Miami Dolphins newcomer shoots down idea that he has attitude problem: ‘I just needed a culture change’

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Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Dolphins defensive lineman Teair Tart recently shot down the idea that he has an attitude problem after he was released by the Tennessee Titans in the 2023 season.

Tart, who signed a one-year deal with the Dolphins this offseason, is looking forward to a new opportunity in his NFL journey.

“I think I just needed a culture change,” Tart said Tuesday. “I think it was just better to not be a part of the situation anymore.”

It was reported by ESPN’s Turron Davenport back in December of 2023 that Tennessee moved on from the defensive tackle due to “issues with his effort and attitude.”

However, Tart shared that there were no work ethic questions surrounding him as a player until he asked the Titans to release him. He reportedly wasn’t happy about how the team was using him, and the Titans eventually agreed to part ways.

“I was in Tennessee four years,” Tart said. “I never had work ethic questions, work ethic issues, until I asked for a release.

“Coming from a [Bill] Belichick situation, you know, you gotta play hard, you gotta practice hard.

“[The Dolphins] expect me to be competitive, spirited. I’m not afraid to show emotion out there on the field and, and really get after it and compete and, you know I’m really just excited for a new beginning.

“Honestly, you know, Tennessee is the past. You know, I was at Houston after that. That’s the past, I’m here in Miami now, and I’m excited to get to know the fans. I’m excited to play hard for this organization, and I’m in awe just to be here, man. It’s a blessing.”

Tart appeared in 13 games during the 2023 season, playing for both the Titans and the Houston Texans. He ended up making nine starts.

Of those 13 games, 11 came with the Titans, where Tart made 21 combined tackles, one sack and eight tackles for loss. In Houston, the 27-year-old made just three combined tackles across two games of action.

The Dolphins are hoping that Tart can help them replace Christian Wilkins on their defensive line after the star signed with the Las Vegas Raiders in free agency.

A first-round pick by the Dolphins in the 2019 NFL Draft, Wilkins spent five seasons in Miami. He started 77 of the 81 games that he appeared in and racked up 20.5 sacks, 355 combined tackles, four forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries for the franchise.

Those are some big shoes to fill, but Tart clearly is hungry to improve his reputation and prove that he can be an impact player in the 2024 season.

“I’m a football player,” Tart said, with his role and position being topics of conversation. “I’m a football player first. So, you know, wherever, wherever you feel comfortable is, is where I’m comfortable. I’m here to help the team win. Whatever it takes, man.”

For his NFL career, Tart has made 2.5 sacks, 79 combined tackles and 16 tackles for loss across 47 games.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.