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Sparano rightly asks for perspective on arrested players

Today I ask the mob to put down its torches and pitch forks and take a deep breath. And I think Dolphins coach Tony Sparano would agree with me that in judging the recent rash of off-field stains by arrested or suspended players, we inspect the fruit before deciding it is rotten.

This offseason some Dolphins players have obviously shown bad judgment, been in the wrong place at the wrong time, and clearly failed to use their God-given brains in getting arrested or suspended by the NFL.

Will Allen and Ronnie Brown were arrested for DUI related offenses after failing field sobriety tests. Tony McDaniel was arrested for a misdemeanor domestic violence charge. And Jason Ferguson was suspended eight games by the NFL for failing a league mandated drug test for performance enhancing substances, the second positive test of his career.

"First of all, I'm going to say this: I'm obviously not happy with any of this," Sparano said Tuesday. "That is for sure. I'm absolutely not happy with any of it. Anytime any player -- anybody -- brings a negative light to the organization in any way, I'm not happy about it. Those things have been addressed."

But then the Dolphins and we need to step back from the ledge of outrage and move to the more solid footing of reason and logic. Drunk driving is horrible and hitting a women is equally reprehensible. But we're talking imperfect people here and none are chronic offenders.

And no one has been convicted, save Ferguson who will serve his penalty.

"A few of the players that have had these issues as of late have been model citizens since I've been there and, really, for a long time in this league," Sparano said. "From my end, I do take that into consideration when you're talking about character. I've seen these players in critical situations during the course of the season, in critical situations during the course of games, off the field and what they've done in our community. I've seen them do a lot of positive things that way. I don't want to confuse one issue with character, but it is an issue that concerns me and is an issue that has to be addressed. But we're just going to let this whole thing play out and gather the facts and then make some decisions."

It is easy to demand the Dolphins or any other public trust have a no-tolerance policy and cut these players for getting arrested. But that isn't reality and isn't the right approach.

I cannot tell you exactly where the line is drawn for requiring instant termination of a relationship. But none of this offseason's problematic incidents have crossed that line yet. That doesn't mean no players should be terminated for being in trouble. Some definitely need to go.

The NFL is seriously concerned about Ben Roethlisberger and his (at best) penchant for getting into compromising positions with women who claim he has sexually abused them and (at worst) actually is a predator.

But one DUI arrest in Brown's case is not in the same universe with Roethlisberger. Allen, who has had offseason incidents in the past, is walking perilously close to being a problem, but again, what if he is tried and found not guilty of his DUI? He has, by the way, pled not guilty in the matter.

"I think you've got to look at the player's history," Sparano said when I asked if he'd cut a player who got in trouble. "If the history was chronic and there was a lot of problems there in the past or any of those type of things, I think that's something you would consider, for sure. But I think you really have to look at the past history of the player and see where you are and maybe, at that point, where your tolerance may be for that situation. But that's a possibility."

It obviously isn't a possibility with any of these players yet. And even with Ferguson the Dolphins went in the other direction -- signing him to a one-year contract days after the suspension was announced by the league.

"Jason Ferguson, really, for us, he's been a captain here for two years," Sparano said. "He has been a guy that I know very well, that we know very well and that knows us very well. I think that the guy made a mistake. But at the end of this, the middle of the season we really would've been looking long and hard to find a player like Jason Ferguson when he got hurt and we couldn't find one. At the end of this whole thing, when the suspension is over, we'll see where we are during the course of the season and where we are at that point. It may possibly be a great move."

So does it send a mixed message that Ferguson is a team captain, a leader on the defensive line and is also rewarded with a new contract after his second performance enhancing drug suspension?

Sparano thinks not as he vouches for Ferguson.

"He's been suspended one time since he's been here with us as a captain," the coach said. "But I would say to you that ... to send a mixed message? I don't think it sends a good message. I really don't. I know this player. I know Jason Ferguson pretty well."


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Yea NJ, be nice to not let the QB stand back there and pick us apart

bobby... I am uncertain that Gronkowsky would be the player you would want to use as a subject of experience as a reason to draft. He did not play in 2009 due to injury. Unfortunately that injury was to his back. He is still rated the second best TE coming out of the draft. And is projected by many to go in the second round where Miami would likely be there for him. Here are the ups and downs as reported by one scouting group on Gronkoski..
# Strengths:
# Long frame with good strength
# Good route runner
# Fluid in and out of his breaks
# Competitive when ball is in air
# Physical runner
# Underrated blocker
# Does a good job of using his hands and extending
# Impressive straight-line speed
# Red zone threat
# Consistent hands and plucks the ball
# Extremely high upside as a run blocker

>>>> Weaknesses:
# Very serious durability concerns (back)
# Doesn't maximize Y.A.C.
# Lacks some running vision in open field
# Doesn't have top-end athleticism or agility
# Run blocking technique a little inconsistent
# Might have some rust as a rookie (didn't play football in 2009)

I would love to see this guy in Miami... I cannot see Miami taking a TE in the second... But, stranger things have happened in Miami before. He would be a very cool addition. Still like my bot Graham as a value pick with HUGE upside in the #4 spot.

I agree, even if the fins were in the top 5 I would say take Eric Berry.

The hole at Safety is huge, and Gerbil taught us that that position alone can win or lose games.

Check out the NFP mock 4.0 LOL. They have the Broncos at 11 taking Dan Williams NT and the Fins at 12 taking Dez Bryant.

Gotta love these mock drafts LOL. I know I won't be crying if they end up with Dez Bryant that's for sure.

** my boy....

Any sleeper sofas (6'3" Receivers) available in the Round 5-7 you guys think we might take?

Peter wrote the interesting article about the longevity of safties particually smaller ones and the gamble that goes with it in picking them to high. Taylor was an exception because of his size. he mentioned the injury history od sanders and polamalu. The great Scott pioli agrees with that theory and won't take a safety that high. Now if berry gets by cleveland , he can drop to miami. :)

peter king **

You got it waterboy.

Bobbyd12 , that would be great ( having the qb on is arse ).

True enough Sanders has had a lot of injuries; Reed has recently started to get injured; and Polamalu only recently (this year) had any problems with injuries - but when those guys are on the field; they change the way offenses play and allow the defense to do so much more. I am ok with Earl Thomas being the pick at 12 and like I mentioned, if Eric Berry is there you can call me Jason Pierre-Paul with my handsprings!

Later round WR guys worth looking for, IMO. Marcus Easley, Connecticut. Eric Decker, Minnesota. David Gettis, Baylor.

Bill ruger, I agree with u Bill, I don't see us grabbing a TE with our second pick but I hope we do pick up a good TE in this draft, whoever it is will strengthen out passing game...I thought Fasano got a bad rap last year but would like to see him move back to the other side where he was more productive

Whats the downlow (haha Mandito is cool) on Dexter Mcluster?

2 round pick? Good for Wildcat?

I like Blair White, Seyi Ajirotutu(bless you), and Joe Webb (developmental though) in the late rounds as WR as well.

Abbott . me too. i already have a eric berry tenn. jersey from when i was down there.

Only 2 guys I take ahead of E. Berry would be N. Suh or G. McCoy

Good afternoon all,

For me I would take Graham over Gronk and there are a few of main reasons why.

First and foremost the back surgery:

Gronkowski will wait for his March 12 pro day when he's "100 percent healthy and at full speed" to run. Gronkowski, who missed the 2009 season after undergoing surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back, impressively measured in at a shade over 6'6, 264 pounds, and 34 1/4" arm length.

In a game as violent as the NFL is, I don't want my player to start off with such a huge strike against him. Back pain is of the worst kind. In Grahams case, if you want to weigh heavily on the lack of experience being a huge negative ask yourself which will be a bigger question moving forward:

Which would more likely happen?...

A. Graham would gain expert coaching and with practice time his experience level would greatly increase.

B. Gronk could potentially have no further injury to his surgically repaired spine in a game of collisions. If so, he could learn to deal with the pain?

I would say the lack of experience is at least a wash with back surgery and I would lean towards much less problematic.

Secondly, I feel that Graham is the better athlete flat out. He ran a 4.56 at the combine @ 6'6 1/4 and 260LBS!! That is hauling the freight as "Pops" used to say.

Gronk is in the 4.76 range. (To be fair that could improve as he gets further away from his back surgery time wise)

For perspective on just how radically athletic that is OLB/DE JPP is being talked about as a potential top 8-15 pick in ROUND 1 with only one year of production at smaller South Florida.

TE Graham: 6'6 1/4 260lbs 4.56 in the 40. 20 reps of 225lbs
DE JPP: 6'4 3/4 270lbs 4.69 in the 40. 19 reps of 225lbs

That is a strikingly similar athlete!

Jimmy Graham with his basketball background was only 3 reps behind Gronk at 20 reps to 23 reps. Gronk would be considered the better blocker by a ways. Coming from B-Ball Graham seems very willing to learn to block better.

Thirdly it comes down to the Value that you may be able to get TE J. Graham with. If he makes it to the 4rth round it would be like stealing with his upside. You may be able to take him in the 3rd. He is such a wildcard he may be taken in the 2nd if some team is smitten with his athleticism.

I feel the Fins need an athletic more pass catching TE like Martin offered us but more of a threat in the passing game. To have a guy like Graham run that fast at his height will certainly pressure the DEF.

Hear is a name a friend of mine told me about. I know nothing of him except for what I read, and what I read is ridiculous. Jameson Konz, H-Back from Kent St. Look up his measurables, like I said, WOW. Kent St has done a good job with Josh Cribbs and Julian Edelman.

what round is Mike Williams from cuse being projected at now. That guy is a stud.


I have a feeling Jimmy Graham gets drafted way higher than he should. I wonder if he even makes it to round 3. I like Graham, I just don't know.


Everything I gather has Mike Williams going late 2nd to anywhere like late 4th. He's a beast, just not a guy I'm real high on. I wouldn't complain if we picked him, I know that sounds contradictory, but that would mean he convinced the Trifecta he is serious. I'd be okay then.

With all the talk about OLB and TE, is anyone interested or hoping the fins pick up or has the chance to draft best? I think he can really help out.

he is real good from what i could tell. i know he has character concerns but i agree if we pick him then the trifecta had to have seen enough they liked.

OK had to do some work!! I just want to respond to the blogger " DA WHITE MAN"

I wasn't trying to bring race into it,thats why I didn't say any races!!! I only stated the facts!!!!!

Same for you Bootang25 I wasn't talking about these guys race.......I'm talking about facts!! And to your point life isn't fair, but that still doesn't explain Goodell's actions and why no one has question this!!!!

Rob in OC, good points, the conversation started with Hernandez from Florida, I really think he is a stretch compared to Gronk...Graham is also a project but certainly has the size...I wouldn't be disappointed in either but while Gronkowski is going to go lower then he should, Graham may go higher then he should

J dizzle,

I explained it to you. Much easier to suspend a lower tier guy than a 2-time super bowl winning, face of the league QB like Big Ben.

New here, personally I'm against taking Best at a high pick...We are strong enough there to wait till much lower rounds for depth... Next year will be a different story but not this year

Bootang25, Rooney's haven't really shown much support for Big Ben, watch how quickly they throw hin under that Pittsburg Bus if it starts looking bad with the evidence


The Spiller pick to me would not be as shocking as most think.

NJ PHIN and I have gone back and forth about the merits or lack thereof regarding McClain. In the interest of keeping the peace we can chose not to rehash that debate.

Knowing that we have a starter in Crowder and also knowing how much we need defensive help I think Spiller might be the longer of the two shots. I just feel it's a lot closer than people think. I feel they will go LB but OLB as the posturing is that they won't sign JT.

Seeing as how the Trifecta know they need more chunk yards and may feel that Dez Bryant has too many ???s they might turn to a rocket type, take it the distance guy like Spiller. He can effect so many phases of the game on OFF and ST's by playing RB, WR, KR and PR. As Mayock keeps mentioning of his 52 TD's 21 were from 50 yards out or more. That's big play ability and I would not rule it out.



Ben may be as dumb as it gets. You can just tell he thinks he's untouchable, I have never liked him

Ben is just as outrageous as any of these "characters" we talk about on here!!

Point taken Bootang25.


One of the "Best" (pun intended) OFF players in the draft. I would go as far as to say he could wind up being better than Spiller.

If the Fins could get him by trading back with someone and gain extra pick(s) it would be awesome. Some rumor that Dallas may really like Dez but, it's just rumor until we see action. That type of trade usually happens on draft day.

Would be a sweet pick-up and help the OFF with "chunk yards".

In Best's last 18 games he has 27 runs over 20+ yards, 6 over 60+ yards and 4 of 80+ yards. He is a game changer for sure.


I'm not sold on Graham. I think he's a good receiver but a questionable blocker. I think he's a bit of a project. I think someone will draft him in the third or fourth. I'm hoping it's not us. I believe he's over-rated.

Gronk would be a good addition to our team. I would be fine with taking him in the second round if we had a lower second round pick or a second second round pick. I'm hopeful that we go WR with our second pick.

bobby @ 2:17,

Agreed... You nailed it in that they are probably headed in different directions.

Sadly, I think that your prediction of J Graham not lasting until the 3rd could be correct.

What would you put the chances that Gronk gets passed up by Graham in the draft order?



How fast do you think Ben Roth would be RE-Employed if he woere to be jettisoned by the Steelers? (assuming he pays any damages or serves his time)

Ole Miss RB Dexter McCluster improved his forty time to the low-4.4 range at the Rebels' Tuesday Pro Day.
McCluster disturbingly ran 4.58 at last month's Scouting Combine, but he was reportedly timed as fast as 4.39 on Tuesday. The development is very promising for McCluster, who projects as a second- to third-round pick.

Rumor: Mcnabb to the Bills for a second.

Still think PigPen is worth a 4th as some on this blog claim?

I would hold on to PigPen and use him in the WC and see if Pat White can develop at another position.

Craig M,

Fearless on the Gronk back surgery (herniated disk repair) eh?

2nd round pick would mean you are sold...
Any reasoning that sells you on the fact that he will be ok long term?

Just picking your brain, cheers!

According to coach Pete Carroll, new Seahawks OC Jeremy Bates' presence makes the team more comfortable with its pursuit of Brandon Marshall.

Bates and Marshall allegedly had a "great" relationship in Denver, when Bates was the Broncos' playcaller. QBs coach Jedd Fisch was also on staff. "We have a lot of information and background with him," Carroll added. "Those guys all know him, so they give us unique insights...to understanding how he could fit into the offense and what he could do in helping us."

Rob In OC, I don't see that happening Rob...Gronkowski should be a solid first rounder IMO and even though he might slip to the second I don't see it being to far into second... There is just to much athlete there, injury or not...Unlike Dezzy, he came to the combine in shape and ready to impress...I have some problems with Graham and one year of football...Most of these guys played since Pop Warner and they realize the dedication to this game...I wonder if all the years of basketball if Graham is going to think taking the beating in the NFL is really what he wants...Same for JPP


Good stuff thanks for the McCluster updates.

Well the staff had him and many other potentials at the Senior Bowl. I am convinced that at least one early pick comes from those close up eval's from actually coaching the kids in the game.

Buffalo is said to be interested in McCluster (If you can believe any whispers at all nowadays).

I know the kid as light as he was never really had any injury issues at a rough and tumble SEC school. Time will tell. I like him but he is on a totally seperate tier from Spiller and Best as far as RB's go.


I still think the 40 times are bogus and a crappy way to lose/gain draft value, since they are no where near as accurate as they should be!

Why can't they use the track equipment out there that is meant to accurately time these events?

Did you guys read about CucumberPeper trying to market his services at the owners meeting. To think we traded a pick for this bum.

Talk about 1 hit wonder, Moss made the C-Pep look like Marino.

Ron in OC, Mike Vick or Plaxico Burress???? Can't answer that but I'm sure he would be re-employed rather quickly...but he would always be a skumbag from that point forward and it would have cost him MILLIONS in endorsements...I think Plaxico got the raw end of the stick by the way, that was a Political Prosecution when that jack-off Mayor Bloomberg got involved, he wanted to make a point with his stupid anti-gun stance and Plaxico paid for it


The 1 year thing is REALLY tough for me to get around as well. That is why I can't fathom it with taking JPP in the early 1st.

I can see he is a phenominal athlete (the back hand springs video is freakish) is by his triangle numbers. There is definitely clay there to work with but 1 year at South Florida and numbers that didn't scream domination at that level... I'm out.

With Graham it will purely come down to where he goes. 3rd is where I think he still has some value due to such a high ceiling. 4rth and I would race to the podium.

In the 2nd there are just too many accomplished football players that would fill more pressing needs. I couldn't pull the trigger in the 2nd.


As far as Pete Carroll goes, please SIGN MARSHALL TONITE, that way I don't have to read about him on this blog EVER AGAIN

I wouldn't touch Graham before the 4th or 5th...of course we have no 5th but if it came down to Graham or a WR such as Mitchell in the 4th, I take the WR all day long


The fact that Ben sports multiple SB rings will buy him a ton of leeway. While the product endorsements roll away the NFL teams will still come calling.

Vick has really suffered much less grief and protesting than anyone would have thought when his ordeal began. Kinda makes Jeff Lurie and the Iggles F.O. look like geniuses. It sounds like they might be able to get a 2nd or 3rd rounder for Vick. Not a bad deal to have him on your team for one year and run him in a few plays to get such trade bait value.

Plax's crime didn't fit his sentence in my opinion either. He shot his own leg and not someone elses. It was extremely stupid on his part but yeah... he got the raw end.

LOL @ bobbyd12

Every time Marshall or Byrant play good, you will hear the blog cry about it.


I shudder everytime I think of the doctors telling Saban that Bree's arm may not be the same.

He promptly signs Cpep and the rest is...well, now Super Bowl history.

Aye Carumba!


You are right. When I was at Florida's pro day, we sat right at the end of the 40 yard dash, mixed in with tons of scouts. All with their stopwatches, and you would hear 7 different times from them. It was insane. Watching Joe Haden run, I was blown away that with the literally millions of dollars at stake for him, they had this stupid, inexact science for this. Amazingly dumb if you ask me.

flip and flop

Rob , are kidding me with that statement about plaxico ?? That 's freaking ridiculous. He could've easily shot someone else in the club. Maybe you or i standing nexting to him waiting for a drink ot talking to somebody. He got exactly what he deserved. what the hell is bringing in a gun to restaurant/club in the first place. somebody could have got killed. NYC has some of the toughest gun laws in the country. There's mandatory sentences and he got a bargain plea deal if you ask me. cheers

Pete Carroll, now with the Seattle Seahawks, talked about Turner at the NFC coaches media breakfast Wednesday as part of the NFL owners meetings at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes.

"I think Patrick is a guy who has to develop his relationship with the club," Carroll said. "It took him a while at SC to really take over. He had a very good junior year, but it took him all the way to his senior year, while other guys we had who played the position had taken over immediately as freshmen.

"We watched him develop a little more slowly and get comfortable. Once he did, he took over.

"I would bet that if it's [similar to his college transition], he'll develop a very comfortable feeling and be a factor for them. He's a very, very good player."

Translation: Im doing Pat a solid to buy him more time before the cut to 53 man roster arrives


I vow that I will not lament any lack of trade / selection of Marshall or Bryant.

I have spoken out against the trade/selection and will honor my word win, lose or draw.

By the same token there will be some stout "I told you so's" if either of them get dinged for any aforementioned "red flags"

I know bobby, NJ PHIN as well as I believe Cuban and carlito are just saying "No" as well.

The debate will rage on even after Marshall goes to Seattle and Dez gets drafted.

If I am wrong and they become all stars and model citizens staying out of trouble then I admit my mistake.


i am a def. no for Marshall and Dez as well.

NJ, not going to agree with u here bubba, if Mayor Bloomberg didn't get involved he probaly would not have gotten what he did, that was Poltical Prosecution by Bloomberg who should have never gotten involved...

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