It’s real easy to be a little worried about the Miami Dolphins after their performance in the preseason. The offense was far from impressive, the defense showed nothing to take the place of the sacks they let go during the off-season, and the special teams gave up big play after big play.
If we judge the upcoming 2010 season based on what we saw during the preseason, a pessimist would cancel their Sunday Ticket, but the optimist will pay the bill in advance. Personally, I fall under the optimist side, and I’m going to tell you why. I’m not going to go into a list of things about why I’m excited about the upcoming season for the Miami Dolphins, I’m just going to give you my reasons.
Let’s start with their record, 2-2. For the first time under the Tri-Fecta era, the Dolphins lost 2 games in the preseason. If you think about it, this could be a good thing. Most perennial playoff teams don’t have winning records in the preseason. This is due to the fact that they don’t have as many roster spots open for competition. When the starters play, they run plays to work on things, not to beat the other team. Is anyone really writing the Colts off after their 59-24 spanking they received by the Packers? I’m not, I think they will be in the mix during they playoffs like they are every year.
The special teams will be better. Most veteran players don’t take special teams as serious as they would if they were trying to make a roster spot like 1st of 2nd year guys. Once the season begins though, veterans play better on special teams. Look for the better than average returns by the opposition to decline. This will play right into the hands of the defense, who should have opponents starting deeper in their own territory. Having this take place will really make it possible to be more creative with the defense.
Another reason I’m not worried about the Miami Dolphins is Mike Nolan. This guy was the biggest off-season acquisition the Dolphins made this year, bigger than Brandon Marshall and Karlos Dansby. Nolan is a proven winner, who clearly knows how to put a good defense on the field. For the most part, the Dolphins first unit on defense didn’t give up many points, and overall the Dolphins ended up plus 5 in the turnover department. This is something that will improve during the regular season once Nolan implements his blitzing schemes, something he didn’t do during the preseason.
The offense is going to score points, despite what we saw in the preseason. I watched the games just like everyone else did, I saw the first team offense fail to score points, just like everyone else did. But when you dig deeper, you realize that Brandon Marshall and Brian Hartline won’t have as many drops. Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams will hit their holes a little faster, and the O-Line will surely play better. This will clearly take some of the pressure off of Chad Henne, who has shown much better decision making and touch passing during his first year as the starter.
Call me dump, stupid, even an idiot, but one thing’s for sure, I’m very optomistic about the upcoming season for the Miami Dolphins. Once the real season starts and the games count, look for Miami to make a push for the AFC East Title!
Let me know what you think this year will bring!