Lots of things to say.
Wow! What an overall turn of events for the Miami Dolphins: at 2-2 they are better than the past several seasons but nevertheless have displayed certain clear flaws. You may not (at first) want to hear about them – let’s face it, confronting one’s problems is often not pleasant and requires inspection of one’s own behavior and actions…. These Five areas will decide the fate of the Miami Dolphins this season.
1. The Miami Dolphins should have fired coach John Bonamego way, way earlier. And nobody – me included – got the fact that the Special Teams unit was not prepared or competent on a professional level. Which sports analyst or commentator noted this fact? Answer: None. It got by Armando Salguerro over at the Miami Herald (and I greatly respect him) and it got by other analysts such as Mike Mayock of The NFL Network and many, many others. So clearly, none of us saw this one coming. But a very few did write that there would be improvement on Defense especially and also on the Offensive side of the ball. But looking back to preseason games against Tampa and Dallas, I can remember near blocks of kicks and run-backs on kick-off returns by the opposition. On reflection, this was horrifying and so I (and I suspect YOU) put it out of mind as a preseason quirk that would of course be fixed….
2. The improvement on Offense and Defense is REAL. If you’ve been watching the progression through 4 NFL games this season with this team, you must have noticed that they are not the same on either side of the ball. These Dolphins have made extensive changes and are clearly a better team on 2 out of 3 areas.
3. Chad Henne is not, not, not looking downfield and over the middle and finding the open receivers. He is playing conservative football and trying not to make mistakes. He is being coached this way by Dan Henning, the Offensive Coordinator. That being said, he is definitely improving and producing more points each game and stepping-up when other units force him due to the game getting out of control.
4. The Wildcat is not producing yardage and needs to be reinvented again. Get rid of it? You must be insane – teams spend up to one full day of practice preparing to face it every week so they won’t be embarrassed in highlight films for the next week. BUT, it does need adjustment and tweaking so it stays fresh and can deliver the basic advantage of “enough blockers to handle 8-in the box run defense”. An immediate action would be to put Tyler Thigpen into the mix and/or make him the trigger-man. He has experience in this offense from his college days and could easily pick up and probably improve the scheme.
5. Mysterious “illnesses” have been striking the Dolphins. They’ve lost several players for indeterminate lengths of time, most recently John Jerry the Rookie Starting Left Guard for 2 weeks. Good news is that, according to my friend Armando Salguerro of the Miami Herald (see above under, “sports analyst”) ALL of the Miami Dolphins Football team were present and able to work out in practice today for the first time all season. And I’ve written a separate article concerning Channing Crowder; love him or hate him, he’s an integral part of the Defense and the Dolphins have definitely struggled without him.
I contend that clearly the Miami Dolphins have more ability and are better coached than in many years before. They’ve struggled on Special Teams and that must be addressed. However, the season is still young and if improvement continues as it has the first 4 weeks, this team will contend in the playoffs and probably win at least 1 game or more. I dare you to prove me wrong!