After the Dolphins missed out on the playoffs yet against last season, Jeff Ireland decided to make some bold moves in an attempt to make this team a contender once again and well, save his job.
The Dolphins spent big money, traded up in the draft and pretty much became the front and center of the NFL media this offseason. With the season starting Thursday and the Dolphins getting ready for their season opener against Cleveland, it's time we here at Phins Phocus share our thoughts on how we think the team fare this season. The two Daniel's have gone head to head on their thoughts for this 2013 season.
Daniel E: The long awaited return will continue.
Daniel M: Miami will be in fierce competition for a postseason berth in the final weeks of the season and will earn a wild card spot as the 6th seed in the AFC. However, the Dolphins will make it no further than the wild card round in 2013.
AFC East Standings
Daniel E: 2nd in the AFC East. Still think at the end of the day, Tom Brady will be too hard to dethrone.
Daniel M: 2nd, behind the Patriots. While I think the Dolphins will close the gab between themselves and New England, I don’t believe they will overtake them this season.
Daniel E: While I don't have Miami as a playoff team this season I do see them making somewhat of a leap and improving to 9-7.
Daniel M: 9-7. I see a two game improvement for the Dolphins based on their offseason additions despite a rather difficult schedule.no comments
The Dolphins have a deal in place to sign recently cut Eagles guard Danny Watkins. Watkins is a former 1st round pick who will provide the Dolphins with some depth on their offensive line and some insurance for guard John Jerry.
Jason La Canfora tweeted the former 1st round pick will sign with the Dolphins after a tryout, however Dolphins beat writer Adam Beasley tweeted per Joe Panos, Watkins' agent, his client has not signed with the team yet saying the Dolphins haven't contacted him.
Watkins has 18 career starts, however he underwhelmed in Philadelphia where it was believed his heart was not in the game. Watkins didn’t play football until he was 22 but was drafted at 26. He showed upside and could be a solid player in a new change of scenery. Watkins is good in pass protection, particularly against players coming at him with power.
The move is a low risk, high reward signing as Watkins does have starter potential and it won't cost the team much.
UPDATE: Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald has reported that Watkins and the Dolphins have agreed to a one year deal. In order to make room for Watkins on the 53-man roster, guard and back-up center Josh Samuda has been released.no comments
With players being claimed around the league following Saturday's cuts, the Miami Dolphins were relatively quiet. Miami only claimed one player, however it does not mean they weren't active and exploring their available options. Players the Dolphins were interested in could have been claimed by a squad ahead of them in the waiver order. The team announced that they were awarded fullback Tyler Clutts off waivers from the Houston Texans.
Despite receiving Pro-Bowl votes in 2011 with the Chicago Bears, Clutts appeared in 15 games with the Texans but didn't make any starts. However, Clutts found himself slipping down the Texans depth chart and the fact that he played in the majority of the Texans fourth preseason game was a sign that his release was imminent. With Clutts in the fold, the Dolphins will be hoping he can be an asset in short yardage situations as a lead blocker. In order to make room for Clutts, the Dolphins waived fullback Evan Rodriguez.
Two of the Dolphins cuts were claimed off the waiver wire - defensive tackle A.J. Francis and offensive lineman Chris Barker - both by the New England Patriots.
A duo of Dolphins receivers that many believed had a chance to make the 53-man roster will likely be on the practice sqaud; Brian Tyms and Marvin McNutt. With the Dolphins only carrying four wide receivers on the 53-man roster, they could look to one of these two options to make an impact. After a tryout with Miami on Friday, defensive tackle Al Lapuaho was also added to the practice squad.no comments
The Miami Dolphins and the NFL's other 31 teams must trim their rosters to 53 players by today at 6 pm ET. Miami began the day with 75 players on the active roster which means they must release 22 in order to reach the league's 53-man limit.
While beginning to decide on final cuts yesterday following the preseason finale, the Dolphins brought in six players for a tryout. The list includes wide receivers Da'Rick Rogers, K.J. Stroud, Jared Green, offensive tackles Nic Purcell and Jason Weaver along with defensive tackle Al Lapuaho. None have yet to be signed to a contract.
Keep in mind that even if a player makes it through today's cuts it does not mean they made the team. If they are on the roster bubble they can easily be replaced prior to next week's regular season opener.
Below is the list of 22 players cut by the Dolphins today:
Jonas Gray, RB
Chris Barker, OL
Sam Brenner, OL
Julian Posey, CB
Kyle Miller, TE
Chad Bumphis, WR
Brian Tyms, WRno comments
As the Miami Dolphins head into their final cuts, one name that will be safe and on the roster is Dion Sims. Sims, drafted in the fourth round from Michigan State, has shown exceptional strength as a blocking tight end as well as an uncanny ability to get open and catch the ball and run.
For his size, Sims is as nimble as can be and brings an element that went missing right after Anthony Fasano left for Kansas City in free agency. In college, Sims was able to pull down 79 catches, 707 yards, and eight touchdowns in 13 career starts and 39 career college games.
Some of the attributes that Sims brings are an ability to make sideline catches, get open over the middle, and catch-turn- and run. For his size, Sims was able to get into shape to play his position quicker stronger and faster by shedding excess weight by training to drop from 285 to 262. This ability to stay focused and motivated will serve Sims well in being ready for taking on whatever comes at him this season.
Another important component to Sims skill set is his quick mastery of the playbook and the fact that thrust into the starting role last night, he produced scoring a red zone touchdown. When tight ends such as Michael Egnew and Charles Clay have shown inconsistency, Sims has consistently shown in practice and most pre-season games that he can be a threat on the sideline and over the middle.
The Dolphins without Dustin Keller will need to rely on Dion Sims this season as he fulfills the need of a blocking tight end, but also a difference maker as a pass catching, semi-athletic tight end. In addition, the Dolphins sorely need a tight end that can get open in the red zone to give quarterback Ryan Tannehill a safety blanket and get first downs and touch downs this season.
Even though the Dolphins might appear thin or inexperienced at the tight end position, Dion Sims seems to have grown-up and is ready for action in game one versus the Browns.no comments
In the preseason finale, the Miami Dolphins completed a fourth quarter comeback to top the New Orleans Saints by a score of 24-21.
Only one Dolphins starter on either side of the ball suited up in the game; right guard John Jerry who is working his way back from injury. With the first team units on the sidelines, this contest shed some light on the quality of depth the Dolphins have on the roster. Miami's second and third string defensive lineman played well and made it clear that if a key injury was to occur at this position, the Dolphins have a capable replacement. However, this game also made clear that an injury to a starting offensive lineman would be crippling, given the struggles of the backups throughout this matchup and the preseason in general.
With the starters sitting this one out, it was also a perfect opportunity for players on the bubble to prove why they deserve to be on the Dolphins 53-man roster. Some took advantage of the extra playing time while others saw their NFL dreams slip away from their grasp.
Let's take a look at which Dolphins saw their stock rise and which saw their stock fall in the preseason finale against the Saints:
Marvin McNutt, WR
In each of the Dolphins five preseason games we've wondered which of the bubble receivers would step up and this week it was Marvin McNutt. McNutt led Miami in receiving with four receptions for 99 yards including a 56 yard touchdown pass he hauled in from Pat Devlin. The touchdown catch was an impressive one, the ball was difficult to catch but McNutt was able to extend for it and out run the defender to the endzone in what ultimately was the game winning score. It looks like the battle for the final wide receiver spot on this team is between McNutt and Brian Tyms, however, McNutt has had the more consistent training camp and preseason, therefore he has to be considered the favorite to make the 53-man roster.
Stock: Upno comments