NOTEBOOK: Culver Proves You Can Go Home Again

Posted Dec 5, 2012

Dolphins safety is glad to be back in Miami.

Even though there’s only four weeks left in the 2012 regular season, safety Tyrone Culver says he hadn’t given up hope of hooking up with an NFL team this year. That it happened with the Dolphins just made it better.

Culver, who was cut in September after spending the last four seasons in Miami, rejoined the team on Tuesday when the Dolphins made four roster moves.

“It was kind of a pleasant surprise,” Culver said. “Spent the whole time I’ve been out just working out staying in shape, waiting for a chance. To come back here was kind of unexpected, but definitely it was a good feeling.”

Culver said he had workouts for four different teams — Oakland, Detroit, Dallas and New England — during the season.

After his first practice with the Dolphins Wednesday, Culver said the defense was pretty much the same as when he left, albeit with a few twists.

“Some of the stuff is the same, but you see where they made some of their changes,” Culver said. “You can watch on film and you can see where the secondary has come along. Things they were focusing on and working on during camp, you actually see them doing it now. Really, it’s about going back in and fitting back in and playing a role and just giving the team everything I’ve got this week.”


Running back Reggie Bush said the Dolphins better be prepared for a tough, physical game on Sunday against the 49ers.

“It’s probably the most physical game we’re going to play all year to date,” Bush said. “We’ve go to prepare ourselves on a daily basis. We’ve got to get into the hot tubs, cold tubs, get your body ready. Whatever you’ve got to go to get ready for a physical game, get it done.”


While Dolphins players are confident in the team’s ability to replace Jake Long, they also understand the loss of the Pro Bowl tackle to a season-ending triceps injury was a big one.

Asked about Long’s value to the offense, Bush said: “Priceless. Losing a guy like that, it’s tough. Jake Long, he’s a leader, he’s a great football player, he’s a great person, so losing a guy like Jake is very tough. Hopefully, he can still be a part of this team. Obviously, he’s going to be doing his rehab, but hopefully he can still be in there in the meetings, around the team because we need his presence around this football team. That’s how valuable he is to this team.”


Rookie running back Jonas Gray is doing a lot of smiling these days — along with a lot of trash talking.

Gray, who has spent the season on PUP after sustaining a knee injury in college in November of 2011, played at Notre Dame and he’s made sure to let his Dolphins teammates know the Fighting Irish are undefeated and scheduled to play in the BCS title game Jan. 7 at Sun Life Stadium.

“I can’t get enough of trash talking with these guys,” Gray said. “I just put it to them simple, when you’ve got a better offense, better defense, that’s what it’s going to come down to.”

Even though no Dolphins player attended Alabama, the team Notre Dame will face for the national title, Gray said he’s hearing it from other Dolphins who played in the SEC — most notably former Florida Gators center Mike Pouncey.

While Gray would prefer to have gotten a chance to play for the Dolphins this season, he’s still got a big smile on his face — in part because of Notre Dame’s success.

“It is (enjoyable), especially because they’re playing right in my backyard,” said Gray, who plans on attending the BCS title game. “That just comes in perfect, me being in Miami and them having a chance to win a national championship. It’s just been a fulfilling year for me and playing in the NFL.”