Florida Panthers: Dale Tallon out as general manager after loss

The Florida Panthers are making a general manager change. According to multiple media reports, Dale Tallon is out as the team’s general manager.

Tallon joined the Florida Panthers on May 17, 2010, replacing Randy Sexton. Tallon was coming off a Stanley Cup ring with Chicago, and seemed pretty convincing during his introductory press conference

Despite the lack of sustainable success in recent years, he did have some successful years in Florida. In the 2011-12 season, the Panthers compiled a 38-26 record. Nevertheless, they were eliminated from the playoffs in the first round.

2016 was a another successful season for the organization. With the Panthers posting a 47-26-9 record in the 2015-16 season again, they could not get over the hump of the first round, as they were eliminated by the New York Islanders in six games.

With the Islanders defeating the Florida Panthers on Friday, they were eliminated from the best-of-five qualifying series. It was just another unfortunate notch in the belt of a Panthers organization used to early playoff exits.

Florida Panthers have talent to compete

Now, the Panthers are in search for another general manager. There is no doubt that they have young talent in Evgenii Dadonov and Jonathan Huberdeau. those two should carry the team for years to come and make the team competitive.

This season in particular was marred by several factors. Two of the most glaring ones were a lack of solid defensive play, and inconsistent play from goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. In a tough Atlantic Division, every game meant something this season. Too often, Florida found themselves on the precipice of big things, but not where they needed to be in order to compete.

It will be interesting to see who the Panthers tab as a replacement. They are in a unique position right now, and they should definitely take advantage of this window of opportunity.

5 Main Comments from Media Availability with Spoelstra, Dragic, Adebayo

The Miami Heat had an early practice on Friday, a day after a loss to the best team in the NBA, the Milwaukee Bucks. There’s also some injury statuses in question as we get closer and closer to the post-season. Here’s what was said on the call…

Post-Practice Comment #1:

Since Miami is set to play Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns, Erik Spoelstra spoke a little about him. He said, “We really liked him.” This was referring back to the 2015 draft where Miami had a chance to select Devin at pick 10. Erik also adds, “His game has grown.” The Miami Heat have definitely seen his game continue to grow, which is why they wouldn’t pass on this type of player twice. Tyler Herro has also been looking closely into Devin’s game, since he watches a great amount of film on him. Devin Booker is what all Heat fans want Tyler Herro to become, which can hopefully make up for the 2015 draft decision.

Post-Practice Comment #2:

Erik Spoelstra also talked about the recent struggles from point guard Kendrick Nunn. He said, “He just needs more time, similar to Bam.” He also adds that it takes time to regain your rhythm and reminds everybody of how good Kendrick was playing before the break. Something that should be taken into account with these struggles is the recent virus that they contracted. There is still so much unknown to it, that it may impact their bodies even though they were asymptomatic. Bam also mentioned that his body isn’t responding as quickly as it usually does. If this is the case, Kendrick Nunn may be given the ultimate trust from this coaching staff to bounce back from this shooting slump. And as Spoelstra said, “We need him because he provides something that is different.”

Post-Practice Comment #3:

Goran Dragic also spoke with some media about his injury status. He said, “I was a little bit concerned, it was painful, I did it twice in that game…It’s day by day.” Although this team needs Goran Dragic on the floor to be successful, the most important thing is that he is totally 100%. It’s already a risk to play a 34 year old on a back to back, especially when they play a ton of minutes. Goran also mentions that he started shooting today and it’s a little sore, but he thinks he’s going in the right direction. With this injury information pretty clear, there’s still some other unknown injuries on this team, including Heat’s star Jimmy Butler.

Post-Practice Comment #4:

Bam Adebayo talked about yesterday’s foul situation and if he’d like to play through it. He said, “It depends on the situation and the game flow.” He says that if they are in a good rhythm than he would encourage the team to let him play through it, but in a situation like yesterday, “It’s a hard decision.” On a night where Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic are out, you need an offensively active Bam Adebayo, But since he got in foul trouble early, it definitely turned the tide. Bam Adebayo seems to thrive with his co-star, Jimmy Butler, out on the floor, which is why there shouldn’t be too much worry about this situation.

Post-Practice Comment #5:

Erik Spoelstra made a decision at the beginning of this NBA restart, which was taking Meyers Leonard from a starter to out of the rotation. Spoelstra said, “These are tough situations…I had to treat that situation with an open mind.” This decision seemed to be made for versatility reasons. This team’s roster is filled with versatile wings that can defend, which has seemed to fix the defensive problems. But, it definitely was surprising that he wouldn’t be getting any minutes off of the bench. He also mentions that Meyers “helped us win” this season, but feels this is best for them right now. He says he’s open to change if necessary as time progresses.

Marlins sweep

Marlins Sweep Orioles, Improve to 6-1

The Miami Marlins completed a four-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday night. The 8-7 victory felt different than the pitchers’ duels earlier in the series, but the Marlins completed the sweep thanks to timely hitting and great work from the backend of the bullpen.

The unlikely nature of this win streak comes as the team has reshaped their roster coming off of an 8-day quarantine in Philadelphia. The Marlins have won five games in a row, including the four-game sweep, despite making 36 different roster moves this week.

Bullpen Has Been Key

In 2019, the Marlins featured one of the worst bullpens in MLB. Miami relievers posted the fifth-worst ERA (4.97), strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.11) and save percentage (55.1). Their WHIP (1.45) was seventh worst. Relievers blew 22 save opportunities and surrendered a .235 batting-average-against and .343 on-base percentage.

It’s been a very different story thus far in 2020. The new-look Marlins bullpen has looked good. In the four-game series versus the Orioles, Marlins relievers surrendered just three earned runs and gave up seven walks over 18.2 IP. They registered 15 strikeouts over that span. The bullpen is 4-for-4 in save situations this season.

The pitching staff in total posted solid performances almost across the board. The Marlins limited Baltimore to 3-for-25 with runners-in-scoring-position. Marlins pitchers combined for 31 strikeouts over the 32 innings of the sweep.

Jordan Yamamoto struggled in his 2020 debut, but he did not issue a walk. Yamamoto’s problem seemed to be location, which led to several hard hits including a pair of home runs. Intriguing pitching prospect Jorge Guzman made his MLB debut and finished his first inning of work cleanly on six pitches. But his second inning of work saw him surrender two home runs, a walk and a hit-by-pitch.

Timely Hitting

The Marlins offense stayed relatively quiet through the first three games of the series but woke up on Thursday night. The team posted eight runs on 11 hits. Miami managed to go 4-for-12 with runners-in-scoring position and answered each Baltimore rally with one of their own.

Brian Anderson continued his hot start to the season going 2-for4 with a triple and three RBI. Jonathan Villar posted his first three-hit night as a Marlin, starting with a lead-off homer. It was Villar’s seventh career lead-off blast and the 14th time in club history that a Marlins home run came off the first pitch of the game.

Monte Harrison collected his first Major League hit. He reached base on an infield single in the sixth inning, and immediately registered the first stolen base of his career right after.

Speed and Versatility

The Marlins rolled out maybe the fastest outfield in franchise history with Harrison, Lewis Brinson and Magneuris Sierra to start the game. And that speed came in clutch throughout, as they were able to track down hard-hit fly balls and save runs.

Harrison’s running grab in the second limited the Orioles to just one run that inning. The Marlins took the lead back the following half-inning when Sierra’s sac-fly scored Brinson, who’d walked and reached third on a Logan Forsythe double.

Sierra flashed his speed in the fourth. After a HBP, Sierra scored from first on a soft single to right by Villar. His speed from first-to-third pressured Orioles RF Anthony Santander into a throwing error, and Sierra scored.

Marlins Sweep Orioles, but What’s Next?

The Marlins traveled to New York overnight ahead of a three-game set against the division rival Mets (5-8). The Mets have won two of their last three after dropping five in a row. They have some injury issues though, as Robinson Canó, Jeff McNeil and Amed Rosario have all missed games recently. This after Yoenis Cespedes opted out for the 2020 season.

Miami are scheduled to face RHP Michael Wacha (1-1, 6.00 ERA), LHP David Peterson (1-1, 3.86 ERA), and ace RHP Jacob DeGrom (1-0, 2.12 ERA) in the series.

The Marlins have yet to name their starter for Friday’s game, though recent call up LHP Daniel Castano (27-24, 3.76 ERA, 335 K, 59 minor league starts) could get the nod. Another option could be taxi squad player RHP Humberto Mejia (13-16, 240 ERA 268 K, 43 minor league starts).

The Marlins have five games remaining on this road trip and have a real shot to be at least 8-4 coming home. Prior to the season, Marlins manager Don Mattingly said: “In a 60-game season, there’s a lot of momentum. You go 8-4 out of the gate, you’ve played 20 percent of your season, and you put pressure on teams.”

Mattingly passed Jack McKeon on the all-time wins list for Marlins managers after securing his 282nd win with the Marlins sweep.

He downplayed tying McKeon for wins record prior to Thursday’s game.

“Jack did a tremendous job with the Marlins, coming in and getting a world championship. Jack’s the man. I can’t take it too serious knowing that our win percentage has not been very good while I’ve been here.”

Mattingly noted he’s been with the Marlins a while (this is his fifth season).

“Hopefully I’ve been through the worst,” Mattingly said. “I was happy Derek wanted me back this year because I wanted to finish the job, knew what kind of talent we had coming. I think continuity is part of creating consistency.”

5 Takeaways from Heat’s Late Collapse Against Milwaukee

The Miami Heat played a tough game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday afternoon without Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic, and fell short 130-116. This game was clearly a tale of two halves, since Miami came out with fire in their eyes in the first half and became slightly complacent in the second half. Here’s my five takeaways from this game…

#1: Although a tough outcome, Miami should feel better than Milwaukee does.

The Miami Heat were going into a match-up with the best team in the NBA without two main pieces, Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic. But well, the team showed up in the first half. Emphasis on first half. They played at an elite level on both sides of the ball, which was pretty suprising. But, they slowly fell apart in the second half. It was evident this was because they did not have a go to guy on the floor. All of the best lineups this season included either Goran Dragic or Jimmy Butler. This is why Miami fans should feel pretty good about this game. Without veteran leadership on the court, it’s hard for guys to sustain a lead or close a game. With a healthy Jimmy and Goran, Milwaukee should hope that they don’t have to face this physical Heat team.

#2: Tyler Herro’s scoring wasn’t even his best attribute.

Tyler Herro exploded in the first half for 16 points, which lead to Miami’s huge lead. He proved that he can be good at many aspects of his game including his play-making, rebounding, and most importantly defense. His defense has been in question for quite some time along with his teammates Goran Dragic and Kendrick Nunn. But the difference with Tyler is that he continues to improve on defense every night. He played exceptional on-ball defense on the offensively talented guards and wings from Milwaukee’s roster. Tyler will need to clean up some mistakes with decision making that have consequently lead to turnovers, but the more he plays in games like this, the more he will learn.

#3: Miami’s wings prove to be the only viable Giannis stoppers. Well kind of.

The Heat began the game the same way they did in their two previous match-ups. Frustrating Giannis. Miami has pretty much showed that their plan against the Bucks is to contain Giannis, and let the supporting cast beat you. They continued to double team and draw fouls on Antetokounmpo, which lead to Miami’s huge lead. Miami’s ability to throw multiple bodies at Giannis is what separates them from the rest. They threw Bam, Crowder, Iguodala, and DJJ at him throughout, since this seems to be their only offense during tough stretches. But, you can only contain him so much. On a day that didn’t seem to go very well for Giannis, he still ended up with 33 points on 77% shooting. This will be a rough series for Giannis if they were to match-up, since he will have to outwork all of these guys 4 out of 7 times.

#4: Duncan Robinson is clearly an elite shooter, but finally overcoming tough defense. 

Duncan Robinson has not only been an outstanding three point shooter, but an absolute efficient one. There began to be uncertainty if teams would begin to figure out Duncan’s game, like Toronto did early in the week, but he’s beginning to overcome it. He continues to show that he will need much more than a hand in his face to not have a green light. He has been using a pump-fake and side step fadeaways much more comfortably than he did before the NBA restart. Duncan is beginning to realize how huge his offensive role is on this team, which is why Miami runs on Duncan.

#5: Kendrick Nunn may be slowly playing his way out of the starting lineup.

Kendrick Nunn has been such an intriguing young player this season since he was a natural scorer. But well, this hasn’t been the case as of late. In a game that was supposed to be his breakout game, without Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic, it still didn’t occur. He scored 14 points on 29% shooting, and still has not shown improvements on the defensive side of the ball. And with Tyler Herro’s continued scoring and defensive improvements, he may be getting closer and closer to that starting point guard spot. If Kendrick doesn’t fix this quick, Spoelstra will have to make the decision going forward, which may occur even faster than you may expect.

Miami Hurricanes: DE Greg Rousseau opts out in blow to ‘Canes defense

Miami Hurricanes defensive tackle Greg Rousseau has opted out of the 2020 season . In an announcement made by Manny Diaz during his press conference on Thursday, the tackle is not coming back to Miami.

Last season, he completely tore up the gridiron for Miami. He recorded 54 total tackles and 15.5 sacks. In addition, he forced two fumbles. His best game of the 2019 season came against Duke. In what was a 27-17 loss for the Hurricanes, he was a bright spot. Rousseau recorded nine tackles and two sacks.

This is a huge loss for the Miami Hurricanes, as he is considered a top draft prospect. He was also considered a first-round selection for the 2021 Draft.

As expected, reactions poured in from the Miami coaching staff. As the announcement came during his press conference, Diaz had nothing but support for his player.

“As a coach we are for these young men and advocates for them,” Diaz said. “We want what is best for him and if that is what he has chosen, we support that.”

Defensive coordinator Blake Baker also showed support for his player.

“Really couldn’t be happier for Greg. We support him 100 percent in his decision. We’d had some conversations with him in the previous days and knew that it was something on his mind. But at the end of the day, like I said, we support him 100 percent in that decision.

“Obviously, guys have got to step up and that’s why you sign a guy like Quincy Roche and obviously Jaelan Phillips from a year ago and Jahfari Harvey… It’s by far, our deepest position, probably, on the defensive side of the ball. Definitely excited by the guys that are going to be playing for us this season as well.”

Those aforementioned players have some big shoes to fill. However, Miami definitely has some talent at the position, and it just speaks to how important their last couple pickups have been. It will be interesting to see what the Hurricanes do to offset this loss defensively and if in fact Harvey and Phillips can step up.

Taylor-Made to be a Cane: five-star prospect picks Miami

On this episode of the Canes chasing the Palmetto 5, you’re getting another good ending. As a matter of fact, a great ending.

Joined by his mother, father, and brother, five-star DT Leonard Taylor announced his commitment to the University of Miami on CBS Sports HQ, picking the Canes over Florida. 

 

Taylor is ranked as the 3rd-best DT in the nation according to the 247Sports Composite and 27th overall. He is the 2nd five-star prospect in Miami’s 2021 class, joining American Heritage safety James Williams. This also puts Miami in great company with Alabama and Ohio State as the only programs in the nation with multiple five-star commits. 

 

LT put up monster numbers in his junior season. Helping Palmetto go 10-2 along with an appearance in the 8A regional semifinals, he compiled 68 tackles, 26 tackles-for-loss, 11 sacks, as well as two interceptions. 

 

Taylor is now the third prospect from Miami Palmetto to commit to Miami, joining three-star WR Brashard Smith and four-star DT Savion Collins.

 

Although he is currently listed at 6’4”, 255 pounds on 247, he has definitely added a lot of good weight since. From time to time, Taylor posts videos on Twitter of him working out (in full orange and green) and looks very athletic for a defensive tackle. He even plays for Palmetto’s basketball team and with his size and speed, he has the versatility to play inside and outside on the defensive line. 

 

With Taylor in the fold, Miami jumps from 11th in the 247Sports team rankings to 8th.

 

Manny Diaz and company continue to kill it on the recruiting trail and are taking full advantage not only of the pandemic, but of the big pool of talent in South Florida in the 2021 class. 

 

The Canes still await the decisions of two Palmetto prospects. One is five-star CB Jason Marshall, who is currently at odds between Miami and Alabama although most of the crystal ball picks on 247Sports point to Miami. The other is four-star safety Corey Collier, who is slated to pick between the Canes, Florida, and LSU on August 10th on CBS Sports HQ. 

 

Stay tuned to 5 Reasons Sports for the latest in Miami Hurricanes news.

 

Marlins win streak

5 Reasons For Unlikely Marlins Win Streak

The Miami Marlins suffered through a week-long quarantine and eight-day hiatus from on-field baseball activities. The COVID-19 outbreak ripped through the clubhouse, particularly the bullpen, and ultimately required 18 players to be moved to the IL. This forced management to turn over the roster with waiver claims, free agent signings and prospect promotions. And despite all of that, the Marlins have resumed their season with an impressive three-game win streak (and four straight overall).

“Good to put some wins on the board,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said after the doubleheader on Wednesday. By sweeping the doubleheader, Mattingly pulled even with Jack McKeon for the most wins as a manager in franchise history (281).

Mattingly, in his fifth season with the franchise, started the season tied with Fredi Gonzalez at 276 wins on the all-time list. McKeon finished his career with a 281-257 record (.522) and a World Series title in 2003. A win Thursday would give Mattingly sole possession of the all-time mark for manager wins with the Marlins and push the team’s winning streak to five games.

The Marlins win streak has been a feel-good story for the club after an incredibly difficult week. Here’s a look at five reasons for the Marlins’ unlikely win streak.

Great Pitching

The COVID-19 outbreak decimated the team’s pitching staff. Eight of 12 bullpen arms and three starters were lost. President of Baseball Operations Michael Hill and his staff scrambled over the last week-plus to assemble a competitive staff with waiver claims, trades and free agent signings.

But the piecemeal pitching staff has been impressive.

The Marlins shut out the Orioles for the first 21.2 innings of the three games, including a pair of shut-out wins.

“It started with Pablo in the first game, he set the tone for the whole staff,” said Sterling Sharp, who made his MLB debut on Wednesday, throwing 1.2 innings. “We just fed off that. It’s a real contagious feeling once you see guys go out there putting up zeros. You want to match that.”

Pablo Lopez tossed five shutout innings with seven strikeouts on Tuesday in his season debut. Four bullpen arms followed, giving up just one hit and one walk, striking out four over four innings.

On Wednesday, Elieser Hernandez nearly matched Lopez’s performance. He pitched 4.1 scoreless, striking out five and didn’t surrender a hit until a one-out double in the fifth inning. Three relievers finished the game, allowing just one hit and one walk over the final 2.2 innings.

The nightcap of the doubleheader was entirely a bullpen game for the Marlins. Six pitchers combined to hold the Orioles to one run on four hits and four walks with seven strikeouts over the seven innings.

Josh A. Smith made the start in his Marlins debut and Sharp followed with his MLB debut. Brian Moran and Justin Shafer also appeared, with Shafer surrendering the lone run. And Stephen Tarpley closed the game with a save to extend the Marlins win streak to three.

“The bullpen,” Matting said. “What a day.”

Even position players have marveled at the performance.

“Our pitching has been incredible,” said Brian Anderson. “I don’t know how they go from throwing into a mattress and going out and getting big league hitters out like that. But whatever they’re doing, we’ve got to keep doing it.”

New Additions Hitting

While the pitching has been the story during this Marlins win streak, there’s been some timely hitting as well. Miami did just enough in the doubleheader to get the wins, after posting four runs on Tuesday night.

On Tuesday, catcher Francisco Cervelli started the scoring with a solo home run in the fifth inning. Jonathan Villar singled and scored, Corey Dickerson doubled and Jesus Aguilar hit his third home run of the season. He became just the third Marlin to hit three home runs in his first four games with the club, joining Derrek Lee (2002) and Cliff Floyd (1998).

On Wednesday, Anderson provided all the scoring for Game 1 with his solo homer. In Game 2, Villar scored on a sac-fly from Aguilar, and Jon Berti scored on an Anderson RBI single, all in the first inning. From there, the pitching held on.

It took the Marlins five games to connect on eight home runs this season. In 2019, the team didn’t hit their eighth until the ninth game of the season.

Veteran Leaders

The Marlins turned over much of their roster heading into 2020, then had to do so again after three games thanks to COVID-19. Many clubs could have folded under the pressure, but this team has not. Even prior to the shutdown, the Marlins fought back from a five-run deficit in Philadelphia after losing three teammates to the virus.

“In the clubhouse, you could feel the vibe from all the new guys,” Sharp said Wednesday. “They’re just coming in and they want to contribute. We’ve got a good vibe going. Everybody is excited. We want to push forward.”

Veterans like Cervelli and new closer Brandon Kintzler have stepped forward to mentor the younger players on the roster. Lewis Brinson mentioned Dickerson as being particularly useful source of hitting knowledge.

Miguel Rojas is the club’s unofficial captain. Even in quarantine, Rojas has been an uplifting presence for the team. And one of the other holdovers from the 2019 roster, Anderson, has also taken on a leadership role.

“All it’s about for us is trying to get wins,” said Anderson. “Just piecing them together any way we can.”

Defensive Versatility Helps Marlins Win Streak

Anderson demonstrated his leadership and versatility by taking on a new challenge in the second game of the doubleheader. Anderson started at first base for the first time in his MLB career. He said the only time he played first base was in an emergency situation while playing in the Arizona Fall League in 2016.

“We looked at our options at first and Andy was the best one,” Mattingly said. “He did a good job. Andy’s pretty athletic. Obviously, we’ve seen him at third. We’ve put him in right and he looks good. You put him in that crease out there in right-center in the shift and he looks good there. He’s good everywhere.”

This emergency situation necessitated Anderson’s move to first. With Garrett Cooper already on the IL, newly signed infielder Logan Forsythe unavailable and Aguilar taking DH, the Marlins options were limited.

Anderson’s multi-positional flexibility mirrors that of several other players on the roster. Villar can play 2B, SS, 3B and CF, and has appeared at three different positions in six games (as well as DH). Berti has similarly manned three different positions thus far. And newly promoted Eddy Alvarez took two different positions over the doubleheader.

Forsythe can play throughout the infield, and the team can plug Magneuris Sierra in any outfield spot. Once they’re back from the IL, Cooper, Harold Ramirez and Sean Rodriguez all have positional flexibility as well.

This defensive versatility allows Mattingly to optimize the lineup on a game-to-game basis.

Internal Competition

On Monday, Derek Jeter joined the media via Zoom and said: “We expect to be competitive when we take the field.”

That much has proven true, as the Marlins win streak sits at four games. They’ve taken the first three from Baltimore and will look to complete the series sweep Thursday with Jordan Yamamoto starting.

With 18 players moving to the IL, Miami had to reshape its roster on the fly. The players acquired via waivers and trades, and those signed via free agency, were considered cast-offs. But these players have a new opportunity to breathe life into their MLB careers.

They know they need to perform to stick with the club, beyond when the roster is pared from 30 to 28 Thursday. The players who tested positive for COVID-19 are waiting in the wings for their spots as well.

“I expect them to come back. They expect to come back,” Jeter said. “Who knows what that timeframe is, but our players are looking forward to getting back on the field.”

This internal competition can push this group to excel on the field. And that’s already true within the starting rotation.

“Every time you see this rotation, I really get inspired to see the talent that they have,” Elieser Hernandez said through an interpreter on Wednesday. “I really wanted to join the rotation and help the team. Now that I’m here, that’s what we want to do — win some games.”

Despite in the internal competition, this group, 58 strong at present, has a singular goal: to win.

“A lot of new guys with the same goal,” Aguilar said of the new cast of players. “We’re pulling in the same direction. There are a lot of new faces, but the same goal.”

Official ACC schedule released: A look at the who’s and when’s of Miami’s 2020 season

After previously announcing the parameters and format for the 2020 season last week, the ACC came out with the official schedule on Thursday morning. 

Miami begins its season with their lone non-conference game against UAB on September 10th, a Thursday, at Hard Rock Stadium. From thereafter, Miami will travel to Louisville to take on the Cardinals followed by an early rivalry matchup against Florida State and then a bye week.

 

One of the biggest questions about Miami’s unknown schedule was when the Canes were set to face Clemson in Death Valley. That matchup will come in Week 5 and luckily, Manny Diaz and his staff will have a couple of weeks to prepare. 

 

Miami then gets Pittsburgh and Virginia at home, a bye week, then NC State (on 11/6) and Virginia Tech on the road, Georgia Tech at home, Wake Forest on the road, before closing the season out at Hard Rock Stadium against North Carolina. 

 

The season finale in Chapel Hill could end up having major implications on who plays in Charlotte for the ACC Championship as the Canes and Tar Heels are both strong contenders for that 2nd spot. 

 

Another advantage Miami has is that the only team coming into a matchup with the Canes that has a preceding bye week is NC State, mostly due to the Friday matchup, although Virginia Tech does play Liberty at home before Miami arrives in Blacksburg. 

 

In a follow up tweet, the Canes indicated that they will work with the Dolphins, Hard Rock Stadium, as well as local and state officials on certain stadium capacity scenarios for home game. Season ticket holders will be made aware of their options when a capacity plan gets finalized.

 

The schedule is as follows:

 

9/10 vs. UAB

9/19 @Louisville

9/26 vs. FSU

10/10 @Clemson

10/17 vs. Pitt

10/24 vs. Virginia

11/6 @NC State

11/14 @Virginia Tech

11/21 vs. Georgia Tech

11/28 @Wake Forest

12/5 vs. North Carolina

Keep it locked with 5 Reasons Sports for your Miami Hurricanes coverage.

Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick ‘excited’ to work with Tua Tagovailoa

The 37-year-old Ryan Fitzpatrick said he was excited when he found out the Miami Dolphins drafted Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa.

Unlike some of the other teams that may have drafted a young signal-caller this offseason, the Dolphins currently have Ryan Fitzpatrick–a 17-year-veteran at the helm. And with an NFL offseason, unlike anything we’ve ever seen, there’s no need for Chris Grier and Brian Flores to rush Tua Tagovailoa into action. Not yet, anyway.

The truth is, Ryan Fitzpatrick played well enough in 2019 to lead Miami’s roster of misfits to five wins.

Couple that with his familiarity in Chan Gailey’s offense and the uncertain times which lie ahead, and it seems obvious Fitzpatrick is the starter for the immediate future.

But as a Harvard graduate, Fitzpatrick is smart enough to understand that the young, promising rookie will take over. And he knows that may come sooner rather than later.

Fitzpatrick had to say about his relationship with Tua and the QB competition heading into camp.

I DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH TIME IT’LL BE BEFORE TUA (TAGOVAILOA) IS IN THE LINEUP. I KNOW THAT I AM THE PLACEHOLDER AND WE’VE ALREADY HAD THAT CONVERSATION. I TOLD HIM I’M GOING TO DO THE BEST I CAN TO LEAD THIS TEAM AND TO WIN FOOTBALL GAMES WHEN I’M OUT THERE AND WHENEVER IT IS THAT TUA GETS HIS CHANCE, WHETHER IT’S EARLY OR LATE OR WHENEVER IT IS, I’M GOING TO BE HIS BIGGEST CHEERLEADER AND THAT’S WHAT I SAID EARLIER; BUT I THINK I HAVE A UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE JUST FROM THE CAREER THAT I’VE HAD AND I WAS EXCITED THAT THEY DRAFTED HIM AND SINCE MEETING HIM IN PERSON FINALLY THE OTHER DAY, I’M REALLY EXCITED. I THINK WE’VE REALLY HIT IT OFF AND EVEN THOUGH I’M AN OLD GEEZER TO HIM, WE’VE MESHED PERSONALITY-WISE AND I’M EXCITED TO WORK WITH HIM.”

 

It is crystal clear that the Dolphins have spoken to Ryan Fitzpatrick about his role in 2020 and his importance in Tua’s development. I think it’s quite telling that he said the two QBs have already had the conversation about him being the placeholder. But like Fitz suggested countless times, he isn’t going just to lay down and let Tagovailoa take the starting QB job. The two players are going to do whatever they can to help the team win ball games–both on and off the field.

Fitzpatrick was then asked what it was about Tua’s personality that brought the two players together.

Here’s what the 37-year-old had to say.

“I DON’T KNOW. I MEAN HE’S A REALLY INTERESTING GUY. HE’S GOT A LOT OF ENERGY TO HIM AND YOU CAN JUST TELL THAT GUYS ARE GOING TO GRAVITATE TO HIM. THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT HIM THAT IS JUST VERY LIKABLE AND I CAN ALREADY TELL THAT HE’S GOING TO BE ONE OF THOSE GUYS THAT GETS ALONG WITH EVERYBODY, THAT GUYS ARE GOING TO WANT TO FOLLOW. HE JUST HAS THAT KIND OF AURA ABOUT HIM AND PART OF IT IS PROBABLY THE WAY THAT HE PLAYED IN COLLEGE AND JUST KIND OF THE NAME AND THE REPUTATION THAT HE’S BUILT FOR HIMSELF; BUT THERE’S NOT A WHOLE LOT OF EGO INVOLVED AND HE’S VERY LIKABLE. SO I DON’T KNOW, JUST THE GENERAL CONVERSATIONS WHETHER ABOUT FOOTBALL OR LIFE, IT’S BEEN REALLY FUN SO FAR.”

The 2020 NFL season is going to be like nothing we’ve ever experienced.

But one thing that should be interesting is watching the Dolphins QB room grow from one week to the next.

Yes, Ryan Fitzpatrick will be Miami’s starting QB week 1 vs. the Patriots. But unless he continues where he left off in 2019–the Tua Tagovailoa era in South Florida is inevitable.

5 Takeaways from Heat’s Win Against the Boston Celtics

The Miami Heat were coming off of a tough loss against the Toronto Raptors, but rallied against Boston to get the win, 112-106. Jimmy Butler did not play today due to ankle soreness, but the team rose up to the occasion. Here’s my 5 takeaways from this game…

#1: Tyler Herro appears to be back to himself.

Tyler Herro has struggled a bit shooting the ball during his time in the bubble. This all shifted today when Tyler finally found his rhythm. I’ve said many times that Tyler’s game revolves around his shooting early in the game, due to confidence. Once Tyler sees the ball go through the net, he’s very hard to stop. Another big improvement that was seen in Tyler’s game today was his defense. He continues to showcase his active hands, quick feet, and natural instincts on the defensive end. Definitely not too bad for a guy that’s only 20 years old.

#2: Derrick Jones Jr elevates Miami’s defense.

Derrick Jones Jr has been one of the most effective defenders on this Heat team, and the absence of Jimmy Butler improved his minutes. Derrick is definitely a card that Erik Spoelstra will use if they were to face off against Boston in the playoffs. His main assignment was to guard the Celtic’s star Jayson Tatum, and he did this pretty well. He forced Tatum into shooting 2/5 in the first half, which is not an easy task. If Derrick had the help of Jimmy Butler on defense to guard Kemba Walker, this would disrupt Boston even more.

#3: Bam Adebayo needs to trust his offensive game more.

Bam Adebayo seemed to be as present as Jimmy Butler was early in the first quarter. But that slowly changed after Bam realized the importance of his offensive game. He began to use his strength, which is his athleticism around the rim. This lead to Bam’s 21 points, along with 18 free throw attempts. This was his career high in free throw attempts. This may be because this bubble format has increased the amount of foul calls, which is why Bam will need to attack the basket just as his teammate, Jimmy Butler, does. After showcasing his offensive dominance, Bam will need to continue to trust his scoring abilities as much as Heat fans do.

#4: Without Jimmy Butler, Goran Dragic is essential.

Due to the absence of Jimmy Butler, it hurts their amount of play-making leaders on the roster. This is why Goran Dragic was going to be looked to in this match-up, even on a back-to-back which definitely doesn’t benefit him. Goran’s success scoring the ball today was all strategy. He was facing a tough defensive match-up off of the bench, in Marcus Smart, but he prioritized and took advantage of switches, which lead to many Goran Dragic iso’s on Boston’s bigs. Goran was a little shaken up on the final play of the game with an apparent ankle injury, and went to the locker room. With the hopes of a healthy Goran Dragic, the duo of him and Jimmy Butler will be a scary site for teams in fourth quarters come playoff time.

#5: The Boston match-up may not be as scary as it seems.

The Miami Heat have pretty much dominated every top team in the East this season, except the Boston Celtics. This is why this win feels so much better for the Heat than any other game of this regular season restart. And of course, they were without their star Jimmy Butler. The reason that Miami has struggled with Boston is because of match-ups. But well, the match-ups didn’t seem to be a problem today. This may be because of the lineup change of Jae Crowder for Meyers Leonard, which adds much more versatility and matches up with Boston’s wings. Kelly Olynyk also entered the starting lineup, who has been very impressive in the bubble. After this win, Miami definitely feels a lot better about themselves tonight than they did yesterday.