Should Channing Crowder Play Sunday Night?

Channing Crowder, the oft injured LB is back at practice and working with the first team unit mixing with Tim Dobbins and Bobby Carpenter.  For the first time since way back at the start of training camp, Crowder is in pads and a full participant, but does that mean he should play, let alone start this weekend against the Jets?

Crowder has had his moments.  He played far better when Zach Thomas was leading the defense as opposed to when the job was his.  No one will argue that Crowder is not a team defensive leader on the field.  That fact brings up the point that given his play with Thomas, he should be much better with Karlos Dansby leading the squad.  Regardless, there are still questions.

Crowder hasn’t played an entire season in three years and hasn’t finished one either.  This year he started with his injury and the Dolphins find themselves 2-0 heading into the weekend.  The play of Tim Dobbins has not been as expected.  He has hardly broken out next to Dansby, but Bobby Carpenter has.  At least to some degree.

Carpenter was the pivotal point hitter on the 4th down stop of Adrian Peterson last weekend and held AP long enough for Vontae’ Davis to finish him off.  His play thus far in such a short time with the team is impressive considering two weeks ago he was just another former first round bust out on the streets.

Crowder is an emotional player and perhaps vocally the loudest on the team.  He often makes you think he would fit in better with the Jets and Rex Ryan than with the Miami Dolphins.  But it is his disdain for the Jets HC that led to a verbal sparring prior to the start of last season, let alone the first week the two faced off.  So this week, his return to the squad has to have at least an emotional context to it.

Crowder has not been on the field for the last two weeks and has not felt the impact of a defense that at the moment is playing lights out to some degree.  Will Crowder’s return make the unit better?  Worse?  Or will he be able to jump in and continue with the current flow?  That’s a serious question facing the Dolphins coaches leading up to one of the biggest games of the year.

In my opinion, play him but don’t start him.  Let him integrate into the game, the scheme, and get used to the new guys around him.  It’s been a while.

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Tags: Channing Crowder Karlos Dansby Miami Dolphins

  • stuart

    No, we’re 2-0 and Dustin will dust Crowder, unless Channing limps off after the 1st Jet possession (hopefully they’ll just get 3 pts.)!!!!! Not an instinctive player and useless on interior blitzes.

  • James

    Ofcourse he should play.He was the 1st string ILB at the end of camp. The title of your article should have been “Should Channing Crowder START Sunday night ?” not play.

    And i don’t think its that serious of an issue. If he plays bad just yank him.. Conversly, if he looks good keep him in the game. end of story

  • Steve Hoffart

    I agree with James. Crowder is a good enough player to be given time on the field to prove he can be a positive impact player. James hit the nail on the head! It’s a long game and he has been and should be the starting ILB, if he blows the 1st play then pull him, if not then leave him in, simple!

  • originaldolfan83

    Where do you guys get your info? Carpenter was NOT the one who initiated the fourth down stop. Karlos Dansby met AP in the hole and held him up, allowing Vontae to come in and finish. Carpenter seems to be an adequate enough player, but frankly I think he’s been getting a little too much love. Yes, he seems to be around the ball a lot but rarely is he in on the actual stop. I just don’t understand the animosity so many people show towards Channing. IMHO Crowder was pretty darn solid when he wasn’t the defensive signal caller. Let’s see how he does next to Dansby before the criticism continues!

  • MiamiChris

    I agree with James but I’ll admit I initially asked myself the same thing. Considering the level of intensity this D has been playing with you wonder if switching up one of the starters is a good idea. If Crowder is 95-100% he should probably start Sunday. If he’s not up to par then throw Dobbins and Carpenter back in. I feel Crowder will, at the very least, be more effective than the other two in stopping the run.