Every NFL franchise in the AFC East is locked in a tie for first place with a 3-3 record going into Week 7 of the 2012 season. The Miami Dolphins are on the longest streak in the division with two consecutive wins over the Cincinnati Bengals and the St. Louis Rams in the past two weeks. A bye in Week 7 allows the Fins to sit back and evaluate the next ten games of the season and how exactly they will improve their team without sacrificing their future.
The rumors that Dwayne Bowe may be joining Miami in the latter half of this season would be a step in the opposite direction. Coach Joe Philbin was willing to bet so excruciatingly on the future of this franchise and rebuilding through the draft that he traded Brandon Marshall and cut Chad Johnson before the season even began. Both of these moves were viewed as statements that would propel the Dolphins into the mentality that no man would sacrifice that direction.
Bowe is someone who does not have the best reputation on or off the field and could thrust them backwards.
The Dolphins would be virtually renting Bowe out because there is zero confirmation that Miami’s rebuild will be swift and feverishly progressive. A 3-3 start is more than most expected from the Dolphins but Bowe jumping from one beleaguered franchise to a restructuring one does not appear that it would do mounds for his attitude.
His entrance could also screw with the stable dynamic that rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill has to work with right now. A team guy like Brian Hartline at the helm of the receiving corps has been fortunate to say the least. Hartline does not harp on how many touches he is getting or how many times he sees the football in the end zone. What has made him so reliable is that he is the working man’s version of a receiver, not the diva-style version that the league is used to seeing.
Hartline’s emergence is a direct result of how fluid his and Tannehill’s relationship has become on the field. Would Bowe step in with that same working man’s ethic? Would he come in and nag the quarterback when he doesn’t see the ball enough? Would he expect to take over the offense with only a week of preparation in a new offense? All of these questions have very uncertain answers, but why fix something that is not broken and is improving as time moves on?
Why spend so much time on a notion that has yet to be confirmed or denied? A player firmly planted in the Dolphins’ lineup, for now, is Reggie Bush and although his name has not been called nearly as much as some fantasy owners may like he is handling business for the Fins. Expect for him to burst out of the gate with far more ferocity in Week 8, however.
In the 2011 NFL season, Bush only had 190 yards on the ground going into Week 7. This year he has 434 rushing yards and three more touchdowns than last season. To say he is on pace to exceed last year’s expectations is an understatement. Yet, it is not enough. The bigger story has been the development of Miami’s passing game, while it seems Bush’s lack of time in the media eye (as far as football is concerned) is allowing his accomplishments to be undervalued.
If he burst onto the scene in 2011 in the second half, there is nothing stopping him for forging an identity in Miami’s offense and forcing the front office’s hand when it comes to contract negotiations. Bush has the responsibility of proving to his Miami fanbase and his organization that he deserves every bit of the extension his agent is going to vie for. Tied in the AFC East for first place every move is critical and the offense has become the bread and butter for the Dolphins. At this point, Dwayne Bowe’s possible arrival and Bush’s revival are the most important say-so’s in the equation.