Ryan Tannehill takes all the first-team reps

Ryan Tannehill
Ryan Tannehill

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In another good sign that Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill will be ready to go Sunday at Indianapolis, he took all the first-team reps during the portion of practice open to the media,

According to Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post, Tannehill was still wearing a brace and compression sleeve on his left knee, and was “still clearly favoring his knee.”

But after splitting the first team reps with backup Matt Moore yesterday, having Tannehill do all the work is a sign of apparent progress.

Moore’s an excellent relief pitcher, who has stepped into several bad situations and made them better, and the Dolphins have to be glad they kept him for just such a situation. Read more…

Start of the NFL season: AFC power rankings

As the end of the NFL preseason is quickly approaching, so is the beginning of the 2012 NFL regular season. As there is one week left of preseason football, we are less than 10 days away from the start of the 2012 NFL season. I like to name this period “Week Zero”, as these power rankings are a basic opinion of how I believe the 2012 NFL season will pan out.

In the AFC, many familiar faces and teams will be in the postseason talks once again. The AFC, which is noticeably weaker than the rival NFC, have many teams loaded with potential, but just are not quite there yet. Here are the Week Zero AFC Power Rankings.

16. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

A new head coach (Mike Mularkey), a quarterback still going through growing pains (Blaine Gabbert), a defense on the decline, and one of the best playmakers in the NFL (Maurice Jones-Drew) is holding out for a new contract…yea, 2012 will not be very kind to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Projection: 4-12

15. CLEVELAND BROWNS

The Browns can only hope they struck gold by drafting Weeden (3) and Richardson (33)

The Browns have some bright spots in wide receiver Greg Little, All-Pro offensive tackle Joe Thomas, a defensive line loaded with under-the-radar talent, and two of the most efficient defensive players in the game in linebacker D’Qwell Jackson and cornerback Joe Haden, the problem though? Too young, not ready to compete for a playoff spot yet.

Projection: 4-12

14. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

New Colts franchise quarterback Andrew Luck doesn’t play like an ordinary NFL rookie, but fellow rookies Coby Fleener, Dwayne Allen, and T.Y. Hilton certainly look the part, as the Colts are starting over with new head coach Chuck Pagano and look to be heading in the right direction.

Projection: 5-11

13. MIAMI DOLPHINS

The Dolphins made significant moves in the offseason, trading away star wide receiver Brandon Marshall, cutting former starting quarterback Chad Henne, signing Chad Johnson, cutting Chad Johnson, and trading away cornerback Vontae Davis…the Dolphins will have difficulty finding any kind of identity in 2012.

Projection: 6-10

12. OAKLAND RAIDERS

Carson Palmer may have a training camp with the Raiders under his belt, but the wide receiver core is average, Darren McFadden is injury-prone, the linebacker core is inexperienced and troubled, and the secondary has trouble in coverage.

Projection: 6-10

11. TENNESSEE TITANS

Starting Jake Locker at quarterback will be a rough transition for the Titans, as Locker may not even have top-target Kenny Britt available at his expense, but the Titans need to see if Locker fits the bill of an NFL franchise quarterback.

Projection: 6-10

Read more…

Dolphins name Tannehill the starter

Ryan Tannehill

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Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin might want to become a poker player.

Over the weekend, Philbin said that he wasn’t sure that the team would stick to its plan of naming the starting quarterback before the third preseason game of the year. So, naturally, he started his press conference on Monday by announcing that rookie Ryan Tannehill will be the team’s starting quarterback this season.

The signs actually started appearing at Dolphins practice on Monday when Tannehill got every snap with the first-team offense as the team started doing more game planning in advance of this week’s game against the Falcons. Philbin said that he informed Tannehill and Matt Moore of the decision before the practice to inform them of his decision and praised the professionalism of both men.  Read More…

Dolphins’ Tannehill uninspiring in starting debut

Ryan Tannehill

J. Meric/Getty

If this was quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s test drive, he hit a few potholes, but was generally able to get the car back to the dealership in one piece.

The Miami Dolphins rookie, in his first opportunity with the starting offense had a mixed bag of a debut, but didn’t necessarily embarrass himself in a half of work. Mostly, he looked like a guy who could use some help.

He went three-and-out on his first two possessions, before gaining a first down just before the end of the first quarter.

And this is against a Carolina defense that struggled mightily a year again, Read more…

 

Chad Johnson wasn’t going to make the Dolphins

Chad Ochocinco

Tuesday night’s episode of Hard Knocks was highly anticipated because it was sure to take viewers inside the Dolphins’ decision to cut receiver Chad Johnson after he was arrested on a domestic violence charge, and it delivered with a dramatic conclusion.

But what the episode also showed was that the Dolphins might have cut Johnson even if he were a model citizen.

In footage shot last week, before Johnson’s wife accused him of head-butting her, Johnson was seen struggling on the practice field and becoming frustrated with his own performance at practice, at one point berating himself on the sideline for what he called “a rookie f–king mistake.” Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman was shown in the coaches’ box during the Dolphins’ preseason game, becoming furious when Johnson dropped a pass. And head coach Joe Philbin was shown talking about Johnson struggling to learn the offense: Philbin didn’t seem impressed with Johnson’s grasp of the playbook, or with Johnson’s failure to learn the responsibilities of the slot receivers in the Dolphins’ offense.

2012 NFL teams with quarterback issues

Blaine Gabbert

Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

On any given NFL roster, you will find a little over fifty players, and out of those fifty players, you can typically expect three quarterbacks. Assuming an NFL roster is precisely 52 strong, quarterbacks amount to roughly 6% of a roster. During this past offseason, NFL.com polled a bevy of current players to compile a list of the elite 100 players in the league today. On that list, there were 13 quarterbacks to be found. That’s 13%, which is more than double (I hope you could have done that math without my assistance). There is no more visible position in the modern National Football League than that of quarterback. More than ever, the league is particularly pass happy. Many commentators would agree that a team’s chances to win a Super Bowl are next to nil without an elite gunslinger under center. Of course, not every team has an elite QB to start. Some teams still don’t know is indeed going to start, even though the season is only weeks away.

Here are five of those teams.

Miami Dolphins
For 17 seasons, this Miami franchise was lucky enough to have one of the game’s all-time greats, Dan Marino, in the prime position. Those days are long gone, and right now the Dolphins are trying to decide between three solid, yet unspectacular quarterbacks. There are three competitors, all of whom represent a different time in the career spectrum. There’s recently acquired veteran David Garrard, who brings an above-average rushing game to the mix. Last year’s starter Matt Moore proved uneven; some games the ball constantly found its way to the end zone, other games it made its being fumbled to the ground. My bet is that rookie Ryan Tannehill, who has been spectacular in training camp and supremely dedicated, may not start week one, but he’ll end the season with the gig.  Read More…

Dolphins quickly part ways with Chad Johnson after arrest

chad-johnson

Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The quick decision of the Dolphins to part ways with receiver Chad Johnson suggests that the team didn’t believe his version of the events that resulted in Johnson being arrested on Saturday night for head-butting his bride. Whether they believed him or not didn’t matter.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Johnson was on a one-strike arrangement with the team. Coach Joe Philbin, who has welcomed plenty of distractions in the seven months since he took the job, ultimately didn’t want the added distraction of the criminal prosecution of one of his higher-profile players.  Read More…

NFL Sunday morning one-liners

 

chad-johnson

Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Here are some Sunday morning one-liners from around the league

WR Stevie Johnson wants to see more from the Bills in the coming weeks.

Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald thinks Dolphins brass will be put to the test by WR Chad Johnson’s arrest.

Kevin Faulk found it strange to watch the Patriots preseason opener on television.

Rookie LB Demario Davis could push for a starting job with the Jets this season.

The Ravens aren’t rushing to sign another tight end.

Bengals rookies were happy to get a taste of game action.

WR Travis Benjamin flashed some speed for the Browns offense.

Steelers FB Will Johnson took a roundabout route to the NFL.

LB Whitney Mercilus flashed some pass rushing skills in his Texans debut.

The Colts have activated LB Tim Fugger from the PUP list.

Said Jaguars RB Rashad Jennings, “I’m not perfect, but I very much strive to do things the right way. Football is a platform. I’m an average Joe, day and night. I’m also a goofball. I like to laugh, fart around. It just so happens I’m stuck in this body that’s capable of playing this game. I’m not bigger than anything.”  Read more…

Tannehill turns heads in South Beach

Ryan Tannehill, Pat Devlin

Ryan Tannehill may have missed two days of camp due to his contract, but he believes he still has a legitimate chance to win the Miami Dolphins starting quarterback job.

The first step in upsetting veterans Matt Moore and David Garrard would be outplaying them on the practice field. And Tannehill is off to a promising start.

Per Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post, it’s been “hard not to notice” how effective Tannehill has been throwing the football through a few days of training camp. Volin says Tannehill has shown “good velocity, accuracy, and anticipation.” Coach Joe Philbin relayed that Tannehill had 53 “competitive snaps” in Sunday’s practice — just a day after he signed his contract — and the rookie passer completed “over 40″ of his throws.

“For a rookie quarterback,” Philbin confirmed, “I think he’s doing very well.”

Throwing with the “accuracy and anticipation” observed by Volin is a key for Tannehill after his reportedly interception-filled OTA and minicamp season. Read more here…

Avoid drafting these 10 potential Fantasy Football busts

Photo: Marc Serota/Getty Images

1. Reggie Bush-RB- Dolphins- Whenever his name comes up, not long after, the word ‘injury’ undoubtedly follows. Although last season was an anomaly for Bush, he did manage to miss 20 games over the 2010 and 2009 seasons. He rushed for 1086 yards and 6 TDs last season but can you sleep at night without wondering if or when another injury could impede his season? Is his 6 TD’s worth that kind of worry?

2. Rashard Mendenhall-RB-Steelers- My rule of thumb when it comes to running backs coming off of ACL or MCL or any major injury is “let the buyer beware.” Mendenhall is such a back. He tore his right ACL in week 17 and more than likely will begin the season on the PUP list. He wasn’t having a great season before his injury and without knowing how viable a RB he’ll be this year, try to avoid drafting the sexy name, and seek another option instead.

3. Josh Freeman-QB-Buccaneers- Freeman and the next potential bust, Vincent Jackson almost go hand in hand. Mark Sanchez wasn’t the only QB to regress last year. Freeman managed to finish the season with the league’s second most picks, 22 against 16 TDs. Rookie sensation Doug Martin, (one of our Rookie’s to consider this season), will be making up the majority of an already lackluster offense in Tampa Bay; taking some of the pressure off of Freeman. Unfortunately when games get out of hand, he’ll be forced to air it out and that’s when INT’s begin to mount up. Stay clear.

Read the rest of the list here…

Chad Johnson sends Goodell his own warning

Chad Ochocinco

Chad Johnson or Chad Ochocinco, we are still confused. The Dolphins wide receiver might not have delivered during his year in New England, but he’s finding a way to remain on our pages when most of the league is on vacation. That does a better job of explaining why he’s on the HBO-bound Dolphins than anything he did on the football field in 2011.

Ocho, or Chad Johnson as he’s resumed calling himself on Twitter and other places that aren’t the Dolphins roster, decided to give NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell a little advance notice about some money flowing into the league offices this season.

@nflcommish Dad… I love u but I will be a problem this year.. all fine money this year can be collected from @MiamiDolphins#management

Read more here…

Fights breaking out at Dolphins’ minicamp

Jake Long

Minicamp practices are supposed to be non-contact, and when fights break out at non-contact practices, the league office sometimes responds by cracking down on the teams involved.

Which is bad news for the Dolphins.

Two offensive line vs. defensive line fights broke out in the Dolphins’ minicamp practice today, with Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel identifying Jake Long vs. Olivier Vernon and Richie Incognito vs.Ryan Baker as the two bouts on today’s fight card. (Fortunately for Kelly, he wasn’t fighting Kevin Burnett on the undercard.)

Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said afterward that he wasn’t pleased, not because of any concern that the league office could get involved, but because he wants players who are smart enough to avoid personal foul penalties.

“I wasn’t very happy we lost two players in a drill,” Philbin said, via the Palm Beach Post. “That can be a critical time in a game. You have to be able to keep your poise and play. It’s great to be tough, it’s great to be physical. . . . It’s 15 yards, loss of down, clock, all those things. So yeah, there was good competitiveness, but you’ve got to be smart.” Read more here…

The city of Miami breathes and the country smells it

Miami SportsBefore the heroics of Dwyane Wade, before LeBron James in a HEAT uniform was EVER a conceivable thought, before the term “Miami Marlins” became the proper way of acknowledging the South Florida baseball team, and before the Miami Dolphins fan-base went against their owner /organization, there was a humble professional sports-less city of Miami with Latin make-up that had nothing to watch on cable television EXCEPT for the New York Yankees.
It wasn’t until the Miami Dolphins accomplished their undefeated season and won the Super Bowl (1972) that a Miami fan-base was created. In 1970 the Miami Dolphins became an established NFL franchise and started their parallel path with the University of Miami’s (UM) football team. UM began their football program in 1926 but didn’t  become successful until the 1983 season, when they won their 1st National title and began DOMINATING the college scene; UM won National titles in ’83, ’87, ’89, ’91 and most recognizably (to our readers) in 2001.
Miami soon became a “football town” with icons such as Dan Marino (former Dolphins quarterback), Bernie Kosar (former Heisman trophy winner at UM), Michael Irvin (former UM wide receiver who won multiple Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys) and MANY other homegrown talent representing the city that once was imageless. Numerable athletes came out of South Florida as it was known as “the hotbed” of sports talent in our country. This overwhelming amount of talent/success would ONLY help increase sports popularity in South Florida. Then, the city began to expand… Read more here…

Could Ochocinco actually land in Miami?

Chad OchocincoShortly after free agent receiver Chad Ochocinco said he had drawn genuine interest from Miami, the Dolphins confirmed that Ochocinco has worked out for the team.

Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin told reporters today that the team did, in fact, work Ochocinco out. Philbin didn’t offer many details, however, such as whether the team remains interested after getting an up-close look at Ochocinco.  Read More…

Ochocinco interested in the Dolphins, are they?

Chad Ochocinco

At a time when it’s believed by many that no high-profile players want to play for the Dolphins, a high-profile player in whom no one else apparently is interested reportedly wants to reverse that trend.
Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com reports that Chad Ochocinco wants to play for pro football team headquartered in his hometown of Miami.  Though the report would likely be accurate if the name of any NFL team were inserted in the title, it makes sense for Ochocinco to want to play for the Dolphins.
It actually could make sense for the Dolphins to want him.
As pointed out in our initial look at teams that could be linked to Ochocinco, the current status of the Dolphins’ depth chart suggests that Ochocinco would be an upgrade.  The question is whether the Dolphins want to embrace the distractions that go with having Chad in the fold. Read more here…