1. Settle the quarterback conundrum
The Dolphins have been stuck in a quarterback abyss ever since Dan Marino retired in 1999. While there are some decent arms on the roster, there is no guarantee relief comes in 2012.
David Garrard, a 34-year-old veteran, appears to be the front-runner based on his seamless fit into the West Coast offense. But incumbent starter Matt Moore showed promise last season, and is younger. And Ryan Tannehill represents the future of the franchise, but considering he only had 19 college starts at Texas A&M, it is likely that the Dolphins’ first-round pick will need time to adjust to the speed of the NFL game.
Whichever veteran does end up starting the season opener will need to produce wins to keep Miami from investing playing time in Tannehill late in the season.
2. Get comfortable with the new systems
The Dolphins have spent all offseason breaking in a new coaching staff, and trying to effectively and efficiently change the offensive and defensive schemes, and the team's approach.
New coach Joe Philbin is implementing a West Coast offense similar to the one he orchestrated in Green Bay, and the Dolphins intend on pushing the pace.
From a defensive standpoint, the Dolphins are switching from a 3-4 to a 4-3 base, and new defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle intends on creating more confusion by changing up how he utilizes the Dolphins’ safeties and linebackers. The Dolphins intend on featuring a defense with more interchangeable parts, and one that ideally keeps offenses on their toes.
The Dolphins have had a forceful defensive front for the past two years, holding opponents to a 3.6 yards-per-carry average in 2010, and 3.7 yards per carry in 2011. But Coyle intends to provide more pass-rushing pressure with the goal of producing more than the 41 quarterback sacks the team generated last season.