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Linebacker Tim Dobbins has toned down his social life to focus on helping Dolphins

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Aug 7, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    By Brian Biggane Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
    Updated: 9:54 p.m. Friday, Aug. 6, 2010


    DAVIE — Tim Dobbins tried almost everything in his four seasons in San Diego to become a fulltime starter. Now with the Dolphins, he's ready to try something else: clean living.
    "I'm trying to do something different in my life," said Dobbins, who is battling Channing Crowder for an inside linebacker job. "I've changed my diet, and I don't go out anymore."
    Acquired in a draft-day trade with the Chargers, Dobbins, 27, started training camp as the leading candidate to back up both Crowder and Karlos Dansby inside, and seems to be gaining ground in the eyes of coach Tony Sparano.
    "My vision for him is starting to clear up a little bit," Sparano said. "We could be looking at a 40-play (per game) guy."
    "He's a good player who brings a lot of energy," Crowder added. "Having played with a successful team, playing with the good linebackers they have out there, he brings a lot to the team."
    Dobbins said he doesn't know what went wrong in San Diego. A reserve in his first two years after being a fifth-round pick of the Chargers in 2006, he started eight games in 2008 and totaled a career-high 78 tackles, tied for the team lead with three forced fumbles and had an interception.
    Last year, battling former Florida Gator Brandon Siler and Kevin Burnett for playing time, Dobbins got only two starts and his tackle total fell to 55. A sprained knee in Week 7 sidelined him for two weeks; by the time he returned, the Chargers were off on their season-ending 11-game win streak and the lineup was set.
    "I guess they felt whatever they were doing, they were winning, so there was no reason to change it," Dobbins said.
    He said he was "definitely surprised" when he was traded, but linebacker coach Bill Sheridan termed his acquisition "an excellent get."
    The front office seemed to agree, signing Dobbins to a three-year, $4.9 million contract with $3 million guaranteed while releasing former starter Akin Ayodele and backup Reggie Torbor.
    "It always feels good to be wanted," Dobbins said. "I'm glad to be here."
    Asked what he's seen so far in Dobbins, Sparano replied, "I see a lot of position flexibility, meaning I think he can do (both) jobs.
    "The third-down stuff he's getting better at; he's a smart player and a pretty physical player."
    "He loves hitting," Crowder added. "I can see him sticking some people."
    Dobbins acknowledged that his pass-defending techniques need work.
    "They definitely have improved," he said. "But that's something the coaches have always told me I needed to work on, so that's what I've been working on."
    He's also been working on keeping his 6-foot-1, 247-pound body in top form.
    He's cut out alcohol and has signed up for a private service that makes and delivers all his meals.
    "I've got a team called Optimal Nutrition that prepares my food and delivers it," he said. "All I do is pop it in the microwave and I get like 4,090 calories a day. And it works out."
    As for resisting the temptations of the South Florida social scene, Dobbins said it's easy as long as two-a-day workouts are limiting players to spending most of their free time sleeping and eating. But Crowder said it's not as hard as one might expect for a high-profile athlete to stay out of the social spotlight.
    "You just have to have your priorities straight," Crowder said. "The first couple years I used to go out all the time. Then I calmed down and tried to focus on things.
    "(Karlos) Dansby doesn't hang out a lot and I have a fiancé now, so there's nobody in our group to hang with. We're all calmed down now. It'll be easy for him as long as he keeps his priorities straight."
     

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