By Byler E. Henry
The Miami Dolphins are ready to prepare in training camp to have a productive season. Last season under head coach Adam Gase the Dolphins went 10-6, grabbing a wild card spot in the playoffs. This was the Dolphins first playoff appearance since 2008. Before 2008, their last playoff appearance was 2001. Adam Gase is a good young coach who looks to be moving the Dolphins in the right direction. Under Joe Philbin the Dolphins went 24-28. Dan Campbell took over in 2015, finishing the season 6-10 after starting 1-3.
One way the Dolphins is preparing for the regular season is by addressing their needs by having a good draft. In the 1st round, they selected defensive end Charles Harris from Missouri. In his Sophomore year Charles had 56 total tackles and 7 sacks, and in his Junior year he improved with 61 total tackles and 9 sacks. The Dolphins needed depth at the defensive end position with the release of Mario Williams this off season. In the 2nd round they selected Raekwon McMillan, a linebacker from Ohio State, a good solid pick. In his Junior year McMillan had a total of 102 tackles with two forced fumbles and two sacks. In his Sophomore year, he had a total of 119 tackles with 1.5 sacks. They also used their 3rd round pick to address their secondary, taking corner back Cordrea Tankersley from Clemson. They took offensive guard Isaac Asiata and defensive tackle Davon Godchaux in the 5th round. Defensive tackle Vincent Taylor was taken in round 6 and wide receiver Isaiah Ford was taken in round seven.
The Dolphins wanted to bolster up their defense so they took a defense heavy approach in this year’s draft as well as to bring in the defensive talents of “homegrown” Andre Carter.
Assistant defensive line coach Andre Carter knows a thing or two about defense. Not only did he have a good NFL career, his father Rubin Carter was also a defensive tackle for the Broncos. After Rubin’s playing career he was also a head coach for Florida A&M and he was the defensive line coach for Purdue. Andre was drafted by the 49ers with the 7th overall pick, while also playing for the Patriots, Redskins, and the Raiders. “I’m pleased with the draft, I’m excited to work with the young talent.” “On defense, it helps to have a knack for offensive schemes.” Andre says. He has the knowledge to get in the backfield and put pressure on the quarterback recording 80.5 sacks in his NFL career. He brings experience to the defensive side of the ball, and he is ready to work. “Every year is a new chapter, not just for us but also for the other 31 teams.” Andre is ready to build and continue to improve on a solid foundation.
The offseason signings were also a step in the right direction. The Dolphins were able to sign linebacker Lawrence Timmons from the Pittsburgh Steelers. Timmons can provide veteran leadership while filling a need. This is a good signing. In addition to Timmons, Dolphins also signed defensive end William Hayes, tight ends Anthony Fasano and Julius Thomas, safety Nate Allen, and offensive guard Ted Larsen. In addition to adding these new pieces, they were also able to resign players that contributed to their success last year. They were able to resign wide receiver Kenny Stills, safety Reshad Jones, and defensive end Andre Branch. These were overall some good signings. I like that the Dolphins were able to retain some key players so they won’t have to start over while adding new players. Andre is also excited about the free agent signings but realizes that the players have to execute the game plan. “The team looks good on paper, but you have to go out and play football.” He says. After seeing the moves that the Dolphins have made, I am excited and looking forward to football season. Under Adam Gase the team has played slightly better on both sides of the ball. Andre has commended the new head coach saying he has a genuine love for the game of football. When the head coach wants to succeed the same attitude can trickle down on to the players. Good luck to the Dolphins this season, and I’m hoping to see a playoff run.