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Around the AFC East, Week 4: Miami Dolphins

Here we go, gang.  To start off this weeks installment of Around the AFC East, we first chat it up with Matty I from The Phinsider who gives us a Dolphins' fan viewpoint on the "trash talking" coming out of Miami.

Both Channing Crowder and Joey Porter have been very vocal about the Dolphins' status as Divisional Champions with Porter stating, "The road to the AFC East title goes through Miami."  Do Miami fans feel the same way?  Are Crowder and Porter playing the disrespect card or is there truly reason to feel disrespected?  Finally, NE places what I would call a "gag order" on its players, restricting what they say in the media.  Does Sparano have a different approach, allowing his players to be more vocal?

Let me answer the second part first.  I don’t think there’s any "gag order" on the players in Miami.  But Tony Sparano, Jeff Ireland, and Bill Parcells clearly let them know when they are crossing any lines.  But they do that behind closed doors – a la Channing Crowder’s latest comments.  But, in general, the front office and coaching staff seem to let these guys say what they want – assuming it isn’t too outlandish.

As far as the comments guys like Crowder and Joey Porter are making about the division going through Miami, I think they are doing nothing else but stating a fact.  When a team wins the division, they are the team to beat the following season – at least until the regular season gets underway and we see which teams are good and which are not.  No games are played during the offseason.  So how can the team that finished first in the division the previous season suddenly not be the team to beat?

Is there reason to feel disrespected?  You tell me.  If the Pats had just won the division but, before training camp the next season, the media is already all over another team’s junk – saying they are the team to beat – how would you feel?

So yeah, I think there is a reason to feel disrespected – and Dolphin fans feel the same way as well.  But you also need to realize that this Dolphins team likes playing with a chip on their shoulder – and this just adds fuel that fire.  I know I relish the underdog role and it seems like these players like being the underdog as well.  So they’re going to play "the disrespect card" all season.  And I can’t say I blame them for doing so.

I have a major bias against Channing Crowder which COULD color my opinions about him, but I think it's silly to "demand" respect for being the AFC East Divisional champion.  Instead of saying, "Yeah, we're working hard to go out there and do it again", Crowder is TELLING us we need to respect Miami for their accomplishment.  Maybe it's just semantics and that's Crowder's way.  At any rate, I'm sure the NE vs. Miami rivalry will be in full swing this season.

Thanks to Matty I from The Phinsider for his fan perspective.