Dave Sunley (@davesunley), has been a Miami Dolphins fan since the Marino era and has given us his thoughts on last season as well as predictions on the new season to keep this ‘State of the Franchise’ train rolling. We’re getting progressively closer to the new season and this edition is for the Miami Dolphins!
So, sit down, take a breathe and enjoy our latest feature …
Last Season’s Reflections
Last season we had done well in free agency as well as the draft and filled what looked like a few of the team’s needs. We had a good season the year before (2016) making the playoffs which led to us thinking we could potentially improve further in 2017.
Unfortunately for many of us, the optimism was short lived due to the Tannehill injury during preseason. I remember hearing he had an injury in training and feared the worst. We then got the news everyone had been dreading – he was out for the season. So, who would they get to replace him? With not many options available at the time, the news then came through that the Dolphins had gone with Cutler for a year. Nor impressed or unimpressed, I was not sure what to make of it. He is a very experienced quarterback but not very mobile.
After this news, it was a case of let’s see how we do when the season finally gets going. After a few games into the season it was clear we were in for a long hard year. The holes in our team were massively exposed and we had problems in both defense and offense. We then lost Jay Ajayi midway through the season to the Eagles due to off pitch incidents, although his hole was filled adequately by Kenyan Drake, who had a very good year. Overall it was disappointing finishing 6-10 after making the playoffs the year.
Changes During The Off-Season
In my opinion, we had a brilliant off-season and draft. The powers that be at Miami made some wise choices this year (and possibly a few questionable ones as always).
We did lose some players that needed replacing though. First to go was Landry. Ndamukong Suh and Mike Pouncey were shortly after. These were big stars at Miami and whom were massively influential in our playoff run in 2016-17. Whilst they didn’t have a brilliant year last season, they will potentially be massively missed being big playmakers. It will be interesting to see how their replacements do this year.
We set about replacing these players in free agency starting off bringing in Amendola from the Patriots. Whilst he has the experience and a brilliant pair of hands, I do question whether we should have looked at a receiver who is 33 years old. He has the potential to make plenty of catches for Tannehill though. We also added Albert to the receiver group – a much younger talent.
We also added strength to our offensive line during the off-season by adding Josh Sitton to Guard. We added Kilgore at Centre too – a clever move in my opinion.
Adding Frank Gore to our Running Back will add strength in depth and adds a different option to Kenyan Drake, and a different style. One decision that left me scratching my head was the arrival of Brock Osweiler – do we need him?
We still went into the Draft needed to fill a few holes though. I think we certainly did that and was one of the more successful drafts we have had. Our first choice and arguably the pick of the bunch was Minkah Fitzpatrick. I’m excited to see him in a Dolphins jersey.
We also added Mike Gesicki at Tight End – another position we needed help with. These were my favourite two picks in our draft.
Predictions For The New Season
I am going into this season optimistic but trying not to get too carried away, as let’s be honest, this is the Miami Dolphins we are talking about here.
We have added weapons for Tannehill and we should improve on last season provided no big injury concerns happen. I think we should be looking at sneaking into a wildcard place this season. Although many experts are writing us off, I prefer it this way. We can’t really do any worse than last year anyway, so here’s hoping to a successful season. As a Dolphins fan it will be a roller coaster as always but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Editor Notes: Dolphins fans, let us know your thoughts and tell us whether you agree with Dave’s reflections and predictions. Leave a comment or contact us via social media below: