Tag:Chad Henne
Posted on: December 30, 2011 4:57 pm
Edited on: December 30, 2011 4:58 pm
 

Top Ten with a Twist: Draft needs

A. Luck should be a No. 1 selection in next year's draft. Who will select him, though (US Presswire).

By Josh Katzowitz

As we enter the final weekend of the season, a number of squads are just playing out the string, hoping to put a solid performance on film, ready to clean out their lockers and look ahead to next year. While only four games on this week’s schedule mean absolutely nothing in terms of the postseason, quite a few of those teams are just looking to play spoiler.

And looking to the 2012 draft, where they can begin to rebuild their team or shore up that one position that could put them over the hump for next season. That’s why we’re taking the 10-worst teams in the league this year and finding one major flaw that needs to be fixed from April 26-28 in New York City’s Radio Music Hall.

For these teams -- and their fans -- the time has come to salivate at the prospects of landing the exact right guy that could change their fortunes for years to come.

10. Bills: Defensive line -- I didn’t like the Ryan Fitzpatrick $59 million extension earlier this year, and I hate it now. But I think Buffalo has other concerns for the moment, and they come on defense. For one, Buffalo has a tough time stopping the run. First-round pick Marcell Dareus has been a bit inconsistent at the nose tackle, but he also has the ability to play like a monster. The 3-4  ends, though, need to be better. Injured tackle Kyle Williams obviously will help when he returns next season, but the ability to rush the passer once in a while also would help (Buffalo’s 25 sacks ranks 30th in the league).

9. Dolphins: Quarterback -- Look, the Dolphins have some talent. They proved that when Tony Sparano’s job was on the line, and they started winning games. They proved it by nearly beating Tom Brady, and they proved it by nearly beating Tim Tebow (that last point was a joke). While Matt Moore has been much better than expected after taking over for Chad Henne, he’s a Band-Aid. I think most of us would agree that Henne isn’t the answer as the starter, and perhaps, he and Moore could have a battle to see who could back-up a legit starting quarterback. Reggie Bush established himself as a 1,000-yard rusher, and with a talented quarterback like Robert Griffin III (if he lasts that long in the draft), the Dolphins could begin pushing for AFC East crowns.

8. Browns: Pass rushers -- Cleveland got two defensive linemen early last year (tackle Phil Taylor in the first round and end Jabaal Sheard in the second), and they’ve done a nice job on the left side of the defensive line. But the defense ranks 25th in the league in sacks, and defensive end Jayme Mitchell hasn’t had a great season. Marcus Benard, coming off a solid rookie season last year, is on IR, and if the Browns could get one more high-end rusher in the draft, they’d have talent and depth.

7. Redskins: Quarterback -- It’s probably time for Mike Shanahan to come to the realization that his quarterback picks the past two years have been disastrous (Donovan McNabb, Rex Grossman, John Beck). He said the other day that the rebuild of this franchise has taken more time than he thought, but a standout quarterback obviously would help that process along. Shanahan also said that there was no question in his mind that he’d be back next season, but unless he finds a way to invigorate his offense, that might be a different story this time next year.

6. Chiefs: Right tackle -- Looking across Kansas City’s depth chart, there’s not one position group that so obviously needs to be overhauled. The Chiefs have talent, even if some of those positions don’t have much depth. But right tackle Barry Richardson has badly struggled this season. According Pro Football Focus, Richardson is the worst-rated offensive tackle in the league (the decision to cut Jared Gaither near the end of the season was a bad one). Left tackle Branden Albert is solid, but the right side of the line needs to be reworked.

Minnesota's secondary has been a big concern this year (US Presswire).5. Buccaneers: Run defenders -- The Buccaneers tried to shore up their defensive end spots last draft, taking Adrian Clayborn in the first round and Da’Quan Bowers in the second round. Considering Tampa Bay ranks dead last in sacks, the experiment hasn’t paid off immediate dividends. But the Buccaneers are also terrible against the run, and even though tackle Albert Haynesworth has played better than most of us had a right to expect, there are still huge holes to fill in the lineup.

4. Vikings: Secondary -- The Vikings rank as the 31st-worst defense in the NFL, but in reality, their front seven has talent (for instance, Jared Allen, Kevin Williams and Chad Greenway). Minnesota lost Antoine Winfield (its best corner) early in the year, Chris Cook has legal troubles, safety Jamarca  Sanford has struggled badly and the rest of the safeties have been ravaged by injuries. It’s no  wonder opposing quarterbacks dominate the Vikings defensive backs. On the season, Minnesota has recorded seven interceptions, worst in the NFL. The Vikings need to find somebody who can force turnovers in order to improve this unit.

3. Jaguars: Receivers – Oh, how they need receivers. Yes, Blaine Gabbert has been, by far, the worst rookie quarterback to play this year, but Jacksonville, even with new ownership and a new coach, probably needs to give him more than a season to see if he’s a quarterback of the future. He also needs somebody who can catch his passes. Here are Jacksonville’s top-three receivers: Mike Thomas, Jarret Dillard, and yeah, nobody else. In fact, there’s a good chance running back Maurice Jones-Drew will end up as the team’s leading pass-catcher this season. Hard to blame Gabbert completely when his receiving corps is so bad.

2. Colts: Running backs -- Assuming Peyton Manning returns healthy next season -- admittedly, a huge assumption -- his receivers should continue to be fine (this, of course, depends on what happens with free agents Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon). But we’ve seen this year that without a running game, a Manning-less Colts squad has very little chance of doing anything (mostly because Manning makes up for SO many team deficiencies). Joseph Addai, who’s averaging 3.8 yards per carry and probably won’t get to 500 rushing yards on the season for the second year in a row, might be released into free agency, and Donald Brown, while improved, isn’t a legit No. 1 running back. The Colts obviously have a big decision to make regarding Manning and Andrew Luck, but taking a running back probably wouldn’t be a bad idea.

1.Rams: Offensive linemen -- There’s been talk that maybe the Rams should grab Luck if they end up with the No. 1 pick. Which, with Sam Bradford on the team, would be ludicrous. Instead, St. Louis should be focused on how to put together an offensive line that doesn’t lead the league in sacks allowed. The biggest problem, not including injuries to Jason Smith and Jacob Bell that have hurt the unit, has been the line’s interior. Linemen aren’t the sexiest position, but damn, St. Louis needs to find some that can stay healthy and keep Bradford and Steven Jackson out of danger.

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Posted on: November 5, 2011 4:50 pm
Edited on: November 5, 2011 4:51 pm
 

Miami issues statement refuting analyst's opinion

Dolphins should probably turn off the radio and concentrate on trying to win a game. (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The 0-7 Miami Dolphins should have more important things on the to-do list than issuing statements refuting comments made by a former NFL player on a local radio station. And yet on Friday, the team did just that.

Jim Miller, an NFL quarterback for six seasons who now works as an analyst for CSN Chicago covering the Bears, appeared on 640-AM's The Big O Show with Orlando Alzugaray last week.

Miller was asked about the "Suck for Luck" phenomenon and where the Dolphins fit into that conversation:

"Yes, it's frustrating because I live here in Motown and we got a turnaround with the Detroit Lions and the fans here have been devastated for a long time in terms of not winning," Miller told Alzugaray. "Now there's a lot of excitement yet the fans never went away even through the Matt Millen years and all the things that have gone on. And now they're winning the fans back over and I think that certainly can happen for the Miami Dolphins.

"I think (Miami) has a lot of talent," he continued. "I like that defense. I like the corners, Sean Smith and Vontae Davis, but the defense is on the field consistently.

"And I don't know what's been talked about down there, O[rlando], I mean, I'm upset with Chad Henne. I think he flat out packed it in for the Miami Dolphins. I've a had separated left shoulder -- you can play with that injury. All you're trading when you get surgery is a bump for a scar. He realized he wasn't going to get a new contract down there so I think he packed it in. And those aren't the type of players, in my opinion, the Miami Dolphins need in the future. They need guys that are going to give it up for their football team."

To recap: a guy with no ties to the Dolphins and presumably no sources in or close to the organization offers up his thoughts on Chad Henne to a South Florida radio host. Doesn't this happen every day, in every city, on every sports talk station around the country?

Miller said nothing about "I'm hearing," or "my sources tell me," or "someone close to the situation says…" Miller says "I think [Henne] flat out packed it in." The use of the verb "think" tells us that that's what Miller … thought.

No matter. the Dolphins were none too happy with Miller and his opinions. On Friday, they issued the following statement (via the Miami Herald's Armando Salguero):

"The report that Chad Henne should have played with his injury is totally false and the speculation of the nature of that injury is not correct. The medical staff made it clear to Chad that he could not play with his injury and that his only option was surgery."

How utterly embarrassing (yet nowhere near the humiliation of losing seven straight times to start the season or having the wrong defense on the field against Tim Tebow on the game's decisive play).

Also worth mentioning: when someone offers up a thought, it's not to be confused with a report. Figured that went without saying. Clearly, we were wrong. And in case it comes up again: Tebow likes to run the quarterback draw on short-yardage situations, especially out of the shotgun. You're welcome in advance.

Salguero notes that while Miller is wrong (Henne sought a second opinion before having surgery), the Dolphins have every intention of letting Henne walk after the season.

Either way: who cares what Miller, a Bears analyst, thinks about the Dolphins? (Other than the organization, which apparently hangs on Miller's every word.)


The Kansas City Chiefs hope to continue their hot streak as they prepare to host the Miami Dolphins, who are still searching for their first win. Jason Horowitz and NFL.com's Pat Kirwan break down this game. Watch the game at 1 PM ET on CBS.

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Posted on: November 3, 2011 11:19 am
 

Sparano still holding Dolphins together

SparanoPosted by Josh Katzowitz

Tony Sparano still has a job. And you have to think part of the reason the Dolphins still employ him for now is because the team hasn’t quit on him. As we’ve seen in the past few weeks, when it built leads on the Broncos and the Giants only to watch those advantages crumble, it’s not a matter of desire for Miami. It’s a matter of talent, and Sparano isn’t the only one to blame for it.

So, Sparano does whatever he can to change the routine to try to find some way, somehow, to find the formula for victory.

“I changed everything really,” Sparano said, via the Palm Beach Post. “I changed the amount of reps we took. I changed the length of the periods. I changed what we were practicing, (and) when. … Shaved time, made practice shorter, a little more efficient. Tried to keep the players fresher that way. Two minute (drill) we did on Thursday. Up the weightlifting all week so that we had more time at the end of the week to recover as opposed to lifting weights deep into the week. Kind of made as many changes as I could.

“Hopefully we find a winning formula this week and we don’t have to change, because we’re creatures of habit. I think once we get one of these under our belt -- which we hope is this week -- then we‘ll stick to that for a little while.”

Sparano's Future
But one of the strongest reasons to support Sparano at this point is that the team still seems to be held together. Considering there was some early-season tension with the quarterback situation (you might recall fans chanting for Kyle Orton at the expense of Chad Henne -- boy, were those fans crazy, eh?), Sparano’s ability to not watch over a team-wise breakdown is impressive. Even the whole “this team stinks, you stink, I stink” issue of last week was more funny than disruptive.

In fact, as one player suggests, the team is still (gasp!) having a good time together.

“Practice is still fun,” said Reggie Bush via the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “Guys are having a good time out there, still working and we’re still hacking away at it.”

Sparano knows he’s fortunate that his locker room seems to have remained supportive of him. Even Brandon Marshall has been relatively harmless, it seems. The energy at practice remains strong; Sparano simply says the team’s efficiency needs to improve.

Or maybe Sparano can find some kind of good luck piece, a la Todd Haley’s scary winning-streak beard.

“I’ve had this thing (facial hair) since the start of the season and preseason and that didn’t work out so good, so I shaved it just before one of the games a couple weeks ago,” he said. “And that didn’t work out so good, so I grew it back. And maybe this thing is going to turn into those ZZ Top things. We’ll work it that way.”

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Posted on: November 3, 2011 10:15 am
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Posted on: October 29, 2011 12:21 pm
 

Stephen Ross says he hasn't gone after Cowher

Sparano

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has shown a willingness in the past to trample over his current coach’s feelings by flying across the country to try to woo a new coach to his team.

Ross did it last offseason when he hopped a flight to California to try to convince then-Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh to take Sparano’s place (even though, ahem, Sparano was still the coach of Ross’ organization).

It was embarrassing and a complete emasculation for Sparano, and it undermined his ability to be an effective leader in the organization. So, when, CBSSports.com’s Mike Freeman reported this week that the Dolphins have approached Bill Cowher about their coaching position (even though, once again, Sparano is still, ahem, the coach of Ross’ organization), it makes perfect sense.

But Ross, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, has denied going after the former Steelers coach.

"Not true,'' Ross said. "I'm not going to reach out to anyone while Tony (Sparano) is the coach. I hope he wins and stays the coach. Neither I nor anyone involved with me has contacted (Cowher), his agent or anyone around him."

Ross’ statement is laughable because of what occurred last year around the attempted hiring of Harbaugh. I believe Freeman's sources, but if Ross speaks the truth, his indignation that he never would go after another coach in that matter is ridiculous.

And when the Harbaugh wooing didn’t work, Ross then had some advice for Sparano. As Andy Benoit wrote in January:
There are a handful of NFL organizations that have been marred by meddling owners who inject their Joe Fan perspective into the team’s actual makeup. (Redskins fans know all about this.) But Dan Snyder, at least, has never been overtly public about his football opinions. And he’s never gone on radio to share the specifics of any advice he’s given to his head coach. Ross, whose background is in tax law and real estate, elaborated on the sage advice he gave to Sparano (who has over 25 years of coaching experience, including six years working with Bill Parcells).

“One great advantage in Florida as the Miami Dolphins, that other teams don’t have, and that’s we have the weather in August, September and October,” Ross said. “Our players are training in that weather, let’s take advantage of it. Let’s go with a hurry-up offense, let’s wear them down. We’ve never done that. This isn’t the north, where you want to just take it 4 yards and a cloud of dust. I think I look for a different brand. Seeing the Dolphins, how fans want to see them, how we win, we’re going downfield, the days of Dan Marino, the days we all want to go back to.”

Which was an awesome thing to say, considering Miami’s quarterback at the time, Chad Henne, isn’t exactly a Dan Marino clone.

OK, so we see that Ross is willing to fly cross-country to get what he wants, and when that doesn’t work, he’s willing to dole out advice to a long-time football man in Sparano. Why wouldn’t he go after Cowher after the way this disaster of a season has opened? Of course, he would.

For now, Cowher supposedly told his agent that he won’t agree to coach a team unless that team has a vacancy, and since it’s highly unlikely he would leave his TV gig in the middle of a season to take over the directionless Dolphins, a deal, if one is forthcoming, wouldn’t happen until after the season is complete.

When Sparano almost surely will be fired, and Ross can hire whomever he wants without having to humiliate Sparano to do so.

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Posted on: October 25, 2011 3:45 pm
Edited on: October 25, 2011 4:13 pm
 

Dolphins sign former Bills 1st-rounder JP Losman

He's back! The Dolphins ink JP Losman. (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Words we never thought we'd write: JP Losman is back in the NFL. The Miami Dolphins rescued Losman from football obscurity and, depending on your perspective, put him in a less enviable situation. Losman will be the No. 2 quarterback behind Matt Moore, who injured his ribs in Sunday's loss to the Broncos but is expected to play against the Giants this week, according to the Palm Beach Post's Ben Volin.

To make room on the roster for Losman, the Dolphins placed Sage Rosenfels on the Reserve/Non-Football Illness list. FoxSports.com's Alex Marvez writes that Rosenfels recently became sick with the same illness that landed him in the hospital in August. 

“I am thankful for the opportunity the Dolphins gave me to come here and play,” Rosenfels said in a statement through agent Rick Smith that was given to FOXSports.com. “I was looking forward to contributing to the team when I signed.

“When I first joined the Dolphins, all tests showed that I was healthy and ready to go. But after practicing for a few weeks, especially in the heat, some new indications made it obvious that I need to rest and allow my body to regain all requisite strength. I want to thank the Dolphins for their understanding and wish them the best of luck the rest of the season.”

Rosenfels was signed nearly three weeks ago after starter Chad Henne was lost for the season with a shoulder injury. Before settling on Rosenfels, Miami also put Kellen Clemens, Losman, Jim Sorgi, and Charlie Frye through the paces. Apparently, Losman impressed them enough to bring him back.

The former Tulane star was the Bills' 2004 first-round pick. After five years in Buffalo, where Losman started 33 games, threw for 6,211 yards, 33 touchdowns and 24 interceptions, he landed in Oakland in 2009 and was in Seattle for parts of 2010. He also played for the UFL's Las Vegas Locomotives in 2009, where he had 1,193 passing yards, nine touchdowns and two picks.

And now, Losman's an injury away from playing again in the NFL, although he'd be a much bigger help to the Dolphins if he was a defensive coordinator.

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Posted on: October 20, 2011 10:21 am
 

'Suck for Luck' is not cool by Karlos Dansby

A. Luck is the subject of the Posted by Josh Katzowitz

If you want to upset Dolphins linebacker Karlos Dansby, if you want to get his heart pumping rapidly, bring up the Suck for Luck campaign and watch him go.

In case you’re stuck under the bad vibes created by some of the worst teams in the NFL -- I’m looking at you, Dolphins, Rams, Colts and Vikings -- Suck for Luck is the idea that a team will tank the rest of the season in order to gain the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft, which that team then could use to select Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck.

But to suggest that a professional athlete would tank games for the sake of something that would happen next year, when that athlete might or might not still be on that team, is insulting to Dansby.

“It’s not right, bro. It’s not right,” Dansby told the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “We put too much into this, man, to have the fans say that --  period, point blank -- or even promote that campaign. It’s kind of sad.”

Go on …

“It pisses me off,” he said. “I don’t understand nothing about that. I put too many hours into this, man, put too many years into this, sacrificed too much to ask somebody to put that stipulation on me and my teammates. Because I know how much we put into this.”

Dansby then was asked if he’d consider sitting out the final games of the season in order to insure losses for his team. In his answer, he said the word “no” eight times and the phrase “not going to happen” twice in the span of his 31-word response.

He also said this: “Man, we got 11 games. What are you talking about? We can’t look at next season. We’ve got 11 games. We can win ‘em out, and then what? Then you’d be biting your tongue. Those guys that are saying that are fair-weather fans. They’re not real Dolphins fans.”

Or maybe they’re the biggest Dolphins fans of all. With the team rowing in circles, with coach Tony Sparano almost assuredly gone, with quarterback Chad Henne’s fate still up in the air, you could understand why the fans would be dreaming about Luck -- a guy who maybe, possibly could turn around an organization.

Just don’t mention it to Dansby.

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Posted on: October 17, 2011 5:13 pm
 

With Garrard out, Orton could be option in OAK

GarrardPosted by Josh Katzowitz

The options for the Raiders to solidify their quarterback position in the wake of losing Jason Campbell for the season with a broken collarbone is dwindling, but the Denver Post is reporting that another might have appeared quite quickly if the Broncos decide to trade Kyle Orton to Oakland.

It seems quite clear that Bengals owner Mike Brown is refusing to trade his former star Carson Palmer, and now, Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer has the report that David Garrard -- who’s just been kind of hanging around after the Jaguars surprisingly cut him in the preseason -- needs immediate surgery on a herniated disk in his back.

But the Denver Post, via the Contra Costa Times, is reporting that an unnamed source has said the Broncos would be willing to trade Orton to the Raiders for a draft pick. Which makes sense if Denver is willing to go all-in with Tim Tebow (and at this point, why not?).

The news on Garrard is somewhat surprising, since we all kind of figured Garrard was just sitting back and waiting for the exact right offer to come to him.

Garrard supposedly could have gone to Miami after Chad Henne suffered a season-ending injury, but instead he declined, because as a Miami Herald source pointed out, “he simply didn't feel like playing right now. Garrard apparently talked to the team and showed no great desire to play. He is, according to this version of the story, quite content sitting out this season, spending time with his family, and hitting free agency next March.”

So, what now? Well, if Oakland could get Orton for a relatively cheap price, it probably should go for it. Even if it means the Raiders basically would be sitting out the 2012 draft.

But in order not to play Kyle Boller or Terrelle Pryor – or, for that matter, punter Shane Lechler – that might be worth it.

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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