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Paul Zimmerman
September 03, 2001
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Dolphins
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September 03, 2001

Enemy Lines

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an opposing team's scout sizes up the Dolphins

The obvious question involves Jay Fiedler. It's a big year for him....

The Dolphins have surrounded Fiedler with decent skill people, assuming that Lamar Smith wasn't a fluke last year....

I like Mark Dixon on the offensive line, but the rest of the guys up front are just O.K....

Their rookie wideout, Chris Chambers, really showed me something on that first kick-off return in the preseason game against the Bucs. Wow, what a burst. He just shot through there. They've got themselves a real serious weapon there....

Defensively, they're solid across the board. Sam Madison had a bit of an off year, but he was playing on a bad ankle....

One thing that bothers me about them is the chemistry. There's a lot of grumbling internally. Their right guard, Kevin Donnalley, fit in with their running game, but they let him go to Carolina and replaced him with Todd Perry, one of Dave Wannstedt's guys when he was the coach in Chicago. Last year they brought in Heath Irwin to play guard and paid him a lot of money because their line coach, Paul Boudreau, had had him in New England. He didn't play much. Then they let Boudreau go. They lost their best special-teamer, Larry Izzo, a guy who was loved and respected on the team, and they got rid of Mike Westhoff, a highly regarded special teams coach, to make room for Keith Armstrong, another Wannstedt guy from Chicago. Coaches and personnel directors just don't pay enough attention to chemistry.