Rapid-Fire Review of the Last 6 Months

Had to look back to see that the last time I posted was back in early February, in the wake of the Brian Flores firing and B-Flo's announcement that he was suing the NFL and Dolphins owner Stephen Ross. The thrust of that post was that the Fins could be facing some massive consequences if Ross were found guilty of some of all of what Flores was alleging.

Well, it's been a fairly busy six months for the Fins since that dire announcement. Too much for me to cover and expect many people to read, so I'll just fire some bullet points off the cuff and how I'm feeling about things. These aren't necessarily in chronological order:

  • Mikey McD as the new HC! Only knew so much about him when Mike McDaniel took the HC gig, but it's been a fun ride since. For my money, he's earned solid grades across all areas for a young, first-time head coach in the NFL. He seems super smart, super plugged in to what it takes to relate to players, amiable and witty in press conferences, and genuinely eager to make great things happen in Miami. The Fins have never had a head coach like this, and I think McDaniel could be part of this new wave of 21st-century head coaches who really are the future of the league. The old-school, wannabe drill sergeant approach that worked for most of the NFL's history seems to be well on its way out. Bill Belichick unprecedented run of success may finally be fading, and one acolyte of his after another has crashed and burned as a head coach (we'll see how Josh McDaniel does during his second attempt). While the Fins might not exactly be "ahead" of the curve in their hiring of a cerebral, charismatic, player-centric head coach, they're at least closer to the front of that curve rather than being late to the party. I'm excited about it.
  • We Bought a Cheetah!! It wasn't cheap by any means, but I'm friggin' excited about Tyreek Hill being on this team. We all know his insane speed and big playability, but I think it's hilarious that he's apparently tasked himself, unbidden, with being the Flavor Flav to Tua's Chuck D. The amount of hype that Tyreek is throwing Tua's way has been amusing and admirable. It may come back to bite him, but I don't really care. At least he's going all-in. The main, immediate downside to getting Hill was...
  • Draft Pretty Dull. Not that I follow college football enough to get excited about it, but I honestly didn't bother watching it live. Why would I when the Fins didn't have a first or second round pick? Meh. On the bright side, the four guys they did pick between rounds 3 and 7 have thus far looked like they could have places in the NFL. Seventh round LB Cameron Goode showed up nicely in the game against Tampa, while fellow seventh rounder QB Skylar Thompson made a very strong case for himself. Like wise, LB Channing Tindall. Fourth-round pick WR Erik Ezukanma was fairly quiet in the Bucs game, but has turned a lot of heads in training camp. These early returns suggest that maybe Chris Grier has once again found some nice players in the mid- and late rounds of the draft. Can't hate on that.
  • Training Camp Seemed Mostly Good. After bagging a few more nice free agents, most notably left tackle Terron Armstead, things seemed to be pretty solid through the July camp. A very few unfortunate injuries aside, reports were that things were looking pretty good and there weren't many red flags that I was reading or hearing about.
  • Pre-Season Game 1 vs Bucs was...pre-seasony. I've long since learned to keep any emotions in check when it comes to preseason. The Fins brass made sure that I did that by benching well over half the starters for this tilt (the Bucs benching even more), turning the game into a glorified tune-up for a few regular roster guys and a tryout for potential backup dudes and practice squad players. Skylar Thompson looked nice and may quickly usurp Teddy Bridgewater as QB2. Depth may be an issue for a few units (cornerback, linebacker, and probably O line), but there's no unit that downright scares me like most years in the recent past. These days, all I'm trying to gauge in the pre-season is where the team's floor might be, since it's truly impossible to assess its ceiling. At the moment, the floor looks decently high.

Upcoming Game Against Vegas

To echo my earlier thoughts, I'm not going to let any emotions get away from me here. However, I'd be fooling myself and everyone to say that I'm not excited to see more of the starters out there to see how they fare against a Raiders team that has some real talent. I know, I know. Teams aren't typically running their most complex plays, and pre-season is more about fine-tuning basic routes, defenses, and getting everyone's game timing down after a long off-season. Still, I'll hope to see an offense with Tua at the helm for a bit, showing a certain dynamism and flow that we almost never saw under Brian Flores's offensively-challenged regime. Like the game against the Bucs, I'll be happy if the defensive starters and presumed rotational guys make life hard on a dangerous Raiders starting offense, even if it's just for a quarter or so. I'll feel better if I see an actual, consistent run game emerge and a shoring up of the many yards surrendered over the middle.

How is everybody else feeling at present? Get a conversation going in the comments, folks!

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Phinsider's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of The Phinsider writers or editors.