Catching Up With Zach & JT


The first quarter of the season is over and the Miami Dolphins are heading in what appears like the right direction.  It was only a short 4 months ago that Dolphins fans said good-bye to the undersized LB of 12 years Zach Thomas.  It would be 2 months later that Jason Taylor would wave good-bye to the Aqua & Orange as well.  

Last weekend, the two were set for their first fight on the field as opponents.  Jason of course with Washington and Zach with Dallas.  The storied rivalry which would have seen yet another side note to the event, never was.  Jason missed the game after an infection settled into his suture site following a surgery to his calf to relieve fluid build up.

So with the biggest names in Dolphins history shipped off to other teams, here is a look at what each have done statistically for their new cities.

Zach Thomas:  Thomas has been his usual self in Dallas.  The misdiagnosis of his “concussion” from last year gave way to the diagnosis of a deviated septum (broken nose).  Thomas says he has no lingering effects and his statists show it.  Through 4 games thus far, Thomas has 29 tackles, 20 of which are solo and one sack.  Not bad for a guy who is in his 12th season and is undersized.

Jason Taylor:  Despite missing last weeks game against the Cowboys, Taylor has struggled with injuries.  A calf injury led to an outpatient surgery that could have cost Taylor his career.  Instead, infection set in and he missed his first game in over 160.  Taylor is still listed on the injury report.  In his first 3 games Taylor posted un-Taylor like numbers with 7 tackles, 5 solo, and only 1 sack.  The Redskins gave up a 2nd and a 6th round pick for the DE.

What about Miami though?  How have the replacements faired in the two stars abcense?  The statistics are similar to the Jason’s time in Washington as all have played only 3 games.

Phillip Merling and Kendall Langford have taken over the end spots:  Merling has 9 tackles, 7 solo, one sack, and one fumble recovery while Langford has 8 tackles, 6 solo, 2 sacks, and one pass defensed.  

Vonnie Holiday who was supposed to take over the “Jack” spot has 7 tackles, 5 solo, and one pass defensed.

At the LB position where Zach has reigned supreme the Dolphins have used Akin Ayodele and Channing Crowder as they have switched to the 34 instead of the 43 that Thomas was under in Miami.

Crowder has 23 tackles, 19 solo, and 1 forced fumble while Ayodele has 12 tackles, 9 solo, and a fumble recovery.

So, after 4 weeks of regular season football, the Miami Dolphins youth movement is faring pretty well compared to the two guys they lost.  Of course leadership is something that can not be replaced.