By Brian Miller
“A Feeling of Hope” By JW
Every season teams have several questions through OTA’s, mini, and training camps. Who will play this position? Who is going to do this for us? Some of these questions are answered during training camp, others through the course of the season and still, some are not answered, becoming questions for the next off-season.
Dolfans are no stranger to these off-season questions. Even when Dan Marino was at the helm we had our issues. Who will Dan hand the ball off to? Who is going to step up and stop the other team so Dan doesn’t have to score 50 points every game? Who will be our next franchise quarterback? What is Ricky Williams doing, is he coming back? Should we take him back? Drew Brees or Daunte Culpepper? Can we find a suitable coach to bring us to the Superbowl? Will we ever find a legitimate number one receiver?
Unfortunately, this season is no different as there are several burning questions. Can Mike Nolan get this defense ready to compete before the season? Will Randy Starks transition smoothly into the nose tackle position? Will Cameron Wake emerge as a full time OLB? Will Misi and Odrick be able to step into their new positions and handle them at the NFL level? Who will play free safety? Will our corners continue to grow into true starters? What about offense? Is Chad Henne our next franchise quarterback? Will Pat White show enough improvement? Will we keep all four quarterbacks if he does? Will Brandon Marshall mature? Will a tight end step up and become a threat? Will Ronnie Brown fully recover from his foot fracture? Can he make it through an entire season? Does Ricky have enough left in the tank? Who will play left/right guard? Can Richie Incognito control his temper? Who will return our punts/kicks now that Ted Ginn is gone?
2010 actually seems to have an inordinate amount of questions which need answering, and still there is a feeling of immense hope amongst Dolfans. We have a quarterback who can get the ball to our receivers. We have two running backs capable of 1,000 yard seasons even if the defense stacks nine against them. We have a legitimate number one receiver who strikes fear into opposing defensive coordinators. We have a very capable supporting cast of wide receivers to compliment our new number one threat. We have good competition and depth on our offensive and defensive lines. We have added a coordinator who likes to dictate the other team, rather than being dictated. Our corner back tandem has a year of experience under their belts. We added a new play maker to the middle of our defense. We have gotten younger, stronger, and faster at key positions on both offense and defense and Dolfans are excited.
Despite the questions that every off-season seems to generate, we, as fans always have that little part of us that is optimistic for the season. No matter what we say, or how many times we say it, as the players line up for that opening kickoff there is always a little part of us that says, “Wow, this could be our year.” If you are reading this and you are saying, “Oh, not me. I know when were going to be a bad team. I knew that we would go 1-15 in 2007,” then you are either lying to yourself, or you are not a true fan. Fans need hope every season, or else they wouldn’t have a reason to watch their teams. I have that hope for the 2010 season, as do many. However, I cannot help but notice a difference to the feeling of hope I have for this season. The anticipation I am feeling as a Dolphin fan, is that our team is starting to look like a team for the present as well as the future. There is just something inside of me saying, “this is the team, it is going to happen soon.” As the Jets continue to build their potentially one and done team, and the NFL continues to feed their ego with Monday night appearances, and Superbowl hosting, Miami is quietly building a juggernaut of a team for the future. It is finally here. Legitimate hope, for the present and the future, and I cannot wait to be a part of it.