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Dolphins players shocked by 6-10 finish
Regret was the theme of the day for the Miami Dolphins after a trying 6-10 season.
Wide receiver Kenny Stills isn't sure the record was indicative of the team.
"That's a tough question," he said. "There's plenty of games that we should have won and we didn't come out on top of those games. This team has a ton of potential and it's about us going to work this offseason and building on that potential and making it come to fruition."
Miami had lots of problems in 2017.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill went down with a season-ending knee injury in training camp. Hurricane Irma postponed the regular-season opener against Tampa Bay, linebacker Lawrence Timmons went AWOL the night before the opener, offensive line coach Chris Foerster resigned after a video surfaced of him snorting a powdery white substance while addressing a Las Vegas "model," running back Jay Ajayi was traded to Philadelphia, and linebacker Rey Maualuga was arrested after an incident at a Miami night club.
In between was a five-game losing streak that dropped the Dolphins to 4-7 and ended their playoff hopes.
Miami finished second in the NFL in penalty yards at 1,154, just behind Seattle, which led the league with 1,342 penalty yards. Miami also finished second in penalties at 137, again just behind Seattle, which led the league with 148 penalties.
"We weren't able to do what we set out to do," Pro Bowl safety Reshad Jones said. "This is a playoff team. We fell short of that."
WHAT WENT RIGHT: The run defense showed vast improvement, going from 30th in the NFL to 14th. And a big group of youngsters, ranging from running back Kenyan Drake and cornerbacks Xavien Howard and Cordrea Tankersley made big strides. Also included in that group were a crop of rookie defensive players - tackles Davon Godchaux and Vincent Taylor, end Cameron Malveaux, linebacker Chase Allen and cornerback Torry McTyre - that showed promise. Wide receivers Jarvis Landry and Kenny Stills were productive as was center Mike Pouncey.
WHAT WENT WRONG: This was an absent-minded team that often fell behind in games because of self-inflicted wounds (penalties, blown assignments, etc.) and also had to fight injury problems. There were off-field issues, too, such as a hurricane, an arrest and a player going AWOL. Overall this was an undisciplined team that couldn't get out of its own way.
MOST DISAPPOINTING PLAYER: WR DeVante Parker. The 2015 first-round pick was hyped before the season, but he didn't come close to reaching his potential as he ended with 57 receptions for 670 yards and one touchdown. Before the season, offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen and wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson both hyped Parker as being a potential Pro-Bowl player, but he didn't come close to that status.
MOST SURPRISING PLAYER: DT Davon Godchaux. The rookie fifth-round pick from LSU became a force early in the season and kept it up throughout. He finished with 40 tackles, third among rookie defensive linemen in the NFL, one pass deflection and a forces fumble, and he was a big reason Miami's run defense showed such improvement.
ASSISTANT COACH ON THE RISE: Running backs coach Danny Barrett. In the last two years, he's had to get young running backs Jay Ajayi and Kenyan Drake ready for game action on the fly and he did it. Ajayi got his chance when Arian Foster retired suddenly, and Drake got his chance when Ajayi was traded suddenly. All the while Barrett never flinched. Yet, he was fired after the season and is now looking for work.