Over the weekend I shared with you the list of players that must step up from what their career byline has been so far in order to turn the Dolphins from also-rans to playoff contenders in 2010. In that regard, I served up positive spin because many of the guys I mentioned could indeed turn into excellent players.
But there is, of course, the famine side to the feast I served.
Players obviously can go in the other direction as well, playing well one year and then laying an egg the next. Joey Porter took that route in 2009. Chad Pennington was on that path the season's first three games until he got injured. Akin Ayodele also went in that direction in 2009 after a solid 2008.
Well, the folks at Pro Football Focus have put together an NFL-wide All-Declined team. That team is comprised of the players whose careers are on the downward trek. But the list also includes players who simply suffered from down years.
One Miami Dolphins player made the team.
ILB Channing Crowder.
Crowder was pretty good in 2008 -- at least good enough to earn a three-year contract from Bill Parcells, Jeff Ireland and Tony Sparano. Crowder led the team in tackles in nine 2008 games. The Dolphins bought in on Crowder.
But after delivering a career-high 114 tackles, six passes defensed, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in 2008, Crowder's 2009 production tanked.
He had a career-worst 51 tackles, one sack, three passes defensed, and one interception in 2009. Crowder led the team in tackles in only one game.
"[He was] unable to make the big plays and really out of place in coverage," the Pro Football Focus guys write. "Definition of a down year."