Faux Pas I & II

Brian Griese is ready to start. <br><br> Jay Fiedler is reeling and thinks he should start. <br><br> The Miami media is saying Fiedler really isn't hurt and this is a way to get Griese in the game against the San Diego Chargers. <br><br> The San Diego Chargers, unlike a week ago when Kelly Holcomb entered the game, must be prepared to see both.

Getting the formalities out of the way:

"Jay is legitimately hurt," said Miami coach Dave Wannstedt.

Fiedler said he hopes to play despite having suffered a sprained left medial collateral ligament in last Sunday's 19-13 overtime loss to New England. Fiedler skipped team drills Wednesday to give himself an extra day of recovery time because the Dolphins had yet to install their offensive game plan for the Chargers on the practice field. He returned Thursday only to miss Friday.

"At this point in the season, I don't think I need to get all the reps," said Fiedler, who played with a brace against New England after being fitted with a brace in the fourth quarter. "I certainly need to get a few. Especially if we have some new plays in there, I'll need to get the timing on it. A lot of what we do offensively ends up carrying over week to week, and there's a lot of stuff that we do get work on throughout the season. Those types of plays I feel comfortable running it at any time."

Griese believes he has become more comfortable running offensive coordinator Norv Turner's system even though his most extensive playing time with the first-team offense in almost two months. After suffering ligament damage in his left toe in Miami's third exhibition game, Griese didn't resume being Fiedler's backup until the fourth game of the season. Griese also wasn't cleared to begin sprinting until two weeks ago. On Wednesday and Friday, he was the man at the helm.

"Seven weeks in the season, I feel a lot better with the offense knowing what Norv (Turner) is trying to accomplish, which guys can run which routes well and different protections and things like that," said Griese, who had struggled through most of the preseason before his toe injury. "I feel really confident with the offense right now."

Regardless of whether Fiedler or Griese starts against San Diego, the Chargers need to make sure they are prepared. They know Griese. They faced him twice a year when he was with Denver. That is an advantage. Unlike the rookies who have beat the Chargers, and the super subs that have made things interesting, the Bolts have no reason to fear this quarterback situation.

There should be no repeat of last week's stupidity when Schottenheimer said, "To be honest with you, when they put Holcomb in, I kept talking to one of our guys because I did not know much about him."

Heck, Ray Lucas helped pummel the Chargers last year, so maybe Fiedler is that guy they know nothing about. With a defense that is opportunistic in Miami, the Chargers can ill afford to be unprepared for anything. Last week when Holcomb led Cleveland back into the game, it was apparent they knew little of him. The Bolts managed to come away with a win. This week, getting caught with their pants down will ensure another loss.


Safety Terrence Kiel continues to shine in the limited playing time he sees in nickel and dime packages. The rookie helped his cause Sunday, when snatching his first NFL interception.

Schottenheimer, though, said he isn't considering inserting Kiel in the starting lineup. He could plop Kiel into the strong safety spot, and move Kwamie Lassiter over to free, the position he was signed to play in the offseason. But for now, Kiel is a sub -- but it's worth watching and perhaps a mistake that he is not starting this week against Miami.

Denis Savage can be reached at safage@cox.net

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