Pro Football Teams


Miami Dolphins:

Ricky runs away with ground attack

The Miami Dolphins are one of the more successful teams in National Football League history. In 1972 they became the only team in the history of the NFL to go undefeated in the regular season with a record of 14-0. They also went on to win Super Bowl VII when they defeated the Washington Redskins 14-7. That team was led by Pro Bowlers Dick Anderson, Nick Buoniconti, Larry Csonka, Norm Evans, Larry Little, Mercury Morris, Jake Scott, Bill Stanfill and Paul Warfield. Both Csonka and Morris were 1,000 yard rushers that year. Their closest of close calls came against the New York Jets in week 10 where the Dolphins came out of the game by only the skin of their teeth with a 28-24 victory. The team was also the team of the most prolific passer of all time Dan Marino. Marino holds 32 different NFL passing records, including all-time passing yards, completions and touchdowns, and is first ballot Hall of Famer. In more recent memory the Dolphins have been known for their late season inability to win divisional games that will put them in the playoffs. The last time the Dolphins made the playoffs was in 2001 when they fell to the Baltimore Ravens by a score of 20-3.

During the 2003 campaign the Dolphins were an above average team that finished with a 10-6 record but lost the tiebreaker with the Broncos to get into the playoffs. They had a number of chances to win that other game and make it into the playoffs like their opening day loss to the lowly Houston Texans by a score of 21-20. The Dolphins are a very talented team that should be in the playoffs and because of that reason people have been calling for coach Dave Wannstedt’s job.

This was not the best of off-seasons for the Miami Dolphins. Under heightened scrutiny of the coach and general manager because of their two year playoff draught they lost the motor that makes their offense go - running back Ricky Williams. Williams decided to retire just a week before training camp was supposed to start because he wanted to travel the world. He phoned coach Wannstedt from Hawaii and promptly hopped on a plane to Tokyo to start his trek through Asia. Many speculate that Williams, who tested positive for marijuana for the second time and wasn’t going to play in the first four games, couldn’t handle the rigidity of the NFL rules pertaining to illegal substances like marijuana. Williams was never the most stable person who would give interviews in his helmet laying down in the middle of the field during his tenure for the Saints. He was once a player that the Saints traded the good part of two drafts for and because they felt he wouldn’t be able to carry a franchise they traded him to the Dolphins where they overlooked his psyche because he was an amazing athlete. Williams carried almost 80% of all the Dolphins rushes and will be extremely missed by the Dolphins. The loss of Williams leaves the already questionable Miami offense looking like they in a world of trouble. The team did make some improvements in the off-season before Ricky bolted. They traded for Philly back up quarterback A.J. Feeley who has filled in nicely when Donovan McNabb had made trips to the disabled list. They also picked up offensive tackle John St. Clair, guard Jeno James, offensive tackle Damion McIntosh, safety Antuan Edwards, and cornerback Reggie Howard.

In the draft the Dolphins made quite a splash with their first pick of local guy Vernon Carey. The 363 pound University of Miami guard is expected to be a guy that the Dolphins can depend on in the trenches for years to come and a player that will get the locals to buy Dolphins tickets and to come support the hometown favorite. Miami’s next two picks were spent on two defensive backs. Southern California cornerback Will Poole was taken in the 4th round while Arkansas safety Anthony Bua was taken in the 5th round. They should bring some depth to Miami’s weak DB corps.

The Miami offense is going to have a great deal of problems this year without Williams. Quarterback Jay Fiedler has never been quite as consistent as they would like for him to be. Even with their acquisition of troubled, but skilled, wide receiver David Boston the Dolphins will more than likely have problems putting points on the board.

The Miami defense will need to do extra conditioning during the off-season because the offense will leave them on the field plenty more than they should. The defense was solid last year ranking 11th overall in total yards, however they did finish 21st in passing defense. Those problems should be solved by bringing in all the new guys they did during the off-season and the draft.

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