Miami Dolphins Head Coach Adam Gase talks pre season: “I can see how it’s kind of starting to come together,”
1. Is Ryan Tannehill healthy, ready and able to win?
This is the whole ball of wax for the 2018 Miami Dolphins. If Tannehill’s twice-injured, once-surgically reconstructed left knee is strong, the Dolphins have a real chance this year. If not, they’ll be drafting his replacement next.
2. Has the Dolphins’ culture been sufficiently changed?
Ndamukong Suh, Jarvis Landry and Jay Ajayi all played big parts in Miami’s 2016 playoff season. But they were the fall guys for a bad 2017. Can the subtraction translate into addition for the leadership-deficit Dolphins?
3. Will the offensive line finally be a strength, and not a liability?
Dolphins coach Adam Gase is betting the season (and maybe Tannehill’s health) that it will. Josh Sitton and Daniel Kilgore better be an upgrade over Ted Larsen and Mike Pouncey.
4. Who will make up for Landry’s lost production?
No NFL player had more receptions through four NFL season than Landry’s 400 — 112 of which came last year. The Dolphins will have to better in the aggregate (i.e., DeVante Parker, Danny Amendola and Albert Wilson).
5. Is this the year the Dolphins’ pass rush lives up to the hype?
Miami had the league’s highest paid defensive line in 2017. It also had the league’s sixth-worst pass rush, totaling just 30 sacks. The Dolphins believe that will change because of Robert Quinn (acquired in a trade) and Charles Harris (expected to be better in Year 2).
6. Who will be the Dolphins’ featured back?
When it comes to career rushing yards, Frank Gore is to Kenyan Drake as the United States is to, well, Kenya, in terms of wealth. But does the future Hall of Famer still have it at age 35? Or is this Drake’s time to shine?
7. Which 2018 rookie will have the biggest impact?
The smart money is on safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, who has been as good as advertised in practice. But don’t sleep on tight end Mike Gesicki, who could lead the team in touchdown catches.
8. Can the corners not named Xavien Howard do their part?
One of the few battles in Dolphins camp has been for the cornerback job opposite Howard. Cordrea Tankersley, Tony Lippett, Torry McTyer and Bobby McCain have all gotten reps on the boundary.
9. Is this the year Father Time finally beats Tom Brady?
Brady was fantastic as a 40-year-old in 2017. But at some point, the laws of physiology will prevail. Brady aging a decade overnight is the Dolphins’ best (only?) chance of unseating the Patriots.
10. Will the Dolphins’ big roster gamble work?
Few outside of Davie think the Dolphins are going to the playoffs. Some think they’ll be the worst team in football. Stephen Ross expects a winning year, and jobs might be on the line if he is disappointed.
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