STATUS REPORT: MORLON GREENWOOD

As the Dolphins prepare for the 2004 NFL draft, we continue to take a look back at the past season and examine every player's performance. Today we look at linebacker Morlon Greenwood.

Coming into the 2003 season:

Greenwood didn't make many plays at all in 2002, but he kept saying last summer that it was because he simply wasn't given many opportunities. Whatever the reason, last year shaped up as a critical season for Greenwood, who needed to show the Dolphins he deserved to remain in the starting lineup.

His performance in 2003:

As has been the case since he joined the Dolphins, Greenwood got less playing time than the other starting linebackers because he's the first 'backer to come off the field when the opponent goes to multiple-wideout formations. Greenwood made very little happen in the first part of the season, and there was reason to wonder if he simply was never going to become a contributor on defense. But something happen in the second half of the season and Greenwood became very active. He wound up with three games of 10 or more tackles and became a solid presence on defense. The only thing missing from his resume were turnovers as Greenwood finished without an interception, fumble recovery or fumble forced. But this was clearly Greenwood's best season.

His future with the team:

Greenwood is a restricted free agent this summer, but the Dolphins tendered him and any team signing him would have to give the Dolphins a third-round pick if Miami refused to match. The deadline for Greenwood to sign an offer sheet comes up at the end of the next week, so it looks — as expected — as though he'll be back. Greenwood will be looking to pick up where he left off last season. The next step for him is to create some game-changing plays (read: turnovers). But the future looks much brighter for him now than it did at this time last year.

Grade for 2003: B.


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