Jun 202013

Mike Wallace12. Miami Dolphins
Head Coach: Joe Philbin
2012 Record: 7-9
2012 Offense: 288 points scored, 27th in points, 27th in yards (26th passing, 17th rushing)
2012 Defense: 317 points allowed, 7th in points, 21st in yards (27th passing, 13th rushing)

Key Additions
WR Mike Wallace, LB Dannell Ellerbe, LB Philip Wheeler, TE Dustin Keller, WR Brandon Gibson, CB Brent Grimes, T Tyson Clabo, DT Vaughn Martin, DE Dion Jordan, CB Jamal Taylor, OL Dallas Thomas, CB Will Davis

Key Losses
RB Reggie Bush, T Jake Long, LB Karlos Dansby, LB Kevin Burnett, TE Anthony Fasano, CB Sean Smith, WR Davone Bess, DT Tony McDaniel, K Nate Kaeding

Why 2013 will be better
Ryan Tannehill is a promising young quarterback who might well break out this season with weapons like Wallace, Gibson, and Keller added to his arsenal. The offensive line is solid in its depth, though Jonathan Martin has struggled at left tackle. Clabo does offer an upgrade on the right side. Cameron Wake is an elite pass rushing talent, while Dion Jordan has the talent to be a disruptive force on the opposite side. Jordan’s addition to the lineup allows Jared Odrick to move inside along with Randy Starks and Paul Soliai, providing the Dolphins with an excellent defensive line. Brent Grimes was a solid addition to the secondary after returning from a torn ACL in 2012, and will likely start opposite Richard Marshall, though rookie Jamal Taylor looks equipped to push Marshall for the spot. There is little doubt that the Dolphins’ dreadful pass defense will be better in 2013.

Why 2013 will be worse
Tannehill has tons of potential, but was also very inconsistent last season. Lamar Miller enters 2013 as the top running back. While the second year pro has a potential high upside, he saw limited carries in his rookie season and is an untested; at least in the short term he appears to be a downgrade from Reggie Bush. Daniel Thomas can be a good complement to Miller, but only if he can stay healthy. While Ellerbe and Wheeler are touted as an upgrade to the linebacker corps, Ellerbe was a one-trick pony with the Ravens, and the Fins appear to have overpaid for a player who may not have the three down talent that they think he does. Wheeler appears to be the real deal, but doesn’t appear to be an upgrade over Burnett. The Dolphins got younger at linebacker, not necessarily better.

Tannehill was sacked 35 times last season, and needs better play from his offensive line to be able to play with the new toys that he has. Tannehill finished his rookie system ranked 27th in the league, but showed numerous flashes of his potential last season. One thing the Dolphins lack is quality depth at offensive skill positions, so health is going to be critical to the team’s offensive success. On defense, the Dolphins need a pass defense to complement a solid run defense, and the upgrades appear to sufficient to accomplish this. At first blush, the worst case for 2013 would appear to be a repeat seven win performance, and the team appears capable of winning as many ten games as they challenge for a playoff spot and seek to depose the Patriots from the AFC East throne.

May 292012

So the Miami Dolphins are going to be the 2012 “stars” on HBO’s Hard Knocks series.

Even as a fan of an AFC East team, I have to admit that this is an uninspiring choice. Karlos Dansby’s assertions aside, the Dolphins are not a serious Super Bowl threat this season. While they may be able to compete with the Jets to stay out of the basement of the AFC East, they are not as good as the improving Buffalo Bills and certainly nowhere near as good as the Patriots.

Still there is some entertainment value, mostly deriving from a publicity-seeking yet seemingly incompetent owner who knows that his team can’t fill seats in the stadium, so he will seek his attention elsewhere. Meanwhile, the single best source of team news is a quarterback battle that could best be described as a  “who cares battle royale” featuring Matt Moore, Ryan Tannehill, and David Gerard. Yawn.

It seems that HBO drew the short straw this season as other, potentially more entertaining teams were not willing to take part. Even the Jets would have been a far better choice given the off-season drama that has unfolded, and the fact that the Jets have at least had a winning season (two in fact) since 2008. While I normally am willing to watch anything football related, I think I am going to be taking a pass on Hard Knocks this season.

May 222012


Miami Dolphins

Head Coach: Joe Philbin


Projected Starting Quarterback: Matt Moore

2011 Record:  6 wins, 10 losses (3rd in AFC East)

No postseason appearance

22nd in Total Offense, 15th in Total Defense

2002-2011 10 year record: 70 wins, 90 losses (23rd in NFL)

0 wins, 1 loss in postseason

No Super Bowl appearances

2-3 All-time in Super Bowl