Miami has been pleasantly surprising so far. Yes they are 1-3. Yes they should be 3-1 if we play the " if "game, but we are 1-3 for a reason. So before I criticize I will tell you all what I like. I will even admit to what I called incorrectly last April.
First off, I love the direction they are going. I like what coach Philbin is doing with the program. He was my first and only choice as Sparano's replacement. The offense is also impressing me more and more. It is moving along well, and improving every week. The defense is stout, especially against the run.To top it off, I love the Jabar Gaffney signing being I am a Gator fan as well.
So what was a wrong about? RYAN TANNEHILL! I was screaming that we sign Matt Flynn and then draft David Decastro &/or John Martin. I figured Tannehill was a product of the pre-draft hype and so far I was wrong. I am on the bandwagon and will be getting a #17 jersey pretty soon. We all know the physical tools, but what impresses me the most is, he just seems to have that " it " factor. I have not seen this kind of swagger since Marino and Fielder to smaller degree. I am happily wrong about Mr. Tannehill.
On to the best part, Criticism. I would love to see Miami get more creative with Reggie, Lamar Miller and Tannehill's athleticism. My ideas would be use some of the "spread" stuff that is the rave around the league and college football. Flex Reggie or Lamar out in the slot, use some jet motion. Even some zone read stuff. I believe it would help put more speed on the field and stress the defense sideline to sideline. Reggie is a good receiver as well, so maybe help stretch the field vertically as well.
I am also disappointed in Charles Clay, and the rookie tight end out of Mizzou. In my opinion it is just a matter of time before Clay starts to have a bigger impact on the offense. He is talented and produced at a high level in college to the tune of 368 touches (rushing/receiving combined) for 3,455 yards and 38 touchdowns. The rookie on the other hand is a head scratcher. I was most excited about his selection in April's draft. I pictured him as possibly being to our new offense as Finely had been to Green Bay. I hold out hope that he will indeed become that. I would speculate that blocking and not fully grasping the offensive concepts is why he is in-active. I know, thats a pretty obvious hypothesis, but that's football. It is a simple game; knowing your assignment, blocking and tackling. I do not want to over simplify it, but that is pretty much it.
My biggest concern is the lack of " Dynamic " playmakers on the roster. This is nothing new to Dolphin fans. It has been this way since pretty much the last of the Jimmy Johnson era left, other than maybe Ricky WIlliams. Take the defense for example, they have had a pretty tough "D" for most of the past 4 or 5 years, but not exactly scoring points or dramatically changing field position with consistent turn-overs. The biggest difference between a Miami Defense and most other stingy defenses is PLAYMAKERS.
Not since the days of Zach Thomas, Jason Taylor, Terrell Buckley, and Brock Marion have the Dolphins had players that not only made plays, but dynamic plays. A leaping interception from centerfield, a sack, forced fumble and scoop to score. Or a linebacker frequently smacking running backs for a tough loss or defensive backs taking a pick to the house. The Pittsburgh's, Baltimore's, and even New Orleans' have these kind of WMD's on their depth charts.
Dolphins fans need to go back even further offensively to find those kind of playmakers. In Marino's later years he had names like OJ, Oronde, Lamar Thomas, Drayton, Abdul-Jabbar and Parmalee at his disposal. These guys were solid, and some downright highly productive, but none can be confused with " Dynamic ". SInce Marino, Miami fans would would settle for highly productive. They need a speedy wideout or tough tightend that can make those small and intermediate plays into the big ones, that win those close ballgames.
Miami is moving in that direction. So remain patient, enjoy the ride and lets get the popcorn ready, because in a season or two Miami will once again have "Dynamic" playmakers flying around the field.