Team Needs: Miami Dolphins
By: Bernie Marshall
Category: Washington Redskins News
2008 Projected Cap Status: $80,440,000 or $35,560,000 under the projected Cap of $116,000,000.
2007 Season Recap:
The high point for the Cam Cameron-led Dolphins in 2007 came December 16th in a 22-16 overtime victory against the Baltimore Ravens. It was the only victory Dolphins fans had to cheer about last year. Cameron was hired to turn the Dolphins around coming off a 6-10 season in 2006 and once the season ended so did Cameron’s job as head coach, as did the job of the man that hired him (General Manager Randy Mueller). Owner Wayne Huizenga hired Bill Parcells to become the team's executive vice president of football operations before the season was over and he cleaned house when the final whistle blew on the 2007 season. Parcells hired Jeff Ireland, former vice president of college and pro scouting for that team in Texas to replace Mueller.
Together they have replaced most of the 2007 staff with members of Jerry Jones/Wade Phillips staff; a move that has some of the locals on South Beach referring to their team as the Dallas Dolphins. In addition to convincing Ireland to leave “big D” he also hired Phillips’ Linebackers coach Paul Pasqualoni to run the defense, his Secondary coach Todd Bowles as assistant head coach in charge of the defensive backs and Defensive line coach Kacy Rodgers, who didn’t get offered a new title but will be moving to Miami anyway. The Tuna also raided The Ranch and brought in Brian Gaine to be assistant director of personnel, and Tony Sparano as Cam Cameron’s replacement
1. Offensive Line – The offensive line gave up 42 sacks last season (most of which - 25 - came in the last six games) so Sparano and company will want to address this need as soon as possible. Offensive guards Rex Hadnot and Chris Liwienski are fine as backups but they were both starters at one time or another last year. They will more than likely look to add a large-frame tackle or two. Sparano and Parcells both prefer huge tackles.
2. Defensive Players – The unit lacks a true nose tackle for the system that will be prominent under Sparano and Parcells, and if the Dolphins become a predominantly 3-4 team, trading the first overall pick would be better than drafting Glen Dorsey. In 2007 the defense ranked 27th in points allowed per game, 29th in total sacks, and 30th in rushing yards allowed per game. With Parcell’s new regime in place and long-time Dolphin linebacker Zach Thomas being released, defensive lineman Jason Taylor and defensive back Yeremiah Bell may be the only starters from the 2007 defense with secure jobs going into the off-season
3. Wide Receiver – Dolphins receivers caught a total of four passes for more than 30 yards all season. With Wes Welker and Chris Chambers playing elsewhere last season, Miami went with Marty Booker and 2007 first round pick Ted Ginn, Jr. as the starters, but back up Derek Hagan was inconsistent for a second straight season. The fourth wide-out Greg Camarillo did have the 64-yard touchdown catch-and-run to beat the Ravens but as a whole this unit didn’t show much in 2007.
4. Quarterback – There will be a major shakeup at quarterback - at some point in the 2007 season Trent Green, Cleo Lemon, and John Beck all were the starting QB for the Dolphins. Green was released; he will be 38 years old, has a “cap hit” of almost $4 million and finished the season on injured reserve. Lemon has only won one of the six games he’s started as a NFL quarterback and the free agent may not be resigned. John Beck will be entering his second season.
2008 Draft Picks:
1st Round -- 1st Overall
2nd Round – 33rd Overall
3rd Round -- 65th Overall
4th Round -- 97th Overall
5th Round -- sent to Kansas City in the Trent Green trade
6th Round -- To be Determined
7th Round -- To be Determined
Free agency status:
Safety Yeremiah Bell
Running back Jessie Chatman
Offensive Guard Rex Hadnot,
Cornerback Michael Lehan
Quarterback Cleo Lemon
Offensive Guard Chris Liwienski
Center Gene Mruczkowski
Offensive Tackle Mike Rosenthal
Linebacker Donnie Spragan
Safety Travares Tillman
Wide Receivers Chris Davis
Center John Denney
Offensive Tackle Cory Lekkerkerker
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