Good Lord in Heaven, Thursday night was disaster! There were so many mistakes, miscues, and missed tackles that it almost looked like a high school junior varsity team trying to beat an All-Pro team. That one got ugly real fast. Me personally, I knew the game was over once Brock threw that interception in the second quarter. Once again, the Houston Texans had the Dolphins’ number. What is it about the Texans that Miami can’t seem to figure out anyway? There’s a TON of blame to go around for this one, but I can tell you exactly who should be taking the brunt of this, and it’s not the coaching staff.
Everybody is pretty mad at Matt Burke right now and the national pundits (Mike Florio) seem to believe that he will be the scapegoat either during, or after the season. Let’s be honest here, firing Matt Burke in season will do absolutely nothing, and could end up just making it worse for this defense. If he needs to be fired after the season, that’s just fine. Depending on where the Denver Broncos finish as far as wins and losses go, Vance Joseph might be available. Maybe we could bring him back. But, back to where we SHOULD focus our anger.
It starts at the top, it starts with Steven Ross. For those who don’t listen the BigO Show on 560 WQAM, you definitely should. Orlando has some great insights on the Dolphins and makes some very good points, like this one. Sure, Stephen Ross has done so much to try and help this team win and hasn’t been shy about breaking out the money to try to give this fan base a winning product on the field. Yes, the renovations to the stadium were paid for almost entirely with his own money. But, his shortcomings still need to be discussed.
First, let’s take a look at how he seems to keep trusting the wrong people. For example, how stayed committed to Jeff Ireland for WAY too long. I’ll never forget playing, “Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead” on repeat the day he was finally let go in 2014. Sure, Jeff Ireland has gone on to do some good work with the New Orleans Saints, but he was not cutting the mustard here in Miami. In my opinion, Jeff Ireland should’ve been let go when Tony Sparano (May he Rest in Peace) was shown the door in 2011. Aside from the moves that Jeff Ireland made prior to Joe Philbin’s arrival in 2012, his last two drafts for the Dolphins were sub-standard. Clearly, he made the wrong choice at quarterback by taking Ryan Tannehill with the eighth overall pick that year. There was also the 2013 draft, the draft that was supposed to save his job. Look at how that worked out. The move to trade up from the 12th to 3rd overall pick and taking Dion Jordan was probably one of the worst moves this franchise has ever made. Jamar Taylor, Will Davis, and Dallas Thomas, how did those selections work out for the Dolphins?
Stephen Ross also made a swing and a miss by trying to land Jim Harbaugh in 2011 while Tony Sparano was still under contract as the head coach of the Dolphins. That was an absolute EMBARRASSMENT to the Miami Dolphins. He will never live that one down, ever. There was also the hiring of Joe Philbin and we all know how that panned out. Next up was the hiring of Dennis Hickey as the general manager to replace Jeff Ireland. Hickey was in and out of Miami in two years and his draft results were less than inspiring. Last, but certainly not least, was the hiring of Mike Tannebaum as the V. P. of Football Operations in January of 2015.
Yes, I know that I’ve harped on Mike Tannenbaum before, but I’m still not done with, “ATM Mike”. Tannenbaum, whose last name ironically translates to, “Christmas Tree” in German, has made Christmas come early for many subpar players over the years in the form bad contracts that drastically overpaid guys. “ATM Mike” has been an absolute disaster in Miami. It’s been more of the same crap he pulled in New York that left the Jets financially hamstrung for a couple years after he was gone. If Mr. Ross does fire Tannenbaum (which he needs to do, pronto!), the Dolphins will still be suffering some salary cap ramifications of the bad moves that he’s made in his almost four years with this team. I won’t go into the bad moves he’s made, because I’ve already done that, but the writing is on the wall. If anyone needs to be fired, it’s “ATM Mike”!
Changes are definitely coming after the 2018 season concludes, regardless of what Miami’s record ends up being. The big question is; how far will Steven Ross go in terms of making those changes? The first change that needs to happen is getting rid of Tannenbaum before he makes this salary cap situation the Dolphins are in even worse. The second change that needs to happen is a change at quarterback. That one is going to be very tricky, as the team is still somewhat handcuffed to Ryan Tannehill beyond this year.
As I’ve previously mentioned, cutting Tannehill would be a bad move in terms of salary cap, as the Dolphins already have $16 million in dead money against the cap next year, they don’t need to add any more to that number. A point that myself and Big O agree on is that Adam Gase was wrong to believe in Ryan Tannehill as the franchise quarterback of this team. We also agree that he’s been very foolish by not bringing in any REAL competition for Tannehill. The team hasn’t drafted or signed anyone that can legitimately push Tannehill and be a threat to take the starting job away from him. Where Big O and I don’t agree is rather or not Adam Gase should remain the head coach of the Miami Dolphins beyond 2018. Orlando has said repeatedly that he personally is done with Adam Gase and wants a change. I on the other hand, haven’t given up on Gase yet and I still believe that he can be a very good head coach in this league and I want it to be with the Dolphins.
In my opinion, “ATM Mike” Mike should be out and Gase and Greer should be put on notice that 2019 is it! If Adam Gase and general manager Chris Greer can’t find success next year, it will be time to move on from them also. I’m very curious to see if the combination of Gase and Greer can get the quarterback spot right, however they’re a bit behind the eight ball on that one. And at this point, it’s almost set it stone that the team will have a new defensive coordinator next year. Stay tuned, everyone, because things will start getting very interesting in January.