The Miami Dolphins nearly pulled off what would have been an upset for the ages last Sunday, outplaying the Buffalo Bills for much of the game at Ralph Wilson Stadium. That they couldn’t quite close the deal shouldn’t make us any less proud of the way our young team has gone out week after week against long odds and still been a tough out for the opposition.
I know that football can be a wildly inconsistent game, and that divisional games are generally closer than others, but when we look at how the Bills have played against other teams this year and how well the Dolphins played them, coupled with how poorly Miami has played against Buffalo in recent seasons, it’s difficult to not be very optimistic about this franchise moving forward.
Although the Dolphins’ impressive war chest of draft picks has rightly received most of the attention, what I think has gone largely unnoticed by the press is the newfound synergy between the Dolphins’ head coach and general manager. In the past, Miami’s coaches have been at odds with the front office; remember Jeff Ireland sitting in the stands, muttering that Joe Philbin couldn’t coach? When team owner Stephen Ross hired Brian Flores, many lamented that this was just another piecemeal reset of the team, that replacing the head coach without hiring a new GM would only result in more mediocrity for the team. But Ross’ critics failed to account for Dolphin general manager Chris Grier’s professional knowledge and previous experience with Flores. When a coach and GM are on the same page, players who would have otherwise been bypassed by the team can be signed off the waiver wire and free agency that might not have been pursued.
Many of the guys on this team won’t be around a year from now, but you’ve got to admire their dedication and passion for the game. Despite being vastly out-manned, they’ve given everything they’ve got until the final whistle. If Grier hits on just half of his draft picks the next two years, and the coaching staff coalesces as expected, this will be a very good team. If he hits on two thirds of his picks, we could very well be looking at a formidable Miami Dolphins football team by 2021 or ‘22. Tom Brady can’t play forever and the Jets look like they’re imploding. The division could be wide open for the Dolphins to take if they continue to improve.
Finally, I think it’s time to put to rest the idea that Josh Rosen will be the team’s quarterback of the future; although he hasn’t had much help, he also hasn’t looked very good when he’s had sufficient protection. I love the kid’s moxie, but there are more talented guys out there, and the Dolphins have a golden opportunity to get one of them. As I’ve said previously, however, Rosen could still have plenty of value to the team as a quality backup QB. That’s the wrap for today, have a great week, everybody.