Inside Look At Roster Changes: Offense

Nick Saban hasn't been afraid to make changes, including drastic ones, to the Dolphins roster since he took over as head coach and it was no different this offseason. Dolphin Digest takes a look inside the team's roster changes to see if the moves have made the Dolphins a better team. In Part 1 of this two-part installment, we look at the changes on offense.

QUARTERBACK

Arrivals

Daunte Culpepper, Joey Harrington

Departures

Gus Frerotte, Sage Rosenfels

Better, worse or same?

Does this question even need to be asked? The Dolphins not only are better than they were last year at quarterback, they're better than they have been since the mid-1990s when Dan Marino still was operating at peak efficiency. The Dolphins have a bona fide superstar quarterback in Culpepper and Harrington, despite his struggles in Detroit, will be a better backup than Rosenfels.

RUNNING BACK

Arrivals

Gerald Riggs Jr., Fred Beasley

Departures

Ricky Williams

Better, worse or same?

Another easy verdict. Say what you want about Ricky, he gave the Dolphins a tremendous 1-2 punch with Ronnie Brown. Now, the burden is all on Brown, unless the Dolphins can come up with somebody else to be the No. 2 back. Both Morris and Minor were re-signed as free agents, but their greatest value is on special teams. Beasley was a nice pick-up at fullback, and he should start, but he can't make up for the loss of Williams.

WIDE RECEIVER

Arrivals

Frank Murphy, Kelly Campbell, Derek Hagan

Departures

Bryan Gilmore, David Boston

Better, worse or same?

The Dolphins have to hope that either Campbell can resurrect his career in Miami or that Hagan delivers as a third-round pick, otherwise lack of depth again will be an issue here. The Dolphins never got much out of Boston, but Gilmore was a solid backup and very good special teams player. The answer here, however, appears to be better, based on Hagan's potential.

TIGHT END

Arrivals

Justin Peelle, Teyo Johnson

Departures

Lorenzo Diamond, Alex Holmes

Better, worse or same?

The truth is the Dolphins weren't happy with the blocking they got from their backup tight ends last year, and the hope is that Peelle will be the answer there. Neither Diamond nor Holmes were significant contributors, while Peelle should be a good backup and Johnson is a former second-round pick who simply never panned out in Oakland. We'll make this one better, but not significantly.

OFFENSIVE LINE

Arrivals

L.J. Shelton, Bennie Anderson, Joe Toledo

Departures

Alonzo Ephraim, Stockar McDougle

Better, worse or same?

This has to be better, simply because Ephraim was a marginal player and McDougle baddly struggled after joining the Dolphins as a free agent. The big question is, how much better is the personnel on the offensive line? Shelton is a former first-round pick, but he hardly has had a great career so far, while Anderson was considered a marginal player on a bad Buffalo line. The Dolphins have a tremendous offensive line coach in Hudson Houck, who should be able to get the most out of an offensive line that, quite honestly, remains rather marginal when it comes to individual talent.


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