The Miami Dolphins have updated their roster to reflect a commitment to winning the past couple of off seasons. Fancy signings such as Mike Wallace a year ago have given way to much needed improvements upfront on the offensive line and tweaking the Dolphins defensive secondary.
This year, with the addition of Pro Bowl left tackle Branden Albert, the Dolphins ensured blindside protection for third year starter, Ryan Tannehill.
Next, the Dolphins spent their first draft pick on a right tackle mauler named Ja’wuan James. The right tackle spent countless hours in the classroom, community, weight room, and being an exceptional influence for the up and coming Tennessee Volunteers football program.
In addition, the Dolphins drafted Jarvis Landry, out of LSU, a pass catcher built in the mold of Anquan Boldin to catch passes, become a red zone threat, and a safety valve for Ryan Tannehill.
These two key pieces addressed needs and wants for the Dolphins head coach and newly minted Bill Lazor running the offense.
Despite these additions to the Dolphins, they find themselves without Mike Pouncey for three to five months, without free agent signee running back Knowshon Moreno, and finally with a brand new offensive line where every player is learning to work together.
The Dolphins, for whatever reason haven’t impressed the likes of ESPN, Pro Football Talk (ranked 31st), nor the NFL Network.
As for the reasons for the ranking slip, an 0-2 finish when the playoffs were suddenly in reach, a coaching/ GM search that that proved less fruitful otherwise, and the firing of core personnel people beg the question: Are the Dolphins built for the rigorous schedule they face this season?
As a Dolphins fan and football fan in general, seeing the Dolphins ranked 31st without playing a down of football is maddening, damning, and saddening. One can’t help but remember that at one point last season, prior to the New Orleans Saints game, the Dolphins were the talk of not only Miami, but the talk of the NFL.
On one hand an optimist, one can say that the Dolphins have nowhere to go but up and head coach Joe Philbin will strike gold this year with a playoff berth. His players will inevitably buy-in.
On the other hand, the Dolphins are the same old Dolphins and maybe their lack of flair and pizazz has made them the laughing stock of the NFL. Joe Philbin will be fired no doubt and Stephen Ross will have to make amends with the fan base after another losing season by bringing in a football czar not named Carl Peterson to right the ship.
That being said, the Dolphins are a team who we thought they were, and they could be according to some experts, on the cusp of near disaster.