I like virtually all the things the Dolphins have performed on this early a part of the offseason.
The blockbuster acquisitions of defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and All Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey are seismic actions. The Dolphins, led by common supervisor Chris Grier and coach Mike McDaniel, scored in a serious approach with each of these strikes.
I’m not, nevertheless, a giant fan of a few the Dolphins’ different offseason actions by means of this primary week of free company, particularly at backup quarterback and operating again.
Still, proper now, you’d should say the Dolphins’ offseason has been a rousing success.
Much extra work stays, most notably at offensive line.
But the beginning lineups on each side of the ball are practically full save for maybe left guard, proper deal with, one of many two security positions, and punter, the place they’re reportedly internet hosting New England All Pro Jake Bailey.
For essentially the most half, the remainder of the offseason is about accumulating high quality depth.
And that brings us to quarterback.
I like Mike White, the backup quarterback and native child (he attended University School). White is a gutty man who performed with damaged ribs final season for the New York Jets.
I don’t like the very fact the Dolphins’ quarterback room has little or no expertise, particularly on the subject of December victories.
Starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa stays comparatively inexperienced. And now there’s no important expertise in that quarterback room with White and Skylar Thompson, final 12 months’s seventh-round decide, serving as backups. It’s powerful to suppose both is ready to information a group with Super Bowl expectations.
OK, now that we’re off and operating, right here’s my view of the Dolphins’ offseason by means of the primary few days of free company.
Dolphins followers ought to be pumped about 2023. The outlook is shiny. The Dolphins made the playoffs final 12 months, and so they’re aiming increased this 12 months. Getting Fangio and Ramsey is sufficient to excite the fanbase, locker room, entrance workplace and training workers whereas placing all the league on alert that the Dolphins plan to win now.
But let’s be goal and acknowledge extra work should be performed earlier than the Dolphins can contemplate themselves Super Bowl contenders. Don’t freeze the season at 8-3 when evaluating the 2022 Dolphins. Look on the complete image.
Yes, they made the playoffs. But they have been 9-8, misplaced six of their final seven video games, have been winless in December, struggled to attain late within the season, and had a 2-5 report towards playoff groups. Also recall each Tagovailoa and McDaniel struggled in December. And recall the Dolphins relied an excessive amount of on large performs final season whereas failing to do the required down-to-down grunt work. They have been twenty fourth on third-down conversions on offense and protection. Keep that in thoughts.
The protection seems as if it’ll be extra workmanlike and presumably in a position to get off the sector on third down. The offense, effectively, we’ll see.
Also understand that historically solely about half of free agent acquisitions prove as hoped.
But, once more, the outlook for 2023 is shiny.
The Dolphins had a profitable season in 2022. No doubt. This offseason is about taking large steps, large and small, towards constructing on that success, and up to now that appears to be taking place.
Offensively, the Dolphins may finally find yourself being higher on paper, however at this early level of the offseason there’s an equal probability they’ve taken a step backward. But don’t fear. There’s nonetheless time for additions.
The Dolphins re-signed operating backs Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson, Jr., Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed, signed White, re-signed reserve tackles Kendall Lamm and Geron Christian, signed tight finish Eric Saubert, signed guard/middle Dan Feeney, have been awarded large receiver Freddie Swain, re-signed large receiver River Cracraft, and plan on signing large receiver/return man Braxton Berrios, the previous New York Jets and University of Miami participant.
But the offense misplaced expertise with the departure of reserve quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, and misplaced expertise and expertise with the departure of tight finish Mike Gesicki. And the offensive line has the identical issues as final season, and you can say the issues are barely extra dire as a result of Pro Bowl left deal with Terron Armstead, who has missed a mean of 5.5 video games as a result of varied accidents the final six seasons, is a 12 months older.
I’d have most popular an improve at operating again. Granted, the market was costly however the quarterbacks and the offense might each use the assistance. With the highest 4 operating backs from final season returning, enchancment largely rests with scheme and play-calling.
Offensive line wants beginning competitors for proper deal with Austin Jackson, who protects Tagovailoa’s blind aspect, and beginning competitors for left guard Liam Eichenberg. The line additionally wants a dependable backup left deal with.
Most of the development on this aspect of the ball rests with McDaniel and Tagovailoa as a result of the Dolphins are bringing again most of the identical high gamers.
Fangio and Ramsey are title-contending acquisitions.
At this level it seems the Dolphins have made caring for the protection their high precedence. They obtained Ramsey, inside linebacker David Long, security DeShon Elliott, re-signed reserve linebacker Duke Riley, re-signed cornerback Nik Needham, and launched cornerback Byron Jones.
Defensively, the Dolphins are higher. Whether it’s including starters or reserves, this protection has improved up to now.
Losing linebacker Elandon Roberts, a group captain and the main tackler, will damage. Releasing Jones gained’t damage as a result of he didn’t play final season.
But the Fangio addition is the most important transfer. Even with out Ramsey, the protection can be considerably improved as a result of it added Fangio.
It ought to now be able to attacking from the entrance or the again. It ought to be able to getting sacks, stopping the run, shutting down large receivers and getting off the sector on third down. And with Fangio, you can argue the protection has higher teaching than the offense.
In truth, the protection has a lot expertise amongst its coordinator, starters and high reserves you can argue it could possibly be higher than the offense. Think about that for a second.
That’ll let you know the way a lot success the Dolphins have had at this level of the offseason.