Don Shula, Mercury Morris supportive of Panthers’ undefeated run

Former Miami Dolphin Eugene "Mercury" Morris speaks during a press conference anouncing Reebok's new television campaign -dubbed "Perfectville"- featuring members of the only undeated team in NFL history- the 1972 Miami Dolphins on February 1, 2008 at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images for Reebok)
Former Miami Dolphin Eugene “Mercury” Morris speaks during a press conference announcing Reebok’s new television campaign -dubbed “Perfectville”- featuring members of the only undefeated team in NFL history- the 1972 Miami Dolphins on Feb. 1, 2008 in Phoenix. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images for Reebok)

There’s a misconception (well, a partial misconception) among both fans and foes of the Miami Dolphins — particularly their unbeaten 1972 team — that the old-time players and coaches root each year against current-day NFL teams equaling (or, God forbid, bettering) their 17-0 record.

Running back Mercury Morris has been the most outspoken of the ’72ers, trolling the nearly unbeaten Patriots back in 2007 and more recently discussing how hard it is complete an undefeated season in this — or any — day and age:

“Go ask the Patriots how difficult it is to do it and how they feel about some little kid in Guatemala wearing those perfect 19-0 Super Bowl tees.”

BURN!

In that same interview, when asked what would happen if Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers were able to best the mark of the ’72 Fins this season, Morris responded by asking, “Do you know the second biggest canyon in the U.S.? No, because everyone only knows about the Grand Canyon. No one cares about the second to do anything.”

DOUBLE BURN!!

But perhaps the Dolphins legends are starting to mellow as time goes on.

The official Twitter account of legendary Dolphins coach Don Shula sent out this tweet during the Panthers game Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.

Yes, Shula and family are dabbing in honor of Newton, Carolina’s star quarterback and MVP candidate. But they’re also supporting Shula’s son Mike, who is the Panthers’ offensive coordinator.

Of course, the Panthers went on to lose to the Falcons 20-13, prompting many to imagine Morris and his teammates popping the corks on bottles of bubbly.

But that wasn’t the case, according to Morris.

Still, Morris took the time to appreciate some relevant artwork:

Picking our Dolphins’ all-decade team of the 2000s

Dolphins running back Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown were two of Miami's finest during their run together. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)
Dolphins running back Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown were two of Miami’s finest during their run together. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

The Dolphins will celebrate their 50th season during Monday night’s Dolphins-Giants game and with a reunion of the top-50 players in team history this weekend.

The Post’s Hal Habib offers his all-time team as well as a decade-by-decade look at the best teams in Dolphins history.

(No surprise: The team’s fortunes over the decades mirror the competition to make each team, with the first decade being the toughest.)

RELATED: Click here for the All-Decade Dolphins team of the 1970s

RELATED: Click here for the All-Decade Dolphins team of the 1980s

RELATED: Click here for the All-Decade Dolphins team of the 1990s


2000s

Offense
QB: Chad Pennington, Team MVP on playoff team in ’08
RB: Ricky Williams, 1,853 yards in 2002
RB: Ronnie Brown, Three times 900-plus yards
WR: Chris Chambers, Four times over 800 yards
WR: Marty Booker, Weak field; his 747 yards in ’06 makes cut
TE: Randy McMichael, Four straight years with 500-plus yards
OT: Vernon Carey, No. 1 draft pick from UM in ’04
OT: Jake Long, First overall selection in ’08
C: Tim Ruddy, Still a stallwart on OL
G: Jamie Nails, Starter in ’02-03 at position of upheaval
G: Mark Dixon, Solid, dependable blocker

Zach Thomas was a star for the Dolphins at middle linebacker. (Photo by Scott Wiseman / The Palm Beach Post)
Zach Thomas was a star for the Dolphins at middle linebacker. (Photo by Scott Wiseman / The Palm Beach Post)

Defense
DE: Jason Taylor, 2006 NFL defensive player of year
DE: Trace Armstrong, Designated sack specialist off bench
DT: Tim Bowens, Occupied linemen to clear way for Zach
DT: Randy Starks, If he and Bowens had overlapped …
LB: Zach Thomas, Buoniconti to Offerdahl to Thomas. Not bad.
LB: Channing Crowder, Active, disruptive force at LB
LB: Derrick Rodgers, Consistent performer after Air Force stint
CB: Sam Madison, Finally, Dolphins land a Pro Bowl CB
CB: Patrick Surtain, He, Madison team’s best-ever CB tandem
S: Brock Marion, Consistently came up with the big play
S: Yeremiah Bell, Big hitter in the secondary

Specialists
K: Dan Carpenter, Dolfans wish he were still around
P: Brandon Fields, Dolfans wish he were still around, too