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Andy Cohen: Opinions On Perfection, Bowles, Bush And More

Posted Dec 20, 2011

I’ve come to the conclusion that the perfect record of the 1972 Miami Dolphins will continue to stand for a long, long time. Each year we are teased. Some years we are teased longer than others. New England waited to lose in the Super Bowl a few years ago. Green Bay waited until last Sunday, its 14th game.

But they all lose. Sometime. Somehow. Someway. As good as every Green Bay is, there will always be a banana peel in its way. It’s just the nature of this league. Teams are too close in ability. The season is too long. So many factors come into play. Injuries. Weather. Complacency. You name it.

People forget, but the 1972 Dolphins had a few games they probably should have lost, a 16-14 last minute victory at Minnesota and a one-point win over Buffalo come to mind. But that team persevered and the more time passes, the more it becomes clear how special and unique that group was.

Whether you were alive back then, or too young to even remember, as a Dolphins fan you should be proud of that place in history just like young Yankee fans have to be proud of Mantle and Maris and what they meant to that franchise.

The members of the 1972 Dolphins are getting up in years. Some outsiders are turned off by the pride they share over that remarkable accomplishment. But as each year passes, as each Green Bay goes down, it becomes more and more evident that their pride is well deserved, that their place in NFL history may be secure for years to come.

So with that out of the way, and the season quickly winding down, here are five thoughts to ponder as Christmas Eve in frigid New England approaches:

1. The more I replay Reggie Bush’s 203-yard performance in my mind, the more I think about the season he has had, the more impressed I am. When you consider that this is a player who was never given this opportunity with the Saints and who so many doubted for so many reasons, how can you not salute what he has done?

The good news for Dolphins fans: Reggie Bush is 26 years old. Will turn 27 in March. The Dolphins have Bush in his prime. In fact, you can make the case that we have yet to see the best of Reggie Bush. An intriguing thought indeed.

2. I am under the belief that Todd Bowles will be a serious candidate in the team’s head coaching search. He certainly did nothing to hurt his chances by the way he has accepted his interim role and the manner in which he goes about his job.

I recently spent some time with Bowles for the first time. He is soft-spoken. He is sincere. He still works out of his small office on the second floor of the training complex as the head coach’s office remains empty. Nothing pretentious about this guy. Ask him about his three sons and his eyes glisten. Ask him about the interim tag and he simply says: “I’m just coaching football.”

Don’t be fooled, though, by his easy-going demeanor. The fire burns strong deep inside of him.

3. This game at New England on Saturday will serve as a clear indication of how far the Dolphins have come this season. Nobody will forget that opening Monday night loss to the Patriots. It was something few expected. But with Bush playing so well, Matt Moore finding a level of consistency and the defense much improved, it figures to be a different game this time.

The way I see it, the game will come down to the Dolphins ability to put consistent pressure on Tom Brady. The memory of Brady standing in the pocket in that opener, unrushed and unraveled, is one I would just as soon forget. I expect the Dolphins to play much better on Saturday. I expect it to be close.

4. Cornerback Vontae Davis is finally taking his game to another level, which certainly speaks well for the future. Davis’ often brags about his abilities, which I never have a problem with. The catch is that you’ve got to back up your words and Davis is finally doing that.

He had two nice interceptions at Buffalo and he showed quickness and excellent hands in both cases. If Davis can stay healthy, he has a real chance to be as good as any cornerback this franchise has had. Yes, he is that talented.

5. I go back and forth on Brian Hartline. On one hand, you’d like to see a pure speed receiver opposite Brandon Marshall. On the other hand, every time Hartline gets a chance, he seems to come through.

Like Sunday in Buffalo. Hartline had a couple of highlight reel catches that seem to have gone unnoticed. Hartline obviously has great hands. He’s also very tough. He is averaging almost 16 yards a catch this season, which certainly gets your attention.

Regardless of what the Dolphins do to add speed at wide receiver, I see Hartline continuing to play a role in this offense.
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