The NFL has officially restored labor peace by all intents and purposes. Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith just held a joint press conference to announce a new labor agreement. And Patriots owner Rober Kraft, in what is a classy move, apologized to fans for what has been an offseason of bickering and negotiating instead of free agency and trades.
The Dolphins have gotten into the picture.
"The Dolphins would like to take a moment to send a sincere THANK YOU to all of our fans for hanging with us during this very difficult time," the club tweeted moments ago.
"Another thank you to our wonderful season ticket members; we can't wait to see you all at Sun Life Stadium! Now...BACK TO FOOTBALL!"
Nice gesture. But it's only words by a team tentatively scheduled to open training camp Thursday.
Deeds speak louder.
So here are some tangible ways the Dolphins can thank folks like you for continuing to follow your team and, as is the case with some of you, continue to attend games at home and on the road while rooting on the aqua and orange.
1. Show the fans you mean it: Don't just dabble in the coming free agency and trade period and try to argue with uathat this team is close and needs only minor tweaks. You go 7-9 in back to back years and finish third in a four-team division both times, the only thing you're close to is the division cellar. The coming few days must, must, must improve this team signficantly because the gap between Miami's 7-9 and New England's 14-2 is wide. The gap between Miami missing the playoffs the last two years and the Jets making the AFC title game over the same span is huge. Time to close the gap.
2. Get a legit QB. At the very least find someone who can legitimately challenge Chad Henne for the starting job. We will know if your QB acquisition is real or a fraud. And we will know if the competition that follows is equally legitimate or not. If you don't offer up a legit competition, you are not showing us you intend to be a legit playoff contender. The quarterback position is the most important one on the field. Treat it that way, please.
3. Make the home field the ... home field. Last year Miammi had a 1-7 record at home. Then, last week we find out the team doesn't really take its home field advantage seriously even from the business side because they were selling "Home of the Jets" T-shirs at the team store. I was promised those Ts would be permanently off the shelves last Wednesday. Wrong. They were on the racks this weekend. The "Home of the Jets" shirts, which one Dolphins staffer called "offensive," were indeed still on the racks over the weekend. Want to thank the fans? Don't lie to them.
4. Speaking of merchandise at the team store: The Dolphins reduced the price of their Jets shirts by 50 percent to clear them out. This obviously was meant to cause a run of New Yorkers on the shirts. Nice move to serve the New Yorkers. How about they reduce the price of Dolphins gear to serve Miamians? To serve Dolphins fans?
5. Much offseason talk has centered around running backs Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams. Both are free agents. The truth is both are OK. Neither is a star anymore. Williams is aging. Brown seemed slowed last year following several years of recovering from foot and knee surgeries. Maybe it is time to go in a different direction. One cannot expect to significantly upgrade to the running game by using the same running backs behind an offensive line that is seemingly unchanged with maybe only Mike Pouncey as the difference. You gotta do something different to get different results.
6. Get Cameron Wake some help. Speaks for itself. He can't do it all by himself.
7. Speaking of getting Wake help, do not fall for the failed thinking that the defense doesn't need improving. Yes, the problem last year was primarily on offense. The draft was largely meant to address that. But a team is offense, defense and special teams. Improve the defense, too, if there is a worhty stud out there.
8. Make the special teams, well, special. Can we get a returner that does not merely makes the first tackler miss, heads up field and gets tackled after 7 yards by the second guy? One word to cure this: Speed. Add speed at the return position, please.
You guys got any more?