How did this happen?
How do we arrive in a place where the Dolphins enter a season feeling more hopeless and less relevant than they’ve ever been?
The newest New Guy is now disinfecting the oldest New Guy’s philosophy. Again. Ground-and-pound Bill Parcells was going to win with a prehistoric offensive philosophy, attacking fighter planes with bows and arrows. Parcells sold a chunk of his soul for character risks Brandon Marshall and Vontae Davis, and now the newest New Guy, eager to make his own imprint with his own ideas and philosophies, has helped send them away for nameless draft picks nobody in the exasperated fan base trusts will be used correctly.
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The newest New Guy, from pass-happy and progressive Green Bay, walks into his new garage looking to build his own spaceship but all he sees are left-over dinosaur parts. So he starts over. Again. By cleaning out the garage. Joe Philbin doesn’t need to be patient with Marshall or Davis because they are not his investment, his plan, his guys, and this has been like a plague around here, the new guy’s plan always different than the old new guy’s new plan.
It has been like this for almost a decade now, turnover plaguing this franchise more than turnovers, all while the stable, holy union of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady laughs down on Miami in perpetuity from on high, the Dolphins trying to catch up with a bunch of mismatched philosophies/players.
Very few organizations in a league of parity have been rebuilding for a decade without anyone actually informing the paying customers that the organization is rebuilding, and nothing, in fact, gets rebuilt. If the Patriots were Republicans and the Dolphins were Democrats, Belichick’s braying slogan right now would be You didn’t build that!
It’s not that simple
Just get it right at quarterback? That’s what you are screaming, right? That the Dolphins looked fine when they had Chad Pennington and that Belichick wouldn’t look so smart if he hadn’t gotten lucky on Brady in the sixth round? That’s partially true, but the instability atop this organization — the quarterback, yes, but it goes higher than that, and infects everyone from the coach to the owner — is how Miami somehow enters a season in the golden age of football passing offense without any wide receivers.
Once upon a time, when the plan was to build with speed, Cam Cameron drafted Ted Ginn Jr. He did this while the Patriots sneaked in and stole Wes Welker from him — Welker being a Dave Wannstedt guy, not a Cameron guy. But Parcells wanted to big-and-tough teams to death in an unprecedented passing age, so he got points and praise for simply ridding himself of that Cameron scent and the soft, speedy Ginn.
But if the New Guy wasn’t always trying to disinfect what the Old Guy did around here, Ryan Tannehill could be opening this season throwing to Marshall, Welker and Ginn.
Ginn could be better because he would have the other two receivers, just as Welker has been a thousand times better in New England than he ever was here (Dolphins career: one touchdown).
Tannehill could be better because he would have all three receivers, but instead you enter next weekend (sorry, weakened) with your rookie quarterback trying to overcome mismanagement instead of being aided by management.
Getting no help
You know the very best way to short-circuit a young quarterback’s confidence, no matter how talented he is? Give him very little help. This while the Patriots get Randy Moss and Welker and now Brandon Lloyd and a stack of monster tight ends. How’s that for a painful articulation of how much the Dolphins must climb just in their own division? The Patriots are making the game a lot easier for Brady while the Dolphins make it harder for a quarterback who has never made a start.
It’ll make any Dolphins fan want to scream and quit before a football has even been snapped even though this time of year is supposed to be about hope and excitement. Marshall is going to be great in Chicago, isn’t he? Davone Bess would be Welker in New England, wouldn’t he? The adrenaline and enthusiasm of starting a new race, fresh and eager though it should be, can’t help but be diluted when you have to start it from this far behind.