It’s that time of year again, where the great writers here at ThePhinsider bring back their annual look at the Miami Dolphins’ roster heading into training camp. We call this series “90-in-90” and over the next 90 days (give or take a few) we will take a look at each individual player on the roster. We will take into account what they did throughout the 2016 season, whether in the NFL or college and take a look how they might fair in 2017. In addition, we will discuss how each player might progress, regress and their odds of making the 53-man roster. So let’s get started.
John Denney is the longest tenured player currently on the Miami Dolphins’ roster. At 38-years old, the Dolphins’ long snapper continues to be one, if not the best at his position around the league. No one knows when Denney might hang up the cleats, but it doesn’t seem like it will be anytime soon. A long snapper might not be the sexiest position on an NFL roster, but they play a very important role on special teams. Let’s take a look at John Denney, the best long snapper in the NFL.
Long snapper, John Denney
College: Brigham Young University (BYU)
Hometown: Thornton, CO
I’d be lying if I said I sat down and watched a lot of John Denney tape this offseason. Sure, I’ve watched my fair share of games, but overall there’s only so much a long snapper can do. As long as they can protect well and get the ball into the punter’s hands, they’ve done a successful job. However, Denney isn’t your typical long snapper. He’s appeared in 192 games throughout his 12-year career. In that time, he’s recorded a total of 41 tackles. Although only one of those tackles were recorded during the Adam Gase Era, Denney has proven his worth with Darren Rizzi and the current regime.
Why he might progress in 2017
In my opinion, it’s hard to progress if you’re already sitting atop the league at your respected position. As long as Denney can remain healthy, he should continue to be among the league’s elite long snappers. His ability to consistently perform at a high level, makes him a fan favorite among many. Yes, he’s 38 but I fully expect Denney to have one of the best years of his career in 2017.
Why he might regress in 2017
If John Denney was anyone else, I might believe there’s a possibility he regresses. Fortunately for the Dolphins, he’s not your ordinary NFL player. His consistency at an underrated position, makes it easy to overlook his value. However, barring an injury (knock on wood) Denney should continue to be a significant asset to Darren Rizzi and the Dolphins’ special team unit.
Chances of making the 53-man roster
Yes, the Dolphins added another long snapper shortly after the draft. With that said, there’s no one that can do what John Denney does and unless UDFA Winston Chapman shows maturity beyond his years, I don’t see any scenario in which he dethrones Denney atop the Dolphins’ depth chart. As stated previously, he’s the longest tenured Dolphin currently on the roster and it would be a travesty for the team to relieve him of his duties, after committing his entire NFL career to the organization. John Denney is an unsung hero that does all the little things right. His accolades won’t show up on a stat sheet or NFL network, but there are very few John Denneys and I’m glad he’s a Miami Dolphin.