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Friday, August 17, 2007

The kick returner is not returning kicks?

If you watched last night's game you saw Ted Ginn Jr. return punts. He is supposed to return punts this year.

You saw the first round draft pick get some time at receiver. The guy is a receiver.

But you did not see him returning kicks. I have no idea why.

The guy who was billed as the next Devin Hester was on the sideline during kickoffs against the Chiefs. The guy who is really fast was walking around when he could have been flying upfield. The guy who returned a kickoff for a touchdown against Florida in the national title game was as much a spectator during kickoffs as you and me.

And Ginn has no idea why.

Perhaps as an experiment of the preseason, perhaps as a foreshadowing of things to come, the Dolphins had Ronnie Brown and Jesse Chatman returning kicks while Ginn watched from the sideline.

"I'll do whatever the team needs me to do," Ginn told me after the game. "If that's returning punts or kicks, I'll do that. If it's playing receiver, I'll do that. If not, then I'll do that. Whatever the coaches want."

But why wouldn't the coaches want? We'll find out Saturday when coach Cam Cameron is next available to the press. In the meantime, one hopes this is simply a test-drive of Brown and Chatman and the team will eventually buy into the speedy, scary Ginn threatening in the dual role of punt and KICK returner.

We'll see.

Other thoughts from the game:

*The first team OL was better, but still not good enough. Adding vet Chris Liwienski gives the line some stability.

*Look for L.J. Shelton to either be a starter or possibly hit the road. He made coaches very unhappy by not being in shape early in camp. He improved greatly in the past week. If he continues to improve, he could be starting before long. If he doesn't, he could be outta here.

*The three QBs that will be on the team (sorry Gibran), had better outings Thursday than they did against Jacksonville. As Trent Green said, we took some steps.

*The defense continues to amaze, particularly when one considers Zach Thomas, Jason Taylor, Keith Traylor and Joey Porter haven't taken a snap in two games. That means youngsters are getting a chance to shine and gain experience. And they're doing exactly that.

Your thoughts?

29 Comments:

Anonymous Patrick said...

Lorenzo Booker??? Armando, what's up with this guy? Is Cameron hiding him or what?

The OL did a much better job this week and both Green and Brown looked much improved... Still a long way to go but I'm cautiously optimistic.

8:21 AM  
Anonymous Tom said...

When Ginn gets his chances, he needs to run straight up the gut and quit trying to get to the outside. He may have outrun college players doing that, but he won't do it with NFL players. But after last night, I bet his coaches told him the same thing. So we'll see what he does in the 3rd exhibition game.

8:43 AM  
Blogger lacesoutdan said...

Having Ronnie return kickoffs sounds like a good way to injure our best offensive player.

Some other thoughts:

Matt Roth looks like a nasty beast. Is it just me, or has he really jack up this past offseason. Dude looks strong.

David Martin SUCKS! He dropped an easy catch, and his olay block on the goal line is the reason they didn't score on the second drive. I miss Randy a lot.

8:49 AM  
Blogger David said...

Armando,

Is Ted Ginn really giving these preseason games everything he has?

Ginn's best return of the preseason was his first return. That was the only time that I saw that blinding speed we've been told about.

Last night, he didn't look quick and seemed completely unwilling to turn upfield.

Is that foot completely healed?

If it is, and he's NOT just taking it easy, I'm worried. Because he looked bad last night.

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lacesoutdan,
really, Ronnie as our best offensive player?
I would rate him as our 4 best at best. Until last night, has has shown very little to get excited about. Over his short career thus far, he is below average in my eyes.

About Roth, you are correct, he looks good to this point.
-------
Ginn is learning the ropes of the NFL and I don't expect that to change any time soon. He is very athletic and talented, but playing at this level will take a little time to adjust to. He'll be fine.
GO DOLPHINS!!!!!!GO DOLPHINS!!!!!!
-Shaun

9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What happened to all the talk of Ginn being the next Devin Hester? The guy hasn't shown me anything in 2 games,he is scared to run up the middle looks like another bust like Jason Allen!!

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't Booker having a kid and was excused?

To be honest, I was really impressed with last night. I expected them to be awful and they were really not that bad.

The defense is sick, the running game was actually working, and the QB play was ok. If the receivers can hold on to passes, we may be able to put together a somewhat decent season.

I still think Trent Green needs more than 2 or 3 series, and should of played well into the second quarter.

11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was no reason to have Brown returning a kick in the preseason. Men running at full spead trying to hit as hard as they can, can really cause a major injury.

Ginn was not a proven receive in college. He is a great kick/punt returner and will develop as his understanding grows. Still not sure how we used a 1st round pick on him.

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Alpha said...

While the not-so special teams may not have done a lot to help Ginn out, I thought this top 10 pick was supposed to be special and immediately make an impact on ST. Now we're risking our starting tailback on kickoffs to make things easier for him? All that dancing around and running backwards may work against guys who'll never play on Sunday...but it nets about 1 yard a return against NFL opposition. I'm missing Welker already.

I know everyone wants to believe Ginn is the YouTube highlight reel monster we've been told to expect (and we should expect that - we blew a top 10 pick on him)...but so far he's been worse than bad. Not only is he not cutting it at WR - which was sort of expected - but he's also having to be carried by #23 on kick returns. If our best offensive player goes down for the season with an injury returning kicks, I'll be incensed.

Ginn's lack of results as a returner are very concerning. He seems to be getting a pass since people want him to be like the guy on YouTube. Unfortunately that seems to be the ONLY PASS he's getting.

Looks like we got a Sloe Ginn Fizz.

12:10 PM  
Anonymous dx dolphan said...

- Ted Ginn needs to understand that this "east to west running" isn't going to fly at this level. He needs to start becoming a more "north to south" type of returner. The more effective he becomes at being a "north to south" returner, his "east and west" abilities will have a greater opportunity of taking over. Ginn is still a rookie, so he has plenty of time to fix his mistakes.

- Ronnie Brown as a KR makes no sense. Jesse Chatman, maybe.

- The offensive line looked much better last night. KC's defense isn't exactly known as a "feared defense" and inserting Liwienski did make a difference. I agree with Armando, when he says Mormino will be a stud, but he needs some more work. He'll be a starter by next year.

- L.J. Shelton needs to understand that Nick Saban isn't here anymore. New coach, new rules, new standards. If he's serious about being a starter he'll get his fat ass back in shape and out of Coach Cameron's doghouse. Shelton can play in this league, his work ethic has always been questionable, though.

- Trent looked a lot better last night. Cleo, well... He was Cleo. John Beck continues to show Dolphins fans that he IS the future of the Miami Dolphins. He had his rookie moments last night, but that's why he's not going to play this year. He still has a lot learn, but the future looks bright.

- The defense is simply SICK!!! Remember, this is a defense without: Thomas, Taylor, Traylor, and Porter! Chad Pennington has to be crapping in his pants right now, out of pure fear of what's coming for him this season!

Oh, and the Dolphins won last night. It may be preseason, but you gotta love it when the team wins. If you're not down with that, I'VE GOT TWO WORDS FOR YA..... GO FINS!!!!

12:25 PM  
Anonymous Patrick #2 said...

all this talk about ginn becoming the next hester is crazy.....how many returns did hester have thru his first 2 PRESEASON games???? i'll give you a hint, it's a number less than 1...do you guys really think the coaching staff is dumb enough to come out firing in the pre-season??? you'd draw attention to yourselves.....what do you think preseason is for? to watch a team put up 40pts.and let everyone else catch on to what there doing??? No!!! it's purely to evaluate talent, they don't even have a "game plan" in the pre-season. chill out for christ sakes. ginn will be fine so will booker. (anyone noticing what Quinn is doing)

1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand not showing everything in preseason and that ginn needs more work on Punt returns then he does on kick returns, but putting our #1 tailback out there instead is pure insanity on the part of the coaches...and watching ginn do the two step instead of cutting it upfield made me miss Wes Welker..maybe welker had trouble breaking the big one but he never cost us yards by dancing around...everyone keeps saying the D looks sick!!! but i would like to amend that...our front 7 look sick and our back four look sickly!! i cant remember one time last night or last week when our DB's made a decent play on the ball..they seem to be always behind the guy catching the ball...so that D-Line is gonna have to look sick on every play to make up for it...on offense i still saw too many of the opposing shirts on our side of the line of scrimmage on almost every play, but Ronnie looked like he was finally running hard no matter what...and did anyone else see Alabi get blown away by somebody in the 3rd quarter...he looked like he didnt have a clue

2:09 PM  
Blogger JaxDolphin said...

All this controversy about whether Beck was down or not, yet not one word from anybody about the head shot that Michael Bragg of the Chefs took on Beck??? I was afraid Beck got his neck broke for a second, but no mention of that.
Of course the O line looked better this game; they weren't playing the jagwads D. The Jag's D is light years better than the Chefs. KC looked like a bunch of wusses in comparison. Liwienski seems to make a big difference. Y'all see the play where he lost his lid? Tough boy.
I know y'all saw my boy Courtney Anderson use his size and skill to snag that 25 yarder one handed? Yeah, that set up the game-winner. Patrick Cobbs is trying to be a Dolphin with all he's worth. He's got two TDs already. Both were crucial.
The D is truly going to be fearsome! They're doing this without four top starters. Jim Maxwell was impressive but how 'bout Akbar Gbaja Biamila with those two sacks? Plenty to love from this game, Ronnie trying harder, Trent doing better, just about the only thing I got wrong was Teddy Jr. not busting one... oh well. Mauia needs to get more game reps. Lemon will do ok as the back-up. I'm sure he gets a few starts, for a hurt Trent. The Secondary still worries me, but Lehan does appear to be coming on.

3:08 PM  
Anonymous dx dolphan said...

I'm actually surprised that Lehan is making plays. Last season, you would've never thought of Michael Lehan as DB that "makes plays." However, he's done well.

3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the OL now looks like it won't be horrible. just will look horrible against good DLs for now.

remember good play calling and scheme will help any OL be better than the sum of its parts. The Patriots OL is a good example of that. No studs but its no weakness either.

4:19 PM  
Anonymous ceed said...

everybody just keeps saying the exact same thing. if you agree with everybody then just say you agree or nothing instead of these long winded answers that are identical to the previous one. oh and by the way it's still preseason give the guy a chance just like you said about the oline having a chance let's wait and see a little longer before we call him a bust. also i really like the way beck plays and am excited about him as our qb of the future and am not a huge ginn fan but am so glad we took him instead of brady quinn.

4:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where are you Brady Quinn ...

5:08 PM  
Blogger JaxDolphin said...

Well darn ceed how would you like us to post? Maybe you can spell out exactly how you want your board to look, and tell us what to think and what to say on your board. All this time I thought it was Armando's blog.

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only rational thinking I have why Ronnie Brown returned kicks! The Coaches hate him! The sooner they get Ronnie injured, the sooner they can cut him? This has me worried! Not a sign of a good coach!

3:03 AM  
Anonymous Patrick said...

One thing I find strange about the decision to use Brown as KR is that the kick off return man usually gets more room to maneuver. The punt return guy usually works in the crunch. Why I'm bringing this up is because you have this speed demon in Ginn, why not let the guy get into space a little bit and I think that would happen more on kickoffs then on punts.

It seems like Cameron is calling out Ronnie Brown, "perform or you'll be returning kicks for a living boy!" That said, I can't see Brown back there in the regular season with Ginn sitting, it doesn't make sense. I'll go out on a limb and predict Ginn will be the KR when the real games start.

Segway, Remember the catch? Montana to Clark... Story has it Joe was trying to throw it away and Clark went up and came down with it anyway. Joe had a knack for winning football games. Where am I going with this? The fumble... Beck drops the ball and Chatman scoops it up on a perfect bounce and races for a 1st down. Beck proceeds to drive the Dolphins to the winning TD and 2 point conversion.

Week two Beck proceeds to drive the team to the winning TD and 2 point conversion. You don't teach guys how to have the knack for winning, it's just there. Culpepper (sorry to revive that name) had all these skills but was not a winner. Jay Fiedler for all his lack of talent had a knack for winning games. His winning percentage in the NFL is far better than Culpepper's but you would never use the two in the same sentence on the talent scale.

My point is, Beck has the knack and it's showing up early, but, unlike Fiedler, Beck is also a very talented QB. I don't want to see the guy sit any longer than it takes for him to learn the offense. With this in mind I think Beck will turn out to be a better NFL QB than Brady Quinn.

So I'm okay with Beck, but the Ginn pick is still very questionable in my mind... If the guy can't even return kickoffs I would say we're leading down the path to the word "BUST!"

7:47 AM  
Anonymous Tampa Tony H said...

I am prepared to believe that Cameron is either a genious or a crazy man.
What I really think is that he is very tactical and cagey by keeping people guessing he asserts control and demands their attention. If you keep doing what you've always done, you'll keep getting what you've always gotten; which in the Dolphin's case is pathetic losing efforts. Maybe Ronnie Brown needed a little humbling because he's been read how great and important he is. Maybe Cameron is not so impressed with Ronnie baby.
We'll see pretty soon, won't we?

9:35 AM  
Anonymous Taylor Eats Brady said...

Strange to see Brown return kicks, but hey, I say use whomever you need to use to get the best field position. I've never bought into the idea of protecting your good players by not playing them on special teams. The only reason it increases the risk of injury is that it puts the player on the field for a higher number of plays. Special teams needn't be all back-ups and specialists- Every special teams play is a scoring play or a change of possession play- use the best you've got!

In any case, I think we are seeing a message from Cam to both Ginn and Brown with this move. He's telling Brown that we need him to go above and beyond to help us win, and he's telling Ginn that he better go north-south, or the job WILL go to somebody else. I bet we see a humbled, motivated Ginn take the job back by September.

12:33 PM  
Anonymous finndolphan said...

the reality of the ginn situation is that he was drafted WAY too high!he likely would have gone 15-25 had the fins not drafted him and HIS FAMILY as cameron clearly stated!he was drafted because of the personal ties between his family and cameron,period!all the scouting reports said he was very fast but would take some time to become an nfl receiver,what i'm worried about is how that 178 pound body will hold up returning punts in the nfl,my prediction is he will end on the ir list before the end of the year!

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Jack Meoff said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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3:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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3:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Armando, reading some of the discussing posts that precede me, I think you should get your herald computer guy to trace the idiots on here and put up a firewall against them.

Either that or ruin their credit with a couple of clicks of the computer.

8:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only reason I can think for Ginn not returning kicks would be that Cameron doesn't want the league to catch on to him. Think about it for a second. What good would it do if Ginn were to return a few kickoffs for touchdowns in meaningless preseason games? All it would do is cause teams to kick away from him even more often during the regular season.

One of the reasons for Devin Hester's immediate success last year was because the NFL wasn't prepared for him. With Ginn's college resume, and his draft position, you can be sure that special teams coaches are well aware of his presecense on the field. My guess would be that Cam is simply hiding him.

If I am wrong, then I can honestly say that I have no clue what Cameron is trying to attempt with this. And Ronnie has no business returning kicks whatsoever. No sense in putting our most valuable offensive player in harms way for no reason.

12:07 AM  
Anonymous Johnny Jets Hater said...

First and Foremost...all you idiots who are saying that "Cameron wants to keep him (Ginn) a secret" get a life. Ginn was picked 9th overall and everybody saw his work at OSU. He is not a secret returner weapon, he is well showcased. He has to bulk up and get stronger. Breaking the wedge is one of the most dangerous jobs in the NFL. I would like to see chatman or booker in that role. I don't think Ronnie Brown is the guy, for the reasons already stated (health and #1 offensive weapon). Ginn was drafted to be a difference maker and big play guy. Whatever role that would be, we need to be patient. After all the hype of our first round pick, and the amount of "spinning" Cameron has given us on Ginn and his family, lets be patient. I am sure Cameron knows he has a ton riding on this draft pick. Ginn is going to have every opportunity to shine and make plays. This is the reality...we have been crappy for so long, why not be patient for 2-3 more weeks. Everyone take the rope off the shower curtain rod and calm down. Besides, has anyone seen how the Jets and Bills have been playing in this preseason. We at least have a top 5 defense.

12:40 PM  

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