The Dolphins Cancer Challenge was back at the JW Marriott Turnberry Isle golf course Friday for another fun day of golf and socializing, but more importantly continue the fight against cancer.
The fourth annual DCC Celebrity Golf Tournament presented by Moss Construction took place, with Dolphins staff members, players and alumni joining forces with donors, sponsors and golfers.
“It’s a beautiful day for golf but an even better day for cancer fighting,” said Jennifer Jehn, Senior Vice President of the Miami Dolphins Foundation and Executive Director of the Dolphins Cancer Challenge. “We’re really making a difference over there at Sylvester. There are more and more new therapies that are coming out and more and more giving patients their life back.”
Craig Moskowitz, the Physician in Chief of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, describes the impact of the Dolphins Cancer Challenge, pointing the $27.5 million raised by the DCC since its inception in 2010.
All funds raised by the DCC go directly to research. Moskowitz used his mother as an example of the progress made over the years, pointing out she lived a year and a half after being diagnosed with lung cancer in 1997, whereas the same cancer now would have a survival rate of five or six years.
“Philanthropy drives research,” Moskowitz said. “At least it gives seed money. And we can’t thank the DCC enough.”
There were plenty of cancer survivors out for some golf Friday, among them former Dolphins wide receiver Mark Duper and commercial banking manager Alex Pascual, whose company (BBA Compass) was among the sponsors.
“How they treated me, how I felt at Sylvester was amazing,” said Pascual, who was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2006. “To me, to participate in raising funds for Sylvester and UM and to partner with the Dolphins Foundation, it’s an honor, it’s a blessing.”
“Cancer has impacted everybody’s life,” Grant said. “It’s impacted mine as well. I’m coming out here to give them my support, be out here for the Dolphins and all the people who have been affected by cancer. My grandfather passed of cancer when I was in high school, so this event is not only big for other people in the community, but it’s big for me was well. Coming out here and giving my support.”
Young, who played his high school football at St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale, has become a member of the DCC Board of Directors.
“This is my hometown; all the money that is raised here stays here, going directly to Sylvester,” he said. “Everyone has a family member, friend, that’s been affected. Clearly the more we can do to eradicate the disease the better.”
Taylor had an interesting answer when asked for his golf handicap.
“I’m going for a hole in one,” he said. “Everything I hit, I’m trying to get in the hole.”
Coach shows support: Among the members of the organization who was at the golf tournament Friday morning was new head coach Brian Flores, whose mother is battling breast cancer. He addressed the crowd before everyone teed off. “This is an incredible event,” Flores said. “I’m not sure how many of you guys know this, but my mom is battling cancer as we speak. While I have what feels like a million things to do, I absolutely had to find time to come down here and spend some time with you and show my support for the Sylvester Center and everything that you guys are doing to fight cancer.”
Coaching staff: The Dolphins announced Flores’ coaching staff for the 2019 season. The group includes three holdovers from the previous Dolphins coaching staff, along with the addition of former Colts and Lions head coach Jim Caldwell. Former New England Patriots wide receivers coach Chad O’Shea will be the offensive coordinator; former Green Bay Packers linebackers coach Patrick Graham will be the defensive coordinator; and former Buffalo Bills special teams coordinator Danny Crossman will come in the same capacity. Caldwell was hired as assistant head coach/quarterbacks. Also joining the staff: Pat Flaherty as offensive line coach; Karl Dorrell as wide receivers coach; George Godsey as tight ends coach; Marion Hobby as defensive line coach; Rob Leonard as linebackers coach; Josh Boyer as defensive pass game/cornerbacks coach; Jerry Schuplinski as assistant quarterbacks coach; Matt Lombardi as defensive quality control coach; and Tiquan Underwood as offensive quality control coach. The three coaches returning from last year are Eric Studesville (running backs), Tony Oden (safeties) and Josh Grizzard (offensive quality control).
Ready for action: Vincent Taylor tweeted Tuesday he had been cleared by doctors to resume all football activities and he’s eager to get started with the offseason program April 1. “All the hard work I’ve been putting in with the trainers, just to be cleared, it feels good,” he said. “I’m ready for April 1, when we start workouts. I’ll be doing everything. It just feels good to be cleared.” Taylor missed the final eight games of the 2018 season because of a foot injury he sustained in the Thursday night game at Houston. He had 27 tackles, including two for loss, and the first two sacks of his NFL career before his injury. “There’s no telling what my numbers would have been if I would have stayed healthy,” he said. “But I think that was like a taste of what I can do. I’m looking forward to getting into this new system and get back to football.”
Back for more: John Denney is not done yet. The Dolphins announced Friday they had re-signed Denney, who was set to become an unrestricted free agent next month. The longest-tenured player on the Dolphins, Denney just completed his 14th NFL season and now stands second on the team’s all-time list for games played with 224, 18 behind Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino. Denney has never missed a game since earned a roster spot as a rookie free agent out of BYU in 2005, and he has the longest active streak in the NFL.