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August 23, 2012

Dolphins trade Vontae Davis (with my new video); plus Tannehill's future (w/ poll), Upset Bird (11), Lance Armstrong, Prince Harry & more

1aa1gc17[1) It is MONDAY, AUGUST 27. New blogpost coming later this morning! 2) NEW VIDEO! DOLPHINS TRADE VONTAE DAVIS: Visit our video channel at YouTube/TheGregCote to see all of our "The View From Miami" mini-commentaries including the newest on on today's trade of Vontae Davis. Subscribe (it's free) to receive latest videos as they are posted. 3) Musical treat: Chuck Berry and John Lennon jamming on "Johnny B. Goode" in 1972. Click here to watch 'n listen. 4) Does A's pitcher Bartolo Colon being suspended 50 games for a failed drug test mean MLB had just perfomed a Colonoscopy? 5) Join us on Twitter @gregcote]

1aa1mepick 1aa1crowsUPSET BIRD COUNTDOWN: 11 DAYS: The Upset Bird and I kick off our season of Friday NFL prediction pages Sept. 7, and began a 21-day countdown that each day is honoring notable birds. Following the British band A Flock Of Seagulls, today we welcome American singer/songwriter Sheryl Crow.

Dolphins trade Vontae Davis: The Dolphins have traded cornerback Vontae 1aa1davisvDavis to Indianapolis for a second-round draft pick. A lower pick also will be involved, likely a sixth rounder. This strikes me initially as a positive deal for the Dolphins. Davis had had a poor camp, reporting out of shape and losing his starting job. And the Colts figure to be bad enoough that the second round pick likely will be very high. However, the trade also seems to be another indication that the Dolphins are conceding playoff chances for 2012 and are firmly in (re-)building mode. The trade also begs the question: Are Sean Smith and Richard Marshall a capable NFL starting corernback tandem. They'd better be. 

PS3: ATLANTA 23, DOLPHINS 6 (FINAL): IF THIS WAS A DRESS REHEARSAL, THE DOLPHINS ARE IN RAGS: A 23-6 loss to Atlanta last night puts Miami at 0-3 in the preseason after what was supposed to be a dress rehearsal game for the regular season. Uh oh. The first-team defense was OK, but the first-team offense stunk. So many dropped passes. Pretty ghastly. Ryan Tannehill does not have the surrounding talent in terms of playmakers to make his job any easier. Click on Help Wanted for my latest column, off last night's game. ..... Original post: Ryan Tannehill in his first performance since being named the season's starting quarterback will get the 1aa1atlmiaattention tonight. [Vote in Tannehill poll just below] But the broader picture to emerge will be how good (or bad) we can expect the team to be this year. Whether Tannehill will be piloting a credible playoff contender or a long-ways-to-go pretender should come clear in a way it hasn't yet. The first two preseason games (losses to Tampa and Carolina) were far more about player evaluation than the scoreboard. In some cases starters played little. Likewise next week's fourth and final exhibtiion will be about resting starters, staying healthy and determining final roster spots. It is preseason game No. 3 -- that's tonight -- that will see starters playing as much as three quarters and the effort to perform well and win considered paramount. This will be more of a regular-season prteview. That's why, for example, we can expect to see more Reggie Bush/running/offensive balance. Atlanta and Miami are two of only five teams that are 0-2, so a shade of added incentive will be there. This is the dress rehearsal. We're about to find out how ready for some football the Miami Dolphins really are.

HOW GOOD WILL TANNEHILL BE?: Admittedly the question of how good new Dolphins 1aa1ryantstarting QB Ryan Tannehill will be is at this point either unfair or more likely just wildly premature. We might not have an accurate read for a few years, after all. (Or at least for a few months). But, this being a blog and not a set of encyclopedias, I can't wait. I want to know now how high we're setting the bar for this guy. Dolfans and others, I am not asking what you hope but rather what you realistically expect. Vote and say why.

Four Dolphins in NFL top-200: Scouts Inc. for ESPN.com ranks the NFL's top 200 players, and the four Dolphins listed are tackle Jake Long (20th), linebackers Cameron Wake (57th) and Karlos Dansby (134th) and cornerback Vontae Davis (179th). The usual suspects in the toverall top five: Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Calvin Johnson and Darrelle Revis.  

THE LATEST ON HARD KNOCKZZZ: The latest epsiode of HBO's Hard Knocks with the Dolphins was so 1aa1bmarleyforgettable I forgot to mention it right away. Is it just me or does the novelty of these shows wear off pretty quickly? I mean how many times can you watch and listen to Joe Philbin hem and haw to a player in his office without wishing you were doing something else. Highlight of the episode for me was that one of my all-time favorite songs, Bob Marley's Three Little Birds, was played in the practice bubble. (Click here to hear the song). I also had to smile at Philbin's advisory to Ryan Tannehill about the scrutiny he'll get from the media. "They're not bad people," said Joe, of reporters. "That's what they're paid to do."

NUDE ROYAL ROMP!: Britain's Prince Harry, of course, got nekked in a 1aa1harrygame of strip billiards in his Las Vegas hotel VIP suite the other day with a bunch of friends and some hotties they'd met, according to various reports. Harry evidently isn't very good at pool, based on the TMZ photos pictured. I think this is where I am obliged to be cheeky and mention "crown jewels." GET IT!? I could care less that His Princeness did this. He's young. He's single. He can afford it. I do wonder, though, about his royal judgement. Like, in a crowded, liquored-up room full of cell phone cameras, this wasn't going to get out!? No official reaction from Queen Elizabeth or from Bucknaked Buckingham Palace.

THE CONE OF PREMATURE CONCERN: I would never choose the 20th 1aa1emptyshelvesanniversary of Hurricane Andrew to make fun of our general overreaction to tropical storms. OK, maybe I would. Tropical storm Isaac remains in South Florida's watch cone even though it is veering west and now seems a greater threat to turn into Hurricane Mitt and mess with the Republican National Convention in Tampa. But, sure enough, on local TV last night, we saw the rote, stock stories about locals taking preparedness to premature extremes by stocking up on water, batteries, cans of tuna and so forth. So cute.

1aa1gymClick back. Will be updating/adding to this latest blogpost. Meantime, am I the only one who can too closely relate to the lament expressed at right?

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