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Crowder on the wrong post-season team

Over the weekend I shared with you the list of players that must step up from what their career byline has been so far in order to turn the Dolphins from also-rans to playoff contenders in 2010. In that regard, I served up positive spin because many of the guys I mentioned could indeed turn into excellent players.

But there is, of course, the famine side to the feast I served.

Players obviously can go in the other direction as well, playing well one year and then laying an egg the next. Joey Porter took that route in 2009. Chad Pennington was on that path the season's first three games until he got injured. Akin Ayodele also went in that direction in 2009 after a solid 2008.

Well, the folks at Pro Football Focus have put together an NFL-wide All-Declined team. That team is comprised of the players whose careers are on the downward trek. But the list also includes players who simply suffered from down years.

One Miami Dolphins player made the team.

ILB Channing Crowder.

Crowder was pretty good in 2008 -- at least good enough to earn a three-year contract from Bill Parcells, Jeff Ireland and Tony Sparano. Crowder led the team in tackles in nine 2008 games. The Dolphins bought in on Crowder.

But after delivering a career-high 114 tackles, six passes defensed, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in 2008, Crowder's 2009 production tanked.

He had a career-worst 51 tackles, one sack, three passes defensed, and one interception in 2009. Crowder led the team in tackles in only one game.

"[He was] unable to make the big plays and really out of place in coverage," the Pro Football Focus guys write. "Definition of a down year."


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Good Post- mike


I see the pattern...2010 we should be second in the division...that should give buffalo time to catch up...then were last again...

2009 7-9 third in division
2008 11-5 Not ready for playoffs
2007 1-15 shoot me in the squishy pants
2006 6-10 last in division
2005 9-7 second in division
2004 4-12 last in division
2003 10-6 second in division
2002 9-7 third in division
2001 11-5 second in division
2000 11-5 Not ready for playoffs

Wah, wah, whine, whine. What a bunch of little boys. Cry, cry, cry. Rick's right. Good bye little fellows. On to the Sentinel. Sheese!





I'd pass on McClain. can get Spikes later and he's not that far behind McClain in terms of play. Don't really think ILB is a need to be drafted though. Can just rookie free agent it. Channing can do a good job as the 2nd ILB.

Spikes not far behind McClain?? bwhahhahaha
The Spikes that posted 5.03 n 5.10 times in the 40??? The Spikes that Kiper said has fallen further then anyone cause of his poor showing at combine n pro day??? That Spikes???

Esteban go home. Crowder sided with Porter in talking trash about the franchise. Crowder is dead to me. Ride or die, no in between,

When Crowder is not in the game running backs do gash us for runs up the middle. But he cant cover quick players. He's solid but not spectacular. If he ever matches his play with his mouth hell be spectacular.

boner ...

Good use of bwhahhhahaha. My thoughts exactly.






Andy NJ @ 7:16,

Great post! A voice of reason shines through.

I know a bunch of people are wanting ILB McClain but it will end up not happening. Mark it down! If he goes before #12 you will know some team thought he was a stud, I will be suprised. If he is there when the Fins can pick, they will pass on him. Simple as that. Sparano said he likes it when he other teams say the Fins are a physical football team... McClain is not. Watch his game footage he is a finesse player. Therefore, just like the vaunted, rigid height, arm length parameters and prototype player list that always gets tossed around... McClain won't be on it as a non physical football player. Don't take my word for it review the game footage and see you are not underwhelmed with his physicality. Go to Youtube.com, put in Universal Draft and watch the 15 mins or so of game tape/plays.

The name of the game in the NFL is being physical and McClain just isnt. As of months ago I asked/challenged ALL McClain supporters to give me links that are evidence that McClain can be physical in the NFL. What came back from that was carlito stepped up and sent me a single tackle of a WR catching a curl to McClain's area and he double clutched the ball. That gave McClain enough time to run (he was really running in this clip) over and he left his feet and really smashed him. That was it, one single clip from his Jr. season. One tackle out of all those plays? Not so much. I hear all this "he has ALL the intangibles"...yeah, measure that. McClain supporters say "He is smart, he's a coach on the field he knows other guys assignments...Great go smash someone for more than once! My OLB choice B. Graham will be standing over the QB he just dropped for an 8 yard loss celebrating the turnover he just caused. McClain goes to Blitz and gets swallowed up! It's on the game tapes Universal Draft on Youtube.com. Graham's tapes are there to compare as well.

This just in....Dansby WILL NOT be moved to OLB. Dansby has been at ILB and that is where he is productive... don't let your desire to have McClain start clouding good judgement. Mark, Bobby, carlito, NJ PHIN, Craig M, anyone of you that wants to step up with a gentlemans bet that Dansby gets moved to OLB so you can roll out Alabama Crimson Tide carpet for your McClain pick I will bet you all. Remember I am saying that Dansby plays ILB and you guys are talking about moving him OLB.

I know my OLB Brandon Graham pick gets picked on because he is 2" inches or less shorter than some of his peers. No worries, watch him on Sundays, then we will talk. As Andy NJ, Snowman and others have pointed out he is the Heaviest, Stoutest, Strongest (Spoon had 35 reps to BGs 31), best vs the run with most TFLs, best tackling 4.78 per game OLB prospect that there is in the draft... period. His arms are within and inch or two of his peers so if that is important to you, keep holding onto that argument.

Like Andy NJ pointed out...covering the flats, squeezing the run inside, sacking the QB, blowing up running plays he has displayed all those techniques in college. Turning and running with a TE or RB is really the only thing that has not been explored and he is just as fast as every other major OLB player in the draft.

Like Esteban says pass on McClain and get Spikes later on. If Spikes is too slow get a REAL pass coverage, blitz and cover the run ILB in Jamar Chaney Miss State. He has GREAT game footage on youtube...look it up. You can see his speed and aggresiveness easily.

Do your homework people and report your own findings.


Justin C,

I would do it. Nothing else to do but guess how the picks fall.

We will have to make seperate lists of which players actually end up being real NFL caliber players in 1-3 years. That would prove more about judging talent wouldn't it?


One of my favorite sleeper picks for the draft is visiting the Phins this week. Akwasi Owusu-Ansah is a beast, if there in round 3, this guy would be a great pick. Some will say small school, but his skill set is perfect for what we like. Pls, he would be an immediate upgrade in the return game.


I have always liked Crowder, he is a gator what's not to like? But he needs to step up his game this year


The Fins draft another corner? After they have SS and VD and a big need at Safety?

Isn't a sleeper pick a guy that goes late in the draft?

Just askin.


Rob in OC,

I think that's funny that you called McClain a 'finesse player. I don't think Butkus (in this case a Butkus Award Winner) and 'finesse' have ever gone together in the same sentence. I think that's quite funny!! I get what your saying though...only thing is I think your stretching your point....just a little, no?

If you read the scout report on McClain they refer to him as a 'thumper', so I guess either you or them have it wrong. I will agree with you that mcClain doesn't overwhelm you on tape but he's a different type of player than Graham. I didn't see any of it on tape but are you not concerned that there will be times Graham overuns the play. He seems to ONLY have one speed, and in the NFL I think offences that adjust for that.

Anyways, I think we could argue about this all night. I actually think they are both quality picks. I just think you have your favourites and I have mine.

I'm out for the night guys.....one day closer to D-day....

I've always said it..once a Gator always a Gator... Crowder is just a Gator, a joke of a player. I'm hopeful that Dansby's presence will make him mature a bit and start playing like a tru MLB. He needs to come trhough for this defense to improve from last year.

JUst heard reports from PFT.com that Miami is seriously interested in C.J. Spiller.. Wow, that would be great!



A sleeper pick is a guy not mentioned a whole lot in my mind. 1 or 2 out of 10 know who he is. Small school guy. For someone who talks BPA as much as you do, I would think you would know where I am coming from. We have to replace Nate Jones, Will Allen only has a year left on his contract. There are very few guys in the draft who are better return men than Ansah. His size/speed combo is great. You can't have enough guys that can cover. And as much as I love Smith and Davis, nothing is guaranteed with them yet either. Depth, competition, and versatility are all things we strive to have. He provides all of those. If Ansah played at USC, he would be a first round pick. To get him in round 3 would be a steal.

Here's hoping my man Earl Thomas wows the Phins when they go to Austin Tuesday night.

Craig M,

I am not stretching any more than someone trying to sell me on the fact that 1.5 inches in height is the end of the world or the sarcastic alligator comments that some jab at BG. All just draft chiding which we all take so well. I actually really enjoy chatting with you as you have a very steady, insightful, debating way about you Craig.

All's fair right?

I am not saying anything bad about anyone's judgements/opinions just stating facts or pointing out things about the players.

You know as well as I do that most awards are just like popularity contests in high school..full of politics and impossible to truly judge. It's just votes/opinions that get the awards. Just like I have an opinion of a McClain others have judged and opined about BG.

You made the statement "I will agree that mcClain doesn't overwhelm you on tape" If he doesn't overwhelm you against college players what would he do vs trained killers that can block like crazy in the NFL?

I did not see many overruns out of Brandon Graham at least not anything his peers were not just as guilty of or more. He averaged the best 4.78 tackles per game of any main OLB prospect so I feel he is the safest pick in that dept.

The greatest thing about a superior motor is that even IF you do overrun a play you work your tail off to get back in.

How many plays did you see McClain jogging after play passed him or worse yet never get off the block? How about full tilt, all out running to get into the play to make a huge impact tackle?

If BG's crime is to HUSTLE every play then my one wish I would have is for the ENTIRE Fins team to be so afflicted with this crazy malady.

Have a good evening Craig! 25 more days till the players get dispersed. I know we are both fans enough to root for the Fins to get more than their fair share of talent from this draft!


Yo fin nation , what's the word on smiley?


You bring up some excellent points about the CB Ansah.

You are 100% correct CB Ansah doesn't get mentioned much and many folks don't know who he is. After running a 4.30 40 at his pro day @ 207lbs he shant go under the teams and scouts radar any longer ;).

I like the guy and think he can play. Thanks for recognizing me as more of a BPA guy than a rigid, have to fill need slots ONLY guy.

While I remain pretty flexible I would say there are certain players that I believe will be there in round 3 that I would prefer. If S Morgan Burnett falls I would take him, S Rashad Jones is a great prospect as well. I think TE Jimmy Graham should be considered here although I like him more in the 4rth if possible with his limited football background despite his great triangle numbers. If a RB has not been chosen Ben Tate would make sense in this round.
If there are early runs on DTs maybe Linval Joeseph or Troup is chosen here.

Maybe Asnsah can be a safety prospect? They could try him at corner and if he studs out great, if not they could try him as a ballhawking safety? 3rd round is a tad high but he could go anywhere from round 3-5. I do like Ansah and see some Dominique Rogers Cromartie attributes in him. Awfully small school, Very low tackle counts would be things that might drag his grade down some.



I have heard zippo movement, whisper or rumor on Smiley ever since they told him not to report to workouts.


Your guess is as good as any as to what they are doing with Smiley.

Hope it ends well.


dfins006: Nowhere in that PFT article does it say the Fins are “seriously interested" in Spiller. They say that rumors are focused on the Fins and the Giants. He is a lightweight back who can do amazing things in the open field. He is not worth a 12 and they will not take a situational guy in the first and they will not take offense in the first. Spiller is not going to be a Dolphin.

Plus Miami accumulates picks, they don’t give them away.

"We’re hearing talk of teams possibly trying to invade the lower reaches of the top 10 in order to get a crack at Spiller, with rumors currently focusing on the Dolphins and the Giants. The Dolphins currently hold the No. 12 pick; the Giants are at 15… the Dolphins drafted Ronnie Brown with the second overall pick. If the rumors are true, they could be looking to supplant Brown with Spiller."

Note the PFT article says “rumors.” Nothing about the Fins are “seriously intersted" in Spiller.” It’s a rumor, printed by PFT - who make stuff up all the time. I would be absolutely shocked at this F.O. reaching like that for a situational RB. What would they give up for him? Their first and a third or fourth? That’d likely be the price to move into the top ten as PFT suggests. Too steep. Too stupid. If Cam or Spielman were still in charge - maybe.

Crowder doesn't make big plays , agreed but most of his tackles are around the line for short gains. When he went down the D definitely got worse. With the addition of Dansby I think CC will definitly have a better yr in 2010. The best FA pickup was Mike Nolan , he knows the 3-4 D as well as anyone in the NFL!

Jimmy Jam,

I agree with you, the Trifecta would be very hard pressed to give away picks/players to move up in the draft. I am pretty sure they would not even move up for Berry if he was a pick or two away at 10-11.

The value they place on draft picks is as high as any regime I have seen the Dolphins have.

The rumors that get floated at this time are are primarily smokescreens. Not likely the close lipped Trifecta will be chatting with anyone regarding their picks save their own scouts.



Crowder had an off year and will never be a big play guy. He is a decent/good tackler when he has a very competant ILB with him like in the ZT days. Dansby should provide that leadership role by his play on the field and with any luck/grit Crowder will have a better year.

Most of the down with Crowder players are McClain fans. The thought is that if crowder gets moved via trade or demoted it would pave the way for the Fins to draft McClain. Or they say things like "move Dansby to OLB because of his pay grade"? He got a raise as one of the most sought after, prized FA's in the whole very shallow FA pool. Only Julius Peppers was a bigger fish in my opinion.

Dansby will stay inside and they will go with Dansby/Crowder until 2011 and then re-evaluate imo.

I have to believe they will take an OLB either in the 1st or 2nd round. After the draft they can analyze bring JT back. If they get enough young talent I believe they may try to rough it without JT.



Agreed on Nolan. I have a very good feeling about he will fit with the Fins desire to pressure the opposition.

"Bring your lunch pails Sanchez, Brady, it's gonna be an all day sucker!!!" ;)


my thing is of course crowder is going to play better with Dansby next to him instead of Akin....thats doesnt take a genius---but is that what we should want----A guy that really on his own isnt a player---or a student of the game----i dont think it is fair to dansby to have to deal with a injury depleted chaning crowder as the SURE STARTER NEXT TO HIM-----there is enough talent and we have enough picks---to grab 1 outside and 1 inside LB in this draft----

Maybe not Mcclain b/c you want to sure up outside LB but 2 others like spikes, chaney---we need one of them to push crowder

However---If mcclain grades out as the smartest LB by far---you have to take him---which by the way no fan can no b/c we arent at the interview------

The mind is mcclain best feature OR THATS WHAT IS ADVERTISED


I want smart players more than dumb ones like anyone else.

That said why is the argument with McClain always around everything but what a crazed, physical, violent tackling machine he is?

I always get the impression that we are building a high end chess club when McClain is mentioned.

No crazy game footage illustrating check this knarly play no one else can make out at "x" time or look at this series of tackles where McClain is blowing up these ballcarriers.

If you look for Pat Willis footage you quickly find him crushing guys or making eye popping plays.

It will be a vote that McClain is thought of as the most talented of prospects by the Trifecta if he is there and they take him with Dansby in the fold. I believe they will pass if he is there for OLB or even another position.


Crowder is among the very worst fundamental tacklers in the NFL. When you are taught to tackle you put helmet and shoulders on the ball carrier. Crowder over-pursues, leaves his feet and relies on his arms to make tackles. When he dives at someone it looks great when he connects but he misses so often. Without the rest of the defense forcing the runner into the two slots that Crowder can fling himself at he SUCKS!!

The crowder situation was terrible from the start. He played ILB in college, then was moved to OLB here and then back to ILB when Zach Thomas left. I can't believe the organization actually thought he could be as good as Zach when he is clearly slower, weaker, and has poor football vision. Zach was a beast and we took him for granted. Next year the middle of the D will be comprised of Solia, Crowder, and Ayodele. RBs will be putting on clinics if we don't get Yeremiah Bell some help.

i kno Crowder had a down year, no question about it. But when he was injured our Defense was the worst ive ever seen... we missed him not on the field.. Crowder was off this year, buy Ayodele was HORRENDOUS every single down, which probly made crowder look worse.. with dansby next to him and mike nolan calling the shots on defense, i think he is going to have his best year.. im just glad akins gone, he couldnt cover my grandmother... probly couldnt tackle her either

Crowder sunk below mediocre. what a shocker. Mando I've been saying that for months. he's ridiculously unproductive and needs to go.

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