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Training camp opens and we're off and running

We're baaaack!

My vacation is over -- although I've been posting on here for a few days despite not getting paid for it. And the Dolphins' vacation is over, with players reporting to camp Saturday and participating in their first training camp practice beginning at 8 a.m. Sunday.

First, let me share my column in The Miami Herald today: It outlines how local Dolphins fans reacted to the offseason spending spree, high draft selection of Dion Jordan, and bigtime hopes that Ryan Tannehill with caution and guarded optimism.

I can say that because I share with you the evidence that proves that caution and also tell you how some things have to go just right for the Dolphins to have the kind of season Miami fans have been wanting for a decade.

It might happen. Might not.

We don't know.

This I know:

The Dolphins today are the second-best team in the AFC East with a chance to be the best if things go their way.

The Jets?

The coach is already on the hot seat. The quarterback is still a turnover machine. The receiver corps has questions. The defense isn't the dominant unit it was four years ago and indeed is lessened by the trade of Darrelle Revis.

The Bills?

They have a rookie NFL head coach in Doug Marrone. (At least he led Syracuse to great things and many championships at the college level. Oh wait, he didn't). Their most likely starting quarterback is Kevin Kolb, who washed out in Arizona after being traded from Philadelphia. Of course, the Bills got better by losing their best offensive lineman Andy Levitre, right? Oh wait. At least their wide receiver corps is really solid after Stevie Johnson, right? Oh wait.

Yeah, the Jets feel like a team at the end of a journey that got off course and unless Rex Ryan is carrying a magic compass, he might be gone after this season. And the Bills, well, they're just starting their journey -- again.

So the AFC East feels like the Patriots and Dolphins. And for now, we should view it in that order because (cliche' alert) to be the best you have to beat the best. And the Dolphins have not beaten the Patriots in a while. Indeed, the last time the teams met in last season's finale, the Patriots won by 28 points.

But ...

Anyone paying attention must admit the Patriots seem lessened. Wide receiver Wes Welker has gone to Denver (in free agency). Tight end Aaron Hernandez has gone to jail (for murder). Cornerback Alfonzo Dennard went to jail (for assaulting a cop) and then was arrested again soon after he got out (on suspicion of DUI).

The Patriots lost or have jettisoned four of their top five pass catchers from the 2012 club. And the fifth of those -- tight end Rob Gronkowski -- added a couple of more surgeries to his growing collection of proceedures during the offseason.

Tom Brady will also be 36 in two weeks.

So to say the Patriots are looking great is probably not wise.

None of that means the Dolphins will win the AFC East, mind you. I am not predicting that. No one has seen even one practice so how can anyone say this is a title team or even a winning team.

But it is fair to say the Dolphins had the best offseason in the AFC East.

They didn't have anyone arrested that we know of.

They didn't lose any appreciable talent outside of Jake Long.

They didn't fire their coach.

They didn't trade their best defensive player.

They did spend a lot of money and trade up in the draft to address significant and obvious needs.

That is a great way to turbocharge the chase for the AFC East title while the rest of the pack is losing spark plugs or seemingly running low on gas.

[BLOG NOTE: I will update this space after practice and interviews around 11 a.m. If you want instant play-by-play and analysis of practice, follow me on twitter because I'll be updating in real time.]

Comments

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So has your constant whining about it, Shula73.

mace I agree that the secondary is a work in progress, but it's a rebuild. Coyle will need to work that secondary magic he had in Cincy and we saw glimpses of last year in some players when they had good games.

Armando is by far the best Dolphin writer. He has great insight and great connections inside the Dolphin organization. He is very objective which sometimes irritates the homers but thats just part of what makes him the best. His blog is 2nd to none for good reason. Thanks for the timely info and keep up the great work Armando. You are the best!

Why would you come here if no one likes you except just to try to piss people off.

Going into the season with a rookie corner and not knowing if Grimes will be back in form is a major concern. Our secondary is suspect, so is our running game.

This squad has a lot to prove before crowning them anything.

Thanks for the timely info and keep up the great work Armando. You are the best!

Posted by: Monte | July 21, 2013 at 11:41 AM


Armando is always dead last in reporting any breaking fins news!

Any news about Training Camp yet?
I mean other than Jordan's on the Non-Football Injury list. And, Tannehill was able to actually overthrow Wallace on the first pass?

Maybe it's too early...

Why would you come here if no one likes you except just to try to piss people off.

Posted by: Darkoak | July 21, 2013 at 11:42 AM


You should ask yourself that question.

Darkoak

Do you enjoy reading odin's endless copy and past juvenile bwaahaaa posts?

It is you that support the most annoying people thereby making the blog worse.

Look in the mirror.

You Are Truly Delusional If You Think This Is Mando's Blog. Even You Should Know That. We(Even You Included) Run This Blog. Mando Is Here Just To Refresh The Page Every Couple Days.

If Mando Can Go Out And Bash My Dolphins. I'm Going To Bash His Opinion Every Chance I Get. If Mando Was Objective, I Wouldn't Criticize His Opinion As Much. But Mando Is A Known Dolphin Hater. He Has Admitted He Is A Jets Fan.

This Article Was A Little Better Than Yesterday. But Look At Mando's Twitter Feed. The Only Play He Talked About Was T-Hill Overthrowing 1 Pass. And DJ Is Hurt. All Negative.

You Can Just Read And Feel The Hate With Mando.

ARE YOU TELLING ME IF BARRY JACKSON RAN THIS BLOG THE REPORTING WILL ALWAYS BE SO NEGATIVE.

THIS IS A DOLPHIN BLOG IN A MIAMI NEWSPAPER. THE POSITIVE INFO ABOUT OUR TEAM SHOULD JUST BE GUSHING OUT.

Seriously, follow Mando on Twitter. He updates the blog after the fact, the news is fairly up to the minute on Twitter.

The loser Dullfins deserve the bashing. No SB win in 40+ years. No playoff win in 14+ years.

How can you be positive when they lose every friggin year? LOL

Seriously, follow Mando on Twitter. He updates the blog after the fact, the news is fairly up to the minute on Twitter.

Posted by: Darkoak | July 21, 2013 at 11:46 AM

Being positive now is like being negative after winning a Super Bowl. Its ass backwards!

Again,

Objective Is When You Don't Put Personal Preference In What You Say Or Do.

Mando Has A Grudge Against The Fins. How Can He Be Objective.

And Again, You Are The Home Town Paper. You Should Be Leaning Towards The Home Team In The First Place.

Objective?

That Is Ben Violin. Who Is Writing In A Boston Paper Now And Doesn't Hate On The Pats. He Reports Objectively.

Even If It Is 1 Positive Article, 1 Negative Article. Dashi Will Be OK. But It Is 10 to 1 The Ratio Of Bashing.

Mando Writes Like The Dolphins Are Owned By Castro. And We All Know How Much They Hate Castro.

Think, you go find one word of support for Odin by me.

The copy and paste thing is where someone references what you previously said to form their counter-point. Pretty common on chat forums when people are debating something. I understand why it gets under your skin, because it forces you to be accountable for what you say and you can't just BS your way through a debate and "win" I believe is how you worded it before.

Nothing you do here is new or innovative. You change names, impersonate people, insult people, post off topic drivel, it's all basic seen it before trolling.

Dashe is trying to teach us what the word 'objective' means.

It Is Simple. Cause I Am A Miami Dolphins Fan. That Is How I Can Be Positive Every Year. This Is My Team.

If You Were A Fan Then You Would Know. The Definition Of Fan Explains It All.

But Again, You Don't Know The Definition Of The Words You Use.

Darkoak you evade the question and supplant it with something else. You defend the #1 blog polluter without mentioning his cut and pastes are nothing but immature drivel bwaaaahaha, and yet you attack others that are trying to clean the blog up.

Fan- 2. A person who has a strong interest in or admiration for a particular sport, art or entertainment form, or famous person.

Objectivity- judgment based on observable phenomena and uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices.

After looking at the schedule it is tough. I see a slow start, 1-4 ish. We finish strong, prolly 8-8. However we could be 9-7 with a break or 2. Add to it the fact we added some firepower on both sides of the ball, 10-6 isn't unrealistic. 11-5 wed have to have luck. 9-7 could win the division if we can beat NE once. The real "x" factor? Tannehill. If he stays same, 8-8 at best. If he completes 65% and throws 3700, 25, w under 10 int's, we could see that 11-5 mark.

Posted by: Seriously,, get a life | July 21, 2013 at 11:53 AM

Says the guy trolling a football blog. Pot meet kettle.

@Dashi @12pm

MONEY!

Think, try sticking with one name for a while, stop insulting people, and be accountable for what you say, and I promise I will help getting Odin to only talk football when he's here. Happy?

How many games did Vegas say we would win last year?

If this years prediction is off by the same amount in the same direction, we will make the playoffs!!!

Don't we always hear that the defense is ahead of the offense early in camp?

Yep, Fins have to prove in on the field, no doubt about that.

But as a Fin fan I could not be more optimistic.

When adding a Top Ten RT is considered to be an after thought.

When adding the Bears best O lineman is just a yawner.

When the development of a compliment to Wake in Olivier Vernon is a non-story.

Indications of just how many excellent pickups the Fins have made.

Have to be optimistic of Tannehill's work ethic and professionalism.

No bonehead, ego centered statements (shout out to RGIII), criminal activity and chasing skirts (shout out to Big Ben and Michael Vick). You can fugget about that with this guy.

Yeah, I'm optimistic. 12-4.

4 wins vs. Bills and Jets. 1 vs. Pats.

Browns, Colts, weakened Ravens, Bucs, Chargers, Panthers, weakened Steelers - 7 more wins.

12-4.

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