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Dolphins Sign Defensive Tackle Randy Starks

Posted Mar 12, 2014

Two-time Pro Bowler is happy to return to the team.

Closing out a busy day, the Miami Dolphins re-signed two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Randy Starks.

Echoing the sentiments of the new free agents that were signed earlier – left tackle Branden Albert and defensive tackle Earl Mitchell – Starks declared Miami as his first choice. This will be his seventh season with the Dolphins after spending his first four with the Tennessee Titans and he is eager to establish this defense as among the elite in the league.

“I’ve been a part of this organization for six years and I think I’m established here,” said Starks, who has started 81 of the 96 games he has played for the Dolphins. “I’m just happy to be back and this was my first choice and that’s why I didn’t take any visits. I had options out there but this is where I want to be. I want to finish my career here and I think this two-year deal gives me a chance to do that.”

General Manager Dennis Hickey had sounded very optimistic earlier in the afternoon that a deal was going to get done with Starks and this allows him to move forward with confidence in knowing that the defensive line has been shored up. Starks and Mitchell will be part of a rotation with Jared Odrick in defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle’s 4-3 scheme and Starks’ experience and familiarity with the system will only help Mitchell in his transition from the 3-4 he was in at Houston.

“We couldn’t be happier to have him return to the Miami Dolphins,” Hickey said. “He’s a quality football player, a quality person and I know he’s been very active in the community. He’s what we always talk about, a good teammate, a good person in the community and an excellent football player. Today shows a lot about our commitment up front and how important that is and Randy Starks is a two-time Pro Bowler, a versatile defensive lineman that can play the run, that can rush the passer and that can do a lot of things.”

Something that really motivated Starks to come back was how the 2013 season ended with the two tough losses to the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets. That resulted in an 8-8 record and Miami just barely missing the playoffs and he wants to help the team that take that next step.

Starks also believes the defense as a whole fell short of expectations last season and that has stoked the fires in him. He started 14 of 16 games and finished with 49 tackles (36 solo) and four sacks and wants to improve on those numbers this season, but more importantly he wants to see the defense improve overall.

“Our expectations are real high,” Starks said. “Last year we didn’t do as well as we wanted to and I think this year we can start all over and add some pieces in there and see what happens. But we weren’t happy with how we ended last year and we have a chance to change that this year. I think we can be one of the top defenses in the league. If I didn’t think I probably wouldn’t have come back here. I see a lot of potential and we just have to go out there and prove it.”
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