Miami Dolphins Reclamation Projects Take Terrible Turn

By Craig Ballard

The 2012 Miami Dolphins were attempting to give two former Pro Bowl players an opportunity to revive their careers. Chad Johnson and David Garrard became Dolphins, and each were off to a fantastic start. In fact each had earned a starting spot with their play at practice/training camp. Very suddenly, very disappointingly, both players have taken bad turns.

Chad Johnson is a guy with a major reputation, but he was always quick to point out that he is just Ochocinco being Ochocinco. He points out he has never been in trouble with the law. The aftermath of an argument with his new wife has changed all of that.

Johnson was bad in his first (perhaps only) Dolphins preseason game, and he admitted afterwards to having extreme nerves (he very much wants to be good again). This is a guy who has God-given gifts, and he was super serious about getting back to being a legit NFL wide receiver. His footwork/routes/skill/athleticism were all on display during training camp. He was earning praise from his teammates for all of that.

All of that may be for not. I would think it is a very real possibility that the Ochocinco show may be finished. At least for the Dolphins. I say that because one of the things we already know about new head coach Joe Philbin is that he is committed to fielding a team that Dolphins fans can support and be proud of. He has even been all over Johnson for his foul language. The aftermath here may rile Philbin to the point were he takes action.

It certainly is early, we do not have all of the facts, but things have taken a downturn for Chad Johnson.

As for David Garrard, it does look like he will be fine (health-wise) . However, he was slated to be the opening day starter which is now unlikely. Knee surgery will have Garrard out for a few weeks. His grasp of the west-coast offense, plus his strong training camp play, had earned Garrard the top spot. Matt Moore will now get more in-game playing time with Garrard down. Moore is a much better in-game QB than practice QB so he now gets more opportunities to try to catch/pass Garrard on the depth chart. Ryan Tannehill looked good in the game vs the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and he is coming on strong. When Garrard does return from injury it will be very interesting to see what the landscape of the Dolphins QB situation is.

I would think that Garrard would want to be back as soon as possible. The QB battle is going to be hot-and-heavy and he was slated to be a major player. Can someone (particularly Tannehill) pass Garrard during his time away? We will watch that closely.

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