This offseason has seen the Dolphins add speed and talent to the offensive side of the ball, retain almost the entire defense and now they bring some reinforcements to the special teams.
Punter Thomas Morstead signed with Miami on Friday, joining another former All-Pro in kicker Jason Sanders, and fellow former NFL draft pick in long snapper Blake Ferguson, on Danny Crossman's special teams unit.
Here are five things to know about the Dolphins' new punter.
1. Boomin' the Ball
Averaging 46.6 yards per punt in a 12-year career with the Saints, Morstead upped the ante in his first year after leaving New Orleans. Punting for both the Jets and Falcons, Morstead averaged 47.7 yards per punt in 2021, the ninth-best average in the NFL.
Morstead also has a Pro Bowl to his name, earning the recognition along with second-team All-Pro honors in 2012.
2. Fifth Round to Super Bowl Lore
Helmet catches, toe drags and game-clinching strip sacks all come to mind when considering the most memorable Super Bowl moments of the 21st century. But punters have their moments too and Morstead had one in Super Bowl XLIV.
Drafted in the fifth round out of Southern Methodist in 2009, Morstead won a camp battle for the punting job with the Saints. Just six months later, Morstead dribbled the opening kickoff of the second half of Super Bowl XLIV and into the arms of Jonathan Casillas.
The successful onside kick would allow the Saints to score on the ensuing possession and eventually capture the Lombardi Trophy, the first in franchise history. That was the last time Morstead played a game in Hard Rock Stadium (the 2017 Saints-Dolphins game was played in London).
3. Veteran leadership
The longest-tenured veteran on this Dolphins squad, Morstead understands the role his wisdom and experience can provide a young football team.
"People value different things in leadership, and I've obviously never been a guy that's leading the pregame huddle or anything like that," said Morstead of his role as team captain from 2013-20. "It's a unique thing to be a leader when you don't hit people in a sport that's full of hitting."
"And so I've tried to be a teacher, I've tried to be a coach on the field for young players, tried to get them up to speed as quickly as possible. I've tried to mentor players off the field with finances, and just making sure they have the things that are important, to make sure they're handling the awesome responsibility that they're given with making a good living."
4. What You Give Will Grow
Morstead and his wife, Lauren, started the What You Give Will Grow foundation in 2014. One of the toughest defeats of Morstead's storied career wound up bringing back some of the greatest returns he could ever imagine.
The link above details the story about Morstead coming out of the locker room after the game to participate on a point-after-try that was required for the Minneapolis Miracle game to officially conclude.
Vikings fans caught wind of this, and the donations came rolling in.
5. The Middle School Rules of Thomas Morstead
How many NFL players have a book written about their days in middle school? Thomas Morstead does. The Middle School Rules of Thomas Morstead focuses on the new Dolphins punter and how he navigated adolescence, a time that can be quite challenging for kids.
For more analysis, and to hear Morstead talking the decision to join the Dolphins, subscribe to the Drive Time Podcast with Travis Wingfield.
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