“I think in this room, the expectations of the guys are high and haven’t changed since they were established back in April,” defensive end Cameron Wake said. “First time I stepped out for OTAs and I watched [Dannell] Ellerbe, [Phillip] Wheeler and [Brent] Grimes, and being with Randy Starks and Paul Soliai for years, seeing our defense work together, my expectations are we can stop anybody.
“Why not? We have the best D-line in the league. We’ve got pass rushers. We’ve got amazing corners. Where is there not talent?”
Anyone disappointed by Miami’s 3-2 record should recall that many so-called experts (one named Salguero) believed Miami might actually be 1-4 at the bye. Before this season began, it didn’t seem outrageous to think the Dolphins would have lost at Indianapolis as they did last season (they didn’t) and couldn’t beat Atlanta (they did).
And although the Baltimore loss two weeks ago was deflating, it speaks of Miami’s high hopes that a loss to the defending Super Bowl champion is the huge disappointment it has been.
“If you said at the beginning of the season they’ll be in that game until the fourth quarter and then miss a field goal with a chance to tie, you might be happy with that,” Hartline said. “But our expectations are a lot higher. A loss is a loss to us, and we’re still frustrated about that.”
The frustration is understandable. But it shouldn’t be the thing.
The season is not lost. It still promises good things, starting Sunday.
“On this team, there’s so much talent,” Wake said. “And when I watch our defense line up across from an offense or on occasion I’ll watch our offense line up against a defense and I’ll say, ‘Our line should beat them, our running backs are better than their linebackers, our receivers are better than their DBs,’ and I think we should win.
“Does it happen every day out? No, but my expectation is still there. I look at Sunday and see Buffalo and see Miami, and I’m saying this should be a win for us.”