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Dolphins take a look at Hambrick
The ex-NFL player and Pasco High star eyes a comeback at age 30.
By FRANK PASTOR
Published May 13, 2006
Darren Hambrick's attempt to revive his NFL career received a boost Friday, when the former Pasco High star had a personal workout with the Dolphins.
Hambrick, a linebacker, played five seasons with the Cowboys, Panthers and Browns before off-the-field problems, including arrests, contract disputes and an association with two people on trial for separate murders, drove him out of the league after the 2002 season.
Dolphins linebackers coach George Edwards worked with Hambrick in Dallas, where Hambrick had a team-leading 154 tackles in 2000.
"They obviously have some need at linebacker and want to make some upgrades at the position somewhere," said Hambrick's agent, Arlo Henderson. "Darren can go in, and it allows the linebacker coach to have a comfort level with him as far as Darren's professionalism and what he brings as a leader defensively and on the field.
"I think it provides them with veteran leadership at that position and some depth they may be lacking at this point."
The Dolphins primarily want to see if the 30-year-old Hambrick can still move, said Rob Oppedisano, a New Port Richey strength and conditioning specialist who has worked with Hambrick for the past three months.
Hambrick, whose specialty is run-stopping, dropped his weight to 235 pounds with body fat percentage in the high 14s from 246 pounds with 17 percent body fat and reduced his 40-yard-dash time on grass to the high 4.5s from 4.94 seconds.
"We believe everything's in place, it's just a matter of where he fits into the types of schemes they run," Oppedisano said. "We believe he can make it on just about anybody's team depending on what they ran."
The Dolphins also want to meet with Hambrick to assess whether his off-field problems are behind him, Henderson said. If they like what they see and hear, they could sign him to a contract.
Hambrick has been trying to rehabilitate his image by exploring his faith with his pastor, the Rev. Randy Wheeler, and Delia Coleman, a minister with the Wellspring and Up Ministry and a chaplain with the Tampa Police Department. Hambrick hired Henderson, a faith-based agent, to tout him.
Hambrick recently experienced a personal setback. His sister, Denise Coleman, was in critical condition after being shot in the neck and chest at her home in Lacoochee. Coleman's husband, Joseph, was arrested and charged with attempted murder.
"(Hambrick) is doing about the best you can do in a tough situation," Oppedisano said.