Position Review: Specialists

Posted Jan 17, 2018

Season-ending starters: LS John Denney, P Matt Haack, K Cody Parkey, PR Jakeem Grant, KR Jakeem Grant

Season-ending backups: PR Jarvis Landry, KR Senorise Perry

Ended season on injured reserve: None

2017 transactions (after final roster cuts):

Sept. 3 — Claimed K Cody Parkey off waivers from Cleveland; waived K Andrew Franks

2018 free agents: LS John Denney (UFA), K Cody Parkey (UFA)

2017 recap: There was a pretty dramatic change in the Dolphins kicking game as they headed into the regular season, but things worked out pretty well in the end. After rookie free agent Matt Haack beat out incumbent Matt Darr for the punting job, the Dolphins pulled a stunner the day after the final cuts when they picked up Cody Parkey off waivers from the Browns and released Andrew Franks. The Dolphins said they saw Parkey, who made the Pro Bowl as a rookie with the Eagles in 2014, as an upgrade and it didn’t take him long to justify the team’s confidence in him. By the time the season was over, Parkey had tied the franchise single-season record for field goal accuracy by making 21 of 23 attempts. His performance included three game-winning kicks, including a 53-yarder against the Chargers in his first game with the Dolphins. Haack had a solid season, particularly in terms of pinning his opponents deep. His 30 punts inside the 20 tied for eighth-most in the league. Veteran John Denney continued his steady work in his 13th season with the team —it’s impossible to remember an errant snap. The Dolphins weren’t able to break a long return this season, with the longest punt return good for 27 yards and their longest kickoff return good for 37. But those two figures were higher than the longest they allowed — a 23-yard punt return and a 36-yard kickoff return. Finally, the Dolphins proved masters at onside kicks, recovering four during the season. That was the highest total in the NFL since at least 1997. The Dolphins also tied for third in the NFL with three blocked kicks — two by rookie Vincent Taylor and one by Terrence Fede.

Stat that stands out: With his first snap in the Nov. 5 home game against Oakland, John Denney joined Dan Marino and Jason Taylor as the only players to appear in 200 games for the Dolphins.

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