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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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you name your boy ( rodeo burger ) ?

Posted by: HOT ASHLEY | April 29, 2010 at 08:05 PM

No! Of course not that would be politically incorrect.

A Stripper/Hooker that I met in Texas nicknamed him that!

LOL @ ODIN.....

do you like to play with me odinesye ? i am sitting on my bed thinking about your boy rodeo .

Odin, Was it Dez's mom by any chance??

ARMANDO WHAT ABOUT SHARPER HE WOULD FIT NICE IN OUR D.

ANYTHING ABOUT US LOOKING AT HIM.

Ok guy's, gotta charge up the taser and hit the sheets, till tommarrow have a "PHINTASTIC" Nite........

YO ODBALL:

YOU'RE CORNEY AS HELL.

YOU SAID YOU GREW UP IN THE HOOD BUT YOU HAVE NO GAME AT ALL.

THAT's HOW YOU TALK TO A WOMAN?

I GUESS THAT's WHY YOU're ALWAYS UP HERE.

GOOD LUCK WITH THAT CRAP.

As a fan all I care about is winning...winning is priority one. If one day the Dolphins want to retire the number 54 number, so be it but right now it belong's to the team and the next player to wear it.

Mando.... did you really say that you're a 'positive, glass-half-full person' ?????

LMAO....

Get real, you write nothing positive about the Dolphins

Odin, Was it Dez's mom by any chance??

Posted by: Cuban Menace | April 29, 2010 at 08:17 PM

Cuban,

True story. I met her after a show we played in Houston. The only thing I really remember is my new nickname and the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader outfit she wore.

Zach Thomas was good but he wasn't no L.T. sheesh!!!


GO DOLPHINS!!!!

(F) South Florida's Press, NY Press show more love to the Dolphins than you guys. Can WE fire you guys?

Armando is a closet jets fan. = P

justin,what happened ,do you need a massage ?

JUSTIN CREDIBLE

That's no way to talk to your daddy boy.

And I prolly is yo daddy cuz I slept with a lot of crack addict prostitutes!

Now What Home skillet!

ASHLEY:

NAH SWEETIE I'm GOOD THANX BUT THIS ODBALL GUY MIGHT. HE's NOT USE TO BEING TOUCH BY SOMEONE ELSE.

A NEW POST IS UP

ODBALL:

YOU're MY DADDY?

YOU CAN't MAKE KIDS WITH YOUR HANDS.

justin, do you have hairy neck ?

Jordan came back and took #45

Ripper Owens replaced living legend Rob Halford in Judas Priest.

Sammy Hagar replaced David Lee Roth in Van Halen.

Johnny stupid ass Dep replaced Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka.

The Stupid ass Dodgers dis-respected Mike Socia and said he wasn't ready to coach in the major leagues.

Does anyone dwell on Magic, Jabar, Shaq? No! The freakin Lakers make you forget by continuing to get the best talent and WIN!

Random Thoughts

Go Phins!

Too Bad Ashley

When Justin get touched, HE likes to get touched by a MAN.

NO I'm SMOOTH.

LOL@ ODIN

Mando is worried the number 54 is going to be used well how about the number 67...the greatest Dolphin guard wore that number and guess what, it is worn today by who...Joe Berger, How about the number 53...worn by a great Dolphin defender...who wears it today...Torbor. How about another great Dolphin defender...Number 75...who wears it today, Garner. If Kuechenberg, Mattheson and Fernandez's numbers aren't retired...why would I care about the number 54 jersey.

ODBALL:

DID YOU REALLY SAY THAT?

THAT's SAD.

do you hair in you ears and nose i can see ?

NO I'm SMOOTH.

Posted by: JUSTIN CREDIBLE | April 29, 2010 at 08:42 PM

Interpretation: Fat and Bald.

justin,do you have hair in your ears and nose that i can see ?

Zach Thomas was one of my favorite players for the phins. one word to describe the way they handled him and the end of his career: Classless

Really????? Can we just talk about all of the positive stuff. I really didn't even think about the 54 number thing until you made a big deal out of that. I just think that this regime is so focused on turning this thing into a winner that they aren't thinking about Zack Thomas' jersey number. Actually, its' nice that they are not. Dez Bryant was given 88 in Dallas. A number that Drew Pearson and Michael Irving wore. I feel the writers are all so preoccupied with waiting for the Dolphins to slip--instead of being totally consumed by all of the amazing additions we have to our team. Free agency and the draft has really brought in some new blood. ALL are high energy guys with big upsides that translate well to the system that our NEW DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR is going to install. We forget about the fact that our D lost games last year. So we went out and addressed that with players and a new coach. Doesn't that excite anyone? It does me.

Duh-stin,

Do you really type like that?

How sad.

Beerphin,

Yeah cutting ties with a player that is too old, often-injured, and doesn't fit your scheme is absolutely classless... Cutting him and giving him the option to go to any team he wants instead of forcing him to go somewhere... classless

Wait... Do you know what classless mean?

Zach Thomas was one of my favorite players for the phins. one word to describe the way they handled him and the end of his career: Classless

Posted by: beerphin | April 29, 2010 at 08:45 PM


How so? Please elaborate.

Moneyjacket,

Don't read too much into it... Armando just going out of his way to create controversy about the Dolphins and drag the organization through the mud to get a couple new readers

wow, CARLITO IS ON THE TOP OF THINGS,HE'S RIGHT BEERPHIN .DO YOU KNOW WHAT CLASSLESS MEANS ?

the amazing numbers on that page are not the uniform numbers, but rather the numbers in the age column ... 58 players 26 years old or younger .... the Dolphins are a much younger team ... but still with incredible experience sprinkled throughout each of the positions ... should be a fun year!

Aloco,

I agree. Carlito's on point. He's getting good at this, isn't he?

i never THOUGHT OF THAT LEW,GOOD POST .LET'S TALK ABOUT THE POSITIVES .

Blah, blah, blah. Who cares.

ODINSEYE, AND HE WAS QUICK .HE HAS TALENT ,HIS BRAIN WORKS FAST .GOOD FOR CARLITO . BACK TO YOU ODINSEYE THE SLOW BRAIN ,

Out of touch?

How cares look all this nonsense about the numbers and anouncement about retiring...no player is bigger than the team, organization and the NFL! Done. Just get over it Zach will get his due and be in the ring of fame. But no one is bigger than the game and thats the mantra of this regime and that the way it should be.

Just when I was starting too like you, you beady eyed rat faced rodent!

That's it! You have forced my hand.

You, Aloco my good man, are a jets fan!

Yeah baby, I said it! NOW WHAT!

WHAT HAPPENED ODINSEYE , DID I SAY ANY THING WRONG ?I WAS OKING W/YOU.I CAN'T AFFORD TO LOSE YOUR FRIENDSHIP EVEN IF IT'S AN INTERNET FRIENDSHIP .......SORRYYYYYYYYY

OH.

Well....ah......I was joking too?

Yeah, yeah that's the ticket, I was joking.

Yes indeed, I'm a real jokester...Ha ha?

I AM SINCER ODINESYE ,I WAS JOKING W/YOU .

YOU JUST IN BAD MOOD B/C HOT ASHLY LEFT .

Wow Aloco,

This starting to feel like internet make up sex.

I'm sorry too.

IT'S TIME TO CLOSE SHOP,GOOD NIGHT .

YOU HAD GOOD TIME W/ASHLY TONIGHT ODINSEYE .

This is such a non issue. I have fond memories JT and ZT, just lookin' great for 3 quarters only to give it up in the fourth on Monday Night Football against the Jets. Or was that a final weekend meltdown to miss the playoffs.

Can we look forward... the only part that bothers me is the Dez Byrant issue and that is no worse than the QB in Pittsburgh. There was no crime committed just questionable taste. It just means Bryant will get us on some long passes somewhere along the line.

Seriously Aloco,

I was joking too.

I do like it when women are around. However, I suspect Ashley is a transvestite.

Now that Dez Bryant fiasco...

It's not like there is seven degrees of seperation regarding the question asked by Ireland to Dez, about if his mom was a prostitute. She sold drugs at one time and was incarcerated for it. Ireland was doing his job, Bryant had grown up in a rough neighbor hood and his mom at one time sold drugs, but how sure can you be it may have been something else? PR nightmare?!

Lets say Bryant was drafted by the Dolphins and he moved his familiy including his mom to Miami and live with him. Lets say his mom gets caught selling, using, or Byrants circle of friends some of which he brougth down from were he grew up. You know peeps like to have thier entourage. Get caught for selling or using or something.
Can you imagine the pr nightmare?
Bryants mom gets arrested for selling drugs or prostitution?

Ireland was doing his job and yes he could have used alot more tact, but in the end you not only get a rise or reaction in which you may in part base your overall interview of Bryant and where he may or may not stand with Irleand criteria level. But sometimes you have to ask the tough question to get a fore- seeable answer or sight a problem that may or may not arise in the future and it's overall impact on the Miami Dolphins.

Seven degrees of seperation, no...more like one. After all Bryants mom did some time selling drugs.

Wilie Coyote,

Reshad has played against Dez's numerous times. Just another dat at the office.

Bring It!

You hit the nail on the head Mando. These guys in the front office have really ticked me off about how they are treating guys with the caliber of a Zach Thomas or Jason Taylor. So they were not "Parcells guys". Who cares. They were great DOLPHINS. Honor that.

Hey Armando, you're such a loser and and dusche,
trying to create controversy about a freaking number...if YOU THINK THIS NUMBER IS SO IMPORTANT, then how come you didn't mention this other numbers...

66-larry little (HOF) being worn by Donald Thomas
85-N buoniconti (HOF) Kory Sperry
67-B kuchenberg - by Joe berger
11-crash jensen- by julius pruitt
84-bill stanfil - P turner
89-nat moore- taurus johnson

all dolphin greats.... you don't deserve to be the dolphins beat writer, you should go to NY and cover the stinkin jets...

Gary P,

It's easy to come on here and blow smoke.

What should they have done different? Please elaborate.

Sorry typos
Im out!

GoDolphins!

Report the news, don't attempt to make it. Thomas is history. 54 isn't. If he had won a ring or set some records, maybe we retire it. Otherwise, go be rich. The number is ours, not Zach's or the media's or the Dolphin's. It belongs to the fans who foot the bill and employ all you morons.

rob,
THAT WAS A GREAT POST .

I understand that this is a business but the fans have to have something to be a fan about and since we don't have any recent Superbowls to brag about, players like Marino, Taylor, and Thomas are what give us pride in our team. When they are treated like crap, the very thing the fans hold dear is made out to be worthless.

DPA,

Well maybe if you would shut yer pie holes and let the front office do their thing (they are the first competent f.o. since shula) you might have something to cheer about

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