The quarterback carousel continues in Miami as
they draft Texas A&M’s Ryan Tannehill as the heir-not-so-apparent to a throne left vacant
since the retirement of Dan Marino. Will Reggie Bush be the featured back in new coach Joe Philbin's offense?
Who Will Take The Snaps In Miami?
By: Craig Tattan
The Fins commence training camp on
July 26th and they will welcome Chad Johnson into the fold as
Ochocinco no longer exists. It appears
as though Johnson now realizes that a middle aged man with one name just isn't all
that cool, especially considering he is now entering the twilight of his career.
The Dolphins are going to have a tough
road in front of them in a division that sees the Patriots armed to the teeth
once again, a New York Jets team that is equipped to make a postseason run, and
a vastly improved Buffalo Bills squad.
Perhaps the biggest concern is that training camp will not be used to smooth
out the rough edges for the passer to receiver combinations, but will instead be
a genuine competition between veterans Matt Moore, David Garrard and 1st
round pick Ryan Tannehill.
the departure of Brandon Marshall to Chicago, the Dolphins will have to keep
their fingers crossed that Reggie Bush will - at the very least - duplicate his career year
in 2011 and shoulder the offensive burden. That's a lot to ask in this day and age of the vaunted aerial assault
teams throughout the league. Fins fans
can only hope that their team's run stop unit is as prolific as last season
while the other facets of their game catch up. There are many questions with only few answers but there is no doubt
that training camp will begin to tell the tale.
Does Tannenhill Start?
By: Craig Tattan>
big question entering the Fins training camp is whether Ryan Tannehill start on
opening day? It should be noted that
over the past five years, 13 QB's were picked in the 1st round but
only six started in Week 1. Those
quarterbacks who did start right away were basically their team's best
option. In 2008, Joe Flacco started for
the Ravens and Matt Ryan for the Falcons, in 2009 Mark Sanchez got the nod
for the New York Jets and Matthew Stafford for the Lions, in 2010 Sam Bradford
started for the Rams and finally Cam Newton electrified the Panthers' fans last
quarterbacks had two things in common. They were all 1st
round picks and none of them had any real
competition to speak of. That's the big
difference with Tannehill, he does have serious competition in Matt Moore and
David Garrard for the starting assignment. Who will emerge the victor? Stay
tuned because training camp awaits.
Week 1 Pick
By: Craig Tattan>
exciting to see new faces and a new coaching staff in South Beach, let's not kid
ourselves into believing the new vibe will magically take hold and the playoffs
are within grasp for the Fins this year.
The quarterback situation is unsettled and if their top pick,
quarterback Ryan Tannehill does beat out the veterans, there will be a learning
curve before he produces in bunches.
get the pleasure of traveling to the great state of Texas to play the Houston
Texans in their own backyard. That's
quite the challenge as Houston is loaded and although the only bright spot last
year for Miami was their run defense, the Texans happen to have arguably the
best back on the planet in Arian Foster and complemented by a fearsome aerial
assault led by Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson.
The Dolphins will not get a walk in the park
when going against the Texans defense either who ranked 3rd
respectively against the pass and the run.
The entire season will be a huge test for the Dolphins and nobody can
expect much other than a good solid effort and a few bright spots along the
way. Unfortunately they line up against
a team in their opening game that may be a dark horse to win the Super
Bowl. Play Houston -7.
By: Craig Tattan>
Knocks documentary series comes to South Beach this summer to give fans an
inside look at life inside an NFL training camp. The Jets were offered another opportunity to
star but they declined and so the Dolphins were chosen to participate and
fortunately for all of those who can't get enough of the series, Miami
Films executive and this season's director of Hard Knocks Rob Gehring as a big
fan of new Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin.
As most rabid NFL fans know, Philbin was the architect of the prolific
offense run by the Packers and now takes his talents to South Beach.
offered this after meeting with the new coach and his staff during mini-camp in
preparation of the film production during training camp, "When
you're around him, you're kind of like, OK, this is a guy who can turn this thing around. He's a leader. I almost equate him to a field general. After having
just been around him for less than a month, I'm like, I'll run through a wall
for that guy."
By: Craig Tattan>
The Fins may not have a clear
cut starter at the quarterback position but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a
pool of talent to choose from. Matt
Moore, David Garrard and their 2012 1st round pick Ryan Tannehill
will compete for the top spot but as of this writing, no one has been deemed the guy.
Offensive tackle Jake Long is
the only Dolphin to make the NFL Network’s Top 100 list and that is an
indictment of the woeful season that Fish fans had to suffer through in
2011. And speaking of the NFL Network,
analyst Solomon Wilcots had this to say about Tannehill.
“I can see
how they came away just in love with Ryan Tannehill. I can see how they came
away saying, ‘He may not be right for everybody, he’s right for us.’ His knowledge in this offense allows him to
be more confident. He’s not a rookie with his head spinning, because I think he
feels very comfortable, at least in this stage of the game, with what they’re
Miami fans hope the early reports are a good omen for things to come.
Ochocinco To The Dolphins
By: Craig Tattan>
Ochocinco and South Beach seem like a
match made in reality TV heaven. The recently exiled Patriot didn't take long
to catch on with a team that believes he still has the goods. If minicamp is
any indication then the Patriots may just regret letting number eighty-five
wander into the open market and into the lovin' arms of a divisional rival.
Ochocinco made several nice catches
but none better than an over the back shoulder grab beating cornerback Sean
Smith. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Ocho's early reviews is that his
speed appears to be in full throttle. He has run slant routes and created a
nice target as he has flashed the brilliant quickness and speed that made him
one of the most feared receivers in the game.
Quarterback Matt Moore had this to say, "It's been good. He's come in, he's
done his work, he's trying to learn and it's been business as usual. He's fast,
that's for sure. He's quick and he's just got that attacking mentality you love
in a wide receiver. He's got a lot of good things and hopefully we can use
those things in the future."
By: Craig Tattan>
Dolphins tried to lure the biggest free agent of all time, Peyton Manning, to ply
his trade in the bright lights of South Beach. Manning decided on the clean, crisp air of
Mile High instead, and the Dolphins were left wondering if free agent signal callers
Alex Smith or former Packer Matt Flynn would be the right fit. Smith opted to remain with San Francisco and
Flynn wound up in Seattle. The Dolphins brass then eyed moving up from their 8th
position in the first round to select franchise-maker Robert Griffin III, but it
was not to be as the Redskins mortgaged the future and traded with the Rams to
get the highly coveted RG3 as the number two pick in the draft.
Obviously, the Dolphins were not willing to gamble that other teams would follow the
status quo and wait for the next level of quarterbacks, behind Andrew Luck and
Robert Griffin III, to drop to the second round. In retrospect they were right. The Cleveland Browns surprised many when they
tapped Brandon Weeden as the 22nd pick in the first round. Cleveland will of course declare they wanted
Weeden all along but, had Tannehill been available, it’s a pretty good
possibility that Tannehill would be in a Browns uniform this season. Yet the pundits will insist that even a
modest drop in the first round would have yielded not only Tannehill but
additional picks in the draft. We will
continued to play it safe when they chose offensive tackle Jonathan Martin of
Stanford, a solid though unspectacular choice, to join a Miami offensive
line responsible for protecting either Matt Moore or Tannehill, whoever emerges
as the starter.
then looked to the defensive side of the ball in the 3rd round, tapping Olivier Vernon of Miami as a defensive end or outside linebacker to
bring more heat to a pass rush that ranked in the middle of the pack in terms
of sacks. With their next pick, in the 3rd
round as well, they drafted Missouri’s Michael Egnew at tight end. Egnew is known primarily for his ability to
catch the ball, which is really more of a priority than a big body who can pass
wrapped up the draft by selecting Lamar Miller, running back from Miami (4th
round), Josh Kaddu, linebacker from Oregon (5th round), BJ
Cunnignham, wide receiver from Michigan State (6th round), Kheeston
Randall, defensive tackle from Texas (7th round) and finally Rishard
Matthews, wide receiver from Nevada (7th round).
Will the Dolphins improve in 2012?
When you are
6-10, you have to hope so. The football odds makers are putting their total wins at 7 ½ this season and, if the Fins play
.500 football, that will certainly be a big step in the right direction. While it may not placate the fans because an
8-8 team certainly won’t win the division in the rugged AFC East, it will bode
well for a franchise that has struggled in recent memory.
Joe Philbin, former offensive coordinator for
the high flying Green Bay Packers, will bring a new culture to a franchise
desperately seeking a return to prominence. The Dolphins are looking to make Reggie Bush the cornerstone of an offense
with few high profile weapons at their disposal. It is rumored that Miami is committed to a
hyper-tempo offense, keeping Bush on the field and giving him touches on the
ground and through the air. If he stays
healthy, it may be exactly what the Dolphins need to contend for the first time
in a long time.