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[Dolphins] Dolphins get down to the nitty gritty

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  • [Dolphins] Dolphins get down to the nitty gritty

    Jay Fiedler is respected by teammates for tough and courageous play. But consistent turnovers have weakened his job security.


    [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.


    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.''


    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 is going to be.''

    Wannstedt's thoughts will include the feelings of his other players, some of whom prefer Fiedler to start ahead of Feeley because they know, trust and respect Fiedler and don't have that kind of history with Feeley.

    ''I have more respect for Jay than almost any other football player I've ever played with in my life,'' Whitley said. ``He was taking a lot of heat when he fumbled against the Patriots. The guy's got broken ribs and he's trying to squeeze an extra inch on a scramble. How can you not have respect for a guy like that?''

    Fiedler enjoys that respect throughout the locker room -- from defensive and offensive players.

    ''Some guys in this league are a lot softer than others,'' defensive end Jason Taylor said. ``Some guys get a hangnail and they don't want to play. Jay's not like that, and you have to respect that, and we do.''

Related Topics


  • DJRamFan
    [Dolphins] Not the time for change
    by DJRamFan
    Despite being the last winless team in the NFL, coach Dave Wannstedt doesn't plan to alter the starting lineup.


    [email protected]

    Perhaps you figure the silver lining in the ever-expanding winless cloud over the Dolphins is now you'll see some of the Dolphins young players getting more game time.

    You want to see that, you better have PlayStation or Xbox. The coach of the live action Dolphins isn't planning on doing things that way for now.

    Not only did Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt restate that Jay Fiedler would start at quarterback this Sunday, he digressed into this at the end of answering a question about the defense:

    ''As hard as our players are playing, as hard as our players are working and practicing, my commitment to them, my obligation to this football team, is do whatever we can do to reward that type of effort, to try win this game on Sunday,'' Wannstedt said. When asked bluntly when it's time to give untested players more time, Wannstedt said, ``As long as these guys keep working as hard as we're working, we have to give them the best opportunity to win today.''

    Of course, the guys getting the playing time now are 0-6. Not only is that 5 ½ games back of a potential playoff spot, it's 37 percent of the way toward an offseason in which the Dolphins have to decide on certain players.

    Making such analysis without having an adequate sample size is called ``guessing.''

    There's Quarterback A.J. Feeley, for example, who has played 10 quarters this season. Linebacker Eddie Moore, the 2003 second-round pick, is essentially in his rookie season after missing all of 2003 with an injury. Rookie offensive lineman Vernon Carey has started two games while starting right tackle John St. Clair has been out with a sprained ankle.

    There's also the issue of stalling development of what talent young players do have.

    Feeley shrugged, ``It's [Wannstedt's] decision. That's just the way it is. What it is is what it is.''

    But at this point in your career, how much good does being on the sidelines do?

    ''Anytime you're not playing, you can learn,'' Feeley said.

    Moore is parked on the depth chart behind Morlon Greenwood and Junior Seau. Greenwood will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Seau is a future Hall of Famer who still brings a strong game, but he's 35.

    ''There's no use in trying to change up and make drastic changes right now,'' Moore said. ``The ball just isn't rolling for us right now. Eventually, it will be.

    ''Eventually, my time will come,'' he said.


    Today's NFL trade deadline should bring minimal activity both with the Dolphins and around the NFL.

    Dolphins general manager Rick Spielman said through a team spokesman, ``A trade...
    -10-19-2004, 01:33 PM
  • 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 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, 01:38 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Dolphins sign former Kowboy Bobby Sippio for two years
    by DJRamFan
    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.”

    -07-05-2004, 01:37 PM
  • RamWraith
    Parcells signs deal with Dolphins
    by RamWraith
    Ex-coach agrees to contract to be V.P. of football ops
    Posted: Thursday December 20, 2007 11:00AM; Updated: Thursday December 20, 2007 4:04PM

    DAVIE, Fla. (AP) -- Bill Parcells led Super Bowl winners from the sideline. The Miami Dolphins hope he'll do the same from the front office.

    Parcells signed a four-year contract Thursday to lead the Dolphins' football operations, one day after turning down essentially the same role with the Atlanta Falcons.

    The two-time Super Bowl champion coach will report directly to Miami owner Wayne Huizenga, whose affinity for big-name help now has led him to Parcells -- a 66-year-old former coach of four NFL clubs who owns a home in South Florida and now has a job there, too.

    "He has a proven track record of success everywhere he has been in the National Football League," Huizenga said. "And his football acumen will help put the Miami Dolphins franchise back among the elite of the NFL."

    On Wednesday, the expectation around the league was that Parcells would take over in Atlanta, with even some reports saying the deal was done. By the afternoon, however, the deal had fallen apart and the Dolphins moved quickly to get Parcells to sign a contract.

    "I'm honored to join such an illustrious franchise as the Miami Dolphins and to work for one of the best owners in the league in Wayne Huizenga," Parcells said. "He shares my same commitment to winning and I told him I would do everything I can to help turn around the team's fortunes."

    The team made the announcement shortly after the locker room was closed for the day, and roughly 45 minutes after Dolphins coach Cam Cameron sidestepped at least a half-dozen questions about Parcells _ even refusing to say if he's ever met the coach.

    "There will potentially be a time to have that discussion," Cameron said. "Today, I don't see it as being that day or this time."

    Parcells will be formally introduced by the Dolphins on Dec. 27, the team said.

    His arrival has taken virtually all the attention off the Dolphins' game at New England on Sunday. But even as it appeared certain Parcells was coming, players didn't say much on the hot topic.

    Televisions were off in the locker room after practice Thursday; that wasn't the case 24 hours earlier, when Parcells' face was splashed across the screens as news broke he was weighing Huizenga's offer.

    Few players wanted to speak about Parcells, and those who did generally offered the company line, that the Dolphins are only thinking about Sunday's game at New England.

    "Any more questions about New England?" defensive back Jason Allen asked.

    Miami started 0-13 before beating Baltimore last weekend. The roster already seemed certain for an...
    -12-20-2007, 03:57 PM
  • RamDez
    Miami at a Glance
    by RamDez
    Miami at a Glance
    Friday, October 22, 2004

    By Nick Wagoner
    Staff Writer

    After a tumultuous offseason in which its best player suddenly retired, Miami has clearly been reeling from the effects.

    The Dolphins are off to a 0-6 start, worst in the league and appear poised to live the dream of the undefeated 1972 team in reverse, only this would be much more of a nightmare than a dream.

    Miami has struggled to create any kind of offensive cohesiveness in spite of solid defensive performances. It seems there is a new player starting at running back every week and the quarterback tandem in place has struggled to make any big plays.

    The offseason gave many fans in Miami hope that there could be improvements, but then running back Ricky Williams retired to go on tour with Lenny Kravitz and offseason acquisition David Boston went out for the season with an injury. The defense continues to be a mainstay, but without much offensive production, the Dolphins will continue to struggle and coach Dave Wannstedt’s seat will only get hotter.

    COACHING: Wannstedt is in his fifth season as Miami’s coach, making him the second-longest tenured coach in Dolphins’ history behind the legendary Don Shula. He is 3-3 in his career against the Rams and 0-1 against St. Louis with the Dolphins.

    Wannstedt’s teams have always played hard, but without the talent in place, it has been hard for Miami to generate any kind of momentum. Wannstedt could be in his final season with the Dolphins, barring a dramatic turnaround that would probably involve Miami somehow winning out. Wannstedt isn’t really to blame for the awful start this season, after all, it wasn’t his fault that Williams bailed on his teammates, Boston got hurt and the team made some poor decisions in the trade and free agency market.

    OFFENSE: This is clearly Miami’s biggest problem area. It isn’t just struggling to run the ball in Williams’ place or throw it without Boston, but the offense in general. The Dolphins are putting up just 243 yards per game and has scored just four touchdowns.

    Jay Fiedler starts at quarterback, but has fought off A.J. Feeley most of the season. Fiedler has an anemic passer rating of 51.1 with two touchdowns and six interceptions. Feeley wasn’t much better with a 57.2 rating, two touchdowns and five interceptions. That combination simply isn’t getting the job done and it will be difficult to improve with a depleted receiving corps and inexperienced offensive line.

    The running game has been the only area of the offense worse than the pass. The Dolphins have put up only 69.5 yards per game on the ground using a rotating door at running back. So far this season, former Ram Lamar Gordon, Travis Minor, Brock Forsey, Leonard Henry and Sammy Morris have gotten the bulk of the carries at various times. Henry leads the team in rushing with 136 yards,...
    -10-23-2004, 01:51 AM