We’re just over a month away from the season getting underway and like any good fan of the NFL, it’s around this time I start forming some early expectation of my team – namely the Miami Dolphins.
It’s a strange time to be a Dol-fan. In the space of 18 months we’ve gone from thinking we could make our first SuperBowl in over 25 years to just hoping we don’t embarrass ourselves too much in the coming season. And that’s not a strange feeling to be honest – any follower of the Dolphins will tell you that it’s a hell of a rollercoaster ride… albeit one that never quite hits the heights you’d like it to.
Roster-wise, it’s certainly a mixed bag. This was made all the more obvious when we launched our new uniforms a couple of months ago, only to really struggle to roll out any ‘big names’ to help the team to sell it. Ryan Tannehill is back after a year and a bit out (it seems a long long time since 2016 Week 13 when we last saw him!). I think this is the third time I’ve personally declared this as his last chance to shine and show he has what it takes. Believe it or not, he’s now 30, and entering his 6th season (7th if you count last season which he sat out), so this really is time to show us what he can do.
He’s lost his main tool in Jarvis Landry this off season, replaced with Danny Amendola, who is someone who has always impressed me. He has a real knack of performing in big games and brings some winning experience to a roster which so badly lacks it.
Speaking of Landry, I’m really looking forward to seeing how he’s settling in in Cleveland on this year’s hard knocks (which starts next week by the way, if you have NFL Gamepass). If you believe even half of what is being written in the media, to say he was not a happy-chappy in Miami would be an understatement. And I can understand it if I’m honest. He was never really given a chance to provide his QB with a long ball target while with us. Looking at the stats, almost 45% of his catches last year were within 3 yards of the Line of Scrimmage, with nearly a further 20% being either at or behind the line. It’s no wonder he was frustrated, knowing what he was capable of when he went down field.
Defensively, we’re much the same as last year… which doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence.
Whatever happens, we’re less than 2 weeks away from the first pre-season game, and less than 40 days until the season kicks off properly. Whoever you’re supporting, I’d be really interested to hear how you’re feeling at this stage, and on a selfish note, how you think the Dolphins will do this year – drop me a line on Twitter and let me know.
Strap yourselves in. It’s going to be a bumpy ride…!