“This is going to be a young team,” Ross said. “I want to see it grow and at the end of the season I’m sure it’ll be a better team than when it started because there’s going to be a lot of young ballplayers that are going to be having meaningful positions.”
“I want to win all the time, but sometimes you gotta take a little pain,” Ross said. “The fact is we’re a young team, we’re drafting, we’re not signing all these (free agents). It’s all going to be the talent. That’s what it is at the end of the day: finding guys who are motivated, who want to play ball. It’s not all about money; it’s about winning. And that’s what you’re looking for.
So far, Ross, Grier, Flores and the rest of the Dolphins front office have kept good on their promise. We were thrifty in free agency, even to the point where we let our own RT, Ja’Wuan James leave to the Denver Broncos to the tune of a 4 year/$51M deal. That hurt us in the short term and although I wanted to keep James, it’s arguable whether he was really worth that kind of money. I think he’s being very honest and upfront with his plan. For the millionth time, this plan isn’t tanking, but filling spots through the draft and not free agency without a boatload of early picks may not yield a lot of proven NFL starter ready talent, so as we get younger and less experienced, there will be bumps in the road as Ross made so clear.
“These guys who play football, they play to win. That’s why you don’t talk about tanking. These guys are giving their all on the field. You don’t take those kind of hits knowing the team is tanking. But we’ve got to see it getting better, they see themselves betting better and they see something developing here, that we’re building it. That’s what you really want to see this year. The wins will take care of itself.
The draft is getting closer and closer and as per usghe, the QB’s are creeping up and up, closer to the top of the draft. Nothing has changed with these QB’s other than the scripted workouts without and defensive presence where everyone oohs and aahs at their arm strength and accuracy as they stand there with no defender coming at them or covering the wide open receiver they’re throwing to. It’s amazing to me how the same thing plays over and over every year. It’s silly as can be. We all knew that Haskins was a sure fire early 1st RD pick and that because Kliff Kingsbury appears to love Murray that he would be too, but now Lock and Jones are entering top 10 consideration. I shouldn’t be surprised, it happens every year and the need for a quality starting QB seems to increase every year which thrusts at least 4 QB’s into that 1st RD, and usually the first half.
It’s never too late to get things right, and thankfully, it seems that Steve Ross, who has been extremely successful in every business venture he’s entered into except the NFL, has finally seen and decided to pursue the correct course.
“When you first enter the league, this is so different than any other business,” he said. “And I bought a team because I wanted the challenge of building a winner. And I know how I build winners. I start them from scratch. I found the best people and created an environment where people all work together and bring the best out of them and not be like any other organization.
“But football is so different. At first you want to sit back and watch and learn. After last season I said, this isn’t working. And the more we talked about it after the season, I just came to the conclusion we have to change. Doing the same thing and expecting a different result is insanity. And it’s more me finding the right people and having them work together as a team. I really feel good about it.”
To be fair, Ross was pretty convinced that Adam Gase was the guy to change the fortunes of the Dolphins. Good on him for making the change once he felt differently. Now the task falls to Brian Flores and it seems like for all the right reasons he’s the right guy to carry us through. Once again, I caution because I’ve felt this way before. I didn’t love Adam Gase, but I thought for sure our offense could be a top offense at the very least, and that never happened.
So now GM Chris Grier, long time Miami Dolphins employee, has now emerged from the shadows and into the forefront. He’s the architect, and the contractor too, and will now follow Stephen Ross’s plan to build the Dolphins the right way. I believe we have started the process very well, we didn’t overspend in free agency which in and of itself, was a departure from how we always did things here. Now the biggest challenge is acing the draft. We’re not endowed with a lot of picks in this draft, we have one pick in each round except the 6th, the first round being #13, and then we rotate each round until the 6th RD, where we traded our selection to the Titans for their 7th RD pick to complete the Ryan Tannehill trade which also netted us a 2020 4th RD pick. Not a lot of draft capital, but there still may be a trade or two to get us some more. At the moment, we are actively trying to trade DE Robert Quinn and at least 2 teams (Cowboys, Saints) are interested, and even more have entered the fray. It’s also possible Reshad Jones will be traded, but that’s merely my speculation only, nothing firm on that one.
We’re heading in the right direction Dolphins fans, now we have to pass the biggest, most daunting test yet on April 25th-April 27th.