Monday, November 1, 2010

Dolphins Mid-Season Awards

November 1, 2010

So we have just about reached the midway point in the 2010 NFL season. In a bizarre fashion, the Miami Dolphins have managed to post a 4-3 record, losing every game at home and winning every game on the road. Nonetheless, the Fins are still in the mix to contend for the playoffs. With that said, we would like to present the unofficial 2010 Dolphins Mid-Season Awards:

Most Improved Player: Vontae Davis, CB

While Davis was never a poor defender, his level of play has clearly elevated to a near-elite status this season. As a rookie, Davis was picked on by opposing QBs and provided mixed results on the field. Vontae recorded 51 tackles, 11 deflected passes, four interceptions and one defensive TD in 2009. Through seven games this season, Davis already has 20 tackles, five deflected passes and one interception. But stats don't do justice in proving that Davis has significantly improved. Against teams with formidable QBs, Davis has excelled in coverage and provided lockdown defense in the secondary. At this rate, the Dolphins may find themselves with a shutdown corner in number 21.

Most Impressive Rookie: Koa Misi, LB

Drafted in the second round out of Utah, Misi entered the Dolphins in a somewhat silent fashion, without the flash of a big name school and a reserved personality. This gave way for Misi to avoid excessive media and fan attention and focus on translating his skills to the pro level. And that's just what he has done thus far. Koa has logged 15 tackles and 3.5 sacks in limited minutes. However, what makes him the most impressive rookie is his knack for being in the middle of crucial third down plays and around loose balls whenever the Dolphins force fumbles. As long as he continues to provide solid tackles, active pursuits and force the timely turnover, Misi will be the perfect fit for Miami's LB needs.

Most Disappointing Player: Ronnie Brown, RB

Coming into 2010, the Dolphins were looked at as a run-first team with a two-headed monster led by Ronnie Brown and followed by Ricky Williams. Unfortunately, that expectation has fallen way short of reality. Miami went from being a top 5 running team last season to 16th ranked running team this year. Brown's longest run this season came in week two with a 51-yard run in Minnesota, since then he has broken loose for only one run above 15 yards. His yards per carry is at a decent 4.1, but his 53 yards per game average is abysmal. Whether this is a result of a lingering foot injury or just a stagnant approach to the running game, the reality is that the Dolphins' offense is suffering from Brown's lack of productivity. All the passing weapons in the world can only do so much on a team that is one-dimensional on offense and has a poor running game.

Defensive MVP: Cameron Wake, DE

There's no doubt that Wake has been the source of Miami's defensive disruption and has applied the greatest pressure on opposing offenses. In many cases, Miami's interceptions and forced fumbles originate from Wake's presence. Cameron has already eclipsed his numbers from a year ago with 23 tackles (equal to 2009 total) and 6.5 sacks (one more than 2009 total). The only reason why he didn't earn the most improved player award too was because of his increase in minutes. That is, Wake was creating havoc in a similar fashion last season but with greatly reduced minutes on the field. Now that he's a starter, the freak has truly been unleashed, whereas it was under a tight muzzle in '09.

Offensive MVP: Davone Bess, WR

Brandon Marshall may have been the biggest offensive acquisition for the Dolphins (or any team for that matter), but his use has fluctuated from game to game. The only constant in Miami's offense (after week two at least) has been Davone Bess. With three TDs in the last five games, Bess is becoming familiar with the end zone on a team has struggled to find it all season long (11 total TDs). What makes Bess the most valuable offensive player is his third-down efficiency and very low drop rate. He may not possess the physical stature and pose as large a threat as Marshall, but he's been stellar with the abilities he does possess. Where he was once labeled "The Poor Man's Wes Welker," it seems like  Bess is turning the tables and will soon force the tag of "The Poor Man's Davone Bess" on Welker.

Consolation Award:

Mr. Put Up or Shut Up: Dan Henning, Offensive Coordinator

Mr. Henning has been at the center of most Dol-fans' disappointment with the team this season. Mike Nolan has made effective use of the pieces he has on defense, while Henning has been hesitant to utilize the resources he harnesses on the other end. Whether it's restricting Chad Henne's arm, going to the run game in untimely situations or calling questionable plays on crucial drives, Henning has not capitalized with the weapons he holds. Historically known for orchestrating great passing offenses, Henning has shied away from the air attack and resorted to a lackluster ground game. Midway through the season, Henning has an opportunity to change things around. To his credit, Henning has already phased out an unproductive wildcat formation, showing an ability to adjust. But now it's time to put up or shut up if he hopes to take Miami to the next level and make them playoff contenders.

No comments:

Image Disclaimer

The photos used on this site are not the property of Miami Sports Generation, unless otherwise defined by our logo. The rightful owners of these photos deserve all the credit for their work.