Dating back to last season and a 6-10 finish, optimism reigned true with coaching search and plethora of coaching candidates that interviewed for the head coaching job in Miami. As Joe Philbin was hired, many fans praised the hiring of an offensive football coach by Ireland in that the Dolphins were going to undergo a culture change for the better. With Philbin being labeled as the mastermind of the Green Bay Packers Offense, Dolphins fans fantasized about Aaron Rogers type quarterbacks ready to lead the team since Dan Marino. Outside of the organization, bloggers and beat reporters grew excited about the Dolphins offense changing to put points on the board run a multitude of quick plays and compete with the likes of AFC foes New England and the New York Jets.
However after three weeks of training camp and two preseason games later, the Miami Dolphins look like the same team from 2011 providing a lack-luster effort up and down the roster. More and more the Dolphins look and seem like the 2007 Dolphins who finished 1-15 under a coach who shall remain nameless. Of course I may be wrong, but here is why I feel that the Dolphins are headed for disaster:
First, the Miami Dolphins are not finishing drives in the pre season. The offense has accounted for a total of 7 first half points, countless three and outs and drops galore on offense. Sure the Miami Dolphins have a shiny new ferari at quarterback in Ryan Tannehill, but his numbers reflect positively only because Tannehill has yet to throw an interception or cause a turnover and has thrown for more yardage than other rostered QBs and two scores. However, Tannehill fails to step up in the pocket when trying to avert a rush and has not completed passes on 3rd downs to sustain drives early in a game. The running game looks non-existent and scared to hit the hole on a 3rd and short. A paltry 2.9 yards per carry on Friday is akin to the Miami Dolphins season in 2004 without Ricky Williams.
Next, the defense’s effort is not showing up on gameday. Regardless of the injuries to Wake, Dansby, Burnett, and McDaniel, the defense missed tackles left and right in the first quarter of the Carolina Panthers game. In fact, even though the reserves were in there, the zone defense they played got flat-out carved up by second year quarterback Cam Newton finding his tight ends over the middle. Opposing offenses have been able to attack the middle on this defense no matter who has been playing out there dating back to last season. New coach Kevin Coyle has to tighten things up and evaluate and decide on the best 11 for this defense. Many are starting to doubt that this defense was better when run by Coach Nolan last season. The physical nature of the defense is just not there.
Lastly, there is no “I” in team. It is apparent that certain players such as Chad Johnson, who has been released for good reasons and Vontae Davis are making each battle in a game about themselves. I don’t understand the battle between Steve Smith and Davis and how that was good for comradery of the team defensively in the long run. Davis has been shown pouting about the heat and challenging the coaches on his conditioning while on Hard Knocks, but this latest demonstration of immaturity reeks Vernon Davis, his older brother. Perhaps Vontae Davis will repeat this performance and then actually be kicked out to the locker room during a game by Joe Philbin.
Frankly, from the outside, the Dolphins after two games this preseason look like a mess. Joe Philbin has his hands full of a myriad of issues: Players are not executing the systems in place, coaches are not reaching the players and gaining their trust, and the media is hovering over Davie and starting to doubt this first year coach.
Maybe Ross and Ireland had all of this wrong when he hired Philbin or maybe the Dolphins are just as broken as they are and cannot be fixed.