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Dolphins News: Nedney, Chris Gray and 5 Others Released
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Dolphins News: Nedney, Chris Gray and 5 Others Released
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Aug 12, 1997: -- Nedney, Chris Gray and 5 Others Released --

The Dolphins announced today that they have released 7 players from the roster to bring it down to 74 total. The players released are former starters Joe Nedney and Chris Gray, along with RB Brandon Bennett, CB Melvin Cunningham, CB Cedric Davis, WR Terence Davis, and QB Spence Fischer.

Gray was a fifth round draft choice of the Dolphins in 1993 and has started about half of his career at right guard for the Dolphins. Last year, he was the starting offensive guard until he was injured in the middle of the year.

Joe Nedney was signed as a free agent last year and went on to displace Pete Stoyanovich as the starting kicker for the team. This spring, the Dolphins brought in Olindo Mare to compete with Nedney and decided after this weekend that Mare had won the starting job.

Brandon Bennett was signed as a free agent last year and spent most of the season on the practice squad, along with quarterback Spence Fischer. The rest of the players were unrestricted free agents signed by the Dolphins this spring.

In other news, following the game against the Bears on Sunday, the Dolphins have decided to take Mike Crawford out of the starting lineup and move Dwight Hollier into the middle. Anthony Harris will move from his current weakside linebacker's slot into Hollier's old strongside spot and rookie Derrick Rodgers will get his chance to start when he takes the starting position at weakside linebacker in place of Anthony Harris.

Following the waivers and other changes, the Dolphins depth chart looks approximately like this:

Pos  Starters      2nd Team    3rd Team    Others       

QB - Marino        Erickson    Huard 
RB - Abdul-Jabbar  McPhail     Parmalee    Spikes
FB - Pritchett     Wilson      Dotson      Nealy
WR - Barnett(inj.) L.Thomas    Manning     Green(inj.)      Dar Dar(inj.)   
WR - Mcduffie      Jordan      Dawsey      Stanley          Miller(inj)
TE - Drayton       Perry       Wainright   Reeves 
LT - Webb          B.Smith     Buckey
LG - Sims          Elmore      Wheeler
C  - Ruddy         Bock        Elmore
RG - McIver        Young
RT - Brown         Sheldon     Daniels


RDE - Taylor       L.Jackson   Stubbs(inj)  
RDT - Gardener     Hand        Tanner
LDT - Bowens       Burton      Sturgis         Mohring
LDE - Armstrong    Anderson 
WLB - Rodgers      Lillibridge
MLB - Hollier      Crawford    Z.Thomas(inj)   Izzo(inj.)
SLB - Harris       Ward        Brigance
CB  - Jackson      Madison(inj)Holmes       
CB  - Buckley      Jacobs      Wilson       
FS  - Harris       Hill        Anthony      
SS  - Wooden       Teague      Little  


P - Kidd 
K - Mare 
Pr - Jordan, Holmes 
Kr - Holmes, Spikes, Jordan, McPhail

My Comments:

Whew! When JJ makes up his mind, things certainly happen fast and that makes for a very exciting camp.

The release of Nedney was surprising enough, but the subsequent release of Chris Gray is just astonishing. Not because Gray is that great a player, but because Gray is an experienced veteran and the Dolphins are short on real talent at the offensive line position.

It's also a shock because I didn't see it coming....

Look at it this way - while Gray isn't the best offensive lineman around by any means, he kept working his way into the starting lineup every year. You'd hear that Gray stunk and that they wanted to get rid of him and then he'd be starting again.

And now he's gone. I know that JJ always takes decisive steps when needed, but I still am having trouble getting used to the temp of his moves.

Of course, I've already made my feelings known about Nedney. Even if Mare graded out better in camp, that doesn't guarantee that he'll be better on the field and I would liked to see them let Nedney and Mare kick against one another for the last two pre-season games.

Still, if Mare works out, JJ will be hailed as a genius. If Mare bombs, JJ will be lambasted for not keeping Nedney.

Now, I'm off to catch my breath after all these changes.

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Curt Fennell, curt@phins.com, DOLFAN in New Rochelle (almost)

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