1) Brandon Marshall is a very good receiver but neither a "beast" nor a dominant player. He continually cries to be thrown the ball yet makes key drops at crucial moments. Other teams can cover him quite nicely with one solid cornerback, as demonstrated by Cleveland last week. One can argue that Marshall has hurt the Dolphins more than helped them due to his propensity to exhibit a terrible temper and get penalized. He is far from an "elite" receiver like Andre Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald. Not worth two second-round draft picks for sure. Marshall may be best utilized as a decoy for Davone Bess and Brian Hartline.
2) The Dolphins continue to inflate the value of their personnel decisions, which have generally been poor. Draft choices such as Philip Merling, Kendall Langford, Vontae Davis, and Sean Smith have been unconvincing. John Jerry made the roster strictly because he was a third-round draft choice instead of the more versatile Joe Berger. Tony Sparano still insists on starting Marc
Columbo, who is so past his prime that he requires extra help at right tackle every game. Dolfans have been sold a "bill of goods" on the team's progress. We may be looking at another complete rebuilding program after this season. I wouldn't be averse to trading some of Parcells/Ireland draft picks for new draft picks.
3) Chad Henne. It is apparent that he will never be anything more than a serviceable backup quarterback. He has improved this year but one can argue that the team isn't asking him to do that much. Henne continues to be an inaccurate passer, unable to either keep drives alive or score much from the red zone. In his defense, he has been running for his life much of the time due to the poor offensive line. His scrambling is not a long-term answer to the Dolphin offensive woes either.
4) Reggie Bush is certainly not an "every down" back and, therefore, his value is limited. His ability to catch passes in the flat and outrun defenders is virtually his only saving grace. Not worth the amount of cap space he soaks up. One also wonders if other, more productive, players resent him and his salary.
5) The Steven Ross/Jim Harbaugh/Tony Sparano nonsense of last summer took a tremendous psychological toll on the Dolphins. The team's effort has been subpar, as if they've lost respect for Sparano and regard him as a "lame duck". Why exert effort and possible injury if Sparano won't be around anyway? Compare the Dolphins to the Bills, who exude enthusiasm for their team and their coach Chan Gailey. Although Dolphin players support Sparano publicly, one wonders how they really feel about him in their "heart of hearts". We won't know for certain until after this season is completed.
6) Jake Long is hurt much worse than we were led to believe during preseason. It is a bit scary to think that their best player had knee surgery after the 2010 season, rested for almost nine months, and is still hobbled. An honest medical post-season evaluation is in order. The fact that Long was the very first Dolphins draft pick of Parcells/Ireland should play no role. The fact that Long was chosen over Atlanta franchise quarterback Matt Ryan is irrelevant as well. Sparano's ego and stubborn nature needs to be shelved for the good of the team.
We will learn more as the season progresses....