What will they do next?
Throughout last year's offseason, Dolphins fans everywhere were getting excited. They had seen a great rushing year, a developing quarterback, and a lot of big name free-agency additions.
Look at the Dolphins now.... A runningback team that couldn't produce, a quarterback who fell short, free-agency additions not living up to expectations, and overall a lack of spark in the offensive unit.
The Miami Dolphins did however improve dramatically on defense, becoming one of the stout top 10 defenses that really shut down high powered offenses. Looking on to the new season we can expect under Mike Nolan we will only get better. Our defense is young and hitting it's prime, so defense all dolphins fans should feel confident about.
The offense however is in rebuilding mode...
Throughout this article I will explain with depth the problems and solutions that need to be done if the Miami Dolphins are planning on getting into the playoffs next season.
This unit can be improved...
While they weren't the worst about the miami dolphins, they surely weren't the best.
This unit throughout the year had trouble with consistency. It had trouble holding off other teams defenses causing Chad Henne to make quick decisions that led to devastating defeats. While Chad Henne took a lot of blame, I believe this unit should take a blow as well.
Not only did they have trouble protecting the quarterback consistently, but they couldn't produce lanes for runningbacks Ronnie and Ricky, the Dolphins bread and butter.
This unit will be upgraded during the offseason. I'm not sure which players will be coming and going, but I can assure you the Dolphins organization isn't happy about where they stand at the moment.
I feel that this is one of the least concerning units on the offense side of the ball. The Miami Dolphins organization will address this problem, but it shouldn't be even close to their main concern.
Anthony Fasano progressed quite well during this year, practically doubling his stats from last season, putting up over 500 yards and 4 touchdowns. A very solid tight end that can put up big numbers.
Other than Fasano, the unit was disappointing. The Dolphins will add at least another tight end this offseason to work opposite Fasano. I wouldn't even mind if it was just a good blocking tight end. Fasano can put up decent numbers, why not add a tight end that can help out our quarterback with protection.
Davone Bess makes an incredible catch and speedy run for the touchdown.
Ok I change my mind, this is the unit I feel that is the least concerning.
People bashed Brandon Marshall, the Dolphins big free agent grab last offseason, for not putting up the stats he has expected to. This wasn't his fault. I blame the coaching unit and the quarterback for his failed expectations. I mainly blame the coaching staff for throughout half the season calling plays that didn't involve a deep throw to him. Chad Henne had the arm, but they didn't use it when they have a guy that can come down with the ball.
Davone Bess is just about my favorite wide receiver in the NFL. He isn't the big number one who can stretch the field, but boy can he make big plays! With the focus on Brandon Marshall the slots and lanes opened up for Bess creating just about the best 3rd down wide receiver there is. Bess is shifty, quick, and can catch the ball. Bess signed an extension on his contract and will be around next year to make big plays.
Brian Hartline also improved for his 2nd year. He provided a great reverse guy who can run with speed and power. Sure he isn't the fastest guy, but he can catch and he can definitely beat defensive backs.
Marlon Moore and Roberto Wallace both got extended playing time towards the end of the year. Marlon had speed after he caught the ball and Roberto had the size or Brandon Marshall and was learning how to go up and come down with the football. Who knows if these guys make it back, but I definitely see potential in both these guys games.
The Miami Dolphins have an excellent wide receiver core and paired with good offensive calling and an accurate quarterback, watch out for this unit!
With all the attention focused on what the dolphins are going to do about the quarterback problem, fans are forgetting about this unit.
Ronnie Brown hits the free agency and Ricky Williams most likely hits the market after bad mouthing head coach Tony Sparano. It is possible neither of these make it back in south Florida.
I didn't appreciate the way Ricky left, I felt he just didn't leave with too much pride. I know he was upset with the calling of Tony, but I don't think he should have bad mouthed him like that causing upset in fans and other players. Sometimes coaches and players just don't play well together and apparently that is the case between these 2. Ricky will most likely be playing with another team next year or hitting retirement.
Ronnie Brown didn't prove as expected to, but I think had more than he showed. He wasn't played often and like I said before I don't believe the offensive line helped him out too much.
As for the offseason, I do believe the Miami Dolphins will be searching for a young guy in the draft, whether it be first round, Mark Ingram, or a later round steal. I have also heard the possibility of free agency (Deangelo williams, Darren Sproles, Mike Tolbert). The Dolphins went out and got the best linebacker and wide receiver on the market last year, who says they won't go for one of the hottest runningbacks.
And here we go.... where to begin....
Throughout the season Chad Henne failed improve as was expected after last year's signs of a great quarterback. Instead he got worse, throwing 19 interceptions that costed points and ultimately costing games. Many Dolphin fans last year were thinking he was the "quarterback of the future" "the new Dan Marino". I was never convinced, personally. I never saw enough to believe that he was the answer.
Chad Henne, to me seemed to have problems with accuracy, pocket presence, and reading defenses. Basically all the qualities you need in a good quarterback. He showed signs of good quarterback for a game only to be squashed with a terrible next game.
Chad Henne might still have potential, but I believe that if 19 interceptions tells us anything, it's that he needs to be sitting behind another quarterback, studying film, and working hard at improving his game. The Miami Dolphins have to go another direction this year at starting quarterback if they want their fans to show up, their team to rally, and most importantly being a successful team in the NFL.
Tyler Thigpen just doesn't have what it takes. He can be solid at times, but like Henne his inconsistency showed. Sure he didn't have the same number as snaps as Henne or Pennington, but I still believe he should have performed better, even when given the opportunity in week 11 against the Chicago Bears.
Chad Pennington a leader. A vetern, is yet fragile, but nonetheless an accurate leader. Chad Pennington was given the start during mid-season when Henne wasn't improving and Pennington took 1 snap before ending up on the sidelines in street clothes. I feel bad for the guy. He is a great quarterback that led the Dolphins to an AFC-East crown in 2008. If he weren't so fragile I believe he could still play in the NFL today at a high level. I do still see Pennington as a great Mentor for the Dolphins if they were looking into resigning him.
So what will the Miami Dolphins do during the offseason at this crucial role? Go to free agency and pick up a proven quarterback such as Kyle Orton or Vince Young or will they put all theyre money down on that rookie they draft in the first round? The decision will be decided soon enough and I know Dolphin fans everywhere are hoping for the new "Dan Marino".
The Miami Dolphins have the potential to be one of the best teams in the league and not only get in the playoffs, but compete for that Lombardi trophy, but until they find a new leader of this offense they aren't going anywhere.
Later in the week I will be posting an article on the Dolphins options at quarterback and runningback. Stay tuned! Comments always appreciated. Thanks for reading.