The Miami Dolphins showed this offseason that they are committed to winning and committed to winning right now. Bill Parcells has expectedly done a tremendous job restoring this franchise ever since he was hired to be the teamís head of football operations. By the same token, general managers (GM) Jeff Ireland and head coach Tony Sparano have done unbelievable jobs as well.
The franchise appears to be on track to winning a Super Bowl and it starts with their improving offence.
The team had been missing a key part from being a great offence. They have a solid offensive line (O-line), two great running backs, and a young improving quarterback.
Chad Henne, as promised when he was drafted, is the starter heading into 2010, while Chad Pennington has gracefully stepped aside to serve a mentor in a backup role and let the stronger, younger Henne lead the offence. Henne showed last season that he was ready to be the starter, as the offence fared well and Henne showed much promise.
Henne was thrown into the fire after the team started 0-3 behind Pennington. When Pennington had to undergo season-ending shoulder surgery, Henne stepped in and responded well. He went 7-6 in 13 starts while leading Miami to some memorable come-from-behind victories.
While Henne did show promise, it was the running game that helped carry the team. The team may have the deepest backfield in the league. Just Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams alone make a strong backfield, but when you throw in Patrick Cobbs and the best short-yardage fullback in the game in Lousaka Polite, the team is stacked and built for their wildcat formation.
Many accuse the team for relying on the formation so much, but when itís effective, you canít blame them for using it. Ronnie Brown, the anchor of the formation, believes it will still be used this season: ďI see us still using it,Ē he said. ďIt was a vital part of our offense the last couple of seasons and obviously it offers a change of pace for our offense as a way for us being able to switch it up. Thatís just another phase that we have as an offense to have defenses have to study and prepare for. Theyíll have a lot on their plate.Ē
While the running game will still be important, Henne now has something he didnít have last year. Receivers Davone Bess, Brian Hartline, and Greg Camarillo are all sure-handed receivers, but they just donít have the breakaway speed and the raw talent that someone like Brandon Marshall will now bring to their offence.
The receivers did the job, but defences were able to pressure Henne without worrying about a constant threat. The speedy Ted Ginn had a dropping habit that didnít seem to go away and the Dolphins traded him.
Now Marshall comes in, one of the top five receivers in the league, and he is a constant deep threat. He's also physical and has some of the best hands in the game. Defenders now have to worry about Marshall burning them, and their extra attention paid to him will open things up underneath for other receivers and will make the running game that much more dangerous.
Marshall did have his problems with coaches in Denver, but he has insisted that he intends to change his ways and sees Miami as a fresh start. Certainly when you have Parcells and Sparano in charge, you better be on your best behaviour.
Henne also gained experience last year, and while many are anticipating a breakout season from Matt Ryan of the Falcons, you can expect the same thing with Henne. He now has a receiver who has caught 100 passes in all of his last three seasons and a more balanced attack to work with.
While more eyes may be leering towards the Jets and the Patriots, beware of the Dolphins. They may just have something that will be too tough for defences to figure out