Just don't see Culpepper as a Dolphin
It is Friday afternoon and the last couple of days of talking to people both in private and group settings has led me to that conclusion so I am sharing what I am piecing together for you.
As you already know, Culpepper is still not healthy and today made no guarantees he would be healthy anytime soon. He was told when he had his last surgery Nov. 30 it would take "four to six months" before he was completely recovered.
We are past the four month stage and Culpepper, it could be argued, has seen a setback because as late as three weeks ago he was running and then started suffering soreness in the knee. His doctor shut him down from the running and did not clear him for the current Miami minicamp.
Beyond that hazy picture of Culpepper's health, I am seeing new coach Cam Cameron distancing himself from Culpepper. It's not so much what he says about Culpepper, but rather what he doesn't say.
Not only has Cameron never said he thinks Culpepper will be healthy, he has not said Culpepper is Miami's quarterback even if he is healthy.
Instead Cameron has told owner Wayne Huizenga he's excited about the prospect of adding Trent Green. He has said Cleo Lemon will get a chance to compete for a starting job. He has said things that simply point me away from Culpepper being his guy.
Green is not a Dolphins player today but I think it will eventually happen. I know this because Green wants to be in Miami so much, he's already agreed to parameters of a contract with the Dolphins. And he's not negotiating with any other team, which is a necessary step if he were to be with any other team.
Trent Green seems headed to Miami one way or another and you should ask yourself, why? Is he so eager to come as a backup? I don't think so. I have to assume he's been led to believe he'll be the starter. And that leaves no room for Culpepper.
Another thing: I've been asking about Culpepper's cap status and have gotten the strange silent treatment from the team. Seems like the subject is taboo when typically the Dolphins are quite cooperative with such things for the sake of maintaining accuracy in the press.
But for some strange reason, phone calls and emails aren't returned when this is the subject.
Finally there is this: Even if Culpepper were healthy, there is a big question whether he's the type of quarterback Cameron would want running his offense. Culpepper, at his best. held the ball until the last possible moment, scanning the field, reading, trying to find an open receiver, always knowing he could run away from pressure if the weather in the pocket got too hot.
Cameron wants a more disciplined approach to quarterbacking. He wants a guy that can study the defense BEFORE the game even begins and knows what he's likely to see BEFORE it ever happens. That is simply not Culpepper's style. He ain't a bookworm quarterback, he's a make-things-happen-on-the-run quarterback.
And those are the reasons I don't think Daunte Culpepper will be the Dolphins quarterback.