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Thoughts on the 'Fins...

Note: Albert Latour is one of the winners of The Miami Herald's contest to spend a day at Dolphins training camp and blog about it... here's his story:

As one of the Herald training camp contest winners, I'm going to use my chance to chime in on Armando's blog by jotting down some thoughts on what I think & hope is going to happen this season.  I can't say that I'm necessarily qualified, but I feel I have earned it as I've done some hard time as a life long 'fins fan. 

All in all, we can't realistically expect any more than 6 wins from this team.  But we will be calling this year a success in the context of the Tuna's 3-year master plan if the following things happen this year (in order of probability):

  1. The O-line develops into the dominant, young and cohesive unit that will be the foundation of this offense and the team in general for the next few years.  With Long, Carey and Satele locking down the two ends and the middle, and what so far look to be good finds in Smiley and Thomas - I'll be surprised if this doesn't happen.
  2. Henne proves to be the QB of the future.  I don't mind if he doesn't take a snap all year during the regular season, I just want to feel comfortable that he's the guy going forward.  The significant and meaningful reps that he's getting during camp are going to pay dividends next year when he will come into camp to compete for the starting job. 
  3. Ronnie Brown comes back strong.  He's our only bonafide play-maker on offense; if he stays healthy he's going to have a big year in Dan Henning's offense behind this O-line.
  4. On the defense side of the ball, 5 players still in or approaching their prime (28 or younger) step up to represent the new defensive core for the future.  I'm thinking these 5 will be Langford, Merling, Crowder, Jason Allen, and maybe surprisingly Reggie Torbor.  I remember watching Torbor flying around in the SuperBowl, and he seemed to be everywhere in the first preseason game.  He will be starting next to Crowder by midway through the season.      
  5. Teddy Ginn Jr. becomes a legit deep threat.  I think the media and fans are being too hard on this guy (and his family).  Ginn should be fired up about the Pennington signing as the 'fins will see a lot of "8 in the box" this year, and Pennington will be able to recognize and exploit matchups in which a corner is left alone on #19 with no deep help.  I know that Chad doesn't have a big arm, but he didn't when he made Laverneus Coles and Santana Moss serious playmakers either.

Just a couple of other things. I see Ricky Williams getting traded for a couple of picks (maybe a 3rd and a 5th rounder) after the first few games of the regular season.  Ricky will get a lot of carries in the first few games (after his preseason showcase), will continue to show that he's on the straight and narrow, and some contending team out there will need a quality back to make a run this year.  Tuna will pull the trigger on a deal like this, having Ricky is an unnecessary luxury for this team right now and we could definitely use the picks.   

The 'Fins have zero depth behind Ferguson at nose tackle.  I saw Paul Soliai getting manhandled by Satele one on one at camp - I won't be surprised if Soliai does not make the team.  If Ferguson goes down, our run defense will be right back where it left off last year. 

This has been fun, thanks to the Miami Herald and the Miami Dolphins for a great experience. 

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If Ricky can stay healthty he has some hall of fame level years comming his way (not that he will make the hall given the whole smokum thing). He was way overused by Winestash. With another back, he will gain a heck of a lot of yards running and receiving.

I agree that as Ricky is a free agent next year, he is not worth much in a trade unless he is tearing it up AND the Dolphins are otherwise Godaweful (no/ very few wins) AND some team has a back go down and needs Ricky for playoff run.

I say that won't happen because the Phins could be OK. Also Ricky may be good in 09 and the Phins should want to keep him. He is certainly generated the most fun for me watching the Phins since Marino. This is entertainment and if Ricky can run, that is very fun to watch.

I say the Phins win between 3 (unlucky == injuries) and 11 (lucky) games (likely 7 wins).

I would like to see the Phins sign Ricky for another two years. I think with the offseason conditioning and another back (Ronnie) he could be very valuable. Maybe the Phins agree to ignore that huge debt and get a good deal for 09-10. Other teams won't have that bargaining chip or the sense that he is no gangster (quite the gentleman really) and probably wants a few more good years enough to saty away from NFL player rule issues.

Parmele and Hilliard look like they can develop into some decent backs, prompting Miami to cut Patrick Cobbs.

IMAWriterRobJ what you don't seem to understand about receivers drafted #1 is the it takes 2 to 3 years for them to reach their potential. For every Jerry Rice there's a Reggie Wayne, he took 3 years to have a break out season. TO took 3 to 4 years to get good numbers, Robert Meachum a number 1 from last year have a terrible season.

It would be nice to have a receiver have immediate success, but you have to give them time.

Excuse me! The NFL is about puttin BUTTS in seats and sellin crap with your logo on it. Oh, wins and losses and all those stats are great for the papers, magazines and talking heads, but they don't pay the bills.

If not for FAVRE, Ricky might be the best story in the league right now. And trust me, Favre IS in NY to put BUTTS in seats. With Penny, Tuna and Ricky, the Phins have all the makings of a great show this season. NO BODY, especially not Parcells, is going to mess that up by trading it for some picks!

Since I live in "Jacksonville of the North", I am watching the Bungholes play the Lions tonight...
Thank your lucky stars YOU are in South FLA...

I love the Ricky trade.. if we can get a 3rd and a 5th that would be great! I think this was an awesome blog... Give the man a job.

A season to develop players for the future sounds to me like wishful thinking...

As D.Struck says "putting butts in seats" is the name of the game, so Ricky will be there even his price/performance ratio...

Anyway, great blog Albert !!

AAA

Albert, impressive post. What gets me the most is that you spend a day with the Dolphins and follow them in the papers and you come up with this? Maybe Huizenga should hire you as an assistant to coach Parcels. In regards to Ricki, I think that people don't realize that if he builds enough trade value during the season he will be gone faster than you can say "run Ricky run." The only thing that I disagree on is the trade value, I think we should try to get a veteran player to plug some of our gaps. In the meantime, keep running Ricky!

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