Just before the 2013 NFL season, the Miami Dolphins fanbase is full of hope and optimism. While this feeling is nothing new for many Miami fans, who never give up, this year that feeling is supported by reality. The Dolphins are a much improved team that will contend for postseason play.
Miami has a budding star at quarterback in Ryan Tannehill, who has a valuable year of NFL experience under his belt.
At this time last year, fans were hopeful of Tannehill's future, but the rookie was not expected to beat out David Garrard and Matt Moore. Not only did he shed his "project" label, but he flashed glimpses of stardom in his first year as the Dolphins field general.
In contrast to last year, Miami's receiving corp is formidable with Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, Dustin Keller and Brandon Gibson. Tannehill will make plenty of big plays with the aid of his speedy targets.
The Dolphins also brought in Tyson Clabo, Lance Louis and Dallas Thomas to enhance Tannehill's protection. Second-year tackle Jonathan Martin has added muscle and is expected to improve upon his difficult rookie campaign. Guard Richie Incognito and center Mike Pouncey are already regarded as standouts in their respective positions.
Defensive stars Cameron Wake, Paul Soliai, Randy Starks and Reshad Jones will be complemented by new impact players such as Dion Jordan, Dannell Ellerbe, Philip Wheeler, Brent Grimes and Jamar Taylor, making Miami's defense dangerously potent.
The good news doesn't end there. Let's look at some information that Miami fans may be overlooking.