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AC in the AM: 2018 Schedule Release

Posted Apr 20, 2018

We’ve known for a while who they’ll play. Now we know when they’ll play. What matters most, though, is how they’ll play and we’ll have to wait a while to find that out. So in the meantime, here’s 10 observations on the just released 2018 Dolphins’ schedule.



• The schedule actually seems pretty well balanced. The Dolphins never play more than two straight on the road or two straight at home. Interestingly, there are no West Coast games.

• It all starts at home against the Tennessee Titans on Sept. 9th, a team that finished 9-7 last season and tests your defense with a large dose of Marcus Mariota. I always prefer opening at home.

• In fact, the Dolphins play two of their first three games at home against the Titans and Raiders. A quick start? Wouldn’t that be nice.

• A year ago, Hurricane Irma forced the Dolphins to use their bye week – originally scheduled for November - on the opening Sunday of the season, clearly a disadvantage. Here’s hoping this year they get to use their scheduled bye week, which comes in Week 11 on Nov. 18th, an excellent spot before the final six-pack of games.

• The Dolphins play AFC East rival Buffalo twice in the last five weeks of the season, but have good separation in their two games against the Patriots (10 weeks) and Jets (seven weeks). Not sure, though, it matters a whole lot.

• Speaking of the Patriots, circle Dec. 9th on your calendar. That’s when they come to Hard Rock Stadium.

• The toughest stretch of the season based on last season’s finishes? Have to go with a three-game stretch in December when the Dolphins play the Patriots at home, the Vikings on the road and the Jaguars at home. Granted, two of those three are at home, but all three teams made it to their conference championship games last season. Adam Gase always talks about playing their best in December. The schedule will probably demand it this season.

• A visit to Green Bay on Nov. 11th? The average high that day is 45 degrees. May just be able to get out of town without seeing snow.

• Finally, there’s only one prime time game, that coming on a Thursday night in October at Houston. It’s unfortunate the Dolphins didn’t get a home prime time game because those are always special. Make the playoffs and I’m sure that will change.

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For the second straight year, the Dolphins honored several of their former players on Thursday, signing them to a one-day contract that assures they retire as a member of this team. This is a classy move, a way of saluting players who have meant so much to this franchise.

Six players were singled out, each signing those one-day contracts: wide receiver Chris Chambers, offensive lineman Vernon Carey, defensive end Jeff Cross, linebacker A.J. Duhe, defensive tackle Paul Soliai and punter Brandon Fields.

All six carved their own special niche in team history: Chambers with over 400 catches in his seven seasons; Carey who started 107 games over eight seasons at tackle and guard; Cross who ranks sixth in team history with 59 ½ sacks; Duhe who was one of the most impactful defenders in team history; Solai, a stalwart on the defensive line for seven seasons and Fields who has the team’s highest career punting average at 46.7 yards, which is fifth best in league history.

“Dolphins for life, the way it should be,” said Executive Vice President Mike Tannenbaum.

Or as Senior VP of Alumni Relations Nat Moore put it: “Once you are a part of this family, you’ll always be part of this family.”

The six players sat at a table in the team auditorium on Thursday and relived the journey that took them to where they are today. They spoke of their greatest accomplishments, many of them going back to the day they were drafted by the Dolphins. They thanked their families, many of whom were in attendance.

It was clear this was an emotional moment for them – a great honor -- evidenced perhaps best as Solai tried unsuccessfully to hold back the tears.

“I’m an Island boy from Samoa,” he said. “Never thought I’d be here. I might be a big dude, but I’m humbled and emotional.”

There were also a few light moments, like when Duhe wondered whether this contract covered medical benefits.

“Just sign it,” chimed in Moore.

It was indeed a special day for these players and a special day for the organization they call home. Give the Dolphins credit for taking the initiative on this and for embracing the importance of bridging the past with the present.

Like I said, a classy move.

The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by our columnists and bloggers represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.