Football

Sparano happy to take blame for Dolphins’ early exits

Fullback Matt Quillen became the third player to quit the Miami Dolphins’ training camp, and coach Tony Sparano conceded he could be the reason for the defections in Davie, Fla.

“It might be me,” Sparano said with a chuckle Monday. “I’m not for everybody.”

All of the players who have left were long shots to make the team. Quillen signed Thursday and lasted only one practice.

“It has an awful lot to do with passion,” Sparano said. “This is a credit to the other guys that are in that locker room: What they are doing right now is really hard.

“If your heart isn’t in what you’re doing, it does not take long with the heat, with the contact, with the intensity of what we’re doing out here, and the way we’re doing it, to figure out that maybe this isn’t for you.”

Once a player reaches that conclusion, it’s better for the team that he call it quits rather than keep practicing, Sparano said. Tackle SirVincent Rogers and safety Ethan Kilmer left camp earlier.

The Dolphins signed two players Monday: kicker Connor Barth and receiver James Robinson. Barth made the Kansas City Chiefs as a rookie free agent in 2008 and made 10 of 12 field goals, but they waived him July 28. Incumbent Dan Carpenter remains a strong favorite for the kicking job.

Robinson, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., played in 13 games last year for Toronto of the Canadian Football League, making 25 receptions for 381 yards and one touchdown.

Vick intrigue grows

There was renewed anticipation Monday in and around the NFL that recently reinstated quarterback Michael Vick might be inching closer to signing with a team.

After Tony Dungy, the former Indianapolis Colts coach who serves as an adviser to Vick, said during the television broadcast of Sunday night’s Hall of Fame Game he expected Vick to sign soon, several people familiar with the deliberations indicated Monday a handful of teams have been demonstrating behind-the-scenes interest.

“I don’t know where he’s gonna end up,” one person familiar with the situation said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the talks are at a sensitive stage. “I can’t tell you which teams, but I know there’s at least five.”

Eagles lose two more

Two more Philadelphia Eagles have gone down during an injury-filled training camp in Bethlehem, Pa.

Backup quarterback Kevin Kolb sprained a ligament in his left knee and former Pro Bowl defensive end Trent Cole sprained his left shoulder in practice on Monday. Both players will miss Thursday’s preseason opener against New England, and are listed as day to day.

The Eagles already have lost starting middle linebacker Stewart Bradley and rookie tight end Cornelius Ingram for the season because of knee injuries.

Extra points

Carolina Panthers receiver Steve Smith was injured after a collision at practice. … Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Antonio Bryant has a torn meniscus in his left knee that will sideline him for the remainder of training camp. … Mina Brees, the mother of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, has died in Colorado. … Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson has attended practice, his first since receiving a heart transplant.

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