I know Brian Flores wasn’t perfect, I watch all the games and see this team play every week. Once the Dolphins fired Flores, it’s amazing how quickly the negative stories came out. Look, some of them are probably true, and others are just silly. I’ll never know the veracity of all of them and frankly, it doesn’t matter. I was ready to hitch my wagon to Flores and for a decade or so. I mean as a Dolphins fan, you just have to be tired of the turnover here. We’ve seen this now far too many times since the new millennium. In 2000, Dave Wannstedt was our Head Coach. In 2005 Satan, er Nick Saban took over. In 2007 we got the Cam Cameron show for all of 1 year, and with his 1-15 record, one year too many. Then Bill Parcells came to town with his lazy uninspired plan to fix the Dolphins for owner Wayne Huizenga. He brought Jeff Ireland (GM), Head Coach Tony Sparano, and OC Dan Henning and DC Paul Pasqualoni. Thanks Bill for your efforts! Near the end of the 2011 season, Todd Bowles replaced Tony Sparano. In 2012, as if Bill Parcells grand plan wasn’t uninspiring enough, Stephen Ross hired Head Coach Joe Phibin. Joe somehow was allowed to muddle through 4 seasons here boring Dolphins fans everywhere. In 2016, we hired Head Coach Adam Gase, that of “Offensive Guru” status. We was offensive alright. Maybe Ross realized that he gave Philbin one too many so he cut Gase’s tenure at 3 years. In 2019 we hired the young, fiery defensive coordinator from the rival Patriots. Yes, another Belichick disciple. Flores was given only 3 years, perhaps once again harking back to Joe Philbin getting 4 years. If you’re wondering, since the year 2000, the Dolphins record is 176-183. Uninspiring.
I’m not going to touch any of the stories circulating regarding why Flores may have been fired. We saw the offense as an ineffective unit. Flores’ defensive pedigree had this team’s defense ahead of the offense during his 3 year tenure. Not that the defense was a championship level defense, it wasn’t, but compared to the offense it may have looked that way. Our offensive line has been an issue for years and despite Grier’s attempts to bring in talent to remedy the situation, drafting OT Liam Eichenberg in RD 2 (#42) in 2021, OT Austin Jackson in RD 1 in 2020 (#18), OG Robert Hunt in RD 2 (#39), and OG Solomon Kindley (#111) in RD 4. In 2019 we drafted OC Michael Deiter in RD 3 (#78). It’s certainly not due to a lack of effort, but our 2021 O-line was ranked dead last at #32. Truth be told, I feel we have talented players on that line, but Flores’ choice of Lemuel Jeanpierre seems to be the linchpin. This is a unit that must be fixed in order for this team’s offense to be successful. I hope whoever the new HC is realizes that a great veteran O-line Coach is necessary here. Notice how I haven’t once mentioned Tua? If I could talk to him, I’d tell him this . . .
So now the search begins, and I really don’t have a strong feeling as to who the new Head Coach will be. I have to admit I’m a little concerned that we didn’t clean house completely. If Chris Grier was fired as well, you find a GM and then that GM hires the new coach. Now, despite not getting fired, you have the appearance of a GM who may be on the hot seat hiring a new Head Coach and that makes the job less appealing. As if having 8 Head Coaches in the last 21 years isn’t unappealing enough!!! The good thing Dolphins fans, is that there are only 32 Head Coaching jobs and we have an opening, so there will be lots of interest regardless of the aforementioned pitfalls. We have a young, talented roster that some coach is going to be thrilled to take the helm of. Plenty of money in Free Agency will be available as well, close to $70M. We have a defensive unit on the rise with potential to be a top 10 defense if the offense gets on track. Some of that $70M will have to be used to re-sign our own players. DE Emmanuel Ogbah, TE Mike Gesicki, WR/ST Mack Hollins, TE Durham Smythe, LB Elandon Roberts and DB Nik Needham. RB Duke Johnson will probably be taken care of as well. I think Ogbah is the top priority, he’s been great since he got here and is an important piece of this defense. I think Gesicki should also be a priority but it depends on what type of TE the new HC is looking for. If he wants a receiving threat TE then Gesicki will be back. If he wants a blocking TE then it’s more likely Durham Smythe comes back and Gesicki goes elsewhere. Mack Hollins is becoming a better WR and is invaluable as a special teams player. I also hope we re-sign Nik Needham, I like that kid, and he always exceeds expectations.
Defensive players like CB Xavien Howard, CB Byron Jones, S Jevon Holland and S Brandon Jones will be sure to help lure a potential HC here. LB’s Jerome Baker and Andrew Van Ginkel as well, and of course young DE/LB Jaelan Phillips. On offense, rookie sensation WR Jaylen Waddle is a great start, but the falloff is big after that. Free agency and the draft are going to both be used to bring in talent at WR to complement Jaylen Waddle. Running back has to be a priority as well and if you know me, I want to draft one, not overpay for one in FA. Draft a RB early enough to procure one of the best RB’s in this draft, add in one of the holdovers like Myles Gaskin, re-sign Duke Johnson and pick up a FA RB that won’t break the bank. How we proceed at TE interests me. I’m very curious to see if we keep Mike Gesicki and/or Durham Smythe.
Here’s hoping we make the right choice for our new Head Coach, whomever he may be. Here’s hoping this new Head Coach can be successful enough to be here more than 10 years. Here’s also hoping we made the right choice retaining GM Chris Grier. Here’s hoping for a full recovery for our friend Jon “Stanger”. Here’s hoping for all of us to stay healthy in 2022.