Has Owner Stephen Ross failed at the top of this organization?
Many things have changed in the Miami Dolphins organization since 2008. And, remarkably, the team has consistently been either slightly below average or poor the entire time. Despite changing coaches, and entire coaching staffs, despite changing roster after roster of personnel, the team has never been anything but a failure. For a fan base that enjoyed 30 years or more of quality pro football it has been a bitter pill to swallow. In fact it has been down right nauseating. But why is this happening? Why can't the Miami Dolphins rise from their losing ways and become a respected NFL team once again? To me the answer is simply Stephen Ross. Yes I know he does not take a single snap or tackle. But the problem with the Miami Dolphins is a talent void of epic proportions. We know the lack of talent on the field is apparent. But you have to go higher to the people responsible for that talent. The lack of talent I speak of is at the organizational level. Stephen Ross has failed to make good solid hiring decisions since he bough the team and it is killing this legendary franchise. Starting with the Vice President of Football Operations, then the General Manager, the Head Coach and the Scouting Department. These professionals are the architects of a football team. The ones who set the culture, find the talent, and prepare them for games. Ross' job is to hire championship caliber people for those jobs and he has failed in his duties. And those people have failed in their duties to find and put championship caliber talent on this roster. Although it has been eight years of failure, for the sake of space and your reading time, let's look at the specifics of the current version of this "team":
- Mike Tannenbaum was made Vice President of Football Operations after his only experience was with the New York Jets from 2006 to 2012. During that time the Jets never went to the Super Bowl, and were crumbling apart to the point that he was relieved of his duties with two years still left on his contract.
- Chris Grier was made General Manager in 2016. His qualifications are that he was head of the Dolphins college scouting for the past eight years. Wait...aren't those the eight worse years of drafting in team history? Why was this a good idea?
- Adam Gase. I am not giving up on Gase yet...BUT...his claim to fame is that he coached Peyton Manning and Jay Cutler. Coaching Manning is really more of a luxury and a gift than an accomplishment. And Cutler is inarguably talented. He did improve under Gase, but hardly Brady or Rogers like numbers and success. So what had he done to earn the reins of a franchise? He may still become a great Head Coach. But so far it is no headed that way.
- Scouting. This team continues to miss on the draft. With few quality starters, and no Pro Bowl caliber players from the last few years. Mike Pouncey stands out as the only draft pick to reach that level. Whatever scouting is feeding the executives that they are checking off on is just flat wrong.
This offseason the team let three Pro Bowlers go and their answer was to obtain injured players and players who had declined dramatically with their last teams. Not only did they lose that talent, but there were enormous needs that needed to be addressed even if they had stayed. So what do we expect when they remove the top talent and add even more voids to a team that was already bad.? This team has needed quality at linebacker, secondary, offensive line, and Tight End for at least five years now. They are not solving things because they draft so poorly. They are not solving them because they make horrible decisions in free agency. And this all falls on the executive team who this owner put into place. Quite often the New England Patriots are referenced when it comes to measuring success for a long period as an organization. The players are rarely big names. But they are good and they have the right talent for the right system. And they have people who know what that talent match looks like when they acquire and draft players. And that right there, that ability to do that, put good players in the right system, and then execute the game plans within the system are what makes them a contender every year. it is what we did for decades when we were the lead dog of the AFC East. This modern day version of the Miami Dolphins is the opposite. They have below average talent on the field in a system that does not work and they execute horribly. That is how you end up becoming a losing team. The team's history is now becoming generationally lost. Anyone born in the last 20 years does not know what this team used to be. The Shula era, the Marino era. When they were contenders every year. A respected and revered organization. I realize this past weekend that today's young adult fans, teens and kids see this team like the Cleveland Browns or the Detroit Lions. Yes it is true. This team has been that bad for that long. No wonder the fan base is disgusted and no wonder they don't show up for games. They are sick of it. And it is Stephen Ross' fault. The Miami Dolphins need to bring in someone proven to run and coach this team. They turned away from Mike Shanahan and Tom Coughlin in favor of Gase. Two proven championship coaches and there has not been a quality talent evaluator heading up player acquisitions for 20 years. Bad management. Bad decisions. Bad results. Shame on you Mr. Ross.