The Miami Dolphins started their season with momentum, an overcoming 11-5 2008 season and a solid 4-0 preseason. That momentum stopped Sunday. Miami lost 19-7, more appropriately they lost the entire game, never gaining any kind of control in the game. The way the Dolphins lost was surprising, there was no resemblance of the tenacious, hungry team we observed last year. The offensive line looked timid and unbalanced, especially Long – who was dominated most of the day by the Falcon’s Abraham. The Atlanta Falcons young team however, played with exceptional precision, making very few mistakes and made plenty of big plays. Matt Ryan played with un-sophomore like execution, connecting fluidly with newcomer Tony Gonzalez. The bottom-line, the Miami Dolphins season has just begin. It didn’t start with a win, and the loss was pretty, but the future is unwritten.
Fantasticfins.com was there…check out our pictures here.
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.
Well Dolfans we had another solid draft that we’ve come to expect from the new leadership in Davie. Say to say we didn’t make any traders for Bolin or Edwards. But we did make some nice moves for some receivers.
First pick in day 2 was for Patrick Turner, WR out of Southern California. This kid is huge, 6’5 and 223 lbs. About everything I’ve read he’s being compared to Keyshawn Johnson. If you watch his highlight video’s on the net you’ll see he’s a receiver that likes to make a huge impact on the field. Every video clip is almost touchdowns, which is what we need! Next receiver was a possible Wes Welker replacement with Brian Hartline, WR out of Ohio State. This guy also is 6’2 and 195 lbs. Brian played with Ginn in OS, and also was high rivals with Ginn during their high school years, which should make for some nice competition between them. With the 5th round pick we picked up another tight end from Monmouth, John Nalbone. He too is 6’4 and 251 lbs. John is said to be a great receiver as well as blocker. We also had another 5th round pick and we picked up Chris Clemmons, Safety from Clemson. With the current roster we have he must have been added to give more depth and also to add competition with cornerbacks and safeties. He definitely has a knack for finding the ball. There are several nice highlight videos on the net of him. With the last 2 picks of the draft we went for more depth in the Tackle and Linebacker positions. We added Andrew Gardner, OT from Georgia Tech which is 6’7 and 304 lbs, and also J.D. Folsom, LB from Weber State who is also 6’3 and 230 lbs. Both are solid position players who didn’t get a lot of attention coming out of college but Jeff Ireland said both have great up side. We had one more pick in the draft but we did trade that one to the Chiefs for a pick in next year’s draft. If you see one thing that was definitely noticeable in this draft is Parcells and team is looking for BIG and STRONG players, something that Tony made very clear last year.
So what’s next you may ask? Well the Dolphin leadership is already signing draft free agents. Sunday after the draft we sign Jared Bronson, TE from Central Washington. Yes if you’re counting that’s now 5 total tight ends, but check this out. This kid is also 6’4 and 255 lbs, and during his senior year missed 5 games and still finished with 502 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns. Sounds like this kid might be able to play a little. Also we’ve signed Oregon Ducks offensive lineman Mark Lewis. In college he started for the Ducks at guard his last 2 years, and has some experience at center also. So don’t think we’re done yet, because their more to come. Don’t forget Devone Bess came from the undrafted free agents.
So one last thing that’s on my mind is we didn’t really address the defensive line to much. So that means we couple possibly looking to bring Jason Taylor back. He has to be feeling like he’s chances of coming back got better after the draft. Jeff Ireland did admit that they needed to make a decision about him soon. I’m interested to see what a healthy Taylor and Porter could do to the quarterbacks in the league. Also this draft shows that the team’s leadership has a lot of confidence in Cameron Wake ability. I really can’t wait to see what this young man can do. He’s a beast and has really quick feet. So the next step toward a champion it the rookie mini camp. Talk to you soon,
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.”
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The coldest conditions any Miami team has played in couldn’t stop these history-making Dolphins.
Thriving in mind-numbing frigidity, Chad Pennington threw three touchdown passes Sunday in a 38-31 victory over Kansas City that continued one of the most remarkable comeback seasons in NFL history.
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.
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.