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 Dolphins, for now, seem headed for 8-8 season 
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Post Dolphins, for now, seem headed for 8-8 season
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/miam ... 3584.story

DAVIE – After all of the Dolphins’ recent changes – new offensive coordinator, new offense, new left and right tackles, new running back, new free safety, a switch at linebacker, etc… -- their 2014 outlook is about the same as their 2013 record.

The Dolphins appear to be an 8-8 team.

In the most realistically optimistic circumstance they could be 10-6. In the most realistically pessimistic circumstance they should be no worse than 7-9. That’s how things look right now.

If that sounds familiar, there’s a good reason. It’s the same thing I thought about the Dolphins days before the 2013 season began.

Obviously, my 2014 projections/expectations could change during training camp and preseason games. The 8-8 projection is based largely on observations from OTAs (Organized Team Activities) and minicamp, a time when players weren’t wearing pads and therefore can’t be assessed with much reliability.

However, for the last two years I’ve thought the key to the Dolphins making the playoffs is acquiring/developing more playmakers. And that’s the case again this year.

The Dolphins have a boatload of good players, guys who are fairly reliable and deserve to be NFL starters or key reserves.

What the Dolphins (still) lack is enough difference-makers in the mold of cornerback Brent Grimes, center Mike Pouncey, defensive end Cam Wake, defensive tackle Randy Starks, left tackle Branden Albert, and yes, punter Brandon Fields.

The Dolphins need more guys who make plays that win games.

Perhaps someone emerges into a reliable playmaker from the Dolphins’ next tier of players – quarterback Ryan Tannehill, wide receivers Brian Hartline and Mike Wallace, tight end Charles Clay, linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, defensive end Olivier Vernon, and strong safety Reshad Jones.

Ideally, it’s Tannehill. But it could be anyone. Maybe Hartline has a third consecutive 1,000-yard season and has, say, 10 touchdowns. Maybe Vernon repeats his 11.5-sack performance from last season. Perhaps Jones reverts to his 2012 form, when he seemed on the verge of being one of the best safeties in the NFL.

Perhaps the difference-maker comes from a completely different group of players. Maybe kicker Caleb Sturgis becomes a weapon. What about rookie right tackle Ja’Wuan James forming a one-man wall? How about defensive end Dion Jordan or cornerback Cortland Finnegan filling the difference-maker role?

The Dolphins have plenty of candidates to take that proverbial “next step” and propel this team into the playoffs. The roster has good talent, and it has for years.

But until the Dolphins show they've developed or acquired more difference-makers, they appear headed for another 8-8 season.


Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:48 am
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Post Re: Dolphins, for now, seem headed for 8-8 season
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But until the Dolphins show they've developed or acquired more difference-makers, they appear headed for another 8-8 season.


This I am afraid is the key take on this team as of right now. However, pads have not come on and the number one change that HAS to happen this season is that offensive line. If that collapses again, this will be another long season of inconsistencies and especially for the tone of the offense.


Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:55 am
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Post Re: Dolphins, for now, seem headed for 8-8 season
Kind of a ridiculous article in my opinion, but it is that boring time of year so they have to file something.

The biggest point is that the pads have not come on. That kind of negates his argument. Not sure how anyone can give you a good glimpse of what they can do in tshirt/touch football.

If Perkins was able to point out that Tannehill was inaccurate, the receivers were dropping easy balls, the LBs were out of position, the CBs were getting burned, etc. then okay, I can buy that this team doesn't look serious. But none of that appeared to be true.

3 biggest factors: Tannehill needs to produce more on 3rd down and the 4th Qtr, there has to be some hint of a running game, and the LBs need to make more plays. If everything else from last year remains then this is a 10-6 type team. But we won't know if any of this is possible until late in the preseason.


Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:36 am
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Post Re: Dolphins, for now, seem headed for 8-8 season
If Ross has any cojones, another 8-8 season would get Philbin and Hickey ushered out the door

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Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:20 am
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Post Re: Dolphins, for now, seem headed for 8-8 season
Hickey after less than a year?? I could see Philbin though


Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:18 am
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Post Re: Dolphins, for now, seem headed for 8-8 season
I think we finish in that 6 to 10 win range. If everyone gets hurt...a 6-10 season is likely with that schedule. If the offense clicks the way it did in Philly last year and Jordan breaks out like a beast and the secondary and O-line are solid we can win 10.


Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:21 am
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Post Re: Dolphins, for now, seem headed for 8-8 season
marc23 wrote:
Hickey after less than a year?? I could see Philbin though


He was Ross's 7th or 8th choice after much more qualifIed candidates turned down the position. Most GMs get 4-5 year deals. Hickey only got a two year deal. His fate is now tied to Philbin and of the Dolphins don't make the playoffs next year, Ross can and will clean house

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Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:35 am
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Post Re: Dolphins, for now, seem headed for 8-8 season
TommyNoleFin wrote:
If Ross has any cojones, another 8-8 season would get Philbin and Hickey ushered out the door


I'd like to see Ross hire a new coach and GM and fire them the next day, to really show he has cojones.

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Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:08 pm
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Post Re: Dolphins, for now, seem headed for 8-8 season
What other team has more than 4 or 5 "difference makers" as the writer suggests???

The Pats have: Brady, Revis, Gronk..... Im done..... so do they need to acquire more difference makers in order to be higher than 8-8? Sadly they are consistently an 11 win team, no questions asked..... mainly with Brady and a helluva lot of role players. Belichick is just that good of a coach (and a cheater).

I think is a matter of MIAMI NEEDS A GAME CHANGER...... not a collection of "difference makers" or a collection of "good players". One truly elite game changer would make Miami into a monster..... We may already have one on the roster. Who knows??? Can Cam Wake put together a historic Lawerence Taylor like season? I think he has the potential....

I also want to rebute a bunch of other nonsense in this article. DO KICKERS EVEN MATTER ANY MORE??? No, I know they do, but seriously? You want to turn Sturgis into a weapon? Welcome back to Sparano fist pumping days. Yes, I am going over the top now but seriously, even if Sturgis goes 45 of 46 this season with 5 bombs over 50 yards....... Miami will still be an 8-8 team if the defense gets gashed for 4.5 yards per carry. Sorry, Kicker Weapons dont make winning football teams anymore, especially without a lights out defense.

Point blank. Miami has done the most in the division to improve this offseason. I think a feasible prediction for the status quo, as it stands right now is 9-7 on the cusp of the playoffs...

We all know the truth here. This season will ride or die with the right arm of Ryan Tannehill. If there is major progression, which all signs hint there will be with Lazors offense, Miami should be a 10-6/ 11-5 type of team. If Tannehill fades into the evening sun like all those that came before him.... Henne, Lemon, Griese II, Culpepper, Huard, Fiedler, Green, Beck, Pennington, etc, etc...... Miami will be a 7 or 8 win team.

Why sugar coat the obvious....


Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:49 pm
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Post Re: Dolphins, for now, seem headed for 8-8 season
TommyNoleFin wrote:
He was Ross's 7th or 8th choice after much more qualifIed candidates turned down the position. Most GMs get 4-5 year deals. Hickey only got a two year deal. His fate is now tied to Philbin and of the Dolphins don't make the playoffs next year, Ross can and will clean house

So will those 1 - 6 choice then want to be in Miami? Or will Ross just go after new people so he can say I got my 1st choice?


Sun Jul 06, 2014 5:29 pm
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Post Re: Dolphins, for now, seem headed for 8-8 season
Dphins4me wrote:
TommyNoleFin wrote:
He was Ross's 7th or 8th choice after much more qualifIed candidates turned down the position. Most GMs get 4-5 year deals. Hickey only got a two year deal. His fate is now tied to Philbin and of the Dolphins don't make the playoffs next year, Ross can and will clean house

So will those 1 - 6 choice then want to be in Miami? Or will Ross just go after new people so he can say I got my 1st choice?


The reason why so many candidates turned down the position was because they would be handcuffed to Joe Philbin. Usually when you bring in a new GM, you let him hire the coach or if you're bringing in a proven coach, you let him handpick his GM. Handcuffing rarely works in today's league. Ross fired Sparano but kept Ireland around, and we wind up with Philbin. Now he fires Ireland but keeps Philbin around and we end up with Hickey. Ross realizes the gravity of making the same mistake twice.

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Sun Jul 06, 2014 6:05 pm
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Post Re: Dolphins, for now, seem headed for 8-8 season
The fact that mike pouncey is listed as a difference maker makes this artcile kinda crap. Pouncey is not that good.
Clay and wallace are difference makers, wallace when he wants to be i guess


Mon Jul 07, 2014 4:13 am
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Post Re: Dolphins, for now, seem headed for 8-8 season
Manhattan wrote:
Pouncey is not that good.


Are you saying he is not good enough to be a difference maker (as in a game changer) or are you saying he is not that good of an offensive lineman?

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Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:21 am
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Post Re: Dolphins, for now, seem headed for 8-8 season
Maybe the offensive line will be able to give Tannehill just a little more time this year? Maybe he will learn to throw the deep ball...or if he gets more time, then we will have proof that he always could do it with proper protection?

Each new year hope springs eternal, but this off-season has not been a stellar one.

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Mon Jul 07, 2014 12:38 pm
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Post Re: Dolphins, for now, seem headed for 8-8 season
TommyNoleFin wrote:

The reason why so many candidates turned down the position was because they would be handcuffed to Joe Philbin. Usually when you bring in a new GM, you let him hire the coach or if you're bringing in a proven coach, you let him handpick his GM. Handcuffing rarely works in today's league. Ross fired Sparano but kept Ireland around, and we wind up with Philbin. Now he fires Ireland but keeps Philbin around and we end up with Hickey. Ross realizes the gravity of making the same mistake twice.

What GM worth having would take the job if Ross fired Hinkey after only one season without allowing him to hire the coach he wants?

If he does that, then he will be forced to hire a coach who will bring his own GM.


Mon Jul 07, 2014 5:05 pm
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Post Re: Dolphins, for now, seem headed for 8-8 season
Perkins gets paid to write an article that says the Dolphins look exactly average . . . . in July . . . ?

amazing.

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Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:46 pm
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Post Re: Dolphins, for now, seem headed for 8-8 season
This is why all media should be taken with a grain of salt, especially now, because as you point out he is getting paid to write, so he can't just say I don't know, or they'll simply hire someone else who will say something.

The media is a part of the entertainment world just as much as they are a part of news, so DJ tested positive is news, Dolphins hit rock bottom is entertainment.

It's like white noise to me anymore, I just don't pay attention to it, TC is not far off and then we'll start getting some answers.

On a side note, it really sucks being in the same position every year, having to wait until TC to get some answers about how the team will look in the coming season, and what I really mean is that every year we head into TC not sure of whether we'll be good or bad because of the huge influx of new players every year, new starters, we don't even know what our Oline is going to like besides Albert and Pouncey once he comes back, who's playing where at LB, who are the WR going to be, who are the TEs, who are the RBs, who will be playing opposite Grimes.

When your a good established team then everybody knows your going to be good, the questions at that point are how good will they be, and they are only worried about a couple spots on the team, not worried about entire squads, multiple squads at that.

I remember getting tired of making the playoffs every year, wanting championships, playoffs was a given, I wanted SB titles, man o man I'd love to have those days back now.

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Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:39 am
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Post Re: Dolphins, for now, seem headed for 8-8 season
Finster wrote:
I remember getting tired of making the playoffs every year, wanting championships, playoffs was a given, I wanted SB titles, man o man I'd love to have those days back now.


Everyone always thought the grass was greener back then.

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Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:32 pm
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Post Re: Dolphins, for now, seem headed for 8-8 season
Hes not good enough to be called a difference maker.


Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:10 pm
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Post Re: Dolphins, for now, seem headed for 8-8 season
Manhattan wrote:
Hes not good enough to be called a difference maker.


Got it.

I'm of the opinion that you cannot call any offensive lineman a difference maker.

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Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:17 pm
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Post Re: Dolphins, for now, seem headed for 8-8 season
I think guys like ogden and richmond webb made very big differences for their teams. The difference between them being there versus not. Take pouncey out though and the oline doesnt change mich


Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:00 pm
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Post Re: Dolphins, for now, seem headed for 8-8 season
Manhattan wrote:
I think guys like ogden and richmond webb made very big differences for their teams. The difference between them being there versus not. Take pouncey out though and the oline doesnt change mich


He's a Pro Bowl center and a top 5 center in the NFL.

I guess we'll see early in the season, won't we...

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Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:02 pm
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Post Re: Dolphins, for now, seem headed for 8-8 season
Top 5 based on what? The pool of good centers is pretty small. Id put mack, hardwick, mangold, unger and myers ahead of him


Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:10 pm
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Post Re: Dolphins, for now, seem headed for 8-8 season
Manhattan wrote:
Top 5 based on what? The pool of good centers is pretty small. Id put mack, hardwick, mangold, unger and myers ahead of him


Mangold? Lol, absolutely not. Especially at this stage in his career. I'd take Pouncey 10 times out of 10 over him.

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Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:32 pm
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Post Re: Dolphins, for now, seem headed for 8-8 season
Manhattan wrote:
Top 5 based on what?


Based on metrics, he ranks as the top pass protecting center in the NFL. Only gave up 2 sacks and 11 pressures all season. He also grades out well as a run blocker, but it is hard to run the ball when both your guards suck.

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Wed Jul 09, 2014 8:07 am
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Post Re: Dolphins, for now, seem headed for 8-8 season
Didn't Nate Garner grade out decently as a center?


Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:39 am
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Post Re: Dolphins, for now, seem headed for 8-8 season
As a pass blocker yes. As a run blocker no.

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Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:55 am
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Post Re: Dolphins, for now, seem headed for 8-8 season
Interesting. Did he rank as number 5? Given the talent pool i wouldve said about 6 or 7 so 5 isnt a huge surprise for me if thats the case but like we both said not a difference maker really. Put in another center that isnt as good and you wont see a big difference. Like you said we will see. I hope they play well enough without him that they eventually decide they dont necessarily need him so any antics would make him expendable if he decides to start lockerroom stuff or punch a guy on the field


Thu Jul 10, 2014 7:17 pm
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Post Re: Dolphins, for now, seem headed for 8-8 season
How any Miami Dolphin fan can say that Olineman don't make a difference is way beyond me, were you watching last year?

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Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:26 am
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