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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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When they are treated like crap, the very thing the fans hold dear is made out to be worthless.

Posted by: DPA | April 29, 2010 at 09:27 PM

Fact: We treated them better than any other team has treated them.
Fact: We made superstar millionaires out of them.
What the hell do you people want? Lets be specific. What should/could we have done differently?

That's what I thought. Listen too it. Crybaby silence.

Why don't you guys talk about the actual play on the field and how to make this team better.... Instead of all the drama.... Poor baby they hurt my feelings he called my mom a prostitute.... He took my number.... He disrespected me... Boooo freaking whoo... I'm sure Dez' mom has been called worse... And last I checked... As much as I appreciated Zach & JT and respect them and wish them well, we never won crap with them... Those Ds always folded when we needed them the most... This is football right??? If I was Dez I would have told Jeff in a letter to Stuff it! Imagine reading that Rodge!

This just in: Major PR blemish for the Dolphins! Mando' next article coming soon:

Bill Parcells told Tony he doesn't like Jeanette Sparano's meatloaf! How will we ever win now! This was a classless act and destroyed locker room chemistry.

JT and Zach?

Sure I love the guys, ah....well at least Zach.

You know what though? A lot of people have mentioned how our D folded when it mattered most. They have every right too as well.
You know why? The JT ZT led Dolphin D gave up 62 points in a playoff game.

I love those guys, um I mean Zach but I've been down that road and I don't ever want to go back!

Carlito,

Can you believe it?

What's wrong with Parcell's. The politically correct thing to do would have been to choke down that meatloaf and let her THINK she was an amazing cook.

The nerve of Parcell's hurting her feelings by telling the TRUTH!

It's a non-issue. Move along folks, nothing else to see or say here.

Mando, I are you trying to forment hate and discontent amongst fans. Is your ability to write real stories regarding the Dolphins future suddenly clouded or are you a closet Jet fan just trying to stir up a pot of @HIT?

If you need a few days off because of the long hours spent during the draft then take them and get your head together, then come back and write something of substance.

Armando?
Chirp....chirp.....chir.....

ARMANDO!

Just because 90% of YOUR bloggers bashed you for this harder than you bashed the trifecta; doesn't mean you can't redeem yourself.

Armando? Armando? Chirp....chirp....chir....

If Darren Sharper comes to Miami, he may want to wear number 42, now that is complete disrespect to Trent Gamble, an outrage no-less.

See, at least Bellisimo knows what's up. Maybe Armando can write stories for The View to talk about. I'm ready to talk football, not rich crybabies...

Stop crying.....why don't you move to Arizona so the Arizona police can arrest you and then deport you! You cryed for Cam Cameron as well!
Give it a rest...this is a new team.

californiadreamin you the same fool who used to post in jason Cole's blog years ago?

FZB great post.....

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....

Armando SalDRAMA

I love ZT but I'm ok giving some one else 54. I'm a ok with it

Armando, you mentioned a "PR Black Eye"... Well, you're acting like a media Brown Eye!

I love defense. I played defense, I've coached defense and I'm a firm believer in that defense wins Championships.
Whats got me pumped is the Offense. We were 4th in rush yards and 10th in yards per attempt last year. That was with Brown and Cobbs on IR.
This year we'll have a healthy powerhouse one two punch of Ricky and Ronnie. Two new mashers in Jerry and Cognito. Probably most importantly, we'll have Marshall keeping the 8th and 9th man out of the box. Thats not to mention the obvious help he'll give our passing game.
Everybody out there can cry about the Trifecta until their blue in the face for all I care.
Myself, I'm just going to sit back and enjoy the ride!

can we now move foward to training camp and enough of this thomas-taylor-dez crap??? whats next? sparano took shulas place? come on man.

Ody said "I love defense. I played defense, I've coached defense"

You little pizz ant, we had enough of your mouth today. You played defense in your motherf'n dreams. Coached defense? In Madden football you fu'kin goofball. STFU already

Wow, could this be less useful to the Miami Organization? Really, is it disrespectful to ZT to give out his number? He did get paid to play for the team, didn't he? It's not "his" number, it's just the number he wore when he played for the Fins. Stop with the page willing BS and give us some real information after the mini camp opens.

MADRE YOU TELL HIM
BOY ODENSUCK IS A BOZO
NEED TO SHUT UP FOOL

I can't believe I'm reading this fluff! There are only three Dolphin jerseys retired to date: 12, 13 and 39. You really think 54 should be added to that list? Sorry. I think there are guys in line ahead of Zack. But while we're on this subject, I would prefer they give Edds #99.

?

Cmon Miami let's get this Zach situation right! WE OWE HIM THAT!!!

Shame on u parcells ! Treat Zach as he deserves...which is withCLASS!!!

Parcells of all people should understand how to treat FAMILY and Zach and JT deserved better!!!

Ody said "I love defense. I played defense, I've coached defense"

You little pizz ant, we had enough of your mouth today. You played defense in your motherf'n dreams. Coached defense? In Madden football you fu'kin goofball. STFU already

Posted by: su madre | April 29, 2010 at 11:40 PM

Doesn't Madden count? WTF?

When u play for Miami players will take note of how mngt treats players on there way out!!

I don't care. Thomas yes should have it retired and will eventually. JT will also. Can't we just worry about who is on the team! Tired of talking about Dez. Let him do well in Dallas, that is if they can sign him this year.

MADRE YOU TELL HIM
BOY ODENSUCK IS A BOZO
NEED TO SHUT UP FOOL

Posted by: JUST INCREDIBLE | April 29, 2010 at 11:44 PM


You sound like an old fat bald Mr. T

I'ba-I'ba pity da fool!

Everybody talks about Reshad laying the wood.
This one shows a one handed INT against Demaryious Thomas.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZOYy4a40JI

Must be a slow news day.

someone wake me up when a Dolphins beat reporter has real news...seriously: get over Dez Bryant - we have no CLUE what context the question was posed and if Bryant accepted the apology, he couldn't have been that peeved.

Zach is gone guys - get over that too. Number 54 is now Edds. NEXT!!

I hope they change Edds number...

Don't want it to slow his production because some people think he has to live up to Zach's legacy..

I'm excited about Edds potential, and anything that might devert him from reaching his true potential is a distraction...

This seems like it could be a distraction...

Parcells doesn't appreciate our Dolphin history. To disrespect Zach and JT, who are 2 of the most greatest Dolphin players is an example. The Dez Bryant issue is deplorable. There's no excuse for asking a man if his mother was a prostitute. I've never seen or heard any rumors about that, so why bring it up?Was Ireland being discriminatory/prejudicial because Bryant's mom was a drug addict and served time?

I love JT and Zach but they have made enough money and basked in enough Florida glory, that i don't think we need to worry too much about their feelings.

C'mon people focus, we have a Superbowl to win.

In the meantime, Mando, how about some info about the new players, Nolan and his hybrid defense, etc.

Jeez!

What a dumb article this is. So stupid and pointless. So every damn player who plays for this team now that a fan or media writer likes the DOlphins have to retire his uniform?? I am sorry, but there are a FEW legends that have had their jerseys retired as Dolphins and rightfully so. JT and Zach were great players. but what is to say that someday in the future that their jerseys wont be retired??

If I were EDDS or any other player that wore that number, I would feel honored. Because it belonged to a great player before him. Numbers are numbers not every team has to retire EVERY great players number. The Cowboys have yet to retire anyones number. Dez Bryant is wearing Irvins 88. Do you think the fans or the Dallas media has their panties in a bunch over it??

The beat writers and the fans of this team are so freaking stupid. Get lives people. This team has a right to give numbers to whoever they want. The TEAM owns the numbers. NOT the player. It is an honor to get it retired, but if it is not, doesnt mean the player was not loved or didnt have a great career. Get over yourselves...Seriously.

keep up the good work armando

YAWN

Thomas was a great palyer for the dolphins but he has been gone for awhile. I do not understand the big deal. If his number 54 was not retired it is available for someone else. Besides you who cares??????????

Really? Is it that a slow a news day?

On the Jeff Ireland question, ENOUGH!!! We don't have any idea of the entire conversation so can we please get off that dead horse!

On Zack Thomas and Jason Taylor, who freakin cares!!! They were good players when they were here, they're gone now, GET OVER IT!!!

You must be bored! Tell your wife to help you out! This is soap opera material!

Shouldn't the "update" to the article be on the top of the page?

Bashing the organization about someone getting #54 when it really hasn't happened and just could've been a typo on a website roster list. ( Since it now says all the rookie numbers are #0.

Come on now. We can't celebrate all these players just because they were good players. We celebrate CHAMPIONSHIPS and the players who bring them to us. ZT and JT aren't Marino. They've never been to a Superbowl. They've never brought anything remotely resembling a championship to Miami. We won the AFC East without Jason Taylor. We won the AFC East without Zach Thomas. Give the Dolphins some credit here. Our management celebrates our city, our team...not players who played hard. That's a given with this management group or you are out. If JT & ZT brought us a championship I'd be all over this. As a fan and a winner, I do not celebrate mediocrity-and neither should you!

Mando hit the nail on the head here, Criticize me if u want to, I have said it beofre. I spend a lot of money on tickets, Merchandise and dolphin charities. All I ask for is to treat our great players with respect, especially the ones that gave their Heart and Soul to the team! Ireland and Parcells are Scum when it comes to this! This is so frustrating! As much of a non issue some of you think this is, for some other fans this is a big slpa in the face. Everyone has a right to their opinion and this is mine.

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

Yes, if any of our players want to have a "sign me for a day, and let me retire in aqua and orange"... what is the harm... it is fantastic PR all away around... the press statement(s) are usually pre-approved to some point anyway... it is just a class move all around.... BUT NO!!!!

I hope JT retires as a *&^% JET and ZT as a COWBOY... we, as an organization, and as fans, for not demanding such a small thing from the team we put a lot of $$$ into... do nt deserve either of these selfless players.

you media guys are something else wins make greatness and as far as um concerned when you make 10 tackels in a game all 10 to 15 yards down feild, you are not a great linebacker you just didnt give up on the play. yall are giving zach and jt to much respect, remeber it was jt who wanted know parts of the regime two years ago. JT pereferred to dance with stars, now yall expect the team to kiss his butt give me a break. one point not noted is JT makes plays but not game winning plays. Plus Bryan Cox was a better linebacker than Zach all day, DURING WINNING SEASONS and they did the same thing to him when Jimmy came in. I did about this then.

We are making too much of this number thing. In Dallas Dez Bryant just received the number 88. Does that mean that they don't appreciate Michael Irvin or Drew Pearson for that matter. Players come and go. I loved JT and ZT as much as anyone but let's be honest for all of their perceived greatness it didn't get us to the Super Bowl and I seem to recall that their defenses were good but not great and gave up many big plays. Love those guys but we need to move on.

Armando, you nailed it right on the head. That was the first thing I thought of this morning when I read the article about the rookie mini-camp and all the numbers! I was ticked off. And I'm a 10 year season ticket holder. For a team that claims to be close to its alumni, always bringing them in for events and games, this was a huge screw up. Zach is my 2nd favorite Fin all time, more than JT. His number should be held in the same regard as Marino's. Ridiculous!!! Monday evening there's a town hall meeting with Sparano. I hope the fans and media ask him. And they need to hire a PR person right away!!!

wow, one more "jeez what is the f.o. thinking?" article and i'll puke. give it a rest and concentrate on the football team that is being built here. these arent issues for most fans armando...might it be YOU that is misreading the base?

Many posters just want to see actual news, especially some type of player profile series of articles, starting with Dansby, so we can get to know the new Dolphins. I agree 100% get to writing.

That being said, WTH is wrong with the front office? I don't care if Ireland asked about Dez' mom, but after spending countless thousands of dollars on Dolphin stuff over the years, I'm damn sure concerned about how they treat the players that kept me involved through the years.

Sign Zach back, retire his #, put his name on the Ring of Honor, and name a freakin' street after him. The man clearly deserves every respect we can give him.

Ridiculous

The reason the trifecta is so secretive and hush hush is highlighted by the Dez Bryant non issue. I would be secretive too if I had to deal with the fools in the press. Why has nobody printed the whole interview with Dez Bryant and everyone quoted out of context. It is my understanding that Ireland asked what his father did, and he said he was a pimp. Then he asked what his mother did and he said she worked for his father. Only then did he ask was she a prostitute and I would have too.

First it's the interview thing where it will not satisfy the media until at least Jeff Ireland's family gets violated & no another potential "PR nightmare"? MAN OMG WHO CARES? I guess only reporters can ask the players "hard hitting questions" and make up future contreversy.

OK, What number are they going to give him then. There simply aren't enough to go around and if you remember they changed numbers after the cuts last year going into the season. I love Zach as much as anybody, but you can't retire everyones jersey number. Ultimately there won't be any numbers left.

The only reason this will become a PR issue is because people like you make it one. Things change, people come and go. If they were to retire every number of a player that the fans liked we'd be in the 100's.

I was a big fan of some of those players, but I'm a big fan of some of the new players too. Should I hold it against them that they wear someone elses number that I liked?

Why don't you try reporting on some worth while Dolphins news and save your personal vendettas for your own personal blog?

This kind of stuff is pathetic, and is nothing but hack journalism.

Who the hell cares. Stop with the obsession with washed up has beens like Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas. If you people in the media keep this up the idiot Ross might bring Cam Cameron or Wannystache back. Leave the Trifecta alone they are doing a great job.

You have your biases, Zach was a very good player for a number of years but hardly the best linebacker the Dolphins have had. 59 was never retired heck 83 is not retired; arguably the best dolphin ever including Marino. The white player become immortal so easily because they look like majority of the fans do a brother must be exceptional; better than all not just better than the others of their group.

It's ironic that the very people the FO shut out, and feel they control, were the very people who are sinking this ship - the reporters. I'm sure Silver wrote that article with some glee. Would he have written it a little differently if this FO was more media-friendly and player-friendly? I believe so.

I have absolutely no respect for Ireland for the way he handles people, and this latest gaff is just the icing on the cake.

IMO it's become apparent that one of the problems with this organization is that the person closest to the players - the head coach, has absolutely no say in anything. Instead, the dolphins are "managed" by Ireland, and by Parcells, whom they see even less of.

I wonder how Sparano felt about his meeting with JT being cancelled. Or how he feels when he has no control over what players are retained, or who is drafted, or how the FA prospects are handled when they dock in Miami. He is micromanaged. I would say actually, even worse than that, it appears as if he has no voice and no input and no power at all. In any corporation, that is never a good thing. And in this organization, I think it's starting to cause things to unravel.

This will all be moot in a year or two.
Parcells is known for building the groundwork of a great team, but has never benn able to really get it over the top.
His reliance on "prototype" players, building from the inside out, concentration on linemen and linebackers exclusively has built the foundation to all of the teams that he has been associated with.
But, you can only neglect position "star" power playmakers for so long until it bites you in the butt.
Next year's draft class is projected to have some of the best position player that we've seen in a while.
QB, RB, and WR are all being touted as strong. With the faux pas that the FO have been pulling lately, I won't be surprised if they are all gone in a couple of years.
You either win NOW in this league or we'll find someone who will!

Zack Thomas,,whos he? I know he played football, I think he played for Dallas then the Chiefs. Jason Taylor the dancing queen who rather dance then practice, and later played, if thats what u call it, for the Redskins. Joey "big mouth" Porter,,,who even cares at this point. I wont even mention Dez Bryant cause he isnt a Dolphin, and that question was ligit, I dont care who writes diffenernt. We, the real, Dolphfans are looking forward to the furture with the last draft class. Please Miami Herald show some class of your own and drop this incredible whine about BS.

These FO clowns remind me more and more of Jimmy Johnsons regime, no respect for Dolphin history only their own

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