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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.


Anonymous UCF finfan said...

good post mando. thisw team has no room for those who just want to collect a pay check.

11:04 AM  
Anonymous Ram said...

I hope the big islander reads this blog...Make the hometown proud! Make your momma proud! Hell, make some money son!!!

11:30 AM  
Anonymous MartinK said...

Thanks for the post 'Mando. Will you be giving us a breakdown of the 'fins roster w/ players at each position & give us a feel for where the most competition will be, how many players at each spot typically make the final roster, etc?

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Cam Cameron said...

I suspect he must have shown some work ethic and desire during the voluntary workouts, or he might already have been shown the door. His size will only get him so far, even with this size-friendly regime.

11:34 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

"Big and lazy" are terms that would apply to many players last season. It was one of the worst conditioned Dolphin teams I have ever seen.

Now we know why Don Shula loved the 12 minute run. They should bring it back!

11:37 AM  
Blogger Marquez said...

Another example of the sham that was Cam Cameron. How does a head coach, GM and their scouts not see this coming? The only answer has to be arrogance. Cam the meglomaniac figured his own stature as an amazing football mind would be enough to get this player what he needed in order to make it in the NFL.

It is likely that if there was any get-up-an-go in Soliai, it was squelched by the Sham. If he can't get motivate to play for proven winners like Sparano, Pasqualoni, Henning and Parcells, the guy should get out of football. Hopefully he gets it-
6'-4" and 344lbs at NT, are you kiddin' me?!! Coach 'em up!

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Paul Soliai said...

I'd like my Big Mac with extra cheese, please.

12:03 PM  
Anonymous C. Ken Liddle said...

Why did Parcells & Co. stick w/ Soliai when they had the "Bulldozer," Steve Fifita, in camp? The loss of Fifita to the Pats will haunt this franchise for years to come.

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Steve Fifita said...

I'm better than Paul Soliai. I'm also going to win some games this year and Soliai isn't.

12:16 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Yeah he is going to haunt us. Dude, Steve Fifita was cut because he wasn't good enough to be a backup on our team. SO now he is going to haunt us? Geez

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I´d rather be dancing, like JT. Just give me my money and let me lose like Cam did. At least I contributed to getting the forst overall pick. Wannstedt would have picked me in the second round, if he had not used it on AJ Feeley.

Paul Solai

1:50 PM  
Anonymous Patrick said...

Drafting is such a crap shoot. Predicting what will happen when a poor kid from Samoa comes into more money than he ever dreamed of is like picking the lotto.

There may be hope for him because it's obvious the whole team lost motivation as the season wore on. The thing that seemed apparent about Cameron as a leader was his inability to get angry. People all have different motivational buttons and the art of leadership is to find those buttons and push them. Paul Soliai needed to be kicked in the a$$ and I don't think Cameron had it in him to do it.

I'm looking forward to the 1st time Joey Porter tries to tell off Sparano in front of the team... Guess what, it ain't going to happen. Sparano will set some early examples and Soliai could be first out the door if he doesn't perform up to Sparano's standards.

1:54 PM  
Anonymous MartinK said...

I had Soliai in my OTA Fantasy league too... Oh well, maybe I trade him for Culpepper.

2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can a guy not want to play? That is screwed up. You make real good coin and if you give any effort at all you get cheered remembered and a great job.

How is he ever going to get on dancing with the stars?

Kevin in Halifax

2:46 PM  
Blogger Armando Salguero said...

Guys, just wanted to share with you that in April, this blog attracted 227,110 page views. That puts it on pace for 2,725,000 for the year.

I appreciate the support and loyalty. You are truly the stars of this increasingly popular site.

3:35 PM  
Blogger Armando Salguero's brother said...

Hi, bro. You're welcome! Anything for you! I really don't mind sitting here and hitting the refresh button all day in order to increase your page views. I really am happy to help you, bro.

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's Funny!

5:02 PM  
Anonymous Chronic Negative Poster said...

...and I helped! So there.

5:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Soliai had only 35 tackles his entire senior year at Utah. Why would Cam and Randy have expected anything else than 2-3 tackles per game from him?

5:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Armando, felicidades, la verdad es que haces un extraordinario trabajo. No comparto siempre tu punto de vista, pero tu trabajo es sumamente profesional.
Arturo (Queretaro, Mexico)

6:11 PM  
Anonymous edswood said...

It is simply amazing the amount of blog hits a 1-15 team generates. Yet people on this blog are constantly complaining that fin fans are fairweather and unloyal. I think the popularity of Armando's blog proves the opposite.
I am always amazed at the number of dolphin fans on PFT (which no football fan should live without). Anyways, heres to the fins having a better year and this blog keeping Armando employed so he can continue to bitch about Parcells being media unfriendly. While the rest of us only care that he is win friendly, and not failing fast forward or that the sun will come out tomorrow. BTW my money is on Solaia being cut

7:03 PM  
Anonymous phins fan in ne said...

Armando on your math....couldn't he have had all 3 tackles in one game? 1 tackle would be his avg over those 3 games.....but doesn't necessarily mean the most tackles he could have had.

9:04 PM  
Blogger doug collin said...

solari and matt roth could be endangered as both disappointments. solari one of the few hawaiians with no guts as compared to satele. matt roth can fight in bar but 90 lb weakling against nfl competition. parcells inc wont stand deadbeats.

9:13 PM  
Blogger Armando Salguero said...

Soliai's single-game high for tackles was 1. One.

10:29 PM  
Blogger doug collin said...

armando, one is a lonely number.

10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

does anyone have info on enrique wright?

11:03 PM  
Anonymous Bad Karma said...

Go to Wooster St in New Haven, CT for famous Sally's or Pepe's pizza. You might find Tuna, Sporano, and Donald Thomas there.

11:52 PM  
Anonymous Bad Karma said...

Man do I miss the days when the Fins DESTROYED EVERYONE in the Aug/Sep FL heat! Hey Soliai you fat slob, I have a 6ft 3 4oo pound cousin and he cant play football neither. I wish Shula was there to kick you in the nuts. I hope in a few more weeks you and the idiot FB will be back home wondering how you got kicked off the least talented team in the NFL.

12:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Soliai might have a better chance as a no-technique NT, but he'll need to shed that 'lazy' tag in a hurry around TS and the Tuna.

12:37 AM  
Anonymous The Juggernaut Biatch said...

Want some fries with that?

1:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Armando - an interesting tidbit for the gossip pages, but how about an update on how Solai is doing currently? What does the new coach think of his work ethic in the offseason program so far? Didn't you have a chance to ask questions during the recent mini-camp? Give us some current info, not last season's gossip.

And a side note on the page count post, just because you have a high hit count does not equate to good, professional journalism. You really need to step up your game in that department.

7:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Long time reader, first time poster. Keep up the good work Mando. The Herald is lucky to have you on their team.

8:25 AM  
Anonymous B-Man said...

Ban De Soleil for the St. Tropez tan. In French this means "Cut that fat sack of ****". H4ere is a you tube video that explains this:

9:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the only post i've ever made on this blog was to comment on how sorry soliai was last year. i repeat, he's the single worst interior player i've ever seen in the NFL. softer than wet toilet paper. i can't stand that any DL was cut ahead of him. to hear that he's lazy too...

9:35 AM  
Blogger KWG said...

Seems to me that the Dolphins' conditioning--and thus their early season edge--has gone downhill ever since they installed that climate controlled practice area. Not enough time sweating off the flab in the hot summer sun.

9:56 AM  
Anonymous stop stop screaming said...

Excellent information Armando. I appreciate learning the details of what is going on with the Dolphins.

10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the Bubble, I say don't use it unless there is lightning during practice. What made Miami have an edge, an INTANGIBLE, was the ability to withstand the Florida heat. Now, there is no advantage. Here's a thought. You want to play in the Bubble? OK, turn the temperature up to 120 degrees and go play inside.

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Bill Parcells said...

Speaking of bubbles, I was once on a date and, after a festive bean laden (no, not Bin Laden) dinner at Casa Bonita with my 'lady', I felt some intestinal disturbance.

Being the consummate gentleman, I tried to run a play from the Giants that we used to call the "left cheek sneak" whereby I lean to one side and sneak a silent one all the while the lady is none the wiser and everyone is happy if you know what I mean (and I think you do).

What followed was an exercize in sheer terror. I experienced what is known in coaching parlance as a 'fudge bubble". Despite being a master of sphincter control at many a press conferece (I recalled in 87 after the NFC championship game, when I really had to go to the point that I was 'poking daylight' or as my defensive coordinator Bill Belichik used to call it 'prarie dogging', but this was not a 'pressing' issue when I attempted what I hoped would be an innocuous outgassing.

Well the evenings magic was almost ruined when I came up with a brilliant coaching improvisational adjustment that as Keyshawn will be quick to point out separates the great ones from the good ones. I asked to use my "lady"'s porcelain convenience and promptly locked the bathroom dooe and deep sixed my size 52 bvd underwear and flushed.

Well, no great game is worthy of Steve Sabol and NFL films without some 4th quarter dramatics, and sure enough my bulletproof plan backfired. To wit, one sound your date never wants to hear coming from her bathroom is "Excuse me, I hate to impose, but I think I am going to need a mop and a plunger". However I managed to wrestle the whole thing down (sort of like coaching T.O.) and I'll have you know the ole' Tuna scored a a TD later that night if you know what I mean (and I think you do).

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


When is the first real camp, when everyone is there and they put on the pads.


12:19 PM  
Anonymous Bill Parcells said...

To the player,
Be afraid. Be very afraid.

12:25 PM  
Blogger Armando Salguero said...

The team will have a mandartory minicamp June 6-8. As far as pads and hitting, that starts in training camp in late July.

12:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought I read there was a mini camp May 23rd (I imagine a weekend). Are the upcoming OTAs, I think beginning May 16th, open to the media?

12:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This doesn't just apply to Soliai, it applies to a lot of guys on last year's team and over the last few years.

If the source is accurate, this reminds me of that crybaby that we once had named Manny.

Part of growing up is to stop living off the past clippings of college achievements and being drafted by the NFL, and realize that everyone who plays on this level is big, strong, and fast. The guys who make it have the heart and find something that will give them a winning edge. Remember Wes Welker. Nat Moore had to work a regular job before walking on at U of F then playing for the Dolphins. Maybe one of these free agents will come to the light like Wes Welker.

12:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are the Dolphins looking at Alabama's WR DJ Hall?

2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Are you going to start putting in more effort than just enough to get by?

Are you? Hugh, are you?

2:15 PM  
Blogger Armando Salguero said...

I'll turn the jets back in when I'm good and ready.

But even when I'm cruisin' I do way better than the NFL equivalent of one tackle per game.

2:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Are the Dolphins looking at Alabama's WR DJ Hall?"

The Giants already signed him.

2:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Soliai had a huge opportunity in front of him. Unfortunately he didn't take advantage of it and now he can go and be a big heavy lazy construction worker. Welcome to your new life Soliai, you chose it!!

4:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shows that great judgment of Cam Camoron/Randy Mueller. Take Paul Solia and dump Fred Evans ( who was unblockable). And let me point out it shows how bad the judgement of the media versus the fan base. It seemed to me the media and the herald in particular seem to favor giving Cam another season whereas us fans wanted to send them both to the guillotine.

4:53 PM  
Blogger BIG AL said...

Last year there were only 2-3 D- players putting in 100%. JT and ZT as always were the heart and soul of a once proud D. I was shocked because we had come to respect Miami's D as one of the best in the league. When the guys were wearing out in the 3rd quarter and there were so many injuries I began to question Cam's conditioning program and now we see that it stunk.

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can't say Soliai will get cut that easy.Parcells is well known to make players better.He can and will motivate guys like him.I bet he makes the team.Now are far as that guy that Saban made cry he defenitly was a baby.Satele,Soliai,and Reagen I bet are all three better in year two.

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me set one lexical issue straight: dump "disinterested" from all stories. What the Parcells tough guys want is to rid the team of uninterested--as in unmotivated or complacent--players, not disinterested ones--as in fair and impartial. The words are not synonomous. The only people who should be disinterested are the coaches and Parcells, as in give everyone a fair shot and don't be tied to "your" guys versus "Cam's" guys or "Saban's" guys.

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never saw a guy so big get blown off the ball so fast and so far as he did last year, he'll be gone or get hidden in training camp and traded for a 7th if the dolphins are lucky.

3:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul Soliai needs to forget about his past and use the talent that he has. ... He needs to take that temper and use it on the football field. Not in the parking lot of a bar after fighting with his girlfriend. Growup Soliai you have a lot to lose but much more to gain. Give up the boozing around.

12:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blah, Blah, Blah..... Armchair coaches. Actions speak louder than words. Quiet, be still and wait and see. I say emotional growth is more important than anything else. Let's see if he grows emotionally before you all decide to send him packing.

8:39 AM  

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