1) The make-up of this Dolphins team on the field is too young (as I have stated since last season ended on our podcasts) but, the coaching staff is too young as well. Outside of a couple of exceptions, too many coaches are either right from college or have little NFL experience. Not talking coordinators per se, more so position coaches. Young Team + Young Staff =BAD RESULTS. And the issue for Flores “IF” he stays beyond this season is what proven, NFL-lifer, type of assistant will want to work with a head coach who is a control freak and fires numerous assistants each year? Good luck trying to recruit quality assistants to Miami if Flores stays (which I think he will).

2) When it comes to Tua, I think “most” Dolphins fans can’t see the forest from the trees and are in too deep to have an “objective” opinion on the kid. They are way too emotional on this subject matter to have an objective take. First off to the portion of Dolphins fans who say, “Tua is so likable and a good guy”…..yeah, so what? What does that have to do with anything? The NFL is filled with many “nice guys,” but that doesn’t mean they get to keep their job or position on the roster because they are good human beings. And that has nothing to do with Watson; take Watson out of the equation. Tua being a “good guy” shouldn’t factor into Miami’s long-term vision for the team, the offense, and Tua. On Friday, Jeff Darlington on the Ryen Russillo Podcast brought it up, and he is 100% correct. The Dolphins fan base has an odd and unique relationship with Tua. In that, the rest of the NFL world has given up on the kid, but in Miami, they defend him at every turn no matter what. Again, a case of Dolphins fans being in so deep they can’t see the forest from the trees.

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A lot of the “Tua Defenders” who can’t admit it when he makes a mistake always start the sentence after a bad Tua interception with “YEAH BUT,…” and go from there. If your default reaction to a Tua mistake is “YEAH BUT,…” then you are just putting your head in the sand and ignoring what is crystal clear in front of you. And don’t get me wrong, I am not anti-Tua or a “hater” or bashing the kid. I think he is an “OK” NFL quarterback. The issue is when you are picked #5 overall in the NFL draft, “OK” isn’t good enough. It’s just not. You are judged differently when picked that high and being a quarterback as well….yeah, it comes with a lot of pressure and expectations, and Tua isn’t living up to that. The fact that the two other quarterbacks selected around you (Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert) are performing light years better is also an indictment. And both of those guys have fought through bad offensive lines as well, so that isn’t an excuse for Tua.

Now whether Miami should trade for Watson or not, I don’t know. There are people making seven-figure salaries who can sort through all that and the risk/reward aspect. And ask the Dolphins legal team for their input as it is needed here; I will circle back to the Watson topic later. When talking about Tua today, though, it has nothing to do with Watson. The shortcomings Tua has shown through two seasons (and don’t give me he is still a rookie either, he isn’t) are glaring. Yes, quarterbacks need time to develop nobody is arguing that. But this isn’t the 80s or 90s though where quarterbacks got 3 to 5 years to develop. In the past decade, we have seen QBs burst on the scene and in years 1, 2, and 3 become superstars. With Tua, we haven’t seen any flashes that will be happening any time soon. The league has changed, and organizations can’t be stuck in that 80s and 90s thought process.

And, this is year two for Tua, and the Dolphins have given him everything possible. Brought in his buddy Charlie Frye, went out and drafted Jaylen Waddle, and signed Will Fuller. They traded up for Liam Eichenberg to protect him. They said, hey Tua, you don’t like Chan Gailey, we will get rid of him and run a strictly RPO offense just for you. Tua has had this offense built around him, and the results (winning is the result that matters) aren’t there. At least one bad interception each week (two in the Atlanta game) and just a dink and dunk offense that doesn’t produce enough big plays or points in big spots.

And if you feel the Dolphins need to give Tua a better offensive line, wide receivers who are consistently healthy, and more of a running game, you are 100% correct. Nobody is arguing that. On the flip side, everything isn’t always going to be perfect for a quarterback. Guys go down; sometimes, they won’t have a good offensive line or a good group of running backs behind them. It’s about making plays and rising above that. With Tua, we just don’t see that much. And when he has done that vs. bad teams (i.e., Jacksonville and Atlanta the last two weeks), the team still loses the game.  A lot of NFL quarterbacks don’t have a perfect situation around them, yet they find a way to overcome the issues on their offense and raise the level of play of those around them.

It’s not that Tua may never be good. But the issue is good, may be his ceiling, and the Dolphins don’t want to wait around 3 or 4 years for him to reach that good ceiling which in the NFL, good is never good enough! The Dolphins took at QB at #5 expecting greatness, and in a season and a half, there have been zero signs or flashes that Tua will ever be great.

3) The defense doesn’t get a free pass here; they have been bad in 2021. To me, the defense is an easier thing to “fix” moving forward. The problem on defense is the Dolphins do not have one 3-down linebacker on the roster. Yes, that includes Jerome Baker; sorry, it’s true. And the defense has too many young guys in positions of importance with roles they are not ready for. Again, for those who listen to the DolphinsTalk.com Podcast regularly, you heard me for, well, nine months say you cannot run off every veteran. I know guys like Bobby McCain, Kyle Van Noy, and Shaq Lawson aren’t superstars with pro bowl resumes but having a few veterans next to young guys still on their rookie contract like Andrew Van Ginkel, Raekwon Davis, Brandon Jones, and so on is what made this Dolphins defense click last year. Now in 2021, you have no veterans (outside of your cornerbacks who live and play on an island) to make sure guys are lined up correctly, who can communicate pre-snap to point things out, who have been around the block a time or two, and have seen every formation and every alignment and offense will throw at them. That is something that is priceless.

Sure, I think Jevon Holland, Brandon Jones, Raekwon Davis, and Jaelen Phillips will all be very good players for the Dolphins. But right now, they are young guys making young guy mistakes. I know the Dolphins did bring in guys like Adam Butler, John Jenkins, and Jason McCourty, but it’s different. Lawson, McCain, and Van Noy were starters and big-time contributors for the Dolphins in 2020. They were on the field a lot. That matters. The three names I just mentioned are part-time players, really, and since they aren’t on the field a lot, it’s tough for them to be leaders to young guys in the game.

4) The Miami Dolphins are a mess right now on all levels. Failures from the front office, a head coach who is very stubborn and who cannot get out of his own way. And players who were selected very high in the draft who are underperforming week after week. There is no easy fix here. What I will say is I don’t think the Dolphins need a “total rebuild” I think they need a renovation, less than a rebuild. As I stated, they have some young pieces you can build around.  I think Waddle, Eichenberg, Holland, Phillips, Davis, Wilkins, and Jones are more than capable pieces that can be excellent NFL contributors for this team for many years. Part of a foundation to build on. Not the entire foundation but part of one. The main issues for the Dolphins are biggies, though. We need a scouting department and GM to hit more singles, doubles, and triples than have strikeouts. We need a head coach who can be more open-minded and flexible with his approach. And they need stability at the quarterback position.

5) OK, so let’s talk, Watson. I have put it off long enough. Here is the deal, I’m not a lawyer, so I can’t speak to the legal aspect of any of this. Also, everyone reading this has different morals, and if you are just repulsed by him and don’t want to see him in a Dolphins’ uniform, nothing I say will change your mind. With that said, I understand why Miami and Carolina are interested. Look, I am not in love with adding a guy with this legal black cloud hanging over his head as there is a lot of risks here. I GET WHY THEY ARE INTERESTED IN ADDING HIM THOUGH is what I am saying and don’t take this out of context. For one, they have blocked out any “fan backlash” and noise that a vocal part of the fan base is saying they will never go to a game again, never root for the team again, or never buy any Miami Dolphins merchandise again. The organization is calling BS on that and betting that those fans are bluffing. Second, this is not a move for 2021; it’s a move for 2022 or 2023. I know this is a tough concept for fans to put their heads around but let’s look at a quarterback cycle that front offices use in addressing the position.

  • Dolphins took a QB in the 2020 draft.
  • Dolphins didn’t look at QB’s in the 2021 draft for obvious reasons; they just took Tua.
  • The 2022 upcoming draft by the experts is “weak” at the QB position. If Miami wants to move on from Tua after this season, the 2022 QB class isn’t one you want to be in.

So even if Watson can’t play until 2023………..that is probably Miami’s next realistic good chance to land a quality QB anyway. And why go through more rookie growing pains and such when they can trade for Watson now, wait out any legal issues he has, best case he is on the field prior to 2023, and worst case, you have to wait until 2023.

And I know the anti-Watson crowd likes to point out, “what is Watson going to fix the offensive line or defense?” NO, of course not. That isn’t the issue that is a childish response to this entire subject. But the offensive line and defense need to be fixed regardless if you have Tua or Watson as your quarterback. That isn’t up for debate. This issue is upgrading your quarterback position which is the most important position on all football teams. It’s much easier to fix your roster when you have stability and a proven player at quarterback.

So again, I may disagree with the decision to make a trade for Watson, but I understand the organization’s thought process here.