Earlier this week, we gave you a status update on all of the Miami Dolphins position battles. Well, earlier today one of those battles officially ended. Caleb Sturgis won the kicking competition against incumbent Dan Carpenter, as the Dolphins parted ways with the former undrafted rookie kicker after 5 seasons in Miami. Carpenter, who was once affectionately referred to as DC Money by a portion of the Dolphins fan base, made it to one Pro Bowl in his 5 seasons. However, last year he was too inconsistent and it could be argued that he cost the Dolphins a game or two.
Why do I have the feeling that somewhere in Oakland, Tony Sparano is sobbing uncontrollably? That’s right, Sparano is now the offensive line coach with the Raiders. As you all know, the Tony Sparano era was the era of the ‘Field Goal Fist Pump’. Sparano will forever be linked to Dan Carpenter, much like some of the great coaches are linked to their quarterbacks (i.e. Walsh and Montana, Shula and Marino, Belichick and Brady). The big difference there is of course that those Coach/QB combos went to or won Super Bowls. Sparano is linked to a kicker…..a kicker.
What I find interesting is that the Dolphins released Carpenter with 3 more weeks left of the preseason. I understand that the Dolphins wanted to let Carpenter go early enough so he could catch on with another team. But I’m not a fan of that. I’m not a cold or mean person, but Carpenter had a contract and the Dolphins could need a kicker next week if Caleb Sturgis re-aggrevates his groin injury that caused him to miss some time earlier in training camp.
Some other fans have told me that it was the right thing to do. Some fans told me that releasing Carpenter will allow Sturgis to bond with his fellow special teams players. There is a thought floating around that Brandon Fields and others might have been shunning Sturgis. This is ridiculous and if that’s the case, the coaches should’ve put an end to it early in camp. My point is that you have 2 good kickers, let the rest of the preseason play out before cutting Carpenter. He would have been a nice insurance policy, just in case Sturgis’ groin wasn’t quite right. At the end of the day, it’s probably not a big deal, I just don’t understand the logic. Anyway, we wish Dan Carpenter the best of luck, wherever he ends up (unless it’s in the AFC East). (continued on page 2, CLICK HERE for the latest injury updates)