I kind of want to bang my head against the desk being that this post doesn't really reveal new information, but until we have the Matty's (hint hint), we really don't have much to debate at the moment. Forgive me if this is similar to other posts we've had, but we've discussed everything from Stephen Ross to the equipment custodian's preferred method of setting up the players equipment and then somehow correlate it to the Dolphins on-field performance.
Instead of debating who are top 5 players are, I'm curious to see which top 5 players may be considered the cornerstones of the franchise for the next several years.
1) Jake Long: He may end up being ranked among the greatest offensive lineman this franchise has ever had if he continues to play like he has since he joined Miami in 2008. Despite playing next a stable of different players at LG during his three year career, Long has been one of the best offensive tackles in the NFL. His youth and abilities make him an absolute keeper.
2) Karlos Dansby: He has been a great addition for the Dolphins because he brings leadership and a great deal of abilities to the defense. The Dolphins are able to do more with their defense because Dansby brings a diverse set of skills. Unlike Crowder, Dansby has sometimes been able to line up right at the LOS because he is quick to accelerate and can disrupt the backfield. He is also the play-caller for the defense and his presence is undoubtedly appreciated by the less proven Cameron Wake and Koa Misi.
3) Vontae Davis: Sean Smith gets a lot of attention because of all the potential interceptions he could've had, but Davis has done a solid job against opposing WRs. He is a solid tackler and is very good against the run. He finished 2010 with 12 passes defensed, nearly the total (17) of Jason Allen and Smith combined.
4) Cameron Wake: We knew he had the pass rushing ability, but he also did a solid job against the run. Our front three creates a good amount of pressure for a 3-4 DL, but there is no doubt our pass rush was mostly the result of Wake's fantastic play. He is a bit older than most prospects because of his CFL career, but at age 28, we should still be able to enjoy watching him play at this level for the next several seasons.
5) Brandon Marshall: He is close to being left off this list because of his character flaws and because he can be a negative influence on the team, but his sheer talent alone keeps him on this list. He averages 1,181 receiving yards as a starter to go along with 6.5 TDs per season despite playing in a conservative Dolphins offense and playing through injuries throughout his career. Character flaws aside, this is not an easy player to replace.
On another note, doesn't Bacon look a little like Penn State HC, Joe Paterno?