Dolphins Roundup 8/6/04
By The Source
Aug 6, 2004

Compiled from a variety of sources

Houston - The Dolphins will conduct joint practices and a scrimmage with the Houston Texans the next two days, but it was the New England Patriots that coach Dave Wannstedt had in mind when scheduling the sessions.

A significant reason Wannstedt chose to work with Houston is the Texans' extensive use of zone-blitz schemes, a defensive wrinkle used by the Patriots that mixes pass rushes by defensive linemen and linebackers. Wannstedt hopes having an early look at zone blitzes will pay dividends when the Dolphins play New England twice in the regular season.

"Our team is extremely simple front-wise and coverage-wise," said Dolphins offensive line coach Tony Wise, referring to practice work against his team's defense. "Going up against [Houston] and the fact they're going to shift into at least three or four different fronts is immensely helpful. That will test us more the first morning than we were tested the first three days [of training camp]."

Wise said Dolphins coaches began preparing for their 2004 opponents early in the offseason by analyzing film. Wise said special emphasis was placed on New England as well as Tennessee and Cincinnati, the Dolphins' first two opponents.

"The minute the season ends, we've got four chores: personnel, evaluation, what's new in the league and studying a couple of those opponents," Wise said. "We just try to categorize. I'm not going to say we know exactly what they're going to be doing. But at least we have an idea."

-Wooden weighs options

Dolphins reserve safety Shawn Wooden will decide within the next few days whether to undergo surgery for a bulging disc in his back.

According to agent Drew Rosenhaus, Wooden on Thursday visited a specialist who said the injury could be treated through surgery or rehabilitation and rest. Rosenhaus said Wooden would soon meet with the Dolphins to determine his next course of action.

Wooden, who is a core special teams player, aggravated a back injury last Friday that was originally suffered in offseason workouts.

-TE Jones misses flight

Dolphins tight end John Jones missed the team flight to Houston for unknown reasons. Jones, who was signed as an unrestricted free agent from Baltimore in the offseason, has struggled with heat-related issues throughout camp and was ripped Tuesday by Wannstedt for not being in better condition.

-Kendall likely not in future

Former Arizona offensive lineman Pete Kendall is expected to decide by today where he will sign, after receiving interest from approximately 16 teams, agent Neil Schwartz said Thursday.

Schwartz declined to discuss the negotiations, but the Dolphins were one of several teams to make an offer to Kendall. They don't appear to be a leading contender for his services. At least two other teams made multiyear offers for Kendall.

Kendall has played both guard and center during his career. Dolphins wide receiver coach Jerry Sullivan, who was the offensive coordinator with Arizona last season, said Kendall played well last season.

Arizona management talked to Schwartz about a contract extension for Kendall earlier this offseason.

-Notes: TE Deitan Dubuc, signed this week because the Texans have had injury problems at that position, went down with a seriously sprained ankle. Only one front-line tight end, veteran Mark Bruener, is healthy. ... Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt said his team came out of morning practice clean from injuries. ... John Mackovic, who coached the Kansas City Chiefs and in college at Texas and Arizona, watched practice Friday as a scout for the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League.

- Despite the need for more depth at wide receiver and the lack of a true No. 3 receiver, the Dolphins aren't expected to pursue former Oakland star Tim Brown.

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