The Miami Dolphins have had a mediocre year, if you look at their 7-8 record. However, the Dolphins seen growth in some players that should not go unnoticed. When the Pro Bowl voting was revealed on Wednesday, we learned that Cameron Wake was named a starter in this year’s Pro Bowl. However, there were other Dolphins that were left off the roster, even though they might have deserved it. The Miami Herald reported earlier today that the Dolphins do have some candidates for the Pro Bowl, in the form of alternates. This means that if the starter or backup is unable to play in the Pro Bowl game, then one of the alternates will take his spot.
The Dolphins that were named as alternates include: Brian Hartline, Reggie Bush, Mike Pouncey, Paul Soliai, Brandon Fields, and Randy Starks. A case can be made for why each of those players was named as an alternate:
Brian Hartline already has 1,000 yards on the season. Considering he only has 1 touchdown reception on the season, I was mildly surprised that he was named an alternate. Good for him though!
Reggie Bush has 960 yards and 6 TDs on the season, which is solid enough. I’d like to see Bush limit the negative plays in the backfield that we see from time to time, but overall Reggie has had a good season.
Mike Pouncey lost the starting job in the Pro Bowl to his brother Maurkice, but if you watch the tape, I think Mike has played at a higher level this season than his twin brother. I think Pouncey deserved the starting spot.
Soliai and Starks are the beasts that shut down opposing running backs in the middle of the defense. Both have played very well this year and both were worthy of the alternate status.
In my opinion, Brandon Fields should have gotten the nod as the starting punter in the Pro Bowl, but I’m glad to see he was named an alternate at least. Dustin Colquitt is healthy and unless he gets injured in the last game of the season, Fields will have to wait another year for his free Hawaii trip!
Interestingly, there are a few names on that list that might not be in Miami next season. Brian Hartline, Reggie Bush, and Randy Starks are all set to become free agents this offseason. The Dolphins will need to evaluate each of them to determine what price they are willing to pay to keep them in South Florida. Add to those names, Sean Smith, Jake Long, and Matt Moore, and you can see that the Dolphins front office have a lot of big decisions to make this offseason.
There’s still one game left, but shortly thereafter, we’ll all be focused in on the 2013 season. This offseason will be more exciting than most, considering the Dolphins have a TON of cap room and 5 picks in the first 3 rounds of the draft this year.
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