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Another PR black eye on the horizon? Maybe

It's been a long offseason for the Dolphins, one filled with more perceived flubs and miscues than last year's four-turnover afternoon at Buffalo.

Trying to be a postive, glass-half-full person, I guess I can look past the fumbled termination of Joey Porter's contract, which had other teams and agents snickering because it was proof someone on the Dolphins simply cannot do math.

Then there was the poorly strategized manner in which the Jason Taylor situation was handled and the failure to celebrate a free agency victory by holding a press conference when a player of Karlos Dansby's stature was signed.

I can even -- eventually -- move past the Dez Bryant "is your mother a prostitute" fiasco because folks have apologized, other folks have accepted the apology, and an internal investigation into the matter is underway.

We can get past all those errors -- assuming more errors aren't on the horizon.

But at least one more possible error in judgment will be unveiled as early as Friday.

On Friday the Dolphins will conduct a three-day rookie minicamp and right there, among the rookie linebackers, A.J. Edds will be on the field wearing No. 54 -- the number worn from 1996-2007 by Zach Thomas.

It must be noted that on its face this isn't a bad thing. The Dolphins have many linebackers on the roster and every number in the 50s including 54 has been assigned. The Dolphins have also held back No. 54 for two years until now. The number is not retired.

I also recall the Dolphins in the past gave away Mark Clayton's number the year after he left via free agency. Clayton was a great player like Thomas, although not as beloved by fans.

But none of that changes the fact that the timing of this is terrible. The context of giving out that number now is bad.

You see, Zach Thomas is one of the most beloved players ever to play for the Dolphins. He lived right, played hard, and gave the Dolphins everything he had (including some brain cells following a handful of concussions).

The guy is an all-timer down here.

But only a couple of weeks ago, Thomas took the Dolphins to task for their treatment of brother-in-law Jason Taylor. He did it publicly on the radio and in print interviews and it made people notice. When you've torqued off Zach Thomas, you've probably made a mistake.

Thomas also rolled back the curtain on his feelings regarding his own dismissal from the Dolphins years ago.

He talked about how all he wanted to do the day he got waived in 2008 was say good-bye to his fans by talking to the media at the team training facility in a press conference. The Dolphins did allow Thomas to make phone calls to various media from the facility but told him if he wanted to do a press conference, he'd have to do it elsewhere. Thomas obviously feels hurt by that to this day.

And he said as much in recent weeks.

Well, the awarding of No. 54 on the heels of the former player's comments looks bad. I'm sure it is pure coincidence. I know there were several internal conversations about this very subject in recent days going all the way up the ladder to include coach Tony Sparano.

But that doesn't change the fact that it looks bad.

The timing of this makes it look like retribution.

It looks like: You criticize us, we give away your number.

Edds wore No. 49 at Iowa. The Dolphins should have given him that number for this coming rookie mini-camp. They should have let him wear it through training camp. And if, if, Edds earned a spot on the roster after training camp, they could have changed his number into the 50s. After all, a couple of the numbers currently taken such as No. 59 (J.D. Folsom) and No. 57 (Brian Johnson) might or might not be around for the start of the regular-season anyway.

Edds Moreover, if the Dolphins absolutely needed to give Edds No. 54, they could have turned a potential flub into a touchdown if they wanted. They could have called Thomas in, let him sign a contract for a day, and promptly allowed him to retire a Dolphin. He could have then handed that No. 54 jersey to Edds, and gotten his farewell press conference in one fell swoop.

Is there anyone who thinks that would not have been a feel-good moment?

It would have sown seeds of good will. It would have diffused an issue that might leave a bad taste in the mouth of some fans during a time they're deciding whether or not to buy tickets for 2010. (It also would have saved me from having to write this post.)

The point is the Dolphins are lately showing they do not have clear vision about what some fans, the rest of the NFL, the NFLPA, the media, or their alumni are thinking. They seem to be somewhat out of touch in that regard.

Thankfully, none of this has to do with actual football. From a football standpoint these guys are nails. They got it right from A to Z.

But when you blow stuff like the JT saga, or this little No. 54 issue, or prostitutegate, it affects the way the football team is viewed and respected. And the respect and good name of the Miami Dolphins is very, very, very, very important.

It is sad that tomorrow when the rookie camp opens, some focus that should be on how great this draft class might be will veer toward why A.J. Edds is wearing Zach Thomas's jersey. That alone shows you it's a mistake.

None of this is rocket science. But how many perceived black eyes can folks take in one offseason?

[Evening update: The link to the roster on the Dolphins website above has been altered by the team. It orginally showed Edds having been awarded No. 54, Koa Misi wearing No. 55, and John Jerry wearing No. 74. But that roster has been changed out. The Dolphins took down the roster they had on their website that showed the numbers for Edds and all the other rookies and substituted this roster instead. I would say the team felt some pressure from folks seeing Edds wearing No. 54 before it was ready to announce the move. It is also possible the team, after consideration or reading this blog, might have changed its mind and not give Edds No. 54 tomorrow after all. Maybe the Dolphins don't have a desire to create more PR problems. We'll see tomorrow when the rookie minicamp kicks off.] 


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Everyone knows Parcell is a jerk from his past tenures and misadventures but everyone was raving about him when he was hired.

I don't like the guy and never did but if he takes this team to the promised land I am willing to put up with the arrogance and lack of class.

The Dolphins were a soft team filled with "nice" management and people but ran over on a consistent basis by tougher teams. The team and organization needed to "man up" and Parcell is accomplishing exacly that.

Sparano, nothing but a puppet with no say in team matters away from the field of play.

The GM, just a passing f.a.r.t in the wind with numbered days after Parcell is gone.

Summary, let the guy rebuild the team into a contender and do PR damage control after he is gone.

i will retire your number only if ;


Zach who? Sorry, but I've been following the team since '70. I'm not sure who you are talking about. Maybe refresh my memory by telling me what we won that year.

Like the land beneath our feet, this team doesn't belong to Bill Parcells, Jeff Ireland or even Stephen Ross. This group won't be able to damage the way we feel about the men who have made this franchise great.

They will be gone, perhaps sooner rather than later, and the legacies of great players who made the Miami Dolphins franchise will live onl

Something like this is embarrassing to the entire Dolphins organization. Zach's number 100% should be retired.

SonnyC, the only idiot here is you! I hate defending Mando (he can do it himself) but you're going too far when you say "all he does is bash the Dolphins." That's a boldface lie. Read any of the last 15 posts and the truth will be revealed. Mando is a reporter, and he needs to report what he sees, sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad news for the team, but he's there to give us the lowdown no matter if you're girlie sensibilities can take it or not. I'm sick of idiots coming on this blog trashing Mando for telling the truth. Zach DESERVED to have his number retired. For the past 2 years, that number was withheld. So what's the difference this year? Is it because Zack trashed the FO? As a lifelong fan, and Zack being my 2nd favorite Dolphin of all-time (to #13), I feel angry that they gave the number away. So THANK YOU Mando for reporting news THIS fan wants to hear.

Now, is this the end all be all of the season, no, it's a minute, stupid little issue. But it's APRIL, that's what there is to report right now. When Pre-season starts and the season starts we'll be able to talk X's and O's, but for now folks, it is what it is.

But don't bash Mando for doing his job. You don't like his post, fine, respond, tell him your counter-point, but this name-calling has gotten old. Sounds like Sonny is an a**hole anyway, or else why would Mando block you on twitter (when he tells us to join his page like a million times a day). Go cry somewhere else you damned baby!

JaxDolphin, you sound like a moron. You ask Mando what he expects the team to do? Read the friggan post. He tells you what he expects.

Hold off a couple of months. Give the kid another number for camps and later on give him Folsum's number when he's cut.

Are you that stupid you do not understand?

Zach Thomas: knock knock
Canton, Ohio: Who's there?
Zach Thomas: Zach who?

The last time I checked the players mentioned have been payed very well for thier efforts.What does a team owe a player after he is done playing? This is a business and winning is the goal. I have been a fan since 71' and respect and admire all of our great players. JT was offered a contract in November and declined. He is now a Jet. You think if he loved this team and the city he could've waited a few days longer. Not sign with one of our most hated opponents.(I'm sure the Dolphins would have signed him) I know the NFL is not everyday business and we do tend to worship our best players. Maybe the front office could have been a little more sensitive. However,I feel the local media is looking for reasons to villify the Dolphins front office.Get over it. Go Dolphins!

Agree 100 percent Salguero. Glad somebody is thinking.

Zack Thomas: knock knock
Bill Parcells: GTF outta my office.

hey ricky

while i do want to hear more about FOOTBALL and less of this petty soap opera crap, i dont think that BP gives 2 sh*ts about what mando puts in his blog or what greg f'n cote has to say. if he made his career decisions based on blog content, i doubt he would have made it this far......

that being said, lets move on.....i wanna talk FOOTBALL!

If you don't think Zach's number should be retired then you are not a Dolphins fan. Marino never won us a Super Bowl, I guess he didn't do anything for this team and we should un-retire his number. You people who don't care about Zach are a joke.

FZB kindly crawl back in the hole you came out of. If you don't agree say so. But don't rip the poeple that don't agree with you by calling them morons.

By the way, if you think Mando is never right, why are you here all the time? Get a girlfriend.




I answered you in the other blog.

As for AJ Edds wearing 54, who cares. Zach is one of my top 5 favorite players, his body is what quit on him, not him quitting on is, like JT.

That being said, the number 54 isn't sacred. Zach won't make the Hall of Fame. To have your number retired, you have to be the elite of the elite, IMO. When you bring up great ILB's, Zach is probably about the 30th name that would get mentioned. Zach wa a guy who brought it game after game, I just don't think he is elite. So I don't think his number should be retired. This isn't even close to Dez Bryant getting number 88, I don't hear a lot of nostalgia and crying about that.


i couldnt agree more. keep this up media hacks and this guy is gonna pack it up and carl peterson will ruin the show... are you kiddding me??? i think parcells would be welcomed and loved anywhere in this country but for some reason the local hacks down there are acting like bitter little babies. come on man? carl peterson or bill parcells and ireland....hmmm let me think about that.....jesus, this is soo retarded im gonna throw up....just watch how good this draft class becomes and when parcells flips the bird to you and the city of miami you can start wrtiting positive things about the carl peterson regime as ross shows ireland the door. next, be prepared for another decade of misery because it will not take peterson long, maybe one draft, to ruin what has been building for the past two+ years.

Who is this Zach Thomas everybody keeps referencing? Did he really have 135 concussions?

It stinks that for the most part I love what the Fins are building on the field. Yet I hate being part of a soap opera off the field. WTFIGO? Is this pattern indicative of a Parcell's issue? An Ireland issue? Joint command issue? Or just a coincidental string of bad luck?

Just win baby.

Wish they'd give this blog to someone else...







This is a joke, right! Zach will probably be the first one to call this kid and tell him to do old # 54 proud. I know you need something to write about but this absolutely a non story

Why can't Zach's number be retired? Was his mother was a prostitute? Or something?

several of good dolphin players use the same number..
22 Tony Nathan (1979-87), Mercury Morris (1969-75)

23 Patrick Surtain (1998-2004), Ronnie Brown (2005-)

81 Jimmy Cefalo (1978-84), O.J McDuffie (1993-2001), Howard Twilley (1966-76), Randy McMichael (2002-)

85 Nick Buoniconti (1969-76), Mark Duper (1982-92)

Several really good players have their numbers reused....This is just Dolphins.. I'm sure it has happened on other teams too. As pointed out, only THREE numbers have been retired. Players have to wear some number... only so many you can choose from.

I am here to profess my love for Jason Taylor, my half brother dress wearing clown buddy who married my sister , Thelma Buckles. I in turn married his sister Trixie Hicks. We hope to have a inbred hybrid DE-LB child who is undersized but makes up for it by having no neck.

I once headbutted a ram. It felt really good, man. I was like shoot I gotta do that agin man , daggone.

Edds should refuse the number. He's immediately starting on a sour note with the fans.

Mando. Get a Fing life. Why keep bashing this guy every chance you get. Who cares. Yes we love our favorite players from yesterday. But it's time to look forward. And the last thing I give a sh-t about is the number someone wears. This FO is building a winner and that's what I care about. Enuff already. You, Silver and all of the rest of the garbage media need to get a F ing life and focus on sports not the E Hollywood story BS.

This is a petty ....
Mando, this sounds like middle school drama. Maybe you should have a friend pass the Tuna a note in gym class to ask him if he likes you.

Go write for the Eagles, those fans hate thier teams, you'll fit right in.

One of the first Dallas Cowboys to wear the 88 number in his jersey was Preston Pearson (I think, but may be I'm wrong, I'm not a Dallas fan any way) then the 88 was used by Michael Irving as a motivation and honor, and now Dez Bryant will use it (may be), again as a motivation and honor, same with Edds. How about if the #54 have some magic for the dophins?

several of good dolphin players use the same number..
22 Tony Nathan (1979-87), Mercury Morris (1969-75)

23 Patrick Surtain (1998-2004), Ronnie Brown (2005-)

81 Jimmy Cefalo (1978-84), O.J McDuffie (1993-2001), Howard Twilley (1966-76), Randy McMichael (2002-)

85 Nick Buoniconti (1969-76), Mark Duper (1982-92)

Several really good players have their numbers reused....This is just Dolphins.. I'm sure it has happened on other teams too. As pointed out, only THREE numbers have been retired. Players have to wear some number... only so many you can choose from.

Ok enough of the memorabilia stuff, let get ready fro 2010, and the JETS home opener after the 5 preseason game against Buff....


Nothing to write about in April? Come on Bro?!

We just had a draft,available FA's, Key Players returning from Injury, finally a new defensive coordinator. I am a huge JT and ZT fan but I have far too many visions of this Defense giving up big plays when it mattered.

I love Shula too but he never got Marino a defense or a running game. Lucky for Elway they got him help.

Go Phins!


I STILL WEAR MINE with the name THOMAS on the back to games.

So they have basically pulled the rug out from under fans like me by giving No. 54 to edds.

Terrible marketing.

I wish the Herald would get another beat writer for this blog. Mando Sucks!!!

so ......whats next, they trade away Jason Taylors favorite locker??? Big deal, Zacs the man but WHO CARES. Its a good thing that all this crap isn't going on during the season otherwise Nobody might notice*lol*

Post if you agree...
Mando sux !!!

Maybe the Herald will listen.

Mando man... u do a great job on here, and i visit everday, but this is lame bro, come on. really??? and to be honest, im more of a Clayton fan than Zach...sorry!

To the guy that asked why Jake Scott's number wasn't retired before Marino: It was because Don Shula hated Jake Scott and traded him to the Redskins for a bag of chips.

Sometimes agendas do get involved in this stuff, innocent children.

Gossip 'PR' related or otherwise -- not interested.

Speculation about future gossip -- not interested.

Uniform numbers -- LOL. Not interested.

Dez Bryant...well, you get the idea.

Interested: Analysis of 10+ new players and potential future roles on the team. Analysis or even speculation of Nolan's defense and how current and new personnel might fit. Analysis of how offense might change. Analysis of the schedule even.

Have you ever considered that AJ Edds may have requested that number, If I was a linebacker I would request that number... I hope Zach call him and encourages him to wear it proud. Zach can also be one of our quality control coaches that way he will get his ring in 2010....

@adrian: #88 was Drew Pearson, member of the NFL All-1970s team, but stunningly not part of the Cowboys Ring of Honor or the NFL Hall of Fame. :)

come on armando put ............NEW POST .

NC Raliegh. Good stuff. Bag of chips is hillarious. Lmao. Oh yeah...Mando Sux!!!

If our team wins the Division this year, will this still be an Issue ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Lets face it. We all want our team to have Class, or we would be Wets fans. But we like these guys becasue they can get us to be a winning team. Not handle every little dramatic sitution perfectly in our eyes.

Thank you Bootang25 and Jamillion, THAT'S how you respond to a post you don't agree with. You state your case, no need to call anyone names, make your point and be done with it. Very classy (unlike some others on here)!

I agree with the gist of what both of you said. We should only retire elite players (Hall of Famers I'm guessing), and Zach probably won't be one. But every year he played he was probably 1 of the top 3 MLBs in the league (that should count for something). But the FO thought enough of Zach in the past to withhold that #, so I'm wondering what changed now.

Ja, I too am thrilled with the turnaround by the FO, they've done a hell of a job (on the football field, which is what I care most about). But, that's not all there is to it. These guys make millions of dollars because of fans like you and me (so we're important too). And they'll all be long gone while Dolphins fans are still cheering the team on (so historically, we're the heart of the team, not the players or the coaches). So the FO just needs to do better in it's Communications Dept. Any company/organization has a public relations team, and the Dolphins need to do a better job of public relations, that's all. Not something that will cause a 1-15 season, but something that will make the fans happy (and if there were no fans, they'd be no football).

I thought Zack signed a one day deal and retired a dolphin... I know he wanted that so if that's yet to happend they shouldn't do him wrong. But I do I agree with other post, if he's not retired they can give it up.

This is football, not a freakin' soap opera. Non-issue. Move on.

Amen Jefferson

This is such a non issue. I wonder what you would have thought if he would have been handed #99 - LOL

Seriously it has been a few years since Zach has played for us, I bet he doesn't care about the new kid getting his number.

Armando, with all due respect, this article is just ridiculous. I can see this as being a small issue, but to propagate it to being "another PR black eye" seems like you're just piling on. It's true that they've made some mistakes this offseason - in the case of JT, a serious one. But to relegate this to being a similar situation is significant reaching on your part. And to claim that this looks like payback to Zach Thomas is just preposterous. What's your evidence for that, other than the fact that if you really wanted to see that, you could? We deserve much higher quality work from you, given that you write for the biggest South Florida newspaper.

Has anyone ever considered that if Garo Yepremian (who wore jersey #1) made that field goal in the closing minutes of SB VII instead of having it blocked back to him (by Bill Brundidge #77) and then throwing that ill-executed fumble-pass that was returned for a TD (by Mike Bass #41), that the score would likely have been 17-0 as a perfect close to a 17-0 season? I believe it would have also been the only shutout in SB history.

WOW "GAY GUY" reposting my post and changing the signature.. that sure is a slam LOL.

If I was a reporter, the very first thing I would have done here was to call Mr. Zach Thomas himself and ask him for his opinion on the matter. Zach is always great in interviews, very open and candid. Ask Zach what he thinks? Find out if he has seen AJ Edds play before, what does he think of him?This could be somewhat of a story if indeed Zach felt slighted. I wouldn't purely speculate here, I'd go straight to the source.

In all fairness Armando, I know reporting on the Trifecta really is pure speculation, as they never say anything, and even when they do, sometimes they are using you to put information out there for a number of reasons. However, with Zach, he will shoot you straight, and probably make you laugh at the same time.

As for Zach himself, it's a shame that he played in the same conference as Ray Lewis for the duration of his career, because had they played in separate conferences, Zach would have been a starting Pro Bowler every year, and his legacy may be a little different.

Zach Thomas is my prototype linebacker period.
Bringing in Thomas is one of the very few things I give Jimmy Johnson credit for.
Still after watching every clip I could find on Edds I posted Carlito and Bobbyd12 that I hope they give edds no, 54. This was BEFORE the numbers were assigned.
This shouldn't be turned into a negative thing. Edds should have all the oppurtunity to wear this number with pride. It should serve as an inspiration not some wussbag media inspired BS!
Jake Scott might not mean a lot to the younger fans but the guy was a hell of a safety. Matter of fact he was SuperBowl MVP.
When Marino stepped onto the field wearing no. 13 I was thinking come on lucky 13!

Armando it's your job as a beat writer and your responsibility as a Dolphin fan to do everything you possibly can for the team.
By putting out this sissy negativity crap, you aint doing it.

Zach's number should be retired because he not only played 12 seasons for us, but was a 5-time 1st team All-Pro, 2-time 2nd team All-Pro, 7-time Pro Bowl, and a member of the NFL All-2000s decade team. As if that wasn't a stellar enough resume, he gets extra points for always being a classy guy, and for playing his heart out while being an undersized MLB and 5th round draft pick.

In your face Steve.

LMAO, Do fans really care about this??? I could care less..It's a stupid number and there is no need to not use it...another non issue


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