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With the NFL pre-season just a month away we start looking at NFL rosters. This is not so much a season preview per say but instead a look at what each team has done over the off season. Today we look at the Miami Dolphins.
The Dolphins and first year coach Adam Gase exceeded expectations last year making the playoffs, even though they were blown out by the Steelers with their starting QB hurting his knee 3 weeks before the season ended. The problem with this is that this team now has to show some kind of improvement. This year even if Ryan Tannehill remains healthy the question remains, can the Dolphins be more than a mediocre 9-7 team?
This stems mainly from the fact this team made very few key additions in the offseason. They seem content with what they have, and that’s fine but then you have to count on everyone individually improving. Tannehill being the number one guy who must improve his skills more. To his credit last year was one of the best of his career. Yet Tannehill still doesn’t have the numbers proving him to be the franchise guy.
Tannehill will have the pieces around him on the line to give him a chance to succeed. Laremy Tunsil had a fantastic rookie year and is only expected to improve. Center Mike Pouncey returns from injury and Tackle Jawaun James heads up a strong line.
That line will open up options for Tannehills number one option, pro bowl back Jay Ajayi. Ajayi had an explosive breakout season last year and was undoubtable the corner stone of this offense. If Ajayi could improve on anything it would be being an asset in the passing game. Ajayi only accounted for 151 yards of passing offense last year. That number must go up if the Dolphins want to continue with their success.
Perhaps Ajayi would have to do less if more production came from the receiving core. Combine that with the fact only Jarvis Landry had a thousand-yard year and you realize the major problems facing this group in 2017. Yet it was not addressed this offseason like the rest of the roster, it was ignored.
Sitting on your hands in the offseason is never a great idea and it hardly ever gets results. There is no reason to believe this team will be awful this year but there is also no reason to get excited about a playoff run from them. They will end between 7-9 and 9-7 and remain one of the NFL’s woebegone bubble teams.