Team Name: Miami Dolphins
Division: AFC East
Stadium: Sun Life Stadium (Miami Gardens, FL)
2013 Record: 8-8
Head Coach: Joe Philbin (2012 – present), got the job after finding success in Green Bay, probably likes the weather in Miami better than in Wisconsin
Quarterback: Ryan Tannehill, drafted in 2012, made us laugh on Hard Knocks when he didn’t know the teams in each division
3 Offensive Players You Should Know:
– Mike Wallace, Wide Receiver (11) – He’s super speedy. Last year he signed a $60 million, 5-year deal with the Dolphins, but was somewhat underwhelming on the field. He’s excited about the new offensive coordinator because the new scheme changes his role.
– Brian Hartline, Wide Receiver (82) – He led the team in receptions last year. He’s an under-the-radar type of guy, but a decent athlete. He’s getting paid a lot less than Wallace, but could potentially produce more if he stays healthy.
– Branden Albert, Offensive Line Left Tackle (71) – After spending the first part of his career in Kansas City, he signed a $47 million, 5-year deal with Miami in March this year. He’s a left tackle, which means he protects the quarterback’s blindside (Learning Opportunity – If a quarterback is throwing with his right hand, his body naturally turns to the right in order to throw. This means that his back is on his left side. It’s his “blind” side because he can’t see when a large defensive lineman is coming to put the pain on him. If they’re good, left tackles get paid well because they keep the quarterback from getting sacked). I’m sure Ryan Tannehill is happy about this addition to the team because hopefully it means he will spend less time on the ground.
3 Defensive Players You Should Know:
Cameron Wake, Defensive End (95) – Wake is an excellent pass-rusher, which means “he be gettin after yo quarterback.” He’s 32, but should still be a beast this year. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the Pro Bowl again.
Brent Grimes, Cornerback (21) – He had a good year last year and there’s no reason to think this year will be any different. He’s part of what makes the Dolphins secondary so scary.
Cortland Finnegan, Cornerback (24) – He’s a troublemaker. He gets fined a lot for doing things you aren’t supposed to do on the field, like hitting people when their helmets are off. He’s a pretty decent corner too, but all the other stuff distracts us from it. This is his first year on the Dolphins and he needs to play consistently and manage his anger to earn that starting spot.
What Happened This Offseason:
– The ‘phins stole their new offensive coordinator from the Eagles. Nick Foles (QB) made Bill Lazor look pretty good as the quarterback coach in Philly last year. Let’s see what Bill can do with Ryan Tannehill and an offense that can’t quite seem to get it together.
– Their offensive line sucked last year. Ryan Tannehill got sacked 58 times. To put that in perspective, the quarterback with the next highest sacks, Joe Flacco, had 48. Ouch. With Mike Pouncy, the starting center, most likely missing the beginning of the season with a hip injury, things aren’t looking much better.
– Miami signed Knowshon Moreno, a running back who spent the first 5 years of his career in Denver and had an outstanding 2013 season. If he was 100%, I’d be super excited about him and definitely pick him up on fantasy. Sadly, that’s not the case as he’s dealing with some knee issues right now.
– Does the name Jonathan Martin ring a bell? Richie Incognito? Those were the two players involved in the October 2013 harassment scandal. Here’s an ESPN article if you need a refresher on what went down. Considering that the Dolphins went 5-2 after Martin’s departure from the team, I think they’ve probably done a decent job moving past the events. I would bet my bottom dollar that the locker room culture in Miami is significantly different this year.
10 points for Gryffindor if you actually peruse through the report the NFL released. I read all 144 pages in its entirety the day it came out because that’s how I get my kicks. You don’t have to do that, but it’s a really fascinating look at locker room culture and the roles of all parties involved. It’s more of a commentary on the human psyche than football. Warning – it does contain graphic and explicit language.
Why You Should Cheer for Them: If you like defense, Miami quietly has a very good one that has been waiting patiently for the offense to get their act together. If you hate the Patriots and want to see them be dethroned as the AFC East champions, the Dolphins are probably their biggest threat.
2014 Theme Song: Miami (Will Smith) – Although an obvious choice, it is a fantastic song that will bring you children of the 90s back to those awkward middle school dances. It’s also a little ironic because in the wake of the Incognito-Martin scandal, those players aren’t going to be all “everyday like a Mardi Gras, everybody party all day, no work all play, okay” like Will….at least not in a way that gets the attention of the national press.
The Last Word: I agree with Peter King of MMQB – Can’t say that I would want to start my schedule off with New England, Kansas City, and Green Bay within the first 5 weeks. They shouldn’t be any worse than last season, but it’s always going to be an uphill battle to catch up to the Pats in the AFC East.
Don’t forget to take the extra step to Google Image search some of the guys if you want to recognize them on game day. We apologize again for not putting their images on here, but we don’t want to get sued. The other option is for you to finance our trips to each stadium and we will take pictures of these dudes. We’re fine with this option, as well.