2019 Dolphins season in review, plus a look to the future

A cursory glance at our record in the standings might lead one to think this season was a failure. 5-11 and last place in the division by itself is not an impressive achievement. In context however, getting to 5-11 with the roster Brian Flores was given to work with in 2019 is actually pretty impressive. The final game win over the Patriots in Foxborough the cherry on top of the sundae. The Dolphins shed the roster of a large quantity of players, some with legit talent such as LT Laremy Tunsil, defector S Minkah Fitzpatrick, DE Robert Quinn, WR Kenny Stills and Kenyan Drake and a multitude of injuries that stripped the roster down considerably. Xavien Howard played (injured) in only 5 games in the beginning of the season before being placed on IR. Reshad Jones played in only 4 games. T.J. McDonald was released in August. DB Bobby McCain played in only 9 games. Charles Harris was there but he was all but invisible for 14 games. For perspective, our defensive backfield the majority of the season was Nik Needham, Jomal Wiltz, Eric Rowe, Steven Parker, Chris Lammons and then followed by half the season or less with Ken Webster, Adrian Colbert, Montre Hartage Ken Crawley, Johnson Bademosi and of course MTM sucked for 2 games for us. Get the picture? It was like GOT, a cast of too many to recall.

Our leading rusher was our QB, Ryan Fitzpatrick, with 243 yards. Neither Kenyan Drake nor Kalen Ballage were able to establish that they were a feature back, and Mark Walton who was on the precipice of doing so was then hit with an 8 game suspension for previous wrongdoings which unceremoniously ended his season. Kenyan Drake was traded to the Arizona Cardinals where he became a superstar (JKJBB) which gave Kalen Ballage his best opportunity ever. Ballage was abysmal really, awful even, averaging less than 2 YPC on 74 carries. By the end of the season we were down to Myles Gaskin who was injured in Week 16 which left only Patrick Laird and De’Lance Turner. Whew!

Bright spots! DeVante Parker realized all his wondrous potential and showed us just how good he can be. It was stunning really, that boy can play! His renaissance began about mid season but took off Week 10 against Indy and didn’t stop. The man was making catches in crowds where he simply ignored his safety and went up and snared the football with his 2 huge hands with total disregard for his body and made the catch. Time and time again we witnessed this as the chemistry between Parker and Fitzgerald was undeniable. Early in the season Preston Williams was cementing his status as a go to guy but was injured Week 9 against the Jets. Albert Wilson took a while to shake off the rust and by the end of the season, he started to resemble the guy from early to mid 2018 before his hip injury. Allen Hurns was a nice pickup and he also was returning from an injury last season and I think he will pay more dividends in the future. Rookie Isaiah Ford showed a lot of promise as well and was establishing himself as a legitimate WR by season’s end. Mike Gesicki turned into the receiving threat TE we thought we drafted. He showed nice growth and I think is just getting started as to what he can be.

On defense Taco Charlton who we picked up on waivers was our leading sack man with 5. Vince Biegel who we picked up in the trade with New Orleans had 13 QB hits. Davon Godchaux had a very solid season with over 70 tackles. Jerome Baker one of the defensive leaders on the team continues to play well and grow. Some of the youngsters in the no name secondary proved they are NFL worthy contributors and some will round out our depth back there very nicely. Andrew Van Ginkle showed a little promise in the limited time he played, he was on IR for much of the season (10 games). Eric Rowe who looked overmatched out on the boundary was a pleasant surprise when they moved him to safety. Rowe looks certain to be in the mix for one of the safety spots next season. A bunch of the no-name guys also excelled at ST’s and that’s an important dynamic on a football team. Walt Aikens continued his ST’s excellence this season.

Not getting caught up in hyperbole, I think the future is bright for our team. The Dolphins check in at #2 of teams with highest cap space available in 2020 with $94M +, just shy of the Indianapolis Colts who are only $2M higher. We have currently picks #5 and #18 in RD 1 along with one more pick which is tied to the success or failure of the Houston Texans against the Kansas City Chiefs. If the Texans lose the pick is at #25, if they win it continues to fall to the end of the 1st RD if they keep winning. THREE 1st RD picks! We also have picks #39 and #56 in RD 2. IN RD 3 we have pick #70. The good stuff ends in the 4th RD where we currently hold no picks. We do however, have three 5th RD picks. We have two 6th RD picks and one 7th RD pick. That’s a huge haul, which by the way does not include compensatory picks whose value has yet to be revealed although it’s value is likely set. Figure a 4th RD for Ja’Wuan James and somewhere between a 5th-7th for Cam Wake. That should result in a haul of 14 total draft picks in 2020. Draft party anyone???

In 2020 Free Agency, I don’t think we’re gunning for the top stars, although we have the cap space to do so. I think we’ll get some meat and potatoes, maybe even some prime rib but most likely no filet mignon. This is going to be a team, we’re not going to be shopping for “ME” players. I admittedly may be getting so caught up in that mantra that I actually believe we may not select a QB early in this draft while it’s expected our #5 pick is reserved for just that. I have been pounding the table that in the NFL you need to have a top QB. In 2020 I’m not convinced that is completely accurate. I think you need to have a well rounded team, one that can run the ball effectively and play strong defense. Defense wins championships. That still rings true. I know this will come off as a slight to Ryan Tannehill and I apologize in advance for those offended, but just look at the success of the Tennessee Titans. Ryan Tannehill is near the top of the leaderboards in a few passing categories. As per usual, he’s not a TD machine, but he has been a careful and effective game manager. 22 TD’s in today’s NFL doesn’t quite cut it. It can work if you have the leading rusher on your team and the Titans happen to have this year’s best in Derrick Henry. 303 carries for 1540 yards and 16 TD’s. Add in another 2 TD’s receiving for Henry and you can see how important Henry was to their success.

Ryan Tannehill was a complimentary player this season and he did his job very well. He had only 6 INT’s and 1 lost fumble. I’m not going to throw the game manager label on him but HC Mike Vrabel clearly didn’t want or ask Ryan Tannehill to put the team on his back, that was Derrick Henry’s job. Think I’m lying? Last season Derrick Henry had 215 carries, this season Mike Vrabel increased his carries 41%, FORTY ONE PERCENT to 303! I’m not bitter about Ryan Tannehill’s success, but I think it’s important to give credit where credit is due. I can almost guarantee that you if the Baltimore Ravens shut down Derrick Henry and force Ryan Tannehill to win the game through the air the results will be glum for the visiting Titans. So what’s my point? It sounds like I’ve talked myself out of what I was saying that this is a team game, right? I haven’t. We need a capable QB to pilot our team but I’m not convinced it has to be one of the 1st RD QB’s. We have Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen next season. We won’t need a QB to step in right away and I still haven’t given up hope that Josh Rosen could be the guy. Years ago 1st RD QB’s sat for a while, and Aaron Rodgers sat for 3 seasons behind Brett Favre. Maybe he needs more seasoning and development. I can tell you he’s watching a fine leader in Ryan Fitzpatrick lay down the foundation of how to lead a team. I’m so enamored with Fitzpatrick and feel embarrassed by saying it would be “boring” to watch him start instead of seeing what we have in Rosen instead.

I think we’re going to build a team, and I think QB is not necessarily the top priority like so many think it is. Hey, I’m wrong at least 50% of the time so it’s not like my track record gives me any foundation for this, but I have a feeling we’re going to hit the trenches in FA, bring in at a minimum 2-3 OL, 2 of them legit starters and one backup. They won’t be old either, probably none older than 28 or 29 for the starters. I think we will do the same on the defensive side, at least one DT/DE, a pass rushing type, and then a LB who can also rush the passer. Same formula, not likely older than 29. We have money, we have to spend some of it and we will. We hit the draft with some key holes filled and continue to add significant talent on the O-line and D-line. We must bring in talent at RB. I wouldn’t mind in the least a 1st RD pick on a RB. We need lots of help in the secondary so CB and S will be priorities. Hopefully the picture of what is going down with CB Xavien Howard is clearer before FA and the draft so we can address it properly. We need depth in the secondary no matter what, but if we know Xavien Howard won’t be missing much time if any would be a boon.

I’m ready for the assault for the Tannehill defenders, I stand behind every word I say and have illustrated my point well. Have at it, I’m here. I’m here for those who think we must take a QB at 5 as well. It’s just how I feel. Heck, I’m here for everything I say really, so if you don’t agree with anything, sling away! I think we will take a QB in this draft but I won’t be surprised if it’s in RD 2 or later. The Tua to Miami thing I feel is way overblown. Every athlete handles injuries differently. The best example of a successful player overcoming a brutal injury history is none other than former Dolphins RB Frank Gore. Gore tore his left leg ACL twice in college and then went on to play 15 years with over 15,000 yards, so go figure. If the Dolphins really are all in for Tua I can only hope he’s like Frank Gore.



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708 Responses to 2019 Dolphins season in review, plus a look to the future

  1. D says:

    Very young age to retire, but as a song about once taught me, you gotta know when to walk away and know when to run. Better to be early than late to retire in the NFL

  2. D says:

    Yeah I look at the future for Tannehill and I see the Titans as his best place, they will most likely try to extend him a couple of years at probably something in the range of 20mil per and begin preparation to draft a guy behind him that can be ready in a couple years to take over. I don’t see him being a franchise solution for them. I wouldn’t doubt they could make the playoffs again during those two years too, but I bet by the end of that extension they will be making a QB change. Thank me will tell but there really isn’t any reason to believe it will be anything more. I’d like for he and the Titans to get a Superbowl to be honest, I just hate the months of I told you he is the greatest ever stuff that will roll around this board for the entire off-season if not for years to come

    • D says:

      Time will tell, dunno where thank me can in. Phones do crazy shit with the autocorrect.

    • steveccnv says:

      Let alone the BS, the usual suspects, like the bearded coconut will spew. Especially with the game being in Miami.

      I’d bet Ryan’s former teammates are pulling for him too.

  3. olddolphan says:

    47 YEARS AGO TODAY I WAS recovering from the worst hangover of my life. The day before, our beloved Dolphins had just completed the one and only PERFECT SEASON!! The date was January 14, 1973. And I celebrated — boy, did I celebrate. A friend said, “Isn’t tomorrow your birthday?” I responded “YES!” He suggested that we just keep drinking and celebrating for ANOTHER DAY!!!!!.

    Well by the end of January 15, I was in “Recovery Mode!” And, yes, today, January 15, is my birthday AGAIN. It will always be special to me because of what it commemorates.

    100 NFL seasons. ONE PERFECT SEASON!! I tip my hat, again, to all those players & coaches who made the Perfect Season a reality. And, THIS TIME, I’ll celebrate it with ONE glass of wine!

    GONNA BE A GREAT DAY!!! And who better to celebrate it with than my beloved Mrs. OD? –I am so-o-o lucky!!

  4. son of a son of a shula says:

    Happy Birthday OD

  5. The Flying Pig says:

    Happy Birthday OD

  6. Mike E. says:

    Happy Birthday OD!!!

  7. steveccnv says:

    Red Sox fire Cora🤔

    Who woulda thunk it, cheating in Boston.

  8. steveccnv says:

    Happy Birthday OD🎂

  9. pheloniusphish says:

    You lot are boring me today. You are supposed to entertain.

  10. D says:

    Happy 200th birthday OD!

  11. pheloniusphish says:

    Who knew Piggy was into rafting?


    • D says:

      I did, he told us about his white water rafting trips with this new group of special friends he made a while back.

    • The Flying Pig says:

      If it weren’t for these new streamlined feathers on my wings, I would never be able to manage my day job in nyc with my rafting job in Montana

      Luckily, these streamlined wings, a running start off the Empire State Building and some well time gusts of wind get me back and forth so I can manage both

  12. stangerx says:

    Happy B-Day OD 🙂

  13. D says:

    stangerx says:
    January 15, 2020 at 10:38 am
    @D — he’s the guy who collectors pay money to evaluate their pieces of money. Like an expert on Antiques Roadshow.

    Ah well that’s pretty cool

  14. Rockphin says:

    pheloniusphish says:
    January 15, 2020 at 10:37 am
    You lot are boring me today. You are supposed to entertain.


    The censors on here cracked down on what I am allowed to talk about so do you have an approved subject that you prefer that will be entertaining?

  15. Rockphin says:

    Herbert of Tua?

    I am in the Herbert court. I only have watched highlights of each, but it seems that no one has challenged Tua (at least in the highlight videos) his receivers always seem to have 5-10 yards separation and Tua just chucks it to them. (not precision passing)

    Herbert may have played against lesser competition, but his surrounding cast seems less than Tua’s as well. Tua has three of the top 10 ranked WR’s in college. (Jeudy #1, Ruggs #5, Smith #9) while you have to scroll all the way down to #47 to find Juwan Johnson an there are no others in the top 100.

    • The Flying Pig says:

      Herbert is a good prospect with a chance IMO to be a special QB

      But that’s an unpopular opinion

      I think Tua is a better prospect

      But being a “better prospect” at the end of the day means nothing

      I would be very happy if we drafted Herbert, along with a RB and drafted it signed multiple OL

      But unfortunately Hebert seems so hated by the “tank for Tua” crowd, that he’s going to be unfairly judged the moment he is drafted

      I don’t judge Tua just bc some of his fans say everyone else sucks

      But I also keep a very open mind to who we may draft and I think this draft has multiple options

  16. Rockphin says:

    I didn’t realize that Herbert played in three different systems in four years at Oregon. He had the same coach and system his junior and senior years.

  17. Rockphin says:

    Happy Birthday OD!

    Hey how much is the quarter worth?
    OD: $0.25

  18. Rockphin says:

    Barry Jackson

    Verified account

    Follow Follow @flasportsbuzz
    Per source, Dolphins new offensive line coach will be Steve Marshall

    10:22 AM – 15 Jan 2020

  19. D says:

    Tua is definitely the better prospect, there really is no comparison in the two that makes it a close choice. The only real issue is concern over Tua’s injury, and in my opinion it only depends on if the injury isnt healing right. With advances in modern medicine, the recover from injuries such as his really leaves no cause for concern for re-aggravation of the injury as long as there are no scar tissue problems or degradation in the meniscus, etc. Both these worries would be able to be determined by medical personnel at combine so im not really worried about it as long as he is cleared.

    I don’t think though its our opinion on the players that matter much its on the coaches and FO guys to determine who they would rather take, or if there is even any QB on the board they want to select at 5. There are so many different ways we could go, im certain of only one thing: The guy we pick at 5 is going to be a awesome addition to the team.

  20. Rockphin says:


    On December 18, 2018, Marshall was announced as an offensive line coach for the Memphis Express in the Alliance of American Football.

    A highschool coach, two guys that have never coached their positiion in the NFL and now an arena league offensive line coach. (do they have offensive lines in arena ball? LOL)

    Boy this is looking good. (Eye roll)

    • D says:

      You do realize that there are a lot of OL coaches in the NFL but probably very few that are doing a great job that they want to make a lateral move to be ours. We are going to have to take a chance on some of these guys, because our choices are, OL coaches no one wants or OL coaches with no experience.

  21. Tim Knight says:

    Happy Birthday OD!!!!

  22. naplesfan2010 says:

    Happy Birthday OD. Celebrate all weekend, man.

    • naplesfan2010 says:

      Why does that look so funny typed out?
      It doesn’t feel like it sounds funny when I say
      “See ya, man.”
      but it looks really weird on the screen.

  23. D says:

    My issue with Herbert is he really breaks down when pressured. I know that most QB do worse under pressure, but he loses composure, which is a bad trait. Can he change and work that out out? Sure, so i wouldn’t be worried about it affecting him long term. Some confidence has to be put in the development of a guy with his other positive traits. If the coaches select him at 5, over Tua, then he was worth the pick, and the people that matter most thought he was the best guy, its that simple.

  24. naplesfan2010 says:

    Hey Od, I have a 1881 Silver dollar in excellent condition.
    Is it worth anything?

  25. naplesfan2010 says:

    We have about 82 players on our roster right now.
    As you all know, 90 is the off-season limit.
    I don’t remember having so many at this time of year in the past.

    PS: I am glad we resigned Rudock as I feel he has a chance to develop.

    • Rockphin says:

      Does that include all the guys we signed to “Futures” contracts the day after the regular season ended?

      • Rockphin says:

        linebacker Jake Carlock,
        linebacker Terrill Hanks,
        wide receiver Andy Jones,
        tight end Chris Myarick,
        tackle Chidi Okeke, defensive
        tackle Durval Queiroz Neto,
        wide receiver T.J. Rahming
        wide receiver Terry Wright.

        Is that Big Brazilian guy still on the team (Defensive linemen that the Dolphins were switching to O line?)

      • Rockphin says:

        nevermind, yes, he is right there in the list you posted numbscull!

      • D says:

        Glad you called you out on it before i could.

  26. Rockphin says:

    Barry Jackson

    NEW: All the details on the Dolphins’ new offensive line coach, Steve Marshall: https://www.miamiherald.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/barry-jackson/article239318848.html

  27. Rockphin says:

    OK, he has worked with Gailey and does have experience.
    From Barry Jackson’s Article

    Marshall has spent 40 years coaching offensive linemen and has worked 10 seasons in the NFL, most recently as the Jets’ offensive line coach from 2015 through 2017, where he was a colleague of Chan Gailey, the Dolphins’ new offensive coordinator. Marshall was among several offensive coaches dismissed by the Jets after the 2017 season.

    In his past six seasons coaching in the NFL, his offensive line units ranked in the top 10 in the league in sacks allowed four times and in the top half of the league five times.

    • Tim Knight says:

      I knew his name sounded familiar.

    • sb7mvp says:

      I cant tell if that’s good or bad. Did his teams allow the most sacks or not allow the most sacks. The way its worded sounds bad

    • stangerx says:

      There’s the answer — “where he was a colleague of Chan Gailey, the Dolphins’ new offensive coordinator.” Seems like “My guys” is a theme on this team now. Not saying wrong or right….. and is an advantage to people you’ve worked with.

  28. wyoming85 says:

  29. Tim Knight says:

    So it seems that all the coaching vacancies have been filled so now it’s time to prepare for FA and the draft. That will be here before we know it.

  30. wyoming85 says:

    What a fucking pariah!

  31. son of a son of a shula says:

    Rock, (agreeing with you scares me first of all) I also like Herbert over Tua. Every time I watch Tua I keep waiting to see all this supposed greatness and I just don’t. He’s really good but so are a lot of other guys. So he’s BFD (big fucking deal) AND he’s a leftie. Herbert is a gamer and he likes to play physical, arm, leader and he’s very smart. Has a lot of starts too.

    Burrow is the real deal. He’d be worth what it would take to get him.

    • Tim Knight says:

      Maybe I don’t know what I’m watching but I feel the same way as you do when I watch Tua. I don’t see him make contested throws. He usually has time for receivers to not only come open but wide open. I’m not knocking his football IQ or his ability to move around and buy time and make positive plays. My concern has always been when he doesn’t have that kind of time and wide open, how good is he? That and he’s not the biggest guy who has already dealt with multiple injuries in college.

      In comparison I see Burrow make NFL type throws in tight windows. I see NFL QB in him when I watch him. He looks refined. It’s not a bias thing because I have no fandom for their teams, bias or anything. Just going by what I see.

      • steveccnv says:

        Fair enough, but how did you rate Lamar Jackson? I think Tua surely has a better arm, and he can move around with the best if them, not sure he can run like Lamar, but close enough. I think the disparity in passing abilities is greater than in run abilities.

        Why do you think guys like Lamar and Tua always seem to have guys wide open? Couldn’t have anything to do with their running abilty.

  32. Tim Knight says:

  33. Tim Knight says:

    Mando and his silliness getting schooled by people who know more about the guy than him.

  34. Tim Knight says:

    Here’s a thought I had about Flores hiring some young coaches or guys who have never coached at a high level. Coaches in football know about each other all over the country for all different reasons. They’re in the same biz just like Hollywood or the music scene. Networking and connections.

    What’s the next phase of players for the Dolphins? Young players! We did go a bit old school with Gailey and Marshall on offense, but we’re super young on defense. Interesting! Thoughts?

  35. Mike E. says:


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