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It's been a while since you've heard from me, and I would like to say that I took a break because of burn out. 18 years has been a heck of a long time. I am back, so, let's go for another season, eh?


1. Is Jay Cutler finally the answer?

If he is then it is because of the emergence of DeVante Parker. With last year's offense I would have said that he would do worst than Tannehill, but everyone knows that Cutler loves to take chances deep. With a receiver like Parker who has no problem outleaping any corner for the ball, Cutler is licking his chops. This will open up a lot of balls for the rest of the receivers, too. A lot of people are saying that this is the best offense that he's been a part of, and I would have to say "yes".


2. Same old problems.

You know what I am talking about: the offensive line. The only two dependable stars on our offensive line are LT Larry Tunsil and RT Ja'Wuan James. If healthy, C Mike Pouncey is da man. He is a mauler in the middle and everything works very well when he is in the game. He and our tackles even help with our major weaknesses along our offensive line and that is both guards. Personally, I think the Dolphins rolled the dice on the offensive line in hopes that they can get by another year on a injury prone center, and two below average guards. The Dolphins have had little success in drafting any offensive lineman out of the first round. They've really tried, and even the experts thought they did well with their picks, but every one of them has failed MISSERABLY. I mean, they really aren't worth backing up the starters. Why can't they get this right? Seriously, with the cost of free agents skyrocketing, you have to hit on picks outside the first round. I know what you are saying, "Come on, Big Dave. Not the offensive line answer again. We heard it for the last few years about Tannehill." Did you all see last year's Super Bowl? The Falcons had that game won as Brady couldn't even scratch himself back in that pocket. Once the Falcons defense became winded, he carved them up. It was like two quarterbacks out there for the Patriots. Cutler is not the kind of QB that you want with little protection. He becomes a fumble machine back there.

I do have to add that the Dolphins added PFF's best blocking tight end in Anthony Fasano. Welcome back Fasano.


3. Melvin Gordon.

You know, some people just don't have any intelligence when it comes to football. A big part of the game is psychological. I mean, why does Bill Belicheat talk up opposing quarterbacks to be future hall of fame quarterbacks before each game? Because he understands that bulletin material helps pick up players to another level. This is how Melvin Gordon answered a question about Culter this week:


Retire for three months, and some people lose all respect for you. Asked on Thursday afternoon what problems Cutler might present this weekend, the Chargers defensive end didn’t miss a beat.

“None,” Ingram said.


Thanks, Meathead! That should help knock off a little rust that the Dolphins have after missing a week of football. We are pretty much coming off of a bye week, and we have film on the Chargers from last week's game in which Broncos QB Trevor Siemian carved them up. The last time the Chargers faced the Gase/Cutler combo, Cutler had a 345 yards passing, 67% completion, 2 TD, 100.9% passer rating against them. Light up the cig, Smoking Jay Cutler.


4. The key to the season.

Jay Ajayi, beastmode, phinfeverLet me just say that I think we have a more talented team than last year. Offensively there are weapons that just by saying their name you get the feeling that at any play they could be in the end zone. QB Jay Cutler: the man loves big receivers and DeVante Parker had better be ready for a lot of passes while double & triple covered. WR DeVante Parker: can outleap any corner for the ball, has great balance, and superior hands. Kenny Stills: the dude just knows how to get open deep. WR Jarvis Landry: the biggest playmaker on this offense, and he is the leader. WR Jakeem Grant: wow, how can such a little man play like such a big man in today's NFL? And Jay Ajayi: the key to the offense in my opinion; he needs to stay healthy as he is beastmode; he will keep Cutler balanced with the thought that he does not have to carry the offense. If Ajayi goes down, we may be in trouble.


5. Did the Dolphins improve the run defense?

You know, we sure did get a lot older on the defense as we went out and signed proven run stuffing linebackers in former 1st round pick Lawrence Timmons of the Steelers and early 2nd round pick Rey Maualuga of the Bengals in free agency. Timmons is who the Dolphins targetted in free agency and is 31 with a lot of wear and tear. He definitely is on the downside of his career as the Steelers decided to go in a different direction this year, but I have to say that after watching him destroy us in the playoffs last year and his performance in the preseason, he still has something left in the tank. I'm excited about him on defense. Now, Mauluga was picked up after we lost our prized rookie LB Raekwan McMillan that we took in the 2nd round out of Ohio State. The Dolphins were excited about drafting him but he is out for the year on the very first play of the preseason. Mauluga should be a decent fit in the middle, but when he was let go by the Bengals, he did not keep himself in shape. He was picked over other available free agent linebackers because of his familiarity with our defense. Kiko Alonzo slides over WLB and there isn't a lot bad to say about him. He was very good last year in the middle and he will play well on the outside as well.

So, "yes" we did improve the run defense over last year's group of backup starters.


6. Big Dave's 2017 prediction.

11-5, first round win in the playoffs. You heard it from the perennial optimist. The defense will improve, and the offense will move the ball down the field now that Gase finally has a quarterback who operate the no-huddle with great efficiency.


Go Fins!

Big Dave



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