Miami Dolphins Preview Capsule
MIAMI DOLPHINS (6-10)
New faces: Rookie coach Adam Gase, DE Mario Williams, rookie G Laremy Tunsil, RB Arian Foster, LB Kiko Alonso, CB Bobby Maxwell, S Isa Abdul-Quddus.
Key losses: DE Olivier Vernon, DE Derrick Shelby, CB Brent Grimes, CB Brice McCain, CB Jamar Taylor, RB Lamar Miller, LB Kelvin Sheppard, WR Rishard Matthews, WR Greg Jennings.
Strengths: Gase, youngest coach in NFL at 38, is highly regarded and has boosters ranging from Peyton Manning to Jay Cutler to Nick Saban. Dolphins players have responded well to Gase’s high-energy approach, stark contrast to 3 1/4-year-regime of staid Joe Philbin.
Weaknesses: New coordinator Vance Joseph has brought to Miami wide-nine defense, but schemes aren’t likely to hide deficiencies of unit. Front four is deep but creaky, with DEs Williams and Cameron Wake both past prime, and rest of defense looks shaky. New MLB Alonso has history of injuries, and Dolphins must hope second-round pick Xavien Howard can fill big hole at CB.
Fantasy Players To Watch: Foster, WR DeVante Parker, rookie WR Jakeem Grant, QB Ryan Tannehill.
Expectations: Tunsil should help solidify OL that has long been Dolphins’ biggest problem. If Tannehill can get consistent protection for first time in five-year career, he might break through to elite level under QB guru Gase. Break-even season is possible, but doubts about ground game and many issues on defense make it unlikely Dolphins will earn first playoff berth since 2008.
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