Sunday, August 25, 2013

2013 Miami Dolphins Season Preview

Offense: Ryan Tannehill made strides at quarterback in his rookie season, and will now have a new weapon on offense with the addition of wide receiver Mike Wallace. Both Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas figure to see time in the backfield for the 'Fins, but expect Miller to eventually beat out the plodding (and fumble-prone) Thomas to replace Reggie Bush as Miami's feature back. Along the line, the team has slid second-year tackle Jonathan Martin to the left side to replace the departed Jake Long, while Tyson Clabo was signed from Atlanta to start at right tackle.
Defense: Already one of the better front seven's in the game, Miami went out and brought in defensive end Dion Jordan (draft) and linebackers Philip Wheeler (Oakland) and Danell Ellerbe (Baltimore). Jeff Ireland was also busy working on the secondary, as the team brought in cornerbacks Brent Grimes and Dimitri Patterson to improve a secondary which gave up almost 4,000 yards through the air and only recorded 10 interceptions on the year.
Impact Free Agent: Wide receiver Mike Wallace. The Dolphins lacked a true vertical threat last season, and Wallace definitely brings that element. Averaging 17.2 yards per catch in his career, Wallace will have had a full offseason with his new team, and should return to form in 2013.
Impact Rookie: Defensive end Dion Jordan. The third overall selection in the draft, Jordan is far from a finished product on the field. The good news for Dolphins' fans is that he has the athleticism to make an impact as a pass rusher right away. As he adds more muscle to his 6'6", 248-pound frame, he could develop into another great edge rusher like teammate Cameron Wake.
Player to Watch: Linebacker Danell Ellerbe. The Dolphins paid a lot of money to take over the starting middle linebacker spot. While he had a very nice season filling in for Ray Lewis in Baltimore in 2012, the pressure will be on to duplicate his performance this season. The Dolphins already had a front seven, so Ellerbe should have no problem fitting in with this unit.
Record: 9-7 (2nd in AFC East)

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