Karlos Dansby needs to be better. Simple as that.
Both on and off the field, the middle linebacker has not lived up to expectations when he signed a five-year, $43 million contract in 2010.
Last year, he came into camp 27 pounds overweight and played poorly at the beginning of the season. Miami lost their first seven games of that season. But Dansby started to turn things around midseason, and the Dolphins won six of their last nine games.
Over his first two seasons in South Beach, Dansby has just five sacks, one interception and three forced fumbles. To put that into perspective, backup safety Tyrone Culver had three forced fumbles and a sack just in 2011. Dansby still racks up the tackles, but needs to be more disruptive and make a bigger impact than he has.
Miami needs Dansby. He is a talented veteran who can provide strength up the middle and help bring around the younger players. But Miami needs Dansby to be a leader more than ever right now, with Jason Taylor and Yeremiah Bell no longer with the team.
That's why Dansby's comments about Chad Johnson's release from the team are so disappointing.
On Monday morning, the linebacker told the Sid Rosenberg show on WMEN-AM that he was not happy about Miami cutting Johnson.
Dansby went on to say that the guys in the locker room would have stood behind Johnson, and that it would be a bigger distraction because Johnson was cut instead of kept. While Dansby is allowed to think what he wants, these comments are not good for the organization.
First, it creates a separation between the players and the front office, which is never a good thing. Second, it means that Dansby, one of the trusted voices in the locker room, is questioning the coach and general manager.
It also contradicts Dansby's point about becoming a distraction. If Dansby wanted to avoid a team distraction, he could have just kept his mouth shut. Speaking out in public and making these comments just make the whole situation worse.