Wednesday, January 06, 2010

End of year report card

At mid-season they were 3-5.  They did better in the second half going 4-4, for a 7-9 final record.
I think a C- is warranted. There were certainly so good moments in the season.  But there were definitely some god-awful-cover-your-eyes moments as well.
Receiver is a glaring need.  Safety, and linebackers also stand out.
Offense: When Ronnie went down, the run game suffered.  The Wildcat became somewhat extinct.  But Ricky filled in well.  I think the running game is still strong, its just too bad the coaches got away from it (likely because they were often playing from behind).  The passing game got emphasized more later in the season, which was good because we got a long look at Chad Henne.  But was bad because of the lack of talent; and because we got to see a lot of Chad Henne.  Having him throw 50 times in a game when you have a good ground attack is silly.
Defense: I like what I saw from the rookies. The linebackers were up and down. The line generally was average, and Soliai was overmatched most times.   JT and J-Peasy looked old. And the pass defense had to account for inadequecies on the ILB and safety positions.
Special teams: The kicking and punting were strong. The return game had some really great moments (Ted Ginn's two returns), but Bess' fair catches and Ginn's 26 yard return average made them just average.
Coaching: I wasn't impressed with Sparano's motivation techniques late in the season.  As Jim Mandich said recently "he needed to make the point that the game starts at 1pm, not at 3pm," since many weeks, the team had to stage a comeback after falling behind.  He made some odd decisions on going for 2m field goals, and punting; and also had a couple of timeout decisions that made me raise my eyebrow. That quirky timeout before the half of the Saints game also stands out.
Best game: There were a couple of worthy contenders, but you can't beat the Monday Night Football game against the Jets. Nicely done.
Worst game: There were a couple to pick from, but that first half against the Texans was the single worst first half any Dolphins team has ever played - so there's your winner.
MVP: Ronnie Brown led the way through midseason.  Ricky did well.  Randy Starks looked like he might take the award at some point, but dropped off.  Nate Garner deserved a nomination because he came on strong and played 4 of the 5 positions on the line.  But in the end, it was the 5th guy on that o-line, the only player to make the pro bowl, who quietly stole the show.  Our MVP is Jake Long.
Rookie of the year: Sean Smith. Vontae was the guy that was picked on more, but was that because of scheme or because Smith was playing so well?  We don't know.  But I give it up to Mr. Smith, though Vontae also played well.
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