The Miami Dolphins are ready for the 2017 season to begin and a lot of focus will be paid to the special teams units as the continue to make positive strides.
It’s difficult to preview the special teams unit because players change in and out through camp. Some players will only make the roster based on their ability to play on the ST unit. Competitions through camp are far more than just kicker, punter, and holder but return specialists on both punts and kicks as well as gunners on the outside.
The Dolphins are hoping that someone will step up in the return department so Jarvis Landry won’t have to return punts. Ideally that would be Jakeem Grant but 2016 wasn’t good for Grant in the return game as he had several muffed punts. His raw speed is enticing but he needs to get a better view of the field in front of him and work with his blockers better.
Sticking with the three core ST players nothing really should change for 2017.
Franks isn’t the best field goal kicker in the league but he is far from the worst. His forte however is kicking the ball out of the end zone. Franks has a strong leg but needs to get more consistent with his field goal’s. He faces no competition in camp so the job is his unless he forces the Dolphins to bring someone else in to push him.
Darr has been very good for the Dolphins since beating out Brandon Fields for the job. Consistency is key for punters and Darr has been that. This year he will face a competition in camp with Matt Haack, a rookie. It shouldn’t be much of a competition and Haack could be one of the first released should the Dolphins start bringing in players to compete at other positions.
Denney is the longest tenured Miami Dolphins player. He was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2005 under Nick Saban. He has started every game as the teams long snapper since arriving in 2005 and winning the job. Many believe that the 2017 season will be Denney’s last in the NFL. He will have some competition this year. Winston Chapman will have the dubious honor of trying to unseat the veteran.