« A look at Dolphins GM candidate Brian Xanders | Main | Seventh GM interview: Dennis Hickey »

Edwards promotion great; Turner status merits scrutiny

The reported departure of Dolphins linebacker coach George Edwards to Minnesota to become the Vikings defensive coordinator deserves congratulations for him. Dolphins fans should applaud that someone from the Dolphins coaching staff is moving on up, professionally and geographically. No, seriously, you should really be thrilled ...

Because in his last two seasons coaching the Dolphins linebackers -- Edwards's second stint with the team following a tenure that lasted 2005-2009 -- the unit has mostly underperformed. Indeed, last season as the Miami defense fell to 24th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed, the worse ranking since 2007, it was clear that linebackers Dannell Ellerbe and Phillip Wheeler were at the core of the problems with the run defense.

That fact is so obvious that at least one general manager candidate interviewing recently said the next GM must replace at least one of the two players because the performance from the positions did not merit the salary cap and actual money expenditure.

(Peanut gallery: Well, Armando, this clearly shows what a poor GM Jeff Ireland was. After all he signed Ellerbe and Wheeler.)

Yes, gallery, the signing of both players was apparently a poor decision given their contracts -- Ellerbe at five years for $34.75 million and Wheeler for five years and $26 million. The Dolphins paid Ellerbe $14 million guaranteed. The Dolphins paid Wheeler $13 million guaranteed.

But here's the rub ...

Ellerbe played quite well for Baltimore in 2012. Wheeler was outstanding in Oakland in 2012. And the two players the Dolphins jettisoned to upgrade to Wheeler and Ellerbe played better for their new teams. Karlos Dansby was a borderline Defensive Player of the Year candidate in Arizona and Kevin Burnett was a revelation in Oakland.

The two departed players combined for nine sacks, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, five interceptions, 23 passes defensed and two TDs.

The two players under Edwards combined for 1.5 sacks, zero forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, two interceptions, 12 passes defensed and no touchdowns.

So to recap, the players the Dolphins added under Edwards played better elsewhere before arriving but took a step back in Miami. And the players who didn't play well enough under Edwards the year before were released and had banner seasons elsewhere.

I don't see this as a coincidence. And I see a good portion, if not the majority of the responsibility for this, falling on the position coach involved -- Edwards

So congratulations to him for getting the promotion. Problem partially solved.

Unfortunately for the Dolphins, Edwards was not the only Dolphins assistant that deserves scrutiny based on the performance of his players.

Last season the Dolphins offensive line was, as the entire NFL knows, something of a problem. Yes, sometimes the pass protection breakdowns fell on the shoulders of running backs or tight ends. Yes, sommetimes quarterback Ryan Tannehill held the ball too long or did little to get out of the way of the pressure.

But those franchise record and NFL worst 58 sacks?

The offensive line, folks.

(Peanut gallery:  Well, Armando, this clearly shows what a poor GM Jeff Ireland was. After all he put that offensive line together).

No doubt about it. At the end of the day, the Dolphins did not have enough talent on the offensive line. Ireland bet on Jonathan Martin, his draft pick, and that bet was a loser.

But the thing is, Mike Pouncey is a talented center. And Bryant McKinnie is a solid left tackle who Ireland brought in via trade midway through the season. And John Jerry was often able to get in somebody's way. And Tyson Clabo is a former Pro Bowl player who went 14 consecutive games, including the playoffs, without allowing a sack for the Falcons in 2012.

And these guys, together, simply were not very effective. There was no unity of action on the field. They were disjointed. And there certainly was no unity of thought as the NFL scandal obviously suggests.

So who is responsible for solving those issues? Um, thinking ...

Yeah, the position coach.

Offensive line coach Jim Turner oversaw the statistically most inept offensive line in Dolphins NFL history. That is not an opinion. It is a fact, as evidence by the phrase, "most sacks allowed in franchise history." One can argue the expansion offensive line was worse, but that was an AFL line.

Unfortunately for the Dolphins, the Minnesota Vikings haven't been calling to hire Turner. Neither has any other NFL team that I know of.

Barring a return to his college roots, Turner is likely to remain in Miami.

So while the offensive line that underperformed likely will get a nearly full reconstruction this offseason, the man who led that terrible line, likely will remain.

It is possible new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor may lobby to replace Turner and others but he said recently that subject had not been discussed with coach Joe Philbin.

(Huh? How does an interview happen and either the head coach or OC candidate doesn't bring up the topic of what will happen with the offensive assistants under the new OC?)

Anyway, this brings up another little issue:

What's Philbin thinking?

Does he know more than everyone else in thinking Turner is a great coach that deserves the chance to step out of the shadow of an epic failure?

Does he know Turner isn't it but rather not replace him out of loyalty? (This is a possibility because, well, Mike Sherman.)

Or does Philbin, a former offensive line coach himself, simply not know a failing OL coach when he sees one?

There still isn't an answer to these possibilities. So far Philbin has stuck with Turner. We'll see if that lasts through the release of the NFL report. We'll see if it lasts through that conversation he and Lazor apparently haven't had yet.

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Dashe was wrong, we already knew. Only he doesn't.

First!

In addition, Burnett was outstanding in San Dieego/Dallas and Dansby was a beast in Arizona before he got here ...

Our D coaches are all very good.

Turner needs to go! But it's the Dolphins and my decade long habit of head scratching is not likely to stop with the hiring of a new young OC...

The problem is philbin

Whether talented or not, when an O line allows 58 sacks, there has to be major changes and not just to personnel - coach too. Sherman already bonked - Turner should go too...

That was a pitiful performance...

The miami dolphins is the farm team for the nfl!

Philbin should be gone along with Sherman. Just his wanting to keep Sherman was enough to get rid of him for me. I havent seen anything from him that makes me think he'll lead us to the Promised Land.

Where's the Coyle post on how garbage and wasteful he is...

Let's all line up on the goaline and surrender a field goal opportunity that gave Carolina hope .. on three!!

I think that once Lazor gets settled in a bit, Turner will be invited to hit the road.

Philbin was an OL coach?? WTF?

Sparano 2.0?

I tend to agree with the Veteran Fan post... we have to start holding people to higher standards here ... not just the players.

Actually Steve, Sparano's o lines were beastly compared to this lot. We couldn't pass worth a dam but we had some nice rushing stats and kept teh qb clean. I would love a Sparano o line right now...

Hire a negro gm negro coach negro qurterbakk
Too many ghosts on this team
NFL negro football league

The entire defense took some huge steps backwards last season. Grimes was really the only player who consistently played well. It is the defensive coordinator and the scheme that he ran that is the glaring problem.

Tannehill got Sherman and Ireland fired! haha

First, Edwards was PART of the D problem, Coyle was the other.

On those pricey LB contracts, who was the Capologist again? Dawn who?

Lastly, Lazor might want Turner gone but do you really think that's gonna fly with Philbin? I don't think so.

Hopefully Lazor will do the right thing and get rid of Turner. It is obvious he isn't the man for the job. Before the Martin B.S. he had a decent talent pool and they couldn't get job done.

You would have to think he talked about this in his interview for the job. You have the most sacks in team history and the question isn't asked, what would you do to fix this problem if you got the job? If he didn't then were really up the creek and Philbon is more clueless than expected. !

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Armando for holding their feet to the fire for these dumb decisions to keep underperforming people employed in Miami.

Edwards was demoted his first time here. Did you know that? And he went to Buffalo and the defensive coordinator and got demoted then fired there.

When will my Dolphins learn?

Armando, can you please get this racists impersonating 2 watt OFF THIS BOARD. I don't really like to hear the real 2watts crap either but he is entitled. Whoever this dBag is, is using his handle and being completely IGNORANT and RACIST! Do something good for a change and remove this idiot please.

Like I've said before;

Promote Gaines to GM, hold serve with the coaching staff. Next year is sink or swim for everyone.

They'll sink. At that point, clean house and start over.

Regardless if the new GM is good at his job or not, Ross has showed that he will keep that person beyond one year regardless. Next year when Philbin is canned and Miami is again, looking for a new coach, many will decline an interview because they want to pick there own GM. Just like many GM's have declined the Miami job because they want to pick there own coach.

But, it's Stephen Ross. A stubborn old Billionaire who refuses to entertain the thought that he could even possibly be wrong.

Nothing will change, and this franchise will flounder in mediocrity until Ross passes or sells the team.

Remove deify while you're at it.

Nothing will change, and this franchise will flounder in mediocrity until Ross passes or sells the team.
Posted by: Jon | January 17, 2014 at 11:47 AM

Mediocrity would be great for these scrubs.

Agree with bob griese 12. Coyle was more dissapointing than sherman. I say this because coyle did not have a corps that was worse in the nfl(sherman had the awful o-line)
Coyle had a top 5 CB a amazing deffensive line with premium pass rushers, some promising LB who dissapointed this season, some good safeties, and run stuffers in soliai , starks, and odrck. Not to mention A top 3 pick in dion jordan

Face it guys coyle was a dissapointment and this team will rely on thill and the offense to win our games!
I do know thill is up to the challenge!!!

What Jon said.

Yep. Marshall etc etc etc. Could add tons of players to the list of players who were awesome before and after they were with us, but played mediocre while they were with us.

Why?

$14M over 5 years is better than $10+M for 1 year. For the team.

And for the 1000th time. Dansby had the best season of his life!! At any level!! Not even at Pop Warner.

Dansby was a below average MLB as a Dolphin. 1 INT, 3 FF, 6 Sacks in 3 Years!! ZERO PROBOWLS!!

Dansby was the Highest paid LB in the NFL during his tenure in Miami. You add up Wheeler and Ellerbe's salary and it equals about half of what we were paying Dansby.

Agreed. The LB coach had to go. This year it falls on Coyle. He needs to improve the Defense.

Also, Wheeler and Ellerbe can be released after next year without basically costing the Fins anything. They basically signed 2year deals at about $5Mil a season.


Jon,


i think when you pay 1.1 Billion for something, you should be allowed to do what you want with it.


If I bought this team, I would be like Jerry Jones. This is his team and will do what he thinks is best.

He apparently is a better decision maker than 99.9999999 percent of the planet, considering how rich he is.

You can get lucky and become a millionaire, you dont get lucky and become a billionaire.

We dont need a complete reboot, we just need to fix some broken parts.

This team isnt totaled, we just had a minor fender bender

Can you explain zone blocking? which of the playoff teams utilize zone blocking? Clearly the players do not match the system. A good position coach and head coach need to make the system fit the players. See Bill Belichek transformation from a passing team to a balanced running team.
Shame on Philbin for not cleaning house after the the way the season concluded (Bullygate, most sacks in history, two losses to infoerior teams to end the season, etc..)
Shame on Boss Ross for not insisiting on a new OL coach.

As much as I'm hoping T'hill becomes more consistent next season, I'm hoping equally as much that Patterson can stay on the field for an entire season.

It does not matter who they hire as OC,GM, draft or FA. This is a dysfunctional organization from ownership to coaching staff. As long as the organization remains as is, this team will be a perennial 7-9 or 8-8 every season. The Dolphins are a fractured and inept organization.

Mando, please call out Steve Ross. As the head goes, so goes the body. Yes, the assistants, the GM, and the head coach were not good enough.

You know who is ultimately responsible?

Stevieboy.

There is not one thing he's succeeded in doing as owner. Not one. Even his employees laugh at him. He calls for transparency and Philbin acts like some sort of Belichick except, of course, for the wins and gameplan and ability to develop players. Ross lets that woman ride his plane whenever she wants, as you wrote. Ross is so disconnected he needs Carl Peterson who has never won a dang thing in the NFL and has been out of the game for 10 years to run his GM search.

Ross is the problem. Call him out!

Coaches will coach and teach but it's up to the players to execute and perform. I'm sure Edwards is a great coach and is well respected ( hence the job offer in Minnesota), but it's the players responsibility and are accountable for their actions on the field. If they cannot execute what they are told then it's the players who's at fault and not the coaches. Irescum made a horrible decision in bringing in so called faster linebackers but if they don't have the skills then having the "fast" attribute is useless. We can easily say OL was crap due to coaching but can we really say that when the coach isn't the one on the field?? Again, this goes back to my first point about players having some accountability and being responsible, and having said that i will (have no choice but to) trust in Turner's ability to coach and teach our new OL this year seeing that Philbin has him still on his staff..... God i hope i'm right!!!!

signal, from last blog:

The only thing that defies logic is your response. So, somehow you equate a professional sport to income, huh? I didn't know there was a sport called "Who's the Richest Person in the World?" Let's simplify, a sport has rules, and it has a goal. Generally the goal is to win the highest honor. In football that honor is the Vince Lombardi Trophy. In order to do that you need to win the SuperBowl. Only one team wins. So yes, actually literally, it means that EVERY OTHER TEAM in the league is a loser. I guess you're from the generation where everyone got a trophy win or lose at the end of the year. Well, sorry to tell you, that's not the way the NFL works.

And if you asked the person you brought up (Belichick) or Harbaugh or Brady or Manning if they achieved their goal if they do not become SB Champs, and to a man they will tell you NO!

So if you can't understand that, then we're really speaking 2 different languages and have 2 different understandings of what the sport of football and the goal of the NFL is. Maybe that's the problem, maybe there's too many people with your thinking in the Miami Dolphins organization. I pray they rid the team of those who think like that, because if you're goal isn't being the best, then you have no business having anything to do with the team. Go be a part of the kids league, where even losers get trophies.

This is a great Friday morning, and I was looking for some negativity, and I found it on this blog, and as far as the negro comments goes I would say " There is no cure for stupid " Makes one think about how they vet the comments here. Bill

Remove deify while you're at it.
Posted by: 5 watt | January 17, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Come at me bro

I don't see Turner getting fired or demoted with the public knowing. If Philbin wouldn't fire Sherman and thought he really did a great job what makes anyone think he is going to fire Turner? The best we can hope for is Lazor bringing in his own OL coach to work with Turner but everyone knowing Turner is just a figure head cause of Philbin but no longer coaching the OL.

Failbin!

Mando, I believe you failed to provide another option for Philbin's thought process vis-a-vis Turner. If everything you've been "reporting" is true, then it's likely that Philbin believes the OL was so bad because of his nemesis, Jeff Ireland, not due to the coaching staff. He probably felt Ireland sealed the fate of the OL by not giving him another option at LT (other than Martin), then did nothing in the draft to help replace Jerry (Thomas couldn't even get on the field) and waited until it was basically too late to bring in McKinnie.

I'm not sure I agree with all that, but I'm just stating what could be going through Philbin's mind if he chooses to stick with Turner. I hope to the Almighty that doesn't happen, and if it does I hope we have the talent to be able to overcome ineffective coaching (if that's what Turner offers).

Its not what you know its who you know.Mr Turner.That must be right because why on earth has he kept his job?

How does Coyle still get to be the defensive coordinator?? They have steadily regressed with him in charge over the past 3 years. That should be an area of concern, bit it seems no one is discussing that. How many years are they going to allow Coyle to tweak this unit before giving him the boot?

EVERYONE ON THIS BLOG WOULD B&^*H IF YOU WERE HUNG WITH A NEW ROPE!! CHANGE IS CHANGE, AND WE WILL SEE WHAT HAPPENS. SOUNDS LIKE THE INSIDE OF A HAIR SALON, I KNOW THIS,AND I KNOW THAT... MOST OF YOU DONT EVEN HAVE A JOB I'LL BET!! LET ALONE KNOW SH*T ABOUT FOOTBALL OPERATIONS. WAIT TIL NEXT YEAR, HE WILL GET IT RIGHT AND WE WILL BE IN THE PLAYOFFS!! ISNT THAT RIGHT UNCLE JOE!!

This whole process is like putting "lipstick on a pig". The offensive line was atrocious. How many 3rd and 1's did we fail to get. Lets not even talk about the sacks. Offensive line sucked so the OL coach should go. Hopefully this "buddy buddy" thing is not going to deter a good GM from coming aboard by tying his hands on hiring an firing. The kid from Philly is a decent start but we still have a long way to go until we are not the laughing stock of the league and we can once again become a desirable place to play and work for.

Coyle should be HC IMO. . His unit has easily performed the best. Philbin isnt the offensive guru we had hoped. And his leadership is shaky.

The reference to the linebacker issue and George Edwards speaks volumes. This could be the best move made by the Dolphins that was actually made by another team. Thank you Vikings. Maybe we will see improved play from our LB's if we cant release them right now.

Turner should have been fired after the season ended. How does a man survive in his role when allowing the most sacks in franchise history, as well as a horrid run game. If turner stays in his current role expect more of the same. Run for 1 yard. not gain a yard on 3 and 1 or 4th and 1. Allow 5-7 sacks a game. Hope RT has a supply of A535

Ellerbe was a part time player at Balt. It's easy to hide weaknesses with a part time player. When that player becomes a full time player, those weaknesses will surface. He also played a slightly different position - ILB in a 3-4 vs. MLB in a 4-3.
The point? You DO NOT sign a part time player to contract like that.

my rogues r
multiplying
.
lol

Coyle!!!!HC????

I have confidence in Ross getting it right eventually. The guy wants to win and willing to spend money to do it.

He tried to get Harbough and Manning but Ireland might have been a huge detractor.

Not in love with Philbin but at least all the stench from Parcells is now gone. My guess is Phiblin gets next year---if not the axe will come.

They are saving Turner to be the fall guy when the bullying report comes out after the SB. If they fire him now it will look like they knew he was partly responsible, and they have to have a fall guy, so keping him around for a few more weeks.

hmm

Exactly my thought Finfan!!! WTF is that guy talking about.

I am 90% sure Ellerbe played mostly in a 3/4 scheme in Baltimore. He was not alone in the middle like he often was in Miami. The ILB position is EXTREMELY DIFFERENT in a 3/4 vs. a 4/3.

Anyone know what system Wheeler came from in Oakland? If it was a 4/3 there is little reason why he would fall off. But if it was 3/4 then I think there is a trend here.

Maybe that was something Coyle, Philbin and Ireland should have discussed and recognized prior to signing them to big money contracts????

los204, you answered your own question about who is to blame. If there are 5 good players and all of a sudden they start playing crappy, it is probably the scheme that they were told to run that is the problem, not a sudden change in their abilities. The coach is the one that directs them. An orchestra that has a lousy conductor sounds like hell, no matter how good the performers. The sum of the parts is greater than the talent of the individuals. As we see with the hated Patriots, good coaching adjusts to the personnel that they have available to them and finds a way to win. They don't whine about how many players got hurt or weren't performing right (the Patriots had one of their worst seasons ever for injuries and yet they are playing to get into the Superbowl on Sunday).

DC Dolphan

You said it quite well.

But it was fun to kick someone in the butt that had me watching 64 hours of football and that last 8 wasting a lot of my time.

If it weren't for Wake nailing that qb (questionable call) in the endzone for a safety, this season would have totally sucked.

While I though for a couple years that Philbin would be good, watching the Phins get their butts kicked by the Jets and the Bills made me turn totally against him. My belief is that the players believe he is a left wing, electric car driving, global warming activist with a penchant for watching his team shower. This is supported by the effort put forth in about 1/2 of the games this season. In some of the games one hard hit would have changed the outcome. I didn't see it very often.

Philbin is the polar opposite of Sparono except for the winning percentage.

Realist, you know? Not like tehy've neglected that unit in order to supply the offense either. Top picks, free agent dollars, defense gets way more than it's fair share. Yet all it does it get worse under Coyle...

Rdubs, I have to ask what your idea of "Totaled: is? Not making the playoffs for over a decade? Losing out and missing the playoffs with losses to the Bills and Jets? We are talking about the systematic, consistent collapse of one of the iconic franchises in pro sports. Ross may be a billionaire and real estate guru, but he wouldn't know a football if he sat on one. He is clueless when it comes to professional football and hiring competent people. This is without question.

Bad coaching cost us the playoffs.

Bad coaching cost Ireland and Sherman their jobs.

Bad coaching is apparently what Joe Philbin is defending.

Any thoughts on Roger Saffold of the Rams as an addition. I thought he was a pretty good player and it sounds like the Rams are going in a different direction

1 2 3 4 5 »

The comments to this entry are closed.