The Miami sports world has gotten a lot of attention this summer, but the focus should be on the best South Beach team around: the Miami Dolphins. Sure, they aren’t the best team in the league, but they’re at least the classiest and most star-studded team in town (at least when it comes to their management, with the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Gloria Estefan, and Venus and Serena Williams as part-owners).
Two years ago, the Dolphin shocked the NFL by making the playoffs one year after winning only one game. Going into last season, a run like that was expected. Everyone was sadly disappointed when quarterback Chad Pennington got injured very early in the season and didn’t take another snap all year. That turned the reins over the second year back up Chad Henne. I think Henne surprised a lot of people with his poise and talents, but they still finished a disappointing 7-9.
They had a busy off-season though. They replaced so-so wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. with proven veteran Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall. They also lost superstar athlete Jason Taylor to the division rival New York Jets. With Henne for sure leading the way at quarterback (at least to start the season), Chad Pennington who is not quite 100%, is forced to fight for the number two role. Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown will once again be running the ball, so the offense has made some tweaks and now seem to have a solid team in place.
The defense is under new leadership this season, with defensive coordinator Mike Nolan coming over from the Broncos. They are much improved as well, with a wealth of young talent via the draft and through trades. The question mark should lie in the secondary, as the other teams in the AFC East have a tendency to throw the ball more often than not.
Overall, with the New England Patriots in their division, the Dolphins always have their work cut out for them. Also, the Jets looked very much like the 2008 Dolphins last year, surprising everyone with a strong run at the end of the season to almost make the Super Bowl. They promise to be one of the better teams in the league as well. The Dolphins have a very talented core group of players this season, and baring any serious injuries like they had last year, have a very good shot at making a run for the top of the division. This year could be the Dolphins best shot at a Super Bowl in a long time, and should be one of the more exciting teams to watch this season.