Well I'm back from my day and a half (or so) off due to a wedding I attended on Sunday night. A huge "thank you" goes out to all of you who kept this place rocking in my absence. I'm sure all the readers and community members appreciate it. I know I do!
Below are just a few things from this past weekend that I wanted to quickly highlight. Then, beginning tomorrow, I'll be back to my usual posting tendencies (as time allows, of course):
RONNIE SAYS COMEBACK MORE MENTAL THAN PHYSICAL
Ronnie Brown, who is participating fully in practice to open up camp (even taking part in two-a-days), says that the hardest part of his comeback is mental - not physical:
"I think part of it is mental. I feel myself gathering when I make a certain cut or make a certain movement. I'm trying to get over the mental part of it, get everything flowing and react out of instinct instead of trying to think [about the injury]."
This was to be expected. The physical recovery is only half the battle here. And so far, so good in that respect (though it's still early). The mental part is something Brown likely won't get over until he takes some shots - and not from his teammates, either, but rather from opposing teams.
That's why I wonder if it would be better for Brown to get a few carries in the preseason opener just to help him build some confidence. I know Tony Sparano said not too long ago that they would take the preseason games slowly in terms of how Ronnie saw action. But is that best for him? I kind of get the feeling that even Brown would like to get a few hits in right from the first preseason game just to help him mentally prepare for the season. Any thoughts on this?
NO NEW DEAL FOR CAREY JUST YET
I'll be honest. When the Dolphins traded Jason Taylor, freeing up even more cap room, I got the feeling that some of that money would go towards extending Vernon Carey, whose rookie deal expires at the end of this season. But apparently, that might not be the case. Carey says he isn't pushing for a new deal, though he proclaims that he loves Miami and would "love to stay here."
To be honest, if the Dolphins don't extend Carey before he at least hits the open market, then I have a bad feeling about what might happen. Carey proved last year that he can play the left tackle position relatively well. And we know he has the potential to be a pro-bowl right tackle. With basically no depth behind Carey and with the tackle position being one of the most demanded positions in all of football, I think it would be crazy for the Dolphins not to extend him.
Listen, it's rare for me to suggest an extension to a player who isn't necessarily "great." But Carey is too valuable for Miami to lose. He's not only the starting right tackle, but also is basically Jake Long's replacement at LT if Long ever (heaven forbid) had to miss time with an injury. And I get the feeling that if Carey isn't extended before the end of the 2008 season, his agent will advise him to at least wait to sign until free agency begins. This way, his agent could put the Dolphins offer up against those of other interested teams (and there would likely be many) - forcing the Fins to pay more than they might want to if they want to retain him.
So I say if Carey continues to show great upside at RT through this preseason and he avoids any injury, Miami should make a long-term extension offer prior to week one. Otherwise, Miami is taking a big risk. Agree?
ALL 3 QBs CONTINUE TO STRUGGLE
So by now you all know that all three of the Dolphin quarterbacks have been very inconsistent. And while Tony Sparano was impressed with how John Beck bounced back from potentially the worst practice he ever had, it's clear that nothing has been really encouraging about any of the 3. And from most of the reports I've read (from both fans and reporters), it seems that neither Beck or Josh McCown have really earned the right to even be considered a "front runner" for the starting job. Could that perhaps open the door for Chad Henne? I don't think so - starting a rookie QB isn't usually the best thing for a team. But who knows?
I did just want to say 2 things, though. First, it's very early. And remember that the defense is always ahead of the offense to start training camp, probably because the offensive units haven't built up any chemistry yet. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, if the offensive line can't pass protect any better than they have been reportedly doing, then no QB (Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, etc...) would have success in 2008 in Miami.
Again, though, it's early. Give them time to gel and let's see what happens in the first preseason game.
-Joey Porter is back and participating fully in practice. He also reportedly looked very good in his return. Anyone else get the feeling he's due for a big year?
-Davone Bess continues to impress. I'll repeat what I said back in April: Bess is making this team.
-I'm a bit surprised that Renaldo Hill is working with the 3rd team defense.
-Ernest Wilford is really getting people excited. He may prove to be a steal in terms of what Miami is paying him compared to what they will get out of him.
-Am I the only one excited about what Ted Ginn might turn out to be?
That's all for now. Tomorrow, the Dolphins have just one practice (at 2 pm) followed by a "two-a-day" on Wednesday.
note: new poll is up in the right sidebar of the front page