Let's be honest, folks: in recent years, the national media has not been kind to the Miami Dolphins' organization. From the obsessive, microscope like coverage given to 'Bully Gate' by Mike Florio and Pro Football Talk, to a certain beat writer at the Sun Sentinel, bashing the team's quarterback and front office every chance he gets, to various pundits at NFL.com and elsewhere, giving the proverbial 'thumbs down' to many of the team's draft picks and transactions in recent years, the Dolphins haven't exactly been regarded with excitement by many members of the press.
The obvious counter argument, of course, is that, since the team doesn't win very often these days, they also, accordingly, don't receive much respect. Fair enough, but sports writers around the country just seem to have a tendency to go out of their way to bad mouth the Dolphins' free agency signings and first round picks in a way that they haven't done with other perennially bad teams, such as the Jaguars, Lions, Raiders, etc. Whether this is because they still haven't forgiven us for 1972 or because they wish they could reside in South Florida year round, instead of having to live in the Northeast most of the time, that the national press certainly appears not to like the Dolphins a whole lot is readily apparent to all but the most stubborn Phinsider members. So we'll agree to disagree there; there are a great many things in life that we all know to be so, and not being able to produce rock solid proof does not make them any less true.
In recent off seasons, one of Miami's most consistently strident critics has been one Heath Evans, who briefly played for the Dolphins in the early 2000's before finishing his career in New England. Evans, at one point, comically contradicted himself in his assessment of the team. During the 2013 draft, after Miami traded up to the third overall pick to select Dion Jordan, Evans was almost apoplectic in his bashing of the move, practically shouting, from the NFL.com studio, that "You affect Tom Brady's rhythm with middle pressure!" Okay, so, when Miami, two years later signed one of the top two or three defensive tackles in the game in Ndamukong Suh, thus providing that middle pressure, one would think Heath would have liked that move. Nope. As was the case with the Jordan pick, Evans lustily bashed the Suh signing, as well.
This week, however, Evans showed some rare enthusiasm for the Dolphins, saying they, " . . . have the potential to be in the mix for the AFC East title." While it's obvious that Evans has not spent much time assessing the team's talent level at some crucial positions - they'll be fortunate to finish the 2016 season at .500, much less make the playoffs - it's refreshing, nonetheless, to hear one of the franchise's staunchest detractors give them some much needed, and appreciated, praise. The link to the article, from NFL.com, is here.