Stuart Weinstein was at home watching television Wednesday afternoon, which is strange because for the previous 33 years he would have been making sure no strangers were milling about the Miami Dolphins team hotel or preparing for bed checks or performing some other duty related to his security director job.
But that’s behind Weinstein now because last week he told club brass he was retiring after more than three decades with the team -- ending perhaps the longest stretch of service of anyone still with the club.
Weinstein was hired by Don Shula in 1985, first on a part-time basis and then full-time starting in 1990. His duties were to make sure all was secure with the team both at home and on the road. He was basically a body guard for coaches from Shula to Joe Philbin. And throughout his time, including the past couple of years as team security emeritus, he did background checks on all of Miami’s potential draft picks.
“The fact is I went to a football camp this summer and then took my grandchildren to Disney World and just decided it was time,” Weinstein said. “I’m 72 years old now and after I beat cancer a couple of years ago, I still feel good. But it’s really a one-man job so I decided to move on.”
The Dolphins’ current security director is Drew Brooks. If coach Adam Gase is in public, chances are good Brooks will be somewhere nearby, just as Weinstein always had the back of previous coaches.
Weinstein says the Dolphins have graciously given him an open invitation to visit camp and the team anytime this season but he expects to spend most of his time with his wife Renee, their two children and three grandchildren.
“My only regret,” Weinstein said, “is we didn’t win a Super Bowl during my time with the team.”
It’s only one practice. It’s only one practice.
I keep telling myself that.
But I am having a hard time understanding how the Dolphins are going to maximize newly acquired wide receiver Albert Wilson this season.
With DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills, and Danny Amendola getting most of the first-team snaps on Thursday, Wilson rolled in some with the ones but mostly did a lot of work with the No. 2s.
Obviously, he’s a great insurance policy against Amendola (or anyone else) getting injured but the team surely gave Wilson a three-year, $24 million contract ($8 million per year) with a vision. That vision cannot possibly be to give him only 20 snaps or so per game, can it?
That vision cannot be for Wilson to serve as an insurance policy.
I’ll be interested to see how this plays out.
Coach Adam Gase warned what we saw on the field Thursday -- with certain players running with the starters and others not -- was no indication of how things will ultimately end up. Thing is during the spring, I didn’t see Wilson get as many first-team snaps as Stills, Amendola or Parker, either.
This begs scrutiny in the coming weeks.
On Thursday morning I reported the Dolphins plan for handling starting defensive tackle Jordan Phillips and his contract status.
Basically, Phillips is in the final year of his deal and he may or may not be with the team in 2019.
What does that suggest?
The Dolphins are going to be looking to sign or draft a starting caliber defensive tackle next offseason. It will either be Phillips if he totally impresses the team this season... Or it will be someone else.
I know this: The Dolphins set themselves up for some serious second guessing by cutting Ndamukong Suh if the run defense doesn’t prosper. The approach this year is to fill the Suh void by throwing body after body after body, including veteran Akeem Spence and second-year player Davon Godchaux, at the issue.
But this coming offseason it already feels like the Dolphins will be prioritizing the DT spot either in free agency or the draft.
So the starting linebackers on Thursday were Kiko Alonso and Stephone Anthony on the outside and Raekwon McMillan in the middle.
Rookie Jerome Baker, who you better hope develops into a playmaker, worked primarily with the second team.
Now, raise your hand if you’re excited with the starting linebackers.
Alonso is coming off a fallback season in 2017 and needs to recapture the magic of 2016. Anthony is a former high-round pick who washed out in New Orleans. And McMillan, who might develop into something pretty good, is unproven.
Forgive me if I’m dubious about the improvement made this offseason at linebacker.
(Repeating: It’s only the first day of camp, it’s only the first day of camp).
But Ray Lewis and Derrick Brooks aren’t walking through that door.
This group demands more scrutiny as camp and the preseason progresses.