Pro Bowl – Calling ALL DolFans
Nov 17, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes (21) intercepts a pass during the first quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Outside of the recent Pro Bowl at SunLife Stadium, the NFL Pro Bowl is held annually in Hawaii. With a new, well-documented, kickball style “pick’em” format, the Pro Bowl promises to be a bit different this year as the NFL looks for ways to increase interest in the game. This is a year where there are many Dolphins deserving of the honor, but they need YOUR help to get elected to the annual game.
The fan vote accounts for a huge portion of the votes to get a player in, and with the new “unconferenced” rules it’s even more possible that deserving players get snubbed. This game is more of a popularity contest than All Star game, as the fans play a very heavy factor in deciding who attends and who doesn’t. The Miami Dolphins are loaded with talent this season, and have a number of players that are often overlooked. You can vote early and often to help send your favorite Dolphins players to the Pro Bowl, they’ll need your help to get there.
Definitely Deserving Dolphins:
The following Dolphins are definitely deserving of a nod for the annual “all-star” game in Hawaii.
- Brent Grimes: Miami’s shutdown corner, signed in the offseason and returning from a key injury last year. Grimes has shut down his side of the field all season, and through week 14 has NOT allowed a single touchdown. There is no bigger metric for a corner in this league, and if he doesn’t go it’s a travesty. Every week, it seems, I amazed at something small that Grimes does that displays the freakish athleticism that allows him to cover any receiver in the NFL, even if he gives 8-10 inches in height on occasion. The scariest thing here is, if Dmitri Patterson had been able to stay healthy, there was a realistic possibility that the duo would’ve deserved to make the trip together.
- Charles Clay: It has been truly amazing to see Charles Clay get the opportunity to display the talent that he flashed towards the end of his rookie season, a talent that barely anyone could’ve ever expected from the man. He has combined with Tannehill to help take the team on his back in several key games this season. Despite a quiet statistical day against the Patriots, there is no hotter tight end in the AFC over the past month. When the Patriots put Aquib Talib out of position to cover a Tight End, you know he’s dangerous.
- Brandon Fields: Any time a punter is talked about as a potential team MVP on a team that is still pushing for the playoffs and the division in week 14, you know he is a special player at his position.
Miami has a number of other deserving players that may or may not have a shot at the Pro Bowl. These guys will need your help to get there as well:
- Cameron Wake: After spending much of the first half of the season, Cameron Wake has been back on track recently. He still has the likeliest shot of all Dolphins mainly based on his household name as a terror to opposing quarterbacks. Two factors have diminished his sack numbers this season: 1) The injury that kept him either out or limited through a number of weeks this season; 2) The ability of the rest of the defensive line to get to the passer, and in particular the next man on this list.
- Olivier Vernon: After a rough start to the season, Olivier Vernon has been on an absolute tear as he’s emerged in this defense. Currently tied for 3rd amongst Defensive Ends in sacks, he has shown an ability to terrorize opposing quarterbacks as well. He’s combined with Wake total 20 sacks already on the year.
- Randy Starks, Jared Odrick: This should really be a trio of defensive tackles, and they may not always show up big on the stat sheet. The Defensive Tackles for Miami combine to form one of the absolute best front three in the league, and it is a travesty that Paul Soliai wasn’t included on the Pro Bowl ballot.
Not Quite There Yet:
These players aren’t quite there yet in deserving the Pro Bowl for various reasons,
- Ryan Tannehill: Ryan Tannehill not only showed drastic improvement from year 1 to year 2, but he is playing like an entirely different quarterback here at seasons end. He’s a player who seems to have really begun to figure it out and has stepped into a leadership role along the way. He’s taken the team on his back, begun playing with poise, and outplayed so many quarterbacks that no one could have expected this season. I expect big things from Tanny in the years to come.
- Mike Wallace: If he played all year like he did the past several weeks, this would be a very different conversation. I expect big things next season as he and Tannehill develop even more chemistry, and the offensive coordinator learns how to better utilize his talents.
- Brian Hartline: The man catches everything thrown his way, and I want to see him get to the Pro Bowl at some point. The best thing for Hartline next season would be a continued surge by Wallace, as that will force teams to shift further coverage away from Hartline allowing him to become a terror to opposing secondaries.
- Chris Clemons: Next to no one wanted him back this offseason amongst fans, but suddenly Clemons is playing like a man who gets it. If Clemons had better hands when it came to catching the ball, he would be in the conversation for his first trip to the Pro Bowl – and the Fins may possibly have already clinched a playoff spot.
- Reshad Jones: Reshad is a “free lance” safety who has been forced to play man-to-man this season. If the defense can scheme things back to his strengths, he is a strong candidate for the pro bowl next season.
- Jimmy Wilson & Nolan Carroll: I know what some Dolphins fans are thinking, but Kevin Coyle has done wonders in this secondary and Jimmy Wilson and Nolan Carroll have come on EXTREMELY well, showing that they have begun to really put it all together. Don’t forget, these two are VERY early in their careers, and I applaud the organization for seeing something that we didn’t and sticking with these players.
Do you have your own thoughts amongst Dolphins who should be considered?
Remember, go to the link below often and vote for your favorite Dolphins to go to the Pro Bowl. Voting isn’t open for much longer. Let’s take over the Pro Bowl.