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Some Nuggets

There's a good article in the Palm Beach Post about Dom Capers and how he is basically in full control of the defense...and how he can finally talk to the media when he wants to.  On Tuesday, Capers met with the media for the first time since joining the Dolphins last offseason.  Remember: Nick Saban had a gag order on his assistant coaches, not allowing them to meet with the media.  Finally, Capers is able to speak his mind as well as not have anyone looking over his shoulder when he works with the defense.  Here is some of the article:

"We know this is his first press conference, so you guys be easy on him," joked head coach Cam Cameron, referring to the gag order that former coach Nick Saban placed on his assistants.

Capers, a former NFL head coach with Carolina and Houston, has nine starters returning from last season's squad that ranked No. 4 in the league in total defense.

The only major difference this year, aside from the addition of linebacker Joey Porter, is the man in charge. Unlike his predecessor, Cameron - who is also serving as offensive coordinator - stays out of Capers' way.

"You look at coach Saban, he was always in our defensive meeting room, he always had something to say," defensive tackle Vonnie Holliday said. "Coach Cam, he does come in once in a while, but he's sitting in the back. He's kind of given coach Capers the reins."

Capers wouldn't say much about his time under Saban, now the head coach at Alabama, but said he is excited about his new boss.

"I couldn't ask for a better situation with Cam," Capers said. "We've got a very good working relationship."

Am I the only one that kind of gets the feeling that Nick Saban actually held the defense back a bit?  I mean, it's no secret that the defensive backs played almost scared because Saban spent the most time with that unit.  And Vonnie Holliday's comment about Nick always having something to say makes it seem as if the players got kind of irritated by Saban always interjecting when they were working with Capers.  Or maybe I'm just reading too much into it and my hatred of Saban is tainting my thoughts.  I don't know.  But what I do know is that Cam retaining Capers and then staying out of his way has been one of the smartest things he's done since being hired!

In his latest blog entry, Armando Salguero shares with us some of his thoughts on what he's seen so far.  Here are some of the highlights:

-Rodrique Wright, injured all of last year, has pretty much changed his body configuration. He's leaner, stronger, seemingly quicker than he was last year when he got only a few weeks of work following shoulder surgery. I'm told he might have been a first-day draft pick had he not been injured before the draft. He went in the seventh round. Now playing outside rather than DT, he might actually push for playing time.

-Rookie middle linebacker Kelvin Smith didn't look like much in the offseason camps. But he's been much better since the pads have gone on. The guy isn't fast or necessarily strong. But he's a hitter. He has a chance to make the team as a backup to Zach Thomas if he can show some of his instincts and hitting potential on special teams.

-Recently acquired TE Courtney Anderson is 6-6 and 270 pounds. He should be able to destroy people with his blocking, but I definitely haven't seen that. He looks like a better pass-catcher than blocker. In that respect, Justin Peelle's job seems secure.

-Drew Mormino isn't ready to be an NFL starter right now so the Dolphins are really kidding themselves thinking of him as a starter at right guard. But that is right now. Today. The guy's work ethic is amazing and his toughness is unquestionable. Give him a couple of months and he will be a legit competitor to start. Give him a year and the job should be his. Not bad for a sixth round pick the Dolphins found only because they were studying Joe Staley. (Good job Randy Mueller!)

First and foremost, his thoughts on Drew Mormino are certainly encouraging.  I never thought of Mormino starting this year, especially out of camp.  What I was hoping for is that he would develop into a quality starter for the future, and it seems like this will be the case.  As for this year, I don't see any way Rex Hadnot doesn't start at RG, likely with Chris Liwienski at LG (man do I hope Pete Kendall gets released).  

Moving on, Courtney Anderson is an interesting player.  He's got great size and has reportedly been playing pretty well as a pass-catching tight end.  But the primary TE spot is likely going to be held by David Martin.  If Anderson continues to struggle with his blocking, like Armando said, it's likely Peelle's roster spot seems safe.  But where would that leave Anderson?  Could the team possibly keep 3 tight ends?  I think that both Martin and Anderson have potential so watching these 2 perform in the preseason will be fun, as this battle is probably going to go down to the wire.