The Miami Dolphins: Majors in Mediocrity

Ab Stanley

Life as a Dolphins fan has been no fun since the turn of the century. A team on a collision course with an 8-8 record every season brings no hope to a fan base that has witnessed it’s fair share of glory. Miami is a franchise who in recent history has toiled in futility and failed expectations.

The outside world might point to the quarterback position as their main problem. I’m going with the more conventional theory of they can’t get it right at head coach.

Since Jimmy Johnson retired and turned over the team to his assistant Dave Wannstedt, the Dolphins have had eight head coaches and interim head coaches. The coaching carousel has had it’s host of colorful names. From Cam Cameron, to Tony “Wildcat” Sporano, to Joe Philbin, all have losing records next to their Dolphins’ tenure.

So many different Philosophies with too many shifts in focus. None of these guys have any type of sustained success. None of them have back to back playoff appearances. They either lost the team, lost the backing of the front office or they simply quit (ahem Nick Saban).

The newest member of the mediocrity club is current head coach Adam Gase. After leading the team to a playoff appearance in the 2016 season, the team failed to reach the playoffs in 2017 (what a surprise). Gase has a unique problem, the front office loves him and the players might not trust him. The most talented players on his team could be expendable.

When running back Jay Ajayi griped about not getting enough carries, Gase and the front office thought it best to trade him to the Philadelphia Eagles. The Dolphins were undefeated this season when Ajayi had more than 20 carries. You think he might’ve had a legitimate request of more carries? Gase thinks he can run his offense with anybody on the field.

That was evident when Ryan Tannehill got injured in pre-season and he tabbed Jay Cutler to be his starting quarterback in his place. Not a guy looking for a job, no, he tabbed Jay Cutler a guy with one foot in the television industry. Cutler threw for (a mediocre) 2,666 yards, 19 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. Everybody in the country, except for Gase could see Cutler was more of a problem than a solution.

Now there’s a rift with wide receiver Jarvis Landry about a new contract. Could the Dolphins let their top weapon go? The team has given him permission to contact other teams and seek a trade. Since he came into the league, Landry has 400 catches for 4,038 yards and 22 touchdowns. He’s been selected to three Pro-bowls and been one of the league leaders in receptions since being drafted in 2014. He is easily their most consistent player in that time span.

Gase, alongside general manager Mike Tannenbaum are almost assured to give Landry away. He may not be the only productive Dolphins’ player that will be traded or released this off-season. More big names will go elsewhere and have the success they couldn’t find in Miami.

The franchise has a recent history of hires that have early success and never evolve. Gase is another head coach going in the wrong  direction. Like I said before, he thinks he can run his offense with anybody no matter the talent level. I guess he was the perfect hire for a team that specializes in mediocrity these last two decades.

Ab Stanley

Atlanta, GA

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