Week 2 arrived yesterday as the Brian Flores led Miami Dolphins took on Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. Brian Flores got a chance to take on his old team and prove that he’s ready to show that he was trained well under Belichick during his time coaching in New England. Unfortunately, and predictably, that did not happen.
This game was closer than many fans including me expected heading into halftime. At that point in time, the Pats led by a score of only 13-0. That’s a score that many including myself would have predicted being much worse. In that first half, Miami did look a bit improved compared to last week. Though overall, the offense couldn’t do anything. The offensive line did seem a bit cleaner and prepared by allowing Fitzpatrick some time to step back and throw the ball. The defense got a nice sack on Brady and made the Pats punt a couple of times. Holding them to 13 points by the end of the second quarter. Not bad compared to what we saw last week. Unfortunately, though, this would not last.
— DolphinsTalk.com (@DolphinsTalk) September 16, 2019
The second half of this game is where the flood gates opened, and Miami really started to look like the same team that took the field in last week’s 59-10 blowout loss to Baltimore. The defense couldn’t get pressure on Brady and NE Running back Sony Michel had a nice game on the ground too compared to his slow start last week VS Pittsburgh. Most of all though, Miami couldn’t stop the talented trio of receivers in Brown, Gordon and Edelman. Unfortunately, there was no way for Miami to clone two more Xavien Howard’s to cover each of those guys. This led to Miami CB Eric Rowe being picked on all day. Look out for this NE offense moving forward because if Brown can stay not being a locker room problem and if Gordon controls his mental demands that he’s battled the past couple of seasons, then those two players paired with Edelman have potential to be the best receiving group in the NFL. Especially when you have arguably the best QB of all time who still looks like he has plenty of gas left in the tank throwing you the ball and you’re playing in the best coach of all time’s dominant scheme/system.
In the end, when all was said and done, the final score was a shutout 43-0 loss for the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins hung in there a bit in the first half only to let New England pull away in the second half. This all now leads me to the main topic of this article. The question of what the future holds in Miami and the reason why so many fans including me are so upset and embarrassed by this franchise now.
Let me begin by stating that I cannot stress this enough. We all knew that this was a rebuild for Miami. We all knew going into this season that Ross hit the reset button and that we would not be a competitive football team until probably the 2021-2022 season. The entire Dolphins fan base and the entire NFL universe knew that. It was not a secret that this team was going to strip most of this roster down and build from the ground up. The right way. Or so we hope.
The problem, concern and the issue in Miami right now is NOT the fact that this team is losing games in 2019. Again, we all expected them to lose a lot of games in 2019. The problem is HOW this team is losing these games. The problem is what is going on behind the scenes. The consequences of losing games by blowouts. I personally knew Miami was going to be very bad this season, being in a rebuild plus having a very tough schedule, I did not think they’d win more than four games TOPS in 2019. The thing though is that I expected this team to come onto the field every Sunday and at least look like an NFL team. If they lose, so be it. It’s not a surprise but lose by 7. Lose by 20. Hell, even lose by 30. Being defeated by a total margin in the last two weeks of 102-10 is simply a whole separate issue.
When you lose on opening day at home 59-10 and then lose the following week, once again at home 43-0, that’s not normal. People can pretend like this roster is so dreadfully bad that it makes sense for them to lose by that much and that badly, but that’s simply false. Don’t get me wrong, this team is bad. This roster is depleted of talent. Chris Grier has made it very hard for Flores and staff to win games this year. But with that said, there are still a solid group of players on this Dolphin team that do have talent and can be a part of the future of this team. We have players here who can be a nice building base to begin this rebuild off. Players like X, Minkah, Drake, Mcmillan, Baker, Eguavoen, Wilkins, Harris, Godchaux, Grant, Williams, Wilson, Gesecki etc. These are all players who are not household names now but do have the potential to be in a couple of years.
I’m not saying they all will be, but the players I listed are the players who have that potential, with Xavien Howard and Rashad Jones already being household names. Though we all know Jones is too old to be a part of this team’s future. X most should be. You never know though, as Grier traded away one of the best tackles in the game in Laremy Tunsil. It proves no one is safe. Though personally, I understand why he made that Tunsil trade and I agree with it. Landing two first round picks for Tunsil and Stills is something you cannot pass up. Especially when you take into consideration that Tunsil will be almost 30 years old by time this Dolphin team is ready to be competitive.
My point is, you cannot put all the blame on the roster. The roster, while has many holes and uncertainties, isn’t THIS bad. The issues go beyond the roster, and into the coaching staff. It seems as if Brian Flores has already lost his locker room. As a coach, you can lose games and not have a winning record, that does not mean that you have to have your players requesting trades and quitting on you. This is what is most concerning. Again, not because Mimi is losing, but because of how they’re losing and what’s happening behind the scenes.
Us Miami fans are supposed to trust that Steve Ross has finally hired the right staff. The right coach in Flores to lead this rebuild and the correct GM in Chris Grier to assist Flores with this rebuild in spending the cap money wisely and using all the draft compensation that is coming Miami’s way carefully and smartly. After watching these past two weeks though, I have my doubts. I hope that I’m wrong, but it is concerning to say the least.
It is now known that Minkah and Drake have requested out of Miami. They want to be traded. It also seems as if many of the other players are also not buying into what Flores is selling because it seems like Flores is so concerned with the future seasons, that he’s forgot that he has a team to lead NOW. In 2019. The players sense that too and are frustrated in that, and who can blame them?
Minkah Fitzpatrick was the #11 overall pick in LAST YEARS DRAFT! If a team wants him it will be a 1st round pick PLUS something else. One 1st round pick isn't enough. #FinsUP pic.twitter.com/8n4Ez55reE
— DolphinsTalk.com (@DolphinsTalk) September 13, 2019
Flores has also made some extremely questionable decisions as of late. The most glaring being the fact that he has not started Rosen and has not started Drake. The best QB and the best Running back on this team. Instead, Flores is going with Fitzpatrick at QB and Ballage at RB. Why? The only time Flores has given Rosen a chance is when Miami is already down 35+ points and he throws Rosen out there to try and force plays in order to clean up Fitzpatrick’s mess.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that by starting Josh Rosen that this team will all of a sudden start winning games. Miami will still be horrible this year, but I do truly believe that Rosen gives us the best chance of winning and being competitive. I believe the players on this roster see that too, and that could be a huge reason why Flores is losing this locker room.
The Miami Dolphins spent a second-round pick on Josh Rosen. The entire 2019 season should be mainly focused on seeing what we have in Rosen and finding out if we can build around him moving forward as our franchise QB, or if we need to draft Tua, Fromm, Love or Herbert early in the 2020 draft. The only way to find this out though, is to play the man.
Some Miami fans say that we can’t get a true evaluation from Rosen because the O-line is so bad. I agree with that, but also realize that franchise QB’s are leaders who make everything and everyone around them better. I believe we must put Rosen in a game to start. Where it’s 0-0 and let the kid lead the team. See if he does better than Fitzpatrick has. Because bringing in Rosen after we are already down by 30+ points simply is not fair to Josh Rosen.
When Rosen finally came into the game yesterday, he threw two dimes down the field that were unfortunately dropped by both receivers, but that’s not on Rosen. In those two throws alone, he has already shown more promise on the field than Ryan Fitzpatrick has shown in his 12 quarters or so that he’s played as a Dolphin going back to pre-season. Again, in pre-season where Fitz looked horrible and Rosen was leading 99-yard TD drives. In my opinion, it’s obvious. You start the young QB who you gave up a second-round pick for. You dedicate this year to see which players have the potential to stick around and be a part of this rebuild, and Rosen should be the #1 priority to evaluate.
If Josh Rosen proves that he can be the guy to move forward with, that’s easily the best case scenario as Miami would now be able to use all of their draft picks to build the team around Rosen rather than having to use an early pick on a QB. If Rosen starts this year and shows he is not the guy, so be it. We move on and draft a QB early in 2020. Though, if Rosen doesn’t even get a shot at starting games this year and we go ahead and draft a QB early in 2020 without even giving Rosen a chance, in my opinion that’s extremely wrong. The only way to find out what the kid has though, is to play the man.
In conclusion, I feel like most Miami fans are not upset with Miami losing games. A loss is a loss, and this is very true. Though when tons of cap space, loads of draft picks and the entire rebuild of this team in general is being ran by and is in the hands of Flores and Grier, two people who at this point have shown terrible decision making, and have already lost most of the locker room, that is concerning and THAT is why so many Dolphin fans are having doubts. We know that if Ross did not pick the right coaching staff and GM to lead this rebuild, then the loads of draft picks and cap space that we have coming our way will mean absolutely NOTHING and that this franchise can be set back another ten years.
I hope that I’m wrong with my doubts. I hope that Flores and Grier really do know what they’re doing and have a plan. I hope Ross hired the right men to lead this rebuild. I also hope that Flores can stop the bleeding, get control of his locker room and put together a respectable team on Sundays moving forward…. Time will tell.