Dolphins QB Fighting Criticism
By Site Staff
As a 12-year NFL veteran who has played for six teams, Dolphins quarterback Gus Frerotte is no stranger to public criticism.
"For me, it doesn't matter because I know the truth," Frerotte said Wednesday, addressing the public and media cries for his benching during Miami's recent slump. "I know what happens. I'm not saying that what you guys write or whatever is said on talk radio isn't the truth, but I know what's in (the locker room) stays in here."
Frerotte has the full support of Dolphins coach Nick Saban - at least for now. Saban has stressed that to Frerotte and told him not to pay attention to any outside negativity.
"I don't think anybody enjoys criticism," Saban said. "But as little as you can be affected by external circumstances, the better you are going to be able focus on the things that you need to focus on."
Miami's season could head in one of two directions following Sunday's game against visiting New England. Either the Dolphins (3-5) will guarantee at least a first-place tie in the AFC East or will fall two games behind the Patriots (4-4) with seven to go, including the season finale against the Pats at Gillette Stadium. The result also will weigh heavily in whether backup quarterback Sage Rosenfels eventually gets a shot with the first-team offense.
Frerotte's performance has been inconsistent ever since his wonderful performance in a season-opening 34-10 rout of Denver. A 13-of-22 outing in last Sunday's 17-10 loss to Atlanta once again accentuated Frerotte's accuracy problems.
Two examples: Diving tight end Randy McMichael couldn't pull down a potential touchdown pass that went through his outstretched fingertips; Diminutive wide receiver Wes Welker couldn't jump high enough to snare a third-down pass.
Even more disturbing, Frerotte had avoided critical interceptions in his first season as Dolphins starter until facing the Falcons. Safety Keion Carpenter corralled a Frerotte pass near his team's goal line with less than three minutes remaining to help give Miami its fourth loss in the past five games.
Overall, Frerotte has completed just 52.4 percent of his passes and has more interceptions (nine) than touchdowns (eight). Frerotte has committed 12 of the team's six turnovers, but also avoided throwing interceptions returned for touchdowns that doomed last year's quarterback tandem of A.J. Feeley and Jay Fiedler.
"It's been up and down," Frerotte said of a performance that has left him ranked among the bottom tier of NFL quarterbacks. "For me, it's been growing pains, too, because I'm getting to know everything about every player on this team."
Although Frerotte said he is oblivious, the same can't be said of his wife Ann.
"I try not to listen to her," he said. "She gets a little fired up ... She reads the papers. She's very proud. I'm just glad you guys aren't around when she gets upset."