Dolphins Roundup 8/20/04
By The Source
Aug 20, 2004
Compiled from a variety of sources throughout the day
- Sage Rosenfels can't help pondering what might have happened had he remained with the Washington Redskins.
It wouldn't be far-fetched to picture Rosenfels serving as either Washington's starting or backup quarterback had he not been traded to the Dolphins in the 2002 preseason. Not only was he the Redskins' 2001 fourth-round draft choice, Washington is now starting its fifth different quarterback, Mark Brunell, since sending Rosenfels to the Dolphins for a seventh-round pick.
But as the Dolphins prepare to host the Redskins in Saturday night's exhibition game at Pro Player Stadium, Rosenfels finds himself cemented as a third-stringer behind Jay Fiedler and A.J. Feeley.
"It's hard," Rosenfels said. "In training camp, I don't do a lot in [11-on-11 drills] at practice. I try to make the most of my individual work. My games are sort of like my team [practice] period because I just don't get much time."
Asked if he ever wonders how his NFL career may have unfolded if he remained with Washington, Rosenfels said, "Every once in a while I do. But then when you look at it, it doesn't really matter because of the situation. I'm not there. I'm here. I'm trying to make the most of being here and not look back."
Forgetting the past became easier last spring when Rosenfels played in the same golf tournament as Steve Spurrier, who was Washington's coach when he was traded to the Dolphins.
"He said he made a lot of mistakes as coach of the Redskins, and allowing me to be traded was one of the key mistakes he made," Rosenfels said. "It made me feel good. I enjoyed playing for him. We had a positive relationship."
So what has kept Rosenfels from reaching greater heights with the Dolphins?
It may be a lack of opportunity, as the Dolphins chose to use more seasoned backups behind Fiedler the past two seasons in Ray Lucas and Brian Griese . As a result, Rosenfels has appeared in only six games in either emergency duty or a mop-up role.
The competition between Fiedler and Feeley for a starting spot has further curtailed Rosenfels' work with the first-team unit during training camp.
The Redskins again played a part this offseason in shaping Rosenfels' destiny.
Brunell was the Dolphins' top choice to become their new starting quarterback, but Jacksonville traded him to Washington. Had Brunell joined the Dolphins, the team probably would have cut ties with Fiedler and promoted Rosenfels to a backup spot.
The Dolphins instead acquired Feeley from Philadelphia in hopes he is ready to become a full-time starter. Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt then wanted to retain Fiedler's services because he has more experience than Feeley and Rosenfels.
Rosenfels looked sharp in Saturday's 16-5 preseason victory over Jacksonville, completing 7of 10 passes for 70 yards and the game's only touchdown while playing the final 1½ quarters.
Although a chance to compete for a starting or backup spot with the Dolphins this season seems unlikely barring injury, Rosenfels draws inspiration from the fact he may have the chance to compete for such positions in 2005 either with the Dolphins or elsewhere when becoming an unrestricted free agent in the offseason.
"I try to make the most of the reps that I do get and do the right things when I play because it's not just the Dolphins that are watching me, but all 32 teams," Rosenfels said. "It's my resume when I go out there."
- The Dolphins will be looking for some separation between their quarterbacks in Saturday night's exhibition against Washington.
Jay Fiedler and A.J. Feeley did enough good things Saturday against Jacksonville that neither established himself as the clear favorite for the starting job. Sage Rosenfels, who threw for 70 yards (7 of 10 with a TD) played well enough to remain in the picture if Fiedler or Feeley were injured.
"Quarterback is a big decision," coach Dave Wannstedt said. "I feel good about all of them. Their performance has backed it up. If they continue to play well, I'm not worried about them separating themselves. If they start playing poorly, then you'll see something in a hurry: another quarterback."
Fiedler has been steady and solid. Feeley's learning curve has been on the rise in the past month.
"We have four veterans [including Clint Stoerner] who are competing at a very high level," quarterbacks coach Marc Trestman said. "They enjoy the science of football. They work hard and support each other."
Fiedler, who threw for 89 yards (7 of 11 with one sack) Saturday, said the starter benefits if the competition isn't drawn out because he gets more time to work with the first unit.
Feeley, who threw for 105 yards (8 of 12 with an interception), had a productive two-minute drive near the end of the first half.
He said he is indifferent to how the competition is conducted because he can't control it.
- Middle linebacker Zach Thomas, who had left knee surgery July 9, expects to see his first game action against the Redskins, but he isn't sure how much he will play. With Thomas back in the middle, Morlon Greenwood will move back to strongside linebacker. When Thomas comes out, rookie Derrick Pope will move into the middle.
- Punter Matt Turk said he might have avoided a misdemeanor battery charge filed by Nova Southeastern law school student Mariam Parsa, but he chose to fight the charges in court, where he was found not guilty on Wednesday.
"They didn't want money until they found out that I was a pro football player," Turk said. "I prayed about it and weighed my options. It didn't happen, so I decided to take it to trial."
The 26-year old Joyce had been signed by Arizona on February 11. He was in training camp with the Chicago Bears in 2003 before being waived on August 27. He originally attended camp as an undrafted rookie free agent with Chicago in 2002. He played in three games, all in a reserve role, with the Bears in his rookie season after spending several weeks on the team’s practice squad. He was credited with one tackle.
The 5-10, 195-pound Joyce started 35 of the 38 games in which he played during his four-year collegiate career at Tennessee State (1998-2001). He amassed 108 tackles, four interceptions and 30 passes defensed during that time, as he helped the school to consecutive Ohio Valley Conference championships in his junior and senior seasons. Born January 21, 1978, Joyce is a native of Nashville, Tenn., where he attended Whites Creek High School.
- Even by his own admission, Miami Dolphins linebacker Morlon Greenwood wasn't playing up to his ability. He always seemed a step behind where he needed to be, and he was thinking too much on the field instead of reacting. But, as he begins his fourth season with the Dolphins, Greenwood can sense it is all starting to come together.
"Yeah, I feel a difference," Greenwood said. "It’s more confidence. As the year goes by, you get more confidence and your reads become quicker. Playing with Zach (Thomas) and Junior (Seau), and those guys has given me a chance to step my game up a little. I am definitely seeing it in myself. It’s just staying consistent, working hard. I want to be the best and that’s what I’m trying to do."
- The Dolphins currently have 89 players on the roster.
- The Dolphins waived injured P Derek Jones on Thursday.
- The Dolphins practiced in shorts and helmets Thursday afternoon for approximately one hour and forty-five minutes.
- The Dolphins practiced in shorts and shoulder pads Thursday morning for approximately two hours.
- The Dolphins preseason game vs. the Washington Redskins Saturday at Pro Player Stadium is sold out and will be broadcast live on television by WFOR-CBS4 (Miami-Ft. Lauderdale), WTVX-TV34 (West Palm Beach) and WTVK-Channel 6 (Naples/Ft. Myers).
The winning raffle number from the morning session for a Dave Wannstedt autographed football is 373765.
The winning raffle number from the night session for a Sam Madison autographed football is 0395670.
WR Antonio Freeman (On the time it will take to learn the offense) - “Who knows, you can’t really put a time limit on it. You just have to take chunks at a time. Each chunk that you obtain each day adds up to the big picture, which is what we’re looking at, the big picture four weeks from now. You can’t try to learn three chapters in one day, you have to take it a chapter at a time. What you can obtain from that chapter, you store, and then you move on and keep it in your memory.”
Head Coach Dave Wannstedt (on wrapping up training camp) – “It was good. We had great work against Houston and I was pleased how our first preseason game went. That’s all positive. The attitude of the football team right now is where it needs to be right now. I think we just need to get a few of these guys back right now. With the adversity we’ve had, I think we’ve done great. Normally you got through a training camp and you run plays and you get into a routine. You’re running the same plays; you’re throwing the ball to the same guy for a few weeks. That has not been the case for this team this year. With everything we’ve had to deal with the last few weeks, we have had more discussions with plays, players, coaches, what can we do, what are our strengths, what can he do … I really think it’s going to help us. The only way you’re going to improve in anything is by dealing with adversity and learning from it and getting better. We’ve been forced to deal with a lot of stuff and nobody has lapsed and we’ve gotten as much done in this camp as we have in any camp to this point. I really think it’s going to help us down the road.”
Head Coach Dave Wannstedt (on still having to make personnel decisions) – “I think it’s good. You’ve seen our quarterbacks play. It’s a big decision, but it’s a good decision. I feel good about all of them. Their performances backed it up. These guys have practiced well, they’ve played well. It’s a win-win situation. I’m sure as heck not stressed out about it. I have a lot of decisions to make, but I think they are going to be good. We’ve got competition going at safety, offensive guard, and a couple other spots. I think we’re going to be better than we’ve ever been at those spots. So it’s a good thing.”
- Dolphins Team Up With CBS Ask the Experts and Publix For Back To School Kids Care Immunizations
With school starting in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, Miami Dolphins players made a guest appearance as children received free back to school immunization shots on Sunday, August 15, at Parrot Jungle in Miami Beach.
Dolphins players Vernon Carey, Otis Grigsby and Jay Williams were on hand to sign autographs for the kids after they received their shots. Defensive end Jay Williams also filmed a public service message to get the word out.
Also filming a public service announcement to help get out the importance of childhood vaccines was Miami Dolphins President Eddie Jones, CBS4’s Michael Colleran and Bill Fauerbach of Publix.
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