So we're almost a week into training camp and, if nothing else, it's sure been fun to read about some actual performances. No more speculation and guessing. Now we have some throwing, catching, and hitting to talk about. So let's close this work week with some thoughts on what has gone on down in Davie this week.
Of course, the first thing we should touch on is the QB position. None of the QBs have really looked particularly impressive and all have struggled at times - some more than others. Right now, it does seem like (based on what we read) that Josh McCown has the early leg up in the battle to start. But I think it's unfair to judge any of these 3 until we get to see them in live game action; until we got to see how they handle real game situations. So I'll reserve my judgment until at least the first preseason game.
But with that said, I'm starting to get encouraged with what I've been reading about Chad Henne. But, again, I haven't been able to see him with my own eyes. When I looked at film from his Michigan days, I thought his delivery really lagged at times. So I'm going to be very curious to see how he plays beginning August 9th.
One question I do want to pose to you all is this: if Henne was to begin to outplay the other 2 quarterbacks in both camp and the preseason, would you want to see him start in week one? If not, would you be against Henne starting some games late in the year?
TONY SPARANO IS NO CAM CAMERON
Maybe it's just me, but there's something I really like about Tony Sparano. And it's not just that he's much more intense than Cam Cameron, though he certainly is. After all, he's making these players wear full pads a lot and is working these players in full speed a lot, which I love. And he hasn't wasted any practices on making a practice entirely about special teams, something Cam loved to do. Also, we never saw Cam get in the face of his players like Sparano is doing. Today, after getting owned by his man in a punt-block drill, Sparano followed Kelly Poppinga back to the huddle, gave him a "gut punch," and yelled, "You're not going to make this team that way. You're not exactly freaking Dick Butkus out there." Sparano also audibly shouted "Come on, Camarillo" after Greg dropped a pass from Henne.
No, those aren't the only reasons I really like Sparano so far. I also like his swagger; his confidence. I like how he wears the shades not only on the field, but also inside the bubble and at press conferences. I like the way he carries himself and I like his demeanor. Now I have no way of knowing if he's going to be a good game-planner or a solid "gameday coach," but I admit that I like what I'm seeing/hearing from him and what I've been reading about him.
HAGAN, BESS EXCELLING; WILFORD NOT SO MUCH
Seemingly every camp report so far has been filled with praise for 3rd year receiver Derek Hagan. And no, it's not just because he's catching the ball with much more consistency. He's also been getting open, creating separation from the defender. Meanwhile, some reports have indicated that Ernest Wilford seems to go invisible at times, which really disappoints me. It's early, of course, but I had some high hope for Ernest after he was signed. Instead, could it possibly be that Hagan can steal away a starting spot opposite Ted Ginn from Wilford? This is something definitely worth monitoring.
Meanwhile, Davone Bess continues to open some eyes. Many people believe that he, along with Hagan and Ginn, have been the best 3 receivers in camp for Miami. Entering camp, I was anxious to see what he could do and he hasn't disappointed. Come August 9, he's going to be at the very top of my "watch list" when Miami plays their first preseason game. He has an opportunity here in Miami to really get involved in the offense. And the thing is, the Dolphins might have no choice but to keep him on the 53 man squad. I really doubt there's any chance Bess could be stashed away on the practice squad. I think a number of teams looking for receiver depth would be interested in claiming him before Miami could get him on the PS. And I think that this regime is too smart to let him get away - quite possibly Miami's 1st undrafted rookie gem in a long, long time.
-The cornerback battle is a very interesting one so far. Will Allen has played very well so far. But I haven't heard much about Andre Goodman. And with Michael Lehan still out with an ankle injury, the door is open for a guy like Nate Jones - a player this staff knows well - to come in and steal at least the nickelback job. Haven't heard much on Travis Daniels, either. I guess we might have to wait until the first preseason game before we really get an idea on how this position might shake out.
-Jalen Parmele seems to be cementing himself as the 3rd RB on this roster. Observes of camp have been impressed with his initial burst and his vision. But he reportedly needs to work on running lower - he gets too high at times (a good way to take a beating).
-Anyone else excited about Joey Porter this year? I think, for the first time in Miami, he's comfortable here and can really let it all hang out. And speaking of linebackers, Charlie Anderson and Quentin Moses might just be able to pull it off and become an effective platoon at the weakside OLB position vacated by Jason Taylor.
So what are your early impressions of this team so far as the calendar flips to August?