Toucher and Rich: Andrew Julian Previews The Miami Dolphins
The Miami brass isn’t calling this a rebuilding year, but after a 6-10 season that saw them lose seven straight to start, Miami brought in a new head coach in Joe Philbin, traded star receiver Brandon Marshall, and drafted a QB for the future.
All those make it pretty apparent this is, in fact, a rebuilding year for the Dolphins.
“I really don’t know how you can start off a season 0-7, have that much trouble moving the ball, and not be in a rebuilding mode the next year; especially when you have so much turnover,” said Julian. “There were a couple of things Miami started doing well at the end of the season, but they brought in a rookie quarterback to be the face of the franchise for the future. If the organization isn’t calling it a rebuilding year, I’d say it’s fair for a fan or someone else to call it rebuilding.
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The Dolphins will start the year with Matt Moore and David Garrard battling it out for the starting QB job, but they drafted quarterback Ryan Tannehill out of Texas A&M eighth overall. The rookie isn’t expected to make any impact this season, but was chosen more to show the franchise is trying to head in the right direction.
“I thought it was something more to appease the fans. This isn’t just a QB driven league, it’s a QB only league,” said Julian. “I didn’t think it was necessarily a bad idea for the Dolphins to sell the farm and try to get Robert Griffin III. The Dolphins are having problems filling the stadium, something you’re not used to hearing about fans in Miami. So you have to have a selling point.”
“I don’t know if Tennehill had eight pick value, but for Miami it was something they had to do,” he said. “I don’t know if he’s going to be ready this season to be effective, but he has some upside to potentially be a franchise quarterback.”
The Dolphins also added Chad Ochocinco, who is back to being Chad Johnson. How will he help Miami after doing very little with the Patriots in 2011?
“I don’t know if he’s going to be a starting receiver; I think those days are behind him,” said Julian. “I do think that one of the thing he’s always had, in addition to being very chatty and fun off the field, he’s a guy that shows up for work and puts in the time. He could be a good influence on some of the younger guys. How much that translates to him on the field, as you guys saw in New England, he didn’t have that much of an effect on the Patriots winning or losing.”