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Miami Dolphins

All Time Miami Dolphins Super Team

Travis Wingfield

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An exercise that spans five decades and merges a variety of uniquely defined eras could be disingenuous, but so is the inspiration behind this piece.

If the Golden State Warriors can make a real life super team that obliterates any purpose to the NBA season, surely we can construct a fantasy football Dolphins team in July, right?

No backups allowed. Just 22 starters using 11-personnel on offense and the nickel package on defense.

This team is sure to have Jim Mandich shouting, “Allriiiiiiight MIAMI,” from the heavens.

Offense

Quarterback – Dan Marino

The first one is the easiest. The nine-time pro-bowler threw for more touchdowns than anyone in the pre-modern era (evolution of passing game rules). His 17-year year career featured one MVP, three first team all-pro selections and four second team honors.

He wasn’t just a first ballot Hall of Fame inductee; he is forever immortalized by a statue outside of Hard Rock Stadium.

Running Back – Ricky Williams

Openly inviting all the old-timer ‘Phins fans into comments section, the Dolphins never rostered a more special talent than Ricky Williams. 2002’s NFL rushing champ, a 400-carry workhorse and the best combination of speed and power since Walter Payton, Williams ranks 30thin all-time career rushing yards despite missing two full years in the middle of his prime.

Wide Receivers – Mark Clayton, Paul Warfield, Mark Duper

The Marks Brother’s production is even more impressive considering they shared the same football for nearly the entirety of the other’s career. Touchdowns, yardage, seven combined pro-bowls and perpetually threatening teams deep, the video game stats are back

Warfield, on the other hand, is the most gifted receiver in team history. Warfield’s 13-year Hall of Fame career was split between two teams (eight years in Cleveland, five in Miami) but he was the primary target for a team that went to three consecutive Super Bowls.

Tight End – Jim Mandich

If the criteria are specifically volume numbers, Mandich doesn’t even sniff this list. Adjusting for the era and the style of play the Dolphins’ offense employed, Mandich was an integral part of some of the best teams in the organization’s history.

The primary red zone option and one hell of an inline blocker, Mandich’s role is well-defined in our 11-personnel package.

Left Tackle – Richmond Webb

Over the first years of Richmond Webb’s career, the wall of a left tackle missed two games – TWO! During that span, Webb racked up seven pro-bowl selections and first team all-pro honors on two occasions (1992 and 1994).

Left Guard – Bob Kuechenberg

A Dolphin from 1970-1983, Kuenchberg became one of the honorary spokesmen of the Dolphins organization. Four pro-bowls, a first team all-pro and two Lombardi trophies, Kuechenberg was a reliable and driving force to some stout Dolphins’ ground games.

Center – Dwight Stephenson

Notching four consecutive first team all-pro honors, Stephenson was as dominant at his position as Dan Marino was in his prime. An injury cut his career short; otherwise Stephenson might be considered the best center in NFL history.

Right Guard – Larry Little

Outdoing Stephenson, and any other player to don the aqua and orange, Little was named a first team all-pro five consecutive seasons from 1971-1975. A part of the Super Bowl teams and a 12-year member of the Dolphins, Little completes the most dominant position group of this entire super-squad.

Right Tackle – Jake Long

The only member of the line playing out of position, Long’s short-lived dominance was too simply too great to ignore. Long made four consecutive pro-bowls before injuries sent his career off the rails. Long was a first team all-pro one time in 2010 taking the annual honors from Joe Thomas.

Defense

Right Defensive End – Jason Taylor

First-ballot Hall of Fame, eight pro-bowls and the NFL’s seventh all-time sack leader, Taylor’s South Florida legend survived a stint in Jet green.

The six-time pro-bowler and three-time first team all-pro has more fumbles returned for touchdowns than any player in league history (six) and won Defensive Player of the Year in 2006.

Nose Tackle – Tim Bowens

Longevity and durability were the hallmarks of this two-time pro-bowler. Each one of Bowens’ 155 career games were played for Miami. In that span, Bowens registered 296 solo tackles, 22 sacks and nine forced fumbles.

Three Technique – Bob Baumhower

Another Dolphins lifer, Baumhower edges out Manny Fernandez due in large part to his pass rush ability. With an eight sack 1983 season, Baumhower earned his one appearance on the NFL’s all-pro team. Baumhower played in five pro-bowls over his nine-year career.

Left Defensive End – Cameron Wake

October 21, 2017 - Miami Gardens, Florida, U.S. - Miami Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake (91) celebrates a fourth-quarter sack at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Sunday, October 22, 2017. Final score: Miami Dolphins 31, New York Jets 28 (Photo by Andres Leiva/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire)

October 21, 2017 – Miami Gardens, Florida, U.S. – Miami Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake (91) celebrates a fourth-quarter sack at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Sunday, October 22, 2017. Final score: Miami Dolphins 31, New York Jets 28 (Photo by Andres Leiva/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire)

Beginning his NFL career at age 27, Wake has defied father time by racking up 92 career sacks …. and counting. A pro’s pro with an exceptional get-off, Wake has made five pro-bowl teams, earning first team all-pro honors in 2012 with 15 sacks.

Inside Linebacker – Zach Thomas

Nobody filled up the stat sheet like Zach Thomas. In his 12 years with the Dolphins, Thomas registered 1,035 solo tackles, 17 interceptions, 19.5 sacks and four defensive touchdowns.

Those gaudy numbers earned Thomas seven pro-bowl selections and first team all-pro honors on five occasions. His lack of recognition by the Pro Football Hall of Fame puts the entire committee under fire.

Outside Linebacker – Nick Buoniconti

The Zach Thomas before Zach Thomas, Buoniconti was the leader of the Dolphins’ No Name Defense that won a pair of Super Bowls. Eight pro-bowls, five first team all-pros and 32 career interceptions, Buoniconti’s best years came with the Boston Patriots; but it was his presence that galvanized those great Miami defenses.

Cornerback – Patrick Surtain

Missing only four games in his seven-year Dolphins career, Surtain picked off 29 passes. His three consecutive pro-bowls from 2002-2004 featured one all-pro first team selection in which Surtain made 17 plays on the ball (six interceptions and 11 PBUs).

Cornerback – Sam Madison

Madison picked off 31 passes and locked down the opposition’s best receiver for nine years in Miami. With four consecutive pro-bowls and back-to-back all-pro selections in the late-90’s/early-2000’s, Madison was an integral part to one of the NFL’s elite defensive runs.

Slot Corner – Troy Vincent

Primarily a perimeter corner, we’re converting Vincent to the slot simply because of his vast skill set. Described as a “smooth cover corner,” we’re betting Vincent’s quick feet and natural instincts will allow him to flourish at the toughest position on the defense.

Vincent spent only four of his 16-year career in Miami, but his ball production was never better than where it all began.

Free Safety – Jake Scott

Super Bowl MVP, 35 interceptions, five pro-bowls and two first team all-pros in just six seasons, Scott was the original rangy free safety. He didn’t spend his entire career in Miami, but he never missed a game in his six, tremendous seasons.

Strong Safety – Reshad Jones

While Scott is roaming the deep middle, Jones is setting the tone down in the box. His physicality and temperament give him the position over Dick Anderson. Jones is twice a pro-bowler with 18 interceptions and 10.5 sacks over his nine-year career. A fifth-round draft pick, Jones’ climb to Ring of Honor status has made him a fan favorite in Miami.

 

Special Teams

Kicker – Olindo Mare
Punter – Reggie Roby
Long Snapper – John Denney

Feel free to send me your list on Twitter @WingfieldNFL. As a bonus, here is the 2018 NFL Super Team.

 

Position Player
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers
Running Back Todd Gurley
Wide Receiver Antonio Brown
Wide Receiver Julio Jones
Wide Receiver DeAndre Hopkins
Tight End Rob Gronkowski
Left Tackle Tyron Smith
Left Guard Kelechi Osemele
Center Alex Mack
Right Guard Zack Martin
Right Tackle Trent Williams
Defensive End Khalil Mack
Defensive Tackle Aaron Donald
Defensive Tackle JJ Watt
Defensive End Von Miller
Linebacker Luke Kuechly
Linebacker Bobby Wagner
Cornerback Casey Hayward
Cornerback Jalen Ramsey
Slot Corner Chris Harris
Free Safety Eric Berry
Strong Safety Harrison Smith
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Miami Dolphins

Dolphins vs. Raiders Week Three Preview

Travis Wingfield

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Who: Dolphins (2-0) vs. Raiders (0-2)
When: September 23, 1:00 East
Where: Hard Rock Stadium – Miami Gardens, FL
Weather: 88 degrees, 73% humidity, 60% precipitation
Vegas Slant: Dolphins -3

Raiders Off-Season Changes

Dolphins vs. Raiders

Favored for the first time in three outings, the Miami Dolphins return home to the building where, under Adam Gase, the organization is bordering on elite. Since Gase’s hire in 2016, the Dolphins are 11-5, riding a six-game winning-streak with Ryan Tannehill under-center, and average nearly four touchdowns per game at Hard Rock Stadium.

Beating the Titans was a commencement that this team wasn’t the pushover many projected it to be. Throttling the Jets to the tune of a 20-point halftime lead, Miami asserted itself into the discussion of potential playoff outfits.

Now the expectation is that the Dolphins will hit the showers on Sunday with an unblemished record through three games. Winning as an underdog can be attributed to the emotional influence of the game but, winning as favorites, that’s a different ballgame.

The Patriots are on-deck. Miami are in a perfect situation to set-up a Late-September statement game – a potential changing of the guard game, perhaps.

But first, the Raiders.

The Raiders’ Scheme

Offense:

Oakland have been a team of two halves under second-time Head Coach, Jon Gruden. Obliterated in the second half against a loaded Rams team, on national T.V. no less, the Raiders had an opportunity to right the ship with a 12-point halftime lead at divisional rival Denver.

Gruden’s play-script has yielded positive results. A healthy mix of 11 and 12-personnel focuses the offense around Amari Cooper and Jared Cook. Everything Oakland does offensively revolves around the running game. Establishing Marshawn Lynch and the zone running game early is the precursor for the play-action, bootleg layers’ concepts that we’ve seen regularly with Miami.

For a team that wanted to throw things back to 1998 (and they did, no roster is older than this veteran-laden group assembled in Oakland), Gruden’s offense sure struggles to convert third-and-short. On 10 attempts from five yards and in, the Raiders are moving the sticks just 40% of the time.

That issue, compounded by a lack of ingenuity once the game becomes about adjustments, are why the Raiders are starring an 0-3 start square in the face. Mixing plenty of variety early in the game (bunch 12-personnel followed up by an empty formation down in the red zone) kept the Broncos and Rams defenses guessing.

While the yardage ranks show success, the Raiders have the fifth-lowest scoring offense in the National Football League.

Defense:

Coordinator Paul Guenther believes in three things: Blitzing, blitzing and, you guessed it, blitzing. Though it didn’t start that way this season, Gruden has specifically stated he would prefer that Oakland brought heat more often.

The Raider defense increased the blitz-package last week and, as the pass rush continues to struggle in the post-Khalil Mack era, that trend likely continues this week.

A-Gap pressure has been a favorite for Guenther. He’s a disciple of Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer, who’s defense is predicated on showing pressure down up the gun-barrel.

On the back-end, Oakland will mix-up zone and man-coverage. Because of a lack of pressure from the Raiders’ lackluster four-man front, the Dolphins could take Guenther’s defense to task in two ways:

– Throwing the football to the backs
– Setting up the quick screen game early and often

The Players:

Offense:

Derek Carr has regressed back to the norm after an anomaly in 2016. His propensity to succumb to heavy pressure and poor decision making has resulted in a rough start for the fifth-year pro.

Carr’s passer rating under pressure is 33.1 – 32nd in the NFL. Miami had Sam Darnold under constant duress Sunday at the Meadowlands.

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Donald Penn and Kolton Miller have surrendered eight pressures among the pair – keeping them each outside of the top 50 tackles in the league when it comes to pass blocking efficiency.

The interior of that offensive line is where the Raiders’ strength is supposed to lie – only it isn’t any better than the perimeter. Gabe Jackson and Kelechi Osemele have allowed a combined nine pressures.

Neither Raiders’ tackle is a top-50 graded run blocker and the guards check in at 42nd and 24th respectively. Marshawn Lynch’s elusive rating is 35th among NFL backs.

Miami has three wide outs with an average yards-per-route-ran over 2.0 – Oakland has one (Martavis Bryant on just four targets). Jordy Nelson’s diminishing speed has made him a shell of his former-self and Amari Cooper still hasn’t recaptured the magic of his rookie season.

Jared Cook, however, is fifth among all tight ends with 3.82 YPPR.

Defense:

Miami have gashed teams on the ground through two games and that trend could continue in week-three. The Raiders interior defensive line is inexperienced and without much production. Jonathan Hankins arrives to reinforce a front that is allowing 5.7 yards-per-carry – worst in football.

The edge rushers might offer even less. The most efficient pass rusher through two games is Frostee Rucker. His pass-rush-productivity ranks 77th in the league.

Gareon Conley and Rashaan Melvin are off to solid starts on the perimeter of the Raider defense. Leon Hall, Oakland’s nickel corner has allowed 75 yards on just nine pass targets – Miami will make the grizzled-vet a target on Sunday.

Linebacker play isn’t any better. The collective group has just six run-stops and each of the three are allowing passer ratings over 100 in coverage.

Oakland cut Obi Melifonwu in order to keep Reggie Nelson on the field and the returns have not been great. His passer rating allowed is 150.7 (just 7.6 points shy of a perfect rating).

The Medical:

Raiders

(Pos) Player Injury Wednesday
CB Leon Hall Illness Limited
DT P.J. Hall Ankle DNP
WR Dwayne Harris Foot Full
C Rodney Hudson Ankle Limited
G Gabe Jackson Pectoral Limited
RB Marshawn Lynch Shoulder Limited
T Brandon Parker Ankle DNP

 

Dolphins

(Pos) Player Injury Wednesday
WR Danny Amendola Non-Injury DNP
LS John Denney Shoulder Limited
RB Kenyan Drake Abdomen Full
DE Williams Hayes Finger Full
S Reshad Jones Shoulder DNP
WR Devante Parker Knee Full
DT Jordan Phillips Knee Limited
QB Ryan Tannehill Knee/Ankle Full

The Concerns:

There’s an easy answer to this one and it would be ultra-contrarian to go away from said obvious conclusion. Jared Cook caused a multitude of problems for the Miami in last year’s meeting, and he’s off to a similar start this season.

Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland’s ability to stretch him both vertically and horizontally doesn’t bode well for the Miami linebackers. Raekwon McMillan is struggling immensely in this area and Kiko Alonso has been problematic in this department in his own right.

Tackling and poor angles have been a bit of an issue on the back-end. It’s a team effort to get Marshawn Lynch to the ground – if he has success, the Raiders’ offense will have success.

Miami needs these three things to go in their favor:

1.) Contain Oakland’s first down offense – Oakland’s tackle play has been suspect. With a wave of edge rusher’s ready to capitalize, if Oakland can’t find success on early downs, it won’t fare any better on the money down.

2.) Unleash the passing game – A balanced attack has been the prescription so far with early double-digit leads. The same could happen against these Raiders, but Miami has advantages all over the field in regards to the passing offense v. Oakland’s pass defense. Expect Oakland to commit to stopping the run, meaning the aerial show begins at 1 ‘o’ clock eastern standard time.

3.) Shut down Amari Cooper OR Jared Cook – Miami will pick its poison here, but if they can blank one of these two and make the Raiders passing game one-dimensional, the Dolphins can start robbing Derek Carr and force the mistake-prone quarterback into turnovers.

The Opportunities:

Frankly, they’re everywhere. Miami’s edge rush against Oakland’s substandard tackle play, the young interior defensive line of Oakland against Miami’s ever-evolving ground-game, the perimeter match-ups, Miami ought to be able to draw their weapon-of-choice from a hat and attack accordingly.

The Projected Result:

An angry Adam Gase is a dangerous Adam Gase. The absurd rumblings around his quarterback are sure to ignite a fire and create a run-up-the-score mentality in the snarky third-year coach. This game could very well be all gas and no breaks with plenty of scoring opportunities schemed into the passing game down in the red zone.

Coming east in the early-game window has proven difficult for this Raiders team. Sure, change has been rampant since The Visor regained control of the operation, but that doesn’t make the challenge of an out-of-whack body clock any easier.

In 2017 Oakland was 1-3 playing in the eastern time zone. Three of those games were in primetime and the Raiders were collectively outscored in the four games 104-61. The lone early-window game was a 34-14 loss at the Buffalo Bills.

The Raiders are about to find out how much resiliency they have under Gruden. The loss in Denver was devastating and will either foster a hungry, desperate team, or send the lads in the opposite direction with no hope in sight.

With the Dolphins tempo-based-attack, playing back at home in the brutal South Florida conditions, not many aspects of this game favor the road team.

Dolphins 41
Raiders 20

For more data like this, sign-up at Pro Football Focus

@WingfieldNFL

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Miami Dolphins

Week 3: Miami Dolphins Power Rankings Round Up

Gabe Hauari

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How did Miami’s 20-12 win over the Jets in Week 2 affect their position in the eyes of the major national media outlets? Let’s take a look:

ESPN

Last Week: 24

This week: 16

NFL.com

Last week: 23

This week: 17

Bleacher Report

Last week: 28

This week: 21

CBS Sports

Last week: 17

This week: 12

Sports Illustrated

Last week: 19

This week: 15

As you can see, there’s a pretty wide range of opinions on this Dolphins team. Bleacher Report continues to remain mum on Miami, saying “Undefeated or no, we’re still not ready to call the Dolphins contenders. Or even call them good.”

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports ranked the Dolphins No. 12, and said: “They are off to a 2-0 start and have a winnable game at home against Oakland. Adam Gase has this team playing good football.”

If the Dolphins get to 3-0 by beating the Oakland Raiders at home this Sunday, they may start to get some more national recognition as a team who could contend for a playoff spot.

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Miami Dolphins

5 potential landing spots should Miami trade Devante Parker

Kadeem Simmonds

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Following Miami’s 20-12 win over the Jets on Sunday, Devante Parker was upset he didn’t see the field, claiming he was fit and ready to go.

The reaction to the quote was mixed, some fans were pleased Parker wanted in on the action while others felt he was overshadowing the victory and making it all about himself.

We saw this with Jay Ajayi, complaining he didn’t see enough off the ball after the Dolphins won games and the last thing Adam Gase wants is another player putting his personal needs above the team’s.

Parker has failed to live up the hype when he was drafted 14th overall in 2015.

Yet to get a contract extension, it may be time for #11 to move on.

The team are not short at receiver with Albert Wilson, Kenny Stills, Danny Amendola and Jakeem Grant all proving to be Gase’s guys.

Parker doesn’t fit in to what Gase is trying to build in Miami and instead of letting him hit free agency when the time comes, it may be worth trading him to a WR needy franchise.

Below are five teams who could be interested in Parker should he be available:

 

Philadelphia Eagles

Ajayi texts Parker.

“Hey, I agree Coach Gase doesn’t know what he’s doing.

“He didn’t give me enough touches when I was in Miami and I left to win a Super Bowl. JOIN ME!”

On a serious note, this is a move which we could actually see happen.

The SB champs are short at receiver due to a few injuries.

While they have Alshon Jeffrey to return, Mike Wallace may not see the field again this season and Mack Hollins is on IR.

Carson Wentz returns this Sunday and giving him a new shiny toy to play with in Parker could be the perfect welcome back gift.

Eagles Twitter want it to happen and know the franchise have a good relationship with the Dolphins after acquiring Ajayi for what seems to be a steal.

Can Howie Roseman do it again?

 

Cleveland Browns

Landry texts Parker.

“Hey, I agree Coach Gase doesn’t know what he’s doing.

“He gave me loads of touches when I was in Miami and I left to lose with the Browns. JOIN ME!”

The Browns’ receiver core is shrinking.

Corey Coleman? Gone.

Josh Gordon? Gone.

For Thursday Night Football against the Jets, their current depth chart at WR reads:

1. Jarvis Landry

2. Rashard Higgins

3. Derrick Willies

1. Antonio Callaway

2. Damion Ratley

3. Rod Streater.

If Cleveland are serious about actually winning a game of football, giving Tyrod Taylor/Baker Mayfield some actual weapons could be a start.

Should Miami work out a deal, better than the one they got for Landry, they could be looking at a pretty decent draft pick in 2019.

Cleveland has the cap room to offer him a long-term deal and Parker gets moved to a team looking to rebuild for the future.

 

Dallas Cowboys

The win against the Giants on Sunday Night Football didn’t mask the fact that Dak Prescott has a lack of good options to throw to.

The team has seven WRs after adding Brice Butler to give the receiver room some much-needed height but still lack an X-factor player on the perimeter.

Jason Garrett must be worried about the amount of snaps Tavon Austin and Cole Beasley are seeing and Parker can potentially bring to this team what they lost in Dez Bryant over the summer.

It would mean getting rid of two or three WRs but given the list of names on the Cowboys depth chart, that shouldn’t be too hard to make room for a former first round pick.

 

Seattle Seahawks

Russell Wilson needs help.

First and foremost, he needs an offensive line.

But he also has no-one to throw to.

Pete Carroll’s days seem to be numbered and he may not last the entire season given their start and the changes in Seattle the past 18 months.

But should he need a quick fix to try and save his job, Parker could help alleviate the pressure on Wilson while also taking some of the attention Doug Baldwin is shown by opponents.

Should trade talks take place, instead of going for a draft pick, Miami’s front office should see if Seattle would send Earl Thomas the other way.

Yes Miami has T.J. McDonald but would you turn down the opportunity to partner Reshad Jones with ETIII?

One can dream.

 

Arizona Cardinals

Like Seattle, this team needs all the help it can get.

Badly.

Larry Fitzgerald cannot keep single-handedly saving this franchise.

Christian Kirk looks a nice pick up but if they want to give Josh Rosen the best chance to succeed when he does step in for Sam Bradford, he needs more weapons.

Parker can immediately step in and be productive in a team which failed to get past the half-way line until the final drive of the game against the LA Rams and were shut out.

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