Category: Opinion

Tannehill’s play must improve or ‘We Want Moore’ chants will get louder

By Julian (Miami_Jules on Twitter)

It has happened again! The Miami Dolphins, going into the 2nd game of the season following a brilliant and glorious game against New England last week, managed to not just lose the game, but to get soundly outperformed at every level by the Buffalo Bills. Please tell me we’re not about to re-live 2013 all over again and that this game was just an accident, a compilation of all that could go wrong instead.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

There were few positives coming out of this game and since the list of horrors is a lengthy one, I’ll list the good things first, believe me, there are not that many. It was reassuring to see rookie running back Damian Williams doing well, after Knowshon Moreno had to leave the game and Miller’s struggling performance. The second positive we could take from the game is… actually, there are no more positives we can take from the game.

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When will they stop being the ‘Same old Dolphins’?

 

By Bill (@PhinNation on Twitter)

As good as the Miami Dolphins looked in week 1 against the Patriots, they looked every bit as bad in week 2 against the Buffalo Bills.  The offense stunk….the defense wasn’t great……and the special teams were….well…..’special’.  Add it all up and you had the EXACT performance we fans expected from the Dolphins following their surprising win against the Patriots.  I am no Nostradamous, but I said on Twitter that ‘if the Dolphins beat the Patriots, I expect them to lose next week against the Bills’.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Why would a life-long fan, who wants nothing but the best for his team feel this way?  Because I’ve seen it before.  You’ve seen it before. The Miami Dolphins are the Hangover movie.  WE ALL KNOW HOW THE MOVIE ENDS.  Sadly and predictably, this is what it’s felt like to be a Dolphins fan for the last 5 years:

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The Dolphins’ Lazor Effect

By Julian (@Miami_Jules on Twitter)

The Miami Dolphins offense, coming off a sack ridden year last season, had its work cut out by starting the new season under a new offensive coordinator and brand new offensive line. Few predicted other than a less than promising season for the Phins, who failed to sell the play action last season because of a non-existent running game, and long drawn out plays from the pocket.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Many times last year,  the Miami defense looked exhausted and spent because of the offense inability to keep a sustained drive alive which only compounded the many problems facing the team, but change was coming and today change was evident on both sides of the ball, when Miami beat New England by coming from behind for a change.

Another change from last year was the fact that the higher scoring game favored Miami, a sign that the dynamics of new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor’s plan had been embraced, digested and was about to be executed on the field of play.

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PhinNation Predictions Part 3: Game by Game Dolphins picks for the 2014 season

 

The Miami Dolphins are about to kickoff year 3 of their most recent re-build.  Ryan Tannehill enters year 3 in the NFL…..Joe Philbin enters year 3 as the Dolphins Head Coach…..and both need to come up big this year.  Philbin likely needs to guide his team to the playoffs in order to stay in Miami beyond this season.  The team brought in a new offensive coordinator, who’s offense will finally be unveiled on Sunday.  The defense made a few tweaks, but remains a question mark.  Will the offseason changes by new GM, Dennis Hickey be enough?

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

You’ve probably already read through Cyrus and Jules predictions for the season.  Spoiler Alert: I’m not as optimistic as they are. Cyrus had the Dolphins making it to the Conference Championship game and Jules had the team winning the Super Bowl.  I’m not going to give away my prediction just yet, but I will say that I’m cautiously optimistic.  Here’s how I see the season playing out:

vs. New England

Lazor unveils his new, high-speed offense.  Will the Dolphins be able to pass the ball effectively against a very good Patriots secondary?  Will they be able to stop the run?  Will the South Florida heat make the Patriots wilt?  I’d love for the answer to all of those questions to be yes.  One matchup that scares me to death is Vince Wilfork against Samson Satele.  Wilfork has stolen Satele’s lunch money in the past and I actually fear for Satele’s health after this game (and Tannehill’s).  Despite all of that, I think the Dolphins find a way to excite the fanbase, pulling off the upset of week 1!  Prediction: Dolphins 27 Patriots 24 (1-0)

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PhinNation Predictions Part 2: Are the Dolphins a playoff team??

 

By Cyrus (@Cyruslassus on Twitter)

Recent history makes me a little bit afraid of projecting a 10+ win season, but the team is the strongest it has been in years and I do not think it is logical to expect mediocrity just because they have been in previous years.  Although that is a feeling I have a hard time shaking myself.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

In spite of mediocre results Miami has played exceptionally well against, and beaten, some of the league’s elite teams over the past couple of seasons and I think that the key to turning the corner will be to deliver a 5-1 divisional record.  This is how I visualize their leap into the league’s elite.

Sweeps over the Bills and Jets are a must.  They could not accomplish this without Bill Lazor’s offense, in fact they put up a pitiful 1-3 record against these squads.

That three game swing would have given Miami an 11 win season in 2013.

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PhinNation Predictions Part 1: Big things ahead for the Dolphins?

 

By Miami Jules (@Miami_Jules on Twitter)

I have a sense of optimism about my Dolphins, going into the 2014 season, I haven’t felt since the days of Don Shula. Miami had a very good draft and that, along with moves made by Dennis Hickey and the Dolphins, during the early days of the free agent signing period, were right on target. It’s been a long time since priorities have been addressed in appropriate order in Davie, and that in and of itself says quite a bit about the leaders in the front office and coaching staff.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Gone are the frustrating days of an OC who left you wondering what game he was watching and while optimism must remain tempered by their very infancy, it looks as though these players have embraced and digested this new offence and appear comfortable executing most plays from the new playbook. One thing which because of past frustrations on offence, may have gone relatively unnoticed, is that Miami appears to be tacking on defense and stopping the run. I have Miami taking the division at 9-7… let the season commence.

AFC East
Miami 9-7
New England 9-7
New York Jets 8-8
Buffalo 7-9

AFC North
Baltimore 10-6
Cincinnati  9-7
Pittsburgh 8-8
Cleveland 6- 10

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PhinNation accepts the Dolphins Ice Bucket Challenge

 

By Cyrus (@Cyruslassus on Twitter)

O.J. Brigance carved out a successful NFL career that began as a Miami Dolphin from 1996 until 1999. I remember him well although I apparently never knew how to properly say his name, much like Patrick Surtain.

I also did not know that he was a part of the Baltimore Stallions 1995 Grey Cup winning team and then joined the Ravens for their Super Bowl season in 2000.

dolphins ice bucket

He helped bring a Canadian Football League and National Football League title in his two seasons in Baltimore, with the Stallions success helping set the stage for the NFL return to a city that lost the Colts to Indianapolis and the All-time winningest coach in NFL history, Don Shula, to the Miami Dolphins.

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Brady Quinn might not make the Dolphins final roster

 

By Bill (@PhinNation on Twitter)

The Miami Dolphins made a surprising move at the quarterback position yesterday, signing Brady Quinn to a contract.  Not to worry, Ryan Tannehill is still firmly entrenched as the starter.  And most likely, Matt Moore will still serve as his backup for the 2014 season.  I’m writing that despite Joe Philbin saying this morning that Quinn will compete with Matt Moore for the #2 QB spot. Quinn needs to learn the entire offense and adjust to teammates in a very short period of time. So the odds of him unseating Moore (injury notwithstanding) are long, at best.  The surprising part is that Pat Devlin is gone and Brady Quinn is in.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Devlin, who has been one of Joe Philbin’s favorite players, has been dealing with injuries and poor play throughout training camp.  It seems that with Matt Moore’s shoulder issues thus far in camp, the Dolphins were looking for a veteran to serve as Moore’s backup (or 3rd QB).  I do not think, in any way, that Brady Quinn will be challenging Matt Moore for the #2 job.  I write this knowing full well that Moore is overpaid and cutting him would save about $3.5 mil against the Dolphins cap.  And if the Dolphins brought in Quinn, 3 weeks into camp, to save cap room, they’re completely incompetent. Cap saving moves like that should’ve been made in the offseason.

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Who will fill Reshad Jones’ spot at Safety for Dolphins?

By Cyrus (@Cyruslassus on Twitter)

More disappointing news for the Miami Dolphins as Reshad Jones has been suspended four games for the league substance abuse police.  Jones joins Dion Jordan among the hundreds (slight exaggeration) of players with a positive test attributed to a supplement he did not know contained a banned substance.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

The limited amount of information that the public gets in these suspensions is disappointing.  We do not know what kind of performance enhancing drug the players took and it seems everything gets the same exact suspension.  Assuming the PEDs helped Dion Jordan get bigger, then he might have gotten more bang for his buck for his suspension.

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Which Dolphins rookies will stand out in Preseason Game #1?

 

By Cyrus (@Cyruslassus on Twitter)

Twenty five rookies could debut in a Dolphins uniform against the Atlanta Falcons and it is a surprisingly deep group.  Roughly fifteen players out of this group could reasonably make the final 53 man roster or 8 man practice squad.

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Photo Courtesy of Dolphins.com

Here are the guys I am most excited to see tonight as I expect each one to make the final 53 man roster and earn playing time in 2014:

#14 Jarvis Landry, WR Louisiana State
The second round pick is the early favorite for Dolphins rookie of the year.  All reports are that he looks like a seasoned vet and very much in the battle for the starting slot receiver position.

#72 Ja’Wuan James, OT, Tennessee
The first round pick is your starting right tackle for better or worse, he has no real competition in camp.  He was drafted because he projects well as a blocker in the running and passing game.

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