A week into his retirement from football, former Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder had a lot to say on Joe Rose's Morning show on Miami station 560 WQAM about his future and his former employer.
When asked about whether Chad Henne can get the job done as Dolphins quarterback, Crowder had this to say:
"As of what I've seen so far? No. I played with him a couple years ... He really hasn't proven anything to me when I played with him and now being on this side, looking down on him as a fan, he's not impressing me, either. He has all the tangibles, I want to say, arm strength ... he can make some good throws, but the intangibles, the winning the game, wanting to have everything on his shoulders, like the Bradys and like the Mannings, and wanting to be down by five with a minute left on the 20-yard-line, let's see what happens, he doesn't have that in his heart yet, and I think it will be hard for him to win, but like I said the proof's in the pudding, so if he comes out this year and going crazy, I'll have my foot in my mouth, but, if I was a betting man, I wouldn't bet on him going crazy."
Crowder also had this to say about his former general manager Jeff Ireland, while at the same time explaining the respect he had for Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano:
"Jeff really didn't like me so I'm pretty sure that if he's still there, I won't be coming back. ... A lot of the politics that they play and Jeff Ireland and them play, I didn't like that. And all the monopolization they have, where they don't want you to go on the radio and they want everybody to say the same thing and be the perfect little soldier, I wasn't a fan of that. ... Everytime I said something crazy, he'd call me up and fine me five grand, 10 grand when I said something real crazy. ... Me and him really never were on the same page. ... But I love Tony Sparano and that's who I really played for. [Despite] the foolishness I had to deal with [Ireland], the Dolphins were great."
Wait, coming back you ask? Well, yes, apparently that's his plan—just not this season, as he states here:
"Oh, no, no, no. I'm good. Watching the preseason games and all and watching guys mess up and miss tackles, and I'm like 'this guy sucks.' (Laughter) I could beat him out. But, it wasn't so much about football as it was about my family and my new wife and my child on the way and having to up an move them when she's due in two weeks. It was more about that. I probably will [come back] next year, two years at most. Probably next year. See if we have any attention, try to get an offer. But, yeah, I'm out this year."
So to recap, Crowder doesn't think Henne completely has it, doesn't like the politics played by Jeff Ireland, respects Tony Sparano and might come back in a year or two.
The reason Crowder gave as to why he retired actually makes sense. You don't ever want to move a family when you're expecting a new child. Kudos to him for putting his family over his career. For a man as young as him to retire from football without any real major injuries slowing him down and not allowing him to contribute to another team is pretty shocking, but if that's the circumstance then more power to him.
With his criticism of Ireland, Crowder could also very easily be talking about former Dolphins VP of Football Operations and new ESPN analyst Bill Parcells. Since Parcells took over, the Dolphins really haven't allowed their players to speak their minds, and at times it does feel like you're listening to computer generated answers from some players. The politics Crowder is referring to also is what lead to Jason Taylor signing with the Jets last year.
As for his criticisms of Henne, I trust Crowder as far as the last couple of years since he's practiced against him and played with him. However unless Crowder has been to Dolphins training camp this season and instead is going based off of Friday's game in Atlanta, I'm a bit skeptical of his beliefs. For Henne's sake I hope this leads to more bulletin board material to get him fired up to play better, he should have enough to cover the Great Wall of China by now.
You can listen to Crowder's interview in its entirety here. Judge it for yourself and leave a comment telling me what you think about what the former linebacker (and second-generation Dolphin, his father Randy played defensive lineman for the Dolphins from 1974 to 1976) and the comments he made on Henne, Ireland and his future.