How Good Can This Offense Be?
By Brian Miller
The Miami Dolphins drafted only 1 offensive player during the draft. They have added no one to the squad at RB, TE, or QB. They did however add some WR out of Denver that is supposed to be pretty good. So with the Dolphins basically adding only Brandon Marshall, how good can this offense really be?
Consider that the team is not likely to roll with the Wild Cat…or will they? Ronnie Brownis a huge question coming back from his foot injury that put him on IR way back in November of last year. Patrick Cobbs is coming off an ACL injury, Lex Hilliard is still mostly an unproven commodity, and Ricky Williams is one year closer to calling it a career.
Our TE’s are nothing spectacular but Anthony Fasano is in a contract year and Joey Haynos is looking to improve on a season that looked promising for the young 6’6 pass catcher.
The Miami offensive line may have been a very solid unit last year and looks to be even better this year on paper with the addition of Richie Incognito and the lone offensive draft pick John Jerry who will immediately push for a starting role on the left side.
All that is nice and everything, but the real question is what will Brandon Marshall bring? Already he is delivering optimism, excitement, and if you listen to the Dolphins he is delivering fans back to purchasing season tickets. Will this all translate onto the football field?
All indications are yes. Marshall flourished in Denver with inconsistent QB play behind Jay Cutler and Kyle Orton. In Miami he will catch the ball from a still promising youngster in Chad Henne. Marshall shouldn’t miss a step and could improve over his past two seasons that put him in the Pro-Bowl.
The obvious beneficiary to Marshall very well could be the other WR’s. Davone Bess is a solid possession guy who often found himself mauled off the line of scrimmage while last years highlight rookie Brian Hartline often faced rolled coverage because there was no other threat. Then of course there is the TE’s who often faced 8 in the box and remained back to block.
Not anymore. Not if Marshall can continue his production in Miami. Not if Chad Henne can get him the ball. Suddenly there is a passing attack in Miami. And it’s not just balls going to Marshall. TE Anthony Fasano should have a far more productive season and a new contract with Marshall in town. No longer will Fasano be on the field simply to block.
All of this is great on paper but no one knows how the Dolphins will run their offense. Will it become a pass happy unit? Will they continue to run the WC with Marshall on the outside? Who do you cover? Ronnie Brown from the QB spot? Marshall on the outside with a slot guy or Hartline? Ricky Williams from the end around? Could the WC get a rebirth and be executed more efficiently or will it simply be something they use to keep defenses on their toes while they run a normal base attack?
Rookie camps started this weekend and while that will tell us nothing about the teams’ direction, over the course of the next two months, camps will give us glimpses only while the players meet behind closed doors installing whatever this offense will be.
Perhaps the biggest off-season addition to the offense is on the other side of the ball and not on the field at all. The addition of Mike Nolan to run the defense as coordinator.
Nolan is a blitzing type of coach that is very aggressive. If he is installation of a new defense pays dividends, then the Dolphins offense will start in better field position and won’t be playing to hold on to a lead but playing to finish. Last years New Orleans and Indy melt downs would suddenly be wins if Nolan’s defense becomes what it can be.
A lot of questions and no answers. Not yet anyway. The Dolphins and all of their fans will know soon enough come September. But for now, it sure looks good on paper.