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The leadership voices in the Miami locker room

A few weeks ago I told you what former Dolphins Nat Moore and Shawn Wooden had to say about the need for veteran leadership in the locker room and how that helps young players learn to be professionals.

The subject fascinates me because it goes beyond the field, into relationships and team chemistry and things that may not be readily apparent but still matter.

Looking at the Dolphins locker room I don't see a ton of veterans, as we all know this is a very young team, so I've been wondering about what players fit the leadership role.

In a recent rundown of the leadership voices in all 32 NFL locker rooms, Thomas George of NFL.com names the loudest, most wise, most effective or most attention-grabbing voices in each NFL locker room. He named Joey Porter Miami's defining voice.

And I cringed.

Don't get me wrong, Porter's voice has a place in Miami's locker room. He is the team's resident motivator, and agitator. If there is a confrontation to lead, be it before, during or after the game, Porter is there. If there is an opposing player to call out, he will do it.

But this approach has its limitations. Porter is awesome on the attack except when his attacks ring kind of hollow. Remember when he guaranteed a victory over somebody or other in 2007 (not worthy of looking up, frankly) and the Dolphins got whipped? Remember when he called out the NFL and, to an equal degree, Jacksonville receiver Matt Jones, last year on a national conference call?

Jones, arrested in the offseason for having cocaine in his car, was still playing during the regular-season and Porter ripped the league for allowing that to continue. He also took a couple of swipes at Jones. What he apparently didn't know is that Jones had already been suspended but was playing while awaiting an appeals hearing.

Jones fired back at Porter for getting in his business and it was stupidity unleashed for about 24 hours. Jones eventually served the suspension after his appeal failed.

Porter also famously declined to come off the field last year even as coach Tony Sparano was demanding he do that during the first Baltimore game. Sparano was not happy the incident was caught on TV, making him look powerless to get the team's sack leader off the field and so he fined Porter.

The point is Porter's is something of a cartoonish voice. He is loud and intimidating but not always effective or bounding with wisdom.

I think in searching for locker room voices on the Dolphins one has to go beyond Porter.

On defense I see Jason Ferguson as a rock. He's neither quiet nor loud. He strikes the right balance between keeping teammates loose and tightening the screws when necessary. He has been mentoring several younger defensive linemen, Paul Soliai among them.

Ferguson is a voice other players respect.

Chad Pennington is that on offense and perhaps throughout the locker room. When he tells the receivers they are going to work on pass routes with him, no one complains. They work on pass routes with him. When he calls meetings to study opponents and tells other players to show up, well, they show up.

Pennington is a voice other players respect.

I assume Jason Taylor will regain a piece of the leadership mantle he gave up when he was traded to Washington last year. Taylor, along with Vonnie Holliday, were the defensive line leaders for quite some time and Taylor was admired by some of the younger players.

If Taylor can play well and is willing, he can regain a voice other players respect.

Ronnie Brown is gaining that kind of voice. Ricky Williams has that voice when he wants it. Justin Smiley and Will Allen can also, on occasion, and their mentorship of Jake Long and Vontae Davis is proof of that.

The Dolphins, a young team, are not overflowing with veteran leadership. But as I think we can agree, they are not a team with only one loud leadership voice in the locker room.

Discuss ...

[BLOG NOTE: Remember to come back here tomorrow for the Sunday column update. The column this week centers around Miami's search for a No. 1 receiver.]


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DJA ....lol at you

What? you have nothing to reply. You laugh at people for not being articulate. Well, argue your point and demostrate you can say something meaningful.

DJA. same goes for richard simmons ! Oh Yesssssssss

DJa, the faking starts with names ,i hope your sister isn't home...lol

I am a true dolphan and I have all those painfull seasons of hoping the Dolphins could turn it around to prove it.....But what team do you claim, step out of that coward vail and proclaim your team.

Dolphins number 1 in AFC east baby

wets got pimp smacked by us and sent Favre into retirement

DJA likes hairy azzzzzz and he also likes to get his salad tossed.


Becareful or else gopats will say you are connected to Ace or associated to Ace. I too cannot stand what gopats stands for but what can you do. I will never condone violence against a pizz ant. Keep going you will get better with practice.

If you are such a wets fan and pats fan then why dont you go on to their blogs and leave us alone.


The coward you speak of is probably the Cuban Menace as gopats, and has many other aliases.

" why don't you leave us alone ". wah ! wah ! wah ! wah !

He is just a lowlife cacaroach lonely and incontent with his life. His only satisfaction is to come on here and spew venom about the great Dolphins. He should just spontaneously combust.

HEY LOL. Isn't amazing how ace and DJA pop up around the same time. azzzzzzzzzzzze's


The more time you spend on this blog the more you will learn of the characters on this blog.

Ace, maybe we should be a little more lenient with go f_ags or go wets. He comes from such a sad place and is so jealous that we live in paradise.

It's soooooo funny how ace is trying to warn himself as DJA. LMAO ! what an azzzzzwipe.

Fartlito aka???????

I will not insult you about you last comment. Why would I all of the sudden post when DJA is on? You know all I got to do is sit back and watch and keep out of trouble.

ace loves to drink a lot before talking to himself,fartlito

Farlito,menace/gopats...the list goes on and on

Funny that whenever anyone posts a negative thing about gopats it is connected to me. Why are you so protective of gopats? Maybe because you are gopats. No one else on this blog gets more protection by others than when gopats is trashed upon.

ace, drink some more azzzzzz

ace. I assure you i'm not go pats or the menace. I swear to it. i do know them though. But your still an azzzzzzzzz and you still like to get your salad tossed.

timberlake is very funny on saturday Live,ace watch tv better

Bunglito if this is you. I never said you were gopats/menace.

I and DJA from Davie, I am not ace.

" I and DJA from davie " . AH ! you see you are ace and DJA. What an azzzzzzz. you just snagged yourself. LMAO

lets get back to main topic.

Porter and chad for leaders and JT later on.


You must take me for a fool. I am way too smart for you pal.

is farlito the same as gopats and lol and whatever?

Right ACEHOLE ! . LOL . Put the crack pipe down and the MD 20/20 away.


I believe there is a connection. Probably involves two dudes. Fartlito may be someone else. But still a gopats protector. They get very angry because I am on to them. Who cares, but they do. They will sometimes post using other names.

ace,are you going to sleep soon azzzzz


Example: at 12:06 Mr. Bunglito(if it is him) posts to say that I called him gopats/menace. I never said he was. I replied to someone named fartlito originally. Bunglito maybe was posting as farlito, but one can never know becuase it is like that on this blog.


Yes I am, that way you can have the last post against....you sound a lot like...nahhh

ace , is your head spinning ? LMAO !

Ace and DJA, the best way to deal with the bloggers with lot of names ("many me" and friend) is to ignore him/them. The only reason they mess wit you is becuz you play their game.

Porter, Taylor, and Wake will all connect with Brady at same time to make his knee shredded beef again.

carlito, I know I can ignore them. I choose to interact with them you see. Funny how protective they are of gopats. Becareful don't talk to me or they will connect us...oh no

gopats is most favorite janitor in boston

bunglito is famous azzz mazzter of key west

Dear Mr Mando
How are you I am fine. You right. Joey Poter is obnocksuis loud guy. But he still is leardership in locker room. This is because he is great player. Taylor and Fergosun are leadership i locker room too. Mr WIll ALlen is also. These are the people to leadahip. All of them for the defense. Chap Pennningotn is offense leadership too. Guess who else? You give up? I will tell you whoelse? Vernan Carey and Smiley and grove tehy too are leadership in locker room too. You will see. I know this.
Juan Huron

huron your English souns bad, speeekee spanish?

ShulaCouldCoachLikeNoOther I totally agree with your screen name and your post.I have to admit I am a little surprised they havent censored out your ps yet though.


He said cluster..what?

Dear Mr.ShulaCouldCoachLikeNoOther

"You also attract an inane clusterfuck of illiterate asswipes in the wake of your musing and inspire their response. Kudos for that."

Well said.

Mr. Salguero sure can inspire me.

Soiled :)

Soiled what is your point?

Dear Mr. Roy

My posts are like a box of chocolates.
you never know what your gonna get.

Soiled :)

Is an azzz wipe the same as a soild bottom?

Dear Mr. Roy

"Is an azzz wipe the same as a soild bottom?"


Although they do seem similer it is a common mistake.

Soiled :)

this article sucks!

Gosh Mando - you spend 70% of your article riffing on Porter and a line or two on everyone else. What was your point? You don't like Porter??????

JT and Zach never had a playoff victory - in hindsight I'm not so sure they were productive leaders. I don't think you look to a 35 year old reserve pass rusher for leadership.

this article sucks!

Posted by: CubanLiberty | May 31, 2009 at 11:19 AM

Your comment sucks. Brings nothing to the table. Explain yourself. Why do you believe what you believe. Or is that too much work for your pea brain? You remind me of Joe Rose and his inability to think. Yeah, that was a Joe Rose rip for Mando's sake.

porter is the no nonsense shut yer mouth n play football or else leader i would call him the decider

All of you guys that use fake names you need to get a life!! grow up and become a man, don't hide behind your computers......what a bunch of losers to waste your time posting with different names, seriously get a life and if you need some attention get a dog!!!!..... cause I'm sure you can not get a girl even if you paid them.... LOL

Not nice of you to talk about gopats like that. What do you mean he cannot get a girl? Oh wait he is a woman, maybe he still can if you know what I mean.

whatever you are male or female, you are still a jack az.... but have fun on the posts, I'm sure is the only excitement you get in your miserable life..... how about posting about the dolphins instead of being just an a hole.??

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