him as the backup. I think either Harris and Riggs will get a chance to make the team but, unless they turn it up a notch when the hitting starts, I don't think they're ready to challenge Morris.

Both will have to serve time on special teams first and show a toughness when they run the rock. This minicamp didn't allow them to show that toughness, if they indeed have it.

Regardless, don't be surprised if the Dolphins No. 2 back is not on the roster yet. There is still a round of cuts coming after June 1 and then there are guys who will get cut once camp begins. I guess Lamar Gordon is still out there but don't think he's the answer.

One last thing: Thought Ron Israel looked good as a tryout player at safety. He was always around the ball. And I think it's a virtual lock Jason Allen will be a starter at one safety spot. He adds a degree of speed to the deep secondary that wasn't there last season.

25 Comments:

Anonymous DolphinTuna said...

I agree the backup RB position is still weak. Hope your right on them getting somebody later. BTW, this was good stuff. Can't get insight like this on finheaven or dolphins.com.

12:23 AM  
Anonymous lovedantheman said...

Finheaven is run by homos.

12:29 AM  
Blogger Ottawafan said...

Holland's arm is Jay "my arm can't possibly be Feebler" Fiedler good? Wow. So he can't throw any deep out patterns then, and his ball arcs like a rainbow? It's like a pot of gold at the end of his throws for defenders? Not promising. I wouldn't hold out for any good RBs to be cut come June 1st. With the extra salary cap room teams have from the new CBA they won't need to jettison as many of those "still productive but getting up there in years" guys. Who knows though? Maybe we will get lucky. I have seen some old re-treads already scooped up (Antoine Smith, A. Thomas). I think we should look into bringing Ontario Smith into camp (Insert Whiz lokes here). We were interested in him a couple of years ago and he has some talent. He should also come cheap. Maybe ask the Saints if they would let M. Bennett go for a low draft pick? He is not bad either and his speed can compliment Brown well (maybe KR duties as well?). The Saints can't possibly need all those running backs.

12:58 AM  
Anonymous JoeyD said...

What is finheaven?

1:07 AM  
Blogger hack said...

Finheaven is the Jets going 0-16. (Erm, or possibly a well-known Dolphins fan site.)
Anyway, I'm wondering about Riggs. The guy seemed quite impressive at Tennessee before he got hurt. Is he a guy who went undrafted because of injury concerns or someone who simply doesn't have as much upside as his time with the Vols would indicate?

7:18 AM  
Anonymous seamus said...

Is Travis Minor not considered a viable possibility to get carries this year? Is he even still on the roster?

12:02 PM  
Blogger The Dude said...

I like the Allan Iverson-like rant at the beginning of today's blog. Good stuff.

Ottawafan, I think Wiz-O-Nator is still suspended by the league. Last I heard, he lost his last appeal. I may be wrong but that's what I remember reading ... Bennett is a track star, not a RB. Not too crazy about him. Then again, the options are pretty thin, huh?

12:28 PM  
Anonymous Steve said...

All I have to say is "Samkon Gado". Also, after the June cuts there will be a few more decent options name and talent wise. And then the cuts right before the season will provide more guys, just will be a point of getting someone who can learn the system quickly. But if you get a guy who's played for Mularky before or within Linehan's system than it should be an accelerated process.
Basically don't worry about it.

3:43 PM  
Anonymous Steve said...

someone in an espn chat wrap asked todd mcshay what he thought about the fish signing gerald riggs. mcshay said the talents there and that riggs just needs to come down to earth and mature.

also, armando, are you gonna have a blog discussing how eddie moore was tradable somehow. Courtney Watson i think's a better fit for our team.

1:49 PM  
Blogger Armando Salguero said...

Steve, here's a quick take on Eddie Moore trade: He's been hurt every year he's been in the NFL -- that's three consecutive years and the injuries have taken their toll on his speed. So now he's no longer quick and he was never big and strong.

He probably wasn't going to make the team this summer as a special teams guy. The only guy sad to see him go is Jason Allen because the two Vols were tight.

The Saints got rid of Watson because he really didn't fit their scheme, they didn't like he got in trouble last year (drunk driving) and were worried about his recovery from a knee injury. Is Watson better suited for the 3-4? Probably.

But at the end of the day, I would characterize this as a trade that moves two players that needed a change of scenary to maybe become decent players. Big maybe, though.

3:12 PM  
Blogger Armando Salguero said...

Also, Onterrio Smith applied for reinstatement to the NFL and his application was denied. It was an NFL mandated one year MINIMUM suspension -- just like Ricky Williams. You have to do the right thing to get back in the league

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Steve said...

Thanks for the response Armando.

3:36 PM  
Blogger Ottawafan said...

Yeah, I just read about poor Whizzinator's being denied re-instatement. I hear he is going to sign with the CFL in Winnipeg. (Watch out for those bad field surfaces Armando likes to talk about) Here's offering anyone a chance to put money on the game betweem Winnipeg and a Ricky Williams-led-Toronto team. lol As funny as that may sound, if it happens my friends and I are going to be there. First one to 300 yards rushing wins? I hope to stay sober enough for the outcome.

Oh yeah, maybe look into Travis Henry? Probably doesn't have a lot left, but with Lendale White and Chris Brown, Henry probably wants out. He could possibly be a decent back-up. Unless anyone thinks we can convince Marc Logan out of retirement?

9:03 PM  
Blogger Armando Salguero said...

Mark Higgs? Bernie Parmalee? Terry Kirby? Irving Spikes (when he gets out of jail). Lo Hampton? Ron Davenport?

11:28 PM  
Blogger Armando Salguero said...

Seamus, Travis Minor is still on the team. But I don't think he's the guy you want as your backup because he had the chance to be the man in 2004 and struggled.

He's good for 50 carries a year out of a spread third-down formation. He's maybe even good for an occasional change of pace carries. But he has not proven he can be a 100-150 carries a year guy.

12:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is the acquisition of Harrington a done deal for all intents and purposes?

Is there a backup plan if it falls through? And please don't tell me it's Cleo Lemon.

Was Vick offered a contract?

12:53 AM  
Blogger Ottawafan said...

Armando, don't forget Troy Stradford, Bobby Humphrey, Tony Paige, Stanley Pritchett, Sammy Smith, JJ Johnson, Thurman Thomas, Autry Denson, John Avery, Abdul-Jabbar, Ronald Moore, Laurence Phillips and Jared McPhail. (I am sure I have forgotten more over the last 15 yrs. Notice how most of these guys are mediocre at best. Now wonder we welcomed Ricky back so quickly. lol Oops....almost forgot. Gotta love Lamar Smith for his big playoff game against the Dolts.

1:34 AM  
Blogger Ottawafan said...

Armando, could it be that Ricky is headed to the dreaded CFL after all? You must be having fits. I just read that the Dolphins are talking to the Saints about RB M.Bennett. You wouldn't be passing on my previously posted ideas and claiming them for your own, would you? I noticed at the end of the report it credited you with help. lol
So here is an idea: If Ricky ends
up comming to Toronto why don't you see if you can get the Herald to fly you down for the game? As long as you are careful not not slip and hurt yourself on our "crappy Canadian turf" I'll even agree to explain to you the different rules involved in the CFL. Armando, the night clubs in Toronto are awesome, you would have a great time. And yes the snow is gone. It's quite warm actually. lol

3:31 AM  
Blogger Armando Salguero said...

I've been to Canada before. Vancouver has got to be the cleanest town I've ever seen. Montreal is international chic and Windsor ... the ballet was extraordinary.

5:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've watched some video on Justin Holland. The arm looks more like Sage Rosenfels too me. Not as strong as AJ Feeley, where he drills a guy 5 yards away, and it's bouncing off receivers. Not as soft as Fiedler, where a throw to the sideline gets picked off, because it arcs and hangs.

5:58 PM  
Anonymous Derwin said...

FinHeaven sucks. There are many better fansites out there.

3:39 PM  
Anonymous StantheDolphinfan said...

Why do you say that Derwin ?

3:41 PM  
Anonymous Derwin said...

Just my opinion. I've never posted there, and never intend to. Too many idiotic threads.

3:46 PM  
Anonymous FinheavenIsAJoke said...

Finheaven was a great site now its run by alot of ego maniacs. Who ban anyone who has an opinion that is different from theirs. The site is over moderated and if they dont like you they have a "silent ban" they can make it so nobody can see your posts but you. So you get frustrated and leave on your own. Or they just bring out their "Ban Hammer", and outright ban you for no reason. They have a rediculous TOS that you must abide by but they can circumvent as often as they feel like. There are far greater sites with fewer posters which means that you wont see the "Move Zach Thomas to Safety" which are prevelant over there.

9:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had butt sex with muck. His ass was was loose.

2:00 AM  

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