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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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Bootang,

Cheers bro! Bottoms up on whatever you're drinkin.

The free exchange of players, ideas, draft strats, best guesses is killer when the blog gets singing like that.

Good call.

Lol sorry don't know how I went into my rant about Pat White and Henne above. I went completely off topic but that's my feeling on Miami's QB situation.

There needs to be some picking it up by more then just the players...there was too many instances of poor coaching choices last year...Sprano with his timeouts and Henning with his timing on using the Wildcat...Sticking it down the throat of SD that first drive then having Ricky throw the ball for a pick is one example...and we put Henne in too many 3rd and longs using the Cat...Coaching needs improvement

Are you guys hearing the rumour of McNabb to St Louis for a second and their your safety OJ? That would be an awesome trade for Philly....

Have NO idea if there is any truth to it or not but boy what a nice move that would be for Philly. I think it's time for Kolb to step up with Vick sharing some time.

boobyd I hear you on your point about Graham and the short arms but personally I am not a fan of measurables at all. I think it is the most over rated stat when you are talking about a played who flat out can just play. I mean to an exent that is. Offensive Tackles and QB are the only 2 positions I look at measurables outside of that if a guy can play he can play. We see it all the time, Zach Thomas, Jason Taylor, London Fletcher, Darryl Green, Tedi Bruschi, the list goes on and on.

Bobby,

I agree. I thought there were times last season when the coaching was somewhat questionable. It's like they had too much on their plate and didn't know what to do with their pieces. I think the coaches got a free pass last year. I thought there were games they were out-coached and didnt use their pieces properly. Hopefully they are better prepared this year.

Craig,

If I was PHI, I'd probably do the deal for #33 alone, let alone with Atogwe involved. The rumor can't be true, OJ is too good to add in that trade. That would be the equivalent of us trading away Smith or Davis. If it is true, it really makes you wonder in regards to the health of OJ, they may be hiding something.

Any thoughts on a late round pickup of Jordan Shipley? What round is he projected in?

TIME OF THE ESANCE , TO BE OR NOT TO BE .

ROB. GOOD CALL ON BOOTANG .

That's what I'm thinking too, Bootang. I find it odd that there hasn't been any buzz around this guy. I know the Rams can match any offer he receives but I haven't heard of any teams talking to him. Makes me think his injury must be more serious than we know.

BobbyD you are right it was a collective 7-9 team. Like Parcells once said "you are what you are". But absolutely there were plenty of bad decisions and blame to be shared amongst coaches. The Ricky throw against Buffalo was the worst call of the season to me in any game I watched and I have Sunday Ticket lol. Sparano is good I like him but he did get overwhelmed at times last year. The best offseason move maybe even more so then Dansby or at least is 1a and 1b on the list is Mike Nolan. I think he will bring his attacking style D and won't play that vanilla bull crap Pasqualoni played.

Andy NJ, let's throw the measurables out on Graham, which I'll give you...the bigger concern to me becomes can he play in the 3-4??? Can he drop back?? Like I said, I believe Graham will be a good player in his natural defense, which is a 4-3...not so sure u put him in the 3-4 and hope he can learn, to me that becomes a project or stretch and u don't grab a project or stretch with ur first pick IMO

WE SHOULD GO OUT AND GET THE BEST WR IN THE DRAFT .TED GINN WILL BE A GOOD MENTOR FOR HIM .

Andy - agreed on Hartine but for those saying he is our number 1: first of all that is a frightening thought. Second, it's probably true. And that, gentlemen, is sad. But the truth is, even if they were inclined to go after a number one - which they are not - who would they get? A rookie? 2 - 3 years. A vet? T.O. and Marshall are the only ones who come to mind who would add anything and neither are in this team's future. So, where will they get instant improvement? TE. TEs can be NFL ready out of the draft far more easily and often than a WR.

Bobby - For the reason above, I think the 2nd Rd pick is a TE not a WR. IF they pick a WR it won't be until the late rounds - another useless pick, probability-wise.

Pricemaster & Craig - I agree that White was a great player in college. But, there are several reasons why he won't or at least, shouldn't, be on our offensive field. If you don't see White as a Slash kind of player, just how do you see him getting 12 plays a game? As an option QB? I can't see them going back to that abject failure of an offense this year. Remember, he takes up an important roster spot. Every spot should produce. I agree that he will be on this team this year, but in what capacity? I really don't think there is a position for him, if not as a Slash, but they will keep him because of "potential." Please don't say as a Wildcat QB because Ronnie runs that - White did not and doesn't have the size to do it. Thigpen, on the other hand... Please tell me how you envision White being used?

There is no clear winner at #12 in this draft. Everyone available has a knock or their position is not one that warrants a pick that high. A trade out of the 12 spot is the best scenario but only likely with a couple of teams, on the surface of it. So that means overpaying for a player with questions or a position that doesn't warrant the money. My bet is still with Dan Williams who falls into the second category more than the first. I'd rather pay too much for a guy who has fewer questions but whose position doesn't warrant the cash.

GOOD POST JIMMY

Craig M, and the Rams are denying they have ANY interest in McNabb...LOL no one knows gotta love the NFL

BOBBD12, HOW ARE YOUR BOYS ? DID YOU HAVE DINNER YET ?

BobbyD, point well taken. It is a transition to play 3-4 moving from 4-3. Do I think he can play 3-4 OLB? Yes I do. Do I know that for sure? No. As far as the issue of him dropping into coverage. I think he is fluid enough in coverage to fall back and play zone and and cover the flats. Can he man up on an elite tight end? Not a chance but what top 3-4 DE can? Demarcus Ware, James Harrison, Dumervil? They all play a floating style pass D and cover the flats and can turn and react behind their zone. I think Graham is capable but I understand your concerns.

I'm fine ALoco and I had spaghetti and turkey meatballs for dinner...that's the truth..I'm outta here though, nothing to do with u ALoco, I wanna watch some of the NIT and get ready for work tommorrow...have a great nite all

ANDY NJ, WHAT DO YOU THINK THE DOLPHINS RECORD NEXT YEAR IF THEY DRAFT ALL THE PLAYERS YOU WANT THEM TO DRAFT ?

Andy NJ,

It's like we were looking through the same glasses at BG. You will get besieged for picking him but just know he is a hell of a choice mang!

I am so shocked when I hear someone say that BG can't do anything he did in college in the NFL because he is 1.5 inches shorter than so and so OLB prospect. When I see that I think leverage advantage in getting underneath OL's to lift them as he comes hot around the corner.

Some of those same people that knock BG due to height won't mind taking WR Golden Tate?

They both have a similar knock but Tate is 5'10 1/4 199lbs 4.42 in the 40 at the combine and a guy like Bey Bey is 6'3 1/4 224lbs and suppose to be able to run around 4.5 in the 40. Hopefully he can run to prove it. In some of his clips he is definitely scooting along. That is a 5 INCH HEIGHT advantage!!! Substancial. With comparing him to Dez it's 3 3/4 INCH HEIGHT advantage.

Granted it's a apples to oranges comparison but it is just odd to see the height thing not bother someone across the board.

Allen who frequents the board is a guy I would say is very height/length conscious. He prefers that type of player across the board which makes more sense to me.

Cheers,

BOBBY12 ...IS OUT .I AM THINKING TO LEAVE BUT I WILL WAIT UNTIL I HEAR FROM MY DEAR FRIEND THE CUBAN .

SOILED IN LOVE AND SOILED WILL BE .
TO BE IN LOVE
IT'S LIKE A DREAM
I DON'T WANT TO WAKE UP
EVER.

PM and Andy NJ,

I agree Pat White will get more opportunity this year. I sure hope the games slows down for him as when you watch him play in college he has some terrific skills if he can unleash 'em in the NFL properly.

Andy,

I think the are more than a ton of Fin Fans that would like to see what Nolan can do with Cam Wake. I would love to see him leave a lot of grasping OT's in his...wait for it... Wake!

Cheers,

ALoco, Who knows what their record will be dude. I like Brandon Graham and think with the signing of Dansby and a solid player like Crowder inside will be a good 1-2 punch inside. Adding Graham is one more piece to the puzzle of 3-4 LBs. It remains to be seen if Wake is a capable starter which I think he will be this year. But to answer your question I have no idea what the record will be I just am saying I think its a good move.

I LIKE BRANDON GRAHAM A LOT ,I WONDER ABOUT MR CROWDER BUT W/WAKE IN THE LINE UP ,THAT WILL ADD ACTION AND HAVOC .

Rob, haha very clever. Yes I saw times last year where Wake can flat out bring it like forcing that Brady int to seal the game was all him dude. Then there were ugly moments like getting juked by the Jets punter. He needs to find his way still in standing up playing 3-4 OLB as opposed to with his hand down and getting up field. He has much to learn but has a great teacher in Mike Nolan.

White's not gonna play QB as long as we have 3 other QB's.
He'll get the ball pitched to him by Henne and he'll either run it or pass it.
Give Pat White `12 plays a game he'll give you 150 yards.

bobby,

Who is your top 3 OLB prospects regardless of the position they played in college?

PRICEMASTER, I THINK YOU ARE UP TO SOME THING GREAT ,USING WHITE THE RIGHT WAY .

ROB, DO YOU BELIEVE IN LOVE FROM FIRST SIGHT ?

Thanks ALoco,

How you doin today mang? Welcome to the Fins chat.

Cheers,

JStew,

I would say Jordan Shipley goes somewhere from 4rth to 5th round area.

Cheers,

ROB, IN LIFE WE ALL HERE AND SOME YEARS LATER WE ARE GONE ,IS THAT GOOD THING OR BAD ?

http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/03/24/1545230/miami-dolphins-recent-indifference.html

WHY ARE WE DOING THIS TO JT? WE NEED JT FOR HIS LEADERSHIP. AM I WRONG AT THINKING THIS?

TALKING OF JT, HE SHOULD BE RETIRED BY NOW AND SAVE US THE SUFFERING .

ALoco, Do you really mean that?

IF THAT OFFENDS YOU IT'S A NO AND IF YOU WANT MY REAL THINKING IT'S YEAS ,,,,,,,,,,WE GOT TO MOVE ON ......WHAT LEADERSHIP ?

Has anyone ever read or hear one bad thing about the Dolphins organization come out of JT's month?

What leadership? Okay now I know your joking.

ALoco,

Havoc and Chaos are two good words to associate with Cam Wake.

He can bring it but, like Andy NJ has pointed out I hope he can learn to flatten out and squeeze run plays to his side much better.

That punter giving him a juke was silly and I couldn't belief an athlete of his caliber was not able to smash the green stuffing outta the Jet's punter.

Just like it was crazy watching Feely their K (and our ex-kicker) come flying down and make a couple of big hits on Ginn! Insane...luckily Ginn had the last laugh...TWICE!!!

Hahaha, Jet's get the aqua and orange plastic shank and of course we break it off and watch them writhe in the pathetic puddle of loss goo!

Good thing we swept them.

Cheers,

PriceMaster,

I sure as heck hope that P. White can carve out a niche. He may never live up to his college exploits but if he could become a productive contributor I think many would warm to him that currently can't stand him.

Cheers,

We need to find 3 defensive starters in this draft: 2 OLB's + 1 FS.
The FS has got to be first.

If the Titans had drafted Pat White and we had drafted Chris Johnson then White would have won the rushing title and Johnson would have had 21 carries for 81 yards.

ALoco,

Love at first sight? I suppose anything is possible.

We are here and then we are gone... just cycle of life I reckon.

Cheers,

New blog up peeps!

ROB,

LOVE FROM THE FIRST SIGHT , NOT W/TODAY'S WOMEN WHER HSN AND QVC RULE BUT WE CAN SAY FIRST SEX FROM THE FIRST SIGHT .

WAKE IS THE MAN THIS SEASON COMING .

I just wonder why we don't hear from Jason Ferguson himself on the steroid use. Was it blatant or did he use some little known inhaler or eat poppy seeds. Those tests can be false positive and the ruling can be challenged, but not a word from him.

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