“Counterparts to be counted on” is a 32-part series where we the “Front Office” of couchpotatogm.com analyzes both side of the ball on each team and determine which individual or position group MUST have a particularly strong season in 2016 for their respective teams to have a successful 2016 campaign. Two, One, Two, and Twenty-three. Those are the offensive (points scored) rankings from 2012-2015 respectively under OC Adam Gase and now Head Coach of the Miami Dolphins. Those first three years were with the future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning. That twenty-three ranking was with the Bears with Jay Cutler under center. Now you have to wonder is Gase that good? Or was he fortunate to have the aid of a Hall of Famer? Or maybe a combination of both?
Personally, I think it’s the latter, but the 2016 regular season is fast approaching and we will soon know the truth. The Dolphins are owned by an owner who wants to bring L.A. to South Beach, doesn’t mind spending money to get the team where it needs to be and is willing to make that splash to prove it. Jordan Cameron, Ndamukong Suh, Brice McCain, Mario Williams, Arian Foster, the trades to acquire Kenny Stills, Byron Maxwell, and Kiko Alonso. With Gase at the helm and his great offensive mind some seem to think that this may be the coach who turns Ryan Tannehill into what they thought they were drafting at his fullest potential. With finishing last in the division and the spending and trading in the off-season the Dolphins appear poised to make that next step.
Miami Dolphins “Counterparts to be Counted On” 2016
Jarvis Landry – A special talent who has proven all draft experts wrong. Most of his weaknesses that were thought to be were actually things he can do and do them well. He amassed 110 receptions for 1,157 yards. Most thought he could only play slot because he is too small for the outside. He is the the Dolphins #1 wide receiver. Experts said he would’ve been an “EFFECTIVE” #3 wideout. The next best offensive weapon may be DeVante Parker 26 receptions for 494 yards or Jordan Cameron 35 receptions for 386 yards, who combined don’t beat nor match what Landry did by his lonesome. I suspect Gase will use Landry in the X, Z, slot, or Wes Welker role. Landry can do more than just play receiver he can also run the ball like a running back. Now this is not ideal, having your #1 wide receiver playing a little running back, but he averaged 6.3 a carry lasy year touching the ball 18 times and also playing kick returner with an average of 24.7 a return shows you his effectiveness anywhere on the field. Landry is a weapon that can be used in a multitude of ways but this is also an indictment on what the Dolphins have everywhere else? Nevertheless, Landry is a player the Dolphins will lean on heavily and who Adam Gase will look to as the playmaker for the offense.
Mario Williams – A player accustomed to double digit sacks and being a factor week in and week out. A player that must be accounted for on every snap. Unfortunately, this was not the case this past season. Williams was a bit of a malcontent and not happy with Rex Ryan’s scheme. There was even talk of him taking plays off. Williams has 96 sacks over the course of his ten year career and five of those ten are double digit years. Now with the Dolphins, Williams looks to return to form and when you look at the talent the Dolphins have on defense, especially within the front seven, Kiko Alonso, Jelani Jenkins, Cameron Wake, Ndamkung Suh just to name a few. I’m looking for Williams to be fifteen sack guy in 2016. The Phins down line was supposed to be dominant a year ago. Suh had a strong season despite meager sack totals (6.0) considering what Miami paid him, Olivier Vernon was a standout but he’s in New York now and Cameron Wake was injured. If Williams plays to form he can take some pressure off of Wake and Suh and actually make his teammates better. The Dolphins have substantial question marks at the second and third levels of the defense so Williams and company will be depended upon heavily this upcoming season.