The majority of us knew that we lacked firepower on the offensive side of the ball. What we didn't know was that the staff felt the same way about the defensive side of the ball.
On offense we are seeing a transformation from an ineffective plodding offense into an offense with thoroughbreds at many positions. The wide receiver position has been addressed with Mike Wallace and Brandon Gibson combining their skills with Brian Hartline. At tight end we let Anthony Fasano go and replaced him with Dustin Keller. He isn't the blocker that Fasano was, but he sure fits a run and gun offense much better than Anthony ever will. The backfield is the one area that I think we were hurt a little bit. Bush was our lone threat on the team, but even so he wasn't much of blocker and didn't hit the hole with conviction, though he was definitely better at that than he was in New Orleans. His thousand yards can be replaced, but his explosiveness is another thing. I am hoping that Lamar Miller, Marcus Thigpen, or Mike Gillislee can take up the slack.
The transformation on defense is what surprised me the most. The first round pick of Dion Jordan stunned me. Dion Jordan was rated as a top defensive player in this draft. Many of the sites that rate the draft choices had him no lower than the fifth rated player in the draft. CBS had him at third. He may have been a surprise for most of us, but he is no slouch by any means.
The entire defense, except for the safeties, has been shaken up or replaced. Here are some stats from last year's defensive unit.
- Football Outsiders ranked the Dolphins defense at 21st in the league (the offense was rated at 22 and special teams at 14).
- We had a total of 16 takeaways
- 10 interceptions
- Six fumble recoveries
- Miami had a total of 42 sacks, which ranked seventh in the NFL.
- 15 of those sacks are attributed to Cameron Wake. 2nd to him was Jared Odrick with five.
The transformation of the Dolphins may not be complete yet. There is one thing that is clear. This Miami Dolphin team is totally different than what we have been watching for the past eight to 10 years. This team is trying to revolve around team speed. Everywhere I look I see speed. The skill positions have been upgraded beyond what I expected. I don't know how any of this will work out, but I like what I am seeing.
We have a sleek new logo with clean looking new uniforms. Hopefully we will have a team that matches that new look.