Well, it’s been an interesting couple of weeks, to say the least. The two teams I most adamantly did not want to see win another championship -- New England and New Orleans -- have been eliminated from the playoffs Drew Brees turns 41 a week from now; Tom Brady will be 43 this Summer. I cannot, for the life of me, understand how it is that so many Dolphin fans have been rooting for the Saints to win another one. So we can have another bitch-fest about Miami not signing Brees for the zillionth time? No thanks. New Orleans probably shouldn’t have even gotten the one they did win a decade ago, if you ask me.
Meanwhile, the Dolphins’ future has never looked better or more exciting. All last Summer and for most of the regular season, if anyone dared say something positive about our franchise, we mostly heard in response, “Nope, nope, can’t talk about that, too early...”, etc. Now, however, even the most jaded fans have to admit there’s some excitement in the air. As for all the doom-saying and hand wringing over Chan Gailey having been named as the new offensive coordinator, I honestly could care less; I’m excited about the draft, and the coming off-season. Brian Flores has proven himself to be a better coach than most of us, in our wildest dreams could have imagined. Over the past decade, If Tony Sparano was the cheerleader, Joe Philbin the gum wrapper cop and Adam Gase the starer, Flores is the exciter.
Meanwhile, one of the most important but largely unnoticed attributes a head coach can have is the ability to work the officials and get calls. Shula and Johnson had it, Philbert and Clark Griswold (one of our readers came up with that comparison for Gase; I can’t take credit for it) do not. That call that cost us the game against the Jets recently? Whether the league continues to use replay to assess pass interference calls next season or not, I’ll betcha the Dolphins don’t lose another game on a call like that with Flores stalking the sidelines for Miami. The best coaches have an instinctive ability to know how far they can push their players, when to joke and clown around with them, versus when they have to be tough taskmasters. Unlike most of the other men who have come from the Belichickean coaching tree, Flores seems to have this trait, too.
It will be interesting to see how many of the fans who left the Dolphins band wagon this past season will return as we approach the draft. If guys like MikeGreenAndAssociates abandoned the Dolphins because they didn’t think Miami could win with Flores, they’ll be back. I think some of the other fans, like CT/Greg Meyne, took the 2019 season off, simply because they didn’t feel like arguing about the various topics of contention all year long. We’ve beating the hell out of each other over things we have no control over whatsoever. Things like whether it’s more important for the team to have a good culture or better draft picks, etc. Now, we can argue over which quarterback the Dolphins should go after in the draft and/or free agency.
I’m also excited about what Miami general manager Chris Grier will do this year. Keep in mind that it was almost certainly his recommendation to owner Stephen Ross that resulted in the Dolphins hiring Flores in the first place. When I see the problems that teams like Cleveland, Carolina, Washington and the New York Giants have had recently, I’m glad Miami has a solid coach/GM combo in Flores and Grier. That’s the wrap for today, have a great week, everybody.