Want to take a break from Joey Porter saga to tell you what's going on at the Pro Bowl practices I just got back from this afternoon.
As you know, Yeremiah Bell is the only Dolphins player in the game. He said he was on the couch sleeping Sunday night when he got the call that a spot had opened up for him. So he's in, baby! He's the only Dolphins player in the game as offensive tackle Jake Long backed out a couple of weeks ago.
"I was real happy when I got the news and I'm excited to be playing," Bell said.
Bell addressed the Porter issue -- yeah, I'm trying to get away from it, but it's too juicey. Bell said he was not aware of my report that Porter told coach Tony Sparano he's unhappy during a season-ended meeting and went then went on to echo those sentiments on a radio show in his hometown of Bakersfield, California. As I also reported first Porter even talked about wanting to play elsewhere on that radio show.
"I hope he doesn't want to leave," Bell said. "I like having Joey around. I think he does some great things and [he's] a guy that a lot of guys in the locker room want to have on this team. I hope he doesn't go anywhere and I'll be sure to pick up the phone and call him to see what he's talking about."
San Francisco 49'ers tight end Vernon Davis is in this game. And he figures by next year the Pro Bowl is going to be a family affair because he thinks little brother and Dolphins cornerback Vontae Davis is a future Pro Bowl player.
"I look forward to playing with him next year. I look forward to finally playing with my little brother because I've never played with him," Davis said. "I think he did a great job this year. To lead the team in interceptions and have some impact games like he did. He made some noise. He'll be here soon."
New England nose tackle Vince Wilfork is in this game. If you read this blog you know how I feel about this man. I believe if the Patriots somehow fall down on the job and do not sign or franchise Wilfork, the Dolphins should back a Brink's truck to Wilfork's lawn and unload all the cash he wants to play for Miami.
As you guys know I talked to Wilfork about this topic three weeks ago when I covered the Patriots' playoffs loss to Baltimore. He told me then that "Florida is home," when I asked if he would consider playing for the Dolphins if he hits free agency.
But the Patriots can obviously tag Wilfork, something he wouldn't be too thrilled about.
"Right now I'm not even thinking about it," he said. "I played my six years and they're up. So what happens is going to happen. I can't control it. But I'd be very disappointed because I worked hard. I gave everything I can give. I expect the same.
"We'll see what happens."
Wilfork was asked if would hold out if he's franchised...
"That's so far from here," he answered. "I'll handle it the appropriate way to handle it and however way I think that is. We'll see. We don't know what they're going to do. We'll see in the next couple of weeks."
The Miami Herald's David J. Neal caught up with deposed Dolphins defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni after the NFC practice. Pasqualoni was fired by the Dolphins on a Tuesday and had a new job within 72 hours as the Cowboys' linebacker coach. The Cowboys are coaching the NFC squad.
Pasqualoni was asked if he was shocked he got fired.
"Well, I think that somebody's got to be accountable, somebody's responsible," Pasqualoni said. "We gave up some plays. At the end of the day, we just gave up too many big plays. I don't know if surprised is the word. As a professional in this league, ever day you go in, you know you're responsible, accountable, in a position of leadership like a coordinator, somebody's got to be responsible. At the end of the day, you're prepared for anything to happen. Shocked? No. Surprised? Maybe."
I agree that someone has to be ultimately responsible. But I'm hoping that responsibility is spread to the entire list of guys that need to take responsibility and that would include some players -- such as Gibril Wilson, Joey Porter, Akin Ayodele, etc ...
[LATE AFTERNOON UPDATE: Kicker Dan Carpenter has been added to the AFC squad. He replaced San Diego's Nate Kaeding, who stepped out because of injury. Carpenter becomes the third Miami kicker -- joining Olindo Mare and Garo Yepremian -- to be named to the Pro Bowl.]
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