After practice today, Dolphins coach Tony Sparano met with the media to continue to discuss the change at quarterback as well as the upcoming games against the Titans and Bears. Why the Bears already? With that game coming just four days after the previous one, the coach mentioned that the preparation schedule will be highly accelerated heading into the game against Chicago. In addition, the coach half-joked that it was nice that the Bears were playing this weekend, after having to face both Baltimore and Tennessee coming off their bye weeks. Other notes:
-As far as Chad Pennington’s reps in practice, Sparano reminded everyone that earlier in the season when he came in to take reps, it was almost always with the first team. In addition, he said that what he’s noticed the last couple days have been Pennington’s major strengths, which are consistency, rhythm, and the location of his passes. Sparano also said that he can always see a spark in his team when Pennington is in.
-Randy Starks, who began the season at nose tackle, but has moved more to defensive end after the injury to Jared Odrick, has really seen his production go up the last three games. Sparano said that he estimates that Starks has played about 75% of his snaps this season at end.
-With Jason Allen being let go, Sparano said it would take several players to replace what he was doing on special teams. There was a time when Allen played on four special teams units, but towards the end, it was more like 2.5 (the half being gunner on punt coverage, he was part-time there, working mainly when the team was trying to down a punt deep in the opposition’s territory).
UPDATE: Here are video highlights to see the coach talk about Brandon Marshall’s off-season work with Pennington as well as the reason that the Titans are 24th in yards, but first in scoring:
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