During Sunday’s 23-10 win over the Browns, Dolphins defensive tackle Randy Starks was caught flipping the bird, as seen at right, to the Dolphins sideline after sacking Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden.
Many assumed that Starks was expressing his displeasure with his role as a backup to Paul Soliai and Jared Odrick and coach Joe Philbin joked on Monday that it was directed at him specifically, but Starks said Tuesday that he was “joking around with his teammates” while admitting it was something he shouldn’t have done.
As for his role, Starks, who said this summer he felt he was benched for skipping voluntary workouts after signing his franchise tender, said he could see how people would interpret the gesture as a comment on being a reserve. He said that there’s no problem there, however.
“I’m happy with my role, and my role is to be a backup nose and tackle, so whatever it calls for the team to win, I’m willing to accept that,” Starks said, via Chris Perkins of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
As Philbin said regarding wide receiver Mike Wallace’s apparent dissatisfaction with his role in the opener, it’s a long season and Starks is going to get chances to play regardless of which players are on the field to start games. If he outplays Soliai and Odrick, his snaps will likely go up and they probably won’t if the other two players are more effective. Complaining won’t accomplish much and it certainly isn’t part of doing whatever’s called for to help the team win games.