The Miami Dolphins will get a lot of attention when NFL training camp gets into high gear because of the situation with Richie Incognito & Jonathan Martin from last season. Both guys are now out of Miami & the team has to be able to move forward. The team wasn’t great or terrible in any one area, but need improvement across the board in a big way. They finished 8-8, out of the playoffs. For what they had to deal with, having an 8-8 season can be considered a success in many ways.
When it comes to strictly on the field, however, the Dolphins did not live up to expectations, especially after spending so much in free agency to bring in Mike Wallace, Maurice Pouncey, Branden Albert, & drafting quarterback Ryan Tannehill from Texas A&M.
Ok, back to the Miami Dolphins Preview.
Miami Dolphins Offense
The Dolphins, on paper, have one of the better offensive units in the NFL right now. Ryan Tannehill had great development in his first year at quarterback last season, throwing for 3,913 yards & 24 touchdowns. Tannehill will only get strong with Mike Sherman as his offensive coordinator, the same guy he played for at Texas A&M.
Receivers Brian Hartline & Mike Wallace had strong seasons last year, giving Tannehill deep threats to throw to on a consistent basis, as both players had over 70 catches. Rookie Jarvis Landry from LSU will be a gamebreaker for the Dolphins from the slot position & will be another guy along with Wallace who can take the top of the defense with his blazing speed in the open field.
The team brought in Knowshon Moreno from Denver to be a part of a 1-2 combination with Lamar Miller. Moreno had a strong season with the Denver Broncos last season, but as with many players who play with Peyton Manning, the stats can be a bit inflated. When Moreno has to have Ryan Tannehill instead of a first ballot Hall-of-Famer getting him the ball either running or passing, we will find out the true value or Moreno & if he can get the 700-800 yards needed to be effective for the Dolphins.
The tight end position will be one to look at very closely. Rookie Dion Sims from Michigan State is a great pass catcher & has strong blocking ability up front to help bring the running game & can be used as an extra pass blocker. If Sims has a strong camp, it is very possible that he could be starting over Charles Clay for week 1.
Miami Dolphins Defense
The defensive unit was very average to below average last season, not always giving the offense a good position to stay in games all the time. The team improved the biggest glaring weakness – defensive secondary – by signing Louis Delmas & Cortland Finnegan to be more physical with the receivers & cause more jams at the line of scrimmage. Delmas is more of a cover safety, but if healthy, can come up & lay the wood on players on a consistent basis.
Yes, I don’t have much to say about the Dolphins defensive unit because honestly, their main problem was truly the secondary so I am expecting the team to be infinitely better with an improvement there.
Miami Dolphins Record Prediction
The Dolphins look as though they will be 9-7 & should be in contention with the New York Jets for that final AFC playoff position in week 17. The offense should be much stronger after a year together in this Mike Sherman offensive system. Tannehill shows much comfort being in the offense now & the Dolphins should average around 25-30 points a game, which can be a winning formula in the league.