Every year ESPN comes up with a fascinatingly gimmicky way to cover training camp and fans for all 32 teams patiently await their teams ten minutes of attention. This year Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter are riding buses across the country going city to city in a Jack Keroueac meets Monday Night Football kind of way. Great, after waiting for pretty much everybody else to have their shot, Adam Schefter finally rolled into South Beach yesterday.
I’m as excited about The Heat as the next guy (that’s not totally true, but I get the reason for the excitement), but I really wanted to hear an interview about the Dolphins. What I got was really a stupid fluff piece and a bunch of information I’d already heard on ESPN. Schefter had Chad Henne and Brandon Marshall on the bus. He really should have just invited Marshall because they really seemed to be the only two talking.
He led by asking Brandon Marshall how it felt to be the third biggest acquisition in Miami this offseason, alluding to Chris Bosh and LeBron James recent decision to bring their talents to South Beach. Now that’s an endearing question right off the bat, and one that Marshall played off well. I personally don’t think Chris Bosh is higher profile than Brandon Marshall, but I’m biased.
Then the attention turned to Brandon Marshall’s plans to play in the NBA should there be an NFL lockout next year (which is interesting, because I’m not 100 percent on this but I’m pretty sure the NBA is set for a pretty interesting labor squabble after their upcoming season, too) and Chad Henne’s bowling ability. The former of which dominated the conversation, and made a headline on the front of ESPN.com. Sprinkled in between the banter were a couple questions about Henne and Marshall’s first impressions of each other. At the end of the piece the two signed the bus, though they only showed Marshall and he was still talking about basketball the whole time. Then they sent it back to Bristol where Tedy Bruschi offered an “objective” opinion.
Great work. Seriously, ESPN shows up in Miami, fails to really address the Dolphins training camp or frankly even show any footage of it at all and as a parting gift leaves the Dolphins with a mild distraction by running a story about Brandon Marshall’s intent to play in the NBA next year and dropping in a little bit about breach of contract. Also, it’s probably a microcosm of their coverage of Miami sports this next year with the Heat in the forefront and the Fins as an afterthought (still better than Marlins and Panthers). Ok, I’m done ranting, follow me over the page break and let’s talk about the Dolphins.
Will Allen Out Until Season
Will Allen will be sidelined until the start of the season as he had to have his knee scoped yesterday. He had been enjoying a very solid camp but started to favor the knee a couple of days. Allen is a tough guy and attempted to play through the pain but eventually had to miss time and was sent to see a specialist yesterday morning.
The surgery was on the same knee that Allen had operated on last season when he missed the rest of the year after injuring it in week 7. It was a minor procedure that was done to clean up a few things after the last surgery, but it will hold Allen out until the beginning of the season. There’s a couple ways to interpret this. Allen is 32, it’s the second surgery on the knee, there’s no guarantee he comes back strong from this at all. But on the other hand it may be good the Dolphins made him get it dealt with rather than letting him tough it out all year and risk doing more damage.
Regardless it gives Nolan Carroll an opportunity to secure the nickel spot with Jason Allen also still in the mix, though I’ve read reports where Miami has been playing Jason Allen some at boundary corner and has been happy with the results so far. Regardless, Nolan Carroll is getting a lot of attention lately and stands to really solidify his place in Miami’s long-term plans. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a trio of talented young corners locked up for the next few years?
Dolphins Pre-Season Opener
The Dolphins will take on the Buccaneers tomorrow night at Sun Life Stadium. We’ll have a full preview of it before the game, but for now, the Fins have announced that Chad Pennington will not play, Chad Henne will play a set number of snaps, but mostly like about the first quarter, the Tyler Thigpen in the second and that Pat White will play a lot. It’s pretty obvious Miami needs to see Pat White run the offense in some game situations to determine what kind of a player they have in his second season.
Pat White has seen a lot of scrutiny thus far in the young season. More than just about any 4th string quarterback I’ve ever seen. But a good preseason could go a long ways towards helping him silence critics and show the Dolphins he has a place on their team. Tony Sparano has said in the past the first preseason game is the most difficult from a coaching standpoint because your roster is the most bloated at that pointed having not made cuts yet, and depending on how the game goes, you might not be able to get everyone enough reps to get a good look at some people. In this case you can tell the Dolphins need to see White and have made a point of it. Here’s hoping the kid shows up.
A Few Things I’m Going to Be Looking For…
-How does Ronnie Brown look, if he’s going to be playing at all? I want to see him just make one solid cut with a tackler coming at him in a game situation and then I’ll feel a whole lot better going into the start of the season.
-What do Brandon Marshall and Karlos Dansby look like as a Dolphins? We’ve seen them in practice gear, but it’s always kind of fun the first time you see a new player in uniform.
-How does the interior line look? Miami is still fleshing out the inside of its line and and the Bucs have a pair of promising young tackles that are sure to see some extended reps.
-Can Ike Alama-Francis match the hype? He’s getting a ton of credit right now, is he really going to be a force or is he just another case of too much being made out of drills and two-a-days?
-What does the defense look like? I don’t mean how do they play but what does the scheme look like? All we’ve heard about is ‘hybrid 3-4.’ Well obviously they’re not going to show too much, but still we should get a look at what this new scheme is all about.
-Who can return a kick? Kick coverage is kick coverage, so it doesn’t matter when you get your shot every return is important and it’s going to be key to see if anyone can show the type of elusiveness and burst that could win the job.
Hope you’re all ready for a good weekend and some Dolphins football.