WHAT A DIFFERENCE

The Norv Turner offense. We have heard so much about it since Turner was hired as the new offensive coordinator in the offseason. But Sunday was the first true test, and the result was overwhelming.

Of course, there's no reason to get overally carried away here because it is only one game and because the opponent was Detroit, which appears headed for another long, long season.

But there were things that happened Sunday that gave every Dolphins fan plenty of reasons for optimism, no matter the circumstances.

The play-calling, for one, was so much more imaginative than anything Chan Gailey ever produced during his time in Miami. Gailey arrived in Miami — and left — with a tremendous reputation as a bright offensive mind, but he never used the fullback as a receiver, he rarely used the tight end, and you rarely saw Jay Fiedler fake a handoff, roll right and hit a receiver on the run.

All those things happened in the 49-21 rout of the Lions on Sunday.

When asked about Turner's play-calling against Detroit, Fiedler answered: "I tought it was great. I don't think anything really surprised me. He did a great job of mixing it up and keeping the defense off balance."

That last statement is big. That's what Turner's offense is all about.

The Dolphins have a lot of talent on offense, and Turner is intent on using all of it.

Every receiver was involved in the passing game against Detroit, with the exception of James McKnight, who will be a factor at some point. Ricky Williams was used to pound away at the Detroit defense and, as promised, he wore down the Lions until he was able to break loose for a 37-yard gain in the third quarter.

Things won't get this smoothly every week and there will be times when Fiedler makes a bad pass or the offensive line isn't opening up any holes for Williams.

But what Sunday showed was that the Dolphins will be better than it has been in the past. That much is clear, Detroit or no Detroit.


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