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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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You talking to bobby as well bud.

I don't like to operate on "What could have happened" type of thinking. He "might of shot other people" but he didn't.

I am not going to vouch for why he was packing a gun in that setting... some people feel they need a gun legal or not. He is a high profile NFL guy he may think he will get rat packed. He could have people after him for any of a billion reasons. It was wrong and he got his sentence. You thought him shooting himself in the leg deserved all that jail time and bobby and I didn't. Calling me ONLY out saying I am being rediculous is rather rediculous! A LOT OF PEOPLE FEEL HE GOT THE SHAFT BRO!

Using your very same logic that means you think that Ronnie Brown should have his DUI sentence maxed out as a car can kill people easier than a gun right? I wonder what the max penalty for DUI in that state is? Hmmmmm


Bobbyd12 , sorry bubba , you're wrong. NYC has Zero tolerence laws against guns. There's mandatory minimums laws against guns in NYC. He could've got 5 -10 years , He got off getting what he got. Ask high profile people like LIL WAYNE , LIL KIM and PI Diidy's freind and Rapper who all went to jail for a year on various gun charges. Sorry Bubba !!


Whats wrong with stating something like you just did as your opinion??

Why jump on me? I get it, you are very pro law and order. I got no problem with you having your opinion...why do I have to be rediculous for saying a guy gets too much time for shooting his own leg? (the actual crime)

Just trying to get a bead on ya mang?


Rob , please spare me . see above post to bobbyd12. Sorry but you know jack shyt about the gun laws in NYC. I just gave bobby a small list of high profile people who went to jail in NYC. SOMEBODY COULD'VE GOT KILLED THAT NIGHT !!! You can spin it anyway you want it but plaxico didn't get that shaft. In fact , he got off because of who he is . If it was you or i , we would've been put away fro 5 years at the least. CASE CLOSED !!!


I would be cool with Gronk in the second round ONLY if we were able to trade back and had extra picks or if we had a SECOND second round pick. Under both circumstances it becomes less of a gamble. I think if Gronk is healthy he's going to become a star!! I REALLY like this guy. Reminds me of a young Gonzalez....now I know there is risk there and I know that is high praise but under the right circumstances I think he's worth the risk.

Bobby, really liked you post at 2:42pm....that made a lot of sense to me.

In regards to WR position, I wonder if they should have replaced Karl Dorrell? He should be very accountable for the lack of progress of these receivers. He should have got in Sprano's ear for week 17 and said "lets activate Turner and have him play some offensive reps."

NJ, ur right about NYC gun laws, which by the way I feel are an infringement on 2nd Amendment Right but that's another arguement...my problem is when Mayor Bloomberg turned this political instead of letting the case take it's course....that's my problem, personally I can care less cause I don't live there and being a Federal LEO, I'll carry my gun anywhere at anytime I want since Federal Law trumps State law so NYC laws mean nothing to me...but I still think Plaxico got screwed


I NEVER said I knew about gun laws in NYC because that was not what were talking about when you butted in.

We were talking about whether what he did fit the crime... NOT FREAKIN NYC!!!

Relax and breathe some.

Who ever said life was fair anyways? Since when don't high profile people get different treatment right and left?

You never answered my DIRECT quiestion about the villian you know as Ronnis Brown "Potentially" killing MNAY inocents with his vehicle? In your world he should not be spared for his heinous act either RIGHT? DIRECT QUESTION RIGHT?


bobbyd12 , it's not an infringment on the 2nd amendment. If you have a gun licence you're fine. Nodody in NYC is against that buy you can carry a loaded weapon to a restaurant/club and have it go off outiing people in danger. He got off !! He's a punk !!


I don't agree with you. I actually think Dorrell should be praised. I think the way Hartline developed was partly due to Dorrell. Dorrell MAY have gotten in Sparano's ear about Turner....we don't know. Those are conversations that happen behind closed doors.

I for one don't believe Sparano when he said he made a mistake with Turner. I think that's just double-talk. I think he had NO intention of playing Turner down the stretch and for some reason has it in for Turner the way he had it in for Wilford. Criticize Wilford all you want but we never got a chance to see what this guy could do. Not saying he was anything great but at least give these guys a look in actual games. Sparano and company get these ideas in their heads and they are very hard to budge and they are doing it again with their lack of desire to go out and get a number one wide receiver.

but you can't *** , sorry.

Back to football, M wondering what is up with the Smiley deal, I don't think they would have announced if something wasn't done...interested to see if we make anymore moves before the draft, Jentry signed with Bengals so that didn't work out

Craig M,

Fair enough.

I am betting against Gronk being anything like Tony Gonzales. That guy is a serious rare bird, sure fire Hall of Famer.

That is what I love about talent evaluation, we all sit back and watch as they play on the field and make us look smart or somewhat less than smart.

Back injuries are just not good business long term so I will say pass on the Gronkster!

Craig M... I will pencil you in as a huge Gronk fan.

Cheers bud,

Rob , butted in ??? Really ?? last i heard it was a open forum on here. you butt in all the time. And this does involve NYC and it's laws because it was in NYC !!!! The pinishment fit the crime because that's the law. He agreed to a plea bargain because he knew he was screwed. Please don't insult my intelligence with comparing brown with what happened to plaixico. Different crimes and different laws.

What's the deal with Ross and Carl Peterson hanging out together at the NFL meetings. Peterson doesn't even have a job in the NFL any more. Gotta tell ya, I'm not a fan of Ross. I think it's only a matter of time before BP decides he's grown tired of the whole scene and moves on. Peterson is his likely replacement. Which means Ireland and company probably only have a couple of years left, at tops......HATE the fact we keep changing regimes every few years. Just not enough continuiy the way the Steelers, Patriots and Colts do things.


bobbyd12 , i agree about smiley. something had to be done already . if not , than that makes me wonder what they're thinking about.

Cheers Rob!! Yes, a risk but worth it under the right circumstances.

Another day almost down and another day closer to the NFL draft.....can't wait!!

Who on the roster will replace Nate Jones as nickle and ST duty?

later fellas


You duck debate with the best of em!!! Good job!

Super post bobby:

NJ, ur right about NYC gun laws, which by the way I feel are an infringement on 2nd Amendment Right but that's another arguement...my problem is when Mayor Bloomberg turned this political instead of letting the case take it's course....that's my problem, personally I can care less cause I don't live there and being a Federal LEO, I'll carry my gun anywhere at anytime I want since Federal Law trumps State law so NYC laws mean nothing to me...but I still think Plaxico got screwed

Posted by: bobbyd12 | March 24, 2010 at 03:33 PM

Notice the last line NJ PHIN.

My problem with you is why do you jump down my back (calling me rediculous) when I hadn't called you out at all??

What's wrong with a simple post by you stating you don't feel the same way? Can't you simply take a different, more relaxed posture when entering the conversation?? If YOU are running around saying "don't insult my intelligence" than why do you try to do that to others (inc myself)?

If you think Plax is a punk, scumbag for shooting himself inside of any NYC establishment than you should remain equally harsh as to all laws. Or now do you think only the gun laws are just and the drinking and driving laws are wrong?

You can't even set your own precident (NYC Gun Laws = Good & Fair to NJ PHIN but DUI Laws/Penalties... you don't know?) so how the heck am I suppose to know what is gonna set your fuse off?

You aught to know by now the people that will argue with you and the people that won't. For someone that claims they don't like to argue you OPEN up bashing my generalized opinion (last I checked we all still get one in this country) that happens to match another person on this blog that you respect in bobby.

So why the attack on me as if I am alone on an island with some radical opinion?

Can you answer that?


Craig M,

I honestly feel that Ross is ok. He has stated that Peterson is an old friend and if YOU owned a team would you tip toe around management to simply not hurt his feelings?

I think BP was probaby on a last stop type of journey in his NFL career due to his age. He has already had the heart attack. When you get up around his age nothing gets easier even if it is sitting in his own darkened room pouring over game films to spot talent. That's not to say he could not get another GM job and work at it as long as he wanted but with the nice weather, no state tax, and many golf courses & race tracks around I don't see BP hitting the bricks for another job.

If BP was too threatened he could walk at anytime and still get paid. His buds/protoges Ireland and Sparano are here and hand picked by him. I doubt he GM's much longer regardless of who hangs around the field or not.

I do think that Ross's posturing reflects that Carl Peterson could be squarely in front of the line to replace BP if he left but, I don't know if Sparano and Ireland would be let go even if that were the case. It would depend on the prgress of the franchise at that point I would imagine.


I'm gonna weigh in on the Plaxico thing. I agree with NJ on this one. Somebody could have been killed by this dope and I'm glad he got time for it.

Rob, to respond to your question comparing Ronnie's situation I think that they are comparable.

Plax got jail time for breaking the no-tolerance gun law but not nearly as much time as he would have gotten if he had killed someone instead of just shooting his own leg.

Ronnie will get punished for driving drunk, but not nearly as much time as he would have if he had killed someone while driving drunk.**

**although by that reckoning Stallworth would have gotten just a slap on the wrist if he hadn't killed a guy**

If I drive drunk and crash my car into my own house I still get punished for drunk driving. Plax still got sentenced within the parameters of the law for carrying a firearm illegally.

I do agree with bobby that the mayor should have stayed out of it and by entering it he DID make it political.


Gotta bail so soon?

It's just this simple... if you don't treat me wrong I won't treat you wrong.

I have disagreements or don't see many things the same way as numerous people on here and it's fine as we agree that we have differing opinions. It is an "Open Forum" as you called it yourself and yet there you are calling me rediculous for a NON rediculous opinion. The fact that your own friend bobby sees it the same way I do should tip you off that I am not alone in my thought.

You argue/debate so civil with bobby "sorry bubba but I am gonna have to disagree" even though bobby and I share the EXACT same opinion on this particular topic you have to jump all over me with the "You are rediculous for having my own thoughts crap"

All I am asking for is some fairness on your part dude... Take a step back and reread the posts starting with your first one to me and then see if we switched places in the posts if YOU wouldn't be just as fired up??


Thats what I'm saying, bobbyd12. If (GRONK) is there we get him.


Hey thanks for weighing in...

You did it tastefully and by making your own points. A+ on that thesis bro.

My point/pickle/predicament with NJ PHIN has NOTHING to do with debating NYC laws and whether or not it can affect others in a negative manner to carry a fiream illegaly.

It has EVERYTHING to do with how you approach me and my opinion. If I am way off base than list your reasons and we can agree to disagree or change our minds or whatever. If I don't disrespect you why would you be compelled to call me "rediculous". Especially on such a vague point as penalty fitting a crime.

When I used to write citations for the City of San Diego it was always the person's attitude first and foremost that determined if I could even begin to go down the "just a warning" path.

Welcome to Wed early eve chat CavKong!


Ok guys, Armando wrote an article in the Herald about Jason Taylor... He is saying the Fins won't call him back and are treating him badly...I'm always the evil one in this arguement because I don't think he should be re-signed, and if it wasn't for his name most fans wouldn't want a 30+ yr old OLB who just had shoulder surgery...What about Jason Taylor???

Healthy debate is fine but I freakin hate the lamer "call u out" posts.

K, I'm back into football chat mode...

Anyone wanna chat about Fin related items?

No arguement From me. Regarding J.T. he simply has to go.

Cheers Rob. This is the mid-lunch chat for me. And lunch is almost over which is why I normally don't get a chance to talk with you guys too much. It sucks to start or get involved in an actual intelligent deabte/conversation and have to abrubtly leave due to pesky things like work and family.

I'm always reading though. The occasional weigh in, diatribe or hyperbole laced post is normally the best I can manage.

Less than a month till the draft!!! :)

Here's a waste of a human athlete, "Dwight Gooden arrested for driving under the influence of drugs, endangering a minor, leaving the scene of an accident" Mets hired him this year and were inducting him into the Mets Hall of Fame later this year...what a joke

Ughhh.. The jets are gonna be on this season of HBO's Hard Knocks.. I think just vomited it in mouth!


There's 2 reasons why i'd like Taylor back...


2)I'd like him to finish his career in Miami

But,if alot of us want Taylor to be productive on the field,we'll all be somewhat disappointed

Check one:

( ) Gun owner

( ) Victim

Got it?

Cocoajoe LOL we down here in Fla definitley have a different outlook on guns then those in the Northeast...We need ONE Federal Gun Law, enough of this Mish mash of state laws, A Florida Concealed Weapons Permit is good in 32 states, it should be good in 50, one license, 50 states Period


While I can see why you would not want another year older OLB JT back I say you get the "stink eye" put on your posts simply due mostly to fan loyalty.

Loyalty in pro sports is very ferocious in fans unless they are merely casual or less. You can get into a full on pier 6 brawl if you talk smack about a fan (especially with the magic of canned courage). I had the waitress at a local sports bar give me a free appetizer as I was gonna go smash a lamo Jets fan running off at the mouth during a Jet victory.

Recognizing that you have a special player that is still crawling ever further up the sack list behind Reggie White, that you have followed for an entire career is hard to part with for many (inc myself).

I know it is a business first and foremost, that goes without saying. Seeing JT play through pain, play out of position and play for a pauper's salary (Vet OLB terms anyways) is HIGHLY commendable. It just rarely gets done in sports to that degree. He could have played for a rival for more money but he came back to SoFl to his team and fans. He and Zack are class acts and I hope the new regime finds their versions of these guys asap!

I still think there may be an outside shot he plays with the Fins but I feel the percentage chance grows ever smaller. If they draft OLB in the draft I think they end up winging it minus JP and JT and go with Crowder, Dansby and the Youth movement.

I don't see you as the villain in not wanting JT back just a more serious, hard core, shrewd business man.

Heck, J. Montana, R. Lott, L.T., R. Woodson (RB version) were all mega stars and they ended up on different teams in the end... it happens.



Good stuff bro...enjoy your lunch. Duty calls ya, I get that.

I second your notion...Come on draft!



Is that gonna be the show that they bounce boards off Rex's new found six pack abs from the lap band surgery?



Rob in OC, I think we see the Fins tipping their hand here a little by showing little interest in JT...makes me believe like you they will draft an LB very high and cut the last ties to the past...I understand loyalty and JT was loyal and a great Dolphin....there just comes a point where keeping a player too long starts to stunt development...

CoCo (X)GUN OWNER, (X) Victim........ I think the gun laws are to lax in the city so great they named it twice . Trust me there's still plenty of scum bags still patrolling the city, Let me ask every one this "Q" Why would you have to have a concealed (Hidden)Weapon to go to the store???? Chances are good A)your up to no good. B)your a law enforcement C) YOUR UP TO NO GOOD........IMHO all hand guns should be banned, and don't give me that b.s "Oh my hand guns for hunting"...

We made the playoffs with an 11-5 record without Jason Taylor - just saying.....

Bobby, Dwight Gooden is a huge waste...

Mark, Two very good reasons to make a case for bringing JT back one last year.

I would add leadership is another...that guy NEVER took a loss lying down...did you see how he tore into Davis and Smith during the game last year?

JT was suppose to simply be depth on the roster behind Roth and others anyways. Lucky for the Trifecta they brought him back as he sucked it up and played through stuff.

He does not bring to the table what he used to bring but seeing as how he played out of position and too many snaps he more than held up his end of the contract.

If Taylor is like JP and feels he can't be a rotation guy then he won't have a chance at coming back...period. JP couldn't get that through his head and got the boot.


And if you do own a handgun, it should not leave your Home...."VOTE DODSWORTH/MENACE 2016"


Your point is well taken with the stunting of the growth of other players.

I certainly hope they end up with someone besides Anderson they plan on watering and nuturing. Have a new LB grow from the lil "acorn" (shout J.I.) to a mighty oak as I don't think Anderson will ever be a scary defender.


Ohh Cuban, we have two different law enforcement opinions here, this should be good...if I were a citizen and am going down to the local store I would certainly worry about some skumbag coming in and taking me out so there are no witnesseses....Sorry, but I want a fighting chance to live, not just give it up cause the state says mr. good citizen can't have a gun but the criminals can, u know LEO is mostly a reactive force, we go in AFTER a bad thing happened...Case in point, West Palm Beach Fl...guy goes into a Wendys, opens fire and starts killing people, good citizen with CWP takes bad man out, lots of lives saved...if it was up to me people should be able to carry OPEN, just like Texas, make people think twice about robbing

Whats up guys? I have been flip flopping back and forth on this one for a while. I wanted Rolando McClain then Brandon Graham then Dan Williams and even thought about Earl Thomas and Sergio Kindle. I have officially settled.

I want Brandon Graham. I'm not being biased becasue I am a Michigan fan either. He is a productive player and plays with passion. He can set the edge and get after the passer. Sure, he is 6'1 263 but F that. He is a player and that is who I want in round 1. any thoughts or your own pick in round 1?


I like Graham a lot. My thoughts on round one are down to three guys. Dan Williams, Sean Weatherspoon, and Earl Thomas.

Andy NJ, Bootang25, that means the pick will be Dez Bryant!!! LOL

sup cm,

Welcome aboard the gun toting NFL blog extrordinare!! ;0)

Where do you stand on the whole if "If guns were outlawed, only outlaws would have guns." debate?

It stands to reason all(most all) the law abiding people would hand in or get rid of their guns... What would the criminal element do? Wouldn't they, by definition, be more empowered as they know there are a lot less people that can match firepower with them besides police?

Very much a casual question as I am not firmly on either side of this debate.


No thank you with banning guns, see what happened in Iran, China citizens get run over by their government with total immunity...don't think it can't happen here either!!

By the way, Gilbert Arenas pulled a gun on his teammate in the locker room and will get MAX 3 months, with credit n overpopulation he won't do 20 days if that...One law

bobby12, I'm a native and to me, it's real simple. Don't depend on ANYONE to protect you or your family.

Cuban, what's the response time for a 911 call in your area?


I know I have listed a few names that I would be pissed about. I don't think I'd be mad if the pick was Dez Bryant. As much as I think he has really showed a lack of dedication, his skill set is undeniable. If the Trifecta make the pick (which I highly, highly doubt) I will put faith in they looked at every possible thing and decided he was worth it.


I honestly think that the plan is to play Dansby as a OLB. Just cant imagine offering him the money he's getting to play in the middle.

I'm guessing Dansby will play OLB,leaving us to draft......

Rolando McClain

Miami will draft Taylor Mays (USC) with there first round pick. Why? because Bill likes big physical players and Bell is not getting any younger. Miami will then trade Smiley & Ginn to the Raiders for their 2nd round pick. Remember Al likes fast recievers and they need a starting gaurd. Miami will then pick Golden Tate with that 2nd round pick. With Miami own 2nd round pick they will then select the best value player at either OLB or NT. Watch and see.

Mark, I'm not so sure ur wrong, It just might be McClain if in fact that is the Fins plan to move Dansby out...that may also explain lack of interest in JT...I have a feeling this is gonna be a VERY interesting draft and I look forward to it

Andy NJ,

Right on brother!!! If they go DEF, I want Brandon Graham for sure.

Crazy production and that MOTOR!!!!

You hardly see so much evidence of "high motor" again and again and again as you do when watching him play. He plays with a chip on his shoulder and you can tell it REALLY matter to him to get the OFF guy down.

Many clips I see him 20-30 yards dwn field and sometimes from the opposite field.

That is impossible to bottle and sell. Tackling stems from Desire first and foremost with technique and physical skills second.

He may be a tad short but what he lacks in that department he makes up for with heart. The similar passion to get to the ballcarrier that Zack and Taylor possess(ed).

I am with you on the Off players aren't going to get outside of BG like the turnstlyes the Fins offered last year.

I have seen him mock'd at 16, 18, and some back near the to around Raven and Cardinal area at 25,26. Sometimes if you are sold on a particular guy's talent, production, intangibles and passion you may have to value him higher than the "the NON Vote Casting" world does.


Bobby, As you know in a perfect world only the good guys would carry guns,unfortunately we dont live there,The NYC gun laws are so tough(You even have to have a permit to have a gun in your home) and every one knows if your caught with a gun it's off to prison for 5 years manditory, and thats for a unloaded gun, a loaded gun doubles your time(Even if you have a spotless record) I might be a little prejudiced on this subject being hit in the stomach that sidelined me for 4 months(and by the way the 18 year old kid was convicted of attempted murder on a law enforcement officer, along with having a concealed weapon,a weapon during the course of a felony,Yadayadayada, Sentenced to 45 years) If guns werent so easily accessible this guy might not be spending the next half century locked up at our expense and I'd still have half my intestines.....

NFLBS, and I'll puke all over the Draft Party Floor, Mays has dropped like a rock on most boards, well deserved by the way, and we don't need another MIDGET wide receiver..Sorry but I don't buy either

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