Alright. So we're 0-12 and we've already started discussing (or arguing) over what the Dolphind should do on draft day. But people, draft day is over 4 months away. And we still have one quarter of the season to go. You know, the football season is like a football game. Even if you're getting absolutely killed in the game, doing some good things (I stole that line from Cam Cam) in the 4th quarter is a great way to boost your team's confidence going into the next game. That's where we sit right now. We're entering the 4th quarter of an absolute blowout, but there's still some things that can be learned about this team and some players who can look to continue their growth. Hell, maybe even our coach can learn some new tricks. So that's why I've put together 5 reasons why we all should watch Sunday's game at Buffalo.
#1: To see how John Beck responds
The rookie is coming off of the worst start of his young career, which is ironic because it was against the worst team he's played. However, with no help from the running game at all and the offensive line deciding to take a few snaps off it seemed, John was beaten up all game, both physically and mentally. Oh, and not getting any help from his receivers also didn't help his cause. It was a rough home debut for our young quarterback and now he has to head to Buffalo to play a Bills team that has surprised many this year by climbing back into the playoff race at 6-6. Considering the beating he took last week, all eyes will be on John to see how he reponds. Will he shy away from some throws because of the interceptions last week? Will he begin to feel less comfortable in the pocket because of the pounding he took last week? Will the fumbles last week stay in the back of his mind when under pressure? These are all legitimate questions to ponder. I think we are going to learn a lot about our new quarterback this week.
#2: To see how Cam responds
Up until last week's game against the Jets, the Miami locker room seemed to be a rather pleasant place despite their 0-11 record. However, following the debacle against New York, it's become apparent that things aren't always as they seem. Keith Traylor had some things to say. Jason Taylor did as well. And then there was even a radio report on 790 AM that some of the players feel that Cam Cameron is a "joke." So now that the locker room may be falling apart, though Cam denies it, and with Cam's play calling coming under more and more fire every week, this week's game will be quite telling. What kind of effort will the players put forth in Buffalo? Will they continue to divide or will Cam hold things together? Maybe Cam changed his tune around this week and actually look to the veterans on this club for some leadership. I'll be watching closely on Sunday to see how these players respond, especially if the going gets tough. Will they come together or will they continue to crumble?
#3: To see the other young players grow
A lot of eyes will always be on John Beck. But we can't forget about the other players on this team. Ted Ginn is continuing to make strides as a starting receiver, though you wouldn't know it based on his stats. Ginn only had one catch for 12 yards in their first game against the Bills, but did have that return touchdown that was called back because of a damn holding call (that occured after Ginn had passed them up, and was irrelevant to the play). It also is starting to seem like Samson Satele is beginning to hit that "rookie wall" you always hear of. I still think he's going to be a very good (borderline great) center in this league, but it'll be interesting to see how he bounces back from a tough game last week. And we can't forget about Lorenzo Booker. Booker saw his first extended action last week, basically acting as a slot receiver out of the backfield, and performed well. He showed those good hands we've all been hearing about. I'm very excited to see Booker get more and more action so we can make our own assumptions about him and not have to rely on the opinions of others.
#4: To witness the possible beginning of the end of a legendary Dolphin
It's no secret following last week's game that Jason Taylor isn't exactly seeing eye to eye with his head coach. And we've also heard earlier this year about how Dom Capers is using Taylor differently than he was used last year, limiting his big play potential. With a youth movement now in action, we could be witnessing the end of an all-time great career here in Miami for Taylor. Who knows what the future will hold for JT. But one thing is for sure: we need to stop bitching and moaning and, just for a second, enjoy watching Jason Taylor go out there week in and week out and play in a Miami Dolphin uniform. He's undoubtedly the greatest defensive end to ever wear aqua and orange. And this past week's comments not withstanding, he's also one of the classiest people to ever put on a Dolphin uniform. So when you're watching the game this weekend, just remember that you may be witnessing the beginning of the end of one of the greatest careers in south Florida sports history.
#5: The rivalry
Sure, the Dolphins are a terrible team right now and the Bills are average at best. But these 2 teams have played some memorable games. And now you have the first meeting of possibly many between two young quarterbacks who have their entire futures ahead of them. Who knows what paths each's career will take. Just watch this game knowing that this could be the very beginning of a fun rivalry between two quarterbacks whose futures may be very bright. And as always, the weather could be a factor in this game in Orchard Park, with the forcasting calling for a chance of freezing rain or light snow. That could make it even more entertaining.
So did I convice you to at least try and make it a point to watch this game on Sunday?