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Miami Dolphins Preview: The Long Road Back to Respectability

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Miami Dolphins Preview: The Long Road Back to Respectability

Like their AFC East rivals the New England Patriots, the Miami Dolphins were just a game away from making history last season.

Of course, it was the wrong type of history.

The Miami Dolphins were historically bad last season. They were embarrassing. The same team that once went undefeated and set the standard for greatness in the NFL struggled to win a single game last year.

But 2007 is over, and 2008 is a new season.

For as long as I can remember, the Dolphins’ defense has been anchored by Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas. Next season, there will be no Jason Taylor chasing down opposing quarterbacks. There will be no Zach Thomas chasing down opposing running backs.

Bill Parcells came in and realized that his defense was either too old or not talented enough at almost every position, so he cleaned house. For better or worse, he was not going to bring back the same team that only won a single game last season.

Frankly, it can’t get worse. It won’t get worse.

You want to talk big-time offseason acquisitions? Bill Parcells, Jeff Ireland, and Tony Sparano might be the biggest acquisitions of this offseason.

Let’s be honest, players don’t make teams as pathetic as the Dolphins were last season. If you’re talented enough to play in the NFL, you’re probably talented enough to win more than one game.

When a front office and coaching staff is completely and utterly inept, the team that shows up on Sundays is going to be even more inept. Cam Cameron, whom I’m sure is a great guy, was a terrible, terrible head coach. His coaching staff was awful.

Put it this way: He was able to play the Jets and the Bills twice each last season and still couldn’t win a single division game. If that’s not inept, I’m not sure what is.

The Cowboys have a pretty good collection of talent, and these are the guys that put it together (unless you believe Jerry Jones’ theory that the same guy who once drafted Quincy Carter and declared him the starting quarterback could also be responsible for building a potential Super Bowl juggernaut).

They will bring that same philosophy to Miami, and I expect it to pay dividends...eventually.

Just not this season.

Chad Pennington will make their short-passing game far superior to what it was last season. Of course, all he’s capable of at this point in his career is a short pass.

Regardless, he's still a huge improvement over the insults to Dan Marino’s memory they threw out there last season.

The Dolphins aren’t going to contend for a Super Bowl, but Chad Pennington has two Super Bowls on his schedule—the first and last games of the season. Imagine if Pennington could knock off Brett Favre and his old team while quarterbacking a team that only won one game last season.

It would be the greatest accomplishment of Pennington’s career and the most embarrassing moment in the Jets' history.

 

Fantasy Sleeper: Ricky Williams 

Bill Parcells loves Ricky. Plus, Ronnie Brown isn’t going to be 100 percent this season.  As long as he can stay off the pot and show up for his drug tests, he will definitely be in the mix for Comeback Player of the Year.

 

Fighting for draft picks, fighting for the playoffs, or contending for the Super Bowl?

The Miami Dolphins will most certainly be fighting for draft picks.

 

Prediction

Between four and six wins, showing steady improvement as the season progresses.

 

Sean Crowe is a Senior Writer and an NFL Community Leader at Bleacher Report. You can email him at scrowe@gmail.com. His archive can be found here. You can find everything he writes, including articles for other publications, here.

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