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4 posts from December 29, 2013

December 29, 2013

Ross: 'We're going to look at everything'

Steve Ross came out of the Dolphins locker room after Sunday's 20-7 loss and basically announced no one's job is safe.

"I'm making no comment on that," he stated before adding, "We're going to look at everything."

My question to Ross was whether he knew 100 percent he was definitely going to retain or fire anyone -- including general manager Jeff Ireland and coach Joe Philbin.

"I'm disappointed," he said before that. "What else can I tell you? For everybody, you know? I have a lot to think about.

"I'm going to look at everything. When you're disappointed you don't make decisions based on the fly. You have to give it a lot of thought and go look at everything."

Ross said he was feeling pretty good about his team two weeks ago when they were 8-6 and playing Buffalo and New York next. He expected to be in the playoffs.

"Of course we were. Sure," he said. "To have something like this -- to lose the last two games -- I'm disappointed for everyone."

It's clear Ireland, the team's GM, has been in a tenuous situation this year. There have been times he's been seemingly on the outs. Ross a couple of months ago told him he was safe.

But now after this collapse Ireland's status is again uncertain. Team insiders have believed that Philbin, who helped the Dolphins navigate through the NFL scandal and reach to the precipice of a playoff berth, seemed safe.

Now, that is also in question because the Dolphins failed terribly the final two games of the season against teams that had losing records going into the meeting with Miami. The Buffalo loss last week was bad. This 20-7 loss to Jets was worse.

Ross was apparently ready to excuse the first. But the second?

"The team's played well. We had one bad game," he said.

But today?

"You expect to win."

Dolphins blow another game, shot at playoffs

This season will go down in Dolphins history as an embarrassment.

Forget the NFL scandal which was, of course, a nightmare. Forget losing to the winless Tampa Bay Bucs. But to have the playoffs set before you the final two weeks of the season and blow it?

Jets 20, Dolphins 7.

To score one touchdown the final eight quarters of the season against teams with losing records?

To lose to Thad Lewis not once but twice and then regress against Geno Smith because you got him benched the first meeting and in the second meeting he outplayed your defense?

To spend over $200 million in offseason contracts, including over $100 million in guaranteed money, and you improve only one game from 7-9 to 8-8?


Some change is coming, folks. I don't know to what heights it will climb, but there is change coming.

Live blog: Dolphins hope to make playoff reach

Tell me before kickoff ... Will the Dolphins show up today?

Will coach Joe Philbin have them well motivated to the point they play fast and jump on the Jets?

(Peanut Gallery: But Mando, if they can't get motivated for a big game like this, when can they? They don't need the coach motivating them.)

Dear Gallery, did you catch the Buffalo game last week?

Have you seen this franchise's recent history?

The Jets have not won consecutive games this year. They won last week. Just saying.

The inactives for the Dolphins today are: Pat Devlin, Mike Gillislee, Will Davis, Jalil Brown, Danny Watkins, David Arkin and A.J. Francis.

Source: Changes of some significance coming

You should know Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said he's going to "look at everything" in evaluating his team. Two sources told me Sunday evening changes of some significance are coming, without specifying what changes exactly that would entail.

That could involve general manager Jeff Ireland. That almost definitely will include assistant coaches. It may even mean coach Joe Philbin will be out -- although that seems the least likely scenario. A two-game end of season collapse that keeps a team from making the playoffs will do things like that.

And the Dolphins aren't just out of the postseason but they just played their fifth consecutive non-winning season.

Frankly, this coaching staff is frustrating. Consider the Dolphins have enough talent that they they were 4-3 against 2013 playoff teams. But they were so inconsistent as to go 4-5 against teams that didn't make the playoffs.

The Dolphins improved their road record this year to 4-4. And they took a step back at home by going 4-4.

I don't see this team playing desperate and smart all the time for Joe Philbin. I saw the Jets showing more desire for Rex Ryan.

Consider that in the second quarter, Jets quarterback Geno Smith rushed up the middle on a keeper inside the red zone and ran through Dolphins middle linebacker Dannell Ellerbe's tackle attempt at the goal. The QB ran through the MLB's tackle.

The flip side of that came when trailing 14-7 in the third quarter, Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill faced a third-and-21 situation. He escaped the pocket and ran through the vacated middle of the New York defense for 20 yards. He went into a baseball slide one yard short of the first down. On third down he went into a slide a yard short!

One quarterback ran over a Dolphins tackler. One quarterback avoided a hit and fell short of a meaningful first down.

(On fourth down the Dolphins ran a Mike Sherman special ... an off tackle run by tight end forced to play fullback Charles Clay. Clay was stopped for no gain, which has happened plenty this year).

The last two games these Dolphins have been a lot of things but full of passion wasn't one of them. This team played better at the beginning of the year than the end, which suggests no progression. This team never had an identity on offense and never solved its run-defense issues.

That's on players. That's on coaches.

General Manager Jeff Ireland is obviously on the firing line as well. The offensive line, the unmerited trust in Daniel Thomas, the limited help from the 2013 draft class -- all of that should and will be evaluated.

Ross is going to be busy the next couple of days.