"2002 Outlook From Fanball.com" | FinHeaven - Miami Dolphins Forums

"2002 Outlook From Fanball.com"


We Are Still Going To The SB
May 24, 2002
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Like division rival Buffalo, Miami made a mammoth trade that should take their offense to the next level. The Dolphins acquired Ricky Williams from the Saints, who apparently couldn't get rid of the mega-talented back quickly enough. Williams, who has the strength to run inside, the speed to get outside, and big enough hands to be a factor in the passing game, should provide Miami's offense with the sense of legitimacy it lost when superstar quarterback Dan Marino retired. If the Dolphins offensive line does a merely adequate job of blocking, R-Dub should post drool-inducing numbers. Williams' presence will also take some of the heat off Jay Fiedler, whose play somehow manages to inspire both admiration and befuddlement. With Norv Turner running Miami's offense, and after a year of working with the reliable Oronde Gadsden, the scintillating Chris Chambers, and the speedy James McKnight, Fiedler is poised to become a more efficient quarterback. If he stumbles, however, Ray Lucas lurks over his shoulder. As for Chambers, expectations are sky-high entering his sophomore season, and he certainly has the talent to meet them. With Gadsden, McKnight, and Dedric Ward rounding out the receivers, Miami's offense has the capability of gaining yardage in Alaska-size chunks. Rookie tight end Randy McMichael is a sleeper candidate who could vibe with Turner's offense, but probably needs a year of grooming. Olindo Mare remains an accurate fantasy kicker, and he should get many more opportunities than he saw last year, when he attempted just 21 field goals. :eat:
I posted the same post on the herald and I got two responses so far on it. Here they are. All responses are welcome. Holla.

A. I hold a more reserved optimism and enthusiasm for the offense. There are many question marks which overshadow the positive points you have mentioned:

1. Norv Turner. Yes he is an offensive guru, but it may take some time for the team to gel and fully understand the gameplan.

2. Offensive Line. Most of the guys are coming back from a very poor season filled with injuries. Some injuries were severe and I question the ability of those players to regain their form. These guys include Dixon, Spriggs, Smith and Searcy. There is hope, but too many questions still remain.

3. Ricky Williams. He is a stud. However, he will rarely break the long run and take it to the house. With Ricky we can control the clock better and pick up those short third down conversions. This should certainly help Jay. Ricky got questions himself. Can he stay healthy given his style of play? Can he solve is fumble problems? Can he still produce if the offensive line falters? What if defenses stack the line and force Jay to beat them? Would that eliminate Ricky from the mix?

4. Jay Fielder. You said it best "both admiration and befuddlement". Can Jay play in Norv's offense? Can he reduce his interceptions? Can he still pull out victories or was that a one-year wonder? My gut feeling is that Jay will have is best year. But so many of the other parts need to pan out. Regarding Lucas, he will only come in if Fielder goes down with an injury.

5. Receivers. Chambers will get double-teamed and his production will drop. It's now or never for McKnight to step up. With his speed he should be able to get open, but can he catch the ball? Oronde is great, but he's been playing hurt and each year he gets a little slower. I would love to see Simmons make the club. He certainly has more potential than Ogden. This group will only succeed if the running game is working.

6. The TE's. I think we can only get better. With Norv's offense somebody will get some chances. Who will step up is up for grabs.

7. Fullbacks. Both Konrad and the other guy (I'm blanking) will get more opportunities. One of these guys needs to step up and take the bull by the horns.

8. Olindo is the best. The punting game will be worse with Royals and we may suffer in field position because of that. Otherwise, the special teams will continue to be a strong point.

Here hoping for a strong season deep into the playoffs! Go phins.

B. I think you make some good points. Also, it's good for us not to go overboard on expectations ... however, this year I believe there are valid reasons for high optimism. Regarding your eight points:

1. Norv T has done it everywhere he's gone. Last year he quickly turned around SD. Our first game is Detroit, a perfect foil to get the kinks out of the new offense. The offense should be in good shape by the third game (JETS!).

2. You are probably right about the OL. However, I believe there is a symbiosis with a good running back ... he makes them better, they make him better. At least I hope so. Obviously, in both cases, lack of injuries is key.

3. See above. But as far as running it all the way from scrimmage, that will happen sooner or later. But far more important is having someone you can go to even if it's 3rd and five so that defenses aren't always keying on a pass in that situation. And, the best thing is if he gains enough yards per carry to keep them out of a lot of 3rd down situations.

4. Jay, of course, is the key to any step up in offensive output. But a healthy productive Ricky will cause it to happen. Ideally, Jay will be throwing fewer passes per game and his percentages for completions will go up ( and int's will go down). Again, if Ricky becomes an effective safety valve to dump off to in 3rd down situations, then Jay should improve overall.

5. I'm not sure about the double-teaming on Chambers ... but if its true, then it means somebody else has got to be open, right?

6. Right about the TE's. I think we will finally see some real production out of this position. I wish we could get the Buffalo tight end FA, with the unpronounceable name.

7. I have said elsewhere, I am expecting, with Norv's offense, this position to be elevated. I believe Konrad has talent and it just hasn't been tapped yet. Ricky will help change that.

8. Special teams. You're right about punting and this is key ... I think their weakness here kept Pittsburg out of the SB last year. Our strength here was a factor in going 11-5. I hope Royals will step up but who knows until the season starts.

So, I think I'm a little more optimistic than you, yet I hope I'm being realistic as well.
I kinda disagree with Chambers production dropping. We have Ward and McKnight or speedy receivers, and Gadsden is always a threat to catch the impossible ball. In Norv's offense 1300 yards rec and 12 TDs is not a far reach for Chambers.
Originally posted by CRAZYDOLFAN305
and big enough hands to be a factor in the passing game
RW's problem w/fumbling has often been attributed to his small hand - but they are soft ;)

If he stumbles, however, Ray Lucas lurks over his shoulder.
any dolphan knows, that Ray is not playing unless is lying in a hospital bad on Sun. :rolleyes:
Didn't Tim Dwight even have a good season with Turner last year? And he got a rookie RB over 1,100 yards.
39....love the avatar!!! That is classic.
Originally posted by inFINSible
39....love the avatar!!! That is classic.
hopefully, it will be an oldie that we remember fondly and not something that comes out every year or worse :eek:

Ricky - hire a limo driver. :evil:
1300 yards would be a stretch for Chambers. I expect he'll have over 1000, but not 1300-1600 or anything. We just haven't seen a guy in a phins uni beat defenders consistently in a while is all. Lots of teams have a guy like that. I bet most people here consider it a lock for Chambers to go to the Pro Bowl this year. Not me. I severely doubt it will happen. Watch out for the sophomore slump...it happens, I dont know why, it just does. Ask Wade.
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