2007 Miami Dolphins Preview

2007 Miami Dolphins preview from MadduxSports.com. Get NFL spread picks from the best NFL handicapping team against the NFL lines all season long.

Questionable Draft Leaves Fans Worried
By Adam Barone

With slick Nick Saban's slimy departure to Alabama, the Fins hired former Charger's offensive coordinator Cam Cameron as the first offensive head coach in franchise history. With the coaching change, about the only thing that isn't a question mark is the front seven on defense. Fans in Miami saw Nick Saban as a savior, and even though his tenure with the Fish did not go as planned, Cam Cameron will not likely feel welcome. The team's passing over QB Brady Quinn with their first round draft pick in favor of WR Ted Ginn Jr., seen as a stretch as well as an addition to a position which was not a priority, has not gotten his relationship with the fan base off on the right foot.

The strength of the team has been the defense since the retirement of Dan Marino, and it will remain so in 2007. Miami ranked 4th in total defense in the NFL in the '06 season, 5th against the pass and 8th against the run. The front four, DE Matt Roth, DT Keith Traylor, DT Vonnie Holliday and DE Jason Taylor are incredibly tough to block as a unit. This is especially true for the all-world end Taylor, who accumulated 13.5 sacks last season with 2 INT's, 2 fumbles recovered and 2 return TDs. Keith Traylor is getting up in age, but is a huge space eater and is solid against the run, while Holliday, a formidable run stopper himself, led the group in tackles with 66. The Dolphins signed pass rushing former Steelers OLB Joey Porter in the off-season and expect another solid season from MLB Zach Thomas (165 tackles in '06) and OLB Channing Crowder (103 tackles in '06). The secondary is decent but can be beaten, especially on the strong side, where CB Andre' Goodman and FS Yeremiah Bell combined for 0 INTs last season.

On the offensive side of the ball, Miami has some adjustments to make, and it seems that they have taken steps towards doing so, though some of those steps seem questionable. The most questionable being the aforementioned selection of Ted Ginn, Jr. over Quinn. The team felt that Ginn Jr. would add a playmaker to their offense as well as an extremely speedy kick returner. In a copycat league, everyone will likely be searching for their team's version of Chicago's Devin Hester, just as the Dolphins appear to have done by choosing Ginn.

Though their most pressing need going into the draft was obviously at quarterback because of Daunte Culpepper's injury and inconsistency, the Fins claimed that they had BYU QB John Beck rated very closely to Brady Quinn and passed on Quinn with the intent of taking Beck with their second round pick, # 40 overall. By conducting things the way he did, coach Cameron gave Dolphins fans two reasons to question him. First, if they had Beck rated so highly there was no way for them to know that other teams did not feel the same way, so they could not have known that Beck would be available at #40. Also, John Beck's throwing strength is seen as rather average, and with WR Chris Chambers and now Ted Ginn, Jr. (both specialize in the vertical passing game) playing key roles in the offense, Beck does not at all seem an ideal candidate to run the offense. Beck will learn under newly acquired QB Trent Green for at least a season, but it will be interesting to see how he fits in once the job is his.

One off-season addition that makes perfect sense and could substantially help the offense is the signing of FB Cory Schlesinger. Schlesinger, a huge, aggressive bruiser, will be in charge of clearing holes for RB Ronnie Brown, and should help Brown improve his numbers in 2007. Though he has not quite lived up to what was believed to be his potential just yet, Brown is starting to show signs that he can be a quality NFL back. In 2006 he rushed for 1008 yards on 241 carries, only a 4.18 yards-per-carry average, something the Dolphins expect him to improve upon very soon. Part of the problem for Brown is the mediocre offensive line the team has blocking for him. There will be a lot of changes made to the line this year, so maybe Brown will see more running room.

2007 Miami Dolphins Predictions

With such a stifling defensive front, the Dolphins will not likely be out of many games early on, but the offense will have to show that it can be consistent in order for the team to gain respect from its opponents, odds makers, handicappers and betters alike. The talent at the skill positions is there on offense, developing chemistry and improving blocking will be the keys to success.

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2007 NFL Team Previews

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