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Miami Dolphins

Week-By-Week Match-Ups for Miami’s Loaded Edge Rushers

Skyler Trunck



Consisting of second year player, Charles Harris; returners, William Hayes and Andre Branch; recent signees, Robert Quinn; and who can forget all-pro, Cameron Wake, it’s hard to argue this is one of the deepest and strongest positions on Miami roster this year.

It’s a loaded lineup, but how much success will this unit face this year? Let’s take a look at a week by week break-down of what tackles these defensive ends will pair against this upcoming 2018 season.


  • List assumes we see Robert Quinn primarily at the right defensive end spot (facing left tackles) and Cameron Wake Wake at his perennial left defensive end spot (facing right tackles) to start of the year.
  • “Difficulty rank” shows how difficult the matchups will be in comparison to the rest of the schedule, with 13 being the hardest and 1 the easiest. This ranking is based on grades handed by Pro Football Focus (PFF) among starting tackles only.


Week 1 — Tennessee

Left Tackle: Taylor Lewan
Right Tackle: Jack Conklin

This will be the toughest matchup for the defensive end unit this season — nothing like diving head first into the season. Jack Conklin is a former All-pro, and on the other end is multi-pro-bowler, Taylor Lewan.

The only silver-lining for Miami, right tackle Conklin is coming off an ACL tear from the divisional round this past year. Although it is likely he will suit up week 1, his rehab will knock him out most of training camp and preseason. Look for Tennessee to scheme more protection Conklin’s way opening up more 1-on-1 matchups with Quinn and Lewan.

At least it can only get easier from here.

Difficulty rank: 13/13

Week 2 & 9 — New York Jets

Left Tackle: Kelvin Beachum
Right Tackle: Brandon Shell

Starting 30 games between the two, Beachum and Shell allowed 14 sacks, which lands them nearly at the top of the most sacks allowed by a pair of tackles.

Given the youth of this offense, it may be a good thing to catch New York early. Look for a strong rebound this week if Miami struggles against Tennessee’s star bookend tackles.

Difficulty rank: 6/13

Week 3 — Oakland

Left Tackle: Donald Penn
Right Tackle: Kolton Miller

Penn has been a solid starter throughout his career, only missing 2 games over the last 10 years. Quinn may have a more difficult time with this matchup, but on the other end, Wake may put up some numbers.

Rookie Miller came out of the draft with a lot of question marks. With it being early in the season, it’s unlikely his weaknesses will be shored up in time for this matchup. Look for Wake to capitalize on any 1-on-1 matchups he has with the rookie.

Difficulty rank: 5/13

Week 4 & 14 — New England

Left Tackle: Trent Brown
Right Tackle: Marcus Cannon

This offseason, New England saw the departure of 7 year starter, Nate Solder; however, in typical New England fashion, they brought in a more than suitable replacement in Brown in yet another trade with San Francisco. Before going down with a shoulder injury, Brown played 10 games allowing only 1 sack. It’s likely he’ll be placed on the left side opposite another 8 year starter in Cannon.

In the past, with an experienced pair of tackles, and a quick release passing offense funneled through Tom Brady, it has always been difficult to convert pressure into sacks. It’s likely we don’t see much different this year.

Difficulty rank: 11/13

Week 5 — Cincinnati

Left Tackle: Cordy Glenn
Right Tackle: Jake Fisher

Miami should be familiar with recent addition Glenn from his days in Buffalo, who had his 2017 campaign cut short after a plague of injuries. The last time Miami faced a Buffalo line with Cordy Glenn, Miami posted 4 sacks.

As the theme continues, on the opposite side is Fisher, another player who had his 2017 season end early after 7 games. When they were playing last year, between the two tackles, the pair averaged nearly 1 sack allowed per game.

Miami will have to be quick off the edge as quarterback Andy Dalton averaged a 2.48 second release, which was one of the lowest in the league.

Difficulty rank: 3/13

Week 6 — Chicago

Left Tackle: Charles Leno Jr.
Right Tackle: Bobby Massie

With the addition of James Daniels in the draft, Chicago should field one of the better offensive lines in the league. Leno Jr., despite being a 7th round pick only a couple years back, has played much better than expected, coming in as the 15th ranked tackle (according to PFF).

On the other end, Massie will probably be the weakest link on this offensive line. Cameron Wake should be able to make a big impact in the passing game against a young quarterback in Mitchell Trubisky.

Difficult rank: 9/13

Week 7 — Detroit

Left Tackle: Taylor Decker
Right Tackle: Rick Wagner

Decker suffered a shoulder injury last offseason which kept him out the first 8 games of last year. Coming back for the final 8, he had a less than spectacular showing allowing 4 sacks. Wagner, on the opposite end, allowed 6 sacks last year in the 13 games he played.

Detroit will have a sneaky good offensive line next year, but that doesn’t mean opportunities won’t be there for Miami’s ends.

Difficult rank: 8/13

Week 8 — Houston

Left Tackle: Julie’n Davenport
Right Tackle: Martinas Rankin

As a team, Houston gave up the second most sacks in the league with 54. This may be due to promising-star Deshaun Watson going down. However, it’s likely due to poor tackle play, which explains why they spent a third round pick on Martinas Rankin.

Davenport ranked in the lower tier of tackles last year, and it’s hard to think they’ll improve with schematic changes. When you also factor in Watson posted a league-high, average release time of 3.1 seconds last year, Miami’s ends should have plenty of time to get to the quarterback.

Difficult rank: 2/13

Week 10 — Green Bay

Left Tackle: David Bakhtiari
Right Tackle: Bryan Bulaga

In this matchup, Miami will be facing the #1 ranked tackle in Bakhtiari (according to PFF) who posted a 89.9 (out of 100) grade last year. It may be a rough outing for Robert Quinn, or anyone rushing off the right edge in this matchup.

Continuing with the injury theme among starting tackles, on the other end is Bulaga, who saw his 2017 season cut short after 5 games with a torn ACL. However, in those 5 games played, he only allowed one sack, which falls in line with his dominant 2016 season at right tackle.

With these tackles and a healthy Aaron Rodgers, Miami may need to get creative when applying pressure as it may be difficult to set the edge.

Difficult rank: 12/13

Week 11 — Bye

Week 12 — Indianapolis

Left Tackle: Anthony Castonzo
Right Tackle: Austin Howard

Indianapolis allowed a league-high 56 sacks last year, which tells us why they spent early picks on offensive lineman.

Castonzo is a solid left tackle, graded as the #10 tackle in the league by PFF; however, he has been known to let a fews sacks by allowing 6 last year. Howard was brought in to compete with 2017 right tackle, Joe Haeg. However, it’s expected Howard will win the right tackle starting job.

This will be a revamped unit from last year, especially with the return of Andrew Luck. The defense as a whole will need to step up for this one, especially if this game has wild card implications.

Difficult rank: 10/13

Week 13 & 17 — Buffalo

Left Tackle: Dion Dawkins
Right Tackle: Jordan Mills

This offseason saw the departure of 6 year tackle, Cordy Glenn. His spot was filled well by rookie Dawkins, who played respectively at the left tackle spot. On the opposite end is Mills, who gave up 2 sacks to Cameron Wake last year between both of their meetings.

Miami had 6 sacks last year in their two meetings with Buffalo. Dawkins will likely grow in his second year, but expect similar numbers for Miami against a young offense.

Difficulty rank: 7/13

Week 15 — Minnesota

Left Tackle: Riley Reiff
Right Tackle: Rashod Hill

A former first round pick in Reiff has been okay but hasn’t quite lived up to the early selection. On the other end, Hill was graded as the third worst tackle among starters (according to PFF).

Based on last year’s performance, this should be the most favorable matchup on the schedule for Miami’s ends. However, with the addition of Kirk Cousins, Dalvin Cook returning, and this game being late in the season, we may be seeing something entirely different from these tackles.

Difficulty rank: 1/13

Week 16 — Jacksonville

Left Tackle: Cam Robinson
Right Tackle: Jermey Parnell

On the right side, Parnell only allowed 1 sack in 13 games last year. However, the weak link here is Robinson, who graded in as the worst tackle among starters (according to PFF).

These matchups should be favorable for Miami’s ends. Although, with Jacksonville being a “run-first” offense, they (especially Quinn and Harris off the right side) will need to capitalize when given the opportunity.

Difficult rank: 4/13

I’d be interested to here what you think. Follow me on Twitter @skylertrunck and let’s discuss.

Skyler has been a fan of the Dolphins as far as his memory takes him. Hailing from a small town in Iowa, his passion for the Dolphins is only contested by his love of the game. Having coached football for 4 years, he continues to follow and study the game.

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Scouting Reports

State of the AFC East

Oliver Candido




With the aging empire of the New England Patriots hopefully coming to an end in the coming years the arms race and power struggle will enter overdrive. The Patriots have run this division for over a decade but all things must come to an end, with Tom Brady nearing his goal of playing till 45 and Bill Belichick turning 66 there is blood in the water, and the rest of the East will look to grab the crown and run with it.

Dec 23, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) and head coach Bill Belichick head out onto the field to shake hands with the Buffalo Bills after their 24-12 win at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots


Tom Brady’s play has declined but that hasn’t stopped New England from being a powerhouse, the offensive line will welcome Isiah Wynn back the former 1st rounder, he tore his Achilles in camp 2018. The skill positions are mixed, Sony Michelle provided a solid rookie campaign but there are holes in the wide receiver and tight end positions. Rob Gronkowski is pondering retirement meanwhile Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett, and Cordarrelle Patterson are all set to hit Free Agency. Defensively New England has excelled on maximizing talent with what they have but with that being said they have some notable players departing such as Trey Flowers, Malcom Brown, and possibly the McCourty twins.

Free Agent Acquisition:

Markus Golden (EDGE)

Pick 32, 1st round:

Kelvin Harmon (WR)


New York Jets


The New York Jets are not a star-studded team and will be ongoing a scheme change led by Coach Adam Gase. Offensively it would be easier to name what they do have then to name what they don’t, Sam Darnold is the only true “bright” spot on the offensive side of the ball. Multiple reports state that Isiah Crowell will be released in the coming month so half back will need to be addressed, in addition to wide receiver, tight end, and offensive line. On the opposite side of the ball things seem to be a bit more promising with Leonard Williams, Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye. New York will need to add a true pass rusher along with some other linebackers and defensive backs as well.

Free Agent Acquisition:

Le’Veon Bell (HB)

Pick 3, 1st round:

Josh Allen (EDGE)


Buffalo Bills


Buffalo has a good defense that is paired with the 31st ranked offense, they are in need of talent to surround Josh Allen with. Josh Allen needs an entire cast around him, most importantly an offensive line who can buy him some time, but it doesn’t stop there. After releasing former fullback wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin and Charles Clay the only player who can truly garner some targets is aging halfback Lesean McCoy. Although the defense has played well they are also in need of some attention, with Kyle Williams retiring they will need another defensive tackle in addition to a true edge rusher. This roster is still being rebuilt and could use talent on almost every level offensively but they need to give injury prone Josh Allen some decent offensive line play.

Free Agent Acquisition:

Trenton Brown (OT)

Pick 9, 1st round:

Jawaan Taylor (OT)


Miami Dolphins


Our beloved Miami Dolphins will be going through many changes and a complete rebuild directed by Chris Grier and Brian Flores. Miami has talent at the skill positions with young and inexpensive talent at halfback, tight end, and wide receiver. With the upcoming release/trade of Ryan Tannehill the biggest need will be finding his replacement via free agency or draft. Resources will have to be allocated to the trenches as Miami lacks talent on the interior offensive line and on the edge defensively. Miami’s defense is looking to be a multiple look defense in order to achieve this they will have to add versatility on every level off the defense and add depth to the secondary. This regime will be taking the long painful road of a true rebuild as Miami has been mediocre for far too long.

Free Agent Acquisition:

Mitch Morse (OL)

Pick 13, 1st round:

Rashan Gary (EDGE)


Madden 19 Giveaway:

I am giving away Madden 19 on Xbox One for free, all you have to do is find my favorite player. I will add a clue to every article until someone answers correctly. Tweet the answer to me and DM me on twitter @BrazilCandido and don’t forget to give the @LockedOnDolphins and it’s writers some love as well!


My favorite player once caught 29 passes in a season while 11 of them went for TDs! That means over a 3rd of his receptions were Touchdowns!

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Miami Dolphins

State of the Roster – Cornerbacks

Travis Wingfield




The 2019 off-season schedule had an unusual beginning for the Miami Dolphins. Not that the once proud, winningest organization in the NFL is suddenly new to coaching turnover (quite the opposite, rather). It’s the timing of the hire that provides the distinction from Stephen Ross’ three other head coaching appointments.

Typically, when the incumbent or new staff is in-place by Early-January, the roster dominoes begin to take shape. Waiting for Brian Flores to win his fifth Lombardi Trophy delayed that process by a month.

Now, with the majority of Coach Flores’ staff settling into their new offices, we can begin to speculate and forecast what will transpire over the next three months.

It’s not hyperbole to say that these next three months are the most important of Chris Grier’s professional career. Miami’s new General Manager is charged with resurrecting a franchise that, in the last 15 years, has fallen from the peak of the winning percentage mountain top, all the way down to fifth place on that obscure, yet illustrious list.

In this series we are going to explore the current assets on the roster and what their futures hold. Plus, we’ll explore the free-agency market and point out scheme fit pieces the Dolphins might seek to add in April’s draft.


Current Cash Owed: ~ $9.3 Million
NFL Average: ~ $16 Million

Players Under Contract – 2019 Cash Owed:

Xavien Howard – $1.3 M

Tying for the league lead in interceptions (7), Howard continued his breakthrough performance that began late in 2017. Among the game’s top corners, Howard excels in man coverage, offers an impressive physical style of press play, and tracks the ball exceptionally well.

The Dolphins will likely look to extend Howard in the near future, despite rumors of his presence on the trade block. Stephone Gilmore’s lockdown Super Bowl performance afforded the Pats defense ultimate creativity – something Brian Flores will want to retain in Miami.

Howard’s Projected 2019 Action: #1 Corner

Bobby McCain – $5.6 M

Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

In his first season with a new payday, McCain struggled. Kicking outside on the perimeter was a challenge that exposed his lack of long-speed. Still a jitterbug inside, McCain offers a knack for the nuance of the position in both man and zone.

Injuries mounted on McCain as he tried to fight through a number of issues all season. He’s a team leader and a top-shelf slot corner – that much will be evident when he’s back in his regular role in 2019.

McCain’s Projected 2019 Action: Slot Corner

Cordrea Tankersley – $673 K

It’s difficult to imagine a worse sophomore season for Tankersley. Benched, ran-ragged, and ultimately a torn ACL, it was a steep decline from an impressive rookie campaign. The mental aspect of the game proved to be a challenge for Tankersley and, to be fair, he wasn’t alone in that portion of Matt Burke’s awful scheme.

Likely starting the year on the physically unable to perform list, Tankersley will get a fresh start in a scheme that accentuates his strengths – playing man coverage.

Tankersley’s Projected 2019 Action: Depth (Begins the season on PUP)

Jalen Davis – $570 K

My pick for biggest sleeper on the roster in 2019, Davis flashed big-time potential in his limited work late in the season. In the Jacksonville game Davis forced a fumble and broke up a third down pass in the end zone. He’s fiery, aggressive, and Miami’s best option behind McCain in the slot.

Davis’ Projected 2019 Action: Backup Slot

Cornell Armstrong – $570 K

Thrust into action late last season, 2018 was a learning experience for Miami’s sixth-round rookie. Armstrong fits the prototype for length and style, but he was worked over in the New England game by Julian Edelman (hardly a bad look).

Armstrong will compete for time on the perimeter this year and continue to serve as a core special teamer.

Armstrong’s Projected 2019 Action: Depth

Torry McTyer – $645 K

McTyer’s numbers look worse than his actual performance. He was whipped consistently, starting with the beat down in Foxboro, but his good coverage was beat by better throws in the Chicago game.

There’s upside with McTyer, but he needs to show it in 2019 if he wants to have a future as a starter in Miami.

McTyer’s Projected 2019 Action: Depth

Jomal Wiltz – Not yet announced (Camp Minimum)

Wiltz was drafted by the Eagles in 2017 and later migrated to the New England practice squad in 2018. Playing under current Dolphins Cornerbacks Coach Josh Boyer, Wiltz has a head start on the new defensive scheme and techniques.

The most interesting aspect of Wiltz’s acquisition, he’s just 5’10’’ 180 pounds – an outlier for Miami’s prototype at the position.

Wiltz’s Projected 2019 Action: Cut/Practice Squad

Pending Free Agents – 


2019 Cornerback Free Agent Market:

Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

With McCain locked up and Howard due next, Miami may have to eschew buying its number-two corner. The need is glaring, but the market is lacking. Morris Claiborne, Pierre Desir, and Bradley Roby are the bells of the ball and will be out of Miami’s price range should they hit the market.

There have been two free agent themes presented in this series: 1.) Filling the Foxboro-to-Miami pipeline and, 2.) Reclamation projects.

Jason Verrett qualifies for the second bullet-point – he’s a hell of a player but his medical history is alarming. Eric Rowe is a free agent and falls into both categories. He spent three years with the Patriots but only played in 21 games during that stretch.

Rowe is 6’1’’ with the 205-pound frame to match. Verrett is just 5’10’’ and 188 pounds, but he’s an elite play maker (when healthy).

Miami has been linked to Ronald Darby in recent years. He shakes free from Philadelphia and a poor medical history could significantly reduce his cost.

2019 Cornerback Draft Class:

Cornerback is in play for the 13th pick. DeAndre Baker (Georgia), Byron Murphy (Washington), and Greedy Williams (LSU) head the class at the position.

Baker is feisty and superb in man coverage though he does lack long-speed. Murphy is rail-thin (175 pounds) and his lack of interest in run support will turn the Miami staff off. Williams’ effort has been called into question by some. If that’s true, he will be off Miami’s board altogether as they preach the love of the game.

Penn State’s Amani Oruwariye is an option in the second-round. He first the prototype, he’s ultra-competitive and excels in both press and zone.

Temple’s Rock Ya-Sin plays with the temperament of an alpha dog. His match-ups with Deebo Samuel at the Senior Bowl were the must-see events of the week.

The local product, Michael Jackson from the U, excels in man coverage – he’s a fit.

2019 Cornerback Prediction:

It’s pretty apparent from the free agent and draft classes where the more attractive options lie for the ‘Phins to address this need. Signing a bargain player to compete, and drafting a rookie relatively high should bolster this position into a strength in 2019.

Minkah Fitzpatrick’s official capacity will be as a safety, but he’s going to match-up where the staff sees fit. He’s the best option to cover a detached tight end and he’s probably the best slot cover guy Miami has. We’ll cover him on tomorrow’s podcast and column.

CB #1 – Xavien Howard
CB #2 – Rookie (Baker, Ya-Sin, Jackson)
Slot – Bobby McCain
Slot Backup – Jalen Davis
Depth – Cornell Armstrong
Depth – Torry McTyer / FA (Eric Rowe)
Depth – Cordrea Tankersley (beginning on PUP)

Tomorrow: Safeties


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NFL Draft

Fits and Starts of the 2019 NFL Draft–Jarrett Stidham

Shawn Digity



USA Today
A shot of Jarrett Stidham during the Senior Bowl in January. Image courtesy of USA Today

Which 2019 NFL Draft quarterbacks fit for the Miami Dolphins, which ones could start, and which ones aren’t on the table?

Let’s dive into the first installment of Fits and Starts with Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham.

2019 NFL Draft quarterbacks and Fits and Starts intro

I hope you’re enjoying all the Kyler Murray talk; it’s not going anywhere for the next two months. So, with all the hype surrounding the Heisman winner and his decision to play in the NFL over the MLB, it makes sense that Murray shot up the draft boards in rapid fashion.

Murray has been connected with the Miami Dolphins, and it makes sense. The Dolphins need a quarterback to lead the franchise into the future, especially with the start of the Brian Flores era.

But what happens if the Dolphins can’t get Kyler Murrayin the 2019 Draft? Let’s take that a step further. What if the Dolphins don’t get any of the QBs that are pegged to go in the first round? Dwayne HaskinsDrew LockDaniel Jones, along with Murray, are all in the conversation to go off the board in the first round.

The 2019 QB class hasn’t exactly been lauded for its talent, but that doesn’t mean its totally devoid of untapped potential on Days 2 and 3. There are some diamonds in the rough and some could be on the Dolphins’ radar come April. The Fits and Starts mini-series will be focusing on these overshadowed mid-round prospects and who could fit into a role with the Miami Dolphins.

Let’s get into the first name on the list: Jarrett Stidham.

Jarrett Stidham and his NFL Future

The first quarterback on the docket is Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham. He’s an enigmatic player. He was in the conversation last draft season (before he returned to Auburn) to go in the second round. He was also talked about as a dark-horse Heisman candidate before the college season started.

His junior season didn’t go exactly as scripted, though. Jarrett Stidham had an up-and-down season, and his draft stock has been all over the place, consequently. He’s polarizing in the Twitter Draft realm with many draftniks either loving or hating him. I predict that he’ll go in the third round, but I could see the need for the position pushing him into the second round.

In a lot of ways, I would compare Jarrett Stidham to Ryan Tannehill. With that being said, he’s a poor man’s Tannehill. He’s not as athletic and I wouldn’t put his arm strength or accuracy on the same level, but there are comparisons that can be drawn.

Jarrett Stidham Mini-Report

He has some starter qualities, and he’s very raw in that regard. He also did not get a lot of help from his receivers during the 2018 season. I saw a lot of dropped passes that should’ve been “gimmes”. Jarrett Stidham has a moderately high ceiling, I would say. He’s extremely rough around the edges, but I can see him becoming successful in the NFL; it’ll come with many growing pains, albeit.

He also has some accuracy issues from a lot of the film I’ve watched of him. He’ll make some unbelievable down-the-field bombs, but also make some passes that are too high, too inside or too outside. Many passes were underthrown and I saw plays where WRs had to turn and play some defense. The accuracy is a roller coaster, and that’s something that is hard to improve at the next level; accuracy is more a God-given ability than it is a teachable skill.

Something else that I wasn’t wild about was how Stidham reacted to chaos and pressure. When the line collapsed, I saw some ugly escapes. Those ugly escapes will be ugly sacks in the NFL. I saw flashes of decent pocket presence, but like many of Stidham’s qualities, they were inconsistent.

That’s one of the best words I would use to describe Jarrett Stidham: inconsistent. Sometimes he’s good, sometimes he’s bad. Sometimes he’ll thread the needle for a 40-yard touchdown, sometimes he’ll undercut a route. But if the inconsistency is his biggest issue, which I believe it is, then I’m intrigued by his prospects at the next level with some next-level coaching.

At the End of the Day

So, if the Dolphins drafted Jarrett Stidham, it’d likely be on Day 2 and in the second round with the 48th pick. While the Dolphins are rebuilding, I could see them using a popular draft philosophy of taking a quarterback every year until one hits. If that’s the case, then Stidham could very well be a target if the Dolphins decide to address a bigger need or BPA with the 13th pick.

This could be a way for the Dolphins to hedge their bets while keeping an eye on the 2020 quarterbacks. Akin to the Redskins taking both RGIII and Kirk Cousins in the same draft in 2012, the Dolphins could take a flier on a mid-round quarterback and see what he could do in some games under the guidance of a veteran.

While I wouldn’t be upset by the pick, the Miami Dolphins would be wise to stay away from Jarrett Stidham, bottom line. I say that not because of Stidham’s shortcomings or upside but because of where the Miami Dolphins franchise finds itself.

If Jarrett Stidham goes out and has a decent showing in some live action during his rookie season, then that could affect the draft strategy regarding the 2020 class of quarterbacks.

I don’t want the Dolphins to keep waiting and waiting for someone to slowly develop as they did with Ryan Tannehill. Stidham is in a similar mold, looking at his tools and raw potential. I’m not sure how long it would take for Stidham develop, but I could see it turning into a situation where he takes a few steps forward every season.

Jarrett Stidham could be a quarterback that Chris Grier likes, but I would have a hard time believing that he’s a prospect that he would love–and that’s not what the Miami Dolphins need to right the ship.


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