There is generally an issue in the business world when a CEO surrounds himself with yes men and moves the company in his direction, especially when that direction is clearly the wrong direction. The line between visionary and failure is execution, intention doesn’t really matter. This is what is wrong with the Miami Dolphins. Stephen Ross has shown he is willing to put money into the team. He is willing to put money into the stadium. He is trying to compete with the other sport teams in town, the problem is that football isn’t basketball, and trying to follow the Pat Riley model of team building will fail when you aren’t Pat Riley.
The writing was on the wall as soon as Steven Ross hired Tannenbaum. He was clearly someone after his own heart. Big names, big money, splashy moves, and no real internal investment. Some of the biggest names in football have signed with Miami the past couple of years. Mario Williams, Albert, and obviously Suh are all first rounder’s and former pro-bowlers on this Miami roster. These moves have left a team devoid of talent elsewhere. Not only have they depleted the roster for the sake of big names, but most those names are coming after the prime of their career and not playing up to the paycheck.
This team was attempting to build itself like the Giant teams that beat the Pats. Those teams proved that you can beat the Pats with a mediocre secondary, as long as you can get to Brady. The best way to get to Brady is pressure up the middle as he isn’t very mobile moving laterally, but amazing at stepping up in the pocket. The problem with that method is that if your DBs aren’t that good you need to be playing from ahead. The Giants also were never this bad in the back seven. This team is 30th in the NFL in passes over 20 yards. This is while playing probably the worst group of starting QBs any defense has played in the NFL. Even the “elite” qb that they played in Wilson, isn’t exactly known for tearing it up through the air. Qb’s have a passer rating of over 100 through 5 games.
The other problem is that if you are playing from ahead you need to actually get ahead. The offense has been anemic at best. From QB through every position on the field the team has underwhelmed. The Oline, the one that has 4 first round picks on it, has been almost historically bad, yet again. WRs have dropped passes on what should have been first down conversions. Play calling has been strange, uneven, and the slow hurry up offenses make no sense. Ryan Tannehill isn’t good enough to carry a team on his back and win games. This team is 31st in 3rd down conversion rates, a problem that continues from last season.
Gase has plenty of built in excuses on this team. A lack of depth, a lack of talent, and a lack of trust in his offense. He still hasn’t lived up to the expectations of when he was brought in. Great coaches coach around a player’s limitations. I have yet to see a consistent effort to get Ryan outside the pocket. Everyone knows he lacks pocket awareness, so move it. We are continually being out coached to start games, but the fact he has made several good adjustments in game gives a reason for hope.
This mentality of Ross permeates through every decision around this franchise. When Ross failed to get public funding for the stadium upgrades, he went and built it himself. Great move on paper, but the execution has been awful. The first test of the Stadium was at the FAU game, and it was a complete failure in the rain. Ross made an inherently Ross move and fixed it by painting a veneer over the roof to stop leaks. This also stopped all air flow. The result was a roof that did nothing but trap heat in. I have been to plenty of noon games in Miami, and they are mostly miserable experiences due to the heat. The night game of UM vs FSU was one of the most miserable stadium experiences I have ever had. The roof did nothing but trap the heat of 65k plus fans in the stadium, slowly baking them to well done. His plan of a big showy roof failed him, and will probably end up costing him more. The NFL may threaten to leave Miami for the SB if the issues aren’t fixed.
Oh Gosh… not the Steelers… please not the Steelers.
This part is going to be short as there isn’t much to analyze. The Steelers defense is playing considerable better than last year. They are 9th in the NFL in points allowed per game though they are 25th in yards allowed. The defense has given up big plays but has come up when it’s mattered most. Until proven otherwise, they should dominate a Miami offense that just released 2 offensive linemen, including on that just started last week.
As stated earlier, Miami has been making backups, bad qbs, and mediocre offenses look great this year. What happens when a future HOF qb who has been lighting up the scoreboard with long passes plays a defense with no DBs? We are about to see. Outside of the one game, which was against the best playing defense in the NFL, the Steelers offense has been video game impressive. Through 5 games he has thrown 15 Tds to 4 INTs. This is with one of those games throwing no TDs. He is already at 1500 yards on the season. The only thing that may slow him down is that they may be ahead by so much they take him out in the 2nd half.
The spread I am seeing right now is 7.5. Take Pitt with the spread. Put all your money on it. It’s my lock of the century. I may be overly down about the Fins team right now… but I think that has me right where they actually are.
Season straight up – 2-3
Against the spread 3-2
This is How I see it
- That experience at the Stadium was miserable, I can’t not say this enough.
- I don’t think there are many craft pickups on the Waiver Wire this week. Darkwa is no longer a player that should be started. He can probably be dropped for roster spots.
- Thank you Minnesota for giving me an excuse to not put Brady and the Patriot first.
- Only 4 teams in my Top 10 this week have what are often considered “elite” qbs. That is the Patriots, the Steelers, the Packers, and the Seahawks.
- Aaron Rodgers has completed only 56% of his passes this year.
- Buffalo should be 5-2 when they head into the Pats game next. Though it would take them beating the Fins… I almost want it just so I can see how Rex reacts that week.
- I fully expect Ross to trade for Cutler or Romo this offseason. Has there ever been a death on an NFL field. I don’t even know if I am joking.