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The arguments: Coaching vs. personnel dept.


The NFL is about pitting opposing forces against each other in a battle for survival. It's about one team against another. An offense against a defense. A unit, perhaps offensive line, against another unit, such as the defensive line. Sometimes the NFL even pits a team against itself. Teammates practice against one another. Teammates at the same position compete against one another for jobs and playing team.

And at times like this, one department within a team may be forced to face off against another.

That's what it seems might have happened with the Dolphins Thursday. You see, if owner Stephen Ross's visit to the Dolphins training facility was what was widely reported -- a fact-finding mission to help the owner understand why his team was only 8-8 -- then Ross might have unintentionally been asking one department to face off against another.

On Thursday at Dolphins camp it could have been the coaching staff vs. the personnel department.

It was Ross meeting separately with coach Joe Philbin and general manager Jeff Ireland to find out why things went sideways in 2012. And he almost surely got vastly different answers to the same questions.

We already know Philbin believes his coaching staff, led by offensive coordinator Mike Sherman, did an outstanding job in 2013. That's why Philbin wants to keep the group intact. And it's pretty clear the personnel department believes it also deserves a continuing opportunity to upgrade the Dolphins because, well, the talent in '13 was upgraded over 2012.

But both cannot be exactly right when they're both responsible for a team folding in the final two weeks and losing as many games as it won. So here are the different views of the world:

The coaching staff's view: We did as well as we could under difficult circumstances and talent that simply wasn't good enough.

The personnel department's view: We provided enough talent to get this team to the playoffs and the development and coaching of that talent failed to get us there.

I'm not saying that is exactly what the two department heads -- Philbin and Ireland -- told Stephen Ross. But ultimately, that has to have been the general message for each to make a case they deserve to continue with the team.

Same team. Two different views of why the Dolphins failed to make the playoffs.

And, interestingly, both can score points. Both have a case. It's not 100 percent one department's fault why the Dolphins didn't reach the playoffs.

Consider, if you will, the issues I am about to present. I will give you the coaching staff's view of the issue and the personnel department's view.

The offensive line

The coaching staff's view: Are you kidding us? We worked a miracle with this rag tag bunch. Sure they allowed a franchise record 58 sacks but we lost two starters, we were working with an afterthought signing at RT that got benched midway through the season, we had to start Sam Brenner, a rookie undrafted guy, a couple of games. We might have used a rookie high-round draft pick to fill in but we didn't have any. We had Dallas Thomas but he didn't meet his draft pedigree expectations. We made Mike Pouncey into a Pro Bowl player. And we didn't have Jake Long.

The personnel department's view: We offered Jake Long nearly as much money to sign in Miami as he got in St. Louis and he made the decision to leave. We didn't cast him out. Also, he finished the season on the injured reserve list for the third time in three years so he simply is not a playoff-caliber LT because he doesn't last until the playoffs anymore. We had a solid answer to replace Long with Jonathan Martin but he freaked out. That's not the personnel department's fault. And even before that happened, we traded for Bryant McKinnie and he played well much of the time he was here. As for right tackle, Tyson Clabo was very good in Atlanta last year and was good toward the end of this season. He neither forgot how to play after leaving Atlanta nor suddenly remembered late in the year. His early season struggles was a coaching issue. Oh yeah, we drafted Mike Pouncey.

The run defense

Coaching staff's view: The two new linebackers the personnel department signed -- Dannell Ellerbe and Phillip Wheeler -- didn't pan out as advertised. They didn't play downhill. They didn't make plays behind the line of scrimmage. They weren't the upgrade we were promised. Randy Starks had a good year. Paul Soliai was good as well. We improved the play of Cameron Wake in holding the edge and developed Olivier Vernon into a fine player. We rock!

Personnel department's view: The two new linebackers did not play as well in Miami under this coaching staff as they did last year for different staffs -- Ellerbe in Baltimore and Wheeler in Oakland. And here's a trend: The two guys we got rid of, because this staff wanted an upgrade, played better for their new coaches than they played here for these guys. By the way, we didn't overpay for Starks or Soliai so they played harder in a contract year. And we drafted Vernon. What a bargain!

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill

The coach staff's view: He improved this year. He's still a work in progress but anyone who doesn't see he's getting better is a hater. Yes, he's got pocket presence issues. But Zac Taylor will take care of those next training camp just like he took care of the issue for ... um, nevermind. Tannehill cannot hit the deep pass to Mike Wallace but that's because Wallace runs too fast. Why did we sign a guy that runs too fast? We will get that taken care of next training camp.

The personnel staff's view: We drafted him. Fans said we overdrafted him at No. 8. If he was coming out in this year's draft he'd be No. 1 overall to the Texans. You going to get rid of a GM who finally found you a quarterback? Checkmate.

Mike Wallace

The coaching staff's view: He had a great season. We were given a player who doesn't fight for the football when it's in the air so his ball skills are questionable. He had durability issues in training camp and we milked him for a good, solid season. It's not our fault if someone, ahem, overpaid for him.

The personnel department's view: Wallace is a proven, dynamic, deep threat receiver who averaged 17.5 yards per catch in Pittsburgh and that's what he would have been here if the coaching staff hadn't turned him into a 12.7 yard per catch possession receiver. They always lined him up on the same side of the field. They never motioned him to get him open quicker. They never used him in the slot.

Brent Grimes

The coaching staff's view: We coached him back to his Pro Bowl form.

The personnel department's view: We saw something in him and were willing to pay what other teams, including the Atlanta Falcons, were not. We rock!

Reshad Jones

The coaching staff's view: He took something of a step back once those other guys paid him. We did the best we could and turned him into a run-stopping strong safety.

The personnel department's view: He was becoming a playmaker until those other guys couldn't find a way to stop to the run and started lining him up in the tackle box most of the time.

The rookie draft class

The coaching staff's view: They didn't help one bit. They were always hurt. It's as if they weren't there. We can't make chicken salad out of chicken, well, you know.

The personnel department's view: No one developed them. Great coaching staffs develop players as we go, even after training camp is over. This group gives up on young players after training camp so it takes a year to develop even the good players -- like Olivier Vernon. Trust us, Dion Jordan is a beast and Jamar Taylor will be good.

The running game

The coaching staff's view: We didn't have Reggie Bush. The offensive line fell apart. Daniel Thomas is just a guy. Lamar Miller is just a faster guy, but ultimately he's JAG.

The personnel department's view: Bush fumbled a bunch and was benched in Detroit. How do you think that would have played here? Miller averaged 4 yards a carry. We'll address the position in the offseason. And, by the way, you can't run the ball against Buffalo (the No. 26 ranked team against the run) if you don't try it more than 12 times. New England ran it on Buffalo 43 times one week after we tried only 12 runs. They gained 267 yards.

The collapse

The coaching staff's view: We had a bad game at Buffalo and none of the players made a play. That's a talent issue. Against New York, they played very well. We congratulate the New York Jets for the victory. They deserved to win. But everyone gave effort. We tried hard. We milked every last point out of a team that was so lacking in talent we were 3-4 against AFC teams that failed to make the playoffs.

The personnel department's view: We were talented enough to beat Phillip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger, Andy Dalton and Tom Brady but we lost to Thad Lewis twice and Geno Smith with the playoffs on the line? We were 4-1 against AFC playoff teams but lost twice to the last-place Bills and the winless (at the time) Bucs? That inconsistency isn't a talent issue. We had the talent to make the playoffs.


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Teams have to learn how to handle success - dolphins started 3-0 - thought it would be easy and lost 4 in a row. Then they win the first 3 games in Dec and then tanked. Are they reading all the good things being said while on these winning streaks? It seemed everyone was waiting around for someone else to make a play. We're they overconfident? They have to learn to handle success and to build on it - not sure how this happens but the good teams figure it out.

If you are going to cook the meal you need to shop for the groceries. First!

The defense for the coaches just got them hanged.
The defense for the personnel did better, they will get the gas chamber.

It starts by winning the games you are supposed to win - EVERY TIME! It seems that the Pats or the 49ers or the Steelers (until recently) never lose to the teams they are supposed to beat. If the dolphins would have won the games they were supposed to win, last year and this year....who knows where they would be right now.

new coach, new oc, new dc, new qb coach, new gm= step 1
adjust the salary of the following players due to lack of performance: Wallace, jones, Ellerbe, Gibson, wheller=step 2. be aggressive, but fill needs on the roster, mainly on the oline through free agency and the draft step 3. beg and break the bank to get dan marino to invest in his old team(Elway and the broncos) become the gm or the president. Miami will be motivated to win a ring for Marino.

Bay Area Dolphins Fan

Same crap every year. COULD HAVE-SHOULD HAVE-MIGHT HAVE. That's all we are about but bottom line we don't get out of being mediocre.

Well played, Armando. Joe Philbin better hope Ross isn't a reader of your column.

I've tried to like Joe, but good players play mediocre ball under him, and he doesn't seem curious why that is so.

Both are to blame and both are average a change is needed to step forward and get to the postseason Philbin is in over his head and Ireland just can't do it.

The collapse was mostly on the coaching staff if not all the blame, coming off three straight wins and one at home against the pats and play two stinkers in a row is on coaching, not that we don't need more talent we do but there was enough talent to make the playoffs in my opinion. Once there we most likely would went out pretty quick, they both should go and we should start over.

Chip Kelley has the Eagles in the playoffs in his first year it can happen we keep these guys and we will be talking the same thing next year.

I've been a Fins fan now for the past 36 years and I can no longer take it!!!!

The same old mediocre rubbish and denial every year!!!!

PLEASE get rid of Philbin, the GM, and all of their acolytes Mr Ross, and if you don't then get rid of yourself please!!!!!

You have now gotten rid of me.


Great article mando ! Hilarious but true ! Bottom line both iteland and philbin need to go!

The coach's staff view: We improved locker room litter/tidiness problem and untied shoes issues. Players are on time consistently and well-dressed with ties straight in Buffalo game. No MRSA = discpline. Boom!

The personnel staff's view: Philbin is a QC coach impersonating as a HC. He relies on ST coach Rizzi to make game management decisions. Also, index card speeches and sycophant tendencies.

Rizzi and Dan Campbell > Philbin.

The phins lack talent...... Period! That OLine and skill players..... Nobody. A few nice role players, but that's it. That's on the GM.... On offense the most dynamic players the phins had on offense are: Bush, Long, and Marshall...... Then add Hartline, Clay and Wallace and you might have a decent NFL team.... But sill with a suspect OLine......

The. Achilles heel of this years team was the offense line. For that I blame Ireland. He has failed to add offensive line talent, save pouncey, that has been above average. That is the reason we could not run, screen, pass protect, quick hitch which limited our offensive effectiveness and creativity. He also does not know how to draft playmakers. I'm not talking about someone that is able to make the plays that are there I'm talking about someone to make plays that are not. We need someone with speed, wiggle, heart and athleticism to compliment Wallace and our other possession receivers. Tavon Austin last year or the rd (archer) from kent state this year are examples, with that said, I don't recommend firing Ireland as I think we are close if we can add these components and in the process someone who can bring some fire to the team.

Armando vs Armando. He finally met his match. Take that personel-Armando! No, you take that coaching-staff-Armando!

The one that always kills me is seeing players go somewhere else and being better.

"...the second-year quarterback missed at least a dozen deep throws that should have been touchdowns to Wallace..."
----Armando Salguero - Jan 2, 2014

That's 84 possible points you're alluding to- just think what that would have meant to the Dolphins season. And a case could be made that there were even more points left on the field due to poor individual play. But... this is on the coaches?

M Wallace and R Tannehill both took responsibility and said that they have to play better. Wallace, when asked about M Sherman at season's end, voiced a vote of confidence in his OC. Was he just being a nice guy and covering for Sherman?

C'mon, players HAVE TO EXECUTE for plays to work properly and provide the intended result. Tannehill was placed in position to provide for a lot more yards and scores for this offense. Same for Wallace. They each produced just enough to generate an 8-8 record. Same for the balance of the team with a few exceptions.

Could coaches have done more? Sure, 8 losses always indicate room for improvement everywhere. But coaches can't make Wallace fight for the ball; can't make him come back for the ball; can't make him catch the ball; can't make him... you get the idea.

These players have to play better. I think they know that they can. The large infusion of talent through FA merely met the expectation of most that the Dolphins wouldn't be too good this year- that you can't buy championships. If J Ireland can be prevented from screwing up this year's nucleus of players, look for a much better year next.

Mr.Ross....Do Something....Fans are waiting....

Bullsh** this team sucks pathetic sad sorry a** football franchise, with the most delusional fanbase. A coach who can't handle alpha male's, so he surrounds hkmself with a bunch of ignorant yes men for a coaching staff=ineptitude in the team's play on and off the field. A G.M. that equals the equivalent of Lloyd Christmas again in ineptitude in treating people and evaluating real talent=MORON And a major A**H**E at that !! An ownet S.Ross eho is do clueless and a buffoon as an NFL owner who does nothing but makes broken promises to his fanbase. A big name coach coming to Miami=a lie P.Manning=another lie The best team money can buy=dare I say it another lie you can't make this stuff up. The media they seriously overrated this teamyear after after year. They try and tell you that they have a great defense vs the run what happened they tell you they're as good or close to the pats what happened hell the jets finished ahead of them again what happened. This gutless media that had laps ran around them by the Today show and The View embarrassing message to the media, until this franchise proves to be a consistent playoff team, your slogan should always be "We'll believe it when we see it" !!

Can't argue with these views. I think they are close to what is being said behind closed doors. As much as I detest Bellechik, look what he did this year after he lost many key players to injury, trades and legal issues. It's coaching people!!!!!!!!!!! I like Joe Philbin but I think he's naive because he's never been a HC before. I do think he's smart and well respected in the league. So, let's stop whining and build on that. Get a new OC, DC and QB Coach; get a new OL x Pouncey; get RB's (run and block) and keep developing the DB's and SF's. We have great talent @ WR and TE. I think RT with better coaching will be very good his 3rd year.I still feel that alot of key players were tired of trying to execute schemes/plays that were not working and frustrated that the play calling on both sides was anemic at best.


Great breakdown in this article. However there is on major issue that allowed the Dolphins to miss the playoffs. They scored one TD in two important games. They were shut down and if Ross talked to the DC's from Buffalo and the NY Jets he would know what moves to make.

You characterized things in the right context with your satire that Wallace runs to fast. Yes when your running a 4.3 40 in the opposite direction it's hard to slow down and fight for an under thrown ball. Then again the over thrown ball may help one run faster for the future. T-hill has gotten better but he lost games with his education into the NFL. Moreover because of his lack of accuracy he will never be a franchise QB. Ross needs to accept that the gamble has failed. The Dolphins protected T-hill in the final two important games and what happened. Wallace was not hit as an open receiver. THE DEFENSE IS GAME PLANNING FOR TANNEHILL TO MISS THE OPEN RECEIVER ON DEEPER ROUTES. Ross wanted a franchise QB; the issue is that he has not gotten one even in the making! T-hill was promoted to his starting QB job prematurely because he knew the offense and had his college coach, who now makes important decisions for the Dolphins. Mike Sherman was fired from Texas A&M for a reason and Ross has to accept that blind trust by Philbin will not win games and get the Dolphins into the playoffs.

Ross fire them all

The O-line was a mess,but there are ways to game plan around that.I think the coaching staff did a poor job with the players they had,both on offense and defense.

First, whomever it was that decided to get rid of Dolphin leaders Bush, Long and Dansby, that was a source of half of Dolphin problems this year. Long would have kept the offensive line together, halted at least 20 sacks given up this year and likely prevented a JMartin nervous breakdown; Bush would have been the big play leader and running game so sorely missing (if used correctly); and Dansby would have plugged the run defense. All three would have been the veteran leaders needed in the locker room and on the field to win the last two games and get in the playoffs.

My guess? Philbin did not want to share the leadership with them, and Ireland did what he thought was best for the new coach. But the new coach, and especially his good buddy Sherman, were very vanilla and not the motivational leaders nor play callers on offense that this team needed. And by the way, Philbin did not call plays in Green Bay nor coach Aarron Rodgers -- the Dolphins got the wrong end of the offensive stick from the Packers!

Sack the coaches, give Ireland at least one more year, but under the supervision of an experienced football guy with common sense, like a Marino or someone of that ilk, is my vote.

promichael i cant say it better

Miami dolphins will NEVER win anything with Tannehill at the helm; even if Tannehill had Calvin Johnson, Brandon Marshall and Mike Wallace. The best we will be is 6-10. I would not put any faith in anything done on this dolphins team if they are going to continue with the this Tannehill project. He is most of the problem on offense. TANNEHILL MUST GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Clean house.

its no suprise Ross can't make a decision.

I will say this once: Coaches make all the difference in the world in the NFL. How many games this year did we witness the Dolphins play a really good first half, and then get "Blue-Falconed" in the second half? That isn't on the players or the GM. That is COACHING. How many times did we complain that Sherman's play calling was horrendous/predictable, and for that matter, the defense was rarely in position to make a key 3rd down stop? How about our young players that don't get a chance to play(Clay, Dion Jordan, Vernon, etc.) until they are forced to play them? Again..COACHING! I agree that Ireland has sucked at drafting in the 2nd and 3rd rounds, yet excels in the later rounds and UFAs. Additionally, he has zero feel for drafting offensive linemen sans Pouncey. In his favor, he doesn't make horrible FA signings and actually does well at "not signing" overhyped FAs. Ellerbe and Wheeler didn't suddenly forget how to play football, and Dansby and Burnett didn't suddenly learn how to play football....coaching is the reason our LBs are average in Miami, yet All Pro caliber elsewhere. One thing is clear, the coordinators need to be replaced! I'm okay with Philbin staying another year to prove his worth, and I'm on the fence with Ireland. If they keep him, he better hit his first 3 picks with solid starters and fix the offensive line, or that's it! I've been a Dolphins fan since Christmas Day, 1971. Week 17 against the Jets was the first game that I've missed watching because I didn't "want" to watch it. I've seen it for too many years.....we didn't have a chance to win that game.

Sherman, the Dolphins’ offensive coordinator who just finished his second season, is not only Philbin’s friend and mentor, he’s also a huge coaching resource, far more than what is seen on the surface.

One league source intimately familiar with the situation went so far as to say Sherman is “running the team.”

One league source intimately familiar with the situation went so far as to say Sherman is “running the team.”

It's hard to write off Tannehill if you believe like I do that he has been grossly mishandled. The only system he has ever played in is Sherman's. The only coach he has ever had to learn from is Sherman.
Look at how Foles has developed under Kelly and his style of WCO.
Look at the strides Cam has made this year with Shula, and he already had a very good OC his first years in Chud.
I would like to see what he does with a real coach.

"The best we will be is 6-10. I would not put any faith in anything done on this dolphins team"

Why comment if you have half a brain? Hmmmmmmm?

promichael | January 03, 2014 at 06:43 AM

I have to agree with your focus on Tannehill but I'm not ready to condemn him quite yet. After all, when drafted most experts thought he wasn't nearly ready to take the field and expected him to benefit from a year or 2 carrying the clipboard.

While it is difficult to factor the poor line play and lack of a running game into his development, I think his play on the field has shown that he still leaves a lot to be desired. But he has improved from year 1 to year 2. If he improves as much for year 3, I think the team has its QB.

Hardin; I guarantee you that Tannehill will not develop into a starting QB. Remember, Chad Henne threw for over 3,000 yards his first season. So, the yards and touchdowns are useless when you blow games in the clutch. That is what Jay Feidler and Henne did. They both acquired a lot of yards; but just like Tannehill, those yards are accompanied by crucial game costing interceptions! THIS WILL NEVER CHANGE!

Well, you have the appropriate last name MARCO!

Bottom line is this team should have at least 2 more wins and we went 2-4 in the division. Coaching, the o-line and bad game plans were the biggest part of the issue. Why couldn't a pro bowl front 4 stop the run all year - because Coyle refused to use Starks and Soliai on the first 2 downs all game - and he could have switched Ellerbe to OLB and brought run stuffing Misi in the middle - that is coaching... 4th down outside runs - not rolling your QB out and not using max protection schemes... Coaching. This team had the talent and is very close to filling in the gaps, ei offensive line. They are not that far away, just need competent decision making on the field and Sherman, Turner and Coyle were outmatched to often. I like Philbin, but if he can't see that his staff failed him, he should go too.

Dear Mr. Ross, I think you read this blog. If not, I know you have people who read this blog. Please, please, please, sir, do us a favor and get rid of this inept coaching staff lead by Captain Cardboard who's only a puppet for his old boss Iron Mike anyway. Fire the GM too, if it will make you feel better to start anew, but get rid of these "coaches".

Randy S,I agree with most of your views with the exception of giving Philbin another year and replacing co-ordinators. All of the staff was hand picked by Philbin two years ago and they are pathetic.Let's not forget that Philbin was hired by Ireland only afer Jeff Fisher said no thanks. Philbin has no emotion,no imagination, and no fire in the belly attitude,and his team plays the same way.

Hennehill would have been the number 1 pick this year to the Texans. That is the most hilarious thing I have ever heard.

Sherman, the Dolphins’ offensive coordinator who just finished his second season, is not only Philbin’s friend and mentor, he’s also a huge coaching resource, far more than what is seen on the surface. One league source intimately familiar with the situation went so far as to say Sherman is “running the team.”

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/01/03/3849615/changes-for-miami-dolphins-still.html#storylink=cpy

I don't really have a problem with the talent Ireland acquires, except like Randy S says, he misses on his higher picks.
My thing with Ireland is that I don't think a good coach wants to work with him. That is kind of how we got to where we are now. If you want to get a good coach, you may have to let him have a strong say so on the GM.
The move up to get the third overall pick last year was beautiful. On the point system for draft pick trades, he stole it.
But the last two 'Micky Mouse' coaches are why we have not won anything. I think he is getting them just who they want.

Billicale, do you know any QB; past or present, who could not throw the deep ball after two seasons and who eventually developed into a starting QB?

There are just enough valid points for each side that tells me both should be fired.

The yardage he has thrown is not important. I said he was working a bum system. Our offense is behind the eight ball before they ever take the field.

There's something that's been bothering me about Joe P. and I don't know the answer to this. Joe is 50+ years old, how is it that he has never been a head coach at ANY other level prior to now at his age? Has he ever even INTERVIEWED for a head coaching position prior to now?

If the answer to the second question is no, then that speaks volumes as to what the rest of the league perceives his abilities to be. If Joe was the hot commodity to be a head coach, it would have happened when he was in his late 30's to early 40's isn't that where most successful coaches start to emerge?

Before the Phins gig you would expect that he had run the show at least once before at say, the college level, maybe Jr. College level? OK high school level? No? Pop Warner level? Somewhere? Did he ever run a lemonade stand?

I'm just trying to wrap my arms around what this man's bonafides are, what his prior qualifications are for running the flagship team of South Florida, Miami Heat notwithstanding.

Did Ross really do his homework on this guy?

If you want to see the effect an innovative offense can have on a very talented 'D'. Check out the OK/AL game from last night.

Funny to hear all the fans comments. None of you run a business as successful as Ross and yet you guys have all the answers. He meets with Ireland and Philbin on a regular basis and yet most of you feel you know these two guys better than Ross. Hilarious!

And your answer, typically, is knee jerk. And why is it that EVERY other candidate not in Miami is better than what we have in Miami? It was the same two years ago, when the coaching search was on. 'Hire Philbin. He's the genius architect behind GBs offence'. Guy comes to Miami and all of a sudden he's 'Mr. Magoo', 'clueless' and 'lacking in emotion and passion'. Same crap we listened to when we acquired Ellerbe and Wheeler. Everyone was excited. Now they want them gone.

VERY strange fan base.....

You know it is very interesting how so many people are looking back at Long, Dansby, and Bush saying Miami needed to keep them. It seems as if last year this time people were harping on Long's injury history, Dansby's contract size, and Bush's excessive dancing when he runs. Now these three would have been potential season savers, go figure.

For the record, I like Scott Pioli for the GM role. Problem becomes what does a move like that do to the team? Likely means Philbin and all his coaches are gone and probably puts Tannehill on thing ice.i don't believe we're that far away.improved OL, better running game and better run defence and I think we're there. Now do we trust Ireland and Philbin to get it done. Thats the question.

Mando, if the debate went as you played it out, then it's a no-brainer to me. The team had talent, this came down to poor coaching, plain and simple. The kicker is the playoff teams we beat. Non-talented teams maybe can win one of those games a season, but not 4. And frankly, the other games we played closely (Pats loss and Panthers loss) were near wins too.

But the coaching staff failed to adjust to their personnel (or to cover their weaknesses). They failed consistently to highlight their stars (Wallace most of the season and Clay in the last game). They failed to adjust to their lack of short yardage domination (by play-calling around it). They failed to do ANYTHING DIFFERENT in the 2nd game vs. division opponents (and were spanked by the Bill and Jets, with everything on the line). It was a failure of creativity, it was a failure to adapt and adjust, it was a failure of motivation. And you can't blame the personnel dept. for that.

The fact that Keller went down, and Clay went on to have the season he did, is testament to depth and the personnel dept. The fact that Gibson (and Binns) went down, and Mathews went on to have similar stats, is testament to the depth created by the personnel dept. The fact that in the final game, Tannehill was NOT SACKED ONE TIME, is testament to the coaching staff NOT being able to use the OL as an excuse since that wasn't the problem in the most important, defining game of the season.

And I'm someone who wanted (and still wants) Ireland gone.

But not as much as the necessary shake-up that needs to happen on the coaching staff. They did not perform as expected. They were not superior to their competition (even in their division). They should be held to a higher degree of responsibility IMO. Get rid of the OC already. Look for an upgrade to the DC, and if not make sure he knows he's on shaky ground and better buck up in 2014.

And if you're gonna just fire Ireland for Gaine, then nevermind. Give him and Philbin another year (though they don't get along) to make it work or clean house all over again.

Great arguments on both sides, but it looks like Apples and Oranges to me. Base point on both sides is the system. WC offense needs certain skill set players to be effective and Ireland has a Run Heavy mind set learned from Parcells. GM and HC on different pages. Run Block the "O" line pushes forward to open holes, pass protect they peddle backwards. Long was great for the running game but got beat often in the pass rush. Tannehill to Wallace deep ball issues can be argued as 12 missed opportunities in 16 games, that's less than one per game average. Two games were lost by missed field goals.
Tannehill just did not have time in the pocket to read the field and find the open guy and because of that there was never a rhythm developed and thus no pocket presence and holding the ball too long.
Ross, Do not listen to the BS from both sides and Fix the problem. If you can't, get some one who can. Enough is enough. We are FANS not blind fans.

People, the talent is already in place for the offense and defense; with the exception of Tannehill. So, all we need is a new coaching staff.

On Tannehill & Wallace: it's been a problem. Obviously. And Sherman said they didn't work on it much at practice. How, exactly, do players improve without practice? Listening to inspirational CDs in their sleep?

The A&M mafia need to go, and lets see what can be done with RT by coaches with higher expectations and better skills.

bond, david bond | January 03, 2014 at 08:10 AM

I think you may be focusing on this one trait too much. I know the fan base has grown to feel that Tannehill must be one of the very worst- if not the worst- NFL QB with the long ball... but that is not true. He is a little below average statistically. That means that there are a lot of QBs in the NFL presently that are worse with the deep pass and are starting for teams. I suspect that would hold historically for the NFL.

I don't miss those guys at all. My brother an I used to crack up at how when they would run Bush up the middle, the first thing he would do is to take off for the sidelines. That is where he was comfortable.
I would like to see the new LBs in a 3-4. That is the way they were previously used . I think that is where they would be comfortable.
People are usually more productive when in their comfort zone.


The Dolphins were a mixed bag team on Offense. Great talent at Quarterback, receivers, and Center. A total lack of talent in the rest of the Offensive line and Running back. Both areas that were made worse by the moves and lack of moves during the off season. Not enough talent to win consistently. Additionaly, dropped passes were a huge problem during the last two games.

On the other hand, the team had great overall talent on the defensive side and yet they failed miserably. Consistently getting manhandled, run over, giving up long plays on third down, and unable to hold leads.

Bobby Griese: all you need to do is look at their 2014 performance: Long was a top 5 tackle till he got hurt, Bush was a top 10 running back, and Dansby was a force at Arizona and ranked far ahead of Ellerbe/Wheeler in pro football performance rankings (not to mention, when he was a Dolphin the run defense was far better). As for Long and injuries, nobody can predict that (its bad luck much of the time, not a personality defect), the dancing Bush should be allowed to dance all he wants if he performs (and he was a great leader in the locker room, that is the main point here, leadership), and Dansby's contract am quite sure could have been re-negotiated (and was already not that far above Ellerbe's..)

HAd Mimi beat Buffalo and still not made the playoffs, would we have this uproar? Mr. Ross...Please don't blow this thing up. You really don't want to start this process all over again do you? You have to give an NFL coaching staff three years. You're delusional if you think you'll get Cowher or Gruden or another big name...none are interested in this team esp with you as the owner. Let Ireland continue to upgrade talent, especially on O-line. And please get Grimes re-signed. Maybe a new o-coordinator but this is a work-in-progress. Need another year.

"NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday that Tannehill lost confidence in Mike Sherman, according to people who spoke to the quarterback."

RT is said to be a smart guy, so yes, one would hope so.

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