The Dolphins need a win very badly because they seem quite grumpy now.
On Thursday, most players avoided being in the locker room during the media session. The group of media covering the team actually outnumbered the number of players in the locker room.
Some players coming into the locker room as usual but refused to speak to some of the media -- Joey Porter chief among them.
Porter ignored a group of 15 reporters that gathered around his locker stall as he dressed. Once he was dressed, he walked away, saying he had only 30 minutes to go eat and wasn't going to talk. He came back about 15 minutes later and was approached by a reporter again. That reporter, the Herald's Jeff Darlington, requested time with Porter twice in 30 minutes before finally getting Porter to answer one question.
Darlington asked Porter if something within his game needs to change after he's failed to get a full sack since September.
"Nothing needs to be changed," Porter said. "I’ve got a job to do. I’m not thinking about anything but trying to figure out what we need to do to win. We’re 3-5 at the halfway point. We’re not where we thought we’d be. We’re just trying to figure out how to win a game no matter how I’m playing."
Coach Tony Sparano also was in a foul mood during the eight minutes he spoke to the press.
Reporter: Can you update us on the injury situation?
Sparano: "Nothing really different from yesterday. Same guys practiced. Same guys didn't."
Actually Lydon Murtha, limited Wednesday, returned to practice Thursday.
Reporter: Why wasn't Justin Smiley at practice?
Sparano: "I sent him to the doctor," Sparano said.
Reporter: Was it for an examination of the shoulder?
Sparano: "I sent him to the doctor."
The Smiley situation is a concern, but I doubt it's the reason everyone was so irritated today. Smiley was lost for the season last year and it didn't feel like this.
Today was the most uncomfortable Sparano press conference in the two seasons he's been the head coach -- and that includes immediately after losses, including tough ones in Arizona and Houston and against Baltimore.
Some of the players that agreed to speak with the media today also shadowed the coach's mood. Jason Taylor, who always talks on Thursday and is perhaps the most media savvy player on the team, also seemed curt at times during his four minutes in front of the microphones.
He was asked about what strategy the Patriots used to keep Miami pass-rushers at bay.
"We're done with New England," Taylor said.
Taylor was clearly eager to to be done with the interview.
This whole deal smells of something to me. It is unheard of when an entire team, from the top all the way to the players, seems upset about something. Either they had a terrible practice and Sparano tore into them, or they got some sort of bad news that has yet to be unearthed.
Or maybe the team that finds itself 3-5 and in third place in an AFC East they won last season just needs to win. Badly.