It was a season that no one else expected. The Miami Dolphins were expected to finish no better than an 8-8 season by most expert picks. 17 weeks after the regular season began they found themselves 10-6 and locked in a wild card birth in the playoffs. They were quickly bounced out and seemed outmatched in the post season but the whole season wasn’t lost.
With quarterback Ryan Tannehill sustaining his first career injury that would keep him off the field the Dolphins turned to Matt Moore. Moore held his own but wasn’t enough to keep the Dolphins winning. So how does Adam Gase and company capitalize on the success of this season?
The first thing the Dolphins need to do is lock down their playmakers. Rumors are floating around that the team is already working on deals for star receiver Jarvis Landry. The team is also working on a long-term deal in hopes of bringing back Kenny Stills. From there the Dolphins would be bringing back the key components of their passing game. If Tannehill is ready to go come week 1 of the new season, the offense needs to build depth on the line and cut dead weight. Doing so will leave the team to focus on finally rebuilding their defense.
The defensive unit for the past few seasons has been an embarrassment for the team. While there have been plenty of games the unit had kept the Dolphins in it, the past few seasons they’ve been feared by none. Miami’s defense has struggled to get out of the cellar in all statistical categories. While each year they make strides, clearly this offseason will be about them. The Dolphins have one of the youngest teams in the league and will only get better with time. However, finding a playmaker in the middle of the field and help secure the linebacker position should be step one. They need a guy to take away lanes in both the run and passing game. Will it be in free agency or in the draft?
It was only a matter of time before the Miami Dolphins improved on their lack of success. Adam Gase has the football knowledge to turn the team around. His biggest asset to the team, however, was how he changed the culture of losing. All too often in the past the team and fans seemed forever in a state of “here we go again.” When Gase took over the players immediately bought into his philosophy and began to play to win. The Dolphins shouldn’t be a one and done team as they continue to grow and get better under Adam Gase. Expect to see growth between year 1 and year 2 under the new head coach. If Miami can make the same leaps in bounds this offseason, it won’t be long before they’re headed to the Super Bowl.