AFC East: Troy Vincent
Here are some tidbits Goodell offered about the Miami Dolphins:
- Goodell was pleased with the progress the NFL made this week on locker-room culture. There were several productive sessions to help coaches and general managers be proactive and avoid what happened last year in Miami during the Dolphins' bullying scandal.
- In terms of suspensions, Goodell said the NFL will not take action until all three players complete their medical evaluations. Goodell announced Tuesday that Richie Incognito, John Jerry and Mike Pouncey must seek treatment. “The medical evaluation is a priority for us,” Goodell said.
- NFL vice president of football Troy Vincent added that the league will “consider everything” when it comes to potential suspensions. Pouncey could be in hot water because NFL lead investigator Ted Wells didn’t find some of Pouncey’s accounts credible, according to the report.
The Dolphins and the NFL leave Orlando with a much better grasp on how to improve locker-room culture, which was a major focus at the owners meetings. The next step for Miami will be awaiting word on Pouncey's playing status for the start of the regular season.
Improving locker-room culture has been a major topic at this year's NFL owners meetings following the high-profile bullying scandal involving the Dolphins. Vincent said he believes this week's meetings resonated with Miami and particularly head coach Joe Philbin, who vowed to spend more time connecting with his players in the locker room.
“I think that’s important, because the players want to see you,” Vincent explained Wednesday. “They want a connection. You’re their leader. They want to see their leader.
“But I will say Coach Philbin will adjust, I believe, after our conversations this week. That’s the special part about we as coaches inside of our industry. We’re flexible. We make adjustments Sunday to Sunday.”
Vincent shared his NFL experiences Wednesday. He said most head coaches he played for took enough time to talk to players away from practices.
“Coach [Don] Shula stayed in the locker room,” Vincent said of his four-year stint in Miami. “As coach [Jeff] Fisher said, you can’t coach. It’s difficult coaching if you don’t have a relationship and a connection with your players.”
Vincent said Philbin addressed the issue with his coaching peers and was genuine in his goal to improve as a head coach. Philbin was caught unaware during Miami’s bullying scandal, and much of that came from the failure to communicate enough with his players.
“As I examined some of the things as head coach of the Dolphins I can do better, I think the visibility factor can be the difference," Philbin explained Tuesday. "That's one of the things that I'm going to do. It's not that I [had] never been [visible]. But I think one of the things that happens sometimes to coaches is you're conflicted of whether I should watch that blitz tape or third-down film.
“Sometimes a better use of a head coach's time is to walk through the training room, walk through the locker room, walk through the hallways. It's not that I never done that stuff, but I think it's fair to say I'm going to do it more."
SI.com decided to find out and produced a list sure to create debate. The package, which includes plenty of vintage photos, was published Wednesday.
SI.com's Richard Deitsch explained the process:
A team of SI.com's finest numerologists crunched the data on jersey numbers to come up with the best performers in professional football at each number from 00 to 99. We based our decision on a combination of impact on the game, statistics and team success during the player's time wearing that number.
Here are the AFC East fellows who made the rundown from 00 to 99 ...
4. Brett Favre, Jets quarterback: Hey, he spent a season there.
12. Tom Brady, Patriots quarterback: Deitsch called this the toughest call over Terry Bradshaw. There's also Joe Namath and Roger Staubach.
13. Dan Marino, Dolphins quarterback: This selection was listed among the eight simplest to make.
23. Troy Vincent, Patriots and Bills defensive back: Next runner-up was Mel Gray.
39. Larry Csonka, Dolphins running back: Selected ahead of Hall of Famer Hugh McElhenny and Patriots fullback Sam Cunningham.
55. Junior Seau, Dolphins and Patriots linebacker: Willie McGinest and Joey Porter mentioned as "worthy of consideration."
57. Dwight Stephenson, Dolphins center: Thin crew when Bart Scott was in the all-time mix.
62. Jim Langer, Dolphins center: Name another No. 62. Quick!
67. Reggie McKenzie, Bills guard: Member of O.J. Simpson's famed Electric Company, but ahead of Dolphins guard Bob Kuechenberg?
73. John Hannah, Patriots guard: Other AFC East runners-up include Joe Klecko and Bob Baumhower.
|Gregory Shamus/Getty Images|
| Jason Taylor, left, was disappointed former Dolphins teammate Zach Thomas, right, did not make ESPN.com's all-decade defense. |
Taylor, an easy selection for defensive end, was disappointed to learn Zach Thomas didn't make the cut at linebacker in the honorary squad's 4-3 setup.
"Obviously, I'm biased, but I think Zach is a guy that never got the respect he should've had but was as good as or better than anybody out there," Taylor said after a recent minicamp practice.
Taylor is married to Thomas' sister. They played 10 years together, combining for 12 Pro Bowl selections.
Thomas was voted to seven Pro Bowls. He was a five-time All-Pro. He led the Dolphins in tackles 10 times in his dozen seasons with them.
But Thomas was against formidable competition on the all-decade team, chosen with input from an assembly of NFL general managers, coaches, scouts and players. Derrick Brooks, Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher boxed Thomas out.
"It's always a disappointing thing when I don't see his name associated with guys like these," Taylor said. "Not to take anything away from these guys, but I just know who Zach was and what kind of guy he was."
Former Dolphins and Buffalo Bills defensive back Troy Vincent made the all-decade team. Also from the AFC East was defensive tackle Kris Jenkins, who joined the New York Jets last year after seven with the Carolina Panthers.
As for his inclusion on the all-decade team, Taylor didn't want to get too excited.
"I'm flattered, but you don't play the game for things like this," Taylor said. "They're the byproduct of trying to do things the right way and play your [expletive] off for years. It's a great thing, but I never think about it.
"I've always shied away from people talking about things like that or the Hall of Fame because I think those things will just happen. If you talk about them ... maybe I'm superstitious. I just don't want to be jinxed. I haven't rolled up the extension cord yet. I'm still going."