With one game remaining on the Miami Dolphins 2018 season, the future of Mike Tannenbaum, Dolphins Vice President of Football Operations, has been decided - he is going to be out at the end of the year. For General Manager Chris Grier and Head Coach Adam Gase, their futures are still up in the air.
On Christmas night, I tweeted a thread that contained several tidbits regarding the Miami Dolphins front office and coaching situation.
While Ross hasn’t let his intentions known, here’s what I can piece together.— Matthew Cannata (@CannataNFL) December 26, 2018
I am led to believe he still hasn’t fully made up his mind and Sunday’s result does matter for Gase. A convincing win and he has a decent chance of staying.
A loss puts him on life support.
To recap, I stated the following:
- Stephen Ross still hasn’t fully made up his mind and Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills matters for Adam Gase. A convincing win and he has a decent chance of staying. A loss puts him on life support.
- Mike Tannenbaum would be out regardless of Sunday’s result.
- Ross has a few targets in mind for the head coach position but may not have a chance to lure them in, due to playoff interview rules and other external factors.
- Ross likes Grier and Gase, which is why someone like Dan Marino might make sense for the VP of Football Operations role.
- There are many complex layers to the situation and they are still unfolding.
On Wednesday morning, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald confirmed all of this information with this article.
There are several takeaways from this article and from the information I gathered. One major takeaway is that Ross is still unsure as to what he should do with Grier and Gase, which is why Sunday’s game matters for their future.
However, many say that the future of this franchise shouldn’t be decided on one game. After all, Ross has had three full seasons to evaluate the job Gase has done...or has he?
Gase had a very impressive first season as head coach in 2016, leading the Dolphins to a playoff berth despite losing his starting quarterback late in the season. After a rough start, he showed the ability to adapt to the strengths of his team and led the Dolphins on an impressive stretch to end the season. Ryan Tannehill posted career highs in all major categories and Gase’s offense was running quite well. Almost everyone thought the Dolphins had their coach of the future.
But in his second season as head coach, Gase lost Tannehill in training camp and had to scramble to find a replacement, He brought in Jay Cutler, which led to disastrous results. Factor that in with the hurricane forcing them to have no bye week and other distractions that came up (such as Chris Foerster snorting cocaine in his office), and everyone was willing to give Gase a pass in year two.
This past season has come with mixed results. After starting off 3-0, the Dolphins collapsed. But, Gase will tell you that injuries have played a big role as to why the Dolphins are not in the playoffs this season.
One may even believe him as the Dolphins should have started off 4-1, and likely would have, if Laremy Tunsil didn’t exit the Cincinnati Bengals game with an injury. One could also argue that had not Albert Wilson gotten injured against the Detroit Lions, they would’ve won that game as he was gashing their defense throughout the game. He can argue that they would have beaten the Green Bay Packers if he had all of his starters. Those three wins there would put the Dolphins in the playoffs today and likely the AFC East winners.
But, Gase’s detractors will say that the Dolphins would be in the playoffs had they not blown leads to the Bengals and Indianapolis Colts. They can say that those two wins would have the Dolphins in the playoffs today. Gase would then just as easily defend himself by saying that Matt Burke, his defensive coordinator blew that game and not him.
Gase’s detractors will then come in and say this - you have the 30th ranked defense and the 30th ranked offense. You have a total yard differential of -1,756 and a total point differential of -89. Your seven losses? They’ve all been by double digit points. Your wins? None of them have been by more than one possession. And let’s not even begin to talk about your road record.
Gase can then defend himself and say that he doesn’t have the same Ryan Tannehill he had in 2016 (due to injuries) and his offensive line is a mess. He can say that he was swayed in other directions by Tannenbaum and place the blame there.
Gase’s detractors can then say that he hitched himself to Tannehill and Cutler, and brought in Brock Osweiler to be the primary backup quarterback. They can ask why they should trust Gase moving forward?
Gase can then defend himself and say that he had his eyes on Josh Allen in the draft and wasn’t able to get him. He can say that he has a plan this coming year to get his kind of quarterback, the one that will make him successful.
When Ross hired Gase, he really believed he had the offensive Bill Belichick - one who can come in and dominate in games. He truly believes that Gase can have the long-term impact that Don Shula had in Miami. But, this season has raised many questions.
So, you can see why all of this is complicated for Ross and those closest to him. There are some in the Dolphins organization who are big fans of Gase and that side seems to be winning right now. However, a blowout loss on Sunday can change all of that. Which way will Ross go? A lot is still up in the air, despite having nearly three full seasons to evaluate.
Stay tuned as more information unfolds this week. Follow me on Twitter: @CannataNFL for all of the latest updates and news.