The days of running off a string of division titles are, for the most part, long gone, ended by, among other things, revenue sharing and a hard salary cap. Yet New England, led by Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, are coming into this season winners of 10 of the last 12 AFC East division titles.
It was a busy offseason in South Florida, though, with athletic pieces added both on offense and defense that could be just what the Dolphins needed to try to make a run at the division champs.
Will the talent swap help produce a different result?
Former Dolphins wide receiver Oronde Gadsden, who recently called in to The Finsiders, thinks the Dolphins should contend for a division title in 2013, especially a reshuffled offensive line gets some continuity.
“If you look at it on paper, we could win the AFC East,” Gadsden said. “I don’t know exactly what New England has. Obviously, on paper we’re going to look better than the Jets and Buffalo.”
The Mike Wallace addition was a big one; it puts some mystery back into an offense that had become too predictable the last couple of years. Now, it’s feels reasonably safe to wonder whether this could be the year, a season where the Dolphins finally can begin to close the gap.
Whether that happens or not, NFL Network’s LaDanian Tomlinson, who played his final two seasons in the AFC East (2010-11 with the Jets), thinks the Dolphins’ offseason plan was sound, particularly the emphasis on adding players that can create mismatches and make it easier on a developing quarterback.
“These guys are going to be tough to deal with,” Tomlinson said in a recent interview with The Finsiders. “In that division, the AFC East, everybody obviously is looking up to New England. But you must score with New England, because you know they’re going to score points.
“What the Dolphins are doing, they know they have a very young quarterback in Ryan Tannehill and so they’re surrounding him with weapons, and I think they’re going in the right direction.”
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.