The Miami Dolphins are going to have a long and difficult season. I hope I am wrong, but unless drastic improvements occur, I am right.
I am a lifelong Dolphin fan. I have also been a sports talk radio host for 16 years. I am 41 years old. I have always been objective and brutally honest about my Dolphins. I didn’t ever want my listeners to think I was being a homer.
But when the Dolphins lose, it still ruins my day, weekend, week, and potentially season.
It has been horrible the last eight years, but I got used to the pain. Last year was the first time in forever that I felt like they were my Dolphins again.
I was very excited for this season to start, and felt Miami improved in the off season. They are 3-0 in the preseason, but have so many essential problems that, barring improvement, will lead to a painful-to-watch year.
The pass defense is an embarrassment. If Byron Leftwich had any touch or accuracy the Bucs would have demolished Miami. I am sick to my stomach. Three games in a row now, and receivers and tight ends have roamed down the middle of the field, wide open.
The only good thing I have seen from the Dolphins' pass defense has been their coverage against the bomb and their ability to tighten up in the red zone. Other than that, getting open against Miami is embarrassingly easy.
The Dolphins also are having very serious tackling troubles. There have been big break-away runs in all three exhibition games, and no Dolphin defender seems immune to the problem. Both the veterans and rookies have been posterized on a regular basis. I am having nightmares of Thurman Thomas running all over Miami again and again.
The Dolphins can’t run the ball. Period. Jake Grove is a mind blowing bust as a free agent pick up from the Raiders. He was supposed to be the black-and-blue anchor of the line as the new center. It hasn’t happened.
Donald Thomas recently eased Dolphins' fans fears with his tough and steady play at right guard. If Grove and Thomas don’t become more dominant in the run blocking game, Miami is in big trouble. Jake Long and Justin Smiley are not moving anybody off the line on the left side, that is for sure. Long is have trouble in pass blocking for crying out loud!
The Dolphins' punt and kick return games have to be the worst in the league. They are pathetically pedestrian. Miami is so desperate at these positions, that they have now returned Ted Ginn and Davone Bess to the positions.
I don’t want my number one wide receiver returning kicks, and Davone Bess just dances all day long. I love him as a receiver, but he is a joke as a punt returner.
This means the Dolphins' will face long fields all season, with a dink-and-dunk offense that can’t run the ball. That sounds like fun.
My only hope is a long shot. The prayer that Parcells and Sparano are holding their boys back. Miami has to play all of their preseason opponents again in the regular season. The kid in me says that the Dolphins are fooling their foes to sleep.
But the tape doesn’t lie, and I am not a kid anymore. The first team Miami faces will destroy them if there are not massive improvements. On September 13th Matt Ryan will find Tony Gonzalez and Roddy White wide open all day long on the lightning fast turf of the Georgia Dome.
I don’t even want to think about what Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood will do to Miami. It could be unflatteringly ugly.
I hope that I am wrong.