« Dolphins four-wide package a big upgrade | Main | Salguero on vacation, look for other contributors »

Team with no questions? I have some

A couple of weeks ago, amid the feel-good reflections of the offseason, guard Richie Incognito said the Dolphins had no questions. No, he wasn't suggesting the team is winning a championship in 2013. He was making the point he sees no obvious weaknesses or holes.

I suppose that could be fair.

Last year at this time, for example, we already knew the receiver corps was a problem. We already wondered about a rookie quarterback. We wondered where the sacks would come from if not from Cameron Wake.

Some of those issues have been addressed.

But are the Dolphins free of issues?

I'm not certain. (And neither can you be, by the way, because only a season of games will tell).

I can, however, present to you questions that will have to answered somehow in 2013. I'm not saying they're going to be problems. I'm simply marking them down in the uncertainty file.

Here we go:

Uncertainty 1: Will Ryan Tannehill be the QB everyone expects? Will he be a much-improved player from Year 1 to Year 2 or will the improvement -- assuming he makes some -- be more gradual? This is a big deal, by the way, because as Tannehill goes so will the Dolphins.

There's no doubt Tannehill is growing into his job.

"Last year at this time my head was spinning," he said. "I was just trying to figure out how things worked. I didn’t really know how the day went, how the offseason went, how practices went. So being in it a year, I am completely comfortable. Now I can go out and focus on all the little things that go into the game."

Now the question is will his play reflect his greater comfort level?

Uncertainty 2: Who is going to carry the running game? The question is obvious because Reggie Bush is gone and everyone who is left is unproven. The Dolphins love Lamar Miller. As I've written before, he is the heir apparent and is so talked within the team, owner Stephen Ross has mentioned him as a big playmaker for 2013. It's obvious someone internally has been telling Ross to expect big things from Miller.

But the Dolphins do have other choices. Daniel Thomas is a former second-round pick and he sees himself as the successor to Bush. He'll have to prove it. And he intends to prove it. So we have a competition building.

The darkhorse here is rookie Mike Gillislee. I keep hearing his name from club sources. There is an internal excitement about him. There is hope he can factor and perhaps even surprise everyone -- except you, of course, because I just told you what might occur.

Uncertainty 3: Health. Let's face it, the Dolphins are a skyscrapper of cards. Yes, they are looking like they can reach into the heavens. But they have a lot of fragile pieces. Brent Grimes, Richard Marshall, and Dustin Keller all had season-derailing injuries last season and are trying to stay healthy now. Can they? Rookies Dion Jordan (shoulder), Jamar Taylor (hernia), and Dallas Thomas (shoulder) all have injuries that are keeping them on the shelf until training camp the earliest. This issue deserves attention.

Uncertainty 4: Jonathan Martin as a left tackle. Yes, it's his job now. He succeeds Jake Long. And while Martin is expected to be healthier than Long, it is anyone's guess if he'll be any better. Indeed, Martin was no better in his stint as a left tackle last year toward the end of the year than Long was previously even though the veteran was constantly nicked. Perhaps that's the reason the team tried to re-sign Long and then flirted with both Brandon Albert and Bryant McKinnie as left tackle answers ahead of Martin.

This raises the question, 'How confident were the Dolphins in Martin?' Martin is a natural left tackle. He likes the position much more than he does the right side. Let's see if he plays like it.

Uncertainty 5: Can Dannell Ellerbe and Phillip Wheeler live up to the hype? Both players have performed well as complementary players, players signed on the cheap, players stepping in for stars, players without any pressure.

But now both these guys are very, very, very highly paid. They were brought in to not only start but make big plays. They were brought in as upgrades. That's a far cry from what they're used to.

Wheeler, you'll remember, played for Oakland on a one-year, $700,000 contract last year. He signed a $26 million deal with Miami. He played well last year. Will be play 40 times better for the Dolphins now that he's making nearly 40 times the money?

Ellerbe was supposed to be the heir apparent for Ray Lewis in Baltimore. But the Ravens couldn't afford to keep him. He had very good moments in Baltimore. He had some bad moments in Baltimore, particularly earlier in his career. Will he be the playmaker that Karlos Dansby was supposed to be but really wasn't? Or instead of another Ray Lewis, will Ellerbe be more like Dansby?

We'll see.

Prove it time begins in a couple of months.


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

EK, Vernon and Wake are both specimens. Actually Ireland in general has moved his drafting mantra to more pure athletes. Vernon, Miller, Davis, Taylor, Jordan, Tannehill all fit that mold. it took a little while but he's got it humming now.

There are Worlds of difference between good Players and Great Players. Most People can't appreciate that.

Who Said The Pacers Series Will Be A Difficult Series?

And Oscar, Agreed, That Was Bad Coaching. 10 Seconds Left, You Foul. And On The Worst Free Throw Shooter.

Heck, The Indiana Coach Even Knew It. REASON HE SAT HIS BIG MAN DOWN.


Spo Isn't Going To Help.

They Showed Spo Talking To The Team In The Locker Room And Notice One Thing. Next To Him Talking Like Pansy. THE BOARD IS ALWAYS EMPTY BEHIND HIM.

Any Other Coach. That Board Is Full Of Plays And Keys To The Game. Spo's Board Is So Clean You Can't Even See Previous Marks. Cause He Never Uses The Board. Since They Don't Run Plays. Spo Said So Himself.

And Look At The Timeouts. The Only Team The Players Run The Huddle. Every Other Team The Coaches Run The Huddle. Like It Is Suppose To Be.

Long Series. Like I Said At The Beginning. Heat In 7. They Are The Most Talented Team In The NBA. But Indiana Is Younger, Bigger, And Has Better Coaching.

My big question: will Tannehill throw more TD's than INT's?

Second: will our new/unproven/rookie kicker choke when the game is on the line?

Third: Will Wallace deliver as advertised?

If #1 & #3 pan out...we are golden (#2 is just as important, remember the Jets game last year?)

Bess+Fasano+Bush produced 2400 yds and 14 TDs in 2012. That production helped us win 7 games. That production needs to be replaced just to get us back to the 7 wins.
Wallace+Gibson+Keller produced 1900 yds and 15 TDs in 2012.
If Wallace+Gibson+Keller produce the same as they did last year then we will have less production as a team.

I've never seen a team with more questionmarks then this 2013 Dolphin team. Its the 1st year of a massive rebuild. What 11 new starters? YIKES! Dont see any more then 5-11 next season.

Dashi, you contradicting yourself, so Vogel takes out his rim protector a 7 '2 shot blocker and hes the better coach, the Pacers had a chance to win game 1 and blew it, Hibbert, George and West had 80 points between them that wont happen again. Heat in 5, not sure how you see a 7 game series, the Heat won 17 more regular season games than the Pacers.

Don't count Indiana out...those guys are hungry. If Miami does not take game 2 Indiana will be in the Finals...

Weeeeell, Dashi, not that Vogel was a Genius on that last play of the Game, now was he?

Never underestimate the heart of a champion, no one on Indiana has played in a championship series, I think the love for the Dolphins have blinded you guys about the sucess of the Heat, I mean a 27 game winning streak and you guys are worried about the Pacers, SMDH

Spo is being compared to Red Auerbach as possibly the best coach ever if he keeps it up. The kid is a genius learning from Pat Riley.

Starks wants to be here long term and wants that stability. This is usually the way it goes when you franchise tag these guys. It's all the leverage he has to get a long term deal done to be absent from the OTA's. I won't hold it against the guy at all until camp starts. He's a proven vet and this time missed shouldn't hurt him at all. On the bright side...This is a good opportunity to experiment with the guys we have at DT.

Now, there is a possibility that the Heat might run the Series.

Spo is being compared to Red Auerbach as possibly the best coach ever if he keeps it up. The kid is a genius learning from Pat Riley.
Posted by: King James | May 23, 2013 at 09:59 AM


Whew...thanks for the chuckle...

The best they have is West and he doesn't even reach the heels of Lebron and Wade. And you expect Indiana to have a prayer in this Series? I tell ya...

Clue, 10 Seconds Left And Indiana Had The Ball.

He Doesn't Need To Protect The Rim.

Down By 2.

He Is A Liability. Hack A Shaq Comes To Mind.

Hibbert, West, Are Mismatches Against The Heat. The Heat Won't Grow 6 Inches During The Series.

Birdman Not Missing A Shot And Scoring 15 Pts Won't Happen Again.

Miami Won More Games. But Indiana Was The Only Team With A Winning Record Against The Heat. 2-1.

The Heat Better Win The Home Games. And The Refs Better Keep Helping.

Spoelstra's play call with 2.2 seconds left in OT was genius. No doubt the kid is a super coach.

Yeah, I know you don't see it, but that doesn't change the Fact.

The best they have Oscar, is a unit that plays there brand of basketball very well. And it stacks up very well with Miamis brand...If Wade can't stay healthy Miami has small chance. Lebron is too much of a wuss...
I like the Heat, not a fan of LBJ...
and the NBA for me is more about the name on the back of the jersey...than the one on front....

Dashi, that was regular season games, it doesnt even make sense to watch basketball till the post season this is where the real stars shine, where legends are made.

Hibbert is a 70 to 75% FT shooter so forget about hack a Shaq, also when the Heat had the ball with 2 seconds do you think Lebron would attack the rim when a tree trunk 7 '2 guy is under the rim I doubt it. Vogel had a brain freeze, SPos the better coach. Hibbert, West and George scoring 80 plus points wont happen agian.

Also the Heat shot 63% from the FT line with 20 TO's, IMO this should of been a Heat win by at least 10, also the refs helping?? WHat about the phatom call on Wade with the George 3 pointer or the non clal when Lebron got slapped in his head on the layup prior to George 3 point attempts. Heat in 5 Dashi


You Can Coach Your Butt Off. But Greatness Is Greatness.

The Heat Have The Most Talented Team In The NBA. And Greatest Player Since Jordan.

The Heat Were Playing Indiana's Game. Not The Other Way Around.

If It Is A Up And Down Game. Indiana Will Get Blown Out. But They Are Making The Heat Play Their Pace. That Is On The Coach.

Again, just because you don't like a Player doesn't alter the Fact that he is a Great Player. Again, I know you don't see it. And I know why.

The biggest question. Is Tannehill any better then Henne?

Dashi = Total Moron?

I NEVER said LBJ was not a great player. He is a great player...his freak of nature body is a large factor in that but that doesn't matter...he is GREAT. If LBJ had 1/10th of the mentality of MJ...he would have already been considered the best EVER 3-4 years ago...
But LBJ is not mean...he is nice...

Now you're beginning to flip, Dashi.


Basketball Is The Only Sport The Player Is More Important Than The Team.

Jordan Taught Us That.

1 Basketball Players Impact Is Bigger Than Any Other Teams Sport. Only 5 Players On The Court.

They Don't Sell Team Shoes.

Basketball Players Don't Wear Hats Or Helmets. You Recognize Their Face.

Well, I guess we'll take him nice and all, Jack! hehehe

Nice writing Mando.

Jack!, your nuts so we praise athletes for being a holes like Mike and notoriusly mean but when a superstar is too nice he still gets crticize LOL


I Always Said Heat In 6 Or 7.

They Are The Favorites To Win. By A Huge Margin.

I Always Said The Pacers Will Be The Toughest Matchup For The Heat.

And I Have Never Hidden My Disliked For The Incompetent Spo.

If The Heat Were Well Coached. They Would've Went At Least 72-10 This Season. They Would Use Most Of Their Bench. Hasbeen Wouldn't Be Seeing So Many Minutes. N.Cole Will Be Starting.

And They Will Find The Easy Way To Beat Indiana.


But That Is To Difficult For The Positionless Playless Coach To Figure Out.

You know MJ married one of our Daughters? He so nice...

The biggest 'issue' by far is Tannehill's improvement. His comments ("last year my head was spinning....Now I can go out there and focus on the little things") sound good but you expect that from a 2nd year starter. I've stated several times my hope that he gets some help in the offseason regarding the "little things". Things like looking off the safety, a good pump fake and hard count....please no more 48 go!

We all hope he's in the "much improved" rather than the "gradual" category. Can't waith for August 4th!!!

All reports from the OTAs are that Starks is not even missed and Odrick played that position seamlessly.
While some may view that as positive it concerns me that our O-Line can be handled so easily.

I am not talking about for our sake Clue...sure we like to see the big time athletes kiss arse and be the nice guy...from the players perspective, screw that. Be a nice guy after you retire... Players should be great citizens and they usually are...they should be helpful, caring and giving...but when the shoes get laced up and they step across that line onto the court...well EF that! I would take you all out when stepping across that line.


Agreed. And I Am A Huge LBJ Fan.

He Is The Most Physically Gifted Athlete Ever. At Any Sport.

With That Said, LBJ Lacks The Killer Instinct.

I Don't Blame Him Fully For That. Because That Is Something Coaches Help Bring Out. And Lebron Has Never Had A Legit Coach.

Phil Would've Nurtured That Instinct By Now. Popavitch.

Lebron Has Been Teaching Himself His Whole Life. I Give Him Credit For That. No One Made Lebron.




The question the Dolphins have is Tannehill. If he's good, the Dolphins should be good for ten years. If he's not, none of the other questions matter.

The Heat would never be the TEAM they are without a great coach.

La Moringa Prieta.

Bleacher report is saying that Odrick may get cut along with Egnew.

ALoco, how's your husband Mario?

Very nice comments @ 1037 Dashi...

T-Hill Will Always Go On Go.

That Is His Hut. Just Because He Isn't Saying Hut Hut. That Doesn't Mean Everytime It Is 48 go.

Some Qbs Use Hut, Some Qbs Use Go.

Disliking Someones Cadence Is A Petty Argument.

Jack! = Dashi

Jack, Odin, and Dashi = same person

Weeeell, actually they have 2 Coaches...

James Walker on Ryan Tannehill (notice his interpretation of RT's performance in OTA's is included in his analysis.)


Nahh, there is not only 1 poster here. There are 2, besides myself and ALoco.

What interpretation is that, Mark?

The nba is so boring. Doesn't this rag have a different blog page for boringball chat? It's not even in my top 50 things to watch on TV right below daytime soap operas.

Who cares about the crappy Dolphins anymore?


Not sure the team can cut Starks after franchising him. They're on the books for that contract for this year and so be it. What Starks is doing is very typical of what a lot of people do in his situation. I'm confident he'll be ready to go when the bell rings and if he's not then he'll lose playing time. I do agree this is probably his last season in Miami.

Jack = Odin = Dashi = YG

Is there any OTA today, just WTH is Armando doing

As many folks have already noted, there are questions every year. I do think the schedule is tough this year, but - last year, looking at the schedule, the roster, and a first year coach, I said "three wins (and Ireland is gone)". I thought last year's team outperformed its potential. This year, I feel more optimistic about the team. Will that translate to more wins, or the playoffs? Not necessarily (though I hope so). I would think, for example, that we should see more than two games with 30 or more points on the board. But we'll see.

oscar, James Walker likes the early indications that show Tannehill will indeed improve in year 2

Craig, you're right there is no cost benefit to cutting a franchise player. So I gues if you really wanted to screw him over if he isn't being a good citizen is to pay him to stay at home. Not like the Dolphins are up against the cap. I still contend the Dolphins ahve the upper hand here.

And cut ODrick??? Why would you cut a guy who can play in and out at a pretty good level and only costs $2M???

Oscar, furthermore, Walker says Tannehill looks composed and cool and in short the game appears to eb slowing down for him

Heck, TanneHenne cant get any worse.

in my house watching the nba is punishment. makes my kids wish they were cleaning their rooms or doing homework. now the ulitmate slap...reminds me of an obama speech on tv. same bs everytime.

« 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 16 17 »

The comments to this entry are closed.