What to expect from YOUR Dolphins in 2007
But while I join you in refusing to get overly excited about a team whose offensive line is uncertain, a team breaking in a new offensive system and a rookie head coach, one with a new quarterback and age on defense, I don't think it is right to believe this season will be a catastrophe.
Because I expect from the Dolphins what they expect of themselves. Pretty simple.
Last year, players talked of having loads of talent and being playoff-caliber. So I expected them in the playoffs. Two years ago, everyone agreed Nick Saban's first year would be one of rebuilding, a year following a 4-12 season. No one was expecting a playoff run then, so neither did I.
This year I expect this team to squeeze into the playoffs.
I'm crazy, you say? Well then BILLIONAIRE owner Wayne Huizenga must be crazy and MILLIONAIRE coach Cam Cameron must be crazy, also.
I talked to Huizenga earlier this week and he told me flat out he doesn't see this as a rebuilding year. Now, I would normally take this with a grain of salt because Wayne is, after all, a fan. But the reason he told me he was so optimistic blew me away. In private conversations with Cameron, the owner told me the coach thinks this is going to be a pretty good team. Huizenga is emboldened about 2007 because Cameron told him to be.
"He doesn't tell me it's a rebuilding year," Huizenga said. "He's not telling me we're going all the way. But he doesn't want to hear that talk about rebuilding.
''We have a great defense. The offensive line, in his mind, is improving greatly. He's working on the basics with a lot of guys here. This preseason has been about blocking and tackling. And once you get all that stuff done, we can take it to the next step. I have a lot of confidence in him.''
And so will I. If the owner talks playoffs with me, I'm going to believe for the playoffs. If Cameron predicts the offense will improve from 29th in the NFL in scoring to no worse than 15 or 16, I am going to take him at his word. And he did exactly that in a conversation with me a few weeks back.
Based on what they're saying, I'm going to expect a successful season. And so should you.
I don't believe Cameron is lying to his boss or setting himself up to look like an idiot in front of fans by making promises he can't keep. So I am going to trust him until he shows me a reason to doubt him.
It could be that he's wrong. OK, he's human. But until I know that Cameron doesn't know what the heck he's talking about, I'm going to think he does. And I'm going to think the Dolphins will be challenging for a playoff spot this year.