Tag:Miami Dolphins
Posted on: August 25, 2010 3:21 pm

Breaking down Camarillo for Sapp

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The reasons Minnesota traded for Miami WR Greg Camarillo are pretty evident. As we’ve talked about the past few days, Sidney Rice is most likely going to be out for the first half of the year – there’s even some talk about placing him on the Injured Reserve list, meaning he wouldn’t play at all – and the Vikings needed another WR to complement Percy Harvin and Bernard Berrian.

That, of course, assumes Harvin and his migraine headaches will be OK to play.

Now with Camarillo, the Vikings have a possession receiver who should beat out Greg Lewis for the starting job. Camarillo is a good blocker who rarely drops a pass (Football Outsiders says he didn’t drop a pass in 73 attempts last season), and two seasons ago, he led Miami in receptions.

Though he’s been termed a South Florida hero – he caught a game-winning 64-yard TD pass in 2008 that gave Miami its only victory of the season – depth isn’t a problem in the Dolphins receiving room. Without Camarillo, Brian Hartline will take over his WR duties, and Patrick Turner will have a better shot at making the team.

Meanwhile, the Dolphins need help with the depth in their secondary. As Rapid Reporter Chris Perkins points out, the Dolphins were beat for big plays in their first two preseason games, and coach Tony Sparano said that aspect of their game needed to improve.

Plus, three of the four starting defensive backs (CBs Vontae Davis, Sean Smith and FS Chris Clemons) are second-year players, so the fact Sapp has playoff experience and can provide some veteran leadership is a big positive. Sapp, though nothing better than a nickel CB, will provide some of that. Plus, the fact Will Allen isn’t back yet also is a reason for Miami’s coaching staff to worry.

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Posted on: August 25, 2010 1:02 pm
Edited on: August 25, 2010 2:00 pm

Vikings send Sapp to Miami for Camarillo

G. Camarillo was traded from Miami to Minnesota today (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Looks like the Vikings weren’t tempted to stand pat after losing WR Sidney Rice for at least half the season to hip surgery. Instead, they’ve made a bold move today.

According to Jeff Darlington of the Miami Herald, the Dolphins have traded WR Greg Camarillo to Minnesota.

In the past two years, the possession receiver has started all 27 games he’s played and he’s combined for 105 catches and two touchdowns. Without Rice and potentially Percy Harvin (migraines) around for the time being, Camarillo instantly becomes the second best receiver on the team, behind Bernard Berrian.

"Mixed emotions,” Camarillo texted to Darlington. “Great opportunity, but this is home. These teammates are my brothers."

Check back here for details as they become available.

UPDATE (1:15 p.m.): Benny Sapp's agent, Andy Simms, confirms on his Twitter page that Sapp is the one who will be sent to Miami in exchange for Camarillo.

UPDATE (1:54 p.m.): According to Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Harvin returned to practice today for the first time since collapsing and spending the night in the hospital.

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Posted on: August 21, 2010 11:31 am

The best fullback in football is...

Posted by Andy Benoit

Chances are, you’re familiar with the name Lousaka Polite. After all, it’s a very unique name for a football player. (And it’s one that is ripe for puns.) But, chances are, you actually know close to nothing about Lousaka Polite. That’s the way it goes with fullbacks these days. L. Polite (US Presswire)

In short, the soon-to-be 29-year-old Dolphin is the best lead-blocker in football right now. Polite, a converted linebacker, spent the first three years of his career as somewhat of a fringe player with the Cowboys. In 2008 he was part of the wave of Cowboy backups who followed Tony Sparano, Bill Parcells and Jeff Ireland to Miami.

Last season is when Polite truly blossomed into one of the game’s hardest-hitting, most cerebral fullbacks. Besides paving the way for Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams in Miami’s fourth ranked rushing attack, Polite converted all 16 of his third/fourth-down-and-one rushing attempts. By season’s end, he was finally being recognized as an on-field leader and unheralded warrior.

ESPN’s Tim Graham wrote a feature on Polite this weekend:

"His role on the offense is very, very important," Sparano told Dolphins reporters this week. "Never mind what he does in some of the short-yardage situations. This guy is one of the people that you can really trust out there.

"Ricky and Ronnie would tell you they trust him because they know that he's going to help them get through the smoke. They just trust that the guy is going to be in the right place at the right time. ... As a football team you hope that you have more and more people that can trust each other like that group trusts Lousaka Polite."

Williams also appreciates that Polite can be so amenable. Williams explained a lot of fullbacks he has played with in the past can't diversify their approach, but Polite will cater to either Williams' or Brown's running styles.

"The way that I run, I like to get downhill as soon as possible," Williams said. "Some backs like to make people miss more. They trust and use their vision more.

"But the way I run, I say 'All you can do is get in the guy's way, Lou, because I'm going to be off your butt so fast you just need to get out of my way.' When I get the ball, there's never even a doubt in my mind he's going to be in the right place and that there's going to be a crease."

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Posted on: August 18, 2010 11:34 pm

Ricky Williams talks future

Posted by Andy Benoit

There has been speculation that the 2010 NFL season could be the last for Ricky Williams. But the 33-year-old running back has declared that he’d like 2011 to be his final year. R. Williams (US Presswire)

We’ll share this excerpt from a recent ESPN article because Todd Graham has an excellent line that shouldn’t go unnoticed:

Williams has been sheepish about his football future. Last year, he signed a contract extension with the Miami Dolphins that will take him through the 2010 season.

Beyond that? Well, contemplating "beyond that" has been the story of Williams' life.


Williams told Graham, "Ideally, right now, I would like to get a year extension with the Miami Dolphins, play this year and next year and then really focus on my schooling.” Very few running backs are a worthy investment in their-mid 30s. But the Dolphins have marveled at Williams’s durability and conditioning. And, clearly, Williams is still a 1,000-yard quality back.

More from Graham’s article:

Williams is working toward his pre-med degree at Nova Southeastern University, the campus where the Dolphins' training facility is located. He wants to complete his degree at Texas and then get his doctorate in psychiatry, with his eye on Harvard Medical School.

"It's really easy for me to get excited about school and the next part of my life," Williams said, "and that helps because it gives me a clarity to really know when it's time for me to stop.

"A lot of players get confused and get a little afraid when they get to the end of their careers because they're not sure of their identity outside of being a football player. It makes the end of their career a little bit stressful and foggy."

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Category: NFL
Posted on: August 18, 2010 6:38 pm

Dolphins sign veteran G Randy Thomas

Posted by Andy Benoit
R. Thomas (US Presswire)
With guards Nate Garner and John Jerry fighting injuries (Garner had a second operation on his left foot last week; Jerry has a sore knee), the Miami Dolphins signed veteran Randy Thomas to fill the void. The oft-injured ex-Redskin was one of the most powerful second-level run-blockers in the NFL during his prime.

Thomas, 34, missed all but 13 games in 2007 with a torn left triceps. In 2009 he tore his right triceps completely off the bone, landing him on Injured Reserve in September. Many thought the injury was career-ending. It still might prove to be, but Thomas is giving football another whirl, though – even if he is just a placeholder in camp.

Rumor has it that the Dolphins are bent on making Jerry, a third-round rookie, their starter at right guard. He has struggled at times but not enough to discourage coaches from accelerating his development. Once Jerry gets healthy, he’ll likely receive the first-string reps. Hotheaded newcomer Richie Incognito figures to lock up the starting left guard position.

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Posted on: August 17, 2010 1:14 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2010 1:48 pm

Brandon Marshall punting practice balls (again)

Posted by Will Brinson

The Dolphins traded for Brandon Marshall because they wanted an elite, tough, pass-catching receiver on the roster. (Or a versatile swingman , one or the other.)

Thus far, at least in real game action, they have to have been disappointed, given Marshall's case of the dropsies -- a.k.a. "The Braylons" -- against the Bucs and his lackluster performances in their scrimmage.

But they're not the only ones. According to Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post , Marshall, who said he was "not going to make any excuses" for his drops, reverted to an old trick of his: punting the football in practice!
Monday, his frustrations finally played out on the practice field. Toward the end of practice, after Marshall dropped a short pass in the end zone, he picked up the ball and punted it over the fence. He then spent the rest of the practice standing by himself on the sideline, though it is not clear if he was ordered to do so, or was just brooding by himself. Oh, memories. Marshall devotees will recall that he pulled a similar little stunt in Denver , albeit with less enthusiasm. Only this time it's not like he's feuding with his coach (as far as we know anyway). He's just frustrated with his personal play.

Unfortunately, when you finally get the trade out of town that you've wanted for two years and then get a huge extension from your new team that expects you to be the focal point of their passing game and help them make a run at a division title, well, it's probably time to man up, work harder and stop acting like a five-year-old every time you drop a ball.

Update (1:44) : Well, it turns out that in the time it took me to write that post, Marshall actually punted ANOTHER ball . This time, though, it was after he scored a touchdown. And it was apparently a "statement" to the media (and the coaches and his teammates?) who were silently judging him for -- you guessed it -- punting the ball .

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Category: NFL
Posted on: August 14, 2010 7:00 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2010 7:35 pm

What to Watch For: Saturday Preseason Games

Saturday features a pretty good slate of preseason games, each with some interesting storylines. You can follow all the action on our NFL Scoreboard, but for now, let's take a quick walk through the schedule and let you know what we're looking for; hit us with what you're watching in the comments or on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) .
  • Miami v. Tampa Bay : Easily the biggest story here will be the performance of the Bucs' youngsters. While it's unlikely Tampa Bay will be contending for anything in 2010, how Mike Williams, Arrelious Benn, Josh Freeman, Gerald McCoy and Brian Price perform during the season will probably determine the length that Raheem Morris keeps his job. For the Dolphins, seeing how Brandon Marshall and Chad Henne click will be interesting -- their being on the same page is paramount for the Fins success.
  • Pittsburgh v. Detroit : It's all about Ben Roethlisberger. (Will he start? Will he get booed?) At least for Pittsburgh, anyway. For Detroit, I'm focusing on how Jahvid Best runs and what kind of coverage Calvin Johnson sees with additional weapons on the offensive side of the ball, as well as how much disruption Ndamukong Suh can cause.
  • Arizona v. Houston : For the Cardinals, the passing game is going to be crucial -- how will Matt Leinart perform in his first opportunity to make an in-game impression following the Kurt Warner era? The Texans are set as far as the passing game goes, but the running game is a whole different issue: out of Arian Foster, Ben Tate and Steve Slaton, someone has to emerge who can carry the load.
  • Green Bay v. Cleveland : Yikes -- the Packers are fun and all, but this shouldn't be a thriller. I suppose it's worth checking out my man Jake Delhomme to see if he can make Cleveland relevant. Rookie Joe Haden will start too, and he gets quite the test against Aaron Rodgers. Andy and I discussed the man-crushing on Jermichael Finley Friday as well, so it'll be interesting to see if Rodgers looks his way first chance he gets. Bryan Bulaga's probably the only other potentially big surprise for the Pack.
  • St. Louis v. Minnesota : I, for one, am stoked to see how Sam Bradford and A.J. Feeley compare. Also, Mardy Gilyard is stupid good on Madden '11 (I know, I know) but unfortunately, he's not supposed to play. For Minnesota, the focus is going to be on the quarterback position as well -- if Brett Favre doesn't come back, can Tavaris Jackson at least look good against what shouldn't be dangerous defense? (Or, alternately, can the Rams' D manage to make the Favre-less Vikes O look bad?)
  • San Diego v. Chicago : With Shawn Merriman now in camp, the biggest issue facing the Chargers is the absence of Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNeil -- can Malcolm Floyd/Buster Davis and a patchwork group of left tackles fill the respective holes on the offense? For the Bears, Julius Peppers' performance will be interesting to watch, but more important will be the offensive line play and Jay Cutler's ability to adapt to Mike Martz' system.
  • Seattle v. Tennessee : I'll be scoping out Golden Tate's action, as I think he could be a difference maker this year. I also happen to love Justin Forsett for some reason -- Charlie Whitehurst will get some action to prove why he's such a highly paid backup. Vince Young's ability to perform at the same level he maintained during the second half is imperative for the Titans to succeed. Tonight we get to see if he can get off on the right foot.
So, what about you -- what are you looking for tonight?

(Ed. Note: Sorry, we published an un-saved version that didn't have the SD/CHI and SEA/TEN games on there. Our bad.)
Posted on: August 14, 2010 12:00 am

How good is Karlos Dansby really?

Posted by Andy Benoit
K. Dansby (US Presswire)
Dolphins inside linebacker Karlos Dansby was asked to rank himself among the game’s playmaking linebackers. "The best,'' he said. "The best in the game, by far, man. By far, the best in the game.''

You have to admire the bravado…maybe. Josh Katzowitz and I ranked the top five inside linebackers in football over the offseason. Dansby did not factor into the discussion.

To be fair, had we been talking strictly about “playmaking”, perhaps Dansby’s name would have come up. The 28-year-old sealed Arizona’s epic Wild Card victory over the Packers in January with his fumble return touchdown. Dansby also forced a fumble earlier in that game.

During the regular season, Dansby had just one forced fumble and one interception, but in his six-year career he’s recorded 25.5 sacks, 10 interceptions and 12 forced fumbles.

But by classifying himself as a playmaker, Dansby is inviting people to overlook his greatest attribute: consistent tackling. There might not be a better finisher in the game when it comes to breaking down and wrapping up an opponent at the point of contact. Dansby is an effective tackler in traffic or in space.

Is Dansby the best playmaking linebacker in the game (by far)? Of course not. But that doesn’t mean he’s not worth the $22 million in guarantees Miami gave him.

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Category: NFL
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