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2014 Training Camp Preview: Specialists

Posted Jul 24, 2014

The Dolphins head into camp with Sturgis as the only kicker on the roster, Fields as the only punter and Denney as the only long-snapper.

The Dolphins have maintained a tremendous amount of stability in the kicking game in recent years, although they shook things up last summer after selecting kicker Caleb Sturgis in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL draft.

It’s back to old form this time, with the Dolphins heading into training camp with Sturgis as the only kicker on the roster, Brandon Fields as the only punter and John Denney as the only long-snapper.

Marcus Thigpen also is back after handling the punt and kickoff return duties the past two seasons.

BREAKING DOWN DOLPHINS SPECIALISTS

RETURNING VETERANS

• LS John Denney (6-5, 255) — The longest-tenured player on the entire roster, Denney is getting ready for his 10th season with the Dolphins. Denney had another mistake-free season in 2013, but it was more memorable than others because of a fumble recovery in the victory against Atlanta and also because in that game he set a franchise record for most consecutive games played.

• P Brandon Fields (6-5, 249) — Heading into his eighth season, Fields is firmly established as one of the top punters in the NFL and last season he finally was recognized as such when he was selected to the Pro Bowl for the first time. Fields finished last season second in the NFL in both gross and net punting average, this after he became in 2012 one of only six punters to average 50 yards or more in a season.

• K Caleb Sturgis (5-9, 188) — After beating out veteran Dan Carpenter in training camp, Sturgis got off to a tremendous start in his rookie season when he made his first 10 field goal attemps, including long-distance kicks (54 and 46 yards) just before halftime against both Indianapolis and Atlanta. Sturgis had a tough stretch in the middle of the season before he rebounded by making 13 of his last 16 attempts. Sturgis proved last year he’s got a very strong leg and he’ll be looking for more consistency as he heads into his second season.

• KR Marcus Thigpen (5-9, 195) — As he heads into his third season with the Dolphins, Thigpen will be looking to recapture the magic of his first season in the NFL in 2012. Thigpen has a solid season in 2013, but he couldn’t match what he did the previous year when he ranked among the NFL leaders in both punt and kickoff return average and became the first player in Dolphins history to score a touchdown both ways in the same season.
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