clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

End of Week Nuggets: Vontae Davis, Channing Crowder & more

Friday will begin the Dolphins' three day rookie minicamp down in Davie.  And ESPN's John Clayton believes that how the Dolphins use Pat White will be the second biggest storyline in the league this weekend - only topped by Mark Sanchez in New York.  So that means the Dolphins will likely be in the national spotlight beginning today and well into the foreseeable future.

Indeed, there's a buzz down in Davie and it's only going to get louder in the coming days and weeks.

Anyways, here are a couple of stories from around the web to close out the work week.

VONTAE DAVIS: "I'm the total opposite of what people say"
I plan on doing a much longer entry early next week focusing on our number one pick - Vontae Davis.  But there is a good piece in the Palm Beach Post about Davis and those perceived "character concerns" the media was buzzing about leading up to the draft.  I highly suggest you read the entire article.  But I did want to include this excerpt:

But those closest to Davis insist the bad rep is an unfair rap, especially the person perhaps most responsible for triggering his unsettling reviews. Illinois coach Ron Zook, the ex-Florida coach and tough-love disciplinarian, benched Davis for a couple of opening plays against Iowa last year.

Zook wanted to teach him a lesson about always giving all-out effort. Now, he's wishing he didn't.

"If I would've known that it would've caused all this, I might not have done it," Zook said. "He's like my son. I would never do anything to hurt him."

Uneasy Dolphins fans - and coaches, for that matter - might take heart in knowing that after all he's been through to reach this level, Davis isn't about to blow his chance.

And about that benching - the likely reason that the media created a stir about Vontae's character - it's to be noted that Ron Zook wanted to light a fire under Davis, which is why he announced in front of the entire team that Davis wouldn't start.  Of course, Davis entered the game after missing two defensive plays and went on to be on the field for more plays than any other Illinois defender.  Zook claims that if he knew the stir his motivational technique would have created for Vontae leading up to the draft, he wouldn't have done it.

This whole entire situation, in my opinion, just goes to show you how much crap teams must wade through leading up to the draft.  But for Davis and for the Dolphins, things couldn't have worked out better.  The Fins landed perhaps the most talented cornerback in the draft with the 25th overall pick - a player that most scouts agree would have been a top ten talent if not for those "character red flags."

Thank goodness for those red flags!

Speaking at a charity event, Dolphins LB Channing Crowder admitted that he did expect to have some longer contracts on the table from other teams if he hit free agency last March.  But he lost sleep at night thinking about this whole situation and, truth be told, he just didn't want to leave Miami.  Said Crowder:

"We kind of met in the middle. Four to five teams were interested and, three years, I probably could've got a 4-6 year deal somewhere else but I didn't want to leave Miami and the Dolphins knew that."

"I love coach Tony Sparano and Bill Parcells, and am happy. And if I didn't play for my linebackers coach George Edwards, I'd probably get kicked out of the league with all my crazy stuff he has to deal with. ... I slept for the next two days.''

This says a lot about Channing's character.  He likely left money on the table to come back and play for the coaches he loves and the city he doesn't want to leave.

But it says even more about Miami's coaching staff.  What a huge difference between this regime and that debacle that was the Cam Cam regime.  Over the next few years, the respect that Tony Sparano and company generate amongst their players will likely be a great tool as the team recruits free agents.  Very often, players will reach out to other players to find out about the coaches of their potential new teams leading up to free agency.  And when you have players like Crowder leaving money - and long-term financial security - on the table to return to this city and this coaching staff, it's impossible not to sit back and thank whoever it is you worship for such a well-respected regime leading your football team.

-Paul Soliai was nervous watching last weekend's draft - worried about the Dolphins potentially bringing in more competition at nose tackle.  But now he has even more confidence in himself since the front office didn't add any other nose tackles.  And, as Soliai points out, he made a ton of progress last season learning the nose.  Said Soliai, "By the end of the year I learned a lot and wasn't getting moved."  Of course, the Dolphins did add an undrafted nose tackle - 320 pound Louis Ellis from Shaw University.  So don't get too comfy, Paul.

-Two positions where a lot more competition was added this offseason are wide receiver and cornerback.  But that doesn't seem to faze either Greg Camarillo or Nate Jones.  They welcome the competition.

-Speaking of Camarillo, Greg is confident that he'll be back to full speed by training camp in late July following his ACL injury last November.

-According to Pro Football Weekly, expect an open competition for both kick return and punt return duties.  I think I might fly down to Davie and throw my hat in the ring for return duties.