When you’re a fan of a bad team, or you happen to cover one, at some point reality slaps you in the face with an open palm.
I’m not sure the Miami Dolphins are at that point following last night’s 23-17 loss to the Carolina Panthers, which was a loss far more embarrassing than the score indicates.
But after entering the exhibition season with optimism about 2012, the Dolphins’ performance in the past two exhibition games has left me disappointing, and puzzled.
I’d struggle to find ANYTHING positive to say about the Dolphins after last night’s game against Carolina, whom the Dolphins first-team unit made look like Super Bowl contenders.
The Dolphins defense, which was supposed to pick up where they left off in 2011, has plenty of what Jared Odrick called “seepage.”
The Dolphins defense has no pass rush, which means the secondary must cover receivers forever, and that's not possible.
The offensive line can’t protect right now, which means the quarterbacks are developing happy feet (which certainly won't be good for rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill).
At least Brandon Fields is still booming kicks, and Dan Carpenter finally made a 52-yard field goal, his first of the exhibition season. I'm sensing the special teams unit will be the highlight of Sundays.
I’m aware this is the exhibition season, and that the Dolphins played Friday night’s game without Cameron Wake, Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett, three defensive starters.
So I'm trying not to overreact. But let us not pretend that last night’s game against an average team was even competitive until Pat Devlin put on his superhero gear and made the score look respectable before sealing the game with an endzone interception.
Cam Cameron's tenure taught me the true measuring stick of a head coach is his ability, or inability to charter a new course, preventing the ship from running into an iceberg that can sink it.
When Tony Sparano's ship was taking on water the Dolphins created the Wildcat, and the gimmicky offense took that 2008 team off life support, and they eventually won the AFC East that season.
Now we’ll see how ready and inventive Joe Philbin is and can be for his new role as an NFL head coach. It appears he's got his work cut out for him.