The Miami Dolphins have been on a spending spree recently and they have surely upgraded their offense and their defense, but luckily for Dolfans the team is set at the punter position with one of the best in the business.
Brandon Fields has been a ‘Phin since 2007 which makes him the longest serving player currently in aqua and orange. He has improved annually, and should have been honored as a 2013 Pro Bowl player for his fantastic 2012 season, but he (mistakenly and inexplicably) was not. This veteran had a whopping 50.2 average this past season, anything north of 50.0 is rarefied air for the position.
Check out Fields’ progression: 17th in punting average as a rookie, and also 17th in his second season…then 2009 saw Fields improve allll the way up to no.6 in the NFL…then no.5…followed by no.3 in 2011…and then this past season he was numero uno. Fields was also tied for 11th best as far as punts inside the 20, and the previous two seasons saw him in the top-10 for that stat. Pretty clear that this guy is producing in a position that does not get a lot of press or love as the punter taking the field is a sign that the offense sputtered. Each season Fields has punted between 73 to 78 times so regardless of who is running the offense we see that he pretty much gets called on the same amount of times. His production has increased annually to the point where the Dolphins have an absolute asset in the 28 year old from Southfield, Michigan.
It is also worth noting that Fields is the holder on field goals and extra points, another important yet thankless position that he contributes through.
Only a handful of NFL teams can consider their punter as a weapon, but Joe Philbin and the Dolphins are certainly one of those teams. Obviously it stinks to be forced to punt, but Miami has a stud at the position and I am very comfortable predicting that Fields will be one of many Dolphins named to the 2014 Pro Bowl. Throw in how good Marcus Thigpen is as a returner and we see the 2013 Dolphins have the punting aspect down pat.