Xavien Howard reacts to accusation Vic Fangio’s friend made against some Miami Dolphins players

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Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Former Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard recently responded to a rumor that surfaced after the end of the team’s season.

In January, Vic Fangio’s friend Ron Jaworski claimed that some players on the team wished to party and have fun instead of putting in work toward their craft this past season.

“I feel like it’s B.S., though, because it’s like, bruh, at the end of the day, we human beings,” Howard said. “We not gon’ be perfect. We can enjoy our life. We get paid to just — we get paid to do our f—— job, so we gonna do our job. We winning games, was doing s— the right way. But it’s like, bro, we also wanna enjoy our life, though, bro. This a small window — we takin’ advantage of it — but it’s like, we also gotta enjoy our life. We just can’t be football 24/8.”

Jaworski made the following comments — which cornerback Jalen Ramsey also reacted to — on a radio show.

“Coaches coach,” Jaworski said. “I have connections as well around this league and I hear another side of that story, that there were some players on that defense that didn’t want to work. Didn’t want to put the time in, didn’t want to put the effort in, didn’t want to make the commitment to be successful.

“Guys like to party at night and South Beach is really a great place to party. And Vic tried to get those guys and push those guys to become harder workers and better athletes, and more committed to their team. And he couldn’t get through to those guys. Those were the guys that Vic was pushing, and they’re the guys that are whining right now.”

Ramsey’s response came in February.

“If Vic said that, then I would say that he should be man enough to address who it is,” Ramsey said. “I don’t think Vic said that, though. Personally, I don’t think Vic would do that. And I disagree. Just because I know what we were about.”

“I know how I worked for damn sure. And I know how I led the other guys in that secondary, and I know how we worked. But yeah, at the same time, yeah, we weren’t couch potatoes. We didn’t go in the house all the time. Like I worked harder than — I’ll stand on the table and say I worked harder than anybody out here right now.

“But tonight, I’m going to be with my homies, and we’re going to chill, and we’re going to do whatever we’ve got to do. And tomorrow, I’ll be back at practice doing my thing again. So you got to have a balance in life in general, but when it’s about work and when it’s about football, you do have to be about football. But I don’t think he said that because I don’t think that’s how it was around here this year.”

The Dolphins were far from an elite defensive team under Fangio during the 2023 season. Miami gave up 23.0 points per game during the regular season, which was the 11th-worst of any team in the league. Additionally, the Dolphins allowed opposing teams to rack up 3,761 total passing yards against them.

But the play of Howard and Ramsey stood out as two of the team’s bright spots on the defensive side of the ball. The former had 45 combined tackles, 36 solo tackles, nine assists on tackles, one tackle for loss and one quarterback hit across 13 games played (all starts) during his eighth regular season with the Dolphins. He also had 12 passes defended and one interception.

Ramsey, on the other hand, missed seven of the Dolphins’ 17 regular-season games but still racked up three interceptions to go along with 22 combined tackles, 18 solo tackles and four assists on tackles.

Miami’s defensive woes during the regular season came back to bite the team in its playoff loss to the Kansas City Chiefs — who went on to win the Super Bowl — back on Jan. 13. The Dolphins let the Chiefs score 26 points and accumulate 409 total yards, including 262 passing yards and 147 rushing yards.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes ended up with 262 passing yards and one passing touchdown compared to zero interceptions while running back Isiah Pacheco finished with 89 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown on 24 carries.

Hopefully, Miami’s new defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver will prove to be exactly what the Dolphins need to take that next step defensively in the 2024 season and become one of the better teams in the NFL on that side of the ball.

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Jesse is a 23-year-old sports journalist. He has experience covering football at the high-school and professional levels.