Top News: Captains Announced, Practice Updates from Oxnard, CA

Posted Sep 14, 2017

The Dolphins have selected their five captains for the 2017 season, and they include three holdovers from last year along with two different players.

Wide receiver Kenny Stills and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh got the nod for the first time, joining repeat captains Mike Pouncey, Cameron Wake and Michael Thomas.

Players voted for the captains — two on offense, two on defense and one on special teams.

“It’s an honor always,” Stills said after practice Thursday. “Since Coach (Adam) Gase has been here, I’ve just been trying to do things the right way and lead by example. I guess my teammates rewarded me for that.”

For Thomas, the honor is particularly significant because of the road he took to get to this point. Thomas was undrafted out of Stanford and spent a year-plus on the San Francisco 49ers practice squad before the Dolphins signed him in December 2013.

“It’s a huge honor,” Thomas said. “Two years in a row, special teams captain, that means a lot to me, especially coming from where I came from to enter this league. In this game you earn the respect from your peers across the league, but it’s big when you get it from your own teammates, (and) they see you as a leader.”

Before practice Thursday, offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen talked about Pouncey’s leadership and its importance for the offense.

“We’re still a young unit,” Christensen said. “We still have a lot of young guys. We’re still stressing what a pro looks like, and he is that. He knows how to walk through. He knows how to take notes. He knows how to study. He knows how to be ready to go. He has his fun when it’s fun time, but when it’s football, the guy’s all business, and we need that. We need that on our unit and more and more guys are starting to fall into that role, (and) really, he’s critical for that.”

O-line roles: Christensen confirmed that Anthony Steen would start at left guard against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, but he added that Steen would be the first backup at center at this time. In a scenario where something happened with Pouncey, Steen would slid over to center and Jesse Davis would enter the lineup at left guard. Christensen said that Sam Young and Davis are the backup tackles, with rookie free agent Eric Smith being more of a developmental player at this time.

Parker’s goal: Wide receiver DeVante Parker is hoping this is the year he gets to 1,000 receiving yards, something he hasn’t done since his high school days. Of course, it should be pointed out that the only reason Parker didn’t reach the milestone in his final year at Louisville was that he was limited to six games because of a foot injury — because in those six games, he had 855 yards. Parker had 744 yards last season, including 103 yards in the game against the Chargers in November. It was one of his two 100-yard games on the season and it included a 56-yard reception, which ties for the longest catch of his career. “I just remember they played a lot of man,” he said. “And we just took advantage of that. We just tried to find ways to beat them.”

London trip giveaway: Air Europa, the preferred international airline of the Miami Dolphins, is giving fans the chance to win a trip to London to watch the Dolphins play the Saints at Wembley Stadium in two weeks. One grand prize winner will win a complimentary round-trip coach-class airfare for two (2) individuals from Miami International Airport to London, England, two (2) admission tickets to the Miami Dolphins vs. New Orleans Saints game Oct. 1, and a two-night hotel stay. Visit to enter. Must be 18 or older and a Florida resident to register.

Vital statistics: The Dolphins are a little shorter and a little lighter than the average AFC team but also are a little bit older and have more experience. That’s all based on the NFL’s report on the Kickoff Weekend rosters. The Dolphins’ averages were 6.18 in height, 245.04 in weight, 26.55 in age, and 4.53 in NFL experience. The AFC averages are 6.19, 246.24, 25.95 and 3.98, respectively. The 4.53 figure is the fourth-highest in the AFC behind Buffalo (4.74), New England (4.74) and Tennessee (4.64).

Helping hand: While the Dolphins have been displaced this week and are practicing in Southern California, the Miami Central High football team found itself stranded in Las Vegas after their return flight was canceled because of Hurricane Irma. Dolphins players were informed of the situation and a group of them, including Kenny Stills, Ndamukong Suh, Jarvis Landry, Reshad Jones, DeVante Parker and Laremy Tunsil, pitched in for an extended stay at a hotel in Vegas until the group of approximately 70 players, coaches and administrators can fly back home Thursday and Friday. The four Dolphins players also split the bill for transportation to pick up members of the Central High group at the airport and drop them off at school. “It’s a hard thing for them to have a game and then a hurricane stopped them and they didn't have transportation. So it takes them back. So I just wanted to give back and help them out. When I was younger I would have been scared. I just want to help them.”
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