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The Dolphins evening doings -- with '99 moment

The news first: The Dolphins dumped Eric Green after Wednesday's morning practice. If you are surprised he's gone, you haven't been paying attention because he struggled in the Jacksonville preseason game, struggled in training camp practices before that, and struggled in offseason work before that.

Green's short Dolphins career can best be described as a struggle. He starts a new career with San Francisco on Thursday because he has agreed to terms with that team on a new contract.

I have also confirmed that Venus and Serena Williams will be two of the three new minority owners announced by the Dolphins next Tuesday. That's all I got to say about that.

Now let me give you some perspective.

The Dolphins didn't get rid of a cornerback to simply keep an open roster spot. They probably looked at the landscape and identified a player, likely another corner, who they believe will be an upgrade. I do not currently know the identity of that player.

But the list of available cornerbacks is fairly large. There is Mike McKenzie, Ty Law, Lewis Sanders, Daven Holly, David Irons, Aaron Glenn, David Macklin, and of course, Patrick Surtain and Sam Madison for the nostalgic Dolfans among you.

So Green becomes a free agent now. And Nathan Jones is now running with the second team at right cornerback. This Green termination improves Jones' chances of making the team, although he seemed fairly assured of that already as he's starting in the dime package. The move also helps Jason Allen move closer to making the team, assuming he doesn't play awful the next few weeks.

Allen did get beat by Davone Bess out of the slot in 7 on 7 drills in the afternoon practice. Allen whiffed at the line of scrimmage while playing press coverage and then never caught up as Bess ran a post. This is disappointing because one would expect Allen to try and show out in a practice after the door for him to make the roster is opened by the cutting of another player.

On the more news front, left guard Justin Smiley is hurting with some undisclosed injury-discomfort. It doesn't look serious, whatever it is because Smiley dressed out for practice today and was then held out when the team went into team periods.

Andy Alleman took one repetition at left guard in the team run period and then Brandon Frye took over every snap of every period after that. Smiley declined to discuss why he rode the bike for most of practice, but again, it doesn't seem serious.

He actually asked back into drills during the team period and was waved off by offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo.

It was a tough practice for Brandon London. He dropped two passes on consecutive plays, one when he clearly lost concentration on a post pattern because the safety was coming at him.

This Classic Training Camp moment is to celebrate the fact yahoosports.com's Jason Cole was at camp today. Cole and I worked with and against each other for many years and although that isn't true anymore, we are still friends.

In August of 1999, that friendship was tested a little because I somehow got caught in a swirling vortex of curse words, threats and anger that Jimmy Johnson directed at Cole.

On the day The Miami Herald's annual football section came out that year, I got a call very early in the morning from a Dolphins official demanding I be at camp that day. "Of course, I'll be there," I said. "That's my job."

"Well," the official responded, "be ready for what's coming because Jimmy Johnson is [peeved] -- not at you, but at Jason Cole. And he wants to talk to both of you when you come out."

I called Cole and told him to be ready for a lecture. New to the Herald that year after covering the team for the Sun-Sentinel for many years, Cole was advised to simply say nothing if Johnson got angry or yelled at him. We didn't need Johnson hitting Cole or anything like that.

Anyway, I arrived at the Dolphins' facility to find the team in the middle of a morning practice. I was there maybe one minute -- no exaggeration -- when I saw Johnson jogging toward me from the far practice field.

He was there in an instant and Dolphins PR man Harvey Greene summoned Cole and myself into the player lounge that used to look out onto the practice field. Once inside, Johnson pulled out a Cole article that was crumpled in the back pocket of his shorts, one that appeared in the football section and he had highlighted and written notes on.

And then he began to viciously lambaste Cole.

By lambaste, I mean it sounded something like this: "What the [bleep] are you doing writing this piece of [crap] you [bleeperbleeper]," Johnson said to Cole.

For perspective you must remember that I wrote a story after the 1998 season about Johnson quitting as Miami's coach for 36 hours, going so far as to pack his belongings in a moving box and celebrating with friends over beers that his days in coaching were done.

Johnson was feeling burned out and emotionally spent and that led to his decision.

I also wrote that owner Wayne Huizenga was not going to accept Johnson simply quitting and would try to change his mind. And yes, incredibly, I later found out Huizenga offered to let Johnson coach only home games and let Dave Wannstedt coach the team on the road, if that meant Johnson would stay.

Anyway, following that offseason episode, Cole wrote a story for the football section saying that Johnson was taking things easier for the start of 1999. He wasn't making certain trips -- such as the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. -- and he was generally not driven as hard as he had been previously.

And that made Johnson livid.

"You [bleeperbleeper] you've made it seem like I don't give a [crap] anymore," Johnson told Cole. "You've made it seem like I've quit on my [bleeperbleeping] team. What kind of [bleeperbleeping] position do you think that puts me in with my [bleeperbleeping] team you [bleeperbleeper]?

This excoration went on for about two solid minutes. During that time, Johnson referred to the highlighted portions of the article, categorically denying what was written was true or accurate. I stopped counting the times Johnson called Cole a word that begins with "mother" and ends with "ucker" at 13. There were more, but after the 13th, Johnson turned to me and threatened me.

"You talk to this [bleeperbleeper] and set him straight or I'm going to stop talking to you," Johnson told me. "I'll go to your publisher and get you both fired, you hear me. I'm not having this [bleeperbleeping] year ruined by you two [bleepers]."

Well, the year was not ruined by Cole or me. Johnson and the Dolphins did that all by themselves. Johnson and Dan Marino feuded all year long. And it ended with a 62-7 playoff debacle in Jacksonville that sent both men into retirement.

It was, shall we say, interesting.

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