Still unanswered questions after Culpepper drama
Remember his arrival some 15 months ago? The Dolphins signed him and then, amid all the excitement of the signature acquisition, refused to introduce him to the fans in a press conference because Nick Saban didn't like celebrating the arrival of new talent?
That press conference finally came several weeks later, after Culpepper had circumvented the team policy by doing a one-on-one interview with Andrea Kremer, but the chance for a strong start to what promised to be a defining relationship was missed.
Well, on Tuesday the Dolphins ended that relationship and the break was as frayed and flawed as that initial union. It came in a one sentence announcement from the team. Fact is the NFL Players Association put out more information on the cutting of Culpepper than the Dolphins did.
Which leads me to this: Remember the back and forth jousting new coach Cam Cameron had with the media about Culpepper during several of the summer minicamps? Cameron was asked, I would estimate, three dozen questions about Culpepper during those camps and dodged just about every one of them.
A sample from June 9:
(On Daunte Culpepper saying that the Dolphins prohibited him from working in team drills yesterday) - “When this thing is resolved, ask me that question and I’ll tell you the truth of what the truth is. Now is not the time to tell you why and what took place. It will make perfect sense at that time. That’s a good question, but I can’t answer the question right now just because the negotiations are going on.”
(On Culpepper saying that he was told in front of the team that he couldn’t partake in team drills) – “Mark these down, because I want to be able to answer them both. I can elaborate on that, but cannot elaborate on that until this thing is done, and I’ll tell you exactly what took place.”
(On if it is a distraction) – “If you let it, it would be. To me, it’s not. It is if you let it be one. It depends on the kind of team you are and what kind of leadership you have in your locker room.”
(On if it is ironic that he says it is not a distraction, but that every question has been about Daunte Culpepper) – “That’s ok. That’s your job and that’s my job. It’s your job to ask those questions and it’s my job to answer them. Then it’s my job to go right out that door, where it’s about getting better, it’s focusing on what we’re trying to do and, at the same time, be respectful. You just deal with it.”
(On if has any reaction to people who think the Dolphins should free Daunte Culpepper) – “It just doesn’t work that way. It doesn’t work that way. We are working with him. You just can’t do that. It’s not quite that easy. “
(On how the team balances getting what it wants and keeping order) – “I understand why it doesn’t make sense to you and it will make sense to you when I can give you the real part of it. Okay?”
(On why there could not be a competition between Trent Green and Daunte Culpepper) – “We’ll address that at the same time.”
(On Culpepper saying he won't agree to a trade) "It's just a process you go through. I understand all the questions. I understand them all. There is not one I don’t understand, but I know the whole story and I am going to be very respectful of the player. I will tell you what I said I would tell you, but I can’t do that at this point.”
Well, Cameron now can explain why he didn't want Culpepper to compete with Trent Green. He can tell you why the team let Culpepper go on the field that fateful day in June only to keep him out of drills. He can set the record straight on whether Culpepper is 100 percent or not (of course he's not) and if not, how did the team get away with cutting an injured player without a settlement.
As Ricky would tell Lucy, "You got a lot of splainin' to do."
But when the team made this decision Monday night and Tuesday morning, it decided you, its fans, deserved even though Cameron promised one way back when.
Now here's the question to you, the fans of YOUR Miami Dolphins: Are you still curious about what really happened? Do you want to know why Cameron wouldn't allow a competition between Culpepper and Trent Green? Do you care why Cameron told Culpepper he would not be with the Dolphins much longer in front of the entire team -- a move Culpepper has told me embarrassed him?
If you still care about these issues, let me know, and I will pursue them when Cameron next makes himself available to the press. If you don't care, if you just rather turn the page, ugly as it was, and hope the new day is a better, say so.
It will be interesting to me how the majority of you guys feel.