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4 posts from August 20, 2013

August 20, 2013

Dolphins cut CB Richard Marshall

Richard Marshall's days with the Miami Dolphins came to an end this evening, a league source has confirmed.

Profootballtalk.com was the first to report the news.

Marshall, locked in a competition for a starting cornerback job, apparently didn't fit the team's plans because he wasn't going to win the competition and the club decided to go a different direction with its slot corner situation as well.

Today in practice the club used Jimmy Wilson as a first-team player on nickel situations ahead of Marshall. Marshall was curiously used as a safety in that situation.

Interestingly, coach Joe Philbin told the media not to read too much into that.

 “It’s just a preparation type of thing covering different potential things that may happen from a depth standpoint," he said.

Hours later, Marshall was gone.

Marshall, by the way, was not having a great preseason. Although he was working hard in practice, he gave up a handful of catches in the last three games. It seemed, frankly, no better than last preseason when Marshall was beaten numerous times but eventually the team found it was perhaps because he was nursing a bad back.

Marshall had surgery on that back and said he was 100 percent this training camp. But the results on the field were no better.

The Dolphins were scheduled to pay Marshall $4.55 million in base salary this year. It's clear the team was going to pay that only if Marshall won the starting job. By cutting Marshall the team saves $4.6 million against the cap.

But Marshall will nonetheless cost the Dolphins $1,166,667 in dead money this year and another $1,166,667 next year. That's a total of $2.333 million in dead money for this player through 2014.

Marshall, who signed a three-year $16 million deal in the spring of 2012, played four games for Miami. He had 17 total tackles and one interception.

This moves strongly suggests Dimitri Patterson has won the starting cornerback job opposite Brent Grimes. At least for now.

Regular-season type practice today (hope not)

The Dolphins are on a regular-season schedule now. They're practicing like it's regular season. They're meeting on a regular-season schedule. And they're preparing for the Tampa Bay Bucs, Saturday's preseason opponent, like it's the regular season.

Well, the defense is anyway.

The offense today?

Five fumbles. Six interceptions.

Every QB threw at least one interception. Reshad Jones plucked two of those interceptions on defense.

It wasn't a total disaster for the offense. Ryan Tannehill and Mike Wallace connected on what was a 75-yard touchdown pass that must have traveled 50 yards in the air. Of course, the play was against back-of-the roster DBs Julian Posey and Don Jones, but take the good news wherever you can.

Big news of the day was the return to practice of Randy Starks and John Jerry. Both have missed the entire preseason and both participated in 11 on 11 work today. I must report, however, they did so with different results.

Starks, a defensive tackle, looked great. He moved well and had what would have been a tackle behind the line of scrimmage and after practice said he's ready to play Saturday night.

"Everything is good," Starks said. "I came back slow so everything worked out. I'll be ready."

The timing of Starks injury is important because fellow DT Jared Odrick hobbled through drills today with some unknown leg injury he continually had to nurse throughout the workout. At one point, Odrick was so visibly frustrated he slammed his helmet to the ground. It did not look like it's serious because Odrick continued to grind, but this merits monitoring.

Jerry worked as the starting right guard and shared first-team snaps with Lance Louis. Frankly, Jerry seemed to be favoring the left knee. It didn't help that he crumpled to the ground on his first 11 on 11 snap and missed a block on his second. He didn't have much explosion in his steps and was mostly just not looking like he's 100 percent yet.

"No comment," Jerry said about that.

Jerry said he's pleased he got the work but declined to say whether he'll play against Tampa Bay. (I don't believe he will).

"You take coach Philbin with that, he'll answer it for you," Jerry said. "I got an opportunity to get out last week and do some individual work or so. Coming out today and getting some contact was good."

The return of Jerry and use of Louis at right guard has moved Josh Samuda back to second string center. Today marked the first practice in several weeks Samuda did not take any first-team snaps with the offensive line.

Dion Jordan (shoulder) did not practice today. Jordan Kovacs (leg) did not practice today.

Watch the '72 Dolphins at the White House here

In the spring of 1973, after the Dolphins won Super Bowl VII and completed their undefeated season, there was no White House trip to celebrate the victory for the team because, well, let's just say President Richard Nixon had other worries on his agenda.

Like the Watergate scandal.

Well, here we are 40 years later and another President with worries on his agenda -- Obamacare defunding, Benghazi, the IRS scandal, unemployment, and the NSA scandal -- is nonetheless making time for the Dolphins.

About 30 members of that perfect team will visit with President Barack Obama today at the White House and get their just recognition. Pretty cool.

The ceremony is scheduled for 2 p.m. If it doesn't start on time, blame the politicians.

You can watch it live below. If the player doesn't work properly, blame the politicians:

Next two weeks loom large for Dion Jordan

The Dolphins hope to start working rookie Dion Jordan back into practice this week. He still might be limited in the scope of things he's able to do but the team desperately wants Jordan back working because, well, he needs the work.

And that leads me to this:

I'm starting to hear grumblings from inside the team that Jordan's first camp has been a disappointment because it has been derailed by injury to the point he's not looking like a major contributor early in the regular season.

That's not me saying that. That's what I'm hearing.

And that isn't wrong.

Let's face it, when a player is picked No. 3 overall in the draft and for whatever reason, including durability which was measured before the draft, he isn't a factor in the team's opening day plans two weeks from that day, you have a bad situation.

Jordan is not going to be a starter. We know that's going to be Olivier Vernon, who has had a good training camp, according to coach Joe Philbin.

But Jordan is supposed to bring a level of athletic freakishness to the defense, with his speed and ability to attack the quarterback, that was to raise the bar on Miami's pass rush and ability to chase ballcarriers to the boundary.

We've only seen that ability in flashes during camp and the preseason.

Instead, Jordan has spent much of this summer rehabilitating a shoulder injury for which he had surgery in February, came back from in July, and had to return to rehabilitating two weeks ago after re-injuring it in a preseason game.

He didn't practice last week, unless you count a walk-thru a practice. And so he's falling behind. The Dolphins, meanwhile, signed an experienced 4-3 defensive end in Antwan Applewhite as insurance against Jordan not being able to contribute.

This would not be bad if Jordan were a proven veteran. If Cameron Wake missed a couple of weeks of the preseason and a bunch of practices, the Dolphins wouldn't be too worried.

But the fact is Jordan needs to work to get better because he's not game-ready at the moment.

That makes the next two weeks huge for him. If he can indeed get some work this week and perhaps play one of the final two preseason games, he might earn playing time in the regular season opener. If he doesn't do that, it will be difficult to simply put him in the season-opener and hope he figures it out.

The Dolphins badly want him to get on track. They need him to get on track.

This week will be a major test to see if Jordan can begin to do that.

Now, before anyone goes off on a rant that Jordan is a bust, stop. Breathe. We are talking a snapshot in time here. We are talking now. And we are talking the next couple of weeks.

I am not saying Jordan will be unavailable for the next two years. This is about the present.

The future might still be bright. It's just that the present has some issues.