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Hazing will be thing of the past for Dolphins

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell today will meet with the braintrust of the NFL Players Association, including new president Eric Winston, executive director DeMaurice Smith and other members of the recently elected executive committee, and one major topic on the table will be workplace conduct.

The meeting, part of Goodell's attention to fostering respect and good conduct in the workplace, is a direct result of the Dolphins 2013 harassment scandal.

And out of this and other meetings may come tangible conduct guidelines from the NFL on how players (and others) should interact in the workplace -- which includes the locker room, the practice field, and practice facility as well as the football field every game day.

(Sad it has come to this, but grown men are about to be told how to act because a handful of guys on the Dolphins and elsewhere crossed the line.)

Anyway, one area that is most definitely in the crosshairs on a league and local level with the Dolphins is the subject of rookie hazing.

The idea of older, more established players wielding power over younger, newer players is not new to the NFL. It's been going on forever. And much of the time it has been innocuous.

The idea of rookies bringing breakfast to camp every morning, or meals for veterans to team flights, or singing their alma mater in front of a team meeting hasn't really bothered too many people before -- except Tim Bowens once upon a time. (More on that later).

But when you have an annual practice, which rookie hazing is, and you have no guidelines for it and thus no limits, and then some folks get out of control, the practice often is assigned governing parameters.

Look for rookie hazing on a league-wide level to soon be governed under some parameters. And do not be surprised if those parameters include prohibiting much if not all rookie hazing altogether.

And even if rookie hazing league-wide is not severly limited, look for the Dolphins to do so going forward.


Well, the NFL believes the players should operate in a workplace environment of respect and professionalism. And hazing -- which includes practices such as  players giving other players embarrassing haircuts and forcing them to do sophomoric things -- does not outwardly portray a strong sense of respect and professionalism.

You may recall during the past two preseasons Dolphins veterans have cut and dyed the hair of rookies in all sorts of unfashionable ways. In 2012 Jonathan Martin was made to look like a monk, with his hair shaven on top and allowed to grow out on the side.

Josh Samuda's hair was sculpted in such a way as to resemble a penis. And although Samuda tried to wear a hat to cover the carving, it was nonetheless uncovered during a team meeting ... on Hard Knocks.

You'll recall the scene on national television of coach Joe Philbin smiling uncomfortably as he saw the hairstyle unveiled. And you'll recall him joking about how classy that made the Dolphins organization look.

Well, Philbin last year got a taste of what can happen when playful rookie hazing grows up, gets angry, and is put in the hands of exactly the wrong people -- people who have no barriers holding power over people who have no ability to stand up for themselves.

Philbin obviously doesn't want a repeat of veteran players forcing younger players to do things they don't want -- such as pay for trips to Las Vegas, the strip club or expensive dinners -- which were some of the allegations of what was going on within the Dolphins.

So Philbin is going to draw a line on hazing in the coming training camp even if the NFL does not.

(Peanut gallery: But Mando, rookie hazing serves a purpose. It draws the players closer. It is a rite of passage. It brings the rookie outsiders into the fold. It is a team-building exercise).

Thank you, peanut gallery for making the argument used throughout time to defend the practice.

In truth, many NFL coaches past and present would not allow hazing at all and had close teams and, indeed, successful teams without it.

Bill Walsh, who won four Super Bowls for the San Francisco 49ers, would not allow rookie hazing. Pete Carroll, whose Seattle Seahawks just won the Super Bowl, does not condone rookie hazing.

"The way Bill saw it, if you hazed rookies you might get them so scared they couldn't focus on the game," running back Roger Craig said in the book 100 things 49ers fans should know and do before they die.

"You might destroy their confidence. So Bill didn't allow that. After all they were there to help us win more Super Bowls."

The Dolphins have had rookie hazing since, well, perhaps 1966 when the team was founded. Don Shula allowed it. But Shula's pragmatism always took precedence over tradition. Yes, the Dolphins had a tradition of hazing, but Shula believed more in the idea of winning.

And when tradition threatened winning, tradition lost.

In 1994, first-round pick Tim Bowens was ordered by veterans to sing in front of the team in keeping with the hazing tradition. Bowens refused and actually started packing his bags to leave the team and head home to Mississippi.

Shula stepped in.

Bowens didn't have to sing. He didn't have to be hazed.

All he had to do was play well and help the team win. 


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Now if a real world draft could fall this way, Christmas wuld come in May.

Every team in the league has UDFAs and late round picks starting for them.

Actually, when Pouncey was picked, I went through every team in the league and found out where their interior line was drafted and the average draft round was between the 4th and 5th round. So every team except us are taking guys late, letting them go through their program for a year or two then take one to be a starter.

we have to get on this train or we will forever be using our premium picks on grunts when the rest of the league are picking game breakers.

So, I'm with deity here. If lewan is within reach, grab him because he will be Albert's successor at LT. If not, take BPA and get your RT in round too.

In the words of Walter Camp, "right tackles grow on trees" Surely can find a starter in round two - even Dave Wannstedt could do that when he found Todd Wade.


I disagree totally with your draft..why more defensive ends? I like the Lewan pick but don't want to trade away picks to get him. but the late o-line picks are not good, we have no time to develope them.

we need 2 starters on o-line in this draft. We also need an inside linebacker who could start.

234 Duhty's pool boy

Futbol > Football

I'm just glad I apparently get to go for a swim when I get home, and it will be clean!!!

Blasphemy ETF!!!


Rest of draft traded.

MIT for me it prob boils down to my lack of knowledge on prospects like others here.

When push came to shove not sure I'd have stones to execute that. For me I'd (job on line) draft 2 OT's within 1st 4rds maybe even 3. One to start other for depth & compete @ G for starting position. In event if a guy like Albert goes down wk2 with depth already there & I can look my boss in eye & say well I drafted 2 high & my ass is covered along with half of staffs.

In no way I'm saying I'm right just what I'd prob actually execute on draft day. Somewhat safe & yes boring.

I am 100% all in on BPA 1st rd.

I'm out, lotta work nxt 3hrs..cheers

Wally, we do not need two starters. We need one. We used a 3rd on Thomas last year. Are we just supposed to flush that down the toilet?

Brenner is a candidate
Smith is a candidate
Garner is even a candidate.

Find two guards out of those four ...

As far as the DEs, they are both graded 2nd round adn graded out very well actually.

Kareem Martin is a big guy, almost 280 who will play immediately as an inside pass rusher on pass downs. An inside pass rush is what we don't have anything off.

Chris Smith is a classic edge rusher who put up 14.5 sacks last year and played very well for Louisville. If he's there in the 4th, you take him.

Wake is just about done in Miami and it's time to come up with a contingency plans.

This is what winners do. you don't wait until you have a glaring hole to find a player and then use a first round pick to find his replacement just because its your biggest need.

the two late linemen are guys youa dd to your system that you hope ina year or two will be starters. Like I said, if you don't do this and continually use high picks to find grunts then you go nowhere in life.

remember the draft is for five years, not one.

And perhaps it's best you start looking at the player rather than the position.

If you can't make a line work with Albert,Pouncey, and lewan then you should be fired. Shouldn't even matter who your guards are at that point. That is way more than adequate talent in the NFL.

The ILB is a problem but then again, these ILBs suck... I don't think any of them are must have prospects. Just because you ahve the need does not mean the supply is there.

garn, that approach reeks of panic...

It's about time this team starts drafting properly instead of acting like the guy in the boat sticking fingers in the holes trying to stop the water from coming in.

Who in the NFl has a line with 3 firsts, a 2nd and a 3rd on it?


It is going to be very intriguing because no one knows what Hickey (Hickey/Philbin combo) is going to do.

And I would also wager Patchan would challenge for a guard spot. Guy played very well for Boston College. history if injuries is the reason he is graded so low, not skill.

Johnathan Martin is a hero to all minorities.

I was reading that Manziel is such a wildcard that he could drop into the second round.

Would the Phins consider Manziel at #19 if he dropped that far?

He could be the one to "push" Tannehill to improve or to get him out of the way.

There was a QB that dropped to the Phins at #29 (I believe) that no one thought would be there but he was bigger (maybe not smarter).

I'm no fan at all of drafting a 1st rd RT. Yes, sounds great in theory, but, the human element almost alw3ays gets in the way. Neither Branden Albert nor the 1st rd LT drafted to be RT will be fans of the move.

Remember, Albert was fan of Chiefs drafting Eric Fisher last season. Sure, the Chiefs had Albert play left and Fisher play right tackle for a season. Remember, that was for only 1 season, led to Albert leaving this season didn't it?

So, what happens when we draft say, Lewan? His ego tells him, "Wtf, I'm a LT, I do not want to play RT for at least 3 seasons until Albert's done."

Then, Albert's ego says, "Oh no, here we go again. That's why I left KC. Even if this kid beats me out, I'm not going to be happy with going to the right side."

What we have then is two starting olinemen unhappy with where they are playing. Leading to locker room uneasiness, that sooner or later spills onto the field of play. It's called the "human equation". Everything which sounds great in theory doesn't it make it great.

So, in attempt to fix one oline problem, we end up creating another. The human element is can many times be the "devil in the details".

Jonathan Martin was a LT in college. Played RT for a season, then moved back to LT with Long leaving.

Then lo and behold, we end up with one of the biggest 2013 stories of the year. I don't have tell any of you what that is.

Moral of the story, these guys are not as happy as you would think moving around from position to position. Led to Martin/Cogs, and Albert, this season becoming a Dolphin.

Go ahead Mr. Hickey, us your 1st pick to draft a LT to play RT, after acquiring Albert to play LT. He wasn't happy about the Chiefs doing and he isn't going to be happy about you doing it now. Neither will the college Lt drafted to play RT, knowing Albert was just signed on to the squad.

Instead of one unhappy camper, we'll have two. Both playing absolutely critical positions to protecting your qb. Happy qb shopping in the very near future, that's exactly what Im seeing it leading too.

Sam, for every Martin meltdown there's a Lane Johnson Jason peters that also works out for a couple of years.

But I will agree I hate the idea of drafting a secondary OL position in the first round - this first round especially. last year was ideal i thought, especially with Lane Johnson staring you in the face and not a whole lot of dynamic players sitting around but every draft is different and this one is rich with guys with potential to be difference makers. Really, if guards and RTs are the guys you need then you can get plenty in the 2nd and 3rd rd.

Actually the reigning NFL offensive rookie of the year was a 3rd rd g from Kentucky.

Jordan Mills played a whole year of stellar ball of RT and was picked in the fifth.

That was a bit of a fluke but still it happens - maybe in a bit higher round.

Time our scouts and Gm earned their keep and do what almost everyone else is doing.

Biggest need does not always been first round pick... I think this is one of those situations.


I disagree totally with your draft..why more defensive ends? I like the Lewan pick but don't want to trade away picks to get him. but the late o-line picks are not good, we have no time to develope them.

Posted by: wallyfin | April 09, 2014 at 01:35 PM

It will take multiple picks in this a very deep draft to move up on T.Lewan. I've posted since last Season that he was my personal fav. of available OL in the 2014 draft and now believe he could be gone as early as Top-5 to Oakland with Robnson already off the boards ifr not there because Matthews went ahead then no later than 7 to Tampa and it will take a Kings ransom to move there from #19 with so many other teams ahead of us in need of a Tackle as well.

Alot of people caught up in the bloodlines thing with J.Matthews but if you watched Tex A&M any you know he gave up alot of backside pressure to those SEC speed rushers (NFL 3/4 OLB's) He was a LT by default after Joekel graduated to the NFL and as a RT in Manziel's Fr. Heisman Yr. he was very good in run blocking and steady in pass protect. Book said slow feet won't translate to LT before 2013 and they weren't kidding! Didn't anybody see their game Vs. Alabama early were Manziel was running for his life because of the backside pressure? Later Vs. LSU and Auburn as well?? Most over-hyped IMO is the kid from the Matthews clan!

In any event he goes Top-10 and IMO flops on the Left eventually becoming very good RT but that's not value on Top-10 return. You have in this draft Rams, Raiders (why did they let in-house Veldheer walk for Saffold?) Atl.,Tampa, Buff., and Det. all LT needy in Top-10 and feel now that all 3 (Robinson,Lewan & Matthews) go in that Top-10 group. Later you have Giants, Steelers and Ravens all eye-balling Z.Martin leaving C.Kuoandjio as BA for us in a pass for me.

In looking at the draft I could see the Cards behind us maybe looking at QB D.Carr (would be a Top pick if not named/related to Carr IMO)Arians needs eventual succesor at QB. In this scenario (if it played out) I would try and trade with Cleveland and maybe even Texans (looking QB @#33) as possible trade partner for no less than either's high #3 pick) taking Sua-Filo at my trade back spot. Not popular but will be a very good athletic type to add next to Pouncey while targeting RT with addtional pick staying BA MLB,Safety or T.E. with my own 2nd and 3rd Rd selections.

Sam, who's your ideal first round pick? Carlos Hyde still? Just trying to get some alternative opinions.

Tyron Smith went from right to left to back again. Fisher, Johnson, and Joekel all started the year at right.

Johnson played right all year, the Peters got a 4 year extension with 15 mil + guaranteed.

Its not an unprecedented move and has worked before.

You must think with your ass.

Drafting T.Lewan in the first round is the best thing the Fins can do. Who cares about B.Albert's feelings.

This isn't J.Long and J.Martin. Which the Fins should have never tried replacing J.Long with J.Martin.

This is more B.Albert and E.Fisher. B.Albert can't find it offensive that he will be replaced by a guy of higher pedigree.

I don't see anything wrong with the Fins Releasing B.Albert in 2-3 Seasons.

You don't have to worry for the next 4-5 Years. Even if you keep B.Albert. The First round contract is 5 years long. By the time you have to pay T.Lewan his big money LT contract, B.Albert will be retiring.

So you prefer to not have two real good tackles for the next 5 years and have the RT replace the LT in 5 years, because the LT might catch feelings. GTFOH!!!

Dickface, Stop being such an Assbrain Sam.

If we can't trade up for T.Lewan, F4L brings up a great point trade back.

I would try and trade back for a future #1. Specially from a team like the Browns or the Raiders.

f4l, if Lewan is top 5 or even top 10, then yeah it's out of the question. But if gets within about 5 slots of our pick, Hickey better have something in place.

I advocate the only lewan as a first rd o lineman - nobody else.

I would understand someone else, just wouldn't like it.

Lewan is a LT in waiting, Albert in two years would have no choice but to accept a move to RT or g if that is what is best for the team. His alternatives would eb release and lose out on big dollars or sign elsewhere and play LT for next to nothing in money.

We all know what Albert would pick.

But to pick a guy who's ceiling is RT in round one - this round one ... BAH!

When your alternatives could be a double digit sack DT which is crucial in this system, a future #1 WR, a star LB, etc, etc... just so much better options for the franchise long term.

Lewan or bust as far as 1st round OL

Biggest need does not always been first round pick... I think this is one of those situations.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | April 09, 2014 at 03:02 PM

I completely agree however I believe at our spot D.Carr becomes attractive to some. I really think there's a reason he's the QB nobody mentions and after watching some of his play feel him a steller prospect who would be in every convo if David wasn't his Big-Bro!

The Cards as I mentioned in my last post could use someone for their QB minded H.C. to groom. The Browns (if they pass on the QB @4) might be inclined to move up here, as well as the Texans just maybe at 33. If the case would move back and take Sua-Filo who to me (like our Center) would be the Ultra-Athletic Kevin Mawae type giving us a strong athletic interior line. The additional pick allows us to target another OL or maybe go BA as you say and gamble on Trai Turner with additional pick?

Yeah Dashi, f4l, I've been an advocate of the trade back if Donald and Lewan are off the board IMO - at that point there are a tossed salad of good players and one will shake out to our tradeback.

We do not need 1 or 2 starters on the oline...we need 3.

At the moment we have Albert and Pouncey. Please dont say we have starters like Shelley Smith (6 weeks ago nobody had even heard of him),Jason Fox (played 3 games in 4 years),Dallas Thomas (did nothing in his rookie year to suggest he's gonna be a solid starter), Nate Garner (been with the team for 6 years and has never been good enough to start) and Sam Brenner (gave up about 9 sacks against Buffalo).

They're all backups.

The first 2 picks in this years draft has to be on the oline...

f4l, there will be someone that is a mid round/late round pick that may be able to puch for OG duty. You mention Turner, I mentioned Patchan, who knows, probably others.

At any rate, I think we have enough candidates in house for OG plus one mid late round pick.

I do agree that by no later than the end of the 2nd, we should draft one OL that we can write in using ink to start.

Shouldn't be that hard to find a guard or RT in the 2nd round... like I said Dave Wannstedt could even do it.

Yeah, because it's unheard of for players to be better in their 2nd year than first.... come on Mark

Dallas Thomas was a 3rd round pick for goodness sake. We're not talking about a 7th rounder or an undrafted rookie.

1st,2nd and 3rd round draft picks should be starters for any 7-9/8-8 team,without fail.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | April 09, 2014 at 03:22 PM

You guys know I've been telling you since end of last Season that the QB's would slide the LT's in a deep draft at OL. But we also all know that thinking draft in Jan. (because your team is at home) is fools gold! Everything changes, Brdgewater and his horrid Pro-Day, Manziel chatter getting cold on his athletics translating ect... The kicker of course for me, the Oakland Raiders letting their solid LT walk to replace (with a swing Tackle in Saffold??) losing out because the guy they target can't pass a physical!

All of a sudden you have Robinson gone in Top-3 with the 2nd maybe going to Oak. at #5. If the 3rd one left on the boards somehow managed to get by Atl. at #6 he won't get passed Lovie Smith at #7. All academic because if you look at what Atl. has done you understand there building in the trenches to battle in the tough NFC with Champs and 49ers. They added inside to their DL and even if on boards will pass on K.Mack and take a LT to protect the FRANCHISE!

I see it plain as day with them passing on LT in FA! No way S.Baker or draft bust G.Carimi see a down of Ball in 2014 at LT. This is there move IMO! That's all 3 gone by pick 6 and now when it counts in April the QB's are the ones doing the sliding which could help us with teams maybe thinking value with one in a trade up with us but in the scenario my pick is Xavier Sua-Filo in can't miss prospect!

Posted by: Mark in the UK | April 09, 2014 at 03:26 PM

I didn't know who S.Smith was so agreed! I do know as a UM Lifer who J.Fox was and his problem in Por game has been with injuries derailing him but agree both of these guys bring the dreaded unkown factor with to mant ?'s. The reason I love the Sua-Filo pick in trade back or Turner a bit later to bad about B.Thomas who I thought a day-1 NFL Starter.

Wrestling best IMO

Ric Flair
Macho Man Randy Savage
Brett The Hitman Hart
The Rock


Posted by: Mark in Toronto | April 09, 2014 at 01:27 PM

Not a bad mock Mark, objectively speaking. But I don't get your logic or your reasoning. The offensive Line is obviously our biggest area of need. But you advocate only using one high pick.

I get that, but then you lose me completely with your mock. Amaro at 50 is interesting. But we have an emerging Clay and Simms, and the probability of bringing back Keller(BTW-Doctors claim that Keller should make a full recovery due to the fact that there was no structural damage with his injury).

Then the DE's in the 3rd and 4th rounds really throw me. This is probably our biggest strength. Vernon got double digit sacks, Wakes a beast, and Shelby has been nothing if not solid. On top of that, the Brass has come out and said Dion Jordan will see more playing time, specifically at DE.

I understand the reasoning for not using so many high picks on the O-Line(I disagree though). But to make that statement and then advocate using the picks on TE's and DE's, it just seems a little contradictory.

Are those low lives here already?


My friend is a die hard Rams fan and he said Smith isn't the best. he's a certain backup.

If available, the decision at 19 has to be either 1 of 4 options...

1. Zack Martin

2. Xavier Sua-Filo

3. C.J Mosley

4. Trade down

What's this business with the Dolphins and duel role players. Draft a TACKLE or a GUARD, or a really good MIDDLE LINEBACKER. C.J. Mosely anyone? Not some tweener. Maybe he can play OLB or Maybe ILB. B.S. Draft the position. And draft another QB. I'm still not convinced half those sacks weren't on Tannehill.

We don't need a LT, we need a RT. Plenty of those available in Rds 2-4. Hey, odin, how do you like Calvin Pryor?

Man, that guy Yankey from Stanford is a huge G, 6'5", 315lbs, could easily play T. Might be worth a shot in 2nd Rd.

Nice write ups! I really like it a lot. It's very informative and it's in detailed. Good job!

Its to bad speculation isn't a thing of the past in the sports media.,,,,,,,

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