^Back To Top
Joomla gallery extension by joomlashine.com
2015 Dolphins Draft Picks
It's been a while since you've heard from me, and I would like to say that I took a break because of burn out. 18 years has been a heck of a long time. I am back, so, let's go for another season, eh?
1. Is Jay Cutler finally the answer?
If he is then it is because of the emergence of DeVante Parker. With last year's offense I would have said that he would do worst than Tannehill, but everyone knows that Cutler loves to take chances deep. With a receiver like Parker who has no problem outleaping any corner for the ball, Cutler is licking his chops. This will open up a lot of balls for the rest of the receivers, too. A lot of people are saying that this is the best offense that he's been a part of, and I would have to say "yes".
2. Same old problems.
You know what I am talking about: the offensive line. The only two dependable stars on our offensive line are LT Larry Tunsil and RT Ja'Wuan James. If healthy, C Mike Pouncey is da man. He is a mauler in the middle and everything works very well when he is in the game. He and our tackles even help with our major weaknesses along our offensive line and that is both guards. Personally, I think the Dolphins rolled the dice on the offensive line in hopes that they can get by another year on a injury prone center, and two below average guards. The Dolphins have had little success in drafting any offensive lineman out of the first round. They've really tried, and even the experts thought they did well with their picks, but every one of them has failed MISSERABLY. I mean, they really aren't worth backing up the starters. Why can't they get this right? Seriously, with the cost of free agents skyrocketing, you have to hit on picks outside the first round. I know what you are saying, "Come on, Big Dave. Not the offensive line answer again. We heard it for the last few years about Tannehill." Did you all see last year's Super Bowl? The Falcons had that game won as Brady couldn't even scratch himself back in that pocket. Once the Falcons defense became winded, he carved them up. It was like two quarterbacks out there for the Patriots. Cutler is not the kind of QB that you want with little protection. He becomes a fumble machine back there.
I do have to add that the Dolphins added PFF's best blocking tight end in Anthony Fasano. Welcome back Fasano.
3. Melvin Gordon.
You know, some people just don't have any intelligence when it comes to football. A big part of the game is psychological. I mean, why does Bill Belicheat talk up opposing quarterbacks to be future hall of fame quarterbacks before each game? Because he understands that bulletin material helps pick up players to another level. This is how Melvin Gordon answered a question about Culter this week:
Retire for three months, and some people lose all respect for you. Asked on Thursday afternoon what problems Cutler might present this weekend, the Chargers defensive end didn’t miss a beat.
“None,” Ingram said.
Thanks, Meathead! That should help knock off a little rust that the Dolphins have after missing a week of football. We are pretty much coming off of a bye week, and we have film on the Chargers from last week's game in which Broncos QB Trevor Siemian carved them up. The last time the Chargers faced the Gase/Cutler combo, Cutler had a 345 yards passing, 67% completion, 2 TD, 100.9% passer rating against them. Light up the cig, Smoking Jay Cutler.
4. The key to the season.
Let me just say that I think we have a more talented team than last year. Offensively there are weapons that just by saying their name you get the feeling that at any play they could be in the end zone. QB Jay Cutler: the man loves big receivers and DeVante Parker had better be ready for a lot of passes while double & triple covered. WR DeVante Parker: can outleap any corner for the ball, has great balance, and superior hands. Kenny Stills: the dude just knows how to get open deep. WR Jarvis Landry: the biggest playmaker on this offense, and he is the leader. WR Jakeem Grant: wow, how can such a little man play like such a big man in today's NFL? And Jay Ajayi: the key to the offense in my opinion; he needs to stay healthy as he is beastmode; he will keep Cutler balanced with the thought that he does not have to carry the offense. If Ajayi goes down, we may be in trouble.
5. Did the Dolphins improve the run defense?
You know, we sure did get a lot older on the defense as we went out and signed proven run stuffing linebackers in former 1st round pick Lawrence Timmons of the Steelers and early 2nd round pick Rey Maualuga of the Bengals in free agency. Timmons is who the Dolphins targetted in free agency and is 31 with a lot of wear and tear. He definitely is on the downside of his career as the Steelers decided to go in a different direction this year, but I have to say that after watching him destroy us in the playoffs last year and his performance in the preseason, he still has something left in the tank. I'm excited about him on defense. Now, Mauluga was picked up after we lost our prized rookie LB Raekwan McMillan that we took in the 2nd round out of Ohio State. The Dolphins were excited about drafting him but he is out for the year on the very first play of the preseason. Mauluga should be a decent fit in the middle, but when he was let go by the Bengals, he did not keep himself in shape. He was picked over other available free agent linebackers because of his familiarity with our defense. Kiko Alonzo slides over WLB and there isn't a lot bad to say about him. He was very good last year in the middle and he will play well on the outside as well.
So, "yes" we did improve the run defense over last year's group of backup starters.
6. Big Dave's 2017 prediction.
11-5, first round win in the playoffs. You heard it from the perennial optimist. The defense will improve, and the offense will move the ball down the field now that Gase finally has a quarterback who operate the no-huddle with great efficiency.
Game time! Your Miami Dolphins travel to Los Angeles to battle the Chargers. It is a 4 PM game with the Chargers currently favored by 4. The over/under is 44.5 so the oddsmakers are not expecting a shootout.
The Chargers lost a tough one last night against the Denver Broncos. They now have a short week to prepare and only Dolphins' preseason film to study. The two things we should be most concerned with are Philip Rivers and pass rushing duo of Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. They are the guys who can easily exploit Miami's weaknesses = the offensive line and the defensive coverage breakdowns. I'm less concerned about the latter as hopefully the communication issues improve, but we cannot deny it looked ugly when Carson Wentz carved them up in the preseason.
Adam Gase coaches his team to be tough and gets them to overachieve. I think he'll have them ready. As I posted in the forum, this team needs to be aggressive on both sides of the ball. No taking it easy or picking away with a run heavy game. The Chargers defense has improved and was relatively stout versus the run last year. They ranked 10th in yards allowed, but 30th in rushing TDs allowed. That bodes very well for Jay Ajayi if Miami can drive into the Red Zone early and often. Last night Trevor Siemian had a pretty good performance slinging it against the Charger defense. While he had the benefit of a lead and his backs carrying the ball 30 times, you can't ignore his success of moving the ball. This is where Jay Cutler needs to shine, much like he did against the Eagles in the preseason. I think Gase is going to let Cutler be aggressive early and hope to build off of that momentum. Devante Parker and Kenny Stills can get open deep, and I'm willing to bet Cutler targets them to stretch the field. The concern of course is can the offensive line buy him time? We've already seen that Cutler can evade the rush with better than adequate pocket presence, and he is accurate on the run. Where he can get into trouble is if Defensive Coordinator Guy Bradley baits him into throwing to double and triple coverage. If Cutler can drive the ball down field early it will make life easier for Ajayi. The Chargers' rushing defense gave up 120 yards on 30 carries to Denver's running backs last night. While Ajayi may not have to lead the way I still think he gets 20 touches.
Let's discuss the offensive line. I'm not sure anyone can say they have confidence in them at the moment, but it is also not time to panic. Laremy Tunsil's preseason play left a lot to be desired. The pass rush is going to come fast and furious from Bosa and Ingram (each had 1.5 sacks against Denver). Oh, and the other sack came from our old friend Chris McCain! Tunsil and Ja'wuan James will need to be sharp because Cutler has an injury history and a little bit of fumble-itis. Miami cannot afford to have him getting beaten up early, nor turning over the ball. There is already enough uncertainty about Cutler having multiple interception games. Mike Pouncey always makes a difference and it is awesome he is raring to go for this game. He makes the running game that much better for Ajayi. But we all will be holding our collective breaths on every snap because his hip problems just don't seem to go away. If he goes down and forces Anthony Steen over to center and Jesse Davis to left guard, well, just hope it doesn't come to that. The rest of the NFL showcased awful o-line play this week but Miami still needs to prove they can be adequate.
Miami's defense has had Philip Rivers' number. They are 3-1 versus him since 2013, forcing 10 interceptions and some fumbles in those games. But last night Rivers showed once again why you don't sleep on the perrenial Pro Bowler. He brought his team back from what should have been an easy Denver win only to have a blocked field goal seal the game. With the coverage lapses we witnessed in the preseason I'm slightly concerned that he can use the middle of the field to carve up Miami. Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams, Travis Benjamin, Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry (who surprisingly didn't have a target last night) will be challenging to cover. Ndomakong Suh will have to collapse the pocket and hopefully the Cameron Wake/Andre Branch/Charles Harris trio can get after him. Rivers lacks mobility and looks like he's running in moon boots, so there should be sacks. On the ground Melvin Gordon seems to be streaky. This is good because we have no idea what to expect from Miami's rushing defense. William Hayes and Lawrence Timmons are big upgrades in stopping the run, but the second defensive tackle spot and the other linebackers are liabilities. Its a darn shame Raekwon McMillan is hurt. Gordon is the type of back who can explode for a 20 yard run and then have his next 5 carries go for a total of 1 yard. Last night he carried tha ball 18 times for 54 yards, but did have a receiving TD (another thing that scares me).
I've seen a few reporters write that the Chargers feel they got a moral victory last night with their comeback against Denver's elite defense. Supposedly that will drive them to better things against Miami next week. Fine and dandy, but I'm not buying it. They lost and are on a short week. Miami has been practicing on the west coast since the weekend and will not have a time zone change just a day or two prior to the game. You can sense from Gase's pressers that the team is angry about losing their bye week, but they aren't using it as an excuse. I love his comment, "...we'll make our own bye week." This team will be ready!
I believe this game is going to be more of a shootout than Vegas is predicting. I'm betting on Cutler having a monster game and the defense forcing Rivers into bad throws by the 4th quarter. First play on offense will be a deep shot to Parker! Go Fins!!!
Los Angeles 30