As we tick the days off to the season opener against the Patriots on Sept. 7, each day we highlight the players who wore that particular jersey number during their tenure in Miami. In some cases, the player and jersey number are synonymous. In other cases, the jersey number represents sustained greatness at a particular position. Whatever the case may be, jersey numbers are an important part of the fabric of professional football.
Lloyd Mumphord (1969-74) was the second player to wear the jersey and he played well at cornerback when he was given a chance. He started eight games as a rookie in 1969 and intercepted five passes, still tied for the second highest interception total by any rookie in Dolphin history and one of only two times a rookie Dolphin cornerback led the team in INTs (along with Vontae Davis in 2009). He started all 14 games in 1970, but wound up playing behind Curtis Johnson and Tim Foley the rest of his time in Miami. Mumphord also was a good special teams defender and still holds the team record for most field goals blocked in a career (7), including one he returned 51 yards for a touchdown on Dec. 6, 1970 vs. Boston, the longest blocked FG return in Dolphin history. Duriel Harris (1976), who had a good career in Miami, wore # 26 as a rookie in 1976 before switching to #82 the next year. The first true starter to wear the number was safety Jarvis Williams (1988-93), who started at safety every game his first three years in the league and tied for the team lead in interceptions in two of those seasons. On the other side of the ball, running back Lamar Smith (2000-01) had a brief, but spectacular career in Miami. In his first season with the Dolphins in 2000, he rushed for 1,139 yards, still the fourth highest single season total in team history - and the most by any running back not named Williams (Ricky or Delvin). The following season he again led the team in rushing with 966 yards. But Smith is probably best remembered for his performance in an AFC first round playoff game on Dec. 30, 2000 against the Indianapolis Colts in Miami, where he scored on a 17-yard run with 9:18 elapsed in overtime to give the Dolphins a 23-17 comeback win. To this date that game remains as the last Dolphins victory in the post-season. In that contest he had 40 carries for 209 yards, totals which remain not only Dolphin team records but also still rank first (attempts) and second (yards rushing) respectively, in NFL playoff history. A player who hopes to emulate Smith’s performance now wears the jersey - running back Lamar Miller
(2012-current), who led the Dolphins in rushing last season.
The complete list of Dolphins who have worn #26 includes Frank Jackson (1966-67); Lloyd Mumphord (1969-74); Duriel Harris (1976); Donovan Rose (1986-87); Jarvis Williams (1988-93); Bracey Walker (1997); Lamar Smith (2000-01); Leonard Henry (2002-04); Travares Tillman (2005-07); Lex Hilliard (2009-11); and Lamar Miller (2012-13)).
What player who wore #25 still holds the Dolphins’ single season record for interceptions?.
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