I'm introducing a new post this week, that I am sure will evolve over the course of the season. This is the "Connections" series. Basically, it's a look at the connections between the Miami Dolphins and which ever team they are facing that week. So, in this case, it's the Carolina Panthers, who are headed to Sun Life Stadium on Friday.
On to the connections:
The most obvious is quarterback Matt Moore. Moore comes over to the Dolphins this year after four in Carolina. Moore played 20 games with the Panthers over those four years, throwing for 2,640 yards, 16 touchdowns, and 17 interceptions, finishing his Panthers career 73.9 quarterback rating.
Joe Berger, the Dolphins' backup center, was originally drafted by the Panthers in the sixth round of the 2005 draft. He spent the year on the practice squad, before joining the Dolphins for his first stint with the team in 2006.
The Panthers, meanwhile, are fielding former Dolphins kicker Olindo Mare. Mare played 10 years in Miami, from 1997-2006, during which time, he was the second most accurate kicker in NFL history. After playing in New Orleans and Seattle for the last 4 years, to include last year when he was Seattle's franchise player, Carolina signed Mare in July.
Perhaps the most recognizable name on the Panthers team, however, is Shula. The team's quarterback coach is Mike Shula, the son of the NFL's all time winningest coach, Don Shula, the Dolphins head coach from 1970-1995. Mike served as the Dolphins' Coaches' Assistant from 1991-1992 and as the team's Quarterback Coach from 2000-2002.
So, as you can see, there are connections between the two teams as they match up on Friday - adding another level to the game.