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Scouting report: Dolphins


Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter has 5.5 sacks through four games this season.

Miami turned in a disappointing 2007 season with a 1-15 record, but they are 2-2 this season after beating the San Diego Chargers last Sunday. The Dolphins restructured their entire organization in the offseason, starting with the hiring of Bill Parcells to oversee the team's personnel decisions.

Parcells brought in head coach Tony Sparano, luring him away from his position as the Dallas Cowboys' assistant head coach. This is Sparano's first head coaching stint in the NFL.


Quarterback: Quarterback Chad Pennington was signed by the Dolphins after being released by the New York Jets a day after the Jets acquired Brett Favre in a trade with the Packers. Pennington immediately stepped in as the Dolphins' starter and has played well despite being new to the offense. He has thrown for 817 yards and three touchdowns with only one interception.

Running back: Two first-round draft picks make up the Dolphins' backfield. Starter Ronnie Brown was the team's first-round draft choice in 2005 and already is ninth on the Dolphins' all-time rushing list with more than 2,500 career yards. Brown has rushed for 286 yards and six touchdowns so far this season. Ricky Williams, who was the New Orleans Saints' first-round selection in the 1999 NFL Draft, spells Brown throughout Miami's games. Williams, who has been elected to one Pro Bowl in his career, is second on the Dolphins' all-time rushing list behind only Hall of Famer Larry Csonka.

Wide receiver/tight end: The Dolphins spent their first-round draft choice in 2007 on wide receiver Ted Ginn, Jr., who then established a new club rookie record with 2,086 all-purpose yards. Ginn has stepped into the starting role this season. Opposite Ginn is Greg Camarillo, who enters his first season as a starter. Ernest Wilford rounds out the Dolphins' receiving core. Wilford has 142 career receptions, with 20 that have gone for more than 25 yards. Tight end Anthony Fasano has been impressive in the first part of the season, catching 14 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns.

Offensive line: Miami used the first overall selection in the 2008 NFL Draft to pick left tackle Jake Long, and Long has started every game this season. Left guard Justin Smiley is in his fifth season in the league but his first with the Dolphins. Smiley has played in 56 NFL games, with 46 of them starts. Center Samson Satele was a second-round pick in 2007. Last season, he was the only rookie in Dolphins history to start every regular-season game at center. Ikechuku Ndukwe was undrafted out of college but has worked himself into starting at right guard for Miami. The Dolphins' first-round draft choice from 2004, Vernon Carey, is the longest-tenured Dolphins offensive lineman.


Defensive line: The Dolphins traded away perennial Pro Bowler Jason Taylor in the offseason. That allowed rookie defensive end Kendall Langford, a third-round pick out of Hampton, to move into the starting spot. End Vonnie Holliday is in his 11th season in the league. He has appeared in 139 regular-season games, with all but 10 of them being starts, and has 52.0 career sacks. Jason Ferguson brings a veteran presence to the nose tackle position and has started all 16 games in a season four times in his career.

Linebacker: Three-time Pro Bowl linebacker Joey Porter has shown no sign of slowing down in his 10th season in the NFL. Porter already has 5.5 sacks on the season. He has missed only six games in his previous nine years in the league and ranks fourth all-time among Steelers linebackers with 60 sacks. Outside linebacker Matt Roth enters his fourth season with the Dolphins. He moved into a starting role last season and already has two sacks this year. Channing Crowder and Akin Ayodele are the two inside linebackers. Crowder is averaging more than six tackles per game over his first three seasons. Ayodele has played in all 100 games since entering the league, with 78 of them being starts.

Secondary: Cornerback Will Allen is in his eighth year in the NFL and third with the Dolphins. He was an All-Pro selection by Sports Illustrated after the 2007 season. André Goodman, in his seventh year, has seven career interceptions. Free safety Renaldo Hill is looking to rebound strong this season after a knee injury knocked him out of the seventh game of the season in 2007. Strong Safety Yeremiah Bell has five career sacks, which is third all-time among Dolphins defensive backs.


Returning: Rookie wide receiver Davone Bess handles all kickoff and punt return duties, taking Ginn's place this season. The University of Hawaii product has 10 kickoff returns for 198 yards and five punt returns for 56 yards on the season.

Kicking: Rookie kicker Dan Carpenter handles all field goals and extra point attempts. He is three-of-four on field goals this season, with his one miss coming from beyond 40 yards. Punter Brandon Fields, a second-year player, is averaging 42.4 yards per punt this season. Fields has dropped seven of his 20 punts inside the opponents' 20-yard line.

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