Miami Dolphins Season Preview: Reason For Optimism
Hello Dolfans! The new NFL season is about to begin and with it I'd like to give my thoughts on where our beloved Phins are headed this season.
The last few weeks seem to be full of negatives. Bill Parcells' departure, Will Allen on I.R., and Jake Long being listed as questionable for week one, all seem to have caused some panic amongst the Dolphins fanbase.
I'm not so sure we should be disturbed by Bill Parcells leaving. While there's not been a real explanation to draw an accurate conclusion, all we can really do with this is reason. It seems to me that Parcells is probably having some health problems that are keeping him from going in everyday.
Parcells handing the reigns over to Ireland should be a comforting thing; it's not clear cut but it appears that Parcells is confident in Ireland and Sparano's abilities. Besides, most of Parcells job for the year was done anyways.
The injuries are where I get a little nervous.
Will Allen being hurt again is troubling. I was hoping he would be there to start opposite Vontae Davis since Will is by far a better cornerback than Jason Allen who has taken the starting job from Sean Smith.
This is concerning, but it doesn't spell the end for this team, Sparano seemed pretty high on Jason Allen in Monday's press conference so perhaps he's really improved.
Sounds to me like he could really come out and surprise us, I wouldn't expect outstanding play from him but he should at least be serviceable. Overall though the secondary is cause for concern, it's undeniable.
Jake Long should be fine. We'll find out on Sunday, and if he's good to play then I don't think this injury is very serious.
So out of the three big concerns that have been troubling Dolfans over the last week or two, only one of them is a serious threat to this team.
There are a lot of reasons to be optimistic about the Dolphins this year.
One reason is that a top offensive line in the NFL last year has improved, the running game should be just as dominant, if not more dominant than last year, especially assuming Ronnie Brown can stay healthy all year. There is no question that the running game will once again be a force to be reckoned with.
Another reason for optimism is that Chad Henne now has a true number one receiver to throw to. With the addition of Brandon Marshall this offense has a whole new dimension to it.
To have a guy like Marshall who is a master of YAC and is a reliable receiver takes attention away from guys like Davone Bess who were already solid to begin with. The passing game should open up a lot for Henne with Marshall in Miami.
Look for Hartline and Bess to receive a lot of one on one coverage and get a lot more receptions in the 2010 season.
The defense of this team isn't all that great I'll admit; the secondary is questionable and the line is iffy.
However, the linebackers have gotten better in the offseason. Especially with the addition of Karlos Dansby. Channing Crowder has shown an aptitude to play at the level of the guy next to him, his play was much better alongside an aging Zach Thomas than it was next to Akin Ayodele and Reggie Torbor.
If the trend continues the Dolphins will have two very formidable middle linebackers this year to help stuff the run and even help out in pass coverage.
Mike Nolan's defensive scheme also gives hope to this team. The fact is after last year, Pasqualoni had to go. We haven't seen the creative blitzes that we know Mike Nolan for yet, but get ready. I have a feeling Mike Nolan will utilize guys like Cameron Wake as much as possible in the pass rush. If the pass rush is good enough, the secondary won't have to be the best in the league.
The way I see it the Dolphins should be legitimate playoff contenders this season. Whether they will get there or not I do not know, but I am confident in this year's team. I see a winning football team that will be fighting for a playoff spot in the last few weeks of this season.
So be optimistic Dolfans, the season hasn't even started. Let's be excited about this year. Everyone is 0-0 and still has a chance after all.
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