Thursday, July 21, 2016

Not the Same 'ol Dolphins

Let's start on the Defensive side of the ball:
1.   Last year, even the players hated the scheme.  When you have thoroughbreds, why race them as trotters.  The D-Line was supposed to set the tone, and yet we played a 'read and react' type of defense.   It was idiotic.  We should have have played to our strengths, which was (and is) to give the QB and RBs no time to make plays - basically blow up their offensive line every play.
2.   This year's Defensive Coordinator, Vance Joseph, coaches the way these guys want and like to play.  He coaches the way the Seattle Seahawks play.   Had we had him last year, we would have been a playoff team.
3.   With the additions of Alonso, Willams and Maxwell (aggressive players), the team adds playmakers and solid talent.  If Kiko Alonso stays healthy, he will be the first pure (fast) middle linebacker since Zach Thomas.  Sorry Crowder, you just didn't play the middle that well.  Mario Williams was asked to cover in that BS defense Buffalo ran.  How stupid was that?!?   He won't be asked to do that this year.  Frankly, and even though I loved him, Brent Grimes sucked last year.  Maxwell will be physical, which will play to the strengths of the D-Line (giving them an extra second to get to the QB) by forcing receivers to take a little longer getting into their route.  Brent could never do that.   He just played tight coverage.

Special Teams:
One name: Jakeem Grant.  I predict Grant will score at least 4 times on Punts and Kickoffs.

Offense:
1.   The Miami Dolphins upgraded the offense in the draft, but that was not the most important upgrade to this years' offense.  Coach Adam Gase's play-calling and general philosophy is the most important upgrade to the team.  I am so happy about our coaches this year.   It has been 20 years, since we had this kind of talent and quality in coaches.  Foerster and Williams (the line coaches) are exceptional.
2.    As a continuation of the aforementioned upgrade, Ryan Tannehill will finally be able to move to the best play available, every down.  He will be allowed to become a real leader of the offense.   Not being allowed to get out of bad plays has been a detriment to his development.    If Gase is the QB Whisperer we think he is, Tannehill will flourish.  And, Miami's Offense will start putting up 30+ points per game.  Keep in mind, going back 15 years, teams that score 25+ points per game make the playoffs just under 95% of the time.  Only one team  scoring 28+ points per game did not make the plays in the last 15 years (New England).  However, they did win 11 games that year.
3.   Am I concerned about the offensive line?  Well, of course.   Ryan Tannehill has been sacked 46 times a year on average since entering the league (far more than any other QB in that same time).  Imagine how much better he could be if he was sacked 15 or 20 fewer times.  If you add the hurries and other hits to the sacks number, it is amazing Ryan has thrown for over 4000 yards these last two years.  One stat I found interesting, Ryan Tannehill rates at the top of the heap in Play Action Passing, second only to Matty (Ice) Ryan in Atlanta.  I believe Gase can work with that.  It is probably why we signed Arian Foster, a well respected receiver out of the backfield.   Plus, Foster is an excellent blocker (far better than the departed Miller).

Prediction:  I know most of the talking heads have Miami finishing 8-8 or just under that, especially since we have such a rough West Coast road schedule.  However, Miami plays well on the road - better than most teams in fact.  I always see the glass as half-full.  If you have read my articles over the last three years, you know I predict winning records.  This year is no different.  I see Miami winning 11+ games with this new staff.   Heck, I even think Miami will be 3-1 after the first 4 games this season.  Most people believe we will be 1-3.  Yes, Miami will make the playoffs with an 11+ win regular season.

I love the new Stadium upgrade.  Mr. Ross, you rock!


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34 comments

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The Dolphins will be all around better...I think 9-7 seems more feasible though...Seawhaks,Patriots is a brutal start to the season but if we can win one of those I think we will be off and running...

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The Dolphins will be all around better...I think 9-7 seems more feasible though...Seawhaks,Patriots is a brutal start to the season but if we can win one of those I think we will be off and running...

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They have a tough schedule in what appears to be a tough division this year. However, i don't think Miami is going to go 1-7 in division games this year. If they go 4-4 in the division they make the playoffs. If Gase does 80% of what i projected, and the OL stays health and makes decent progress, i think the Dolphins have as good a chance to make the playoffs and SB as any team in the league. I'm excited for the season. GO PHINS~!

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I completely agree. Well said!

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I believe we beat New England. Seattle, I give us a 45% chance of winning.

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Both Seattle and New England are most vulnerable early in the season. We could do surprisingly well especially since the opponent will not have much film on us. On the other hand, if it takes our team longer to pickup the new schemes we could have a very bad start. Too early to tell yet. However, I would be happy if we won 9 games this year.

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I think the synopsis is on the positive side but in general, I agree. I am stoked to see what this team can do and even if the playoffs do not happen this year, I expect an upwards climb from this point forward. We NEED it to be!

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Gary....only 6 division games not 8

It's a long, long way to Tipperary. If we stay healthy, I'll take 10-6 and run.

Playoffs would be great but we are a young team with a new staff so I am holding my enthusiasm in check until week 3 of preseason and see what happens then.

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Carl, what a couple of years of dissapointment and you curb your expectation??? :) In the NFL, worst to first happens on a consistent basis. I believe at least one team has done it 12 of last 15 years... someone else can do the research, but I know it is quite common.

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I don't think it fair to say our coaching staff is "better", they haven't even coached one day of camp yet! We all hope they are better but that shall be seen.

As for the preseason, I don't take that seriously at all. It's just a glorified practice.

We all hope the Phins are better his year, but we say this every year and look what happens!!!

I'll take 9-7 with a few of those losses being by one score. That in my opinion, will give me reason for optimism.

But I do agree with the comment about the Seahawks and Patriots being vulnerable early in the season. Those games can go either way.

Go Phins!!!!

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Lawrence Chavez: Generally, I agree with your comments. But... I view the pre-season games a little differently. I believe the pre-season games are a test of how good your depth is, since back-ups play the most in those games. The lack of depth has killed the 'fins for several years now, and I believe the staff has done a good job of improving our depth (especially on the offensive line) considering the limitations of the draft and salary-cap issues.

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Lawrence Chavez: Generally, I agree with your comments. But... I view the pre-season games a little differently. I believe the pre-season games are a test of how good your depth is, since back-ups play the most in those games. The lack of depth has killed the 'fins for several years now, and I believe the staff has done a good job of improving our depth (especially on the offensive line) considering the limitations of the draft and salary-cap issues.

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@ chewee2k:

I agree with what you said. That is a great point. But what comes to mind for me is the year when Tannehill matched the offense right down the field in a preseason game and scored and then everyone was up in arms about how great the offense was going to be and all this crap and then we all know what actually happened! But your point is spot on about depth. Look for some of my posts after camp opens!! It's kinda slow on the football front now

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If "if" was a fifth we'd all be drunk. There' an awful lot of "ifs" we need to go our way to have a winning season.

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Lawrence, the coaching staff is an upgrade. Make no mistake. Kevin Coyle and Joe Philbin were NOT respected by the players almost from day one. Do you remember Hard Knocks? It was evident within the first month that we were in trouble. Coaching matters.

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@ Mad Phins Fan:

Yes coaching matters. But we cannot make a determination that these coaches are upgrades when they haven't held 1 training camp practice yet. We all thought Philbin was an upgrade over Sparano and he clearly was not. All I'm saying is before we jump to conclusions, let's at least wait to see how this plays out. Philbin was supposed to run "up tempo" offense and that didn't happen the whole time. We all hope Gase and Joseph are great, there is no question that we all hope for that but it has not been proven yet

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I think I will share the opinion of OJ McDuffie. He believes this new staff is an upgrade, especially on offense. Come on man. You have to be glad Philbin is gone. He alienated players. Coyle was horrible. His play calling and scheme took away from the natural talents of the players. Any change there is an upgrade.

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@ madphinsfan:

All I am saying is to lower expectations. These Phins have let me down for years already. I hope for 9-7 with a few losses being by only 1 possession. I'll be happy with that

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I love almost all of your posts Lawrence. I am trying to say, we have had the talent to be playoff bound. I feel 75 to 85% of the problem has been the coaches. I belive wholeheartedly that has been finally addressed. Believe me when I say, I feel the frustration of 15 years of subpar teams... except the wildcat year...of course. That was fun.

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And, my expectations are as high as ever... 11 winS IS doable if we stay healthy. Chewee2k said it. Our depth problems appear to have been addressed. A few injuries won't kill us this year. If we lose all the players at one position, well heck - bad luck. Bill Belicheat seems to be able to work through injuries every year. Heck one year they lost 6 starters on defense and still managed to stop people.

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Just not gonna get carried away

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Kind of hard not to be an upgrade

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He has Brady

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He has Brady

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Kind of hard not to be an upgrade

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Yes he does, but I was only addressing his ability to put together a viable defense no matter who is playing (injuries).

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"If Kiko Alonso stays healthy, he will be the first pure (fast) middle linebacker since Zach Thomas."

Guess you forgot about Karlos Dansby

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Good read btw, ty