2012 Record: 7-9 (2nd in Division)
General Manager: Jeff Ireland
Head Coach: Joe Philbin
Offensive Coordinator: Mike Sherman
Defensive Coordinator: Kevin Coyle
Special Teams Coach: Darren Rizzi
Remember how prior to the beginning of the 2012 season most sports media outlets predicted the Miami Dolphins to be the worst team in the NFL, or at best bottom three? Well it looks like they were wrong. Sure, they didn’t make the playoffs but 7-9 is pretty far from dead last. The 2013 offseason has been a bang for the Dolphins. They made big improvements to their roster via free agency and the draft. With rookie head coach Joe Philbin and rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill finding their way, the future looks positive for Dolphins fans.
Offense: Total Offense (27th), Passing (26th), Rushing (6th), and Scoring (17th).
This is what a young offense’s stats look like with a rookie head coach and quarterback. The fact that the rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill also had no weapons besides his running back didn’t help Miami’s production on the offensive side of the ball. The other factor to this ugly puzzle was an extremely average offensive line. Yes, the Dolphins had Jake Long, but he hasn’t been JAKE LONG since probably the 2010 season. Rookie right tackle Jon Martin had a rookie up and down season and next to him at guard was the consistently over weight John Jerry. The bright spots were Mike Pouncey and Pro Bowler Richie Incognito. Pouncey was Miami’s 2011 first round pick and it looks like he will be leading the trend of athletic centers. Miami’s offense had bright spots, but needs a lot of work for 2013.
Defense: Total Yards (12th), Passing (6th), Rushing (12th), and Sacks (7th).
Miami’s defense is pretty underrated in the national spotlight. Sure Sean, Smith and Cornerback Co. were slaughtered by opposing quarterbacks. But when Sean Smith is your number-one corner, and your number-two guy, Richard Marshall, is fighting injuries all year, that’s what will happen. Thankfully for the Miami Dolphins they may have a top-three safety tandem in Reshad Jones and Chris Clemons who saved the rears over the top in coverage. A good amount of football fans will say “Who?” and the “Are you kidding me?”, and to them I say look those two up. The film says it, PFF says it, and even some of the national media now knows it. The Dolphins also have a very talented defensive line featuring All-Pro Cameron Wake. Paul Soliai and Randy Starks are a force in the middle of their line. If the Dolphins can pull it together at cornerback they will be a defense on the verge of elite.
Special Teams: Field Goals (26th), Kick Returns (2nd), and Punting (10th).
Dan Carpenter killed the Miami Dolphins a few times last season on kicks that could have turned a loss or two into wins, but by no means should you be relying on your kicker to win you games. Surprisingly the Dolphins had a great year returning kicks. Everyone thinks a good kick returning team is one that features a stud returner that takes it to the house. In reality it’s about field position and if you’re starting from you 30-yard line each time that’s a nice feeling for the offense. One of the secret superstars for the Dolphins in 2012 was punter Brandon Fields. Averaging 50.3 yards a punt in 2012 he really helped out the defense. The Dolphins have a solid special teams group and that is all thanks to Darren Rizzi.
2012 Off-season Impact:
QB David Garrard, WR Chad Ochocinco, WR Legedu Naanee, DE/OLB Jamaal Westerman, OLB Gary Guyton, CB Richard Marshall, and S Tyrell Johnson.