The Miami Dolphins are turning heads. While still having a long way to go, goes without saying, these Miami Dolphins are starting to get people talking. As the 2012 season opened, the Dolphins were one of the teams most likely looking at a first overall pick next April. A foregone conclusion to win three games if they were lucky.
Ryan Tannehill was the guy being thrown to the wolves while Joe Philbin sat on a plate of leftovers from the year before. A team void of talent before the Vontae’ Davis and Brandon Marshall trade, this team was the nightmare scenario for a GM”s job security. Yet after one full month of play and two games shy of half-way, the Dolphins are 3-3, one half game behind division leading New England, a legit contender for a playoff chase, and two OT losses from a 5-1 record.
Looking at this team on paper, outsiders surely would have questioned who Brian Hartline was, Davone Bess is, and who the hell is Koa Misi? We laughed when Reggie Bush said he wanted to average over 4 yards a carry and lead the league in rushing and questioned how a plagued right side of an offensive line could be fixed with a rookie and a cut waiting to happen.
Yet that has not been the case thus far.
The Miami Dolphins have been in every game this year including the opening loss to the Houston Texans where they shut down the Texans offense for all but six minutes. The group of no-names is closely reminiscent to “THE” no-name defense of the 70’s. Without, for now, the success. These Dolphins are not flashy. Reggie Bush? Yes we all know his name. Ask someone outside of Miami and they will tell you he was a great college player, had a sex tape with Kim Kardashian, and bombed out of New Orleans.
As that same fan who Cameron Wake is and they will tell you he is a guy who get’s sacks. Jake Long? The guy the Dolphins took over Matt Ryan. Who else? Anyone? Buehler? The truth is this team is not a list of marquee talent. They are workers who are being coached to play as a team. For every stop on defense and every TD on offense, there is a real validity to pointing out the team effort in making it achievable. In fact, the same can be said for the failures as well.
You can’t truly pin every INT on Ryan Tannehill any more than you can pin them on someone else. The wrong pattern run, a missed blocking assignment, a slip and fall. Defensively you can’t say that the safety alone blew his coverage when replay shows a missed tackle for a sack on the QB or a corner taking the wrong player in coverage. For the Dolphins, those mistakes are becoming less and less as the team finds its rhythm. A rhythm that must continue after a week off.
Joe Philbin has done very well thus far as the team head coach and the same can be said about OC Mike Sherman and DC Kevin Coyle. How the three of them work together goes a long way into the success of the club on the field. This week we will get to see how those coaches approached the off week and how they have the team prepared for the Jets coming off that bye week.
With no star power on either side of the ball, these Miami Dolphins are earning their wins and earning the faint praise beginning to come up. It’s what they do now with 10 straight games ahead of them, that will dictate how this season comes around. Will it be a magical awe inspiring event or a conceded acknowledgement that this team while having gotten better still hasn’t quite turned the corner? One thing is for certain. Whatever the outcome, this season is going turn some of these no-names into familiar names.