With our beloved Dolphins Pre Season rapidly fading in the rear view mirror, it’s time to decipher what we’ve learned thus far.
OFFENSE - This is not last year’s lethargic and predictable Offense. Clearly OC Brian Daboll is willing to mix it up and take shots down field. This isn’t just exciting for the fan base, but re energizing for the players as well. All we can do, is hope that QB Chad Henne is able to manage it effectively, while minimizing turnovers. Additionally, key decisions still remain regarding the run game. RB Reggie Bush in not a traditional 20 carry/game back, Rookie Daniel Thomas hasn’t been the pillar consistency thus far, and Lex Hilliard has yet to prove he’s “the man” either. Recently signed RB Larry Johnson may just receive the nod to be second on the RB Depth Chart, or at a minimum… the infamous “Third Down Back” after ripping off a promising 20+ yard scamper for a score last night. Major concerns remain with the O-Line, and their inability to properly pass protect and open adequate running lanes. With the emergence of LT Jake Long, we can only hope that the Line is able to become a dominant force.
DEFENSE - The stout Miami Defense looks solid again this season. DC Mike Nolan’s in his second year at the helm, and that should only mean bigger and better performances are yet to come. Stalwarts OLB Cameron Wake and ILB Karlos Dansby should be primed for huge seasons, and it’ll be very interesting to see if CB Vontae Davis “can put his money where his mouth is”, claiming that Miami has the best CB tandem in the NFL. DT/DE Jared Odrick may also have the opportunity to put his stamp along the D-Line this season, if he can stay healthy. The biggest area of concern remains with the Safeties. Yeremiah Bell is a solid gamer, but there’s a definitive talent drop-off with both Chris Clemons and Reshard Jones. With the plethora of talented WR’s in the AFC East,the Safeties must tighten-up their reads and coverages or our ‘Fins will continue to be torched down field in games.
SPECIAL TEAMS – There should be a considerable amount of excitement surrounding the unit this year. P Brandon Fields continues to blast balls sky high, K Dan Carpenter is a steady performer, and our blazing Returners (D. Bess, C. Gates, and P. Livas) all have ability to “take it to the house” at every opportunity.
All in all, I truly believe Miami has a “sluggers chance” at upending the prematurely crowned Patriots for the Division title, or at least sneaking into the playoffs as a Wild Card. Every facet of this team is solid, but will need to play above their means if they hope to be relevant in the Post Season this year.
What do you think?