Chris Grier is now the head man in Miami. He alone has control over the roster and the coaching staff. He alone will implement the team’s new philosophy of playing the ‘long game’ and rebuilding the franchise and turning the team into a perennial contender. He answers only to the owner Steven Ross.
But what fans want to know is, is he qualified, can he do it, and who is this man who has largely been behind the scenes within the franchise for the last 18 years?
Like many fans, I really didn’t know too much about Grier until now. The first thing to know about Grier is that football is in his blood. For his entire life, Chris Grier has lived and breathed football. His father Bobby Grier, was a football executive, serving as Vice President of Player Personnel for the New England Patriots, and then Associate Director of Pro Player Personnel for the Houston Texans.
After attending the University of Massachusetts, where Grier played college football for two years, Chris joined his father Bobby on the staff of the Patriots in 1994. Chris worked as a regional scout for New England until 1999. While in New England, Chris spent extensive time working under football legends Bill Parcells, Pete Carroll, and Bill Belichick. This experience has helped to shape Grier’s football philosophy.
Chris Grier first joined the Dolphins as an area scout in 2000, working under Nick Saban. Chris then became a national scout, and then became director of college scouting until 2016, when he was named General Manager.
Since taking over the draft as general manager in 2016, Grier’s drafts have been outstanding. In 2016 he picked up Laremy Tunsil and then traded back up in the second round to snag Pro Bowl cornerback Xavien Howard. Grier then went on to select Kenyan Drake as his third pick, before taking Grant in the 6th. In the 2017 draft, Grier added starting middle linebacker Raekwon McMillan, and valuable contributors Davon Godchaux and Vincent Taylor. In 2018, Grier grabbed the best player available in the draft at #11 in Minka Fitzpatrick, and also drafted starters Jerome Baker, Jason Sanders, and contributing running back Kalen Ballage. In 3 drafts, Grier’s one notable miss was Charles Harris, but overall, Grier has added many contributors, starters, and some elite talents. That’s pretty good work.
As Director of College Scouting with the Dolphins, Grier helped to bring in players like Jarvis Landry, Mike Pouncey, Jay Ajayi, Reshad Jones, Brandon Fields, Jake Long, Paul Soliai, Lamar Miller, Bobby McCain, and Charles Clay. Grier has helped to bring in 8 Pro Bowl players that have combined for 15 Pro Bowl selections.
Since becoming general manager, Grier has been given more responsibility, and the results have been better drafting and better talent acquisition. The Dolphins now enter this period of rebuilding with a core nucleus of good young players in Fitzpatrick, Howard, McCain, Taylor, Godchaux, McMillion, Baker, Wilson, Grant, Gesicki, Smythe, Tunsil, Ballage, and Drake that the Dolphins will be building the future around. This is the core that Chris Grier has assembled.
Some say the one constant in the organization for the last 20 years has been Chris Grier, therefore he’s been part of the problem. But while Grier was merely a scout, and then director of college scouting, Jeff Ireland and then Dennis Hickey were running the show. Mike Tannenbaum has been his boss, and we don’t know how many of Grier’s recommendations were overruled by Tannenbaum. Was it Tannenbaum who declined to trade down in the first round last year when Ross had wanted to? I don’t know, but it’s pretty telling that now Tannenbaum has been relieved of his duties, and Chris Grier has been promoted.
We don’t know if this latest change will work, we never know until afterwards by the results whether any change works. Certainly, getting the head coach and quarterback positions will be paramount to determining the future success of this franchise; but Grier has earned this position, has the pedigree, and has tutored under Saban, Parcells, Carroll, and Belichick. Grier’s entire life has prepared him for this moment, and until we see otherwise, let’s trust Chris Grier do his job.