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NFL demographics: Fins biggest, Pats oldest

The Miami Dolphins have the AFC's heaviest and least experienced team.

The New England Patriots have the oldest.

One team is slimmer than the Buffalo Bills.

Those are some of the nuggets extracted from the NFL's demographic report based on the 53-man rosters from opening day. The league took the vital stats from each player and computed the average player.

He's a shade under 6-foot-2, weighs 247.41 pounds is roughly 26 1/2 years old with 4.5 seasons of NFL experience.

The average NFL team opened with 9.6 rookie or first-year players and 10.6 players who are 30 or older.

The Dolphins had the second-heaviest club at 251.4 pounds, a pound lighter than the Dallas Cowboys.

It's probably no coincidence Dolphins football operations boss Bill Parcells and general manager Jeff Ireland played a major role in assembling both rosters.

Parcells values size, illustrated by the fact the Dolphins had eight players on their opening roster who were 200 pounds or lighter. Only three teams had fewer, including the Cowboys with a league-low five. The Dolphins had eight players who are 6-feet or shorter. Five teams have fewer, including the Cowboys with an NFC-low five.

The Cowboys and St. Louis Rams were the only clubs with more 300-pounders than the Dolphins, who had 13. The Cowboys had 16.

The Bills, conversely, had the NFL's second-lightest roster. Head coach Dick Jauron likes sleeker, more mobile players. They averaged 240.8 pounds on opening day, 1.7 pounds heavier than the Indianapolis Colts.

Also of note, the Dolphins kept more rookie or first-year players than anybody else with 14. The New Orleans Saints had the fewest with five.

The Patriots led the AFC in three longevity categories. Their average player on opening night was a little older than 27 and had 4.9 seasons of experience. The Patriots tied for the most players 30 or older with 16.

But the Patriots fielded their youngest starting defense of the 21st century Monday night. Elias Sports Bureau and Keith Hawkins of ESPN Stats & Information calculated their average age was 27 years, 123 days -- their youngest opening-day lineup since 2000, Bill Belichick's first year as head coach.

Here's the average player for each of the AFC East clubs:

Buffalo Bills

Height: 6-foot-1 1/2; weight: 240.8 pounds; age: 26.4 years; experience: 4.0 seasons.

Miami Dolphins

Height: 6-foot-2; weight: 251.4 pounds; age: 26.1 years; experience: 3.8 seasons.

New England Patriots

Height: 6-foot-1; weight: 246.3 pounds; age: 27.2 years; experience: 4.9 seasons.

New York Jets

Height: 6-foot-1 1/2; weight: 245.2 pounds; age: 26.9 years; experience: 4.6 seasons.