Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tab Perry released, Robertson retires

If you look up the phrase "injury-prone" in the dictionary, you'll very likely see a picture of Tab Perry next to the entry.

On Saturday May 24, during OTA practices, the wide receiver and special teams player tore his Achilles' tendon. Of course, with the new regime's lock-down policy on media access, no one knew about it until today.

The team has subsequently released him, meaning one less big receiver in the mix and one less player to challenge for a kick returning gig next to Ted Ginn.

But, honestly, did anyone expect Perry to make it to the regular season unscathed? I certainly didn't.


In other news, rookie DT Kory Robertson has already decided to hang up his cleats for good. As the Palm Beach Post is reporting, Robertson has decided to retire. No reason is yet known for his decision.

Despite being an undrafted free agent, Robertson had been working in practice as the second string nose tackle behind Jason Ferguson. His departure will likely mean Paul Soliai will get more of an opportunity to redeem himself after a horrible rookie season.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Donald Thomas signed

Miami now has locked up more than half of its draft picks by signing G Donald Thomas to a multi-year deal.

Five of the team's nine draft picks are now under contract.

Here is the list of draft picks, noting those five who have signed thus far in bold print:

1. (1) LT Jake Long
2. (32) DE Phillip Merling
3. (57) QB Chad Henne
4. (66) DE Kendall Langford
5. (110) G Shawn Murphy
6. (176) RB Jalen Parmele
7. (195) G Donald Thomas
8. (204) RB Lex Hilliard
9. (245) DT Lionel Dotson

Thursday, May 22, 2008

May 21 OTA Recap

Here's a recap of what went down at yesterday's OTA session.

  • Both Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams practiced with the first team offense. Brown's participation was limited in contact drills, but he was able to make sharp cuts on his injured knee.
  • Starting offensive line: LT Jake Long - LG Ikechuku Ndukwe - C Samson Satele - RG Justin Smiley - RT Vernon Carey
  • Jason Taylor was the only player not in attendance. LB Charlie Anderson replaced him as the starting WLB. S Renaldo Hill (ACL), TE Anthony Fasano (shoulder), LB Channing Crowder (knee), C Steve McKinney (knee), and NT Paul Soliai (unknown) were all limited in practice. Kory Robertson took most of the second team reps at nose tackle.
  • John Beck took most of the snaps with the first team while Josh McCown worked with the second team and Chad Henne with the third. The plan is for Beck and McCown to split reps with the first team as OTAs move forward.
  • None of the QBs looked good.
  • Jason Allen and Yeremiah Bell were the starting safeties. CB Andre' Goodman started opposite Will Allen. Matt Roth and Vonnie Holliday started at DE with Randy Starks and Phillip Merling backing them up. Lionel Dotson worked as a DE.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Clearing the air on the Jason Taylor situation

First, let me start off by congratulating Jason Taylor for finishing in second place on Dancing With The Stars.

Most people who follow football, and the Dolphins in particular, can't go more than a sentence without talking about Jason Taylor's DWTS experience before quickly noting that they didn't watch it. I mean, why would they? They wouldn't want to jeopardize their awesome manliness right?

Give me a break.

I'm not ashamed to admit it - I watched the show. I watched the show because I'm a huge fan of Jason's and I was very interested to see how someone who is so supremely talented at one thing (football) would fare at something that is so foreign to them (dancing). Honestly, who can't relate to trying something completely outside of your comfort zone. I applaud Jason for his efforts on the show and I wish every guy with a keyboard and bile ready to be spilled on the net would just lay off him for appearing on the show. Take your insecurities out somewhere else.

Moving on, I'd like to address all those people out there who are now questioning Jason's leadership role on this team. It was announced today by Coach Sparano that Jason will not be attending any of the team's offseason activities, including all OTAs, minicamps, and even training camp. Just watching Sparano's post-practice press conference, with all his mentioning of the nine weeks of hard work that everyone in Miami had been putting in, is enough to tell everyone that Parcells and Sparano are not happy that Jason was on the show.

Too bad, guys. There are so many other things that you could be angry about right now, like perhaps the offseason incidents requiring police intervention by Matt Roth, Channing Crowder, Reagan Mauia, and now Will Allen.

What did Taylor do? All he did was appear on a family-oriented show which cast him, the National Football League, and National Football League players in a pristine light in the public eye. This was the guy who was the NFL Man of the Year last year, recognizing both his on and off-field contributions. For a team coming off a 1-15 season, Jason Taylor is the kind of player who should be embraced.

And yet in far too many people's eyes, he is no longer a leader because he is going to miss the entire offseason, while perhaps trying to force a trade. Was Michael Strahan no longer a leader when he came back to the Giants last season after sitting out the entire offseason? Jason's reached the status as a player where he is going to be a leader no matter when he shows up. In fact, I'd argue that he was being a leader by going on DWTS. He was setting an example for how the rest of his teammates should conduct themselves in the offseason - by staying in shape and casting a fine light on the organization. Maybe Reagan "you should know" Mauia could take some notes. Not every leader needs to lead by being an omnipresent force and Jason proved that.

So what should happen now? Well, it's pretty clear that the front office doesn't want him back (although it won't surprise me at all to see him welcomed back once the season rolls around). The problem is that they missed their best chance to get top value for him by not pulling the trigger on a deal before or during the draft. Now, if they are serious about unloading him, they are going to have to take 75 cents on the dollar.

Jason Taylor has put in Herculean efforts for the Miami Dolphins franchise and been let down far too often. He has every right to want to play out his last few seasons with a contender, and at this point, I wouldn't be upset to see him get that chance (as long as its not in New England).

Then again, I also wouldn't rule out a Strahan-like ending to this, wherein Jason sits out the offseason and comes back to play in September. Not every player has built up the cachet to do this. Of course, not every player has accomplished as much as Jason Taylor.

He's earned this. And that's what people need to remember.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Steve McKinney signed, along with 3 rookies

Perhaps in an attempt to compensate for the release of Drew Mormino, Miami has signed C Steve McKinney, brother of former Dolphin Seth McKinney.
McKinney (6'4", 302 lbs.) was a fourth round draft pick of the Colts in 1998. He has experience playing both guard and center. He is 32 years old and is coming off a season in which he only played three games due to a torn right knee ligament. He says that his knee is at 75-80% health right now but that he should be full speed by the time training camp rolls around.

In Miami, he will likely compete for one of the starting guard spots, but if he makes the team I'd much rather see him serve as a versatile backup. He's a solid player, but given his age and recent injury it's unlikely that he's going to get any better at this point in his career. The Dolphins need to find out right away what they have in their rookies Shawn Murphy and Donald Thomas. One of those two youngsters should get the opportunity to start. Guard is probably one of the easiest positions to insert a rookie into, so it shouldn't be a big deal to start one of those two guys.

McKinney brings plenty of starting experience to Miami, opening 133 of the 144 games he's played in during his career. He is also rarely flagged for penalties, having a mere 15 called against him over the span of ten seasons. He does however have a tendency to let up sacks, and that's something that has only gotten worse as he's aged.

Career Offensive Line Stats
Year Team G GS Pen Yds False Start Holding Sacks Allwd Yds
1998 Ind 16 16 4 31 2 2 1.50 10.00
1999 Ind 15 14 1 10 0 1 2.00 16.00
2000 Ind 16 16 2 20 0 2 1.50 8.00
2001 Ind 14 14 0 0 0 0 2.50 13.50
2002 Hou 16 16 2 10 2 0 2.00 11.50
2003 Hou 16 16 3 25 1 2 3.75 8.25
2004 Hou 16 16 0 0 0 0 3.50 21.50
2005 Hou 16 16 3 15 3 0 9.25 69.00
2006 Hou 16 6 0 0 0 0 0.50 1.50
2007 Hou 3 3 0 0 0 0 1.00 11.00
Totals 144 133 15 111 8 7 27.50 170.25


Miami also signed three more of its draft picks, inking RBs Jalen Parmele and Lex Hilliard and DT Lionel Dotson to multi-year deals. With T Jake Long already under contract, the Dolphins have signed four of their nine draft picks.

The team also signed rookie free agent C Matt Spanos out of USC. Spanos (6'5", 317 lbs.) played tackle for a majority of his college career, but has experience playing guard and center as well. Here's a scouting report on Spanos.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Mormino cut

I'm a bit surprised by this move, but the Dolphins have waived G Drew Mormino because he failed his physical.

The move is surprising because Mormino was challenging Rex Hadnot for the starting job in camp last year until he went down with a shoulder injury that cost him the season. I thought he could have challenged for the open guard spot again this season, and at the very least serve as a versatile backup who can play both guard and center.

Maybe he's not completely healed, but there's still plenty of time before training camp begins. Mormino is young, which is an obvious plus for Parcells and Ireland, and he's versatile so cutting him seems like a strange decision.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Minicamp Reports

Here are some reports from the rookie minicamps that were held this weekend:


Post-Minicamp Transactions

Following this past weekend's rookie minicamps, the team signed CB Scorpio Babers and LB Keith Saunders, who had been invited on a tryout basis.

The team also released DE Derrick Robinson, LB Abraham Wright, CB Aaron Lane, and WR Marcel Reece.

Playing Catch Up

Been a bit swamped lately, so I've yet to get up any sort of draft analysis. It'll come in time.

Anyways here's a list of the college free agents that Miami signed after the draft:
  • WR Davone Bess, Hawaii [Scouting report; Highlights]
  • LB/DE Titus Brown, Mississippi State [Scouting report]
  • C Mike Byrne, Delaware [Scouting report]
  • K Dan Carpenter, Montana
  • WR Jayson Foster, Georgie Southern [Highlights]
  • T Dan Gore, Boise State
  • T Daren Heerspink, Portland State
  • CB Aaron Lane, Purdue
  • WR Selwyn Lymon, Purdue
  • TE Matthew Mulligan, Maine
  • LB Kelly Poppinga, BYU [Scouting report]
  • WR Marcell Reece, Washington
  • DT Kory Robertson, Virginia Tech
  • WR Justin Wynn, Grand Rapids (Mich.) Community College
The Dolphins also released DT Steve Fifita and QB Matt Baker.

Prior to this past weekend's rookie minicamps, the following players were invited to attend on a tryout basis:
  • K Radamez Rubio Gaytan
  • QB Willie Copeland
  • FB Rolly Lumbala
  • CB Tim Mixon
  • CB Scorpio Babers
  • S Roger Williams
  • S Aaron Weathers
  • TE Khristopher Kasparek
  • LB Sam Huckeba
  • LB Brandon Olgetree
  • LB Brandon Renkart
  • LB Keith Saunders
  • DL Anthony Toribio
  • DL Brandon Jones
  • G Chris Capote