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SOAPBOX: The Miami Dolphins need a change of direction

For many a football fan, their favorite NFL team will have its share of rough patches. In the case of the Miami Dolphins, this rough patch is lasting far longer than it needed to. One Miami professional sports franchise is already going through a rough rebuilding process. But if the Dolphins are to stay relevant, it will take a change of direction.

I may sound impatient or short-sided. Unfortunately, a decade’s worth of mediocrity will not stand for the Dolphins faithful. At least the Cleveland Browns, the infamously nicknamed, “Factory of Sadness,” is making an effort to dig out of their hole. From the front office to coaching staff to players, the Miami Dolphins will need new faces and leadership moving forward.

Miami Dolphins Front Office

Miami Dolphins Rebuild
Image courtesy of the Phinsider

One thing I do not like about my Miami Dolphins is their front office. Most notably, Miami has had to deal with a terrible general manager in Jeff Ireland for six years, which was five more than many ‘Fins fans could stand. If the Dolphins can’t turn it around next season, I think Executive Vice President of Football Operation, Mike Tannebaum, should be the next to go. People may think General Manager, Chris Grier, should be on the hot seat. But It’s Tannenbaum that runs the show. His tenure is just beginning, only holding the position since 2015. But some of the moves he’s made have proved fruitless for the organization.

First, Miami signed Defensive Tackle, Ndamukong Suh, to a six-year, $114M contract in 2015, $60M guaranteed. The Dolphins defense no doubt benefited from him lining up as a down-lineman. But to me, his individual stats seem underwhelming for the money he received. In addition, Miami released Suh after his third year due to salary cap issues. Next, the last few (before Minkah Fitzpatrick) first round picks have not made substantial noise in the NFL: Wide Receiver DeVante Parker, Offensive Tackle Laremy Tunsil, and Defensive End Charles Harris. I know that this would mostly be a coaching matter or a matter for general manager Chris Grier. But I think that Tannebaum has not invested enough in the position coaching as he could have.

Miami Dolphins Ownership Change?

The next name to leave Miami will sound controversial. But the Miami Dolphins need a new owner to replace Stephen M. Ross. Since his first year as owner in 2009, the Miami Dolphins have made the playoffs once (in 2016 as a Wild Card). The Dolphins have a combined regular season record of 65-71 (.451) with Ross as the owner. Other teams have fared much worse than Miami in the last nine seasons. The city of Miami already have to deal with one terrible sports owner: Jeffrey Loria, still. But for Dolphins fans, a change in ownership could help turn around the disappointing results of the past.

Of course, the biggest questions still remain. Is Stephen M. Ross willing to sell the team? If he is, who will be willing to buy it? If the deal is done, whenever that may be, is this new owner passionate about football? We doubt Loria was about baseball.

Miami Dolphins Players/Coaches

Miami Dolphins
Julius Thomas and Adam Gase (Photo

Another thing the Miami Dolphins have become infamous for is the constant hiring of new coaches. Unpopular opinion: Head Coach Adam Gase is doing the best he can with what he’s got (which isn’t much). If the Dolphins want to command respect in the NFL, other coaches will need to step up. First, the new offensive line coach, Jeremiah Washburn, will need to turn around mediocre outings from the big men up front. Since his start in 2012, Quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, has been sacked 213 times in his career. Despite the constant pelting, Ryan has only missed three games prior to his non-contact injury last season. Not to mention with the coach changes, the team does not have a system that could adapt to and execute.

Second, defensive coordinator, Matt Burke, still has several screws to tighten for the 2018 season. In the 2017 season, Miami has allowed 24.6 points per game (4th highest in the league) and have only tallied 30 sacks. Not to mention the defense only had six fumble recoveries and nine interceptions forced. Hopefully, newly appointed defensive line coaches, Kris Kocurek and Andre Carter, can kick it up a notch come next season.

Going back to Tannehill, I believe the Dolphins may need another Field General to take over for him. Though not entirely his fault, Tannehill has not put the numbers needed to lift the team. He has only broken a 90.0 QBR twice in his five years on the gridiron (did not play in his sixth year due to injury). I do not see fellow quarterbacks in the roster as the answers Miami needs either.

Bryce Petty has played ten games in two seasons since getting drafted in 2015 and has thrown four touchdowns against 10 interceptions. David Fales has only played three games since being drafted in 2014. Brock Osweiler…well, history has shown why he’s not the one to save Miami.

In Closing…

I think that Miami will need to address changes in front office and ownership and take a new direction. Changes will also need to occur in coaching for certain positions on the roster. The new coaches in tow will have a lot of work to do as a new season of football arrives. Miami will also need to DRAFT a young, talented sharpshooter, among other guys at other positions, to succeed Tannehill and help the Miami Dolphins get to the top.


Featured image courtesy of Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post

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