Should these Dolphins stay or go in 2016? (Linebackers)

The Dolphins have major decisions to make with impending free agents and players who might be too costly to keep. Here’s a look at every player who finished the season on the 53-man roster (or injured reserve or the suspension list) with beat writer Andrew Abramson’s prediction for whether or not he will remain on the team in 2016.

You get to make your predictions, too!

Vote: Should these Miami Dolphins stay or should they go in 2016?

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Dolphins to hit the road for cheerleader tryouts in Latin America

(Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)
(Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Miami Dolphins, Numero Uno?

The team’s fight song might need a bit of revamping next season given Thursday’s news that the organization will become the first in the NFL to hold “multiple international cheerleader auditions” this spring.

Women 18 or older will be given a shot in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Mexico (and, yes, South Florida).

“Miami is the gateway to Latin America and the Miami Dolphins are a global brand,” said Dorie Grogan, the Dolphins’ senior director of entertainment & brand impact. “We are excited to combine the beauty we have in South Florida with the ladies we meet in Latin America in hopes of forming a truly international squad.”

The cheerleading squad has appeared in more than 30 countries in five continents in the past decade.

The tryout schedule:

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: March 3, JW Marriott Copacabana.

Bueno Aires, Argentina: March 6, Sheraton Buenos Aires Hotel y Centro de Convenciones

Mexico City: March 12, location TBA

Bogota, Colombia: April 2, Four Points by Sheraton

Davie: April 23, Dolphins training facility, Nova Southeastern University

For more information, visit DolphinsCheerleaders.com.

Should these Dolphins stay or go in 2016? (Defensive line)

The Dolphins have major decisions to make with impending free agents and players who might be too costly to keep. Here’s a look at every player who finished the season on the 53-man roster (or injured reserve or the suspension list) with beat writer Andrew Abramson’s prediction for whether or not he will remain on the team in 2016.

You get to make your predictions, too!

Vote: Should these Miami Dolphins stay or should they go in 2016?

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Should these Dolphins stay or go in 2016? (TEs and OL)

The Dolphins have major decisions to make with impending free agents and players who might be too costly to keep. Here’s a look at every player who finished the season on the 53-man roster (or injured reserve or the suspension list) with beat writer Andrew Abramson’s prediction for whether or not he will remain on the team in 2016.

You get to make your predictions, too!

Vote: Should these Miami Dolphins stay or should they go in 2016?

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Should these Dolphins stay or go in 2016? (Specialists)

The Dolphins have major decisions to make with impending free agents and players who might be too costly to keep. Here’s a look at every player who finished the season on the 53-man roster (or injured reserve or the suspension list) with beat writer Andrew Abramson’s prediction for whether or not he will remain on the team in 2016.

You get to make your predictions, too!

Vote: Should these Miami Dolphins stay or should they go in 2016?

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Vote: Should these Miami Dolphins stay or should they go in 2016?

Miami Dolphins running back Lamar Miller (26), runs over New York Giants free safety Landon Collins (21), on second quarter action for his second touchdown of the first half during NFL game Monday December 14, 2015 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens. (Bill Ingram / The Palm Beach Post)
Miami Dolphins running back Lamar Miller (26), runs over New York Giants free safety Landon Collins (21), on second quarter action for his second touchdown of the first half during NFL game Monday December 14, 2015 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens. (Bill Ingram / The Palm Beach Post)

Now that the Dolphins have their coach in place, it’s time to start building a roster.

Miami has major decisions to make with impending free agents and players who might be too costly to keep.

It’s impossible to know exactly who will stay or go — even the Dolphins’ top bosses don’t know yet.

They’ll spend the next two months preparing all the different scenarios before free agency officially begins March 15.

I’ve taken a look at every Dolphins player who ended the season on the 53-man roster, injured reserve or suspension list, with the exception of tackle Jason Fox, who has already been released.

Using an educated guess, here’s my early predictions of who will stay or go.

But we want you to vote on whether they’ll stay or go, too! To make the voting easier, we’ve broken the players down into six categories:

QB/RB/WR | TE/OL | DL | LB | DB | Specialists

Dan Campbell on track to coach alongside Adam Gase’s father-in-law

Saints assistant head coach Joe Vitt found qualities he liked in Adam Gase right from the start. It's why Vitt said Gase could marry his daughter. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Saints assistant head coach Joe Vitt found qualities he liked in Adam Gase right from the start. It’s why Vitt said Gase could marry his daughter. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Now that Dan Campbell is leaving the Dolphins to become assistant head coach of the Saints, you might think that closes the book on any possible connections between Campbell and new coach Adam Gase.

Sort of, but not quite.

The Saints haven’t officially named Campbell assistant head coach, perhaps because they’re trying to sort out how that affects the current assistant head coach, Joe Vitt.

That would be Joe Vitt, father-in-law to — yes! — Adam Gase.

Adam Gase. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)
Adam Gase. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Nola.com speculated that the Saints could make Campbell assistant head coach of the offense and Vitt for the defense.

Since Gase already has hired a defensive coordinator (Vance Joseph) and a linebacker coach (Matt Burke), it wouldn’t seem likely that Vitt is Miami-bound.

To say Vitt and Gase hit it off the first time they met is an understatement. During Super Bowl week two years ago, Gase, then Broncos offensive coordinator, told the story of how Vitt gave Gase his blessing to marry his daughter, Jennifer.

Adam and Jennifer had met at a golf tournament in Ohio three months before Adam met Vitt at the 2008 Senior Bowl.

Gase was having dinner with Saints coach Sean Payton, GM Mickey Loomis, Buffalo assistant Matt Sheldon and Vitt when the first three coaches left.

“I’m kind of like, ‘What’s going on here?’ ” Gase recalled at that Super Bowl. “So he gives me permission to marry Jen.”

That’s impressive for any guy, but what makes this especially noteworthy: “I didn’t even ask him,” Gase said.

“So I’m leaving the Senior Bowl, and I call Jen and say, ‘Hey, your dad gave me permission to marry you,’ and she goes, ‘What … you asked him?’ I told her no. I don’t know if it was too many vinos or what.”

Small detail, but Gase finally got around to proposing to Jennifer three months later.

“I was like, ‘I don’t have a choice now,’ ” Gase said.

Today, Adam and Jennifer have three children: daughter McKenzie and sons A.J. and Wyatt.

Adam made sure to thank Jennifer during his introductory news conference in Davie on Saturday, although she wasn’t there to hear it — she had to step outside momentarily because their youngest son was fidgety.

Adam Gase’s challenge: Win over locker room of Dan Campbell fans

Dan Campbell. (Bill Ingram / The Palm Beach Post)
Dan Campbell. (Bill Ingram / The Palm Beach Post)

Football players want to win games and will get behind any coach who can help them do that.

So it would be melodramatic to say Adam Gase will be fighting the ghost of Dan Campbell when he gathers his Miami Dolphins and begins training them for 2016.

But it’s not too dramatic to suggest that Gase will face a guarded squad those first few days, and that more than one player might be comparing how Gase goes about his business vs. how Campbell did his.

Adam Gase. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)
Adam Gase. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

(A quick aside: Andrew Abramson reported Tuesday that ex-interim coach Campbell will be moving on to some other team rather than stay with the Dolphins in another capacity. That’s not a surprise, but I predict with great confidence Campbell will be a successful head coach in the NFL and — in no reflection on Gase — Dolphins fans will someday wish Campbell wore aqua and orange.)

No doubt you’ll recall how, when owner Stephen Ross addressed the team following the victory over the Patriots that completed their season, players started chanting Campbell’s name in a clear message on whom their choice was for coach. Although Ross heard those voices and admits “I love Dan Campbell,” he hired Gase from the Bears.

Fans looking at the bottom line — and who isn’t? — see the Dolphins’ 6-10 record and Campbell’s 5-7 mark after replacing Joe Philbin and can’t relate.

“They don’t understand,” safety Michael Thomas said the day after the finale.

What don’t they understand?

“He gets it out of his players,” Thomas said. “Just to work hard, be intense, bring that intensity on game days, and it’s up to us to go out there and make the plays. That’s why it’s disappointing. We didn’t go out there and make the plays to help him out to get the job.”

Players sensed things were going south after they won their first two games under Campbell, then reverted back to Philbinesque levels. As things took a turn for the worse, center Mike Pouncey gathered the team and gave an impassioned speech, telling them they needed to get their fannies in gear if they wanted to save Campbell.

“Pouncey just said what we were all thinking,” safety Walt Aikens said. “The players love him. The other coaches love him.”

How much did they love him?

“I don’t think you could find one player who wouldn’t want him back on this team,” Thomas said.

Strong statement, Mike …

“It’s an accurate statement,” he said.

Someday, Gase may inspire those same sentiments. At least today, Campbell can walk out knowing he did.

What they’re saying about new Dolphins coach Adam Gase

Adam Gase. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Adam Gase. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Screen Shot 2016-01-09 at 1.35.00 PM

Peyton Manning, via dolphins.com

“I’m very happy for Adam. Adam had a great impact on me during our three years together here in Denver as my quarterbacks coach and then as offensive coordinator. He’s an extremely hard worker, a grinder. He’s extremely bright on all things football, an excellent communicator and always eager to learn more. He asks a lot of questions and writes everything down. I’ve always been impressed with his work ethic and his eagerness to learn more. He’ll be an excellent head coach, without a doubt. He is ready for this for sure.”

Broncos President John Elway, via denverbroncos.com

“Adam is a bright, young, energetic football coach who has worked very hard for this opportunity. I anticipate that Adam will be very successful as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins.”

Steve Mariucci, NFL Network analyst, via miamidolphins.com

Mariucci was Lions head coach and was impressed when Gase asked for a coaching job:

“What I got out of that meeting (was) it’s unusual for a young guy to go to a head coach behind closed doors and say, ‘Hey, I want a job. Hire me, please. I’ll do whatever.’ So I created a job for him in coaching. I took him away from scouting and put him on the coaching staff as a quality control coach to get his feet wet and work hard and do whatever we asked him to do. I felt that he was very ambitious. I felt that he was very bright and he wanted to work. He was a very young, ambitious, bright kid.

“He retained knowledge and applies what he’s learned and has kind of formulated his own offense and his own way of teaching. I think the players will respond to him. He’s been around some really good quarterbacks, obviously. So I think that Ryan Tannehill will be very, very happy with him and his offense.”

Jay Cutler (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Jay Cutler (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

QB Jay Cutler, via chicagobears.com

“I couldn’t be happier for Adam and his family. He has worked extremely hard his entire career and is very deserving of this opportunity. I wish he could stay with us in Chicago, but everyone has a journey and this is the next part of his.

“His work with quarterbacks is well documented and I know firsthand how good he is. He will now continue to have success in this league as a head coach. I thank him for all his hard work and look forward to following this next step in his career.”

Screen Shot 2016-01-09 at 1.48.22 PM

Gase establishes record for Dolphins

Adam Gase becomes the youngest head coach in Dolphins history (excluding interim coaches).

Coach                  Age              Yrs         W-L

Adam Gase         37                  –                 –

Don Shula            40                26             257-133-2

Cam Cameron      46                  1             1-15

Tony Sparano       47                  4             29-32

Dave Wannstedt   48                  5             42-31

Joe Philbin            51                  4             24-28

George Wilson      52                  4             15-39-2

Jimmy Johnson     53                  4             36-28

Nick Saban           54                   2            15-17

Award time: The highs, lows and bizarre moments of Dolphins’ season

Jarvis Landry starts to come down with his one-handed grab against the Colts. (Bill Ingram / The Palm Beach Post)
Jarvis Landry starts to come down with his one-handed grab against the Colts. (Bill Ingram / The Palm Beach Post)

Even though the season goes down as 6-10 for the Dolphins, it doesn’t mean there weren’t moments and people worth remembering. Here’s a look at the highlights, lowlights and inexplicables of 2015-16.

Play of the year

Yes, Jarvis Landry really did hold onto the ball
Yes, Jarvis Landry really did hold onto the ball

WR Jarvis Landry

Step aside, Odell Beckham Jr. Your buddy, Landry, scores the NFL’s catch of the year with a 26-yard, one-handed, falling-backward, how’d-he-do-that grab against the Indianapolis Colts.

Most improved

WR Rishard Matthews

Matthews, only 26, had a breakout year, going from 12 receptions for 135 yards last season to 43 catches for 662 yards despite missing five games to injury. That’s the good news. The bad news: He probably priced himself out of the Dolphins’ market for next season.

Most awkward moment

50th anniversary gala

The Dolphins were showing highlights throughout the evening. The ‘60s were marked by the awarding of the franchise to Joe Robbie. The ‘70s: a dynasty. The ‘80s and ‘90s: the Marino Years. The past 1 1/2 decades? Uh … anyone have a suggestion? They showed Michael Thomas’ storybook interception of Tom Brady in the end zone. That was about it.

Quote of the year

Owner Stephen Ross and interim coach Dan Campbell (tie)

Campbell
Campbell

First quote of the season: Ross was asked if he’s getting impatient and ready for results right now. “You’re goddamn right!” he said.

Campbell said, “I think Magic Johnson is a hell of a player” in response to, well, if you don’t know, just Google “Magic Johnson & Dolphins Wife.”

Biggest transformation

C Mike Pouncey

Pouncey was emotional this past offseason when he accepted the team’s contract extension, talking about how grateful he was that the organization stuck with him despite boneheaded mistakes he’d made early in his career. What happened next? Pouncey fulfilled his promise to grow up to such an extent that teammates voted him winner of the Leadership Award.

Still a mystery

RB Jay Ajayi

The Dolphins blew it by putting him on short-term injured reserve with a preseason rib injury, costing him the first half of the season when he probably could have played after the first couple of weeks. Ajayi finished with only 49 carries this season, meaning the Dolphins still don’t know what they have in him if Lamar Miller bolts in free agency.

Head-scratcher 1.0

Dolphins’ game-planning

It wasn’t until late in the season that QB Ryan Tannehill was involved in putting together the game plan? Seriously?

Head-scratcher 2.0

The run game

How the Dolphins went deep into the season with one of the best per-rush averages in the NFL — and one of the worst attempts-per-game averages in the NFL.

Head-scratcher 3.0

Suh
Suh

The run defense

How the Dolphins added Ndamukong Suh to the defensive line and still regressed on run defense, giving up 5 more yards per game over an already lame 2014 performance.

Strangest locker room tale

“Manhattan”

One day, DE Cam Wake went on a monologue to explain why the section of the locker room occupied by himself and Ndamukong Suh — and only those two, despite the presence of six lockers — was considered such prime real estate, you had to be invited simply to apply for occupancy there. He pointed out the many amenities, including his bubble machine (not making this up).

Equally strange locker room tale

OT Ulrick John

One day, the freshly signed John popped up in the locker room … and was assigned a stall smack in the middle of Manhattan, clueless on the significance.

Downright bizarre locker room tale

DE Damontre Moore

Amid a serious interview with Ryan Tannehill over whether the locker room was divided, Moore barged in with a microphone he’d taken from a reporter and asked, if Tannehill felt “blessed and fortunate … to have a beautiful specimen like myself as a teammate.” Tannehill’s response: “No.”

Heartwarming moment

S Walt Aikens

Aikens spread Christmas spirit by purchasing groceries for a grandmother he’d just met in the checkout line. Touched, she took down his address and sent him what became of those groceries — a batch of cookies she’d baked. He wasn’t in any rush to share them with teammates, and who could blame him, as sweet as the whole thing was?

Welcome back

Mike Pouncey in Dolphins throwback uniform
Mike Pouncey in Dolphins throwback uniform

Dolphins throwback jerseys

Simple. Ditch the current jerseys. Wear the old ones. Just wash them first, OK?

It is what it isn’t award

The media

Yeah, that was me grilling Tannehill on what went wrong for this team this year. After he blew off my question by saying the reason for missing the playoffs was they didn’t win enough games, I kept at it, repeatedly asking why as he repeatedly blew off my questions. “I can keep going if you want,” he said as I waved the white flag and told him he’d won. Some took this as license that Tannehill wasn’t taking his job seriously by kissing off the losses. These were the same folks who weren’t there and had no clue of the context. Hey, people: Ryan and I were just having fun, laughing the whole time. And if you think he wasn’t owning up to things he could have done better, you weren’t paying attention to the other 15 weekly media sessions we had.

Best defensive player

S Reshad Jones

Jones
Jones

Still waiting for someone to explain how this guy is just an alternate to the Pro Bowl: 135 tackles, two sacks, five interceptions, including two pick-6s. Somebody get this guy a ticket to Hawaii in first class.

MVP

WR Jarvis Landry

Landry was my pick not only because of what he meant to the offense (1,157 yards on 110 receptions) but his added value on special teams. But even as I cast that vote, I felt guilty about shortchanging Jones. Luckily, enough other voters felt the same way, so Landry and Jones ended up sharing the team’s MVP award. I have a hunch, by the way, that Landry was hurting much more than anyone knew the last half of the season, but he still warranted the pound-for-pound title for yards after contact.