I spent much of the day Thursday trying my best to explain some aspects of the Miami offense that troubled me. Then, after offensive coordinator Dan Henning addressed some of those issues, I shared with you his perspective.
Now let us get beyond all the philosophical disagreements about whether guys are being used correctly or not and get down to the bottom line. Let's get to the crack that breaks open the nut.
The Dolphins need more playmakers. And it would be nice in adding more playmakers if they could uncover even one star, a legitimate game-changer.
Because they do not have that yet.
Don't get me wrong, Miami's offense has good players. But it lacks a star playmaker. And even coach Tony Sparano is admitting that.
“We have said it before, there is no real star in this bunch of guys," Sparano said Thursday. "It has kind of been done by committee here. Certainly Ricky Williams, Ronnie Brown, Chad Pennington, big names in this league for obvious reasons. We kind of do things by committee a little bit and some of the people here that aren’t out here every down have big parts in this thing, too.
"[Patrick] Cobbs, [Davone Bess], those people are major contributors to what we do on that side of the football. [Brian] Hartline and his 25 plays. So whoever has the hot hand is kind of the guy we will try to find ways to get the ball to.”
The rebuilding of the Dolphins offense, done last year and during this offseason, concentrated on the offensive line. That's where Miami put its money. And that starting unit is set -- it better be because it's costing $156 million. But the Dolphins are not finished retooling at wide receiver, at quarterback, at tight end, and perhaps not at running back, either.
As former Giants QB and current CBS analyst Phil Simms said on the Sid Rosenberg Show on 560-WQAM Thursday, "they need more guys," before adding, "they're still not there."
The Dolphins weren't there last year, either, but somehow made it work during the regular season. We'll see if this group can make it work the rest of this regular season, even as skeptics are saying they will not.
What skeptics, you ask? This is what ESPN analyst Merril Hoge tweeted about Miami's offense Thursday after breaking down the Atlanta gametape: "I'm afraid that Miami O will really struggle this year it appears that all explosive plays must come from a gadget play like [Wildcat]."
The point here is not whether you agree or disagree. I think a majority of you will agree the Dolphins have good players at WR, RB, QB and TE, but also concede there is no star in the bunch.
The question is have the Dolphins had enough time to find a star playmaker or one likely to become that? And have they maximized their time in accomplishing the goal?
Before you answer, I remind you Atlanta was also a franchise in shambles after 2007 and has risen back to respectability every bit as quickly as Miami.
And it can be argued the Falcons have risen higher.
In the same rebuilding time, the Falcons added a superstar tight end in Tony Gonzalez, a running back that gained 1,699 yards and scored 17 TDs last year in Michael Turner, and quarterback Matt Ryan, who is in the early stages of looking like a star for years to come.
I'm not saying Atlanta's approach to adding stars to the offense will prove wiser in the long-term than Miami's. But the approach has definitely been different. And, in the early stages, it has been more productive.