Has winning become too tall a task for the 2011 Miami Dolphins?
The 2007 Season was miserable for the Miami Dolphins and their fans. The team finished 1-15 that year, waiting until Week 15 to pull off that first - and only - win, when wide receiver Greg Camarillo raced down the field to take a Cleo Lemon pass 64-yards to beat the Baltimore Ravens in overtime.
Now, the comparisons are starting between that team and this year's Miami Dolphins squad.
The 2007 edition of the Dolphins started the year with veteran quarterback Trent Green under center. Green held the spot until the Week 5 matchup against the Houston Texans, when he was knocked unconscious and out for the remainder of the year. Backup Cleo Lemon was then brought in to start the next five games, before giving way to rookie John Beck. Beck lost the next four games, before Lemon was brought back in as the starter for the final three weeks.
The 2011 version has had Chad Henne start the first four games of the year, and now are back in the quarterback carousel mode, with Matt Moore coming in to replace the now injured Henne. Meanwhile, the Dolphins are openly trying out backups for Moore, while still holding out hope that Henne's separated, non-throwing shoulder will only need rest, and not season-ending surgery.
In 2007, the Dolphins were ready for the excitement that welcoming former Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams back to the team would bring. The running back was reinstated to the NFL before Week 12, with him making his debut against the Steelers in Pittsburgh. The excitement lasted through 6 carries, before a torn pectoral muscled sidelined Williams for the remainder of the year.
This offseason, the Dolphins made a splash by bringing the electric, former Heisman Trophy winner (and subsequent returner of the Heisman Trophy) Reggie Bush. Bush was brought in, proclaiming that he could be a "feature" back, something he never was in New Orleans. Although he has lasted longer than 6 carries, the Bush experiment has disappointed thus far been far greater. Bush is averaging 3.0 yards per carry, with just 10 carries per game. That's just 28.9 yards per game.
Maybe the biggest similarity between the 2007 and 2011 teams is Jason Taylor. Somehow, Taylor always seems to be on the field for Miami during the bad years, but not during good seasons (i.e., 2008's 11-5 record, when Taylor was in Washington).
The 2011 Miami Dolphins aren't to the point where people are questioning IF they will every win, but it's not that far away, either. Winning, and losing, are a mental factor, as well as on the field performance. If this team isn't careful, the mentality that they can't win will seep into the locker room. That's what happened in 2007 - and could very easily happen again in 2011.
The Phinsider - SB Nation's Miami Dolphins blog