-- RB Ronnie Brown has lost some bulk, and is way ahead of schedule coming off last year's ACL tear, but he may be more concerned about his mental state than physical when making his cuts. "I think part of it is mental. Every now and then I feel myself gathering when I make a certain cut or make a certain movement. I just get over the mental part of it and let everything flow and let it go, and just go in and react on the instinct instead of thinking about moves every now and then."
-- New Dolphins co-owner Stephen M. Ross attended the morning practice Saturday and was optimistic about the franchise turning the corner. "We'll get it turned around," he said.
-- WR Terry Glenn was cut by Dallas and is a potential pick-up by the Dolphins because of his long history with Bill Parcells, who drafted him in the first round in New England and later brought him to Dallas with him even after he referred to Glenn as, "she," early in his career when he was trying to toughen him up. Glenn missed most of last season with a knee injury, but Sparano remembers how he seemed to be healed by the end of last season. "When Terry came back at the end of the year in the Giants week he was with us, and he looked like the Terry Glenn I know," Sparano said.
-- Sparano was surprised when he saw a billboard on the highway with a huge picture of him on it. "I was driving from Hilton Head back to Miami with my wife and I see that thing there and I almost ran off the road."
-- The Dolphins media guide came out and the only two pictures on the front cover are of Sparano and GM Jeff Ireland. Surprisingly, VP of football ops Bill Parcells, who has repeatedly said he wants to be in the background, was not featured.
-- DE Vonnie Holliday was initially shocked by the trade of Jason Taylor to the Redskins, but did say he trusts Parcells' history of turning around franchises: "It's definitely going to be weird not having 99 out there. He's a great player, a great friend. I'm certainly sad to see him go and I don't quite understand the move. ... I don't see how it helps us in the immediate future. If we were getting something today that'd be different."
-- OTs Dan Gore and Julius Wilson were cut during the first day of practice because they didn't return in top condition after the month layoff. "That lets you know that (Sparano) is not playing around," said Holliday. "He told them. He said it, and it is so. Most coaches will make guys run after practice, and stuff like that, but to actually get sliced. That's huge, and sends a message that comes through loud and clear."
-- G/T Ikechuku Ndukwe is now working as a backup tackle and no longer seems to be in the running for starting right guard.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Chad definitely owes us some dinners now. It was tough because it's rapid fire when you only have two guys. Most of the times, in my experience you go to camp with four or five (quarterbacks). If you're in Tampa, it's 10." -- QB Josh McCown joking about rookie QB Chad Henne missing the morning practice while finalizing his contract and leaving all the work to McCown and John Beck. McCown's brother, Luke, is one of several quarterbacks in Tampa.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
Rookie quarterback Chad Henne signed his contract in time to play in the afternoon practice Saturday. A protracted holdout would've greatly hindered any remote chance he has to be named the starter this season. He reportedly will receive approximately $3.5 million over four years, including a guaranteed $1.5 million.
Henne will compete with veteran Josh McCown and second-year QB John Beck for the starting spot, and coach Tony Sparano said that all three will be given equal snaps throughout training camp before the final determination is made. He will have two of the quarterbacks alternate with the first and second teams in 11-on-11 drills while the third watches and participates in individual and 7-on-7 drills. The three will be given 9-10 play sequences so they can find a game-type of rhythm rather than short four-play series, in which two of the plays are often handoffs.
-- OT Julius Wilson, a seldom-used reserve last season, was cut after the first practice Saturday morning because apparently he didn't meet the conditioning criteria that was set for him.
-- OT Dan Gore, an undrafted rookie, was cut Saturday to make room for former Michigan G Rueben Riley, a 6-4, 305-pounder who along with LT Jake Long helped keep QB Chad Henne upright at Ann Arbor. Riley was on the Panthers' practice squad last year.
-- WR Justin Wynn, a free agent pickup after the draft, was cut to make room for AFL standout Anthony Armstrong. Wynn hadn't played since attending Grand Rapids CC (Mich.) in 2004 and was deemed a long-term project. He could be brought back for the practice squad.
-- CB Michael Lehan was placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list as he continues rehabilitation from a sprained ankle that occurred during the June mini-camp. Lehan, however, is close to a return judging from the way he looked during sprints.
-- OLB Joey Porter was placed on the non-football injury list with a left ankle injury suffered last week while training on his own. It's not considered serious and Porter was running gassers with no apparent limp.
INJURY REPORT: CB Michael Lehan is close to returning from an ankle injury. ... RB Ronnie Brown will not be rushed into contact while he fully recovers from ACL surgery last October. ... QB Josh McCown said he has no lingering effects from his chainsaw accident in which the index finger of his throwing right hand needed six stitches. ... G/C Steve McKinney practiced for the first time this year since undergoing knee surgery early last season. ... TE Anthony Fasano (shoulder) seems over his should surgery and participated fully.