The 2016 season will kick-off in 13 days for the Miami Dolphins. The team will travel to Seattle and will most likely get beat before making a real run at the post-season.
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Anyone who has read this site for the last 10 years plus know that this author stands far away from rose-colored glasses and homerism that plagues fans like his brother Jim a true Dolphins rose glass wearing homer.
In years past, well the last several years any ways, many have looked at the Dolphins and said, “This is the year they make the jump.” Or, “all of the pieces are in place”. And every time they were wrong. So what makes this year so different?
There is no expectations for this team.
Not one person is giving the Dolphins a chance this season. No one. I’m not saying that the Dolphins are going to make the post-season but I am saying they will have a legit shot at it.
Unlike previous years when everyone was believing in the Dolphins, this year, the Dolphins are believing in themselves.
The Dolphins front seven is nothing like they were last year. The biggest problem on defense will be the secondary but Vance Joseph will continue to improve those players and if the Dolphins can hang around .500 for the first half of the season the secondary should get better towards the end.
The same can be said about the Ryan Tannehill led offense. If the offensive line can find consistency, Adam Gase will call the plays to exploit the defense. Unlike years past when the Dolphins were counting on the great football minds of Mike Sherman, Bill Lazor, and Zac Taylor, Adam Gase actually has called plays at the NFL level.
Coaching can not be understated here. For the last four seasons fans saw what Joe Philbin needed to do and watched as he did nothing. Players respected Philbin because of the type of “man” he is. Players respect Adam Gase because of the kind of “coach” he is.
Unlike with Philbin, the players want to play for Gase. They are buying into what he is selling them and if players begin to believe that it works, then it starts to work.
The Dolphins have a tough schedule but the only part of their schedule that means the most is the other teams in the AFC East. The Jets have a formidable defense but their offense is a question mark. Buffalo has a problems on both sides of the line and New England, while they will miss Tom Brady for four games, there are holes starting to show their as well.
Miami needs to challenge for the division and if they can stay healthy and listen to the coaching staff, they are going to surprise some people this year. There are problems for certain. Cornerback, linebacker, offensive line, to name three.
What I am not buying however is that this team will be bad. 9-7 is a real possibility and guess what? It’s better than the last four years and might be enough to challenge for a Wild Card spot.
If the Dolphins can stay in contention it will bolster their belief in the Adam Gase system on offense, and the Vance Joseph system on defense.
No one is talking about the Miami Dolphins and that’s a good thing. They don’t need to be great, they only need to be good enough.