2010 Miami Dolphins Season Preview

Since the arrival of Vice President Bill Parcels, General Manager Jeff Ireland and head coach Tony Sparano in 2008, the Miami Dolphins have won 18 games in two seasons after winning one game in 2007. Expectations were high after an 11-win year in 2008, but the team failed to make a post-season berth in 2009. As the calender flipped, the 2010 Miami Dolphins Season Preview will emit expectations of making the playoffs after the failed attempt and disappointment from a year ago.

The Dolphins tabbed a 7-9 record in 2009, and were in the AFC playoff picture entering the final weeks of the regular season. Sitting at 7-6 with three games remaining, Miami stumbled home to lose the final three, all within one score. It was a heart-breaking end to what could have been a promising playoff run, but it was not to be. Miami could not come up with the key play needed to come out on top in the final three games and as a result, found themselves watching the playoffs rather than being an active participant.

Miami presented a solid offensive unit in the 2009 NFL Season, beginning and ending with their rush attack. The Dolphins ranked fourth in the league in rushing yards per game, behind Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown. The team put up 22.5 points per game which put them right in the middle of the rest of the league, ranking 15th. A statistic that is sometimes overlooked, but as important as any in offense was the team's red-zone efficiency, which was a 61.5 percent touchdown percentage. That was in the top-five in the NFL.

It was on the defensive side of the ball in 2009 that was a cause for concern for the Dolphins, who ranked 16th or worse in all but one of the seven major defensive statistics categories. The Miami defense surrendered 24.5 points per game which ranked 25th in the NFL.

2010 Miami Dolphins Coaching Staff & Changes After coming into Miami and turning a one-win team into an 11-win team in 2008, Tony Sparano followed up his rookie season with the team with a 7-win year, and a season that endued some hardships. It was not the honeymoon-type season that he enjoyed in his first go-around, but he had the Dolphins in the playoff picture entering the final weeks of the season. Miami was not able to get a win in the final three weeks however.

Still, Sparano's leadership of his team was call into question as well as his play-calling in game situations. Some argue that Sparano made some poor decisions throughout the course of the season that did not make the best use of his players, like kick returner Ted Ginn, linebacker Jason Taylor and linebacker Joey Porter. However, all three players went elsewhere for the 2010 NFL Season.

Sparano has brought in a new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, who has coached in San Fransisco and his most recent stop in Denver. Nolan is the only member on the coaching staff that 2010 will be hist first season with the team.2010 Miami Dolphins Key Free Agency Acquisitions & LossesAcquistions
WR - Brandon Marshall from Denver Broncos
LB - Karlos Dansby from Arizona Cardinals

WR - Ted Ginn to San Fransisco 49ers
DE - Jason Taylor to New York Jets
LB - Joey Porter to Arizona Cardinals2010 Miami Dolphins NFL DraftRound 1: Pick 28 - DT, Jared Odrick (Penn State)
Round 2: Pick 40 - DE, Koa Misi (Utah)
Round 3: Pick 73 - OT, John Jerry (Mississippi)
Round 4: Pick 119 - CB, Nolan Carroll (Maryland)
Round 5: Pick 163 - SS, Rashad Jones (Georgia)
Round 7: Pick 212 - DL, Chris McCoy (Middle Tennessee State)
Round 7: Pick 252 - LB, Austin Spitler (Ohio State)
2010 Miami Dolphins QuarterbacksFor the first time in his three-year career in the NFL, Chad Henne will be the full-time starter for the Miami Dolphins after playing behind Chad Pennington. Pennington suffered yet another injury last year, that ended his season. Pennington already had concerns relating to his arm strength, and the shoulder injury added to it. Under Henne, the Dolphins tabbed a 7-6 record with him as the starter, that included seven wins in his first 10 games. Henne threw for 2,878 yards and 12 touchdowns in the 2009. The 2010 Miami Dolphins Team Preview looks bright for the young quarterback, especially with the edition of Brandon Marshall, who is one of the top wide receivers in the NFL. Marshall will be the No.1 receiver for the team, and likely Henne's favorite target if the two could mesh well.

2010 Miami Dolphins Quarterback Depth Chart
QB - Chad Henne
QB - Tyler Thigpen2010 Miami Dolphins Running BacksThe Dolphins will also use running backs Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown as split backs in the wild cat formation, with the duo likely taking several snaps from center throughout the course of the season. Miami can be considered the innovators of the wildcat formation, and have had the most success with the formation.

Williams led the duo in rushing yards, with 1,121 and 11 touchdowns while Brown tabbed 648 yards eight touchdowns. Both players averaged over four yards per carry, but the Dolphins would like to see more production out of Brown to start the season, as he got off to a slow start in 2009.

The Dolphins ranked fourth in the NFL in rushing output, averaging 139.4 yards per game and will look to continue that production heading into 2010. They have the pieces in the place to do that, and with the development of Henne and the addition of Marshall at receiver, it could open up the run game even more for Miami.

Projected 2010 Miami Dolphins Running Back Depth Chart
RB - Ronnie Brown
RB - Ricky Williams2010 Miami Dolphins Wide ReceiversThe Dolphins got a huge addition to their receiving corps in Brandon Marshall from Denver, which will make the unit better on the whole. Still, even with the departure of Ginn, the receivers for the Dolphins are solid with out Marshall added to it. Slot receiver Davone Boss is among the leagues best and a great possession receiver for Henne with reliable hands.

Brian Hartline was a rookie last season, but led the team with an average of 16.3 yards per catch and has the potential to go deep and stretch a secondary which can free up the field for Henne and company.

Projected 2010 Miami Dolphins Wide Receiver Depth Chart
WR - Brandon Marshall
WR - Brian Hartline
- Greg Camarillo
WR - Davone Bess

Projected 2010 Miami Dolphins Tight End Depth Chart
TE - Anthony Fasano
TE - Joey Haynos2010 Miami Dolphins Offensive LineLeft tackle Jake Long was the No.1 pick foe the Dolphins in 2008, and has proved to be worth it and then some. He made the Pro Bowl last season, which will be one of many to come if he can stay healthy. The blind side for Henne is well protected. Center Jake Grove and right tackle Vernon Carey also make up part of the unit on the line that was responsible for the fourth-ranked rushing attack in the NFL. At times however, the corps struggled in pass protection, allowing Henne to be sacked 26 times.

Still, this should be one of the strengths of the team when looking ahead at the 2010 Miami Dolphins Preview if they can stay healthy.

Projected 2010 Miami Dolphins Starting Offensive Line
LT - Jake Long
LG - Nate Garner
C - Jake Grove
RG - Richie Incognito
RT - Vernon Carey2010 Miami Dolphins Defensive LineThe defensive line unit for the Dolphins ranked 18th in the NFL against the run in 2009. As the new season approaches, the line will feature the same names in 2010 in the 3-4 scheme that Sporano runs. They will look to improve and it will likely start with defensive end Randy Starks. Starks will move from end to tackle however in place of Jason Ferguson, who cannot return until he serves out his eight-game suspension. Phillip Merling or Kendall Langford will take the end position vacated by Starks, as both players are young and talented. First-round draft pick Jared Odrick will also get an opportunity to try and make and impact.

Projected 2010 Miami Dolphins Starting Defensive Line
DE - Kendell Langford
NT - Randy Starks
DE - Phillip Merling2010 Miami Dolphins LinebackersThe Linebacker corps for the 2010 Miami Dolphins will have a new look to it. Jason Taylor departed to the Jets and Porter to the Cardinals. The duo had 16 combined sacks in 2009 and their production will be tough to account for. Channing Crowder will continue at inside-linebacker after an injury-plagued 2009 campaign that saw his tackles cut in half from 2008. Miami brought in Karlos Dansby from Arizona, and should be a valuable addition to the unit. Cameron Wake could also make an impact, as he possess fantastic speed, which was good for 5.5 sacks as he flies in from the second-tier. In the passing game, fourth-round draft selection out of Iowa, A.J. Edds had five interceptions in college in 2009 and will be implemented in passing-down situations.

Projected 2010 Miami Dolphins Starting Linebackers
OLB - Charlie Anderson
ILB - Channing Crowder
ILB - Karlos Dansby
OLB - Cameron Wake2010 Miami Dolphins SecondaryWill Allen's season ended in Week 6 in 2009, which forced the Dolphins to start rookie Vontae Davis. Allen's absence was noticeable as the Dolphins ranked 24th in the NFL against the pass, surrendering 234.6 yards per game. Davis however proved to be a fantastic tackler and big-hitter and showed that he is capable of making some big plays. He should continue to develop in 2010 and Allen will return as well. The Dolphins lost Nate Jones, but Allen will step in as the Nickel corner. Safety Yeremiah Bell made the Pro Bowl and led the team with 114 tackles in 2009.

Projected 2010 Miami Dolphins Starting Seconday
CB - Sean Smith
CB - Vontae Davis
SS - Yeremiah Bell
FS - Chris Clemons

2010 Miami Dolphins Preview