ZACH CLEARS THE AIR

Zach Thomas had a point to make on Monday, and he made it. Time after time. He repeated himself. But in the end, there was no confusion about his message.

Thomas made it crystal clear he did not go to Coach Dave Wannstedt to complain about Daryl Gardener prior to the Dolphins releasing the talented but troubled defensive tackle on July 19.

"I ain't no home-wrecker, that's what I'm saying," Thomas said. "That's the biggest key.

"I don't want to be looking like I'm hating on anybody. I promise you that. I'm going to be a leader, but I'm not going to knock on anybody. If I have something that they're doing wrong, I'm going to go tell them. I'm not no back-stabber. I tell them to their face. I'm not some guy who runs out and tells it to daddy and says, hey, this is what's happening, we need to fix this. That's bad."

Thomas was angry about a newspaper report, citing unnamed sources, that said two prominent players on the Dolphins defense went to Wannstedt to air out their complaints about Gardener.

"They say two prominent players — they're looking at me and JT," Thomas said. "They even threw Timbo (Tim Bowens) into the mix and they're best friends. So that's why I got frustrated. Because if I was making decisions around here, we wouldn't be in a hotel for two-a-days, my brother would be starting safety for us and you (reporters) wouldn't be in (the locker room) but for 5-10 minutes, maybe 15."

Thomas said he would miss Gardener.

"Yeah, we're going to miss him," Thomas said. "Look at him. He's huge, he's intimidating. And when he's healthy, he's unstoppable."

Having to deal with the Gardener issue wasn't something Thomas had in mind when he reported to training camp. He had other things on his mind.

"Let's have no excuses," Thomas said. "That's why I want to keep it from being ‘Days of Our Lives.' This script is better than ‘Days of Our Lives.' You read the paper every day, it's like a new script.

"There's no excuses this year. That's why I don't want to make it a drama. I don't want to make it out to be a big thing. Let's have no excuses. I just want it all, man, that's all."


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