Coming this Sunday, September 11th, welcome to the new and improved Finatics website! We hope you like it!
This has been a crazy off-season. New head coach, new and improved stadium. I like the new Hard Rock name, but wouldn't it be great if someday we can call this the "Gase Place" ? The new stadium with the roof on top seems to compress the crowd, the upper deck doesn't look so far away, and although the preseason game attendance was pretty sparse, you could still detect a rise in the noise level that the crowd will generate. It's a great place to watch football again, and thanks to Mr. Ross and the Dolphins for the upgrade.
But did the team get the same upgrade? Looking at the depth chart, its more of refinement rather than upgrade. On the offense side, we are committed to Ryan Tannehill, and this year with his ability to audible we should see more improvement. At running back, the man we placed on IR for the Texans last year in our own stadium is back with the starting job, replacing Lamar Miller who is now with the Texans. I look forward to watching the stats on both players to see who came away with the best player. Arian Foster was a beast in his first few years, and I hope that his rehab is solid and durability will be a key. I think that the Dolphins are going with insurance by keeping 4 backs on the roster behind him. I am also anxious to see Kenyan Drake healthy and on the field.
At wide receiver, we have Jarvis (the Juice) Landry, Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker as the starters. Landry and Stills are certainly proven, but Parker needs confidence and (dare I say) courage to cross that middle and take the hit. I think we will see it, but I am reminded of Chris Chambers many years ago when he took that hit in Denver and was never the same player. Some players rise up, others simply see their mortality and try to survive. Parker looks to be out this week with a hamstring.
The drafting of Laremy Tunsil was a great pick for the Dolphins and we are already seeing the change in the Offensive line. As Captain Obvious might say, this is where the success of the team begins.
On the defense side, what more can you ask for with the Mount "RushNoMore" quartet of Suh, Wake, Mitchell and new addition veteran Mario Williams.This defense overall looks scrappy, and although the preseason showed some weak spots I like our new Defensive Coordinator Vance Joseph and think he will get the linebackers and secondary on track.
So that is all that we need to know. Despite a brutal schedule to start this year, we are catching the Patriots without Brady in Game Two and stack up 5 out of 6 home games from mid-September though the start of November.
For those looking at the 10.5 point underdog spread this Sunday, fear not.....Dolphins are 3-0 in regular-season openers since 2013, and two of those wins came on the road. But this is Seattle, winner of their last 7 home openers, home of the 12th man, and it will be a bitch to get a victory this Sunday. Seattle has not allowed a 100-yard rusher in 22 games. Do you believe in miracles?
Anyway, this season should be fun to watch, and the wait is over. Go Dolphins! Let's get mean in 2016!
And on September 11th, never forget.