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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 ESPN.com:
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.
Alright, Randy. You want it, you got it.
The Miami Dolphins are currently 0-7, staring down the barrel of a potentially win-less season. The remaining schedule is, in a single word, difficult. Some say the silver lining of the second-worst season in franchise history is the opportunity to draft first in the 2012 NFL Draft. The media calls this phenomenon "Suck 4 Luck" in honor of apparent first-overall pick Andrew Luck.
The Dolphins were terrible in 2007, too. That year the team narrowly avoided becoming the worst team in NFL history in their third-from-last game of the season by beating the hapless 4-9 Baltimore Ravens. The team had the first pick in the following year's draft and used it to select Offensive Tackle Jake Long. Long is pretty good, but is hardly a single-handed game-changer. In 2007, no one said the Dolphins should "Suck 4 Long," but certainly the team did (and still does).
Just for the record, Andrew Luck isn't a senior. He was projected as the number one overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, should he have chosen to leave college, but he didn't. Another year later, and he's still the best quarterback in college sports. Will he go pro? Maybe. But why would he want to play for the Miami Dolphins? I wouldn't.
There are currently 7 players on the 2011 Miami Dolphins roster who were on the 2007 Miami Dolphins team that finished the season 1-15. One of those players is Jason Taylor. Said Taylor to the Miami Sun-Sentinel:
"You do your best to ignore it, but sure, there's an elephant in the room, and you have to realize you have nothing to do with it. You can't control it. The only thing you can do to control it is play well and win games. It's something that's hanging out there, and people are going to talk about it because people love to talk."
I understand and share your frustration, Jason, but we would rather win than talk. We be talking about "it" at all if you would actually win a few games. Or even a game. If you want us, the fans, to stop calling for the head of the coach, try winning for a change.
The Miami Dolphins have 20 individuals listed as coaches on the official team website, and none of them appear to be doing a very good job. One of those 20 coaches is the Head Coach's son, Tony Sparano, Jr. There can't be any nepotism involved in his position: unlike the other coaches, Jr. seems to be living up to his job title, "Offensive Quality Control," because the team is very offensive right now.
The problem here is that either the team doesn't have players good enough to compete or the team doesn't have coaches good enough to prepare the players to compete. The solution to both of those problems lies in the front office, which holds the purse strings and makes the tough decisions. Since buying the team in 2008 from a desperate-to-sell Wayne Huizenga, the Dolphins majority owner Stephen Ross has demonstrated a management style of paying ridiculous salaries to players and coaches for which the adjective "mediocre" is too kind. I'm sure that style is what made him the billionaire he is today.
It's past time for someone to do something to fix this season. Like the 2007 season, this one is already in the tank. But it sure would be nice if we could look forward to something next year other than the prospect of letting our career-destroying coaches get their hands on another potentially franchise-defining player. That just plain sucks.
Comments (1)| Leave a Comment | Tags: 2011 sucks andrew luck coaches dolphins jake long jason taylor nfl rant stephen ross tony sparano wayne huizenga
Have I mentioned that I am pulling for a lockout in the NFL next season?
After failing to recruit another head coach, Dolphins majority owner Stephen Ross re-signed coach Tony Sparano -- who is responsible for 2 consecutive 7-9 seasons -- to a 2-year contract extension. Both of the Dolphins' starting running backs are free agents, and at least one will not return. The Dolphins' first string quarterback was among the worst in the NFL in all statistical categories in 2010. Despite being snapped like a twig on his first play in 2010, "Noodle-Arm" Chad Pennington is promising to make a comeback next season, stealing a roster spot from a potentially useful player. And now our departing Offensive Coordinator who thought it would be a good idea to throw on a majority of our plays despite producing the worst team passer rating in our conference, has been replaced with some shmuck named Brian Daboll.
Daboll was the Offensive Coordinator for the Cleveland Browns. He lost his job because every coach in Cleveland is getting fired following their second consecutive 5-11 season. But that's not the whole story. To give you an idea how good Daboll must be at his job, take a look at the Brown's stats compared to the other 31 NFL teams from 2010:
- 20th in rushing yards per game. The Dolphins were 21st.
- 29th in passing yards per game. The Dolphins were 16th.
- 29th in total yards per game. The Dolphins were 21st.
- 31st in total points per game. The Dolphins were 30th.
Of all the coaches in the League, we hired not only one who was worse than we were, but one of the worst in the entire League? Of course all of those numbers do rank as improvements over the Brown's success in 2009, Daboll's first year with the team. In 2009 the Browns ranked 32nd of 32 teams in passing yards and total yards. I suspect that we could have hired a ball boy with better coaching skills.
The only thing that can make this all make sense is if Ross is planning on positioning the team to draft Andrew Luck of Stanford. Luck is projected to be the number one pick in the NFL Draft when he graduates from college next season. I sure hope that kid looks good in aqua and orange.
Comments (2)| Leave a Comment | Tags: 2011 sucks andrew luck brain daboll chad pennington coaches dolphins football nfl stephen ross tony sparano