One of my biggest frustrations with the Miami Dolphins over the years has been letting go players for various reasons and seeing them go on to have success elsewhere. It’s one of the biggest reasons the Dolphins are where they are currently letting go of talented players and now team has nothing on their roster.
A lot has been made of quarterback Ryan Tannehill playing well for the Tennessee Titans since replacing Marcus Mariota. I’m not going to cry over spilled milk on this because it’s only been 5 games and we have all seen Tannehill have good games in spurts only to come back down to earth. The one thing that Tannehill has going for him is that he has better players around him on the Titans. He has a physical offensive line and a running back that defenses have to pay attention too which is something Tannehill never had when he was with the Dolphins. He always had constant change on the offensive line and no consistent running game behind him so it’s possible the Titans are getting the best out of Tannehill because of this and as a fan that frustrates me, but time will tell.
Speaking of the offensive line, back in 2016 the Dolphins released 3 offensive linemen after one game. One of them was guard Billy Turner, who has now gone on to have success elsewhere with the Denver Broncos and then signed a big free agent contract with the Green Bay Packers so why? The Dolphins to me didn’t use him properly or didn’t give him enough time to develop. I blame that on the previous coaching staffs for not coaching him up right. The Dolphins have had a constant revolving door at right guard and that continues this year because coaches aren’t developing their young offensive linemen, or the front office isn’t identifying the right players. Turner could have been a building block on this offensive line.
It makes me sick to my stomach to see defensive tackle Jordan Phillips succeed with our bitter rivals in the Buffalo Bills. This season alone he has 7 sacks in helping their defense spring them into the playoffs. I grant you that Phillips was drafted in the second round in 2015 with a reputation as a lazy underachiever. He was inconsistent in his 3 and a half seasons. He would make big plays in one game and then disappear. Once again, I blame the previous coaching staff for not coaching him up to get the most out of his physical talents. He had a bitter falling out with former coach Adam Gase that was well documented after he was released last year. Gase got the reputation for rubbing players the wrong way and losing his team. Part of coaching is finding a way to develop relationships with your players to get the most out of them and he failed big time in that department. Once again, the Dolphins could have had a building block on their defensive line but kicked another talented player to the curb and like they say one teams junk is another teams treasure, so the Bills found a treasure.
The latest example was when the Dolphins traded their 2018 first round pick Minkah Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick wasn’t happy being bounced around in the secondary for the second year in a row, which is understandable and coach Brian Flores was doing that again. Fitzpatrick demanded a trade despite the Dolphins trying to work things out, so the Dolphins traded him to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a 1st round pick. Since that trade, the Steelers put Fitzpatrick at the free safety position, and he has flourished for them to the point that he could be defensive MVP. He has made big play after big play since the change. I totally blame this on Flores. He should have put him at free safety right away. The Dolphins had no one on the team for the position and instead experimented with Bobby McCain rather than Fitzpatrick which was his natural position. Again, another building black for this team kicked to the curb.
There have been many other examples over the years of this and I’m sick and tired of history repeating itself with this team. The current coaching staff and the front office have to get on the same page with player evaluations. Then the coaching staff has to coach these players up to put them in the right position to succeed. It’s been painful to watch this same story over and over time to change this.