It’s been a long time since a Miami Dolphins team has had high expectations entering a season. Sure, in 2022, there was a lot of hype around the Dolphins entering the season, but it was nothing like this.
Adding a legend of a defensive coordinator and an All-Pro quality cornerback will raise the bar some.
This is why the 2023 season is a big year for many in the Miami Dolphins organization and why fans need to shift their line of thinking from, “This is a rebuild” or “Just making the playoffs is good enough” to “We should win the AFC East” and “We should win one or more playoff games” this year.
The rebuild is over.
The time for excuses is over.
It is time to see some results on the field, finally.
Below I list three people who have the weight of the world on their shoulders this upcoming season for the Dolphins. For them, it is a Make or Break season.
This one should go without saying that he is going into Year 4 and hasn’t shown enough for Miami to offer him a big-money, long-term contract. Yes, they picked up the 5th year option, but they did so as a salary cap measure of protection next season more than anything. The issue with Tua is not his quality of play, as he proved last year. He will thrive if you put the right talent around him with an offensive-minded head coach. The issue is what you probably already know; you can’t trust him to stay on the field for a full season or even 3/4 of a season. When it comes to injuries, it’s always something with Tua. And if Tua has another injury-riddled season, the Dolphins will seriously have to consider moving on after this year. But, on the flip side, if Tua can play a full season and not miss any games, the Dolphins ownership and front office will happily give Tua a big-money long-term contract. So, is this a Make or Break season for Tua? Yes, it is. But not your typical make-or-break season, as it has nothing to do with his play on the field. It is 100% about his ability to stay on the field.
This team is his baby. He hired the head coach. He drafted the quarterback. He picked up the 5th year option on the quarterback. He made Vic Fangio the highest-paid defensive coordinator in NFL history. Do I need to go really in-depth here about why this is a make-or-break season for Grier? When you are responsible for every decision and have your fingerprints all over the roster and coaching staff, you get all the credit if things go right. If things go bad, you will get all the blame. He has traded away multiple first-round draft picks and passed out multiple $100 mill plus contracts. This is all on Grier, and let’s hope for all of our sakes he has the Midas touch and this all works out.
I know some of you may be scratching your head at this one, so hear me out. When McDaniel came to Miami, he took over a team that had ten wins and 9 wins the previous two seasons. He walked into a team with a complete rebuild that was ready to take the next step. Most new head coaches come in and get a few years of a honeymoon as they reshape the team and implement their system. McDaniel doesn’t have that luxury. Especially with the team that has been built for him, he is on the hook this year just as much as Grier is. Many head coaches who have been in the league for many years don’t ever get a team this talented fallen in their lap. McDaniel gets it in his second season as a head coach. Therefore, results are expected in 2023. Because as the old saying goes, the NFL stands for Not For Long.