CINCINNATI - OCTOBER 31: Sean Smith #24 of the Miami Dolphins celebrates after intercepting a pass during the NFL game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on October 31 2010 in Cincinnati Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
First of all, congrats to the Miami Heat on their Eastern Conference title. Now it's on to the NBA Finals to take on the Dallas Mavericks in what should be a very entertaining series. For all of you Heat fans - both diehard and casual - I'd suggest making Peninsula is Mightier a regular stop for the very best fan-centric coverage of the Heat and the NBA Finals.
Also, I'm sure I'm not the only one who was imagining what this city would be like if the Miami Dolphins were making a championship run. They are still South Florida's first love (for now, though multiple Heat titles could start to swing things) and seeing how this city and these fans have supported the Heat, you have to believe the excitement level and enthusiasm for the Dolphins would be insane if they ever actually made a run in this lifetime.
Ahhh...a man can dream, right?
Back to football. Without any action regarding a new CBA, there really isn't too much going on in the league right now. Perhaps that could slowly start to change next week, though. Next Friday is when the 8th circuit court of appeals will hear the NFL's appeal of Judge Susan Nelson's ruling to grant the players an injunction that lifted the NFL lockout. So we might see some movement towards a new CBA in the coming weeks.
For now, let's discuss what little news we can from the week that was.
1. Look whose near the very top of a fascinating cornerback ranking. That, my friends, is Sean Smith - who for some reason doesn't get the respect he deserves from many Dolphins fans. The rankings were put together by Pro Football Focuss and there are two interesting stats worth noting. The first is the number of times corners were thrown at per coverage snaps. And look who is ranked number two on the list - Sean Smith. Smith was in coverage on 448 defensive snaps and was thrown at just 44 times. That percentage of 9.82% trailed only Nnamdi Asomugha for the lowest percentage in the league. Vontae Davis, by the way, ranked 10th on this list.
The second list measured the number of completions allowed per coverage snaps. Smith was again rated very high, ranking 4th in the league with a 5.36% - meaning Sean allowed roughly one reception per every 20 defensive snap that he lined up in coverage. Davis, by the way, ranked 20th on this list with a solid 7.95%.
Based on these calculations, you could say the Dolphins have two of the top 20 corners in the league. And they're only entering their third career seasons. Not too shabby.
2. The hunt for a veteran quarterback is not going to be easy once this lockout finally ends. Reports this week are making it seem like landing either Carson Palmer or Kyle Orton will be either impossible or quite costly. On Monday, stubborn Bengals owner Mike Brown again reiterated that he will not give in to Palmer's trade demand. Of course, this could be just his way of upping Palmer's trade value. But those who know Mike Brown say he really doesn't play games. If he says he's not going to trade Carson, that means he isn't going to trade Carson.
Meanwhile, Jason La Canfora reported this week that the Broncos still view Kyle Orton as a potential starter. Because of that, they will have to be really bowled over by a trade offer to move him. "The idea that a third- or fourth-round pick might get it done is woefully misguided," writes La Canfora. "A high second-round pick that converts to a first-rounder based on production, now that could be a different story."
3. Though he isn't doing what the Ravens are doing and reversing his mandatory pay cuts, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is trying to make it right. Since slashing the salaries of his entire organization, Ross said this week that employees will be either reimbursed their lost salary or given extra time off if the lockout ends and no games are missed. "If we play, they’re all getting money back or days off," Ross said. But he didn't specify if he meant regular season games or preseason games.
Hopefully will do the right thing here when all is said and done.
4. Speaking of doing the right things, one Dolphins player is spending his time off doing some great things. Davone Bess has spent the past two weeks volunteering in Costa Rica where he's been chopping trees, digging huge drainage ditches, and laying tile. Seriously, read this great story about a guy doing some great work. In a day and age where many see these NFL players as greedy, it's always good to learn about the players who are using their fame and money to do some good in the world.
5. The Heat and the Mavericks. Like I said, this should be a very entertaining series. With that said, I want to just provide full disclosure here. I am rooting for the Mavs. It has nothing to do with a dislike towards the Heat. I actually have no strong feelings about the Heat either way. Many of you probably know I'm a lowly Nets fan. That's why I'm rooting for the Mavs. Jason Kidd is a legend to all Nets fans and I just want to see him get the championship ring he deserves. So my heart says Mavericks in 6. But my head says Heat in 7.