Aug 29, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) on the field during warm ups before the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE

Miami Dolphins Have Talent And Upside


NFL pundits expect the Miami Dolphins to fall flat on their face.  It is understandable that they may be hindered by a rookie quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, a rookie head coach, Joe Philbin, and new offensive and defensive schemes.  I object though to claims that Miami is devoid of talent.  Ten of twenty-two Dolphin starters are above-average.  These players, who are all Jeff Ireland selected, are:

LT Jake Long, LG Richie Incognito, C Mike Pouncey, RB Reggie Bush, DT Randy Starks, DT Paul Soliai, RDE Cameron Wake, LOLB Kevin Burnett, MLB Karlos Dansby, LCB Sean Smith

Miami also has an excellent punter, Brandon Fields, and kicker, Dan Carpenter.

Six out of the eleven starting defenders are on this list and that is why the Dolphins were the sixth-best NFL defense last year.  It is not bold to expect them to be a top defense again this year, especially with an easier schedule.

The wide receiver group is the biggest weakness on this team and Ireland has done a poor job improving the group.  Even if Philbin called for Brandon Marshall‘s departure, Ireland could have and should have received more than two third-round draft selections.  Whether or not he has tried, Ireland has not replaced the pro bowl receiver.

Yes, Ireland has made mistakes during his tenure in Miami but every general manager does.  The criticism directed toward him stems from Miami’s lack of victories but it can be blamed on the team’s unfortunate reliance on Chad Henne.  The quarterback position is key in the modern NFL and no matter how much talent the Dolphins have had in the Ireland era, they have had less than adequate signal-callers.  Their best quarterback in this period was Chad Pennington and he could not stay healthy.

Of course, Ryan Tannehill, can change all that.  Tannehill can make the marginal Dolphin receivers, better.  Tannehill can help the Dolphins win and with this, Ireland’s reputation will receive a boost. The Miami Dolphins have enough talent to win.  Make no mistake about this.  Tannehill is the key.

Ireland has also lined this team with potential such as Tannehill, Lamar Miller, Daniel Thomas, Jorvorskie Lane, Jonathan Martin, Charles Clay, and Jared Odrick.  All players that can make the aforementioned list.  On top of that, he has stockpiled draft picks.  Yes, Miami is in a good position.  That is, if Tannehill is good.

The Dolphins’ rise may be delayed by major overhauls but it may not.  After all, we have Tannehill, a potent defense, an easy schedule, and TALENT.

Follow me on Twitter @RiSantamaria

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Tags: Jeff Ireland Joe Philbin Miami Dolphins Ryan Tannehill

  • trevor oconnell

    can’t say I disagree with any of that really. fasano is an above average nfl te by the way. and bess is above average slot. fair is fair.

  • Rick

    You think Chad Henne is the reason this team sucks? The dude was the only reason the team was even average in 2010 and was the best player on the team in 2011 until he got hurt. The Dolphins suck because the team has a horrible secondary, two LB’s who can’t cover squat, no play making TE, no decent WR’s (even with Brandon ‘drops’ Marshall) and an O-Line that can’t pass protect but Henne is the reason why this team hasn’t been a playoff contender. GTFO! Tannehill is at best a question mark and will probably end up being switched to WR before his career is finished. Henne will more than likely take a team to the playoffs before the Dolphins have a 7-9 season again.

  • Mr. Big

    That potent defense gave up 250 yards passing a game last season and has shown a tendency to blow leads. It’s at best an average defense until the team finds two decent corners and a free safety.

  • Jvm310

    Henne was a good backup qb. His problem was and remains that he can’t get to secondary reads

  • CPhinsWin

    Well I have to honestly say I liked what I saw in the first 28 minutes or so of the game. That is all I needed to see to know that we can in fact preform with other teams in the NFL and I can see a .500 record this year. We came out strong, ran hard and passed well. We moved the ball and the defense held a caliber team with Superbowl hopes. Look the Texans are a tough ball club and the turnover problem with the tipped passes is something a rookie QB does and can be corrected with a few tweeks of his eyes (looks) and ball release. I honestly thought turning the game on that it would be a three hour kick in the groin however we looked 100 times better than the preseason. I predict our first win to come against the Raiders.