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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:30 pm 
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GLASS (at least) HALF EMPTY: Why the Dolphins will lose in 2018

1. Ryan Tannehill. Coming off of over a year of injury rehab, and never having played at a consistently high level, it’s just wishful thinking to believe that somehow this is the year that the Dolphins’ quarterback will break through and deliver a top 10, injury-free season. And that is exactly what he needs to do for this team to realistically hope to make noise in the AFC. Yes, there have been NFL quarterbacks that have been late bloomers, but that is the rare exception, not the norm. It is more realistic to think that he will be what he has been so far; consistently average with flashes of very good play and mind-numbing spells of bad decisions or mechanics.

2. Linebackers. Our current set of linebackers may be the weakest unit on the team with the least depth. As of today, the opening day lineup would include Kiko Alonso and Stephone Anthony at the outside positions and Raekwon McMillan in the middle. While Alonso has looked good in camp, he is limited in coverage and was repeatedly exploited by opposing offenses last year. McMillan has yet to play a meaningful NFL down, and so while fans can hope that he is what the coaches believe he is, the reality is that he is completely unproven. We really don’t know what we have in him. Anthony tantalizes with his size and athleticism, but for some reason has not been able to perform consistently well in the NFL since his rookie season. Trusting these three to play at a high level this season is a huge gamble.

3. Offensive line. Since drafting Laremy Tunsil three years ago, we have been waiting for him to be the dominant player he was advertised as being. He did well at guard in his rookie season, but struggled at LT last year. His penalties were maddening and he failed to consistently dominate the opposing player. RT Ju’Wuan James had a very similar (poor) season. The interior of the line was rebuilt, getting rid of talented but oft-injured Mike Pouncey in favor of less-talented but more reliable Daniel Kilgore from the 49ers and bringing in veteran LG Josh Sitton as a free agent. Sitton represents a clear upgrade, but undrafted free agent Jesse Davis likely starts on the other side and is still largely unproven. The line overall is probably better than last year and appears (on paper) to have greater depth, but that is far from saying that it will be, you know, actually good.

4. Cornerbacks. A couple of weeks ago it appeared that the Dolphins either had 5 starting caliber CBs or 1. Xavien Howard has been dominant in camp but Cordrea Tankersley, Tony Lippett and surprising Torry McTyer have been battling for the other outside spot with Bobby McCain entrenched as the nickle back. After the Tampa Bay QBs (all of them) roasted the Miami defense in the first preseason game it makes one wonder if we actually have any NFL caliber CBs on the roster. Howard will probably be ok, but… this could seriously be a huge problem if none of these guys step up.

5. Coaching. Adam Gase was supposed to be the next big thing. The up and coming brilliant offensive mind. Maybe he is. Maybe he will be. But so far the results are, at best, mixed. Yes, he led the team to a playoff appearance in his first year. But the offense that we all hoped would sizzle has more often sputtered. Instead of bold, imaginative play calling, fans have been frustrated by predictable, conservative game plans. Maybe it’s the execution. Maybe it’s the players. But at what point does the public hold him accountable? Add to that the embarrassing lack of discipline and ridiculous number of pre-snap penalties the team has been guilty of and one has to be concerned that Gase really does not have control over the team.

Any one of these factors would be enough to limit the success of the team. If more than one of them proves to be valid this year, fans will have to expect more of the same from this season, which means mediocrity. And this doesn’t even address the red-zone struggles both on offense and defense, the inability to cover a TE, the lack of a proven kicker, the loss of such talented players as Ndamukong Suh and Jarvis Landry and the lack of development of former high draft picks such as Tunsil, James, Devante Parker and Charles Harris. Sadly, it’s easy to look at this year’s version of the Miami Dolphins and see a glass half empty.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:31 pm 
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This is the latest blog post from the home page. Jammer is going to follow it up with a counter-position stating why the Dolphins will have a winning season.

I took the negative side of the debate even though there are good arguments to be made both ways. It was hard to do for me; I'm generally a hopeful fan. Had to channel my inner Omar, as Jammer said.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:33 pm 
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Edit: Since I wrote this, Stephone Anthony has been demoted and we're trying the rookie there. Doesn't really alter the point of the post though.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:26 pm 
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That blog post is spot on and echoes posts I have been making. I am not seeing an improved Phins team at all. I really think Gase will be gone after this season and Tannehill will go as well. Gase better quickly figure out how to open up the offense and motivate/discipline his team if he has any plans to continue being a head coach. The schedule is favorable early and brutal in December....the team has to start fast.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 4:17 pm 
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Who are they starting? Baker?


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 4:18 pm 
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There are some trends that are worth keeping an eye on but it is the preseason so I keep reminding myself.

On the bright side at least the Phins are not raising hopes high in the preseason only to have a woeful regular season.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 5:04 pm 
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Phinished wrote:
That blog post is spot on and echoes posts I have been making. I am not seeing an improved Phins team at all. I really think Gase will be gone after this season and Tannehill will go as well. Gase better quickly figure out how to open up the offense and motivate/discipline his team if he has any plans to continue being a head coach. The schedule is favorable early and brutal in December....the team has to start fast.


And you've ascertained this from 2 preseason games? Amazing.

Got any tips for the Powerball too?

:haha


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:25 pm 
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Great write up thanks.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:03 am 
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Nicely done as far as pointing out our glaring weaknesses. After two preseason games we are not seeing a lot of improvements on the weaknesses that we saw from last year's team. Myself, I do believe the team is on the upswing, but I'm not sure how much. I still think we have the potential to win 9-10 games this year. They may do it ugly.

Dolphin Dad wrote:
And you've ascertained this from 2 preseason games? Amazing.

Got any tips for the Powerball too?

:haha


After two preseason games I'm with Pop here and I find it a little premature and amusing to say that we suck. Yes, we are seeing the same issues after a full training camp. We're playing Coach Fistpump football by failing to get into the end zone while being in the red zone (although Gase is not fistpumping), and part of the problem is Coach Gase's play-it-safe playcalling. We aren't consistent in stopping the run. Our secondary is not secure and we are still tinkering with it. We have not solved covering the tight end yet. Tunsil is still holding, we can't run on the left side, and our center gets pushed back at times.

On the other hand, I see positives. Tannehill is very accurate and is picking defenses apart with the short to short/medium throws. He is stepping into his throws even with defenders at his feet and that shows mental clarity and a lack of fear. We've always loved his mental toughness. We have sure-handed receivers who run good routes, so, our timing routes work very well and will open the deeper stuff. We have a trio of excellent safeties, and Xavian Howard is a baller. Kenyan Drake can take nothing and make something out of it. Just think what he would do if he were traded to the Iggles who have a very good OL. The team respects Coach Gase and they have played hard for him. We are also a year off of coming off of a playoff season. The OL has 3 new starters, so, chemistry takes time. Seeing holding penalties and some breakdowns are part of the growing pains and learning to play together as a unit.

So, count me in on the glass is half-full. I've seen teams flounder through the preaseason and the first quarter of the season only to finally "get it" and get into the playoffs ... some have gone very deep. Jets fans quit with suicidal thoughts a few weeks into the season, but Dolphins fans seem to quit in the preseason (seriously, no offense to any of my friends in the glass half-empty group). I say be like Jets fans and give it a couple weeks into the season before finding that bridge.

:haha

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:27 am 
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It will be a running team for at least the 1st part of the season. Hopefully the defense can hold up.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 11:56 am 
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Dolphin Dad wrote:
And you've ascertained this from 2 preseason games? Amazing.

Got any tips for the Powerball too?


Nahh, I don't think the poster at the top was using just two preseason games for his analysis. I say that because these two games have been an exact copy of their whole body of work to-date, going on 3 years for Genius Whisperer and 7 Year Boy Wonder. These two games have just underlined and made bold what we have witnessed again and again.

One has to ask is there's a reason for Gase to be so coy, to play call down to the minimum during these games? After a good ice breaker in Game 1, Game 2 offered the chance to unwrap Tannehill a bit more, to find out if they have something in Gesicki, find out if Grant/Wilson will complement the passing attack, open things up, let the oline work at giving Tannehill time to go downfield. Then use game 3 to work on those things that needed refinement. As it is they are headed for the Titans opener with as many questions as they had when camp opened.

Is Gase so arrogant, so delusional, to think that he's in such solid ground that he can throw away one, maybe two regular season games? He's sure coaching like it.

And defense is very much a problem, as the top post indicated. LB is a problem. CB is a problem. DT is a problem. The Titans running game, led by one of the best olines around, will eat up the middle of the defense and Gase will be lucky to have six possessions in the entire game to do anything, so he better get the offense to work now, when games don't count, on quick strikes, moving the chains, and not expect to be able to matriculate down the field with a bunch of five yard passes.

So I have no problem with that outlook, it's spot on. Let's see how Gase addresses game 3, see if he is capable of change, or is he too stubborn and continue to think he has a secret nobody else can figure out.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:27 pm 
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Coach Gase has already shown he can adapt as he did his first year. He scraped his plan for the one the team could execute. Playoffs.

Last year was on him as he brought in smokin jay.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:19 am 
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Kev1321 wrote:
It will be a running team for at least the 1st part of the season. Hopefully the defense can hold up.


Right now we are built to pass the ball, not run it. The OL must improve its run blocking.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:26 am 
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ESPN is now in a generous mood by giving us the overall #1 pick in next year's draft. They're like Santa Claus.


ESPN Power Rankings wrote:
32. Miami Dolphins

2017 record: 6-10
Post-draft ranking: 30

TE A.J. Derby. Derby has spent a good bit of time running with starters this offseason, but his recent injuries have allowed rookies Mike Gesicki and Durham Smythe to get more reps. Those two are locks to make the roster and are likely to secure a good bit of playing time. That leaves Derby likely competing with blocking TE MarQueis Gray for a third spot, and losing that battle could make Derby a surprise roster cut. -- Cameron Wolfe

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