clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

AFC and NFC Championship games: Former Miami Dolphins one-win from Super Bowl

NFL: AFC Divisional Round-Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Later today, the Kansas City Chiefs will host the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship game and the Green Bay Packers will welcome in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the NFC Championship game. While the Miami Dolphins are not among the four teams a win from making a Super Bowl appearance, there are several former members of the team scheduled to play, coach, or serve as an executive during the game.

Starting with the Chiefs, a pair of former Dolphins starting quarterbacks are included on the team. Chad Henne, Miami’s 2008 second-round draft pick, spent four years with the Dolphins recording 7,114 passing yards on a 60.7 percent completion rate with 31 touchdowns and 37 interceptions. Miami had a 13-18 record in games Henne started. After a stint with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Henne joined the Chiefs in 2018, appearing in four games with one start, picking up 277 yards with two touchdowns over that span. He made his first career playoff appearance last week when he was 6-for-8 for 66 yards with an interception, along with two rushing attempts for 12 yards, in relief of Patrick Mahomes. Henne could be in line to start today if Mahomes is still dealing with any concussion symptoms, though reports have indicated he has cleared the league’s concussion protocol. Mahomes is also dealing with a turf toe injury.

Matt Moore, currently on the Chiefs’ practice squad, played for Miami from 2011 through 2017 after spending four seasons with the Carolina Panthers. Over his seven seasons with the Dolphins, Moore played in 27 games, including 17 starts, throwing for 4,298 yards on a 60.7 percent completion rate, with 29 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. Miami was 8-9 in games Moore started. After a semi-retirement year in 2018, Moore started 2019 as a scout for the Dolphins during draft preparations, then was serving as a high school assistant coach before being signed by the Chiefs when Henne was injured in the preseason. He appeared in six games with two starts that year, replacing an injured Mahomes, throwing for 659 yards on a 64.8 percent completion rate with four touchdowns, with Kansas City going 1-1 in his starts. Moore spent most of the 2020 season on the Chiefs’ practice squad, though he was elevated to serve as Henne’s backup in the regular-season finale.

Chiefs center Daniel Kilgore spent two seasons with the Dolphins following a 2018 trade with the San Francisco 49ers, where he had spent the first seven years of his career. He appeared in 17 games with Miami, starting all of them. He missed the majority of the 2018 season after sustaining a torn triceps muscle early in the year. He joined the Chiefs just before the start of the 2020 season, appearing in seven games during the year, including four starts.

The Chiefs’ roster also includes defensive end Taco Charlton, who spent 2019 with Miami and running back Damien Williams, an undrafted free agent who signed with Miami in 2014 and remained with the club through 2017. Charlton is currently on injured reserve, while Williams, who should have been the Super Bowl MVP last year for the Chiefs, opted out of this season due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.

Kansas City’s defensive backs/cornerbacks coach Sam Madison was a 1997 second-round pick for the Dolphins out of Louisville. He spent nine seasons with the Dolphins, recording 366 tackles, 38 interceptions with two touchdowns, 77 passes defensed, nine forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries with a touchdown, one sack, and one safety. He was selected to four Pro Bowls and was a two-time First-Team All-Pro selection. He finished his playing career with the New York Giants for a three-year stint.

Over on the Bills roster, elevated practice squad wide receiver Kenny Stills spent the 2015 through 2018 seasons with Miami, joining the team as part of the trade that sent linebacker Dannell Ellerbe to the New Orleans Saints. With Miami, Stills caught 164 passes for 2,566 yards and 24 touchdowns. He was included in the Dolphins’ trade with the Houston Texans that sent tackle Laremy Tunsil and Stills to Texas in exchange for multiple draft picks. He was released during the 2020 season, landing on the Bills’ practice squad late this year.

Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll has been with the team since 2018. He held the same position for the Dolphins in 2011, the final year of the Tony Sparano era in Miami. He has also worked as an offensive coordinator for the Chiefs, the Cleveland Browns, and at Alabama. He also has been a coach with the New England Patriots and New York Jets in his career.

The Packers’ guard/tackle Billy Turner was originally a 2014 third-round pick for the Dolphins. He only appeared in two games as a rookie before becoming Miami’s primary right guard for the 2015 season. He was again a depth option in 2016 before having to start at left tackle when both Branden Albert and Tunsil were injured. After two starts, however, Turner was struggling to the point that Miami released him. He was claimed by the Baltimore Ravens, but was again waived a few days later. The Denver Broncos then claimed him, where he played in three games that season. He eventually worked his way up to a starter in Denver, with three games at right tackle and seven games at left guard in 2018. He joined the Packers as a free agent in 2019, starting all 16 games that season at right guard, then moving to tackle where he started 14 games this year.

The Buccaneers also have a former Dolphins offensive lineman in guard Ted Larsen. A Miami native, Larsen began his career as a 2010 sixth-round draft choice of the New England Patriots but was claimed off waivers at the end of the preseason by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He also spent time with the Arizona Cardinals and Chicago Bears before joining Miami in 2017 as a free agent. He played two years with Miami, appearing in 23 games with 21 starts at left guard. He was released in the 2019 offseason, re-joining the Bears for that season. He signed to the Buccaneers practice squad in December and has been elevated for today’s game.

Tampa Bay also has former Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh on their roster. Suh spent the 2015 through 2017 seasons with Miami, joining them as a free agent after five years with the Detroit Lions. With Miami, Suh started all 48 games over the three years, recording 181 tackles, 13 passes defensed, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and 15.5 sacks. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2016, his lone selection in Miami but his fifth career time making the all-star event. Miami released Suh in 2018 to create salary-cap space, with him joining the Los Angeles Rams that year. He then signed with the Buccaneers in 2019, starting all 32 games the last two years, with 85 tackles, six passes defensed, one forced fumble, four fumble recoveries with two touchdowns, and 8.5 sacks.

Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles as Miami’s assistant head coach and secondary coach from 2008 through 2011, including work as the team’s interim head coach after Tony Sparano was fired.

Tampa Bay special teams coordinator Keith Traylor held the same position with the Dolphins from 2001 through 2007. He has also worked with the special teams for the Atlanta Falcons and Chicago Bears, as well as as a defensive assistant coach with the Falcons.

Buccaneers quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen was Miami’s offensive coordinator in 2016 through 2017. He has also previously worked with the Buccaneers, as a tight ends coach from 1996 through 1998, a quarterbacks coach from 1999 through 2000, and the offensive coordinator in 2001. He has also worked with the Indianapolis Colts, as well as at Clemson, Maryland, South Carolina, Holy Cross, East Carolina, Temple, East Tennessee State and Mississippi.

Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht started his NFL career with the Dolphins, working as a scouting assistant in 1995 and as an offensive quality control coach in 1996. He has worked as a scout with the Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots, as well as an executive with the Patriots, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Arizona Cardinals before he joined the Buccaneers as their GM in 2014.

The Buccaneers at Packers NFC Championship kicks off at 3:05pm ET, while the Bills at Chiefs AFC Championship is at 6:40pm ET.