Tag:Tony Sparano
Posted on: September 20, 2011 10:09 am
Edited on: September 20, 2011 10:19 am
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Coach Killers, Week 2: McCown's magnificent 1.8

Coach Killers is your weekly look around the league at those performances, decisions and "Wait, what did he just do?!" moments that put the guy in charge squarely on the ol' hot seat. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Mike Martz, offensive coordinator, Bears. We don't know if Martz has designs on ever getting another head coaching gig, but you have to wonder if he's trying to get Lovie Smith fired with that game plan against the Saints Sunday. Martz has never been known as an OC particularly interested in protecting the quarterback, and that goes back to his days with Kurt Warner and the Rams in the late 1990s-early 2000s.

But it's a potentially lethal combination when you have Jay Cutler under center and a porous Bears offensive line in front of him. Making matters more problematic: facing the Saints and their defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who has yet to meet a pressure scheme he wouldn't try.

So what did Martz do? Of the Bears' 63 offensive snaps, he called 52 pass plays. Which made for a Perfect Storm of Pain for Cutler, who was 19 for 45 for 244 yards and a touchdown. He also lost a fumble and was sacked six times.

Cue ESPN blogger Kevin Seifert: "Martz is well-known for his pass-happy ways, but his notable adjustment toward the running game last season was among the most important factors in the Bears' NFC North title. So it's worth noting that coach Lovie Smith rebuked Martz's approach Monday, in his own gentle way, and agreed it was not a formula for success."

Smith told reporters Monday that "I know the balance as far as running/pass wasn't there. All I can say is we'll get it better. You can't win football games with that type of balance."

Smith added: "It just happened. It happens like that sometimes and we'll clean it up. I'm not going to sit here and tell you the reason why. I'm just going to tell you we have to get the balance a lot better, and we will. We didn't do that [Sunday] for a lot of different reasons."

In case it's not blindingly obvious: Martz is the reason why.

It's only a matter of time before Jags fans start sporting 1.8 jerseys.

Luke McCown, quarterback, Jaguars. Here was the Jacksonville.com headline nine days ago, after the Jaguars defeated the Titans, 16-14, in the regular-season opener: "Luke McCown lauded for execution of Jaguars' game plan." The only way that headline would work two weeks in a row is if head coach Jack Del Rio admitted in the post-game presser that the team "Took an unconventional approach to getting rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert on the field. Instead of just pulling McCown, we thought it made more sense to embarrass him out of a job. I think we accomplished that."

But Del Rio didn't say that. Instead, after watching McCown's clown college-inspired performance against the Jets, all the Jags coach could offer up was a pithy recounting of the obvious. “It was a good whooping."

Way to undersell it, Jack. It was so much more than that. McCown, the guy Del Rio installed as the starter after unceremoniously dumping David Garrard a day before the NFL season opened, was impossibly awful. By the time Del Rio pulled McCown from the game after three quarters, he had completed 6 of 19 passes for 59 yards and four interceptions. It gets worse: his passer rating was 1.8. To get a sense for how truly terrible that is, consider this: if McCown just took the snap from center and spiked the ball into the turf on all 19 of his pass attempts and finished the day 0 for 19 for 0 yards, 0 TDs and 0 INTs, his passer rating would be 39.6.

Maybe that's a flaw in the formula, but the the overall point remains: the Jaguars were markedly worse off when they let McCown try a forward pass.

“I’ve got to do better," McCown said, presumably with a straight face. 

Clearly. But it's unfair to blame him completely; it's not like we expected him to be anything other than a below-replacement-level NFL quarterback. Ultimately, fault lies with Del Rio, who seems to have a knack for inexplicable decisions while somehow managing not to lose his job.

"I guess the immediate next question is what are you gonna do going forward, and my answer is that we'll discuss that as a staff," Del Rio said after the Jets game. "I made the decision in this ballgame to let Blaine play and get some experience, and we'll go from there. ... We're gonna do the things that make sense for us to win on Sunday.""

We have a very hard time believing that last sentence given how the previous two weeks have played out. But it could be worse, Del Rio could be coaching the Chiefs. Which brings us to…

Matt Cassel, quarterback, Chiefs. Like McCown, Cassel is a victim of circumstance. He's also a grown man, an NFL quarterback and Pro Bowler so he should be able to handle the criticism, particularly after what the Chiefs have perpetrated against the game of football in recent weeks. Head coach Todd Haley, once hailed as an offensive mastermind, looks more like a guy just back from an alien abduction that has been programmed to set offenses back 100 years.

Haley's also the man who commandeered play-calling duties from offensive coordinator Charlie Weis before last season's playoff loss to the Ravens, an ugly game that foreshadowed life without Charlie, who bolted for the University of Florida in January. Now, two games into 2011 and the Chiefs are, by any measure, the worst team in the league.

It all starts with Cassel, who has a respectable completion percentage (63.8 percent on 37 of 58 passing), but is managing a paltry 4.3 yards per attempt, has just one touchdown and four interceptions, including a three-pick effort in the Chiefs' 48-3 no-show performance against the Lions Sunday. Cassel's passer rating through two weeks: 50.4. By comparison, he had just seven interceptions in 2010, and sported a passer rating of 93.0.

Another not-so-fun fact, courtesy of STATS: "Kansas City lost its first two games by a combined margin of 79 points, the worst scoring differential to start a season for the Chiefs since losing the first two games of the 2007 season by 27 points."

Ah, yes, the halcyon days of losing by an average of just 13.5 point a game.

While it's a tad unfair to lay the unending ineptitude at Cassel's feet, it's not completely Haley's fault, either. The Kansas City Star's Sam Mellinger writes that "Blaming this entirely on Haley is both lazy and dishonest. You’re looking at the wrong guy. Focus away from the head coach for a moment, and look at the general manager."

We couldn't agree more. The problem: general manager Scott Pioli does the hiring and firing. If it comes down to canning himself or the head coach, we're guessing Haley will be the first to go. The only question is when (we have Halloween in the office pool). Cassel might get to the end of the season, but that has more to do with convenience than loyalty. The Chiefs have the great misfortune of being one of the league's worst teams playing one of the toughest schedules. Which means that the "Do we have a shot at Andrew Luck" conversations have begun in earnest. 

NFL Week 2

Seahawks wide receivers, cornerbacks (alo acceptable: players not named Earl Thomas). It's not like anyone expected Seattle to waltz into Pittsburgh and beat the Steelers. Vegas listed the Seahawks as 14-point dogs, and the Steelers were motivated in their home-opener after an embarrassing loss in Baltimore in Week 1. Plus, it's not an exaggeration to suggest that, outside of safety Earl Thomas, Seattle doesn't have one legitimate playmaker. That severely limits your chances in a play-making league.

Also not helping: dropped passes and cornerbacks who either play 15-yard cushions or bump-and-run coverage without the bumping.

Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson is in an untenable situation. Against the Steelers, the game plan involved quick, short passes and running the ball. Neither worked, so the few times Jackson attempted to throw the ball more than 10 yards downfield, the play often ended with his receivers dropping the pass. This goes back to the lack of play-makers; Sidney Rice didn't play, and there's no reason to think that Mike Williams, who ate himself out of the league once before, or Chris Durham would suddenly morph into something other than possession receivers. Then again, Jackson's not Drew Brees whe in comes to accuracy, either.Yahoo.com's Doug Farrar joked during the game that "Jackson should be taken off the field for the safety of his receivers. He's hanging them out to dry all over the place."

So, yeah, terrible football a two-way street.

The excellent Field Gulls blog does a nice job of breaking down cornerback Brandon Browner's curious day.

"Most of his struggles are easy to explain as him lacking the speed and awareness to cover a wide receiver like Mike Wallace. 'Speed' here isn't just straight-line speed. Browner may be athletic enough to still play cornerback at 6'4", but he does not turn on a dime, he lacks the short-area quickness to go up against these smaller guys. …

"…[M]ore curious … the lack of jam from Browner. He was occasionally lined up five or six yards off the line, which in itself is an odd use of Browner's talents. Where [Marcus] Trufant used such cushions in this game to make sure he could at least contain against long runs, Browner looked inept trying to executed the same idea. And even when lined up right on his man, he seemed hesitant to put a hand on him, even just to shove him to the outside lane. I have no explanation there. Perhaps he was intimidated by the receivers' speed, perhaps he was instructed to be extra careful with his hands for fear of penalties."

No need to worry. This is all part of head coach Pete Carroll's yet-to-be-explained-in-detail Plan. We're guessing it involves comfortable khakis and Andrew Luck.

Offense, defense, special teams, Miami Dolphins. Upside: it's not all Chad Henne's fault. Bad news: the Dolphins are still 0-2 -- at home -- and the season could be over before the month is out. It also doesn't help when head coach Tony Sparano can only muster a "I don't have any answers" post-game response following the Dolpins' loss to the Texans Sunday. "It’s baffling to me," Sparano continued. "It really is … We’ve got to do a better job."

After a solid showing in Week 1 against the Pats, Henne looked more like himself against Houston, finishing the game 12 of 30 for 170 yards with a touchdown and an interception. But the lack of points is an offense-wide problem.

“I think it’s a little bit of everything — mental mistakes, the fundamentals, executing,” running back Reggie Bush said, according to the Miami Herald. “When we have our opportunities, because we do have opportunities as we did out here [Sunday], we have to make them. That’s what the good teams do. They take advantage of their opportunities. And that’s what we don’t do very well.”

On the other side of the ball, the defense had the opposite problem. Linebacker Kevin Burnett, like Sparano doesn't have an explanation for the slow start.

“Right now I don’t know what to say,” he said. “We’ve got to win our one-on-one battles. If you win one-on-ones, eventually we’ll pull out a victory."

Theoretically, yes. But the the scoring issues are exacerbated when the most consistent player on the team, kicker Dan Carpenter, goes 2 for 4. Granted, the 22-yard chipshot that was blocked wasn't his fault, but he honked a 34-yarder, too. Six points doesn't matter when you lose by 10, but presumably the Dolphins aren't planning to lose every game by double-digit margins. Because if they don't get their act together Bill Parcells might actually walk through that door.

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Posted on: September 18, 2011 8:14 pm
Edited on: September 18, 2011 8:15 pm
 

'The NFL Today': Week 2 postgame show

Posted by Will Brinson

The NFL Today wraps up the week that was in the NFL -- postgame coverage right ... here:


And, just to recap, here's the news, notes and quotes from our award-winning team of analysts during the pre-kickoff show.

Shannon Sharpe on Tim Tebow playing any time soon:
"There might come a time at some point in time during the season that might happen. Talking to John Elway and John Fox, I don't see that happening any time soon. I think he might be able to be successful but you'd have to scrap your entire offense to make this guy successful. Then what happens, if he gets nicked and somebody else has to come in because you have nobody else on this team with his skill set. Everyone talks about his intangibles, his big heart, his desire to win, he won the Heisman. Arguably, one of the five or six greatest college players to ever play the game. But what about accuracy? That's an intangible you must have to be successful at any level to play quarterback, especially in the National Football League. I just don't see how this guy can be successful consistently when he can't throw the football accurately."

Boomer Esiason on the Jets throwing the ball more:
"Ground and pound got him to two AFC championship games, I get it. And they were protecting a young quarterback who was a liability as opposed to an asset. Now he's a third year starter. He's a captain. He's wearing the "C." I get they have a little problem protecting him. Wayne Hunter had all he could handle last week from DeMarcus Ware. You got Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress, and maybe the most under-utilized tight end in football in Dustin Keller – start throwing the ball. That's what this league is going to, and that's why you traded up to get him in the first round."

Boomer on the Jaguars cutting David Garrard:
"Yes, they did. They didn't believe he could take them to the Super Bowl. So why pay him $8 million if you’re a small market team. They did the right thing."

Kris Jenkins on whether Ndamukong Suh is the best defensive player in the NFL right now:
"Absolutely not.  Right now the current premiere defensive tackle in the league is Haloti Ngata.  And you have to look at the best players in the league on defense: Revis, Polamalu, Demarcus Ware, and so on and so forth.  You can go down that list for a long time."

Boomer on Cam Newton:
"I love Cam Newton's performance last week, and the thing that I saw more than anything was poise. You also have to realize why he had so much success. The Arizona defense was a disaster. They had communication problems. They busted coverages. But give the kid credit because he found where those busted coverages were. I think he's going to be a tremendous player in this league. I just don't think we're going to see that today against Dom Capers and this defense because they won't have the same breakdowns."

"Inside the NFL" GM Charley Casserly also dropped a lot of knowledge in his segment:
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Posted on: September 18, 2011 3:55 pm
 

Casserly: Dolphins looser because of no Parcells?

Posted by Will Brinson


Chad Henne's coming-out party on Monday night was heavily obscured by the fact that Tom Brady went absolutely HAM on the Dolphins.

But make no mistake, Henne looked substantially better than he had his entire career. And there's reason for it -- as noted before the season began, offensive coordinator Brian Daboll was going to give Henne "full reign" to call audibles at the line.

CBS Sports' Charley Casserly noted during The NFL Today that this has resulted in

"He likes the fast-paced offense, he likes the quick-rhythm passing game he's in and he also likes his ability to get through his progression on the passing plays rather quickly," Casserly said.

Most interesting, though? Casserly noted that the Dolphins in general are a much more "loose" team now. And he said there's some belief that this is a result of Bill Parcells not hanging around the complex anymore.

That's an interesting theory, and one that makes sense, because of Parcells general method of leadership. (He's a bit of a hardass, you may have heard.)

And it's not necessarily a rip on Parcells and the way he ran things in Miami -- the team is just looser now than it was when he roamed the office. Because we don't even know if that's a good thing just quite yet.

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Posted on: September 14, 2011 10:42 am
Edited on: September 14, 2011 10:43 am
 

Top Ten with a Twist: Comeback players

M. Stafford, if he stays healthy, could be a candidate for comeback player of the year (US Presswire).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Some had disappointing seasons last year only to find themselves in a brand-new setting this year. Some had worn out their welcome in one city and were rewarded with a new home in a new part of the country. Some were injured, and some just flat-out stunk.

But this is a new season, and it’s never too early to make predictions about the 2011 comeback player of the year, especially since two-time winner Chad Pennington is out for the season and won’t be eligible for his third award until 2012.

You won’t find Albert Haynesworth on this list, because a man who duped one organization out of tens of millions dollars only to find himself holding a golden parachute to the league’s most respected franchise doesn’t need another reward if he potentially plays well (or, unlike in Washington, plays at all). But pretty much everybody else is eligible for a spot on our latest Top Ten with a Twist: Potential Comeback Players of the Year.

10. Kevin Kolb: I originally wasn’t going to put him on this list, because simply put, I’m not entirely sure he’s going to live up to his $63 million ($20 million guaranteed) contract in Arizona. But after his 18 of 27, 309-yard, two-touchdown performance in the Cardinals win against the Panthers (all while getting sucked into the “Cam Newton is awesome” maelstrom), it’s at least a possibility Kolb will play like Arizona believes he can. Kolb supporters point to an impressive two-game stretch he had in 2009 for why he’s worth all that money. I’m more interested in his 130 quarterback rating from Sunday and where he can go from there.

9. Chris Johnson: You might not know this, but last year, Johnson had a disastrous season. When you compare him to 2009, his performance declined by more than 600 yards and he scored three less rushing touchdowns. If that’s not the sign of a guy who has already become much less effective … wait, what’s that? Johnson still rushed for 1,364 yards and 11 touchdowns last season? Oh, never mind. But here’s the thing with Johnson. He keeps proclaiming that he’s going to rush for 2,000 yards, and while he did it in 2009, he fell woefully short last year. And yes, he won’t make it 2,000 in 2011 either. But he’ll also be better than last year, particularly since he now should be completely happy with the money he’s making.

8. Bob Sanders: We all know Bob Sanders can’t stay healthy. Not after missing 64 of 112 career games with the Colts. And because we’ve barely seen the guy (only nine times in the past three seasons) we always seem to lose sight of the fact that Sanders was once a premier safety threat  mentioned in the same breathe as Troy Polamalu and Ed Reed. One good sign for Sanders’ return to respectability: he didn’t have to spend this offseason rehabbing an old injury. But Sanders also is 30 now, where the aches and pains increase rather than diminish. In his first game with San Diego, he accumulated six tackles. But at least he didn’t leave the game with an injury. Which, with Sanders, is pretty good news.

7. Tim Hightower: You’ll recall that Hightower had a bit of a fumbling problem as the No. 2 running back behind Beanie Wells in Arizona -- he had eight lost fumbles combined in the past two seasons -- and though Hightower had good production in place of the injured Wells, the Cardinals decided they’d rather have Wells than Hightower. The Redskins, who were saying goodbye to Clinton Portis, went after him, and their interest was rewarded this week when Hightower looked solid, rushing 25 times for 72 yards and a score. Just as important, though, is his pass protection and his versatility (he’s a pretty good receiver as well). Just as long as he doesn’t fumble, he could be a really good addition for Washington.

6. Steve Smith (Eagles version): We still don’t know how healthy Smith is, but the fact that he was active for the first game -- much to the chagrin of the Giants, I imagine -- is awfully impressive, considering he was coming off microfracture surgery on his knee. He wasn’t targeted by Michael Vick, and he didn’t play all that much. But the fact he was out there at all was pretty ridiculous. Smith probably won’t be healthy enough to produce the stats that would give him a legit shot at the comeback player of the year, but he’s already gone to extraordinary lengths to return this soon, so why not?

Henne5. Steve Smith (Panthers version): Aside from all those Panthers fans who now have hope, receiver Steve Smith has to be one of the biggest Cam Newton fans around. For a guy who wanted out of Carolina as soon as possible (and as receiver, why would he want to try to field passes from Jimmy Clausen?), the infusion of Newton into this offense was the main reason Smith exploded for eight catches, 178 yards and two touchdowns. Considering he only accumulated 46 catches for 554 yards and two (!) scores in 2010, a little Newton in his life apparently has gone a long way.

4. Chad Henne: Despite Miami fans chanting that they wanted Kyle Orton (who now has to hear the chants of “We want Tebow” in Denver) in the preseason, the popular storyline out of south Florida is that Henne finally will turn himself into a legit starting quarterback. Henne was a major storyline in the offseason -- coach Tony Sparano said “we’ll see” about Henne’s chances of starting and receiver Brandon Marshall laid out in detail why Tyler Thigpen was a better player until Henne began to make believers out of his teammates, who voted him offensive captain. It’ll continue to be a storyline as long as Henne plays the way he did against the Patriots (30 of 49 for 416 yards, two touchdowns and a garbage-time interception) in one of the best performances of his pro career.

3. Rex Grossman: Based on the way he played against the Giants on Sunday, I thought about putting Grossman higher on the list. But I just don’t see him as a top-15 quarterback -- this season or any other. Maybe if he got to play against the Giants shell of a defense every week. But until that happens, I don’t see him taking home the hardware. That said, Grossman surprised many people this week -- including, I imagine, John Beck -- and didn’t look like the same quarterback who was Donovan McNabb’s two-minute offense replacement. At least, he played like a legitimate starting quarterback.

2. Bryant McKinnie: Surely, McKinnie would be the first comeback player of the year award winner to have weighed 400 pounds (allegedly) and gotten released from his old team for it (not to mention earning $75,000 for getting down to a trim 372). But McKinnie, as the new left tackle for the Ravens, helped set the tone last Sunday when, on the first play of the first Ravens drive, he dispatched Steelers linebackers James Farrior and James Harrison, allowing Baltimore running back Ray Rice a 36-yard gain. Baltimore ended up beating Pittsburgh by four touchdowns, and don’t think McKinnie wasn’t a big reason for that. If he keeps it up, perhaps McKinnie can make history as the first offensive line ever to win the award.

1. Matthew Stafford: The Lions quarterback scared the daylights out of just about everybody when he hobbled to the sideline with an apparent injury in Detroit’s season-opening win against the Buccaneers. For a guy who’s missed 19 games the past two years with various ailments, that was not a moment for the weak at the heart. But it was only cramps, and during Detroit’s victory, Stafford showed that he still has the talent to be a top-five quarterback. And considering most of the comeback players of the year happen to be quarterbacks, that doesn’t hurt his chances either.

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Posted on: September 10, 2011 10:02 pm
Edited on: September 17, 2011 4:16 pm
 

For the gambler in you (Week 1)

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Each Saturday, we’ll take the best -- and most clever -- odds collected by bodog.com for the upcoming week and give our take. This is important stuff, perhaps the most important post you’ll read all week. Because if you can’t lose money while watching a game in which you have absolutely no effect, what’s the point of watching sports at all?

Top-five Super Bowl picks

New England Patriots 11/2 
     
Green Bay Packers 7/1

Philadelphia Eagles 15/2  
    
San Diego Chargers 11/1

New Orleans Saints 12/1

Bottom-five Super Bowl picks

Cleveland Browns 100/1

Washington Redskins 100/1 
             
Carolina Panthers 125/1

Cincinnati Bengals 150/1

Buffalo Bills 150/1

The big change in the Super Bowl odds has to do with Peyton Manning and the Colts. Bodog’s head oddsmaker Adam Young explains: "When someone as important to a team as Peyton Manning is questionable for one or more games to start a season we are almost forced to pull down their season win total and divisional odds and in turn those of the Texans.  We have left up the Super Bowl odds with the Colts moving up from 16-1 to 20-1 and the Texans down from 28-1 to 20-1."

So, my advice: don’t put your money on the Colts. Instead, I’d put your money on New Orleans to win the whole thing.

Will Tiki Barber play in a game in the 2011 regular season? 
       
Yes 3/1   

Nope. Only the Dolphins have thought enough of Barber to give him a workout, and we’re not flabbergasted enough to think that somebody else will be that desperate to give him another chance.

Who will be the first coach fired in the 2011 regular season? 

Jack Del Rio 3/1

Tony Sparano 7/2

Gary Kubiak 11/2

Marvin Lewis 15/2

Tom Coughlin 15/2

Mike Shanahan 10/1

Norv Turner 10/1

Lovie Smith 12/1

Andy Reid 15/1

Field 2/1

You have to think the decision to release David Garrard and start Luke McCown until Blaine Gabbert is ready to play will seal Del Rio’s fate. At least with Garrard as the starter and with Manning out for the time being, you’d think the Jaguars would have a chance at the postseason and the chance to save Del Rio’s chance. There’s no chance now.

Terrelle Pryor -- total starts at quarterback in the 2011 regular season  
    
Over ½ (+110)

Under ½  (-140)

It’s the Raiders. Of course you go with the over.

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Posted on: September 2, 2011 12:01 am
 

Daniel Thomas continues to need work

D. Thomas has many improvements he needs to make to his game (US Presswire).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

One issue we really haven’t discussed when we’ve written about the Dolphins trading for and giving a two-year deal to Reggie Bush or when we’ve talked about Tiki Barber trying out for Miami or the addition of retread Larry Johnson is how the team feels about second-round pick Daniel Thomas.

Well, when the most exciting thing you’ve done since you were drafted was to have your name attached to a porn event, that pretty much says it all. In other words, Thomas hasn’t done much in training camp.

As told by the Miami Herald, Thomas is having a tough time transitioning to the pro game, as evidenced by the grocery list of improvements Thomas needs to make. That includes being more physical, running with more explosion, being less tentative, keeping his legs churning, getting his pad level lower and keeping his shoulders squared.

"I would say that's about right," Thomas told the paper. "I've just got to lower my pads and trust my blocks and everything like that and I'm trying to get better here at practice and carry it into the next game."

And when Chad Henne and coach Tony Sparano are imploring you -- or, you know, yelling at you -- to hit the hole harder, it’s probably a good idea to listen.

That’s one big reason Thomas played tonight in the Dolphins preseason finale vs. the Cowboys, writes the Palm Beach Post. What Sparano wanted to see the most: improvement by Thomas -- who carried the ball eight times for 36 yards -- on his pass-blocking.

“In the beginning it was overwhelming a little bit,” Sparano said, via the Post. “But (running backs coach Jeff Nixon) has brought him along and he stepped in there pretty good three or four times today.

“This is something new to him, (but) he’s doing it and having success doing it and he knows that’s really going to be what, at the end of this thing, gets him on the field too,” Sparano said. “You know you’ve got to be able to protect the quarterback and I think he’s done a really good job doing that.”

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Posted on: August 29, 2011 4:50 pm
 

Dolphins give Chad Henne 'full reign' to audible

Posted by Will Brinson

Remember how fans of the Miami Dolphins were chanting for Kyle Orton earlier in the 2011 preseason? Yes, that actually happened. And it happened because the Dolphin unfaithful don't believe that Chad Henne is the answer at quarterback and that

So this should be exciting news: Miami is going to give Chad Henne "full reign" to call audibles at the line of scrimmage of this season! (!) Henne describes the following situation against Tampa Bay on the Dolphins second play from scrimmage, after Henne spotted a single safety deep.

"So I audible to a post-safety [passing] play, right?" Henne explained to Jeff Darlington of the Miami Herald. "Then, the defense audibled into two-deep [coverage]. So now I’m back into the same situation. But you try to pick a play that can beat any coverage."

According to the much-maligned Dolphins quarterback, it's improved his on-field life significantly.

"Oh, it’s great," Henne said. "It’s full reign."

He probably means free reign, but whatever. The important thing is that Henne's showing marked improvement in 2011, which he has, though right now games are only of the exhibition nature.

Henne's thrown for 446 yards in the preseason (second in the NFL, right behind Chase Daniel!) and gone 29-for-45 in passing attempts, while also throwing two touchdowns and two interceptions for a quarterback rating of 93.4.

Just a few weeks ago he looked doomed to simply cough up the starting job to Matt Moore and become the latest object of scorn for Miami football fans -- now he suddenly appears on the verge of proving Dan Marino correct in his assessment that Henne has the talent to be be a legitimate quarterback in the NFL.

Oh right: and me. Don't think I won't remind Wilson of it on every single podcast if Henne ends up helping the Dolphins rebound this year.

Most importantly, though, is that Henne could end up inspiring many more people in South Florida to yelling "We want Henne!"

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Posted on: August 5, 2011 6:56 pm
Edited on: August 5, 2011 6:58 pm
 

Favre on Dolphins: 'I don't have any interest'

Posted by Ryan Wilson

It's been 24 hours since we last spoke about Brett Favre so, naturally, it's time for an update. Days after Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne had to endure "We want Orton!" chants from the hometown fans, head coach Tony Sparano, tongue planted firmly in cheek (we think), was asked about Favre joining the Dolphins.

"I can't rule anything out...I'm giving you the only answer I can give you," Sparano told reporters, per Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

We know, we know. Sparano could've diffused the situation by just saying "I'm not even going to dignify that with an answer." Instead, he was vague, which sent the media (us included, clearly) into a Favre frenzy and prompted the ol' gunslinger's agent, Bus Cook to later observe, "Brett Favre's retired, that's all I can say. He's like Elvis now. People just won't let go."

For real.

On Friday, Jeff Darlington of the Miami Herald happened to be in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. As long as he was in the area, he figured he might as well ask Favre about his professional football hopes and dreams.

“I haven’t heard anything, and I don’t have any interest,” Favre snapped, quickly retreating into a pickup truck. “No.”

Favre then posed a question that at one time or another has been on the lips of every NFL fan. “You’re from Miami?” Favre asked, when introduced to a reporter from the Miami Herald. “Don’t you have anything better to do?”

Fair question. Then again this is what happens when you make a habit of un-retiring every offseason.

Two sources told Darlington that Favre hasn't been working out at the local high school field, as he had done in the past, but instead "spent a good chuck of time vacationing in Wyoming."

We'd like to think that this will end any "Favre's returning!?" talk but we know better. In the meantime, the Dolphins have signed QB Kevin O'Connell, the Patriots 2008 third-round pick who also spent time with the Lions and the Jets.

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