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Miami has secured solid talent at left tackle (Jake Long), left guard (Richie Incognito), full back (Lousaka Polite), slot receiver (Davone Bess), possession wide-out (Brandon Marshall), and pretty much the entire defense with the way it is being run by Mike Nolan with only an exception or two in the whole unit.
The first order of business that needs to be addressed is Chad Henne; it is clear that he is either not ready or must go. I agree, the play-calling in Miami has not been up to par, but many feel he never truly earned the starting job, while it was instead gifted to him even after being out-played in the preseason by Chad Pennington and Tyler Thigpen. When this guy is given the choice on an option, he still manages to botch the hand-off. He’ll over throw a wide-open receiver, he’ll under throw a player who then has to stop mid-route to catch the ball, only to be crushed by two linebackers. His mechanics look like that of a novice, he has horrible pocket presence, and up until recently, freaked when he could even feel a defender nearing and dropped to the floor. Unless Miami plans on drafting an early QB, they might as well not even bother with picking one up in the second round, they’d just be drafting another Henne all over again.
After the Thursday night massacre versus the Bears in Week 11, it was more than clear that Miami lacks a considerable amount of depth in the interior offensive line. Sure, Center Joe Berger was out, and his replacement, Cory Procter, got hurt in the game as well, but there’ve been a big number of injuries throughout the year and the guys coming off of the bench are having a little trouble picking up the slack.
The Dolphins made two big off-season acquisitions with Wide Receiver Brandon Marshall and Linebacker Karlos Dansby. Despite them being warmly welcomed by the fans and coaching staff alike, they didn’t necessarily end the mild state of crisis on the roster. Marshall isn’t as much of a speedster as he is more of a possession, evasive wide-out, and after trading former first-round letdown Ted Ginn Jr., the team became much slower and lost its special teams explosiveness. Dansby filled a huge void, while the originally slated starter beside him, Channing Crowder, had been under-performing in past years and has only played in 6 games (from Week 6 to 11) all season, and has already missed the last two games due to injury.
Lastly, the heroes of 2008, and Wild-Cat formation workhorses, Running Backs Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams are both thoroughly beloved by people throughout the Miami fan base. Though, with both of them being free agents after this season, it has become clear that something has got to give. One of these two guys won’t be here by the time the 53-man roster is announced next year, and it has become apparent that they are also a bit less productive as before. Ricky not so much, but Ronnie just doesn’t seem the same after the season-ending Lisfranc fracture he suffered in 2009.
Changes need to be made, and the future is the perfect place to start.