Now under center: The Phinatic from SB Nation's Miami Dolphins blog, The Phinsider.
tommasse: The Dolphins started 2005 at 3-7 before reeling off 6 straight wins to finish the season. In 2006, they started 1-6 before winning 6 of 7 and dropping their final three. How does Cam Cameron get Miami out of their early-season slumping?
Phinatic: That's a good question and kind of ironic when you think about it. I can remember all those years when the Dolphins had some pretty good teams and they would just fold once December came around. Now we just can't get started on the right foot.
One of the major keys will be their schedule. This season, their first 6 games are not all that tough and it will be important for the Dolphins, if they want to even think about the playoffs, to win at least 4 of them. Those 6 games are at Washington, vs. Dallas, at NY Jets, vs. Oakland, at Houston, and at Cleveland. The way I see it, the Dolphins must win against Oakland, Houston, and Cleveland, and then get one of the first 3 against the Redskins, Cowboys, and Jets.
The other major factor will be the running game. The Dolphins must start the season off by consistently giving the ball to Ronnie Brown. There's no doubt that he's the most talented player on the field for Miami's offense and he needs to be consistently fed the ball. But this also means that the offensive line must get off to a good start and give Ronnie some running room. Last season, Ronnie didn't have his first 100 yard game until week 6. That cannot happen this year, and with Cam Cameron calling the plays and Mike Mularkey being nowhere near the play-calling, I suspect Brown sees a heavy workload right out of the gate.
tommasse's retort: Four-and-two to start the season, huh? Beatable opponents, sure, but four of the six are on the road. That makes it tougher. Certainly not out of the realm of possibility. The Dolphins' seventh game is home vs. New England. We'll be watching those first six closely to see just whether or not Miami leans that heavily on Brown -- among other things.
OK, it's your turn. Step up to the Pulpit and say your piece. And if you have a question you want me to ask next week, email me, and I'll pose the best queries to our friends at Buffalo Rumblings, The Phinsider and NY Landing Strip.