With less than 48 hours until Kick-Off the quintessential questions are: Is this Miami Dolphins team a team that is tanking or not? Should we trust the process? Should we trust Brian Flores? For me, the answers all begin with the latter, trusting Coach Flo. I cannot lie, when the head coaching search started, I was hoping for Kris Richard. There was just something about his fire that got me excited for our team that seemed to lack so much of it under Coach Gase.
When Coach Flo arrived as the choice, it did not take me long to change my mind. I got the most from catching old interviews he did as a New England Patriot assistant coach and seeing how we climbed every rung of the ladder to get where he is with only his hard work helping him along the way. His messages were always the same: Make men better men. Get better every day. Accountability. Etc. You get the picture. But even more so was the conviction in which he spoke. Maybe I am confusing conviction with genuineness but what I knew is that there was a sense that this man was honest, humble, forthright and intense. He gives me no reason not to trust him at all and every reason to trust him. Do yourself a favor and read up on Coach and his back story.
I flash back the owners meetings where Flores was already thrust into answering whether or not the Miami Dolphins were going to tank the season:
“To disrespect the game and use that term, it stirs something inside of me — to put that nicely. Those are my feelings on it,” Flores said.
“I’m going to go into every game trying to win. That’s always going to be my objective. I’m going to go into anything I do trying to win. I’m going to instill that in everybody I come across.
“So, no, there’s no tanking,” Flores continued. “You can write that over, and over, and over again.”
I feel for Brian Flores. It's about 24 hours or so till his first game as a head coach and reaching his dream of being an NFL head coach. But he walked into a bad situation and has been dealt a bad hand.
— DolphinsTalk.com (@DolphinsTalk) September 7, 2019
Take away the words watch the video using the link below. He is not kidding. He explains how the sport of Football leveled the playing field for him and how he would never disrespect it. But take a look at his mannerisms as he is discussing it. He speaks from the heart.
Prior to the past week where the Dolphins turned over almost a quarter of the roster, the thought the team may be tanking did not exist. I actually did not think we got much worse as a team. (Keep in mind this is all Pre-Tunsil-Stills trade). We stayed par at QB, if not better. Stayed par at RB. Stayed Par at WR, but took a loss at OL. We took another loss at DL, but I believe we stayed equal or better at LB, CB, and S. I figured we were really 6-10 last year (taking the Miami Miracle away) and this year we would not be too far off. I truly felt and feel that the culture change and attitude with the new coaching staff will make up for some of those deficiencies and help level us out.
Then, the trade heard around the world. At first I hated it. Then I loved it. Then I hated it. Then I loved it. Two firsts and second for a LT that has not made the pro bowl in his three years here. He has been exceptional make no mistake about it. But he needs to be paid top dollar and the trend in the league lately will result in Tunsil being the highest paid LT in the league, although he is not the best. Does it hurt us as a unit? Absolutely. But losing one player for that much draft capital and what it does for us in the future is a no brainer not only with the draft but also with our future salary cap. Do not lose sight of the fact we also picked up a back up CB/special teams contributor and Tunsil’s replacement.
Kenny Stills seemed like a throw in piece as he was on his way to getting cut. I love Kenny Stills as a person. He leads by action not just words and puts his money where his mouth is. The community of Houston is about to change for the better with his activism. But he is in the final years of a four-year $32 Million contract and it did not seem like he was in the future plans. If we have a chance to carry the dead money this year and develop some of our younger WR, now is the time.
This too will hit our WR unit, but I think that this also gives players like Preston Williams a chance to step up and show what they can do while keeping two of our biggest play makers on the field more with Wilson and Grant. So even up to this point, I am thinking we are just making smart moves with an eye on the future. That is what successful team and person does. Understands that sometimes you have to take a loss for the ultimate win and ALWAYS have an eye on the future.
With the onslaught of cuts and roster churning at the bottom, I had to pause to think again about this tanking. The cuts of TJ McDonald, Akeem Spence, Vincent Taylor and John Denney had me scratching my head a little bit looking at the lack of depth in those positions. But again, I am going to trust Coach Flo. He is bringing with him a little bit of the Patriot way, which has been very successful. The Patriots perform, no matter whom is on the field. Talent trumps a lot of things, but performance, execution and discipline help level the playing field out. I trust that Coach Flores is going to bring that to this team. I do not expect us to win more than 4 games tops and in a perfect world, 2 of those wins are vs. Adam Gase’s Jets. But I do think that we are going be surprised to see how many of these players that we do not know today, will become an integral part of our future success. We are going to see first hand how it looks to develop our own players from within and not only develop a winning and disciplined culture, but to stick to it.
Our roster is no where near ready to compete at a playoff level. But I trust Coach Flores that every game he is going to go out and try and win. I trust that he has instilled that mentality in the players that he inherited and will do so to the players that are new to the team. Its going to be a process and it’s going to have a few bumps across the way but I for one and comfortable to having Coach Flores lead the path.
Sundays Prediction: 24-21 Ravens win