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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Coach Joe Philbin, General Manager Dennis Hickey and Owner Stephen Ross all spoke at the owners meeting Tuesday and here are some of the things I took away from their comments:
1. I think it was important that Philbin said, “I believe in Mike Pouncey very strongly.” And here is what I believe: Pouncey is a good, decent man and a class act, who obviously made some mistakes in the handling of the Jonathan Martin situation. He will be evaluated, probably accept whatever comes, and move on with his career. We should move on as well. Pouncey, despite his indiscretions, is more a solution than a problem. The Dolphins need more players just like him. And I believe strongly that whatever evaluations are done will clearly depict this.
2. Philbin couldn’t have been more correct when he commented on running back Lamar Miller needing, more than anything else, to start breaking tackles. This, in my mind, will define what kind of back Miller becomes. What he did last season – or didn’t do – simply won’t cut it. He can’t go down after the first hit; he must make people miss. I personally want to see the Dolphins bring in a top echelon back to challenge Miller. But it’s up to Miller to determine whether he tumbles down the roster or continues to be a factor.
3. Both Philbin and Hickey spoke about the 2013 Dolphins draft class and how important this season will be for that group. It is too early, in my opinion, to form any conclusions. But I won’t be saying that a year from now. I believe No. 1 pick Dion Jordan will get his shot to be an every down player, just as I believe that Will Davis and Jamar Taylor will contend for the starting cornerback job opposite Brent Grimes. Those are the three second-year players who will go a long way to defining that 2013 Dolphins draft.
4. All indications are that the Dolphins expect wide receiver Brandon Gibson to be back next season after going down with a serious knee injury late in the year. Gibson was having a productive season before his injury and he is a quality slot receiver who balances out very well with Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline. If he returns at 100 percent – never a sure thing – he will give this offense the diversity it was lacking over the final few games of the season.
5. Some more observations about Hickey. He’d probably make an excellent poker player because he doesn’t give away his hand as much as the media tries to prod. He’ll only talk specifically about the players on the current roster and he refuses to speculate about more signings or draft picks. It is increasingly clear, however, that Hickey and Philbin share all thoughts, evaluate players together, and form conclusions as one. You may not think this is important, but it is essential.
6. And finally, there was Owner Stephen Ross talking about stadium improvements and his hope of bringing a Super Bowl back to South Florida and how this team has taken some positive steps this offseason and how the locker room events of last season “opened everyone’s eyes.” But, most importantly, he said this: “I want to make this team a winning team on and off the field.” Now that’s a goal worth striving for.
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