2006 season recap
With the addition of quarterback Daunte Culpepper, the Dolphins had high hopes for the 2006 season. But by Week 5, it was clear Culpepper had not fully recovered from offseason knee surgery, and head coach Nick Saban was forced to switch to quarterback Joey Harrington. The Miami offense never managed to find any traction, though the defense continued to excel, finishing fourth in league. The Dolphins' 31-13 Week 9 victory over then-undefeated Chicago proved to be the highlight of a disappointing 6-10 season.
Key camp questions
Can Trent Green rebound from his concussion-shortened 2006 season?
Green is a proven veteran and winner, but he missed most of last season with Kansas City after suffering a concussion in Week 1. After an offseason trade to Miami, Green is back in the saddle, but can he be as productive as he was two seasons ago? New Dolphins head coach Cam Cameron has had success with quarterbacks Drew Brees and Philip Rivers. Will the same be true with Green?
Can new head coach Cam Cameron make it all work?
Cameron inherited a strong defense, but his reputation is as an offensive-minded coach. As coordinator in San Diego, he shaped one of the league's most explosive units. But he'll have less offensive talent to work with in Miami, raising questions about whether he can he have the same type of success in south Florida as he did in southern California?
Can Miami's aging defense hold up for another season?
The Dolphins had one of the best defenses in the league last season, but instead of getting younger, they signed 30-year old linebacker Joey Porter, who is entering his ninth season. Keith Traylor (entering his 17th season), Zach Thomas (12th), Jason Taylor (11th) and Vonnie Holliday (10th) make this a veteran unit, but how long before these veterans start breaking down?
Key position battle
Rookie wideout Ted Ginn Jr. and second-year receiver Derek Hagan will challenge an aging Marty Booker, who hasn't had a 750-yard receiving season since 2002. Ginn Jr. looked explosive in OTAs, but he'll have to prove that pre-draft questions about his route-running and ability to avoid press coverage were unfounded.
Player on the spot
Porter had the numbers and flashy sacks in Pittsburgh, but some feel he was the product of a great system. He'll have a strong supporting cast in Miami, including Thomas, Traylor and Holliday, as well as the reigning Defensive Player of the Year in defensive end Jason Taylor. That should provide Porter the opportunity to make some plays, which will help him quiet the critics.
Brown was something of a disappointment for owners last season, but he still has plenty of draft value. While there are some questions about the overall effectiveness of the Dolphins' offensive line, Brown will remain the team's featured back and still should be considered a solid No. 2 fantasy runner.