So much drama surrounding the Dolphins Head Coach search, and also the with the philosophy of a rebuild here in Miami. First things first. Chris Grier, not Steve Ross will be choosing the new Head Coach. Grier is complete charge of football operations, and he’s the guy making the decisions. If you think Steve Ross will be meddling with the decision, that’s on you.
Is a rebuild such a bad thing? What really is a rebuild? I’d say there are probably a lot of different ways to rebuild something. If you replace the short block of an engine, that’s considered a rebuild, but the whole unit wasn’t rebuilt. I think for the Dolphins, what we’re going to do is not make the same mistakes we’ve made in the past few years. Flash back to 2015, when we signed Ndamukong Suh for a 6 YR $114M contract. Great player at a premium position, but we weren’t one player away, and honestly, Suh never flourished here. No more huge contracts for 1 player.
It’s more than just Suh though, it’s going for the quick fix. In 2017 when we lost Ryan Tannehill, we should have soldiered on with what we had, rather than pay Jay Cutler $10M. I wanted the quick fix, but it was selfish, and foolish, and it was a poor use of cap money. That’s what needs to change here. Getting rid of Mike Pouncey was a start in the right direction, and in the off season, the purge should continue. Robert Quinn ($12.9M), Andre Branch ($7M), Devante Parker ($9.4M) should all be purged. Cam Wake, who we all love shouldn’t even be considered for a re-sign. Let him go win a championship somewhere else.
Besides just outright cutting players, I think we should trade a couple of players. The most obvious one is Ryan Tannehill, and his market is completely undetermined. Not sure if we can recoup any more than a late round pick, like a 5th or later, but all it takes is one team that really wants him, and we can possibly do better. I know a couple of you here are tired of this one, but you guys aren’t focusing long term, you’re still fantasizing about success next season. I’d trade Reshad Jones for what I believe could be a 3rd RD pick to a team who needs that veteran presence and maybe is a player or 2 away from what they believe is a championship. It’s a minor cap savings, but we have 3 safeties in T.J. McDonald, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Reshad Jones, and T.J. won’t bring back the bounty of a 3rd RD pick. When you have numerous holes during a rebuild, you don’t keep a glut of talent at one position, it doesn’t make sense.
We’re trying to become a team that not only has a younger roster, but one that will have lots of cap space for flexibility. No more big FA contracts, and certainly no high priced FA contracts to older players. Quinn was a trade, but that 4th RD pick we gave to the Rams, plus the salary we had to pay Quinn was a loss for us. Maybe that’s part of the reason MTP is now banished from the kingdom.
As for the Head Coach, I don’t have a horse in this race. I like certain things about each of the candidates, but I don’t feel like any of them are the a clear cut choice. It’s probably silly to not want Brian Flores from the Patriots, but former Patriots coaches that left NE and became HC’s have had dreadful results. Romeo Crennel (28-55), Josh McDaniels (11-17), Matt Patricia (6-10), and Eric Mangini (33-47). Of course none of this means Brian Flores won’t succeed, but whatever qualifications any of those coaches had, the success of the New England Patriots is on the shoulders of Bill Belichick.
I love Darren Rizzi’s passion, fire, and respect the fact that his unit has been consistently very good. I don’t have a clue as to what his offensive and defensive philosophies are. They might be good ones, but we don’t know. Kris Richard was the defensive backs coach and then coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks for the “Legion of Boom” era. You have to love that. We don’t know what his plan is on offense, and we don’t know how he is at game planning and handling the entire roster. I feel that whatever HC we hire, it would be great if we could get some continuity going, but that requires patience. Would Ross accept 3 losing seasons and continue on for the sake of continuity?
Last night driving home, I was listening to Bill Polian, and unfortunately, just caught the tail end of the discussion, but what I did hear was Polian saying that teams like Dolphins, Bucs, Cardinals are in a pattern of failure, and are setting themselves up for such every time they make a coaching change. He’s right. We all hunger for it, yet each time we do it, it sets the team back a couple of years. The best teams like the Patriots, Steelers, Packers, Ravens have had the same Head Coach for 5 or more years, which keeps the same system in place, and allows a team to continue to build the roster with a particular style, rather than flushing players every few years that don’t match the new regimes style. Polian said what the Dolphins, Bucs are doing is a “Self fulfilling prophecy”. He’s right.
If we’re going to pick a Head Coach, I think we as fans have to try and be patient, but more importantly, Steve Ross does. He has to block out what the media wants, what the fans want, and just let the HC build something. In retrospect, I think we may have cut Gase too soon, although I didn’t like him, and hated the way he got along with players, maybe he deserved more time. Too late now, but hopefully this time, we don’t make that same mistake.