from Darren (DCoral)
Q – Mike as we watch another season head south it brings up an old question,
At times I watch individual players and players in a unit as a whole and it leads to the conclusion that we are still ” two years away from being two years away”
On the other hand there are some very positive things being done on the field and it may be a case of questioning scheme, game plan, adjustments etc.
There have been teams in the NFL that have brought in a new quality coaching staff, made minimal roster changes and are suddenly contending.
So as I scratch my head (common activity regarding this team) I thought well let’s axe Mike,
Are we two years away from being two years away or do we need to gut the front office ?
I don’t think there’s a specific blueprint on “How to Build a Winning NFL Team”, but I’m not sure the way we’ve approached it is the correct path. Lets start with the remnants of the Joe Philbin Miami Dolphins. My viewpoint on the hiring of GM Dennis Hickey was we were trying to find a GM that didn’t want his own HC in place, and therefore, would be willing to accept Joe Philbin, and work with him. Not an insane request, but due to the fact that I never liked Joe Philbin, that was a tough pill for me to swallow. Truth be told, Dennis Hickey hasn’t done a poor job, but the path that brought him here was all wrong. We skipped over what seemed like more qualified candidates to take a guy who was about to be jettisoned from his own organization, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, because he was willing to accept the odd hierarchy we had here in MIA. Don’t get me wrong, other teams have allowed the HC to pretty much handpick the GM, but those were all established, WINNING Head Coaches that deserved and earned to have that right. So what I’m saying is, we built the management of this team in an unorthodox manner.
Then in the off season, we brought in former New York Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum to be the Executive Vice President of Football Operations, who oversees and works along with GM Dennis Hickey. So now, thankfully, Joe Philbin is gone, but the hierarchy we put in place to suit him is still here. Mike Tannenbaum appears to be a guy that Steve Ross trusts and confides in, so it would seem his departure is unlikely. I don’t know how Mr. T feels about Hickey, and like I said, so far he seems to have done a decent job, although it’s important to preface that by saying he was buying groceries for Philbin, and besides Jarvis Landry, I don’t see one player having half the heart Landry has that Hickey/Tannenbaum/Philbin have drafted.
So, I guess what I’m saying is, I don’t think we’re going to tear it ALL down, or blow it ALL up, but but maybe just get a new HC, which of course would likely mean new coordinators and assistants all around. I suppose we might hire a Head Coach who who may decide he wants control over personnel, and the ability to handpick his GM, but I have a feeling we won’t be able to find a coach worthy of that honor. Furthermore, I don’t know if such a coach is even available, or will be available. I don’t think any of the TV personalities are giving up their cushy studio jobs, like Bill Cowher, Brian Billick or Jon Gruden to hit the 120 hour a week grind it can take to be an NFL Head Coach.
As far as being 2 years away from being 2 years away, it most definitely feels that we are. My hope is that if we find the right Head Coach, he can maximize some of the talent we do have on our current roster, and bring in the type of players that have quality and integrity, no-nonsense players that make a roster go. No whiners, no mega-talents that want everything catered to them, but team oriented players who quietly unite the roster. Of course MLB is not the NFL, but the Mets added a few of those type players to their roster, and it payed immediate dividends. Players like Juan Uribe, Kelly Johnson were exactly those type of players. Seasoned veterans who knew what buttons to press with their teammates. We need a few of those. Maybe if we infiltrate the roster with a few of those type players, and solid HC and good coordinators on both sides of the ball, we can get there faster than we think!
Q – Ok Mike – gonna give you a broad remit this week – here’s my question.
Y is a crooked letter. It’s been a tough go being a Dolphins fan, especially the last 15 or 16 years after our Dan the Man left the team. We do get teased an awful lot, not by other NFL fans, but by the promise that things will get better, and that we can make the playoffs, but inevitably, it’s not to be, and we show what we really are, a finesse team that’s not up to playing against the NFL’s tough teams. We are a submissive team, we back down and fold up our tents when a bigger, badder team challenges us. When we find enough players to change that culture, we can finally stop asking why. When we find a coach that inspire the team, and also know how to manage a game, we can stop asking why. I know I’m tired of asking why myself, so much so that I told my wife my Sundays are free if she decides she wants to do something, I’m not going to further waste them in frustration from our team that can’t deliver.
from Al in Mia
Q – Would you fire Lazor if the Fins O does the same crap vs the Eagles as they’ve been doing the last 2 weeks?
Al, I would have fired Lazor and Coyle the same time Philbin was fired. Obviously, Lazor is being given an opportunity to show if he can turn the ship around, since he only has 1 season under his belt.
I don’t like his style, I don’t like his whole philosophy of being a finesse team. Don’t get me wrong, very few NFL teams can just be a ground and pound team and be successful, but almost every winning NFL team has a solid ground game. We can too, if he just allowed it to happen. Even though our O-line is a finesse group, ZBS instead of a power scheme, we can run block well enough to do well running the ball. Lazor strays from it far too often, and almost refuses to allow the QB to play under center, in a more traditional I-formation on short yardage plays.
The truth is, even if we have success, it will still be the same offense, and the same philosophy. I don’t think Lazor is willing to change. I’d love to have been around when Campbell met with Lazor, and told him I want you to incorporate more QB play under center, and I want you to bring a FB into play on some run plays. I could just imagine how Lazor accepted those things, probably as willing as having his prostate checked.
So here we stand, Dolphins fans, at 3-5, 0-4 in the division, and I know all of you know that, but the 0-4 against our division is a sobering statement. Every year, as the NFL dictates, we play divisional rivals twice. If you can’t win about half of those games, you’re most likely not a playoff contender. Of course there is still a chance we can win 2 of them but if you look at our team, and look at our division rivals, which team are we going to beat, the Jets or the Patriots? I suppose we can beat the Jets, but the Jets are a much more complete team. They play defense more often than not, and they can both run the ball and throw it. Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker are a solid WR duo, and Chris Ivory is a very good downhill runner that runs with ferocity. The secondary has been a disappointment, but S Calvin Pryor has been in and out of the lineup with injuries, but it was expected that with Revis, Cromartie and Buster Skrine, that no one would be able to throw on the Jets, and that hasn’t been the case.
I’m not sure Dan Campbell is the guy yet. I haven’t ruled him out, but it’s clear he has deficiencies in game management, and game strategy, despite his ability to rally and inspire his team. I think it’s important that his team like him, but even more important that they respect him. Losing doesn’t necessarily instill respect and confidence from your team, so we may be looking for a new Head Coach come the end of the season.
I’m still going to the Fest next year, even if we suck, because I know the company will be outstanding! Looking forward to seeing all of you again!
And now for the babe of the week . . .