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.
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