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Dolphins sign former Kowboy Bobby Sippio for two years

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  • Dolphins sign former Kowboy Bobby Sippio for two years

    01 Jul 2004
    By Rick Pedone News-Gazette Staff Writer
    Anyone who saw Bobby Sippio play football and basketball at Osceola High six years ago probably guessed that one day Sippio would be a star at the collegiate and professional levels.

    Although it took longer than expected, and the course was more circuitous than he would have liked, Sippio has made it.

    Last week he signed a two-year contract with the Miami Dolphins to play wide receiver and defensive back.

    “It feels great. It’s a dream to make it to the professional level. I know I speak for every athlete when I say that this is the dream for all of them; they all want to make it,” Sippio, 24, said from his parents’ home Monday.

    After coming out of Western Kentucky University as a junior two years ago only to be snubbed in the 2002 NFL draft, Sippio resurrected his career after two seasons of Arena football.

    During the 2003 season with the Dallas Desperados, Sippio caught 75 passes for 1,218 yards and scored 32 touchdowns. He had 28 tackles and two interceptions playing defense.

    In 2002, Sippio played for Greensboro of the AFL2 and caught 57 passes for over 1,000 yards. He made 66 tackles and had five interceptions there.

    Sippio’s receiving yards are impressive considering that he never played the position before the 2002 season.

    “The Arena League really helped me. It gave me a clue about receiving and how to run the routes because I had never played receiver before,” said Sippio.

    His agent, Marvin Prince, said from his California office that several teams sought Sippio, who also tried out for the Tampa Bay Bucs last week.

    “Dallas wanted Bobby to wait until July 8 before trying out so they could try to pick him up, but Bobby and I sat down and talked about it and since Dallas had the last (waivers) option on him it didn’t look like he’d be going there anyway,” said Prince.

    Tampa Bay also wanted Sippio, but it didn’t have a roster spot available.

    “They were trying to get us to wait before Bobby tried out somewhere else to give them time to clear a spot, but we didn’t want to take that chance,” said Prince.

    Sippio’s workout at Miami impressed both the offensive and defensive coaching staffs, said Prince.

    “Bobby had a plane to catch two hours after the workout, but they literally wouldn’t let us leave until they had a contract,” said Prince. “They finally decided to give him the offensive and defensive playbooks, and they are going to let him choose where he wants to play.”

    Sippio is unconcerned about learning two positions for the Dolphins.

    “It’s not as hard as you think. It’s basically just learning the pass routes. And there are only so many techniques you can learn on defense,” he said. “I’m not nervous about it at all.”

    Sippio, at 6-3 and 217 pounds, would be one of the largest cornerbacks in the NFL. He ran a 4.5 40-yard-dash in Miami, not fast by NFL standards.

    “The coaches knew that I wasn’t in running shape, that I had just come off a season and I was beat up,” said Sippio. “They know that when I come to camp fresh, in shape, I’ll run a 4.4.”

    Prince learned about Sippio while he was playing at Greensboro last year.

    “Guys who played against him would tell me, ‘Man, this guy is killing us.’ You look at him on tape, and he’s like a man playing with boys. Then, you see him this year in the Arena League and it’s the same thing. A man playing with boys. He’s one of the top rookies,” said Prince.

    Sippio’s contract with the Dolphins isn’t guaranteed but is loaded with incentives, said Prince.

    “The Dolphins just don’t have any bonus money left. Bobby will get rookie pay in training camp, and if he makes the roster, he’ll earn the NFL minimum. We were talking about it, and we were both laughing. We’re saying, ‘Who are we to be negotiating with the Dolphins after last year when Bobby was playing for $250 a week in Greensboro?’” said Prince.

    As a senior, Sippio played quarterback for the Kowboys’ 1998 Class 5A state championship team. He rushed for 1,210 yards and passed for 1,198. He threw four touchdown passes against Daytona Mainland in the regional final, sending the team into the championship against Estero.

    Sippio was recruited by several Division I programs such as Alabama and Clemson, but he didn’t meet NCAA qualifying standards and accepted a grant to Western Kentucky.

    As a defensive back there, he set the school’s single-season record for interceptions (10) and return yardage (236) as a sophomore and was named to five Division I-AA All-American teams.

    But, Sippio developed a reputation as an undisciplined player who was difficult to coach, and that combined with his early departure from school hurt him when the NFL held its 2002 draft.

    “I’ve learned a lot, and now I’m looking forward to playing for the Dolphins. Growing up in Florida, I didn’t really have one favorite team. I followed all the local teams and it’s great to be with Miami,” he said.

    Prince expects Sippio to be a Dolphin for a long time.

    “The coaches told me that he’s got a very good chance to make the roster, and that at the very least it would be difficult for him to not make the practice squad,” he said.

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  • MauiRam
    Could the 2009 Rams Duplicate the 2008 Dolphin's Season?
    by MauiRam
    One can only wonder how bad it is in the Rams locker room these days. One would imaginine that it is devoid of both group and individual self-esteem. Reading about the woes of last year's Dolphins when the team hit rock bottom, made me realize that we will have the same opportunity to improve. Sure Billy D. isn't in the same echelon as Parcells, (few are), but he'll have the chance to prove he belongs there .. We have a chance to tie last year's dismal record this Sunday, but it appears unlikely we'll get a win on the road in Atlanta .. The removal of Shaw and Zygmunt was our Xmas gift from the Chipster .. Let's hope Billy D. can hire the right coach and personnel gurus to lead us to the promised land.

    FOX Sports on MSN - NFL - Dolphins are one win from complete turnaround

    Dolphins are one win from complete turnaround by Alex Marvez.

    Alex Marvez is a Senior NFL Writer for FOXSports.com. He's covered the NFL for 14 seasons as a beat writer and is the president of the Pro Football Writers of America.

    The Miami Dolphins highlights airing on a locker room television caught Vonnie Holliday's eye.At this time last season, the Dolphins defensive end would have turned away. The only Dolphins footage being shown was future material for a "Football Follies" special. And now? Miami can complete the greatest turnaround in the NFL's 88-year history Sunday by defeating the host New York Jets.

    As Terrell Owens would say, getcha popcorn ready.

    "To be in December and have people talking about the Dolphins in a good way is what I'm most proud of this season," Holliday said Wednesday at team headquarters. "Here we are in the thick of things. Last year, we were the butt of jokes. This year, we're for real. "Really.. By defeating the Jets, Miami (10-5) would win the AFC East. Snow in South Florida seemed more likely entering the season. No one-win team had ever rebounded to post double-digit victories the following year, let alone make the playoffs.

    "I don't think if you would have looked at our roster at the beginning of the season that you would have seen a 10-5 team," Dolphins cornerback Andre' Goodman said. "But the fact is we are a team. We lift each other up. You didn't feel that last year. "Goodman admits he couldn't have fathomed such a reversal of fortune when the 2007 Dolphins were sitting at 1-14 heading into a season-ending home loss against Cincinnati. What a difference......a year makes. The Dolphins have gone from 1-15 to 10-5 and in the playoff race. A look at the statistical turnaround:

    Stat 2007 2008*
    Points scored 267 321
    Points allowed 437 300
    Turnovers 29 12
    TO margin -7 +14
    Pass YPG 207.4 237.4
    Rush YPG 98.1 118.1
    * -- through 15 games

    "You heard at the beginning of the season about what we can be, but...
    -12-27-2008, 02:38 PM
  • DJRamFan
    [Dolphins] Dolphins get down to the nitty gritty
    by DJRamFan
    Jay Fiedler is respected by teammates for tough and courageous play. But consistent turnovers have weakened his job security.

    BY ARMANDO SALGUERO

    [email protected]


    Taylor Whitley has more respect for Jay Fiedler than anyone he has ever shared a huddle with, and that is pretty much the sentiment of many Dolphins players.

    The quarterback has flooded a reservoir of respect and good will among his coaches and teammates with his tough play, determined demeanor and 35-21 record with Miami.

    But that reservoir is being drained now because Fiedler is in a drought.

    He has only two touchdown passes in his 13 quarters this season while throwing six interceptions, including two that were returned for touchdowns. His 50 percent completion rate is the lowest of his starting career, and his quarterback rating has also hit career bottom at 51.1.

    TOUGH TIMES

    So while Fiedler is still Dave Wannstedt's choice to start for the 0-6 Dolphins on Sunday against St. Louis, he is on notice that toughness and determination might not matter that much longer.

    ''Not turning the ball over is the job of any quarterback, and the turnovers from that position haven't been good,'' Wannstedt said Wednesday. ``[Jay is] working hard to correct them, but you still have to recognize that it did happen.''

    Wannstedt recognizes it and admits he talked with assistants about starting A.J. Feeley against the Rams. Despite not making the change, the coach said Fiedler will get 60 percent of the practice snaps while Feeley gets 40 percent -- perhaps early preparation for an eventual move.

    But Wannstedt won't commit to making a change yet because Fiedler's popularity in the locker room is a factor the coach considers.

    ''It's part of it,'' Wannstedt said. ``But it's not the determining factor. The determining factor has been and will be the guy that gives us a chance to manage the game, and that's what's been disappointing overall.''

    Fiedler knows he has played better in previous seasons but recognizes playing better this year might mean correcting many issues not all within his control.

    ''It's hard to pinpoint one thing,'' Fiedler said when asked why he isn't playing to previous form. ``A lot of it is the amount of turnover we've had throughout the offense from coaches to players all the way down.

    ``We feel we've progressed and gotten better with it, but we don't feel like it's where it needs to be yet.''

    NOT IN DENIAL

    And Fiedler is aware his play has to get ''where it needs to be'' because his starting status is at stake. He knows this because he's asked about it regularly, much to his displeasure.

    ''That's something you'll have to ask coach about,'' he said. ``I'm not going to speculate about what his thought process...
    -10-21-2004, 03:16 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Now healthy, Winston eager to lead Hurricanes
    by DJRamFan
    July 28, 2005
    CBS SportsLine.com wire reports




    CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- He already was good. Really good. Experts touted him as a high first-round NFL Draft pick this past spring.

    Advertisement


    A serious knee injury put those pro plans on hold. Now, Eric Winston is back to prove he's better than ever.

    Miami's left tackle is healthy and cleared to participate when the Hurricanes open camp on Aug. 8, when he'll start his mission to regain -- or exceed -- the form that left scouts drooling and opponents leery.

    "If I would have not gotten hurt, I would have been top five in the draft, gotten a ton of money and I would have been some little kid with $20 million in my bank account and probably doing something stupid right now," the 6-foot-7, 310-pound Winston said. "Getting hurt kind of puts everything back in perspective."

    Winston's 2004 season ended eight games early because of three torn ligaments in his left knee, an injury that probably played a major role in Miami's three-loss campaign -- one in which the Hurricanes failed to reach a Bowl Championship Series game for the first time since 1999.

    It happened early in the fourth quarter of Miami's 27-3 win at Georgia Tech last Oct. 2. A missed block on the right side of the line allowed Georgia Tech linebacker Chris Reis an unimpeded path to Miami quarterback Kyle Wright, who tumbled to the turf in Reis' grasp.

    Winston fell backward over Wright and shredded his knee.

    Season over, just like that.

    The plane ride home from Atlanta -- which should have been joyous, with the Hurricanes celebrating their first Atlantic Coast Conference road win -- instead was one on which Miami president Donna Shalala spent time comforting Winston and telling him a fourth year in school could be a good thing.

    "What happened with Eric took the wind out of the coaches' sails and the team's sails that day," Miami coach Larry Coker said. "We were pretty down as a staff and as a football team for quite a while. ... No doubt, we struggled offensively without him. With Eric, things might have been different."

    With him, they were 4-0 and ranked No. 4 in the nation. Without him, they went 5-3, each loss coming by a touchdown or less -- and in games in which they certainly could have benefited from having their best lineman, and perhaps their best leader, on the field instead of the sideline.

    Inability to run the ball was a consistent thread in each of Miami's losses a year ago. The Hurricanes averaged just 2.8 yards per carry in defeats to Clemson, North Carolina and Virginia Tech. In the games in which Winston was in the lineup, Miami averaged 4.2 yards per carry.

    "He's such a physical player. ... He makes those...
    -07-31-2005, 04:05 PM
  • Nick
    Dolphins head coach Nick Saban accepts University of Alabama job
    by Nick
    After repeated denials, Saban takes Bama job
    ESPN.com news services
    Wednesday, January 3, 2007

    Nick Saban has accepted an offer from Alabama to coach the Crimson Tide and leave the Miami Dolphins, two weeks after declaring "I'm not going to be the Alabama coach."

    Saban's agreement with Alabama is for eight years and a fully-guaranteed $32 million, according to ESPN.com's Len Pasquarelli. Saban can potentially earn an additional $700,000 to $800,000 annually in bowl-game bonuses.

    Saban told team owner Wayne Huizenga of his decision in a face-to-face meeting Wednesday morning. Saban then informed all of his coaches by speakerphone that he was leaving the franchise to coach Alabama.

    In a news conference at the team's facility, Huizenga told reporters he was not upset by Saban's departure.

    "It is what it is. We have to move forward," Huizenga said. "We want the best for Nick and [his wife] Terry. I like Nick a lot and think he could have won here. I'm a Nick Saban fan."

    As of late Wednesday morning, Saban was not yet headed to Tuscaloosa for a formal introduction.

    "All indications are that he's coming, but I know they're not in the air yet," an Alabama athletic department official told ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach.

    Saban had issued repeated denials that he was interested in coaching Alabama, one of the most high-profile and high-pressure college coaching jobs in the country. After he turned down the Tide in early December, they offered the job to Rich Rodriguez, but he decided to stay at West Virginia.

    Alabama made a formal offer Monday after rumors swirled for weeks that the Crimson Tide were continuing their pursuit of the former LSU coach, who spent five seasons in Baton Rouge before leaving for the NFL. Saban was 48-16 at LSU and won the 2003 BCS national championship.

    He walks away from the Dolphins with three years left on a deal worth approximately $4.5 million a year.

    In the past, Huizenga has been persuasive when dealing with coaches. He talked Don Shula into retirement in 1996, talked Jimmy Johnson out of retiring three years later -- Johnson lasted one more season -- and was able to lure Saban to the pros in 2004 after other NFL teams had failed.

    But this time, Huizenga failed to change Saban's mind.

    "First of all this was never about money," Huizenga said. "It's never been about money, Nick never talked to me about money, Nick never talked to me about an extension. I honestly believe this was not about money.

    Saban was 15-17 without a playoff appearance in his two seasons as Dolphins coach.

    "In my opinion, the Dolphins have always been about winning. I just want everyone to know that it's really all about winning now," Huizenga said. "I don't...
    -01-03-2007, 11:15 AM
  • DJRamFan
    Schnellenberger building a fourth power in Florida
    by DJRamFan
    Sept. 23, 2004
    By Dennis Dodd
    SportsLine.com Senior Writer

    Why not flip a coin to pick a starting quarterback?

    Howard Schnellenberger had done wackier things in his career. Twenty years ago it seemed like he was throwing that career away. Miami had won the national championship in 1983 and Schnellenberger, the celebrated architect of Hurricanes football, bolted -- try not to laugh -- to the USFL.

    Needless to say, that didn't work out. There was an inspiring stop at Louisville and a disappointing one at Oklahoma but, really, his career arc was never the same again.

    "In my opinion, he might have as many championships as anybody, ever (if he stayed at Miami)," Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said. "It's crossed my mind many times."

    So why not flip that coin three years ago? How is that more outrageous than creating a football program at an unknown campus in Boca Raton, Fla.? A place where the burrowing owls on campus were the inspiration for the school's nickname?

    Or agreeing to go door-to-door soliciting community leaders for the mere $15 million needed to go from germ of an idea to kickoff?

    Really, it wasn't weird at all for the 70-year old who, well, let's just say he still has extreme confidence in his abilities. So, yeah, it really was Schnellenberger who suggested in 2001 that freshman quarterbacks Jared Allen and Garrett Jahn flip a coin to start the first game in Florida Atlantic's history.

    "They were too close for a human being to call so God called it," Schnellenberger said this week, considering his latest construction project. "Certainly I would do that. Why wouldn't I?"

    Ridiculous is sublime again in Schnellenberger's world. Amid this season's talking points -- hurricanes, instant replay, kickers who can't kick -- is the job Schnellie has done at that owl-laden commuter campus of 13,000 students in Palm Beach County.

    Three victories, all on the road, all against I-A competition in Florida Atlantic's final season before joining the big time, which in this case is the Sun Belt Conference in 2005. Next year, this college football IPO will be eligible for -- please stifle your laughter again -- a bowl.

    All of it after playing organized college football for all of four years. All of it according to plan.

    "He was basically semi-retired in Miami selling municipal bonds," said Dr. Anthony Catanese, the man who hired Schnellenberger at Florida Atlantic in 1998. "I said, 'That's not the place for Howard Schnellenberger.'

    "He told me in five years he'd have this program nationally recognized. He did it in three."

    Almost all of it has been done with kids from the state of Florida who couldn't go to one of the Big Three -- Miami, Florida or Florida State....
    -09-23-2004, 02:14 PM
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