TRACE EXCITED ABOUT RETURN

Trace Armstrong is coming back to Miami this weekend, and the veteran defensive end is looking forward to it.<P> "It will be an emotional trip to me, especially coming through the tunnel and making a left turn into the visitor's locker room," Armstrong said.

"I'm excited about it. ... I'm awfully proud of my time as a Dolphin. I enjoyed it there as a player, and I enjoyed it there as somebody in the community. I've just got a lot of fond of memories and some of the games and some of the things we were able to do."

Armstrong, who signed with Oakland in the early days of free agency when the Dolphins declined to match the Raiders' offer, had nothing but positive things to say about his former team when he spoke to the South Florida media this week.

"The Dolphins were very fair with me," he said. "I have nothing but admiration and respect for everyone there. I think it was an amicable parting."

Judging by comments from Dolphins players and Coach Dave Wannstedt, the feeling of respect indeed is mutual.

Wannstedt wasn't surprised when he was informed that Armstrong had been selected by his teammates as one of the Raiders' six team captains — despite the fact he only joined the team this year.

"If you talk to some of these younger players," Wannstedt said, "I think they'd say, definitely with the way he worked and performed, he set an example you'd like veteran players to set."

But while Armstrong still has many friends on the Dolphins, it will be all business when the game starts Sunday at 1 p.m.

As he did in Miami, Armstrong is being used as a pass-rushing specialist by the Raiders. He did not record a tackle or sack in Oakland's 27-24 victory over Kansas City on opening day.

On Sunday, he will be lining up against second-year tackle Todd Wadd, against whom he had some great battles in practice last year.

"Todd is a good player and he had a great year last year," Armstrong said. "I'm just hoping he'll take it easy on an old guy."


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