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What They're Saying...

Let's take some time to go around and see what players, coaches, and the media are talking about following the third preseason game.  But first, to update a few injury situations, Vonnie Holliday is fine.  He was hit in a "sore spot" according to Cam Cameron.  Basically, he took a shot to the family jewels.  Moving on, Paul Soliai reportedly wanted to go back in but the staff held him out for precautions.  And Robert McCune suffered a slight groin injury, but it's nothing serious.

These come from the team's official site:

(on the performance of QB John Beck) It's kind of like we've seen all preseason. He's got a little bit of a knack for playing but he's got a long way to go, a lot of improvement to make. There were a couple there at the end, boy...make a couple of those, I think we've got a chance to win the game. He's still got to grow and continue. He's still a little careless with the ball as you saw there in the end zone, but he's coming along really as we thought.

(on the play of WR Ted Ginn, Jr.) He's growing. These aren't excuses, these are just facts. Here's a guy who'd be playing college football this year if he wanted to. We're bringing him along. His practice habits are solid, probably about as good as any young player I've been around. He's very consistent, he hasn't missed a line up, and usually that carries over to practice well. If you are involved in the game planning during practice that's going to show up during the game.

(on utilizing RB Ronnie Brown and Jesse Chatman as kick returners and the possibility of them being injured on return) I don't think so. I really don't. These are big, physical guys, they're running backs, they return kicks. Just look around at all the teams - it doesn't matter, we'll continue to do that.

Some interesting stuff in there.  As expected, Cam continues to say how Beck has to continue to grow.  He was a bit careless with some of his passes, but I don't think that's anything to worry about.  As for the kick return situation, he doesn't seem to be concerned at all about Ronnie's health.  I got a feeling we all better get used to the idea that our best offensive player is going to be returning kicks as well.  Hear that sound?  That's just me slamming my head against the keyboard.  Don't pay attention to it.

The Herald's Armando Salguero has been so impressed by the play of John Beck that he's written a good article stating that he thinks Beck has a bright future in Miami.  Here's part of it:

And when the games that don't count are over, the statistics likely will shout what they already are proclaiming without stammer or hesitation -- that John Beck did well this summer and he has a sunny, bright future ahead.

But none of that will change the fact that once the Dolphins get into their regular-season mode, once the games that get coaches hired and fired begin, Beck will be tucked away like a valuable jewel in a vault.

Until next preseason.

Until he can make a legitimate attempt to win the job for which he was drafted.

That needs to be said because, coming off preseason games in which Beck led fourth-quarter comeback victories over Jacksonville and Kansas City, and threw two touchdowns against Tampa Bay, the sentiment in fan land is that Beck should play this year.

The logic goes that because Beck is a mature 26 years old and because the Dolphins aren't really going anywhere this season, maybe the team should let Beck get some snaps now. Maybe the team should let the future start now.

But that sort of thinking can be right only if everything goes wrong.

He goes on to talk about how Cam believes this team is a playoff team and that Beck would only see action if something went terribly wrong and this team struggled all year long.  

They key thing from this article, though, is that Armando points out why it might be better for Beck to sit the whole year.  Some might think it's a wasted year, but it clearly won't be.  Right in the artcle, Trent Green talks about how he learned a lot from sitting when he was younger.  Granted, he sat for 4 years, but he said that every year he learned new things that better prepared him.  

Of course, Beck won't be sitting that long, but having him learn behind Green for one year seems like the best idea.  What you don't want to do is rush him into the lineup, have him struggle, and have his confidence completely shot before he really ever has a shot to succeed.  Like Armando writes, you don't want to rush him and uncover a Ryan Leaf when you can bring him along slowly and end up with a Drew Brees or Phillip Rivers.  As much as we all want to see him behind center, let's all have patience and give Beck some time.  In the end, it'll probably be worth it.

Edgar Thompson has a blog entry making some observations following the Dolphin's 3 point loss to Tampa.  Here are some of the interesting tidbits:

-WR Az Hakim, a 10-year veteran, worked some with the first team and seems to have distanced himself from the pack for the No. 5 WR spot.

P.K. Sam, who caught a 51-yard TD, and undrafted rookie Kerry Reed still have a shot for a spot on the 53-man roster, but along with David Sutton each appears to be in a battle for a couple of spots on the practice squad.

-T L.J. Shelton escaped the doghouse long enough to play with the first-team O-line.

Shelton's weight has been an issue, but when coaches step back and decide what seven or eight linemen to keep, he has to be one of them.

-TE Courtney Anderson might have locked up the No. 3 TE spot with a 28-yard catch, coupled with a drop by Aaron Halterman.

-RB Lorenzo Booker finally had a chance to touch the ball and showed why he's going to develop into a nice third-down back. He had six catches for 41 yards, including a 20-yard catch where he made a nice adjustment on a seam route.

-If DE Matt Roth keeps playing like he has, Miami's front seven is going to be unbelievable.

Roth was supposed to be a weak link on the D-line, but he's making plays in the backfield every week.

First, as far as the 5th WR spot, I was pulling for Kerry Reed, but I'd agree that it seems like it's Az Hakim's spot to lose.  As for Shelton, he did look slimmer and, coupled with the fact that Alabi still looked a bit slow, I think that Shelton could get his starting spot back sooner rather than later.  Regardless, he has to make this roster.  Those who think L.J. could be cut are not thinking clearly, in my opinion.

Moving on to the d-line, I agree 100% with Edgar.  Matt Roth was supposed to be a question mark this year.  The "experts" have said that the loss of Kevin Carter will hurt a little bit.  However, all Roth has done is absolutely shine as a starter.  He's constantly making plays and is a guy who could very well blossom into a top DE as he grows.  I've said it before, but I'll say it again:  this defense could be very special this year.