Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 7/25/12
The Miami Dolphins find themselves at a crossroads. 

The team is in transition as training camp nears and there is still no answer at quarterback.

Veterans Matt Moore and David Garrard are favorites over rookie Ryan Tannehill, although it's too early in telling who holds the inside track.

Most agree Garrard holds a slight edge over Moore due to his prior experience in the West Coast playbook. 

The passing situation is a major question mark for the aqua and orange, but plenty of other distractions fill this team for 2012.

First-time head coach Joe Philbin has accepted HBO's invitation for the annual documentary series "Hard Knocks" to spotlight his team during training camp.

Besides the quarterback saga, the weekly series will be sure to focus on Philbin's learning curves as head coach, Reggie Bush's plans for another 1,000-yard rushing season and the critical perception of Dolphins fans since Ross bough the team a few seasons ago.   

Offensive coordinator Mike Sherman brings a newly-installed West Coast offense that takes Miami from a power attack to one filed with speed and rhythm. Many football critics feel the team has zero talent at wide receiver. And can you blame them?

Miami traded Brandon Marshall, who recorded over 80 receptions in both 2010 and 2011. The next man in line is slot receiver Davone Bess at 51 catches in 2011. Dolphin players agree that big-name receivers are not a necessity in West Coast offenses, although they are nice to have.  

Clyde Gates, Roberto Wallace and Steve Slaton all have critics to prove wrong. Except for Slaton, nobody outside of Dolphins camp generally knows who these players are. They were drafted for speed and size under Tony Sparano – let’s see how Sherman’s offensive scheme can help that. If not, the receiving corps will continue to revolve.

As for Slaton, he joins a crowded backfield with Bush, Daniel Thomas, and Lamar Miller. The former Houston Texan crushed rookie expectations in rushing for over 1,200 yards and nine touchdowns. However, tumultuous campaigns in 2009 and 2010 effectively ended his career in Houston due to injuries and ball-handling issues. He finds himself back in a West Coast offense that he understands and is eager to make an impact for the Dolphins.   

Tight end will be an interesting position to watch as well. Names like Gronkowski, Graham, Witten, and Gonzalez lit up scoreboards with score after score – something that appears to be more than just a fad across the league. The NFL has transformed itself into a legitimate passing league and tight ends have begun feasting on the high yardage.

Charles Clay is a speedy option for Miami. Despite just 16 receptions in 2011, three went for touchdowns. Philbin expects the youngster to carry a significant load for 2012. Meanwhile, veteran Anthony Fasano should see a decrease in catches because his speed fails to match with newfound tight end trends.

The AFC East has significantly improved when looking at the Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots and New York Jets. The Bills spent the bank in acquiring defensive star-power while filling holes within the offensive line as well.

Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick enters a season under contract and should thrive in Chan Gailey's third year as head coach. The Patriots have offensive muscle under Tom Brady and Co., but their stellar defensive draft should pay dividends. As for the Jets? Well, they always bring a fight with Rex Ryan, especially with miracle-man Tim Tebow making his way down Broadway. There are some quartback issues with New York, but expect a bounce-back year for Gang Green. 

Offense is the question at hand, not defense. Stars Vontae Davis, Karlos Dansby, and Cameron Wake should be solid under new defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle, a solid pickup from Cincinnati. Coyle is not a name most Dolfans know but his record speaks for itself. Expect the secondary to improve from last season Miami switches to  4-3 scheme. 

The Dolphins sputtered at the end of the Tony Sparano era, although the organization has since shed its Bill Parcells philosophy. Perhaps a fresh taste will bring this once prominent South Florida team to relevance again. The team is expecting a new logo for 2013, something that has fans excited. 

However, if the Dolphins and their fans expect to win, it will take much more than what's on the side of their helmets. All these questions will be answered during training camp and throughout the looming regular season.

Let’s just hope there’s more answers than questions. 


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