Day One Draft Nuggets

What a crazy day Saturday turned out to be.  And after a few hours of getting out and not thinking about football, I think I can now better reflect on what the Dolphins did (and didn't do) on Saturday.  And I must say, I really like the direction this team is headed.  Onto a few quick nuggets:

IRELAND'S PRESS BRIEFING

The most intriguing issue of today, the decision to not trade Jason Taylor, is the first thing I want to point out.  About the trade rumors that circulated all day, Jeff Ireland said:

“I was not aware of it. I was aware of it after the fact, but obviously strictly rumor. Didn’t get any calls, so there was no discussion [of trading Taylor]."

Interesting, to say the least, especially when you consider the seemingly endless supply of rumors over the past 48 hours.  But hey, if they didn't get any offers (or at least any they liked), then I'm glad Jason Taylor is still a Dolphin.  No need to just "give him away" for poor value, right?

Other interesting tidbits from Ireland's press briefing:

(On what the selection of Henne means to Beck)
"John's got a quick release, a strong arm, and he's highly competitive. You never have enough of those guys. It’s gonna bring some competition to the position. We like both these kids, Josh McCown as well, so it’s gonna be a good battle for these guys. We like John. This has no bearing on whether we like John or don’t like John or anything like that. We’re in the business of collecting good football players, and that’s what we’ve done."

(On what he likes about Henne)
"He’s a four year starter at the University of Michigan — I like that. He’s a great leader, and he’s got an aura about him that you like about a quarterback. And in doing my homework, he had nine come-from-behind fourth quarter wins in his career, and I think that was more than any quarterback we studied."

(On the trade of Lorenzo Booker to the Eagles)
"I don’t think he really fit our system that we’re trying to put in place here. We fielded a call pretty early in the process about him, and he’s a great kid, he’s a playmaker, but at the end of the day he didn’t really fit this system that we’re putting in place here."

SALGUERO THINKS BECK IS IN TROUBLE

In his latest blog entry, the Herald's Armando Salguero writes that he thinks the selection of Chad Henne is a clear message to John Beck.  Salguero writes:

Beck is not a Parcells guy. Parcells didn't scout him, didn't draft him, didn't sign him. And that makes Beck the only one of Miami's three quarterbacks that Parcells did not pick or scout or sign. Parcells inherited Beck from the previous regime while he went out and got Josh McCown as a free agent and drafted Chad Henne Saturday.

So that puts Beck at a disadvantage. Henne and McCown are not going to get a free ride by any means, but I do believe they rate higher than Beck in the mind of Parcells -- because they were picked by Parcells.

That means any tie on any matter goes to McCown and Henne. And not Beck. For Beck to win the coming quarterback competition -- assuming he's even in the competition, by the way -- he's going to have to outplay the other two.

Give me a break, Armando.  The most negative Dolphins' beat writer strikes again!

John Beck is still clearly in Miami's plans.  He's going to come into camp and compete to start just like Josh McCown and Chad Henne are.  And no matter who actually brought these players in, the best player will earn the starting job.  And right now, my money is on John Beck.  I know for a fact that John has been working insanely hard this offseason and that he's had a chip on his shoulder all offseason.  Now, that chip only gets larger.  For a guy like John, this will not discourage him; it will only act to motivate him some more.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not hoping Henne fails or anything.  I just want to win football games.  And I firmly believe that John will show that he does give this team the best chance to win games, not just in 2008, but also beyond. 

With that said, though, let the competition begin!  It gives us, as diehard fans, something to keep a close eye on all camp and preseason long.  It will surely be an entertaining battle.  May the best man win!

MERLING TO BE DE, NOT OLB

Omar Kelly points out something that I believed from the moment Phillip Merling was drafted at #32.  He's not a potential replacement for Jason Taylor in Miami's 3-4 defense.  No, he's going to battle for a starting DE spot:

Merling will likely push Vonnie Holliday and Matt Roth for a starting spot. Maybe not immediately, but in time. And his addition likely means Randy Starks is the primary backup to Jason Ferguson at nose tackle unless one is added on Sunday.

Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland said the Trifecta wasn't concerned at all about his sports hernia. Defensive line coach Kacy Rodgers went to check him out at his workout earlier this week and liked what he saw. They picked Merling over Auburn's Quentin Groves, who would have been more suited to serve as an outside linebacker. Merling is a straight 3-4 end.

I've thought for a while that this upcoming year was a big one for both Matt Roth and Vonnie Holliday.  Not only will Randy Starks now be pushing them (he can play all 3 spots along the DL in a 3-4), but now a talented player like Merling will come in here and push to start.  Personally, I think it's Matt Roth who needs to be worried the most.

So that's it for now.  We'll have much, much more in the coming days and weeks about all the events of this weekend.

Be sure to join us here again tomorrow for more "live" coverage of day 2 of the NFL Draft.  Look for the open thread to be posted around 9:30 am.

See you all then.

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