The Dolphins Glass is Half Full

Josh Friedman
December 09, 2016 - 3:55 pm
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PHOTO: USA TODAY SPORTS

Does it feel like the Dolphins are playing with house money? After all, Miami is sitting at 7-5 with 4 games to go and they’ve already exceeded last season’s win total by one game. It wasn’t all that long ago when we thought we were going to once again see the rerun of a Dolphins season we’ve witnessed far too often as one campaign rolled into the next. Recall that it was a mere two months ago on October 9th that following a loss to the Tennessee Titans, Miami found itself a bottom feeder with a 1-4 mark.

But give Adam Gase and his coaching staff credit. On one hand, they continued teaching and communicating and earning the respect of the squad far more than under the Philbin regime. And also give Gase credit for not being so rigid like some coaches that he refused to change his offensive scheme when the perceived strength of the team all but screamed out for him to do so. Gone was the no huddle passing offense Gase envisioned when he arrived in south Florida. In was a huddling offense behind a finally healthy offensive line that saw Jay Ajayi become just the 4th running back in NFL history to rush for consecutive 200 yard games. Gase later told the media that he instructed his assistant coaches to keep reminding him to keep calling running plays for Ajayi. And Ryan Tannehill, in a six game win streak, threw 9 TDs against just one pick. Against the Rams, he engineered two long TD drives in the final 6
minutes of the game to secure a 14-10 win and extend the team’s win streak to 5 games.

Sure this team has flaws. As I type this, they are ranked 25th in both offense and defense in the league. Regardless of the outcome of the season—one by the way that has us witnessing relevant games played by the Dolphins in December for the first time since 2008—much needed changes are on the way. Aside from Kiko Alonso, the team needs at least two new starting linebackers. A legitimate pass catching tight end would help immensely and perhaps shoring up the offensive line at right guard if the team replaces Jermon Bushrod. Other changes will be made as Gase, contractually in charge of the 53 man roster, will work with the front office to craft a roster more in line with the vision he has for the team. While I was dubious of the front office a couple of months ago, I am now confident that the right executives are in place to help add to a team whose arrow is already pointed upward.

–Josh Friedman

 
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