The Dolphins have suffered through mediocre seasons for over the past decade, with the exception of the horrendous 1-15 2007 season, and the miraculous 11-5 record in 2008. Year in and year out , the Dolphins either: play a great first half of the season, followed by a disappointing second half, or vice versa. Usually, the Dolphins come up short when it comes to the off-season moves. Recent draft picks that haven’t worked out the way they hoped such as Ted Ginn, Chad Henne, Randy McMichael to name a few. There have also been free-agent signing busts David Boston, Daunte Culpepper, AJ Feely,, and poor decisions (not signing Drew Brees while he was a free agent). However, Dolphin fans should see light at the end of the tunnel of misery with the moves that the Dolphins front office have made this off-season.
The biggest splash the Dolphins have made this year was the signing of speedy receiver Mike Wallace. This will open up the Dolphins offense more because they already have the underrated Brian Hartline, who caught 74 passes for over 1,000 yards last year. Between those two, and the solid tight end Dustin Keller, Tannehill should have no problem moving the ball down the field. On the defensive side, cornerback Brent Grimes and safety Rashad Jones both signed four year deals During the NFL Draft, the Dolphins added depth to certain positions. The highlight selection by the Dolphins was 1st round pick Dion Jordan.
He may or may not make an immediate impact, but he definitely will add depth to a solid defensive line led by Cameron Wake. In addition, the Dolphins decided to part ways with Reggie Bush and promote Lamar Miller as the starting running back. While many may not know who Lamar Miller is, alot will by the end of the season. Lamar was a 3rd round pick in the 2012 draft that played for the Miami Hurricanes for three years. Lamar is a very speedy back with alot of ability and surprising strength. I guarantee that Lamar WILL surprise turn heads. Mark my words.
While the Dolphins still have some questions of their own, the three other teams in the AFC East face many more. The Bills have sought to improve with C.J Spiller and EJ Manuel leading the way, but they are still quite young and lack the pieces to make a strong charge to the playoffs. The Jets are constantly inventing “surprises” that will define their season, yet they are still far away from where they want to be. While they did make a good decision in drafting Geno Smith, as long as Mark Sanchez is starting, the road to the playoffs to will be that much more difficult. The Patriots have gone through an unusual off-season, dealing with the of Aaron Hernandez case. In addition, no one is sure when Gronkowski will see the field again. Welker has moved on, and Danny Amendola will have to adjust to Brady’s style. This leaves Tom Brady with receivers who have very limited experience and many questions. Nevertheless, it’s a guarantee that genius Bill Belicheck will have his team competing for a playoff spot. The Patriots should never be counted out.
This leads to the question: Will the Dolphins finally return to the playoffs? While this will have to remain to be seen, if fans haven’t been hopeful any of the past five years, this would be the year to do so.