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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.

Comments

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Hey Mando do you think the results New England was getting when they called running plays had anything at all to do with their play selection?
On their first 12 carries against Buffalo the Cheatriots totaled 99 yards for an average gain of 8.3 yards per carry.
When you are having success running the ball then of course you should continue to do it.
The Dolphins averaged 1.2 yards per carry against Buffalo and placed themselves in passing situations every single time they attempted to run the ball.
Don't fault Sherman for his play calling when the anemic results he got from the running game on early downs forced him into long yardage situations.

Jeff Ireland rocks!

Hey reporters out there, has Ross gone back to NY or is he here in his house?

on top of all else, the team/players have a bit of a mentality issue……not confident (enough) to close/win in a big spot, dont think like winners, not alot of heart when the chips are down……which to me means not enough leadership or passion…..they went out quietly vs the Bills and Jets, didnt look like they expected to win, or cared enough…..or demanded to win--not a good trait--plenty of these players are good/talented, and have won in the past…..so to me, that attitude/expectations is set by the coaches--every team could use more talent and Miami is no exception--but the seeming lack of motivation/mental toughness, and accepting defeat…..is on the coaches IMO

Don't get me wrong I'm a huge Brian Hartline fan but having just watched the Buffalo game again it's pretty clear he dropped a few that could have made a huge difference.

Fire Sherman and the QB coach...get a real OC to mentor Tannehill and all will be well in Miami.

I really don't think it hascomedown to two departments blaming each other. If you watched the games you will know its on the coaching staff 100%.

The talent assembled here is pretty good. the coaching and play calling here is pretty awful. Look at Philbin on the sideline, he really has no influence or control over the team once kick-off happens.

This is Mike Shermans team and Philbin is just the admin guy that prepares quarterbacks for the season, he did the same job in Green Bay. We had some great wins this year, Pats, Colts, Bengals and Steelers with the same old plays that everyone has seen. The difference in those games are that the players were ready, they came out and were sharp, a tempo was set. They clung on in there for all of those wins and were only in a position to blow teams away twice this year.

Watching the plays all year you could see the 3rd and shorts coming and you knew the plays that would be nulifed by opponents defenses, the Daniel Thomas sweep for a loss of yardage etc. You knew on 3rd or 4th and long we would be sitting back in a soft zone, where QB's would have easy completions to the receivers for the first.

It is no coincidence that almost all of the FA that came here over the last two years under Philbin have regressed. Look at the rookie class of 2013. They couldn't even get them on the field, the players were so poorly coached. the biggest problem you could see amongst the players was that they came out flat in big games. Leadership is a huge problem on this team and that starts with the HC, Philbin. The 'Bullygate', mess was on his watch. He stated he knew nothing about it and had been in contact with Martin, etc. He stated RI was a leader on this team part of the council, that the players set up, he shifted the blame away from himself and put it on the players.

I hear this BS that the players like him, maybe that is because they can do what they want. I really don't give a damn if they like him ? that's not what winning is all about. I want the players to fear him, but have the deepest respect for him. He also has favourites, which is disgusting to me and really shows he isn't the man for the job. O-line players like Clabo get benched for hurting the team, yielding too many sacks, however Wheelers and D Jones are being used all over the field missing tackles, whiffing on coverages and drawning stupid penalties yet they stay on the field, without reproach.

In clutch games, we have no answers for opponents that run on us, or stop our running. The way Thill playede against the Bills, he really should have been benched. With the season on the line Philbin throws Thill back in there, the guy had had enough, he had been sacked so many times and there are rumours he was injured, (how know's0, but he came out against the Jets in the worst mental state I've seen a QB play down here since John Beck. Now im not convinced Thill is the man, but he is miles better than Beck and even looks slightly better than Henne, sofor him to play that badly the coaches have not seen this, or prepared him for the game.

The coaches have this team weaker at the end of the season in back to back games than we probably have seen in the last 6 years of Irelands regime.

Ireland is also resonsible, he should be shown the door, not just for this season, nor the last two under Philbins/Shermans watch. If he had only had two years here, he may have an excuse, but he has made too many mistakes to stay around here, the BIGGEST mistake was hiring Joe Philbin.

If I read tomorrow that the whole lot have gone I'd be happy. The fact that Ross is now left listening to his advisors tells me its up to 3-4 guys to decide the future of this team. If one of them is Nat Moore, then I have some hope that things will get better next year. If one of them is Matt Higgins then the circus is still in town.

Jeff Ireland needs to demand that the coaches tell Ryan Tannehill to start throwing his passes accurately. I am surprised that this wasn't done earlier, as this minor adjustment would have really helped the Dolphins win more games.

Some kind of bible from Marco. I will take time.

Could it be any easier?

FIRE ALL OF THEM!

Posted by: oscar canosa | January 03, 2014 at 09:01 AM

Some kind of 'babble', from Marco.

I won't argue the point that the dolphins should have made the post season. But its apparent that both the GM and the coaching staff have issues. Its my understanding that the general managers job. Is to pick players that are over achievers. And coaching staff's job is to developer players to succeed. But its also the coaches job to know the strongest abilities a player has and used it the best case scenerios on the field. Play calling was terrible, and that is something that can only be fixed by having a coaching staff that has the ability to make the right calls on the field. Dolphins had the tools to get the job done. What they lacked was the ability to use those tools correctly.That goes back to coaching. A head coach should be able to motivate and put fire in the players ass. The players I saw on the field against the Bills and Jets, had no fire or confidence to make plays. So sad to see this, since I have been watching the Dolphins play since 1970.Stop paying top dollars for under achievers and develop players that really want to win. And Ross hold everyone accountable, including yourself....

Fire Ireland and Sherman now. Philbin shows not emotion which the team now follows his lead. Ross this is not that hard. Sherman .. 1st down run every time.

I need to disagree also that the coaching staff said they didn't have Reggie Bush. That would be the height of hypocrisy. It's a well known fact that Philbin didn't like Reggie Bush, he didn't like his style of running, he didn't like his tendency to fumble, he didn't like his negative runs. So he opted for Miller, which they said was basically Bush but bigger. The truth is Miller had a similar percentage of negative runs, and far fewer breakout runs as did Bush. On top of that, Bush was a leader and a self-motivator (which is apparently what Phiblin prefers) and might have been a calming figure in the locker room (who knows if that would have subsided the issues with Cogs and Martin).

The run game is tied to the horrible OL, so I'm not blaming the RBs as much (as maybe they deserve). I'd like to see Miller behind a respectable line before I make a decision on him. But one thing I will say, I thought Miller didn't make plays on his own enough (like the better RBs in the league do). He seemed to follow his blocks too much and not have the vision to get through another hole if it opened up (Shady McCoy style). That's what he needs to work on, yes, you need your line to block somewhat, but the best RBs make things happen on their own as well.

Tannehill needs to improve on his deep ball and pocket awareness. Philbin needs to improve on being a leader of men (show some emotion man!). Sherman needs to go IMO. His play calls leave even the casual fan dumbfounded at times. Wallace needs to work with Tannehill on developing chemistry and timing on the deep balls. Dolphins need to bring in a 3-down running back who can get tough yards. New linebackers would be nice, too. And of course, the Dolphins have to revamp their O-line save for Mike Pouncey.

We can FIRE ROSS by not going to games and and not purchasing merchandise.
FIRE ROSS!

a house divided ?

Ross is a joke. Everytime he needs to make a decision himself, he instead surrounds himself with advisors and commitees. Typical CEO type - does no real work at all but just delegates everything to others. Then rakes in the credit and $$ for work others do.
He may very well be the worst owner in the NFL.
Who hires a head coach whose head looks like it was squeezed in a vise?
Who extends a GM with a poor track record before seeing how the season pans out?
Who totallly mishandled the Sporano/Harbaugh debacle?
Who can't get Fisher or Manning to come here?
The owner of the Dolphins, that's who.

Arguments for/against can be made on the HC, the Personnel man and on O and D Coordinators, perhaps even in some Players. The tricky thing here is to determine which of those people were more at fault for the past Season mediocre result.

HIRE:
Chad Pennington- for consultant & quarter backs coach/ LEADERSHIP....teach the kids how to handle pressure and the press!!

DAN Marino- for consultant to GM / owner...
Show staff how to pick and treat offensive Linemen.

" GET MARINO A RING "

and we can talk about the passing game and TH's accuracy or lack of all day…..but good teams almost always run the ball well and have a good/very good defense--period--a good running game takes pressure off the QB, sets up play action/passing game, eats clock, moves the chains, converts a 3rd &2…..and wears down a defense--that along with a good/very good defense is the proven winning combo--some valid points about TH but winning teams run the ball, and defend well--TH is not the primary issue/problem, or even close

I've got to agree with DC, the last paragraph in mando's tongue in cheek ditribe is the most compelling argument of them all. If a team lacks talent and is coached up, at most they will come up with one or two herculean efforts. But we beat a lot of good teams, we won games that under the Sparano regime we couldn't compete talent wise with. We were able to air it out with the best of them most of the time.

Good points and great, original, article.

The only reason this team had a shot at the playoffs AT ALL was because of the EXTREME individual efforts of several starting players. When they guessed right, Miami won. When they guessed wrong, or got taken away, Miami lost. In fact the offensive playcalling was atrocious, the defensive schemes always left the players anticipating the wrong play, and the special teams did nothing to help this team win. VANILLA is a good word.

Now, what's going on? Well, Armando, you have an owner of the team who knows less about football than the hot dog vendor in the stadium who does't even like football. He in turn hired a green, VANILLA GM who probably never caught or through a football competitively in his life. These men, in turn, are asked to provide the talent for a winning team.

But they don't fail completely, so what's up? Well, they HIRE OUT many important decisions, using scouting services, personnel evaluators, documentors of measurables, and so on, so they're total ineptitude gets hidden for the most part.

You can thank the love of winning and love of football present in these kids who have played the game since PeeWee for Miami's surprising season. You can blame the two at the top for Miami's continued mediocrity.

DC Dolfan | January 03, 2014 at 09:13 AM

DC- WOW, man- usually I agree with most anything you say. But lately you seem to be on a tear. How can you say that Philbin didn't like Bush? Sure, he was unhappy with the fumbles, yardage losses and dancing so much instead of hitting the holes... but what coach wouldn't be?

As far as I can tell, Philbin was one of Reggie's biggest boosters. That's why Bush got so much playing time instead of L Miller. Philbin was constantly pointing to Reggie's work ethic and ability, praising him for putting the team first. I think Philbin was "shocked" when the team let Bush walk.

Mando you forgot to mention the fins were 2-4 in the division. That is horrible. All teams first goal of the offseason is to win the division. It shows me that the coaches that know the fins best have figured out how to beat this team. All 3 teams in our divison including the patriots with all there injuries had inferior talent to the fins. Coaching is definetly lacking on this team. Isnt it funny how much better Texas A and M got since Sherman left?? Has Green Bays offense missed a beat since Philbin left?? How about Cincys defense?? This coaches left their former teams and their teams did not suffer at all. In most cases they are doing better.

6bucks, i was at that game and saw first hand how our o line couldn't do anything run or pass blocking. They could've run the ball 100 times and they wouldn't get more than 1 yard per carry. That wasn't coaching. In fact iw as at the game with an impartial life long Seahawks fan (good days for him right now) and even he said the run game was a waste fo time at the time so I'm not sure what Mando saw that would make it any different. In truth the run game could've survived if we had a good back with a below average line or an above average line with a below average back but not crap in both capacities.

To me even before we get to teh draft, I hope our two big external free agents this year are Brandon Albert and ben Tate. These two acquisitions alone would make our offense much, much better.

fantasy football has diverted alot of attention away from what it takes to win…..yes, obviously you need good QB play and some balance on offense, but a good running game/play action improves your passing game, and your QBs play by definition--what, we all think Nick Foles is all-world HOFer?--or does he have a good coach and one of the top few RBs in the game, who defenses fear and have to respect….zero running game has hurt TH's development, alot…..most good teams run the ball well, and then have a good QB to take advantage of the space that creates for the passing game.

6 bucks @ 8:54, I like hartline too but he had a couple of costly, costly drops against Buffalo and early in the year against baltimore. In every other game though, he was beastly

benz you are a smart man. All the best teams in the playoffs can run the ball. If you cant run you wont win. If you cant run and convert 3rd and ones and twos you wont win.

No The Truth: Ross did not hire the GM,Bill Parcells got that honor when,then owner,Wayne Huizinga hired Parcells as vice president of football operations and to bring his team a championship. How has that worked out?

On the running game and our ability to be successful, we averages 4.1 yards per carry which put us at 17th in the NFL. We are only 0.3 yards a carry of being in the top 10. The problem on the running game is there was zero imagination and innovation. We lined up and ran Vanilla BS running plays.

On the odd occasion where we pulled linemen we got big gains, like the 55 yarder for Thomas against the Steelers. The handoff from the K-gun was a joke almost all year long, defenses sniffed that one one so early. Sherman would continally abandon the run, even when we were having success. Miller isn't a starting RB, but is ok, Thmoas I'll concede is pretty bad, unable to use his size and strength against opponents. Both RB's really struggle in pass protection, yet Philbin and Sherman asked them to do this all year long. Running plays that take longer to develop with guys that can't really block, makes no sense, even Egnew or Sims back there would offer some more help.

The main reason the Dolphins have been a subpar team for over a decade is due to bad drafting. The team is constantly being mis-built.

The Dolphins made the following picks in the first three rounds in 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2009:

Jordon - gave up two picks for this part-time player
Taylor - Who?
Davis - Who?
Thomas - probably a bust if he can't play for this OL
Tannehill - jury is still out; deep ball a concern
Martin - will probably be off team in 2014
Vernon - very good player
Egnew - Bust
Pouncey - very good but highest pick ever for a center
Thomas - gave up three picks for average RB
Ordick - solid to good pick
Misi - average
Jerry - below average
Davis - with Colts
White - bust
Smith - with Chiefs
Turner - bust
Long - with Rams
Merling - bust
Henne - bust
Langford - bust

Out of 24 picks invested, only one has a chance to be an elite offensive player at a skill position - Tannehill. But after two years of being the starter, opinions are all over the place with Tannehill, with his deep ball accuracy and pocket awareness being the two main concerns at this point.

Pouncey and Vernon are, currently, the only very good picks on the roster with Ordick being a solid player.

With this kind of drafting, the Dolphins are very lucky to be 8-8. Just think of the talent that was available (that fit team needs) that they did not draft. One more average to below average draft will really hurt this team going forward as it would need to sign expensive free agents to make up the difference.

benz, people like to rip Tannehill on lack of pocket awareness but look at Nick Foles from last Sunday - there was at least three times he held the ball for about 6 seconds and then took a sack. All Qbs take sacks when tehy wait for things to happen - it's nothign new in teh NFl and you're right - McCoy does make Foles job a whole lot easier for him as does Lynch for Wilson but both of those young guys did take advantqage of the excellent opportunities given to them - good for them.

Meant to say picks were in first three rounds from 2008 - 2013. Sorry for the mistake.

The problem is money. And as far as I see it, if I owned the team there would be winners. How much money is Ross going to flush down the toilet before he decides he has had enough. From sold out stadiums in the 90s to half full. That is about 2000 seats a year on average. Right now real attendance is about 40k a game.

If I have to buy 35 to 40 k tickets a game to avoid blackouts, I am losing money.

So I fire the whole crew and get someone in here to fix the situation.

Is files in the playoffs? Yes. Is hennehill in the playoffs? No.

Foles

So looks like Ross will sit on his hands this year an if the Fins dont make the playoffs next year everybody out of a job.. I cant believe were going into next season with Sherman as the OC again I honestly think Fins will regress and prob end up 7 and 9 again. Smh

I know many of you hate Omar Kelly but he made a freat point. Whats the identity of the team?? At least when Sparano was here we were a run first grind it out physical team with a good defense you couldnt run on.

Now were a pass first team with a bad oline an rb play and a weak defense that consisentlety get ran on. The Parcells thinking works if you dont have a top5 QB which we dont. We need to run the ball an play great defense until Tannehill can become a top ecechlon QB.

Packers should be docked a draft pick for selling the Dolphins on Crypt Keeper Philbin who did absoultley nothing in GB. Design Plays are you kidding me?? The guy lets his daddy Sherman call everything in offense and wouldnt dear question the playcalling of his boss. Yea Sherman is the boss not Philbin.

Fire them all Ross!!

To bad he wont
😔

Check mate of what stupid loser stsff, of losing the games and not make playoof, Who made them staff and coaches in the NFL, because they read one book more than you and me or , because they went to a stupid HS or College, or Their Mom has been Fu*8 by Ross or what, because it not make sense about how the F they evaluated the loser team , They think that everything is Ok and losing is a Win, Crack Kill and also make you Dumb, all these cocaine on Miami make these people Idiots, or Blind, They not want to said that they fail because they don't want to be Fired, Fired That Bit** GM Ireland He real Sucks, and Philbin F him and what he think , He is a punk , scare loser bit**, Fire Him to with his Bit*8 friend Sherman, Get some Cojones Ross or sell the team to LA California, because all you r staff and coaches and you Sucks and are losers, LOSERS, Fired All, LOSERS

When I saw Ireland drafting DJ and adding what were described then as good blitzing LBs in Wheeler and Ellerbe, I knew then that his objective for this Season was to put pressure on Brady and NE in our Division, then maybe win it, and I agreed. But he forgot there were 2 other Teams in the Division that are not NE. Fatal mistake.

Dude, you are by far the worst writer on the planet. I love how you just continuously make chyt up and publish it as if it is fact.

Billcale,

It was Philbin who benched Bush when he fumbled. Don't you think if Philbin wanted Bush, they wouldn't have let him walk? This idea that it was Ireland that let Bush walk and Philbin was 'shocked' doesn't wash with me. Same as 'it was Ireland who wanted the linebackers and Philbinhad no hand in it'. Doesn't make sense and if it IS that way then the Dolphins have bigger problems than we think.

More than likely Bush wasn't the guy Sherman wanted for the offence and it was a joint decision to let him go. Time to address that this offseason. Both backs are backups. Find a guy in the draft.

billcale, not sure you remember, but it was during the Hard Knocks I think. The team was practicing, and Philbin said something to the effect that he really liked how Thomas ran the ball (one cut and up the field). Not sure if it was then, or another time, but I remember Philbin saying something about Reggie running laterally too much and shuffling his feet at the line (sometimes turning into negative runs).

Then, remember when Reggie was benched for the fumbles? Yes, I agree coaches HATE fumbles, but Reggie was one of the workhorses on the team. If you remember, Ricky Williams had fumblitis too, but there are some RBs where you take the bad with the good. Posters here were pretty surprised Philbin benched Reggie for so long that game (it might have been rest of the game).

Plus he was part of the Leadership Comm, and ALL of them were gone from the team next season (Reggie, Long and Dansby). Again, on Hard Knocks, if you saw Philbin's body language when they came in to talk about Chad Johnson being let go. It was more than awkward, he was visibly steamed that they would question his authority. I thought the players were very respectful and trying to honestly give constructive criticism, but Philbin obviously took it as a slight and a question to his authority.

All those situations are why I believe Philbin was not a proponent of keeping Bush. Yes, I'm sure he loved his work ethic, but overall, I think he preferred him gone. Maybe I'm wrong. If Mando's around maybe he can chime in with his inside scoop. But that's how I remember it.

I would like to move on to a new GM. But the argument for cleaning house is this: the same coaching staff and team that dominated the Jets in early December was impotent against that same team a few weeks later even though the Dolphins were playing for a playoff berth and the Jets were playing just for pride. How do you explain that?

Bet on no one losing a job, but everyone on double secrete probation. We will sit through another long season and either make the playoffs or burn and crash. At that time maybe there will be a winner of a head coach and or a GM available. After 45 years I have learned that as much as we scream, we have very little to say about what happens. How many of us will actually not watch next year? I keep saying I won't, but I do.

One thing I have seen of this team in the past two years of attending games is that on many occasions when we are faced with press coverage our receivers take an inordinate amount of time to get open especially Wallace. That I feel is part of the reason why RT takes so long to throw it.

Now if the D is going to press, then we need to put someone in motion, or run some pick routes that knock a defender away from your primary target so we can get guys open quicker. But I don't ever see us run any pick routes.

Earlier this year RT missed a WFO (Wide Fukkin Open) Lamar Miller on a wheel route out of the backfield. It would have been 6 points easy, back peddling even. However I never saw that play run again, for the rest of the season!

My question to that is WHY?

You have to wonder about an OC that uses a play that has the potential to be immensely successful, if it fails he never ever calls it again. I would have gone right back to that same freakin play on the very next one.

Sherman hamstrung this offense all season long, his absolute refusal to take advantage of major mismatches, of sticking to plays that are working in a game, of using more than 2 pages out of his 500+ page play book all year. He never showed any confidence in his offense, so why should they show confidence in him?

As bad as the story goes, in the scenario laid out by Mando more blame, and there is certainly plenty to go around falls more on the coaching side then the personnel side. Yes, there were numerous holes left by the personnel staff; however, the coaching and coaches were worse. Good coaching staffs can get more out of players not deemed to be the best at their position. Good coaches play to their strengths and attack the other teams weakness. This coaching staff appeared to do this in reverse. Play calling...enough said. Coaching hires...see the QB coach Zac Taylor...enough said. See the o-line coach Jim Turner...enough said. This does not however give the personnel side a free walk. Drafting so high for a not glaring need - see Dion Jordon...enough said. Drafting two DBs that when healthy (rare) could not beat out Nolan Carroll...enough said. O Line holes in a draft loaded with talent not addressed...enough said. Not trading a high number two for Albert while having the dollars to extend his deal...enough said. So, in the end, the personnel side did what they said they would in addressing speed at the WR and slot position, looking for linebackers with speed, albeit played poorly, taking a shot a Clabo that for all accounts were reasonable given his proven track record while in Atlanta and improvement in the second half of the season all worked out. Ok the LBs were problematic, but I would give them another year to become better aclumated to Coyle's system, if Coyle survives. And the final nod in favor of the personnel side is that Philbin controls the hiring and firing of his coaches. If he doesnt see the weakness of having a QB coach, basically picked up of the street and that Sherman is actually the real coach (something I wrote a couple of days ago), then the issue is bad coaching

Just got an email from my wife. She spoke to someone "very close to the Dolphins organization" on Twitter. They're saying Ireland/Philbin are safe and Sherman is gone.

That's fine, it's a 1 yr deal regardless. If things don't improve, Ross will clean house again.

Fans won't be happy, but what else is new. Team knows the deal, they won't feel any love until they win games.

Many teams that are active in free agency do so because they have drafted so incompetently. That certainly described the Dolphins in the 2013 offseason.

Even worse, many of the free agency signings did not work out as planned. For example, the two 'upgrades' at LB, the $60 million wide dropper and the TE with recent injuries who...got injured again - all were suspect signings (so far).

So far, the 2013 draft delivered only a mediocre kicker.

Apart from Clay and Pouncey, the offense lacks elite talent. Hartline, like Wallace, drops a lot of catchable balls. Gibson and Marshall are decent but not great at WR. The RBs are average. The OL needs a total rebuild of 4 starters and several reserves.

Tannehill is ranked tenth of all QBs with three years or less experience.

"Close?" One thinks not.

I give you two words that describe how important coaching is to an NFL team-- ANDY REID!

Ok this is what's going to happen..ross isn't going to make any changes and ur going to see the same shit this year as last year then at the end of the season ur going to be in the same boat ur in now so do what's right and fire all of them and bring in some proven coaches...p.s.:miami fan base has some of the most ignorant fans I have every seen their so use to mediocre that dont want no changes or are to stupid on what needs to be cchanged...bottom line here is im not spending no more of my hard earned money on this crap again

Excellent Armando....excellent

DC,

That's kind of how I see it too. But a bigger concern for me is the defence. I've stuck up for this defence all year but why have they regressed and why did they give up 2000 yards rushing? Wheeler's not the answer (I think we're stuck with himfor another year) and we're going to lose with Starks or Soliai or both. So my questionis, is Coyle the right guy for this defence? I think Clemmons and Carroll have made progress under him and the book on Coyle is he helps the secondary. But should he be the DC? With the focus on improving the OL, the running game and perhaps adding a stud TE, how do we improve the defence? Should Coyle be shown the door too and perhaps we should add a guy like Leslie Frazier?

Bottom line, Ireland did a much better job at what he does than Philbin did at what he did. Philbin should be gone....

DC, 6Bucks

Yes the running game was awful against the Bills in Buffalo and New England did have success. If you look at what New England did you will see why. NE trapped the DEs pusing them out of the run lanes to the outside, with a FB or TE lead and ran off tackle with greats sucess. Sherman's insistence to push it inside the DE and DTs created unfavorable match ups for the fins oline. This problem was a year long debacle.

DC,

If that is what happens (Sherman out, Philbin & Ireland safe), then that's about what many of us expected (dreaded).

Personally, I think it's the wrong way forward for the Dolphins. No talented OC or one with ambition is going to want to come here to work for lame ducks like Philbin and Ireland. Of course, someone will take the job since it pays well, but I highly doubt a change in OC is the magical item that leads the team to a Superbowl.

If the status quo is maintained, then next season will be year seven of the Ireland rebuild. I would be shocked if they are a championship level team.

Both Ireland and philbin need to go with Sherman and Coyle holding door to be polite.
Ireland did a horrible job drafting for one reason he had did nothing to improve the most important position the left tackle. He tried to make a Martin a LT but he has no heart. Last year 2012 Martin tried to replace long and was not that good they should have seen something. History always has a way of repeating itself. He had to replace Long that was on our draft needs list LT? Every draft expert gave our draft a B at best. It's like you go grocery shopping to make a birthday cake and you come home with ingredients to make a pie. Because everything was such a bargain. You still have to make a cake so you go back to get spoiled milk and rotten eggs.
The coaches need to go because Sherman is just not that great in being inventive enough to open the running game, even sporano did that remember the wildcat? Oh yeah the Jets ran a couple of those plays against US with success. There is one common issue here both philbin and Sherman coached in Green Bay. They are gone and GB is still successful. Sherman is out of Texas am and have you seen them lately. When Sherman was hired I was bit perplexed about that one.
Now about Coyle I am a bit confused here last year we were awesome on def is that the scheme or the lack of players. One thing I do know last year and this year we rarely made a stop when we really needed one. So again is it the scheme or the players not sure.
I know one thing for sure Philbin Can not fire Sherman you know the loyal thing. Maybe Sherman needs to be loyal and look in the morror and say I will not put my friend in a tough situation.
So if I was the owner Ireland you need to leave 6 years is too long and Sherman either retire, philbin needs to let him go or they both go.

Dudes, Ricky Williams could come out of retirement, skip training camp, break his sternum, and still be the best RB on the team by a factor of 10.

Let me ask all fins fans...if Sherman is let go which is suspect unless he decides to do the right thing and fall on his sword and just resign, the search for a replacement will be thin at best knowing that 2014 is rapidly becoming a make or break season for the entire GM and staff and the coaching staff. What do you think?

Now on to the point of a game plan. The smart coach creates a game plan by diagnosing the strengths and weaknesses of his opponent and devises plays, formations and schemes that heavily favor your team in those match ups. However the even smarter coaches devise a backup game plan so that if the other guy retools his team to try to disguise those perceived weaknesses, you still have a way to accomplish your goals.

I don't see that this coaching staff ever put any contingency planning into their game plans, week in and week out. If this had been a battle field, we were constantly getting outflanked, constantly putting ourselves into their line of fire.

If I know from past experience against a previous opponent that their front 4 on the Dline are going to be better than my front 5 on the Oline, then I'm going to do something about it. Maybe I'll use some cross blocks, or traps. Maybe I'll occasionally bring in a 6th or 7th Olineman to overcome their superiority for high value plays like 3rd and short. Maybe I'll use some misdirection or some trickery to slow them down.

There are ways of taking advantage of an over aggressive defensive line. But has this team used any of them in the past 2 years? I'll answer that rhetorical question, RARELY!

I don't know what "reality barometer" this coaching staff uses for developing mismatches on game day, but I think they could use someone on their staff that is MOTO, Master Of The Obvious, because it seems to me that the obvious is a foreign concept to this staff.

They say that the NFL is a copy-cat league, that coaches steal things that work from other coaches and use it for their advantage. Why is this coaching staff so afraid to borrow from the successful teams? Why do they try to re-invent the wheel every week?

Plays work for a reason or they don't work for a reason, when it comes to plays that do work, this staff abandons them, when it comes to plays that don't have a chance in hell, they embrace them with all their might, and then they are stunned when the play fails and they get called out in press conferences about them.

To me, it seems that this staff is trying to make this game way more complex than it really is. And all that does is ensure that success is just out of arms reach for the players, week in and week out.

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