Tag:Jake Long
Posted on: September 10, 2011 7:31 pm
 

Chad Henne, Brandon Marshall are BFFs -- for now

HennePosted by Josh Katzowitz

You might recall that the relationship between Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne and Miami receiver Brandon Marshall hasn’t always been so rosy.

For instance, in January, Marshall said this: “Tyler [Thigpen] gets it a little more. He had an opportunity to play with Dwayne Bowe in Kansas City and they made some plays out there so I guess he understands [about] throwing the ball to a big receiver a little more than Chad Henne.”

Ouch, right? Well, apparently the two are getting along swimmingly so far this year. And Marshall is bored of the line of questioning that asks, “So, how are you and the ol’ QB getting along these days?”

"I’m so tired of that question," Marshall said, via the Miami Herald. “… How long are we going to go over that question? Maybe if I answer it differently for you guys this time, man.

"Caught a couple of nice long balls in the preseason ... targeted a bunch of times ... what more can I ask for? He’s spinning it well. We’re communicating great ... I don’t know, is that good enough for you?"

Henne was a little more forthcoming in the advancement of their relationship.

“It’s going great," Henne said. "I really think Brandon has come a long way; I’ve come a long way.  And I think it’s just a new attitude this year.  A lot of frustrating points last year which kind of created that mis-relationship that everybody saw.  But I believe this year is a new person in Brandon; a new person in me. We’re just excited to get back on the field on Monday."

Henne-Marshall Love-Fest
Much of the conflict, er … mis-relationship, came because of the way the two individuals approach the game. Henne is more exact, and he wants routes run the right way and at the right distance. Marshall is more of a freelancer, and he’s more apt to say, “Just throw the ball up in the air, and I’ll come down with it.”

For whatever reason, both seem to be on the same page for now, though obviously this all could change once the games begin.

But not all believe in Henne. Remember when Dolphins fans chanted for Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton? That wasn’t very nice. And, probably more hurtful to Henne, remember when former teammate Channing Crowder had this rant about him last month after Crowder retired?

“He hasn’t really proven anything to me while I played with him and now being on the other side, looking down as a fan, he’s not impressing me, either,” Crowder said. “So he can get on, he has all the tangibles, I want to say, the arm strength, his footwork’s funny, but [with the] arm strength he has, you know he can make some good throws. But the intangibles, the winning the game, the wanting to have everything on his shoulders, like the Brady’s and like the Manning’s, and wanting to have, be down by five with a minute left on the 20 yard line, let’s see what happens, he doesn’t have that in his heart yet. I think it will be hard for him to win. But like I said the proof’s in the pudding, so if he comes out this year and (goes) crazy, you know, I’ll have to put my foot in my mouth. But, if I was a betting man, I wouldn’t bet on him going crazy.”

Even so, Henne, as voted by his teammates, has been named the team captain. While it’s certainly not unusual for a non-rookie quarterback to be named a team’s offensive captain – it’d be more unusual if somebody of Henne’s stature continuously wasn’t the captain – it also speaks to what the team thinks of Henne. And what the Dolphins believe how Henne is capable of performing.

"I've been saying all along, he's a leader on our offense," tackle Jake Long said, via the Palm Beach Post. "He deserves it."

Even Marshall wouldn’t disagree with that. Not at this very moment anyway.

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Posted on: April 6, 2011 2:19 pm
Edited on: April 6, 2011 3:20 pm
 

Offseason Checkup: Miami Dolphins

Posted by Josh Katzowitz



Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups .



Entering their Monday Night Football matchup against the Patriots in Week 4, the Dolphins had to be feeling confident in their chances of beating New England in Miami. The Dolphins defense had looked good in knocking off the Bills and Vikings (which, at the time, was considered a pretty good win), and then Miami played the Jets to a close loss before the Patriots came to town.

A 41-14 disaster later, Miami fired special teams coach John Bonamego and never got more than a game above .500 for the rest of the season (and, in fact, finished the year at 7-9).



Coach on the hot seat, quarterback

Although Tony Sparano took a 1-15 team and turned it into an 11-5 division title winner a year later (beating out the Patriots for the honor), he’s gone 7-9 in back-to-back seasons. Apparently, owner Stephen Ross listened to Bill Parcells’ recommendation and decided to bring back Sparano for another season (though Ross DID disgustingly go out of his way to woo Jim Harbaugh for the job). But the specter of Jon Gruden and Bill Cowher still are out there and until Sparano is off the hot seat, fans will wonder about their availability.

Sparano would get a great deal of help if QB Chad Henne could put together a consistent season. WR Brandon Marshall blasted his QB at the end of last season and said he actually works better with QB Tyler Thigpen (a major ZING, by the way). It’s too early to give up on Henne, especially now that Chad Pennington will miss all of 2011 because of a torn ACL, but it’s getting to the point where Henne needs to show somebody something.




1. Running back
On paper, the duo of Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams would seem a surefire way for the Dolphins to rack up rushing yards and plenty of touchdowns. Yet, the Dolphins managed to finish 21st in running last season. There’s a good chance that neither back will return to Miami next year, leaving Patrick Cobbs and Lex Hilliard on the roster at RB. Which means the Dolphins will need some big-time help at that spot and which is why Alabama’s Mark Ingram might be a good draft pick (though the Dolphins might want to trade down instead).

2. Offensive line
You know what doesn’t help your third-string quarterback perform better? A terribly inconsistent offensive line. That’s what Tyler Thigpen faced in Miami’s 16-0 loss to the Bears in Week 11 – a line missing starters Jake Long and Joe Berger who then watched backup Cory Procter get injured on the second offensive series, meaning Richie Incognito had to move from guard to center. Miami could make a play for a solid center in the draft.

3. Keep improving the defense
n 2009, the Dolphins ranked 25th in the league in defense, but last year, they improved that number to No. 13. Most of the starting front seven is solid, but Miami’s DBs had a tough time hanging onto interceptions last season. It also would help if they got more playmakers in the secondary.




After Ross stopped emasculating Sparano for Harbaugh and then gave him a two-year extension, Ross made it clear he wanted a more aggressive, more exciting offense. Sparano, though, said he plans to keep running the ball more often than not. Could we see both? I suppose, though I kind of doubt it.

I also don’t see a playoff run with Miami, considering the Patriots and Jets still will be battling for AFC East supremacy. All of which means the meddling Ross probably will fire Sparano, and then, everybody can just start over again in Miami. Which means we might not see good pro football in Miami for a while.

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Posted on: February 8, 2011 9:55 am
 

'Tis the season for base salary increases

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Mac’s Football Blog has an interesting chart on its website today which tells of each of the NFL players whose performances in 2010 triggered, through their specific contracts, base salary increases for 2011 (assuming, of course, there is a 2011).

Some interesting players/salaries listed here. For instance:

- Falcons QB Matt Ryan gets a $1 million raise to $11.25 million, while Ravens QB Joe Flacco will increase his salary $1.7 million to $4.485 million. Did you realize that Ryan makes nearly three times as much as Flacco? I did not.

- Browns WR Joshua Cribbs will see his base salary increase to $957,000. Which is about three times less than Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick will make ($3.195 million). Also, Cleveland CB Joe Haden, who will enter his second season, will earn about $2.55 million.

- Lions WR Calvin Johnson will lose about $1.5 million in base salary.
 
- Did you know that Dolphins tackle Jake Long will make $11.2 million next season? Did you know that OT Jason Smith (I believe he plays for the Rams) will earn $8.5 million next season?

- Finally, Buccaneers LB Geno Hayes ($1.04 million) will earn slightly more than franchise QB Josh Freeman ($940,000).

Are those figures cool with everyone? Because I think few of them are a little out of whack.

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Posted on: January 22, 2011 4:24 pm
Edited on: January 22, 2011 5:29 pm
 

Dolphins extend GM Ireland's contract

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The Dolphins announced earlier today that general manager Jeff Ireland had signed a multi-year contract extension, and it must come as a relief, though not necessarily a big surprise, to Ireland (and, I suppose, to those who want stability in the organization).

While Ireland certainly has garnered some positive accomplishments since taking over his role after the 2007 season, he had to wonder – at least, slightly – about his job security now that Bill Parcells is basically out of the picture.

Ireland was one of Parcell’s guys – Parcells hired Ireland when he took over the team’s football operations after they worked together in Dallas – but after Parcells stepped away to become a team consultant, one had to wonder if owner Stephen Ross really thought Ireland was the horse he could ride.

Apparently, that is the case.

“The decision to extend Jeff’s contract as our General Manager was an easy one," said Ross in a statement. "The young talent that Jeff has assembled during his three years with the Dolphins has made a profound impact on our franchise’s recovery from the 1-15 season of 2007. Jeff has my full support moving forward as we pursue our goals to build the best and brightest front office in the National Football League and ultimately to win a Super Bowl championship for all of South Florida and Dolphin fans around the world.”

Since taking over, Ireland has drafted talented players like OT Jake Long, CB Vontae Davis, LB Koa Misi and WR Brian Hartline while procuring the services of WR Brandon Marshall and TE Sal Anthony Fasano .

But he’s also missed out on big picks – 2008 second-round pick Phillip Merling and 2009 second-round pick Pat White come to mind – while the jury is still out on QB Chad Henne (2008 second-round pick).

Plus, there was that incident when he, in a pre-Draft interview, asked former Oklahoma State and current Cowboys WR Dez Bryant about the rumors that his mother was a prostitute. Ireland later apologized for the misstep.

But Ross, unlike his latest dealings with coach Tony Sparano, made this transaction rather clean, because so far, Ireland has done enough to impress.

"He's an excellent judge of talent," CBS’ own analyst Charlie Casserly told the Palm Beach Post earlier this month. "He has a clear vision of what he wants the team to look like on the field, and he wants to have a physical team up front on both lines. Any time you have that, you have a chance to win."

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Posted on: November 20, 2010 7:45 pm
Edited on: November 20, 2010 9:17 pm
 

Dolphins ponder what to do with Jake Long

Posted by Andy BenoitJ. Long (US Presswire)

Jake Long tried to fight through a torn labrum in his left shoulder Thursday night. The verdict? He did okay – but no better than just okay. Julius Peppers had three sacks, though not all of them were a case of the defensive end plain beating the left tackle.

But Jake Long is not a “just okay” player. And his overall performance Thursday was discouraging (he couldn’t even throw a full punch from the left side). Thus, it comes as no surprise that Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel reports that the Dolphins are considering shutting down the All-World left tackle. Miami is 5-5 and all but out of the running in the AFC East.

Long will need surgery to repair the labrum, which would keep him out four months. He’s adamant that he can still contribute, and it’s likely the Dolphins will give him one more chance to prove it against the Raiders next week. But at some point, given Miami’s record and Long’s big-picture value to the franchise, it will likely make the most sense for him to go under the knife early and get ready for 2011.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: November 18, 2010 6:57 pm
 

Report: Long 'does expect to play tonight'

Posted by Will Brinson

Jake Long is the key to what probably amounts as the biggest matchup in Thursday night's matchup between Miami and Chicago (although Andy earlier made a compelling case that Cameron Wake is actually the biggest factor), because without one of the top tackles in the game, the Dolphins will have their hands full with Julius Peppers.

So, good news for Miami -- Long, according to ESPN's Rachel Nichols "does expect to play tonight."

Miami should have it's hands full running against a Bears defense that's been second best in the league against the run so far this year as it is (with Tyler Thigpen taking his first start with the 'Fins, surely Chicago will be looking to stack the box anyway).

So the news that Long will play is great for the Dolphins, at least right now. As Andy and I discussed on the preview podcast, however, a shoulder injury is nothing to play around with, and even though this game is vital for the 2010 season, there has to be a little concern about the long-term effects that playing with the injury could have.

That being said, it seems unlikely that Miami would put Long on the field if they weren't confident he was healthy enough to play.

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Posted on: November 16, 2010 9:58 am
 

Hot Routes 11.16.10: Who cares about concussions?



Posted by Josh Katzowitz


- Not only does Steelers WR Hines Ward think he should play next week vs. the Raiders following his concussion Sunday vs. the Patriots, he thinks he should have gone back in the game after his injury. Ward’s mistake, he said, was getting up too early from his collision and stumbling across the field. Instead, he thinks he should have stayed on the turf in an effort to clear his head. Instead, he proved, without a shadow of a doubt, he should not return to the game.

- His Jets teammates were awfully impressed by WR Jerricho Cotchery’s diving overtime catch Sunday, despite hopping around on a bad groin. Damien Woody said the Jets were in awe of Cotchery’s dedication.

- After a Titans debut in which he was targeted just four times (and caught one pass for 26 yards), coach Jeff Fisher said there would be more opportunities for WR Randy Moss in the future. Speaking of Tennessee, it’s Vince Young’s team to run again. Kerry Collins will be out several weeks with a calf injury.

- Chiefs coach Todd Haley to Broncos coach Josh McDaniels: Um, sorry about that.

- With Giants Tom Coughlin announcing Monday that WR Ramses Barden has a fractured left ankle and significant ligament damage, making him likely done for the season, New York only has three healthy receivers to play. That would be Hakeem Nicks, Mario Manningham and (let me know if you’ve ever heard of …) Duke Calhoun.

- Making matters worse for Seahawks DE Raheem Brock, who was arrested on a DUI charge last weekend, he didn’t tell his coaches about it before playing in Sunday’s game. That likely won’t sit well with the decision-makers in Seattle.

- Anybody wanting to take a bet on whether Dolphins LT Jake Long will play this Thursday, despite suffering a torn labrum in his shoulder, should consider this: In the first 42 games of his career, he’s played 99.4 percent of his team’s snaps (missing only 18 out of 2,838). That said, his injury does not sound so good.

- Former Buccaneers guard Arron Sears is battling mental issues. And it’s not like he’s far removed from his playing days.

- The Panthers did not appreciate Tampa Bay’s helmet-to-helmet hit on Carolina QB Jimmy Clausen that might have led to Clausen’s concussion. Especially WR Steve Smith.

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Posted on: November 13, 2010 3:27 pm
Edited on: November 13, 2010 8:40 pm
 

Week 10 injury news and analysis, part II

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Patriots at Steelers


It was big news Friday when Tom Brady was listed as probable with a right shoulder on New England’s injury report (everybody in the Northeast let out a HUGE exhale). But he also was spotted limping Friday, and he declined to comment to the media about why. This obviously would be a problem if he’s called upon to move around in the pocket or to scramble.

In other New England injury news, RB Fred Taylor is listed as questionable with his turf toe injury. He was limited in practice all week, but the team also might want to hold off inserting him into a game before he’s completely healthy. He hasn’t played since Week 3.

UPDATE (8:38 p.m.): New England has downgraded three players to "out." That includes OG Stephen Neal, RB Fred Taylor and DE Myron Taylor. None of them will play Sunday.

Steelers DE Brett Keisel has missed three straight games because of a hamstring injury, and he’s doubtful again this week. He was supposed to start last Monday vs. the Bengals, but he re-aggravated the injury in warmups. OG Chris Kemoeatu also is doubtful after spraining his knee in Cincinnati. It sounds like Ramon Foster will take his place in the starting lineup.

LB James Harrison was a late addition to the injury report with back spasms. He’s listed as questionable.

Titans at Dolphins


The big question mark for Tennessee obviously is QB Vince Young. I wrote earlier today that it doesn’t sound like he will play , and that means Kerry Collins would get the starting nod.

WR Kenny Britt is out with a hamstring – potentially for the rest of the regular season – but that’s where Randy Moss is supposed to come in and perform.

For Miami, a couple backups (CB Tyrone Culver and WR Roberto Wallace) are questionable, and although some of the team’s most important players (T Jake Long, LB Karlos Dansby, S Chris Clemons and TE Anthony Fasano) are on the injury list, all of them are probable and should play.

Jets at Browns

One of the stranger stories of the week was Browns LB Marcus Benard who collapsed in the locker room Thursday and was sent to the hospital for tests. He didn’t practice Friday and is questionable to play. But Benard, who leads the team with 4 ½ sacks, wants to be out there, and it’s certainly possible Cleveland could allow him to do so.

Meanwhile, Cleveland QBs Jake Delhomme (ankle) and Seneca Wallace (ankle) are both questionable, but at this point, it’s hard to see how coach Eric Mangini could insert either given the way Colt McCoy has played the past three games.

The Jets are pretty healthy. CB Darrelle Revis (hamstring), LB Calvin Pace (foot) G Matt Slauson (knee) and T Damien Woody (knee) are on the injury list, but all are listed as probable.

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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