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Dolphins and Jaguars both on road in our Sunday primer

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Sam Navarro- USA Today Sports

Two of the three state NFL teams are in action and both on the road for this third Sunday in October. And, for the Jaguars and the Dolphins they are playing what would both be considered winnable games.

First, the Bucs are on the bye week after their poor performance for most of last Sunday’s loss in London to the Panthers. Tampa Bay will look to rest and to reload before playing two more road games in Nashville and Seattle the next two weeks.

As for the teams in action today, the Jags have traveled North to Cincinnati and will play for the first time officially without disgruntled defensive back Jalen Ramsey whom they traded to the L.A. Rams earlier this week. Of course Ramsey had not played the last three games and now almost everyone is in agreement he was purposely using his supposed back injury to stay out of the lineup and force the team to trade him.

Clear evidence of this is: that Ramsey practiced Thursday and Friday in Los Angeles and will apparently be active for their game in Atlanta today.

Meanwhile for his Jacksonville teammates that are left behind, they did not play poorly but were simply beaten by a stronger New Orleans team 13 – 6 a week ago in Jacksonville. For the most part, quarterback Gardner Minshew was contained by the tough Saints defense, but Jacksonville also rose to the occasion only allowing the Saints one touchdown in the contest.

The Jags will look to have running back Leonard Fournette feast on a much easier Cincinnati defense to get themselves rolling and look for pass rushers Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue to get after Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton in this one.

For the Dolphins, they came close to pulling off their first win of the season a week ago, as Ryan Fitzpatrick (above) rallied them in the fourth quarter to within 17 – 16 of the Redskins. That is only to have the two-point conversion pass to Kenyan Drake fall in complete handing the Dolphins a fifth straight loss to start the year.

Now in Western New York for the first of two meetings with the Buffalo Bills, the Dolphins have decided to go back to Fitzpatrick as their starting quarterback. This just a week after coach Brian Flores declared the Josh Rosen was going to be the quarterback for the foreseeable future to give him a good look, as to what he could help the Dolphins with this season and beyond.

The “yo-yo games” at quarterback have been going on all season, including Rosen replacing Fitzpatrick in both of his first two starts when the team was wiped out by Baltimore and New England.

Meanwhile the Bills are solid on defense including shutting down Marcus Mariota and the Titans in an upset a couple of weeks ago. Buffalo is led by second-year quarterback and former first-rounder, Josh Allen, who’s is bigger threat with his legs as he is with his arms.

It will not be an easy task for the Dolphins to go get this road win in Buffalo.

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Bama QB Tua Tagovailoa present to start NFL combine

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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

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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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