Is Brian Flores Right for the Miami Dolphins

As the Miami Dolphins await new head coach Brian Flores, the idea of a defensive hire amid the offensive revolution deserves scrutiny. For the first time in Super Bowl history, the four highest scoring teams in the league head into the conference championship games. A place Miami has not seen since 1992, over 25 years ago.

The ancient axiom, defense wins championships, has followed the Dolphins into obscurity. Of the four remaining teams, only the Patriot defense, ranking seventh in points allowed, was better than the league average. The Saints, Chiefs, Rams and Patriots outscored their opponents by a combined 549 points, ranking first, second, third and fifth in point differential.

Here’s the saddest fact of all, the Patriots have the lowest scoring average of the four remaining teams at 27.3 points. The last time the Miami Dolphins averaged anywhere close to that was in 1984. The epic second season of a kid named Dan Marino.

The intent is not to ostracize Brian Flores for being a defensive coach, but as the Patriot’s LB coach and defensive play caller, he certainly is not an offensive guru. This hire reeks of Chris Grier bringing in a friendly face to quell his personal job insecurity. Is it understandable for a first time GM to hire a man he's well acquainted with, but is it in best interest of the Miami Dolphins?

This is consistent with the failings of Stephen Ross. His lack of football knowledge leaves him unable to determine the direction of his football team. Grier may indeed have a solid plan to re-build the Dolphin franchise, but any plan in 2019 and beyond must sway decidedly toward the offense.

There is a reason all the Dolphin coaching candidates are still available, none of them is an offensive coach. Even if Flores has an offensive coordinator up his sleeve, the longevity will be fleeting. As soon as the Miami offense achieves any level of success, the OC will become the hot coordinator of the moment and leave to try his luck as a head coach.

Flores is no Bill Belichick. Even sprouting from the Belichick tree says little about his potential. He landed the Miami job because of New England’s success, but consider the esteemed names that came before him. Bill O’Brien has had a little success at 42-38 (1-3 in playoffs), but Eric Mangini: 33-47, Romeo Crennel: 28-55, Josh McDaniels: 11-17, Matt Patricia: 6-10.

In a league that has litigated out any form of dominant defense, the highest-flying offenses are vying for the title. The Miami Dolphins last attainted any level of success when the team had the highest scoring offense in the league, that was 1984.

Hello, 34 years ago!

Yet the Dolphins hire a Linebacker coach because the rookie GM is comfortable with him?

The team has publicly stated it will draft a franchise quarterback in the next several years. There's a reason Bill Belichick wins, and Andy Reed Wins, and Bill Walsh won, and Don Shula won, it's because they can see and coach greatness at the QB position.

Stephen Ross has entrusted a rookie GM that was the head of college scouting when Miami last picked a first round QB. That was Ryan Tannehill and Chris Grier never spoke loud enough to draft another in seven years when it was apparent Tannehill was nothing special.

The irony in this decision making process is, a linebacker coach is now expected to somehow select and teach the quarterback that will define the future of the Miami Dolphins...

Ross has done it again, he's left his franchise hanging on a whim, good to be rich one guesses...

Pundits will say Bill Belichick is a defensive coach, and while it's true, Belichick evolved his offense around Tom Brady. After so long with Brady, Belichick doesn't need stability at offensive coordinator, the coaches are interchangeable. None has had great success after leaving the system, but Grier expects Flores to be different.

Every person with a modicum of NFL football knowledge knows that a great QB leads every good team in the league. Miami can talk the talk about drafting a QB in the near future. The problem is, what does the team do then, hire a whisperer? Isn't that putting the cart in front of the horse? If there is no one who understands what a great QB looks like, how can the team acquire one?

We're going to build from the inside out... Bla bla bla bla... It's like Bart Simpson. Miami made a declaration, we're drafting a franchise QB in 2020 and will concentrate on the interior line in 2019. Franchise QBs don't fall out of the sky. Tua this and some other guy that in 2020, no one knows if those guys will even be available in two years.

It's the same mistake Bill Parcels made when he thought he was the smartest football guy in the room. Let's draft Jake Long and leave Matty Ice out there because, oh we're building from the inside out. No, Chad Pennington was too frail, Chad Henne was nothing more than a backup and let's not even get into Pat White. They don't grow on trees and thinking they do will get you fired.

The point is, hiring a defensive coach 2019 is a questionable decision. Waiting for a franchise QB to fall in your lap is a questionable decision. Hiring a GM who doesn't understand these facts is a questionable decision.

But this is nothing new...

Stephen Ross may be a real estate genius, but football...

Not so much...

Meanwhile Miami fans wait for a man who can go to the Super Bowl with David Woodley and still pick Dan Marino in the following draft. A man who knows what a great QB looks like.

Stephen Ross, is not that man and it doesn't look like he hired that man either.

The Future Could be Changing in Miami

The Miami Dolphins owner unceremoniously announced the team is planning to tank amid reports he’s going to give away two first round picks for John Harbaugh. What you been smoking Boss Ross?

Why the hell would Harbaugh want to join a team that’s set to tank in order to position themselves to draft a QB. They would then have to send the draft picks to Baltimore, so no QB for you. This can’t be true, can it? Throwing ridiculous sums of money at Jim Harbaugh to lure him away from Michigan, sorta makes sense.

This is what’s happened in Miami since Stephen Ross took over the Titanic ship named the Miami Dolphins, he steers it into every iceberg floating in the Atlantic Ocean. Even propping up Chris Grier seems defeatist. “I have no clue who can steer this ship, so I’ll pull the guy out of the engine room.”

Nothing against Grier, he’s much better choice than selecting a failure like Mike Tannenbaum. Yo Ross, didn’t the butt-fumble give you a clue of Tannenbaum’s QB draft history. Maybe that’s why Miami never brought in a serious challenger for Ryan Tannehill. Tannenbaum was afraid of being laughed at for selecting another butt-fumbler.

Mike Tannenbaum wanted a coach that was arrogant enough to think he could make it work with Ryan Tannehill. Yes, the same Tannehill with a career QBR of 49.1 against the league-wide average of 55.1 since 2012. Mike made the awesome decision to extend Tannehill’s contract for some ridiculous millions thinking,
he at least hadn’t butt-fumbled yet...

Isn’t Tannenbaum the same guy that paid Ndamukong Suh $100 million to play defensive tackle and then cut him while still owing him $30 million. Oh yeah, so it’s no wonder Miami has no cap space, no quarterback and a bunch of old injured free agents. But the Boss still thinks he can lure in some Harbaugh because they’re Michigan guys right.

Are there icebergs in Lake Michigan or do they all just talk like Uppers, “how ‘bout a beer, ahey…”

Perhaps Jim Harbaugh didn’t laugh loud enough when Boss Ross’ flew in on that big old jet airliner to grovel while he already had a coach. Tony Sparano (RIP) was destined to coach really well that season after his owner and GM hack Jeff Ireland flew off to hire his replacement. The conversation must have gone something like, “hey Jim, how ‘bout a beer, ahey…”

The "Chris Grier Show" has had an interesting start, he’s supposed to covet at least one guy that can make him look stupid when he gets turned down for a place like Cincinnati. At least the current choices Miami cannot stumble over failing to land, now that’s refreshing. Grier either has super top-secret inside information on one of these guys or they are so bad no other team was interested in signing them.

Perhaps Grier knew Brian Flores, Eric Bieniemy, Dennis Allen, Kris Richard and Darren Rizzi would remain available throughout his ponderings so he could make a thorough investigation. There were eight head coaching jobs open and only one besides the Dolphins is still unsettled, Cincinnati.

Even the whisperer who has never whispered, Ex-Dolphin coach Adam Gase, landed a gig in New York. He thought the Miami press was unreasonable, welcome to the Big Apple Adam.

Six head coaches have been hired and all five Miami candidates are still available. It seems odd Miami’s choices did not receive more consideration and leads to speculation about their validity. Usually Miami is scraping the bottom of the bucket after the latest Jeff Fisher has flown off on the big old jet airliner for greener pastures somewhere in quarterback heaven.

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, especially if they’re big tom gobblers and you’re super hungry. Wait… A big tom gobbler is probably meaner than hell and would be pecking at your hand like it’s a massive corn kernel. 

Wait… Where is this going?

Oh, Darren Rizzi, he’s the bird-in-hand…

Grier may be shrewder than we think, he’s got a guy he can fall back on so he’s not jumping the gun and hiring the quarterback’s coach from Texas Tech. He doesn’t have a whisperee so he doesn’t need a whisperer and hence he can make a clearer decision. He keeps peering into that bush rooting out best damn tom gobbler of the whole freaking rafter.

No, it’s not laughter, it’s rafter… That’s what a group of turkey’s is called (I had to look it up!).

So here all Dolphin fans sit in purgatory, waiting for something to change, paying for the sins of our undefeated past. What is it, five generations (yeah now I’m on biblical crap), five generations is how long it takes for a family to absolve the sins of their fathers. Good Catholic boys know this…

Let’s see our last winning coach was Dave Wannstedt, so not counting interim coaches that’s Satan, Cameron, Sparano, Philbin and Gase! Holy spumoni and eggnog batman we finally paid for our sins! It’s time Miami, it’s time… Chris Grier is going to do the right thing!

Darren Rizzi is the guy I called out in the previous article. After reading up on everything, I’m going to change my mind. The new coach of the Miami Dolphins will be…

Kris Richard

Miami Dolphins Must Step Back to Leap Forward

From a swamp the Miami Dolphins came and to a swamp they have returned. While South Florida has expanded wildly over the past 20 years, the Dolphins have regressed. Interestingly enough, Chris Grier has seen it all in his 19 years with the team. Somehow the longest tenured Dolphin, who rode the ebbing tide, will now reside at the top of the heap.

And it is a heap… 31st in offense, 29th in defense, scored the 26th most points on offense and gave up the 27th most on defense. The Dolphins were outgained by 1619 yards and outscored by 114 points. Miami’s 31 sacks were fourth fewest in the league, while allowing 52, tied for fifth most. The quarterback was ranked dead last by Pro Football Focus.

It is amazing this team was able to scrape out 7 wins while being so statistically horrendous. The axe fell on Adam Gase and Mike Tannenbaum, but Gase realistically had little to work with as a fool’s game was playing out behind the scenes. The win now philosophy was doomed without a true star at quarterback and a penchant for paying older free agents that plagued the team with injuries.

The Miami Dolphins are a complete mess and any coach with winning aspirations is certain to choke on this franchise. Not only is Miami once again in a middling draft position, they have very little cap space to work with and enough dead money to fill Davy Jones’ locker.

The Dolphins would have to cut, Ryan Tannehill, Robert Quinn, Cameron Wake, Ja’Wuan James, Andre Branch and rescind the fifth-year option for receiver DeVante Parker, in order to amass $60 million in cap space. Even with these drastic cuts the Dolphins will carry close to $30 million in dead money from Tannehill and Ndomukong Suh’s terrible contracts.

Not a good look for a coach to step into, no money, no quarterback and no early draft picks to acquire one. While division rivals are loaded with cap space and have either the GOAT at QB, or a shiny new QB heading into his second year. The win now philosophy that only ever produced mediocrity has left the Miami Dolphins in dire straights that may take years to overcome.

Wherever Adam Gase is at, he’s probably grinning from ear to ear, having a Miami Miracle of his own being pushed off the sinking ship just before the final plunge. Sometimes a team must sink before it can swim, and Miami is destined to be underwater for the next two or three years trying to amend the mistakes Mike Tannenbaum inflicted.

The only players likely to see the renaissance are Larimy Tunsil, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Xavien Howard. That means Miami should trade players like Reshad Jones, TJ MacDonald, Kenny Stills, Albert Wilson, Kiko Alonzo. Even Kenyan Drake should be included because by the time Miami is relevant, he will be an older running back. The cuts and trades will leave the cupboard bare, but only then can Miami find a way out of the perpetual purgatory of mediocrity.

The six prominent choices making a splash in the press are, Chiefs offensive coordinator - Eric Bieniemy. Bears defensive coordinator - Vic Fangio, Patriots linebacker’s coach - Brian Flores, Steelers’ offensive line coach - Mike Munchak, Cowboys’ passing game coordinator/DBs - Kris Richard, and the Dolphins own special team’s coordinator and assistant head coach - Darren Rizzi.

Of the above names, only Mike Munchak has prior head coaching experience in the NFL and in three seasons with the Tennessee Titans, he never produced a winning team. The problem with this coaching search is, no candidate with any hopes of winning for three years should take this job.

The Miami Dolphins have been gutted and more cuts are needed to add draft picks and cap space. The Dolphins need to find a true stud at quarterback before any coach is going to win with any consistency. The truth is, the Miami Dolphins are at least a three-year project away from winning anything. Coaches who lose for three seasons, are fired like the last five in Miami.

There is one candidate in this bunch that will approach this job without any illusions. Darren Rizzi knows exactly what he is getting into. Rizzi knows what must happen, knows the expectations of Chris Grier and Stephen Ross and knows the players currently on the roster. Rizzi can quickly look at these players and decide which will be peaking in three years and which will have passed their prime.

Rizzi is not the shiny new coordinator of the moment looking to blaze into head coaching with last-to-first aspirations. It’s not to say the next Dolphin coach shouldn’t have expectations, but the shiny coordinators are much like Adam Gase, they want win now and it’s just not going to happen in Miami.

The Dolphins need a coach willing to purge and rebuild. They need a coach who knows this roster. When it’s open season for trading and cutting, there is no worry about being the jerk who sent some player to Cleveland. This coach gets a clean slate without the expectation of winning now. It’s the perfect place for a first time coach with the patience to rebuild.

Miami also needs a homer coach that really likes South Florida, one who understands the pitfalls of places like South Beach. That knowledge is critical in the player selection process because no matter how talented, troubled players always find the dark side of Miami. Rizzi knows this, he knows this town. Newcomers may have heard tales, but when presented with super talent, they make the critical mistake of believing they can change and control people.

For these reasons, Darren Rizzi is the best candidate for the Miami Dolphins. He must tell the ownership he cannot be judged by his record for at least three seasons. After his third season, then the clock can begin ticking because make no mistake about it, the Miami Dolphins will take at least three years to overcome the win-now philosophy that has gutted this team.

Sorry Dolphin fans, sometimes it takes a step backwards to make a leap forward…