Fate sure is cruel, isn't it? Entering the season, I was going to write a quick little post that talked a bit about the things I'm excited for this season. But due to a lack of time, and other things, I never got around to it. But here were some of the reasons that I had jotted down when I originally had the idea for the article:
The growth of Ronnie Brown under Cam
This was the main reason I was excited for the season, to be honest. Ronnie is my favorite player, even slightly ahead of Zach Thomas and Jason Taylor, and I was very anxious to see how Cam Cameron would utilize Brown. We all know how he was able to effectively utilize everything that LaDainian Tomlinson had to offer in San Diego, so I couldn't wait to see what Cam had in store for Ronnie. And for the first 6 and a half games, Brown didn't disappoint. He proved that he was he elite back that this team needed. Of course, we all know how this story would end. Thanks, Cleo Lemon, for throwing that interception (yes, I'll get over it, but not anytime soon).
The bounce-back of Chris Chambers in an improved offensive system
Last year was quite the disappointment and I was wondering what Chris had to offer in 2007. I thought that with an offensive mind like Cameron calling the shots, we'd see Chris take his game to the next level. He was playing fairly well early on until the change at QB. Now he's in San Diego, and though I still like the trade, Chris is one less player to get excited for now on Sundays.
Could Jason Taylor get even better?
Following last season's amazing play, I was excited to see if Taylor could improve even more now that Joey Porter was in Miami. I was beginning to look at where Taylor stood in terms of the all-time great defensive players. I was examing his Hall of Fame credentials. I figured that a few more 10+ sack seasons could really solidify his place in Canton. So far this year, he's been a fairly big disappointment.
How elite could this defense be with the acquisition of Joey Porter?
This was something I did talk about on this site. I couldn't wait to see how Dom Capers would use his new stud linebacker. Man, how wrong I was. As it turns out, this defense is the exact opposite of what I thought it would be. Now, I cringe whenever they have to take the field, which is ironic considering the last 5 to 7 years and how I use to cringe when the offense came onto the field. My, how the mighty have fallen.
So now that us Dolphin fans have been stripped of all of those above reasons to watch this team play week in and week out, what do we have to get excited for now? Why should we continue to put time aside on our Sunday just to watch this team get embarrassed? At 0-7 and without the two best offensive players we had in camp (Ronnie and Chris), what is there to get pumped for? Believe it or not, there's still a few things to get excited for:
Reason #1: The improvement of the offensive line
This offensive line has been one of the great surprises of the season. Samson Satele has proved to be a steal as a late 2nd round pick. He's going to be a great player for years to come! Vernon Carey has played pretty well at left tackle, too. All in all, this unit seems to get better every week. As the season goes on, I'm excited to see them continue to improve.
Reason #2: The growth of the young receivers
We saw a quick glimpse last game against New England. Both Ted Ginn and Derek Hagan flashed some ability against a very good Patriots' defense. Hagan showed off good hands, though he was almost non-existant until the 4th quarter. Ted Ginn, on the other hand, was involved all game. Sure, the stats only show 3 catches, but that only tells half the story. First, his hands looked very good. Most importantly, though, is that he was able to get open deep. He had a step or two and likely would have taken it all the way on the one deep ball, but Lemon showed no touch at all and overthrew him. Ginn was also overthrown in the endzone. Realistically, Ginn could have easily had 2 touchdowns. I think that the coming weeks will be very exciting in terms of watching these young receivers progress, especially Teddy Ginn. Oh, and don't forget about Kerry Reed, who could very well be auditioning for a roster spot next season. We'll probably see him get involved a bit as the season goes on.
Reason #3: John Beck
Yes indeed. We've all been talking about him since, basically, week 2 or 3. Now, I think we are getting close to seeing our potential franchise QB get his first taste of NFL experience. There's really no need to see what Cleo has because he's basically shown what we've all expected: he'll make a good backup quarterback. Now is the time to see if John Beck has what it takes to be a true NFL quarterback. I think he will really impress people when he gets his shot. And the time is getting closer, as we need to expedite his progress by getting him some real-game experience. When he does finally start, he will provide every Dolphin fan with a great reason to watch this team each week.
Reason #4: The NFL Draft
Yup, I said it. I hate doing this and looking this far in advance, but it's hard not to. With each passing week and each poor performance, we are getting one step closer to what will likely be a top 2 or 3 pick. So these upcoming weeks will be a good chance to evaluate the talent on this roster in preperation for the offseason and the draft.
So what do you think? Did I convince you to step back from the ledge? Or did my rambling only make you more depressed? To be honest, I'm not so sure myself...