DAVIE, Fla. -- It's tough to get a firm grasp on the Dolphins' most pressing issue of the week. But you can bet it includes misery.
Well, unless you ask defensive tackle Jared Odrick, the resident jokester. Odrick, who could be on his way to a Pro Bowl season, is always in a good mood, and Monday was no different. More on him later.
As for the Dolphins' situation, consider the problems on their plate:
There's the four-game losing streak. The Dolphins (3-4), who still harbor playoff hopes, have lost three of those games to AFC opponents (Baltimore, New England, and Buffalo). That'd make winning a playoff tie-breaker an uphill climb.
There's Thursday's game against Cincinnati (6-2). The Bengals are on a four-game win streak, and quarterback Andy Dalton threw five touchdowns passes in last week's 49-6 victory over the New York Jets.
There's the Mike Pouncey subpoena. The Dolphins center was served after Sunday's 27-17 loss at New England. The team, understandably, didn't have much to say on this matter. Pouncey was seen talking to team officials on the field after Monday's practice. A regular in the locker room every day, Pouncey didn't make an appearance on Monday.
"We are obviously aware of the reports regarding Mike," coach Joe Philbin said Monday. "Consistent with my responses to non-football related matters, I have nothing further to say."
Philbin said he couldn't recall any player ever being served with a subpoena after a game.
Asked if he expects Pouncey to miss any time, Philbin said, "Again, I'm going to go back. I've spoken enough. I've said anything I'm going to say about a non-football related matter."
When pressed about how it might appear to fans when the leader of the team won't publicly support his player, Philbin got testy with a reporter.
"I respect your question, but I'm not sure you are in a position to tell me what my role is on this football team," he said.
And, oh yeah, wide receiver Brandon Gibson is likely out for the year with a knee injury, quarterback Ryan Tannehill has been sacked a NFL-leading 32 sacks, kicker Caleb Sturgis had missed four of his last five field goal attempts, and the fully-healthy defense allowed 24 second-half points to an injury-weakened New England last week.
It's been rough, to say the least. The Dolphins are minus-three in giveaway/takeaway, one of Philbin's greatest indicators of success. Their usually-reliable defense has been battered, too. They're allowing 23.9 points per game, which is 19th in the league. That's another Philbin measuring stick.
Offensive coordinator Mike Sherman had some advice for his players Monday when they were in the meeting room.
"They can't let the noise outside the room affect what's inside the room," he said.
That's getting more and more difficult.
The chirping on the outside is growing louder and louder.
As the losses mount the fans are re-visiting their criticism of general manager Jeff Ireland, who was given a contract extension during the offseason. That's because the offensive line issues weren't addressed during the offseason (forcing the Dolphins to trade for left tackle Bryant McKinnie so he could replace free agent signee Tyson Clabo), wide receiver Mike Wallace, who was given a $60 million contract, hasn't been a game-breaker, and defensive end Cam Wake is still slowed by an ailing left knee.
But what complicates everything is the Dolphins haven't won a game since Sept. 22.
Against this backdrop, Odrick, who had two sacks against New England, was asked about the mood of the team and the troubles they face.
"To quote the great Sweet Brown," Odrick began, referencing the Oklahoma City woman who became an Internet sensation last year, "Ain't nobody got time for that."
And with that, two players with lockers nearby (cornerback Brent Grimes and safety Reshad Jones) cracked a smile. At least there's levity among the misery.
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