The Miami Dolphins are a young team, trying to find their way back to the playoffs for the first time since 2008. The Dolphins feature several big name players, and players who could breakout and become household names around the league, but who is actually the face of the franchise?
NFL.com's Bucky Brooks recently took a look at the AFC East's four teams, identifying the current face of the Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, and New York Jets. While in some cases, like the Patriots and Tom Brady, it's pretty easy to identify the current face of the team.
For the Dolphins, Brooks identified the player that it makes the most sense to list as the face of the franchise: defensive end Cameron Wake. Of the choice, Brooks wrote:
When the Dolphins plucked the two-time CFL Defensive Player of the Year from north of the border, few observers expected him to blossom into a Pro Bowl-caliber defender. Yet, Wake has not only become one of the best players at his position, but he has also been one of the most dominant defenders in the game. He plays at a frenetic pace and intensity that overwhelms opponents over the course of 60 minutes. Additionally, Wake delivers the kind of disruptive production that elicits respect from his teammates and peers. If Wake can convince his teammates to follow his lead, this could be the year that Miami whisks the AFC East crown to South Beach.
Wake should be listed as the face of the Dolphins, and there probably are not a lot of players who could rival him for that position right now. At 32 years old, however, Wake will eventually have to step aside as the face of the Dolphins. While we all want Wake to play for several more years, but we should all want someone else to actually be the face of the franchise. Brooks picked quarterback Ryan Tannehill as the "next in line" player for Miami:
Joe Philbin handpicked Tannehill in 2012 to be his franchise quarterback, despite the signal-caller starting just 19 games at Texas A&M. Thus, it's not a surprise that it has taken him a while to become comfortable as the leader of the offense. Entering his third season as the starter, Tannehill must take his game to the next level. Although he has gradually improved his accuracy and efficiency from the pocket, Tannehill needs to deliver more "explosive" plays to ensure the Dolphins keep pace with the AFC's high-octane offenses. If he can make strides in this area, Tannehill could enter the conversation as one of the young gunners set to take over the league.
Are those the right choices for the Dolphins? Do you think someone else is the current or future face of the team?