After watching the third episode of HBO Hard Knocks, it is evident that the Miami Dolphins players are ready for whatever is coming. Whether it be the Houston Texans on September 9th, the ups and downs of a rookie season for QB Ryan Tannehill, and the media’s swarm over the team as Coach Philbin aims to right the ship that has been almost a decade of being dominated by AFC foes New England and the Jets.
First, the Dolphins players demonstrated resiliency in their preseason game by picking up the slack as the game wore on. In the first quarter, Ryan Tannehill appeared battered and bruised by an offensive line that could not stop the Carolina Panthers pass rush. However, early in the second quarter, something clicked out of the shotgun and Tannehill led a 15 play drive where he completed 5 passes in a row leading to a 1 yard counter play by Daniel Thomas. This drive was pivotal and even though the Dolphins were down, Tannehill’s leadership emerged and the players shrugged off the negativity of having one less player in Chad Johnson.
Next, if the Dolphins are going to be competitive, everything starts from that moment of the first scoring drive in Carolina to the moments when Tannehill was named the starter. It is quite clear that Ryan Tannehill has the support of his coaches and players including Matt Moore. Moore will play a crucial role in the development of Ryan Tannehill. Confidence oozes from this kid more than any other rookie the Dolphins have brought in this position. It will be important to give the kid everything and see what he can do. It starts in Houston facing one of the toughest defenses and venues to play.
Lastly, the Dolphins for years have made changes to coaches to get over the hump in the division. Coaches such as Saban and Sparano with Parcells leading the charge appeared to be a quick fix winning a division or regaining respecatability with the Saban hire even though no playoff appearance occured. The Dolphins have to let this play out even if as a fan we can’t live with Coach Philbin’s meticulousness or his way of doing things. One thing is for sure, the Dolphins have charged Coach Joe Philbin of doing things the right way and that right way is creating a culture that fosters intelligence, accountability, and integrity. In some cases, some media members might scoff at the idea that players refer to the coach as a teacher, but if everything has not worked until this point, then why not give this team a chance to eventually be good or even great.
Of course, it will take time and we as Dolfans will be suffering for awhile, but when that day does come to hoist that Lombardi Trophy, all of these growing pains will have been worth the wait!