Friday, January 05, 2018

Sophomore Slump

Adam Gase has the potential to be the best coach the Dolphins have had in quite some time. This writer thought that owner Stephen Ross had finally acquired some "football savvy" when he hired Gase two years ago. In a division marked by defensive-minded coaches, Gase came in with offensive credentials for an outside-the-box approach to turning around the Dolphins' fortunes.

The novelty of turning around a dismal start in 2016 to make the playoffs has diminished in 2017.

Gase's NFL history is that of offensive coordinator at Denver and Chicago. He did well enough to merit the promotion to head coach with the Dolphins. His insistence to remain in this comfort zone is stunting his development as a head coach.

There's a reason why most NFL head coaches don't call plays. Their job is to make sure the machine is running powerfully and efficiently. They hire mechanics (coaches) to adjust the the nuts and bolts to keep the players well-tuned. A head coach maintains a philosophy that instills confidence and performance from his workforce.

Gase has to learn how to be a head coach and let his staff do their jobs. His job is to make sure that everyone understands their responsibilities and performs them to his satisfaction. If that means he has to take a step back and look at the big picture, then so be it.

Adam Gase, head coach of the up and coming Miami Dolphins.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Breaking down the owners comments

Here’s what Stephen Ross had to say after Sunday’s loss - and my snarky comments:

“It’s a new year. We need it.”
He’s right. Hope springs eternal again! And everyone is undefeated in 2018!

But what is it we need, exactly?

“I’m terribly disappointed,” 
With the outcome? The gate receipts? In the salad you had for lunch?

“The season didn’t start out right with injuries...”

It didn’t start out right. There were injuries, which are out of your control - but in the case of tannehill, that rests squarely on the coaches. He didn’t have surgery (his choice), but the team did less than nothing to prepare for him possibly getting hurt again, say signing or drafting a new guy; and then lured an average QB out of retirement for the season. That’s all on the organization.

You had Irma which is really out of your control, but look at what happened: the players seem to have grown antsy and drifted (rather than coming together), one player just left and flew home, and a coach found an escort and did things he shouldn’t have. Again that’s on the organization.

This was a time for coaches to lead, to come together, and to not do stupid things. But I’m assuming Gase had no control over the team.

“...and you can’t replace good quarterback.”

And no. You can’t replace a good quarterback. But you can replace a mediocre quarterback, but the team chose not to. Perhaps his injury hurt, but the clubs response to it was predictably amusing. 
Looking forward to next season, there will be adjustments...”

What sort of adjustments? Another sham committee? Another ted wells investigation? Another silly meeting where you and the coach and gm sit there and sing kumbaya? Or changes to something at the stadium?

“...You put as much as I put into a team...”

What have *you* put into the team? Yes you fronted the money for stadium improvements, but that’s cosmetic and doesn’t affect the team - and you’ll recoup the money. And yes, you told the team to spend money on players - but there a salary cap, and floor... and you moved within it. But then, you kind of had to, based on league rules.  It sounds nice to say you told them to spend, but it’s a small window.

“...and you try to do all the right things to win...”

Like...? Okay you committed to the coach and the gm. And I suppose the process. But the culture has been damaged since before H Wayne sold the team, and I can’t see what you’ve done to repair it. If your hands off approach worked, that would be great. But it hasn’t worked and there’s some culture problem that can’t be easily fixed with words, or new screens, or premium seating.

“ can you not be disappointed?” 

You’re the owner. That’s fair. But unlike fans who look perplexed at this organization over the last decade, you could do something. Turn that disappointment into something positive!

“I (expletive) hate losing. Excuse me.”
Of course you do. And you can be excused for that emotion. But you can’t be excused for what’s going on - and will probably keep going on until something changes, or dare I say?, you sell the team.

Then he went on to say that Coach, gm, and vp  will all “definitely” be back.
“I have a lot of confidence in Adam and the way Adam, Chris and Mike work together,. Adam is really a good football guy, and I believe in him. He’s as disappointed as I am. I talk to him a lot and I think he recognizes we need to make adjustments and I think we will.”

Alrighty then. Things will continue on this course next year. Maybe they catch a break and get 9-10 wins again. But until that culture changes and the team gets a QB, it will be more of the same. 

Monday, January 01, 2018

Dave’s take: well, that was weird

6-10. A very flawed team.  There are so many holes on this roster, that it’s hard to know what their biggest problem is.

And some might say that gase is a decent coach who deserves another year, but after hearing about coaches being fired just after their teams played, I can’t underatand why gase isn’t on the hot seat.  IMHO, he often looks lost, or perhaps a little clueless. He is supposed to be this offensive guru, but the team scored so few points, you have to wonder what the hype is about...aren’t coaches supposed to make the most of what they have? Him calling plays probably hurts more than it helps.

And today, frankly, he lost control of the team.  That stupid fight was just that.  And his argument with Landry last week showed how he doesn’t have the authority he thinks he does.

Why anyone would pay good money to see the dreck they put out there this season is beyond me.  They underwhelmed week after week.  And I can’t inagine next year will be better.

Oh sure tannehill comes back, but if you’ve read my ramblings, you know what I think of him *cough* awful *cough*.  And anyway, he wasn’t going to help this team if he was there.  Maybe he could help the team get one, or on a good day, two additional wins.  That would put them at best at .500. Not good enough.

And then there’s the money.  He’s due somewhere around $20mil next year, and suh is due $26mil.  That’s 25% (or so) of the projected cap.  On two players. And Landry is due for a contract that will pay him $10-$12 million, which is going to be another 6% or so of the cap, or in all over 30% for three players.

So I would guess based on the money, his ejection, and how he gets along with gase that the most productive offensive player has played his last game in Miami. No way can Miami afford Landry and field a decent team,

And that brings us back to gase.  Honestly, do you want him and tannehill, with no Landry,  or Landry with neither of them? Take the productivity!

Game 16 looked like a preseason game...players you’ve never heard of playing hard to catch on somewhere.  Too bad it was an actual game that could have been played for the pride of knowing they could knock the bills out of the playoffs.

So the best you can say about this season was: At least the dolphins can still say that they’re better than the browns ...