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Porter apologizes, says incident blown out of proportion

DAVIE, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter apologized Wednesday for not leaving the field during Sunday's game against New England, but said the incident was blown out of proportion.

The NFL sack leader would not leave the game as Dolphins first-year coach Tony Sparano had instructed during Miami's 48-28 loss to the Patriots. Porter, who is as well-known for his opinions as his sacks, did not take questions after making his 39-second statement Wednesday.

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"That's easy. I'm most impressed with the Dolphins this season. I thought they'd have a hard time turning that team around."

"I'd just like to apologize for not respecting Coach Sparano's orders to come off the field," Porter said. "I wasn't looking at it that way. I was just staying on the field playing football, I wasn't trying to make it as being disrespectful to the team or not obeying his order."

The Dolphins (6-5) unraveled in the fourth quarter against the Patriots. Linebacker Channing Crowder was ejected for a scuffle with a Patriots player and Porter racked up two penalties. After the game, nose tackle Jason Ferguson and defensive end Vonnie Holliday apologized, and Sparano said the Dolphins showed a lack of poise.

"We have a good relationship," Porter said of Sparano. "It's crazy how you all got a hold of this and tried to make it seem as if me and him are not good. I listen to all of his orders. I wasn't looking at that situation that way. I was just staying on the field playing football. That's just my nature. If I'm not hurt, I don't like to come off the field. So I think you all blew it out of proportion but I definitely apologize to coach, the staff and that's pretty much it."

Sparano declined to discuss the matter, saying he is focused on Miami's upcoming game against St. Louis.

"Those things are in the past," Sparano said. "They were in the past to me a while ago and I'm worried about the St. Louis Rams."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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