All good things must eventually come to an end.
Oh, how that saying couldn’t be truer for the Miami Dolphins. After the new deal that defensive end Olivier Vernon signed with the New York Giants, it signaled the end of a relationship with the city that went back as far as birth. South Florida will forever be known as home for Vernon, but it will no longer be the place where he gets paid to play professional football. That sentence in itself is a huge mistake by the Miami Dolphins. But bringing in another defensive end in Mario Williams from the Buffalo Bills to fill the void left by Vernon was not.
When we think of the OTs that have protected this QB, it's miraculous he's not caved, others have from les https://t.co/2QtS7iyk2g
— Draft Dr. Phil (@FulphilO) March 27, 2016
“Every day I wake up I feel like I have something to prove. Like I was saying, you have bumpy roads. We all do. There’s nobody that can go out there and have a smooth path that is perfect. But I can honestly say that road is still going. We haven’t hit the end in the road and that’s what gives me so much excitement. It’s beyond believing. I can’t wait. It’s almost like one of those things where the first time you came to college, the first time you played NFL football, it is that same feeling. I don’t even look at age or whatever. I actually think I’m young. And I feel that way and I know as far as my body, every year, I’m stronger and faster than I was.”
– Miami Dolphins defensive end Mario Williams
One thing that fans have grown to expect when it’s time for the Dolphins to sign free agents their owner Stephen Ross doesn’t mind making a big splash. Ross had shown over and over each year that he’ll do what it takes for this city to start winning again and he’ll make the moves, or spend the money necessary to do it. That’s why it’s such a big deal in free agency when the Dolphins put in an aggressive offer to sign the former No.1 pick in the 2006 NFL Draft.
“The direction that the organization wants to go in from top to bottom was huge. Meeting with the owner (Stephen Ross), it was really shocking to me… I can say I’ve never…..But to be part of something with someone who has so much enthusiasm – so much energy and passion towards the team and then it trickles straight down to the last guy – the outlook is definitely determined as far as every coach that’s there, every player. Everybody knows where they’re going and what direction we want to take it. So, that was huge in having a mindset that we are definitely in this to win.”
– Mario Williams
At 31-years-old, a lot of people are starting to doubt if Williams could have the impact that landed him on two All-Pro teams and four Pro Bowls. A lot of this also stems from Williams only recording 21 tackles last season after having nearly double-digit sacks the last seven years in the league. Nevertheless, Miami took a chance on Williams because they felt it was the scheme of the defense which was his downfall, not the overall talent in which he possessed.
That blind faith might pay off for the Dolphins this year because if he’s hungry and itching to become great again it could become a boost with another defensive end in Cameron Wake also feeling the same. Iron sharpens iron and two veterans looking to prove themselves could be a blessing.
It’s crazy but in South Florida sports this year we’ve seen Mario Chalmers of the Miami Heat say goodbye and now we get Mario Williams of the Miami Dolphins saying hello.
D’Joumbarey A. Moreau covers sports in Miami-Dade & Broward County. You can follow him on Twitter @DJoumbarey