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Crawford pleased with Monday Night Football debut

Michael Traum

Are you ready for some football? That’s what the Miami Dolphins asked rookie Mike Crawford on Monday. And the Whittell High grad responded, making his Monday Night Football debut by playing on the kickoff and punt teams.

“I was pumped for the game. Monday Night Football is like the most watched sports show on television. It’s a big deal to know the whole world is watching,” said Crawford Tuesday night from his Miami-area apartment. “They gave me a chance. The deal was I’d get to keep suiting up for games based on how I played. Growing up, that’s what you dream about (playing on Monday night). I was happy with my performance.”

After waiting his turn during the first part of the season on the Dolphins’ practice squad, Crawford was finally activated about four weeks ago. But the former Nevada standout linebacker would enter each Sunday knowing that while he was earning his three-year, $500,000-plus deal, he’d have to watch the game from the sidelines as one of the team’s nondressing players.

Then, during practice last week, Crawford was asked to attend special teams meetings and he knew his chance was upon him.

“I guess they decided to not suit up an extra lineman, which gave me a spot,” said Crawford, who could be seen jumping up and down on the sidelines and field during the telecast. “I just hustled and busted my butt downfield. I was going full speed into those big ol’ dudes, trying to bust the wedge. I feel good about the game.”

Miami was without rookie linebacker Derrick Rodgers, which may have contributed to Crawford’s activation.

The Dolphins beat the Bills 30-13 to gain a tie for first place with New York in the AFC East. Miami faces a critical showdown this weekend at New England before traveling to clash with Oakland on Nov. 30. Crawford’s status for game activation remains week to week, although he said there’s a good chance he’ll be in uniform in Oakland.


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