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Troy Vincent: A winner on the field and off

Troy Vincent isn't suprised the Dolphins are struggling this season. He knows the Dolphins don't have a great quarterback and in the NFL, it's practically impossible to successful when your quarterback play is inconsistent.

""When you look at the state of the league, when you don't have consistent quarterback play, I'm not surprised," Vincent said this week. "I never forget when I came to the Dolphins and Danny [Marino] shared with me, 'You win in this league, Troy, with consistent quarterback play so you'll have a chance to win here every week.' He was talking about himself at the time. But as you develop as a professional you look around and see that when you don't have the quarterback play, and the quarterback down there is gone for the season now, and it's up in the air who's going to be behind the center, you're going to have challenges. It's tough to win in that situation. And over the last few years it's been that way in Miami."

Vincent played for the Dolphins from 1992 when Don Shula made him the No. 7 overall selection in the draft until 1995. He went on to play for the Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins in a career that spanned 15 seasons.

Today, Vincent is the NFL's Vice President of Player Engagement, formerly the league's player development organizaton. And from that perch Vincent deals with current and former players every day, trying to make sure they prepare and succeed in football today and their lives when the games and careers are finished.

"My sole responsibilty and purpose is to help those young men to transition -- those coming from college into the pros as rookies and then help those that are transitioning out," Vincent says. "Let's identify what you want to do with your life and identify the skills you learned as a professional athlete and put those to work as you go into the next phase of your life."

Vincent is arguably the greatest cornerback ever to play for the Dolphins. And the stories he shares of his first days with the Dolphins are priceless.

"When I came in I remember coach [Don]Shula picked me up in his Crowne Victoria and, fortunately at the time, the club was filled with veterans and he said to me, 'I'm going to drop you off when we get to St. Thomas and there's a gentleman I want you to go see. He will teach you how to be a pro. It's number 56. I want you to go to his locker and introduce yourself.' It was John Offerdahl," Vincent said. "And at the time I was embraced by John. But coming in from coach [Barry] Alvarez at Wisconsin I already knew football was a game, it wasn't a career. It wasn't something I could do the rest of my life. Coaching you can. Playing you can't."

(Can you imagine Don Shula going to Miami International Airport and picking up his first round draft pick in his own personal Crowne Victoria? Classic.)

"It was a Crowne Victoria," Vincent repeats. "I was sitting in the back seat. He said to me, 'Son, I can only hide for you for two years.' I said, 'Hide me? What do you mean hide me?' He said, 'I can hide you for two years and after that the league will find you. The league will know who you are and will expose your greatest weakness. But if you become a student of the game, you'll play this game as long as you want to.'

"And that was my first conversation with coach Shula. I was so surprised and taken aback, I'm looking out on 836 and thinking, 'I can't believe the coach said he's going to need to hide me.' But what he was trying to instill is that your athletic ability will only take you so far. But if you make a commitment, and that's why he wanted me to engage with John Offerdahl, because he will tell you what you need to do to be a pro, then things can be diferent. And I had no idea what he was talking about. But once I got in the league I found out what he meant because everyone is talented. And those that make the additional sacrifices Monday to Friday are the ones that really give a team a chance to win on Sunday. I want to say it was the greatest words of advice that any coach has shared with me."

Vincent is 41 years old now. He's got a family. He's a success. And he's the made with advice for current Dolphins players. Yes, the players he knows are winless and obviously professionally hapless now.

"Continue to believe in your coach," Vincent says. "Come back [from the bye weekend] refreshed, recharged as you start the second part of your season. It's not over. Continue to believe in your coach. As a former player and the head of Player Engagement, engage ... The club has many resources. You have to engage so that we can assist you both on and off the field."

Vincent has overseen the changes in the player programs. It was necessary because while the programs to help the players had evolved and the services had evolved, and even as the league evolved, the office of player program services had not evolved. Vincent brought about that change.

"It needed a new facelift," he said. "It needed a new look and feel and quite frankly new objectives."

Some of those objectives?

Develop a better student athlete.

Develop the best group of professionals on and off the field.

And create a lifetime fraternity of men who are successful in society that happened to play professional football.

"We've seen it grow," Vincent says of his Player Engagement Organization. "... I would probably say we have a little over a third that truly maximizes the resources at the club level and league level."

Vincent obviously wants all players to embrace the programs that are available to them. He gets graduates of programs to come back and talk to current players about the advantages of using the resources. He even has ways of reaching out to players' significant others to get them to encourage the men s to seek the resources available to them.

"At some point in time, none of them know when their careers will end," Vincent says. "There is no policy or instruction when the game will end for any of us. We want you to begin to think about what life will look like after the pads are off. As professional athletes, we're often high-strung. We're often our own worst enemies. We don't like thinking about tomorrow. But tomorrow will come with or without us. And we want to make sure they're prepared."

I have a theory about NFL players post-retirement. Most fall into one of three categories: There are those that go into coaching on some level or another. There are those that go into the media on some level or another. And there are those that are broke about five minutes after their career ends.

The middle class, the folks that go on to open businesses or work in industry, are few and far between.

"Those are the guys we want to reach most," Vincent said. "We concentrate our efforts on the every day guy. We have an array of programs to introduce the men to the business world and the entrepenurial world. Just because you played the game doesn't mean you're going to be great coach or great commentator. Most of our service offerings are for the every day guy."

To me the most impressive program Vincent's office has is the tuition reimbursement program. The NFL pays the player to go back to finish his education. The league even pays for post-graduate education. That covers books, tuition, everything -- up to $15,000 per year. That is available while the player is current and up to three years after he's out of the game.

"Most of our players, about 45 percent of our population have their degrees. One of our degrees is to get that to around 60 percent which is far more than any other sport. It's double actually of any other sport."

Obviously there are down and out guys. Vincent sighs deeply when I asked him about them. He obviously has a place in his heart for those guys because many suffer from post-career medial issues. Many more deal with emotional problems, including depression.

And Vincent understands because he, too, dealt with a form of depression after leaving the game.

"I probably had a phase of that," he says. "When you read about the symptoms ... Look, we're prideful individuals and no one wants to be tied to that stigma. That's a stigma. That depression is weak. Depression is not weak. It's what am I doing? What's my value in society? What value do I bring to my family today? I would say after reading about it, studying it for so many years, being on the other side of the table, being 24, 25, 27 years of age and never talking about it growing up, but now understanding the signs and knowing the medical research, I would say I had my phase.

"We're seeing high levels of men not transtioning well. And we see depression set in. And they don't understand it's depression. They're just looking. They're trying to identify who they are. Where they want to be in life. What we look at when we say, down-and-out, we try to assess the individuals where they are. I was there once, that individual that after 15 years, now I had to transition to another life. It's adjustment. I'm still adjusting.

"I'm coming to work every day. Happily married But I'm still adjusting to life after football. The locker room comraderie [is missing]. I miss going into a locker room and being on that same schedule that I saw for 15 years. Traveling on a plane. The meetings at night. The strategy. I've had to shift that skill set to the place I'm working now. But I'm still adjusting."

I would tell you Troy Vincent has been more than successful at making the adjustment. He was a winner on the field and has become a winner off the field. Now, he's trying to spread that culture of success to current and past NFL players as Vice President of NFL Player Engagement.


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Troy and #56 were true pros.

After 40+ years of being a diehard Dolfan and watching the last 13 years without Danny boy, I have almost lost hope for any change....and then we just might get a franchise QB at the end of this year.

9/11 was an inside job

WTC 1, 2 & 7 were brought down by controlled demolition.

Checkout wtc7.net and watch the collapse videos.

Does he do coaches and GMs, I know 2 that are gonna need some type of "Life after football" Help.

That's called, giving back to the community. Good for you and the NFL Troy.

Man, that's why Shula was so great.

Tony Sporono would get lost going to the airport.

did you ever notice that the great coachs always have that great advice and incite.
sparano great advice,a big fist pump after a lowly field goal.

After reading that 9/11 bs, I think I like yeah posting first.

Troy Vincent was a great player and is a great person. It takes a lot of personal sacrifice to do what he is doing. It is good to see the work he has done. Everyone forgets how much some of these guys put into the game and the injuries at the ends of their careers.

It also speaks to Don Shula who was a great coach. Replacing him with that blowhard JJ was a blow that the Phins have never recovered from.

One of the best articles i have read in a long time. Great interview.

About what Shula said to Vincent, couldn't "hide" him for more than 2 years. Absolutely true. It took longer with Marino because of his phenomenal talent but eventually he was figured out by the League. This year, in our Team, we are seeing examples of that, C. Wake, Nolan's defence. The Game, as everything else, is always in a state of flux. He who cannot or will not change along with It, will be phased out.

Troy Vincent was a marvelous cover corner.

Armando, was it you that conducted that great interview with Vincent?

Like Vincent says, it is essential to convince, as soon as possible, these very talented players coming in to the League that, EVERYBODY, has weaknesses and that they need to know and accept them in order to play to their strenghts.

See, these are the kind of articles that stimulate/mobilize constructive opinions. Thankyou, Troy Vincent and, ?.

Depression I know about.

Dear Mr. Salguero

Drving Troy Vincent......I luv that movie

Can you imagine Don Shula/Morgan Freeman going to Miami International Airport and picking up Troy Vincent/Jessica Tandy in his own personal Crowne Victoria? Classic.

Soiled :)

great article armando,real class with shula.
what happened to us is the question.we are cursed for the way we treated coach shula and marino .


On to New York, girls. Any advice?

F_ck Ron Paul, this is a football sight, not a place for Political Looneys

Ron Paul wants to give every American a

Blow Job in 2012


And none of that leaves room for Henne to be involved because nothing about his time in Miami suggests he is budding franchise quarterback material. His résumé includes 34 games in which he threw 33 touchdowns and 37 interceptions.

The four games he started this year marked improvement from the Henne we saw in 2009 and 2010, but even the better Henne completed a sobering 38.1 percent of his red-zone passes, 42.9 percent of his fourth-quarter passes and only 53 percent of his third-down passes.

No, Henne wasn’t the biggest problem as the Dolphins stumbled to a 0-4 record. But neither was he a solution.

At the moment Henne was injured, he was still a long way from franchise quarterback material, and that simply isn’t good enough for a team hoping to stay relevant in a league this is primarily about passing the football.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/10/09/2445258/chad-henne-era-in-miami-is-over.html#ixzz1aIGPXLdG

luck is coming, relax everyone. our qb is finally coming

We won't get Luck. There are still 12 games left. The odds are still too great against us picking first. We will win some late games when teams are resting players.

WE WILL GET LUCK, other teams will win some meaningless games also.

You will see.

Moore > Henne.

He will make some plays. He hit a bomb to Clay on his very first series. Henne ony hit one bomb his whole time here. We will win 4 or 5 games.


all were left to do is talk about FORMER Dolphin Greats

...and Ron Paul.


Luck or Lndry Jones, either will do...

Go Indy! Go Minny! Go Rams!

Mando Duped Again!!!

I agree many people do not like Henne. Still last year he was top 16 in 5 of 7 categories. That means he is an upgrade to 16 teams in the league. Landry/Luck/Jones will allow 3 reams to improve this offseason.
But what about the other 13?
The QB's that changed teams last offseason were Kolb, Hasselback and Jackson - Henne is better than all of them and he's 25.

Here's the problem: The Phins don't have the cap room.

We need QB (Henne is FA), NT (Solai is FA), FS (Rashad Jones)and RT (Columbo).

If we draft one of those top 3 QB's with a top 3 pick that costs $10 mil. That would mean at best NT and RT & FS upgrades would be rookie 2nd & 3rd & 4th rounders.

If I were Luck's agent I wouldn't let him sign up for that.

The team planted this story on Mando because they want to see what kind of interest it piques around the league.

In order for the team to get compensated if Henne leaves they have to tender him and if they tender him high enough and he accepts then they can't afford to draft Luck.

They have to trade him before trade deadline or get nothing.

Troy nailed it! Here is our problem. We have NO ONE IN THE FRONT OFFICE OR ON THE TEAM THAT CAN DO THESE THINGS.

1. Develop a better student athlete.

2. Develop the best group of professionals on and off the field.

3. And create a lifetime fraternity of men who are successful in society that happened to play professional football.

We have a group of managers that just manage. Barely manage at that.

Ross is no Al Davis that's for sure. More like Al Bundy.

Aren't you guys just sick to your stomach over this team? Here we are, four games into the season, and already OUT!

At least if we were 2-2 (or 1-3) there would still be hope. But we're already OUT! This is getting sooooooooo old.

Its one thing to have a bad year or two back to back. Its another thing to have back decades back to back.

This is just sickening to me. I don't think I will live long enough to see this team win another superbowl. South Florida is not hungry enough.

Who do I wish more ill will today?
The Jets or the Patriots?

The good news is the mighty air-breathers wont be beat today, The bad news is they travel up to NY sunay night, But they always play em tough...... Told you all they'll be 3 an 13.... Sorry.

Everyone here ready for another Sunday of homoerotic obsession with athletic, young men grappling each other in tight, spandex uniforms?

Posted by: psychology 101 | October 09, 2011 at 12:23 PM

psychology 101 = Pricemaster......

Tony Sporono cant hold shula jock strap

Dear Mr. Salguero

Just saw this article at CBSSports dot com

"Report: Dolphins gig Gruden's 'if he wants it'"

Is it true ?

Soiled :)

Dear Mr. Salguero


"People close to the situation believe the Dolphins job will be Jon Gruden’s if he wants it," Pompei writes Sunday. "Gruden remains undecided on whether or not he will remain in broadcasting.

It’s likely Stephen Ross will offer Gruden a sweetheart deal that will make it difficult for Gruden to turn down. Rumors continue that the Dolphins also will hire Carl Peterson as team president."

Soiled :)

i dnt like peterson but if we clean house ill be happy gruden is ok.

Dear Mr. Salguero

Seriuos Dolphin posts are not my forte....not an X's an O's kind of poster.

Serious posters....what do you think of this news ?

Soiled :)

Soiled, Your last couple posts have no Humor. Is there a problem in the "Soiled" Household???

i dnt like peterson but if we clean house ill be happy gruden is ok.

Posted by: phins1324 | October 09, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Phin Quarter Mile, Anything to rid this team of this group is welcomed.. IMHO....

Dear Mr. Cuban Menace

"Soiled, Your last couple posts have no Humor. Is there a problem in the "Soiled" Household???"

Its my bye week.....gonna rest my brain cells and ride the stationary bike

Soiled :)

Ross/Ireland are smarter than that. They will probably come up with someone new like they tried to do last year with Jim Harbaugh.

Soiled, Your name is not Channing Crowder by any chance????????

Ross/Ireland are smarter than that. They will probably come up with someone new like they tried to do last year with Jim Harbaugh.

Posted by: oscar canosa | October 09, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Oscar, REALLY????? REALLY???, Your gonna go there??, Are you partying with Odin???

Dear Mr. Cuban Menace

If I was Channing Crowder I would have mistackled your last post and the old lady would have spit in my face

Soiled :)


If you think Daboll made Henning look lost, dare to imagine what Gruden makes Tony look like!

Gruden wouldn't be my pick, but at this point I'd take Charlie Sheen and a pizza.

Charlie's still unemployed isn't he????

Classic Soiled..... LMAOSBOMC....

Oscar, REALLY????? REALLY???, Your gonna go there??, Are you partying with Odin???

Posted by: Cuban Menace | October 09, 2011 at 12:56 PM

Party? Where?

Oh wait, I'm having a Leif Erikson Party tonight.

Never mind, this hangover had me a bit fuzzy for a second.

I Agree here with Odin, Lets bring in Charle Sheen, He'll bring in 2 things that Idiot Ross wants, Hollywood and "Tiger Blood"......Gooooo Fins..

Speaking of who is employed I hear Pat McQuistan got reinstated at Radio Shack.

Soiled Bottom... If we do indeed end up with the first pick in the draft. IMO this would be a very difficult job for a guy like Gruden to turn down, if offered.

This said, I have a hard time thinking any coach in their right mind would want this job if Ireland remains the GM..First pick or not. Ireland is like the doctor the perscribes you codiene when your pain level is oxycodone..

Dear Mr. Odinseye

If the article is true about Gruden and Peterson it will open a whole new avenue of material for a poster like me.

Gruden/Peterbilt.....Chucker and the Trucker

Soiled :)

Anyone else get the irony?
Troy Vincent had a great 15 year career, the first 4 years with Phins, then we gave up on him and he became pro bowler.

Henne's leaving after 4 years also.

It's hard to judge Ireland on his PICKS. He's only flew solo once.

But the personel/roster moves ALONE are enough for me.

Let SpOrano take Ireland and go join the cast of The World's Dumbest Criminals!

They'll BOTH fit right in!

Price, Also Reminds me of Wes Welker.... Hummmmmm, Conspiracy Maybe????, Where's Home??. I hear if you say his name 3 times he appears, just like in Beattljuice..

Gruden/Peterbilt.....Chucker and the Trucker

Soiled :)

Posted by: SoiledBottom | October 09, 2011 at 01:05 PM

And **THAT** is why you're my Hero!

PS: You owe me for a Black Sabbath 1999 Reunion Tour T-shirt. A recent post of yours caused a nasty stain.

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