Up the Creek Without a Paddle: A Miami Dolphins Tale

Sam LSenior Analyst ISeptember 30, 2007

IconThe Miami Dolphins are completely lost.

The franchise is in a state of absolute darkness.  Actually, there’s a slight red glow to be seen—but that’s just from the crimson cheeks of embarrassed fans.

The NFL season is a quarter of the way finished, and Miami sits at 0-4—without having put forth anything resembling a full team effort yet.

Or maybe the team is playing at full effort, and these godawful results are the heights of their abilities.

I can count on one hand the number of Dolphins who have performed admirably this season:

1. Zach Thomas (and he’s missed two games with a concussion)

2. Ronnie Brown

3. Chris Chambers

4. Jay Feely

That’s it.  Four guys, one of whom is a kicker—and even they have been inconsistent (other than Feely—7/7 on field goals, oh yeah!).

There are a handful of other guys who have been mediocre.

The rest?


Miami’s defense was outstanding last season.  This year, they're being mauled worse than Roy Horn in the presence of a white tiger.

I never thought the degradation process could happen so abruptly.

Jason Taylor is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year.  This season, he’s recording more penalties than tackles.

Thomas is rightly being held on the sidelines while he recovers from a concussion.  Will this latest head injury make him question his continued emotional and physical sacrifices for a wholly undeserving organization?

Everyone knew the day was coming, but who's going to replace Thomas and Taylor after they decide to hang up their cleats?  Whoever it is, I’m pretty sure they aren’t on the team right now.

To put it simply, the days of a dominating Dolphins defense are done. Over. And out.

On the other hand, the offense has been improving.  Just not enough to actually, you know, win games.

I didn’t have a problem with Cam Cameron choosing his quarterback.  Every new coach should have that opportunity.  However, I was very displeased with the price Miami paid for Trent Green.

Green, as you all may know, is 37 years old, and thus not in any team’s long-term plans.  He's a bridge to John Beck and nothing more.

During the offseason, it was clear that Kansas City would release Trent eventually.  However, Cameron was too impatient to wait, and chose to ship the Chiefs what will most likely become a fourth-round pick in the draft.

Now, having seen four games, my question is this:  How much did it actually help having Trent in Miami a month early?

Whatever was gained by his early presence pales in comparison to what the Dolphins gave away.

As it stands the defense is in a freefall and the offense is making baby steps.  The O won’t have a chance to shine until John Beck is anointed the starter and the young line finds cohesion.

That won’t be happening for several years.

This leaves the franchise in a situation unlike any I've ever seen.  Neither its offense nor its defense can be called dominant...or even very good.

Neither unit is strong enough to carry the other, and the special teams are hurting more than they're helping.

This is a new, precarious era in Miami.  There's no telling how, when, or if things will start to turn around.

But fear not Dolphins, for I'm no fair-weather fan.  I'll continue to devote far too much emotion and time to you, even as you continually let me down.

I just wish I could lend you a flashlight so that you might find your way out of this abyss.


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