Coach Tony Sparano met with the media early this afternoon and we’ll start with the bad news: CB Will Allen, coming off a major knee injury was not on the practice field this morning and Sparano said that the team has sent Allen back to the doctor to have that knee reexamined. If he has suffered a serious setback it is a major blow to the depth at corner that was part of what has made this defense so intriguing. It also puts a lot more pressure on second-year guys Vontae Davis and Sean Smith. We will obviously follow this one very closely. Other things that stood out:
-RT Vernon Carey, who spent most of the morning practice riding the exercise bike, is a question mark for the afternoon practice as well as Saturday night’s pre-season opener vs. Tampa. When asked if Carey would play, the coach simply said “I can’t tell you that.”
-The team today released WR Taurus Johnson and re-signed guard Ray Feinga and also signed CB Kevin Hobbs.
-Center Jake Grove, who had missed some time with a bone bruise, appears to be coming along.
-When asked about the leadership role on defense after three of the four captains from last year are gone, Sparano mentioned Karlos Dansby, Yeremiah Bell, Channing Crowder, and Randy Starks.
-The coach said that the first pre-season game is the most difficult because there are so many guys you want to get in but you have no control over the amount of reps, like in practice. There could be a quick possession or a fast turnover that messes everything up.
-Finally, when asked if he had seen last night’s premiere of “Hard Knocks” featuring the Jets, Sparano made it very clear he did not have time for TV this time of year.
UPDATE: Here are some video highlights of the coach, including his take on how many pre-season games there should be, on Saturday’s QB situation, and how the players reacted when he told them that they were going bowling last night:
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