After a winless preseason and a road game against the Houston Texans to start the 2012 NFL regular season, the Miami Dolphins are ready to kick things off at home against the Oakland Raiders this Sunday at 1 p.m. at Sun Life Stadium (347 Don Shula Dr., Miami Gardens). Optimism, however, is already fading. “Am I concerned? Yeah,” Dolphins coach Joe Philbin told reporters after his team’s 30-13 loss to the Cowboys to wrap a 0-4 preseason. “The confidence I gain is when I watch guys practice and perform well. We’ve been a good team in practice, but we haven’t transferred that to the game on a consistent basis, and that’s a concern, absolutely.” Fans agree. And many are already preparing for the worst. “Chin up this season, everyone,” Dolphins fan Jason Reuter wrote on the Fins’ official Facebook page. “It will be another long one until we hire a new GM.” After an off-season and preseason littered with questionable trades, dumbfounding acquisitions, and a brief go-around with Chad Johnson, general manager Jeff Ireland has received the brunt of the criticism; at least three Facebook groups exist specifically to call for his job. Ireland, however, is confident he’s making the right choices for a winning season. “Every decision is made with only the best intentions of the organization,” Ireland recently told the Sun-Sentinel. “My job is to try to establish a strong foundation of success and to continue to build on that foundation.” Let’s see how sturdy it is this year.
Sun., Sept. 16, 1 p.m., 2012