Let me tell you I had to look up some statistics for this piece, and I can't stand looking up stats.
Paul just wrote a post asking your thoughts on what our record would be for the coming season. I didn't make a prediction. You are going to have to wait until I see the team in the preseason. I believe we will be pleasantly surprised when the season ends.
I will say for those few that don't feel very good about the upcoming season, you will be corrected. Once you take a closer look and get over your anger of not having your favorites selected in the draft and free agency you will see the Dolphins have really, really improved during the offseason.
Not only that, but Dawn Aponte our cap-ologist has done one heck of a job keeping the team in good shape for a few more years. The structure of some of our free agent acquisitions contracts was brilliant. Our draft picks should not only help us short term but also in the future.
The selection of Dion Jordan, although not very highly thought of by many here on the Dolphin Shout, was a much better pick then what many think. Randy Starks is not going to stay with the Dolphins folks. The defensive line is this team's strength. Drafting Jordan will keep it that way for a few more years. I love Odrick but he is not much of a defensive end, and Dion Jordan could take over his position in the future and allow Odrick to move inside. In the meantime Jordan can play myriad of defensive positions.
With free agent additions and draftees the entire linebacker core could be replaced. Koa Misi is the only one left, and with his stats (65 combined tackles, three and a half sacks, three forced fumbles, four tackles behind the line of scrimmage) you can see he is not on par with our other linebackers that are now gone! Even though Jordan is projected at defensive end at this time, I believe he will take over Misi's position at linebacker this year.
On offense we will see a total transformation. There are new players everywhere we look. Even if you didn't like the Wallace acquisition you must admit he is a HUGE improvement over Naanee, Gaffney, or anyone else they tried on that side of the field. The addition of Gibson will supplant the loss of Davone Bess, plus Gibson has more speed than Bess.
Here come some more stats. Many seem stressed out over the loss of Reggie Bush. To be honest he was our best and maybe only playmaker last year. Even so he wasn't a game changer. His stats were: 986 yards, 4.3 yard average, six rushing touchdowns, two receiving touchdowns, and four fumbles. Not bad, but not great either. The projected starter, Lamar Miller, had 250 yards, 4.9 yard average, one rushing touchdown, and 6 receptions for 45 yards. If you project those numbers for an entire season Lamar Miller will have the same impact as Reggie Bush did, and Reggie Bush couldn't block any better than Miller.
So when I look at the entire picture I will make this statement. I do not know how many wins/losses we will have this coming year. I can say this. I don't see any way this team is worse than last year and I do see this team as vastly improved. We are much more likely to have a great season than we are to have another bad one. We are moving forward. I don't know about you, but I will be very happy with that.