I've been reading through a whole lot of nay saying about our Dolphins and I'm here to tell you that you just might be surprised this Sunday when the Phins stop off in Houston.
Well, here we go again fellow Dolphin fans. We are on the cusp of a new season. One we hope is a hell of a lot different than the last few. The most troubling thing about that is the fact that we have to play a team we’ve never beaten, not once. Not one single time that we’ve played the Texans have we walked out winners. To add to this unfortunate situation is the fact that this team has suddenly become one of the hottest teams in football. Not to say that the Texans don’t have their weaknesses, but they’re few and far between. Everybody has us pegged losers and with good reason, right? We’re rebuilding, new head coach, we’re starting our rookie quarterback behind a not so sure O. line and a receiving core that is questionable to say the least. Our secondary seems to have way more trouble than it should and let’s face it, that’s just plain not good against Houston. So why even watch the game, right? That’s what I wish to bring to light tonight.
Look, we gotta break this perpetual doomfest that we’ve developed over the last decade and look at the brighter side of things. Not the TOTALLY idealistic extreme brighter side, but the, "That might just make some kind of sense." brighter side of things. Positive thinking makes positive things happen and it can’t hurt to put some faith back into your Miami Dolphins and that means our players as well. So, lets take a look at some reasons to believe this Sunday.
Anthony Armstrong: I know a lot of people don’t give him a whole lot of credit but he has some tools at his disposal that can make him dangerous and he is without a doubt an upgrade to our receiving core and I’ll explain why I think he’ll be more potent than people think this year when I get to Tannehill.
Bess has been playing at a high level so far this year and that’s something to be very happy about, especially with Hartline back on the field and Armstrong burning past the secondary. Just sit back and let the hardest working man in football do just that, work.
Hartline being back is a bigger deal than a lot of people think and I think that means that we’re going to have a more aggressive attack than Houston is going to be prepared for. I’ve seen Hartline make some real spectacular catches in his time and I think between him, Bess and Armstrong we could see a possible cure for the Phins extreme case of dropsies.
Tannehill has demonstrated some nice things so far. I’m not saying he’s the second coming or anything but he has shown the spark of someone that can get the job done. He was pretty damn efficient for a rookie QB that had very little chance to congeal with specific receivers during the preseason or camp and that is going to be the difference I think between a W this Sunday and a big fat L. In the last two weeks, has Tannehill had time to solidify his relationships with his receivers? That’s a big question going into Sunday’s game. I think that if Tannehill is as smart as I love to hope he is that we could potentially surprise Houston a little bit with a much stronger O than the preseason could have ever indicated, especially if Hartline returns to form and Armstrong comes on… well… strong.
Did I mention Reggie Bush yet? Was I the only one that got the feeling that Bush was being babied pretty heavily during the preseason? Now is the time to fully unleash Bush and use him to terrify out of the back field and hell, even throw him in the slot every once in a while. With more time to work with Bush, Tannehill should be able to utilize him quite nicely this year in the passing game and of course there’s that fancy new zone blocking scheme that the O. line picked up this year that should help get Bush and Thomas some nice lanes to run through.
Now that I got some confidence restored in our offensive mind set, let’s see what’s going on across the ol’ line of scrimmage. If there is one area I was truly disappointed in this year so far, it’s been our defense. I’ve seen a lot of carelessness, lack of effort and really sloppy tackling, BUT I’m not here to bash on my own team, I’m here to say, "hey, we CAN win and here’s some reasons to believe that we can." One of those reasons is our hard ass D line. We have some really good guys up front and we’re going to need them big time against Houston. Consistent pressure is about the only way we are going to keep Houston under control. Miami has some very solid players on the line, Jared Odrick, Paul Soliai, Randy Starks, Oliver Vernon and of course Cameron Wake. Derrick Shelby has been a bright spot and a surprise. I’m eager to see what he brings to the table come game time.
Our line backers have been shaky at times and good at others. A lot of folks like to say that Dansby needs to live up to his contract but I say he’s still pretty darn good. Kevin Burnett has shown some good signs at times but I would like to see him take another step forward this year after having some more time working with Dansby and Misi. Misi by the way is in a make it or break it year. This is his third year, time to show some real progress.
We desperately need to be better against the air game. Marshall and Smith can take care of themselves but other than them there aren’t many folks to talk about back there. Our safties are unproven but have shown flashes (especially Jones). I think with the much more focused practice time of the last two weeks with a set roster should give Coyle some time to finally get the cogs in this machine meshing properly. I think if Sean smith and Marshall come out strong and generate an early pick we can set Houston up for a major upset. Hope, hope, hope people. I’ve been living off of it since Shula left and I won’t abandon my team now. No matter how much people tell me we suck.
The way I see it, the only thing between us and a championship is some time for the team to mature and a good turn around in the morale of the fan base. We really gotta believe people, we gotta bleed orange and aqua everyday, during every loss and every win we have to carry in our hearts the truth that our Dolphins will one day achieve what we have all longed for, for so long. I’m going to be sitting in front of my tv Sunday with a heart full of faith, a heart full of the same dreams I’ve had every Sunday since I can remember, dreams that my Miami Dolphins are going to pull out another W and do it with confidence, with dominance, with class. When you turn on that tv, when you sit in that stadium seat, when you turn on your radio or check the score on your phone during your lunch break at work, keep that hope alive. No matter what the media or the scoreboard says.