2017 Miami Dolphins Off-Season & Schedule

The typical Miami Dolphins off-season of the last decade and a half consist of
2/3rds of a year/8 months/34 weeks/240 days/5760 hours/345600 minutes between meaningful games.

26 weeks/185 days have passed since the final whistle of Miami's most recent postseason experience at Pittsburgh on January 8th, 2017.

Much has taken place, all cogs have been cautiously inspected, improved upon, and heavily greased.

The only player of substance lost since starting that last Dolphin playoff game was Brandon Albert while his replacement/equal for the next decade was already in place with Laremy Tunsil.

Center Mike Pouncey is the OL key, and he is scheduled to return for opening day. With a healthy Pouncey (as well as other instrumental OL cogs) healthy for 16-plus games, Miami's OL can dominate! Minus Pouncey, the Dolphins have three capable backups who started at Center (for the most part of 2016), and can at least match the efficiency that resulted in last year's playoff birth.

All of the skill position players (other than TE) from last year's playoff team are returning (totally healthy as of this moment) with an entire year under Adam Gase' offensive belt. At TE free agent Anthony Fasano replaces Dion Sims primarily for blocking purposes. In order to replace last year's never in attendance penciled-in starter/play maker Jordan Cameron. Miami also traded for head coach favorite TE stud/seam/redzone threat Julius Thomas who scored 24 times in two years under OC Gase in Denver.

The Linebacker crew has been severely upgraded (and offers the best crew since #54's) with the additions of veteran Lawrence Timmons, and rookie Raekwon McMillan to team up alongside of Kiko Alonso whom played last year's final four weeks with a broken arm.. Several backups that received extensive reps with some being in a starters role are also returning while these days the third linebacker plays just 25% of defensive snaps.

Miami's sitting pretty at cornerback (possibly the best group) since Sammy Madison & Patrick Sustain) with a healthy Byron Maxwell, Xavien Howard, Tony Lippett, Bobby McCain, and rookie Cordrea Tankersley among a handful of youthful talented others. Maxwell was playing at all-pro level prior to missing the seasons final 3 weeks. XHoward missed various portions of the season and should have been way behind schedule mentally but performed exquisetly and is an absolute stud when healthy. Tony Lippett has emerged from WR to a more than highly capable CB as he led the 2016 team in interceptions while nickle Bobby McCain has done himself worthy.

At Safety Rashad Jones returns to form from 2016's second half, and first time stint on IR.
Rashad has been Rashad alongside a different sidekick for each of the last four to five years.
2017 will be no different as Nate Allen (a relative equal to a Wilson, Delmas, or Quddus etc) was acquired via free agency. Even better, long time Dolphins Michael Thomas, and Walt Aikens are returning.
The even bigger and better bonus resides in the youthful free agent and legit stud safety TJ McDonald whom was acquired for the seasons second half playoff run! A safety combo of Jones & McDonald could be the best Dolphin safety duo since Anderson & Scott.

The D-line lost DT Earl Mitchell while adding veteran Nick Williams, along with rookies Davon Godchaux and Vincent Taylor to team with Jordan Phillips and Suh. Ten year veteran free agent DE William Hayes joins the pass rushing group of 11 game 2016 starter Andre Branch, Terrence Fede, and Julius Warmsley among others fighting for roster spots.
Meanwhile. Cameron Wake will be playing full time at 100% health at seasons start (compared to just one half season of the same last year), and Miami drafted DE Pass Rush Extraordinaire Charles Harris with the drafts 22ND pick.
Harris looks like he should instantaneously be everything we had hoped for from Dion Jordan four years ago!



And with that said.
Here's the schedule reboot.

One unusual aspect that exist in this year's Dolphin schedule is that (upon Miami's request)!
They will not get a bye after a week four trip to London vs Saints!

A not so unusual aspect that the NFL schedule makers burdened Miami with is versus last seasons Super Bowl participants.
The Atlanta Falcons have the luxury of their week 5 bye to prepare for hosting the Dolphins.
Miami's week 11 bye leads to Foxboro in late November!

The Dolphins were awarded just one game in the advantageous September sweltering heat of Miami, and that game is versus the fellow floridian Bucs! Meanwhile. Miami has at least three and possibly five games on the late season road that will likely include snow, (if not potential blizzards)!

The three weeks (8 - 10) previous to the Dolphins week 11 bye includes..
THREE CONSECUTIVE WEEKS ON NATIONALLY TELEVISED PRIME TIME!
(4 TOTAL for the season, 5 for those with the NFLNetwork)!

BACK IN THE SPOTLIGHT, AT'A'BOY Adam (on the case) GASE!!!

After the week 11 bye a tough stretch for Miami begins on week 12 at New England's Patriots,
week 13 vs Broncos, and then a second head to head week 14 matchup vs the Champion Pats on MNF!!!

To close the regular season The Dolphins go to Buffalo, Kansas City,
and face Buffalo again on week 17 in Miami.
(For The Miami Dolphins Post Season Tuneup).


Rookies (in just four days) report to training camp on July 20th,
the vets make the team whole five days later,
and two weeks after that your Dolphins preseason kicksoff on August 10th.


Your 2017 Miami Dolphins Regular Season Schedule
All games are on Sunday unless illustrated otherwise.


1) vs Bucs (September 10, Sunday 1 pm est)


2) @ LA Chargers 4:05

3) @ Jets 1:00

4) vs Saints (London 9:30 AM est NFLNetwork)

5) vs Titans 1 pm

6) @ Falcons 1 pm (Atlanta has week 5 bye)


7) vs Jets 1 pm

8) @ Ravens (Thurs Night Football) 8:30

9) vs Raiders (Sunday Night Football) 8:30

10) @ Panthers (Monday Night Football) 8:30

11) BYE

12) @ Pats (November 26, 1 pm)

13) vs Broncos 1 pm

14) vs Pats (Monday Night Football) 8:30


15) @ Bills (December 17, 1 pm)

16) @ KC (December 24, 1 pm)


17) vs Bills 1 pm


Here's to a seven month 2018 offseason!
That's just 30 days more than half a calender year
to schedule and execute a multitude of parades!
GOFINS!!!

The Miami Dolphins are Living in Reality

Those dudes in Vegas are rich for a reason, the deck is stacked...

Stacked in the realm of reality.
 

Picking Miami to have 7.5 wins says most betting people don't believe Miami can duplicate or even reach last year's record. The odds are set so that Vegas wins. If most people think the line is wrong, it will move up or down.

Miami had a negative point differential last season, it is exceedingly rare for a NFL team to have a winning record when they score less than their opponents. Miami had a 1-5 record against teams with a winning record last season.


Winning 10 games is nice, but it also leads to a 2nd place division schedule, meaning Miami plays more games against winning teams this year.

These are the reasons Vegas has Miami picked at 7.5 wins. We as Miami fans cannot be so pragmatic in our expectations. We would rather chug from the glass half full...

Outside the confines of fandom, reality beckons…

71 points were given away to the Ravens, NE and Pitt in losing games at the end of the season, 103 points against Miami - to 32 points for Miami. The Dolphins won 8 of 11 other games decided by 7 points or less. The trend is, Miami lost big to good teams and squeaked out wins against bad teams. With that in mind, it’s easy to see where the 7.5 Vegas number comes from.

So the reality in Miami is – more-better blues...

Miami will play better teams and last season was an anomaly. The Miami defense has to get better to compete with better teams, I believe the season hinges on the defense. Obviously, our first 3 picks in the draft were on defense. That happening for the first time in team history shows how much the coaches agree with this assessment.

That gives me hope, because we’re now dealing in reality…

Many times in the past, I saw things that I thought were apparent and the team didn't seem to be on the same page. Clearly there are no illusions going on in Miami. I honestly think Adam Gase told his team and management, "we have a long way to go." The only way to get there is through hard work, seeing the truth and not believing in illusions.

Let’s live in reality people!

The truth can be liberating, the team is smiling and encouraged because the challenge is clear. Clear understanding of weaknesses, clear understanding of what they know works, clear understanding of what needs to improve. This is how to get better, live in reality...

The illusions of the past are gone, Adam Gase lives in reality…

One Two Three, ABC Dolphin Draft Desirables

The 2017 draft is less than 2 weeks away, and the first round kicks-off on Thursday April 27th at 8pm EST. The second and third rounds start at 7pm Friday while rounds 4 - 7 begin at noon on Saturday.

Miami's Dolphins "presently" own selections at
Round 1 Pick 22  (22)
Round 2, Pick 22  (54) Overall
Round 3, Pick 33  (97) Compensatory
Round 5, Pick 22  (166)
Round 5, Pick 35  (178) Compensatory
Round 5, Pick 41  (184) Compensatory
Round 7, Pick 5  (223) From Rams/W.Hayes DE
Round 7, Pick 22  (240)

The Miami Dolphins landed a top three, if not the number one overall prospect Laremy Tunsil at pick 13 last year. Of course they would appreciate this year's top candidates having incriminating photos of them in preparation for an apocalypse posted on social media as Roger Goodall approaches the podium.

Prospects at Dolphin positions of need such as (according to draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah) the top overall player in #1 Myles Garrett DE, #2 Jamal Adams S, #3 Malik Hooker S, #5 Solomon Thomas DE, & #6 Jonathan Allen DE are not goin to land in Miami at pick 22.

This drafts first round is extremely deep. It actually feels like Miami will have more viable options at 22 in o17 than they might of had in 2016, had they not been blessed with Laremy Tunsil. The Dolphins will very likely be able to land a solid starter at 22 no matter the player at a position "of need" they choose. That player might not even be listed here as the line had to be drawn somewhere and so many others are viable possibilities.

Here are some favorites at positions of need that may or may not find their way South via an act of sabotage.

""The Miami Dolphins are on the clock""!

Round One
Pick Twenty-Two

A) LB Jarrad Davis #24 began the process outside of this Dolphins fans top five linebacker prospects. As a Canes fan there were some Gator issues that required resolve. In the end, old school linebacker Jarrad Davis became the personal favorite. However. Should Miami go linebacker with their first round pick? They can't go wrong no matter who were to possibly fall into their grasp at pick 22, or thereabouts. They could surely use a day one stud to start alongside of, or between Kiko Alonso and Lawrence Timmons while the latter is an elderly anvil, though just a two year, short term bridge!

Shoot, should have simply listed these guys as pick 22A thru Z and been done with it. The Reuben Foster #9, Haason Reddick #20, TJ Watt #35, Zach Cunningham, and Jarrad Davis' of the world are all about to explode onto the NFL scene. As a Miami Dolphin? Will one be there? We shall see soon enough! If not?

B) DE Derek Barnett #13 would be this guy's number one overall choice if he were to take an extremely unlikely fall to 22. He is Mr Consistent, well rounded and reasonably good at everything, but great at denting the turf via the quarterbacks backside with 32 sacks (10 plus per) over his starting three year Tennessee/SEC career. He is the first freshman to ever start at DL for the Vols, and he made the SEC honor roll in all three years as a starter.

Miami re-signed last year's 5.5 sack Andre Branch (27) to reunite with Terrance Fede (25), Julius Warmsley (26), and 35 year old Cam Wake. They also traded a 6th round pick for a 7th round pick and DE William Hayes (31) who has averaged just over 5 sacks per year over the last five. In 2018 the cap number of Branch doubles to 10plus million, Hayes will be 32, and CWake 36. Draft prospect Derek Barnett a 2017 Miami Dolphin?

C) OL Forest Lamp #16 is a career LT that would start at left guard for Miami on day one. He would likely push 1.4 million dollar free agent acquisition Ted Larsen to LG/RG/C backup duties while Lamp himself can play any offensive line position, including center, (if need be). His selection would enhance the possibility of having a third offensive line starting position secured for the next five or so years along with RT Ju'Waun James (who's in the final year of his rookie contract), and LT Laremy Tunsil.

RG Bushrod is likely in his final year, Center Pouncey has two bad hips, and James is scheduled to become a free agent which suggest that from C to RT may require reinforcements of 1 to 3 bodies, if not starters. Maybe Miami should lock up the left side with Tunsil/LAMP like back in the day with Richmond Webb & Keith Sims? Forest Lamp can forever help light up a dreary place that has been too dark for too long.

D) S/ Jabrill Peppers #31 could become the next Troy Polamalu of Pittsburgh Steelers fame. He can attack from everywhere defensively, and can/has also seen extensive production as an offensive and special teams secret weapon with extraordinary ball in hand skills.

The Dolphins still have perennial backups Michael Thomas and Walt Aikens. They also signed two free agent safties (Nate Allen 29 & TJ McDonald 26) with extensive starting experience to one year contracts this off-season. So a starting safety isn't exactly an immediate need, but if the well worth risk of Allen and (McDonald who's on a half season suspension) are unable to produce/stay clean in their one contracted year. Jabrill Peppers could potentially start at some point in o17, and would definitely start in 2018 alongside of Rashad Jones.

E) DT Malik McDowell 6-6, 297 was a last minute offering here due to upside (in case the rest have already been claimed). Personally I believe that Jordan Phillips is already better with every bit as much upside. Though some local radio host suggest that he doesn't display the want on every play which may be the same jacket that Malik McDowell wears. I believe differently about Phillips, he led the team in off sides penalties (which illustrates want) due to inexperience, timing, and poise. When he's right he's an opponents play/drive destroyer. He just needs a bit more coaching, experience, and poise to become a consistent force. DT Malik McDowell is offered in case those radio guys are right and/or he's the only one of substance left at pick 22.

DE's Takkarist McKinley #19 & Taco Charlton #23 are ascending one year wonders, (unlike Mr. Consistent Derek Barnett at 22B).

Takk Mc (6-2, 250 potential OLB/DE) has started the last two years at UCLA while DE Taco Charlton became a full time starter at Michigan just this past year. Both had their first 10 sack season in 2016. Though they are late bloomers, they have the necessary tools for NFL success.

Takk McKinley though small for full time NFL DE duties, he is fast for a big OLB with a relentless motor.

""Charlton's ceiling is as an all-pro, his floor is a solid starter"" suggest prospect analyst Lance Zierlein. Cam Wake is 35 years old. Ya'know that (if all else fails, and if available)? Michigan Alum Boss Ross will be suggesting to feast on a 6-6, 277 pound Taco.

F) TE OJ Howard #8 isn't going to fall to 22. Right? If so, he is an all around special tight-end, and the perfect complement to the trade acquisition of Julius Thomas. Howard actually belongs at B, C, or D of this personal list but fit better here in transition.


Round Two pick 54

A) TE David Njoku #12 at this point would be quite the steal worth taking as he is not quite the perfect first round complement to Julius Thomas (28), but Miami could use a second play-making type of TE like Njoku.

The Dolphins reacquainted themselves with the four year departed free agent TE Anthony Fasano (32) primarily for TE blocking duties. They also acquired a similarly sized, stat-less Chris Pantale (27) while Marqueis Gray (27), & Thomas Duarte (22) remain.


GOFINS!!!

Ran longer than planned above.
Felt more would be too much.
Devise is being temperamental, so I must include the not quite finished remains at the threads first comment.