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Dolphins operating by familiar script but will finale be different?

Dolphins fans are reinvigorated these days. I know this because the emails to me saying as much have tripled. The traffic on this blog has multiplied the past three weeks. I have more people following me on twitter than ever before.

The Dolphins are seeing the fruits of this excitement also in some areas.

As I write in my column in today's Miami Herald the sales of season tickets to new fans is proceeding nicely.

But ...

Yes, folks, there's seemingly always a but. The renewal sales are not doing well. Season ticket holders that spent their money last season are not so far buying in as well this offseason despite the apparent upgrades in free agency and the hope that some of the club's upcoming 11 draft picks will be contributors to turning the Dolphins into winners for the first time since 2008.

I have a theory why this is -- one I've shared with Dolphins CEO Mike Dee and others. I believe Dolphins fans who have seen much heartache and pain the past decade and have gotten their hopes up multiple times only to have them dashed aren't going to operate on sheer faith anymore.

Many want to see results before they invest in tickets again.

And here's the thing:

The Dolphins, who obviously want to make the point that things are different this time, are actually following a very familiar script this offseason in telling you why the results in 2013 will be different. It's uncanny, really.

So, bottom line, will things be different in 2013? I'm not sure. I think so.

I love the Mike Wallace acquisition. I don't know that the linebacker additions will produce as many big plays as the Dolphins hope. I believe the Dolphins will be just fine without Jake Long or Sean Smith because, frankly, neither player actually ever won a game for the Dolphins. I really would like the team to add a proven and experienced pass-rusher while one is still out there.

But I still have questions about the quarterback position. Everyone, including coach Joe Philbin, this offseason is telling me Ryan Tannehill is the real deal. He's going to be very good, they say. There are no warning signs for him failing, they say.

If that's the case, everything will be fine with the 2013 Dolphins.

But I simply am not certain that will be the case. I saw some good but some not-so-good play out of Tannehill in 2013 even as other rookie QBs were playing like Pro Bowl players. So I think the jury is still out and I'm not ready to endorse him as the real thing yet.

And if Tannehill isn't the real deal?

Suffice to say we've seen what will happen play out before.

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