2005 Position Review: Special Teams

With the Dolphins having completed their 2005 season, we break down the team by position with a look back at each player's performance as well as a look ahead to the offseason and next season. Today we take a look at the special teams.

Who finished the season on the roster: K Olindo Mare, P Donnie Jones, KR/PR Wes Welker, LS John Denney

How they did: The Dolphins overall had a tremendous season on special teams. Donnie Jones set a franchise record and led the NFL with a 39.3-yard average, a testament both to Jones' good punting and tremendous work by the punt coverage team. Mare rebounded from a couple of sub-par seasons to make 25 of 30 field goals, and he again was among the league leaders for touchbacks on kickoffs. Wes Welker wasn't quite as electrifying on kick returns as he was in 2004, but he had a very good year returning punts. It was a major surprise when John Denney supplanted longtime Dolphins snapper Ed Perry, and Denney had a couple of bad snaps that proved costly.

What's ahead: The Dolphins don't need to do much at this spot because they have a tremendous core of special teams guys, like David Bowens, Jason Glenn, Travis Minor and Yeremiah Bell. The Dolphins are confident Denney wil be a good long-snapper for many years and Jones already is a top-notch punter. Welker is a heady and reliable punt returner, although he might get some competition when it comes to kickoff returns. Mare re-established himself as a reliable placekicker in 2005, and the only reason he wouldn't be back next year is because he's scheduled to make $1.4 million in base salary.

The bottom line: The Dolphins won the special teams battle regularly in 2005, so there isn't a great need to change anything here.


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