The Miami Dolphins will see several familiar faces when they visit the San Francisco 49ers later today. As with every matchup in the league, there are always connections between two teams, including players who were formerly on the other club, college teammates, or players who call the other team’s city home. Each week, we take a look at all of the connections for the Dolphins and their opponent.
This week, the Dolphins will get to see several of their former players. San Francisco defensive end Dion Jordan was the third-overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, with the Dolphins trading up to grab him. He played 26 games with Miami, recording 37 tackles, three sacks, and three passes defensed. His time in Miami was marred by repeated drug suspensions, including a portion of the 2014 season and all of 2015, as well as injuries that ultimately led to his release when he failed a physical in 2017. He spent 2017 and 2018 with the Seattle Seahawks, a period which included another suspension as well as a knee injury that required surgery. He then joined the then-Oakland Raiders in 2019, with the remainder of his suspension in 2018 carrying into the season. He joined the 49ers this summer, starting the year on their practice squad before being signed to the active roster late last month.
Of course, Jordan is not the only reclamation project the 49ers have from the Dolphins. Former Miami offensive line coach and run game coordinator, Chris Foerster, is the assistant offensive line coach for the 49ers. Foerster has had multiple stints with both clubs, including being Miami’s offensive coordinator in 2004 and the 49ers’ offensive line coach in 2008 through 2009 and again in 2015. Foerster’s stint with the Dolphins in 2016 ended in October 2017 after a video of him snorting a white powder off his desk at the team’s facilities surfaced. He joined the 49ers in 2019 as an assistant coach helping in game planning. He officially was titled the assistant offensive line coach this year.
The 49ers also have former Dolphins running back Raheem Mostert, long snapper Taybor Pepper, cornerback Ken Webster, and cornerback Jamar Taylor. Their coaching staff also includes quarterbacks coach Shane Day, who worked as Miami’s tight ends coach from 2016-2018; offensive quality control coach Brian Fleury, who was a football research analyst for Miami in 2016 and Director of Football Research from 2017-2018; defensive backs/cornerbacks coach Tony Oden was Miami’s safeties coach from 2018-2019; defensive line coach Kris Kocurek held the same position with the Dolphins in 2018; and wide receivers coach Wes Welker was a wide receiver with Miami from 2004-2006.
The Dolphins only have one former 49ers member, running back Matt Breida who played for San Francisco from 2017 through 2019, appearing in 43 games with 18 starts. He totaled 318 carries for 1,902 yards with six touchdowns. He also recorded 67 receptions for 561 yards and four touchdowns.
As for teammates from other NFL teams, Dolphins wide receiver Mack Hollins (2017-2019) played with 49ers linebacker Joe Walker (2016-2018) when they both were with the Philadelphia Eagles. Miami has several former New England Patriots players, including linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill (2016 training camp), center Ted Karras (2016-2019), cornerback Jamal Perry (2017-2018), linebacker Elandon Roberts (2016-2019), safety Eric Rowe (2016-2018), and linebacker Kyle Van Noy, while the 49ers have quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (2014-2017) and wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (2019). Van Noy (2014-2016) was also a teammate with the 49ers’ defensive lineman Kerry Hyder, Jr., (2015-2018) when they were on the Detroit Lions’ roster.
Dolphins guard Ereck Flowers (2019) was teammates with 49ers tackle Trent Williams (2010-2019) with the Washington Football Team. He was also a teammate (2015-2018) with 49ers kicker Robbie Gould (2016) with the New York Giants. Miami quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (2017-2018) played with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers along with San Francisco linebacker Kwon Alexander (2015-2018). Dolphins running back Jordan Howard (2016-2018) and 49ers offensive lineman Tom Compton (2017) were teammates with the Chicago Bears. Miami defensive tackle Zach Sieler (2018-2019) played with San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman Hroniss Grasu (2018) when they were both on the Baltimore Ravens’ roster. Dolphins defensive end Shaq Lawson (2016-2019) played for the Buffalo Bills along with 49ers cornerback Dontae Johnson (2018).
In college, 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (2010-2013) and Dolphins linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill (2012-2015) both attended Eastern Illinois. Miami running back Myles Gaskin (2015-2018) and 49ers wide receiver Dante Pettis (2014-2017) were together at Washington. San Francisco tight end Charlie Woerner (2016-2019) and Dolphins guard Solomon Kindley (2016-2019) were teammates at Georgia. Dolphins long snapper Blake Ferguson (2015-2019), Dolphins defensive tackle Davon Godchaux (2014-2016), and 49ers linebacker Kwon Alexander (2012-2014) were all at LSU.
Miami tackle Adam Pankey (2012-2016) and 49ers offensive lineman Colton McKivitz (2015-2019) were teammates at West Virginia, while Dolphins linebacker Calvin Munson (2013-2016) and San Francisco offensive lineman Daniel Brunskill (2012-2016) were teammates at San Diego State. Miami tight end Mike Gesicki (2014-2017) was a teammate at Penn State of 49ers defensive lineman Kevin Givens (2015-2017). At Texas Tech, Dolphins linebacker Sam Eguavoen (2011-2014) was teammates with Dolphins wide receiver Jakeem Grant (2012-2015) and 49ers defensive lineman Kerry Hyder, Jr. (2009-2013). San Francisco cornerback Dontae Johnson (2010-2013) plated at North Carolina State, where Dolphins assistant defensive line coach Rob Leonard was a graduate assistant (2010-2012).
At Notre Dame, Dolphins tight end Durham Smythe (2014-2017) and 49ers tackle Mike McGlinchey (2013-2017) played together. Miami running back Matt Breida (2013-2016) and San Francisco running back Jerick McKinnon (2010-2013) overlapped at Georgia Southern. And, Miami wide receiver Preston Williams (2015-2016) and 49ers cornerback Emmanuel Moseley (2014-2017) played together at Tennessee.
As for hometown type of connections, San Francisco linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair attended Florida Atlantic in South Florida, while Miami running back Patrick Laird attended the University of California - Berkeley. Dolphins linebacker Kyle Van Noy attended Robert McQueen High School in Reno, Nevada, as did 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. Miami safety Bobby McCain and 49ers linebacker Kwon Alexander both attended Oxford High School in Oxford, Alabama. And, Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and 49ers defensive lineman Dion Jordan are both products of Chandler High School in Chandler, Arizona.