In American football and Canadian football, a sack occurs when the quarterback is tackled behind the line of scrimmage before he can throw a forward pass, when the quarterback is tackled behind the line of scrimmage in the "pocket" and his intent is unclear, or when a passer runs out of bounds behind the line of scrimmage due to defensive pressure. This occurs if the opposing team's defensive line, linebackers or defensive backs are able to apply pass pressure to get past blocking players of the offensive team, or if the quarterback is unable to find a back to hand the ball off to or an available eligible receiver to catch the ball, allowing the defense a longer opportunity to tackle the quarterback. Performing a sack is advantageous for the defending team as the offense loses a down, the line of scrimmage retreats several yards. Better for the defense is a sack causing the quarterback to fumble the ball at or behind the line of scrimmage. A quarterback, pressured but avoids a sack can still be adversely affected by being forced to hurry.
In the National Football League, it is possible to record a sack for zero yards. The QB must pass the statistical line of scrimmage to avoid the sack. If a passer is sacked in his own end zone, the result is a safety and the defending team is awarded two points, unless the football is fumbled and either recovered in the end zone by the defense for a touchdown or recovered by either team outside the end zone. To be considered a sack the quarterback must intend to throw a forward pass. If the play is designed for the quarterback to rush the ball, any loss is subtracted from the quarterback's rushing total. If the quarterback's intent is not obvious, statisticians use certain criteria, such as the offensive line blocking scheme, to decide. Unique situations where a loss reduces a quarterback's rushing total are "kneel downs". A player will receive credit for half of a sack when multiple players contribute to the sacking of a quarterback if more than two players contributed. In the NFL yards lost on the play are added as negative yardage to the team's passing totals.
NCAA continues to subtract sack yardage from individual rushing totals. The term "sack" was first popularized by Hall of Fame defensive end Deacon Jones in the 1960s, who felt that a sack devastated the offense in the same way that a city was devastated when it was sacked. According to former NFL coach Marv Levy, it was Washington Redskins coach George Allen who coined the term when referring to Dallas Cowboys quarterback Craig Morton. Allen purportedly stated before a game, "Before we play those Dallas Cowboys, we’re going to take that Morton salt and pour him into a sack." Prior to "sack", the term "dump" was used, the NFL's statistical office recorded all sacks under "dumping the passer". The NFL only began to keep track of times passers lost yardage in 1961 and no credit was given to the defensive player responsible until 1982. Researcher John Turney of the Pro Football Researchers Association estimated that Jones recorded 173½ sacks in his career. Controversial NFL rule changes made for the 2018 season prohibit tacklers landing on the quarterback after making a sack, with the punishment being a roughing the passer penalty.
Of all forms of defensive pressure against the opposition's passer, sacks provide the most immediate impact by ending the offensive play. However, quarterbacks sometimes avoid a sack by throwing an incomplete pass or risking an interception. According to Football Outsiders, a quarterback hurry is the most common form of pass pressure. In the 2009 NFL season, there were 1,106 sacks and 3,268 hurries, a hurried quarterback averaged fewer yards per pass play compared to the average pass play; these records are from 1982 onwards, the year the NFL started recording sacks. NFL single-season sacks: 22.5, Michael Strahan, 2001 NFL career sacks: 200, Bruce Smith, 1985–2003 NFL single-game sacks: 7, Derrick Thomas, November 11, 1990 vs. Seattle Seahawks NFL sacks, rookie season: 14.5, Jevon Kearse, 1999 NFL seasons with 20 or more sacks: 2, J. J. Watt, 2012 & 2014 NFL most consecutive games recording a sack: 69, Tampa Bay, 1999–2003 NFL career sacks taken: 525, Brett Favre, 1991–2010 NFL single-season sacks taken: 76, David Carr, 2002 NFL game sacks taken: 12, Warren Moon, September 29, 1985 and Donovan McNabb, September 30, 2007 NFL Super Bowl most sacks in a single game, 12 Carolina vs. Denver, 50 NFL Super Bowl most sacks by a player in a single game, 3Reggie White – Green Bay vs.
New England, XXXI Darnell Dockett – Arizona vs. Pittsburgh, XLIII Kony Ealy – Carolina vs. Denver, 50 Grady Jarrett – Atlanta vs. New England, LINFL Super Bowl most sacks, career 4.5, Charles Haley – 5 games San Francisco XXIII, XXIV, Dallas XXVII, XXVIII, XXX List of National Football League annual sacks leaders List of National Football League career sacks leaders The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game – non-fiction book by Michael Lewis Sack Story, an article describing the controversy over the sack record Pro-football-reference.com enumeration of career sack leaders
Wisconsin Badgers football
The Wisconsin Badgers football team is a division I college football program. The Badgers have competed in the Big Ten Conference since its formation in 1896, they play their home games at the fourth-oldest stadium in college football. Wisconsin is one of 26 College football programs to win 700 or more games. Wisconsin has had two Heisman Trophy winners, Alan Ameche and Ron Dayne, have had Eleven former players inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame; as of December 27, 2018, the Badgers have an all-time record of 705–495–53. The team's nickname originates in the early history of Wisconsin. In the 1820s and 1830s, prospectors came to the state looking for minerals lead. Without shelter in the winter, the miners had to "live like badgers" in tunnels burrowed into hillsides; the first Badger football team took the field in 1889, losing the only two games it played that season. In 1890, Wisconsin earned its first victory with a 106–0 drubbing of Whitewater Normal School, still the most lopsided win in school history.
However, the next week the Badgers suffered what remains their most lopsided defeat, a humiliating 63–0 loss at the hands of the University of Minnesota. Since the Badgers and Gophers have met 127 times, making Wisconsin vs Minnesota the most-played rivalry in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Upon the formation of the Big Ten conference in 1896, Wisconsin became the first-ever conference champion with a 7–1–1 record. Over the next ten years, the Badgers won or shared the conference title three more times, recorded their first undefeated season, going 9–0–0. With the exception of their second undefeated season in 1912, in which they won their fifth Big Ten title; the 1912 season would be their last conference title until 1952. The team posted winning seasons over the next several seasons however. 1942 was an important year for Wisconsin football. On October 24, the #6 ranked Badgers defeated the #1 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes at Camp Randall, catapulting Wisconsin to the #2 spot in the AP poll. For the Badgers, their national championship hopes were dashed in a 6–0 defeat by the Iowa Hawkeyes the following week.
Wisconsin won the remainder of its games, finishing the season 8–1–1 and #3 in the AP, while garnering the Helms Athletic Foundation vote for National Champion, giving the program its only National Championship to date. Afterwards, the Badgers struggled to regain their momentum, with their efforts hampered by many of their star players leaving as a result of World War II. In the late 1940s, fans began insisting that head coach Harry Stuhldreher resign, many times chanting "Goodbye Harry" during 1948, where the Badgers finished 2-7. Stuhldreher stepped down while keeping his duties as athletic director. Stuhldreher named Ivy Williamson as head coach The Badgers experienced great success during the 1950s under Williamson, finishing in the AP Top 25 eight times that decade. In one stretch, from 1950-1954, the Badgers went 26-8-3; the Badgers' success during those seasons was defined by a stout defense, dubbed "The Hard Rocks", which finished in the top 5 of the nation in overall defense, including leading the nation in 1951.
In 1952, the team received its first #1 ranking by the Associated Press. That season, the Badgers again claimed the Big Ten title and earned their first trip to the Rose Bowl. There they were defeated 7–0 by the Southern California, would finish the season ranked #11 in the AP. In 1954 after a 7-2 season, Wisconsin's Alan Ameche became the first Badger to win the Heisman Trophy. Ivy Williamson stepped down as head coach in 1955 to become athletic director, was replaced by his former assistant coach, Milt Bruhn. Bruhn would continue Wisconsin's success, after an initial setback with a 1-5-3 record in 1956. Wisconsin returned to the Rose Bowl as Big Ten Champions in 1959, but fell to the Washington Huskies, 44-8. Continuing under the direction of Bruhn in 1962, the Badgers had another landmark season, spearheaded by the passing combination of Ron Vander Kelen to All-American Pat Richter; the Badgers standout victory was an upset of #1-ranked Northwestern, who were coached by the legendary Ara Parseghian.
The Badgers finished 8-1, earned their eighth Big Ten title, faced the top-ranked USC Trojans in the Rose Bowl. Despite a narrow 42–37 defeat, the Badgers still ended the season ranked #2 in both the AP and Coaches polls. Following the successful 1962 campaign, Wisconsin football scuffled, Milt Bruhn resigned in 1966 after three straight losing seasons. Wisconsin chose former assistant coach John Coatta; the Badgers finished worse under Coatta, going winless for 23 straight games from 1967-1969, winning only 3 games overall during Coatta's short reign, each of the wins occurring during the 1969 season. What stung worse for Badger fans during the three season, was the coach that Wisconsin turned down for the head coaching role, Bo Schembechler, who would become a coaching legend at Michigan. In 1970, new athletic director Elroy Hirsch named John Jardine as head coach. While the Badgers weren't a consistent winner under Jardine, the program regained stability, brought excitement in running backs Rufus "Roadrunner" Ferguson and Billy Marek.
The Badgers went 37-47-3 under Jardine, who stepped down in 1977. After more subpar seasons from 1978-1980, the team had a string of seven-win seasons from 1981–84 under Dave McClain. During that time the Badgers played in the Garden State Bowl, Independence Bowl, Hall of Fame Classic Bo
2011 NFL Draft
The 2011 NFL Draft was the 76th installment of the annual NFL Draft, where the franchises of the National Football League select newly eligible football players. Like the 2010 draft, the 2011 draft was held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, New York, over three days: this year, the first round took place on Thursday, April 28, 2011; the Carolina Panthers, who had the worst record for the 2010 NFL season at 2–14, had the right to the first selection in each round of the draft. With the first pick the Panthers selected Auburn University quarterback Cam Newton, the 2010 Heisman Trophy winner. A second Heisman Trophy winner, running back Mark Ingram Jr. from Alabama was selected by New Orleans late in the first round. This was the eleventh draft which included multiple Heisman winners, the first time that it has occurred in consecutive drafts. Five of the first six picks played college football in the Southeastern Conference. For the second consecutive year—and the third time in NFL history—the top two selections of the draft won Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year awards, respectively.
The top two picks in the draft, Cam Newton and Denver linebacker Von Miller, played against each other in Super Bowl 50 on the teams that drafted them. This marked the first time that the top two picks in a single draft faced each other in the Super Bowl; the Broncos won, 24-10, with Miller winning Super Bowl MVP. Teams were allowed ten minutes to make each selection in the first round, seven minutes per selection in the second round and five minutes in each of the subsequent rounds; the time allotment ran out for the Baltimore Ravens on their first round pick, allowing the Kansas City Chiefs to move up to the 26th pick and dropping the Ravens to the 27th pick. It is considered one of the best drafts in recent years, with many players with Hall of Fame level talent, including 3-time Defensive Player of the Year J. J. Watt, 2015 NFL MVP Cam Newton, Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller, 2015 and 2018 receiving yards leader Julio Jones, perennial All-Pro players such as Richard Sherman, A. J. Green, Tyron Smith, Justin Houston, Patrick Peterson.
The following is the breakdown of the 254 players selected by position: Despite an ongoing labor dispute between league owners and players over a new collective bargaining agreement, a provision in the expired CBA ensured that this draft would still take place, despite the fact that the owners had imposed a lockout to prevent the start of the league year. Fans in attendance at the draft expressed their displeasure with the lockout by booing NFL commissioner Roger Goodell during the event and chanting "We want football."Due to the labor situation and the lockout, franchises were not able to trade players for draft selections, were unable to sign or contact drafted or undrafted players until the lockout was lifted. Because of the lockout, the Panthers could not sign or negotiate with their first draft pick before the draft began, as other teams have done in years past; the restriction on trading players extended to players selected in this draft—teams were unable to swap any player once selected, e.g. as happened in 2004 when the San Diego Chargers and New York Giants completed a draft day trade involving Eli Manning and Philip Rivers, selected first and fourth respectively.
In addition, with no agreement in place between owners and players mandating future drafts, teams were advised by the league that any trades involving future draft picks would be made at the teams' "own risk". This warning did not dissuade several teams from making trades involving future selections; the National Football League Players Association considered plans to dissuade potential prospects from attending the draft, but a record 25 potential draftees attended the event, including Von Miller, one of the named plaintiffs in the players' antitrust lawsuit against the league. A record 56 underclassmen announced their intention to forgo their remaining NCAA eligibility and declare themselves eligible to be selected in the draft. Of the 56 eligible underclassmen, 43 were drafted; the selection of Newton, a junior, marked the third straight draft where the first overall selection was an underclassman. Since non-seniors were first eligible to be drafted in 1990, fourteen first overall picks have been players who have entered the draft early.
Eight of the first ten players chosen in this draft were non-seniors, which broke the record of six set in 1997 and matched in 2006. Jake Locker and Von Miller were the only two seniors among the first ten draftees; the draft order is based on each team's record from the previous season, with teams which qualified for the postseason selecting after those which failed to make the playoffs. A supplemental draft was held on August 22, 2011. For each player selected in the supplemental draft, the team forfeits its pick in that round in the draft of the following season. Six players were available in the supplemental draft. In the explanations below, denotes trades that took place during the draft, while indicates trades completed pre-draft. Round one Round two Round three Round four Round five Round six Round seven Two picks in the 2011 draft were forfeited: The players selected in this draft played in the following college football athletic conferences: List of first overall National Football League draft picks Mr. Irrelevant – last overall National Football League draft picks Notes General references"2011 NFL Draft Tracker".
NFL. Archived from the
A fumble in American and Canadian football occurs when a player who has possession and control of the ball loses it before being downed, scoring, or going out of bounds. By rule, it is any act other than passing, punting, or successful handing that results in loss of player possession. A fumble may be forced by a defensive player who either grabs or punches the ball or butts the ball with his helmet. A fumbled ball may be advanced by either team, it is one of three events that can cause a turnover, where possession of the ball can change during play. Under American rules a fumble may be confused with a muff. A muff occurs where a player drops a ball that he does not have possession of, such as while attempting to catch a lateral pass or improperly fielding a kicking play such as a punt. Ball security is the ability of a player to maintain control over the football during play and thus avoid a fumble. Thus, losing possession of the ball via a fumble includes not only dropping the ball before being downed.
If the ball is fumbled the defensive team may recover the ball and advance it to their opponents' goal. The same is true for the offense, but when the offense recovers the ball it tries to down it. In American football the offense cannot advance the ball if it recovers its own fumble on fourth down, or in the last two minutes of a half, unless the ball is recovered by the fumbler. However, if the offense fumbles the ball, the defense recovers and fumbles back to the offense, they would get a first down since possession had formally changed over the course of the play though the ball had never been blown dead. In American football, there is no separate signal to indicate a fumble recovery. If the offense recovers its own fumble, the official will indicate the recovery by a hand signal showing the next down. If the defense recovers the fumble, the official will indicate with a "first down" signal in the direction the recovering team is driving the ball; some officials have erroneously used a "first down" signal when the offense recovers its own fumble and the recovery did not result in a first down.
This is not the same thing as when a forward pass is not caught. In this latter case, it is an incomplete pass. However, if the receiver catches the ball, but drops it after gaining control of the ball, considered a fumble. Any number of fumbles can be committed during a play, including fumbles by the team on defense. Most famously, Dallas Cowboys defender Leon Lett fumbled during Super Bowl XXVII while celebrating during his own fumble return. A sometimes controversial rule is referred to as "the ground cannot cause a fumble". If a player is tackled and loses control of the ball at or after the time he makes contact with the ground, the player is treated as down and the ball is not in play. However, in the NFL and CFL, if a ball carrier falls without an opponent contacting him, the ground can indeed cause a fumble; this is because in those leagues the ball carrier is not "down" unless an opponent first makes contact, or the runner is out of bounds. If a player fumbles in most other leagues, as soon as the knee or elbow touches the ground, the ball carrier is considered down.
It is possible for the ground to cause a fumble in college football if the ball hits the ground before any part of the ball carrier's body touches the ground. An example was the fumble by Arkansas quarterback Clint Stoerner vs. Tennessee in 1998; the effects of fumbles vary when the ball goes out of bounds without being recovered: A fumble going out-of-bounds between the end zones is retained by the last team with possession. If the ball was moving backwards with regard to the recovering team, it is spotted where it went out of bounds. If the ball was moving forwards, it is spotted. A fumble going out-of-bounds in the endzone being attacked results in the defending team assuming possession via touchback if the offensive team forced the ball into the endzone. If the defensive team forced the ball into the endzone it is a safety for the offense. A fumble going out-of-bounds in the endzone being defended is ruled a safety if the offensive team forced the ball into the endzone. A fumble going out-of-bounds in the endzone being defended is ruled a touchback if the defensive team forced the ball into the endzone.
The ball is turned over to the defensive team. In all cases, a fumble recovered by an out-of-bounds player is considered an out-of-bounds fumble if the ball never leaves the field of play. In addition, a punted or place-kicked ball that touches any part of a player on the receiving team, whether or not the player gains control, is considered to be live and is treated like a fumble. Lateral passes that are caught by a member of the opposing team are recorded as fumbles as opposed to interceptions. Since footballs tend to bounce in unpredictable ways on artificial turf, attempting to recover and advance a fumbled ball is risky for those with good manual coord
Matt Bowen (American football)
Matthew Sean Bowen is a former American football strong safety in the National Football League. He works as a sports journalist. Bowen was an all-state, all-area and all-conference selection as a quarterback at Glenbard West High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, he was recruited to Iowa as a quarterback after finishing his senior season as team captain and MVP after passing for 1,533 yards and 17 touchdowns, gaining 1,329 yards and 17 scores on the ground. He played three seasons of baseball and four seasons of basketball, his mentor was Hasani Steele. Bowen was a four-year letterwinner at Iowa, he started his final two seasons and earned second-team All-America recognition and first-team All-Big Ten honors, he posted a career-high 109 tackles and two INTs as a senior and led the team with 92 tackles and two interceptions as a junior. Matt Bowen was drafted in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft by the St. Louis Rams, he was the 198th player to be selected overall and the final player to be selected before the New England Patriots drafted Tom Brady one pick later.
He earned St. Louis' Rookie of the Year award after starting at strong safety in two contests and appearing in 16 regular season games, he saw action in the Rams' Wild Card playoff at New Orleans. He finished the season with two passes broken up, he recorded 21 special teams tackles to tie for the club lead. In 2001, Bowen signed with the Green Bay Packers to provide depth and help to the Packers secondary and special teams, he started the 2001 campaign with St. Louis, but suffered a broken right foot in the season opener and was inactive for the following two games, he was placed on injured reserve on October 3 and was waived on November 6. He played in Green Bay's last five games on defense and special teams, recording four special teams tackles. In 2002, Bowen appeared in all 16 games, starting six, contributing as a backup safety, a valued special teams contributor as well as a weekly participant in the club's dime package defense, he was named the starter at strong safety during Weeks 4–7 when Antuan Edwards was sidelined with a fractured forearm.
He started at free safety for Darren Sharper in the regular-season finale. He made his first-career postseason start against Atlanta in the NFC Wild Card playoff contest, responding to the challenge with a game- and career-high 15 tackles and two passes defensed, he finished the season with a career-high 42 tackles, good for second among reserves. Bowen added a forced fumble, one interception and seven passes defended. Bowen signed with the Washington Redskins as a restricted free agent from the Green Bay Packers in March 2003. For the first time in his NFL career, Bowen started all 16 games in a season, he finished his campaign with 94 tackles, three interceptions, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. In 2004, Bowen started the first five games at strong safety for the Redskins before suffering a torn ACL on his right knee on a special teams play, he was placed on injured reserve on October 11. In 2005, Bowen tallied 14 tackles, including 13 solo. On March 10, 2006, the Washington Redskins released him as an unrestricted free-agent, upon which on March 16, 2006, he signed a two-year, $2 million contract with the Buffalo Bills, which included a $300,000 signing bonus.
He appeared in five games for the Bills and was subsequently released on March 1, 2007. Bowen works as a sports journalist and NFL writer for ESPN where he provides a former player's perspective on the inner workings of the league, he spent time working for Bleacher Report and the National Football Post website and has been a contributor to the Chicago Tribune website. As of 2011, he is a contributor on the Boers and Bernstein show, he is pursuing a master's degree in journalism from DePaul University. Career statistics and player information from NFL.com · Pro-Football-Reference ·
2003 NFL season
The 2003 NFL season was the 84th regular season of the National Football League. Regular-season play was held from September 4, 2003, to December 28, 2003. Due to damage caused by the Cedar Fire, Qualcomm Stadium was used as an emergency shelter, thus the Miami Dolphins–San Diego Chargers regular-season match on October 27 was instead played at Sun Devil Stadium, the home field of the Arizona Cardinals; the playoffs began on January 3, 2004. The NFL title was won by the New England Patriots when they defeated the Carolina Panthers, 32–29, in Super Bowl XXXVIII at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas, on February 1; this was the last season until the 2016 NFL season where neither of the previous Super Bowl participants made the playoffs. If an onside kick inside the final five minutes of the game does not go 10 yards, goes out of bounds, or is touched illegally, the receiving team will have the option of accepting the penalty and getting the ball immediately; the kicking team was penalized, but had another chance to kick again from five yards back.
League officials encouraged networks to cut to a commercial break if an instant replay challenge review was initiated. Networks were not permitted to utilize those game stoppages for their prescribed commercial periods. Dick Hantak and Bob McElwee retired in the 2003 off-season. Hantak joined the league as a back judge in 1978, was assigned Super Bowl XVII in that position, he was promoted to referee in 1986, working Super Bowl XXVII. McElwee joined the NFL in 1976 as a line judge, became a referee in 1980, he was the referee for three Super Bowls: XXII, XXVIII, XXXIV. Walt Anderson and Pete Morelli were promoted to referee to replace McElwee. Cincinnati Bengals – Marvin Lewis. Dallas Cowboys – Bill Parcells. Detroit Lions – Steve Mariucci. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jack Del Rio. San Francisco 49ers – Dennis Erickson. Philadelphia Eagles – New stadium: Lincoln Financial Field. New Orleans Saints – New AstroPlay home turf by mid-season Atlanta Falcons – New FieldTurf surface Green Bay Packers – New remodeled Lambeau Field Chicago Bears – New remodelled Soldier Field.
Buffalo Bills – New AstroPlay home turf Atlanta Falcons – New logo, new uniforms Detroit Lions – New uniforms, added black trim on logo and numbers Philadelphia Eagles – Added silver trim to numbers on uniforms. Introduce new home alternative uniforms. Black uniforms with white numbers with midnight green shadow in numbers. San Diego Chargers – White pants with road uniforms. New England Patriots – Added third alternative uniforms. Silver uniforms. Miami Dolphins – Added third alternate uniforms. Orange uniforms. Houston Texans – Added third alternate uniforms. Red Uniforms. Cleveland Browns – Added new alternate orange pants last worn in the Kardiac Kids era of coach Sam Rutigliano. Tennessee Titans – Added third alternate uniforms, powder blue Indianapolis finished ahead of Tennessee in the AFC South based on better head-to-head record. Denver clinched the AFC 6 seed instead of Miami based on better conference record. Buffalo finished ahead of N. Y. Jets in the AFC East based on better division record.
Jacksonville finished ahead of Houston in the AFC South based on better division record. Oakland finished ahead of San Diego in the AFC West based on better conference record. Philadelphia clinched the NFC 1 seed instead of St. Louis based on better conference record. Seattle clinched the NFC 5 seed instead of Dallas based on strength of victory. Within each conference, the four division winners and the two wild card teams qualified for the playoffs; the four division winners are seeded 1 through 4 based on their overall won-lost-tied record, the wild card teams are seeded 5 and 6. The NFL does not use a fixed bracket playoff system, there are no restrictions regarding teams from the same division matching up in any round. In the first round, dubbed the wild-card playoffs or wild-card weekend, the third-seeded division winner hosts the sixth seed wild card, the fourth seed hosts the fifth; the 1 and 2 seeds from each conference receive a bye in the first round. In the second round, the divisional playoffs, the number 1 seed hosts the worst surviving seed from the first round, while the number 2 seed will play the other team.
The two surviving teams from each conference's divisional playoff games meet in the respective AFC and NFC Conference Championship games, hosted by the higher seed. Although the Super Bowl, the fourth and final round of the playoffs, is played at a neutral site, the designated home team is based on an annual rotation by conference. * Indicates overtime victory ** Indicates double overtime victory The following teams and players set all-time NFL records during the season: The 2003 NFL Draft was held from April 26 to 27, 2003 at New York City's Theater at Madison Square Garden. With the first pick, the Cincinnati Bengals selected quarterback Carson Palmer from the University of Southern California. NFL Record and Fact Book NFL History 2001– Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League Football Outsiders 2003 Team Efficiency Ratings Pro Football Reference.com – 2003
The Miami Dolphins are a professional American football team based in the Miami metropolitan area. The Dolphins compete in the National Football League as a member club of the league's American Football Conference East division; the Dolphins play their home games at Hard Rock Stadium in the northern suburb of Miami Gardens and are headquartered in Davie, Florida. The Dolphins are Florida's oldest professional sports team. Of the four AFC East teams, they are the only team in the division, not a charter member of the American Football League; the Dolphins were founded by attorney-politician Joe actor-comedian Danny Thomas. They began play in the AFL in 1966; the region had not had a professional football team since the days of the Miami Seahawks, who played in the All-America Football Conference in 1946, before becoming the first incarnation of the Baltimore Colts. For the first few years, the Dolphins' full-time training camp and practice facilities were at Saint Andrew's School, a private boys boarding prep school in Boca Raton.
In the 1970 AFL–NFL merger, the Dolphins joined the NFL. The team made its first Super Bowl appearance in Super Bowl VI, losing to the Dallas Cowboys, 24–3; the following year, the Dolphins completed the NFL's only perfect season, culminating in a Super Bowl win, winning all 14 of their regular season games, all three of their playoff games, including Super Bowl VII. They were the third NFL team to accomplish a perfect regular season; the next year, the Dolphins won Super Bowl VIII, becoming the first team to appear in three consecutive Super Bowls, the second team to win back-to-back championships. Miami appeared in Super Bowl XVII and Super Bowl XIX, losing both games. For most of their early history, the Dolphins were coached by Don Shula, the most successful head coach in professional football history in terms of total games won. Under Shula, the Dolphins posted losing records in only two of his 26 seasons as the head coach. During the period spanning 1983 to the end of 1999, quarterback Dan Marino became one of the most prolific passers in NFL history, breaking numerous league passing records.
Marino led the Dolphins to five division titles, 10 playoff appearances and Super Bowl XIX before retiring following the 1999 season. In 2008, the Dolphins became the first team in NFL history to win their division and make a playoff appearance following a league-worst 1–15 season; that same season, the Dolphins upset the 16–0 New England Patriots on the road during Week 3, handing the Patriots' their first regular season loss since December 10, 2006, in which coincidentally, they were beaten by the Dolphins. The Miami Dolphins joined the American Football League when an expansion franchise was awarded to lawyer Joseph Robbie and actor Danny Thomas in 1965 for $7.5 million, although Thomas would sell his stake in the team to Robbie. During the summer of 1966, the Dolphins' training camp was in St. Pete Beach with practices in August at Boca Ciega High School in Gulfport; the Dolphins had a combined 15–39–2 record in their first four seasons under head coach George Wilson, before Don Shula was hired as head coach.
Shula was a Paul Brown disciple, lured from the Baltimore Colts, after losing Super Bowl III two seasons earlier to the AFL's New York Jets, finishing 8–5–1 the following season. Shula got his first NFL coaching job from then-Detroit Head Coach George Wilson, who hired him as the defensive coordinator; the AFL merged with the NFL in 1970, the Dolphins were assigned to the AFC East division in the NFL's new American Football Conference. For the rest of the 20th century, the Shula-led Dolphins emerged as one of the most dominant teams in the NFL with a strong running game and defense, with only two losing seasons between 1970 and 1999, they were successful in the 1970s, completing the first complete perfect season in NFL history by finishing with a 14–0 regular season record in 1972 and winning the Super Bowl that year. It was the first of one of three appearances in a row; the 1980s and 1990s were moderately successful. The early 80s teams made two Super Bowls despite losing both times, saw the emergence of future Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino, who went on to break numerous NFL passing records, holding many of them until the late 2000s.
After winning every game against the division rival Buffalo Bills in the 1970s, the two teams developed a competitive rivalry in the 80s and 90s competing for AFC supremacy when Jim Kelly emerged as the quarterback for the Bills. The Dolphins have maintained a strong rivalry with the New York Jets throughout much of their history. Following the retirements of Marino and Shula and the rise of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, the Dolphins suffered a decline in the 2000s, including a 1–15 season in 2007, the worst in franchise history, they only made the playoffs three times in that decade and were unable to find a consistent quarterback to replace Marino, shuffling 13 quarterbacks and five head coaches. However, the Dolphins have been competitive against the Patriots despite their decline, with notable wins coming in 2004, 2008, 2018. While quarterback Ryan Tannehill provided some stability at the position throughout most of the 2010s, the team has nonetheless been mediocre, only having made the playoffs once during the decade.
The Dolphins share intense rivalries with their three AFC East opponents, but have had historical or occasional rivalries with other teams such as their cross-state rivals Tampa Bay Buccaneers, their former divisional rivals Indianapolis Colts, the Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers, Oakland Raiders, to a lesser extent, the Jacksonville Jaguars