Ten reasons for Dolphins fans to have optimism
By Omar Kelly Sun Sentinel
9:11 a.m. EDT, August 13, 2013
I’d like to enter a plea guilty. I openly admit I’m a glass half-empty kind of guy.
That’s just my style, my way of thinking. I prepare for the worst in every instance, and if I get something better than the worst I’ll be pleasantly surprised.
The worst the Miami Dolphins will be in 2013 is a six or seven win team again. I’m certain of that because that’s the worst this franchise has done since 2007, when injuries decimated Cam Cameron’s squad.
And if you factor in the fact this roster – talent wise – is much better than any team the Dolphins have had since 2007 it is safe to conclude this Joe Philbin’s squad is a .500 NFL team, one that could win more games with better quarterback play.
I expect nine wins this season from the Dolphins. I’m not talking the AFC East division champs. That won’t happen until Tom Brady lands on injured reserve again. I’m not talking playoffs, or Super Bowl contenders. That is just crazy talk without an upper echelon, top 15 quarterback.
I’m talking a winning season, and while that might not be good enough for some of you (cough, cough Chris Perkins) it is the “progress” owner Steve Ross is seeking.
I’ve been so beaten down by mediocrity the past few years I just want progress too.
Since I know my style wears on some of you optimist types I’d like to present a peace offering.
Here are my ten reasons for optimism about the 2013 Dolphins season based on four weeks of training camp.
1. Offensive weaponary shouldn’t be a problem this year for Miami. The Dolphins should have three very good receivers in Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson, and three decent tight ends/H-backs this season in Dustin Keller, Charles Clay and Dion Sims if every stays healthy.
2. The Dolphins have one of the deepest, fiercest defensive lines in the entire NFL. You’ve seen them eat up the opposition for three straight years, and this season they got better at rushing the quarterback because of Dion Jordan’s addition, and the development of Olivier Vernon and Derrick Shelby.
3. Dolphins got a gift from the injury Gods in Brent Grimes, who the Atlanta Falcons had no business dumping because he’s still a top NFL cornerback. Grimes is so good when he gives up a reception in practice I’m shocked. And he faces MIKE WALLACE daily. I expect a Pro Bowl type season from Grimes.
4. Dolphins finally have a safety tandem that will enter their second season as starters together for the first time in a decade-plus. Secondaries are all about communication, and Reshad Jones and Chris Clemons are clearly in a groove together. Jones roams the field freelancing, causing havoc, and Clemons plays center field, letting nothing get behind him.
5. Miami has a young quarterback with all the tools in Ryan Tannehill. He needs time and patience to get better in critical areas (third down, red zone, fourth quarter execution), but he has no limitations physically and mentally. And truth is, if he’s not good enough Matt Moore can win games for Miami as his replacement.
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