The sports landscape in Miami is changing, once again. A long-time football town, Miami has become a basketball city after a decade-plus of mediocrity by the Dolphins and three championships from the Heat. The title of football- or basketball-town could be up for grabs again, however, as the Heat deal with the loss of Dwyane Wade to the Chicago Bulls in free agency this week.
Could the Dolphins once again move to the top of the sports-pecking order in Miami?
The team has stars in players like Cameron Wake, Ndamukong Suh, Jarvis Landry, Reshad Jones, and Mike Pouncey. They have a quarterback in Ryan Tannehill who could establish himself as the face of the franchise. They have an up-and-coming wide receiver in DeVante Parker. They have some players who could re-establish themselves as bonafide stars in linebacker Kiko Alonso and defensive end Mario Williams.
The potential is there for the Dolphins, but they have to put it all together now.
The Heat still have Chris Bosh, so they have a top star. They have a President in Pat Riley who is among the all-time great coaches and front office executives. They have a coach in Erik Spoelstra who is among the top coaches in the league right now.
For the Dolphins, they have a brand new general manager in Chris Grier who is in his first season as a GM. Above him, they have Vice President of Football Operations Mike Tannenbaum, who seems to have learned from his first go-around as a personnel executive with the New York Jets, but has not established himself as a top talent evaluator in the league yet. They have new head coach Adam Gase, who comes to the position with a lot of potential and expectations, but does not yet have a true resume as a head coach.
If the Dolphins are going to win back Miami, they have to do one thing: win. They have a chance to reclaim their rightful place as the top team in South Florida, but they need to show that they are ready to once again become one of the elite franchises in the NFL. Will that happen this year? Maybe not, but they can take the first step toward making it happen.