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Dolphins “Miami Miracle” makes final four of “ESPYs” top 2018 play

Florida Football Insiders



Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

It’s arguably the most famous play from the regular season last year in the NFL, and it’s no surprise that the “Miami Miracle” that the Dolphins used to defeat the Patriots has made the ESPN Espy award final four for top play in any sport for 2018.

The “Worldwide Leader in Sports” made the announcement earlier on Tuesday of the four finalists plays and it also includes one involving the Jacksonville Jaguars:

First, the Dolphins amazing final play of their December victory over New England has been getting tons of attention in the voting.

The play began with just :07 remaining and the Fins trailing 33-28 at their own 31 yard line.

That’s when quarterback QB Ryan Tannehill hit Kenny Stills with a pass over the middle. Stills then lateraled to DeVante Parker and Parker scrambled around and then threw a second lateral to running back Kenyan Drake. Drake, proceeded to weave through the Patriot defenders downfield outracing two of them (above), including tight end Rob Gronkowski, who was on the field for the final play defensively.

Drake covered the final 52 yards himself and scored with nothing but “zeros” remaining on the clock.

He was mobbed my nearly the entire Dolphin team in the corner of the end zone, as Miami celebrated an improbable victory. The play made NFL history as the only time ever that a play with at least two laterals had been converted into a touchdown on the final play of a game.

Of the other finalists, involves another Florida team, as Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry’s 99-yard touchdown run during the Thursday night meeting with the Jaguars in Nashville also made the cut. On that play, it seemed as though the bruising Henry ran through, or past, almost every member of the Jaguars defense on his way to the record-tying touchdown scamper.

While it was impressive, it was not on the final play of the game and that’s where it may lose out to the “Miami Miracle.”

Speaking of final plays, one of the other four finalists is Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard’s game-winning buzzer-beater at the end of game 7 of the Eastern Conference playoff series with the Philadelphia 76ers. Leonard’s shot bounced around the rim four times before it finally dropped to win the game with no time left. And it eventually enabled Toronto to upset Golden State in six games to win the NBA Championship.

The fourth and final nominee is gymnast Katelyn Ohashi’s scoring a “perfect 10” with her floor exercise with a couple of dramatic somersaults.

The four finalists for best play have been whittled down from 16 original entries and with fan voting is still ongoing. The Espy Awards will be held in Los Angeles on July 10th on ABC with comedian/actor Tracy Morgan, as the host.

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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