Honestly, I didn't see Chad Johnson as a good fit with the Dolphins; when you consider the front office's previous decisions this off season. While I personally am a fan of Ocho, dumping Brandon Marshall sent a pretty clear message as to the change in culture of this organization. Say what you will about his playing style not fitting into a WCO, it had more to do with his contract and off field distractions that the offensive fit. While Chad didn't come with the same price tag, and is arguably a better fit in the offensive scheme, he bore an even bigger off field presence than Marshall. I was very skeptical from the day Johnson signed with the team, and as soon as I heard of his arrest, it was pretty evident he was done in South Florida.
Moving on, theres no reason to see this release as being detrimental to the team. Julius Pruitt and Roberto Wallace really turned some heads with their preseason performances this week, and having been kept on the roster as developmental prospects the last couple seasons, its time for them to take the field. Tannehill doesn't need a 34 year old receiver, well past his prime, and the pressure of getting him the ball that comes with it. Marlon Moore is a player I expect to benefit the most out of this decision, and earn the starting job by week 1. I think Legedu and Marlon will compete for a job opposite Hartline once he is healthy, but all the same, the position should not be considered weaker because Johnson didn't work out.
There is a heap of competition for the starting spots now that Johnson has been released, and competition will bring out the best in these players. The speed of Matthews and Moore has me very intrigued, and Wallace has shown he can use his size to dominate smaller players. They will benefit from competition and an increase in reps with the release of Chad, and there is an obvious bonus of them being younger and more dynamic athletes. This is a new era for Miami, and Chad Johnson just wasn't a good fit, whatever angle you choose to look at it. Its time to sit back and watch this play out.
On another note, I think this team is really making positive strides from the front office down. Eric Steinbach was a great signing, and got me hyped that Artis Hicks will most likely not start for this team. While I like Hicks as a backup, and think his flexibility on Offensive line and experience are worth keeping him on the 53 man roster, starting him was a stretch. The offensive line is shaping up to be a strong suit of this team, and our tight end/H-Back positions are looking as good as I could have hoped. Fasano, Clay, and eventually Egnew gives us good depth and flexibility at the position, while RB is one of the deepest positions on the roster. Couple that with 3 competent QB's, and I think the offence is really shaping up to be a good unit for us this year. Our WR's will have an opportunity to settle into their new roles without a heap of pressure on them to perform, as players like Clay, Egnew, Miller, Bush, and even Slaton and Fasano can provide relief in the passing game with the use of short routes and screen plays. Bess is looking really good in practice, and you know what he brings to the table come Sunday. Hartline will enter the competition on the outside, and all of a sudden, there are a lot of reasons to be excited about the offensive possibilities for Miami this season.
I think Tannehill looked really good in his preseason debut, but would like to see him consistently play out the preseason before you jump him to the Week 1 starter. See how he handles his increased reps with the 1st team, then if the coaching staff is convinced he has outplayed Matt Moore, and brings more the table, start him. Just time to wait and see, but so far, a very promising start for Miami in my opinion!