2012 should be an interesting season for the Miami Dolphins. Wins may be hard to come by with rookie Ryan Tannehill at quarterback and the team making a complete schematic change on both offense and defense. In 1996, Jimmy Johnson replaced legendary coach Don Shula and since that time, the Dolphins have made a steady progression in the wrong direction.
A lot is written about coaches like Bill Walsh being at the forefront of the passing game revolution, but Shula and Dan Marino should be considered true pioneers. It took nearly thirty years for Drew Brees to eclipse Marino’s passing yards in a season. Miami went from one of the most advanced passing offenses in NFL history to a team that insisted running the football was the path to success.
Marino retired in 1999 and thirteen years later, the team tries to reestablish itself as a passing offense. A string of coaches, GMs and players are mired in those years of decline, dominated by Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown types, without a notable quarterback or receiver since the turn of the century.
The reason for briefly flirting with the past is to remind the faithful, the future is not going to come quickly with such drastic change. It’s not just the QB or WRs that make this transformation difficult; it starts on the offensive line and carries throughout the entire offense. For thirteen years, this team was built around running the football and changing it will not come without growing pains.
1973, nearly forty years ago was the last time the Miami Dolphins won the Super Bowl. Asking these fans to remain patient while yet another regime tries to bring the Lombardi trophy back to Miami, is not an easy task, but that’s exactly what has to happen.
When a coaching staff inherits a team, the best scenario is for the previous regime to have a similar philosophy because the players will have a better chance of matching the system. When the philosophy changes on both sides of the ball, many of the players are a mismatch to the system. It means a wholesale roster renovation is in order to make the new system work.
It’s too late to turn back; the Dolphins are moving forward with a roster incongruent to the new system and that can only add up to more notches in the loss column. Is Ryan Tannehill a franchise QB? The worst possible course for Dolphin fans will be to make to rash a judgment on Tannehill. A QB is about three years in the making and about that time, the roster will match the philosophy.
For anguished Dolphin fans, it’s another two years of misery before Tannehill blossoms and fans do not even want to consider him as a failure. For this reason, it is vital for all Dolphin fans to understand their importance in the transformation. Bad mouthing Tannehill before he has a chance to acclimate to the NFL does nothing but set the Dolphins back three more years to wait on another QB.
This is destined to be a rough season, but positive reinforcement is what will make Tannehill become the future franchise in Miami. Miami fans have been negative for far too long and look where it has led, straight to where negativity always leads, the bottom of the league. Resist the temptation to point out every failure and instead exemplify every positive.
There is no choice Dolphin fans, it is up to the Miami faithful to assist the coaching staff in the creation of Ryan Tannehill…