This team had a poor showing during the 2011 NFL season and will have to turn many aspects of their team around in order to bounce back next season. As a fan, I will have to keep a close eye on what moves happen during the off season in order to figure out if I want to renew my seats. I know that the they have been trying to rebuild in recent years and restore the franchise to past glory which it once enjoyed with the ’72 undefeated team and the days of quarterback Dan Marino when the team thrived the most. Back then, fans flocked from all over just to get the chance to buy Dolphins tickets and see a live game. However, this past season is one that fans would like to simply forget and move on as they completed the year with a 6-10 record in the AFC East. Miami hasn’t had it easy being in the same division as the New England Patriots and New York Jets, so they certainly have their work cut out for them.
So far they have made a trade for star running back Reggie Bush from the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints before the 2011 season went underway. Bush wanted to revamp his professional career and without a doubt proved he can be a top running back in the league having his best rushing numbers ever with over 1,000 for the season. However, having a solid running game just wasn’t enough to win a game. The team desperately need a quarterback they could count on to lead the team moving forward. They have cycled through a number of quarterbacks in recent years such as Chad Pennington, Joey Harrington, Daunte Culpepper, Matt Moore, and Chad Henne who just have not panned out and lived up to their expectations.
Miami has a top ten pick going into the 2012 NFL Draft, unfortunately for them there are only two quarterback prospects that currently stand out as potential franchise players, both of which are not likely to be there when they are up to select. Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is a lock to be taken with the number one overall selection and Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin from Baylor is likely to be taken ahead of the Dolphins. They will probably turn their attention to continue improving their defense or offensive line. Their cornerback duo of Vontae Davis and Sean Smith set a solid foundation to their secondary and they possess one of the best groups of linebackers in the entire league with the likes of Karlos Dansby, Kevin Burnett, and Cameron Wake. They truly have something special to build on and might need that one solid acquisition to push them over the edge. Their offensive line needs to improve as well in order to keep their next quarterback safe. Several injuries to key players put a damper on their season when former top pick Jake Long went down and Miami saw just how weak their front line can be.
Head coach Tony Sparano was constantly on the hot seat after several losing streaks and eventually the team decided to fire their coach and move in a different direction. The upcoming NFL Draft will be critical for Miami as well as continuing to search for the right person for their vacant head coaching position. They have a chance to absolutely turn the franchise around and be a force to reckon with for years to come, but it is up to them to figure out the right pieces to the puzzle for next season and beyond. I can only hope everything falls in the right directions and this team can finally move back to its former glory.