Miami Dolphins

The answer to these 10 questions will define the 2019 Miami Dolphins season

1. Are the Dolphins tanking in 2019? No. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to be good. This is a long-term strategic rebuild, and this year is about finding a core to build around.

2. Will Josh Rosen become a franchise quarterback? Maybe, but it better be soon. The Dolphins only gave up a late second-round draft pick to get him and will not have the patience to find out what they have like they did with Ryan Tannehill.

3. Can coach Brian Flores bring the Patriot Way to his new team? Many have tried. Few, if any, have succeeded. Flores would be best served by taking key lessons from New England and applying them to his coaching personality.

4. Will the defense bounce back from a historically bad 2018? It’s hard to see how it will be any worse. The Dolphins allowed the most yards (6,257) and second-most points (433) in franchise history last year.

5. Is Miami’s offensive line better, or will it be more of the same? Not a lot of reason for optimism here, with a downgrade at right tackle (Ja’Wuan James is gone) and major questions on the interior.

6. Who starts: Kenyan Drake or Kalen Ballage? Drake largely held his tongue when former coach Adam Gase time and again passed him over. Will that continue if Flores and offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea do the same?

7. How will the Dolphins generate pass rush with Cam Wake gone? By committee. It worked in New England, which has rarely had a top-10 sacker. But there isn’t nearly the team talent here as there.

8. Will cornerback Xavien Howard live up to his record-setting contract? Howard playing at a high level is about the only thing you can count on in 2019. He’s got the goods.

9. Will Gase prove the Dolphins erred in firing him? Mark down Nov. 3 and Dec. 8 on the calendar. You know Gase has. That’s when the new Jets coach will have two cracks at revenge.

10. Who will be the Dolphins’ No. 1 receiver? The better question is: Will they have one at all? In the past four years, the Patriots’ leading receiver was a wideout just once.

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