The Miami Dolphins head into another off-season after watching another team give another Superbowl to the New England (Cow) Patties. All in all, you’d have to say the Fins had a good year, though it was quite schizoid. They sucked and sucked bad for the first five games, then went on a roll. Made it into the Playoffs for the first time since 2008, but got eliminated by the Steelers, who’d they’d crushed in Week 6.
Tough to be down on the team. By the time they got into the Post-Season they were missing their Starting QB, their Starting Center, 3/4s of their Starting Secondary and 2/3rds of their Starting Linebackers.
Look at the bright side – the Fins go into this off-Season and they are not looking to hire a new Head Coach and/or re-build the team. That’s at least a step in the right direction.
Head Coach Adam Gase is the media darling at the moment, but even with the Dolphins getting into the Playoffs for the first time since 2008 we’d still have to give him maybe a C-plus – at best a B-minus rating – for last year. Those first five games were pretty bad. I think the guy was doing a little learning on the job. He made a big splash benching and cutting guys who were not performing. In one game it was a 2nd String Tackle who surrendered a couple key sacks, but fact of the matter it might’ve cost them the game, and if the guy was that bad why did they have him singled-up against a premier pash rusher?
The big news this off-season is probably Denver hiring Defensive Coordinator Vance Joseph away to be their new Head Coach. The Broncos might’ve done Miami a favor. Even taking the aforementioned injuries into consideration, Joseph had not particularly distinguished himself. Late into the Season we were wondering if the guy could really cut it as a Defensive Coordinator in the NFL. Of course that does not mean he won’t make a good Head Coach. Think it was Bum Phillips said the Head Coach coaches the Coaches, and the Coaches coach the players. Joseph might be better suited to be HC. You never know. Still think the Broncos are reaching a bit hiring him as Head Coach.
The Fins immediately promoted LB Coach Matt Burke to D-Coordinator. Burke has never been a Coordinator at any level of football so he will be a complete unknown, but we have a hard time believing he can be much of a downgrade from the job Vance Joseph did.
A recent flurry of activity for the Fins, who cut DE Mario Williams, who didn’t do much, and DT Earl Mitchell. They were also supposed to release LT Branden Albert (a big free-agent signing just a couple years ago0, but then apparently another team began inquiring about a trade. Either way it looks doubtful Albert will be back next year, and that bong-meister Laremy Tunsil will be taking over at Left Tackle.
We have some mixed feelings here. Tunsil looks like the real deal, and Branden Albert could not stay healthy and we doubt he’s worth what Miami would have to pay him. Still, when we had a good line last Season RB Jay Ajayi ran wild, so we hope the Front Office will make Offensive Line a Top Priority through Free Agency and The Draft. They managed to steal Tunsil last year, but that was the only Ofeensive Lineman they drafted. Miami needs to focus on the O-Line. It’s only Football Cliché Number One: it all starts up front. But the biggest reservations we have about the Dolphin Franchise is their Front Office, and specifically their talent evaluation process.
WR Kenny Stills is a free agent after a career year and Jarvis Landry is due for an extension, so a great deal of Cap Space is probably heading that way. If Miami dumps Branden Albert they must also bring in some bodies to replace him, and they better start paying a little more attention to Guard and Center, for Mike Pouncey hasn’t been able to stay on the field as well. In addition, the Fins need to upgrade at Lineback and Defensive Secondary.
So it will be interesting to see what the Fins do over the next couple months. It is also unknown at this point who’s really pulling the trigger, and how much new Head Coach Adam Gase has to say in these personnel decisions.