Above, the scene on August 6th at my table at the Panera Bread in Hallandale Beach, FL, while sipping my Hazelnut coffee and munching on my Everything bagel. August 6, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.
The moment I spied this Miami Herald sports section with a cover photo showing Miami Dolphin QB Ryan Tannehill's poor footwork in throwing a pass -NOT properly planted, NOT properly using his hips to throw the ball, but instead, going with the sort of off-stride sidearm delivery you see from a shortstop moving to his right who fumbles the ball and who's then rushing a throw to try to catch a speedy runner at first- and then saw the a propos headline reading, "Critics pan Tannehill, Dolphins," I instantly knew this would be the photo that I used for my predictions for the 2013 Dolphins season.
Despite having a great arm, whether you call it a gun, a rifle or bazooka, last year Tannehill's consistently poor footwork (and plain awkwardness) and his failure to consistently follow through on his throws, led to far too many passes not being right where they need to be when his receivers were open, which is why I've chosen to use the photo at the top.
And since every fan and observer of the Dolphins has known that one of the big problems that has plagued their receiving corps for years has been their inability to create separation, when they DO have some separation, Tannehill needs to be MUCH MORE ACCURATE.
I saw far too many wasted opportunities last year in games when they were still competitive, but when you don't take advantage, those close games become two TD deficits.
Tannehill and the photo of him is the Dolphins in a nutshell from my vantage point -they have the obvious ability, but do they have the means and will to get noticeably better?
That's an open question.
— Krysta Bear (@KrystaBear95) September 2, 2013
It's great to hear he's showing improvement in practice, but late in a close game, will Tannehill revert back to bad habits?
Especially against a team whose defensive linemen consistently raises its hands at the line of scrimmage, as the Texans did so successfully last year, when Tannehill never adjusted, to the dismay of fans watching at home, who thought it seemed so obvious?
But instead of having Tannehill roll-out on some passes to break that pattern, they just kept doing the same thing that never worked, extending their record of futility against the Texans, a team they've never beaten in a regular season game, an embarrassing fact considering they were an expansion team.
And so, that idea about Tannehill from a month ago has become reality today on the blog as the Dolphins start their 47th season in Cleveland against a rapidly-improving Browns team -a team with a new offensive-minded head coach with U-M ties, Rob Chudzinski - that unlike the Dolphins in my opinion, have multiple playmakers on both sides of the ball.
#Dolphins extension for LB Koa Misi? A 4-year deal worth $17M with $9M guaranteed, per source. Largest for 2-down LB? If not, it's close.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 8, 2013
*My last post on the Dolphins was my August 25th one here titled, Happy Miami Dolphins Anniversary; For some, the Dolphins' glory is like faded photographs in an album, but to me, it is as fresh in my mind as anything else in my memory. I only wish the people running and coaching the team now cared as much as I and some others do, who know what it's like to see and appreciate a thing of beauty -perfection- up-close and personal; Sports Fan in Chief Obama Honors Champion 1972 Miami Dolphins at White House
To quote myself above:
99% of anyone you see or speak to who is 27 or younger has NEVER BEEN ALIVE when the Dolphins were playing in a Super Bowl game.Now that's some perspective that really says something profound.
For the Jets, that's people who are 44-years old or younger.
'When you look back, you don't want to think 'what else could I have done to make it to the Super Bowl.'' http://t.co/B7IKoruuC3
— NFL (@nfl) September 7, 2013
The road to the Vince Lombardi Trophy starts tonight. Who takes this home? http://t.co/ArdldtWxce
— Pro Football HOF (@ProFootballHOF) September 5, 2013
The Herald photo and the headline fit everything I knew and have seen -and what most honest and discerning Dolphin fans and I have NOT seen- during the off-season and the five preseason games, which this year, included the Hall of Fame game in Canton against the Cowboys, who will likely share many of the Dolphin problems this year, namely, unrealized and unrealistic expectations for big improvement.
As regular readers of the blog and those who know the powers of the NFL's East Coast/
Cowboys bias, being bad will NOT prevent the Cowboys from being on national TV more than they should and even more than some of the better teams.
That's just how the NFL rolls.
The Cowboys get on high-profile TV times because... well just because its what the NFL and madison Avenue have been doing by rote for years, so they do it by default, despite the facts that the Cowboys last won a playoff game when?
Based on looking at the Cowboys schedule, it looks to me like 7 of their 16 games will be nationally-televised games, par for the course of late.
Why do you suppose tonight's NBC game is the Giants vs. the Cowboys instead of the 49ers and Packers, even though there's more interest in the latter game and not the former?
The same reason the NFL doesn't, hypothetically, have a Giants at Oakland game as the second part of the ESPN Monday Night doubleheader to start the year off.
There is no equality among the NFL's 32 teams as far as the NFL's TV folks are concerned, there's merely the illusion of equality.
To think otherwise is to publicly declare yourself naive.
And so begins another year of irrelevance for the Miami Dolphins, to join all the ones that have come before the past 15 years.
Based on what I have seen, I think Jeff Fisher was right to turn down the Dolphins job last year and go with Rams, as in 2nd year of Joe Philbin head coaching experiment in Miami, it's entirely possible that lackadaisical Dolphins, poised for what I believe could be a yet another completely inconsequential season, may also be winless by their Bye in Week 6, and only 1-6 going into a nationally-televised Thursday night home game on Halloween Night against the offensive-minded Bengals that could well turn into rout in second-half.
With the Dolphins given an extra week to practice and play because of their Hall of Fame game and yet with little to show for that extra week in terms of Ryan Tannehill to Mike Wallace synergy in evidence, I am ready to say that I'm completely underwhelmed by almost every aspect of the team and its coaching staff I have observed, save their rookie kicker, Caleb Sturgis, who could well be their MVP if that tells you anything.
For me at least, it's been like watching kids playing on 75-pound Optimist teams: I see lots of players whom I've never heard of and who never seem to get better or learn from their mistakes -just repeat them in new and more frustrating ways.(Yes, like the Miami Herald and the City of Hallandale Beach and Broward County and...)
How many plays per games are their #1 and #2 draft picks of the past 5 years actually playing? It's embarrassing!
Who moves up to #3 in the entire draft to select someone -Dion Jordan- who, it was speculated, might not even play the season-opener?
1 SEP 8 1:00 PM EDT * AT BROWNS
2 SEP 15 1:00PM EDT * AT COLTS
3 SEP 22 4:05PM EDT ) FALCONS
4 SEP 30 8:40PM EDT + AT SAINTS
5 OCT 6 1:00PM EDT * RAVENS
7 OCT 20 1:00PM EDT * BILLS
8 OCT 27 1:00PM EDT * AT PATRIOTS
9 OCT 31 8:25PM EDT , BENGALS
10 NOV 11 8:40PM EST + AT BUCCANEERS
11 NOV 17 1:00PM EST * CHARGERS
12 NOV 24 1:00PM EST PANTHERS
13 DEC 1 1:00PM EST * AT JETS
14 DEC 8 1:00PM EST * AT STEELERS
15 DEC 15 1:00PM EST * PATRIOTS
16 DEC 22 1:00PM EST * AT BILLS
17 DEC 29 1:00PM EST * JETS
In the Historical Dept., I honestly think this Dolphins season may be the one where they travel west less than any regular season since I first started following them in 1970, as the farthest west they go is New Orleans. Weird.
SMYRNA, Tenn.--The RV, next to Uncle Bud's Catfish Shack. pic.twitter.com/wy6OWrXCJk
— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) August 8, 2013
Postcards from training camp: Miami Dolphins Source:SI The MMQB editor-in-chief Peter King discusses the loss of tight end Dustin Keller and the role rookie Dion Jordan is expected to play for the Dolphin's defense.
Veteran Sports Illustrated writer and frequent Dan Patrick Show guest Peter King sees them as a 6-10 team, while CBS Sports/nfl.com writer Pat Kirwan sees the Dolphins as slightly better at 7-9.
My friends, I think in mid-November, we'll all be thinking that a 7-9 record would be nothing short of a small miracle, with 5-11 my actual prediction, but 4-12 a real strong possibility, too.
Peter King @SI_PeterKing https://twitter.com/SI_PeterKing
There's still room for big improvement, but I can't help but wonder if a terrible start -as I expect- will tap the emotional resolve of many of the younger players who seem not quite as intense as players and teams of the past.
Yes, consistently inconsistent effort and serial under-performance in the clutch have been the hallmark of the Dolphins since I returned to South Florida almost ten years ago from the Washington D.C. area, where I probably saw about 70% of their games.
I'm not a big believer in cautious optimism for NFL football teams, because at this level, with teams so even, I believe there has to be something that your team does well consistently that you can draw strength from when you get behind against better-quality teams.
Unfortunately for the Dolphins, I see that being their kicking game.
That's why, unfortunately, a record of 5-11 sounds pretty accurate to me.
That's why, unfortunately, a record of 5-11 sounds pretty accurate to me.
'GameDay': 2013 Bold Predictions
Published: Sept. 4, 2013 at 11:25 p.m
Who will hold the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the season? Globe staff predictions: http://t.co/QRgeDK1W5N
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) September 7, 2013
Staff report, USA TODAY Sports
TheDanPatrickShow YouTube Channel video: Peter King on the Dan Patrick Show 9/3/13. Peter's Super Bowl prediction is Seattle vs. New England. Uploaded September 6, 2013. http://youtu.be/ayQPoUyVkU4
TheDanPatrickShow YouTube Channel video: Dan's Super Bowl Picks 9/4/13.
Dan's prediction is Denver Broncos over Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on February 2nd in Super Bowl XLVIII, which everyone I know -plus me-hopes is a snowstorm. Uploaded September 4, 2013. http://youtu.be/ziuas6ZKKeU
TheDanPatrickShow YouTube Channel video: Rich Eisen on the Dan Patrick Show 9/6/13. Uploaded September 6, 2013. http://youtu.be/zFDuJJW9_zI
Sunday is almost back to normal! #BackToFootball #AZvsSTL pic.twitter.com/l2OA8TdZsB
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) September 8, 2013