This week, the 32 teams around the National Football League are preparing for a long summer of conditioning, weight training, and team activities. But for the Miami Dolphins, it’s all business until the start of the 2014 season.
Ever since the end of the 2013 season, when the playoff hopes for the Dolphins were taken from them by the Rex Ryan-led New York Jets, there seemed to be a dark cloud hovering over the Dolphins front office as they move forward from yet another “let down” season and continue to recover from the NFL investigation of the Richie Incognito-Johnathan Martin scandal.
If you ask any die hard “Dol-Fan” out there what they thought was the biggest problem that the team had to address during the offseason, everyone, young and old, big and small, would say “Get rid of GM Jeff Ireland!” All of south Florida considered Ireland as the “cancer” of the team. Most, if not all of his decisions were steering the franchise into the wrong direction.
So when the franchise finally let Ireland go, they were looking to replace him with someone who would bring more knowledge and experience to the Dolphins organization. They found their man in former Tampa Bay Buccaneers GM Dennis Hickey who was given the job almost immediately after his interview. And since then, head coach Joe Philbin and new GM Dennis Hickey have been hard at work trying to give the much beloved south Florida team the spark that they have been looking for after a decade of disappointment.
There are many things that the Dolphins have to fix not only as an organization, but the need to upgrade their personnel since most of the problems were coming from the offensive side of the ball. The Dolphins finished in the bottom half of the league in just about every statistical category and are looking to find something that will get the offense going.
Third year quarterback Ryan Tannehill is looking to continue to grow as the leader of this young team. One of the moves that the team made to help jump start the offense was signing former Bronco running back Knowshon Moreno who finished the season over 1,000 yards. Moreno’s experience and veteran leadership is a good starting point for the Dolphins offense. From the defensive side, the signing of another key veteran, Cortland Finnegan, will bring depth and experience to a young secondary led by pro bowl corner Brent Grimes. With the NFL Draft right around the corner, the Dolphins are going to need to continue to upgrade the offense, and this could be accomplished by drafting guard/tackle Zach Martin from Notre Dame according to draft experts, but just like the NCAA’s March Madness, anything can happen in the draft.
So turning the focus back to OTA’s, the Dolphins need to work on bringing the winning attitude back to the Miami fan base. This is a very important offseason for Coach Philbin, since the results of the 2014 season will determine if he will be around for 2015.