After every loss, we Dolphin fans begin to feel like the Balloon Boy hiding in the basement as the season floats away - waiting for the embarrassing spectacle to cease. Like little Falcon Heene, some might vomit in disgust. Twice.
On national television—all over one of Stephen Ross's newest celebrity owners. However, It is important to remember that nothing is ever as bad as it seems after a loss. And nothing is ever as good as it seems after a win.
The truth is, this team wasn't designed to make a huge playoff push this season. Yes, we all had high hopes coming off one of the best turnaround seasons in NFL history, but the original plan did not include a Super Bowl run this soon after the mess that was inherited.
The original plan consisted of earning the title of "Contender" in 2010, not 2009. From much of what the team has displayed this season, it surely feels like they are on the way to accomplishing just that.
As evidenced by the losses this season, the Dolphins are not yet ready to hang with the elite. However, they are pretty damn close. A few Ted Ginn bobbled non-catches close. When you examine the tape, the 2-4 Dolphins were probably the most difficult wins for two currently undefeated teams.
Remember, Bill Parcells even mentioned during the offseason that the 2009 Dolphins would be better than 2008's squad, but would likely have a worse record. I think we all braced ourselves for that reality prior to the season, but of course, with every win and loss our perspective of expectations change. In all likelihood, this is a 7-9, 8-8 or 9-7 team with the schedule that they were handed.
However, all is not lost for this season. If the Dolphins manage to win the next two games—gargantuan divisional games—they have a real good shot at the playoffs. Even if they do get in, don't expect much. This team isn't ready yet.
Thank you Captain Obvious!
Good news? The plan is being fulfilled. Most of the major pieces that were needed during the post-Cameron overhaul of the Dolphins have been filled, and with a year of seasoning, they should be in prime position for a dominant season in 2010.
There are only a few pieces that need to be added in order for this to be accomplished, and most are glaringly obvious.
- A starting wide receiver (that has hands, or some appendages capable of holding onto an oval object).
- A safety (that can tackleand not get abused by tight ends).
- A pass catching TE (that doesn't fumble incessantly).
- An inside linebacker (that can actually touch the football once in his lifetime and that can cover a tight end).
- A nose tackle (to take over for Big Ferg).
Other than those positions listed above, only depth is truly needed to complete the team. With a very deep draft, this list can quite easily be fulfilled.
Even without the upgrades, there should be some addition by subtraction. You must consider that a Dolphins team without Ted Ginn on the roster is good for at least two more wins a year.
So, Dolphin fans, before you try to run the best thing to happen to this franchise since Shula out of town, please consider the plan and take note of the positive direction the team is taking toward fulfilling the plan.
As for this season?
SWEEP THE JETS!
And enjoy the ride...