The Miami Dolphins are this season’s focus on HBO’s “Hard Knocks”. If you’re not watching this show, I don’t know what to say. It’s riveting television and the fact that Chad (Ochocinco) Johnson is on the show for a second time, makes it that much better. I predicted he would sign with the Dolphins, if only to be on the show again.
[UPDATED] Chad Johnson was released by the Miami Dolphins due to a domestic violence arrest. I’m sure this will be covered in the next episode of “Hard Knocks”.
After the television show, there’s a good chance the public will forget about the Dolphins. The quarterback situation is messy, Reggie Bush wants to be the every-down, feature back and the Dolphins lack a dependable veteran receiver.
When will the Dolphins hand over the starting quarterback job to rookie Ryan Tannehill? Can they hang with the rest of the AFC East?
Key Additions: QB David Garrard, QB Ryan Tannehill, LB E.J. Henderson, WR Legedu Naanee, OG Eric Steinbach, CB Richard Marshall, RB Lamar Miller, WR B.J. Cunningham, OT Jonathan Martin, DE Olivier Vernon, TE Michael Egnew, LB Josh Kaddu, LB Jamaal Westerman, S Tyrell Johnson and LB Gary Guyton.
Key Losses: WR Brandon Marshall, QB Chad Henne, RB Lex Hilliard, CB Will Allen, DE Kendall Langford, DE Phillip Merling and LB Marvin Mitchell.
Non-Division Schedule: AFC South and NFC West
Fantasy Sleeper: WR B.J. Cunningham – It isn’t known if Ryan Tannehill will start the season as the starting quarterback or have either Matt Moore or David Garrard keep the position warm. When you glance at the wide receivers on the Dolphins roster, you have to Google most of them. Davone Bess and Brian Hartline are the only receivers left who contributed in 2011. They added Legedu Naanee and Chad Johnson in the off-season and he will be a factor in the passing attack. B.J. Cunningham had a prolific career at Michigan State and has an NFL body. He has great hands and the size to jump for balls if Tannehill has trouble with his accuracy early in his career.
Team Analysis: If Miami loses its first couple games, I look for Tannehill to be named the starter. I don’t see him having the spot right out of training camp, but anything is possible. Lamar Miller should be in a position to help Reggie Bush carry the ball. Bush is a pass-catching threat out of the backfield. The Dolphins should utilize that aspect of his game more and let Miller, or someone else, run the ball. Miami won’t miss Brandon Marshall much because they didn’t have much of a passing attack last season. The receiving corps is what it is. The strongest facet of the team is their run defense/pass rush. Cameron Wake came into his own last season as the leader of the defense. Yeremiah Bell, Kevin Burnett and Karlos Dansby had amazing years as well. Vontae Davis has all the tools to be a shutdown corner, but as you have seen on “Hard Knocks”, he can be lazy at times. 2012 looks to be a rebuilding year for Miami. Philbon is going to make that offense click at some point, but I don’t see it this year. They could surprise me and end the season at .500, but that is the absolute best-case scenario.
2012 Wins Over/Under Line: 7.5 (Prediction: UNDER)
2012 Projected Win/Loss Record: 3-13