The year is 1984, the Miami Dolphins are coming off of a 12-4 record and even though they lost in the divisional round, they had a lot to be happy about. Dan Marino in his second year, first full year of being a starter, put on an offensive show, setting then single season records in passing yards, completions and touchdowns. The Dolphins wound up going 14-2 (winning their first 11 games), making it to the Superbowl but ending up losing to the 49ers.
Ever since Marino retired after the 99' season the team has fallen into obscurity, with a couple of playoff runs here and there but nothing that was deemed noteworthy. Sorry to break it to you Dolphin fans, but Dan Marino will not be the savior this time, but don't get too down in the dumps because things are definitely looking up for this franchise. Last season the Dolphins finished the season 6-10 and lost their head coach in the process. Joe Philbin who will be a head coach for the first time in his career was an extremely good offensive good coordinator in Green Bay and while it didn't hurt to have Aaron Rodgers, we all saw how well he worked with Matt Flynn whose currently in Seattle. Joe will help with a lot with the Dolphins offense which during the season last year was their biggest weakness. Joe Philbin will get the most out of Reggie Bush who is coming off his best year as a pro, rushing for 1,000 yards for the first time in his career.
Now lets talk about the 8th overall pick, Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill at Texas A&M was an effective starter for the Aggies. With 2011 being his first full year as a starter, he put up impressive numbers; with 3,744 yards, 29 touchdowns, completing 61.6% of his passes and posting a 133.2 passer rating. Good enough numbers for 8th overall? If your as desperate for a franchise guy as the Dolphins are then he is like a dream come true. Ever since Marino retired the Dolphins have gone through a ton of quarterbacks in order to find their guy and all of them have proved otherwise. Ryan Tannehill can be that guy, just not this year. Dolphin fans can only hope that Joe Philbin can work his Green Bay magic and turn him into a franchise guy.
While the Dolphins have a lot to look forward to on the offensive side of the ball, they still have a potential top 10 defense if everyone can be consistent. The Fins can rush the passer with the best of them, Cameron Wake is a beast everyone knows that, but not enough praise goes to the guys on the line around him. Paul Soliai the nose tackle who just shuts down any running lanes, Soliai is a big guy (6-4 355lbs) who moves incredibly well and above all hes durable. Soliai played in all 16 games for 2 years in a row and that's a rare feat for a guy of his size in this physical game.
Their defense still needs help however, they need to be consistent when it comes to the passing game. If the pass rush doesn't get to the opposing teams then the Dolphins get into major trouble. Aside from the corner Vontae Davis the Fins don't have a consistent, proven pass defender. Davis needs help if they want to win championships or even make it to the Superbowl.
While the Dolphins have a bright future on paper, if there is one thing watching sports has taught me, its that just because it looks good on paper doesn't mean it will work out in the real world. Just look at the Knicks (don't even get me started on that one).
With that note let the Joe Philbin era begin!