During the doldrums of the off season it can be difficult to make predictions on game on items like game outcomes and player statistics. It’s fun to make the best and teams have to navigate player attrition due to injury. Also, with a new coach and staff, it’s tough to guess what kind of offensive and defensive schemes, and even the most seasoned and gifted Prognosticators will tell you it’s just a guess until we start to see them in camp. Even with an off season that’s fluid, I can give you two players that absolutely must step up.
On offense I can give you several, however, I want to home in on former First Rounder Wide Receiver DeVante Parker. Besides the fact that he is a contract year with the team, for the dolphins to be successful he must be the calm in our storm of speed. With the likes of Albert Wilson, Jakeem Grant and Kenny Stills, Parker can carve out consistent looks over the middle, where, linebackers and safeties roam, as well as on post outs where he can use his big frame to out-muscle defensive backs. The key word though, is consistent. He has to be on the field, minimizing injuries and attitude issues that prevented him from playing under the previous regime. He must show this staff that he wants it. I suspect that every player will now have to earn their spot each and every day under Coach Flores, and with his past dust-ups with things like his off season workout regimen, dieting plan, and his attitude when he not getting snaps will have to in his past if he wants to stay on this team and for the offense to be successful.
With the next phase of player acquisition approaching I will imagine adding another edge/pass rusher to the team that can make an impact. However, with the loss of future Hall-of-Famer Cam Wake, who took his talents to Tennessee, and trading Robert Quinn to Dallas, the position Is bereft of talent, and if the Dolphins stand pat at the position, it will be up to Harris to eat most of the playing time they left and produce. I’m not ready to call him a bust just yet, and a lot of his time will depend on what fronts we can use him in, but we desperately need a consistent pass rush presence. While it’s true that we can scheme up a pass rush with stunts and blitzes. We will also need consistency up front and not allow, whichever quarterback we face to have a clean pocket, and right now it’s on Harris to kick his game into a new drive to give the Dolphins what they need.