« Buyer beware: The case of O.J. Atogwe | Main | Salguero NFL pre-camp rankings No. 32 to No. 1 »

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.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Which players will things 'click' for in 2010?:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The Patrick Turner stuff is very interesting: the coaches expect Patrick Turner plays some as Marshall since the season before. Turner selected ahead of Hartline and, doesen't have the Hartline´s ability going to the ball. And in this offseason Miami adquire other WR like him in Roberto Wallace, in order to compete:
Roberto Wallace: 6-4 / 225
Patrick Turner: 6-5 / 225
Brandon Marshall: 6-4 / 230
If turner doesn´t want to get dirty and step up in this off season, he simply don't deserve to be a dolphin.

Plus if Turner emerges we could employ 4 wr sets that would be entirely "unstoppable".
Marshall, Turner, Bess, Hartline all on the field at the same time, there would be no defense against it.

Teams would have to send in thier nickel packages and God bless them in trying to stop our running game out of those formations. Ricky and Ronnie could rip them up for 20-30yd runs at a time behing our beast of an o-line.

DyingBreed you are a genius

The days of the "wildcat" are virtually over in Miami. But I do expect to see it 3-4 times per game just to make teams continue to prepare for.

However, if we do play a team that has totally no answer for it then why give up on a good thing? Especially if a team is so totally enept at defending it we can consistently rip off double digit gains against them.

Other than that I don't expect to see "the cat" no more than 4-5 times a game. Just enough to make teams continue to prepare for it.

And Hartline nor Marshall are affraid to make crack blocks to allow Ricky or Ronnie run the ball. Very very good point DyingBreed @ 09:59

DyingBreed you are a genius

Posted by: adrian solorza | May 13, 2010 at 10:06 AM

Thanks, but I am far from genious. Its just simple mathematics. If we had 4 wr sets that potent the only way to try and defend it is to bring in your nickel package. The perfect counter to that is to run the ball if you have a "powerful" o-line and rb's.

The defense then "has to pick it's poison".

Also if the defenses do not send in thier "nickel packages" to defend the 4 wr sets of Marshall, Turner, Bess, and Hartline we would then carve them up with the passing game. "Again, pick your poison"!

No question in my mind that the Defense will be greatly improved. Davis and Smith should become the next Madison/Surtain.

Now that crybaby porter is gone, maybe we can actually get some pressure on the QB, maybe even fill the spot with someone that can play ther run too.

Dansby is a huge addition to the middle. And our DL depth is one of the best in the league.

Chad, Ronnie, Ricky, Brandon and a beefed up O-line. Life is good. Looking forward to a great season!


Armandooooo.... (where are you?)


Colud you please send the DyingBreed's idea to the miami coaches via a question in an inteview or other some polite way?

Is a very good idea IMO.

Thank you in advance.

Even if we are only running 2 wr sets(Marshall and whomever) the field should open up for Fasano. I expect Fasona to also return to 08 form or better with Marshall's arrival.

At least you are tempering your expectations of Wake. He showed nothing from a 3pt stance that says his transition to OLB will result in 14 sacks. Fans think its a easy a transition...well if it was so easy.
Why was JT so much better as a DE as opposed to a OLB? JT had more twitch/explosion out of the 2pt stance as opposed to the 3pt. Add the fact Wake while making nice plays early, was eventually just being run out of the plays by seasons end.

I hope Wake shows up, but to sit here and say a 29 year old DE who has limited to no experience as a OLB will dominate is silly to say the least.

LOVE ALL OF THE ABOVE. Let's go Fins!!

What does everyone think about beefing Turner up and converting him to a TE?? The receiving TE threat, weapon we're missing?

I believe our defense will be vastly improved this season because with the addition of all of coverage linebackers it will become much more difficult for opposing qb's to compete the short and intermediate routes because of the improved coverage and drop abilities of the lb's.

What does this all mean? it means qb's will have to hold onto the ball a little longer equalling more pressures, sacks, and interceptions. The weakest link maybe in the run game on Wake's side. If Wake can prove to be a force in the run game I see no reason why we could not finish no lower than top 5 defensively in the nfl for 2010.


The Saints have been running that same style of offense for a few years now. I have been critical of a few of Dan Henning's play calls, but he has shown me he is able to utilize all of his personnel. I am sure that we will have no problems creating and exploiting mismatches simply by how we line up and with which grouping. Should be fun.

We will use some 4-3 looks this year as well. The line would have Wake and Merling as the ends, with Starks and Odrick at tackle. Misi and Dansby would be the outside backers, with Crowder in the middle. We have the personnel to play defense out of many fronts.


Even though I expect with the arrival of Marshall for Turner's "light to come on". if it doesn't, remeber we already tried that experiment with Ernest Wilford. That's about as successful as I expect such an experiment to be. If you don't have the TE experience you don't all of a sudden become TE just by adding more weight.

Tuna picks White HIGH in the 2nd, and Turner in the 3rd, then sits Turner the whole year to teach him to grow up!! Pat needs to BULK up, and he'll be a slash player, some Wildcat (very little, just as a gimmick to make opposing D's practice it all week!!!!), some slot, some wideout.....maybe even a bit of RB coming out of the backfield, if he can catch on the run. He's got one more year IMO!!

The idea of 4WR with those attibutes is more dynamic is like the ancient run and shoot with ball control, if you want to blitz inside, a run with a trap block will burn you, or if hammer blitz Marshall (or who ever the others WR) will burn you up, if you put a LB to cover Turner (I hope he step up) is no match, and he is taller than the most DB. Hartline can get open from a single coverage and so Bess. Or a simply run, then: here comes your crack block. Very good idea.

Why is everyone making the assumption that Patrick Turner will have this unbelievable break-out season? The guy never saw the field last year, and one can only assume there was a reason behind that. Obviously, he didn't show any promise in practice. I seriously doubt Sparano purposely kept him on the practice squad so that he could unveil him as a secret weapon this year! He's not going to go from practice squad to break-out sensation in one year!

Although it would be nice if he did.


You are absolutely right! Marshall's arrival not only upgrades our entire recieving corps(TE's included) he also upgrades how we are able to approach the game offensively. We nearly avg 25ppg without him last season. I see no reason in the world why we can't consistently score 30pts and above in 2010 with him. Our offense should become bothe more potent and explosive in 2010 with Marshall's addition.

Henne has plenty of touch on his passes. Several TD passes showed that last yr. Watched every game he played at Michigan and he was exceptional with his touch passing.. He really had to burn it in there last year because his WR's got very little separation. We will see some awesome play from this group this yr. and for many yrs to come! This is just the start of something big, really, really big!!!!

Why is everyone making the assumption that Patrick Turner will have this unbelievable break-out season? The guy never saw the field last year, and one can only assume there was a reason behind that. Obviously, he didn't show any promise in practice. I seriously doubt Sparano purposely kept him on the practice squad so that he could unveil him as a secret weapon this year! He's not going to go from practice squad to break-out sensation in one year!

Although it would be nice if he did.

Posted by: Hopeful 'Phins Fan | May 13, 2010 at 10:42 AM

Think you are missing the point here my friend. I never insinuated Turner will indeed arrive. Just saying Marshall is the perfect turtor be similar size and having great ability. The "big if" Turner finally gets it by watching and learning from Marshall it would have a phenominal impact on our entire wr corps. 2 big guys on the outside like that is nearly unstoppable.

I also stated that if Turner can't learn from Marshall, a guy of his size and girth, how to master that physical gift. Then the power outage is indeed permanent.

As a finfan we all should be pulling for that light switch of Turner's to come on especially with the addition of Marshall. The potential of that would be Duper/Clayton-like in impact or possibly slightly better. What Dolphin fan wouldn't root for that?


last week I posted scouting reports from when Marshall came out, and when Turner came out, everything was almost identical. Really word from word. For all those saying Turner didn't crack the lineup last year, Marshall only had 20 catches his rookie year, in a Shanahan pass happy offense. While I don't expect Turner to be Marshall, I hope he becomes at the very least a big red zone target for us. CBs with Sean Smith's size are rare; teams simply don't have the CBs to defend those huge wideouts. Of all the players whose breakout season could have the most impact, if Turner starts playing to his potential, he may be the biggest breakout. Not necessarily in terms of production, but the effect he would have on our offense.

Being from Orange Counnty got to see lot's of Patrick Turner. I for one was never impressed with ability to catch the ball when the time was big. Lot's of drops! Dosen't mean he can't break through, but it would be a nice surprise. Hope he can do it and get on the field only way he can show his stuff under pressure..

I'm not saying Turner is expected to finally show his worth, just saying I think his value would be better served as a receiving TE. Fasano and Haynos are great blockers and decent receivers and I think Fasano will have a better year than last but imagine a 4.65 Turner wide open in the middle of the field (due to attention given to Marshall, Ronnie or Ricky).

Could be a Big possibilty to show his worth, like the way we used cobbs in 2008 as somewhat of a "secret weapon" in the receiving game.

Line him up on the end in double TE formations as a WR disguised as a TE... He's been working on his speed so beefing up is prob. not the solution but disguising where he lines up may be the only way this guy gets on the field..


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


I agree, Turner doesn't have to be Marshall, that guy is a top 3 nfl wr. I would just like to see Turner become a legitimate threat. It would give us a very potent 4 wr set resembling the nfl's version of the "twin towers".

It would also force nfl dc's to pick thier poison in defending it by sending in thier nickel packages(then we run the R&R Express down thier throats) or expose the obvious mismatch in thier coverage schemes.

Plus imagine when we run the ball out of 4 wr sets including Marshall, Turner, Hartline, and Bess. That gives us at least 3 potential downfield blocking mismatches to be exploited in the run game. That could potentially mean the difference between a 15yd run and a 65yd td run.

I'm sure you guys get the picture.

Lots of WR draftees never see the field as WRs in their first years: Austin Miles 5 catches in two years,..this doesn't guarantee Turner will be good or even make the team but the kid deserves s shot...too early to quit on him

Nice article, Armando. Good points. I totally agree about Hartline. I think that this year the receivers corp will take a giant leap forward. It's too bad we can't give Ginn's speed to Hartline, who has all the other talents to be awesome.

Who was the player Home wanted at WR with tenacious post after post hoping we would get for the last 6 months?

Could It Be ...


Brandon "The Beast" Marshall

with 2 Potential 1000 YD RBs & a Great O-Line

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

not sure if posted yet, but good article on espn bout henne vs sanchez. link on sentinel web site:


Yes that means once Ricky or Ronnie clears the front 7 there is only potentially one defender left to beat(Bess' guy). I wouldn't won't to be that lone defender trying to take on Ronnie or Ricky once they've built up a full head of steam.

Everyone is hoping Turner emerges. I do as well but there is no way he is going to see significant playing time unless he has made unbelievable progress from last year. Who be on the sideline instead of him? No one right now. Receivers don't make the leap from not even being on the active roster to significantly contributing in one year. It just doesn't happen.

Here are a few more...
Philip Merling (click) - how many times does a team replace a player with a first round pick only to see that player explode. Merling has flashed and dominated some games, but ultimately is inconsistent. He has quick feet, and can penetrate any offensive line. This defense will help him generate more inside pressure.

How about Crowder - no one has a more competitive spirit on the field. He is still the leader of this defense and should excel playing with Mike Nolan. the pressure is on and if he is anything less than brilliant he's out.

R.Torbor - This is a stretch but I believe Torber gets moved to the outside. He does not belong inside and never did. He may be a starter from day one, and has a chance to shine along with Carlos Dansbey, his collage team mate.

T.Fasano - not sure if he counts, but this could be a great come-back year for him.

What do you think?

Brian in NY,

I fully agree and conventional wisdom does state that. But given Turner's size and potential physicallity, wow! what an unstoppable tandem we would have in both he and Marshall.

It gives me a "sequoia redwood-like" woody just thinking about the proposition of such an extreme wr tandem and I've never gotten a woody over any guy. LOL!

If we see Turner at TE expect to see him cut a week or two after.


Miles Austin went from 18 catches his first 3 years to 81 last year. Vincent Jackson had 30 catches his first 2 years. It's not a matter of talent, it's very tough to get open and create separation in the NFL. Small, shifty receivers with a good first step struggle, let alone a 6'5 guy. Being his size gives DB's a bigger target to stop off the line. You can bet Brandon Marshall is teaching Turner the little nuances of the WR position. I'm not saying Turner will turn out to be the real deal, but there's a lot more that goes into the position than just run, get open, catch the ball. The only guys who set the league on fire are the ones blessed with supreme size AND speed.

Now that's what I'm talking about Armando! Let's all get excited about the young talent this team has! Miami Dolphins 2010 AFC East Champions!

1st preseason game for the Dolphins vs Buc August 14 2010
at Home
Chemtrail Death stadium

by there
and Dont Miss the Action

DyingBreed R U "coming out" today LOL

Daryl Gardner is Available

Ripp, stated he thinks this will be the year Jake long clicks. Dude Jake Long got it the instant he was born. And to say Hartline might not be the #2 WR, dude Hartline is a f'in stud man. If that dude was any faster you be looking at an Ed McCaffery clone. McCaffery was a stud. Hartline is totally a #2 receiver. As far as Davis goes, he'll be fine. There's other guys on the roster to worry about like Soliai and Merling & the TE group. Peace Dolphins! I love our team so much and I believe they can make a push again this year. And sweep the Jets.....again. Peace Miami!


Hate to bust your bubble but I believe Crowder bought his one way ticket out of Miami with his radio defense of Porter during the offseason. First they brought in a "backup"(Dobbins) that put in better numbers than Crowder in 09. Then drafted an ilb who produced "5 picks" in his final collegiate season.

Plus Dansby inherits Crowder's spot as "lead" ilb in the 3-4. Crowder will "clearly" have to win the other starting ilb spot by a knockout decision this summer or he suddenly will become very "expendable".

IMHO, by the Porter defending offseason comments he will not be able be able to retain starter status if it comes down to a "close decision". He would then most likely be offered up as 3rd or 4th rd tradebait if he doesn't show pro bowl form in 2010 training camp.

Yea Crowder's time is up. I say trade for 2011 pick, whatever it may be.


LOL, good one buddy!

When at the stadium
Home likes the Jumbo Sized Rum Runners

The Rum Runners are refreshing in the heat
and Home also likes the "special effects"
The Rum Runners provide

But at $12.00 each
a pair at a time

Thats $50.00 for 2 rounds

$100.00 for 4 rounds

Can U Hook Us Up with Some Free Rum Runners at the stadium on Game days?

and throw in some South Beach escorts and a limo

The Party Begins and

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

Now thats a good "entertainment experience"
Mr Ross

The Miami Dolphins & South Florida Rocks

I hear Vernon Davis wants to be a part of this team to unite with his brother!

Could you imagine V. Davis being a part of this offense?? Holy Ish!!!!

Armando, I am so glad you wrote this about hartline. The guy has some talent. He is our sleeper. Especially, with Marshall on the other end. Also, I love it when you post things that actually get me hyped about my team. Go Phins!!!

There is one guy I will be really pulling for this year b/c I think if things click for him, it could really help us - Tyrone Culver. He is athletic enough to be a quality NFL starter, and if he has football smarts, it could make up for any athleticism he doesnt have (like Sammy Knight). To me, he is the favorite to be the starting FS next September.

I hate to say it, because I haven't even wanted him on the team for the last two years (mostly because of his bone head special teams penalties in critical situations) but I'm hoping Charlie Anderson has a light go off in his head and he becomes our next Randy Starks! (big jump in performance from one year to the next)


Nice Research & Thank U for Confirming the 2 Players (Miles Austin & Vincent Jackson)Home listed in previous postings in comparison of being patient with NFL WR development
U Clearly R doing a Good Job contributing to the Miami Herald Dolphin Blog

Pleasure To Make Your Acquaintance

When Matt Light tugged on Crowder's dreads while beating on his head, it made me much rather have Whoopie Goldberg playing ilb. At least least she would have scratched his eyeballs out and not run away smiling like a little girl.

When was the last time a Miami Dolphins WR
Scored a TD in the Pro Bowl?

and then there is Brangetterdon Marshall

Oh Yeah
...................in the 2010 Pro Bowl

Fake GM, Rockphon,

Both Culver and Charlie Anderson have been in the league long enough that the light should have been come on a while ago. Seem they both will never be anything more than a flashlight in the heavens dwelling amongst the stars.

Home Fun Facts

During the third game of the 1983 season at the Los Angeles Raiders on Monday Night Football, Shula replaced quarterback David Woodley with rookie Dan Marino, who went on to win the AFC passing title with a ratio of 20 touchdowns versus 6 interceptions. Seldom sacked by defenders, Marino was protected by an outstanding offensive line as he passed to receivers such as Mark Clayton and Mark Duper. Despite the regular season success (the Dolphins went 12–4 winning their last five regular season games, the only team in the AFC East with a winning record)

Home Fun Facts

The Dolphins had a number of offensive threats for Marino to use. Wide receivers Mark Clayton (73 receptions, 1,389 yards, 18 touchdowns) and Mark Duper (71 receptions, 1,306 yards, 8 touchdowns) became the first teammates ever to each gain over 1,300 receiving yards in one season. Receiver Nat Moore caught 43 passes for 574 yards and 6 touchdowns, while tight end Dan Johnson contributed 34 receptions for 426 yards. While Miami's main offensive attack was passing, they still had a trio of great running backs: Tony Nathan, Woody Bennett, and Joe Carter. Both Nathan and Bennett finished the season with over 1,000 combined rushing and receiving yards, while Carter contributed 495 rushing yards

Does anyone else see a pattern here
with a
Franchise QB
Great O-Line
Pro Bowl WR and good supporting cast of WRs
2 RBs w/ Potential 1000 YD Rushers


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

I think Ronnie and Ricky are going to have BLOW OUT years since teams are not going to be able to put 7-9 guys in the box every other down since we finally have a true #1 receiver to stretch the field. I have always wanted and thought Ronnie and Ricky can both rush for 1,000 yards in a season if no injuries happen. I think this is the year that happens!!

Anyone else think the same about R & R?

Oh yes, thank you for the memories Home.

« 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 »

The comments to this entry are closed.