Premature Evaluations continues today with a look at the Miami Dolphins, courtesy of Alex Riguero. Devotees (hi mom!) will recall that Alex Riguero is the co-founder and former co-writer of Throwing Into Traffic. Currently, she can be found milling about doing freelance work in Los Angeles, a godless city, and rooting hopelessly for lost causes both in and out of football. Enjoy.
Now that all the Phin's fan on the internet have finished throwing up a little into their respective mouths, it's time to face the harsh cold reality of the 2008 Dolphins in broad daylight. The 2008-09 season is the season we shoot for mediocrity, sexy, sexy mediocrity.
Chad Pennington, he of the glass shoulder, object of Zac's inexplicable man crush and friend of Elmo is our starting quarterback. We should be thankful. Pennington's career is built on the short pass, partially because his arm would fall off if he aired it out more than twice a game. Our receivers can't get the long ball (way to go, Cam. You drafted a family and all we got was a lousy receiver.). Pennington is accurate, reliable and for added measure is about as exciting as elmer's paste, the standard-bearer in bland whiteness.
Before anyone gets all worked up about my summary decision that Chad the First is the Dolphins starting QB, consider this: John Beck (poor thing) plays like a guy suffering from PTSD. Josh McCown is almost 30, and as we know from le histoire de le football americain, the best you can hope for at this point is being Rich Gannon or possibly Doug Flutie in the second half of your career, and McCown has neither the mullet nor the history of being replaced by the most annoying NFL commentator this side of Merle Hodge that those two quarterbacks had. Chad the Second looks like Stiffler but way less hot and is a rookie, which is a recipe for disaster (see Harrington, Joey) before week six of the season. I have no idea what Quincy Carter is doing but the logic of bringing a player with a coke problem to the city which made this image famous is kind of hilarious. Also, Chad the First was drafted by Bill Parcells, who is getting amazingly good at his ventriloquist act (you can't even see his hand up Tony Sparano's...) and has a history of resurrecting the careers of his former qb's (see Testaverde, Vinny and Bledsoe, Drew).
And the move makes sense because...well, something tells me we'll be running the ball a lot, now that Ricky's off the wacky tabacky, Ronnie Brown is off the PUP list and our O-Line has someone who was on the National Honor Society and that #1 draft pick kid who doesn't have to play well to make $30 million dollars. Hmm, that was a little too cynical. Anyway, in the snippets of Saturday night's game against the Buccaneers I managed to watch, the O-Line didn't suck and the running game wasn't an embarrassment. Hooray for the little things! Hooray for the short passing game and the ground game war of attrition! Hooray for boring, mistake free football!
Once upon a time, not so long ago, I loved the Miami Dolphins defense. Zach Thomas was my favorite Zachary in the whole wide world. Jason Taylor was the best player on a good defense. We had cornerbacks whose names I remembered. We had a 4-3 defense, which I vastly prefer to the 3-4 if only because you can throw on a 3-4 all day if you don't have a good secondary. I'm not convinced the Dolphins have a good secondary. I know the 3-4 is better against the run, but (knock knock), guess what? We play two games a season against Tom Brady and now, Brett Favre!
In fact, I am not convinced the Dolphins D is going to be so hot. The Great Joey Porter is old (and mouthy), Jason Feguson has been old reliable for soooo long he's due for a slip and the rest of our supporting cast are career understudies. They're not a cohesive unit as yet (9 penalties, all on defense). The Bucs controlled the tempo of the game last weekend, something I hope to GAWD the Dolphins improve before opening day. Hope springs eternal.
Favorite Dolphin of the moment: Channing Crowder, 'cos he wrestled gators.
"It was one of those late nights in Gainesville. We were bored and there was nothing better to do."
Predictions:Craig Camarillo will eventually start at wide receiver. Craig Camarillo has a degree from Stanford in Engineering. My mom wants to matchmake.
I don't think the Dolphins will be the absolute worst team in the NFL, but they'll most likely be battling for worst in AFC East. It's cold in the cellar. Miami, bring a sweater.
If Miami misses it's mediocrity goal (6-10 is about the most one could expect), how much you wanna bet Bill Parcells quits after this season?