Saban Already Coach Of The Year

The upside of a team is based on the talent level on the field. Accordingly, that works the same way with who is on the sideline. Nick Saban hasn’t even been the Dolphins head coach for six months, but has got the team’s foot off of the reverse pedal. Slightly, the Dolphins now have their feet planted on the gas pedal. It may have seemed that Miami would be a mediocre team for years, after last season, but that will not be the case. Nick Saban won’t let it happen, and south Florida may be transformed back into a winning franchise quicker than people think.

Ricky Williams theme of moving forward and forgetting about the past, is exactly the philosophy Saban wants for every Dolphin. Who cares about the torturous season last year, it can’t be rewritten. By bringing Williams back, Saban is doing more than adding a former Pro Bowl running back. Saban is upping the trade bait the Dolphins will have, and/or protecting Miami’s backfield situation.

Currently, Williams is making minimum dollars and as soon as he showcases his abilities he’ll want that restructured. Miami is having enough problems with trying to sign Ronnie Brown, and that is the back Miami wants to be the future. So, plan A will come into the fold, when Miami seeks to trade Williams to a team for an athlete or high draft pick.

The happy go lucky pictures that Williams and Miami present back together is just a ploy. In the end both will be happy, and move on in different directions.

All the talk in the AFC East of teams ready to knock off the Patriots has been whispered in the direction of the Bills and Jets. Both teams had solid years, but the Bills didn’t do anything to keep that continuing in the off season. JP Losman is going to take some time, and Miami should be able to be at least third in the division. Chad Pennington’s shoulder problems aren’t over, and Curtis Martin is a great back but he is getting older every year as well. The Jets success all revolves around Martin’s health and skill level. If they start to deteriorate so do the Jets, as controlling the clock is how the Jets win.

Take a look at Miami’s roster, and you’ll see a team glowing at almost every position, besides quarterback.

An average quarterback can be worked in, if he is surrounded by great talent. The running back position is set, and quietly Miami has also finally got themselves a cast of receivers. Chris Chambers, David Boston, and Marty Booker make for one of the best trio sets in the league. Boston is the true sleeper, as he can bring the Dolphins team up a few notches if he has released his demons of the past few seasons.

The offensive line has been a work in progress, and the Dolphins know they’ll need the entire preseason to figure out how they’re going to get that unit to mesh. As long as they can give adequate protection and blocking, that’ll be an upgrade from last season.

AJ Feeley got a lot of harsh criticism last season, but that was partly due to his offensive line. It was still no excuse for his misguided throws, but an extra second or two should help show his strengths. Gus Frerotte is a dark horse veteran, but he won’t start unless Feeley finishes the preseason like he played last year.

Miami is going to be a .500 team at best, and it makes no sense to throw in a veteran that’s not in the team’s future plans. They’ll live or die with Feeley, and if he is not the answer they’ll be looking to fill that void in the 2006 draft.

Defensively, Miami has some big names, but age may be a factor. The defensive line may be the best in the league, with Kevin Carter, Jeff Zgonina, Vonnie Holiday, and Jason Taylor manning the starting positions. Of course at linebacker remains pacman tacklers in Zach Thomas and Junior Seau. In the secondary, they lost Patrick Surtain in a trade, but they drafted Travis Daniels, and signed cornerback Reggie Howard and safety Lance Shulters.

Overall, signs of last seasons close losses and the changeover in attitude looks like a significant reason to factor in the Dolphins as a dangerous team in 2005. Not dangerous as a playoff contender, but a team that knowingly won’t be considered as an automatic W.


You must be logged in to post a comment.