The Miami Dolphins have finished their final 3 day mini-camp of the off-season. There remains now, 3 OTA practices that will occur this week. Then, we wait for training camp. It starts the 3rd week of July.
This weekend saw the Good, the Bad, and a lot of Daunte Culpepper. Well, not really heard, more read.
Let us start with the good.
THE GOOD: The mini-camp shed some light on a few important things to the fans.
– Ted Ginn: He worked out with both the Return team and the WR’s, and, he looked good. He looked fast, he was able to cut on a dime, he fired off the line with conviction, all at 90 percent according to coach Cameron. Ginn says he felt no pain, and it was reported that there were only glimpses of a limp, which after this long is expected. Still, he performed better than expected.
– WRs: Most of the WRs looked rather solid. Chris Chambers was reportedly said to look the best athlete out there. According to reports, he ran very crisp and smooth routes, something that he has been knocked for in the past, AND, he wasn’t reportedly dropping balls. Derek Hagan was supposedly a highlight reel. Catching almost everything and showing a lot of maturity from last years rookie campaign, coach Cameron was raving about him, but also said that consistency was needed. Hagan had some easy drops, an attribute that he has been labeled with from college. The rest of the WR’s were hit and misses and only undrafted WR David Sutton made any real splash, he is a project though. Training camp will sort a lot out when the pads come on.
– Cleo Lemon: Lemon was said to look the best of the 3 and is showing that he could be a valuable back up. He is now at least in a system that he is familiar with, considering last year where no one knew what system they were running, including the coaches.
– Trent Green: it was hard to put Green here. He had been signed the day before, didn’t know the playbook but was familiar with the system, did not have an rhythm with the WR’s. Still, he did throw quite a few interceptions to go along with a handful of nice passes. He also had a some long ball overthrows and a few missed targets. However, to some degree that is expected if not understood. Training camp is a whole new ball game and that is when we will really be able to grade out the players on the team. Still, he is a veteran, and he didn’t not perform better than worse.
– John Beck: Beck looked lost at times and didn’t seem to be able to get a complete handle on the complex Cam Cameron playbook. It will take time. Saying that Beck was bad is about as tough to say as Trent Green playing bad. He isn’t here to make an impact in year 1.
Jason Allen: Overall the defense as a whole performed well, however, Allen did not. He was burned quite a few times and at one point in practice the QBs’ tested him often with success. Allen is learning to play one position as opposed to two, but, he needs to start improving and improving quick. Allen saw limited time last year after spending the first 15 days of camp at home. He is there this year and it is time for him to start performing, or he wont be around long.
THE REST: O-line and RB’s are hard to view with any degree of certainty. There is no contact and that is where they earn their props. The same could be said with the DLine and the LBs (when not in coverage). Samson Satele is working with the first unit and did well at times, struggled at others, but again, no contact. Drew Mormino worked with the first team as the LG but was pulled after making a false start.
If there is anyone in particular that you would like to hear about, let us know and we will get you the information you want. If you would like to hear more about a specific position let us know and we will get you that as well.
– Daunte Culpepper: He was on the field for a total of 30 minutes the entire weekend but managed to be the focal point of everything. He passed out his own press release saying that he would in essence be released and not traded. He contacted the NFLPA for assistance, he shot down a reported trade with Jacksonville by refusing to restructure AND issued a public statement to any teams interested in him to, “Sit tight, I will not accept a trade and will be released”.
We need to look at the start to understand the situation that Daunte is in now without going all the way back to the much debated who is right and who is wrong message board banter that has swept like a hurricane around Dolphin fan boards. So, we go back to the start of the mini-camp instead. Daunte shows up. Daunte takes the field. Daunte does agility and running drills. Daunte does 1 on 1 drills. Daunte is approached by QB coach Terry Shea. Daunte stands around. Daunte walks off the field with security manager Stu Weinstein. Daunte waves to the media. Duante does not return.
Plain, simple, and to the point. CPepp issued many statements over the weekend. If you haven’t heard them, “I want to be released, I will block any trade I can, I will not practice again with the Dolphins, and Woe is me“. That pretty much is the gist of all of them.
The Dolphins response? Simply put, “We will not be releasing Daunte anytime soon, at least until late July“. That about sums that up.
The NFLPA after looking at the situation has decided to file a grievance on DCs’ behalf. They believe that he is being blocked from the facility according to his contract by not being allowed to work out with members of the team while the team conducts “team” practices. When in fact he is only not allowed to participate in team drills such as 7 on 7 or 11 on 11. He can still work out in the 1 on 1 drills and hold a clipboard, ride a bike, lift weights, and deliver water bottles. So I am not real sure how far this will go.
What I do know is that he has the right to act like this. Green just did and it led to his trade out of KC. CPepp is doing the same thing. He is however, not taking the field on his own rather than being technically blocked by the Dolphins. He just isn’t being allowed to do all of it. A simple way around that is to give him one snap every few series and then yank him. There is no rules about the amount of plays he should receive.
This is not going to end soon. The Dolphins have thrown the word “tampering” into the mix. Saying that CPepp has not only contacted other teams but has a made a deal with another team that would get done upon his release. All of course prior to him being given permission to talk with other teams, which he now has.
The Dolphins have also stated that they will hold on to him well into training camp, thereby dropping any value that CPepp could bring to another team.
As much as I can sit here and say that DC has the right to do what he is doing, the Dolphins are in the right for doing what they are. Releasing Daunte now is only going to set a precedent. It is only going to give another veteran a way out of Miami or for that matter any team, when they don’t get their way. Miami needs to put their foot down and say “NO”.
So if DC is right. The Dolphins are right. Then who wins and who loses? Somebody has to win this thing right? Wrong. In the end, if DC gets his release, even if in August, he will say he won. If the Dolphins hold out until August and then release him, they will say they won, in the meantime, the media circus will see to it that the Miami Dolphins players will be reading about it every step of the way. This is nothing more than a distraction to the rest of the team and it’s opportunity to prepare for the season in full.
So even though DC is right and Miami is right, they both lose, AND, they are both acting like losers.