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News » Miami Dolphins Notes, Quotes 2009-01-29

Miami Dolphins Notes, Quotes 2009-01-29

Miami Dolphins Notes, Quotes 2009-01-29
-- LT Jake Long was added to the Pro Bowl after Buffalo LT Jason Peters pulled out because of a knee injury. Long is the fourth Dolphins rookie to make the Pro Bowl, following QB Dan Marino (1983), LB John Offerdahl (1986) and LT Richmond Webb (1990).

Long, who was part of a unit that allowed just 25 sacks, 10th fewest in the league, is the first overall No. 1 draft pick to play in the Pro Bowl his rookie season since Saints running back George Rogers in 1981. Since the 1970 merger, Long is just the fourth overall No. 1 pick to make a Pro Bowl his rookie season, joining Houston Oilers running back Earl Campbell (1978), Detroit running back Billy Sims (1980) and Rogers.

--The Dolphins averaged 6.4 yards per carry in the Wildcat formation and 4.2 yards per carry overall. With RB Ronnie Brown taking the shotgun snap from center, Miami scored eight of its 38 offensive touchdowns. "You need a guy like that back there because if something breaks down, he can make something happen and turn it into a big gain," RB Patrick Cobbs said of Brown. "All of a sudden everybody's like, 'Go Wildcat!' when it's really, 'Go Ronnie!' He's done a great job making everybody else look good."

--The 11 touchdown catches from Miami's three tight ends (seven by Anthony Fasano, three by David Martin, one by Joey Haynos) tied a franchise high for tight ends in a single season. Bruce Hardy (4), Joe Rose (4) and Dan Johnson (3) did it in 1984.

"I think we're extremely fortunate to have two guys at tight end that are very effective in the run game and can be counted on in the run game and then in the pass game can do some damage down the field and underneath," QB Chad Pennington said of Fasano and Martin. "Both of these guys understand how to run routes and understand how to be quarterback-friendly and understand how to get open. That's just a big weapon to have, it really is, because you can put out numerous run sets and be able to throw out of those sets, which makes you so much more versatile and keeps the defense off-balance."

--WR Davone Bess had 54 catches, the third highest by a Dolphins rookie, and the second most in NFL history by an undrafted rookie receiver behind former Jet Wayne Chrebet, who had 66 in 1995.

--The Dolphins' 10-game swing from 1-15 to 11-5 tied the 1999 Indianapolis Colts (3-13 to 13-3) for the best single-season improvement of all time.

--The Dolphins' first-round pick improved from No. 26 to 25 because of the upsets wins by the Eagles (9-6-1) and Cardinals (9-7) in the playoffs. One of the NFC finalists will reach the Super Bowl and end up with either the 31st or 32nd pick in the first round. The Dolphins have selected three players at No. 25 over the years, DT Mike Kadish in 1972, WR O.J. McDuffie in 1993 and OT Billy Milner in 1995. McDuffie had a solid career before turf toe ended it prematurely in 2001.

--Because the Dolphins won the AFC East, their schedule got a lot tougher next season. In addition to playing their fellow division rivals twice each, they were already slotted to play teams from the AFC South and NFC South. Their remaining two foes are the 12-4 Steelers and 8-8 Chargers. Their 13 different opponents' cumulative record was 125-83.

"We've tasted success. We want more success," WR Greg Camarillo said. "Making the playoffs isn't our goal anymore. We want to win championships."

--LB Joey Porter, who was considered a flop after Miami guaranteed him $20 million last year, could've been considered in the Comeback Player of the Year vote that teammate Chad Pennington won. Porter, who posted a career-high 17.5 sacks, is looking forward to next season. "Going from 1-15 to where we are right now, on top of the AFC East, hosting a home (playoff) game is special," he said. "We put in the work and deserve to be here. This is a huge turnaround. We went from the outhouse to the penthouse, just like that, overnight."

--RB Ronnie Brown was selected to his first Pro Bowl and is the first Dolphins running back to make the postseason all-star game since Ricky Williams in 2002. He's one of six Dolphins running backs all-time to receive the honor, joining Larry Csonka, Mercury Morris, Andra Franklin, Keith Byars and Williams. Brown, who came back successfully from a torn ACL, scored a career-high 10 rushing touchdowns and also threw for another.

"It was a great run, a great turnaround," Brown said of the Dolphins' success. "We've got some things we can build off of as a team. You got to look at it in a positive aspect. At the beginning of the season, nobody gave us a chance to even be in this situation. We've got to look at that. It's disappointing having to go home now at this point in the season, but at the same time, we've got a lot of things we can build off of as a team."

--QB Chad Pennington's 67.4 completion percentage topped Dan Marino's 64.2 mark in 1984 as the most accurate in franchise history. His career 66 percent success rate is also ranked No. 1 in NFL history among quarterbacks who had at least 1,500 pass attempts. Cardinals QB Kurt Warner is second at 65.4 percent.

"If it weren't for him, we wouldn't be where we are right now. We need to just go out, get better next year and we should be relevant," WR Ted Ginn Jr. on Pennington after the QB threw four picks in the playoff loss to the Ravens.

--The Dolphins were 9-0 when they held the time-of-possession edge in the regular season, but they lost their lone postseason game despite controlling the clock against the Ravens.

--The Dolphins had 29 players on their season-ending roster who were acquired since the end of the 2007 season. Despite the record-setting turnaround, Bill Parcells and Co. will continue to overhaul the roster.

"(Tony) Sparano and his coaching staff are a great group of coaches that know football," DE Vonnie Holliday said. "Even me, being an 11-year veteran, learned a lot about football this year. No one expected us to be here. I don't even think the guys in this locker room expected to be here until things got going and everybody bought in."

--LB Akin Ayodele, who played for Bill Parcells in Dallas, believes that Parcells will return to Miami to finish the rebuilding process he started last January.

"I think deep down in his heart, he still wants to coach," Ayodele said. "He can still coach. He goes around, especially the last few weeks, and talks to guys, tells them what they're doing wrong and what they need to do. ... You come in Wednesday, and he's already watched film and telling you what to expect."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "The bar is raised. There are expectations that come with that. That's something we can look forward to." -- Coach Tony Sparano, on Miami defending the AFC East title next season.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: January 29, 2009

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Quentin Moses Name: Quentin Moses
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