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MIA looking for new RB

Postby Flux » Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:34 am

Fanball wrote:News
The Dolphins have apparently scrapped the Travis Minor experiment and are moving forward with plans to acquire a running back. Minor has rushed for just 15 yards on 13 carries in two preseason games, and although his offensive line has been atrocious, the coaching staff feels part of the problem is Minor. "I think Travis would be the first one to tell you that he knows that he can play better," coach Dave Wannstedt told the Miami Herald.

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The Dolphins are reportedly willing to deal the third round draft pick they acquired in this weekend's Adewale Ogunleye – Marty Booker trade. They are interested in powerful runners such as Cleveland's James Jackson. Verron Hayes and Dante Brown of Pittsburgh, both buried on the depth chart, were also mentioned as possible targets by the Herald.
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Postby 34=Sweetness » Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:37 am

Great... I was told Minor would be fine as a #4 back. :rollseyes:. Now I have to pick another guy, and the pickings are slim. I don't know what Wanny is thinking, its not like James Jackson is any better.
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Postby nsulham » Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:40 am

34=Sweetness wrote:Great... I was told Minor would be fine as a #4 back. :rollseyes:. Now I have to pick another guy, and the pickings are slim. I don't know what Wanny is thinking, its not like James Jackson is any better.


I'm in the same position myself. It's a slow draft and it's currently my pick. Minor is the last semi-decent starting RB left (I'm not touching Emmitt). After that it's guys like Steve Jackson, etc.

I wish Miami would just get somebody already and clear this up.
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Postby Plindsey88 » Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:42 am

34=Sweetness wrote:Great... I was told Minor would be fine as a #4 back. :rollseyes:. Now I have to pick another guy, and the pickings are slim. I don't know what Wanny is thinking, its not like James Jackson is any better.


Wannstedt needs to realize that the problem in his running game is only partially Minor's fault... More than anything it's that line that needs improvement... I was sitting Ricky Williams in favor of Dom Davis at times last year... That says volumes...

If they can deal a third round pick straight up for another back, more power to them... I have Minor as a #4 in one league, but was never really very confident about using him...

I'm not sure if they will get any quality out of a trade like that, though... I mean who do they really expect to get for a third round pick?
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Postby SuperFly_ffc » Mon Aug 23, 2004 10:21 am

Here's a transcript from Wannstedt's press conference yesterday-

Head Coach Dave Wannstedt Day-After-Game Press Conference
August 22, 2004


(Opening statement) - "Before we get into game related issues. Just to save us all a lot of time. With the (Adewale) Ogunleye situation and the (Marty) Booker trade, I really can't comment until the league approves the trade, and until Marty comes in and goes though the physical and all that stuff. We hope that gets taken care of by tomorrow sometime and then we'll be happy to talk to you about anything relating to that. For now, we just have to hold off on that until tomorrow.

"After looking through most of the film from last night's game, probably the most positive things that came out of it is that we had an opportunity and made some strides with our younger players, particularly with our special teams players. We talked about the departure of Tommy Hendricks and with Shawn Wooden not being in there and some of the other guys. With the Derrick Popes, Tony Buas we're very encouraged with how some of these guys stepped up and will be major contributors.

"The return game, I think Fred Russell will get more work this week and next week. We'll see if he can continue to make some progress on our kickoff return team. The tough thing there was the penalties early. Two or three kickoff returns we got called for holding and it brought it back. You look and say what was different about this week and our field position was not as good as it was against Jacksonville. Last night, every possession in the first half started inside our 20-yard line. When you’re backed up in those situations it's very difficult to do some of the things you might want to do. As far as play calling is concerned you have to make sure you don't give up the big turnover. You’re trying to make some first downs. You're trying to take some pressure off your punting game. All of those things factored in as we got off to a rough start. The positive is that we were able to use those situations which may occur against Tennessee. It will give us an opportunity to talk to the players tomorrow and say we’re backed up and now we need to make first downs.

"The first drive we moved the ball down the field, when Chris (Chambers) got hit and fumbled. We would have gotten points out of that drive, the opening drive of the game. If we go out and get points, whether it’s a field goal or a touchdown, who knows what that changes. And that's part of the game. We know that. I think that’s what's good about preseason. Something like that does come up, you talk about it and you try to emphasize the importance of keeping yourselves out of those situations.

"Defensively, I thought we didn’t play the running game with our backups nearly as well as we had with the first group. Our starters only played thirteen plays and then we started rolling guys. Dario (Romero) didn't play and Tony Brown was nicked up and I think you know the situation at cornerback we were dealing with. It was tough to get as group evaluation. You pull back and you start to look at individuals. And say how did Arturo Freeman play? Or how did Antuan Edwards play? You start to look at individuals rather than the entire group.

"We will put a lot of emphasis on this game. This game being our third game. From a game plan type of structure, we will continue to play people and evaluate people in some positions. No announcements today as for as any decisions that were made on starters at any one position. The safety position, we are getting a clearer picture there. The offensive line, we may move some guys around there some more. Taylor Whitley did a really nice job. We are still talking about what gives Vernon (Carey) the best opportunity to help our team. Maybe that will mean moving him back to tackle.”

(On the offensive line) – "John St. Clair and Seth McKinney have been the two most consistent. Seth has been doing a really nice job. If this was Tennessee, you're looking at Wade Smith on the left and St. Clair on the right with St. Clair being the swing guy. During the course of the week, he’s playing his right tackle spot, but he’s got to get some work at left tackle as well. Vernon Carey has really made some steps at the tackle position so he would be the next tackle to go in and play. We’re going to try and work the guys in at each position so they can get a chance to play. The same thing inside with the guard/center position. Rex Hadnot is playing both positions and he’s doing a nice job. We need to get him work at both positions. I thought after watching film that Whitley did some good things, he’s aware and he will get the start again this week. We will probably move Greg Jerman back to guard."

(On the return game) – "Sam Simmons was coming off an injury. The plan yesterday was whenever they were punting into the end zone we’d have same back there so he could make good decisions, field it and not out the ball on the ground. When we were backed up, we were going to out Bobby Sippio in there and see if he could get some returns. But he let the ball hit the ground two times and we didn’t get anything out of that. Now kick return, I think that Fred (Russell) has a chance. He has shown that if there is an opportunity there, he can make something happen. He gives you that big play threat that your always looking for."

(On the safety position) – "Antuan (Edwards) did a nice job. They ran the ball so much that it wasn’t a real good opportunity to evaluate the pass defense. Both of those guys are making progress. You knew Arturo (Freeman) was doing a good job, but it was good to see Antuan get in there and play. He was very instinctive. Probably a good part of them running the ball so much was that we got to see a little bit about the guy’s toughness and if he would come up and hit somebody. He ended up with eight tackles and he demonstrated that he can play physical. We haven’t made the decision on safety yet and how much we are going to play those guys this week."

(On the quarterback play last night) – "I thought both guys missed a few throws. A.J. (Feeley) had the play where the ball slipped out of his hands and it was a little bit slippery out there. But they made good decisions. There was never an instance where they went back and took a sack because they were holding the ball or were indecisive about where to go with the ball. They blitzed us a lot. The quarterbacks were forced to make quick decisions. For the most part they did a good job with that."

(On Fred Russell’s role in the running game) – "The plan was to get him a lot of carries. But we just didn’t have the ball enough. We are going to stay after the running game. We are committed to it. You know you have to be balanced in this league. You can’t win if you don’t run the football. After looking at the film, it wasn’t just the line missing assignments. There were times when the backs, whether it was Travis (Minor), or Fred or Renaldo (Works) that the backs just didn’t make a good cut. The other thing is that when we found out that Rob (Konrad) couldn’t play, we went into the game with our deuce package with two tight ends in there and we started off the game with Randy McMichael in there as the fullback. And Randy hadn’t had a whole lot of practice at that spot. We ran a couple plays and Randy was a little off because he hadn’t done it much. All it takes is for one guy to be off and it can result in a no gainer."

(On the offensive line) – "Jeno James is steady. We knew when he came in here that he was the veteran guy that would play. I was really encouraged with Seth being a first time starter and John St. Clair came here as a guy wanting to prove that he could start in this league and I think he has. Wade Smith needs to play a little better. This will be the group that starts this week. We’d like to lock everything in this week, but there will just be a couple spots we will have to take a look at."

(On Leonard Henry’s absence) – "It's a shame. Here’s a perfect opportunity for a guy who has paid his dues and we don’t have him out there. It’s unfortunate that Leonard has been hurt."

(On whether he’s going to keep his offensive linemen in games longer to get more snaps) – "We have and we've done that. The only guy who has really come out has been Jeno James in the first half. Every preseason game, Wade Smith played a half. This week, the starters will play three quarters. We’ll get that done this week. Wade Smith has played the entire first half, Seth McKinney had played the entire first half, and then whoever was at that other guard spot played a whole half. We’ve given those guys more playing time than what we have in the past traditionally"

(On if Fielder and Feeley will get the same length of playing time) - “Whoever will start at quarterback, we’ll get them at least a half. We will decide how we’re going to break it up.”

(On whether he would consider playing some starters in the fourth (preseason) game to make more evaluations) – “That’s been done before. (Bill) Parcells has done that the last few years. In some positions, we’re probably going to have to. That’s just part of getting better. I think there are two sides to it, a little bit like the Richmond Webb thing. I don’t thing they were evaluating Richmond. I’m sure that the thinking was just to get him some playing time and some experience. We are in that situation a little bit. I can starters at some positions, maybe where we’re young or not that experienced, playing more in that fourth game than what we’ve ever had.”

(On what he saw from Vernon Carey and John St. Clair) - “Vernon has been good. It’s really what (John) St. Clair has done that’s really been the thing. That was the biggest thing. When we drafted Vernon obviously we do have a dire need at the offensive line, but– St. Clair came in here with the ambition to be a starter, but we didn’t know. He’s really been doing well. So it’s really more of St. Clair doing a lot better than we thought, which is a good problem to have.”

(On neither quarterback stepping up and how that affects his planning going into the regular season) – “I think that you looked at our quarterbacks right now objectively and you said, ‘who has played bad?’ I think both guys have played good. We haven’t thrown interceptions, we haven’t been confused out there with getting plays in, or made wrong checks on audibles, we just haven’t been as efficient in some other areas on offense. I think that both quarterbacks, all three quarterbacks really, have done a very good job in the preseason of running the offense when they have been called on and had opportunities.”

(On QB A.J. Feeley having trouble with the footballs getting wet) – “It’s happened in practice a couple of times and he was talking about it. I heard it, but I didn’t really put a whole lot of merit in it. What happened last night, we’ll talk about it. I don’t think the glove thing would be an idea. I think much of it is the center. That’s when the problem comes. In practice, as crazy as this sounds, we have changed shorts with the players during the course of practice just to keep them dry. I think that has a much to do with it-the footballs are dried off and they’re rotating them in – I don’t think it’s that. I think it’s the centers’ pants get wet and that has a little bearing on it. We have talked about that after what happened yesterday. With Jay (Fiedler) on the quarterback sneak that he does so well – we’ve done around here for four years and we were second in the league in the whole NFL in short yardage situations – he never had the ball. In watching it from the end zone on the tape, it came up and slipped through his hands. So, there might be something to it with the center, the pants, and the whole thing. He never had the ball. ”

(On whether he judges the quarterbacks on how many times they get into the end zone)- “No, I wouldn’t hold anything. I thought that A.J. (Feeley) yesterday really had the team in position to put the ball in the end zone, and Chris (Chambers) gets hit and fumbles. If you’re the coach, are you going to hold that against the quarterback? I don’t think you can. The offense got stopped and somebody turned the ball over. If he throws an interception then I think you look at it differently.”

(On what the players’ attitudes are like today after the loss)- “I haven’t seen any of the players today. Today they are getting treatments and we have been up there watching film. They were disappointed. Whether they played ten plays or fifty plays, you go out there every week expecting to, number one, in the preseason make improvement in your individual play, and number two, you want to win the game. Let’s face it, that’s what we do and that’s why we do what we do. I think there were some guys that were disappointed in their performance and how we played. Maybe not as much the physical part, but a few of the penalties we had and the turnovers. Jay (Fiedler) in the second half, he has the ball there, and that’s a first down. Now we’re going to have first down on the 35-yard line going in and who’s to say he wouldn’t have taken it down and scored. It was more of a disappointment from that standpoint than I think from a physical standpoint.”

(On seeing a lot of blitzes last night) “We’re going to get that until we hit a couple of big passes or a couple of big runs. Greg Williams, their defensive coordinator, that’s what they did at Buffalo, and he was the defensive coordinator for Jeff Fisher at Tennessee, so there is a lot of carryover from team to team that we’re going to see. Teams will blitz you until you give them a bad play and then they will back off, just like rushing a punt or coming after you aggressively. You have to do something about it and they’ll back away.”

(On with all the injuries if whether he’s on schedule to be ready for the season opener) - “We have three weeks until we play. The two things that we have to do to be ready for the opener, number one, we have to get all of our guys out there and we have to get some work done and get them back as quickly as we can. Number two, we have to just start zeroing in on what players and what we can do which will give us the best chance to be successful. That’s the two things. Generally, you’re not going to add a whole lot of stuff. You’re not giving the players a chance to succeed if you throw too much on them. As we start game planning, we’ll start refining and pulling things in a little bit. Right now they’re responsible for a whole play book. Once we start getting ready for a game – that’s why this will be good this week – because we’re going to pull it in this week, we’re going to go through a game plan, and the players will have a number of plays – runs, passes, defenses – and they’ll be responsible for this. It won’t be like you’re responsible for the whole play book. Now this will be really specific and we will be able to further evaluate.”

(On Travis Minor) – “He has run hard, he has protected the ball. I think Travis would be the first one to tell you that he knows that he can play better. It is different when you’re the starter. Travis used to go in and we would hand him the ball on a sweep or a draw as a change of pace. Now he’s going in there and it’s nothing. He’s in there with the nuts and the bolts. We’re pounding that thing up in there and it is a whole different situation for him. We’re trying to get him some work there. We had Renaldo Works in there in the fourth quarter and I’m saying to Joel (Collier) that I want Fred Russell to carry the ball, and he says, ‘coach, we’ve only had four plays in the third quarter.’ So, we want to get Travis a bunch of carries, but in the same token, if we ran the ball 35 times in this preseason game, and we walked up there and I was sitting there and you were asking me how the quarterbacks played, well we ran the ball the entire time so you’re trying to evaluate them. Sometime it’s tough to get that balance.”

(On whether he needs to improve the running back situation) – “I wish that Sammy Morris was out there. I have seen good things with Sammy in practice, but he hasn’t had a chance to get on track yet. Leonard Henry, unfortunately, hasn’t had a chance to get out there. They only guy that we’ve really seen a little bit is Travis. Hopefully this week and next week, we’ll be able to clear it up a little bit.”
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Postby The_Commish » Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:54 am

Plindsey88 wrote:
34=Sweetness wrote:Great... I was told Minor would be fine as a #4 back. :rollseyes:. Now I have to pick another guy, and the pickings are slim. I don't know what Wanny is thinking, its not like James Jackson is any better.
I mean who do they really expect to get for a third round pick?


Probably James Jackson. I don't think dealing this pick means much to them.

They'll end up dealing Ricky Williams this next offseason after they signed Edgerrin.
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Postby IRON CHEF » Mon Aug 23, 2004 12:01 pm

I thought the Dolphins were sticking with what they got, I guess I was wrong. :-/

With a shot to get James next year, I thought they would have toughed it out with Minor this year. And especially after trading away O Gun I figured it solidified Minor's starting spot more.

I think Wannstedt is fighting to keep his job and resurrect the season, I'm not sure if Jackson is the answer however.
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Postby jbuk » Mon Aug 23, 2004 12:12 pm

I've also got Travis as a #4. Followed the preseason game the other night and the whole team sounded a mess. I don't have very high hopes this season :~(

From a fantasy perspective, none of the names mentioned sound like much of an improvement, especially behind that line.

Oh well, at least he was only a #4RB
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Postby caneblood » Mon Aug 23, 2004 12:17 pm

The phins should trade a 1st and 3rd for a GOOD RB (Read: not James Jackson). How about Onterrio Smith, Steven Jackson, Travis Henty or Willis McGahee for a 1st and 3rd plus if needed maybe a future 2nd. That's alot to give up but considering that we get a 3rd from Chicago then essentially the Phins would be giving up Wale and a 1st to replace the 2 offensive pieces. The team would be the same as it was at the start of camp.
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Postby The_Commish » Mon Aug 23, 2004 12:20 pm

Because they can have Edgerrin James for free....

It's not a given Ricky WILL be back. Wait and see what he does, deal him for picks and upgrade the team through the draft. This team's holes go beyond simply getting a RB.

They foolishly gave a 2nd or 3rd for Feeley; the O-line is terrible and they'll need to replace Wale at DE.
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