Dolphins Yin And Yang Of Improvements & Setbacks
Miami needs to make improvements without new setbacks creeping in
The Miami Dolphins may have lost Thursday night against the Philadelphia Eagles 31-38, but there were also improvements offering hope that the Fins are headed in the right direction. Of course, there were also several setbacks that took some of the wind out of Miami’s sails.
First, a key objective was achieved: NO major injuries.
That’s a big positive–BIG.
With the 4th Preseason game a few days away time is running out to fix some crucial issues, but at least there aren’t any new broken pieces to deal with.
A major positive is that Jay Cutler is gaining confidence and building chemistry with his new teammates. Many were hesitant–to say the least–about his acquisition. Now it seems Cutler might end up a bright spot to the season.
Cutler showed off his arm with the 72 yard pass to DeVante Parker and spread the ball to multiple receivers. Parker and Cutler appear to be en route to a special season in 2017.
But, while Cutler and Parker should be fine, there’s that ever present question about the quality of O-Line…
I’m not going to beat that dead horse–at least for this article. We all know that situation: So goes the Offensive Line, so goes the 2017 Season. I’ll tell you this, if the O-Line comes together by Week 1 and performs, Adam Gase should be given sainthood and the Nobel Prize.
But hey, let’s stay positive and grasp at straws with a smile: Mike Pouncey hasn’t broken down yet, and Jesse Davis appears to be a nice find!
Improvements need to far outweigh the setbacks for 2017 to be successful
Then there is Julius Thomas who is doing his best impression of Jordan Cameron at the moment. I have to believe that 5.5 Million spent on him could have been better spent elsewhere. Unfortunately, with a 7.5 million cap hit if he were to be released, there’s no going back. Thomas could end up being a real black eye for both the FO and Gase if he flops… fingers crossed.
On defense, pay per head sites were betting that the secondary would be a strength and the D-Line a weakness.
At this stage, it’s looking like the two have flipped flopped.
Tony Lippett’s injury hurt big time… And with Byron Maxwell at risk of losing his starting job less than 2 weeks before the opener, salt is being rubbed in the wound. But can you believe it, Jordan Phillips seems to have woken up and is gaining steam in both effort and production? If both he and Davon Godchaux keep their current trajectory, this could end up the best DL interior the Fins have had in some time.
And a nice cherry on top is that both Nick Williams and Vincent Taylor look to be quality role players.
Then there’s the LB’s: Lawrence Timmons looks to be a serious difference maker to go along with Kiko Alonso… but injuries to Neville Hewitt and Raekwon McMillan have left the core thin and scrambling to bolster the core. The addition of Rey Maualuga is an unknown and he might not even be ready for Week 1… but then again, maybe he will.
I’m running out of fingers to cross.
Many of the Dolphins failings are correctable
Overall it’s very difficult to gauge where the 2017 team is at. Both the Offense and Defense has had uneven outputs and every positive seems to be balanced with a negative. The theme so far this preseason has been inconsistency. But there’s still time… really there is.
With the 4th preseason game a final tryout for the roster-bubble players, the starters are going to have to be laser focused on making improvements over the next two weeks of practice. Then there’s the great purge of talent coming up with a 1000 players hitting the streets at once and the possibility of trades. This team isn’t in it’s final incarnation… so don’t lose hope Fin Fans. But man wouldn’t it be nice to only have positives to talk about. What are the rest of the Miami Dolphins News fans thoughts about how this preseason has played out for Miami so far, and what concerns you guys the most about this 2017 team?