Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Sports

Dolphins' Tunsil tries his skill at damage control

DAVIE — Laremy Tunsil kept repeating the same answer to questions about his free fall in the draft, what he said was the social media hacking that cost him millions of dollars and the investigation he stirred at Ole Miss.

"I'm just here to talk about the Miami Dolphins," Tunsil said several times Friday.

At his introductory news conference with the Dolphins, the big tackle tried to tamp down the furor surrounding his slide to the 13th pick in the draft Thursday.

Touted at one time as a potential No. 1 overall choice, the Mississippi tackle fell into Miami's lap after a video was posted on his Twitter account shortly before the first round showing him smoking from a gas mask connected to a bong. The fall in draft position likely cost him more than $10 million.

Later, a post on his Instagram account showed an alleged text exchange with an Ole Miss football staff member that included Tunsil's request for money. The school said it will investigate.

Thursday, Tunsil said both accounts had been hacked. He declined to elaborate Friday.

Tunsil hinted only once at any bitterness regarding what had transpired while saying he felt blessed to join Miami.

"They gave me a chance," he said. "I'm going to show them why I'm the best player — I should be — in the draft."

The tale took yet another strange twist when the news conference started more than an hour late because, Tunsil said, he suffered an allergic reaction while at the Dolphins' complex. He said it had happened before and probably resulted from something he ate.

"The doctor took care of me, so I'm good," he said.

The Dolphins' risky decision to pick a player 12 other teams passed on was endorsed by executive vice president of football operations Mike Tannenbaum, general manager Chris Grier and coach Adam Gase.

"A no-brainer," Gase said.

"A great moment for our organization," Tannenbaum said.

Grier said "there was a big gap" between Tunsil and the next highest-rated player on the Dolphins' board.

Thursday's social media posts reinforced Tunsil's reputation for off-field issues.

He sat out the 2015 season's first seven games after the NCAA ruled that he received improper benefits, including the use of three loaner cars over a six-month period. His stepfather reportedly filed a lawsuit against him Tuesday related to a confrontation in June, when the men were both charged with domestic violence against each other. The charges were later dismissed.

Meanwhile, the president of the players union took exception to how the league and commissioner Roger Goodell responded to what happened to Tunsil on Thursday.

Eric Winston, an offensive tackle with the Bengals, posted on Twitter that he was "stewing" over it.

"Last night everyone saw a young man's dream turn into a nightmare," Winston's post read. "The mistakes he made in the past were released out there to millions with an intent to harm him. What did the NFL do? Nothing. In fact, if Roger is to be believed, they loved it because it made the draft 'so exciting.' … The NFL invested big on this marketing campaign of 'family.' … Let me dish out some free advice to the young men coming into this league this weekend: they are not your family. This is a business."

Bucs release eight: The Bucs released eight players on Friday, including former USF receiver Andre Davis. The others were Darius Eubanks, Antoine Everett, Gerod Holliman, Kimario McFadden, Derrick Lott, Jermauria Rasco and C.J. Roberts.

Emmitt endorses Ezekiel: Cowboys Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith, a former Florida standout and the NFL's all-time leading rusher, put his seal of approval on his old team's first-round draft pick. Dallas drafted former Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott fourth overall. Someone posted to Smith's Twitter account that they hoped Elliott wold be as good as Smith.

Smith responded: "He's better."

Comments
Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota meet again. Sort of.

Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota meet again. Sort of.

NASHVILLE — Here at the intersection of Marcus Mariota Place and Jameis Winston Way, the quarterbacks of the Titans and Bucs continued to go in different directions.During Wednesday's joint workout, they never got closer than within the width o...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Keswick coach Phil Hayford back on the field after spring’s gruesome leg injury

Keswick coach Phil Hayford back on the field after spring’s gruesome leg injury

It's going to take more than a nasty leg injury to keep Keswick Christian coach Phil Hayford off the football field. Hayford, 70, was injured in April when he got too close to a player during a drill. The cleat from one of his players peeled off the ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
For starters: Rays at Yankees, with Jake Faria on the mound

For starters: Rays at Yankees, with Jake Faria on the mound

UPDATE, 6:25: The lat strain sustained by RHP Wilmer Font in June has proved to be serious, Cash saying today: "In all likelihood it will be really challenging to see him at any point the rest of this year."UPDATE, 6:07: Cash said they are expecting ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Bucs receivers come out ‘smoking’ hot against Titans

Bucs receivers come out ‘smoking’ hot against Titans

NASHVILLE — DeSean Jackson turned Titans cornerback Malcolm Butler around and hauled in a deep pass from quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick during one-on-one drills. Mike Evans leaped over Logan Ryan, plucking the ball with two hands off the top of t...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Captain’s Corner: Fishing is still hot even as Red Tide looms

As of now, Pinellas and all of Tampa Bay are still being spared of Red Tide. It has been sitting in Manatee County for a while and has yet to push further north. I am on the water almost every day. Bait has been easy to get, and fishing continues to ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Brian Burns looking to thrive in Florida State’s new-look defense

Brian Burns looking to thrive in Florida State’s new-look defense

BRADENTON — First-year coach Willie Taggart's plan to transform Florida State into a program built on lethal simplicity transcends the offense.The defense will try to live by that same two-word philosophy, which could help Brian Burns rebo...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Bucs pleasantly surprised at what a great leader they got in Jason Pierre-Paul

Bucs pleasantly surprised at what a great leader they got in Jason Pierre-Paul

NASHVILLE — The Bucs didn't know what they were getting when they traded for Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. They believed he would be a good pass rusher to help the league's worst defense.But they got so much more.The Bucs have been im...
Updated: 4 hours ago
College football can learn from Jordan McNair. Will it?

College football can learn from Jordan McNair. Will it?

Today, every college football program in the country should be having a discussion that starts with these two words:Jordan McNair.Jordan should be getting ready for the upcoming season with his University of Maryland teammates. He should be getting r...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Former boxing champion Antonio Tarver accused of punching girlfriend’s son over Waffle House bill

Former boxing champion Antonio Tarver accused of punching girlfriend’s son over Waffle House bill

LAND O’LAKES — Former world-champion boxer Antonio Tarver was arrested Monday, after deputies said he punched his girlfriend’s teenage son in the face in a dispute over a Waffle House bill.Pasco County Sheriff’s deputies on Monday responded to Tarver...
Updated: 5 hours ago
This Buc was named to ESPN’s Perfect 53-Man NFL Roster

This Buc was named to ESPN’s Perfect 53-Man NFL Roster

If you were putting together the NFL's Perfect 53-Man Roster, you might overlook the Bucs altogether.If you were inclined to include a player, you might consider defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. Or wide receiver Mike Evans. Linebacker Lavonte Davi...
Updated: 5 hours ago