Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Trent Green To The Dolphins?

The Sun-Sentinel is reporting that the Dolphins might be interested in trading for Chiefs QB Trent Green should he be made available. This coming on the heals of Kansas City re-signing backup quarterback Damon Huard to an extension yesterday.
I say no thanks. This was a great idea about six years ago. I’m sick of rehashed, recycled, injury prone players coming down here and I’m sick of giving up draft picks for them. And make no mistake about it -- KC is not going to give up Green for Akbar Gbaja-Biamilla and Wes Welker. They're going to want draft picks.
Trent Green is one good hit from becoming a head of lettuce. I’d rather keep my draft picks. And I'd rather take my chances with Daunte Culpepper and Cleo Lemon. That’s right. I said it.

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MSD NFL Combine Report: Wide Receivers

It’s that time of year again! Time for a bunch of old men with clip boards & whistles to gather around and poke, prod, touch and ogle young athletic men standing around in their underwear. That’s right. It’s the NFL Scouting Combine! And it’s here that we’re going to scout the NFL’s future. The MSD takes a look at the Dolphins needs (in no particular order):


Combine Report, Part Three: Wide Receivers:

First of all, Calvin Johnson is a freak of nature. The 6’5, 239 lbs. wide receiver arrived at the combine with no intentions of running the 40 yard dash. He eventually changed his mind, borrowed somebody’s shoes and then clocked in a 4.35. Did I mention that he’s 6’5, 239 pounds? If I were the Raiders and held the number one pick, I would not hesitate. Calvin Johnson is the best player in this draft class.

Now on to receivers the Dolphins actually have a shot at drafting …

Ohio State wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. – Chris Chambers’ choice for number one pick – chose not to run at the combine, so there’s little to report here on him. He remains the second best receiver on most experts’ lists.

Robert Meachem of Tennessee made some noise at the combine. The dude can fly. He blazed in a 4.38 in the 40. He also showed a lot of agility during drills, displaying a good set of hands and great instincts for different kinds of passes. He was especially impressive during the over-the-shoulder drills, using his blazing speed while adjusting to the passes with fluidity. He was also praised for his sharp route running during the individual drills.

Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio State also upped his stock. He ran a 4.44 40 and was very impressive running the three cone drill. He also measured a 38” vertical jump and a 10’3 broad jump. He looked sharp during all his drills and ran a 4.08 in the shuttle drill, which is very solid.



Steve Smith of USC clocked in a 4.37 40 and showed great athleticism during each of his drills. He scored a 6.68 during the three cone – tops in his group – and a 38” vertical jump. Smith has slowly been moving up the charts and he did plenty to up his draft day stock.

Dwayne Bowe of LSU is another large athletic receiver who impressed. He measured in at 6’2, 221 lbs. and ran a 4.51 40. Not a blazer but still good for a guy his size. He also measured a 10’5 in the broad jump and a 6.81 in the three cone drill. All solid numbers for a player of his size.

The fastest receiver at the combine: Kansas State’s Yamon Figurs, who ran clocked in at 4.30. He also ran a 4.21 shuttle. Two words: Devin Hester.

Conclusion:
Wide receiver is a tricky position to scout. Speed is very important but so are ball hawking skills and football instincts. That’s why most track stars who try out or the NFL fail at it. Agility, catching and instincts are all what matter. If you’ve got blazing speed to boot, then all the better. That’s why I’m not enamored with the receivers in this class after Calvin Johnson. Ted Ginn Jr. is fast but lacks good size and Dwayne Jarrett of USC, who many see as the 3rd best WR in this class, just doesn’t light it up for me. As for our first pick, I’d pass on the WR. It’s a pressing need but there aren’t any guys here that I’d spend a first rounder on (outside of Calvin). I really liked what I saw in Meachem, Smith , Gonzalez and Bowe. Although they all could be gone by the second round, there’s always a chance that one of them will be available. Point being, I’d rather the Fins spend their first pick on someone other than a WR. Last season the New Orleans Saints drafted Marques Colston in the seventh round. He turned in the best performance among rookie receivers in 2006. Just goes to show you how unpredictable – and deep – the position can be.

Up Next: Defense

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World Champion Heat Meet The President

CHAMPION HEAT MEET THE PREZ
As is the custom of all sports champions -- in case you forgot, the Miami Heat are the NBA defending champions -- the Heat traveled to the White House on Tuesday and met with President George W. Bush.

Bush honored the Miami Heat championship basketball team on Tuesday, joking with the team in his usual manner. But Shaquille O'Neal got the last laugh when Bush tried to bounce a basketball to the 7-foot-1 star. It thudded flat on the stage. Bush looked startled as O'Neal and his teammates laughed.

Bush then addressed the most important matter in the hearts of all red blooded Americans. Dwyane Wade's shoulder. "I know a lot of NBA fans, whether they like the Heat or not, are pulling for Dwyane to get back into action," he said. "We wish you a speedy recovery, Dwyane."

Wade indicated that he is leaning toward a return this season, rather than having season-ending surgery. He is expected to get a second opinion on Thursday.

"It's eventually surgery,'' Wade said, "But there's also an opportunity in there where I can opt for the rehab and the therapy and get it stronger and be able to make a return at the end of the season. That's why I'm getting another opinion, so I could hear more things.''

President Bush congratulated the Heat "even though you beat a Texas team.''

The President also had high praise for Pat Riley, ''I'd say he's accomplished. He's won seven NBA rings, that's all.'' Bush also held up a "15 Strong" card.

Bush also spoke about Alonzo Mourning's charitable acts, including donating his entire salary from two seasons ago. The crowd gave Mourning a lengthy standing ovation.

Update: SporTech Matter has the video of the White House visit. This is why JD kicks ass. He's all techy and stuff while I still use letters and words to report the news. He's Jon Digital while I still don't know what the F2 key is for. I dare not press it. He's the man. I'm an ape. Fire both frightens and fills me with wonder.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

MSD NFL Combine Report: Offensive Line

It’s that time of year again! Time for a bunch of old men with clip boards & whistles to gather around and poke, prod, touch and ogle young athletic men standing around in their underwear. That’s right. It’s the NFL Scouting Combine! And it’s here that we’re going to scout the NFL’s future. The MSD takes a look at the Dolphins needs (in no particular order):

Combine Report: Part Two, Offensive Line:

Wisconsin left tackle Joe Thomas is the class of this year’s class of O-linemen. Most experts have him going second to Detriot. But even if the Lions pass on him, he won’t last past the 5th pick. Thomas weighed in at 311 pounds and was measured at 6’6 5/8. He recorded 28 reps on the 225 lbs. bench press and showed his athletic skills by clocking in 33” in the vertical jump and 9’2” in the broad jump. He also clocked in an impressive 4.92 in the 40.

The one guy the Dolphins have a real shot at landing will be Penn State tackle Levi Brown. Brown measured in at 6’5 and 323 pounds, and is considered the second best offensive lineman in this year’s draft class after Thomas. Brown recorded 31 reps in the 225 lbs. bench press and with his impressive size and height, Brown is projected as a top 10 pick. He’s a sound blocker and very athletic for a man his size. The Dolphins need to fill the left tackle position and it seems that there’s a good drop off after Thomas and Brown. Brown’s stock rose after a monster Senior Bowl and it seems that his strength lies in his run blocking. But a man with his size and strength, you feel pretty good about him protecting the quarterback as well. Personally, my feelings about taking Brown with the first pick have fluctuated. But I wouldn’t be terribly disappointed if he came to Miami. He would fill a huge and immediate need for an offensive line that was terrible last year.
Other Offensive Linemen of note:

Tony Ugoh out of Arkansas could be a second-round offensive tackle to consider. He measured a 9’9” broad jump, a 32 ½” vertical and a 5.06 40. He also recorded 32 reps in the 225 lbs. bench press. While he’s nowhere near the athlete or prospect that Joe Thomas is, Ugho’s combine numbers were very similar to – and in some cases, better than – Thomas's. Ugho measures in at 6’5, 301 lbs. He’s got room to grow as far as his bulk is concerned but he’s a solid lineman to consider with Miami’s 2nd pick.

Stephon Heyer of Maryland weighed in at a whopping 330 lbs. and also measured the longest wing span (36 3/8”) and the largest hands (10 ¾”) from among the tackles. There are a number of tackles that could project to go before Heyer but if the Dolphins choose to address the position in the later rounds, I think Heyer would be a steal.
USC center Ryan Kalil had a solid combine. He’s a bit small, measuring in at 6’2, 299 lbs. but he seems to be very athletic, ran a 4.96 in the 40, and should be the first center taken in the draft.

Conclusion: There really weren’t too many surprises at the combine with the O-linemen. Should Levi Brown be available at No. 9, I can see the Dolphins taking him. He’s the second best OT in this class and would plug in a huge hole for Miami. However, if the Dolphins go another route with their first pick, there are some solid second-tier linemen the they can consider. I think the Dolphins will explore their O-line options through free agency but should also address the position sometime in the draft.

Up Next: WR, then LB, then DB/DL

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MSD NFL Combine Report: Quarterbacks

It’s that time of year again! Time for a bunch of old men with clip boards & whistles to gather around and poke, prod, touch and ogle young athletic men standing around in their underwear. That’s right. It’s the NFL Scouting Combine! And it’s here that we’re going to scout the NFL’s future. The MSD takes a look at the Dolphins needs (in no particular order):
Combine Report: Part One, Quarterbacks
While Jamarcus Russell and Brady Quinn were in Indianapolis this weekend, neither participated in the combine’s quarterback drills. They’ll both show their stuff during their individual pro days in March. Some things of note, however, were Russell’s weight (265 lbs.). He’s a big pup. But what struck some scouts was Russell’s lack of muscle definition. I don’t think it’s a big deal. Russell has a cannon for an arm and his size will only help him at the next level. I still think he will go number one to the Raiders. His pro day will be important but nothing should hinder him from being the first overall player to be taken come April.
As for Brady Quinn, he launched his efforts to elevate his stock during a press conference on Friday. "It's strange to be slipping down when we haven't even started doing anything," Quinn said after he was asked about his current draft position among the experts. Quinn also participated in the 225 lbs. bench press with the offensive linemen. Quinn benched an impressive 24 times (by comparison, Wisconsin OLT Joe Thomas benched 28 times). Quinn is doing all he can to get his stock back on the rise. His pro day will be a huge factor. If he impresses, then his chances of landing in Miami will fade as the draft approaches. I’m still holding out hope that he will fall to the Fins at number 9 – although it’s a fainting, dying hope. The latest team to show “interest” in Quinn are the Vikings. They have the 7th overall pick.

But as I noted a few weeks ago, if Quinn should be snatched up by another team, the Dolphins can still take a shot at another QB in rounds 2 or beyond. Michigan State QB Drew Stanton had a very good combine. He made impressive throws during the passing drills and ran a 4.73 in the 40 – the third fastest among the participating quarterbacks. His accuracy was good and he clocked in a solid ball speed at 55.7 MPH.


Other quarterbacks of note:
Toby Korrodi of Central Missouri State clocked in the fastest ball speed at 63 MPH. John Beck of BYU was next best at 61 mph. Kevin Kolb of Houston clocked in the third fastest ball at 55.3.
Boise State QB Jared Zabransky really stood out. He ran the fastest 40 among the QBs at 4.5 and was very impressive during the passing drills. He threw an excellent deep ball and his height and strength have some scouts wanting to see him give the free safety position a shot. Zabransky led Boise St. to an impressive undefeated season in 2006, posting 2,587 yards and 23 touchdowns for the season, including impressive numbers in their exciting 43-42 Fiesta Bowl win over Oklahoma last month. I think he’s worth looking into in the later rounds.


Conclusion: In my opinion, Quinn should be the first player on the Dolphins draft board. Should he go before they pick, then I think the No. 9 selection should be used on the best player available, in my mind a cornerback. After that, I still like Drew Stanton as the third best QB in this class and he did plenty this weekend to keep my confidence in him high. I think the Fins should explore the possibility of grabbing him with their second pick. Kevin Kolb still stands as my number 4 QB but his ranking is shaky at the moment. Trent Edwards out of Stanford is moving up the MSD board. I was really impressed with Toby Korrodi and Jared Zabransky. I’d consider them 4th or 6th round guys if we spend our first several picks on other needs.

Up Next: Offensive Linemen, then WR, then LB, then DB/DL … booya.

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Chris Wants Ted

If he had Randy Mueller's job, Chris Chambers would take Ohio State WR Ted Ginn Jr. with the Dolphins' No. 9 pick. "This guy can stretch the field and make big plays, which would really help us on offense," Chambers said. "I would do whatever I can to help out and get him ready to play as soon as possible."

Ginn is fast (how's that for analysis?). And he's considered the second best receiver in this year's draft class by most draft experts. Some of you guys have expressed your concerns over Ginn in the comments. But it's always cool to hear what the Dolphins players are thinking when it comes to draft day.

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Dolphins Talking Draft Day Trade With Lions?

The undying* Matt Millen of the Lions says he's been talking to teams interested in trading up for Detroit’s Number 2 overall pick in the draft. He says he's listening to offers from teams that are looking to grab QBs JaMarcus Russell or Brady Quinn.

If one is to believe Millen, then one of the teams that he could be talking to are the Dolphins. I can’t escape the fact that Terry Shea is Miami’s new QB coach and is Quinn’s personal pre-draft trainer. Those two facts have me believing the Fins want Quinn. With that said, trading up would require having to give up more picks and I don’t think the Fins have enough to spare. But, if the Dolphins really want Quinn and if they want to leapfrog the other potential Quinn suitors (I’m looking right at you Minnesota Vikings), this might be a way to go. By the way, if I were the Lions, I’d keep the No. 2 and grab Georgia Tech WR Calvin Johnson in a heartbeat.





*seriously, the guy has to be immortal. Nothing can kill him. And no matter what he does, he just can’t seem to get himself fired. So he’s either immortal or he’s George Costanza.

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Shaq Hits 25,000 Career Points. Heat Lose

Shaquille O'Neal went over the 25,000 point mark for his career on Monday night with a 20 point effort against the Knicks.
He is now the top scorer among active players and 14th overall in NBA history. Shaq is the seventh to reach 25,000 points and 10,000 rebounds.

And the Heat lost 99-93. They are now 1-2 S.W.*



*sans Wade

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Monday, February 26, 2007

2007 Miami Dolphins Draft Order

I’ve received a lot of e-mails and inquiries on the Dolphins draft pick order this year (April 28, 29). So, here it is. They have one pick in all 7 rounds except the 5th, which they gave up to Detroit in the Joey Harrington trade. Matt Millen stole a pick from us which he will undoubtedly f-up anyway. Cripes.

FIRST ROUND: 9th overall (9th pick)
SECOND ROUND: 40th overall (8th pick)
THIRD ROUND: 71st overall (7th pick)
FOURTH ROUND: 104th overall (9th pick)
FIFTH ROUND: None (traded to Detroit for the rights to QB Joey Harrington)
SIXTH ROUND: 166th overall (7th pick)
SEVENTH ROUND: 200th overall (9th pick)

The Good: The Fins are picking in the top ten in every round, which will essentially give them a shot at top 10 talent per round.

The Bad: Only one pick per round this year (we would’ve had 2 second rounders but gave one to Minnesota for Culpepper). Every year I notice a trend with the New England Patriots: they get multiple picks in just about every round (they have 2 in the first this year). This is why Scott Pioli is the man up there. Not much we can do about that but it’s worth complaining about. Dammit.

The Ugly: The 5th round is deep but it’s still a good time to pick up a hidden gem or two. Zach Thomas anyone? Point being, we need all the picks we can get and with the prospect of Joey Harrington being released for salary-cap reasons, it hurts to know we gave up our 5th for nothing. Was it worth the gamble? I suppose. Hindsight is a bitch.

I’ll have more on the combine/draft coming up today and tomorrow. Also, I need your opinion. I’ve been thinking about live blogging the draft this year. But I’m not sure. Let me know in the comments if you’d be up for something like that. If I get enough “votes” then I’ll do it. If not, then, well, I won't. Go Fins!

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Yea, The Heat Without Wade Kinda Suck

The Heat started their Wade-less tour last night in Dallas. It was their first time back in Big D since winning Game 6 of the 2006 NBA Finals and clinching the championship (crazy how the better team lost the Finals on their own home court, huh?). And the result was pretty much what we all expected. The Heat got spanked. The Heat did the only thing they could do -- pound the rock inside to Shaq (he finished with 17 points. Not too shabby). But it wasn't enough. Geico And The Nut Grabber were just too much for the punchless Heat. But, hey, Dave Hyde feels good about this Wade-less team! That makes three of you, Dave.

And U is bringing his lunch pale every night:

"We're moving on," forward Udonis Haslem said of getting beyond Wade's injury. "Our prayers as a team go out to Dwyane, but at the same time we have a job to do."

Gotta love the Crushernaut!

Anyway ... here are your Friday Bullets:

- Wade is in fact considering season-ending surgery or a return after six weeks of rehab. I say surgery. Seriously. I don't want him rushing back and then having his arm fall off during the first round of the playoffs and worsten the situation. I'm thinking big picture here. Either way, it could be a while before we hear what D-Wade will do. What do you guys think?

- Ira W. says don't be surprised if Eddie Jones replaces Gary Payton in the starting lineup. Yes, please!!

- Tim Hardaway spoke with ESPN's Scoop Jackson. He says he has no 'hate bone in his body.' He'd just rather not see gay people holding hands or kissing in public. He's wrong. Obviously watching two dudes making out does something to Hardway's bone.

- The Herald's Jeff Darlington has breaking news that broke about two days ago.

- Dolphins 2007 season tickets will go on sale to the general public this Monday, February 26 at 10:00 a.m.

- Former Dolphins QB coach Jason Garrett remains confident Daunte Culpepper will get back to his old self, able to perform more like a Pro Bowl quarterback than the injured former star he was last season.
''I'm very confident,'' said Garrett, who recently accepted a job as the Cowboys' offensive coordinator. "He's a guy that has had a lot of success in this league. He has great football character, and all of the people that had him before said that. I know he's working hard to get back physically to where he has been.''

Yea... You know, I don't see it happening. Draft a quarterback, please.


Catch you guys on Monday. Unless something of major importance happens (i.e. a big game, Wade's injury update, Dolphins draft/free agent news, Antoine Walker's head explodes, etc.), I don't blog on the weekend. Weekends are for the beach, kayaking, beer, BBQ and chicks. Not necessarily in that order.

Have a great weekend everybody!

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

A Punch To Our Collective Guts...

No word yet on the second round of tests on Dwyane Wade's dislocated shoulder. Several news reports, including this here blog, are reporting that Wade could be out for up to six weeks. That means the Heat's playoff hopes have gone from bleak to near-dead.

But that's not the worst of it.

Now I'm not a doctor. This is a blog, so take this however you want. But this is what I've gathered from stuff I've read, people I've known who suffered the same injury and a friend of mine who works in the medical field.

The Heat are calling Wade's injury a dislocation. A partial dislocation means the head of the upper arm bone is partially out of the socket. A complete dislocation means it's all the way out. We don't know which he suffered. Rehabilitation for either takes a while because once your shoulder is jammed back into the socket, you have to re-strengthen the muscles that surround the shoulder.
Here's the bad part: Once the shoulder has been dislocated, it's very easy to dislocate it again and again. And given the way D-Wade plays the game, there's always going to be a good chance of him re-injuring himself. He could wear a brace but that might not work and would hinder his playing. If the injury is bad enough or if it keeps happening (and all signs point to that it will), he may have to undergo surgery to repair or tighten the torn or stretched ligaments, which help hold the joint in place.

This really sucks. Wade's career may be on the line here. The fact that they couldn't pop the shoulder back in last night and the fact that he was in such pain tells me it was a severe dislocation. Enough to where I think they should just call it a season for D-Wade and have him jump right into rehab. I'm likely jumping the gun here. We haven't heard anything concrete. But it doesn't look good.

I guess we'll see.
Update:
According to the Sun-Sentinel: Wade's injury was a partial dislocation. He is apparently mulling over his options which includes surgery or a six-week rehab program. This according to one of the newspaper's sources. The report also says Wade was placed in a wheelchair solely as a means to make sure he was not bumped by spectators or others on the way to the locker room.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Not Good

Dwyane Wade left tonight's game with what appeared to be a serious shoulder injury. Wade got tangled up with Houston's Shane Battier during a play. Wade then walked to the bench as he grimaced in pain. ESPN showed closeups of team physician Ron Culp examining Wade's shoulder. It appeared that D-Wade couldn't move the shoulder and he seemed to scream in pain at one point. Soon after, he was helped into a wheelchair and taken to the locker room.

Of all the times we've seen Wade hit the floor or grimace in pain or walk off with an injury, this by far looked the worst. It was obvious that he was in excruciating pain. No details yet on what the doctors found.

Oh and the Heat lost to Houston 112-102.



Update: ESPN News is reporting that Wade has been taken to a Houston area hospital.
Update 2:
Sun-Sentinel's Ira Winderman says that the team is calling Wade's injury a dislocated left shoulder.
Update 3: The Herald also says that the Heat are calling it a dislocated left shoulder. It is an injury that could potentially sideline Wade for up to six weeks.
Update 4:
Wade returned to Miami to undergo further tests on his dislocated shoulder. Results of the second round of tests are not yet known.

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Cam Speaks To Dan And Stugotz

Dolphins head coach Cam Cameron appeared on 790 The Ticket's the Dan Le Batard show today.

Some highlights:
  • The Dolphins are going to wait to decide on Ricky Williams' status until after he's officially re-instated by the NFL.

  • Cameron has spoken with Daunte Culpepper and says the quarterback has been working with new QB coach Terry Shea and is working out daily.

  • Said that re-signing DT Vonnie Holliday was a top priority.

  • When asked if he'll take Notre Dame QB Brady Quinn if he's available with the No. 9 pick in the draft, Cameron said "That is way down the road for us" and danced around the answer.

  • Dan and Stugotz then had Cameron pick from a myriad of awful songs honoring the coach submitted by the show's listeners.

Listen here.

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The Selfish and Convenient Pat Riley Returns Tonight

Time to put away D-Wade’s Skills Challenge trophy and Jason Kapono’s 3-point contest trophy and get ready for the second half.

The least-important member of the Miami Heat – according to Dan Le Batard – returns to the sidelines tonight against the very good and very underrated Houston Rockets. Head Coach Pat Riley.
Tracy McGrady is a Rocket. So is Yao Ming. But Ming is expected to miss another 2-3 weeks because of a fractured bone under his right knee. Houston is currently 5th overall in the west and are 10 1/2 games off the pace in the Southwest Division. Houston won the first meeting this year but enter tonight having lost 4 of their last 6 at home against the Heat.
The Heat enter tonight’s game at .500 and The Selfish And Convenient Pat Riley is challenging Shaq to step it up.

Time to get this season started for real.

Miami Heat (26-26) at Houston Rockets (33-19), 9 p.m. TV: ESPN

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Dolphins Re-Sign Holliday

The Dolphins and defensive tackle Vonnie Holliday have agreed to a four-year, $20 million deal. Holliday had 66 tackles in 2006, including 7 sacks -- second behind Jason Taylor.

This is huge. Among all the free agents the Dolphins will have come March 2, Holliday was by far the best player. Losing him would've been a huge blow to an already aging D-line. Locking him up apparently was a top priority -- and a smart-ass move.

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NFL Combine Time: The Muel Heads For Indy

It’s that time of year again! Time for a bunch of old men with clip boards & whistles to gather around and poke, prod, touch and ogle young athletic men standing around in their underwear.
That’s right. It’s the NFL Scouting Combine! And it’s here that we’re going to scout the NFL’s future.

It’s where guys like Denver's rookie quarterback Jay Cutler look to raise their draft-day stock and where hidden gems are discovered. We know about the Brady Quinns and the Tedd Ginn Jrs. of the world. The combine is where guys like Randy The Muel Mueller find the late-round gems. This is where he spotted guys like Donte Stallworth and Deuce McAllister back when he managed the Saints. Mueller likes quarterbacks and he likes speed, so it will be interesting to see who he gets in this, his first real draft as an actual, fully functional general manager. Add Cam Cameron in his first draft as a head coach and newly acquired QB coach Terry Shea and you have to feel good about how they plan to address this draft (i.e. speed & quarterbacks).

Unlike Nick Saban, they’ll be looking at needs. Not just future practice squad, second-rate safeties from the SEC.

This is what The Muel said in today’s Sun-Sentinel:

...

“My philosophy is get as many good players as we can get," Mueller said. "Obviously, that [quarterback] position is critical. There have been times in my past where we've had four, five guys in camp who could play, and I think the more options you give yourself ... the better chance you have of competing week to week in this league. Sometimes it's about depth."
At one point while constructing the New Orleans Saints' roster from 2000-01, Mueller's depth chart at quarterback included Jeff Blake, Aaron Brooks, Jake Delhomme and Marc Bulger -- all of whom became NFL starters.

Among the invited quarterbacks at the combine, LSU's JaMarcus Russell and Notre Dame's Brady Quinn are considered the standouts.


...

Mueller is making the quarterback position a top priority. That’s great news. Read the entire Sentinel column. It doesn’t say anything new or anything we haven’t all heard or said. But it just has a fresh quality to it. The Dolphins are letting their fans in on what they’re looking for. And you get an overwhelming sense of calm that the team is now – finally – in good hands and that the botched drafts of the past are a forgotten thing.

If anything of interest happens at the combine (usually, nothing of interest happens), I’ll report it here. I’ll also update you guys on how the players the Dolphins might be looking at fair. Brady Quinn is expected to be there. And we'll get good looks at plenty of offensive linemen as well.

Keep it here in the coming weeks.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

I bowl. Drive around. The Occasional Acid Flashback.

Mid-to-late February. It’s the sports void in South Florida. The NBA All Star weekend is done and we wait for the Heat’s second half to get going. The Dolphins are preparing for free agency and the NFL Draft. And the Marlins are reporting for Spring Training. In other words, not much going on in SoFla sports these days. Nothing in the way of spectacularly interesting, anyway.

So here are some things to read and some things of note. I’ll be posting more draft stuff in the coming weeks and plan on addressing the free agent market as well – as it pertains to the Dolphins.

Until then … enjoy the bullets.
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The Dolphins hired Terry Shea as their new Quarterbacks Coach. It's a good signing. And this is what I had to say about Shea a few days ago.
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Is Dwyane Wade the next Jordan? No. Dwyane Wade is the New Dwyane Wade. And some day someone will ask 'Is Player X the next Dwayne Wade?' But this guy wants to know anyway.
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The Heat have traded James Posey, Antoine Walker, Dorrell Wright and Wayne Simien to the New Jersey Nets for Jason Kidd! Nah, I'm just fucking with you. I was just having fun with the ESPN Trade Machine. It's hours and hours of time killing, get fired from work fun!
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Looks like the rest of the world is noticing Jason Kapono and His Pretty Hair too!
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Hey, look, a Herald columnist has written a Pat Riley article. I thought Riles didn't matter. Oh well.
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Cam Cameron is building a working relationship with the Great One. No word yet on whether Dan has turned Cam onto the NurtiSystem diet.
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Armando ponders if free agent LT Leonard Davis is worth spending big green on. I say no. I also say no to recently released ex-Giant Luke Petitgout. He's old, is coming off a broken leg injury and isn't really all that much better than what we already have.
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Spring is "officially" here! Damn, I love baseball. Let's play already!!
Oh and sorry for not posting yesterday. I had the day off and took advantage of it by hitting the beach, drinking, listening to music and just wasting the day away with my girl (Sorry ladies. The Dude is taken). I made it a point to stay away from computers. The day was good. The Dude abides.

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Dwyane Wade Wins Skills Challenge. The Trite, Tired, Lame-Ass Free Throw Jokes Will Commence …. Now!


WADE WINS SKILLS CHALLENGE FOR SECOND YEAR IN A ROW

Dwyane Wade won the 2007 Skills Challenge title at All-Star Saturday for the second year in a row. He’s the only player to win it in back-to-back years.

Wade beat Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Chris Paul. The Skills Challenge is an obstacle course which features four agility drills – dribbling around hurdles, passing accuracy tests where the player has to “pass” the ball by throwing it into a hoop as well as bounce-passing the ball through another hoop, then complete a 3-point shot, and finishing with a lay-up or dunk – all while being timed.

After LeBron and Paul failed to reach the final round, it came down to Kobe and Wade, all while Shaquille O’Neal watched from the sidelines in a Dick Tracy costume.

In the final round, Wade ran the course first, scoring a flawless 26.4 seconds. He ran the course with quickness, made all his passes, hit the three point shot and banked in a lay-up to complete his course. After Bryant had his own faultless first round, everyone expected him to give Wade a run for his money in the deciding round.

But Bryant fell way behind when he failed several times to put the ball through the hoop in the passing drill.

The passing drill.

Kobe Bryant lost the Skills Challenge because he failed the passing drill. Is anyone else as shocked as I am?

Dwyane Wade proves once again, whether it’s in the NBA Finals, the NBA regular season or in an exhibition like this, that he is the best player in the world.

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Kapono And His Pretty Hair Shoot Lights Out

KAPONO BEATS GILBERT ARENAS AND DIRK NOWITZKI TO CLAIM 3-POINT PRIZE
Jason Kapono won the 2007 3-Point Shootout on All-Star Saturday, beating star shooters Gilbert Arenas and Dirk Nowitzki.

The Billion Dollar Penis watched and gave his usual showy standing ovation when Nowitzky was introduced – all while apparently giving color commentary on some radio station. And everyone expected heavy favorite Gilbert Arenas to put on a hibachi-hot shooting display to shame all others. But it was Kapono who ended up giving the shooting clinic, and beating out the big stars to claim the prize.

Kapono got off to a hot start in the first round. As the first shooter of the night he, as Magic Johnson put it, set the tone for the rest of the competitors. Kapono finished with 19 first round points -- third behind Arenas and Nowitzki’s first round scores (Mike Miller, Jason Terry and ex-Heat Damon Jones failed to advance to the final round).

Since he entered the final round with the least points, Kapono shot first. He went on to a near-perfect performance, scoring 24 points – one shy of the 3-point competition record and placing the pressure squarely on Nowitzki and Arenas.

Nowitzki came up lame when it counted (shocking!) and managed only 9 points while a flaccid?…er…limp?…er…drooping?…er…sagging?…er...wilting?…er… let’s say subdued… Mark Cuban watched with dejection from his seat. No doubt, somehow, Cuban will be blaming the refs for this. Watch for it this week on his blog.

Gilbert Arenas came next. Arenas scared us a little. This is because he’s a great shooter. And because he’s a batshit crazy shooting savant, which means he could’ve gotten hot while shouting “Cabo Wabo!!!” and heaving shots off Dick Bevetta’s groin and still making all of them. But alas, he only managed 17. Whew!

Jason Kapono was triumphant. He jabbed at Shaq’s feeble free-throw shooting prowess a little when Reggie Miller’s Sister asked Kapono what advice the Diesel gave him prior to the competition.

Kapono then reminded us that he realizes he’s a Caucasian pro-basketball player: "It's something that I dreamed of as a kid. You watch Larry Bird and all those guys shoot, and obviously I learned early on that I wasn't ever going to be in on the slam dunk part of this."

Congratulations, Jason Kapono, 2007 All Star 3-Point Shootout Champion!
STAY WHITE!!
Other All Star High Lights:
-
Boston’s Gerald Green won the slam dunk contest, beating defending champion Nate Robinson. Anyone else know who Gerald Green was before this? Yea me neither.
-
Big fat Charles Barkley beat 67 year old referee Dick Bavetta in a foot race. Comedy in the highest form.
-
Magician duo Penn and Teller performed a saw-the-man-in-half trick with Spurs guard Tony Parker. The best part of the illusion? Not once did TNT go to a shot of Eva Longoria in the stands during the entire performance, even going so far as to fading to commercial as Parker and the magicians left the stage! Some say magic is just slight of hand and optical illusions. But after I saw that, I believe.

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Friday Bullets

I don’t mean to imply the fact that Tim Hardaway only likes to shower naked with heterosexual teammates makes a slow week for the MSD. But, yea. It does. So, now that the Hardaway thing has died down (sarcasm is fun!) let’s take a gander at what else is going down in Miami sports news lately.
Friday Bullets ...

-Pat Riley is not happy with Tim Hardaway. He says he was shocked by Tim’s comments and said a statement like Hardaway’s just can’t be tolerated. Then Dan Le Batard wrote a column about how what Riley says doesn’t matter; the credit for Riley's rebuke should go 100% to his vocal chords, tounge and mouth.

-41 year-old Scottie Pippen wants to come back and play for a contender. The Heat is apparently on the list of possible suitors. My take: I'm always cool with whatever help we can get. But realistically, given that we already got Posey and Eddie (and others), a 41 year old, shoddy kneed Pippen would probably only average 7 minutes a game. Would he be cool with that? I guess my real question is how does he feel about gay people?

-Yet another sports writer has Brady Quinn falling to the Fins at No. 9 on his mock draft. That’s one too many. Way to jinx us asshole!

-Donte’ Stallworth a Miami Dolphin? Yes. I look forward to the 7-8 games Stallworth will be watching on the sidelines with a hamstring strain. Know what his fellow wide receivers call him? The Human Hamstring Pull. When a player’s own colleagues are nicknaming him that, there’s your red light. But that’s just me.

-Joey Harrington is a good guy.

-The real reason Miguel Cabrera missed the Marlins Fan Fest. Now don’t you feel like the total douche bag?

-I think Jim Mandich is a blowhard. And yes, I do listen to Dan Le Batard’s show over his every day. It’s a love/hate thing with me and Le Batard. But Mandich is the greatest color man the Dolphins ever had (“AWWWRIGHT MIAMMIIII!!!!!”) and he might be back calling games this season on the radio. He’s better than Joe Rose anyway (“Mmmmm…that’s good.”)

-Tom Brady is not allowed to mope, bitch, complain or give us the Brady Face after a loss ever again. His rights have been revoked.

-Vote for Jason Taylor!

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Sign Up Today To Kick My Ass In Fantasy Baseball!

This is the cover to the amazing baseball book Moneyball by Michael Lewis. The book is primarily about Oakland A's visionary general manager Billy Beane and his quest to build a competitive baseball team, while out-smarting his fellow GMs. Beane and his staff, buoyed by massive amounts of carefully interpreted statistical data, believed that wins could be had by more affordable methods such as hitters with high on-base percentage and pitchers who get lots of ground outs. Given this information and a tight budget, Beane defied tradition and his own scouting department to build winning teams of young affordable players and inexpensive castoff veterans. He is the envy of baseball GMs and is hailed as a genius.

Why is this relevant to this blog?
Because I am the Billy Beane of Fantasy Baseball.
Care to prove me wrong? Then join me in SporTech Matter's Fantasy Baseball League. JD has laid down the proverbial gauntlet. And I have answered.

If you're interested in joining his league and going up against SporTech Matter and the Miami Sports Dude (among others), click here to sign up. Tell em the Dude sent ya!

UPDATE 3: League has filled up.

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Tim Hardaway Is Not A Fan Of The Gays

JD over at SporTech Matter broke this story first. On Dan Le Batard's radio show on Wednesday, retired Miami Heat point guard Tim Hardaway said he hates gay people and that he would not want a gay player on his team. In fact, he said he would ask for said gay teammate to be traded.

"You know, I hate gay people, so I let it be known. I don't like gay people and I don't like to be around gay people. I am homophobic. I don't like it. It shouldn't be in the world or in the United States.''

He also went on to say,
"First of all, I wouldn't want him on my team. And second of all, if he was on my team, I would, you know, really distance myself from him because, uh, I don't think that is right. I don't think he should be in the locker room while we are in the locker room. If you have 12 other ballplayers in your locker room that's upset and can't concentrate and always worried about him in the locker room or on the court or whatever, it's going to be hard for your teammates to win and accept him as a teammate."

There you have it. Mr. I Gots Skillz has always been someone who wasn't afraid to speak his mind or be candid about stuff. But he's always struck me as a guy who was, well, the kind of guy that takes two hours to watch 60 Minutes, if you know what I mean. Smart as a bag of rocks. So I'm not entirely shocked.

Hardaway admitted that he's homophobic. He also proved to the rest of the world that his intellect is rivaled only by garden tools.

The Miami Herald eventually picked up on this story as has ESPN, CBS Sportsline, and Sports Illustrated. And I can guarantee you that this is going to occupy all the talk radio and other major websites all day Thursday. The shit, as they say, has hit the fan. So much so, that Hardaway has now issued a half ass non-apology apology through WSVN.

Skillz ...

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Pat Riley Is A Great Coach. Dan Le Batard Is A Big Fat Idiot

Love him or hate him. It’s your choice. But give the man some damn respect and appreciation. Before Pat Riley came to town, the city of Miami was all Dolphins and Hurricanes and no one gave two shits about that little basketball team that played in the rat-infested arena down in Overtown.

Once Pat Riley arrived to Miami, he put the Miami Heat on the map. He turned them from league laughingstock to a true contender. Yes, it took him a while to win it all. Yes, he needed Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O’Neal to finally do it. But he did it. And no matter how many ways you want to argue it, this team would not have won it all with Stan Van Gundy or Ron Rothstein at the helm. Hell, Shaq would never even have come to Miami if Riley wasn't here.

And Dwyane Wade? Picked 5th overall by the Heat in the 2003 NBA Draft. Wade actually went higher than the experts projected him to. He was a quick player from a small school, Marquette. But the experts were hard pressed to call him a point or shooting guard. In other words, Wade would not have been a Miami Heat player had Riley not been the GM. Riley picked Wade ahead of what the experts projected him to go because Riley liked what he saw in the guard from Marquette when he torched Riley’s favored Kentucky Wild Cats in the NCAA tournament.

Pat Riley matters to the Heat. He’s part of the Heat’s holy trinity of Wade-Shaq-Riles. And today we’re world champions because of Pat Riley.

I love Dan Le Batard’s radio show. It cracks me up every afternoon from 4-7 and it’s the only talk-radio I listen to (personally, I think regular sports talk-radio is poison). But Dan Le Batard the columnist can really piss me off.

Case in point.

His whole thing is that Pat Riley’s recent comeback is a little suspicious and shady. He then asks “Let's say it wasn't Riley coming and going based on whether the Heat was winning or losing. Let's make it Nick Saban instead. How would you feel about it then?”

If Nick Saban carried the same weight in championship rings, had drafted the NFL’s version of Dwyane Wade and made a monumental trade for a super star player (compare the Shaq trade to the Culpepper trade) and led us to a Super Bowl win, yes, he’d get the same pass from the fans. And I see nothing wrong with that.

If Bill Belichick, in New England, suddenly decided to retire and hand the reigns to assistant Joel Collier and if the Patriots came out of gates poorly and Bill decided to come back because Joel decided he needed to spend more time with Mrs. Joel and all the little Joels, nobody in Boston would question his “motives." Not even the venemous Boston media. They'd probably throw him his own parade.

Fact is, guys like Le Batard don’t “believe” in coaching. He believes that talent alone wins championships. And I agree to an extent. But coaches matter. They may not be the end all, be all of sports. But they matter. Le Batard is the classic pretentious, pompous blow hard sports writer. As someone who played some sports in college, I can tell you, from personal experience, that coaching matters. It matters. Regardless of team-talent, coaching matters (I sound like Allan Iverson). You have good coaches and bad coaches. And you have exceptional coaches. Riley is an exceptional coach, just as Belichick is. And I, for one, am glad he’s coaching the Miami Heat instead of, say, I don't know, the Detroit Pistons or Dallas Mavericks.

Pat Riley may be a jack ass as a person (I met him once and he seemed pretty cool to me. He gave me an autograph. Neat!). He may be conniving in some aspects. But not this time. The man had hip-replacement surgery. The man needed to take a leave of absence. The absence is now over.

Pat Riley is back. And as a Heat fan, as much affection as I have for Ron Rothstein, I’m very happy about that. It comes down to who you want leading this team on the sidelines for the second half of the season going into the playoff chase.

Pat Riley or Ron Rothstein.

Suspicious? I guess so, if you’re that paranoid and desperate for a story during a time when we’re in that empty void of NBA All Star Break, the end of the NFL season, and a month away from baseball and the NFL draft.

Shady? No. Not this time. Riley actually wanted to come back earlier when the team was struggling, but his doctors didn’t give him the okay.

Say what you want about Riley’s sudden reemergence and Stan Van Gundy’s sudden realization that he wanted to spend more time with his family last year (so far, Van Gundy hasn’t gotten another coaching job. So until he does, I’m believing him.) But Pat Riley is the reason this team hoisted the NBA trophy last season. He put together this team, made the popular trades as well as the unpopular ones. He got Shaq to lose weight and got him to care. As beautiful as a building might be, it would not be so without its architect.


Riley is back. He’s the architect, GM, President and head coach of the World Champion Miami Heat. He built this team. He’s more than earned himself time off whenever he damn well pleases (especially when he’s recovering from what I hear is a very painful procedure). And he's damn well earned the respect of Heat fans and the media.

He’s earned it. And even though we have Wade and a healthy Shaq, we need a healthy Riley too. Sorry, Dan. Coaching may not be as important as some coach-worshipers make it out to be. But it does matter greatly.

It’s all fine and good to be a cynic in a cynical world. You’re allowed to be suspicious, I guess. But Le Batard is reaching. Personally, I hope Riles tears him a new one on his show today.



Le Batard, you're a moron. Suey!

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Heat at .500 At The Break. I'll Take It.

The Heat managed to end the first half of the season at .500 after beating the Portland Trailblazers last night. Dwyane Wade took a nasty fall, bruised his shoulder, but was able to finish the game with 35 points.

“Wade squirmed and kicked and grimaced and grabbed his left arm while on the floor with 9:36 left in the third quarter Tuesday. Moments later, he got up and walked to the locker room, occasionally glancing at his left shoulder to see if it was still in place.
It was intact, but bruised. It kept him out for 7 minutes, 37 seconds of court time. And when he returned, the Heat completed the return to. 500 with a sound 104-85 defeat of the Blazers, sending Miami into the All-Star break winners of seven of its past eight games.” [Herald]
The Heat heads into the All Star break pretty much the same way they did last year. People are freaking out over their current place in the East, Shaq’s health and the Riley-only-comes-back-when-it’s-convenient theory. But I still contend that we’ll be fine. Sure, there are some concerns. The team is a year older. The team still lacks a solid point guard with J-Will’s constant injuries. Shaq is still a bit rusty. But remember that blowout to the hands of the Dallas Mavericks last year around this time? We fans were devastated and entered the second half with no hope. Well, it’s a year later and we’re happily basking in the glow of championship glory.
We’ll be fine.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Miami Dolphins Draft Needs

Unlike some people, we at the MSD say it's NEVER too early to talk draft ...
So ...

What are the Dolphins draft needs? Here’s how I rank ‘em along with a one word description of each position along with a blurb of why the team needs to address that particular position. I also give a list of potential suitors for each position. These rankings don’t mean I think the Dolphins need to necessarily address these positions in order (if WR Calvin Johnson is still available at No. 9 you take him over, say, CB Derell Revis). It’s just how I see the more pressing needs. You still draft the best player ranked on your board.

1. Secondary/Corner Back: Terrible. Biggest need by far. The jury is still out on last year’s first rounder, Jason Allen. So far he has sucked beyond belief. The other members of the secondary were mediocre at best (except for maybe Yeremiah Bell). Thanks Nick, you truly are a secondary guru!
POTENTIAL PICKS: Leon Hall, Darrel Revis, LaRon Landry, Aaron Ross

2. Wide Receiver: Mediocre. Chambers is a No. 2 WR. Booker is old. Welker is a slot/No. 3. Conclusion: This team has no legitimate number one receiver and needs one desperately. Speed, big play-making abilities and someone who can CATCH THE DAMN BALL!!!
POTENTIAL PICKS: Calvin Johnson, Ted Ginn Jr., Dwayne Jarrett

3. Quarterback: Terrible/Unknown. HUGE question mark heading into 2007. Culpepper’s knee and state of mind is a tremendous concern. Harrington is Harrington. And Lemon is an x-factor but still largely unproven. The most important position in all of football, as far as I’m concerned, is the quarterback. And it has been neglected for an entire decade!
POTENTIAL PICKS: Brady Quinn, JaMarcus Russell, Drew Stanton, Kevin Kolb, Trent Edwards

4. Offensive Line: Putrid. Yes Culpepper is to blame for a lot of the sacks he took. Yes the line played a little better once Harrington stepped in. But this group is still very much in the crapper. 2006 rankings: 13th in yards per rush, 18th in sacks-allowed per pass play (21 sacks allowed in the first four games, 32 total). It’s tough to see them spending their first round pick on an O-lineman. But they must, for the love of all that is good and decent, address this unit in the draft.
POTENTIAL PICKS: Joe Thomas, Levi Brown, Joe Staley, Marshal Yanda

5. Defensive Line: Old. It’s a talented line but it’s aging rapidly. Very rapidly. They need a young defensive tackle and quick.
POTENTIAL PICKS: Amobi Okoye, Alan Branch, Jamaal Anderson, Gaines Adams

6. Outside Linebacker: Deficient. Channing Crowder has been okay so far. But just okay. Derrick Pope, Donnie Spragan and Akbar Gbaja-Biamila are not the answer. The position needs more speed and youth.
POTENTIAL PICKS: Paul Posluszny, Lawrence Timmons, Michael Okwo, Patrick Willis


There you go. The six positions that the Dolphins HAVE to address in this year’s draft. Trouble is they only have one first round pick (No. 9). Randy Mueller is going to have to work some magic and have a bit of luck in the later rounds. But it can be done. The Dolphins can fill every need in this draft. Not that every pick will be a homerun or even a single (why am I using baseball terminology?). But the potential is there.

In the coming weeks, I’ll post more MSD scouting reports and mock drafts. A lot can and will change between now, the NFL combine and Draft Day. I’ll spot-light individual prospects and give some combine notes when I watch the combine on TV (I have the NFL Network here at work! Yay-ya!).

Go Fins!

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Adding Fuel To The Brady Quinn Fire

The Palm Beach Post is reporting that the Dolphins are interested in possibly hiring former Chiefs quarterbacks coach Terry Shea. According to the Post, he could be in-line to be the new offensive coordinator or quarterbacks coach.

But what's most intriguing about this is that Terry Shea is currently tutoring Brady Quinn to help prepare the former Notre Dame quarterback for the upcoming draft.

Now it's no secret that I really like Brady Quinn and hope the Dolphins somehow draft him. I've said so here, here and here. And when ESPN Draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. recently released his first mock draft, he had Quinn dropping to the Fins at No. 9. What proceeded was an avalanche of reactions from Dolphins fans on call-in radio shows, water coolers and blog commenters (I'm looking at you, MSD Nation). It started the first real talks among fans about the up-coming draft and whether or not we should take Quinn with the number 9 overall pick.

Realistically, it's unlikely the Dolphins will get to draft Quinn. The Raiders, Lions, Bucs, Browns, Redskins, Vikings and Texans all potentially need help at quarterback. And all pick ahead of Miami. And most radio personalities and writers (like this guy and this guy) believe getting Quinn is a pipe-dream.

But if this Post report is true, then we have to acknowledge that Dolphins brass is at least interested in Quinn. We also have to assume that there is still a possibility, however slight, that Quinn will fall to the Fins and that they'll draft him. Certainly the door remains open. Matt Leinart fell in the draft last year. And so did a certain quarterback from Pitt back in 1983.

So it's still possible. Right?

I guess we'll see. For now, if this PB Post report ends up being accurate, then the Quinn-to-the-Fins talk will not go quietly into the night.

Go Fins...

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Monday, February 12, 2007

They're Older, Sting Can't Hit The Hight Notes Anymore, But They Still Kick Ass (Slow Sports Day in SoFla)




Roxxan ... PUT ON THE RED LIGHT!! ... Roxa ... PUT ON THE RED LIGHT!!

My favorite band when I was a little kid. Anyway, I'm working on more Dolphins Draft stuff and will post them shortly. And by "shortly," I mean when I get around to it!!

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

I'm Dwyane Wade. My Five's Hot.

Damn we needed that. The Heat beat the Spurs 100-85 today, bringing Miami back to within a game of .5oo.

Just got back from the game and I got one thing to say. Dwyane Wade is money.

In a game that we needed to win, where he started off going 1-3 in the first half, D-Wade came up big once again in the 4th. Wade scored 18 of his 26 points in the 4th quarter while Eddie Jones (remember Eddie Jones?) added 12 and Udonis The Crushernaut Haslem and Antoine Leroy Jenkins Walker each added 10.

Best sight of the day, however, was Shaq's 16 points. The Big Aristotle was all over the place in this game, going 7-11 from the field and 2-3 from the stripe. Watching Shaq getting his legs back is a great sign (He's alive! ALIVE!!).

And everybody's new favorite Heat, Jason Kapono, got his first double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. He's got pretty hair.

Best part of all, the Heat beat a top contending team, something they've struggled to do all season long. Even better, booing in unison with my fellow Heat fans whenever they showed over-rated unhot Eva Longoria on the jumbo tron. I imagine they must have shown her roughly about 1,654 times on today's broadcast on ABC. Did they show her when D-Wade rudely smacked away not one, but two, of Parker's shots in the 4th? If they did, what was her expression? Please let me know in the comments. Her and Parker and the weird fascination the media has with them irritates me to no end.

Game Notes & Musings:

-D-Wade showed that, no matter how slowly he starts a game or how much a team contains him, he shows up in the 4th when it matters. Dare I say it? Yes I will: CLUTCH (eat my sh-- Dan Le Batard!)

-Eddie Jones is coming around. He needs significant minutes every night. When he was on the bench, Tony Parker went off on us. When Eddie was on the floor, Parker was nowhere to be seen.

-I don't want to lose James Posey unless it's for someone like Corey Maggette. This Sam Cassell nonsense is giving me the hives.

-Shaq served notice. Once the All Star break comes and goes, move the hell outta the way Eastern Conference!!!

-This was my first visit to the AAA since we won it all last year. First thing I did when I got there was stare at the championship banner for about half an hour. Jackass that I am, I didn't bring a camera to take a picture of it. Idiot! I'll make amends next time.

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Seriously, Mark Cuban, This Is Getting Sad

Winners celebrate their triumph and then go on about their business while losers move on with their heads held high, knowing they gave it their all but fell short, and walk off with their dignity intact.
Or they cry and bitch and whine.
Let's look at what the Dallas Mavericks -- losers of the 2006 NBA Finals -- have chosen to do.
Mark Cuban on his team's Finals loss: "It might hurt less if we had lost to a better team. But we didn’t."

Jerry Stackhouse: "We’re the better team. Doesn’t matter what we think unless you show it and prove it. But man for man, if we’re playing our best and they’re playing their best, we are better. For a four-game stretch, they played unbelievable and we didn’t play well at all, and we were still in every game."

Jason "Ball-Grabber" Terry (talking with Gary Payton before a game between the two teams a few weeks ago): "You know you have something that belongs to me, right? You keeping my ring polished?"

And then there's Dirk Nowitzki and his comments about the Mavs "handing the title to the Heat."

And now, the Billion Dollar Penis is at it again on his blog.

It's basically the same old, rehashed lame bullshit about Dwyane Wade's frequent trips to the line, the same old rehashed lame bullshit about how the refs gave the title to the Heat (never mind that Dallas had a 2-0 series lead and the Heat on the ropes and couldn't close them out. You know? Like the better teams usually do).

Really, Mark. Shut the fuck up. Seriously. Your act used to be charming and fun to watch. Now it's deteriorated to a sad state of affairs. You're pathetic. You really are. You're like the funny monkey attraction at the zoo everyone raves about. But then the zoo brings in a new lion and everyone flocks to see that instead. So the monkey has to throw shit at people who walk by his cage just to get some attention.

That's you, Billion Dollar Penis. You're the shit-throwing monkey.

D-Wade spoke out because your whiney-ass bitches won't stop crying. Period. You are the ring leader for the biggest whiners in all of professional sports. It's a disservice to your fans, most of whom have actually been cool and conducted themselves with class after the finals. You can learn a thing or two from the very people who line your billion dollar pockets with tickets and merchandise sales.

Think about it, dick-head. You're leaving a loser's legacy in your wake. In the end, the only thing the Dallas Mavericks will be known for is losing the finals after taking a 2-0 series lead and then whining incessantly about it afterwards.

Nice legacy you're leaving for the city of Dallas and fans of the Mavs.

I guess I can try to understand the frustration you must feel. You were soooo close. And I've tried to see things from your point of view, but I can’t seem to get my head that far up my ass.

Poor sap.

I would end this post by giving you the finger. But only classless jackasses do that.

So, I'll just end it with this instead:

Love ya, Mark. Stay as classy as ever...


Updates: The always awesome True Hoop weighs in on Cuban's latest fiasco. JD of SporTech Matter was the first to bring all the recent Mavs whining to our attention and now he too gives us his thoughts. As does Heat blog Miami Heat Wave. So far only one Mavs fan has written in the MSD comments. He defended his team well, as he should, so it's cool. We may get more, we may not. Like I said, my beef is with the whiney Mavs players and with Cuban, especially. I can always say this about Mavs fans -- you can actually have an intelligent conversation/debate with them and not have them turn into mindless gorillas like Pistons fans.
Oh, and GO HEAT!

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Friday, February 09, 2007

The English Love Their American Football

The Dolphins-Giants game being held in London next season has sparked a huge interest over in the UK. More than 160,000 fans, mostly in the UK, have requested more than 500,000 tickets to the game. 500,000. That’s half a million to you and me. The NFL’s UK web site invited visitors to register for tickets. Traffic was so heavy the site crashed, was rebooted and crashed again. And again. London’s Wembley Stadium holds up to 90,000.

If you live here in the States and want to attend that game (which would be awesome, by the way), know that it’ll be a tough ticket to find. But Dolphins President Bryan Wiedmeier promised the team is working with the league "to make sure we have an allotment sufficient to accommodate our fans who want to go over there."

Wayne Huizenga said the team will put together travel packages for season ticket-holders.

I’m still against the game being held overseas. Only in that it seems like an unnecessary distraction. And losing the one home game in Miami could hurt. But, I have also softened my stance on this whole thing as well. I’ve run into a lot of UK Dolphins fans over the years – there’s a whole legion of them over there – and they’re just as passionate about the Fins as you and I. And given the enthusiastic turn out this will bring, as well as it being the first regular season game held in London, you have to know the crowd is going to be rowdy as hell. And if the majority of them are Dolphins fans – which I think will be the case – that’s an edge for our boys. Better, even, if they played the game here in Miami (given all the damn Giants/Jets fans that live down here and would fill up Dolphin Stadium).

I’m not alone in how I feel, overall. The Sun Sentinel ran a poll asking local Dolphins fans how they feel about this game.

37% (960 voters) say that the game being held in London is an unnecessary distraction.
24% (622 voters) say that it will mess up both the Giants and Dolphins schedule
22% (567 voters ) say it’s a good idea and would like to go to the game.

Either way, it is what it is. And I’m sure the UK representatives of DolphinsNation will come up big for us and actually put us Miamians to shame as far as showing up to a game and cheering through all 4 quarters is concerned. I also look forward to the fans serenading the Dolphins players. That’s going to be pretty cool.

Here’s a take from UK football fan and newest member of the MSD Community, Martin W:

"I feel sorry for you as a season ticket holder. However as a fan from the UK we're overjoyed!! If you hadn't already heard there has been 1/2 million tickets applied for. One home game every 16 years, is that really too much to give up?"

So there you go.



P.S. I know it’s like 8 months away but, if we can, I’d like it if I could get a UK correspondent who is going to this game to give the Miami Sports Dude web log a special report on the Dolphins-Giants game at Wembley. If there are any of you going or if there are other UK readers out there, let me know by e-mailing me. You’ll get your very own post and chance to report exclusively to local die-hard Dolphins fans about your experience. Let me know.



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Thursday, February 08, 2007

VanDyke The Next Hester?

One of the best recruits UM signed yesterday is DB Demarcus VanDyke. The Pace standout was highly recruited, and for good reason. He caught the eye of many a recruiter, including the National Champion Florida Gators, who he had originally committed to. But on signing day, he donned his UM cap and said he was coming to the U.

And that, ladies and gents, is a very good thing.


VanDyke stands at 6-foot-0 , 178 lbs. and runs a 4.3 40.

Want a comparison to another standout UM player?

How about Chicago Bears return man (and former U of M return man) -- the electrifying Devin Hester (the only player to return an opening kickoff for a touchdown in Super Bowl history). When recruited, Hester was measured at 5-foot-11, 180 lbs. and ran the 40 in 4.33.

The stats are almost identical. Particularly, the speed.

And as we U fans know -- speed kills.

VanDyke comes to the U with tons of expectations. No one expects more out of him than VanDyke himself. In his own words yesterday, "I'm bringing Hester back to the U."

Welcome home, DeMarcus. We look forward to seeing what you can do.

And for those who need a refresher ... Devin Hester:

If VanDyke can bring this back to the U ... that would be sick!

GO CANES!

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Thursday Morning Musings

-National Signing Day came and went and the Hurricanes signed 17 players, including top Miami-Dade defensive standouts Joseph Nicolas and DeMarcus Van Dyke. And, in the words of new coach Randy Shannon, "filled our needs."

-The Dolphins-Giants London game is apparently a HUGE hot ticket item. DolphinsNation represented in the UK! I still think it sucks for the Dolphins. But, the more I think about it, the more I think playing a game in London would actually be more of a homefield advantage for the Fins than if they played this game here in Miami. We got New Yorkers up the wazoo down here and, let's face it, Dolphins fans aren't exactly known for filling the place up week after week. Truth hurts.

-The Heat are one game -- that's right! -- one game back from reaching the .500 mark. They beat the hapless Celtics last night (Boston's 16th straight loss) and are heading into the All Star break on a nice roll. Just like last year, we gotta lot of fans down here jumping off bridges after a slow start by the World Champs. But there's still a lot of NBA left. This is a team built for the playoffs. The more Shaq rests, the better it is for all of us. And no one -- you hear me Bulls? -- no one will beat them in the East in a seven-game series. The West? That's another matter entirely. Tomorrow night, they visit LeBron in Cleveland.

-Hey numb nuts! Yea, you Vinatieri, Mr. Clutch Kicker! When The Great One tells you to call heads, you damn well better call heads!

-Turns Out The NFL Agrees With Jason Taylor. Lights Out, Shawn!
-Brady Quinn is supposedly falling on teams' draft boards. His Sugar Bowl performance is said to have hurt his stock. If he falls to us at No. 9, I'd take him. In a heart beat. The guy has all the tools and Cam is a QB guru. And all you need to point to is this past Sunday's Super Bowl to once again prove that, more often than not, you need a big game QB to win it all.


-Meanwhile, Daunte Culpepper says he's looking forward to playing for Cam. Just a guy who might actually get cut getting on his new boss' good side.
-Kapono is in the All Star weekend's three-point contest!

-Oh and, one thing I missed while I was gone last weekend: Randy is staying! I'm happy.

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