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Monday, October 09, 2006

The latest on the QB situation

Nick Saban just spoke and basically confirmed my report about his exchange with Daunte Culpepper in practice last Friday.

More importantly, he said Joey Harrington will be the starter against the Jets Sunday and that Culpepper will be placed on a program to improve his, "explosion."

Until that explosion returns, until Culpepper has free lateral movement to get out of the pocket, or at least move in the pocket, Harrington will likely be the starter.

Good news? Only time will tell.

So you guys think the Dolphins have upgraded at QB now?

Oh, back to that heated exchange Culpepper and Saban had in practice Friday. This is what Saban said about that report in The Herald today.

"First of all, let me say this: I confront players on the field all the time," he said. "There’s not a player that’s been here that’s been disrespectful to me. Daunte was never disrespectful to me.

"If I confronted him on the field I think that’s family business. I really do. And I don’t think that’s anybody else’s business. I think that’s what coaches and players do. I have done that to other players so it’s not an issue. And this is not an issue. It’s not an issue to me. It’s not an issue for him. We talked about it. It’s not an issue."


Blogger Joseph said...

Harrington looked decent most of the day yesterday and I think he will give the Dolphins a decent shot to win on a weekly basis. Hopefully he cuts down on turnovers and continues to not take sacks. The main problems for this team still exist, the OL and weak defensive secondary, but at least there is a QB behind center that has the tools to win. Culpepper simply was not able to move well enough to be effective. I still see a long season ahead for Dolfans. I look forward to ESPN devoting at least half of their programing Thanksgiving week to Joey returning to dreaded Ford Field, just like they did for TO.

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe was WAY better than Pepper has been yesterday. Against a much tougher team than Pepper faced (except Pittsburgh). I don't think it takes a genius to figure out that Saban has benched Pepper for poor play. He should. I think he really Likes Pepper, but he can't just let him single handidly ruin the offense. Now, with that said, Joe has a much weaker defense to work against this week. We need to see TD's this week to know if we are in better hands or not. My guess is that we will. Maybe Joe isn't a terrible QB after all? Maybe NO ONE playing for Matt Millen's Lion's team could have succeeded? He is definitely worth a shot, but if he sucks too, then regardless of what we paid for these two guys we HAVE to draft a QB and at least one Offensive Lineman (hopefully OLT) on DAY ONE next April! I also think Joe Toledo starts at RT soon and becomes a solid one. From Center out that is a solid right side of the line.

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is way off the subject here, but if anyone including Almando is reading this I would like to know some opinions of the likely hood of this happening:

NFL trading deadline coming up soon. I know teams NEVER make trades, especially during the season, but with our season in the tank at this point wouldn't it make sense to try to deal some of our DT rotation to contenders like Indy or Cincinnati? Do you know if there would be any interest? I would think this is the exact reason Saban kept all of these guys. Traylor, Wilkinson, Vickerson and Zgonia would each provide either of those teams with some of what will prevent them from having a chance to go to the SB. Run stuffing. Hate to say this but what about Zach too? What could the Dolphins get for a package of some of these guys? Could Indy and Cincy bid against each other for them? Why don't trades like this ever happen in the NFL?

3:12 PM  
Blogger JimDolphan said...

I've never been a Culpepper fan even from his days with the Vikings. It just seems like he's overrated based on a couple of good years he had throwing to Randy Moss. After the boat incident and the way he whined homself out of Minnesota, I would have paid him NOT to join the Dolphins.

That being said, I don't think Daunte or Joey is a franchise-type quarterback. I think the Dolhpins' should look to the draft for their quarterback of the future.

3:23 PM  
Blogger Joseph said...

About the trading thing, most of the time you do not see blockbuster deals because of salary cap considerations. For example, trading Zach would probably kill the Dolphins because all of his prorated bonus would hit the cap next year (I have no idea what the actual impact would be but it is just an example). I do think you make a good point concerning trading some of the vets on the DL. We have a few younger players in Evans and Roth so maybe we can see what they have.

4:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somebody needs to also blame Saban. Does he have any idea how to toss out the red flag for a challenge? I mean Chambers had a thrid down catch what was ruled incomplete, and on replay it was pretty clear it was a completion. So frustrating is it when Saban again decides not to throw the red flag basically crushing a chance on third down conversion with momentum on our side. The guy is an idiot.

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Ken in San Diego said...

Joey isn't hurt; Daunte is. So why didn't we start the season with Joey starting? He was decisive with most his throws, had zip on the ball and knew where he wanted to throw. The team seemed to respond well to him, and played decent against one of the great teams in the league.

Since the truth appears that Daunte's recovery has been so much slower than everybody has admitted, it is the right move to craft a program to work on his weaknesses. Otherwise, he would be killed by his immobility.

I have always felt Joey never had a chance to succeed in Detroit _ one of the worst-run teams in the NFL _ and that he has the skills to be a good NFL QB. It will actually be interesting to watch how he handles the adversity of running a team that has some talent but is clearly in a transitional stage. I think he will pleasantly surprise some people.

5:07 PM  
Anonymous Papo from calle ocho, Miami said...

I no sabe meng. Is it true Joey has only won 4 games on the road in his pro career? This team is a mess and we might have to face the fact that this isn't our year. If the opponent knows the Dolphins can't score and pass to score, all they have to do is shut down Ronnie. I officially called out the receivers a long time ago. Nobody listened. When I called boog, he just laughed at me and then said I'm not smart enough to listen to his show. Same with Dan. What constitutes an upgrade? From what I perceive from what I have read and heard, Daunte is bellicose? At 1&4 how and what can they do to make improvements? I dunno ... What is so great about Chambers and McMichaels? I dunno ...

6:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've liked Culpepper from college. I've always been a Purdue fan, so I got to see him and Brees play once. Now that I've seen Brees play, I'm still not convinced that we should have gone that way. Oh, well. I still think Culpepper needs a little more time to get the legs back. Joey's doing fine. I hope he can get the offense moving a little better.

12:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Saban has done everything right. No one could have predicted Culpepper would have such a hard time adjusting (unless he looked that bad in practice as he did in games, which if he did I would at least assume Saban wouldn't start him). It's just a shame it took so long to realize he's not ready. Joey's last two years in detroit has had QB ratings that were both better than Gus Frerotte last year and we went the only concern is will it be too late to make it to the playoffs or have a winning season at least before Joey gets use to starting. After the explosiveness Joey brought to the field yesterday I'd say yes. I'll take a few interceptions with a QB who will take risks and throw deep and quick than a QB who avoids the interceptions by throwing 3 yard passes and if he wants to throw more than 5 yards, takes 5 seconds and gets sacked.

12:06 AM  
Anonymous John Spisiak said...

I have faith in Nick Saban, Daunte Culpepper, and Joey Harrington. The bottom line is Daunte looked decent through training camp and the preseason. It was too good to be true because he was never 100% not even 85%. Once the full speed of a whole game hit in Sept. and the o-line didn't block the best Culpepper got exposed for being immobile and he lost confidence quickly. The only two games this season that he looked somewhat okay in was the Steelers game until he was sacked a bunch and the Texans game where he started to run around. Saban gave the guy a chance at the beginning of the season out of respect and the intangibles that Daunte has favored. He is a leader and his teammates have said that. He just isn't clearly ready to play. When he is healthy again he will play fine. He is going to do good things in Miami and he does NOT need Randy Moss to do it. On the other hand, Joey Harrington (who clearly is better than his years in Detroit showed) is a decent quarterback that is frothing at the mouth for a chance to prove himself again. Look how he carried himself against the almighty Patriots. He led that team and gave them a chance. Yes, he was rusty and had a couple of turnovers.. but the guy hadn't been the first stringer yet this season and was told he'd start the day before the game. Overall, it was a performance to build on and it was the first time this season that I thought the Dolphins played with passion on both sides of the ball. I think this slow start will turn around somewhat and the team will get 6-8 wins to build for next year. The defense is 5th in the NFL and the offense will be better when they learn to run block.

P.s. How come Zach gets stuffed on every blitz he has? I feel bad for the guy. He busts his butt and makes plays but never gets through to the quarterback...

12:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Against frequent blitzes by the patriot's in the first half, Harrington's play was exceptional. If not for the Peele holding call the Dolphins would likely have scored a second TD. What I heard no one mention is that Chamber's stumble at the ten yard line on a post pattern (presumably due to the horrendous field conditions which the Patriot's almost certainly maintain for the advantage it gives them) prevented another pass from hitting him in stride at the goal line which would have represented three TD's in the first half.

In the second half, the Patriots mostly rushed four, the Dolphins couldn't run the ball effectively, and the passing game stalled.

My point is that Harrington and the passing game will be effective if the Phins can generate a running game that requires the defense to respect it. Until then even the second coming of Joe Montana would look like a bust.

1:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To anonymous 4:56 p.m.:

I don't know what game you were watching but Chambers was out-of-bounds on that catch and Saban throwing the flag would have been useless. He finally did something right, give him some credit.

5:20 AM  
Anonymous BillCale said...

I thought it was easy to see Sunday vs the Pats that Joey stabilized the quarterback position and therefore much of the offensive woes. The O-line played as usual but his decision-making and quick release made the entire offense less dysfunctional. I thought Ronnie Brown ran better too, although until the Dolphins quit using him as a power back, they will not get much production from him. He is still running like a kid on the playground instead of an NFL running back.

Look for an improved offensive performance Sunday vs the Jets - even with the injuries coming out of the Pats game. Look for the Harrington-Welker and Harrington-McMichael connections start to sustain drives, also.

I feel good about the Dolphins chances vs New York. Miami by 3.

7:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations Nick Saban for realizing Culpepper is a no talent a-- clown. Always has been.

9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

- Bottom line was that Culpepper was not fully healed. This injury was insane for a 'mobile' QB and to think he would just come in and coast is just plain retarded.

- If you thought we were going to the Superbowl this year, you are a moron.

- The O-Line played much better Sunday, but at the end of the day, they are ALL bums. Besides QB, that was our most pressing need and what did the management do? Get castoffs and bums from other teams, and not even try to get a big name in there. That is as much of a problem as the QB situation.

- Here is the truth, fans listened to the goofy ESPN guys, reporters like Armando, Sports Illustrated, Hank Goldberg, and every other fool that ignored the obvious and thought that just cause they rattled of a bunch of wins in a row, they would go on to the Superbowl.

Other than a QB that was coming off a devestating knee injury, losing Ricky Williams who regardless what you think was going to have a very strong year, and doing nothing to fix a terrible offensive line, can someone please point out why any of this is a surprise?


9:26 AM  
Anonymous Marco Vargas said...

Why do the Phins put away the running game? I know that the O-Line sucks. What about the 2nd overall pick Ronnie Brown?. Hudson Houck's fault? Mularkey's fault?
The INTs that Joey threw were as predictable as the monotony of the quick-short-flat passing game.

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Pete said...

I've said it since the Buffalo game......Daunte just isn't 100% healthy physically to do what he's "always" been able to do. So escapeability is nearly out the window, and when Daunte can't break out of the pocket and get big yards...the opposing D only has to worry about coverage. Sure, Joey isn't going to outrun anyone, but he's certainly mobile and can move out of the pocket as necessary. Sure, he threw 2 picks, but the offense moved much more consistently on each drive than it had in the previous 4 games. We just need Mularkey to call some deep plays AND ACTUALLY THROW IT DEEP just to get the defenses thinking about it. I don't care.......overthrow the WR, but make the throw! Take some shots...what MORE is there to lose?

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"DC not healed"? Really? Maybe so but if nothing else it gives everyone a way to save face. Especially when the issues that rose during the first games were the same issues that were there when he played healthy. He had some great running stats for a QB...because he was always too slow to read defenses, held the ball too long, and he had to run. Sacks, int's and flumbles were always there. The numbers are out there for all to see. For those of us that did see it, for the most part, it was ugly.

12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep drinking the orange punch folks.

Maybe some of you should have a look at how many times Crap-pepper was sacked last year as a viking BEFORE his injury. 56 sacks now in the past two incomplete seasons. Signing Culpepper was a HUGE mistake and letting him play with less mobility than Marino was an even bigger mistake. As far as the protection goes in Miami, this has been a problem since the start of '04. What has the Nictator done to fix it ??? Sign Bennie Anderson ??? L J Shelton ??? What a joke.

2:37 PM  
Anonymous finndolpfan said...

i just can't see either of these guys as the long-term solution at qb! i would really like to see cleo lemon get some meaningfull snaps before the years over! the rest of this year,like it or not,should be used for evaluating the limited amount of young talent that is here!that way maybe we don't waste a bunch of draft picks on the wrong positions!

2:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or does anyone else have serious questions regarding Saban's ability as a personnel man. Let's breakdown some of the poor decisions he has made in 2 years:

1. Drafted Ronnie Brown (good running back with limited upside) over Cadillac Williams (much more explosive player)
2. Giving away a 2nd round draft pick and signing Culpepper (a player who despite his ability has never known to be a 'smart' quarterback) instead of Drew Brees. Even though Brees does not have the arm of Culpepper, he reads defenses better and does not make dumb mistakes.
3. Going into last off season, Saban knew we had a terrible offensive line, yet we draft a SAFTEY in the first round!?!??!?! HUH!??!?! We did not even address the line till late in the draft because Saban's philosophy not to draft linemen high. Where is the logic or proof that this works??? Look at the teams that never had rebuilding years: Eagles, Steelers, Patriots. They ALWAYS draft offensive linemen high in the draft. That is why they never have down years. Plus, if we had taken Brees, we would have that number 2 draft pick to address the line as well.
4. This years draft overall: What a lousy draft we had. We pick a safety (HUH!?!??!) over more pressing needs (Offensive line, cornerback) who cannot even crack the lineup of a lousy secondary. Then we take a wide receiver in the 3rd round (again not addressing our 2 biggest needs.
5. Mularky. Mularky sucked and got run out of Buffalo, yet we turn over the offense to him. That makes sense.
6. Last years draft. Outside of Channing Crowder (who has been just OK at best) and Travis Daniels (sorry Saban, he is NOT a starting caliber CB in the NFL) who else has contributed???? Does Matt Roth even have 1 tackle this year??
7. Free Agency: LJ Shelton, Will 'I can't cover someone unless I tackle them' Allen, Traverias 'You never heard of me' Tillman (by the way, who the hell are Eddie Jackson and Michael Lehan) and all the other retreads we bring in (ok, I will give you Traylor as a nice pickup, gee we got 1 right). There is a reason we got these losers so cheap. NO ONE ELSE WANTED THEM!
For as a good of a coach Saban is supposed to be, he is a lousy personnel man.

4:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was hopeful at the start of training camp that we would have a successful year and make the playoffs. However I was also aware that Ricky Williams is a transplanted Canadian this year.

Ronnie Brown is not Cadillac Williams, he is not going to be a game breaker and until he gains a few more pounds he is still a few tires short of a "BUS". Ricky Williams is a legitimate game breaker and that is sorely missing in this iteration of the Phins.

So with a one dimensional running game and a one half dimensional QB we were bound for mediocrity. I say play for the 1st round pick and take the best OLman in the country with that pick.

And let Cleo Lemon play, that guy IS a play maker. True there aren't too many people for him to make plays on this offense with, still if anyone can lead this team out of the cellar it's Cleo.

8:25 PM  
Blogger Armando Salguero said...

Two things:

1. Papo, you should call my show on Newstalk 1360. Would like to hear what you have to say.

2. Anyone reading this blog for any period of time knows I picked the Dolphins 10-6. A bunch of you ripped me, saying adding Culpepper and addressing the secondary would improve the record by much more than one game. Anyway, it's a longshot they do even that now, but I definitely didn't pick them to go to the Super Bowl. So get your facts correct.

8:49 PM  
Anonymous IMAWriter said...

To "Anonymous" who asked "am I the only one"...NO...I have been posting on Fins Foruym for months regarding Saban's inabilty to asses talent, whether it be players or coaches....and if I'm not mistaken, he also hired his bud, ex Michigan State coach Bobby of the worst coaches in Big Ten history. (or was that Coker who hired
A safety(Jason Allen) who can't start on OUR pass defense package...ugh
And from now on, Mr. Saban requests he be addresed as "His arrogance, Sir Nick-nack paddy whack leave my team alone."

9:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a Vikings fan let me just say....thanks for giving DC a place to play other than MN. I began reading the Miami Herald online once the trade occured to see the reaction of local Dolphins fans to the DC trade. I read one article that basically said "great numbers, you'll get a honeymoon period, but win a title for us!" I hope the fans in Miami are patient! People in MN were mixed about the trade. I personally never felt that DC had the intelligence and poise to mentally win a game. Some MN personalities wanted to blame Tice for Dante's failure. Yet Brad Johnson can salvage the season for us. Personally, you have a flash-in-the-pan QB whose flash dimmed with a knee injury.

10:23 PM  
Anonymous True Fan From Oregon said...

I have been a phins faithfull since I was 5 yrs old, 1977 in case you were woundering. I've seen disappointing year after disappointing year. they have only won 1 superbowl in my life time. that was the year I was born. Did get to see them go to 2 big games but we all know the results dont we. Anyways I know the phins very well, keep updated daily. Watch all the film I can and every game on D-TV. I live in Oregon and I am very aware of Joeys abililty having seen him him every game in college. I made this prediction before the season. Joey will be Miami QB of the future we just didnt know it yet. We saw a glimps Sunday of whats to come. Did anyone notice his release? Remind you of anyone? It was quick Hu? He has a swagger about him as well. By the time this season is over Saban will be looking for another trade but this time it will be to ship DC out. And as for the poss 5th round pick it will be a steal by the time Joey is done in this League. One last thing to all you Phins bashers weather it's on Saban, Pepp, the O-line, Secondary, or whatever: two words SHUT UP. Go jump on the Jags BandWagon or go North and rout for those Pats I dont care which. If your not supporting them then your not a fan and SHUT UP. It was fans like you that got Shula pushed out in the first place, and hows that treating us????? Go find another team.

12:36 AM  
Anonymous Brian said...

We're comparing Brown to Cadillac Williams? Show me in the numbers exactly what Caddie has done. Less yards, less receptions for less yards, and less touchdowns. I could see if Caddie was leading the league in rushing (he's 200+ plus yards away from that), but he'd be just as bad here as Brown is if not worse. I'd listen to Braylon Edwards talk. Outside of that the only people productive in that first round are Demarcus Ware and Shawn Merriman, at 11 and 12 respectively, and lets not knock Saban for making the same mistake as 8 teams. The only mistake the Dolphins made in drafting Brown was not trading down for anything they would have given us. I would have been happy with a 2nd round pick to move down as far as 19 and taken Alex Barron. It was a bad top of the draft.

11:48 AM  
Blogger seamus said...

Anyone who again accuses Culpepper as some kind of INT/sack machine whose only purpose was heaving balls to Randy Moss needs to study history. Think back... way back... to 2004.

In 2004, Culpepper had a Marino-esqe season. He completed 69% of his passes for 4,717, 39 TDs and only 11 INTs. It was an astonishing season. Randy Moss was fully healthy for six games that season, and finished with 767 receiving yards.

Culpepper has never been reliant on Moss. He was a terrific QB for Minnesota, and he may be great again when his leg heals. But let's put this Moss legend to rest.

3:37 PM  
Blogger Brigadier Pudding said...

The better question is why Nicky waited until we were 1-3 to finally make the switch when it was obvious to anyone with more than 7 brain cells that he had as much lateral movement as a dead man.

I'd tell you to ask Nicky this, Armando, but I don't want him to go off and threaten to choke you.

Side question, Armando (if you please): Have you ever had to deal with a bigger egomaniacal jerk than Nicky?

8:02 PM  
Anonymous Randy said...

Seamus, I've enjoyed reading your comments b/c you seem to be level-headed. However, one year doesn't make a QB. Daunte's big year was just big year. I've lived in Minnesota for the past 15 years and been forced to watch the Vikings b/c no other game is on TV. Daunte is not an accomplished QB. His capacity for making the right reads and adjusting to the defense are average at best, and his ball management skills are below average. His mobility and ability to throw the deep ball have always been his strong points. Now, he has no mobility and his lower body issues don't allow him to throw the deep ball. You could see from game one that his throwing motion was affected by his poor leg health. That's why he threw so many short passes. His last year in Minnesota he was horrible and it was b/c he couldn't keep his composure due to a very porous OL. The same thing happened here, and it was even worse b/c he no longer had any mobility to escape. Daunte will never be a pocket-passer, and if his mobility doesn't return he'll never be a starting QB in this league. Plus, he can be selfish and churlish at times, which was evident by the way he handled his benching. Anyway, just wanted to give you the perspective of someone who's watched almost all of daunte's games.

2:27 PM  

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