There have been alot of chicken or the egg arguments around with the GM or Head Coach as who is responsible for this disaster. My opinion is the Coaching was more at stake, but the GM has also been at best average. I have plenty of free time, since we will not be playing this Sunday, so I will do a series on each position and how we rank (as unbiased as I can be) compared to the AFC. My feeling is if we are in the top 6 on average then the blame lays on Philbin, if not then it rests at the feet of Jeff Ireland.
Here is my ranking of Miami position by postion to the rest of the 16 AFC teams. I will continue in this post by comparing the RB spot.
I am not a fan of either RB we have on the roster so understand there may be some bias here. I think Miller has what it takes to be a change of pace back only in the NFL (can’t think of 3 plays where he broke tackles or created anything other than what was available for him by the blocking). I understand our offensive line was awful, but good backs still find ways to make at least something out of poor blocking. Daniel Thomas…I hope we are done with this experiment. I cannot rank the rookie RB simply because he did not get much playing time.
Teams we are obviously ahead of…Ok so there are none. Here are the teams I’d say we are comparable to and only slightly behind:
Jacksonville: Would not have said this a few years ago, but MJD seems to be running on fumes this late in his career (BTW: for those that want us to sign him, I’d say no unless it was a very cheap short term deal).
Cleveland: We actually may better not be ahead of them, but they had a stud they traded away this season for a 1st round pick (and I am saying any RB they pick in round 1-2 would be better than ours).
NYJ: Chris Ivory is probably better than both our backs, but I feel at least we are in the same ball park.
That’s it. All the other teams are quite a bit above us. I will list the team and runner(s) that would start ahead of both our backs.
New England: Ridley, Blount (who I’d advocate to sign) and Vereen are all better.
Buffalo: Spiller is an elite back and so is Jackson (although on the downside of career).
Denver: Moreno and the backfield by committee are all better than our backs in my opinion.
Oakland: Mcfadden, when healthy, and Jennings are great. (if we could get Mcfadden to an incentive type deal I’d be all for it.
Kansas City: Jamal Charles is a stud.
Pittsburgh: Le’von Bell is going to be a great one. He was available for us in the draft this season and would have been a great pick.
Baltimore: Ray Rice was about 60% all year…still better than what we have.
Cincy: Giovani Benard is elite. If you doubt it watch our game with them when he made us look like a junior high team on several runs. I’d say if he doesn’t get hurt in our game, we don’t beat the Bengals this year.
Houston: Ben Tate will be a free agent (I’d take a look here also) and Arian Foster is still better than anything we have.
Indianapolis: Donald Brown and Trent Richardson.
Tennessee: CJ2K is still there.
I think that is every team. Let’s be nice and say we are better than Cleveland (and that is stretching it). That puts us at #15 in the AFC. Think about this: On 4th and the season on the line we gave the ball to Charles Clay (a TE) instead of any RB on our roster. Our longest run of the season: Tannehill. While our offensive line was pitiful, the backs made them look much worse in the running game. There were times holes were there that decent NFL backs find and we didn’t (mainly Thomas) and there were times we were untouched at 10-12 yards and gained…10-12 yards (mainly Miller). This is area #2 on the team that must be upgraded.
Bottom line for us was this group was simply not good enough. Losing a guy like Reggie Bush and failing to replace him is not Coach Philbin or even Coach Sherman’s fault. This position is squarely on the shoulders of Jeff Ireland.
Next up: WR group. Are we elite or just better than last years group?