Julian Edelman thinks Miami Dolphins could take ‘step back’ this season: ‘They have so much hype around them’

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David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Former New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman believes that the Miami Dolphins could take a “step back” in the 2023 season.

Miami made the playoffs in the 2022 season, but it lost in the first round against the Buffalo Bills as it was forced to play third-string quarterback Skylar Thompson. Teddy Bridgewater and Tua Tagovailoa were both dealing with injuries, and Tagovailoa missed the final two games of the regular season as well with a concussion that he suffered in Week 16 against the Green Bay Packers.

“I could see Miami taking a step back,” Edelman said. “I can see it.”

While Edelman thinks Miami could take a step back, Jason Kelce chimed in and mentioned that Miami might have had a shot to win the AFC last season had Tagovailoa not gotten hurt.

“They would have been in contention,” Kelce said. “Dude, they were killing it early on.”

Edelman still wasn’t sold even after hearing Kelce’s pitch.

“I don’t know if it’s a fluke, but December and November football is different,” Edelman said. “It’s different. I could see them taking a step back because they have so much hype around them.”

The Dolphins now have some bulletin board material to motivate them in the 2023 campaign, and it’s not surprising that a former Patriots player would pick Miami to take a step back.

Miami went 8-5 in the 13 games that Tagovailoa started in the 2022 season, but it won just one of the games he missed. The former first-round pick’s health could make or break Miami’s upcoming season.

Last season, Tagovailoa played the best football of his NFL career, partly because of the addition of Tyreek Hill to Miami’s offense. Tagovailoa threw for 3,548 yards, 25 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 13 games during the regular season.

This offseason, the Dolphins added running back De’Von Achane in the draft, and they have some more continuity entering the 2023 season in their second year under head coach Mike McDaniel.

The AFC East is a loaded division featuring the Buffalo Bills, Patriots and New York Jets (who added quarterback Aaron Rodgers this offseason), but Miami could make some noise if it plays as well as it did in Tagovailoa’s starts last season.

Hopefully for Dolphins fans, Edelman’s prediction for the 2023 season will be dead wrong.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.