NFL Lockout: Channing Crowder Understands Fine Line Between Staying In Shape and Risking Devastating Injury This Offseason

March 29, 2011 – 8:00 am by Michael Bean

If he’s on your team, you probably love him. If you compete against him or your favorite team squares off against his each year, you probably hate him. He’s Channing Crowder, trash-talker extraordinaire for the Miami Dolphins. Obviously we only get a glimpse into players’ personalities through their interactions with the media and how they comport themselves on the field each week. But it’s pretty clear that Crowder is one of those larger than life personalities that are present on every NFL roster. Usually Crowder is more out-spoken than he was during his in-studio appearance on WQAM on Monday. But you’re not going to listen through a lengthy spot with the Dolphins inside linebacker without hearing something interesting.

Crowder joined WQAM in Miami with Joe Rose to talk about the difficulty of organizing unofficial team workouts during the lockout when guys are uninsured, just how high the stakes are for guys this offseason in terms of risking an injury during unsanctioned workouts, whether he pays much attention to the all the hype and lead up to the NFL Draft, if there’s still a sense of optimism amongst players that a new CBA will be reached in a reasonable time frame, what the Dolphins defense can do to improve their turnover totals from a year ago, the disappointing tenure of former first round pick Ted Ginn Jr. and if it irked him how unwilling Ginn seemingly was to take a hit to pick up tough yardage at the end of plays.

On the difficulty of organizing unofficial team workouts when guys are locked out and without insurance or any other sort of protection:

“Yeah, right now we’re like independent contractors almost. We don’t have insurance, we don’t have nothing. So you want to maintain your body, but if you go out and get hurt or injured for real, for real — they don’t have to pay you, or nothing, they can just cut you on the spot.”

On just how high the stakes are for guys this offseason in terms of risking an injury during unsanctioned workouts:

“It’s a bad situation, and every guy you talk to talks about it — ‘just try not to get hurt, try not to get hurt.’ And it’s true, you have to worry about yourself, worry about playing next season.”

If there’s still a sense of optimism with him and other players that a deal will get done before the season:

“It is, but it’s all just positive thinking I think. I think they’re going to have to do something because $9 billion dollars no matter how you divide it is still $9 billion dollars. Let’s make it, come one. But it’s terrible because it’s all business now — it’s all papers, numbers, open your books, show us how much you have and how much you need. And it kind of has messed up the integrity of the game. And like you said, getting a new offense, Chad Henne should be in there working with the coaches in all them, Jake [Long] working on the blocking schemes and all that. But now they’re just sitting around the house unemployed.”

Whether he pays close attention to all the hype and lead up to the NFL Draft each year:

“Yeah I watch it and all. Mel Kiper and all, he messed me over, he lied to me said I was top-20 had me go out and spend X amount of dollars and then owe the bank stuff. So I don’t know the guys; they’re guessing just like we guess; I can guess who the Dolphins are going to take too. But I look at it a little bit and hear the experts I guess they call them to hear what they got to say.”

On what the Dolphins defense can do to improve their turnover totals in 2011 after failing to capitalize on opportunities to rack up many in ’10:

“Oh yeah, Sean Smith should have gone to the Pro Bowl this year. He knew it, everybody gave him a hard time this year saying ‘if you would have caught half of those you would have been in the Pro Bowl.’ But the thing is when you go after them, you start thinking about it, you start thinking about we’ve got to strip the ball, then you start missing tackles because you’re concentrating on it. I think turnovers just come if you play hard they’ll come. If we had caught those picks, we would have been one of the top turnover teams in the league if we had caught those picks. So they were coming to us, we just weren’t taking advantage.”

On the disappointing tenure of Ted Ginn Jr. in Miami, particularly how he seemed so unwilling to take a hit to fight for extra yardage:

“It’s tough, it’s tough. But we knew what we have. We knew Ted wasn’t going to hit anybody. It’s surprising to the fans, but we knew watching him in practice that he’s 113 pounds soaking wet and not going to run into anybody and that’s what he did. So if you see a hole and he had some yards, he’s gone, nobody in the NFL is going to run Ted Ginn down. But if a couple of guys are looking at him out of the side of their eye where they can see him coming, he’s going to go out of bounds and you know it. But you kind of get mad because you’re sitting there bleeding, fingers broke, you’re sitting on the sidelines about to die and this guy’s jumping out of bounds smiling. So it kind of messes you up as a football player, the pride and toughness of it. But you’ve got to know what you have.”

On Jake Long and Chad Henne being the ones trying to organize onofficial offseason workouts with the team:

“Well yeah, I guess before we had the lockout, Jake went in and told Jeff Ireland I’ll do it, I’ll get us going and they trusted Jake with him being the team captain. So we’ll see today, but I think he did a good job getting the word out.”

Listen here to Crowder with Joe Rose on WQAM in Miami

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