Cameron Wake believes the Miami Dolphins will make the postseason this year.
The Dolphins defensive end has never tasted playoff football. The team made key acquisitions during the offseason.
With that, Wake said the Dolphins are a playoff-bound club in 2015. He spoke with The Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero on Aug. 19.
“Not being able to play in the postseason in all that time I’ve been here, now is the time,” Wake said. “This is definitely the year.”
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) August 20, 2015
Dolphins executive vice president Mike Tannenbaum echoed Wake’s sentiment. He told Salguero the Dolphins have a unique kind of optimism:
“This time of year there’s a lot of optimism around the NFL. There’s a lot of headlines for a lot of different teams. I can tell you with certainty the difference between our optimism and the other 31 is our optimism is earned.
“We couldn’t be more excited. We’ve got the right people in the building and we’re excited about this year.”
Salguro notes the Dolphins haven’t been to the postseason since 2008. They also have not won a playoff game since Dec. 30, 2000.
Miami center Mike Pouncey feels 2015 will be the Dolphins’ year, per Salguero:
“We feel like this is our year to make the playoffs,” Pouncey told The Miami Herald. “I know we say that every year but this year our football team, it’s the mindset we have. We love the direction we’re going.”
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) August 18, 2015
The Dolphins made several key moves during the offseason.
Back in May, quarterback Ryan Tannehill agreed to a six-year, $96 million contract extension. ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter confirmed this.
Bleacher Report’s Cian Fahey says Tannehill was a good fit in Bill Lazor’s offense in 2014. Lazor is entering his second season as Miami’s offensive coordinator.
His offense focused on Tannehill’s quick decision-making abilities from the pocket. Lazor’s system also relied on many underneath routes. Tannehill’s timing and accuracy were able to help him adjust to the new offense.
Fahey stresses Tannehill produced despite the Dolphins’ several weaknesses. Their receiving corps were not reliable. They also had a sub-par offensive line.
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) August 20, 2015
Nonetheless, Tannehill enjoyed the best season of his career. He threw for 4,045 yards and 27 touchdowns in 2014, per ESPN stats.
The Dolphins may also have relied on running back Lamar Miller a bit too much last season.
He averaged 13.5 carries per game in 2014, per Bleacher Report. To shore up their running back rops, the Dolphins drafted Jay Ayaji this year. LaMichael James, Damien Wiliams and Mike Gillislee complete Miami’s running back depth chart.
The Dolphins lost wide receivers Brian Hartline and Mike Wallace during the offseason. To compensate, they signed Greg Jennings several months ago.
Fahey predicts Jennings will bounce back from a below-average season. His route running skills should make him a key asset in Lazor’s offense. Devante Parker, Kenny Stills and Jarvis Landry will add depth to Miami’s receiving corps.
— NFL Total Access (@NFLTotalAccess) August 18, 2015
Tight end Charles Clay is now with the Buffalo Bills. The Dolphins were able to replace him Jordan Cameron, per Bleacher Report.
The Dolphins are giving Pouncey help in the offensive line.
They signed former Kansas City Chiefs tackle Branden Albert. He will protect Tannehill’s blind side. Rookie Ja’Wuan James will be the likely starter at right tackle, per Fahey.
Ndamukong Suh remains the Dolphins’ biggest free-agent acquisition.
Suh is a former Detroit Lions defensive tackle. Fahey believes “he is a legitimate top-two or top-three player at his position.” He also feels Suh is one of the league’s top five defensive tackles.
Fahey says the linebacker position is Miami’s least-heralded position. Koa Misi and Jelani Jenkins spearhead this group. As for the secondary, Brent Grimes did not have a good season in 2014. He must bounce back, per Bleacher Report.
The Dolphins added Brice McCain to beef up their secondary. He will start opposite Grimes. Miami hopes they can shut down the opposition’s wide receivers.
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