Evans: Saban “Stepped Over Convulsing Player”

Tuesday 790 The Ticket morning show host Jorge Sedano interviewed former NFL player Heath Evans for a segment that aired on the Miami sports radio station Wednesday morning. (Audio below.)

During the interview, Evans was asked by Sedano to describe Nick Saban at Dolphins training camp in 2005 when Saban was in his first year as Miami’s head coach and Evans was a player on the squad.

SEDANO: Give me an example of something he did to someone while you were there that made you shake your head, you’re like, ‘That stuff doesn’t work here’.

EVANS: Well, the first day of two-a-days. We had about a three-hour-plus practice in the morning in that south Florida sun. You guys know what it’s like down there in late July, early August. And then that night we had another practice under the lights, if I recall I think it was about from 6 to 9.

Jeno James, our best offensive lineman at the time, comes in and collapses after practice, uh, vomiting all kinds of stuff that would make a billygoat puke, eyes rolled in the back of his head. Myself, about four other lineman are trying to carry him from the locker room, to the training room. 

Obviously it’s a moment of panic, everyone, you know, we don’t know if this guy’s, you know, gonna die, I mean, the whole deal. But he’s so big and sweaty and heavy that we actually have to set him down in the hallway between the locker room and the training room.

Nick Saban literally just starts walking in, steps over Jeno James convulsing, doesn’t say a word, doesn’t try to help, goes upstairs, I don’t know what he does. But then obviously they get Jeno trauma-offed to the hospital.

Saban calls a team meeting about 10:30 that night, comes down and says, ‘You know, the captain of the ship can never show fear or indecision, we’ve always gotta have an answer, and so I had to go upstairs, that’s why I walked over Geno like that, I had to collect my thoughts and decide what’s best for our team.’

And I’m thinking to myself, I think along with Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas and Yeremiah Bell and all these other guys going, ‘Did he, does he really believe what he’s just saying?’ He showed no human emotion for one of his best players. He literally stepped over him when four or five grown men are trying to carry Jeno to the training room.

And at that point honestly, you know, I was only there, you know, for seven weeks of that football season before he cut me, um, and let me say this – that was the best thing that ever happened to my career, because obviously A) they had to pay me, and B) Bill Belichick picked me up and I learned more football than I ever thought I’d know – but that deciding moment kind of right there of how Nick Saban handled that, I think it always showed the team that ultimately he doesn’t really care about any of us players.

SEDANO: I mean, are you serious? Well, listen, I know for a fact that people in that office, they weren’t even allowed to look at him, for God’s sake! Like, I heard a story about his secretary telling him he had a nice haircut, he kind of like grunted at her and kept walking. And then someone later, this Scotty O’Brien, that hatchet man that he had, came up to her and says, ‘You’re not allowed to speak to the coach! Don’t you dare speak to the coach!’ Just nonsense that Scotty O’Brien - he had a hatchet man! What coach has a hatchet man?

EVANS: Who is that narcissistic not to want people that are ultimately trying to make you look better talk to you? I mean, from what I heard, and I obviously never saw the email, but it was an email that went around that says, you know, don’t speak until spoken to like it’s the, you know, the Marines or something, you know what I mean? So I don’t know. Nick’s - listen, again, you gotta praise what he does on the football field.


EVANS: The guy’s an amazing football coach at the college level. How he gets it done isn’t my style of coaching or teaching. But ultimately, the guy’s got some ways about him that I’m just like, ‘Are you human?’ I think he might be a robot.

SEDANO: (laughing) Oh, you’ve just confirmed everything I’ve been saying for years, so I’m glad that you were able to do that.

On July 28, 2005, Greg Bedard of the PALM BEACH POST reported on the incident involving James that was described by Evans to Sedano during their Tuesday interview:

Dolphins guard Jeno James was carried through the Dolphins’ locker room on a stretcher and then airlifted to a local hospital late Wednesday night, vomiting and complaining of light-headedness after the second of two practices, according to two league sources.

One Dolphins player described the scene as “scary” and “shocking.”

Dolphins coach Nick Saban was asked Wednesday whether he thought his training camp was tough.

“I don’t really know,” Saban said. “This is the work that, as a staff, we prescribe in terms of what we need to do to be a well- conditioned team that can play with intangibles, for 60 minutes, that you need to have success.

“Winning games in the fourth quarter is important. I don’t think you can do that unless you are well- conditioned and have a lot of toughness. I don’t know if you can develop that without creating some adversity. We are not out here trying to make it more difficult than it needs to be.”

The next day, Carlos Frias of the PALM BEACH POST reported of the condition of James:

A stomach virus that has been going around and helped put offensive lineman Jeno James in the hospital also kept quarterback A.J. Feeley out of practice Thursday.

James, a 315-pound guard, already was ill when he pushed himself too hard in practice Wednesday night and collapsed, cornerback Reggie Howard said. James was rushed to Broward General Hospital, where he was treated for dehydration. He remained hospitalized Thursday night for observation.

Saban was at James’ bedside at 11:30 p.m. Wednesday and found him “fine, talking” and eager to return to practice. But the Dolphins have not said when they expect him back.

“The first thing he does when you talk to him is apologize for not being able to answer the bell,” Saban said. “It’s amazing. He demonstrates everything you ever talk about in a football player in terms of toughness, work ethic, trying to do everything you want him to do.”

Several Dolphins said they saw James throwing up in the locker room before the second practice Wednesday then froze when they saw him lying on the ground as the medical staff treated him.

“It was frightening at first,” Howard said. “No one knew what was going on.”

On August 3, 2005, Andre C. Fernandez of the MIAMI HERALD reported that James had returned to the team:

Scary and painful.

Dolphins starting left guard Jeno James used those words Tuesday to describe his bout with heat exhaustion and a stomach virus that hospitalized him last week.

“Basically, I don’t remember that night too well,” said James, who was airlifted to Broward General Hospital after last Wednesday night’s practice. “That night I just had to get through that practice. I did make it, but after that I don’t remember. I think it was one of the hardest times I ever went through in my life as far as being sick like that.”

James said he thought a lot about former Minnesota Vikings star Korey Stringer while he was in the hospital and said he was grateful to be alive. Stringer died of complications from heat stroke in 2001.

On Tuesday, James watched practice and jogged at times on the sideline.

He said he was not going to rush his return.

“Right now I’m just trying to get strong again and be smart about this,” James said.

Finally, Jeff Darlington of the PALM BEACH POST reported that James had returned to full workouts on August 7, 2005:

Jeno James, who collapsed from a stomach virus July 27, participated in his first full workout since the incident. James has dressed for several practices, but he hadn’t begun participating in heavy team drills before Saturday.

At the end of his report on James’ return, Darlington noted:

Saban said the coaching staff consistently checks to make sure he remains in good health.

Audio of the Evans interview on The Jorge Sedano Show from 790 The Ticket in Miami:

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NFLer Pregnant GF: “Hit Me 5 Times In The Face”

Broward County Sheriff Al Lamberti called a press conference Saturday to discuss the case of Miami Dolphins defensive end Phillip Merling, who was arrested Thursday for felony domestic battery on a woman he should have known was pregnant.

Phillip Merling Girlfriend 911 Call Audio Released

(Merling escorted out of jail through side exit by Pollock (inset)) 

More specifically Lamberti called the media together on a holiday weekend to vent his anger about Merling being given a stealth exit from Broward County Jail - to escape the gathered press - after he posted $15,000 bond. The MIAMI NEW TIMES reports that Dolphins security officer and Broward County Courthouse official Alvin Pollock was responsible for escorting Merling through a side exit. Pollock also gave Merling a ride home.

Lamberti reported that an investigation has been launched to determine why Merling was afforded such treatment: “We’re not in the business of giving people arrested for felonies rides home. Not going to be tolerated.

The Sheriff’s office also released the 911 call (audio) from Merling’s pregnant girlfriend. The woman, who also has a 4-month-old child with the 6-foot-4, 305-pound defensive end, made the call from  their home in Weston, FL at 1:36 a.m. Thursday.

From a bathroom where she had barricaded herself, the woman can be heard making a desperate plea to police: Read more…

NFL GM Apologizes For Pre-Draft Prostitute Query

Miami Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland issued a public apology to Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant today in response to Bryant’s recent revelation that a “high-level executive” from an NFL team asked him during a pre-draft interview if his mother was a prostitute.

Dez Bryant Mom Angela Bryant

With his statement today, Ireland confirmed that he was the one who asked the question. Bryant was posed the query during an April 1-2 visit with the Dolphins as part of a two week trip in which the former Oklahoma State receiver reportedly visited 11 teams before the NFL Draft. Read more…

‘Most demeaning, humiliating experience of my life’

Jose Lambiet of the PALM BEACH POST reports on a delightful idea the Miami Dolphins recently concocted to generate revenue while also filling out Don Shula’s birthday party with two-legged props:

Don Shula Birthday Party: Season Ticket Holders Got The Steerage

(Dolphins sent season tix holders to steerage for Shula bday party)

Many of the 80 season ticket holders randomly “invited” to pay $80-per to attend former coach Don Shula’s 80th birthday party Saturday night at Land Shark Stadium are complaining bitterly about the way they were treated at the banquet.

Shula, dozens of his former players, rapper Fergie, new Fins owner Stephen Ross, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and other VIPs got the silver spoon treatment.

And the 80 “invited” fans, meanwhile, got partly-cooked hot dogs, dried chicken and soda, all served on plastic plates with plastic forks, Sorentrue said.

They also were bestowed the honor of watching the VIPs munch on their fine foods from a balcony — this, after waiting outside in the cold for all VIPs to get in.

“I’m actually considering cancelling my ($1,700-a-year) season tickets,” 12-year season ticket holder Fred Sorentrue said.

How ungrateful of Sorentrue. Who wouldn’t pay $80 to watch (from a heavily guard, roped-off location) Fergie serenading a bewildered Shula whilst savoring personal proximity to dozens of other local South Florida celebrities. (Give it up for Hank Goldberg!)

The event description from Lambiet hooked me, but accounts from commenters who actually paid $80 to watch Tony Sparano inhale enough langoustines to greenlight another season of Deadliest Catch are truly wondrous.

Read more…

Fergie? Shula Thought Joe Ferguson Would Show

When you have to spend five minutes telling us how important someone is, don’t bother:

Fergie Sings Happy Birthday to Don Shula

(Thank goodness for the six fingers of Cutty)

Can just hear the night-before convo: ‘Remember Coach Sparano’s daughter’s Bat Mitzah? Promise me no dried vomit in your hair this time’

Read more…

6-Yr NFL Cheerleader Makes Nude Playboy Debut

Jaime Edmondson spent six years as a Dolphins cheerleader. She also appeared on the CBS reality show Amazing Race and is a former police officer. So how did she follow all that up? By sending nude photos of herself to Playboy, dummy. And now, at age 30, I’m honored to report Edmondson is Playboy’s Miss January centerfold.

Jaime Edmonson Playboy Nude Photo Debut

(Edmonson: Hef & Playboy “a real family atmosphere”)

The PALM BEACH POST has entensive look at her background today, which includes an anecdote about her police career that was the highlight of the piece.

Palm Beach Post: What is one of the craziest stories while working the night shift as a police officer?

Julie Edmondson

Jaime: It was 3 a.m. and I saw this truck driving 5 mph. Obviously, he was probably drunk. I pulled him over and it was one guy, who was looking around. I asked for license and registration, and he’s looking at me, looking around, looking over his should. I’m like, “I need your license and registration.”

He said, “Is this for my birthday?”

Read more…

Video: Dan Marino Drops S-Bomb On Live CBS TV

While doing Dolphins-Bucs highlights today on CBS TV, Dan Marino accidentally dropped an s-bomb: “The Dolphins finish the sh– off.

Dan Marino Inside The NFL Freakout

Knowing that Dan is in the efforting Hall of Fame, this is no time to hate.

Video of today’s slip after break. Read more…

Miami Legends: Ginn Is ‘Embarrassment, Coward’

Yesterday seemed to be something of a relief for Miami speedster Ted Ginn Jr. After being benched for dropped passes and overall poor play at wideout, Ginn took two kicks back for touchdowns in the Dolphins’ 30-25 win over the Jets. So while Ginn still has aspects of the receiving game to work on, he’s still a valuable member of the team and lifelong Dolphins respect that too much to not unload on him, yes?

Ted Ginn Jr

Well, actually, no. During the course of the week, a veritable Who’s Who of Dolphins greats were attending charity events, including hosts O.J. McDuffie and Bob Kuechenberg. The two, alongside such luminaries* as Jim Kiick and Mercury Morris, absolutely unloaded on Ginn, calling literally every aspect of his play into question. Kuechenberg, as he so often does, led the verbal assault.

Read more…

Channing Crowder, Sanitized For Your Protection

The joys of Twitter are many: immediate communication with friends and family. Following the highlights of your favorite celebrity’s day. Real-time updates on important current events. And my favorite, being privileged the unimpeded NFL player’s vernacular.

Channing Crowder's Off-Color Quote About The Saints

(What happens when they go 16-0? *shudder*)

For instance, here’s Miami Dolphin Channing Crowder as he waxes philosophic to the MIAMI HERALD about the team’s opponent this Sunday, the undefeated New Orleans Saints. Read more…

Dolphins Take Their Time, But Colts Take The Win

• The Dolphins held the ball for more than 30 minutes longer than the Colts, but it was Peyton Manning & Co. who left Land Shark Stadium with a 27-23 win on Monday night.

Peyton Manning Dolphins

• It’s a Twitter trifecta: First, Redskins rookie LB Robert Henson takes “dim wit” Washington fans to task for booing at FedEx Field.

• Then Marcus Fitzgerald bitches on behalf of brother Larry about the lack of catches the Cardinals WR is getting.

• And Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema admits that one of his scouting techniques is following the Tweets of opposing players.

• A South Carolina man is sentenced to life in prison without parole for the vicious stabbing death of a high school cheerleader.

Read more…