Welcome to week 2 of the ‘The State of the Miami Dolphins'! This week we once again welcome three ‘thephinsider' members - DoctorDan, Brian.Ward.1610092, and HuskerDolphin - and hear their thoughts on everything Dolphins related.
First up to the podium is Brian.Ward.1610092. Lets start with a really broad question. Where do you see the Dolphins being in 5 years?
Good question, and it all really depends on what happens this season. I could go on and on about how good I thought Tannehill looked this season, and I could also go on about how many additions we made to both sides of the ball, but everyone knows that. Where the Dolphins are going to be really relies on our coaching staff and the GM. Every time I watch Philbin talking to media, I immediately notice that certain "swagger" that all of our previous coaches since Shula have lacked. The man knows what he's doing, and doesn't allow outside influences to affect the team, something we've needed almost as bad as a QB to fill that Marino void. I also hear people talking about Ireland's maturation over the last couple of seasons, and I really don't think that is a fair statement. The coaching staff and GM office has to mesh, just as much as the people on the field do, and I think that's more of an accurate statement as to what is going on now. So, given those thoughts, I can comfortably say that I believe we will have a Super bowl ring inside of those 5 years, maybe a couple, and it could happen as soon as this year. We are going to return to being the dominant team in the AFC East that we once were.
In the past week, much has been made of the failed stadium bill. Do you think the Dolphins will ever leave the South Florida area? Should the Dolphins have been given public funding?
Another good question, and this answer has a lot to do with the last question you asked. If we return to AFC East dominance in the next 5 years. there is no way the Dolphins move any time soon. However, if things go very bad over the next couple of seasons, it is possible that a move could be in the future of the franchise. As a long time Miami fan, I hate even thinking of that, but it is a possibility. Onto my opinion of the public funding. I am not a Florida resident, but from a fan's perspective (which is going to be biased) I would have loved to see it pass and the stadium get a much needed makeover. But, that is hardly fair considering it wouldn't affect me at all financially. I do however, think that the great people of Florida should have at least been allowed the chance to decide for themselves. Without going too much into politics, a politician who makes a choice, whatever the issue is about, to take the decision process out of the hands of the people, has failed the process entirely.
HuskerDolphin, the 2013 NFL Draft lacked star power. In fact, I think there may only be 2-3 elite prospects in the entire class. Based on this, was Jeff Ireland right to trade up for Dion Jordan? Do you think he is an elite talent?
That's a tough one, and really only time will tell. Was Ireland right to trade up for Jordan? It was a surprise to me as I'm sure it was to a lot of us. Having that LT problem solved would have been nice, but I just like what Jordan will bring to our defense. Once he gets used to the system, the NFL, and maybe bulks up a little bit, I could see him as an elite talent in the future. To me, so much of how this pick will play out, is how we solve that LT problem in the future.
Onto my next question, while the draft lacked star power, the depth and value that could be found in rounds three to four really impressed me. Out of the four players that Miami selected in these rounds - Dallas Thomas, Will Davis, Jelani Jenkins, and Dion Sims - which player do you think will see the field the most, and why?
I don't really have anything concrete with my decision on this one, but I just have a feeling it will be Dion Sims. I see him getting on the field a lot to give Tannehill that extra option. Plus, he'll be used in our running game. I hope the Dolphins use him like MSU used him. He'd be out their blocking for the run on a few plays, and then boom, they'd hit him on a pass play when the defense was thinking run. I can see the other 3 getting decent play time, but in my opinion, I think Sims will be out there quite a bit in year one.
Lastly, but certainly not least, lets hear from DoctorDan. In the fifth round the Dolphins selected Mike Gillislee. It appears to me that while he doesn't have any elite traits, he does many things well. Do you feel he could usurp Daniel Thomas and become Miami's second-string running back?
I like the pick of Gillislee. I am not high on Daniel Thomas. He is too injury prone, and not very good when healthy. I think that Gillislee will pass Thomas as the #2 back behind Miller.
After the draft, Miami signed a whole bunch of undrafted free agents. In past years, the Dolphins have seen some of these undrafted free agents make the team, with Davone Bess being one of them. Do you think any of Miami's undrafted free agents will make the final 53 man squad, or practice squad?
Undrafted free agents are a long-shot, especially for a team that had 11 draft picks. One or two of the faster and tougher ones might surprise and make the roster on special teams. I have no idea which ones.
Finally, where do you think Miami will finish the season, and why?
Conservatively, 11-5 with a playoff win. Optimistically, 12-4 with a super bowl appearance. My reasons for this are simple. We were close to a wildcard spot last year, and we made the biggest moves (by quite a bit) in the AFC East this off season. Granted, we don't know if those moves are going to pan out for sure, but even if we just have a slight improvement in those positions next season, 11-5 is a very realistic number. There are a lot of people on either side of the Tannehill fence right now, and it all is going to rely on him. The guy has a proven work ethic, and he is very intelligent. Think about this, he only had 1 year experience as a QB before jumping to the pros, and was still able to come 3 field goals away from making the playoffs. Compare his rookie year to Tom Brady's first full season as a starter, and the only categories Tom Brady had better numbers in were comp % and td's. That is with 4 years more experience at QB (not including high school) and more weapons than Tannehill had. This guy is going to be the face of the AFC, not just the AFC East, for years to come.
¨Where" will the Dolphins finish? I will predict the Dolphins to finish 9-7, second in their division to New England. It will come down to a tie-breaker for them to make or miss the last playoff spot. If they make the playoffs, they will lose in either the first or second round. I expect that in 2014 they will be a ten or eleven win team, with a legitimate shot at a deep playoff run.
Why? The Dolphins improved with good free-agent signings and a good draft. Mike Wallace should help a lot. They have some good young players back from last year, including QB - Tannehill. Tannehill will be better in his second year as an NFL quarterback, after starting only 19 games as a college QB. Philbin is a good coach, who will also be better in his second year as a head coach.
Lets say a big thank you to Doctor Dan, Brian.Ward.1610092, and HuskerDolphin for taking the time out to share their views on the Dolphins! Do you agree with their views? Now it's time to hear YOUR thoughts.
As always, for next week's edition, please comment below by writing ‘I'm in', and be sure to email me so that I can get those questions over to you. Some readers didn't do that last week, so please make sure you do send that email if you would like to get involved.