So close, and yet so far. Almost there. Just a few pieces away. Touchdown here. Field goal there.
All of these sayings/excuses have been used to sum up the Dolphins since 2009. The year after the Tom Brady, and a so called gimmick play gifted us a trip to the Patriots "erm" post season. Sorry for the cynicism/sarcasm, but... This is how the critics see it. Any number of things can be used as an excuse to explain why the Dolphins have not been contenders in the NFL, or hoisted a Lombardi trophy in forever. One of my favorites is that Bill Bellichek made a deal with the Devil, even more hilarious is the idea that he is in fact Beelzebub himself.
But what is the true reason. If you could singularly point out what the common denominator is with every team we have fielded, including the ones where we had Dan the Man on our team "the one thing Dan never managed to do was win a ring, so his name is added to this list". What would it be? The answer, is depth.
Between 1971 and 1973, the team seemed unstoppable. A true dynasty was almost established with three consecutive trips to the Super Bowl, winning 2. How did that happen? Well depth even at QB was the key. Our defense went from no name, to killer B's over that time. We lose a starting QB, another carryover from the Colts finishes the season without a single L on his record. Our running game was the ultimate weapon of mass depthtruction,(yes, it does deserve its own word). Corner, WR, Safety, you name a starter position, I could name a capable back up.
Then as the team started to dismantle, depth was replaced with projects. None moreso than at QB. We drafted Dan the man, and not much else, to the point that it left us searching for an answer at QB until the day we drafted Tannehill in the first round. Even now we ponder whether he is the answer in his third year.
2008, a year after going 1-15, we saw the introduction of Bill Parcells, and his band of misfits. They were key hires for the sole purpose of righting the ship. Fast forward, and the term camp battles are taking on a whole new meaning. Especially at DE, DT, CB, Safety, WR, RB, QB, LB, RB, C, OG, RT. That is all but one spot enhanced to a comfortable point where if a starter goes down, our team does not seem to have a meltdown on the brinks.
Depth is the key to success, and it looks like we may finally have some. Have we in fact found our Winning Waldo Ways? Nothing is for certain, except that we are finally out of excuses. What do you think?