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Dolphins LB Burnett not doing his job, and he knows it

  • By Simon Samano NFL.com
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If Miami Dolphins fans grew tired of Channing Crowder's all-talk, no-action routine, where do they stand on Kevin Burnett?

They can't be too happy, especially if Burnett himself is down in the dumps about his performance.

"I haven't done enough to help my team," Burnett said in Saturday's edition of The Miami Herald. "A season is made of 1,000 plays, and I've got 830 more to go. But it has to happen now. At some point, you have to show flashes of it. I don't want to live on potential and not production."

The Dolphins viewed Burnett as an upgrade to Crowder, who abruptly retired after a six-year career when the team cut him in late July. They believed they were adding the Burnett who emerged as a playmaker for the San Diego Chargers last season, when he had six sacks (second-most among inside linebackers) and two interceptions.

Burnett has been a dud, though, through three games in Miami. He has just 10 total tackles with no big plays (literally none), and the Dolphins are middle of the pack (16th overall) in run defense. Adding to the frustration is that coach Tony Sparano, an assistant with the Dallas Cowboys when they drafted Burnett in 2005, specifically targeted him to boost the defense. This was supposed to be a natural fit.

"You have to be a game-changer within the scheme of your defense," Burnett said. "The opportunities have been few and far between for whatever reason –- new scheme, new year. You got to adapt to it. It will take some getting used to."

Well, with Miami off to an 0-3 start, that time would be now -- as in Sunday against the Chargers. Dolphins fans can only hope returning to San Diego to face his old team is just the motivation Burnett needs.

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