Monday, April 26, 2010

Bust, Bust, Hit: Third Season's a Charm?

April 26, 2010

It's time to be frank and honest. The Trifecta has not succeeded in improving the Miami Dolphins roster through free agency and trades. Their greatest success has come via the draft, which is a time-consuming means of bolstering a team. Nonetheless, the Dolphins have posted a 18-14 record under Bill Parcells and Company in their first two seasons at the helm. Hence, the Dolphins have played well, but not well enough to contend.

In their most aggressive pursuit of talent yet, the Dolphins went out and traded for WR Brandon Marshall, signed LB Karlos Dansby and signed G Richie Incognito this offseason. By DolFans standards, it is an impressive gesture and commitment on behalf of the front office; something that has not been seen in the last decade.

But despite the impressions these moves have made on the Fins faithful, the work of these players have yet to be seen in a Dolphins uniform. After all, was it not S Gibril Wilson and CB Eric Green that were supposed to improve Miami's secondary unit? Was it not TE Ernest Wilford that was projected to elevate the Dolphins' passing game? And the list of poor and questionable free agent pick-ups and trades continue. Not to mention, C Jake Grove and G Justin Smiley have not fully proven themselves in Miami.

The question now is: Will this season's offseason moves change that trend? The Dolphins can only hope that Dansby excels as Miami's new defensive leader, Marshall continues his elite wide receiver play and Incognito can hold the line in the offensive trenches. Key word, hope.

However, the possibility of failing in their acquisitions seems much lower. For one thing, these players all have a proven track record of production beyond a single season. Dansby has posted in excess of 100 tackles in the last two seasons and has missed no more than two games per season. Marshall has averaged over 100 receptions and 1,000 reception yards in his past three seasons, including an outstanding 21-reception game in 2009. Incognito is a six-year veteran with a potential to play many more seasons at the ripe age of 26. Furthermore, these players were sought after by a plethora of teams, meaning they have something of significant value to offer.

With that said, it seems that this time around Miami has gotten things right. For their moves to backfire it will take an unforeseeable sequence of events. On paper and on film, the arrows are pointing in a positive direction. The administration's third season in power may just be their charm.

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Stay tuned for draft analysis once training camp begins. Predicting what each draftee will contribute to the team will be pointless prior to that, and will still be speculative without actual game experience being taken into account. At any rate, we'll keep you covered on the development on the Fins' newest members.    

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