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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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Dont get me wrong, Every state should set there own laws, What might be ok in Boise Idaho just wont fly in NYC,Nobody in that city(NYC) should be allowed to carry Handgun..... IMO...

Rob OC I with you the production and the motor he has is incredible. I know Parcells likes them big. But bigger doesn't mean better in many cases. I fear that the pick could be Jason Pierre Paul if he is there though. I don't know anything about him other then he is a one year wonder with averge production.

Cuban, sorry u took the shot bro and I see ur point of view...Unfortunately even... by restricting guns more then likely that punk still would have been able to get one...I feel for u but it wasn't a law abiding citizen that capped you...45 years, that's great, down in Fla if u pull a gun to commit a crime, mandatory 10 years, you pull the trigger mandatory 20, hurt someone Mandatory life...if the laws on the books were enforced and these Pansy judges were held accountable, this discussion would not be happening


Awhile ago,i thought it would be Kindle but the more i think about it,i really think it's gonna be McClain.

McClain is exactly what Parcells likes in a Linebacker. Tall,strong,great work ethic and very productive. With McClain and Crowder in the middle and Wake and Dansby on the outside,we could have a rather impressive group of Linebackers :)


OLB/DE Brandon Graham was 268 lbs at the combine just so you know.

For him, that extra 5 lbs of thickness is paramount. He was heavier than Morgan and most all top OLB prospects except JPP and he weighed just 2 more pounds at 270lbs.

Some say Brandon Graham is not athletic but his game exploits say otherwise. Here is a little clip of him working out for the combine:


Not only is he really strong but you can tell he doesn't even have killer "Pro" diet yet.

His work on the bags as well as catching the ball looks very fluid to me and makes the catch look pretty natural both sides.

He will be a stud!


Bootang I see you are still flopping around with who you want. I still won't pout if they go Dan Williams either. But I am set with Brandon Graham being the guy I want.

By the way, Miami Dolphins bought in Mike Lupati under the radar last week according to Barry Jackson of the Herald

I did not say they would draft Mays in the 12 slot. Miami will trade down and then pick him up at the right spot. Tate will be drafted because of his YAC yards and he will also be able to return punts and kickoffs from the start.

bobbyd, lol your probably right. I like Bryant he is an aswesome player. I hate his maturity though. Anyone who hangs with Deion and Pac Man has to be an a**


There is a difference between my favorite player in the whole draft, Spoon, and the player I most want. If that makes any sense. The 3 guys I listed are the 3 I believe are the guys who fit what we do best. If I had to rank them in order of how I wanted them, it would be 1. Earl Thomas 2. Dan Williams 3. Sean Weatherspoon. Spoon is unrealistic for us at 12, but he is everything you want in a football player, period.

Fins also bought in Cuse's Mike Williams, LSU Brandon LaFell and Louisville Scott Long, all later predicted WR draft picks, according to Jackson

Bobby, True.......He had a rap sheet a mile long, How this guy was out on parole was incredible, But most of his crimes happened be fore his 18th birthday, and was tried mostly as a juvenile(Assault, concealed weapon(Knife) vandalism,drug possession,on and on and on... Its incredible...I was POed


Wouldnt that be a shocker if it were Mike I. G from Idaho? Sparano is ex O-Line guy and I am sure he gets input of some manner. Hard to see it at 12 but, you never know what your gonna get on "the flop".

We won't tell CM the Fin's brought in Vandal!!


Rob OC yeah his play says other wise is right! To me he biggest knock would be Graham in coverage but he is definitely athletic enough to drop in zone and he is a very good tackler to play the flats.

I appreciate all the feed back and the you tube highlight.

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

Posted by: cocoajoe | March 24, 2010 at 05:35 PM

COCO, Depends on how cloose the call is to the donut shop......

NFLBS, all this talk of trading down is going to be very hard to do and I'm gonna predict we won't be able to do it...secondly, All the WR Dolphins have bought in are tall guys who can go up and get the ball...Tate is 5:10 we have Bess, Camarillo and Hartline, the Phins won't take Tate

Bootang do you think Spoon can play outside? I think he can play inside in a 3-4 and that's covered with Dansby signing.

Bootang I am a fan of Spoon too. If Miami traded back to around 20 and he was there I would take him. He is a tackling machine and that Miami couldn't tackle or cover anyone last year. He also has playmaking ability. He had 2 td's in his college career I think.


If you want YAC wouldn't either RB Spiller or RB Best be better than Golden Tate for that purpose? RB's typically get plugged in faster than WR's.

They were both dynamic return men in their own right and faster?

Your thoughts?



I think if Spoon or McClain are the pick, Dansby goes outside. I think Spoon can play anywhere, but in a 3-4, he has to be inside to most effective. Really to me, he is a smaller, more athletic version of Dansby. Versatile, good in coverage, vocal leader.

Bobbyd we also have turner though and he is going to be a star u say lol jk. Seriously though sparano sounds like a moron sometimes. And giving a contract to a so so player right after being suspended for half the year, that is the definition of a mixed message. Btw no we won't take Tate, but we won't take spoon either, and I'm glad on both.

I don't think Williams is going to be the force people think he is. Actually I'm pretty sure I'm not going to be too upset with who we pick at 12, but unless it's a playmaker, I won't be too excited either. Probably more disappointed than excited.


I am very sorry that the bad element punk took out some of your intestines. Sure glad you can be here to chat Fin junk wit us bud.

I tend to agree with Bobby that even when there are big penalties in place for using guns at all... the bad guys will be packing as jail time and rules just don't seem to phase most of em imho.

In slightly more footballish chat "I hope we rip through the Jets 2 x in 2010 like A.P. bullets would cottage cheese!"


Cuban, u should be POed, this isn't the 50s anymore, most bad juveniles don't get magically better with time

Dansby isn't going outside. No way no how. We need a presence in the middle, like in the old days, and crowder has some of the lowest totals for the inside leader of any team. Dansby is here to fix that. Hopefully crowder will be a better complimentary player.

I think Dansby can play outside too but I believe he isn't playing anywhere other then inside. Spoon reminds me of a Jerod Mayo type of player. I love his leadership too. Players seem to gravitate toward him. He is a good leader for a young college player.

Inismounts, listen, my only point with Turner is we need to see if he develops into a player, we can't call him a bust after one year...6:5 223 and Pete Carroll threw some kudos his way today, time will tell, I'm just totally befuddled with which way we are going in this draft...but I'm convinced we will take a receiver in 2 or 4


That is a REALLY interesting point you made in your post at 5:35pm. I never thought bout that before. To pay a guy NINE million dollars to play ILB is kind of crazy, so maybe the plan is to play him outside, where he could be expected to do more. So, I agree with you....while most of us have conceded that McClain won't be the pick at 12, it all changes if Dansby is playing OLB. I think Dansby might be a better player inside, but I sure like our linebackers if it's Dansby, McClain, Crowder and whoever (likely Wake).

Andy NJ,

I believe 'Spoon can play inside or outside. He says he likes it inside but, he may get drafted to play outside with a team at first. With his personality he seems like he would do what most coaches ask of him as long as it gets him playing time.

The flexiblility he offers will make him into a Dansby type when he fills out more and grows up.


In slightly more footballish chat "I hope we rip through the Jets 2 x in 2010 like A.P. bullets would cottage cheese!"


Posted by: Rob in OC | March 24, 2010 at 06:12 PM

Agree rob, And what's with HBO doing the jets on hard knocks, Just goes to show that Roger Goddall wants to replace the Pats as the flagship team of the NFL and is starting down the path of darkness by aligning himself with that fat pig Rex(Jabba the coach)Ryan....

Spiller will not be around in the 2nd round. If he is then Miami should draft him. I also know that Tony personally talked to Tate. Tate was explosive for ND making their QB look great. Miami wants YAC yards and I believe Tate will bring that to the table. As for what I think, Miami needs defence first and a running back in the latter rounds.

Interesting point from Spranos conference is they are still looking at a veteran FA to fill in safety spot...I wish they would

Know what I want, to wake up tommorrow and it to be April 22nd, I hope we are not all disappointed, that would be a bad thing

Rob in OC, I'm with you. Dansby has great versatility. I think they might move him outside on certain plays to throw a different look. Mike Nolan lined up DJ Williams all over in Denver. Spoon has that type of versatility too. I think he is most effective playing inside in 3-4 though. He would be a tackling machine and he would make plays. He wouldn't be a stiff-O like Crowder and Akin were last year.

Woah let me slow down I just said I want Graham lol. I lik Spoon 2nd as far as LBs go. I still get a feeling about Kindle being the pick. Why? I don't know just do. I'm not saying I love his game but I do think he has good qualities but don't want him over Graham, Dan William or Spoon


I've been saying on here for awhile that I think Tate would be a great addition to the Phins. I don't care that's he's not big. I don't think either Camarillo or Bess bring all that much to the table. Love Camarillo to death but at some point it has to be about production and he's somewhat limited in what he can do. I'm not knocking him...i'm just saying I think Hartline brings a lot of the same qualities and he's younger with less wear.

Cuban, sorry about you taking some lead. Won't argue about guns....might as well be politics. Which unfortunately it is.

Donut shop was funny but like anything funny, it has to have an element of truth in it. Or it wouldn't be funny.

Andy NJ,

No problem on the info/ workout vid bud. One of the things I love is his attitude. He says "DE rush end OR OLB...I'm going to be good at both of them." He is a gamer. Nolan could do wonders with that position flexibility as some of his fronts look more 4-3-ish.

BG's played LB since he was 7 years old and made the switch to DE at Michigan When I see him move in game and in that video he looks fluid, fast and natural in his movements. He is outstanding at tracking players in space. He rarely takes a bad angle and is aware of where the ball is on most every play. To lead the nation in Tackles for Loss you have to have keen intincts and he has them.

Playing in space would be his biggest knock but, the JPP 1 year of DE at South FL with less production would scare me much more.


Craig M, I'm big on Hartline. He had less then stellar QB play with Henne learning on the job last year. Hartline had 500 plus years, averaged 16 a catch, 3 tds, and he plays with effort out there. I expect big things from Hartline next season and in the future.

Camarillo needs to be traded.
I've been saying that for months.

Cuban, the safest place in Miami Airport is La Carreta and Dunkin Donuts, always be at least a gun n a badge there 24/7 LOL


Sorry man, we just don't see eye to eye on who we want picked at 12. I think any of the guys you mentioned (Spoon, Williams or Graham) would be reaches at 12. I don't think ANY of these guys would be value picks at 12. And you mention Kindle. I feel the same way about him.

For the record, I'm hoping they are looking at Morgan, McCLain or dare I say it.....Dez Bryant.

camarillo doesnt have trade value, hes a solid wr for us. this jason taylor thing is sad, sign the guy for the league min!!!! he can still help

Rob in OC, you're dead on accurate man. Like I said I am a Michigan fan and watched him play the last 2 years and the one thing that stands out about him if his overall productivity isn't enough is his instincts bro. You are right on if leading college football in tackles for loss not to mention getting double digit sacks back to back years on a horrible Michigan defense isn't enough. What is?

Andy we agree on Hartline. For all the criticism that the trifecta takes on here how about some cudo for drafting Hartline. Here's a guy who works hard, keeps his mouth shut and just proves people wrong. He has good hands, round good routes and seems like a good team mate. Not sure he's ever going to be more than a number two receiver but I see him as a poor man's Wes Welker some day.

Been on this blog since around December guys, and have to say today has probably been the best day yet. Lots of names have been discussed, everyone has lots of guys to look at. Open minds. Very little insulting, this is when it's fun to discuss football. As Rob would say, Cheers.

Craig M, point taken. I could see some saying that Graham and Spoon might not be considered what the so called "experts value charts" but this regime has said it before. The player they draft might not be the best player but is the best fit in Miami.

Look at last years draft they reached on 4 picks.

Pat White - because of what they thought would translate into Wildcat ability although they denied it and said he was going to be a QB first.

Patrick Turner - who had a 5th roudn grade and couldn't get on the field.

Hartline - who was considered a 5th maybe 6th rounder.

Nalbone - who could of gone undrafted.

To move Turner up the depth chart one of the current wr's has to go.
It's got to be Camarillo.

yeah white was an awful pick no matter how u spin it

Pat White outrushed CJ Spiller by 1,000 yards AND outpassed Tony Pike by 1,000 yards.
Pat White's not the dead weight on the roster.


Your point is well made. Not saying I don't like any of those guys or would be disappointed if they ended up with one of them, just hoping they get value for their picks.

Andy NJ, I just don't see Graham, short arms, hasn't had to cover, I know he feels he can cover passing but saying it and doing it are two different things...Graham will be a very good player in the 4-3 but would be too much of an iffy pick for the 3-4..that's why he will fall to late round one

those are college stats, mean nothing in the nfl.


LOL @ Jabba the coach!

Hard Knocks must be slumming it.



I'm with you on your last two posts. I CANNOT for the life of me figure out why everyone on here writes off Pat White. It's just plain ignorance. Most rookie QB's don't even see the field and this guy gets ripped because he's a specialist. He will be a very effective player once he gets this offence and the speed of the game better under control.

Those of you who continue to rip this guy didn't watch this kid play in College. He has great athleticism.


Where does Tate fit into your draft plans...or does he?


Craig M, I like him for all the same reasons. Except not a poor man's Wes Welker. Harline is tall and lanky ad takes long strides but he runs good routes and fights for the ball in traffic like the Steelers game. Welker is small and quick and is great at what he does. I see Hartline at best a Derrick Mason/Keenan McCardell type. Not syaing he will have their careers but a constant over achiever who works hard at his craft. He is capable of being a good 850-1000 yard WR. That's the best case scenario with him. At worst a good steady player who can get 500-750 yards.

Go ahead fellas pile on lol. Im sure you guys don't share my upside or maybe even at worst opinion of him but he is the offensive player who I expect to see take the most strides in year 2. On defense maybe hopeful thinking but if the ability is there Mike Nolan will get it out of him and that's Cam Wake.

Like it or not Pat White is gonna be moved into the offense this year, about 12 plays a game.

Anyone who wasn't pleased with Brian Hartline as a rookie is an idiot. I'm not one for name calling, but if you don't like Hartline, you shouldn't even try to intelligently talk football.

PriceMaster, I hope he does find a way onto the field he was Miami's first pick in round 2. I'm not 100% sold on Henne yet. I'm not sure any Miami fans are but White isn't the same caliber of arm as Henne. The thing with Henne ever since he was at Michigan is he can make all the throws he was always good in clutch situations and seems to get into a good rhthym when playing behind. The two things I always drove me insane about his game are his bad decisions and holding onto the ball for to long and lastly his inconsistency. One week he looked like the second coming at Michigan and next just another strong armed QB who can't put it all together.


I agree with your comments and your point about him being the guy who should progress the most on the offence this year. Only other guys I expect to progress similar would be Henne and I do expect to see more from White this year too....go ahead and pile on guys, don't care.

And Andy....I don't think your numbers are crazy at all.....

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