By Dr. Bruce Banner
So last week Hulk watch President give State of the Union Address and Hulk reminded that Constitution make President every year have to go tell congress what the state of the union is. So Hulk think maybe every year after season over Hulk should tell you what is the state of the Phins. So Hulk now tell you.
Ladies, gentlemen, and Fin Fan Rob, the state of our Phins is not good. Hulk know that many of you think that some quick fixes in this off season and that this team can compete next year. While Hulk knows anything possible Hulk here to tell you that competing next year is not likely. There are deep flaws in this team that are not likely to be corrected in one off season. Let’s start on offense.
Is four scores and seven points so damn hard to get? The offense average less than 20 points a game. That no going to work in today’s NFL. There must be more productivity at just about every position.
Hulk look at QB and remember that a house divided cannot stand. There is no more divisive figure to Phin fans than Ryan Tannehill. We hold these truths to be self evident: That he has passed for over 4,000 yards, completed over 60% of his passes and has had a 2-1 or better TD to interception ratio for two consecutive years. We also hold these truths to be self evident: That he seems to play his worst ball when the game is on the line in the 4th quarter and has failed to deliver against divisional foes more often than not. So Hulk and Phin fans everywhere wonder do we have a QB? Hulk still believe Tannehill can be franchise QB and even though Tannehill did not take the big jump forward that many expected this year he did show good deep ball this year, especially late in year to Parker. This next season is very important for Tannehill’s, Gase’s and Phins’ future. If Tannehill no progress then retooling project might just become an all out rebuilding project.
Now running back is an area where Phins got good production but Hulk foresees trouble next year. Under utilized Lamar Miller is going to be a free agent. He has shown enough productivity over the last 2 years that it is likely someone will come bidding for his services and that someone is likely a contending team such as Indianapolis or Dallas who both need a running back. So Hulk not counting on Miller being back. That leaves Jay Ajayai who flashed in limited opportunities but he have history of injury and behind him there is little depth. Hulk think running back once again become position of need.
Then there is the offensive line which is doing it’s best impersonation of the Maginot line which the Germans went right around with ease in 1940. Branden Albert is physically ailing and does not look like the player he was 2 years ago. He cannot be counted on for 16 games. Jawuan James followed up a promising rookie season with an injury plagued 2015 that saw him miss most of the season. That left Jason Fox as the defacto starting RT and the results were miserable. Fox is at best a single game alternative as a backup and not a guy who can be counted on for multiple starts. But as bad as the tackle play was this year the interior line play was worse. Hulk think it time to acknowledge the Dallas Thomas experiment is over. He just no good. Jamal Douglas won the other starting guard spot but lost it just as quickly as he won it. Billy Turner took over at guard and showed skill at run blocking which is unfortunately only half of the game and unfortunately in the case of the Phins more like a 1/3 of the game. So the offensive line remains a major weakness for the Phins.
Hulk happy to report that one area of offensive has positive news. The WR position has been turned from a deficit into a surplus. Jarvis Landry has set both team and league records over his first 2 years in the league and while not a burner he is an outstanding route runner and always seems to make the first defender miss and picks up good yards after the catch. Devante Parker overcame an injury plagued start to his rookie season and really flashed ability over the last several games. He has inconsistent habits in terms of effort and route running but you can see an exceptional skill set. He can get open deep, he can fight for the contested ball and he can run after the catch. He and Landry can become the cornerstone of a stud WR tandem for years to come. Kenny Stills provides a good #3 WR who has good speed and flashed the ability to get open deep. Rishard Matthews was very productive early then started to fade before getting injured. He is a free agent and likely not to be re-signed. Hulk think that we may want to pick up another WR for depth.
TE, all Hulk have to say is ugh! The state of the Phins is not good at TE. Cameron looked lost and failed to have significant impact in red zone as expected. Dion Sims seemed to have regressed as a receiver. He have some notable drops, in particular in game against Giants where he was miserable. Hulk think Phins need to get better TEs.
Hulk now turn to Department of Defense where despite massive spending the level of performance reached a new low. Phins spend lots of money for Suh who although he play okay he no worth what Phins pay him. Now Phins are burdened with his contract for the next several years and that may impair ability of Phins to sign other free agents. Suh was supposed to take up double teams so as to allow other players to make plays. Suh did that but no other players step up. Suh also had numerous off sides penalties. Earl Mitchell also seemed to lack in making impact plays. Again if Suh is getting double teamed Mitchell should be making more plays than he did. Jordan Phillips flashed promise as a rookie showing ability to generate inside pressure and a good knack for getting his hands up so as to bat down a number of passes.
At defensive end Hulk think we may have seen last of Cam Wake. He tore Achilles tendon and his recovery at his age is uncertain. Also his contract may be too large for someone with declining skills. Then we have Olivier Late & Low Vernon. Yes Vernon show ability to generate pass rush but he also have way too many personal fouls for late and low hits on QBs. Hulk not sure his sack yardage out gains his penalty yardage. Vernon is a free agent and Hulk has heard some pundits say the Phins will franchise Vernon. That would make Hulk very angry to tie up so much money into a DE who has produced middle of the road statistics. Hulk think DE is a position of need in this draft and free agency. This especially so when you consider the once promising career of Terrance Fede who went from being unblockable during training camp to being inactive over the last several games of the season. So the state of the DEs is not good.
If the state of the DEs is not good then the state of the LBs verges on abysmal. Only Jelani Jenkins is of NFL starting caliber and his play last season was not up to the level it was the year before. Koa Misi is best suited as role player and not as a starting LB. He just lacks the quickness necessary to play the position. At MLB Sheppard look lost at times. He has the physical skills but not the instincts for the position. This may be the greatest area of need on the team.
In the defensive backfield Reshad Jones is the only impact player we have. Jones had an excellent season and Hulk very angry that Jones no go to pro bowl. Hulk also very angry that rest of defensive backfield still on Phins roster. Brent Grimes while still has a knack for the interception but any WR with a modicum of speed can get behind Grimes. Jamar Taylor can now officially be labeled a bust. Of all the other CBs only Lippett flashed some potential late in the season but he remains very raw and largely untested. CB is a major area of need.
Finally there are the special teams. Matt Darr seems to have filled the large shoes of his predecessor. Andrew Franks has simply not kicked enough field goals to be properly evaluated. He shows a good leg but Hulk no trust him just yet. Landry is an outstanding punt returner but Hulk prefer he no return punts because he so good as a WR. Hulk think Phins need an upgrade at KR.
So there you have Hulk’s state of the Phins position by position analysis. The bottom line is Hulk see too many areas of need, OL, TE, DE, LB and DB for a quick turnaround. Hulk predicts he be very, very angry again next year. And remember vote early and vote often.