The Miami Dolphins have had an offseason full of ups and downs.
They traded Brandon Marshall away, cut Yeremiah Bell and lost out on many free agents. But does that mean they can't make the playoffs in 2012?
With a very solid draft, additions such as Richard Marshall and Jamaal Westerman and a coaching staff that is prepared to lead the Dolphins back to their glory days, the Miami Dolphins are taking steps into the right direction on the road to success!
Here are the next steps that must occur for the Dolphins in order for them to have a successful season in 2012.
Solid play from Matt Moore in the 2011 season may have locked him in as the starter in 2012. If he can continue how he played at the end of last season and bring it to the table this year, I believe the Miami Dolphins have a very strong chance of making the playoffs.
Matt Moore is an accurate passer, has an arm that can get the job done and will be able to build chemistry with his receivers in the offseason.
Joe Philbin and Mike Sherman are very good at building up quarterbacks. Let's hope they can bring out the best in Moore so that he can shine this coming season.
The Miami squad is chalked full of players that are just ready to be let loose. The question is: When will it happen?
Players like Jared Odrick, Koa Misi, Charles Clay, Roberto Wallace, Marlon Moore, Jimmy Wilson and Daniel Thomas all have what it takes to be starters in the NFL.
If they can step up there game in practice and earn a starting role come game-day, then there is absolutely no reason to believe why none of these players can't shine.
Jared Odrick showed flashes of brilliance last year and looks primed to prove why he was a first-round pick.
Koa Misi had a tough sophomore year, but it looks as if he will play much better in his new role of OLB where many believe he will thrive in coverage and in rushing the quarterback.
Charles Clay is ready for the spotlight. Just give him more playing time, and he will produce. I think he is the next best thing on this Dolphins team.
Both Roberto Wallace and Marlon Moore have shown flashes of greatness; however, injuries have plagued them. If they can work hard in camp and show the coaches what they can do, Miami's receiver core won't look quite as dull as people think.
Jimmy Wilson has played very well in his role on special teams. He is quick on his feet and can put a hit on any player in his path. This seventh-round pick was a gamble, but looking at the tape of him last season on special teams, it looks like it payed off. I think he can earn his way to a starting safety spot and fill in the void that Yeremiah Bell left.
Lastly, there is Daniel Thomas. A guy who started off last season very strong, then slowed down due to injuries and Reggie Bush's success. If Thomas can stay healthy, he can powerhouse his way to a great sophomore year.
Overall, Miami has a team full of players that are ready to break out. They just need the right coaching and the playing time to show what they can do.
Reggie Bush played at an elite level the second half of last season. If he can continue his great play into the 2012 season, not many teams will be able to stop him.
Bush has learned how to not only cut and swerve through tackles, but to bulldoze over defenders as well. That is the premier skill set for a great running back.
Realistically, I believe Reggie Bush can get to 1,300 yards this next year and about 300 yards receiving. His charisma, attitude and leadership qualities all add on to make Bush a real threat going into the 2012 season.
Karlos Dansby is a great player, don't get me wrong. But for the money that Miami has given him, he has not lived up to his contract.
He started gaining some momentum at the end of last season, but it was nothing to brag about. If he can work hard this offseason, there should be no reason why he can't improve.
He has a great presence on the field and leadership qualities that many players would love to have. He just needs to step up and take his game to a new level.
Joe Philbin, Mike Sherman and Kevin Coyle all give the Miami Dolphins' players and fans a new hope.
There is just something different about this coaching squad than the ones in the past. Joe Philbin brings in a different kind of vibe. One with a more quiet, yet, competitive and intellectual take on football.
Mike Sherman brings in an offensive mind that is more dynamic and exciting. Coyle brings in a physical, yet, precise style of play that uses successful tactics and brings out the best in all the players.
Lastly, Joe Philbin is the kind of guy that players respect but at a different level than Sparano. Players loved Sparano, but I am not quite sure if they actually believed that they could go very far with him. With Philbin, I think that players will respect him and believe that there is a real future with him.
If the Miami Dolphins can get off to a great start, and finish the season with a winning record, then I believe that it will set the stage for many successful years ahead!