DAVIE (AP) — Joey Porter's dissent was very public, playing out in front of a crowd of 67,146 and the TV audience.
His reconciliation with Coach Tony Sparano looks to be much more private.
A day after Porter would not leave the field as the Dolphins first-year coach had instructed, Sparano said Monday he would be having a chat with the NFL sack leader — but remained mum on the details.
“I'll talk to Joey,'' Sparano said. “I'll talk to him individually and that'll be between me and him.”
It won't be Sparano's only tough conversation this week about composure.
“I'm going to talk to a lot of guys,'' Sparano said. “Not just Joey.”
The Dolphins (6-5) want to keep their improbable playoffs hopes alive with a win against St. Louis (2-9) on Sunday. But after unraveling during their 48-28 loss to New England, Sparano said his players might need a reminder about keeping their emotions in check.
“These guys are competitors,'' Sparano said. “At the same time, there's a right and a wrong way to do things. We have a standard here right now that we're trying to put in place. And for 10 solid games we've done that. Yesterday, we kind of got off the path a little bit for about eight minutes and that's not good enough. It has to be addressed.''
Porter certainly wasn't the only Miami player to lose his cool.
The Dolphins kept it together for three quarters against the Patriots, but then had a series of emotional lapses in the fourth. Miami linebacker Channing Crowder was ejected for a scuffle with
Patriots tackle Matt Light, and Porter racked up two penalties.
After the game, nose tackle Jason Ferguson and defensive end Vonnie Holliday apologized, and Sparano said the Dolphins showed a lack of poise.
“You get two competitive teams together like that and things are going to happen,'' running back Patrick Cobbs said. “You've just got to be able to contain it a little better than we did. It was a really big game for us, there was a lot of emotion running through it and it just got carried away.''
The often loquacious Porter sat quietly in the locker room at the Dolphins training facility Monday, playing a game of dominos with a teammate. He left without speaking to the media. Crowder also did not speak with reporters.
The NFL plans to review the fight between Light and Crowder for possible discipline.
“We've got to just get over this game and put it behind us and go after this St. Louis team,'' linebacker Matt Roth said. “I think we're mature enough. It's a loss, it’s not a make-or-break. We've still got five games and this is a big game coming up.''
The Dolphins will be facing the Rams without wide receiver Greg Camarillo, who left last Sunday's game with a knee injury in the second half. Sparano said Camarillo, who was having a breakout year with the Dolphins, will miss the rest of the season. He was also not sure of tackle Jake Long's status. Long, the No. 1 overall choice in the draft last April, left Sunday's game with an ankle injury but did return.
“We have five games left,'' Sparano said. “To the best of my knowledge, nobody's told us that we don't have a chance right now. The way our division is, anything can happen, as we know. So we're going to work our tails off right now to get better in these next five weeks.''
Photo: Joey Porter