Johnson Out, Who Will Step Up?


By Zack Cimini

Miami’s HBO series of Hard Knocks just had some drama enter, and it’s not from the quarterback battle. Chad Johnson who was expected to revive and have a turn around season, has been released from the team. In similar fashion as in New England, Johnson did little to nothing as a Dolphin. In one preseason game he had one dropped ball.

This has more to do with an off the field issue than Johnson’s performance on the field, but the Dolphins have moved on to a new chapter. Now it leaves the opportunity open for other receivers to shine even more.

The fact that Miami could go through three quarterbacks this season is a big enough reason to stir clear from talent. Even with Chad Henne and Matt Moore last season, Miami’s offense was not too shabby. The offense should bolster even more with head coach Tony Sparano gone and new head coach, Joe Philbin in. Miami seemed to end the season well with great use of Reggie Bush and quick hit throws with Davone Bess and Brian Hartline.

Chad Johnson was the big name amongst the receivers, but was not necessarily a sure fire result producer. Davone Bess has put together a nice string of seasons for Miami, and now is their number one receiver with Brandon Marshall gone. It’ll be seen early if Bess can handle the role or if Miami will need to use spread formations to make up for lacking a big play receiver.

Legedu Naanee currently has the third receiver position now with Johnson gone. Naanee is who he is, and can fill the third spot decently. By no means is he a sleeper wide receiver. If anything with Miami’s current top slotted receivers only Davone Bess has value. Rank Miami with the Seattle’s and St. Louis’s of fantasy football as they’re lost in the Bermuda triangle for fantasy value at receiver.

Maybe if an injury occurs and Ryan Tannehill enters by midseason a receiver buried could advance to a different level. Often times receivers develop that do not get many reps with the first team develop chemistry better with the backup quarterbacks. There won’t be a Victor Cruz on Miami but it’s worth keeping an eye on once Tannehill is inserted.

If there is an area where Miami will shine it may be with pass catching running backs. From Reggie Bush all the way to Steve Slaton Miami has four backs that could all be effective. Slaton was once a 1,000 yard rusher in Houston and likely will be a special teamer for Miami. Daniel Thomas and rookie Lamar Miller figure to get carries in some form even with how Reggie Bush concluded last season. Splitting out one while having another behind the quarterback could be a tinker they play with on many formations.


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