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Miami Dolphins
Current season
Established 1966
Play in Sun Life Stadium
Miami Gardens, Florida
Headquartered in Davie, Florida
Miami Dolphins helmet
Miami Dolphins logo
Helmet Logo
League/conference affiliations

American Football League (1966–1969)

  • Eastern Division (1966–1969)

National Football League (1970–present)

Current uniform
AFCE-Uniform-MIA.PNG
Team colors Aqua, Coral, Navy, White

                   

Mascot T. D.
Personnel
Owner(s) Stephen Ross (95%) and Wayne Huizenga (5%) (Unknown percentage of ownership by Gloria Estefan, Emilio Estefan, Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Venus Williams, Serena Williams)[1]
Chairman Stephen Ross
CEO Mike Dee
General manager Jeff Ireland
Head coach Tony Sparano
Team history
  • Miami Dolphins (1966–present)
Team nicknames
The Fins/Phins & The Fish (though dolphins are marine mammals)
Championships
League championships (2)
Conference championships (5)
  • AFC: 1971, 1972, 1973, 1982, 1984
Division championships (13)
  • AFC East: 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1979, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1992, 1994, 2000, 2008
Playoff appearances (22)
  • NFL: 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2008
Home fields
  • Miami Orange Bowl (1966–1986)
  • Sun Life Stadium (1987–present)
    • a.k.a. Joe Robbie Stadium (1987–1996)
    • a.k.a. Pro Player Stadium (1997–2004)
    • a.k.a. Dolphins Stadium (2005)
    • a.k.a. Dolphin Stadium (2006-2009)
    • a.k.a. Land Shark Stadium (2009-2010)

The Miami Dolphins are a professional football team based in the Miami, Florida metropolitan area. They play home games at Sun Life Stadium, in the suburb of Miami Gardens. They are headquartered at the Miami Dolphins Training Facility in Davie, Florida. The Dolphins belong to the Eastern Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The Dolphins were founded by Joseph Robbie, and began play in the American Football League as an expansion team in 1966, an example of that seminal league's expanding the sport to areas that were not then represented. Miami joined the NFL as part of the AFL-NFL merger. The Dolphins are the oldest continuous major-league professional sports franchise in the state of Florida. (The first Florida sports franchise was the Miami Seahawks of the AAFC in 1946.)

The team made its first Super Bowl appearance following the 1971 season in Super Bowl VI, but lost to the Dallas Cowboys. In 1972, the Dolphins completed the NFL's first and only perfect season culminating in a Super Bowl win, winning all 14 regular season games, two playoff games and Super Bowl VII. The achievement became the fourth pro football team to accomplish the feat along with the 1937 Los Angeles Bulldogs (16-0-0, AFL), the 1948 Calgary Stampeders (14-0-0, CFL) and the 1948 Cleveland Browns (15-0-0, AAFC).

The 1972 Dolphins held the fourth perfect regular season in NFL history, but the other three teams were beaten in the NFL Championship game. The team also won Super Bowl VIII, becoming the first team to appear in three consecutive Super Bowls, and the second team (first AFL/AFC team) to win back-to-back championships. Miami also appeared in Super Bowl XVII and Super Bowl XIX, losing both games.

For most of their history, the Dolphins were coached by Don Shula, the most successful head coach in professional football history. His Dolphins teams posted losing records in only two of his 26 seasons with the club. Six future Hall of Fame members played for Miami during the 1970s, including running back Larry Csonka and quarterback Bob Griese. During the 1980s and 1990s quarterback Dan Marino became the most prolific passer in NFL history, breaking numerous league passing records. He led the Dolphins to five division titles, 10 playoff appearances and Super Bowl XIX before retiring after the 1999 season.

Contents

History

Miami joined the American Football League (AFL) when an expansion team franchise and was awarded to lawyer Joseph Robbie and actor Danny Thomas in 1965 for $7.5 million dollars, although Thomas would eventually sell his stake in the team to Robbie.[2] A contest was held in 1965 to find the name of the new Miami franchise for the American Football League. A total of 19,843 entries were submitted with over a thousand different names. A dozen finalists were screened through by a seven-member committee made up of the local media, names considered included the Mariners, Marauders, Mustangs, Missiles, Moons, Sharks, and Suns. The winning name, "Dolphins," was submitted by 622 entrants. Mrs. Robert Swanson of West Miami won lifetime passes to Dolphin games when her nickname entry successfully predicted the winner and score of the 1965 football game between Notre Dame and the University of Miami, a scoreless tie.

1970s

The Dolphins had a combined 15–39–2 record in their first four seasons (under head coach George Wilson) when Don Shula was hired as head coach. Shula was a former Paul Brown disciple who had been lured from the Baltimore Colts after first losing Super Bowl III two seasons earlier to the AFL's New York Jets and finishing 8–5–1 the following season. The Colts charged the Dolphins with tampering in their hiring of Shula, costing the Dolphins their first round draft pick in 1970. Shula introduced himself to the Miami press by saying that he didn't have any magic formulas and that the only way he knew to make his teams successful was through hard work. Shula's early training camps with the Dolphins, with four workouts a day, would soon be the stuff of sweltering, painful legend. But Shula's hard work paid immediate dividends, as Miami improved to a 10–4 record and their first-ever playoff appearance, losing 21–14 at Oakland.

The Dolphins were successful in the early 1970s, becoming the first team to advance to the Super Bowl for three consecutive seasons. They captured the AFC championship in 1971 behind quarterback Bob Griese, running backs Larry Csonka and Jim Kiick, and wide receiver Paul Warfield. The AFC Divisional Playoff Game, in which the Dolphins defeated the Kansas City Chiefs, was the longest contest in NFL history (82 minutes 40 seconds). In Super Bowl VI, however, Miami lost to the Dallas Cowboys 24–3.

In 1972 the Dolphins completed the NFL's first perfect season, winning 14 regular season games, two playoff games and Super Bowl VII, defeating the Washington Redskins 14-7. QB Griese fell victim to a broken leg and dislocated ankle in Week 5 versus the San Diego Chargers and was replaced by veteran Earl Morrall for the rest of the regular season, but returned to the field as a substitute during the AFC Championship game versus the Pittsburgh Steelers and then started in Super Bowl VII. The Dolphins set the NFL single-season rushing record, and running backs Csonka and Mercury Morris became the first teammates to each rush for 1,000 yards in a season. The offensive line included future Hall of Fame members Jim Langer and Larry Little and Pro Bowler Bob Kuechenberg. The 1972 Dolphins defensive unit, called the No-Name Defense because Miami’s impressive offense received much more publicity, was the league’s best that year. It was led by linebacker Nick Buoniconti, end Bill Stanfill, tackle Manny Fernandez and safeties Dick Anderson and Jake Scott.

Before the 1972 Dolphins, only the Chicago Bears, in 1934[3] and 1942[4], had finished an NFL regular season with no losses or ties. The 1934 team lost the NFL Championship Game that year to the New York Football Giants, and the 1942 team lost the Championship to the Redskins. The Cleveland Browns were undefeated in the 1948 All-America Football Conference season.

The Dolphins finished 12–2 after the 1973 regular season and repeated as NFL Champions, beating the Minnesota Vikings 24–7 in Super Bowl VIII at Rice Stadium in Houston. Miami reached the playoffs again in 1974 but lost in the first round to the Oakland Raiders, in what has entered NFL lore as the "Sea of Hands" game, considered one of the greatest games ever played. Following the 1974 season, the Dolphins lost Csonka, Kiick, and Warfield to the World Football League.

Miami rebounded from a 6–8 record in 1976 by winning ten or more games in four of the next five seasons. Shula built a solid defense around a new set of stars, including linebacker A.J. Duhe and linemen Bob Baumhower and Doug Betters. The Dolphins went 10–4 again in 1977, but again lost the division title (and playoff spot) to the Colts. They made the playoffs as a wild card in 1978, but lost in the first round to the Houston Oilers 17-9.

Csonka returned to the Dolphins in time for the 1979 season. After winning the division with a 10–6 record, the Dolphins lost the divisional playoff 34–14 to the eventual Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers at Three Rivers Stadium.

1980s

In 1980, David Woodley, an athletic quarterback out of LSU, took over for Bob Griese, who severely injured his shoulder in a game against the Baltimore Colts. Griese would never play again, retiring after the season. The Dolphins finished 8–8 and did not make the playoffs.

The Dolphins were back up on top of the AFC East in the 1981 NFL season, with an 11–4–1 record. That season, the Dolphins quarterback position was actually manned by both Woodley and back-up quarterback Don Strock, causing the local media to identify the Miami quarterback as "Woodstrock." They reached the divisional playoff against the San Diego Chargers, known as The Epic in Miami and remembered as one of the most memorable games in NFL history, After being down 24–0 after the end of the first quarter, back-up quarterback Don Strock entered the game and engineered a frenetic comeback, culminating in the historic "Hook and Lateral" play, in which wide receiver Duriel Harris caught a pass from Strock and immediately lateralled the ball to the streaking running back Tony Nathan for the score on the last play of the half, which cut the Chargers lead to 24–17. After the Dolphins took the lead in the 4th quarter, San Diego tied it up 38–38 with under a minute to play. Chargers tight end Kellen Winslow, playing through exhaustion, blocked Uwe von Schamann's field goal try on the last play of regulation. In overtime, Von Schamann had another field goal attempt blocked, and Rolf Benirschke kicked the game-winner for San Diego (final score 41-38) after missing a chip shot field goal earlier. Strock finished the game with 403 passing yards and 4 touchdowns.

Killer B's

In the strike-shortened 1982 NFL season, the Dolphins, led by the "Killer B's" defense (Bob Baumhower, Bill Barnett, Lyle Blackwood, Kim Bokamper, Glenn Blackwood, Charles Bowser, Doug Betters, and Bob Brudzinski), held five of their nine opponents to 14 or fewer points en route to their fourth Super Bowl appearance. During the first two rounds of the 1982–83 NFL playoffs, they got revenge for previous losses, crushing the Patriots, 28–13 (revenge for the infamous Snow Plow game at Schaeffer Stadium played earlier in the season) and the San Diego Chargers, 34–13 at the Orange Bowl. After shutting out the New York Jets in the AFC Championship 14–0 (aided by Shula's instructions to the Stadium's grounds crew to leave the field uncovered throughout a week long rain in Miami). This was done to negate the Jets superior edge in team speed. They lost Super Bowl XVII to Washington, 27–17. After enjoying success rooted in a defense-first philosophy, and employing a ball control offense to take pressure off of lackluster quarterbacks, the next 17 seasons would be marked by an average rushing game and defense that limited a great quarterback.

During the third game of the 1983 season at the Los Angeles Raiders on Monday Night Football, Shula replaced quarterback David Woodley with rookie Dan Marino, who went on to win the AFC passing title with a ratio of 20 touchdowns versus 6 interceptions. Seldom sacked by defenders, Marino was protected by an outstanding offensive line as he passed to receivers such as Mark Clayton and Mark Duper. Despite the regular season success (the Dolphins went 12–4 winning their last five regular season games, the only team in the AFC East with a winning record), they were upset in the divisional playoff by the Seattle Seahawks at the Orange Bowl. Defensive end Doug Betters was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

In 1984, the Dolphins won their first 11 games en route to a 14–2 season (the franchise's best 16-game season to date). Marino, in his first full season, produced the most impressive set of passing statistics in NFL history, setting single-season records for most yards (5,084), touchdown passes (48), and completions (362). He was voted NFL MVP. Miami avenged the Seahawks loss from the previous year 31-10 and crushed the Steelers 45–28 in the AFC Championship to get to Super Bowl XIX. In the title game, however, Miami lost to the San Francisco 49ers 38-16. It would be Marino's only Super Bowl appearance.

Miami finished 12-4-0 in 1985 and, in an epic Monday Night Football showdown, handed the previously-undefeated Chicago Bears their only defeat of the season. After rallying from a 21-3 third quarter deficit in the divisional playoffs to beat the Cleveland Browns 24–21, many people were looking forward to a rematch with Chicago in Super Bowl XX. The Cinderella New England Patriots, the Dolphins' opponents in the AFC Championship, had different plans. New England forced six turnovers on the way to a 31–14 win - the Patriots' first in Miami since 1966. The Patriots had lost 18 games in a row at the Orange Bowl. In 1969, the Boston Patriots had beaten the Dolphins at Tampa Stadium.

In 1986, the Dolphins, hampered by defensive struggles, stumbled to a 2–5 start and finished 8–8, missing the playoffs for the first time since 1980. The Dolphins lost their last ever game at the Orange Bowl to the New England Patriots 34–27 on Monday Night Football. The problems continued in 1987, with an 8–7 (7-5 in non-strike games) record in a strike-shortened year, their first at new Joe Robbie Stadium. Miami had their first losing season (6–10) since 1976 in 1988, and finished 8–8 following the 1989 regular season.

1990s

1990–1991

By 1990, the Dolphins had finally shaped up on defense and finished with a 12–4 record, second in the AFC East. They came from behind to beat the Kansas City Chiefs 17–16 in the Wild Card round, but lost to the Buffalo Bills 44–34 in the divisional playoffs. The team struggled with defensive injuries in 1991, and narrowly missed the playoffs in an overtime loss to the New York Jets during the final week of the season, losing the AFC's final playoff berth to their arch rivals from New York.

1992

The Dolphins rebounded in 1992 and started the season 6-0 and then finished 11–5 and capturing the AFC East title behind a career year from running back Mark Higgs and tight end Keith Jackson, newly acquired from the Philadelphia Eagles as an unrestricted free agent. They crushed the Chargers in the divisional playoffs 31–0, but were defeated by the Buffalo Bills 29–10 in the AFC Championship.

1993–1994

A season-ending Achilles injury to Dan Marino led to the team missing the playoffs in 1993 despite a league-leading 9-2 start. Marino returned in 1994 to lead the Dolphins to a 10–6 record and the AFC East crown. After defeating Joe Montana and the Kansas City Chiefs in the Wild Card round, the Dolphins gave up a 15-point halftime lead and suffered a heart-breaking 22–21 loss to the San Diego Chargers. Pete Stoyanovich missed a 46 yard field goal on the last play of the game and denied Marino a chance to play the Steelers in his hometown of Pittsburgh in the AFC Championship.

1995

In 1995, Marino broke the career passing records formerly held by Fran Tarkenton for yards (48,841), touchdowns (352), and completions (3,913), though two of the games where he broke those records were losses to the Indianapolis Colts. The Dolphins finished 9–7, second in the AFC East, but still made the playoffs as a wild card, losing to Buffalo in the first round. Following the 1995 season, Don Shula retired and became an executive in the Dolphins’ front office. Jimmy Johnson, who had won a collegiate national championship at the University of Miami and two Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys, was named as Shula’s replacement. At the press conference announcing his retirement, Shula said that he "agreed to step aside", leading some to speculate that Huizenga had all but fired him.

1996–1998

In 1996, Miami finished 8-8 and out of the playoffs, with rookie Karim Abdul-Jabbar's 1,116-yard rushing season and the standout play of rookie linebacker Zach Thomas serving as two of the few bright spots. In 1997, Miami stumbled late and backed into the playoffs with a 9–7 season, losing to the New England Patriots in the Wild Card round.

Miami had a solid 10-6 season in 1998 with a career season for receiver O.J. McDuffie, but it was not enough to get past the New York Jets into first place in the division. The Dolphins beat the Bills in the Wild Card round, but lost in the next round to the eventual champion Denver Broncos. (The Broncos lost only two regular season games in 1998, one of which was to the Dolphins.)

1999

In 1999, the team advanced to the playoffs at 9-7. After a close win at Seattle in the Wild Card round 20-17, they suffered the second worst playoff loss in NFL history against the Jacksonville Jaguars: 62-7. Noteworthy, in the 1940 NFL Championship game, the Chicago Bears beat the host Washington Redskins 73-0 for the worst playoff game in history. After the season, Jimmy Johnson left the team and Marino retired.

2000s

2000–01

Zach Thomas contributed heavily to the Dolphins 2000 and 2001 playoff runs.

Before the 2000 season, Dave Wannstedt, formerly of the Chicago Bears, became the new coach, and ex-Jacksonville Jaguars backup Jay Fiedler became the new quarterback, even though former Marino backup Damon Huard had been considered the favorite. Despite lowered expectations, the defense broke through with Jason Taylor and Trace Armstrong each getting 10 sacks, and four players (Sam Madison, Brian Walker, Brock Marion and Patrick Surtain) tallying at least five interceptions. All-pro linebacker Zach Thomas also contributed many tackles. In addition, Lamar Smith rushed for 1,139 yards, and Miami finished atop the AFC East with an 11–5 record. In the first round of the playoffs, Miami took the Indianapolis Colts to overtime and won on a Lamar Smith touchdown run. Smith finished with 209 yards on 40 carries, but in the next round, the Dolphins were shut out by the Oakland Raiders, and a worn-out Smith was barely able to run.

The 2001 offseason brought in rookie Chris Chambers at wide receiver, but Trace Armstrong left, as did two offensive linemen, Richmond Webb, a Pro Bowl anchor since 1990, and Kevin Donnalley. During the 2001 season, the Dolphins relied on a strong defense to finish 11–5, earning a Wild Card spot and finishing second in the AFC East behind the eventual Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots. The Dolphins lost in the first round of the playoffs 20–3 to the Baltimore Ravens.

2002

Ricky Williams in his first game back from retirement

Miami revitalized its running game in time for the 2002 season by trading for New Orleans Saints running back Ricky Williams. In addition, rookie tight end Randy McMichael made his presence felt. The Dolphins, behind a new offensive scheme under freshly hired offensive coordinator Norv Turner, and a power running game led by Williams, quickly rushed out to a 5–1 start, including an incredible last minute comeback by Fiedler against the Broncos. However, Fiedler injured his thumb and would be out for an extended period of time. This intrigued some Dolphins fans, who believed backup Ray Lucas could outdo the much-maligned Fiedler. However, Lucas was abysmal in his first two games and merely average in his third, and the team dropped three straight. Miami rebounded with wins over Baltimore and an impressive thumping of San Diego, but lost to Buffalo. Still, Miami pulled off an impressive win over the Oakland Raiders and sat at 9–5 with two weeks left in the season, in prime position to steal the AFC East. However, despite dominating the New England Patriots for most of the game in Week 17, the Dolphins blew an 11-point lead late in the fourth quarter of a devastating loss. Due to a tiebreaker, both the Dolphins and Patriots lost out on the playoffs as the Jets took the AFC East title. Many fans called for Wannstedt's firing, but he was kept on for the 2003 season. Despite it all, the team believed it had plenty to look forward to, as Ricky Williams broke Dolphins records with 1,853 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground.

2003

The 2003 Miami Dolphins were a hard team to pinpoint. The defense was again solid and forced a lot of turnovers, and opposing offenses found running the ball extremely difficult. However, poor offensive line play (despite most of the starters returning) gave little room for Ricky to run, and the offense was stagnant. The Dolphins began with a repeat of 2002's season end, with a complete meltdown against the Houston Texans, but they rebounded to win four straight games. During a crushing overtime loss at the hands of the Patriots, Jay Fiedler was injured, forcing newly acquired backup Brian Griese to lead the Dolphins to victory the next week over San Diego. That, however, was Griese's high point, and after a good showing against Indianapolis in a losing effort, he was lousy against the Titans and highly ineffective against the Ravens. When Griese and the Dolphins fell behind to the Washington Redskins, Jay Fiedler came off the bench and saved their season, leading them to a comeback victory, 24–23. Miami looked like it might rebound thanks to a victory over the Dallas Cowboys that took them to 8–4, but two key losses to the Patriots and the Eagles ended Miami's postseason hopes. Miami finished 10–6.

2004

The 2004 offseason was disastrous for the Dolphins. Tight end Randy McMichael was arrested for domestic violence and wide receiver David Boston (signed from San Diego) suffered an injury in training camp and missed the entire season (Boston also failed a drug test for steroids later in the season). But the biggest shock came when Ricky Williams retired for then-unspecified reasons, until it was eventually revealed that a) Williams had recently suffered his third strike under the NFL's substance abuse policy, and b) to a lesser degree felt he was unnecessarily overused by Wannstedt. Many experts predicted a disastrous season for the Dolphins. These predictions proved right as Miami dropped their first six games of the 2004 season, marking the worst start in franchise history at the time. After the team fell to 1–8, Wannstedt resigned on November 9, 2004. He was replaced on an interim basis by defensive coordinator Jim Bates. The Dolphins fared slightly better under Bates, winning three of their final seven games, including a 29–28 upset victory over the defending champion Patriots on December 20 in a nationally televised Monday Night Football contest. Despite this, the Dolphins decided not to hire Bates for the permanent coaching position.

2005–06

After a 4-12 season, the Dolphins selected running back Ronnie Brown with their first pick.

Instead of retaining Jim Bates, the Dolphins hired LSU coach Nick Saban. With the second pick the 2005 NFL Draft, Nick Saban elected to go with Auburn running back Ronnie Brown. And with that, the Nick Saban era kicked off with a 34–10 win against the Denver Broncos. From there, however, the Dolphins struggled, losing seven of their next nine games to fall to 3–7. The two wins came over the Carolina Panthers and the New Orleans Saints, a game that took place in Tiger Stadium due to Hurricane Katrina. After a frustrating two months, however, the Dolphins would rally late in the season, as they won their final six games, including a win to end the season over the New England Patriots. The team finished the year 9–7, and narrowly missed the playoffs.

In Saban's second season, the Dolphins were expected to contend for a playoff spot. The season, however, turned out to be a major disappointment. Quarterback Daunte Culpepper never recovered from his devastating knee injury from the previous season, and was ultimately benched after the fourth game of the season and eventually put on Injured Reserve. After starting the season 1–6, they won four straight games, back in the playoff hunt at 5–6, but a few losses later ended their playoff hopes. This was Saban's first and last losing season as a head coach of the Miami Dolphins.

On January 3, 2007, Saban announced that he had accepted a contract for eight years and a guaranteed $32 million to coach at the University of Alabama. Saban left despite making several public statements in the preceding weeks assuring fans and owner Wayne Huizenga that he would be staying on as coach of the Dolphins. Cam Cameron, previously the offensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers, was then introduced as the new head coach of the Dolphins.

2007

The Dolphins began their season with Trent Green as their starting quarterback but after four games, Green was put on the injured reserve. For the rest of the way, the Dolphins went with Cleo Lemon and rookie John Beck as their quarterbacks. The Dolphins also suffered another setback with then NFL leading rusher Ronnie Brown went down for the season with a knee injury.

Midway through the 2007 season, the NFL scheduled the Dolphins' home game against the New York Giants to be played in London's Wembley Stadium; this was the NFL's first regular-season game to be played outside of North America. The Giants defeated the Dolphins, 13-10. Shortly afterwards, one of Miami's top wide receivers Chris Chambers, who was acquired in 2001, was traded to the San Diego Chargers. On December 16, the Dolphins ended a 16 game losing streak by defeating the Baltimore Ravens at home 22–16 in overtime on a 64 yard touchdown from Cleo Lemon to Greg Camarillo, making the wideout an instant cult hero with the fans. Despite the win over the Ravens, the team would lose its next two games to finish an NFL worst 1–15, which tied the then NFL record for most losses in a season with 15, a record shared by 7 other teams. The record for most losses has since been broken by the 2008 Detroit Lions with an 0–16 record.

2008

Late in the 2007 season, two-time Super Bowl winning coach Bill Parcells was named Executive Vice President of the Dolphins football operations. Shortly after the season finale, Parcells fired general manager Randy Mueller and on January 3, 2008, head coach Cam Cameron was fired along with almost all of his staff. That same offseason, the Dolphins also parted ways with two Pro Bowlers and long-time Dolphins, releasing linebacker Zach Thomas (who later signed with the Dallas Cowboys) and trading defensive end Jason Taylor to the Washington Redskins for a second round draft pick.

Parcells then proceeded to hire Tony Sparano, who was previously an assistant under Parcells during his days as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. The Dolphins ultimately took Jake Long, star offensive lineman out of the University of Michigan with the first pick of the 2008 draft and drafted quarterback Chad Henne with their second round pick (the second consecutive year they drafted a QB in the second round). After the New York Jets traded for Brett Favre and released quarterback Chad Pennington the same day, the Dolphins quickly signed Pennington, who was a former Parcells draft pick. Going into their bye week (week 4), the only Dolphins victory was over the New England Patriots in week 3. Their next game was against the San Diego Chargers on October 5, 2008 in which the Dolphins prevailed 17–10 and earned a .500 record 2–2; however, the two wins were against the two teams that contested the 2007–08 AFC Championship game. The implementation of the "Wildcat" offense or single-wing offense was covered heavily by the media, despite the package being used sparingly during their two upset victories vs the Patriots and Chargers.

Early on, Miami suffered the narrowest of defeats when they lost 29–28 to the Houston Texans. The team, however, would bounce back with four consecutive victories over the Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks, and Oakland Raiders. After a crushing twenty point loss to New England, the Dolphins fell to third in the AFC East division. Again Miami rebounded to win their next four games, against the (St. Louis Rams, Bills in Toronto, 49ers, and Chiefs). This brought their record to 10–5 and let them control their destiny against the New York Jets in the regular season finale.

Pennington, the former Jet, outdueled Brett Favre to lead the Dolphins to victory 24–17 to win the AFC East past the New England Patriots. A year after going 1–15, the Dolphins completed a turnaround under first-year coach Tony Sparano, joining the 1999 Indianapolis Colts as the only teams in NFL history to make 10-win improvements. Miami, which ended the regular season by winning five straight and nine of 10, made the playoffs for the first time in seven seasons. It was the Dolphins' first AFC East title since 2000. However, the Dolphins lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Baltimore Ravens 27–9.

2009

On March 25, 2009 ESPN reporter Chris Mortensen reported that the Dolphins intend to have Chad Henne as the starting quarterback by the 2010 season. That leaves current starting quarterback Chad Pennington's future with the team in doubt after the 2009 season. Henne will receive at least 12 quarters of play in the 2009 preseason to prepare him for the 2010 season.[5]

Chad Pennington recently suffered a shoulder injury against the San Diego Chargers and is out for the 2009 season. Chad Henne replaced him as the starting quarterback. Under Henne, the Dolphins defeated the Bills in week 4 and the Jets in a Monday Night classic. After their bye week, the Dolphins lost to the Saints after leading 24–3 towards the end of the first half. The Dolphins finished the rest of the season without a key player, Ronnie Brown, due to a right knee injury that will require surgery. Miami was 7-6 on the season after a 22–21 win over The New England Patriots and a 14-10 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, but ended the season with three consecutive losses to finish a disappointing 7-9 and out of the playoffs.

Facilities

Stadiums

The Dolphins originally played at all of their home games in the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida. After the 1986 season, they moved to Joe Robbie Stadium. Later the stadium's name was changed to Pro Player Stadium, Dolphins Stadium, Dolphin Stadium, LandShark Stadium, and, as of January 2010, Sun Life Stadium. The facility is located in Miami Gardens, a suburb of Miami located approximately fifteen miles north of downtown Miami.

Training

According to a local newspaper, St. Petersburg Beach hosted the Dolphins very first training camp in 1966. The players were housed next to Sea World.[6]

The Dolphins trained at Biscayne College, later renamed St. Thomas University, from 1970 until 1993.

In 1993, the Dolphins opened the Miami Dolphins Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Florida. In 2006, the facility added a domed field which allows the team to practice during thunderstorms which are frequent during summer training camps.[7]

Franchise Information

Logos and uniforms

The script logo.
The Dolphin logo 1997-current.

The Dolphins logo and uniforms have remained essentially the same since the team's founding. The team's colors are aqua and orange; navy was added as a trim color in 1997. The logo consists of a flaming hoop (or, sunburst) with a leaping dolphin wearing a football helmet bearing the letter M. At their debut in 1966, the dolphin's head was near the center of the sunburst. By 1974, the dolphin's body was centered on the sunburst. The most substantial revision took place in 1997: the sunburst was simplified and the dolphin was darkened and given a more serious game-face expression.

Miami Dolphins uniform combination
Miami Dolphins uniform: 1974-1986
Miami Dolphins alternate uniform: 2003-2004, 2009

The uniform features white helmets with either white or aqua jerseys and either white or aqua pants. The pants are composed of a high grade cotton/lycra polymer. The most substantial revisions took place in 1997. Navy was introduced as a trim color. The logo was reworked to make the dolphin appear proportionally larger and more three-dimensional in effect. The hashmarks around the perimeters of the logo's sunburst were removed.[8] Navy drop shadows were added to the uniform numbers. The new road uniform featured aqua rather than white pants. The Dolphins made a cameo appearance in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.

For much of their history the Dolphins have worn their white jerseys at home for daytime games, thus forcing their opponents to suffer in their darker jerseys in the humid weather that is typical of South Florida for most of the year. The aqua home jerseys are typically worn for night games. The Dolphins began this tradition during the perfect season of 1972 and have continued it ever since. [9] Aqua jerseys are also sometimes worn for road games against the other two teams known for wear San Diego Chargers, or other teams who choose to wear white at home in the early season. Miami and Dallas are the only NFL teams that wear white jerseys throughout the season. Washington only wears white for the first half of the season.

In 2003 the Dolphins introduced an alternate orange jersey worn once each season for home night contests in 2003 and 2004. They recorded wins both times, against Washington in 2003 and New England in 2004. The alternate jersey was worn again on Monday Night Football against the New York Jets on October 12, 2009.[10]The Dolphins also won this game, 31-27.

In 2005 and 2006 the Dolphins wore white pants with the white jerseys, recalling the solid-white look worn in Super Bowl VII by the undefeated 1972 team. From 2000 through 2004 the Dolphins usually wore all-white at home and aqua pants with white jerseys on the road under former coach Dave Wannstedt (2000–2004) and interim coach Jim Bates (2004). This trend continued in 2007 under head coach Cam Cameron. However, in a pre-season game on August 16, 2008 at Jacksonville, the Dolphins did wear the white jersey/aqua pants road combination made popular in the 1990s/2000s. The aqua pants were once again worn on September 14, 2008 against the Arizona Cardinals and the rest of the season's away games when other teams were wearing their color jerseys.[11]

On three occasions the Dolphins have worn an all-aqua combination for prime-time games: a win over the Chicago Bears in 2002, a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2003, and a win over the Cleveland Browns in 2004.

For 2008 the navy blue drop shadow on the uniform numbers were thinned in order to make them easier to read. Despite rumors, the Dolphins have no plans to change the logo.

Fight song

The Dolphins fight song is played once at every home game at the end of the third quarter. The song was written and composed by Lee Ofman. Ofman approached the Dolphins with it before the 1972 season because he wanted music to inspire his favorite team. The fight song would soon serve as a good luck charm for the Dolphins that season. The Dolphins became the first team in NFL history to record an undefeated season, going 17-0 en route to victory over the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII. The following season, Miami posted an equally impressive 15-2 record, and capped the season with another title, defeating the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl VIII. The back-to-back championship runs, coupled with the popularity of the fight song amongst Dolphins fans, have ensured the song's longevity. The Dolphins revealed a new fight song by T-Pain & Jimmy Buffett featuring Pitbull on August 7, 2009 which will be introduced for the '09/10 NFL season.[12] The fight song was played during the preseason home opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars on August 17, 2009, but was not played during the second preseason game against the Carolina Panthers on August 22, 2009 after being booed heavily in the first game. Furthermore, the team has preferred to play Buffett's song "Fins" after scores during the 2009 regular season instead of the traditional fight song. The Dolphins shorthand nickname, "The Fins," has been recognized and used by the team. [13][14]

Cheerleaders

Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders in performance

The team's cheerleaders are known collectively as the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders.[15] The company had its debut in 1978 as the Dolphins Starbrites. (The name referred to the co-sponsor, Starbrite Car Polish.) The cheerleaders' founding choreographer was June Taylor, famed colleague of Jackie Gleason, who led the squad until her retirement in 1990.

The Dolphin Dolls, a 125-member pep squad of girls aged 8 to 18, cheered the team at home games from 1966 to 1977.[16]

Mascots

T.D.

On Friday, April 18, 1997, the first "official" mascot of the Miami Dolphins was introduced. The 7 foot mascot made his public debut on April 19 at Pro Player Stadium during the team's draft day party. The team then made a "Name the Mascot" contest that drew over 13,000 enteries covering all 50 states and 22 countries. 529 names were suggested. The winning entry, was announced at the annual Dolphins Awards Banquet on June 4, 1997.

Dolfan Denny

Denny Sym, cheered on the Miami Dolphins for 33 years as a one-man sideline show leading Miami crowds in cheers and chants in his glittering orange and aqua hat since the Dolphins’ first game in 1966 until 2000. Sym died in 2007. [17]

Flipper

From 1966 to 1968 a live dolphin who was situated in a fish tank in the open (east) end of the Orange Bowl. He would jump in the tank and celebrate touchdowns and field goals. Flipper was removed from the Orange Bowl after 1968 in order to save costs. In Ace Ventura, a live dolphin who did tricks after the Dolphins scored a touchdown named Snowflake was the basis of the film after he is kidnapped as part of a revenge plot against Dan Marino.

Radio and television

Season-by-season records

Players

Current roster

Miami Dolphins roster
Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Reserve Lists
  • 89 Jared Bronson TE (Did Not Report)
  • 43 Ethan Kilmer FS (Left Squad)


Restricted FAs

Exclusive-Rights FAs


Rookies in italics
Roster updated March 10, 2010
Depth ChartTransactions

61 Active, 2 Inactive, 6 FAs

More rosters

Pro Football Hall of Famers

Each of these players is honored with a placard on the facing of the upper level of one end zone at Sun Life Stadium. So is team founder-owner Joe Robbie, who has not yet been elected to the Hall of Fame. In place of a uniform number, Shula has the number 347, representing his record number of NFL coaching victories, 274 of them as Dolphins head coach.

Retired numbers

  • 12 Bob Griese, QB, 1967–80 (retired May 6, 1982, at the Dolphins' annual awards banquet)[18]
  • 13 Dan Marino, QB, 1983–99 (retired September 17, 2000, at halftime of the Dolphins-Baltimore Ravens game)[19]
  • 39 Larry Csonka, FB, 1968–74, 1979 (retired December 9, 2002, at halftime of the Dolphins-Chicago Bears game)[20]

Dolphins Honor Roll

The Miami Dolphin Honor Roll is a ring around the second tier of Dolphins Stadium that honor former players, coaches, owners and contributors that have made significant contributions to the Miami Dolphins franchise throughout their history. Bold indicates those elected to the NFL Hall of Fame. The Inductees as of 2008 include:

All-time first-round draft picks

Staff

Head coaches

Name From To Regular Season Record Post Season Record
W L T W L
George Wilson (AFL) 1966 1969 15 39 2 -- --
Don Shula 1970 1995 257 133 2 17 14
Jimmy Johnson 1996 1999 36 28 0 2 3
Dave Wannstedt 2000 2004 42 31 0 1 2
Jim Bates (interim) 2004 3 4 0 -- --
Nick Saban 2005 2006 15 17 0 -- --
Cam Cameron 2007 1 15 0 -- --
Tony Sparano 2008 Present 18 14 0 0 1

Current staff

Miami Dolphins staff
Front Office
  • Chairman/Managing General Partner – Stephen Ross
  • CEO – Mike Dee
  • Vice Chairman – Don Shula
  • Executive Vice President of Football Operations – Bill Parcells
  • General Manager – Jeff Ireland
  • Senior Vice President of Football Operations – Dawn Aponte
  • Assistant Director of Player Personnel – Brian Gaine
  • Director of College Scouting – Chris Grier

Head Coaches

Offensive Coaches

 

Defensive Coaches

Special Teams Coaches

Strength and Conditioning

  • Head Strength and Conditioning – Evan Marcus
  • Assistant Strength and Conditioning – David Puloka


Coaching Staff
Management
More NFL staffs

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.miamiherald.com/598/story/1193741.html
  2. ^ CarlyNovoselskys History AFL awarding Miami franchise. Accessed 20 April 2006.
  3. ^ NFL Historical Standings
  4. ^ NFL Historical Standings
  5. ^ Miami Dolphins know it's time to make room for Chad Henne
  6. ^ Benn, Evan (2004-09-11). "Training in style". MiamiHerald.com (MiamiHerald.com). http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/9596028.htm. Retrieved 2007-02-02. 
  7. ^ ASATI
  8. ^ Dolphins History Logo design information. Accessed 15 April 2006.
  9. ^ Miami Dolphins Official Online Pro Shop Example of white jersey referred as the home jersey. Accessed 20 April 2006.
  10. ^ "Dolphins To Don Orange Jerseys Against Jets On Monday Night". Miamidolphins.com. 2009-10-05. http://www.miamidolphins.com/node/14563. Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
  11. ^ http://www.miamidolphins.com/newsite/theater/photogalleries/2008Regularseason.asp
  12. ^ T-Pain, Pitbull Remake Miami Dolphins Fight Song
  13. ^ Dolphins Tickets Example of use of Fins by team. Accessed 21 December 2008.
  14. ^ Fins Frenzy Contest Example of use of Fins by team. Accessed 21 December 2008.
  15. ^ "Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders". Miami Dolphins. http://www.miamidolphins.com/newsite/cheerleaders/cheerleaders_menu.asp. Retrieved 2009-08-24. 
  16. ^ http://www.miamidolphins.com/newsite/cheerleaders/cheerleaderhistory/cheerleaderhistory.asp
  17. ^ http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2803843
  18. ^ Dolphins History Griese retired jersey information. Accessed 15 April 2006.
  19. ^ Dolphins History Marino tribute section. Accessed 15 April 2006.
  20. ^ Dolphins History Csonka retired jersey information. Accessed 15 April 2006.

External links

Achievements
Preceded by
Dallas Cowboys
1971
Super Bowl Champions
Miami Dolphins

1972 and 1973
Succeeded by
Pittsburgh Steelers
1974 and 1975

Simple English

The Miami Dolphins is an American football club in the National Football League team based in Miami, Florida, USA. The Dolphins began playing in 1966 and in 1972 they had the only perfect season in NFL history and won a Super Bowl, with Bob Griese leading the team as quarterback. Another quarterback, Dan Marino, is a more recent famous player for this club.








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