This season will be a little brighter for the 305, but not by much. I like what the Dolphins have done with Free Agency and in the Draft. Bringing in Parcells to be Vice President of Player Personnel was a good start. Do I like him as a Coach? Not really, but building a team from scratch? He is the Right man. Then to bring in guys like GM Jeff Ireland and HC Tony Sparano means that they will bring an attitude and determination to bring a bad team to respectability. First off, Parcells wanted to shore up the offensive line. He brought in:
LG Justin Smiley, who has been injured and a little inconsistent, but on a Horrible 49ers offensive line, so his best years are definitely in front of him. This was a good starting point to sure up the other OG spot.
The best move was to move OT Vernon Carey back to the Right Side. He is a little short and a little too hefty to play LT. This move helps the offensive line tremendously. The Dolphins will have a pretty good running game with this guy on the right side.
Other Free Agency aquisitions of real importance was: 3-4 DE Randy Starks, who is 24 and has 4yrs of NFL exp. He is a good, young player who is going to be a great fit in that Defense and adds versatilty when in a nickel or dime package to play DT to rush the QB.
WR Ernest Wilford, gives the Dolphins a red zone threat and thier best target since Chris Chambers left. He is inconsistent and about to be 30, but he will be used much like Keyshawn Johnson was.
QB Josh McCown, is not the best QB option, but if you are trying to do some patch work to find the QB of the Future, the best availible on the market. McCown will be the starter and may get replaced by Week 8. The Dolphins should use his athletic ability on bootlegs similar to Jake Plummer.
LB Reggie Torbor, I have always liked Torbor, Even as a Cowboys fan. He was a DE at Auburn and will most likely play two positions for the Dolphins MLB and LOLB. Although he will not be a starter he has played well in the past at coming off the Bench. He has won a Super Bowl and brings attitude to Special teams and much needed depth.
Other guys that will help with depth and Special teams are TE Sean Ryan and MLB/OLB Charlie Anderson.
NT Jason Ferguson, He is older and a little more injury prone, but by far the best option for the Dolphins. This is a key position for the 3-4 and Fergie can do a decent job. The Dolphins will rotate him out a lot and make sure he is only in on 1st and 2nd down.
MLB Akin Ayodele, He is solid but not a Superstar. He will make some big hits but doesn't play well in space and is bad in coverage. But he is a good fit for Parcells 3-4 and is a rugged guy. He loves Miami and hopefully does well.
TE Anthony Fasano, He never really proved much and was inconsistent with the Cowboys, but will have the chance to start for the Dolphins from Day 1. He is the best Blocking TE on the roster and Catches better than the current Bum. Not saying much tho.
LT Jake Long, The Dolphins made the correct choice Economically and for their team. They have QB issues so you need a good OLine to protect and to be able to run the Ball to control the clock. Long brings attitude and a Grit that will work just fine for Parcells. Not the best in pass protection but he is still going to be a Good/Great LT in the NFL. NFL Comparison: LT William Thomas, Eagles
DE/OLB Phillip Merling, Merling is not going to freak anyone out with his Pass Rushing skills but is great against the run. He has balooned up to 290lbs. I don't know what that's about, they already are loaded at 3-4 DE. He should drop down to 265 to play OLB. He will not be a Starter because of Jason Taylor and Porter, but will provide depth and will be on the field for Nickel and Dime packages like Giants DE Justin Tuck. NFL Comparison: DE Charles Grant, Saints
QB Chad Henne, I am not the biggest fan of Henne, but he has the chance to be solid in the NFL. He won't break records and isn't very athletic. Needs to get stronger and quicker. Will have trouble seeing throwing lanes and won't run away from most Defensive Lineman. Henne does have good Leadership skills and flashes good ability to play at a high level. I am not sure what the Dolphins have just yet but it could turn out okay. NFL Comparison: Brian Greise, Bears
DE Kendall Langford, OG Shawn Murphy, RB Jalen Parmele should all make the team and provide depth and special teams play. RB Jalen Parmele has a chance to develope very nicely. He reminds me of Marion Barber III. Keep an Eye on this guy.
The Dolphins are in a Division in which every team has upgraded their Pass Rushing and Defense. The No. 1 objective was to sure up the Offensive Line. They are young but, Long, Smiley, Satele, ???, Carey should be a Strong group who will only get better. The Dolphins need to settle the QB spot, but that will take at least 3 Seasons and find a True No. 1 WR to go on offense....and another OG. The Defense is starting to get built up with the exception of the Secondary. But they are definitely headed in the right direction. I see a 4-12 season for this team. It's still not great but they are building. Give it time. It will happen.
Hot issues: The Dolphins have to re-sign MLB Channing Crowder, this guy is very talented. He is a little immature but is growing up pretty fast. He has played very well on a bad team and should prove to be a Great fit in the 3-4 Defense. He is in the last season of his contract and should be resigned long term.
The Same goes for RT Vernon Carey. This is his first year with the new Regime but he is a very solid RT. With all the additions and Tony Sparano's close supervision, he could be an annual pro bowler.