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!