Something is different around the Miami Dolphins these days. There is a confidence. Players are speaking to the media, and it is not buried deep on a website or within a newspaper. Things seem to be heading in the right direction, and it is refreshing.
Over the past few days, Ryan Tannehill, Brian Hartline, Mike Pouncey, and offensive coordinator Mike Sherman have all discussed the new look for the Dolphins, and it is not just about the logo change. Tannehill talked about his new wide receivers, as well as the work he needs to do. Pouncey called the team's offense great, though they have work to do and chemistry to build. Sherman talked about how Tannehill would be the most improved quarterback this year.
But, it is Hartline's statement that made the most headlines. Taken as a one line blurb, Hartline calling the Dolphins' wide receiver corps the best group in the AFC East seems absurd. But, once you actually look at the wide receiver groups in the division, it becomes clear that it is a true statement.
With his remark, Hartline got NFL.com reporter Gregg Rosenthal wondering, if the Dolphins are the top wide receiver group, who is the bottom? He spread his look at the worst groupings across the entire league, and then across multiple positions.
And, he apparently does not think the Dolphins are as great an offense as Pouncey does.
When he looked at the running backs, Rosenthal declared Miami the worst in the league. Apparently, he has not seen Lamar Miller enough to say he has any talent, and he completely discounts any rebound for Daniel Thomas in his third year.
Of the position, Rosenthal writes:
Lamar Miller is a great fantasy football sleeper. The Dolphins expect him to make a big leap this season. But he's a second-year pro who was drafted in the fourth round and only carried the ball 51 times last year. He's also the easy choice as the best back on the Dolphins' roster because we've seen what Daniel Thomas can do. 2013 fifth-rounder Mike Gillislee also should find carries.
Good news for Dolphins fans. This is the best position in which to not look great on paper.
Apparently Miller is a great fantasy sleeper, despite leading the worst group in the league? I do not understand that comment at all.
But, Rosenthal was not done trying to pop any exuberance Dolphins fans have right now. While not the worst offensive line in the league (San Diego Chargers), they are "honorable mentions" in the category. Explaining the ranking, Rosenthal writes:
The Dolphins might have downgraded this offseason from a so-so 2012 group.
I do not even know what to say about that statement. They "might" have downgraded, so they belong among the worst? Well, in that case, they might have upgraded, so I am going to say they are the best offensive line in the league. Seems logical to me.
I understand this is all subjective, and opinion based, but I do not see Miami as being the worst running back group in the league simply because Lamar Miller only has 51 carries, nor do I think the offensive line is bad enough to be among the honorable (should being among the worst really be "honorable") mentions. I could understand declaring either, or both, of those groups as questionable, or unknown commodities, but calling them the worst in the league seems a bit of a stretch.
Rosenthal will deliver a look at the worst units on defense some time soon. From the way he put the offense together, I would expect mention of the Miami cornerbacks, and possibly linebackers, on the list.