Sunday, November 29, 2009

Week 12 Live Chat: Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Dolphins promote DE Ryan Baker from practice squad

The Miami Dolphins have made a minor transaction in preparation for Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills, waiving cornerback Evan Oglesby and promoting defensive end Ryan Baker from the practice squad.

An undrafted rookie out of Purdue, Baker signed with the Dolphins following the 2009 NFL Draft. He failed to make the active roster following the preseason and has been on the team's practice squad since the beginning of the regular season.

Oglesby's release comes just four days after he was signed by the Dolphins as a free agent.

A four-year veteran with the Bills, Cowboys and Ravens, Oglesby remained unsigned after being waived by Baltimore during final cuts on Sept. 6.

Analysis

This transaction was made purely for this weekend's game and could very well be reversed early next week.

Reserve defensive end Lionel Dotson is likely out against Buffalo (he's officially listed as doubtful with an ankle injury) and the team obviously felt Baker's experience in the system since April was more valuable tomorrow than new arrival Ikaika Alama-Francis could be.

Baker will likely serve as the No. 4 defensive end behind starters Kendall Langford and Randy Starks and top backups Phillip Merling and Tony McDaniel, who is now also serving as the top backup to nose tackle Paul Soliai.

Meanwhile, Oglesby was the logical choice to make room for Baker. He is not in demand and should clear waivers easily. He was also signed just this week and wasn't going to play or contribute against the Bills anyway.

In all likelihood, Baker will be waived when Dotson is healthy and then re-signed to the practice squad, at which point I expect Oglesby to be re-signed.

Week 12 game predictions

Man, I knew I should have picked Denver at home on a short week. Oh well. At least I had a good week last week.

Last week's record: 12-4
Season record: 108-52 (67.5%)

Falcons over Buccaneers — Tampa Bay appears to be a long way off right now and Atlanta at home should have no problem handling their division rival, regardless of whether or not Michael Turner plays.

Dolphins over Bills — Buffalo's offensive line and secondary has been hit hard with injuries recently, swinging the advantage even farther toward the Dolphins. I like Miami on the road in this one.

Bengals over Browns — Brady Quinn had a fantastic day against the league's worst pass defense in Detroit last week, but he won't have that luxury again. Cincinnati is the much better team from top to bottom and I can't envision them losing.

Seahawks over Rams — In a battle between two dismal NFC West franchises, the difference could come down to the presence of Rams running back Steven Jackson. The Pro Bowler missed every practice this week with a back injury and is considered a game-time decision. Considering the Rams promoted rookie running back Chris Ogbonnaya from the practice squad today, I'm going to guess Jackson won't play and that the Seahawks will take advantage.

Jets over Panthers — Mark Sanchez has really come back down to earth lately and is just giving games away right now. Still, Carolina's pretty unimpressive and isn't as committed to the run as they should be, so I'm taking the Jets' strong defense at home.

Eagles over Redskins — Washington gave Dallas a game last week and could do the same against another division rival tomorrow. Still, Philadelphia is a much more talented squad and they have to be the pick.

Colts over Texans — Far less-talented Houston teams have beaten far more-talented Indianapolis teams in the past, but I can't justify picking against the Colts with the way Peyton Manning is playing right now.

Chargers over Chiefs — Kansas City pulled off the surprise upset against a much better Steelers team last week, but I don't see it happening two weeks in a row. San Diego is better and should win this one.

Jaguars over 49ers — It's never easy flying to the west coast, and Jacksonville arrives in San Francisco with some very unimpressive play lately despite some wins. Still, I just don't like much about the Niners except for a handful of players and I'm going to predict Maurice Jones-Drew leads the Jaguars to victory.

Cardinals over Titans — Tennessee has reeled off some wins recently with their quarterback change, but all the credit is due to running back Chris Johnson. However, I'm predicting they get taken down a peg and upset by Arizona this week.

Vikings over Bears — Chicago's offensive line is woeful, while Minnesota's gives Brett Favre all the time in the world to throw. I can't justify picking the Bears in this one.

Ravens over Steelers — Pittsburgh is certainly a talented squad and maybe even better than Baltimore at full strength, but I can't pick Dennis Dixon to win this one on his first start on the road against a very good Ravens team.

Patriots over Saints — New England is getting hot and they present one of the best challenges remaining for the Saints this season. I say Tom Brady wins a big one on the road.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Dolphins-Bills Friday injury report

The Miami Dolphins face the Buffalo Bills in two days, and they look to be without one of their starting offensive linemen. Here is each team's full injury report as of Friday, Nov. 27:

Miami Dolphins

Probable: C Joe Berger (knee); RB Ricky Williams (chest)
Questionable: none
Doubtful: DE Lionel Dotson (ankle); C Jake Grove (ankle)

With starting center Jake Grove likely out against Buffalo, Joe Berger will get his first career start.

If Berger, who is probable himself with a knee injury, gets re-injured against the Bills, the Dolphins would likely use guard/tackle Nate Garner as his replacement.

The Dolphins usually activate six defensive linemen for games, and they only have six healthy right now. Given that Dotson probably will not play and Tony McDaniel will also be serving as the backup nose tackle in Jason Ferguson's absence, newly-signed Ikaika Alama-Francis could be active less than a week after joining the team.

Buffalo Bills

Probable: LB Nic Harris (non-injury); DE Chris Kelsay (shoulder)
Questionable: FS Jairus Byrd (groin); CB Terrence McGee (knee); DT Marcus Stroud (knee)
Doubtful: none
Out: OT Demetrius Bell (knee); DT John McCargo (calf); CB Ashton Youboty (ankle)

Already favored against the dismal Bills, the Dolphins could greatly benefit from Buffalo's current injury situation.

The Bills' top two players in the secondary—cornerback Terrence McGee and NFL interception leader and rookie safety Jairus Byrd—are both questionable.

Meanwhile, the Bills' offensive line has been hit hard with injuries. Starting guards Eric Wood and Seth McKinney are out for the season, while offensive tackle Demetrius Bell is out against Miami with a knee injury.

In fact, the Bills have just seven healthy linemen, and only five of them were on the active roster last week. They've added former Steelers guard Kendall Simmons as a free agent and promoted interior lineman Christian Gaddis from the practice squad, though neither is really ready to contribute.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Day game predictions

Instead of waiting until Sunday and letting you know who I picked for today's games with the rest of Sunday's picks, I thought I might as well post and give them to you now. Because I know you all are going to be bored and checking my blog throughout the day, right?

Packers over Lions — Matthew Stafford is a gutsy performer and the Lions put up big numbers last week, but you can't really pick them against a much better opponent in the Packers.

Cowboys over Raiders — Bruce Gradkowski certainly gives the Raiders a better chance of winning than JaMarcus Russell, but he can't do it all himself. The Cowboys won an ugly game last week against the Redskins, but I expect them to rebound against a very poor Oakland team.

Giants over Broncos — Everyone seems to like New York in this game and I do too, but something worries me about a team flying from the east coast to Denver on a short week. Still, I have to go with the team I like the best, and that's the Giants.

I hope everyone has a great and safe Thanksgiving! Thank you for visiting my site!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Jason Ferguson, Matt Roth headline flurry of Miami Dolphins roster moves

The Miami Dolphins have had a busy week, making a myriad of transactions involving a total of a total of seven players.

In the interest of avoiding a handful paragraphs in the introduction to list each transaction, I will instead just list them in bullets below. Then I will address each transaction with it's own section in the body of the article? Sound good? Fantastic.
  • Placed on injured reserve: NT Jason Ferguson
  • Waived: OLB Matt Roth; FS Nate Ness
  • Signed to active roster: DE Ikaika Alama-Francis (free agent); CB Evan Oglesby (free agent); OG Andrew Hartline (from practice squad)
  • Signed to practice squad: G/C Mark Lewis; FS Nate Ness
The Dolphins now have a full 53-man active roster as well as an eight-man practice squad. Ferguson becomes the team's second defensive starter, fourth starter overall and seventh player this season to land on injured reserve.

Jason Ferguson

A long-time Bill Parcells veteran with the Dallas Cowboys and New York Jets, Ferguson arrived in Miami prior to the 2008 season for a swap of sixth-round picks with the Cowboys.

Ferguson has anchored the Dolphins' defensive line in the 3-4 alignment brought by Parcells, leading one of the league's best run defenses over the past season in a half.

Prior to his season-ending quad injury, Ferguson had appeared in all 25 games for the Dolphins. Playing the no-glory position of 3-4 nose tackle, he recorded 45 tackles and a pass deflection but was a massive space-eater in the interior defensive line.

Despite his consistently high level of play, Ferguson will be 35 later this month and has suffered season-ending injuries in two of the past three seasons. He is in the last year of his contract and will likely retire if he isn't re-signed as a backup by the Dolphins in the offseason.

Meanwhile, 2007 fourth-round pick Paul Soliai will move into the starting nose tackle position in Ferguson's absence.

A regular in the staff's doghouse the past few years due to immaturity issues, Soliai has emerged as a quality nose tackle with 11 tackles and a forced fumble this season.

Despite missing the past two games with an ankle injury, Soliai recently resumed practicing and should be ready to assume the starting job against Buffalo this weekend.

Beyond Soliai, reserve defensive end Tony McDaniel will become the top backup at nose tackle. Fellow end Randy Starks is also a candidate to play some nose, but it may be unlikely given how well he's playing this season on the outside.

Matt Roth

The enigmatic Matt Roth Era has finally come to an end in Miami.

After getting in the staff's doghouse with a phantom illness/groin injury in training camp, spending the first six weeks of the season on the PUP list, and being activated to play in the team's last four games, the Dolphins have finally their 2005 second-round pick.

The Dolphins' best run-stopping linebacker in 2008, Roth clearly wasn't in the team's long-term plans. His contract is up in the offseason (though he will only be a restricted free agent if there is no new Collective Bargaining Agreement) and the Dolphins are loaded with talent at outside linebacker.

Roth's released means more continued playing time for Charlie Anderson and Cameron Wake, both of whom have shined at times this season. It also should allow either Erik Walden or Quentin Moses to once again be active on game days.

With Roth's release, running back Ronnie Brown (second overall) and linebacker Channing Crowder (third round) are the only players remaining from Nick Saban's 2005 draft class. Brown is currently on injured reserve, making Crowder the Dolphins' only currently active draft pick from 2005.

UPDATE: Word came today from agent Drew Rosenhaus that Roth has been claimed by the Cleveland Browns, where he will continue to play outside linebacker as they run a 3-4 scheme similar to Miami's.

A solid player when healthy, Roth could immediately threaten current starters Kamerion Wimbley Jason Trusnik for playing time on a struggling Browns team.

Andrew Hartline

An undrafted rookie out of Central Michigan, Andrew Hartline (no relation to Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline) started 52 games consecutive games for the Chippewas and earned All-MAC selections each of the last three seasons.

Despite his very productive collegiate career, Hartline was not selected in the 2009 NFL Draft and signed with the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent. He failed to make the Packers' active roster out of training camp, however, and was waived during final cuts on Sept. 5.

Hartline was signed to the Dolphins' practice squad ten days later on Sept. 15, replacing fellow undrafted rookie Mark Lewis.

Although he was an offensive tackle in college, Hartline (6-5, 300) projects as more of an interior lineman at the NFL level due to lack of top-notch athleticism. He will likely work at offensive guard and could see practice reps at center with Jake Grove and Joe Berger both nursing injuries.

Sporting No. 60, Hartline would likely see himself activated as a reserve lineman this Sunday against the Buffalo Bills if Grove does not play.

Ikaika Alama-Francis

On the same day the team waived a former second-round pick, the Dolphins' added someone else's, signing former Detroit Lions defensive end Ikaika Alama-Francis.

A two-time All-WAC selection at Hawaii, Alama-Francis was chosen 58th overall by the Lions in the 2007 NFL Draft.

Francis battled injuries throughout his rookie season, including a torn pectoral muscle suffered during his senior season at Hawaii. He finished the year with 12 tackles in six games.

A top reserve defensive lineman the following year, Alama-Francis started two of the 13 games in which he played for the 0-16 Lions during the 2008 season. He finished the year with 23 tackles, a sack, and a pass deflection.

Alama-Francis played in all four preseason games for the Lions in 2009 but failed to make the team as the fourth defensive end when Copeland Bryan was claimed off waivers from the Bills on Sept. 6.

A free agent since his release, Alama-Francis has had a bit of difficulty finding a new job due to the fact that he is no longer eligible for the practice squad after appearing in too many regular season games for the Lions in 2008.

With Tony McDaniel likely to see more time at defensive end in Jason Ferguson's absence, Alama-Francis (6-5, 290) will attempt to work himself into the rotation at defensive end. He has a good blend of strength and athleticism and offers some upside as a prospect.

In fact, Alama-Francis is probably a better prospect than current fifth defensive end Lionel Dotson, so he should see some game action before the end of the season. Also count on him being in training camp in 2010 where he could push to become part of the regular rotation.

Alama-Francis will wear No. 79 with the Dolphins, most recently worn by practice squad defensive end Ryan Baker (now wearing No. 90).

Evan Oglesby

A former undrafted free agent out of North Alabama, Oglesby signed with the Buffalo Bills in 2005 and spent time on the team's practice squad before his release in October.

Oglesby signed with the Baltimore Ravens the following December, playing in three games and recording one tackle as a rookie.

After appearing in all 16 games and recording 14 tackles and two pass deflections with the Ravens in 2006, Oglesby was waived by the team during final cuts on September 2, 2007.

The Dallas Cowboys claimed Oglesby off waivers the following day, and he went on to appear in eight games for the team in 2007, recording four tackles. He was waived following the 2008 preseason on Sept. 2.

Oglesby's second stint with the Ravens came in 2008 when he appeared in nine regular season games and recorded 14 tackles. He was once again waived by the team on September 5, 2009.

Like Alama-Francis, Oglesby is another one of those players who has been hurt by the rules of practice squad eligibility. He most certainly would have been on a developmental squad between his release and signing with the Dolphins if he were eligible, but he has already played too many games in the NFL.

An experienced four-year veteran, Oglesby brings with him familiarity with the Dolphins' scheme as well as the coaching staff from his time in Dallas—particularly defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni and secondary coach Todd Bowles.

Though he'll probably never be anything more than what he is now, Oglesby (5-11, 182) is a capable dime cornerback in the NFL. He should be able to work his way into rotation in the secondary, quite possibly at the expense of strong special-teamer but first-round cornerback bust Jason Allen.

Oglesby will don No. 41 in Miami, which was most recently worn by cornerback Joey Thomas (currently a free agent) last season.

Mark Lewis

Originally with the Dolphin as an undrafted rookie out of Oregon during the 2009 preseason, Lewis failed to make the team and subsequently spent time on the practice squad of the Seattle Seahawks.

Lewis (6-4, 300) is a very borderline pro prospect and unlikely to ever see NFL action. Per reports, he was working cutting down and hauling Christmas trees in California before he received a call from the Dolphins.

Lewis will resume wearing No. 61 with the Dolphins and will make $5,200 per week on the team's practice squad. He will work at both guard and center in hopes of earning a training camp invite in 2010.

Nate Ness

Ness' tenure on the active roster was short-lived as the team waived the undrafted rookie defensive back just one week after promoting him from the practice squad.

Despite earning the call-up when Ronnie Brown was placed on injured reserve, Ness did not play or dress against the Carolina Panthers in Week 11.

The Dolphins have re-signed Ness to the practice squad, where he will continue to work at free safety and possibly cornerback. He could see another promotion at some point this season and is a solid candidate to be re-signed in the offseason.

11/25 quick hits

  • As you know, the Dolphins' Dec. 6 game against the New England Patriots has been moved from Sunday night at 8:20 to 1 p.m. NBC decided to go with the Minnesota Vikings-Arizona Cardinals for their primetime broadcast.
  • The Miami Dolphins have already filled their lone roster spot, signing an as-of-yet unknown offensive lineman wearing No. 61 in today's practice. I'll have more on the signing, as well as the additions of cornerback Evan Oglesby and Ikaika Alama-Francis, later today.
  • Oglesby has been assigned No. 41, while Alama-Francis will wear No. 79.
  • The Dolphins re-signed safety Nate Ness to their practice squad and he was back practicing today. An undrafted free agent out of Arizona, Ness was promoted from the practice squad against the Carolina Panthers but was inactive for the game.
  • Starting center Jake Grove rode a stationary bike and did not participate in practice today. Joe Berger, who was also injured against Carolina, took first-team reps at center, while Nate Garner once again filled in for Justin Smiley at left guard.
  • Paul Soliai, who has missed the team's past two games with an ankle injury, picked a good time to return to practice. Soliai is much needed as the only pure nose tackle on the active roster now that Jason Ferguson has been placed on injured reserve.
  • Defensive ends Randy Starks and Tony McDaniel will be the top backups to Soliai at nose tackle. At around 290 pounds, newly signed Ikaika Alama-Francis is not a candidate.
  • Ricky Williams has been named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week for Week 11. Replacing Ronnie Brown as the Dolphins' No. 1 running back, Williams rushed for 119 yards and added 19 through the air with three touchdowns against the Carolina Panthers. It was the first game of Williams' career in which he scored both rushing and receiving.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Week 11 Game Predictions

After a handful of mediocre weeks, I rebounded somewhat with a 10-correct showing last weekend.

One game has already been played this week, and I'm sorry to say I picked the Carolina Panthers at home against a Miami Dolphins team that struggled against a pretty poor Tampa Bay squad the week before. Oops.

Last week's record: 10-5
Season record: 96-48 (66.7%)

Cowboys over Redskins — Dallas lost a tough on in Green Bay last week, but there's still a lot to like about this team—especially if Washington is without their defensive anchor in Albert Haynesworth.

Lions over Browns — Well is this the game of the week or what? Somebody has to win (well, probably) and I think there's a little more to like about the Lions than there is the Browns right now. Regardless of who wins though, it's going to be an ugly one.

Packers over 49ers — An interesting matchup, this one is tough to pick because the Niners are better than people thought, and the Packers are worse than people thought. I still like the Packers at home against Alex Smith.

Steelers over Chiefs — Kansas City simply is not there yet, and I don't expect the Steelers to have any problem winning this one.

Vikings over Seahawks — Seattle hasn't been very consistent this year, and they just don't have the talent to match up with the Vikings on either side of the ball.

Giants over Falcons — Both of these teams have been a bit disappointing at times this season, but I have a hard time totally buying New York's slide. The G-Men are too talented to lose for this long, so I'm predicting they rebound at home today.

Saints over Buccaneers — New Orleans has been playing with fire for weeks now by playing down to some weaker opponents, but they still should be able to beat a pretty bad Tampa Bay squad.

Jaguars over Bills — The first team to fire they head coach this season, the situation in Buffalo is an absolute mess. Jacksonville is very inconsistent, but they could explode against the Bills today.

Colts over Ravens — This should be a very good game, but I like the Colts in this one. It's hard enough to put pressure on Peyton Manning no matter who you have, and missing Terrell Suggs could be problematic.

Cardinals over Rams — Arizona has been a bit of a disappointment this season after an NFC Championship in 2008, but you still have to like that offensive firepower against a shaky Rams defense. I expect a big game from Cardinals rookie running back Beanie Wells.

Chargers over Broncos — I probably would have always picked San Diego in this one because I just didn't fully buy Denver's hot start, but I especially like the Chargers with what has to be a very rusty Chris Simms at quarterback for the Broncos.

Bengals over Raiders — Cedric Benson is being extremely overhyped—the result of a high number of carried to accumulate yards and a good team around him—but the Bengals should have no problem handling the Raiders. Expect a big game from rookie running back Bernard Scott in Benson's absence.

Patriots over Jets — A great divisional battle between a hot New England offense and a tough Jets defense, I think the Pats rebound from their Monday Night Football controversy with a strong win here.

Eagles over Bears — The Bears have Devin Hester, but the Eagles have two or three players just like him on their offense. Chicago just isn't playing well right now and I don't think they can keep up with Philly.

Texans over Titans — Tennessee has done a good job limiting Vince Young's responsibility and relying on stud Chris Johnson, but I still think Houston has the better team and I like them to win Monday night.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Dolphins-Panthers game highlights

Miami Dolphins take the field (personal video)


Yeremiah Bell touchdown-saving tackle on DeAngelo Williams


Nathan Jones interception


Chad Henne highlights


Ricky Williams highlights


Game highlights

Thursday, November 19, 2009

No live chat tonight

Some of you have been joining in my live chats over the past month or so, and they've definitely been enjoyable.

Unfortunately, I won't be hosting any live chat tonight, as I'll actually be at the Dolphins-Panthers game in Charlotte.

My dad and I are sitting on the tunnel where the players enter the field, so I'm planning on taking lots of pictures, maybe get a glove or two, and possibly spitting on Pat White.

I also should have game observations on Friday, so stay tuned! Go Dolphins!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Miami Dolphins lose Ronnie Brown for season

The Miami Dolphins were able to come away with a victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 10, but it was not without a steep price.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Dolphins have placed starting running back Ronnie Brown on season-ending injured reserve, just three days after the Pro Bowler suffered a foot injury in the third quarter against he Buccaneers.

Brown finishes the 2009 season 648 yards and eight touchdowns on a 4.4 average in nine starts.

Brown joins Patrick Cobbs, who suffered a torn ACL in early October, as one of two Dolphins running backs in injured reserve.

With the injury, Ricky Williams will see an increase workload and will become the feature back in Miami. Second-year man Lex Hilliard should see extended playing time as well, while October signing Kory Sheets could see his first playing time as a Dolphin.

To take Brown's room on the roster, the Dolphins promoted safety Nate Ness from the practice squad.

An undrafted rookie out of Arizona, Ness signed with the Dolphins on Oct. 28 after spending time with the Cleveland Browns, New York Jets, and Seattle Seahawks in the offseason and preseason.

You can find out more about Ness, who will wear No. 31 and likely play special teams for the Dolphins, in my article on his initial signing here.

Analysis

With all due respect to Chad Pennington, this is about the toughest blow the Dolphins could have suffered this season.

The second overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, Brown was having another impressive year, not only as the ever-hyped wildcat quarterback but also as simply one of the best all-around running backs in the NFL.

With Brown now finished on the field in 2009, it's worth taking a closer look at his somewhat complex contract situation.

Essentially, if a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is reached, Brown will be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason.

However, if there is no new CBA and the league goes into an uncapped year, Brown will have a $5 million contract in 2010 and will then become an unrestricted free agent in the 2011 offseason.

(This benefits Brown anyway, because with no new CBA, a player will need six years of NFL service to qualify for unrestricted free agency. If Brown's contract were to expire after 2009 with no new CBA in place, he'd only be a restricted free agent with five years of service.)

Regardless of whether Brown hits the market this year or next, the Dolphins would be wise to retain him assuming the price is reasonable. His injuries to date have been more of the fluke variety rather than the result of a lack of durability, and there is no question Brown is a rare complete back that is not easily replaced.

In the mean time, the Dolphins should still be able to put together a productive running game with Ricky Williams taking over and a strong group of run-blockers up front.

One thing that remains to be seen, however, is how the Dolphins will utilize the wildcat offense in Brown's absence. Williams has looked uncomfortable and slow in accelerating when he's taken snaps out of formation.

There have also been reports that 2008 sixth-round pick Lex Hilliard could take snaps out of the wildcat, though Hilliard's a questionable talent at best and will struggle to produce anything close to what Brown could no matter what formation the team is in.

More Pat White is yet another possibility, but I'm still not behind that draft pick and I don't believe the spread option can be a productive offensive strategy in the NFL. I also question whether White has the body to take the kind of pounding—especially at the NFL level—he would in that role.

There is no question the Dolphins will certainly miss Brown, and at 4-5 the team can ill-afford to lose a star player. It was the reliable running game (for the most part, anyway) that had eased second-year quarterback Chad Henne's transition from backup to NFL starter.

Youth movement coming?

With a climb out of the cellar and into the playoffs highly unlikely even before Brown's injury, I expect to see a handful of younger players get extended looks in the second half of the 2009 season.

I'm not saying the team should mail it in the rest of the way, but I also don't see the harm in taking a look at some younger prospects over players that are declining and unlikely to be around much longer after the season.

Brown's situation opens the door for Lex Hilliard and Kory Sheets, while Joey Haynos and Kory Sperry could continue to phase out Anthony Fasano. We also should get an extended look at third-round pick Patrick Turner at some point in the near future.

On defense, Paul Soliai will likely spell Jason Ferguson often when he's healthy again; Cameron Wake will cut into Joey Porter's playing time at outside linebacker; and Chris Clemons should continue to push free agent bust Gibril Wilson at free safety.

The Dolphins certainly have some holes after the season, and they will do their due diligence in seeing if any young players already on the team are potential long-term answers.

Miami Dolphins vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Random Observations

I haven't had the time or energy to do my observation videos from the Miami Dolphins' 25-23 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

That being the case, I've compiled these observations from the game in text, which some of you might even prefer.

Offense
  • Outside of his horrendous, nearly game-losing interception late, Chad Henne played pretty well against Tampa Bay. He didn't hold onto the ball too long as much as he had lately, and moved around a little better.
  • Also, as bad as that interception was, Henne was that much better on the final drive to get the Dolphins in field goal range. It's good for his psyche that he was able to rebound.
  • The Dolphins need to abandon the option they're trying to run with Pat White. That kind of offense will never succeed in the NFL.
  • Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams both ran the ball hard and well. Ricky can handle the load moving forward as long as Ronnie is out, but the Dolphins sure are going to miss Brown.
  • Davone Bess had the biggest day of all the Dolphins receivers, and Greg Camarillo had a few good grabs as well. Ted Ginn, Jr. also had another tough drop, and this mental problem keeps getting worse and worse for him.
  • Kory Sperry came out of nowhere in his first NFL game and had a great day. With Sperry and Joey Haynos looking promising and Anthony Fasano struggling in a contract year, the young guys could get longer looks in the second half of the season.
  • The offensive line did a much better job protecting Henne, keeping him off the ground and unsacked all game. The run blocking was also strong, as the Dolphins' two tailbacks and fullback Lousaka Polite combined for over 200 yards on the ground.
Defense & Special Teams
  • Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman did a great job moving around and avoiding pressure, but I liked the rush provided by the Dolphins' defensive line and linebackers. Jason Ferguson and Kendall Langford stood out to move in positive ways.
  • The Dolphins didn't miss Joey Porter at all, and not just because his production hasn't been consistent this year. Cameron Wake, Charlie Anderson, and Matt Roth all played very well in Porter's absence.
  • It sounds like Porter will in fact resume playing this week, but I feel somewhat indifferent. I don't think Porter will be in Miami in 2010, and at 4-5 I wouldn't mind if he gave way to guys like Wake when it came to playing time in the second half.
  • The Dolphins' consistent pressure and Freeman's inexperience certainly helped, but I was pleased with Vontae Davis and Sean Smith at cornerback against the Bucs. They'll have their ups and downs, but everything I've seen from them thus far tells me they are both going to be good corners.
  • Gibril Wilson and Yeremiah Bell both had better days than usual, with Bell making a fantastic deflection of a Freeman pass on a big third down. A lot of that had to do with their opponent, but it was nice to see.
  • Dan Carpenter continued to excel on field goals, going 4-for-4 to raise his season percentage to 93.8. He did have an extra point blocked, but that was more the fault of long snapper John Denney getting dominated by Buccaneers offensive tackle Donald Penn.
  • Brandon Fields had another good day, with a long punt of 62 yards and half of his six boots downed inside the Tampa Bay 20-yard line.
  • Ted Ginn, Jr. was pretty pedestrian on kickoff returns, but I don't think he had much to work with in terms of blocking. As usual, Davone Bess was mediocre approaching bad on punts.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Linebacker J. D. Folsom re-signed to practice squad

The Miami Dolphins re-signed J. D. Folsom to their eight-man practice squad Saturday, one day after waiving the rookie linebacker.

The Dolphins waived Folsom in order to promote practice squad tight end Kory Sperry, as starter Anthony Fasano was expected to miss the team's Week 10 against Tampa Bay with a hip injury.

A seventh-round pick out of Weber State in 2009, Folsom spent the first seven weeks of the 2009 season on the Dolphins' practice squad before earning a promotion on Nov. 8 after tight end John Nalbone was waived.

Folsom made his NFL debut that day, recording one tackle on special teams in a 27-17 loss to the New England Patriots.

Folsom will resume his duties as a practice squad player, earning $5,200 per week and working on special teams and the scout team defense in practice.

He could earn another promotion to the active roster for special teams purposes later in the season, and will almost certainly be brought back for training camp in 2010.

2009 Midseason All-Pro Team and Awards

Every NFL team has played at least eight regular season games, meaning we're halfway though the 2009 regular season.

This point seemed like a natural time to announce my Midseason All-Pro Team, as well as hand out some individual midseason awards.





















































































Individual Awards

Week 10 Video Highlights: Dolphins vs. Buccaneers

Jason Taylor controversial interception


Kory Sperry TD catch from Chad Henne


Ronnie Brown highlights


Game highlights

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Week 10 Live Chat: Miami Dolphins vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Saturday, November 14, 2009

TE Kory Sperry promoted to active roster

With starting tight end Anthony Fasano questionable for this week's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers tomorrow, the Miami Dolphins have promoted tight end Kory Sperry from the practice squad to the active roster.

Sperry takes the roster spot of linebacker J. D. Folsom, who was waived yesterday.

An undrafted rookie out of Colorado State, Sperry will likely be active as the No. 2 tight end behind Joey Haynos if Fasano cannot go against Tampa Bay.

For more information on Sperry's background, see my Sept. 10 article on his signing to the practice squad.

Analysis

Sperry's promotion to the active roster doesn't bode well for Fasano's prospects of playing this weekend, as the Dolphins' third tight end would likely be inactive if Fasano could play.

Should Sperry dress tomorrow, he will likely serve as the No. 2 tight end and play special teams.

The loss of Fasano tomorrow isn't a huge one in the passing game, as he'd taken a major step backward in that department this season. He has however been a key blocker in the running game, which has struggled recently.

It will be interesting to see how No. 2 tight end Joey Haynos does in a starting role, as he has played well of late with a touchdown in each of the past two games.

Sperry's tenure on the active roster could be short-lived, as there is a good chance he'll be waived once Fasano is healthy. In that case, a special teamer like J. D. Folsom could be brought back up.

The most concerning aspect of this move is that it's Sperry earning the promotion in Fasano's absence, and not John Nalbone.

Sperry arrived in Miami in September after spending training camp with the San Diego Chargers as an undrafted free agent.

Meanwhile, Nalbone has been with the team since being drafted in the fifth round out of Monmouth in April. He also spent the first seven weeks of the season on the team's active roster before being waived last week to make room for Folsom.

Nalbone's progression is certainly not where it should be at this point, and there's no excuse for not earning the promotion over Sperry with Fasano injured. It's still early, but it's beginning to look like the Dolphins small-school fifth-rounder isn't going to pan out.

Week 10 Game Predictions

I'm coming off my worst week in Week Nine, barely topping .500 in my picks. Oh well, at least it can't get any worse. Or can it?

Last week's record: 7-6
Season record: 86-43 (66.7%)

49ers over Bears — You'll just have to trust that I picked San Francisco, as I'm posting this the Saturday before this weekend's games.

Titans over Bills — I still don't really trust any team led by Vince Young, but the Titans are playing better football than the Bills right now.

Saints over Rams — I don't expect the Saints to go undefeated after some of their close games lately, but Drew Brees & Co. should have no trouble with the Rams in Week 10.

Dolphins over Buccaneers — Tampa Bay pulled off the upset against Green Bay last week, but the it's hard to win games without a line, as the Packers are trying to do. Miami's isn't anything special, but they are the better overall team in this one.

Vikings over Lions — It's hard to come up with new ways to explain why I'm not picking Detroit, but this one just has to be obvious. Minnesota is simply better in every facet of the game.

Jets over Jaguars — Jacksonville has been Jekyll and Hyde this season, but they certainly have the offensive firepower led by Maurice Jones-Drew to cause problems. Still, I like the way the Jets' defense is playing right now and I'm going with them in a tough call.

Steelers over Bengals — Cincinnati is certainly for real and they got the best of Pittsburgh earlier this season, but I like the Steelers at home.

Broncos over Redskins — Kyle Orton came back down to earth last week, but the Broncos still should have no problem against a Washington team that has some of their best players banged up.

Falcons over Panthers — Carolina's running game has flashed at times this season, but Jake Delhomme can't seem to get things going and I don't expect him to be able to against a very sound Atlanta team.

Chiefs over Raiders — In an ugly game like this, a good rule of thumb is to pick the one not led by JaMarcus Russell. That's what I'm doing here.

Cowboys over Packers — Green Bay doesn't have a bad team overall, but the offensive line continues to be the death of them. I expect DeMarcus Ware and the Dallas defense to have a field day.

Cardinals over Seahawks — Seattle just does not impress me right now, and Arizona should have enough firepower on offense to pull out a victory.

Chargers over Eagles — In what should be a great game, I'm going with the home team. Philadelphia scares me because they seem to either completely sputter or put up 48.

Colts over Patriots — This is a very difficult game to pick, but at this point in the season I just feel like you can't pick against Peyton Manning.

Ravens over Browns — The situation in Cleveland is as big a mess as there is in the National Football League right now. Baltimore should role in this one.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dolphins sign RB Tristan Davis to practice squad

With an opening on the practice squad after last week's promotion of linebacker J. D. Folsom, the Miami Dolphins have signed rookie running back Tristan Davis to fill the vacancy.

Undrafted out of Auburn in 2009, Davis signed with the Detroit Lions in late August and spent the first seven weeks of the regular season on the team's practice squad.

Background

An Atlanta native, Davis redshirted at Auburn University in 2004 before appearing in 12 games for the Tigers as a running back and safety in 2005. He rushed for 209 yards and two touchdowns on just 11 carries as a redshirt freshman.

Davis did not have a carry during his sophomore and junior seasons as a reserve tailback behind Kenny Irons, Ben Tate and Brad Lester.

However, he did set an Auburn single-season record with 756 kickoff return yards in 2006, while also recording 13 tackles as a safety and special teams player.

Davis contributed in all facets as a senior in 2008, rushing for 44 yards and a touchdown, adding 42 yards as a receiver, racking up 657 yards and two touchdowns as a kick returner, and recording two tackles and a forced fumble on special teams.

Despite running a 4.38-second 40-yard dash in March, Davis (5-10, 212) was not selected in the 2009 NFL Draft and remained unsigned during NFL training camp.

He eventually signed with the Detroit Lions on Aug. 24, appearing in the team's final two preseason games and rushing for 114 yards and a touchdown, including a 79-yard score against the Buffalo Bills in the preseason finale.

After being waived during final cuts on Sept. 5, Davis was re-signed to the Lions' practice squad, where he remained until his release on Oct. 29.

As a practice squad player, Davis will make $5,200 per week and will not count toward the 53-man active roster or be eligible to play in games. He can be signed to another team's active roster at any point, so long as the signing team keeps him for at least three weeks.

Analysis

A borderline NFL prospect, Davis is one of those running backs that doesn't do any one thing supremely well and doesn't have any measurables that jump out at you. He's just a solid all-around back with a good build, good speed and the ability to play special teams.

It seems a bit curious the Dolphins replaced Folsom on their practice squad with a tailback, as the team already has four on the active roster and there doesn't seem to be much need for another for practice purposes.

It's possible that Ronnie Brown or Ricky Williams is more banged up than we know, and Davis will help rest the big boys in practice. It could mean the team isn't all that impressed with Lex Hilliard and Kory Sheets, and wanted to take a look at someone else. Or, it could just mean that the Dolphins are doing their due diligence and taking a look at another NFL prospect.

One thing that is certain is that Davis is likely very far from being activated and seeing playing time on Sundays. His potential as a return man and special teams tackler helps his chances of sticking around, but he's really just auditioning to stay with the team on a day-to-day basis.

Week 9 Video Recap: Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots

The Miami Dolphins' offense struggled for the second straight week as the team was handed their first loss of the season against a division opponent, falling to the New England Patriots 27-17 in Week Nine.

The game started promising with a spectacular interception by Vontae Davis in coverage of Randy Moss, but things soon unraveled.

The Dolphins' defense was unable to put pressure on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, while the Miami offense sputtered trying to implement the spread option.

The Dolphins fall to 3-5 with the loss, tied with the Buffalo Bills for the worst record in the AFC East.

While the playoffs seem unlikely, the the Dolphins at least have to chance to put together a few wins in the month of November, with their next three games against questionable opponents in Tampa Bay, Carolina, and Buffalo.

Until then, here's my video recap of the Dolphins' performance against New England:

Offense



Defense & Special Teams

Week 9 Video Highlights: Dolphins at Patriots

Vontae Davis interception against Randy Moss


Ricky Williams option touchdown run


Ronnie Brown touchdown pass to Joey Haynos


Game highlights

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Week 9 Live Chat: Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Dolphins promote LB J. D. Folsom; waive LB William Kershaw

The Miami Dolphins have made a minor move a day before their Week Nine game against the New England Patriots, promoting rookie linebacker J. D. Folsom from the practice squad while waiving linebacker William Kershaw.

The move, which was first reported Saturday evening on the twitter account of the Miami Herald's Armando Salguero, comes less than two weeks after Kershaw was re-signed by the Dolphins.

Waived in September during final cuts, Kershaw was re-signed by the Dolphins on Oct. 27 after cornerback Will Allen was placed on season-ending injured reserve with a torn ACL.

Kershaw, who appeared in one game for the Dolphins last season, played in the team's 30-25 victory over the New York Jets in Week Eight, but did not record any statistics.

The Miami's Dolphins' seventh-round pick in 2009, Folsom joins the active roster after spending the first eight weeks of the season on the team's practice squad.

A Gardner-Webb alum, Folsom was a two-time All-Big Sky selection at the collegiate level.

Analysis

This move isn't too surprising, as Kershaw doesn't offer much upside and is pretty limited to special teams. He's played in five games in three pro seasons and had eight stints with six pro teams since going undrafted in 2006.

Though he's a solid special teams player, Kershaw obviously didn't showcase himself enough to stick around, and the Dolphins likely felt they should see if Folsom could at least perform at Kershaw's level.

Folsom will almost certainly be active against New England this weekend, with Dolphins starting inside linebacker Channing Crowder already ruled out with a shoulder injury. The rookie will serve as the team's No. 3 inside linebacker behind starters Akin Ayodele and Reggie Torbor against the Patriots, but will primarily be limited to special teams.

I personally am interested to see if Folsom gets any snaps on defense. He seems like a pure special teams prospect and certainly is this early in his career, though based on the depth chart he'll be one injury away from serving as an inside linebacker in the team's base 3-4 scheme.

That being the case, it's always possible the Dolphins could opt to use any one of their outside linebackers, such as Charlie Anderson, if a replacement was needed. More than likely we'll see Folsom play kickoffs and punts tomorrow, but nothing more.

Week 9 Game Predictions

Just like last week, I did extremely well in the early games, but bombed in the later games. Hopefully I can put together an all-around good weekend this time.

Last week's record: 8-5
Season record: 79-37 (68.1%)

Falcons over Redskins — Atlanta really got Michael Turner and the ground game going despite shooting themselves in the foot against New Orleans, but they should have no problems with the lowly Redskins.

Bears over Cardinals — Chicago hasn't been too impressive lately, but Kurt Warner has really begun to show his age this season and I like the Bears at home in this one.

Ravens over Bengals — This is a great divisional matchup again now that Cincinnati is back to normal, but I still like a very strong all-around Ravens team.

Colts over Texans — How can you pick against Peyton Manning? The Texans have the firepower to stay with the Indianapolis offense even without Owen Daniels, but I can't pick them here.

Patriots over Dolphins — As much as I'd like a Miami win here (especially with game against Tampa Bay, Carolina and Buffalo coming up), the Patriots are easily the best team in the division right now and have to be the pick at home.

Packers over Buccaneers — The Packers should win the Battle of the Bays now that they aren't playing the Vikings anymore, especially against a rookie quarterback in Josh Freeman.

Jaguars over Chiefs — I expect a big game for new Kansas City starting running back Jamaal Charles, but Jacksonville has the better team and should put out a win.

Saints over Panthers — Carolina got things going in a bit of an upset over Arizona last week, but it's hard to imagine them topping a New Orleans team that's simply on fire right now.

Seahawks over Lions — Seattle is hardly an impressive team, but I still like Matt Hasselbeck and the Seahawks' talent over anything Detroit has.

Giants over Chargers —New York has had some tough games lately, but I still like the club's talent and they should get back on track eventually. I think that turnaround begins here.

49ers over Titans — Tennessee came out of nowhere last week with a big division win over the Jaguars, but I'm inclined to think it was an aberration. I like the Niners.

Eagles over Cowboys — In what should be a fantastic game, I like the Eagles' dynamic offense at home over the Cowboys.

Steelers over Broncos — The Broncos suffered their first loss last week at the hands of a tough AFC North team, and I think that trend continues this week against Pittsburgh.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Miami Dolphins Alumni Update (October 2009)

In a new feature which I plan to roll out at the end of every month, I'll be sharing brief updates on all the transactions around the NFL (and possibly other leagues as well) involving players that used to be under contract with the Dolphins.

As someone that follows the league as a whole, I'm always interested in the day-to-day transactions, and always keep an eye out for Dolphins alumni.

This monthly feature should allow you to do a bit of the same, without being anywhere near the nerd I am. Enjoy!
  • 10/2 - The Toronto Argonauts (CFL) activated wide receiver P. K. Sam from the injured list. Sam was on the Dolphins' practice squad for part of 2006 and played for the team during the 2007 preseason.
  • 10/2 - The Calgary Stampeders (CFL) activated defensive end Mike Labinjo from the injured list. Labinjo was a linebacker for the Dolphins in 2005 and 2006, but did not appear in a game.
  • 10/6 - The Baltimore Ravens placed linebacker Brendan Ayanbadejo on injured reserve with a ton quadriceps. Ayanbadejo played 32 games for the Dolphins from 2003 to 2004.
  • 10/8 - The Cincinnati Bengals waived cornerback Geoffrey Pope and re-signed him to the practice squad. Pope spent the 2007 preseason with the Dolphins after signing with the team as an undrafted rookie out of Howard, and went on to earn a Super Bowl ring with the New York Giants.
  • 10/11 - The California Redwoods (UFL) released wide receiver Bobby Sippio. Sippio spent part of the 2004 season with the Dolphins on injured reserve.
  • 10/12 - The St. Louis Rams re-signed linebacker K. C. Asiodu to their practice squad. Asiodu spent part of October on the Dolphins' practice squad.
  • 10/13 - The Seattle Seahawks placed offensive tackle Brandon Frye on injured reserve with a neck injury. Frye spent part of last season with the Dolphins as a reserve offensive lineman, but was waived during final cuts on Sept. 5.
  • 10/14 - The New England Patriots re-signed linebacker Junior Seau. The future Hall of Famer played three seasons with the Dolphins from 2003 to 2005, recording 189 tackles and five sacks.
  • 10/14 - The Seattle Seahawks signed offensive tackle Damion McIntosh to their active roster, and signed guard Mark Lewis to their practice squad. McIntosh started 43 games for the Dolphins from 2004 to 2006, while Lewis attended 2009 training camp with the Dolphins as an undrafted rookie.
  • 10/14 - The BC Lions (CFL) signed wide receiver Kerry Reed and defensive end Abraham Wright to the practice roster. Reed played in one game with the Dolphins in 2007 as an undrafted rookie, while Wright spent his only season with the Dolphins on injured reserve after being drafted in the seventh round of the 2007 NFL Draft.
  • 10/17 - The New York Jets released defensive tackle Howard Green, only to re-sign him to three days later on Oct. 20. Green spent 2006 training camp with the Dolphins but did not make the team.
  • 10/19 - The Calgary Stampedes (CFL) placed wide receiver Teyo Johnson on the injured list. Johnson attended training camp with the Dolphin in 2006 as a tight end, but did not make the team.
  • 10/19 - The California Redwoods (UFL) placed safety Norman LeJeune on injured reserve. LeJeune spent part of the 2004 and 2005 seasons with the Dolphins, recording two tackles in seven games.
  • 10/20 - The Seattle Seahawks released guard Mark Lewis from the practice squad.
  • 10/20 - The Hamilton Tiger-Cats (CFL) signed offensive lineman Matt Spanos to the practice squad. Spanos attended 2008 training camp with the Dolphins as an undrafted free agent, but did not make the team.
  • 10/21 - The Detroit Lions signed defensive tackle Joe Cohen to the practice squad. Cohen spent part of the 2008 season on the Dolphins' practice squad and attended training camp with the team in 2009.
  • 10/21 - The St. Louis Rams promoted linebacker K. C. Asiodu to the active roster.
  • 10/21 - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers claimed guard Shawn Murphy off waivers from the Dolphins. Murphy was the Dolphins' fourth-round pick in 2008, but did not play a game with the team.
  • 10/21 - The Washington Redskins signed wide receiver Anthony Armstrong to the practice squad. Armstrong spent the 2008 and 2009 preseasons with the Dolphins and also spent the entire 2008 regular season on the team's practice squad.
  • 10/26 - The California Redwoods (UFL) signed offensive tackle Cory Lekkerkerker. Lekkerkerker played on 11 games (two starts) for the Dolphins in 2007.
  • 10/27 - The San Diego Chargers signed offensive lineman Joe Toledo to the practice squad. The Dolphins' fourth-round pick in 2006, but did not play a game in two seasons with the team.
  • 10/29 - The New Orleans Saints placed fullback Heath Evans on injured reserve with a knee injury and signed fullback Kyle Eckel. Evans played six games (two starts) for the Dolphins in 2005, while Eckel spent Sept. 2005 to Sept. 2007 but was never active.
  • 10/29 - The Montreal Alouettes (CFL) placed defensive tackle Eric Wilson on the injured list. Wilson spent 2004 and 2005 with the Dolphins as an offensive lineman, but did not appear in a game.
  • 10/29 - The Edmonton Eskimos (CFL) placed wide receiver Maurice Mann on the injured list. Mann spent part of the 2004 season on the Dolphins' active roster, but did not appear in a game.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dolphins re-sign TE John Nalbone to practice squad

The Miami Dolphins re-signed tight end John Nalbone to the practice squad as expected Tuesday, three days after waiving the rookie to make room for linebacker Matt Roth on the active roster.

Drafted in the fifth round out of Monmouth in 2009, Nalbone spent the first seven games of the regular season inactive as the third tight end behind Anthony Fasano and Joey Haynos.

Analysis

The Dolphins obviously liked something in Nalbone with they selected him in the fifth round this year, but he's clearly not ready to contribute and isn't on the same level as Fasano and Haynos.

In a bit of a surprise, the Dolphins released wide receiver James Robinson from the practice squad, keeping tight end Kory Sperry as the fourth tight end.

The fact that Sperry was also kept means the team is just more comfortable with four tight ends in the organization at any given time for practice purposes. It also could mean that Nalbone could see a promotion back to the active roster at some point this season.

Nalbone's four-year rookie contract is now torn up, and he'll make $5,200 every week he's on the practice squad. Any promotion to the active roster (or future contract in 2010) will likely be a two-year deal for the league minimum.

Week 8 Video Highlights: Miami Dolphins at New York Jets

Ricky Williams 28-yard reception


Joey Haynos touchdown reception


Dan Carpenter 48-yard field goal


Jason Taylor fumble return touchdown


Ted Ginn, Jr. highlights


Game highlights

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Week 8 Video Recap: Miami Dolphins at New York Jets

It wasn't pretty, but the Miami Dolphins were able to pull off the two-game sweep of the New York Jets in 2009 with a 30-25 victory over their division rival in Week Eight.

The Dolphins offense sputtered all game, but big plays gave Miami a victory as Jason Taylor returned a fumble for a touchdown and Ted Ginn, Jr. returned two kickoffs for touchdowns.

At the 3-4, the Dolphins are not in ideal position to make a playoff run, but are not dead either. They play the AFC East-leading New England Patriots in Week Nine, and a Miami upset could catapult the Dolphins back into legitimate contention.

Until then, however, here is my video recap of the Dolphins' victory over the New York Jets:

Offense



Defense & Special Teams

Monday, November 2, 2009

Should the Miami Dolphins re-sign Chris Chambers?

Many Miami Dolphins fans were upset with the team traded wide receiver Chris Chambers to the San Diego Chargers for a second-round pick during the 2007 season.

The outrage certainly seemed warranted, as Chambers was quite possibly the team's most-talented receiver of the decade, highlighted by a 1,100-yard, 11-touchdown performance on the way to a Pro Bowl selection in 2005.

It looks like the Dolphins may have gotten the better end of that deal however, selecting future franchise quarterback Chad Henne with the pick acquired for Chambers.

Meanwhile, Chambers struggled to establish himself in San Diego, with his numbers declining each of his three seasons with the team, culminating in his release on Nov. 2.

Chambers had just nine receptions on the season prior to his release, and at 31 years of age it seems he has lost his ability to separate and be an impact player.

That being the case, the Dolphins receiving corps is certainly one of the worst in the NFL and devoid of play-makers, and an argument can be made Chambers is still more talented than anyone at the position currently on the team's roster.

So should the Dolphins look for a reunion with Chambers? Check out this video to find out what I think:



Sunday, November 1, 2009

Live Chat - Miami Dolphins at New York Jets

Dolphins activate LB Matt Roth; waive TE John Nalbone

The Matt Roth saga seems to have come to a happy conclusion, as the Miami Dolphins activate the outside linebacker from the non-football injury list, where he'd been inactive since the beginning of training camp.

To make room for Roth on the 53-man roster, the Dolphins waived rookie tight end John Nalbone. The fifth-round pick out of Monmouth made the team following the preseason, but had been inactive for the Dolphins' first six games of the 2009 season.

Matt Roth analysis

The Roth situation during training camp was one of the strangest things I've ever seen in all my time as a Dolphins fan.

It involved seemingly phantom injuries, made-up illnesses, rumored contract displeasure and flat-out lying to head coach Tony Sparano.

That being the case, whatever was the problem then is apparently gone now, as Roth is back practicing and appears ready to contribute this season

Though the Dolphins have certainly survived without their best run-stopping outside linebacker, ranking third in the NFL in rushing defense, Roth's addition can't do anything but help.

Joey Porter has stepped up his game and become a more complete player, and Jason Taylor has been a solid all-around performer as always, but Roth still trumps both of them when it comes to run defense.

Roth will likely rotate with Jason Taylor at strong-side linebacker, with Taylor playing obvious pass situations and Roth playing some early downs.

Like two platooning baseball players who each hit one type of pitcher well, this is a great fit for both and should maximize their production by letting them do what they do best and keeping both fresher during games—especially the 35-year-old Taylor.

During a week in which the Dolphins lost their best veteran corner and will be forced to start two rookies in the secondary, this is good news for the front seven and should help lessen the impact of Will Allen's loss.

Roth should be active in Week Eight against the New York Jets and will likely serve a situational role. His arrival could eventually spell the end of Quentin Moses' tenure in Miami, who has been inactive for the team's last two games and isn't as good a special teams player as fellow backup Erik Walden.

John Nalbone analysis

Like Brian Hartline or J. D. Folsom, the selection of Nalbone in the 2009 NFL Draft was curious not because of his prospects as a pro, but because of the timing. Hartline was projected to be a seventh-rounder and was grabbed in the fourth-round, while Nalbone, like Folsom, was probably not going to be drafted.

Yet the Dolphins chose Nalbone in the fifth round. Despite the injury and release of David Martin, Nalbone was unable to see playing time during the Dolphins' first six games of 2009 and has not dressed for a game as a pro.

In Nalbone's defense, Joey Haynos has been a solid No. 2 tight end, catching the passes thrown to him and contributing as a blocker to one of the league's best rushing attacks.

If Nalbone clears waivers on Monday at 4 p.m. ET (and I expect he will), he will likely be re-signed to the team's practice squad. Such a move would likely spell the end for current practice squad tight end Kory Sperry.