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How Miami improvements compare in the AFC East

So what are the Dolphins chances in the AFC East?

As I write in my Miami Herald column today, it depends on whether the Dolphins are improved at all and where that improvement might happen.

Look, let's be frank. (Frank is a cool guy). There are not a ton of tangible and obvious improvements on this team at this time. Yes, the season might tell a different story but right now we're more leaning on hope than certainty.

Miami's other AFC East rivals are leaning more on certainty.

In New England, the Patriots can say they’re better simply because starters Rob Gronkowski, Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo and Sebastian Vollmer are back and healthy after missing much of last year and, oh yes, the team signed Darrelle Revis, too.

In New York, the Jets are boasting they’re better because lightning fast Chris Johnson is now the running back, they signed wide receiver Eric Decker and Michael Vick is on board to guard against the realistic possibility that Geno Smith isn’t a special quarterback.

And the Bills? The team that swept Miami last season -- still cannot believe that one -- suffered a terrible blow when it lost Kiko Alonso for the season because he was arguably their best player last season. But rookie receiver Sammy Watkins, perhaps the best player in the draft, is catching everything in sight in training camp, their starting QB, unproven and all but still an upgrade for them, is back from injury. And GM Doug Whaley has said his team is in win-now mode.

So where does that leave the Dolphins?

Hoping that the one position of obvious improvement can get company from other spots.

Comments

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Has the coaching staffed improved in Miami because when you lose two games to the Bills who are starting a 3rd string QB, it means you don't have a very solid coaching staff.

I say because of circumstances, we have 2 draft classes to improve our team.

Vince Wilfork? He is a has been. I would not trade Earl Mitchell straight up, would you? If Gronkowski was in Miami, he would be called oft injured.

I am excited about our team. The prognosticators have been wrong about us the past two years. They are wrong this year too.

agree that Miami's improvement is questionable but don't see much improvement in the others either.....yes, the Pats get back those players but the Pats are already alot better than the other teams in the division, and will win it going away.....but are the Jets and Bills really improved, with those moves mentioned?--uh, no more than Miami, and not even sure as much as Miami--aint buying it.

But.....Pats win the division again, and I dont even think its that close.

As far I know every team in the division starts with the same record. That means we all have an equal chance. I would expect the team has improved just with the experience of having a year under their belt. This is a very young team. People are so quick to rush to judgement and conclusion.

Improved? Brandon Albert over J. Martin is a really huge improvement. Bill Lazor over Mike Sherman is another huge improvement. I truly believe that the moves we made in this past offseason will translate on the field this season.

Talking about improvement before the regular season starts is nothing but meaningless filler material for the press and blogger flops with no lives.

I'm with you Harleyray...addition by subtraction. So bored of the pessimistic articles and posters not giving us a fair shake.

Everyone is missing a huge factor. Miami got better when Ireland left. He was a cancer in this organization thinking he was the second coming of Bill Parcells. How many of you have had a bad boss make everyone miserable and when they finally leave it is like a new lease on life. I have, and it can make all of the difference. Ireland not only condoned a bad culture, he encouraged it. Football players are not choir boys but they need to be good teammates. Ireland kept bringing in "me first" players and the results were obvious.

No one is sayng it(about Ireland) but the morale and atmosphere seems to be vastly improved and when folks are happy, they are more productive. Fins win the division this year!!!

Come on Armando- have you been watching too much ESPN? The Pats are the Pats but the other teams in AFC East scare no one. The Jets added a washed up RB, an overrated possession receiver, and Michael Vick, who can't stay healthy. Their defense is legit but their offense is a joke.

Buffalo lost its best player on defense to FA (Jarius Byrd), its other two best defensive players (Kiko and Dareus) are injured, one for the season. Their offense has some nice pieces but overall Buffalo is a very flawed team with a mediocre QB.

Even the Pats are not as scary as they initially look on paper- all of their "stars", with the exception of Mayo, are either aging (Wilfork) or have huge injury question marks (Gronk). Also, as good as Revis is, he is replacing another really good CB (Talib), so the net gain for the Pats isn't that high.

I'm not saying the phins are going to win the SuperBowl, but lets not throw in the towel on the season just yet.

It's was only the first day of camp. Let see how this all unfolds. Hopefully Benton as the o line coach will be able to work the the folks he has and get them ready. Again being knly the first day, I am keeping my fingers crosses that Philbin wont go the route he has demostrated in the past and opt to begin switching player positions along the o line. If they signed Smith to play guard, play him at guard and not as a center. Let Gardner and Brenner play center and get that piece out of the way. No need to start the first practice with Smith at center.

JT: I agree on the O-Line. I think the problem with center is that he really is the QB of the O-Line. I suspect Philbin is trying Smith there (until Pouncey's) return, is because he feels he is the best one to get it done. What I hope we don't see is another continued O-Line shuffle into game 10!

If I could say just one thing to Philbin, it would be a line from Strother Martin in Up In Smoke : "Whennn, boy, whennn, are you going to get your act together?!!!"

I am excited about this season, not really warm & fuzzy about our schedule BUT I really believe we will see improvement for many of the reason your guys have already stated. I know everyone has been bashing the hell out of Moreno because he came in out of shape and had to have his knee scoped BUT I think he is going to end up being a solid addition for us down the stretch this season.

Hey, we can't beat lowly Buffalo so what's the use?

Every season you whiners whine about the schedule.

Guess what, any schedule is tough if your team stinks and easy if your team is good.

Philbin will be fired after a 7-9 season.

Funny how when you follow twitter the various reporters how the plays are presented differently. Just saying...

They are all agenda driven with their particular shade of glasses on.

Good post Rob @ 918

Hey Mike go play in traffic

That is freakin hilarious....D.Hyde said a drone flying over the field was the SS Belichek. That big cheater it wouldn't surprise me a bit.

I realize its a long 16 week grind, but if you can't get focused enough knowing your first two games are against division rivals New England (at home in the heat) and at Buffalo (in September warmth, not December cold) then all this off-season and preseason preparation is going to be a moot point. Make a statement to everyone in this division starting September 7. Every game is important, but two division games to start would make you think the focus should already be there.

Pretty fair analysis Mando. Receivers as good or better. Coaching got better*. Every where else? Question marks.

* HC still sucks, Coyle not much better. Lazor is a vast improvement as OC and actually knows how to help QBs. Benton looks to be an improvement at O-line

Wisconson, here in the first world, everyone knows that.

Everyone says Lazor is an improvement before he has even won a game here.

I'll bet most of you are certain your next dump will come out smelling sweet.

Is it not a contradiction to say one this hand we have to wait and see for the season but on another, it's all good before the season even starts?

How Miami improvements compare in the AFC East???

WHAT IMPROVEMENTS?? THE TEAM IS WORSE. NO SOLIAI,KELLER, INCOGNITO, JERRY, MARTIN, POUNCEY FOR 6 GAMES, MORENO IS HURT, SAME CRAPPY QB AND HC.

EAD Dave

I thought is was suppose to be a reel big arm?

When Joe Philbin gives a pregame speech does he use cue cards? And are they written by Dawn?

Dolphins' best hope is we had the ingredients last year but due to Sherman & the OL dysfunctions off the field, the parts weren't working. That's as good as any explanation for the collapse in weeks 16-17.

IF that's the case, then we should be improved this year. This player or that player isn't an upgrade if the parts don't mesh together.

Nah not at camp, reel too far to travel. But regular season games. Yes, deity will enjoy some of those. Maybe the Phins can get deity back to a home playoff game. Its been a real long time.

Will criticize you later HOMES, just trying to keep the playing field...level.

Have a REEL FUN TIME!

Does Tom Brady still play QB for the Pats...... Tanny improves we have as good a team as anyone in our entire AFC div not just the east we do have alot of Vets and new young talent. Some good breaks and we are there.

Currently in VA. Deity with family and friends on Satellite Beach. Reel nice place to see Shuttles, well, use to be. deity loves to travel into FLL, grab a rental and have a reel nice time with family, friends and football!

From VA, drive to Charlotte, have a nice time at the Club, very nice girls. Hop on a direct plane from CLT to FLL. Get off plane about 75 minutes later to sunny South Florida! Flights have deity awful nervous today though. deity would not like to disappear or be shot down.

Also prefer the late OCT-DEC dates. Gets cold up here. In a few hours deity can go from 0-50 degrees to 90s! deity likes real hot weather. No A/C be a man, sweat it out.

Lazor will improve this team bigtime week to week.

His playcalling in todays practice shows he will open it up and keep defenses honest and then strike.


The more the offense keeps the ball and puts up points, the more the run D and pass rush has more umph to get there to make big D plays.

Lots of upside from 1st/2nd year players who did not contribute much last year.

To me it comes down to a couple things.

1. Tannehill. Got to get to 4500 60% plus and 25 Td's
2. OL and young ones. I think RT will be fine but bakup LT concerns me. Complete unknown so far. Like Colledge in the mix.
3. Big strike plays not just from Wallace but others as well. Love our depth at WR. Healthy Binns will be huge.

not sure why so many pundits are expecting the Fins to be among the worst teams in the league.....several have them ranked literally in the bottom 2-3 of the league.....dont get it--they had several high quality wins last year, went through ridiculous turmoil with the Martin situation which led to laughable Oline issues, had a lousy unimaginative OC, a disappointing D line and defense in general, got no help from their draft class....and still finished 8-8--how all of a sudden are they considered a 4-5 win team?

The link is still up from my screen HOME. Even though you like to be REEL hard on Tannehill and sometimes like to be a REEL big Jests and Cheatriots fan. And can be a REEL big pain in the arse, deity is glad that you are excited and enjoying the team he loves!

GO DOLPHINS!

The NFL is very hard to predict. The teams with the top 5-10 QBs are usually the best ones. there are 22-27 other teams though. And everyone except the bottom 5 or so, fight for the rest. So about half the league fight for a few spots.

quicky camp post!!!

I love dawn I love dawn I love dawn I really really love dawn

Cheese n rice... Phin hating Armando still writes this column? Where's the improvement, Herald? Love howyou selectively leave out details against the other teams and for Miami.

"So where does this leave the Dolphins?" #31 of 32 teams! Isn't that what proffotball.com said?
I mean, when you think about it, what did they really do this off season to greatly improve the team? The Albert deal was it! If Moreno was really that good, would the Boncos have let him go? Now Pouncey out, Jordan suspended, Misi hurt... its the same old stinking team, or worst.

Sucks that the Dolphins will be without Pouncey and Jordan in week 1. If they can find a way to win that game, I think the Dolphins win the division.

The Cheatriots are old and fragile. The Jets suck. The Bills don't have a QB. This is the year Tannehill's window opens. If they get some breaks, I expect the Dolphins to win the division.

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