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Dannell Ellerbe was brought to Miami to 'knock off' Patriots

Miami Dolphins linebacker Dannell Ellerbe sets sights on New England Patriots. Isn't that what he is supposed to do?


Yesterday, the Miami Dolphins were headlines on most of the major sports sites. Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe spoke with CBS Sports, and his comments suddenly became all the rage. He was bragging. He was disrespecting the New England Patriots, a team that has won 11 of the last 12 AFC East Division titles. He was clearly giving the Patriots "bulletin board" material.

I was brought here to help knock them off. That doesn't mean we will, but we feel like we can. Like I said, we just have to prove it. You have to actually go do it. -Dannell Ellerbe

But, did he really?

Asked if he felt that the Patriots, who have lost four of their top five offensive weapons from last year (Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Danny Woodhead, and Aaron Hernandez), and have a fifth who is questionable following four arm surgeries on a twice broken arm and a back surgery (Rob Gronkowski), were vulnerable this season, Ellerbe responded, "I think they are but you have to prove it, you can't just talk about it."

Is there an issue with that? He thinks the Patriots are vulnerable. He did not say they were going to flop this year. He did not say they were washed up. He agreed with the viewpoints of many right now, the Patriots are vulnerable.

He backed it up by saying that the Dolphins have to prove it. It's not all about the talk in July, but will be about the play on the field in September, October, November, and December.

But, the juicy quote that the Patriots are vulnerable sounds sexy.

"I was brought here to help knock them off," Ellerbe, who was signed by the Dolphins in free agency this past March, continued. "That doesn't mean we will, but we feel like we can. Like I said, we just have to prove it. You have to actually go do it."

Again, is there a problem with that? Shouldn't every move the Dolphins, and the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets, make be to knock off the Patriots? They are the top. You want to be the best, you have to beat the best. And, again, Ellerbe pointed out that the Dolphins now have to go out and prove it.

Still not seeing the bulletin board material.

There's no "dream team" declaration.

"I don't think you can say the Patriots are the same as before after what happened to Hernandez," Ellerbe said.

Does anyone? Can any person, Patriots fan or not, honestly say New England is the same offense without Hernandez as they would have been with him?

Ellerbe did not speak out of turn. He stated a belief that the Patriots could be vulnerable after an offseason filled with turnover. He stated that the Dolphins believe they are in the position to knock them off, but that they will have to prove it.

Where's the problem?

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