[Editor’s Note: I asked DRK to write something up about the Dolphins depth chart. This was on Tuesday. Today he handed in a preview of the Fins-Bucs pre-season game, forcing me to completely abandon my own preview and punching a random stranger at an ATM machine in the process. This is what happens when one applies the management skills of the guys from Delta House to run their blog. Anyway, enjoy...
Ever try and put together some sort of depth chart post for the blog you contribute to only to have a perfect storm of bullshit get in the way every single day, all week long?? Man…what a bummer.
In lieu of that (as I’m sure we’ve all studied the current depth chart profusely), I’m opting with what I think we need to keep an eye out for in this first preseason game under the new regime. Here are DRK’s Keys To The Ga(y)me:
Players That Make Me Happy!!
• It’s no big secret that Ronnie and Ricky are going to be the keys to moving the ball this season and all camp reports on them have been largely positive. Ricky seems resigned as ever to continue his dichotomous love/hate relationship with football that borders on a living oxymoron. However, his work ethic never seems to have been better and he’s become one of Big Tuna’s buddies. Ronnie – despite some mental obstacles that would naturally inhibit his fluidity on the field – has shown glimpses of the back that made him the All Purpose Yards King of 2007 through 7 games last season. That said, I better not see Ronnie Brown out there with the ball more than twice or I will personally kidnap Sparano’s family. Decisions like that are ones that can end a coaching career very, very quickly.
• I’m looking forward to watching the right guard position to see if Donald Thomas starts or if they go with the vet, Trey Darilek. Thomas has been running with the 1’s for a couple of weeks now but Darilek is listed as a first-teamer on the depth chart. Shawn Murphy is listed as a first-teamer for chocolate ice cream with sprinkles at the NOVA university cafeteria.
• Derek Hagan has been playing like a man possessed, catching anything and everything that comes his way (though he’s had some dropsies this week). Apparently he did some work in the offseason to improve on catching with his hands but it’ll be interesting to see if he resorts to old habits come game time. Derek is currently the front runner for our much ballyhoo’d J.R. Tolver Memorial Award
• If you’ve watched Bill Parcells over the years, he’s always favored tough, physical TEs that can block and catch. Anthony Fasano is no exception to this mold and, though he rarely got to showcase his abilities behind All-Pro Jason Whitten, this is his time to shine. I was excited when we traded for this guy because this might actually give us an option at the TE position since Randy McMichael’s first season (after which he decided he didn’t need to block anymore).
• I honestly haven’t heard much about Justin Smiley since he’s been with us but he seems to be holding down that LG position. When it comes to the O-line, it’s probably a good thing that writers aren’t noticing you too much because that means you likely aren’t whiffing.
• We all know how gashed we got at the NT position last year and a rejuvenated Jason Ferguson has been impressive thus far in camp. I’m looking forward to that 3rd preseason game to watch this guy against the run.
• One of the most pleasant surprises of camp has been the play of the DBs. After the departure of awesomely-named and future star of the OMG Dolphins Super Team Scorpio Babers, I haven’t heard about too many DBs being absolutely scorched – a ‘win’ when it comes to the Fins. This leads me to believe that A) Our DBs are playing better, specifically Will ‘Rock Hands’ Allen and Jason ‘Busta-roo’ Allen or B) Our WRs are truly horrible. Frankly, I’m glad to not hear much about Y-Bell because I’d rather he save himself for the season. I’m just hoping he’s quarterbacking the secondary well [Ed: Oh you best believe that muthafucka!].
• With the loss of JT, it fell on Charlie Anderson and Quentin Moses to pick up the slack. Quentin Moses has been a nice surprise thus far in camp and has shown some nice pass rushing skills. I think John Beck is beginning to have some nightmares about him at this point.
• Finally, I think Kendall Langford’s come on real strong the past week or so and has show glimpses of the promise that made him our 3rd rounder. In fact, he was recently promoted (still early in camp) to the First Team D-Line as Matt Roth is slowly transitioned from D-Line Suckdom to OLB Mediocrity.
• Robot Chad Henne will be very interesting to watch. I shall observe then input the data into a complex algorithm in order to extract various permutations for success in your Earthling National Football League. Intruder Alert! Intruder Alert!!
Players That Make Me Angry ]:^(
• On the flipside of Langford’s promise is the real disappointment with Matt Roth. Look, I get that he has a great ‘motor’ but motor to me is Jason Taylor ripping through your back, separating your torso from the rest of your body, picking up the ball, stepping on your face and Air Jordaning it into the end zone for a touchdown. Matt Roth may be feisty but he doesn’t have a true ‘motor’ [Ed: Thus, the White Molasses moniker! We love nicknames here at FN!] Assuming he does have one, it isn’t exactly getting him anywhere; it’s just sitting in the driveway. He better work out as a standup OLB.
• They need to weed out some guys at the TE position already. If you’re going to put that application in for Charles Schwab, might as well start working on your resume now.
• Ernest Wilford is The Shadow [Ed: See?]. Seriously, where is this guy?
• The downer that is the Michael Lehan ankle injury. Back on June 6, it was reported by Sparano that he’d only be out ‘a couple of weeks’. That was two months ago. We need this guy for the nickel package.
• Enjoy this for what it was, Greg Camarillo. You’re going bye-bye [Ed: Long live the Golden God!! Ay ay ay!! Arriba andale!!].
• Same goes for you Reagan Mauia, you trickle-down-economics-namesaked slacker.
• Channing Crowder is starting to annoy me. Those fumble drills better start working because I haven’t seen him cause one yet.
• John Beck.
/gets up, puts hands on head while walking around the room taking deep breaths
You need to get your shit together, The Mormon. Not only are you a QB selected by the last regime but you’re going to be 27 years old, pal. I like you, John. I really do. Even when all my friends made fun of you, I stuck by you. Even when you fumbled on that horrendous snap at the Buffalo game, I was there with you. I carried you during the Pittsburgh game where you showed some great flashes in horrible weather. I had some hope for us when you pulled off a nice 2nd half against Cincy. Now it’s time to MAN THE FUCK UP. Go out there and play some football. That’s what Jesus wants you to do.
Honestly, I won’t be able to watch this game from NYC since they don’t televise preseason games at bars here unless it’s the fucking Jets or the permissible Giants [Ed: No, fuck them too]. Nevertheless, I’ll likely be watching it on gamecast but here’s what I’m hoping for:
• The play of the QBs, natch.
• Flashes of competence within the running game.
• A few shots downfield.
• The ebb and flow of the Offensive Line.
• Drops by the WRs.
• Utilizing Ted Ginn early and often, particularly those quick WR screens. I think Ginn should have about 2 of those a game, standard. I’ve seen Steve Smith use that all the time and it works wonders for him. Ginn needs to ‘roid up a little and get on the Steve Smith cycle. Might as well get his family in on it, too. (Side note: Can we just reflect on what a stupid comment that was by Cam Cameron for a second? Your forecast today calls for thunderous BOO showers and you come out with ‘Ted Ginn and his family will give us everything they have’??? My God.)
• Speaking of Cam, I’m hoping Tony Sparano shows much improved game management skills than the aforementioned Cam Cameron and his penis. You know, simple things like when to take a timeout??? Stuff they teach you in Head Coaching 101.
• The quality of the cheerleaders (this is, after all, preseason for them as well)
• Oh yea, the play of the QBs
Finally, it’s preseason, guys. Try to enjoy the game and relish the fact that Miami Dolphins football (or some form of it, anyway) is being played once again live before our very eyes. If something great happens or something horrible happens, react in the same way Chad Henne would.
So get drunk, fall down, try to kiss your best friend’s wife but keep your eyes on the action.
Have a fun, safe weekend, y’all [Ed: Y'all? What the fuck is this? A hoedown?].
Feel free to add your insight in the comments.