Weekend Roundup: Talking Jake Grove, Eric Green, Matt Roth & more

We're now less than three weeks away from the kickoff of training camp - and actually having real news to discuss.  But until then, we need to pass the time.  So our 2009 "Training Camp Primers" will continue this week - spurring what I hope will be some discussion/debate.

And below are some little nuggets from this past weekend.

SOME STATISTICAL ANALYSIS BY KC JOYNER
ESPN's K.C. Joyner, known as "The Football Scientist" thanks to his statistical breakdowns, recently shared some of his data from 2008 with the Miami Herald.  Allow me to point out the highlights.

First off, Joyner again highlights the upgrade from Samson Satele to Jake Grove.  He talked about it more in-depth in this post back in April.  The bottom line?  Grove won 90.6% of his "point-of-attack" blocks and those runs averaged 6.2 yards-per-carry last season in Oakland.  He also only allowed 1.5 sacks last year - and both were "coverage sacks" according to Joyner.

However, Joyner clearly isn't a fan of the Eric Green signing.  Green was seen getting beat often during OTAs and minicamp this offseason.  And, apparently, that is what Green is best at:

Good thing Miami drafted two cornerbacks high because free agent pickup Eric Green's numbers aren't pretty. With the Dolphins in '08, Andre' Goodman, who's now with Denver, was successful (incompletion or offensive interference) on 52.4 percent of the passes thrown against him, ranking 16th of 98 cornerbacks rated. Green, with Arizona last year, had a success rate of 41.2 percent, ranking 61st -- worse than even Jason Allen (55th, 42.4 percent). And the 9.3 yards per attempt against Green ranked 88th of 98. Ugh.

For some time now, many Dolphin fans have been vocal in disliking the signing of Green - myself included.  And I'm sure all Dolphin fans will be pulling for him - obviously.  But there isn't too much encouraging news regarding Green.  We know that the Dolphins signed Green after watching his '07 tape - not his '08.  Supposedly, Green was playing through some injuries last year - which may have led to his poor play.  But even still, he hasn't looked much better this offseason, according to most practice reports.

Meanwhile, Joyner isn't impressed with Joey Porter's run defense.  Luckily, strongside linebacker Matt Roth excels against the run:

Exceptional as a pass-rusher (17.5 sacks), Porter was by far Miami's worst starting linebacker against the run in '08. On 100 runs in Porter's direction, he had nine wins (9 percent success rate), with those runs averaging 5.4 yards.

Matt Roth was Miami's best linebacker against the run (24.6 percent success rate, allowed 3.5 yards per rush) -- more reason why he figures to play on traditional run downs ahead of Jason Taylor (13 percent, 4.4 yards per rush with Washington). Taylor's metrics were ''not very good, but better than Porter's,'' Joyner said.

This is just more proof of two things.  One - I was dead wrong about what I called the "Matt Roth experiment" last offseason.  I didn't think it had a chance to succeed.  But as it turns out, Roth is becoming a very good strongside linebacker.

And two - Roth is going to remain Miami's starter - even with Jason Taylor returning to Miami.  Having Taylor and Porter as the team's outside linebackers on first down would severely hinder the defense's ability to stop the run.

Having dropped another ten pounds from last year, Roth should be even better suited to play his SOLB position in 2009.

QUICK HITS
-Barry Jackson also writes in his Miami Herald article that offensive coordinator Dan Henning has added "interesting wrinkles" to the offense.  According to "one Dolphins player," there are plays with Pat White going in motion and lining up behind Chad Pennington.  And this is just what is leaking out.  I can only imagine what Henning and David Lee are coming up with behind closed doors.

-Jason Taylor believes that Cameron Wake will be a good player in this league.  But I'm not 100% sold.  I don't care what he did in the CFL.  That's not the NFL.  You only have 3 downs - not 4 - in the CFL.  So teams pass much more - meaning there are more opportunities for sacks.  And I've watched a number of CFL games - and the offensive line talent is nowhere near what Wake will face in the NFL.  Yes - his numbers were ridiculous in the CFL.  But that doesn't necessarily mean they'll translate to NFL success.  It'll be interesting to see how he does when he hits the field for preseason action.

-Dave Hyde wrote an excellent piece about former Dolphins RB Cecil Collins.  Collins has three years left in prison and, once he gets out, he'd like to work with kids - tell them of his tale and ensure they don't go down the same path.  Best off all, he seems like a changed man.  I hope for the best for Cecil "The Diesel."

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