Monday, August 29, 2011

NFL 32 in 32: Miami Dolphins

The last couple of years for the Miami Dolphins have been pretty interesting. They have tried to replicate the success of 2008 when they won the AFC East, but they have had no such luck. Their QB situation has deteriorated with time too. Will this year be the year they finally get back to 2008 levels of success?

What's New: Not a whole lot, honestly. Their biggest free agent signing this year was Kevin Burnett, an ILB from San Diego, who will try to fill the void that Channing Crowder left when he retired. Also, the Dolphins addressed their offensive line with the additions of T Marc Colombo from Dallas, and Ray Willis from Seattle. In the draft, they also drafted Mike Pouncey, or Maurkice Pouncey's twin brother, and he hopes to have the same type of success that his brother did in Pittsburgh. Maybe the biggest changes were to the backfield. Gone are former standouts in Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams, and in are Reggie Bush and rookie Daniel Thomas, who will look to replicate the successes of the departed running backs. The Dolphins didn't lose much this offseason either, so the core of the team basically stays intact.

Biggest Strength: On offense, their running game will still be a strong point, but it will have an interesting dynamic this season with the 2 newcomers. Daniel Thomas looks like he may get the bulk of the carries, while Reggie Bush will probably have around 20 touches per game. The Dolphins will probably need to rely a bit more on their passing game, despite the questions surrounding Chad Henne, and they do have the weapons to do so. Brandon Marshall looks fully recovered from his offseason issues, and Davone Bess and Brian Hartline are not bad wideouts either. Their offensive line is impressive and has very good players like Jake Long, and should not be a problem for the Dolphins this year. Defensively, they have a good linebacking corps led by Karlos Dansby, and spurred by the return of Jason Taylor, and their secondary is very underrated.

Biggest Weakness: Aside from the QB problems, their defensive line has some depth issues, and their running game while having the potential to be great could also become a big problem if it doesn't get going. But, the major issues surround Chad Henne. It was no secret that the Dolphins were trying to go after Kyle Orton this summer, and they obviously failed in that pursuit, and Dolphin fans let the team know that. Henne has had some good moments and some bad moments this preseason, but he has staved off a challenge from newcomer Matt Moore, but he is ready to take over if it all goes wrong. Not many people have confidence in Chad Henne, and that is the biggest problem.

Outlook: If Miami wants to compete this season for a playoff spot, they have to get better QB play from Chad Henne, and play better at home. They went 1-7 at home last season, and that sure won't cut it if they want to be a playoff team. If Henne doesn't play well, the Dolphins will have a bevy of problems to deal with. If he does, then there is a chance for a playoff berth. If not, then out come the hounds. If the Dolphins themselves don't seem that confident in Chad Henne, then why should anyone else?

No comments:

Post a Comment