Consider that the Dolphins released Chad Johnson last week and traded Brandon Marshall in the offseason and had good reasons for both moves. But the lack of proven playmakers at the wide receiver spot is so deep and the inability to address the issue is so profound that if both discarded players were back on the team today they would be Miami’s two starters.
It gets worse. If Ted Ginn, discarded by Ireland and Tony Sparano in 2010, were on the team today, he’d probably start. Honestly, which Miami receiver is this year certain to eclipse both the 790 yards and 14.1-yards-per-catch average Ginn had in 2008?
The Dolphins’ West Coast offense needs a deep threat to at least threaten the defense with a long gain. Lacking that threat, the short throws that are a West Coast staple become only a nuisance to the defense.
Add to that the idea that Miami needs a tight end to threaten the middle of the field and none of the tight ends on the roster have ever done that consistently, and you have worries piled atop worries.
The Dolphins would argue they have bodies that can address all those concerns.
At wide receiver, B.J. Cunningham, Rishard Matthews, Jeff Fuller and Julius Pruitt are promising youngsters. Marlon Moore looks like an emerging talent. Clyde Gates has the potential to be a deep threat.
But all need significant development. None is proven. It would surprise if any earns the right to start in the next two weeks. And Gates, ribs aching so much he has had trouble bending over, has to excel the next couple of games merely to make the team.
No wonder Ireland looks at this group and tells people he’s got plenty of No. 3, 4 and 5 receivers but is still looking for someone to play like a No. 1 or No. 2.
That, of course, is not acceptable to Dolphins fans. If Philbin cannot develop someone now, they want Ireland to add someone soon.
Well, Mike Wallace is ready to sign his contract and report to the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend, and they say he’s not being traded. So forget that. Let’s see, what other team is eager to release or trade a star receiver?
This was a problem that began in the offseason and it probably cannot be properly addressed until next offseason. Until then, the Dolphins must pray someone currently on the roster steps forward as Ryan Tannehill stepped forward.