I hate to be the "wet blanket" time and time again. But I've been saying for a couple weeks now since all of these positive reports started coming out claiming an agreement between he players and owners was fast approaching that it wasn't going to happen as quickly as some were thinking or hoping for. I had originally been thinking a June 30 or July 1 date as the day it gets agreed to in principle. Now I'm thinking more along the lines of July 11 or so.
Needless to say, it's getting late quick and both sides have got to get a move on it. How about having all of the key people involved lock themselves in a room and come out only when a deal is done?
With that said, let's move on to this week's "five."
1. Don't expect a new starting quarterback in Miami. Well, at least not by week one. Let's just come to terms with that and hope for the best with Chad Henne under center. At this point, all signs point to Henne remaining the starting quarterback of the Miami Dolphins to begin the season. Things could easily change a few weeks into the season, of course. But right now, all the evidence favors Henne keeping the job to start the season.
Tony Sparano said as much during their annual charity event. Tony was reportedly asked if there's a "good chance" Henne would be the starting quarterback. According to the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson, "Sparano immediately said yes — a contrast to the 'we’ll see' response he often gives to what-might-happen queries."
Chris Mortensen also speculates that Henne will be the starting quarterback. During his interview on AM 790, Mortensen was asked what the chances were of Henne starting. "I'd say 80 percent, 90 percent chance," Mortensen responded. "Maybe that's low."
2. This doesn't mean the Dolphins won't have a different starting quarterback by mid-season. There's just not going to be enough time to get a new quarterback up to speed on the offense and get familiar with his new teammates - particularly the wide receivers - during what will be an abbreviated offseason. And I also wouldn't want to discount all of the work Henne has done working with his teammates, teaching them as much of the new offense as he can, and really establishing himself as the leader he needs to be on the offensive side of the ball.
Of course, a few bad performances - or even just a bad fourth quarter or two - and the veteran quarterback that will be brought in once this lockout is over could get his chance.
3. I spent about a half hour watching the NBA Draft last night and came to a realization that the fourth round of the NFL Draft is far more interesting and entertaining than even the top ten picks of the NBA Draft. It was at this moment that I realized yet again just how much to lose the NFL has with this lockout. Let's be honest - everything they touch turns to gold - the draft is just another example. And it amazes me that these two sides can't come to an agreement.
4. Want to know what playing just three games as a member of the Miami Dolphins will do to you? Look no further than cornerback Al Harris, who played just three games as a Dolphin in 2010. As this screenshot of ESPN.com shows, being a Dolphin can take its toll on you.
5. A final goodbye to the "Big Man." You probably remember I closed last week's "five" by wishing Clarence Clemons a speedy recovery. You probably also know that the next day, Clemons passed away from complications stemming from that stroke he had a week earlier. Since his passing, there's been a tremendous outpouring of love for Clemons. It's rare that the death of a musical sideman (for lack of a better word) elicits the kind of emotion and reactions that Clarence's death has evoked. But that's the kind of musician and kind of person Clemons was.
As an avid Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band fan and as somebody who grew up and lives about a half hour from Asbury Park, NJ, it's obvious why I'm spending a few moments on the Big Man. I'm sure, though, that a number of you are wondering why I'm even bringing him up on a Miami Dolphins website. Those same people probably aren't familiar with Clarence's love of South Florida sports. Maybe these same people aren't aware of his performances at Miami Dolphins games - once last season in Miami and another time at the Meadowlands in a game between the Jets and Dolphins. Dave Hyde wrote a brief piece yesterday about Pat Riley's love of Springsteen and The E Street Band. And the Marlins even released a statement regarding the death of Clemons.
So now, one final goodbye to Clemons. The video is courtesy of "easternlights" and the song is courtesy of Bruce Benson, with the Big Man himself on the sax:
RIP Big Man
January 11, 1942 - June 18, 2011