Crowder says Dolphins 'behind the ball' because of lockout

Miami Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder believes fans are in for a different brand of football once the NFL lockout ends -- at least out of the gate.

"It's going to be real simple football," Crowder told the South Florida Sun Sentinel last week. "It's going to mess up the integrity of the game because we're used to having those OTAs (organized team activities), minicamps, offseason workouts ... it's hurting the NFL now."

Crowder said the Dolphins are "behind the ball" because of the work stoppage, and while veterans understand how to keep in shape during this unusual offseason, younger players and rookies are in for a challenge once play begins.

"Mike Pouncey, he doesn't know what the offense is going to do," Crowder said. "(New coordinator) Brian Daboll, he wants to get with his offense and get (quarterback) Chad Henne and those guys ready. And we're already behind the ball on a regular NFL season. So the lockout is already hurting ... (when) we could be getting better."

About 20 Dolphins gathered last week for player-only workouts at TEST Football Academy at Florida Atlantic University, which Crowder said illustrates how much his teammates "want to work," adding that it costs the players money to practice.

"This is not free -- they're not doing it for free," Crowder said. "It's an academy, so they're charging us money to come out here and charging us (for) any supplements you want to get, protein shakes, you have to pay for anything. So we're doing this willingly to prepare for an NFL season, and the owners won't let us do it in our regular capacity, so we have to do supplement it in some way."

Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline echoed Crowder's words, telling The Palm Beach Post that installing a new offense during a lockout is a challenge.

"We'll probably need a little extra time," Hartline said. "We can function on the level where the fan, and the average eye, might not understand. But the comfort in the huddle, and ... being on the exact same page, is going to take a little longer time."

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