As the 2015 Miami Dolphins training camp kicks into high gear, Fins fans' annual preseason cockiness reaches stratospheric levels. Just recently, a Harvard University study pegged the Dolphins — owners of an 8-8 record last year and a seven-year playoff drought — as the AFC's Super Bowl representatives.
Emory University, meanwhile, found that Miami has the worst fans in the NFL. I disagree, because Dolfans have believed the home team would win the Super Bowl every year since 1972, the year Miami captured its first title. They easily buy into the Dolphins' marketing propaganda that the team is Super Bowl-bound.
Harvard's prediction does make one thing obvious, though: If the Dolphins fail to make the Super Bowl this year, team owner Stephen Ross has to fire everybody on the football side of the organization. Here are my biggest observations about the team's offseason moves:
• Giving quarterback Ryan Tannehill a $96 million contract extension was a big risk. The Dolphins are paying a guy who has never led the team to the playoffs as if he is a Super Bowl-caliber passer. He could barely hit wide-open receivers downfield last season.
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• Signing defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to a six-year deal worth $114 million was a great pickup, but it forced the Dolphins' front office to get rid of all the starting linebackers from last season in a salary-cap dump.
• It was a mistake to pass on former University of Miami stars Denzel Perryman and Duke Johnson. Perryman, a standout linebacker, could have filled the void at the position for the Dolphins after falling from projected first-round draft pick to late second-rounder. With Fins' starting running back Lamar Miller entering the final year of his contract, Miami missed a chance to bring in Johnson, who broke Miller's and other great running backs' records at the U.
• Trading wide receiver Mike Wallace could really hurt the team despite a promising young receiving corps that includes Jarvis Landry and first-round pick DeVante Parker. Wallace was always open downfield, but Tannehill could never get him the ball. And for all the criticism against him, Wallace led the Dolphins in receiving yards and touchdowns in 2014.
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