Andy Cohen’s column on Dolphins.com appears at 6 a.m. every weekday from training camp through the season and when events warrant during the offseason. Occasionally, like today, Andy will provide six things to think about. Thus, the title, “Six at Six.”
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Another day passes, and the Dolphins stay busy, in the wildest beginning to free agency I can remember. Press conferences to introduce Branden Albert and Earl Mitchell. The surprise re-signing of Randy Starks. A trade late Tuesday with San Francisco. More rumors flying everywhere. What’s next? Do we get a minute to catch our breath? Apparently not.
So while your head is spinning and the Dolphins keep moving on, here are six thoughts from Day Two.
1. It’s still early, but I like what I’ve seen so far from new General Manager Dennis Hickey. It is clear he has a well thought out plan, just as it’s clear that Hickey and Coach Joe Philbin are working in sync, both with the same objectives. It’s truthfully refreshing to see.
2. We got to meet the team’s new left tackle Wednesday and Albert is an impressive looking man who said all the right things. “I’m going to make a difference,” he said confidently. There isn’t much of a gamble in this signing. The Dolphins know what they are getting and there seems to be a real comfort zone within the organization now that the most important position on the offensive line has been filled.
3. The Dolphins regressed last season at stopping the run, which had a lot to do with the quick, decisive signing of defensive tackle Earl Mitchell. Asked to describe himself, Mitchell quickly responded, “passionate.” I would choose another “p” word: Productive. Mitchell – only 26 years old — is coming off his best season with the Houston Texans (87 tackles, 1 ½ sacks) and he takes a lot of pride in being a force against the run. “I’m ready to make plays,” he said. And you get the feeling he really means it.
4. You can now check the defensive line off your list of offseason needs. With the signing of Mitchell and the re-signing of veteran Randy Starks, the Dolphins are loaded up front and can now move on to other areas. I didn’t expect Starks to return, but this is a huge bonus for this defense and the trio of Mitchell, Starks and Jared Odrick will give the Dolphins plenty of flexibility. I always thought Starks was as consistent as any player on this team. Great to see him back.
5. The trade of Jonathan Martin had to happen. The Dolphins, plain and simple, could not have kept him on their roster after the events of last season. Working out a deal with San Francisco was a smart idea for everyone concerned. It is home for Martin and he’ll be playing for his former college coach (Jim Harbaugh). As for the Dolphins, they did not get back anything close to the second-round pick they had invested on Martin. But at least they got something and at least they can say they did what was best for the player.
6. What’s next? I’m sure the Dolphins will be looking for another tackle and some guards to help fill out the offensive line. Maybe a cornerback or linebacker. The more they accomplish in free agency, the more options they’ll have in the draft. I’m also very interested to see what unfolds at running back. There are some intriguing possibilities in free agency, players who have already had productive careers. But do you move in that direction or wait until the draft? Who knows, maybe Day 3 of this wackiest of weeks will bring us that answer.
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VIDEO: Hickey Discusses His Free Agency Moves
VIDEO: Branden Albert Highlights
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.