Carpenter Carves Out A Spot On The 53


Update:  I have added the morning practice notes to the bottom of this breaking news.  Please follow the link to page 2 for all of the updates from practice.

Dan Carpenter wasn’t drafted in the NFL. He was brought in for a look by Bill Parcells and his posse. He is not leaving any time soon.  According to reports, the Miami Dolphins have released veteran kicker Jay Feely today and handed the job to the rookie kicker out of Montana.  Dan Carpenter is the first rookie to unseat a veteran for a spot on the final 53.

Jay Feely has been nursing an injury that prevented him from playing in the opening pre-season game.  Carpenter made 2 field goals, one a 49 yarder and another that was 41 yards off the dirt.  He has been extremely consistent in practices.

Bill Parcells knows about kickers, he loathes them. He likes his own guys that he can yell at and scream about. Even though he is in a box above the field, don’t think for a moment that he wouldn’t be yelling at them from afar. Well, as evidenced by his offseason changes thus far, if your not a Bill Parcells guy, you are not going to be a Miami Dolphin for long.

And to think I got laughed at way back in mini-camp when I said Carpenter would win this job.

Hey, when you get the chance head over to and check out the Phins preview.  Make sure you click on the thumbs up!


Last update of the morning. Practice went about 1:45 today.

They start with 11-on-11 drills.

  • Pennington throws a nice skinny post to Hagan, who goes up high for the catch. Pennington can put the ball just where it needs to be.
  • Me and my big mouth. Pennington sails a screen pass to Ginn, and isn’t pleased with himself.
  • Chad Henne does a couple checkdowns, and hits Boomer Grigsby on a playaction roll-out.
  • Uh oh, Ricky Williams is slow to get up, and he walks VERY gingerly off the field. Looks like his right ankle.

Goal line drills

  • Pennington does another playaction roll-out to Boomer, but throws it low and outside.
  • Where are Beck and McCown? They might as well be watching today’s practice from the media tent.
  • Interesting subplot: With Feely now gone, Brandon Fields is practicing onside kicks, along with Dan Carpenter.
  • UPDATE: Sorry I forgot to include this. Ricky is back on the field and looks OK.
  • Pennington throws a quick-out touchdown to David Martin.
  • Lex Hilliard runs one up the gut for a touchdown, and puts a nice thump into Travis Daniels.

Then they break out into 7-on-7 drills. And OL vs. DL 1-on-1. I’m trying to watch both at once.

  • Pennington goes first, of course. He’s throwing short stuff, outs and slants and checkdowns.
  • Donald Thomas does a nice job blocking Randy Starks.
  • Pennington completes a slant to Wilford, throwing it low, giving the defender no chance. Nice fingertip grab by Wilford.
  • Justin Smiley dominates Phillip Merling.
  • A quick hitch to Jalen Parmele goes off his hands and into the air, but Davone Bess comes down with it.
  • Nice job by Rod Wright, blowing past Donald Thomas to the inside.
  • David Kircus drops a slant from Pennington, which was thrown a little behind Kircus. That’s the first drop we’ve seen today.
  • Henne’s up.
  • He throws a post to Anthony Armstrong, a quick hitch to John Dunlap and a quick hitch to David Martin.
  • Trey Darilek stands up Kendall Langford.
  • Phillip Merling jumps offside, and Jason Ferguson clearly isn’t happy with the rookie.
  • And then Quentin Moses is chewed out by a coach for not beating Ikechuku Ndukwe.

Back to 11-on-11, Red Zone drills.

  • Pennington goes first, of course. Merling and Langford are with the First Team.
  • A couple runs by Ronnie, mixed in with a check-down to Reagan Mauia and an incomplete pass to Martin over the middle (pass interference on Yeremiah Bell?).
  • A couple draw plays to Ricky up the middle, and then a beautiful lob to David Martin in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown. An even nicer catch by Martin, who goes up and gets it over Courtney Bryan.
  • Henne’s in now. First pass is out of bounds in the end zone, over Ted Ginn.
  • A screen to Armstrong is followed with a batted pass by Rod Wright.
  • Final two plays of the day: First Henne feels the pressure, scrambles up the middle and gets into the end zone. Then he throws a wobbly slant pass to Ginn, but he catches it anyway for the touchdown. Ending on a positive note.

UPDATE: Got a few final numbers from the two quarterbacks:

Pennington: Took 33 snaps in team drills, and completed 5 of 9 passes. Then completed 6 of 7 in 7-on-7 drills.

Henne: 25 snaps in team drills, and completed 4-of-8 passes. Went 3 for 5 in 7-on-7 drills.


It’s true, Feely has been cut. Not that I don’t believe Edgar, just that the team’s PR staff confirmed it.

Not much for you yet in terms of the 78 guys who are here today:

  • Shorts and shells today.
  • Vonnie Holliday (hamstring), Michael Lehan (ankle), Joey Porter (back) and Charlie Anderson (hamstring) are still not practicing. They are all riding the bike.
  • Donald Thomas is still a First Teamer. I keep waiting for him to be bumped down, but it looks like it may not happen.
  • Everyone is doing positional drills. The wide receivers are doing tight one-on-one stuff to work on getting separation in man coverage. Tony Sparano specifically mentioned this yesterday as an area to improve.

Be back soon.


A few hot reads for you:

  • OL and DL are doing some one-on-one type of stuff, and the quarterbacks are working with one receiver, against one cornerback.
  • Once again, Pennington and Henne are getting most of the reps.
  • Pennington throws a real nice ball on a slant pass. I see him complete four in a row, putting the ball exactly where it needs to be.
  • Henne does well, too, but his final throw is an interception to Will Allen. The INT is probably Ted Ginn’s fault, he didn’t run a crisp route, and Allen was able to undercut him for the INT.

11-on-11 drills

  • It’s pretty much all running plays. Ronnie, Ricky and Cobbs working on counters, sweeps, bellies, etc. No tackling, so it’s hard to evaluate the running backs or OLs.
  • What is telling, though, is which quarterbacks are taking the snaps. Pennington gets most of them, and Henne watches while standing next to quarterbacks coach David Lee. When it’s Henne’s turn, Pennington stands next to Lee. Meanwhile, Josh McCown and John Beck are on the other sideline, standing next to quality control coach Steve Bush. Their body language suggests they know they’re not getting many reps in practice.
  • Matt Roth and Quentin Moses are lining up as the OLBs with Vonnie, Porter and Charlie Anderson out with injury.
  • Special teams drills. Dan Carpenter hits all three field goals, each from 40-plus. Then they do a fake field goal and a field goal return, with Ted Ginn back deep.
  • As I walk inside, they break out into kickoff drills. Sparano mentioned yesterday how unpleased he was with the special teams unit last Saturday against the Bucs. I’m sure special teams is a point of emphasis this week.