Miami Dolphins June Scouting Report
Jimmy The Finger
Not a whole lot happening down here in Dolphin Land these days. Some stories emerged from OTAs, but nothing of any consequence. Hopes and fascinating theories. Easy enough to say at this point of the year. Like Mike Tyson always said: "Everyone has a plan. Then they get hit in the mouth."
Probably the biggest sub-plot is extending WR Jarvis Landry. Miami’s spent the whole off-season locking up the team’s key components, so it’s inconceivable they won’t pay Landry. Reports say the two parties haven’t been talking. I find that rather hard to believe. On the other hand, being a Fins Fan, there’s been a lot of stuff over recent memory which has been hard to believe. (i.e. your QB’s been sacked more than any other QB in the League through the last five seasons, so you Draft a total of one Offensive Lineman every year)
Aside from that there’s been stories about what a great year WR DeVante Parker should have, how TE Julius Thomas could be good for 10-12 TDs. This is exactly the kind of stuff you hear through OTAs. Free Agency and the NFL Draft are over. Training Camp and Fantasy Drafts are a couple months away. Fantasy Footballers are desperate, Jonesing, pouncing upon and clinging to news items local beat reporters release into the ethernet. All these teams got beat reporters, go out to practice every day, gotta come back with a story to file, otherwise they starve to death. Some of these little theories materialize, others are pure hypothesis. Telling the difference, believing the right story, often luck of the draw, could make or break your Fantasy Season.
Back to Fins, long as I’m ragging Offensive Line, latest reports on C Mike Pouncey kinda dicey. This is turning into excruciating soap opera. One reason I keep circling back to my whole thing about only Drafting one guy each year for the O-Line. A little depth up front might come in handy right about now. But Miami’s modus operandi last few years has been to sign a couple journeyman re-treads, draft one guy. This Draft they didn’t even get one of the higher rated prospects, selecting OG Isaac Asiata in the Fourth Round, then taking fliers in the 5th and 6th on Defensive Tackles. Well, at least it was a Guard. We were wondering if the Dolphin Front Office were aware this position existed, obviously believing the Defensive Line a higher priority. We frankly hope they are correct. Unfortunately, most Fins Fans got eyes in their head, saw what RB Jay Ajayi could do when his starting O-Line was intact. We can only wonder what Miami’s executives were watching. They cut to shots during the game, Owner Stephen Ross and team GM and Prez sitting in a luxury box, looking at a little TV. Think it must be Roadrunner cartoons. Find it hard to believe they’re watching same games we are. ("Gee…" says Stephen Ross, "doesn’t it seem like our Quarterback is getting out from under a pile of Defensive Linemen quite a bit?") Wouldn’t be so bad, but somebody goes down the guy they plug in is usually terrible. Coaches made a big thing last Season, cutting Billy Turner and Dallas Thomas when they sucked so bad on Instant Replay, but they carried these guys on the Roster, stuck them in the game, did not do anything to compensate for their deficiencies, begs the question if they were that bad – why didn’t anybody know?
In addition, lest we forget, if you run the ball, keep the other team’s Offense off the field, you need a Defensive Line all that much less. Fins Fans know this. It’s only A FREAKING DOLPHIN LEGACY! And once again we return to the proverbial $64,000 Question – why doesn’t the Miami Front Office know this?
Once again, I find myself the madman raving in the wilderness. After making the Playoffs last Season, expectations are supposedly high for the team. At least that’s the corporate line filtered through the mainstream media. Fins Fans ain’t drinking the Kool Aid yet. After the last couple of decades our bar is low. We’d like not to eat shit from Bills and Jets fans, especially in our Home stadium, and see Tom Brady horizontal as many times and for the longest time as possible. Give us that you want have to spend all that money marketing in New York, Boston and Buffalo to sell tickets at Joe Robbie Stadium.
Fantasy-wise we don’t see a whole bunch of difference in our projections for this year over the team’s performance from last Season. The much maligned (especially by me) QB Ryan Tannehill had a pretty good year, showing what he might be capable of if you could keep him upright. He threw some great deep balls, WR Kenny Stills, after dropping a 60-yard TD bomb, hit him right in the hands, could’ve won the opener versus the Seahawks, posted a career Season and got paid for it. Might fall a little short of those numbers in 2017. Ultimately Miami spreads the ball around.
The signing to TE Julius Thomas is a big consideration here. Obviously a talented receiver who posted great stats under Adam Gase in Denver. He could siphon yards and TDs away from Stills and Jarvis Landry, as could any increase in production from DeVante Parker. In my experience, when it comes to Tight Ends, much depends on the Quarterback. Some QBs got to their TEs, others don’t. Simple as that. Thus far in his NFL career, Ryan Tannehill hasn’t shown a great propensity to look to his Tight Ends. On the other hand, he’s never had one who’s as good a receiver as Julius Thomas, with plays designed to go to him by Adam Gase. Are you confused enough yet? My point exactly. This is a big question mark.
As for RB Jay Ajayi, he showed what he could do last Season, but his performance this year could be tied to the health and welfare of his O-Line.
Suppose in the end Fins Fans are happy enough to be discussing how good the team will be, instead of how bad. As I said before, just beat the Jets and Bills, lay Tom Brady out, we’ll be happy enough.
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