The 9 Most Frustrating Players on the Miami Dolphins Roster
The Miami Dolphins have consistently done one thing over the last few years: frustrate its fan base.
Annually pinned with high expectations, the Dolphins annually disappoint.
Naturally, there's a list of players at the root of our frustration. Some of them are loaded with potential who haven't realized it yet; others are big-names who under-produce; and others are high draft picks who are yet to pan out.
Frustration is ingrained into the Dolphins' culture, and these nine players are largely responsible for that.
If these nine can turn it around this season, then Miami could easily fulfill Karlos Dansby's Super Bowl manifestation in the near future.
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When the Dolphins drafted Daniel Thomas last year, he stepped into an enviable situation. Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams were on the outs, so Thomas had a clear path to the starting running back job.
Even when Miami traded for Reggie Bush on July 29th, Thomas still figured to serve as the team's every-down back while Bush played a complementary role.
Once training camp rolled around, Thomas began struggling with injuries, and he never seemed to fully recover. Granted he posted two great performances against the Texans and Browns, his season was a disappointment.
Thomas often looked hesitant and unconfident, and he was ineffective in short yardage situations.
Now, Thomas is flying under the radar, and with a clean bill of health, he could end our frustration.
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There's no doubt Roberto Wallace has the tools to become a productive NFL wideout. His 6'4", 225 pound frame makes him the most physically gifted wide receiver on Miami's roster, not to mention a clone of Brandon Marshall.
But, it takes more than size to succeed.
Does Wallace have the consistency and physicality required? Does he have the durability? If he does, he hasn't show it yet, and patience is wearing thin.
With the right coaching, it's hard to believe Wallace can't become a contributor. Maybe new wide receivers coach Ken O'Keefe can get him to break through. If Wallace doesn't put it all together this summer, he might face the chopping block.
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It feels like Marlon Moore and Roberto Wallace are attached at the hip.
Seldom does anybody talk about one without mentioning the other. After all, they both signed with the Dolphins as undrafted free agents in 2010 and have since split time between the active roster and the practice squad.
Both have been lauded for their potential, but have yet to earn a regular role in the offense. As they enter their third NFL season, inexperience is no longer an excuse—they have to breakout.
Moore has top-flight speed, and he showed a glimpse of brilliance when he caught a 57 yard touchdown pass from Chad Henne in 2010. Since then, though, Moore has been a non-factor. He only dressed for six games last season and failed to register a catch.
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John Jerry is one of the most notable draft busts in recent team history, but there's still time for him to salvage his career.
The Dolphins selected Jerry in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft (passing on Jimmy Graham), and he was immediately penciled in as the starting left guard.
Despite his massive 6'5", 328 pound build, Jerry was consistently overpowered and overwhelmed, and he was pulled from the starting lineup midway through the season.
Jerry barely made the roster the last season even though the Dolphins were horribly thin at guard. However, he did start three games toward the end of last season and performed well enough to regain the team's trust.
Barring any last-minute signings, Jerry will most likely start at right guard. If he can become the player Bill Parcells and Jeff Ireland thought he'd be, then the Dolphins offensive line will be in fantastic shape.
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Bill Parcells has taken harsh—though warranted—criticism for all of the poor personnel moves he made during his tenure with the 'Fins.
But, he did make a handful of excellent moves, including trading a seventh round draft pick for Tony McDaniel.
Although McDaniel was quiet in 2009, he had a stellar 2010 campaign, racking up 36 tackles and two and a half sacks—both career highs. The Dolphins rewarded him with a two-year, six million dollar contract, but McDaniels regressed to 2009 form.
Hopefully, last season was only an aberration. If McDaniels can return to 2010 form, then the Dolphins will have one of the NFL's best defensive lines.
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After a promising rookie season, Koa Misi was primed for a huge year in 2011.
Instead, he regressed.
In retrospect, it appears as though Misi simply wasn't a great fit for the 3-4 defense. The Dolphins wanted to mold Misi into a pass-rusher, but, at his core, he is a run stuffer.
Now that the Dolphins will use the 4-3 as their base defense, Misi has an excellent opportunity to reestablish himself as a solid starting linebacker.
But, if Misi doesn't capitalize on this opportunity, the linebacker corps will be in trouble, and he'll go down as yet another Bill Parcells draft bust.
Photo via MiamiDolphins.com
Karlos Dansby thinks the Dolphins can win the AFC. But in order for that to happen, he'll need to play for more consistently and productively.
The Dolphins made Dansby the highest paid inside linebacker in NFL history when they inked him to a 5-year, $43 million deal in 2010, but he hasn't lived up to that contract. Dansby has recorded 166 tackles and five sacks in his first two seasons with the 'Fins—respectable, but not elite numbers.
Plus, Dansby hasn't become the dominant, commanding force that players such as Ray Lewis and Patrick Willis are.
For $8 million a year, Dansby should have that kind of presence, and he should be part of the "Best Linebackers in the NFL" conversation.
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Sean Smith's 6'2", 215 pound frame makes him one of the most physically gifted cornerbacks in the NFL. When the Dolphins drafted him in the second round of the 2009 Draft, he promised to become a lockdown corner who could contain the likes of Randy Moss and Calvin Johnson.
In 2010, Smith posted the sixth best success rate amongst all cornerbacks, putting him in company with names such as Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, and Brandon Carr. Had Smith not dropped a league-high five interceptions, then he surely would've earned a Pro Bowl nod.
Smith's success set lofty expectations for 2011. But like many of his teammates, he inexplicably regressed.
There's no doubt Smith can become an elite cornerback. It's just a matter of consistency and maturity now.
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The Dolphins haven't gotten lucky with late-round draft picks in recent history. Since 2007, only one late-round selection has become a mainstay on the roster: punter Brandon Fields.
But, if 2009 fifth-round pick Chris Clemons can stay healthy and progress from a satisfactory 2009 season, then he too could earn a long-term starting role.
Clemons started 15 games at free safety in 2010, and it appeared as though the Dolphins finally struck gold late in the draft. But, Clemons suffered a hamstring injury in training camp, and it lingered throughout the season, rendering him useless.
Given the Dolphins' thin safety corps, Clemons can easily reclaim a starting role in training camp.
However, he needs to stay healthy and show that he's an improved, savvier player than he was in 2009.