2019 NFL Power Rankings:
No. 29 Miami Dolphins
I learned a fun fact about the Dolphins this week. Did you know Stephen Ross owns SoulCycle? You know, the new-aged workout where you ride a stationary bike while whatever bass-pumping Top-40 bullshit blares in the background. Thought I'd start with real news since there's absolutely nothing surprising about a billionaire sports owner hosting a fundraiser for Donald Trump. The only color billionaires care about is green, and despite his involvement in different tax write-offs, Ross is no different from any of the other 31 owners. But SoulCycle? Never would've imagined.
Politics aside, everything is on the up and up on South Beach. I predicted Josh Rosen would land in Miami for several reasons. His outspoken personality fits on one of the few organizations that allow their players to speak up socially. He's an extremely confident 22-year-old talent whose combination of accuracy and poise many compared to AFC-East Juggernaut Tom Brady. And he fits the system perfectly. Want to see how a competent front office looks? Partner an extraordinarily cerebral quarterback who thrives in a quick-strike system with two coaches who worked with Brady in New England in Brian Flores and offensive coordinator Chad O'Shea. Oh, a supporting cast of Kenny Stills, Albert Wilson, Kenyan Drake and DeVante Parker (who I know, I know, but I swear he's going to break out this year) isn't too shabby.
I have nothing against Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Harvard grad is a solid signal-caller who's provided his fair share of high and lowlights in each of his previous seven NFL stops. He is also a seasoned veteran whose leadership plays an integral role in the quarterback room. With that said, unless Rosen gets injured, we shouldn't see Fitz take a snap this year. Miami's offensive line is much better than the makeshift group Rosen stood behind in Arizona. The organization has to figure out if they should indulge in next year's quarterback sweepstakes or ride with Rosen as the face of the organization. Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert and Jake Fromm are in next year's class, and this could get interesting.
Offensive Players to Watch in 2019: DeVante Parker, Josh Rosen, Preston Williams, Kalen Ballage.
Defensive Players to Watch in 2019: Christian Wilkins, Raekwon McMillan, Xavien Howard (top three cornerback in the league), Minkah Fitzpatrick.
Verdict: I'm a big fan of 'Miami's new head coach, Brian Flores. He led a stingy defense in New England under Bill Belichick. Knows what it takes to win a Super Bowl. And is a no nonsense guy who also has the emotional intelligence and youth to relate to his players. The culture is bound to change in Miami, and 'it'll start with a 5-11 season in 2019. They’ll be competitive.