Is Tony Sparano still on Steve Ross’s payroll? With the garbage he’s putting on the field up in New York, a conspiracy theorist might believe so.
Thankfully for the Miami Dolphins, the New York Jets offensive struggles this preseason (still haven’t scored a touchdown) have garnered all the attention. The national media hasn’t really had time to criticize the Dolphins’ bold
moves. Joe Philbin and Jeff Ireland have a zero tolerance policy for players with any sort of attitude issue, worth ethic problem, or other type of distraction. Last night, Philbin and Ireland traded Vontae Davis to the Indianapolis Colts for a 2013 2nd and conditional 6th round pick. This is the second time this offseason that Ireland has traded one of his personnel moves for less in return than he paid. Earlier this year, Brandon Marshall was traded to the Chicago Bears for two 3rd round picks, and now the Davis trade. Marshall was acquired by Ireland from Denver in 2010 for two 2nd rounders while Davis was Ireland’s first round pick in 2009. There is obviously a culture Philbin is trying to promote in Miami. Marshall had personality issues, Chad Johnson had domestic issues, and Davis had attitude issues. Davis had already lost his starting job to newly acquired Richard Marshall before being traded. His work ethic was also highlighted on Hard Knocks after showing up to camp overweight, getting gassed during practice, and constantly taking bathroom breaks. Are the Dolphins better for having made these moves? There is obviously some unrest amongst veterans in the locker room. MLB Karlos Dansby publicly spoke out after Chad Johnson was released, and an anonymous veteran expressed his concerns to Omar Kelly of the Sun-Sentinel
last night after the Davis move. “What in the world are we doing? No way are we better without Vontae. We’re supposed to be getting better, and with every decision we keep getting worse,” a Dolphins veteran told Kelly. “We need to see something positive happen.” Philbin and Ireland need to get the locker room to buy into what they’re doing. On paper, this anonymous veteran is right, the Dolphins aren’t better without Davis. But Philbin wants to do things his way and promote the culture he wants. Unfortunately, these are huge risks to take with a young and unproven team as a first-year unproven Head Coach, but winning has a way of changing everything. Miami better start winning once the real season starts, or things could spin out of control similar to the treacherous 2007 season. I’m not gonna lie though, I’m a little uneasy going into September 9th at Houston.