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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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tony spighetti.
lol

No duh! You question them when they do nothing and critique when they do! Better be glad you are a writer not a GM or HC! Go Jeff,Joe and Go Fins!

Allowing Egnew to start OTA's is like Sporano letting S. Murphy start ota's a few year ago.

End result? Released.

Odrick is obviously a schematic mismatch. Not quick enough to be a DE or truly big enough to be a DT.

Releasing both is certainly an option & realistic to think so.

Hey, LOL, Sanchez still stinks. Take that $9M cap hit lovieee!!!

Odrick isn't bad. He get talked about like a complete bust in here at times. I will give the point that he doesn't have the sack numbers of a great DE, but it isn't really his position (in the 4-3) at least. He is overall solid, and a good run stopper.

Could be a homer here, but imo Odrick is solid. Not an all star, but definitely worth a roster spot.

Egnew is still an unknown, I haven't seen him do anything so I really can't have an opinion. Though players have sat a year before playing before, it isn't an NFL first. Everyone just needs to clam down on that one.

Mark, do you not accept logical thoughts?

I am not sure I understand the sanchez reference unless you're insinuating I'm just a hater.

When in reality, I've been a big fan of what the phins did in the offseason.

Cutting Odrick and or Egnew is just a realistic thought. It has basis or happening as I alluded to. Instead of resorting to lame jet attacks, why not accept reality?

I didn't say they would be cut. I am saying, them being cut wouldn't be a shock.

You don't like it, Oh well. Get a grip.

Sanchez is a joke at QB, no matter who coaches him.
I like alot of the changes we made, but I'm a bit worried that our run defense may slip this year. I am not sold on Wheeler, and Ellerbee has not started a full season. Dansby was a very good run defender. I think we may have swapped one LB weakness (pass defense) with another (run defense). Hopefully, that is not the case.

CommonSense, don't even reply to the jets fan. We completely exposed him so he's doing what he does best, changing names.

Come on, look at what he writes. Odrick, not big enough to be a DT - he's 305 lbs!

Odrick only played DE because we had nobody else to play it last year in a transitional year. Now with Jordan on board and Vernon a year older, that will no longer be the case - at least on a 3 down basis.

oscar canosa, I always watch a epiosode of Scandel and thought it sucked, I just wanted the black chick to take her clothes off cause I thought she was hot, I was bored to death of the show though

mark,he suxx.
lol

CommonSense, the thing about Odrick is with your first round pick your looking for a star not a solid player, if he was a 2nd or 3rd pick the profduction we get from him would be great

And if I need to provide a Jets fan with any logic , here it is.

Odrick 2013 cap hit $1.9M - dead money $2.3M. that means if they cut him, they actually lose cap space. Get it, sausage boy? He's on the team!

Mark, we've had talks before. To see you acting like the typical filth on this blog is pathetic.

Accusing people of being a jet fan or a hater because you disagree?

Get a life kid, you're acting like pathetic 8 year old.

In 1983, David Woodley started the 1st 5 games. Dolphins went 3-2. Marino started game 6, lost to Bills 38-35, Fins are 3-3. Marino goes on to win 5 straight. Fins now 8-3.

Fins go on to finish 12-4 but lose 1st rd playoffs 27-20 to Seahawks.

My point is, The weaponry was around Marino. The defense finish ranked #1 in the league under Arnsbarger. Marino threw 20 td passes in 11 games. That's 1.8 tds per game. 16 games would mean 29tds.

With the weapons now on offense, if Tannehill makes a great leap, 25-30 tds is not impossible. With a defense that can finish at least top 5, 12-4 is far from impossible. But, we need a giant step forward from both Tannehill and our defense to make it so.

The talent to accomplish this is definitely already in place.

LOL, your writing style reminds me of YG, or maybe its the attack on Mark, since I know Mark and YG has some sort of 2pac and Biggie beef on the blog. LOL

Sausage boy? Wow, creative & original. NOT!

Get a life Mark. Now, you're acting like the typical homer fan getting your panties twisted over someone being critical of a player who is irrelevant anyway.

Babies always go the troll/jet fan route. Always suspected you of being one. Now, we have proof positive.

What a waste.

Well the blog took a down hill turn...and everyone left...


good job

Mark in Toronto, hang in there bro, ZERO chance Odrick gets cut. Starks is on a one year franchise tag for a reason. This team expects Odrick to have a big year.
As far as Egnew, people think cause he got his ass handed to him on Hard Knocks, he was finished. Any blogger that says that never played football at any level. It's called "motivation". OTAs just started but Egnew definitely worked hard in the off season and multiple reporters on Twitter liked what they saw from him. Not a lock but certainly seems to be working hard

If you are the LOL I talked to before, I apologize. I thought I was posting to the person who posts under the same handle so posts anti dolphins stuff all the time.. the keys/Sanchez stuff is in response to one of these guys being discovered as a jets fan on ESPN. I got a bit touchy about a jets fan posting here. I lost my head, sorry.

Either way, odrick will not be released. Costs the team cap space to do so.

Nah, I got confused, Clue. The series I mean is about the very fine in her time Madeleine Stowe playing some evil role.

?

Blog shutdown for a few. No posts were showing up.

If Carpenter had made two field goals last year, this team would have been 9-7 and would have been in the mix for a Wild Card spot in the playoffs! Or, am I the only one who realizes that? And, at least on paper, this years team is a whole lot better than last year's team. However, Mando's questions really won't be answered until Week 6 of the regular season; @Cleveland, @Colts, Falcons, @Saints, Ravens, then a Bye Week. We should know what kind of team we are (and what progress we've made) by then.

For sure we will know after Week 6, Tracy. Not before.

As we were ...

But I've always said Sanchez is not a bad QB. He was good in his first 2 years in the League. He has not been injured severely so his ability must be intact, so why his steep decline? I believe it's the Jets Organization that sukkks.

Mando, HUH?!? tell me you didn't write this botched paragraph. The flawed math, logic and grammar are unbelievable. The answer to this is only IF he can get 5 yrs of production this year.

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?

Oscar, the last time Sanchez' name came up in this blog space, the whole place melted down. I will leave that topic alone ...

You know what Team I believe got a steal in this Year's draft? The one that selected that other USC QB. I mean that's a pretty tough Conference to play in.

Nice try ...

ODRICK HAS LOST 3 MILLION WITH INVESTMENT COMPANY WHO'S UNDER PROP BY THR FBI ...

Well, that' my opinion, you can take it or leave it, but at least you read it.

MEANWHILE SOLIAI KEEPS HIS MONEY IN FDA INSURED BANKS .......... ODRICK ON THE OTHER HAND DIDN'T LEARN AFTER THE CRASH OF THE MARKET 2 YEARS AGO .......


HE
LOST ABOUT
3 MILLION......

TO
BE
OR
NOT
TO
BE.....

no doubt on the lbs, those signings were the bad ones of the bunch

Granted this team needs the massive rebuild but why does Ross allow Ireland to do it?

SINCE SANCHEZ CAME TOTHE JETS..ALL THEIR GAMES WERE SOLD OUT,AND WON THE FANS OVER .........

WHILE WE R GETTING ROTTEN IN THE CELLAR .

Sanchez led the Jets to 4 playoff victories in his 1st 2 years. Thats 4 more then Pennington, Henne, and Tannehill combined!!

THANKS ,STEVE...........

THE
CELLAR..

Oscar, is this you? More than likely ...

sanchez one of the worst qbs in the entire nfl

DUSTY,

WHAT THE HELL DO YOU KNOW WHO'S A GOOD QB OR NOT..........

YOU R CELLAR FAN FOR A CELLAR TEAM .....

Why gey rid of Long, Bush, Smith, Dansby and Fasano, yet keep Egnew, D Thomas, Jerry, Misi, and Odrick if you are trying to win?

You should know by now, Toronto, I always carry only one name here, and it happens to be my real one. You sure you from Toronto?

These Canadians here are from Canada as I am from Mexico.

Odrick lost 3 million in an investment firm which was recommended as safe and certified by the NFL. Amazing how people from that dump in the Northeast called Boston love to only tell the part of the story that proves their point buteave out other facts.

lets see bush was a joke. long was horrible. smith couldnt catch a cold. fatso was so mediocre. and dansby was overpaid lazy bum

Yes, you sure you're not inciting?

If and whem Tannehill wins 4 playoff games then he can be compared to Mark Sanchez.

To try and compare what a player did last year on a different team with a different scheme to what a player will do this year here in Miami can be done. It just can't be done accurately.
Take for example Wheeler and Ellerbe replacing Dansby and Burnett. Dansby and Burnett weren't BAD LBer's. They just rarely changed the course of games. Neither were solid blitz guys but both were better then average in coverage. Ellerbe and Wheeler both excel in Blitz packages. Consider Miami moving on Dion Jordan, add Wake, Wheeler and Ellerbe and you see where Miami is going.
They have thought through they're moves. Brady's one weakness is having people in his face and getting hit. The Giants and Baltimore have proven that. So, go ahead and pick apart the player if you wish. But the player is only apart of the scheme. Miami has gotten much smarter about this.
Same thing with they're Wide Outs. Miami has laid out a scheme. Wallace (Deep), Hartline & Gibson (Boundaries), Keller (Seam), RB's (screens & dumps). They are also seeing good play from Binns who has a knack for breaking coverage. Add Clay, Egnew & Simms and you have a well rounded blocking and receiving FB/TE group.
Once again... I see Miami working from the standpoint of the entire group, rather then just placing it on one guy. Philbin, Sherman and Coyle have built a team... not a bunch of stars or mesh-mash talent. THAT is different... THAT has not happened here in a long time. THAT is why I think they will succeed because that is what the elite teams do. They have a scheme, a system... and they drive it home until they can plug any player they need to into it.
As far as injuries and Tannehill doing well... Hey, Just look at San Fran... Crabtree goes down with an Achilles on day 2 of OTA's... That crap happens. Miami has depth at key spots... The one area they DON'T have great depth is the O-line. But you can't fix it all in one year.
T-Hill will play well.... The kid is hard wired for football... he's a winner....

To The Guy Making The Petty Argument About Cadence.

The First Thing They Teach In High School Is Cadence.

Again, Talking About Cadence Is Asinine. Specially At The Pro Level.

And You Don't Want To Draw Your Team Offsides When You Are 2nd &9 or 3rd & Long.

If You Are Going To Make The Asinine Argument About Cadence. Remember The Most Important Thing. Situation. You Hard Count For Situations. Not Just To Hard Count.

yeah guess u cant compare luck to sanchez either or rivers, on and on. who is this idiot claiming to be steve

The Jets misery is too funny. I love watching them flounder and suffer. Who saw where sanchez is ranked absolute last by Sheins article on the nfl site? I'll tell you what's changed about this guy...the Jets have quickly declined and what's between his ears. That's why they call it the NFL which stands for...Not For Long.

BOBBYD13,

THESE YOUNG PLAYERS LIKE ODRICK NEVER HAD A DIME IN THEIR LIFE ,THEN THEY MAKING 4 MILLION A YEAR WITH ONE FOOT ...SO THEYNOT AS SMMART .....

NOW HE'S SUING THAT COMPANY FOR HIS LOST MONEY,HE THINKS HE WILL GET ANY BACK......IN FAACT THE MONEY HAS GONE WITH THE WIND.............


I LOVE OUR CELLAR FANS MAKING FUN OF OTHER PLAYERS ,WHILE WE R THE WORST IN THE LEAGUE..............

So YG Trolls Multiple Dolphins Site.

Amazing.

The Jets won far more playoff games in the last 15 years then the hapless Dolphins.

Again, I write my opinion here and in other places. Whether you consider my opinion inciting or otherwise is up to you. But it usually it's the Truth that hurts; now, isn't it?

Well, you so afraid of the effects of the Truth on your ephemeral Plans? Well, Censor me.

The Fins Have Had A Horrendous Past Decade. But They Still Own A Top 5 Winning Pct All Time.

The Jets Need At Least 100 More Career Wins To Catch Up. So Do The Pats.

And That Still Wouldn't Mean They Have A Better Winning Pct. Just That They Match Up In All Time Victories.

Oh, And The Drought Is Over B'tches. The Dolphins Are Back. And For A While.

Dr. Canosa, I have this sharpe pain going througgh my next is that something I can go to the chriopractor and get adjusted?

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