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Which players will things 'click' for in 2010?

A dividend of having a young team, as the Dolphins inarguably have, is that players can take significant leaps from their rookie or second seasons, thus helping to raise the team to a much higher level almost overnight.

Sure, some players fail to take that big step or they don't meet the expectations and potential their gifts suggest. (Such players get traded to the San Francisco 49'ers for a fifth-round pick.)

But many up-and-comers make their biggest move in their second or third years.

I was discussing this in part with former wide receiver Nat Moore on our recent day-trip to Haiti when he recounted the story of Mark Duper and Mark Clayton. Moore told of how as a rookie year, Clayton often benefitted from the fact defenses typically doubled Mark Duper on the outside or himself on the inside. Clayton was still learning and really didn't contribute much as a rookie -- six catches for 114 yards.

"But the next year when the light bulb went on for him, there was no stopping him," Moore said of Clayton. "He beat single coverage and then he figured out the game so well, he could beat double-coverage. With his talent, he just took off."

Took off like a rocket, actually. Clayton caught 73 passes for 1,389 yards and a whopping 18 touchdowns in 1984. Duper, who didn't catch a pass as a rookie in 1982, climbed to 51 in 1983 and 71 for 1,36 yards in 1984. Apparently things clicked for him as well.

Well, we should expect the 2010 Miami Dolphins to sound like a field of crickets because I expect there to be a lot of clicking going on for that young roster.

The Dolphins have players that everyone in the organization hopes are on the cusp of being big-time contributors if not outright stars.

Chief on that list is quarterback Chad Henne.

In his third season and second as the starter, Henne must have a breakthrough season for the Dolphins to make a legitimate run at the playoffs. This is the year he has to solve the accuracy and timing issues he had at times in 2009 as a first-year starter. Those were understandable then. There's a next step to take now.

I think Henne will take that step. He's too gifted, too confident, and too hard-working not to take the step. I'm not expecting him to lead the league in passing. That's not what Miami's system is initially going to ask of him.

But 24-25 touchdowns? Why not?

And as long as he keeps the mistakes to maybe 10-12 interceptions, things will be very, very good in Miami.

Of course, Henne will need help. And there's a good chance he'll get it. Here is a list of other players I believe can have a breakout year in 2010. You'll notice some folks are missing. I'm being conservative here. I'm sure you will add the missing names in the comments section.

This is my list:

Brian Hartline: I predict he will win the starting job opposite Brandon Marshall. He is bigger than Davone Bess, faster than Greg Camarillo and he can play all three WR positions. He's a smart guy. He's mature. He gets it. He has shown reliable hands. No, he is not a burner. But he did run track in high school and I believe he's fast enough to hurt defenses when their focus is on Marshall.

Vontae Davis: It took him a while to find his NFL niche. He was raw and a little wide-eyed at first. But he is tough, he is as athletic as they come, he's fearless and there's no quit in him -- as evidence by that TD-saving tackle from behind on a kickoff last year. Davis suffered something of a setback with a wrist injury earlier this offseason. But there has been no mention of that lately and if he continues to rise at the rate he did after the midpoint of 2009, he'll be the second-best cornerback in the AFC East by the end of 2010.

I wanted to include Cameron Wake. I even had his paragraph written up. But I just need to see more. The fact is he was very explosive as a pass-rusher, but still had only one sack the final four games of the season when he was getting his most playing time. Wake might bust out with 14 sacks in 2010 and that would surprise no one. But he also might have six sacks in 2010 and, well, that would surprise no one. It will all depend on whether things clicked for him.


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Armando you are right on about Hartline and Vontae. I think we will like what we see in Hartline alot this season. Vontae will jsut keep getting better.

I agree with both players but the other guys who I think will click is Jake Long. He has yet to reach his potential. Devone Bess is the other. Remember this guy was the leading receiver last year and he was the guy being doubled team. I can't wait to see what he dose coming out of the slot with Marshall drawing the attention and Hartline lining up on the other side. This offense has a lot of promise. I have little doubt that Hartline will be the number 2 receiver but Bess will get his share of passes thrown at him.

Mando I also agree about hartline and davis.. Sean Smith needs to get more physical! I think he's pretty soft!! One player I would like to see breakout is Kendall Langford.. I think he has tremendous upside and showed flashes of what he can become last year..

Yeah, Vontae's got "star" written all over him. He's going to be a pro-bowler; if not this year than next.

Henne's going to put up numbers that will surprise a lot of people. Henne to Marshall will be the talk of the NFL if they both stay healthy.

I'm hoping Pat Turner will be one of those guys. I have a hard time seeing Bess, Hartline, and Camarillo all being on the 53 man roster. They're all good players, but they're all the same guy. They all have the exact same skills.

I think Camarillo will be traded before the season starts..

Nice article.

I knew you could do it!

I agree with you on Wake, though I still would have liked to see the Paragraph.

I'm hoping Nolan figures out how to maximize Wakes talent. A 15 sack season from this guy is exactly what this defense needs.

i think nolan's deffense can get what he want's out of guy's like odrick,misi,r."HITMAN"jones,edds.we know what the other guys can do.if just 2out5 rookies make an impact we should be good on deffense.i agree on all the players armando mentioned above.wake,dansby,davis,bell all will be beast's.good role players as well starks,langford,w.allen,crowder,the offense is super packed with talent.no knock on the deffense is as well.just alot more rookies too prove themselves.great line with reinforcements incognito/j.jerry.strong arm gunslinger qb ready to prove his leadership
henne,marshall,brown,bess will light it up!!!role players here too.williams,hartline,fasano,camarillo.there's more but you get the point.mix in good st and we are READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL.

You heard it here first.

Sean Smith will be the bigger suprise this year.
He and Davis will both be playing at a Pro Bowl level before mid season.

with a good to great pass rush i think that could happen.smith/davis..

Our Offense seriously looks Killer!

Put 8 guys in the box and Henne to Marshall will get you.

Back off your safeties and it's the Ricky and Ronnie show.

If Nolan and the Youngsters come up with some answers, it's a wrap!

Same crop I would have chosen, except I would swap Wake and Henne. Not based on evidence, just a gut feeling. I do believe VD will turn heads long before SEAN SMITH.

Clemons is possible based on necessity, if we go for 3 years, add Donald Thomas. He'll regain and keep the RG job.

HERE WE GO MIAMI HERE WE GO! don't trade Camarillo he is clutch and go to and a true fin

camarillo may be traded?i'm not sure what kinda value he has?but something i do know is the trifectia likes him alot just like cobbs hard workers!camarillo caught everything thrown his way last season.i MEAN everything not one drop!50 catches not bad we will see a lot of rough cut's are coming soon.i like him as a 4-5 reciever.turner or R.G.mullen for the other?

On the obvious I see Henne, Hartline, and Vontae Davis continue to surge towards greatness.

But I also look to see improvement upon last season going into this year by Nate Garner, Donald Thomas, Anthony Fasano, Lex Hillard, Sean Smith, Cameron Wake, Chris Clemons, & Phillip Merling.

As well as we need to see a good kick return game by whoever steps up...ie. Ryan Grice-Mullen, Kory Sheets, Taurus Johnson, Nolan Caroll, Johnathon Amaya, etc.

I also hope to see Ronnie Brown be able to stay on the field thru the whole season, gonna need him in the playoffs :)

odinseye i like that about the offense & nolan.i agree we should be tough to beat if we can bring some deffense to the table.

I remember when I saw Brian Hartline running his first routs last season. It was very clear to me that he was not doing a "fake it till ya make it" game. He understood much better then most rookies do what was going on around him. He had done his work with the playbook and listened to the people coaching him. He reminds me of Steve Largent back in his days with Seattle. Hartline is several inches taller and a bit faster then Steve was when he played. And Largent was no burner. But like Hartline he was very intelligent and even better they both know how the game should be played. They were each taken in the 4th round also for what that is worth.
I am certain that there will be many guys who break out, I am really pulling for Vontea because I just plain like the kid. Believe it or not I really am pulling for Incognito also... I am certain he will cost us at least one or two 15 yard penalties, Just as long as he does it when it will not kill us. Not to mention I want a jersey with the name "Incognito" on it... for whatever reason I just think that name rocks for a football name.
Go Dolphins 2010!!!

I might be inclined to add Joey Haynos to your list. With Marshall and Hartline on the outside the TE should have an easier time. The question is will it be Fasano or Haynos?

My guess is Haynos will improve over last year.

koa misi/c.anderson is the x-factor we need good play from him at solb.and that will help the backside deffense.we know wake will bring it.it all start's on the lines deffense&offense.are deff.front 7 looks good.pass rush will help young fs.do you think we have enough pass rush??i hope!

Guys two words -DAVONE-BESS- Yes Hartline will start, yes Hartline has better physical tools but Bess will look like Welker this year, taking advantage of double coverages on Marshall and the other CB taking Hartline. Also I think Davis is better technically than Smith but both will be ProBowl players in 2011 and Davis will prpbably be in 2010.

I do believe VD will turn heads long before SEAN SMITH.

Posted by: Marc | May 13, 2010 at 12:54 AM

I think VD has ALREADY been turning heads.

Smith will catch up quick!

Things will finally click for Patrick Turner in 2010. He will do so well in the preseason, that the Dolphins will cut slow-footed Greg Camirrillo. Imagine Turner and Marshall on the field together on goaline formations. Just throw the fade route all day. I hope he can contribute this season after we picked him in the 3rd round last season.

Yes Bess was already very good, and should enjoy some really favorable matchups in the slot now that Marshall is on board.
I also see Hartline getting some duty at the slot also.

mia sports just think about turner,marshall,haynos.alley-opp.

derek really LIKE the largent to hartline comparison just never thought about it till now!!your right on there man!

I actually believe Bess has more trade value and will go.
Titans need a guy like him, a guy with dependable hands, as Vince Young has bouts of spotty inaccuracy. (Except against the Fins)

I don't understand why Hilliard didn't see the ball more when Ronnie was injured, especially near the goal line.
Most improved on my list will be our linebackers (even Crowder), due to Coach Nolan.

Fasano will continue to regress. He dropped too many last year, and can't get out of his own way sometimes.
This offense needs a game-breaking TE.

Matt Roth is at it again.
How about first proving yourself over a full season there Matt...geez, lmao!

Nice tidbit here from the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper;

In addition to disgruntled S Abram Elam, unsigned restricted free agents D'Qwell Jackson, Matt Roth, Jerome Harrison, and Lawrence Vickers intend to sit out upcoming Browns OTAs.

Harrison, Roth, and Vickers have not stated their intentions in refusing to sign their tenders, while Elam and Jackson are known to be in search of long-term deals. The OTAs are voluntary, but the Browns have a mandatory minicamp June 10-12. If they're still unsigned, the players may skip that camp too.

Vontae was getting picked on alot more than Sean Smith. What that means is opposing QBs saw an opening there. We know VD is a better tackler but I believe Smith is a better cover guy based on QBs picking on VD.

not too confident in moses and anderson??we need some more pass rush.there are some guy's we could look into.would you rather have moses or a.thomas?anderson or g.ellis?i say both could be an upgrade.situational and backup upgrade's.hope misi is better than all of them?

Trivia Time: When Mark Duper caught the pass that pushed him over the 1000 yard mark in 1983 breaking Paul Warfield's then team record of 996 yards, I remember it was a Monday Night Game vs the hated NY Jets. OJ Simpson was one of the color guys that night and I remember his words vividly "Oh no, don't get into a fight" as Duper and one of the Jets got into a punching match prompting both players being ejected. I guess the jawing during the game finally came to a head. Who was that Jets player Duper got into a fight with?


herm edwards?lol not sure.

theres no way in sams hell we trade BESS!! and you can take that to the bank.

bess will have a 1,000 yds in the slot welker style this year.i think fasano snap's out of it this year.had a good 08'.

deffense stars:wake,dansby,davis,bell,r."hitman"jones.
offense stars:long,carey,henne,brown,marshall,bess.
dam can't wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm hoping Kory Sperry can break out. He had the one game where he was thrown the ball and looked good catching it and heading upfield. He looked better to me than Haynos and it would be great if he became the pass catching TE the team needs.

I agree Bess was one of the top third down recivers in the league last year. I think more then 75% of his receptions came from the slot. no need to move him anywhere. What I want to see is what the final reciever corps will look like. Will Patrick Turner be able to make the squad? Will one of the Darkhorse guys be able to push one of the guys expected to make the team? What WR. will be left off the roster? W have a wealth of talent on the offensive side. Will we put together a trade for a tight end? I hope so. Unlike Fs. where I think we will be fine. I think TE must be adressed. Fasano hasn't signed his tender yet, it is possible he may test free agency if he refuses to sign his tender. I also think Te. is the last link to having a juggernaut offense this season. The Pat White experience is compelling as well. What will we do with him? How does White fit into the offense(if at all)

hartline, vontae and henne? way to go out on a limb

Sperry needs to bulk up...I'd like to see Nalbone be able to contribute.
With the addition of Marshall and an improved passing game, Miami might only keep 2 TE's active, Fasano is one, the other will be fought out by Haynos, Sperry, & Nalbone.
Maybe a decent vet gets cut later and lands in our lap.

Read a comment about Jake Long? Said he needs to step up. R u serious , Long is a stud . He's awesome . He's stepped up since day one and made the pro bowl his first two yrs.

LOL...No doubt!
Hell if we got Jake Long type production at every position then the Phins would be a shoe-in to the Super Bowl and most likely another perfect season.

That being said, I think the intention of that posters comment was, being as good as Jake has shown, he is such a beast, still with a lil more upside remaining.

Jake Long is everything you'd want in a 1st overall pick...a 12+yr anchor at least!

Let's get him a ring Henne :)

I believe we have seen the end of the trades for awhile. Bess, Camarillo, Hartline (and with luck one of the TE will step up) are the sort that make up the core of your offensive air attack. Marshall is going to get his touches... a bunch of them (80+ IMO) but when it comes down to the quick outs & 10-12 yard daggers that just rip a teams Defense apart we have good player for the job in these 3 men. You always keep options open for guys who have stepped it up and are worth taking a shot at. But, it will not be easy to bust into that top 4 without a ton of consistency in camp and in the preseason.
The true "value" of the guys we have is specific to the Dolphins right now. The league is full of good possession receivers, its the #1's that are hard to come by... Remember? But the league is NOT full of possession guys with years in Miami uniforms... that is were the value is and why I don't think they are going anywhere soon.

Who was it DolphinDave?

point is, we have a TON of young talent and we need them to take that next step...im anxious to see which rookie makes a big impact like Hartline or Vontae did last year

I know I am going to get laughed at for this, but here it goes: I think Merling and Langford are going to take a big jump this season. I also think Crowder is going to be much better with Dansby there.

Dobbins over Crowder, or at least Crowder will be injured by wk 4 and Dobbins will step in and never give up the starting role. Oh snap son...

Brent, I think anything is very possible... I can't wait to see the tackle machine in action(dansby). The last one was Z. Thomas.. I also believe camerillo is very important in this offense cause he's the guy defenses will forget about over and over because of Marshall, bess, etc. I believe we are ready for a run! Henne will have to get it together now.

Well, ther better be some light switchin' in the trenches. Mr. Donald Thomas, Mr. Kendall Langford, Mr.Phillip Merling, & Mr. Cameron Wake.

I agree with you and laso think there will be additional break outs....AH HA moments for a hand full more on the team. GO PHINS

I'm not sold on Sean Smith. He's soft and spends too much time preening on twitter. He needs to get his head into the game and grow up and fast! He's too immature.

Good Material Armando

Could Not Agree More That sean smith Is Absent From The List

sean smith Will Never Even Come Close To A Pro Bowl

sean is a fraud

There Is A Rookie In Camp Who Is A Real CB
His Name Is The Same Last Name As Our New Defensive Coordinator Coach Nolan

Hail The Nolans

Rookie CB Nolan Has Blazing Speed And Great Coverage Skills
Nolan Is Disciplined From A Terrific Well respected Family Of successful Leaders
Answers In Yes Sir, No Sir
Nolan Should Be Looked At Also For KR Duties

Nolan Is Not A Disrespectful Loud Mouth Shucking & Jiving Punk Like sean smith

Vontae Davis Is The Real Deal
4 Ints
One For A Pick Six
Two Against Tom Brady To Randy Moss
Bruising Crunching Tackler
The Hit On Man Made Of Iron Jet RB Thomas Jones
Was One Of The Hardest Hits In the NFL Last Season
Ears Are Still Ring In Key Largo
From That Vontae Bone Crushing Hit

Vontae Davis As Home Said Since Last Year In Dolphin Camp 2009 Is Going To Soon Reach Pro Bowl Status

sean smith is a fraud

There is no doubt Henne has been practicing his “aim” and “touch” this off season. Plus he is looking at AFC East Defensive tape to learn what they do, win the division sh!t.

Hartline will knock it out of the park this year! He showed flashes of greatness last year. Hartline, Marshall and Bess on 3 WR formation, someone will be open.

Fasano is going to be better. When Martin went down last year it put more pressure on Fasano. Haynos was to inexperienced to be as effective as Martin. TE sucked last year. Ginn sucked too! Haynos will bridge the gap this year.

Last year our Red Zone Offense was weak. 2010 will be a different story. It will be our strength. The emergence off Turner and of course Marshall plus Ronnie and Ricky equals domination. No trick play BS.

Our offensive line was good and will now be great. Every year it gets improved.

Good blog post today Mando..

I'm hoping the three you said were right..

The other one i hope for is Chris Clemons.. the team will need him too...

Bess, Hartline, Camarillo the same guy? Bess and Camarillo yes, but Hartline showed he can play wideout, rather than the slot. Our two slot guys simply catch everything. Trading Camarillo feels awful... why do people dislike him, he caught everything thrown to him...!! All three make the team.

There is no doubt Henne has been practicing his “aim” and “touch” this off season.

Hartline will knock it out of the park this year! He showed flashes of greatness last year. Hartline, Marshall and Bess on 3 WR formation, someone will be open.

Fasano is going to be better. When Martin went down last year it put more pressure on Fasano. Haynos was to inexperienced to be as effective as Martin. TE position sucked last year. Ginn sucked too! Haynos will bridge the gap this year.

Last year our Red Zone Offense was weak. 2010 will be a different story. It will be our strength. The emergence off Turner and of course Marshall plus Ronnie and Ricky equals domination. No trick play BS.

Our offensive line was good and will now be great. Every year it gets improved.

joe klecko!

As Much As Home Praises The Play Of Brian Hartline

Simply The Bess Will Not Be Unseated As Slot Receiver
Simply The Bess Leads The Miami Dolphins Having More Receptions Than Any Other Dolphin WR In His First Two Years Of Dolphins History
Simply The Bess Was Second Best 3rd Down Conversion Player In the National Football League In 2009
Simply The Bess Had 48 Miami Dolphins 1st Downs in 2009
Simply the Bess Had 28 Receptions on
3rd & Crucial Converted To 1st Downs
One His One Deep Route Simply The Bess Was Allowed To Run
Simply The Bess Got Behind The Coverage & Scored A TD Tying ted ginns body of work o Receiving TDs IN ONE PLAY

When The Average Coach Potato Understands What Simply The Bess`s Role Is
They Will understand
Know One Does It Better

Do Not Try & Fix What Not Only Is Not Broken But
A Fine Oiled Slot Receiver Machine

*** The Bess Is Yet To Come! ***

***** The Dynasty Be Fins! *****

TE Nalbone
BPs New Jersey Project should be cut this season

No longer need an extra average / below average TE

Need to make more WR and KR Specialist room

***** The Dynasty Be Fins! *****

No One Is Taking the Slot Receiver Job Away From
Simply The Bess

Mark My Words Armando & Miami Herald Bloggers

I think coach soprano will have a breakout year. His time outs will be more appropriately times, he will not be as pleased with field goals and he will make a few more 'go for it' calls. All because his offense has more firepower And his defense has more bite.

Henne Will Look Just Like What He Is

Miami Dolphins Franchise QB

***** The Dynasty Be Fins! *****

I can't believe Iphone app corrected his name to the tv mob family boss. Oh well.

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