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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.

Comments

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Jack, what we do know is that Thigpen is penciled into the 53 man roster. Just on electric st's ability alone.

Doesn't matter what other roles he may play. We can be assured he will be one of the 53.

Egnew = Another Irescum bust

The Blog, hey ass-hole, point out in that article where it says Odrick will be cut. C'mon ass-hole show me. You won't be able to cause it ain't there. Like I said, making stuff up like a good little Troll girl.

Yeah...even though I was a Bess fan...I am a Bess fan, it will/would be nice to see Thigpen back there solely on return duties. I understood the reliability of hands Bess brought when returning punts deep on your own end...but he was 6-8 yards max every time and thats about it. Even when making people miss he never really seemed to be going anywhere...

What will be very exciting in 2013, our opponents will have to game plan for us in all 3 phases. Offense, defense, and special teams.

In the past it was in only one area at most.

I think one thing that hurt Bess in the Phins eyes last year was...well, he just tried too much and it worked against him. How many times did I see him catch the ball for a 1st down only to take a step or two back only to not gain the first down. Before that Bess was Miami Money for first down...Just a little too much...just like D Thomas...sometimes just fall down instead of letting people strip at the ball and crack you in the dome piece...

I do admit that if odrick will be successful long term in this league he will have to do some damage from the inside.

lol

Odrick, the team’s first-round pick in 2010, was drafted for the team’s previous 3-4 defense system, but since then they’ve changed to a 4-3 base defense. At 300 plus pounds, he’s hardly an ideal fit to 4-3 defensive end.
Pro Football Focus rated him as the third-worst 4-3 defensive end last year, just to put things in perspective.
We’ll have to see what the Dolphins plans are Odrick this offseason as it’s pretty clear that he’s no longer a good fit for them.

The Blog, c'mon gilrly girl. I don't have all day, either show me where Odrick is gonna be cut or admit your a douchebag.

Jack, Gibson is a better option to Bess simply because of his penchant for the spectacular catch even when covered. Gibson is bigger, faster, and more physical than Bess.

Odick = Another Irescum Bust

Was it Barry Jackson that said thigpen will be of use as a slot guy and perhaps even the 2nd RB?

odicks was pixed 4 his little ghey sax dance,not the
3-4.
lol

Oh so now your gonna find articles from different places to try to cover up your sad ass??
Take this to the bank, no way is Odrick gonna be cut and Egnew has improved and will probably also make the squad.
Nice try ass-hole, but you are clueless about Miami sports, and even more clueless about the Dolphins

Is this the chatroom?

Just traded our best hands return guy in Bess. So why risk injury to Thigpen, easily our most electric return guy?

I can see Thigpen's role increasing if one of these undrafted fa's can become explosive in the return game. Other than this, why risk injury to presently the one of the best returners in the league?

bowens + gardner, took up 4 blkrs.
buddy lee wuld get 15-18 tkls as he roamed unmolested.
even when zachy poo was out his back up got 18. yeah.
but when bowens/gardner aint in there,
mawai had sexx with buddy lee on every o snap.lol
odick does not get 2'ld,ever.

Right now I see Thigpen as easily one of the top 5 returners in the entire league. Why get him injured on a backfiring gadget play?

Based on the previous 5 Ireland drafts everyone taken after Jordan will be special teams/practice squad/straight out cut

WE ARE A MUCH IMPROVED TEAM WITH COMPETITION EVERYWHERE. AND WE SHOULD HAVE BEEN 10-6 LAST YEAR...
CARPENTER MISSED FG'S AND THAT TERRIBLE CALL IN INDY ON THAT FANTOM HOLDING CALL ON OUR KICK RETURN WITH 2 MINUTES LEFT WHICH WENT PAST THE 50 ALL THE WAY BACK TO OUR 20 YARD LINE. A COUPLE PLAYS AND WE WOULD HAVE KICKED A GAME WINNER IN THAT ONE.

TO ALL YOU IRELAND HATERS, WHAT WILL YOU DO IF THESE MOVES ALL WORK FOR US?

THIS IS ONLY THE GUYS 2ND OR THIRD YEAR AWAY FROM PARCELLS AND HIS MISGUIDED INFLUENCES.

mando,
your questions and mine should have and (sadly)could have been addressed via the draft, look to the eagles draft for your answers...we could have had each one of those guys PLUS eddie lacey... a promising rookie QB to supply hope in the event tannehill fails or is injured? no problem (matt barkley)...a powerback who can pick up the blitz demand ateention and down right scare a defense...(eddie lacey)..a cheap rookie left tackle who won't get beat by speed and in my opinion the best left tackle this draft had to offer??? look to the eagles draft once again..a pre-emptive draft signing at defensive tackle to avoid the circus that will be next year?...look again to the eagles draft...but it is what it is, here's to hoping ireland made the right decisions.

what 3rd down conversions.?
lol

The Miami Dolphins of the Sparano era reflected his thinking capacity. Very slow.

'til that^ changes.5-11.

Posted by: 12-IN-YUR-ASS! | May 23, 2013 at 01:00 PM

I understand. And I have no quarrels with him being replaced...I will always like Bess though...and I was mainly referring to him as the other punt return option to Thigpen...

Every team has questions. Even if every position was filled with all stars, since every player is one play away from a season-ending injury, there are always concerns. But the reality is that this is the most talent filled Miami team since Marino retired, maybe since Shula retired.

Ireland has gotten us past the point of being inferior to most teams in overall team talent and rather we are at a level where we can play any team

THE REAL CHALLENGE IS FOR THE COACHES:
1. Very young team. Can they coach all the players up to Pro levels of technique
2. Very versatile fast team on offense and defense. Can they come up with play books showing enough fronts on both sides of the ball to end the phenomena of a totally predictable Miami team and replace it with a team that gives opposing coordinators nightmares.
3. Most difficult - can they teach all the plays to the young players and incoming veterans to the point where they can play automatically and fluidly by the first game of the season.

All three things are do-able but they are not even. The talent level is no longer the rate limiting step, the coaching is. This year we learn if Philbin, Sherman, and Coyle can do the job they were hired to do. I think they can but nobody knows until we see hot the team plays. I remember when Walsh went to SF from Stanford and introduced his radical West Coast Offense and all the doubters were there wondering if he had the right stuff. It turns out he did. Man, I hope Philbin, Sherman and Coyle have the same stuff.

"A Team With No Questions" is a team that has already died and gone to heaven.

Right now I see Thigpen as easily one of the top 5 returners in the entire league. Why get him injured on a backfiring gadget play?
Posted by: 12-IN-YUR-ASS! | May 23, 2013 at 01:10 PM

Ah so there is method to your maddness...very solid point. I would still like to see a little more than returning punt/kick half dozen times a game..then again if he is changing field position on the regular...well, now we are getting somewhere...

Watching Bess return punts was about as exciting as watching punts land in a mound of mud. After the football reaches its destination it went no further backward or forward.

oavery,
Very good points @ 1:24.


pricemaster927
In 2012 Bush + Fasano + Bess = 2400 yards 14 TDs

In 2012 Wallace + Gibson + Keller = 1900 yards 15 TDs

So where is the big improvement supposed to come from?
Is it the step up in QB that Wallace is taking going from Roethlisberger to Tannehill?


^^The Troll is also on ESPN... JoseDoucho

go finssssssssss

I love the 2013 schedule. It will separate the men from the boys. If this team as currently constructed can play well against 2013's schedule. I have overwhelming faith they can perform at a very high level for years to come.

If not, we still have a very long ways to go as a franchise.

2013 i see an 8-8 team. i think 2014 is when we take big steps

So...if Phins go 8-8 then what say you of Ireland..?

If this team can finish at least 10-6 against 2013's difficult schedule. We can definitely be in the super bowl discussion from 2014 forward.

If not, 10-4 will be max against future easier schedules, around .500 against future more difficult schedules.

budtki, for the last itme, the eagles draft sucked rocks... except for Lane

Dusty, no, the big step has to be taken now. If not, we'll always perrenially come up a season short.

Best case scenario, 11-5. 8-8 and back to the drawing board. Avoid the future pain.

CommonSense, I also saw pricemaster on ESPN defending Mark Sanchez after his 3 INT performance. Jose Cuervo/Pricemaster/etc is very much a Jets fan. Poor bastid, he can go fukk himself. get off blog doucho!!

Even 9-7 means a huge piece is till missing.

12-4 would mean we have arrived and 12-IN-YUR-ASS!

well jack i guess it would say a 2 game improvment with a div run ready for 2014

Jim and Maria called and can't make it tonight.

12-4 may not be probable but is possible. I say this because this team has had such a drastic one year overhaul, other teams have no tape to game plan from. The element of surprise is definitely on our side. Especially is Tannehill has taken a huge step forward.

I also believe our speed, coverage, and pass rush will take teams that are accustomed to our slow prehistoric ways on defense, will catch teams off guard.

Combine all of these 3 things, though not probable, 12-4, is very possible.

CommonSense & Mark In Toronto,
I print the facts.
In the case of the prodction numbers no one has disputed them.

In the case of Sanchez his production crashed when Soprano showed up. Evidently others felt the same way and so now Soprano is back doing what he is mediocre at - he is OL coach or OL assistant for the Raiders.

The most either of you can do is call me names. You also called me names when I said the wildcat was 'BACKDOOR' Football. Ross agreed with me and fired everyone on the team that was involved with that, except for Ireland. You never provided any evidence to show that it was not BACKDOOR football.

Lastly regardless of the number of names being used there are only 2 people posting in here: you and I.

Go Phuc yourself!

no it doesnt mean we have to right away. 2014 is target. year 3 for thill

Dusty, Tannehill improvement will determine how far this team goes.

With Peyton Manning as qb, this is definitely a 12-4 division winning playoff team. So the pieces are definitely in house now.

The qb position will definitely determine how many horses this team runs with in 2013.

Dusty, if you were a racecar driver competing in a race, are you competing for this year's race or next year's race?

Its never about next year. Its always about right now. Next year, next time, next race. Are always the terms you hear coming from the mouth of losers.

Dusty, dolfans have been saying next year since 1974.

Dolfans talk next draft in in early October.

Dolfans talked "suck for luck" by the end of September.

Exhibit A:

pricemaster927Sanchez got the Jets to back to back AFC Champ games.
Sanchez is not the problem....more
User ID:http://sportsnation.espn.go.com/fans/pricemaster927

Haha, so this clown question whether the DOlphins got better but loves him some Sausage Sanchez!

racecar driver, hilarious, who cares about that garbage. its the nfl. this team will be primed for huge year in 2014

here's his NYJ post on Sanchez. Quite the excuse maker ...

pricemaster927As soon as the Jets got rid of Soprano, Sanchez got better.
Tim Tebow was not the problem.
Pulling the starting QB to run some BACKDOOR football plays, called the wildcat, in the middle of drives kills the momentum and the QB.
Soprano went from OL coach with Cowboys to HC in Miami to OC in NY back to OL in Oakland.
Along the way he crossed path with NoodleArm Pennington which was the reason for the wildcat to begin with, Henne, Pat White & Sanchez.

beat it with your puke green jersey...

You may be printing "facts" (I've corrected your numbers multiple times).

But with your current example: It doesn't make sense in CONTEXT. You can't compare a RBs yardage to a WR. Or starters to 2nd 3rd players. Not to mention some of the people on that list didn't play 16 GAMES.

Also, quit changing names db.

ETF, JoseDoucho, PM, NYJ Jets #1, Mark Snachez pole smoker:

Your comparison of Bush et all to Wallace et all is extremely flawed. As Dashi pointed out, you can't compare the production of a RB to a WR. One who touches the ball 225 times to one who touches it 60 times. That is not an apples to oranges comparison.

Now go try to kiss Suzi Kolber you slime.

Doucho, you love stats so much, how do you like this one: Sanchez 51 turnovers in his last 39 games. Including one very entertaining buttfumble ... YOU'RE A LOSER!!!

Sporano was only in NY for one year but yet Sanchez sucked mightily even before he got there. 39 games is more than one season 51 TURNOVERS!!!

yeah, blame the wildcat...

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