Dolphins offensive coordinator Dan Henning talked ot the media for about 14 minutes today and I was fascinated by the discussion about what this group of coaches -- and obviously the personnel dept. -- thinks of the balance between having a group of mediocre receivers or a group that is excellent and might include a so-called diva.
"We like this group of receivers," Henning said. "I've told you that before. They're like Rodney Dangerfield. [Greg] Camarillo and [Davone] Bess weren't even drafted. [Brian] Hartline was drafted but he was drafted after another guy on the same team [Pat Turner] and three or four other guys that went before him. And no one thought he was as good as we thought he was. And Teddy has been chronicled around here as ... he's been villified. And the only guy that has it worse than him right now is Tiger, I guess.
"But they like one another. They work together. They bought in to what we're teaching and so, you know, when you're talking about a coaching situation, everyone would love to have the most talented, biggest, strongest, fastest guy with the best hands. We don't have that and don't get them all the time. But even when you have that, as some people have found with certain individuals in this league, the best thing to have in a coaching situation is these type of guys."
Henning says Camarillo knows all four receiver spots. Bess knows three of the four. Hartline is learning all four. And Ginn knows two.
"We're getting a lot out of them," Henning said. "And we don't have any diva problems. Diva problems can suck the energy out of your football team."
Henning agrees sometimes having a reciever that tilts the field is worth the trouble. But he is very cautious about it.
"Yeah, but he's got to be good," the coach said when asked if he'd take a diva. "He's got to be good."
"It does take away," Henning said. "You just can't have discord because it's a team operation and when that's being talked about all the time and everybody's afraid to get into a guy's aura and you have to tiptoe around a locker room, it takes away from your team. So the guys' got to be pretty good. He's got to be an Alpha and a definite game-changer."
Look, my personal opinion? There are no perfect players because there are no perfect people. So if you have to pick between a bunch of great guys that stuggle on the field and a couple of great guys and some "divas" that take you to Super Bowls, I pick the latter.
Mark Clayton and Mark Duper were troubled people. You think Dan Marino isn't thankful he had them?
Santonio Holmes got in all sorts of trouble his first couple of years in Pittsburgh. You think that game-winning catch to win the Super Bowl last year wasn't worth that trouble?
Dolphins defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni talked to the media for almost 10 minutes and in that time he kept shroudded the fact on which player -- Sean Smith or Gibril Wilson -- had the ultimate responsibility on that 63-yard pass last week versus Carolina.
"We're supposed to cover the guy," Pasqualoni said. "I can't get into the details of the coverage. But in any of those coverages that we play, technically, you'd like fo the guy not to run between two guys. Ideally, you'd like to intercept it or knock it down."
The Dolphins have yielded 31 pass plays of 25 yards or more this year. That's an average of more than two per game.
And for the record, on plays where the corner is supposed to have help over the top from the free safety, the free safety is charged with getting over in time to knock down the pass.
I asked Pasqualoni about Jason Taylor's recent sack drought. He hasn't had a full sack since Oct. 25. Part of that is due to the fact he wasn't getting many opportunities, as he was curiously coming off the field on third down. But last game, Taylor got pass-rush chances.
He is locked at 6 sacks so far.
"They come in streaks," Pasqualoni said of sacks. "You get hot and sometimes you cool off. Sometimes it doesn't go your way. A couple of weeks ago when we were playing the Patriots, I don't think we had any sacks. At the end of the day, and I know that sacks [are] a big deal and big statistic in this league, but we just got through talking about team defense. We beat the Patriots and we didn't sack the guy once, but we win the game.
"You tell me? What would you rather do? Have fives sacks and lose to the Patriots? Or have no sacks and beat the Patriots? So to me, it all depends on the way it's going. If they come, they come. That's great. If they don't, it's not the most important statistic on the goal board. that won-loss is the most important one. That's the way I look at it. I would not get all out of shape about out, I really wouldn't."
In other news: Reggie Torbor returned to practice at least on a limited basis today. He is still nursing a hamstring injury which pretty much has assured he'll not start ahead of Akin Ayodele this week despite playing better than Ayodele last week.