THE DOLPHINS DISCUSSION
At first glance, it would appear the Dolphins should be dominant on defense after the offseason acquisitions of former Pro Bowl selections Junior Seau and Sammy Knight, not to mention those of cornerback Terrell Buckley and defensive tackle Jeff Zgonina.With Seau and Knight, the Dolphins now have nine players on defense who have been selected to at least one Pro Bowl — Jason Taylor, Tim Bowens, Rob Burnett, Zach Thomas, Patrick Surtain, Sam Madison, Brock Marion, Seau and Knight.But the Dolphins can't just expect to line up and make things happen.Here are some of the pertinent questions facing the Dolphins defense heading into training camp.How significant is the loss of defensive end David Bowens?We addressed this earlier, but it bears repeating: It's a shame for Bowens and it's going to affect the team's depth, but the truth is the Dolphins are very, very deep along the defensive line, so it shouldn't have a major impact.Can Jason Taylor possibly repeat last year's performance?Maybe we shouldn't expect Taylor to again lead the NFL in sacks, but Taylor has gotten better and better throughout his career (with the exception of that little glitch in 1999), so there's no reason to think he won't be productive again.Will the Dolphins do different things to make full use of Seau's abilities?If they don't, that will be a huge mistake. Seau is simply too good a blitzing linebacker not to send him after the quarterback at least a couple of times again.Can the secondary bounce back after a somewhat disappointing season?Despite the fact that Marion, Surtain and Madison all went to the Pro Bowl last season, this was not the secondary's best year. But Madison is said to be totally healthy again this year after experiencing some minor knee problems in 2002 and that could make a big difference. So will the addition of Knight.