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Should old acquaintance be forgot....

The Dolphins, by which I mean Dolphins' owner Stephen Ross, got a good look at Santa's leftover naughty list and fired head coach Adam Gase on New Year's Eve. Said

Gase couldn't escape the mediocrity that has followed the Dolphins since 2000. He finished 23-25 [.479], with his lone playoff game being a wild-card loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2016. Miami was 7-9 this season.

To be fair, Gase's record wasn't any worse than his two immediate predecessors (Philbin, 24-28 [.461], and Sparano, 29-33 [.468]), but he wasn't any better either, which was particularly damning for someone who was supposed to be such a great offensive genius.

The biggest indictment of Gase was that he often fielded an anemic offense despite being thought of as an offensive guru and quarterback whisperer when he got the job. The Dolphins finished 24th or worse in total offense in all three seasons under Gase, including 31st in 2018.

There's anemic, and then there's Adam Gase' offense. In 2018, the Dolphins weren't just the worst AFC team in total yards, they were also the worst AFC team at yards per game, first downs, third-down conversion percentage, and field goals attempted. On the positive side, they were the best in the AFC in punts attempted and total punting yards!

As surprising as it might seem in hindsight, Ross hired Gase to turn around the under-performing Ryan Tannehill in 2016 after Gase had performed a similar "miracle" with Peyton Manning. You read that right. Gase was Manning's offensive coordinator in Denver in 2013, and somehow he got credit for Peyton's record-setting comeback there, never mind that Peyton was already one of the all-time greats before the neck injury that slowed him down for the 2011-2012 seasons. The way people talk about Gase, you'd think he performed Peyton's surgery himself.

Anyway, whether or not Gase had any ability to improve his players before he came to the Dolphins is a moot point. In Miami, inability to recognize and develop talent is an infectious disease.

Frankly, I feel sorry for whoever comes to town next.

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"Word on the street" is that Miami Dolphins' head coach Joe Philbin might not survive the day in that position following two terrible, terrible losses in a row as the now 1-3 team heads into their bye week.

As I type this, I don't really expect Philbin to get fired. I suspect that the axe will fall on some other scapegoat for the inept Dolphins organization, probably Defensive Coordinator Kevin Coyle who can be blamed for Ndamukong Suh's complete invisibility over four games or the defensive backs tendency to make the Bill's Tyrod Taylor and the Jet's Ryan Fitzpatrick look like Tom Brady and Bret Favre, respectively.

Besides, NFL teams whose organizations panic and fire their head coaches mid-season don't have a very good record of improving things in the short term. Most simply swap one losing coach for another. Only the Cowboy's Jason Garrett comes to mind as a step in the right direction, and he was already being groomed to eventually replace predecessor Wade Phillips anyway.

Assuming Philbin is fired before the end of the year — because let's face facts, this team stinks like dead fish no matter who is in charge — who would the Dolphins replace him with? An Offensive Coordinator who can't coordinate more than two touchdowns in a game? The 32-year-old Quarterbacks Coach? Certainly none of the defensive coaches deserve it. There don't seem to be any good candidates in the entire building.

Hmm. What's Dan Marino doing these days?

UPDATE 1:00PM: Philbin has been fired, replaced by the team's former tight ends coach, 39-year old Dan Campbell.

No team who has fired their coach 4 games into the season has gone on to post-season victories, so I guess everyone can now tune out for the remainder of the 2015 campaign. Unless you like watching train wrecks.

To be perfectly clear, this news doesn't disappoint me. Go back and check, and you'll see I've been no Philbin fan since the beginning of his tenure. But I'm also not eager to support any organization that gives a bad head coach a contract extension at the end of a bad season only to turn around and fire that same coach part way through the following bad season. The Dolphins have now done that twice in four years. Go team!

I don't know how owner Stephen Ross made his money, but he certainly doesn't manage it very well.

Comments (0) | Leave a Comment | Tags: coaches dan campbell dan marino dolphins football joe philbin ndamukong sucks news nfl stephen ross the greatest quarterback ever to play the game of football

The new 2015 NFL schedule is out, and I'm excited to say that the Miami Dolphins are on it. Whoo-hoo!

To try and get an idea of how many wins I should expect this season, I made a spreadsheet of the Dolphins' upcoming season and compared the 2014 win/loss record of the Dolphins against each of their opponents. (If you had any doubt about why I was on the high school academic bowl team and not the football team, this exercise should put that to rest.)

  1. Miami (8-8) at Washington (4-12)
  2. Miami (8-8) at Jacksonville (3-13)
  3. Buffalo (9-7) at Miami (8-8)
  4. NY Jets (4-12) at Miami (8-8)
  5. Miami (8-8) at Tennessee (2-14)

(Could the Dolphins really start the season with a very impressive 4-1 record? That seems too good to be true! The Dolphins haven't won 4 of their first 5 since 2003.)

  1. Houston (9-7) at Miami (8-8)
  2. Miami (8-8) at New England (12-4)
  3. Miami (8-8) at Buffalo (9-7)
  4. Miami (8-8) at Philadelphia (10-6)
  5. Dallas (12-4) at Miami (8-8)
  6. Miami (8-8) at Jets (4-12)
  7. Baltimore (10-6) at Miami (8-8)
  8. NY Giants (6-10) at Miami (8-8)
  9. Miami (8-8) at San Diego (9-7)
  10. Indianapolis (11-5) at Miami (8-8)
  11. New England (12-4) at Miami (8-8)

That's a 6-10 season, which honestly feels about right so long as Joe Philbin is in charge and the team continues to misunderstand the word "talent."

Here's to 2015!

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The Miami Dolphins are replacing every seat in whatever the hell it is they call their stadium these days. Gone are the orange seats that looked so empty on television (and real life). They are set to be replaced by aqua colored seats the same color as found on Dolphins uniforms. I'm sure a sea of empty aqua seats will look much better as Joe Philbin leads the 'Fins to another not-quite-winning season in 2015.

These seats very much represent the state of the franchise

I find this particularly amusing because the Georgia Dome used to have aqua seats. They were replaced in 2008 with red seats that made the Dome feel much smaller. The red seats sure have been visible in recent years as the Falcons reverted to form. (The Dome got new seats in 2008 and a new field in 2011, and now it's too old to use. That sure seems like money well spent. Glad the taxpayers aren't on the hook for any of it.)

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When the football season ends, the coaching carousel begins.

Bad news: On Sunday Miami Dolphins team owner Stephen Ross announced that the team will be retaining Head Coach Joe Philbin. This should come as not too much a surprise because Philbin had a year remaining on his contract. However, let's take a look at Philbin's tenure with the team:

  • 2012: Philbin joins the team. The nations watches on Hard Knocks as the new coach is unable to look Chad Johnson in the eyes as he cuts him from the team for beating his wife. Great start. Dolphins miss the playoffs with a final record of 7-9, one game better than the previous year.

  • 2013: Again, the Dolphins are in the national spotlight as the locker room becomes a school yard where bullies reign. Philbin says he didn't know anything about it. Great management. Dolphins collapse at the end of December and miss the playoffs with a final record of 8-8, one game better than the previous year.

  • 2014: With the Dolphins acting as NFL ambassadors during a game in London, Philbin declines to name a starting quarterback despite having only one option. Great motivational technique. Dolphins won 7 of their first 12 games, then fade late and miss the playoffs. As I write this, there's still a chance the Dolphins will finish one game better than the previous year.

So the news that Philbin will be back doesn't inspire me with anything other than a knowledge that the 2015 Dolphins will be one game better than 2014 and still miss the playoffs. I've got better things to do with my time than wait for that to happen. I'll catch up with you in 2016, Dolphins.

Good news: Georgia Bulldog Offensive Coordinator Mike Bobo will be leaving to become Head Coach at Colorado State, effective immediately. I've been opposed to Bobo for years: his play calls are predictable and his players are often unprepared for four quarters of football. That Georgia has been successful owes more to superior talent than superior coaching. Perhaps Bobo's talent lies in recruiting. we'll see how well he does in Colorado. If he's successful there it won't hurt my feelings so long as he stays far, far away from Georgia.

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All week long, Miami Dolphins' rocket scientist head coach Joe Philbin has refused to name the starting quarterback for Sunday's game against the Oakland Raiders (in London!). Tired of waiting for his coach to state the obvious, Ryan Tannehill went ahead and made the announcement for him.

I suppose that Philbin was trying to light a fire under Tannehill after a weak start to the season, but seriously, who else is he going to start? Matt Moore? Not only hasn't Moore started a game in 3 years, he wasn't healthy enough to play in the preseason.

Where else is Philbin going to find a new quarterback 4 days before kickoff? The NFL has flown mediocre — and that's probably too generous a term — teams from Miami and Oakland across the Atlantic Ocean for this glorified exhibition game, leaving any potential replacement quarterbacks stateside. Where in London can Philbin find a rocket-armed wife abuser at this late date?

Of course, this whole debate is moot. Even if Philbin had a replacement who could complete a pass, Mike Wallace would just drop it anyway.

Tannehill called your bluff, Philbin. Your move.

Comments (1) | Leave a Comment | Tags: dolphins quarterbacks suck football joe philbin mike wallace nfl ryan tannehill

I guess now that even The Daily Show is talking about the Dolphins' locker room meltdown, I, as a Dolphins fan and frequent critic, should probably comment on it, too.

Was offensive tackle Jonathan Martin bullied? Was offensive guard Richie Incognito following orders when he called Martin racial slurs and extorted $15,000 from him? Did the Dolphins coaches really have no idea what was going on? I don't know. All I see is the second half of the 2013 season getting flushed down the toilet.

At this point, we've lost two starting offensive linemen, probably for the rest of the year and maybe forever. Through eight games, we're already allowed 35 sacks. Given that half our starting offensive linemen have left the team, that's not going to get better.

Also, I think I've mentioned before that I'm not impressed with Coach Philbin's ability at managing people. This is just more of the same. I've never been in an NFL locker room, but I find it inconceivable that Philbin had no idea that there was bad blood on his team. If Philbin's staff really did encourage Incognito, that's not just morally wrong, it also might cripple the team. Last year the NFL suspended several coaches for encouraging players to injure other players on the field. What's the likelihood that the NFL won't come down hard on a coach who encourages the same sort of behavior in his own team?

Because I can't talk about the Dolphins' off-the-field drama without taking a parting shot at my least favorite member of the organization, let me point out that we wouldn't be in this situation at all if General Manager Jeff Ireland hadn't drafted Martin and signed free agent Incognito. Yes, I'm finding a way to blame Ireland for this mess. It's what I do.

UPDATE 2013-11-08 4PM: reports that Martin's agent reported the bullying to Ireland before Martin left the team. Ireland's response was to tell Martin to punch Incognito. Imagine telling your boss that you were being harassed, and your boss telling you just to punch your coworker. Yeah, that'll do it. The Dolphins continue to pretend that it doesn't have to conform to the same workplace conditions as the rest of the country. I think they'll find that defense isn't going to stand up for itself.

Also, the NFL's "independent" investigation announced that Martin will be interviewed about the situation late next week. This thing is going to drag on forever. *sigh*

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The Miami Dolphins kicked off their 2012 season today in an opener against the Houston Texans. I know that you have read my constant rants against the Dolphins and how bad they are going to be for weeks months years, so I'll let Gregg Rosenthal of do the talking here:

This game was actually close until the Dolphins offense imploded in the second quarter. They turned the ball over four times in four possessions including three Tannehill interceptions. At one point, they turned it over on three straight plays. It's going to be one of those kind of years.

Tannehill, it seems, never got the memo that he shouldn't throw the ball at people who aren't wearing Dolphins jerseys. The rookie looked worse than a typical rookie, throwing multiple passes at Texans linemen who tipped them in the air, turning our passing offense into the football equivalent of a basketball's jump ball.

The team surrendered 21 points in 1 minute and 53 seconds, a feat I wouldn't have thought possible if I hadn't seen it myself. When a reporter asked our brand new Head Coach what could stop the Dolphins' unprecedented string of turnovers, Joe Philbin replied, "halftime." If Joe Philbin is channeling John McKay, does that make the 2012 Dolphins the 1976 Buccaneers?

Here are a few more John McKay quotes that Philbin may want to borrow for some of the upcoming 15 remaining games in 2012:

  • "We didn't tackle well today but we made up for it by not blocking."
  • "We stunk. We blocked bad; we were terrible on defense and our kicking game made up for it by being absolutely horrible. I saw nothing that delighted me. We ran on the field fairly well."
  • On coaching: "You do a lot of praying, but most of the time the answer is 'no.'"
  • On experience: "If you have everyone back from a team that lost ten games, experience isn't too important."
  • On his post-season chances: "Three or four plane crashes and we're in the playoffs."
  • On his team's execution: "I'm all in favor of it."

Memorize these, coach. It's going to be a long season, and I'm going to need something to distract me from your team's performance.

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Last night was the fifth and final episode of Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Miami Dolphins. I was surprised to discover that I'm going to miss that show, but I can't say why.

The series chronicled the dysfunction of training camp and proved that there is no hope for the 2012 season exactly at that time of year where unfounded hope should be flourishing for fans of all 32 teams. Maybe that's what I liked about it: it demonstrated that I was right to be down on the 2012 season.

Although I can't say that I feel quite as hopeless as all that. The Dolphins released David Garrard yesterday, so I don't have to deal with that should-we or shouldn't-we quarterback quandary anymore this season. Joe Philbin looks a few fathoms out of his depth, but at least Fins fans don't have to be frustrated waiting through losing games for that to become apparent. And I got to see Jeff Ireland in action, so I know that I'm justified in complaining about his inability to recognize talent.

Could it be worse? Sure. But at least knowing how bad it is keeps me from worrying. Now I can embrace our upcoming 5 win season with schadenfreude. At least that's something to look forward to.

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Hard Knocks week 3, and I think I've decided that Dolphins assistant quarterbacks Coach Zac Taylor is probably a better leader than Head Coach Joe Philbin. Taylor doesn't hem and haw about communications and relationships. He simply tells last year's starter Matt Moore the truth once the decision has been made that rookie Ryan Tannehill will be the starting quarterback when the season starts.

That's the best thing about this series so far: seeing the professional athletes act like professionals. Moore takes the news of his benching as well as Chad Johnson took the news of his firing last week and Derek Dennis took his cut in week 1. These players know their business and act like men when their time comes. That's one of the only things I've seen to admire about the 2012 Dolphins so far. Certainly far more admirable than the news that the Dolphins will start the 2012 season with their 17th starting quarterback since the 2000 season. Ouch.

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To be continued...


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