Monday, August 15, 2005
The Miami Dolphins aka Bob Backlund
Backlund getting a toothpick thrown in his face by Razor Ramon
I had never heard of Bob Backlund before he made his appearance in the WWF in 1994. He was a nerdy-looking wrestler with a physique that rivaled Lou Holtz. Little did I know that Backlund had actually been the WWF champion ten years previous. Even more shocking to me was that Backlund actually won the championship again at the tender age of 312. I think the Dolphins could be pulling a “Backlund” on us this year. They were a perennial playoff team over the last ten years until Ricky Williams left them in the ring by themselves to get pummeled by the rest of the NFL. Most people are expecting as much from the Dolphins as I expected from Backlund in ’94. A good coach combined with an above average running game can take you a long way in the NFL.
The Dolphins were terrible last year. I have no idea how they beat New England. I watched the game and I still have no idea. It’s like the ’72 Dolphins possessed last years version for one game. The running game was as bad as Spurrier’s rotating quarterback dance in Washington. Sammy Morris, Travis Minor, and Lamar Gordon all had the title of “starting running back” at some point. The quarterback play was laughable. In case anyone wants to object to his, Marty Booker was their top rated passer. I’m not kidding. Look it up!
The downfall to the Dolphins season will again be their quarterback play. Their roster presents a who’s who list of NFL stalwarts such as A.J. Feely, Gus Frerotte, and Sage Rosenfels. Let’s put this in perspective; who would you rather have, Miami’s current quarterbacks or Scott Mitchell, Charlie Batch, and Andre Ware? I know that was painful but I just wanted to emphasize how bad things are for the Dolphins.
The running game should be steadily improved though. After Ricky “I love smokin’ the reefer” Williams serves his four game suspension, the Dolphins will have two top rate running backs with Williams and Ronnie Brown. As of now, neither player will be there for the first game since Brown hasn’t signed yet but money talks and I’m sure Brown will get tired of eating Raman noodles. The offensive line will be OK but I have to question Miami’s signing of Stockar McDougle. If the Lions don’t opt to resign an offensive lineman, or anyone for that matter, then that’s a pretty good indication that they’re not very good. In case anyone hadn’t noticed, Richmond Webb is back for his 43rd year. I’m starting to think that Webb is actually a robot.
In news so shocking that I actually stopped breathing for four seconds, Orande Gadsen is NOT on the Dolphins. Even more shocking is that he wasn’t on the Dolphins LAST year either. I was under the impression that Gadsen and the Dolphins were contractually obligated through 2020 but I guess I was mistaken. David Boston is quickly turning into the Shawn Kemp of the NFL although I’m guessing Kemp got fat by eating at White Castle while Boston got strong by eating Orande Gadsen . Boston had a huge year for Arizona three years ago but has since conned San Diego and Miami into giving him money. If I were an NFL team, I would demand that Boston play one year for free before agreeing to give him anything. Chris Chambers is actually a talented receiver. Booker is no slouch either as long as he isn’t playing quarterback
The heart of the defense was pilfered by Kansas City as Patrick Surtain and Sammy Knight signed with the Chiefs. Nick Saban is a very good coach so he’ll have the Dolphins playing hard on defense but it’s very difficult to lose two pro bowlers without falling off. There are still some very good names on the defense. The defensive line is surprisingly deep with Keith Traylor, Larry Chester and Jeff Zgogina at the tackle positions. Traylor and Chester weigh a combined 665 lbs. The Ravens and Patriots have been two of the best defenses in the NFL by putting two behemoths on the line. Traylor and Chester count as behemoths. The defensive ends are also very deep and talented. Jason Taylor, Kevin Carter, Vonnie Holiday, David Bowens and rookie Matt Roth are as deep of a unit as the NFL has to offer.
The linebackers are far from suspect with Zach Thomas and Junior Seau manning the middle. I think Zach Thomas and Rob Morris of the Colts should trade last names so Zach Morris (Saved By the Bell) and Rob Thomas (Matchbox 20) could play in the NFL. I’d put in 20 bucks to make this happen. The Dolphins might have lucked out by getting Channing Crowder in the third round. The secondary won’t be as good but the Dolphins had one of the best secondaries in recent memory so dropping off a little won’t be a deal breaker. Sam Madison is one of the best cover corners in the league. Tebucky Jones is an adequate safety. All in all, the Dolphins should be stubborn on defense.
The Dolphins are almost close to an extremely successful equation. Here’s how the equation looks right now:
Good defense + good running game + good coach + Paula Abdul at quarterback = no
playoffs and offensive stagnation
That is awfully close to this equation:
Good defense + good running game + good coach + average to good quarterback = Super Bowl contenders
I guess what I’m saying is that the Dolphins won’t make the playoffs. They might actually be the worst team to ever be “so close” to being a Super Bowl contender. I don’t think Ricky Williams will be as effective as he was before he achieved “the ultimate high” and left for a year. His weight probably won’t be where it needs to be until next season.
If the NFL schedule were a horror movie, then Miami’s schedule is Michael Myers. The Dolphins start the season off by playing Denver, NY Jets, Carolina, and Buffalo. I would be surprised if they won any of those games. The next four is against Tampa Bay, KC, New Orleans, and Atlanta. I would be surprised if they won any of those games. The next four games are against New England, Cleveland, Oakland and Buffalo. They’ll probably win one (maybe two) of those games. The last four games are against San Diego, NY Jets, Tennessee, and New England. They might win one of those games.
Predicted record: 4-12