Can offense be saved?

Let's face it, the Dolphins haven't been known for their explosive offense since the glory days of Dan Marino. Any hope that this year could be different pretty much has disappeared now that Ricky Williams and David Boston are gone. At this point, the question is whether the offense will be able to produce enough to avoid putting the defense in a no-win situation every week.

As the Dolphins returned home after a disastrous trip to Houston, the roster on offense was frightening -- and not in a good way.

You look at quarterback, running back and wide receiver, and the Dolphins' personnel has to rank in the bottom third in the league everywhere.

Among the 11 projected starters, you could make a case for three being among the better players at their position. Those three would be Chris Chambers, Randy McMichael and guard Jeno James.

But even then, none of those has ever been to the Pro Bowl.

Everywhere else, it's one question mark after another, starting at the all-important position of quarterback.

Between now and the Sept. 12 opener against Tennessee, the possibility does exist that the Dolphins could acquire a premier offensive player, but doing so would cost them a premier defensive player in exchange.

It's obviously not a good situation to be in.

But the Dolphins might not have a choice. Seriously.

Look at the team's personnel on offense right now, and can you honestly expect those guys to average 20 points a game? Didn't think so.

And the guys currently unemployed and available, like Tim Brown or Antonio Freeman, are past their prime and not exactly game-breakers anymore.

At running back, the Dolphins might not be as bad off as some might think because a 1-2 combination of Travis Minor and Sammy Morris has some potential, even though it won't be like Ricky Williams two years ago.

We're more worried about the passing game. Jay Fiedler is what he is, and you know what you're going to get from him. For him to be very effective, he needs guys to make plays around him.

With Derrius Thompson as the current starter, that doesn't exactly inspire a lot of confidence.

The Dolphins will need to get creative with their play-calling, and it might be a very long season for the offense -- and consequently the team in general.

Or maybe they need to pull the trigger on a blockbuster deal and sacrifice a star on defense.

Either way, something needs to happen because the offense ain't looking promising.

And that might be a kind way of putting it.

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