Sneaky 'Phins: Are This Year's Dolphins the Sleepers of the 2010 Season?

Old AccountSenior Writer IMay 17, 2010

DENVER - DECEMBER 20:  Brandon Marshall #15 of the Denver Broncos stiff arms Tyvon Branch #33 of the Oakland Raiders in the second half at Invesco Field at Mile High on December 20, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Raiders defeated the Broncos 20-19.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins had one of the busiest off seasons in the NFL this year.

In a division where the Jets made numerous upgrades, and a Patriots team that always contends, Bill Parcells needed to bring in some pieces to be competitive this year.

He, however, did more than most of us expected, which has made people believe this is a championship contender.

The splash began with the signing of linebacker Karlos Dansby from the Arizona Cardinals.

Upgrades were needed at the linebacker position, especially under the new defense of Mike Nolan.

Even though they give a bit too much money for my taste, linebacker was one of the weakest parts of this team, that needed to add youth.

Head coach Tony Sparano always is tough on his defense, looking for physicality week in and week out.

I don't see the Dolphins as a top 10 defense with the addition of Dansby, but with Nolan at the helm, we saw how it can change in one season based off his tenure in Denver.

The biggest acquisition, arguably for any team this off season, is trading for receiver Brandon Marshall.

Though Marshall was heavily rumored to Miami, I didn't believe it would happen. After the debacle with Terrell Owens in Dallas, I didn't see Bill Parcells bringing in a potential locker room cancer to this young roster.

It is a risk for reward type deal. Marshall got the big contract he was looking for, but the questions remain whether or not he can avoid trouble in South Beach.

On the field, however, an instant upgrade to an unbalanced offense. With no true receiver on the offense, Marshall becomes a new friend for Chad Henne, who many expect to take more strides within the Dolphins' offense.

Combine the passing threat with the Wildcat offense, and the Dolphins won't be as predictable on the offensive side of the ball.

This has propelled the Dolphins to become a Super Bowl favorite by many. They feel the acquisition of Marshall makes the difference, as Chad Henne seems to be the answer in Miami.

I still have some questions about Miami, but yet again, we always have our surprises. The Bengals surprised us last year, and the Dolphins and Falcons two years ago.

The AFC seems to be the more dominant conference once again, but whether or not the Dolphins can crash the party remains to be seen.


Matt Miselis is an NFL Featured Columnist for

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