Friday, May 15, 2009

Facing the Dolphins' Roth

"On a scale of 1-10, I would rate last season a 6. I was hurt and couldn’t do what I really wanted to do. I had a tear in my groin from the year before and it still bothered me, but I got it fixed about three months ago."

These are the words of incumbent strong-side linebacker, Matt Roth, who, along with several other Dolphins, had to adjust to playing new positions and played through nagging injuries.

"Last season was a lot of fun because we went from 1-15 to a playoff team with a lot of the same guys from the year before, which made it extra special. The guys came back and changed things up, everyone got on board and played hard, played tough. We kept getting close the year before but we would still lose. Last year we put it all together and got those close wins."

This off-season:

"I spent some time fishing and hanging around at the beach but I couldn’t do any swimming because I had the surgery. I also just got engaged, to Brooke, but we haven’t set the date yet."

Regular season?

"What can Dolphins fans expect from me this season? A lot of sacks. I’m not into making predictions, but it’s going to be a lot."

When you add up the sacks Roth predicts for himself, as well as the addition of Cam Wake, the re-joining of the team by Jason Taylor, and the returning AFC sack champion, Joey Porter, with the year's experience of Philip Merling and Kendall Langford, along with the added youth and determination of Tearrius George, 2009 looks to be a year where the Dolphins could have a very good front seven, perhaps one of the best in the league. There will be a small group of young guys playing behind and learning for Porter and Taylor, both of whom I'd guess have two more seasons left in the tank if they stay healthy, and we have yet to see who if any of the large group of OLBs get moved to the inside. We have yet to see how that pans out as well as the competition along the DL for Jason Ferguson's eventual successor.

But while I still have minor concerns regarding the nose tackle and inside linebacker positions, I definitely feel better about the defense as whole than I did even at this time last year. How about you guys? Can you remember back to May/June 2008 and do you feel considerably more confident now than you did then? (Try to forget about the team's record when thinking about this)

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