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