It's a new year and optimisim, for the most part, is in the air. Every year we are filled with optimism because we convince ourselves with ideas like "if we sign this guy or draft so-and-so, we'll be set." Yet, the optimism has failed to translate to success.
In 2009, we were riding high on the magic of the 2008 season. We ended in a disappointing 7-9 record. In 2010, we were optimistic because of flashes Chad Henne showed the previous year. With a year of experience and a new WR in Brandon Marshall, we'd be set. We were again disappointed, this time with Henne's play and our lackluster running game. The optimism may not have been as high in 2011, partly because of the lockout, but there was still hope that with improvement from Henne and a new flashy toy with Reggie Bush, our offense would get back on track. We had a new Offensive Coordinator in Brian Daboll and our defense was pretty darn good. We all know the story of last year.
This year, we're optimistic again. Predictions of 11-5 or 12-4 will be rolling out in the next few months. Now before you go and get all Debbie Downer on yourself when I look back at our past optimism and think it's just false hope, you have to think of why you're excited for this year. So what reasons do you have to be excited about?
1) A new coach. Of course, this has to be the biggest of them all. If I were to list a scape goat for this franchise for the past two years, I would say that Tony Sparano would finish 1A and Chad Henne would finish 1B. There is always hope when you get rid of your largest problem, especially when he's the Head Coach. Besides, our offense was our weakness and we replaced Mr. Field Goal with an established Offensive Coordinator. Hope reigns, even if Joe Philbin isn't guaranteed to work.
2) A new QB. The Henne supporters who think he's still the answer, spare me and give in to reality. Disco is not coming back and neither is Henne. Hope rules for now because of the hope for Robert Griffin III, Peyton Manning, Matt Flynn, and a few straggling Matt Moore supporters who may very well be former Henne supporters. Just kidding with the last part. We may drop a little in optimism depending on QB we end up with, but come May, we'll still be convincing ourselves that in the worst case scenario Moore can lead us to the postseason.
3) Marc Colombo has no reason to return. How could I forget scape goat 1C? We can get a labrador, chimpanzee, or even place Jeff Ireland himself at RT and consider it an upgrade. They may not even need to be breathing. Still, it's easy to be happy when a position can be upgraded so easily.
4) Talk of a new offense. Philbin speaks of opening up the offense and using the no huddle. This gets many people excited and rightfully so. This kind of fits with reason 1, but many fans feel we already have talent on offense and can be even more dangerous with only a few additions. Again, when many feel our defense and special teams are fine, it's easy to be excited when we talk about improving only one aspect of our team.
5) No lockout this year. It was harder to be optimistic last year when people weren't sure if there would even be a NFL season.
6) An owner that expresses his desire to win. Some may think this is a given, but it is a reason to be optimistic when you have an owner that will do what he can to win. If you think that they all do, try asking Arizona or Cincy fans how they feel about Bidwell and Brown.
7) Miami is arguably entering 2012 with less needs than they did in previous years. While Miami disappointed last year, there is definitely a pretty good core of players on the team.
8) Miami has decent cap space and will go big in free agency. While this is the belief in most years, it is always a big reason may are optimistic this time of year. There are some assumptions Miami will sign a QB like Flynn or Manning, fill the holes at RG and RT, and then sign a standout DE or FS. While it normally does not happen, there is always hopes that it could.
9) We just have to be optimistic. You'd go nuts thinking that this year we can be a 5-11 or a 6-10 team in March. We're a franchise with a winning history. We don't think of ourselves as perennial bottom dwellers like many other teams have been.
10) Because no matter what, you'll have a season in which you enjoy Bacon and Alpha here at The Phinsider. After all, Bacon and Alpha are like peanut butter and jelly. You just can't picture The Phinsider without them.
So why are you optimistic for 2012?