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Dolphins and Bucs in battles with NFC East teams Sunday

Florida Football Insiders



Jasen Vinlove

Week number three of National Football League action has already commenced with the Jaguars putting together four impressive quarters and a 20 – 7 win over the Titans Thursday night. Now, the Buccaneers and the Dolphins will take to the field- one at home and the other with a very tall task on the road.

First, the Bucs will play host to the New York Giants. Who, as you probably have heard by now, have benched Super Bowl winning quarterback Eli Manning at 38 years of age in favor of first-round draft pick Daniel Jones. Jones will rely heavily especially early in the game the Giants outstanding running back Saquon Barkley.

That’s why we wrote earlier in the week, that Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians is as much concerned with Barkley’s ability to catch the ball, as running it. And, it will be the biggest key for the Bucs to stop him.

Meanwhile on offense, quarterback Jameis Winston above has a multitude of pass-catching weapons like Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, O.J. Howard, and Cameron Brate look to do damage against the Giants defense that has been hammered in their first two losses to the Cowboys and the Bills.

Tampa Bay must take advantage of Sunday’s game at Raymond James Stadium, as after it is done, they will not play a home game there again until November. The only non-road game in the next six weeks is Tampa Bay’s rematch with the Carolina Panthers, which will be in London in October.

As for the Dolphins, they get the very tall task of playing the Cowboys in AT&T Stadium in a game that most everyone believes will be a lopsided blow out. Miami has reversed course and decided to start second-year quarterback, Josh Rosen, after ineffective play of veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick in the first two blowout losses to the Ravens and the Patriots.

Rosen (above), the number one pick of the Cardinals a year ago, came over in April trade to Miami and played significantly in the preseason and in “mop-up duty” in the first two games.

Whether it’s he or Fitzpatrick coming Back off the bench Sunday, they will have a tall task in trying to move the ball with what little weapons Miami has other than receivers DeVante Parker and Preston Williams. Miami does not have much in the run game either with Kenyan Drake and Kalen Ballage yet to get on track .

It’s one of the big reasons why the Dolphins have only scored 10 points in the first two games.

And then, there’s the Dolphin defense. Having been humiliated in the first two games 59 – 10 and 43 – 0, Miami will clearly have its work cut out for it. Gone are stars and capable players like Robert Quinn, Cameron Wake, Kiko Alonso and last year’s first-round pick defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick, who was traded Monday to Pittsburgh

The Dolphins must make do with what they have against a red-hot QB, Dak Prescott, as he threw four touchdown passes last week in Washington. And then, there’s a powerful run game for the Cowboys led by one of the stars of the league, Ezekiel Elliott.

Dallas is a 21 point favorite to win easily on Sunday and drop the Dolphins to 0- 3.

Miami Dolphins

Bama QB Tua Tagovailoa present to start NFL combine

Florida Football Insiders



John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Scouting Combine is getting underway in Indianapolis this week and on Monday morning, one of the prized quarterbacks that will be available early in the first round of the draft was there for official measurements and to meet with teams.

Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, whose season ended with a fractured hip last November, is on the road to recovery and he was officially measured and also, met with numerous teams that are looking at the possibility of drafting him:

In addition to not only the injured hip, but also a history of high ankle sprain problems, Tagovailoa has got to answer critics on his size. At just 6 – 0 feet there will be concerns about his ability to clearly see downfield through the massive bodies on NFL Sundays.

However, this can be combated by moving him around out of the pocket and that’s something that Alabama was successful at doing over his three years as well.

As we wrote recently, Tagovailoa was injured in Alabama’s 10th game of the season suffering a fractured hip on a sack late in the first half at Mississippi State. He missed the Tide’s final two regular-season games and then, their Citrus Bowl win January 1st, over Michigan

He came to Alabama from Hawaii and the same high school as Marcus Mariota, having thrown for over 8,000 yards which at that time was a Hawaii High School record. And, he had a career of 84 passing and 27 rushing touchdowns in three seasons.

Tua burst onto the scene nationally, when he relieved Jalen Hurts in the second half and overtime of Alabama’s thrilling title game win over Georgia in the 2018 College Football Playoff Championship Game. Tagovailoa threw the game-winning touchdown pass on the first overtime possession, as Alabama celebrated their fifth National Title in nine seasons under Saban.

In his second season at the helm in the 2018 regular season, Tagovailoa was named second-team AP All-American and was a Heisman Trophy finalist, as the Tide reached the National Title game, again, before being beaten soundly by Clemson 12 months ago.

As this junior season unfolded, Tagovailoa was named almost became synonymous with the Dolphins, who started the season horribly at 0 – 7 and the moniker “Tank for Tua” began to gain momentum in South Florida.

Tagovailoa is obviously on the Dolphins list to look at strongly to select in the top five in the draft and currently, Miami is slated to pick fifth.

It is expected that Tagovailoa will work out for teams probably later in March or maybe even, early April at the Tide’s facility in Tuscaloosa, prior to the NFL draft coming to Las Vegas.

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Colorado announced hire of Dolphins assistant Dorrel Sunday

Florida Football Insiders



Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Former UCLA coach and recently promoted Dolphins assistant Karl Dorrell is headed back to college, as the new head coach of the Colorado Buffaloes.

The school confirmed Dorrell’s hire on Sunday evening with a five-year contract to take over their Big 12 program:

The Buffaloes have been seeking a head coach since there coach Mel Tucker abruptly left to take the Michigan State job earlier this month.

Dorrell came to the dolphins with Brian Flores this past season, as wide receiver coach and earlier last week was promoted to assistant head coach for the upcoming season. Miami’s top receiver, DeVante Parker, blossomed under Dorrell’s tutelage as the year went on. He finished the season with 72 catches for 1,202 yards and nine touchdowns becoming the favorite target of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Dorrel is the latest Dolphins assistant on the move. Flores fired the offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea he brought with him from New England. And, his defensive coordinator Patrick Graham left to take the same job with the Giants.

Dorrell had also been the Dolphins receivers coach, previously from 2008 – 10 and then, their quarterbacks coach in 2011 under the late Tony Sparano.

Colorado’s athletic director Rick George said in a statement Sunday night,

“I am excited that Karl Dorrell has agreed to become our head football coach,” George said. “Karl has had great success as a college coach, both as a head coach and an assistant, and he knows the Pac-12 Conference and West Coast well. It was important that our next coach have CU ties, and Karl has those ties having worked at CU twice previously. Karl shares my passion for Colorado and our vision for winning championships. He will be a tremendous mentor and role model for our student-athletes, and he will provide great leadership for our program going forward.” 

The CU Board of Regents still have to approve Dorrell’s contract, which will be $18 million for five seasons.

Dorrell had previously been on Colorado staffs two other times in his career, including most recently as offensive coordinator under Rick Neuheisel from 1995- 98.

Dorrell was named head coach of his alma mater UCLA in 2003, where he lasted five seasons and went to a bowl game every year finishing with a career 35 – 27 record before being fired after the 2007 season.

Dorrell had previously been receivers coach for the New York Jets 2015 – 18 under Todd Bowles (above) and two of his receivers had made the Pro Bowl during his time there.

Colorado picked Dorrell from an interview process that also included former Buffaloes player and Kansas City Super Bowl offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy, who interviewed and was under strong consideration.

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