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Tag:Daniel Thomas
Posted on: December 30, 2011 2:33 pm
 

Reggie Bush out as Fins look to 'shatter' Jets

Bush won't play as Miami looks to 'shatter' the Jets' playoff hopes. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

On Sunday, the Jets will try and keep their slim playoff hopes (you can read all about them here) alive in Miami. The Dolphins are already eliminated, but don't think that means they won't be trying to knock the Jets out of the postseason. They will. But they'll have to do it without leading rusher Reggie Bush.

Bush, per interim coach Todd Bowles, is out with a knee injury for Sunday's matchup at Sun Life Stadium. Bush is the team's leading rusher and with 1,086 rushing yards, he's having by far and away the best rushing season of his career. (His 519 rushing yards since Week 13 lead the NFL in that time span.)

That means Daniel Thomas, Miami's second-round pick in 2011, will get the bulk of the carries as the Dolphins try and "shatter" the Jets playoff hopes.

"As a Dolphin, that’s all you want to do is shatter their dreams," Kendall Langford, Dolphins defensive lineman, said, per the Miami Herald. "I'm sure the fans would love it, too. I'm sure the New York fans would hate it."

Defensive end Jared Odrick added that "obviously, yeah, that's motivation" when asked about booting a rival from the postseason race.

It's not surprising to hear this from the Dolphins; they're a team that was 0-7 and managed to fight their way back to a very respectable 5-10 record, despite many folks believing they should simply make a run at a winless season and the prospect of Andrew Luck in South Florida.

A win over the Jets in the season finale, at home, to close out Jason Taylor's career, would just be icing on the improperly-baked-but-still-kind-of-
tasty cake that's been the Fins 2011 season.


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Posted on: October 29, 2011 7:04 pm
 

Daniel Thomas, Vontae Davis out for Dolphins

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

 While the Dolphins plane headed to New York had to circle for an hour before it gained clearance to land in the Northeastern snow storm, running back Daniel Thomas and cornerback Vontae Davis remained home in south Florida.

That’s because both have been downgraded to out for Sunday’s game.

Davis and his bad hamstring were originally listed as doubtful on the injury report, but Thomas was questionable and was thought to have a decent chance of playing. 

That means Reggie Bush most likely will start in Thomas’ place, and, as Rapid Reporter Chris Perkins writes, there’s a good chance Steve Slaton will get his first playing time with Miami.

The good news for Bush (other than the probability that he’ll see a plethora of touches without Thomas around)? He’ll get an opportunity to prove he doesn’t stink as bad he and cornerback Yeremiah Bell think he does.

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Posted on: October 20, 2011 11:27 am
 

Top Ten with a Twist: New Faces

J. Harbaugh has been the best new face in the league this year (US Presswire).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Every year, NFL teams make terrible calls. They draft the wrong player, they make ridiculous free agent signings, they let somebody quite valuable go to another team, they make their fan base collectively scratch their head.

Ah, but occasionally, these squads get it right. They draft the right guy, they sign the free agent that’s on the cusp of blowing up, they take somebody valuable from another team, they give their fan base a reason to smile and cheer.

Last year, I recounted the Top Ten new faces, and among the group were Terrell Owens, a combination of Thomas Jones/Ryan Torain/Peyton Hills, and LaDainian Tomlinson. All those guys played well last year, but it just goes to show that this list has less than a one-year expiration.

That said, here are the best pickups thus far in 2011. As I wrote last year, "All of the following have impacted their new teams in many ways and all have made the front offices who signed them seem clairvoyant in the process (though, in the case of a couple players, the decision to add them wasn’t exactly brain surgery). So, here’s to those who have found a new lease on life (or a new burgeoning career) with their new team."

10. Paul Posluszny: Though we could argue about whether the fact the Jaguars stole Posluszny away from the Bills by signing him to a six-year, $42 million contract ($15 million guaranteed) will help the team during the long haul -- Jacksonville, after all, is 1-5 and most likely will lose its head coach sooner rather than later -- but Posluszny has been a tackling machine. As the middle linebacker, he helped hold the Steelers to 55 yards of offense and no points in the second half of Pittsburgh’s 17-13 escape last Sunday while piling up a game-high 16 tackles. The Jaguars have a myriad of problems, but acquiring Posluszny, whatever the cost, was still a solid move.

9. Carson Palmer: OK, he’s been a member of the Oakland organization for less than 48 hours. He’s practiced exactly one time. It’s still unclear whether he’ll start this week (though I imagine he will), and I think there’s a better he doesn’t play well than him actually playing well. But the fact is: the Raiders are making solid moves, and they’re doing all they can to win today. Sure, giving up two first-round draft picks will hurt, but you have to admire the attitude that says, “Screw it, we’re going for it all this year.” And if Palmer plays well and leads Oakland to the postseason, the Raiders will have completely flipped the script.

8. Daniel Thomas: When the Dolphins failed to re-sign Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown, that put the onus on the second-round pick to step into a featured back role and immediately contribute. With Reggie Bush around to take some of his load, Thomas has done that, ranking 10th in the league with 249 yards despite a hamstring problem, and he’s averaging a solid 4.4 yards per carry. He hasn’t scored a touchdown yet, but then again, the Dolphins might be the worst team in the league, so not many touchdowns have been scored by that squad. That doesn't take away from the strides Thomas has made early in his career.

7. Victor Cruz: Technically, he’s not a newcomer, since he made the Giants squad as an undrafted free agent in 2010, but considering he was placed on IR early in the season before he had accumulated any stats, I’ll forgive myself. Cruz has become a player who makes outstanding, circus-type catches and then makes silly mistakes. But he’s also caught 21 passes for 398 yards and three touchdowns, and behind Hakeem Nicks, Cruz has developed into a solid No. 2 receiver for a team that still should contend for an NFC East crown.

6. Johnathan Joseph: He was considered the poor man’s Nnamdi Asomugha in the offseason, signing with the Texans for the reasonable cost of $48.75 million over five years. But he’s been better than Asomugha this year, collecting three interceptions and nine passes defended for an improved Houston defense that ranks 10th in the league. Joseph, though he’s flirted with injuries early on, was the right call for Houston.

Babin5. Ryan Kerrigan/Aldon Smith: These two rookie linebackers are some of the most exciting new players in the league. For the Redskins and 49ers, respectively, the two have combined for 33 tackles, 7 ½ sacks, six passes defended, one interception and three forced fumbles. Forget about Von Miller and Nick Fairley as the two most important defensive rookies emerging from last year’s draft. Kerrigan and Smith, so far, are the two best defensive freshmen in the league.

4. Jason Babin: I had Babin at No. 10 on this list last year, and with the Titans in 2010 -- in his only year with the Titans, it turns out -- he accumulated 12.5 sacks and 58 tackles. This year, he’s been even better, and he’s the new guy who’s done the most damage with the Eagles defense. He ranks tied for third in the league with seven sacks, and though the rest of Philadelphia’s squad has been disappointing, Babin has been a monster. With some scary tattoos.
 
3. Andy Dalton/A.J. Green: So much of the time, Bengals owner Mike Brown comes off as clueless (or maybe he’s just ingenious). Like the time he said, “I don’t apologize for our scouting. It’s an easy target. But if you look at the real facts, you’ll see it different” when it’s clearly evident that many of Cincinnati’s drafts have absolutely stunk. But Brown, also the general manager, hit a home run with Green in the first round of the 2011 draft and Dalton in the second. Green has made some incredible catches, and Dalton has played better than expected. Cincinnati is 4-2, and Green and Dalton deserve some of the credit. As does Brown.

2. Cam Newton: Unfortunately for Newton and the Panthers, we’ve begun to see him play a little more like a rookie recently (he hasn’t even broken the 300-yard mark in the past two weeks!), but there’s no denying that Newton is a special talent. No matter the amount of negativity and doubt Newton received before he took his first snap, he threw for 420-plus yards in his first two outings and then for 374 yards in Week 4. The Panthers aren’t winning, but at least they’re relevant these days. And exciting.

1. Jim Harbaugh: Forgive the guy for showing his belly, jumping up and down like he had just won tickets to see Justin Bieber, and giving Jim Schwartz a hearty handshake and a friendly tap on the back last week. He should be excited. The 49ers, through six games, are running away with the division, and the former Stanford coach in his first season in the NFL has been a huge reason why. Is Harbaugh the sole reason Alex Smith has played well or that the defense is ranked second in the NFL in points allowed? No, but is Harbaugh getting his team to play like Mike Singletary only could have dreamed about? Yes.

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Posted on: October 2, 2011 11:25 am
 

With Thomas out, Slaton will get a chance

SlatonPosted by Josh Katzowitz

With Dolphins running back Daniel Thomas out with a bad hamstring for today’s game in San Diego, it seems like some pretty good foresight from Miami to have signed the recently-released Texans running back Steve Slaton. Though Slaton was done in Houston, stuck behind Arian Foster, Ben Tate and Derrick Ward, he still has promise.

In his 2008 rookie season, he rushed for 1,282 yards and nine touchdowns, and though he’s been limited the past few seasons because of injuries (and because of Foster’s production in Houston), the Dolphins obviously saw something they liked in Thomas (perhaps to the detriment of current Dolphins back Reggie Bush?).

What they liked, well, coach Tony Sparano isn’t sure yet. He’s only seen him practice twice, after all.

“I see a young player that has good upside and I think that’s a good quality to have here at that position," Sparano said, via the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

After a slow start to the season -- he missed the season opener because of the same hamstring injury -- Thomas has rushed for 202 yards in the past two games, and he’s shown why Miami thought highly enough of him to take him in the second round of the 2011 draft. Sparano has said Bush is still his No. 1 guy, but Slaton, if he’s feeling healthy, could make a mark as well.

"Since my rookie year," Slaton said. "I feel about the same."

By that, he means he feels good. But with the absence of Thomas and cornerback Vontae Davis, who will miss his second-straight game with a hamstring injury, the Dolphins will have a tough time traveling to San Diego to face the Chargers. Even with a newly-charged Slaton in the lineup.

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Posted on: September 28, 2011 7:01 pm
 

Dolphins claim Steve Slaton off waivers

SlatonPosted by Josh Katzowitz

It didn’t take long for former Texans running back Steve Slaton to land on his feet with a new team. As Rapid Reporter Chris Perkins writes, the Dolphins have claimed Slaton off waivers, meaning Slaton -- waived on Tuesday -- was only unemployed for a day.

It also means he joins a Miami backfield in which rookie Daniel Thomas has looked good rushing for 202 yards in the past two games and Reggie Bush seems to be slipping down the depth chart after fumbling twice last Sunday.

Slaton had a standout rookie season, rushing for 1,282 yards and nine touchdowns, but he’s been bothered by injuries the past few seasons. But if he’s healthy, he certainly could help complement Thomas.

And what does the signing say about Bush’s future with the team? Maybe nothing and the Dolphins took the opportunity to sign a still young running back who obviously has plenty of talent. Or maybe Miami took a look at the fact that Bush has rushed for 80 yards in three games (and totaled 72 receiving yards) and determined he’s not helping the offense quite as much as he should.

That said, we should point out that coach Tony Sparano said Monday that Bush is still the No. 1 running back. Still, the signing of Slaton probably doesn’t leave Bush feeling completely secure in Miami.

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Posted on: September 2, 2011 12:01 am
 

Daniel Thomas continues to need work

D. Thomas has many improvements he needs to make to his game (US Presswire).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

One issue we really haven’t discussed when we’ve written about the Dolphins trading for and giving a two-year deal to Reggie Bush or when we’ve talked about Tiki Barber trying out for Miami or the addition of retread Larry Johnson is how the team feels about second-round pick Daniel Thomas.

Well, when the most exciting thing you’ve done since you were drafted was to have your name attached to a porn event, that pretty much says it all. In other words, Thomas hasn’t done much in training camp.

As told by the Miami Herald, Thomas is having a tough time transitioning to the pro game, as evidenced by the grocery list of improvements Thomas needs to make. That includes being more physical, running with more explosion, being less tentative, keeping his legs churning, getting his pad level lower and keeping his shoulders squared.

"I would say that's about right," Thomas told the paper. "I've just got to lower my pads and trust my blocks and everything like that and I'm trying to get better here at practice and carry it into the next game."

And when Chad Henne and coach Tony Sparano are imploring you -- or, you know, yelling at you -- to hit the hole harder, it’s probably a good idea to listen.

That’s one big reason Thomas played tonight in the Dolphins preseason finale vs. the Cowboys, writes the Palm Beach Post. What Sparano wanted to see the most: improvement by Thomas -- who carried the ball eight times for 36 yards -- on his pass-blocking.

“In the beginning it was overwhelming a little bit,” Sparano said, via the Post. “But (running backs coach Jeff Nixon) has brought him along and he stepped in there pretty good three or four times today.

“This is something new to him, (but) he’s doing it and having success doing it and he knows that’s really going to be what, at the end of this thing, gets him on the field too,” Sparano said. “You know you’ve got to be able to protect the quarterback and I think he’s done a really good job doing that.”

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Posted on: August 23, 2011 10:44 am
 

Dolphins sign Larry Johnson, dump Kory Sheets

Posted by Will Brinson

The Dolphins signed running back Larry Johnson on Tuesday and released running back Kory Sheets, the team announced Tuesday.

This is a historic moment because Johnson and Reggie Bush may be (unofficially, of course) the two least-talented tweeting running backs in NFL history.

Bush, as you'll remember, sealed his fate with the Saints by tweeting "it's been fun" towards his old team and city when they drafted actual Heisman-possessor Mark Ingram in April. He was promptly shipped to Miami this offseason.

Johnson's social media prowess is much more well-documented: not only has he dropped homophobic slurs on Twitter, but he also called out Todd Haley there, and eventually managed to generate what I believe is the first Twitter-related suspension in sports history.

Of course, that was the middle of 2009, back when Johnson was already considered on the wrong side of relevant -- he was eventually cut by the Chiefs, landed with the Bengals for the remainder of 2009 and then found himself in Washington last season, where he piled up, um, two rushing yards before being released by the Redskins.

So we're a good ways removed from Johnson having any legitimate success. Needless to say, the Dolphins can't be expecting too much from him, especially with Daniel Thomas and Bush already on the roster and expected to get the majority of carries.

Perhaps most importantly from all of this, though, is the fact that Miami was so desperate for running back depth that they were the only team to bring in Tiki Barber for a workout. They did that before signing Johnson ... and still signed Larry Johnson.

Which really should put an end to any "Tiki comeback" rumors.

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Posted on: August 3, 2011 8:27 pm
 

Report: Tiki Barber works out for Dolphins

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

In case you were wondering if you would ever again hear about Tiki Barber’s attempted comeback, wonder no more. Foxsports.com’s Jay Glazer is reporting that Barber had a tryout with the Dolphins on Tuesday.

Tiki Time
Glazer writes that Barber looked good working out, but it remains to be seen whether he’ll catch on with Miami because the Dolphins want to test out their current RBs.

The Dolphins backfield certainly will look new this season after drafting Daniel Thomas in the second round and then dropping Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams. Then, they acquired Reggie Bush to complement Thomas.

It’s possible Barber could find a place on the squad, but Lex Hilliard and Kory Sheets also are on the Dolphins depth chart, and those two are probably who Miami personnel want to see before they think about making a move on Barber.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com