After starter Chad Henne went down with a season-ending shoulder injury in Week 4 at the San Diego Chargers, Moore took over under center and started the last 12 games. Once he found his bearings, Moore got hot and led Miami to a 6-3 record down the stretch to ease the pain of a 0-7 start.
“I think everybody felt good about how things came together after that start,” said Dolphins owner Steve Ross, who presented Moore with the award. “Now I think it brought them together from the depths of adversity and hopefully we can continue going.”
Moore completed 210-of-347 passes for 2,497 yards, 16 touchdowns and just nine interceptions on the season, all career-highs along with his passer rating of 87.1 By season’s end he was considered one of the hottest quarterbacks in the league.
The man who the award was named after, Hall-of-Famer Dan Marino, took notice of Moore’s accomplishment during the season from his post as an analyst for The NFL Today on CBS. He was happy to weigh in on Moore receiving this special accolade.
“Matt did a great job in a tough situation, becoming a starter suddenly and without benefit of an off-season with the team,” Marino said. “Despite that he played extremely well and showed everyone what kind of competitor he is, leading the Dolphins to a 6-3 record in their last nine games. I want to congratulate him on being named as the team’s MVP.”
Dansby picked up the Don Shula Leadership Award for the second consecutive season, becoming the first player since Jason Taylor (2006 and 2007) to do so. He finished tied for second on the team in tackles last year and added two sacks for 13 yards in losses. Dansby recorded 100 or more tackles in a season for the first time as a Dolphin and the fifth time in his career while also serving as the quarterback of the defense. He helped get everyone lined up properly and assumed a vocal leadership role in the huddle, on the sideline and in the locker room.
“On behalf of the Dolphin organization I want to congratulate Karlos on winning the Don Shula Leadership Award,” said Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland. “It’s especially meaningful, since it was voted on by his teammates, and it shows you the kind of respect he commands in the locker room and in the huddle. He is a true professional who is committed to winning and his determination and leadership raises the level of play of everyone on the field with him. This is the second year in a row that Karlos has won this award, which shows just how special his leadership skills are.”
Carpenter and Fields shared the Nat Moore Community Service Award for the first time in their careers. Both players have been extremely active in the community and have rarely failed to show up to an event. Carpenter co-hosted the annual Kids and Fins Publix Thanksgiving Shopping Spree for the last two years while Fields spent time with children from United Way agencies when the Miami Dolphins hosted kids at Dave and Busters on several occasions. Both players visited kids at the hospital on Christmas, served food at food banks and shelters on the holidays and visited kids at foster homes for an ice cream party among other events.
“This award couldn’t have gone to two more deserving guys,” said Senior Vice President/Special Advisor Nat Moore, who the award was named after. “Dan and Brandon are heavily involved in our events and have done great work in the South Florida community ever since they have joined the team.”