Published On: Wed, Aug 24th, 2016

Kickoff Primer: An instant guide to the 2016 Miami Dolphins

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Christopher Hanewinckel / USA TODAY Sports

AFC Previews
BUF | MIA | NE | NYJ
BAL | CIN | CLE | PIT
HOU | IND | JAX | TEN
DEN | KC | OAK | SD
NFC Previews
DAL | NYG | PHI | WAS
CHI | DET | GB | MIN
ATL | CAR | NO | TB
ARI | LA | SF | SEA

Miami Dolphins

2015 Record 2015 Finish
6-10 4th in AFC East

Coaching Staff

Head Coach: Adam Gase
Offensive Coordinator: Clyde Christensen
Defensive Coordinator: Vance Joseph

Key Additions

  • RB Arian Foster
  • OL Laremy Tunsil (1st round)
  • S Isa Abdul-Quddus
  • CB Xavien Howard (2nd round)
  • DE Andre Branch
  • CB Chris Culliver
  • RB Kenyan Drake (3rd round)
  • G Jermon Bushrod

Key Departures

  • DE Olivier Vernon
  • RB Lamar Miller
  • CB Brent Grimes
  • DE Derrick Shelby
  • WR Rishard Matthews

Preseason Power Ranking – No. 28

The Dolphins have all the makings of a disaster, especially the defense. Kiko Alonso is made of glass, Mario Williams seemed half asleep in 2015, Byron Maxwell isn’t capable of being a No. 1 cornerback, and Cameron Wake is coming off an Achilles injury. More …

Projected Starting Lineup

Position Starter
WR Kenny Stills
WR Jarvis Landry
WR DeVante Parker
LT Branden Albert
LG Laremy Tunsil
C Mike Pouncey
RG Billy Turner
RT Ju’Wuan Turner
TE Jordan Cameron
QB Ryan Tannehill
RB Jay Ajayi
Position Starter
DE Cameron Wake
DT Nkamukong Suh
DT Earl Mitchell
DE Mario Williams
OLB Koa Misi
ILB Kiko Alonso
OLB Jelani Jenkins
CB Byron Maxwell
SS Reshad Jones
FS Isa Abdul-Quddus
CB Tony Lippett

Questions to Answer

  • Can Gase get Tannehill back on track?
  • Who will be the team’s featured back, Ajayi or Foster?
  • Will incoming defensive veterans like Alonso, Williams, and Maxwell rejuvenate their careers?

Best-case Scenario

Gase reworks the offense into a competent unit, with Tannehill making a solid leap forward and the ground game emerging thanks to the formidable duo of Ajayi and Foster. The defense isn’t without its issues, especially in the secondary, but the Dolphins’ risks took pan out. Alonso stays healthy, Williams has a Pro Bowl-caliber season left in the tank, and Suh returns to the unstoppable force he was in Detroit. It’s enough to help the Dolphins challenge for a playoff spot, before falling off late in the season.

Worst-case Scenario

Tannehill simply isn’t a franchise quarterback. The porous offensive line and inconsistent running game don’t help, but it’s clear Gase can’t elevate the young quarterback’s play. Things aren’t much better on the other side of the ball, with the new defensive players proving why former teams opted to give up on them. A top-three pick and a 3-13 record means big changes could be afoot once again in Miami.



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