Chris Shashaty, Phins.com Columnist
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Some general thoughts and observations as the Bill
Parcells regime approaches the start of its first training camp in about a
- After an
offseason of workouts, OTAs, free agency, and the NFL Draft, the situation
at quarterback is as unsettled as ever. Did throwing thousands of passes
and changing his throwing motion really help John Beck? Is there
any indication, any at all, that Josh McCown will be any better
than his previous six seasons have shown? And is it too much to expect a
rookie quarterback (Chad Henne) to come in and start in today’s NFL? We’ll
get answers to these questions very soon.
- I am in
favor of competition at all positions. But is there any position where an
early decision is more beneficial than at quarterback? Expect the press to
aggressively feed off of this situation until a decision is made. The
longer it goes on, the bigger a distraction it will become.
the Dolphins have put together the makings of one of the best young
offensive lines in the league. This plays to the strengths on offense,
namely Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams. It is also conducive to the
development of a young quarterback. Vernon Carey and Jake Long may just be
the best tandem at tackle in over a decade. Center Samson Satele was one
of the league’s best offensive rookies in 2007. Justin Smiley is an
upgrade at guard. Will one of the young rookies at guard earn the starting
job, or will it be veteran Steve McKinney (Seth’s older, more talented
- I’m not
yet convinced that the 2008 defense will be any better than the 2007
version, though they will be better conditioned. I wonder if any of the
new faces at LB can replace Zach Thomas’ productivity. I wonder if Jason
Ferguson will prove to be a capable replacement for Keith Traylor. How will
the recent injury to Michael Lehan affect his performance in 2008? Lehan
was just coming off of his best season as a pro and seemed ready for a
real breakout year. And, of course, will the Dolphins’ best player, Jason
Taylor, be on the team in 2008?
of Zach, could the Dolphins have blundered his departure any worse than
they did? Where was the class that has always been a hallmark of the Miami
Dolphins? Zach deserved better than a lame statement from GM Jeff Ireland.
when will he shut down his ego trip and report for work? He danced well,
he had fun, he may (may) turn into an actor, but for now he’s a
football player. It’s time for him to get back to work before he begins to
undue his legacy in South Florida. I, for
one, don’t want to see that happen to him.
- Head coach
Tony Sparano comes off as a no-nonsense tough guy. I like that in a head
coach, especially on a rebuilding team. His style is just what these
comes across as aloof and cold, though I concede that my initial
impression could be completely wrong given the limited public appearances
he’s made and that I haven’t yet met him in person. I hope I am wrong,
especially when it comes to his co-workers. No one likes a jerk, no matter
how talented they may be.
remember, nothing on the football side happens without Bill Parcells’
- I don’t
get it when team watchers claim the Dolphins need a deep threat at WR.
News flash: there’s a guy on the team named Ted Ginn, Jr. Ever heard of
him? He’s pretty good. Of course it’s a different story on the opposite
side. Will Ernest Wilford be the answer? Is this the year Derek Hagan
of Ginn, I expect big improvement from him given a full and healthy
offseason, and tutelage from crack WR coach Karl Dorrell.
- Good to
hear positive reports about Ricky Williams for a change. But do the
Dolphins trust him? I wouldn’t. Then again, with the rising of Ronnie
Brown, does it matter?
the biggest regret the Dolphins may have this upcoming season is not
making a serious run at G Alan Faneca. Aside from his blocking acumen, can
you imagine the influence he would have provided to Jake Long and Samson
Satele starting on either side of him? Instead Faneca will be plying his
trade for a division rival (J-E-T-S).
- One thing
the Dolphins won’t regret is the strong focus on upgrading the coverage
teams. After the offseason OTAs, the talent upgrade is very clear.
- I like how
the new regime wasted little time in addressing the conditioning problem
the team had last year. Yeah, lay some blame on the departed Cam Cameron,
but lay the rest on the players themselves. There’s this thing…it’s called
Parcells doesn’t like the fact that K Jay Feely is outspoken. But won’t he
care less if the guy kicks like he did last season?
- On the
other hand, Parcells is reportedly enamored with P Brandon Fields. Hey
Brandon, no pressure OK?
- There will
be times this season where you’ll swear that Dave Wannstedt’s “wad ball”
offense has returned.
- I’m not
convinced that the Patriots improved themselves this offseason. Then
again, they didn’t need much.
- The Jets
made an enormous financial bet on 2008 with the mountain of free agent money
they spent. That was the easy part. Getting the chemistry right is the
thing now. Many have tried to buy a winner. Most fail. If they don’t win,
the current regime will be tossed and the Jets will be saddled with a
salary cap problem for years to come.
- Tough to
read the Bills right now. They could take the next step with a healthy
Paul Posluszny and continued improvement from QB Trent Edwards and RB
Marshawn Lynch. But there are so many unknowns right now, starting with
Jason Peters’ contract situation and the loss of Nate Clements. This could
be a playoff team or a sub-.500 ball club.
- The NFL
schedule makers finally exhibited some sense. The good guys visit
Foxborough in September and play the Bills in Toronto (under a dome) in December.
Let’s just hope the season finale in New York doesn’t carry too much
weight, though the Dolphins will have chance to set the Jets season off in
the wrong direction in the season opener at home on September 7 (Think