Dolphins Roundup 8/24/04

- Arturo Freeman may once again lose a starting spot in the Dolphins' secondary before the regular season begins.

Beaten out at strong safety by Sammy Knight in 2003 after starting the previous season, Freeman is now facing a similar fate at free safety. Competition between Freeman and Antuan Edwards is so close that coach Dave Wannstedt said he is uncertain which player will start Saturday night's exhibition game at Tampa Bay.

Asked Monday what will ultimately influence his decision toward naming a permanent starter, Wannstedt said, "It might just be studying the film and seeing how they make the calls, make adjustments and how they react to different plays. It might not be who made the most tackles or more interceptions but how a guy has been handling his responsibility within the defense."

Freeman started the first exhibition against Jacksonville but ceded that role to Edwards in last Saturday's 17-0 loss to Washington. Although Freeman was originally in line to replace departed free safety Brock Marion (Detroit), the Dolphins signed Edwards to a one-year contract in March. Edwards started 18 games in his first five seasons with Green Bay.

"It was a surprise to me when the coaches said, `Hey, we've got to give [Edwards] a shot at competing,' at this late stage in the game," Freeman said. "But you know what? It's football. This is what I'm here to do. I play football, and obviously I'm in this thing. I'm front-running."

While publicly maintaining a positive approach, ex-Dolphins defensive end Adewale Ogunleye believes Freeman's on-again, off-again status as a starter is taking a psychological toll.

"I would be going crazy," said Ogunleye, a teammate of Freeman's for four seasons before being traded Sunday to Chicago. "Screwing him around, pulling him up and down, telling him he's the starter and bringing another guy in. ... You want players to have faith in the organization? Come on. He has got to be losing his mind."

By The Source
Aug 24, 2004
© Copyright 2004-2005

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