I’d like to introduce you to my new weekly column – the Miami Dolphins’ Doomsday Meter – or MDDM for short. Each week, I will assess the standings of three individuals within the Dolphins’ organization. I will monitor just how hot the “hot-seat” is for each and assign a number from 0 to 10 – with 10 being the hottest a seat could possibly be – to each person who could be in danger of being benched, fired, relieved of their duties, etc.
Key members of the Dolphins’ organization will be monitored – from the GM, head coach and positional coaches to the players themselves.
Unfortunately, due to the disappointing way Miami has started the 2021 season, it has come down to this. Let’s jump right in and start at the top.
Chris Grier – GM
MDDM level – 7.5
General Manager Chris Grier is the first person to be assessed on the MDDM spectrum and checks in at a steamy 7.5. The season is young, but things are not looking good going forward for this Dolphins team. Chris Grier shoulders a lot of the blame for the sluggish start due to him being the man who “buys the groceries” in Miami... and a lot of these groceries are already starting to spoil.
With all of the resources Grier has dumped into the offensive line, why are they still searching for new pieces while shuffling positions among the incumbent starters? Shouldn’t this have been figured out by now? Well, the problem is, a lot of the players Grier has selected to rebuild this offensive line just aren’t very good – starting with 2020 1st round pick, Austin Jackson.
Due to these players being consistent disappointments, Miami is struggling mightily to run the ball – averaging 78.3 yards per game (27th in the NFL) – while also permitting loads of sacks - 3.2 per game (29th in the NFL). Miami’s offensive line was supposed to take a hefty leap forward this season, but the opposite has been true. They’ve regressed significantly.
Tua Tagovailoa – QB
MDDM Level – 6.0
Say what you will about Dolphins’ quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, but it’s clear that he isn’t the problem on this team. In the lone game that he started and finished for Miami in 2021, he led the team to a victory – with a not-so-subtle tip of the cap to Xavien Howard for forcing a late fumble. At the time of his injury against Buffalo in Week Two, many fans were indifferent to the idea that Jacoby Brissett would now be the starter for Miami for a minimum of three games. A significant dropoff was not expected in their eyes. After watching Brissett play for nearly three full games against the Bills, Raiders and Colts, those same fans are chomping at the bit to once again have #1 under center.
But, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know damn well that Miami is in pursuit of Houston Texans’ quarterback, Deshaun Watson, despite the numerous allegations of sexual misconduct Watson is currently facing. Jay Glazer, Josina Anderson, Ian Rapoport and many, many other well connected members of the national media have reported time and time again that Miami is the favorite to land Watson via a blockbuster trade. Depending on who you believe, this trade is becoming more imminent due to Houston reportedly softening their stance in the last week.
For that reason, Tua checks in with a 6.0 on the Miami Dolphins’ Doomsday Meter this week, with the seat becoming increasingly warmer with every passing day. If Tagovailoa comes back in London and lights it up, you will see this number decrease, however, if he lays an egg and Miami manages to lose to the lowly Jaguars, don’t be surprised to see Deshaun Watson in South Florida soon after.
Brian Flores – HC
MDDM Level – 3.75
Brian Flores is not a perfect coach. He still has many things to learn as he proceeds through his third season as the Head Coach of the Miami Dolphins football team. However, in relation to GM Chris Grier, I find Flores’ seat to be quite a bit cooler. If a shakedown were to happen soon, and Dolphins’ owner Stephen Ross were to let someone go, I would be willing to bet that Grier would be on the chopping block long before Brian Flores would be and that’s why the head coach checks in at a mere 3.75 on the MDDM.
With that being said, Flores is supposed to be a defensive specialist, yet that unit has been lit up in three consecutive games, giving up 35, 31 and 27 points to the Bills, Raiders and Colts, respectively. Miami’s third down efficiency has been putrid as well, allowing 54.24% of third downs to be converted, second to last in the NFL behind only the Washington Football Team.
The defense will need to improve greatly if this team is going to turn things around and make a run at some point in 2021, and that all starts with Brian Flores. Week Five represents a tough test, as Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be standing across the line of scrimmage. However, the New England Patriots, a team Miami beat earlier this year, held Brady and the Bucs to just 19 points on Sunday Night Football this past week, so there will be no excuses.
Besides the three men listed above, who is on your personal hot-seat list? Do you agree with the ratings above? If a decision needed to be made on the futures of Chris Grier and Brian Flores, who would you prefer to keep? Let me know on Twitter at @MBrave13 or in the comments below! Fins up!