Rookie Camp 09: “The future is so bright, I got to wear shades”
Hey guys just thought I tell you what I think about this past weekends Rookie Camp. I would have to say we’ve got a lot of talent on the roster right now. If these guys workout on the field like they read on paper then we could see some competition for the 53 man roster. I think we had a pretty successful draft as well as picking up some un-drafted free agents.
So the cornerback position was a glaring problem coming into the off season. We lost Andre Goodman who had a great 08 season, and we had Yeremiah Bell going into free agency. Lucky we were able to keep Bell around, and also add Eric Green from the Arizona Cardinals. We also added former Raider and NY Giant Gibril Wilson, who has had several solid seasons at safety. So that brings us to the 09 draft, were we picked 2 cornerbacks in the first two rounds. After the Rookie mini camp Sean Smith (31) and Vontae Davis (24) are solid defensive backs with a bright future. Both of these guys have size and speed, and are aggressive at the cornerback position. They also came away with a few picks this weekend, and Vontae had his first lecture from Sparano because he put 2 guys down on the field with contact. Keep in mind this was a no contact and no pads camp. I also just seen where Vontae has a tattoo on his forearm that reads,” Greatness”, which is not to be seen as arrogance, but as confidence. The cornerback position is going to need all the confidence we can get this year, with the AFC east teams having receivers like Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Lee Evans, Wes Welker, as well as 09 opponents receivers like Andre Johnson, Hines Ward, Reggie Wayne, and Steve Smith. WOW, that’s worst then I thought.
Also another area where we need depth and possibly a big player was our own wide receiver position. We added Patrick Turner (84), Brian Hartline (82), and a few un-drafted free agents Brennan Marion (14), and Chris Williams (87). Patrick Turner who is listed as 6’5 looked like a beast out there on the field showed some very nice skills as well as nice hands. When he was asked how he looked to help the team this coming year, he said he would love to be the go-to red zone play maker. I know that’s what all the Dolphins have been looking for. Brian Hartline looks to be more of a slot receiver to give Devone Bess some competition.
Free agent Brennan Marion is a very interesting story. Most of you may have heard the story about this kid, but if not I want to tell you about him. So this guy came from having no home during his first 3 months of his sophomore season in college to now playing on a NFL practice field. He actually spent nights in the De Anza Junior college locker room, bathroom floor, team bus, as well as the press box. Also didn’t have a pillow to sleep on so he used his arms or paper towels. This wasn’t the first obstacle in his life either; he was raised by a single mother and was in a different school every year since sixth grade. During junior college he had to work construction, wash cars, cleaning classrooms to pay rent. The food he lived on was also challenging and consisted of Gatorade pills, and free chips and cookies from the local 7-11 store. After his offensive coordinator found out about this he allowed Brennan to stay with him and his family rent free with the only circumstance being he had to get his college degree and give someone else a opportunity when he could. Now here’s what’s interesting about this kid. He is 5’11, ran a 4.3 40, had 3 consecutive 1,000 yd season, and also averaged 31.9 yards per catch. Now that’s just crazy considering the things he’s dealt with in his life. Recently he suffered a tear in his right ACL, which hurt the possibility of being a high draft pick. So I consider this guy a very strong and determined player. I look forward to seeing what Brennan can bring to the Miami Dolphins.
Another position we all want to know about is quarterback. Where 2nd round draft pick Pat White was seen taking snaps this weekend. After day one Pat admitted he had a rough day and that he would catch on. During day 2 he completed 2 long passes down field, one of them to Patrick Turner. So I’m curious to see what the future of the Miami Dolphins play book will look like this year. So how much Wildcat can we expect to see, and will we see more of a spread offense? On a side note, yes Pat does wear gloves on both hands, and he said Kurt Warner did it so can he. He said he has smaller hands and the gloves give him more grip on the ball. I’m counting the days till our first preseason game, so I can see Mr. White under center.
Other good news out of camp is LB Cameron Wake had a very impressive camp. Coach Sparano said he was very excited to see Wake on the field and that he showed some good quickness on the edge. This guy also looks like a beast out there. On another note I’ve heard a lot of people lately talking about how crazy the Dolphins are because we didn’t go after a defensive tackle in this years draft. Well I think the Dolphins had a plan coming out of the draft and that plans name was possibly Lewis Ellis. This guy is out of university of Shaw. He’s listed as 6’2 and 320. Coach Sparano said he had a good camp and shows very quick feet and very strong. Coach also pointed out that he does need some work with technique because at Shaw he was able to muscle people around and of course in the NFL you’re not always going to be able to do that. Ellis said he had at least 6 teams calling him after the draft and he did a little research and decided on Miami because of our DT needs.
So finally after 3 days and 4 workouts I’m excited to see what the future is for our 09 draft picks.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) – Chad Pennington was in the opposing locker room at the stadium where he spent the first eight years of his career, a big smile peeking out from a gray Miami Dolphins “Division Champions” cap.
“It’s always a sweet feeling to be a champion,” the Dolphins quarterback said after beating the New York Jets 24-17 on Sunday. “That’s what we are: AFC East champions. It’s a great feeling. This organization has been unbelievable. They accepted me from the get-go. This has been an unbelievable ride.”
And an improbable one at that.
Pennington, cut in the offseason by the Jets to make room for an aging Brett Favre, threw two touchdown passes against his former team and helped the Dolphins (11-5) complete a remarkable turnaround.
“It’s not a revenge factor,” Pennington said. “This week, being the 17th week, it was strictly focused on winning the championship, knowing that we controlled our own destiny. It just so happened that it had to come through New York. That’s the only way fate would have it.”
A year after going 1-15, the Dolphins joined the 1999 Indianapolis Colts as the only teams in NFL history to make 10-game improvements. Miami, under first-year coach Tony Sparano, has won five straight and nine of 10 in making the playoffs for the first time in seven seasons and winning its first AFC East title since 2000.
“I don’t think words can describe it,” running back Ronnie Brown said. “Earlier in the season, we could only imagine being in this situation.”
Tennessee Titans v Indianapolis Colts
NFL’s top shots
A look at the best photos from Week 17, including a somersault in Indy.
And now, Miami (11-5) will host Baltimore (11-5) in the first round next Sunday.
“Around this time last year, we were going home with no return,” receiver Ted Ginn Jr. said.
Meanwhile, Favre and the Jets (9-7) were left to wonder what happened to them — and what’s to come.
After an 8-3 start and being mentioned as possible Super Bowl contenders with an NFL-high seven Pro Bowl selections, New York went into a tailspin by losing four of its last five — with Favre looking every bit a 39-year-old quarterback.
“The hardest part is the finality of it,” Favre said, “especially when you expect to go on.”
The NFL’s unique structure of Pro Bowl voting has always seemed interesting. The players receive one-third of their votes from the fans, one-third from NFL players and one-third from NFL coaches. As of Tuesday evening the fan voting portion has officially ended. Fortunately, the fans have voted three Dolphins at the top (number one) of their positions in total votes. Those three are linebacker Joey Porter, offensive tackle Jake Long and kicker Dan Carpenter (rookie). Several other Dolphins were also in the top four voted by fans. Those were running back Ronnie Brown (second), special teams Patrick Cobb (third) and strong safety Yeremiah Bell (fourth). The teams will be announced at 4 p.m. ET, Tuesday, Dec. 16 on a special NFL Total Access 2009 NFL Pro Bowl Selection Show on NFL Network. The 2009 NFL Pro Bowl presented by State Farm will be played at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii on Sunday, Feb. 8 and televised by NBC.
Miami Dolphins from worst to first? Nobody believed it could happen and some still don’t. Bottom line is the Miami Dolphins are three wins away from going worst to first. We are winners of six out of our last seven games and our next two opponents combine for less wins than we have, and the last of our remaining opponents has lost two straight games. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not telling you to start looking for hotel room availabilities in Tampa Bay but a Miami Dolphins playoff game is becoming more and more realistic every week.
It would be easy to start breaking down why we are in this situation, but we all know why. Better coaching, better QB play, consistent O-line play, Wildcat, the list can go on. Instead let’s look at the next week and what needs to take place to keep our first playoff spot in 7 seasons secure.
The 49ers present an interesting challenge, they’ve won their last two games and their confidence is as high as it’s been all year. Frank Gore is almost certainly going to go over the 1000yd mark if he plays (ankle) and undrafted Quarterback Shaun Hill has a QB rating of 95.5. Still the 49ers are very vulnerable defensively, giving up over 25pts and 330yds a game. The Dolphins must focus on getting the ground game working, to open up the pass. Nate Clements was hurt last week but Favre couldn’t capitalize because the running game for the Jets was allowing the 49ers to sit back on defense. Miami must run early and often and wear down the D-Line of the Niners, giving Pennington more time to throw and find Ginn, and Bess down the field. I’d love to see us test the 49ers secondary a little bit as well, maybe throwing a few bombs downfield to Ginn and give him a chance to use his speed. Defensively we MUST control Frank Gore. Our defense hasn’t allowed a TD in almost 8 quarters and in order for that to continue keeping Gore under 75yds is imperative. Our secondary is over achieving and keeping Steven Jackson and Marshawn Lynch under 100yds is the reason we have been doing so well. If you look at the last game we got beat, the Patriots threw for over 400yds, no coincidence that they also ran for over 100. It’s pretty cut and dry; we hold down the opponents running game, our secondary plays better, we win. The last aspect to note in this game is special teams. The 49ers are in the top-10 in both KR and PR and we have given up 2 PR touchdowns this year. We can control them defensively but if we allow them to make plays in the special teams, we WILL NOT win this game. Allen Rossum is a dynamic returner and if we fall asleep, he will burn us, along with our control of our destiny.
I’m looking forward to this game, I think it’s a test and I hope we aren’t over looking them. Last home game of the year should get the stands packed out and excited, let’s just hope we come out with intensity and a desire to win!
The NFL is perhaps the greatest producer of money in the world of sports. There is currently over 19 NFL teams that are valued at $1 Billion or greater. Miami Dolphin fans will be pleased to know that we not only made the top 15, the Dolphins Organization actually increased 11% in value over last year. This is including the fact that we had the worst record in the franchise history last year at 1-15.
Forbes ranks the Miami Dolphins at number 13 in all of the NFL. Most fitting I think, considering the fact that number 13 is arguably the most significant number in our teams’ history. Wayne Huizenga and Stephen Ross, although laden with more debt than normal this year, are lucky to stay in the top teams in value. A double digit value growth of a expendable income funded business during 2008…that is why they are billionares.
Read more about the Forbes review on the NFL’s Miami Dolphins.