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 MIAMI (AP) -Mercury Morris says yes. Larry Csonka says no. Manny Fernandez says maybe.
The Miami Dolphins who went 17-0 in 1972 now ponder whether the franchise is in danger of going 0-16 in 2007.
``If I was the Dolphins, I would be concerned about that happening,'' Morris said. ``This is going to follow them around. I would not want to be in their position.''
Their position is last place. The Dolphins are spending their bye week licking their wounds from an 0-8 start, worst in franchise history. It's small consolation the St. Louis Rams are also 0-8, because Miami doesn't get to play them.
The Dolphins ran the table 35 years ago to achieve the NFL's only perfect season. Can the '07 Dolphins run the table to complete a perfectly awful season?
No team has gone 0-16.
``It's hard to contemplate, but obviously it's possible,'' Fernandez said. ``They still have half a season to play.''
Csonka recalled an 0-5-1 start with Miami in 1969 before the team rallied to win three games.
``It was dismal, but nobody talked about getting out of Dodge. We talked about getting better,'' Csonka said. ``I look for the Dolphins to come on toward the end of the season. New talent will start coming to the top.''
Cam Cameron still seeks his first victory as an NFL head coach. He's the Dolphins' fourth coach since 2004, a big change from the days of Don Shula, who earned 17 of his NFL-record 347 victories in 1972.
Shula said he can't identify with the current situation.
``I wouldn't want to,'' he said. ``I had two losing years - 6-8 and 6-10 - out of 33. ...
``Everybody is down on them. The important thing is what happens from here on out.''
While the '72 Dolphins differ on the likelihood of Miami going 0-for-'07, there's also no consensus about the chances of a perfect season by New England or Indianapolis. The Patriots and Colts meet Sunday in a showdown of unbeaten teams.
``I'd like to see them play five quarters and be tied,'' Csonka said with a laugh.
Jim Langer said he anticipates the winner will finish the regular season 16-0.
``This is the first season I've witnessed in quite a while where we have a couple of teams where men are playing boys,'' Langer said. ``Anybody that watches football would agree the Colts or Patriots are both capable of going undefeated.''
Shula saw the Patriots play last month in Miami, when they scored 42 points in the first half.
``They looked so strong in every department,'' Shula said. ``The team that wins that game Sunday has a shot at running the table.''
If a team goes 19-0, Shula said he'll be the first to phone with congratulations. As the years go by, the '72 Dolphins worry less about a team eclipsing their achievement.
``Am I concerned? No,'' Morris said. ``If someone goes undefeated, their parking spot is behind us. There's no matching what we did. There's only doing it for the second time.''
Regardless, Morris doubts New England or Indy can go 19-0. He said the odds are better that Miami will finish 0-16.
And he's not worried about that, either.
``The Dolphins are not embarrassing me, because our record's at the top of the heap,'' Morris said. ``That's not my team. People say, `Your team is doing bad.' I say, `My team all has AARP cards.'''
Morris and many of his teammates reached three consecutive Super Bowls and won two in a row. But some of those players also endured a lot of losing.
Morris and Fernandez were with Csonka on the 1969 team. So was Jim Kiick.
``It was difficult to be on the losing end, but you saw the light at the end of the tunnel,'' Kiick said. ``Looking at the Dolphins right now, you don't see that.
``There's no stability in the franchise. You have a different system every year, and it has to be frustrating for everybody. They change things so often, nothing remains constant.''
The '72 Dolphins will hold their 35-year reunion the weekend of Miami's game against Baltimore on Dec. 16. The Dolphins could go into that game 0-13.
But Kiick foresees a win this season.
``It's so difficult to go undefeated,'' he said, ``and so difficult to lose all your games.''
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