DAVIE, Fla. (AP) – Fullback Matt Quillen became the third player to quit the Miami Dolphins’ training camp, and coach Tony Sparano conceded he could be the reason for the defections.

“It might be me,” Sparano said with a chuckle Monday. “I’m not for everybody.”

All of the players who have left were long shots to make the team. Quillen signed Thursday and lasted only one practice.

“It has an awful lot to do with passion,” Sparano said. “This is a credit to the other guys that are in that locker room: What they are doing right now is really hard.

“If your heart isn’t in what you’re doing, it does not take long with the heat, with the contact, with the intensity of what we’re doing out here, and the way we’re doing it, to figure out that maybe this isn’t for you.”

Once a player reaches that conclusion, it’s better for the team that he call it quits rather than keep practicing, Sparano said.

Tackle SirVincent Rogers and safety Ethan Kilmer left camp earlier.

The Dolphins signed two players Monday: kicker Connor Barth and receiver James Robinson. Barth made the Kansas City Chiefs as a rookie free agent in 2008 and made 10 of 12 field goals, but they waived him July 28.

Incumbent Dan Carpenter remains a strong favorite for the kicking job.

Robinson, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., played in 13 games last year for Toronto of the Canadian Football League, making 25 receptions for 381 yards and one touchdown.

Two injured starters back in Colts camp
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) – Colts cornerback Marlin Jackson couldn’t wait to start hitting again.

Offensive lineman Charlie Johnson just wanted to know where he’d be playing this season.

Both got their wishes Monday. Jackson and Johnson, now penciled in as the Colts’ left tackle, made it onto the practice field for the first time after recuperating from injuries last week.

“It was difficult to sit out,” said Jackson, who will practice just once a day. “I had to tell myself all week to be patient, my time would come and I’d be ready to go.”

Jackson returned after having right knee surgery twice since October. He tore the anterior cruciate ligament and damaged the meniscus during a non-contact practice in October.

Johnson was coming back from a torn pectoral muscle, an injury he incurred during offseason weightlifting in April.

He also got a promotion.

Coach Jim Caldwell announced after practice that the versatile lineman is moving yet again, this time into Tony Ugoh’s spot at left tackle. That means Johnson will protect the blind side of three-time league MVP Peyton Manning.

Johnson has started 26 games over the past two seasons, including nine at left tackle, and he spent most of the morning practice working with the starting unit. He also replaced right tackle Ryan Diem in the second half of the Super Bowl and played so well that Manning said he didn’t notice immediately Diem was on the sideline.

Ugoh was projected to be the Colts’ left tackle of the future when the Colts moved up in the second round to draft him in 2007. But he immediately became a starter when Tarik Glenn unexpectedly retired that summer. Ugoh played relatively well in his first season before struggling last year.

Cowboys assistant recovering after May facility collapse
SAN ANTONIO (AP) – Cowboys special teams coach Joe DeCamillis is stiff, sore and hurting – and couldn’t be happier about it.

DeCamillis began working without a neck brace Monday, marking another milestone in his recovery from a broken neck suffered when the team’s practice facility collapsed May 2.

“It’s better than it is with that thing on, that’s for sure,” he said. “It was like wearing a turtleneck all the time, man. It was hot as heck.”

The next part of his recovery is rebuilding the muscles that atrophied during the three months since he had surgery to stabilize fractured vertebrae.

“They said one of the biggest things that helped me was how big and strong my neck was,” DeCamillis said. “Right now, you can see that it ain’t big and strong any more. It will take a while to get it back.”

The immediate challenge is getting used to sleeping in a bed again. DeCamillis has been sleeping in a recliner, but won’t have it when the team goes to Oakland for the preseason opener Thursday night. Knowing this trip was coming, he’s been slowly getting ready for it.

“I usually wake up two or three times a night, and try to get some time in the bed, try to get used to that,” he said.

DeCamillis will be on the sideline during the game against the Raiders. He’s not worried about anything going wrong so close to the action.

He’s talked to other coaches around the league who’ve recovered from serious injuries and got some dos and don’ts about where to stand and how to protect himself.

“I won’t be head-butting the players any more, I know that,” he said. “I’m going to try to stay out of the way of the gunners, I know that, when they get out of bounds. Other than that, nothing’s going to be different at all. … I think everything will be fine.”

When training camp is done and the team returns to Dallas, DeCamillis will need more physical therapy. For now, his job is therapy enough. He runs the special teams drills the first 20 minutes or so of every practice, then goes up to a coach’s booth to watch and rest.

“It’s just going to take some time, man, to get it right, that’s all,” he said.


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