A Long Day Ahead for the Miami Dolphins

This Miami Dolphin article could be about horrendous officiating, or repugnant play from Jay Cutler, or a defensive letdown after Matt Moore brought Miami back from the dead, but it’s really about the future. Because “at the end of the day,” no one is really sure what the future is for the Miami Dolphins?

Not to offend the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but they are not a very good football team, yet they made
Miami look bad. So bad, it is hard to envision this team competing against even a mediocre NFL schedule. Let’s do a little rundown of what the future looks like for the Miami Dolphins' offense. We’ll start from the top and work our way down.

Adam Gase… He’s fiery, easy to like, gives off the air of intelligence. He knows all the buzz phrases, “at the end of the day.” Between Gase and Ndamukong Suh we hear so much about the end of the day that it’s no wonder Miami can’t figure out how to start the day or a play for that matter. It seems obvious as the penalties mount, his players don’t get the idea that, “at the end of the day,” all those penalties committed during the day equal a losing football team.

Gase is stubborn to a gaping fault. At the end of the day, the end of last week, the end of the week before, even a casual fan can see, starting a day with Jay Cutler is a losing proposition. Not Adam Gase, he’s the quarterback whisperer, he can make a 12 year losing QB into something he’s never been, a winner. Sorry Adam, climb down from the Whisperer Platform or “at the end of the day,” you’ll be joining the Jay Cutler Fired Coaches Association.

There are other issues creeping through the new-coach beer goggles, but we’ll stay at the QB position because, “at the end of the day,” the NFL game is really about having a great QB… Or not. Miami is definitely on the NOT side. Cutler clearly is a NOT, but Adam Gase believes the players around him are more at fault for his pathetic play than Cutler himself. This is an issue for a coach who will trade his best running back for disagreeing with him. Because, “at the end of the day,” no other player is going to come forward and suggest Jay Cutler sucks for the sake of his own welfare.

“At the end of the day,” Jay Cutler will not be playing in Miami next season. The Miami Dolphins have injured QB Ryan Tannehill ready to make a full recovery. The QB whisperer can surely turn this 7 year mediocre passer into Tom Brady just look at what he’s done with Jay Cutler… NOT! There’s no magic potion for Tannehill, there’s no epiphany that can change a man from what he is, into what you’d like him to be.

“At the end of the day,” Miami does not have a great QB on this roster, not injured, not Doughty, not Moore. There is none, but there’s some new-coach beer goggles that disagrees and this is a huge problem. It means there’s no future hope, “at the end of the day,” all Miami fans can have to look forward to is, more mediocre football. Tannehill is not the answer and if Miami does not address this in the next draft, this article will show up again about the same time next year.

Now let’s be realistic about this offensive line, it’s sucked about as long as it’s leader, Mike Pouncey has been at center. “At the end of the day,” we have to take a long look at why all those first down runs up the middle get stuffed, time after time, after time. If Mike Pouncey is your proclaimed best offensive lineman than obviously something is really wrong here. Every other position on the line has been like watching a carousel go round and round when perhaps the problem is the one you haven’t fixed.

Coach, us laypeople don’t know how NFL locker rooms work or how the NFL drug testing works, “but at the end of the day,” we’ve been around this block long enough to know what a stoner looks like. In this politically correct world, no one can say what they really think, but we all know what it looks like. When there’s a coach sending videos of himself sniffing white stuff and there are players with glassy eyes and stupid grins, we know what it looks like.

When an offensive line jumps off-sides time, after time, after time… We know what it looks like.

Aside from DeVante Parker being perpetually injured, the wide receivers are solid. The running backs are dependent largely on the offensive line play and are easy to acquire so there’s no issue at those positions, but tight end? It seems as though the position has been an afterthought and will probably continue to be so for the foreseeable future. “At the end of the day,” Miami has too many other issues to address the tight end any time soon.

“At the end of the day,” how about the kind people on this blog discussing these offensive thoughts before delving into the other side of the ball. The unspoken issue in Miami is a coach who has strapped his immediate future to a losing QB and has placed his team’s long-term future in the hands of mediocrity. “At the end of the day,” as long as the quarterback and center positions remain the same, so will the fortunes of the Miami Dolphins.

It’s looking like a long, long day ahead…

Miami Dolphins vs Bucs Week 11 Game Chat

Can Miami turn it around? Click here to find an online stream of the game.

Miami Dolphins Need a Minute to Assess Roster

I'm going to disagree with some fans (Polly) for a minute about trashing the coaching staff...

There's an identity issue with these Dolphins and it goes back to the constant churn of coaches, styles and philosophies. The identity rears it's ugly head when players from former regimes don't match the system and/or style of the present staff.

It's not an easy situation to solve because there are not very many personnel changes a team can make from one season to the next. The draft is a very imperfect science. Only about 20% of all draft picks become consistent starters and only about 50% actually make or remain on the team that drafted them after a couple seasons.

Players are still just people and we all know that individually we respond to different types of motivation. Some players require a disciplined approach, while others are very self motivated. Some players are built to play power football while others are better at motion and deception. Tony Sparano wanted a power football team and he wanted players in that mold. Philbin was passive and no one was sure what he wanted. Gase is demanding and wants attention to detail.

These are all different types of personalities that don't necessarily mesh well together and form an identity. Hence, we see the problem with these Dolphins. There is a mismatch of talent, it doesn't mean the team is lacking talent, it means the team is lacking chemistry between the different talents. If an offensive lineman (James - Pouncey) is a talented pass blocker and he is asked to anchor a power running game (Ajayi) we start to see what is happening in Miami.

And this issue is all over the Dolphins... Timmons and Maulaluga are good run stuffers but no longer good cover guys. I'm beginning to wonder what skills Kiko Alonso is good at, but coverage is not one of them. When you have a defensive scheme that only employs three linebackers, they must be able to cover because DL cannot reasonably be expected to help in coverage.

Miami began the season having fixed last year's inability to stop the run by adding run stuffing LBs. But these other coaches are smart and they saw that, while Miami could stop the run, the LBs could not cover short passes over the middle of the defense and in the flats. Once it was exposed, Miami reacted by dropping the run stuffing LBs deeper in coverage, thus opening the running lanes.

Again, it's not necessarily the coaching staff. It is more about the talent not matching the scheme. We heard these coaches say, we will use the strengths of the players. That's great, except the other team is going to exploit the weaknesses of your players. In the case of our LBs, none of them can cover. There's no strength to coach but there's a definite weakness to exploit.

On the surface trading a player like Ajayi looks like a poor decision, but using him forces the team further away from where they would like to get schematically.

We, as fans and media, have to be able to accept and understand that it is going to take up to five years to morph this roster into a group that can have sustainable success. I know we've been through this issue with multiple staffs, but there's going to have to come a time when we stop the coaching churn and begin churning out the players that do not fit.

I'm not necessarily saying this is just about athletic or schematic fit, it can also be an attitude or personality fit as well. Ajayi obviously has talent and any good coach can work with talent, even if it doesn't quite fit, but when the fit is wrong and the attitude is wrong, I think the correct answer is to move on.

I'm going to stand behind coach Gase for a minute...

It's going to be a long seven weeks, but there has to be a time when we get behind a coach that we think can get this done given the time and players.

Okay coach, you have your minute with this fan... Make it happen!