REVOLVING RECEIVERS

The Dolphins are looking for answers on offense, and it appears that wide receiver is one position where they're willing to make some changes at this point.

The beneficiary of this decision, oddly enough, is newcomer Kendall Newson, who is only a week removed from being on the practice squad.

The one who is being affected is free agent acquisition Derrius Thompson, who has turned into one of the major disappointment of the season.

It's not so much that expectations were that high when Thompson first signed with Miami, it's that he looked so good in training camp and the preseason.

In fact, he looked as good as any offensive player this summer, sort of like an Oronde Gadsden with a little more speed.

But he has done very little in the regular season, with a paltry 14 catches in nine games.

Wide receivers coach Robert Ford says Thompson is lacking confidence right now, while Coach Dave Wannstedt says consistency is the major problem.

"I've talked to Derrius," Wannstedt said. "He's just got to play more consistent. Through the course of nine games, he hasn't been as consistent as what we would like."

As for Newson, the fact he's the backup kickoff and punt returner has helped him get playing time, as is the fact the Dolphins are very high on his potential.

"He's going to be a real good player one of these days," Ford said. "What he needs to do is get out there and play. He has all the skills to be as good as he wants to be."

Newson certainly had an interesting debut last Sunday against Tennessee.

On the positive side, he had a spectacular diving catch over the middle good for 37 yards.

On the down side, he was flagged for offensive pass interference on a play where he dropped the ball the first place; and he later let a Brian Griese go through his hands and right to Tennessee cornerback Samari Rolle.

That's not exactly stuff that's going to help the Dolphins offense right now.

Lost in the wide receiver shuffle is fifth-round J.R. Tolver, who has been active for only one game.

Ford says Tolver is ready to play and has all the tools, but is hurt by the fact he doesn't play special teams. Ford points out that Tolver would be active if the Dolphins were a team that throws the ball 60 times a game, but they remain a ball-control team.

That means Tolver is out of luck. Unless the Dolphins decide they need to try something else at some point.


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