Game 6 (Got to get better)
It feels like the 70’s when the teams would play 6 pre-season games. So far there have been 5 totally vanilla games and the Dolphins have won the two that mattered the most. The “third” pre-season game the one where we hold out the most hope since the previous season that we see a glimmer of what is to be was a win over a Falcon team that showed pretty well in their season opener on Monday Night. The next important win was obviously the season opener. A win that left everyone a tad deflated. The feeling we had was strong in anticipation of the season there is no reason to lose the feeling after only one game against a weak opponent while playing as vanilla as can be allowing the team to sort of ease into the season, maybe we go into December a more well rounded team. A team that is truly ready to contend for playoff positioning.
I remember when I took notice of our friend and fellow blogger Rhino on the boards. He had a different screen name at the time, as I recall, and he came on saying – “Home field advantage is our responsibility”, prior to the start of the 2012 season. He was telling us as fans that we needed to be there to support the team, that we needed to fill the stadium so our team could feel the support essentially. That stuck with me, I found it clever and fun. As a fan as always I was ready to do my part. The problem was deep down we all knew that all we had was one thing – no chance. We had hope and we had spirit and we even had some decent players but despite all of our wishes we were a long shot at best. The hype wasn’t there, the prognosticators wrote us off, there was a rookie coach and quarterback and Jeff Ireland.
Here we are three off seasons later, Jeff Ireland is gone, our quarterback has grown into the position and the team has thrown its confidence behind the fourth year head coach.
And we Signed Ndomukong Suh – Ndomukong Freakin’ Suh – Is a Dolphin now.
The stadium has been nicely updated, season tickets are flying out of the box office, there is a buzz from the media, and there is honest hope in fans hearts. You can’t tell me that this year doesn’t have a much different feel as compared to the last (fill in the blank) seasons prior. There is something almost tangible this time, when you defend your team to your friends and fans of other teams you actually have coviction in your rebuttals and had confidence for the first time in a long time when you said, “we’re gonna kick your ass”, you know you did. No more dreaded thoughts of Jeff Ireland confusing your judgement, there is clarity. There is a much different vibe this year and we have started right on script – one game one win.
Game 1 of the regular season and you have to go and play at the circus called the Washington Redskins, followed by (can you say Dolphins of the 2000’s) Jacksonville Jaguars. The travel is minimal so far the team is relatively healthy, according to Tim Knight we have 20 new players on the team so it just has to gel. I believe the coaches are taking a slow and steady approach so maybe we set our expectations a little high based on the feeling (we finally have) and lost site that this team needs to tighten up. Most of the receivers are new, Jamil Douglas is a rookie starter, Jordan Cameron is new so the offense has a little uniting to do. Suh is new on Defense and the linebacker core has been overturned and we have 2 new starters in the secondary. There wasn’t tremendous scheming, that I saw last week, I thought we looked like we played pretty straight up. We took their punches, stood our ground and punched them right back when we needed to. Remember it was a second half shutout. Plus we did one thing that was on everyone’s list for needs improvement for next season list and that was kill the clock at the end of the game to preserve a win. We did it. Incidentally Ryan Tannehill enjoyed his best opening day QB rating of his career.
Style points, or lack thereof, aside the Dolphins have done everything we asked for leading into the season. Now we have one more pre-season game – Game 6 – to go before the shit gets real. Jacksonville is another home game for the Dolphins, it makes up for the one in London, and there is still no reason to put the pedal to the metal. We sit back holding our cards, watching our division rivals, getting guys a lot of snaps, getting guys healthy and becoming cohesive. While not overlooking Jacksonville you just won’t show some stuff yet and continue with a larger rotation than perhaps we’ll see going forward.
It’s way too early to panic and its way way to early for despair. The team has done what we wanted so far so let’s do what they want from us. Let’s let them know we are behind them, we know last year was last year and that this is a different team. Until there is something to worry or gripe about – we won’t. But don’t get me wrong I am not telling anyone how to be a fan, I’m just saying you should trust that feeling that you know you finally felt for the first time in a long time. Afterall, “home field advantage is OUR responsibility”! Hopefully we see an expanded role for Devante Parker this week as we prepare for the season opener excuse me I mean Home Opener next week.
Got to get better in a little while…
Steve Jordan laying down a bad-ass beat