The D will RushYa, Like Moscow
I'll keep it to just players because I don't know enough about what coaches/personnel and others do and I agree leaving Ireland out of this is for the best. There are enough threads on him already.
Pat Devlin - Just Reading threads from the Matt Moore trade speculation, there is some people who think Devlin is just some kind of fill in 3rd stringer that is far less capable than Matt Moore. Pat Devlin is a west coast QB by design. Quick release, Accurate, mobile enough . . . he needed the right system and the right coaching to get the most out of him and he is getting that now. 3rd stringers in preseason or not, you saw some of the command that he had of this offense in those games and that wasn't a fluke. I can understand being apprehensive about if Tannehill goes down Devlin won't be ready and the experienced Matt Moore is the obvious choice . . . but I truly believe come next year he is going to be a solid backup to Tannehill.
Anthony Fasano - Really a complete TE. Sure he isn't the best blocking TE in the league, but he's a solid blocking TE . . .and obviously he isn't the best receiving TE, but he can get the job done when called upon. As much as we cry for upgrades at TE and to even suggest "cutting" Fasano because he plays bad against the Falcons . . . he is clearly our best TE and we should be looking to find a compliment ala David Martin 2008 instead of trying to replace him. He's looking like a definite resign if you ask me.
Cameron Wake - Well I don't have to tell Dolfans this, but Cameron Wake is the best pass rusher in the NFL. He may not lead the league in sacks but he has graded out since last year as the most effective pass rusher factoring in sacks, pressures, holding calls and QB hits. When I can see people make polls on Mario Williams or Cam Wake, and people say Mario Williams . . . . there is no doubt they don't understand the force Cam Wake is. Jeff Ireland (I had to bring his name up . . . doh) got this one right . . . in fact, it's his shining star on his resume if you ask me (though Tannehill could challenge that soon). From his first contract to his second contract . . . excellent deals . . . and I don't even like Jeff Kudos to JI.
Jonathan Martin - He was god awful in preseason and considered a disappointment from the first preseason game . . . but this kid has made HUGE strides as the season keeps progressing. Solid feet and a solid pass protector and we are even running tough behind him and Jerry on that right side. I think many of us felt he was a year away from being solid, but he is doing well right now and I'll tell you what, if Jake Long doesn't get resigned . . . Jonathan Martin will be the biggest reason why. Sure he's not Jake Long but he fits this scheme better than Jake and he's going to be a solid pass protector in this league.
Lamar Miller - Not his fault really but it truly isn't fair to think that this guy can take over for Reggie Bush. Hell Daniel Thomas was out and we barely saw the kid . . . when Thomas is in, he gets plenty of burn . . . why is that? I dunno, when I watched him at the U, I saw a guy who would go down easy, get constant gains of 1 yard and then out of nowhere hit the homerun. He struggles in pass protection and maybe he isn't picking things up as quick as he needs to, to be a guy who can spell your starting RB. He has alot of potential but when I see threads like "Lamar Miller > Trent Richardson" . . . I have to snicker a bit.
Jake Long - Hard to be overrated when you are a top 5 LT in the game. We still have not seen him at his fullest potential as a run blocker and he can struggle with the elite speed rushers. He'll probably command the highest contract ever given to a LT in league history, or somewhere in that neighborhood and he truly has been average this year. He's a notoriously slow starter and I thought he played well in the Rams game so I expect him to turn it on barring injury.
Matt Moore - He was brilliant at times last year but I don't think this new offense fits him at all. He looked awful in preseason, and despite the positive comments on Hard Knocks about his leadership . . . David Garrard clearly was ahead of him prior to getting injured and Tannehill just marched right on by him as well. Hell it wouldn't surprise me if Pat Devlin was ahead of him in the coaches mind (not on the depth chart for the public to see tho).
Ritchie Incognito - Love his intensity and for a guy who had no business being placed as the LG from day one (injury issues and lack of confidence in other players) he probably has performed better than anybody could have expected him to. However for this new ZBS we are running, I think it is about time to start finding a better replacement for Ritchie. He's sluggish, his feet are meh and he's just not a good fit. I've been saying this for years, or atleast attempt to move him to RG . . . but Ritchie finds a way to keep sticking. We should dominate running left, especially in short yardage situations and we just have not been able to do that. In fantasy world if we could move Pouncey over to LG and bring over his brother to play center . . . that line would be dominate in this system.
Brian Hartline and Davone Bess - Before coming into this season you really had to stress how "underrated" Miami's first options at WR were. The notion everywhere is that Miami had "nothing" at WR and that simply wasn't true. They may not have legitimate #1 guys, but they had guys who can help move the offense down the field. Bess is one of the most dependable guys in the league, especially on 3rd downs, great route runner and has been extremely consistent his entire tenure in the NFL. Hartline is a guy that deceives alot of folks, solid hands, solid route runner, pretty good speed and makes tough catches. Where my feelings become mixed are when I watch a guy like Victor Cruz add that "explosiveness" from the slot WR position . . . something that Davone Bess just doesn't have. In today's NFL, you almost require your slot WR to be a guy who can put up #1 numbers as QB's will exploit that nickel CB and having a guy that can ake a 5 or 10 yard route the distance after the catch is crucial. It's not a coincedence that the 2 best slot WR's in the game met up in the Super Bowl last year. With Hartline you really see how limited he can be as a #1 when teams actually pay attention to him. He's a very average WR, which is fine, but truly is out of his element and needs that #1 type of WR opposite of him to relive him of some of that pressure so he can continue to make plays as a #2 or #3 or even #4 option in the offense. This is why this upcomming draft is so crucial in regards to skill players . . . you don't need to just fill holes, you need to improve the overall talent of your skill players on offense . . . because even though guys like Bess and Hartline are very likeable and our best options at WR right now, they are limited in their capabilities and having a plethora of options to choose from to help make this offense go will only aid in making this team an eventual and consistent Super Bowl contender and make Ryan Tannehill a top tier QB.