Sunday, September 30, 2007

State of the Franchise

The Miami Dolphins are completely lost.

There’s not a map or a compass that can lead them painlessly out of this dilemma.

The franchise is in a state of absolute darkness. Actually, there’s a slight red glow emanating – but that’s just from the crimson cheeks of embarrassment.

The season is a quarter of the way finished, and Miami sits at 0-4, without having put forth anything resembling a full team effort yet. Or, maybe the team is playing at full effort, and these god-awful results are the heights of their abilities.

I can count on one hand the number of players on this team who have performed admirably this season:

  1. Zach Thomas (and he’s missed two games with a concussion)
  2. Ronnie Brown
  3. Chris Chambers
  4. Jay Feely

That’s it. Four guys, one of whom is a kicker – and even they have been inconsistent (other than Feely. 7/7 on field goals, oh yeah!!). There are a handful of other guys who have been mediocre. The rest? Appalling.

Miami’s defense was outstanding last season. This year, they have officially rammed into a brick wall and are being mauled worse than Roy Horn in the presence of a white tiger. I never thought that the degradation process would happen so abruptly. Jason Taylor is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year. This season, he’s recording more penalties than tackles.

Zach Thomas is rightly being held on the sidelines while he recovers from a concussion. Will this latest head injury make him question his continued emotional and physical sacrifices for this wholly undeserving organization? Everyone knew the day was coming, but who is going to replace Thomas and Taylor after they decide to hang up their cleats? Whoever that may turn out to be, I’m pretty sure they aren’t on the team right now.

To put it simply, the days of a dominating Dolphins defense are done. Over. And out.

On the other hand, the offense has been improving. Just not enough to actually, you know, win games.

I didn’t have a problem with Cam Cameron choosing his quarterback. Every new coach should have that opportunity. However, I was very displeased with the price Miami paid for Trent Green. Green, as you all may know, is 37 years old, and thus not in any team’s long-term plans. He is a bridge to John Beck and nothing more.

During the offseason, it was clear that Kansas City would release Trent eventually. However, Cameron was too impatient to wait for that release and chose to ship over what will most likely become a fourth-round pick in the draft. Now, having seen four games, my question is this: How much did it actually help having Trent in Miami a month early? Whatever was gained by his early presence pales in comparison to what the Dolphins gave away.

As the situation stands now, the defense is in a freefall and the offense is making baby steps toward improvement. The offense won’t have a chance to shine until John Beck is anointed the starter and the young offensive line finds cohesion. That won’t be happening for several years.

This leaves the franchise in a situation that I have never witnessed it in. Neither its offense nor its defense can be called dominant or even very good.

Neither unit is strong enough to carry the other, and the special teams are hurting more than they are helping.

This is a new, precarious era in Miami. There is no telling how, when, or if things will start to turn around.

But fear not Miami, for I am no fair-weather fan. I will continue to devote far too much emotion and time into you, even as you continually let me down. No matter how much you play the role of the horrible girlfriend, I’ll keep coming back for more punishment. I just wish I could lend you a flashlight so that you might find your way out of this abyss.

1 comment:

Joe Y said...

1) Have you forgotten how horrible our offense has been for many years now? How Ronnie Brown has been inefficiently used? How the OL has been a disaster? Well, this year, with very little upgrade..well, none, really: Losing R McMichael, shifting Vernon C to OT, rookie center, elderly QB, etc.,--the Offense is the strength of this team and Ronnie B is heading to the Pro Bowl. Cam did that; imagine Saban with the same personnel.

2) In regard to rookies. Let's give Ginn a chance. When he's gotten the ball, and somewhere to run with it, he's done very well, considering his rookie status. He catches the ball, and he shows more toughness than our receivers.

3) I was as upset as anyone with Cam's not running Ronnie enough, but after consideration, he's right. Why destroy the guy this season? With all that Cam's done with the offense with so little to work with (see above), we're a draft or two from a league-leading offense.

4) The defense blows; everyone got old in a hurry.

5) Finally, re: Cam. How's the SD offense doing without him? I would say that Cam has already proven himself the 2nd best coach in Miami history based on what he's done with the offense alone