I know I've used this title regularly for Tuesday posts. But this week, this title is really perfectly fitting. There's going to be a few big things to monitor this week stemming directly from Sunday's game.
Before I address 2 of them, I just want to say that it still makes me a little ill when I watch Drew Brees play as a member of the Saints. Passing on him not once, but twice, is still eating away at me inside. I know our situation at QB has gotten better, but it's hard not to imagine what might have been if the Dolphins either drafted Brees like they should have or signed him instead of trading away a 2nd round pick for Daunte Culpepper. Ugh!
WHAT HAPPENS WITH PORTER?
I touched on it quickly in the recap post, but I feel this warrants a little bit more attention. We all saw Joey Porter melt down for 2 personal foul penalties in less than a minute late in Sunday's game. We also know that Porter directly defied the coaching staff's decision to replace him with Charlie Anderson on the field after he committed those penalties - instead waving Anderson back to the bench.
Now we need to see how Tony Sparano will handle this situation. On Monday, Sparano told the media that whatever he will do about the situation will be handled between just he and Joey, behind closed doors. I like that approach. But it's important that something get done and Porter me reprimanded.
This is the first real test for Sparano as head coach. He hasn't had to deal with a situation like this with a key member of the team before. I think that how Sparano deals with this situation will be critical to how Tony is perceived by his team from this point on. If he lets Porter off the hook for insubordination during a game, then Sparano is going to look like the tough kind of coach we all think (and hope) he is. Of course, he won't be a spineless coach, either. But it would certainly cause his players to wonder just how Sparano will handle these kinds of situations as this team moves forward - which is never good.
I think most here would agree that Sparano has to do something. But I think that suspending Porter is the wrong answer. He has 14.5 sacks and is the only consistent pass-rushing threat this team has. And if they are going to continue their push for the playoffs, they are going to need Joey on the field. Suspending Porter would be one of those classic situations of "cutting off their nose to spite their face." Why hurt the team because of one player's brief moment of stupidity?
A stiff fine does the trick - in my opinion. That, and one of those "do it again and you're grounded" kind of warnings.
WHO REPLACES CAMARILLO?
Greg Camarillo's season-ending knee injury, of course, is one of the other big stories to come out of Sunday's game. Say what you want about Greg, but he led the team in receptions and receiving yards. His production is going to be very hard to replace.
So who are the candidates? We all know them. Davone Bess, the undrafted WR out of Hawaii who isn't the tallest or fastest, but runs good routes and has reliable hands. Brandon London, everybody's favorite secret weapon, standing at 6'4 and possessing good speed - but having just one career reception. And Ernest Wilford, the $6 million signing bonus bust of the '08 offseason. Hmmm....
Bess will probably get the first crack at this. He's coming off his best performance of the season, catching 5 balls for 87 yards. He's the third leading receiver on the team, tied with David Martin with 24 receptions. And he's most like Camarillo in terms of their style of play. Neither is particularly fast, though Bess is rather quick. Both possess good, solid hands. And both are good route runners, though I think we've underestimated just how good Camarillo's routes are. I'm anxious to see how Bess performs given this opportunity. He could very well be playing for his job in 2009 and I hope he is successful.
London could very well get some opportunities now, too. He's got the measurables you look for in a receiver. But he's raw. He likely isn't a polished route runner. And his inexperience will probably hold him back. Tony Sparano, on Monday, said that London is inconsistent, which isn't a word you like to hear about a receiver. It makes me think back to Derek Hagan.
Speaking of Hagan, I do believe he's still a free agent. He has worked out for the Vikings, Lions, and Bucs since being waived, but hasn't caught on. Would anyone be surprised to see the Dolphins give him a call, especially if Sparano doesn't like what he sees between now and Sunday night (including Sunday's game in St. Louis)?
If nothing else, things just got a bit more interesting.