June 13, 2008

Marcus Vick pans out the way I thought he would

As Yoda might say: Sometimes wrong I am.

Deez from this blog just called me out for being wrong on the Jake Long post I had a few months ago. I wrote that because the Dolphins had like, a shadow, show up for Long's pro day, they apparently weren't too interested in the Michigan tackle. Woops.

But as Yoda would also say: Often right I am.

And so as I read this news story out of Norfolk, VA., I just had to shake my head. The story details a little incident involving former Dolphins practice squad receiver/returner/never was Marcus Vick. Seems Ron Mexico's younger brother got in trouble with the police. Again.

Vick, 24, and Miami woman Delicia Lenora Cordon, 24, spent time in jail last night after both were booked on DUI and public intoxication charges, respectively. Vick was released on bail about the time the East Coast was waking up this morning while Cordon was released on her own recognizance, the news account said.

Cordon has a myspace page that alleges she is an actress, model and "video vixen," whatever that is. [True story, first time I went on myspace was just now to access this link.]

Anyway, when Nick Saban took a chance on Vick back in 2006, I panned the idea. Absolutely hated it. Thought it was a recipe for disaster. Said it wouldn't work out. Fact is, this is exactly what I said:

"You've all heard about the report that the Dolphins are bringing Vick's less talented and much more trouble-prone little bro to this weekend's minicamp. Big mistake.

"I challenge any of you to name one former trouble-maker or druggie who simply turned things around and became a star for the Miami Dolphins. Outside of Irving Fryar, who turned into a productive player around the time he got born again, I cannot recall even one player who chased away the demons effectively enough to be productive on Sunday.

"On the other hand, I can recall off the top of my head a bunch of guys who were trouble when the Dolphins gambled on them, and continued to be trouble afterward.

"Chuck Muncie in the 1980s? He was traded to Miami and when he took his urinalysis, white powder came out.

"Tony Collins back in 1990 didn't work out. Clayton Holmes, he of three failed drug tests with the Cowboys, failed another drug test before he got out of training camp his only year in Miami.

"Demetrius Underwood came with emotional baggage and when that luggage landed in Miami, it detonated as Underwood tried to commit suicide during a bye weekend.

"Cecil Collins came to Miami with a prison record and rewarded Jimmy Johnson's confidence in him by sneaking into some lady's apartment -- while her husband was home. So, of course, he rectified the situation by jumping out the window -- never mind he had missed a game or practice or something because of a sprained ankle.

"LaCurtis Jones came to Miami in the 1996 draft with a reputation for violence, which seem OK if he channeled it strictly to the field. But when he got cut, he showed up at training camp with a gun. True story.

"Lawrence Phillips was a thug at Nebraska, was a thug in St. Louis and when the Dolphins signed him, guess what? He was a thug in Miami.

"Gene Atkins once punched out a teammate in New Orleans then came to Miami and argued with Louis Oliver and grabbed Tom Olivadotti on the sidelines.

"I can go on and on: Larry Webster (drugs) got suspended; Shane Burton (alcohol) got arrested for DUI; Tim McKyer (bad reputation) lasted only one year; Bobby Humphry (drugs) got shot; Tyrone Wheatley (I don't even remember his major malfunction when he came to Miami) got cut.

"Are you getting the drift that there is a reason these guys get traded or don't get drafted? Are you getting the drift that when the Dolphins add these guys to the roster, they are inheriting someone else's headache?

"Vick, according to three sources, was completely off the draft board of at least 21 NFL teams from my count. They obviously knew something about the kid that overshadowed his good arm and 4.47 speed.

"He got suspended in 2004 and was finally kicked off the Virginia Tech team after last season -- even after his older brother had taken him in and tried to set him on the right direction.

"So now he comes to the Dolphins for a tryout and the team will say it hasn't invested anything in the guy and it doesn't hurt to give the guy a chance because, what the heck, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

"But that's very shortsighted. Every snap he takes in this minicamp, is one less snap a more worthwhile player doesn't get. Every moment he spends with a coach, is one less moment that coach is investing on a player that isn't as likely to get into trouble down the road.

"The sad thing is sometimes guys like Mexico Jr. look like they've gotten their act together, make you start trusting that everything is fine and then ... poof, the air goes out of the good-guy balloon.

"They revert to their old ways and it always happens at the wrong time. Bobby Humphrey was great for the Dolphins for a while that 1992 season and then when Miami got to the AFC title game against Buffalo, he mysteriously shows up 30 minutes before the game and lays a huge egg that day.

"At the end of the day it simply is not worth it, people. These players come wrapped in much talent and potential but tear open the attractive exterior and you get a package full of unreliability."

Well, turns out Vick wasn't a very good football player to go along with the fact he is an arrest magnet. But the point I made about him and other troubled played back then remains true today.

They're simply not worth the trouble.

Thoughts ...

May 22, 2008

How much does Wayne Huizenga really know?

Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga puzzles me.

I know he has a brilliant business mind because he is the only person in America to be responsible for six companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange and to have three make the Fortune 500 list. Everything he touches makes money and the Dolphins are no different as his investment in the team will eventually bring him 10 times what he paid.

But ...

The man apparently does not know what is going on with his most recognized company. On Wednesday morning you might have read that Huizenga told my colleague Barry Jackson in an exclusive interview that he would not tell Bill Parcells what to do on the Jason Taylor matter.

No problem. The hands off owner is being, well, hands off.

But Huizenga also said in the article that, "as far as I'm concerned, [Taylor's] happy [here]." He went on to tell Jackson that he's read accounts of Taylor being disgruntled and asking to be traded but simply didn't believe the stories in the press.

To which I respond: Amaaaaazing!

So let's break this down because, frankly, I cannot fathom this stuff. [Huizenga, by the way, will be a chapter in my Dolphins book someday.] On the same day the owner of the Dolphins tells the biggest media outlet that regularly covers the team he believes Taylor is happy in Miami, the head coach holds a press conference to announce Taylor ain't showing up for OTAs, ain't showing up for voluntary and mandatory minicamps and ain't showing up for TRAINING CAMP.

Sound like a happy player to you?

That leaves me only two possible explanations. Either Mr. H was lying stretching the truth when he talked to Jackson or he is simply out of the loop, unaware and uninformed. I don't believe Huizenga said something he didn't believe to be the case.

So I have to conclude that he is just ignorant to some things that are going on, even some significant things such as this.

And that lack of awareness comes despite the fact Huizenga was at the team facility during draft weekend -- while the Dolphins were trying to trade Taylor. It comes despite the fact he visited during the rookie minicamp and had ample opportunity to speak to Bill Parcells or Jeff Ireland or Sparano or anybody else he wanted because he's the friggan' owner.

So what we have here is another example of why the Dolphins got so putrid the past decade. In many respects, their problem started at the top.

An update about this blog: Yesterday was significant in that Dolphins In Depth surpassed 1 million page views for the year. We're at 1,005,543 and the season isn't even here yet. I thank you for visiting. And tell other Dolfans about it.

May 13, 2008

Taylor advancing on Dancing good or bad?

Jason Taylor just advanced to the Dancing with the Stars finals.

I admit it. I watch.

So does the rest of the world, apparently. Taylor was just on the cover of TV Guide (Didn't realize that was still around). He also is said to have met with Denzel Washington and some executive muckety muck at 20th Century Fox that told him he should be in pictures.

I want Taylor to win Dancing because, at least for now, he represents South Florida and I'm for South Florida through and through. But although it is good that Taylor goes on to next week's finals, it is also true another week of Taylor on Dancing means another week he's not in the Dolphins conditioning program.

You know how I feel about the importance of offseason conditioning. I also think players make huge salaries and owe their teams and themselves the best opportunity to play well during the season by getting as strong and as finely conditioned as possible during the offseason.

But I'm wondering what you think. Maybe you guys don't think it's a big deal Taylor has missed seven weeks of the program so far so that he could be on, well, the other program. And maybe you don't care if he misses the whole darn thing. So here's your chance to voice your opinion.

Tell me when Jason Taylor should rejoin the Dolphins for conditioning work. Tell me if you think he should join the program at all. Tell me if you believe it is no biggie. Also, take the poll below. I just learned how to configure it so make me happy and cooperate.