2009 Miami Dolphins Season
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2009 Miami Dolphins Season

2009 Miami Dolphins season
Head coachTony Sparano
General managerJeff Ireland
Home fieldLand Shark Stadium
Division place3rd AFC East
Playoff finishdid not qualify
Pro BowlersYeremiah Bell, Dan Carpenter, Jake Long
AP All-ProsJake Long (2nd team)

The 2009 Miami Dolphins season was the franchise's 40th season in the National Football League, the 44th overall and the second under head coach Tony Sparano.[1] The Dolphins entered the 2009 season as the reigning AFC East champions after posting an 11-5 record in 2008. Dropping by four more games, the Dolphins failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2007, marking the 25th consecutive year that the region hosting the Super Bowl did not see its host team play in, thus it set off a playoff drought that lasted until 2016.[2] (not counting years where Super Bowls have been played on neutral sites).

Offseason personnel moves

Coaching staff

The Dolphins fired offensive line coach Mike Maser on January 14, 2009, just one year after he was hired to head coach Tony Sparano's staff.[3] During Maser's lone season with the Dolphins, the team had the 12th-best offense in the league with 345.6 yards per game.[3] A day after firing Maser, the team hired Dave DeGuglielmo, who had been the assistant offensive line coach for the New York Giants, as their new offensive line coach.[4]

After kicking coach Steve Hoffman left the team to join the Kansas City Chiefs,[5] the Dolphins hired University of Rhode Island head coach Darren Rizzi as the assistant special teams coach on February 21.[6]






Free agents

UFA: Unrestricted free agent, RFA: Restricted free agent, ERFA: Exclusive-rights free agent

Position Player Free agency
Date signed 2009 team
SS Yeremiah Bell UFA 2/26 Miami Dolphins
OT Vernon Carey UFA 2/20 Miami Dolphins
LB Channing Crowder UFA 2/25 Miami Dolphins
CB André Goodman UFA 3/1 Denver Broncos
TE Aaron Halterman ERFA
FS Renaldo Hill UFA 2/27 Denver Broncos
C Al Johnson UFA 3/17 New England Patriots
LB Quentin Moses ERFA 3/31 Miami Dolphins
G Ike Ndukwe ERFA 3/20 Miami Dolphins
WR Tab Perry UFA
LB Derek Smith UFA
= Retained by Dolphins

2009 NFL Draft

Originally slated to have the 26th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the Dolphins' pick moved up one spot to 25th after the Arizona Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles made it to the NFC Championship.[8] Both the Cardinals (9-7) and Eagles (9-6-1) were projected to pick before the Dolphins (11-5), but with one guaranteed to make the Super Bowl (and thus pick 31st or 32nd depending on the outcome) the Dolphins moved up one position in the draft.[8]

Draft Name Position College Height Weight
Rnd Pick
1 25 Vontae Davis CB Illinois 5'11" 203
2 44 Pat White QB/WR West Virginia 6'0" 197
61 Sean Smith CB Utah 6'4" 215
3 87 Patrick Turner WR USC 6'5" 220
4 108 Brian Hartline WR Ohio State 6'3" 188
5 161 John Nalbone TE Monmouth 6'4" 255
165 Chris Clemons FS Clemson 6'1" 210
6 181 Andrew Gardner OT Georgia Tech 6'6" 305
7 214 J. D. Folsom ILB Weber State 6'3" 230


Draft pick signings

  • May 21 - Signed tight end John Nalbone to a four-year contract.
  • June 18 - Signed offensive tackle Andrew Gardner to a four-year contract.
  • July 3 - Signed wide receiver Patrick Turner to a four-year contract.
  • July 3 - Signed linebacker J. D. Folsom to a four-year contract.
  • July 15 - Signed wide receiver Brian Hartline to a four-year contract.
  • July 24 - Signed cornerback Sean Smith to a four-year contract.
  • August 1 - Signed cornerback Vontae Davis to a five-year contract.
  • August 2 - Signed quarterback Pat White to a four-year contract.
  • August 2 - Signed safety Chris Clemons to a four-year contract.

Undrafted free agents

Following the 2009 NFL Draft, the Dolphins signed the following nine undrafted free agents on April 30:

The team later signed guard J. D. Quinn (Montana) on May 11. Two of the undrafted rookies left the team shortly after signing, with Bronson failing to report to training camp on August 2 and Rogers opting for retirement on August 6.

Training camp and preseason

Opening camp roster

Final preseason roster


Schedule and results

Week Date Kickoff Opponent Results Game Site TV NFL.com Recap
Final score Team record
1 August 17 7:30 pm Jacksonville Jaguars W 12-9 1-0 Land Shark Stadium WFOR Recap
2 August 22 7:30 pm Carolina Panthers W 27-17 2-0 Land Shark Stadium WFOR Recap
3 August 27 8:00 pm at Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 10-6 3-0 Raymond James Stadium Fox Recap
4 September 3 8:00 pm at New Orleans Saints W 10-7 4-0 Louisiana Superdome WFOR Recap

Regular season


Week Date Kickoff Opponent Results Game Site TV NFL Recap
Final score Team record
1 September 13 1:00 pm at Atlanta Falcons L 7-19 0-1 Georgia Dome CBS Recap
2 September 21 8:30 pm Indianapolis Colts L 23-27 0-2 Land Shark Stadium ESPN Recap
3 September 27 4:15 pm at San Diego Chargers L 13-23 0-3 Qualcomm Stadium CBS Recap
4 October 4 4:05 pm Buffalo Bills W 38-10 1-3 Land Shark Stadium CBS Recap
5 October 12 8:30 pm New York Jets W 31-27 2-3 Land Shark Stadium ESPN Recap
6 Bye
7 October 25 4:15 pm New Orleans Saints L 34-46 2-4 Land Shark Stadium Fox Recap
8 November 1 1:00 pm at New York Jets W 30-25 3-4 Giants Stadium CBS Recap
9 November 8 1:00 pm at New England Patriots L 17-27 3-5 Gillette Stadium CBS Recap
10 November 15 1:00 pm Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 25-23 4-5 Land Shark Stadium Fox Recap
11 November 19 8:20 pm at Carolina Panthers W 24-17 5-5 Bank of America Stadium NFLN Recap
12 November 29 1:00 pm at Buffalo Bills L 14-31 5-6 Ralph Wilson Stadium CBS Recap
13 December 6 1:00 pm New England Patriots W 22-21 6-6 Land Shark Stadium CBS Recap
14 December 13 1:00 pm at Jacksonville Jaguars W 14-10 7-6 Jacksonville Municipal Stadium CBS Recap
15 December 20 1:00 pm at Tennessee Titans L 24-27 (OT) 7-7 LP Field CBS Recap
16 December 27 1:00 pm Houston Texans L 20-27 7-8 Land Shark Stadium CBS Recap
17 January 3 1:00 pm Pittsburgh Steelers L 24-30 7-9 Land Shark Stadium CBS Recap


AFC East
(3)New England Patriots 10 6 0 .625 4-2 7-5 427 285 L1
(5)New York Jets 9 7 0 .563 2-4 7-5 348 236 W2
Miami Dolphins 7 9 0 .438 4-2 5-7 360 390 L3
Buffalo Bills 6 10 0 .375 2-4 4-8 258 326 W1

Game results

Week 1: at Atlanta Falcons

The Miami Dolphins preparing for the 2009 season opener in Atlanta.

After a great season for the Miami Dolphins in 2008, the Dolphins went to the Georgia Dome to take on 2008 playoff contenders, the Atlanta Falcons. After a scoreless first quarter, the Falcons got on the board with a 1-yard touchdown pass from Matt Ryan to fullback Ovie Mughelli in the second quarter. They also got a 36-yard field goal by kicker Jason Elam to make the score 10-0 at halftime. In the third quarter, Mike Peterson intercepted a Chad Pennington pass, which set up a 20-yard touchdown pass to tight end Tony Gonzalez and a 50-yard field goal by Jason Elam to make the score 19-0. Chad Pennington then hit a 9-yard touchdown pass to Ricky Williams.

The Falcons won the game 19-7 as the Dolphins started their season 0-1.

In 2008, no other team turned the ball over less than the Dolphins with only 13 turnovers, but in Week 1 Miami's offense had 4 turnovers, without having a single turnover on defense.

Week 2: vs. Indianapolis Colts

After a miserable loss to the Atlanta Falcons, the Dolphins host their home opener to the Indianapolis Colts. On the first play from scrimmage, Peyton Manning threw an 80-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dallas Clark. The Dolphins answered with a 14-yard touchdown run by Ronnie Brown out of the Wildcat Offense. The Dolphins and Colts kept going back and forth at each other with two field goals by Dan Carpenter and Adam Vinatieri to make the score 13-13 at halftime. After a scoreless third quarter, Ronnie Brown ran 2-yards for a touchdown to put Miami up 20-13. The Colts answered back with a 15-yard touchdown run by rookie running back Donald Brown. Miami than hit a 45-yard field goal by Dan Carpenter. But the Colts took the lead thanks to a 48-yard touchdown pass to Pierre Garçon. The Dolphins tried to rally at the end of the game but Chad Pennington was intercepted by Antoine Bethea to secure the Colts' victory.

The Colts won the game 27-23 as the Dolphins dropped to 0-2.

The Dolphins dominated the game in the time of possession battle, but lost the game with almost 50 minutes of offensive possession.

Week 3: at San Diego Chargers

Looking for their first win of the season, the Dolphins traveled to Qualcomm Stadium to take on the San Diego Chargers.

After a scoreless first quarter, Nate Kaeding hit a 25-yard field goal to score the first points of the game. Miami answered with a 24-yard field goal to tie the game at halftime 3-3. Miami took the lead after a 23-yard field goal by Dan Carpenter. But the Chargers retook the lead with a 5-yard touchdown run by Philip Rivers. The Chargers pulled away in the fourth quarter with two Nate Kaeding field goals and a 31-yard interception return by safety Eric Weddle. The Dolphins got a 14-yard touchdown run by Ricky Williams, but couldn't make a comeback.

The Chargers won the game 23-13 as the Dolphins fell to 0-3.

Dolphins quarterback Chad Pennington left the game with a shoulder injury after being hit by linebacker Kevin Burnett and was out for the season. The Dolphins chose Chad Henne to lead the Dolphins for the rest of the season.

Week 4: vs. Buffalo Bills

The Miami Dolphins came off of a 0-3 start and tried to rebound against the Buffalo Bills. After a scoreless first quarter the Dolphins rallied quick with a 23-yard interception return for a touchdown by rookie Vontae Davis and a 1-yard touchdown run by Ronnie Brown along with a 33-yard field goal by Dan Carpenter making the halftime score 17-3. Miami continued with a Chad Henne touchdown pass to Brian Hartline and a 1-yard touchdown run by Ricky Williams. Trent Edwards hit Josh Reed for a 3-yard touchdown but Miami ended the game with a 1-yard touchdown run by Ronnie Brown.

The Dolphins won the game 38-10 as the team improved to 1-3.

Chad Henne made his first NFL start and threw for 115 yards and a touchdown.

Week 5: vs. New York Jets

Ronnie Brown ran in for the winning touchdown with just seconds left to send the Dolphins into their bye week at 2-3.

Week 6: BYE

Week 7: vs. New Orleans Saints

With the surprising loss, the Dolphins dropped to 2-4.

Week 8: at New York Jets

With their season sweep over the Jets, the Dolphins improved to 3-4.

Week 9: at New England Patriots

With the loss, the Dolphins dropped to 3-5.

Week 10: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

With the win, the Dolphins improved to 4-5.

Week 11: at Carolina Panthers

With the win, the Dolphins improved to 5-5.

Week 12: at Buffalo Bills

With the loss, the Dolphins fell to 5-6.

Week 13: vs. New England Patriots

With the win, the Dolphins improved to 6-6.

Week 14: at Jacksonville Jaguars

With the win, the Dolphins improved to 7-6.

Week 15: at Tennessee Titans

With the loss, the Dolphins dropped to 7-7.

Week 16: vs. Houston Texans

With the loss, the Dolphins dropped to 7-8.

Week 17: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

The final outcome of this game had somewhat of a domino effect. It resulted in the Dolphins' elimination from the post-season (including Super Bowl XLIV, which they hosted February 8, 2010), and also, by virtue of the final standings' tiebreaker (as the result of the Baltimore Ravens defeating the Oakland Raiders), the Steelers themselves being dethroned of their world title defense.

The Dolphins ended their season in 3rd place in the AFC East as they finished the season 7-9.



Final roster


  1. ^ "Miami Dolphins History". NFL-History.com. Archived from the original on December 30, 2008. Retrieved 2009.
  2. ^ http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/columnists/greg_cote/story/822086.html[dead link]
  3. ^ a b "Sources: Dolphins fire O-line coach". ProFootballWeekly.com. Retrieved 2008.
  4. ^ "Dolphins Name Dave DeGuglielmo Offensive Line Coach". MiamiDolphins.com. Archived from the original on January 17, 2009. Retrieved 2008.
  5. ^ "Chiefs Announce Assistant Coaches, Without Disclosing Their Specific Jobs". ProFootballTalk.com. Retrieved 2008.
  6. ^ "Dolphins Add Darren Rizzi To Coaching Staff". MiamiDolphins.com. Archived from the original on February 25, 2009. Retrieved 2008.
  7. ^ a b "Miami Dolphins January 2009 transactions". ProFootballWeekly.com. Retrieved 2008.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ a b "Miami Dolphins move up to no. 25 in draft". Sun-Sentinel.com. Archived from the original on January 20, 2009. Retrieved 2008.
  9. ^ "Miami Dolphins July 2008 transactions". ProFootballWeekly.com. Archived from the original on December 3, 2008. Retrieved 2008.
  10. ^ "Dolphins bring back Ferguson". ESPN. March 10, 2010. Retrieved 2019.
  11. ^ a b "Miami Dolphins August 2008 transactions". ProFootballWeekly.com. Archived from the original on December 3, 2008. Retrieved 2008.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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