SUNDAY, AUGUST 12, 2007
JUSN Preseason Camp Chat
Join JUDolphins.com editor Joel Lamp as he takes all your questions regarding the upcoming season for the Dolphins.
Joel Lamp, JUDolphins.com Editor: Hello everyone and welcome to the first edition of the weekly chat as we kick off the 2007 season.

I've really been impressed with how the team has progressed so far in fall camp. The coaching staff has a lot of talent to work with.

Now, on to your questions.


John (Clearwater): Will there be a QB contrevousy with Chris Horton and Erik Stepelton considering Horton sat out on the Spring Game?
Joel Lamp, JUDolphins.com Editor: There aren't many gaurantees in life, but you won't see a QB controversy this fall as Chris Horton is set as the starting QB.

Chris was able to go through drills in the spring and has a good knowledge of the offense.

Having said that, Erik getting a lot of work in the spring really helped him mature as a quarterback. He's got a good arm, he's athletic and he makes good decisions - a must in this offense.

I will say that another positive is Erik being pushed for the No. 2 duty by freshmen Jonathan Jones and Jeremy Thornton. Both had solid performances in the first scrimmage and will be battling for the travel squad as the third quarterback.


Benjamin, jacksonville beach: How does the kicking situation look for JU? Who do you believe will start at the punting, field goal and kick off positions?
Joel Lamp, JUDolphins.com Editor: Now this is a competition.

We're fortunate this year to have three guys who can kick this year in camp. Donovan Curry is the incumbent, but he is definitely feeling pressure from Jamie Martin and Josh Hostetler.

All three made their only extra point attempt, while Curry missed wide to the left on a 51-yard field goal attempt (it had enough leg, which is good to see). Hostetler was wide right on his attempt from 26 yards out. Martin's lone attempt was wiped out as there was a bad snap and he was unable to get the kick off.

Martin has been very consistent in practice - drilling kicks through the middle of the uprights every time. If Curry is consistent, he's very good - and that is what the coaching staff is looking for - who the most consistent guy is on every kick.


Devon Hardaway (Yulee, FL): I have a question about the Volleyball team.
Joel Lamp, JUDolphins.com Editor: Devon, thanks for the question...we're open for business, so fire your questions away. JU is going to have a young team this year and it's going to be fun to watch them develop as the season goes along.
Joel Lamp, JUDolphins.com Editor: Ok...three questions in a row dealing with the same subject.

Jean F., FLA: How will players not invited to camp get a chance to compete against guys invited?

David, Florida: My question is how will the Junior Varsity depth prepare guys for the actual conference play if they are not in camp but expected to play JV?

Howie, Jacksonville: There are several guys expected to report to the Football squad when school starts. Do the coaches expect high competition then or have they exceeded talent expectation with whom they have already invited?
Joel Lamp, JUDolphins.com Editor: First, let's talk about the guys joining the team when school starts. That group of guys went through spring practice and have an understanding of the new system in place. When they join the team, they will be just like everyone else I would imagine - battling for a spot on the travel squad.
Joel Lamp, JUDolphins.com Editor: Now, let's address the junior varsity. One of the benefits of the JV team is that these guys will have an opportunity to prove themselves on the field and that every game is chance to impress the coaching staff.

The NCAA mandates that a player can't play more than 11 games in the regular season, so if a guy is really doing well on the JV, he can move up to the varsity during the season.

The JV will also help with the depth. Needless to say, at our program, depth has always been a problem. With the JV program, we have a stable of atheltes that we can use for scout team and other situations to prepare for games.

The guys on the JV are going to have an opportunity to show what they have - it's up to them what they do with it.


David(Sunrise): How have the defensive backs, specifically the corners looked so far during camp?
Joel Lamp, JUDolphins.com Editor: While we have some talented returners coming back, getting depth in the secondary is one of the things that has been emphasized in camp so far.

There has been some breakdowns in coverage as the guys learn the new scheme, but there have also been some impressive performances too.

For example, during some live work last week, the DBs picked off four passes. Then, on Saturday, they gave up some big plays.

That's the one thing the coaching staff is looking for right now is a consistent effort every day in practice.


Orange Park: Are we going to have some quality size on the D-Line?

J. Slappy (San Diego, CA): Where does Jonathan Kirby fit into your plans?
Joel Lamp, JUDolphins.com Editor: Two more questions hitting the same subject, so let's talk about the defensive line.

The front four has a lot of depth and talent. One of those guys is Jonathan Kirby - who is an IMPRESSIVE specimen.

Kiel Pierce and Mirco Zanella provide the leadership and have the most experience on the line. Both had solid performances in the scrimmage on Saturday, with Pierce recording a sack.

These guys have size, speed and quickness - three things that are quite beneficial to being a successful lineman.

As this group continues to gel, they have the ability to be a strong point for us.


Sharod: Why did I not see anything about Geavon Tribble performance in the scrimmage? Is he injured?

Tom Jacksonville: Is Geavon Tribble injured. I did not see any catches for him in the scrimmage.
Joel Lamp, JUDolphins.com Editor: Two more great minds thinking alike here on wide receiver Geavon Tribble.

I checked with the training staff and Geavon is fine and healthy.

I think on Saturday, the defense did a good job of guarding him and forcing the quarterbacks to their second or third option.

Geavon is a big-time playmaker who we have to get the ball to. With the first team offense only playing two drives, it wasn't that hard for him to not get a pass but I wouldn't expect that to be the same during the season.


MICHAEL/JACKSONVILLE: for the offensive line,who will replace Pat Rich? He was such a head up player and will be definetly be missed.
Joel Lamp, JUDolphins.com Editor: You don't replace Pat Rich. You try to find somebody who play the position and get better.

The offensive line really showed me something this weekend. They came out and took it to the defense - opening holes for the running game and giving the quarterbacks time to look downfield and make accurate throws.

The starting five that went out with the first string on Saturday is a veteran group that is gelling as a unit.

If they can give a consisntent effort each game, then the offense is going to be tough to stop.

Joel Lamp, JUDolphins.com Editor: And now...drum roll please....THE FINAL QUESTION!

op: How does playing on JV effect years of eligibility with the NCAA?
Joel Lamp, JUDolphins.com Editor: Playing JV counts as a year of eligibility. So for redshirt freshmen on the squad that are working their way up the depth chart, the JV team is a great opportunity to get some game experience during a season in which they might not otherwise but still lose a year of eligibility.
Joel Lamp, JUDolphins.com Editor: Thanks to everyone who sent in a question. This season looks to be a lot of fun and I hope that all of you come out and join us for the excitment.

I'll be back again at the same time next week to take your questions as we review the second scrimmage, which is set for Saturday.