For 30 years, I’ve been a diehard fan of the Miami Dolphins. I watched from afar as we transitioned from the greatest of all time to a bunch of mediocre nobodies. Sure, there was a Jay Fiedler and Chad Pennington sprinkled in (Fitzpatrick would come later)—but for the most part, there hasn’t been a whole lot to get excited about.
But all of that changed once Brian Flores arrived.
In his first season, Miami went 5-11, ending the year on a high after a 27-24 win over the Patriots. The loss would force New England to travel in the playoffs. The Titans would beat the Patriots—and Tom Brady would leave the Evil Empire for sunnier skies in Tampa Bay. So, I guess you could say it all worked out. (For a year, anyway)
the patriots announced earlier today that there will be no fans in attendance for their week 1 matchup vs the #dolphins.— josh houtz (@houtz) August 18, 2020
ICYMI, this is what happened the last time these two teams played in NE back in week 17 pic.twitter.com/zhVehHsZrX
Then in 2020, during an unprecedented season, head coach Brian Flores led the Dolphins to a 10-6 record—narrowly missing the playoffs after a lopsided loss to the Bills. It wasn’t the way anyone wanted to finish the season and probably played a large role in why we’ve heard all these ridiculous rumors this offseason.
Shortly after the loss to Buffalo, I wrote an article that said I still believed in Tua Tagovailoa. I discussed that the Samoan Southpaw would be good with a full offseason, better weapons, and a new offense (Gailey’s offense was as outdated as the rat tail I used to have in Elementary school). #VeryGood. Heck, I think I even went as far as saying he’d be the player that we all fell in love with at Tuscaloosa.
Now I’m not here to make this about Tua Tagovailoa. No. I’m here to remind everyone why this season will be one of the best seasons we’ve experienced since #13 was around. So, without further ado, here are five reasons why I’m super excited about the 2021 Miami Dolphins.
- The Dolphins are led by Brian Flores—who, in my opinion—is the best head coach this franchise has had since Don Shula (RIP). He’s a guy that demands respect from his players, but at the same time, would Stone Cold Stunner a ref on his way to Zac Taylor and the Bengals sideline. He’s tough, smart, and embodies EVERYTHING right in this world. Flores is the #1 reason I think the Miami Dolphins have a chance to do something special this season. #Thatsmyheadcoach
- Miami’s defense, which was among the NFL’s best last season, should be even better with the new additions of Jevon Holland, Jaelan Phillips, Adam Butler, Justin Coleman, Jason McCourty, (there are people I missed) and it doesn’t hurt that Xavien Howard is happy (and healthy) heading into the opener. No, I don’t expect them to create as many turnovers as a season ago—or have the same type of success capitalizing off another team’s misfortunes—but Miami’s defense (on paper) is about as scary as it has been since the early 2000s. Defense wins championships.
- Cool, calm, and collected. Since Brian Flores’s arrival, the Miami Dolphins have been among the league’s least penalized teams. According to NFLPenalties.com, the Miami Dolphins finished second to only the New England Patriots as the league’s least penalized teams with 74 penalties. This is quite the change from the Adam Gase experience—who, if I recall, had the Dolphins at the other end of the spectrum. So maybe it's the TNT wall that is the real MVP.
Miami Dolphins' slogan under new coach Brian Flores:— PickandPop (@PickAndPopNet) July 30, 2019
TNT: Takes No Talent pic.twitter.com/pQtduzv1n5
- Gotta keep it separated. Last year, the talk of the town was about separation—and how it negatively impacted Tagovailoa’s rookie season. Of course, some will say that’s an excuse, and maybe it is. But with a new arsenal of weapons that features speedsters Albert Wilson, Will Fuller (Suspended week one), and of course, Jaylen Waddle—the excuse of not creating separation should be a thing of the past. Couple that with guys like DeVante Parker, Mike Gesicki, and the rest of Miami’s offensive skill players—and I really do believe this will be as exciting of an offense as we’ve seen in years.
wile e coyote has been trying to catch jaylen waddle for years pic.twitter.com/UeJbXuaDQ3— josh houtz (@houtz) May 3, 2021
- Why Not Miami. That’s right, I said it. WHY. NOT. MIAMI.
For years, this division was presented to the New England Patriots before the season started. And now, after a few really, really good seasons—we’re supposed to think Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills are the new undisputed kings of the AFC East? I’m good on that.
Sure, the Dolphins have not been able to beat the Buffalo Bills in years. Heck, they struggled against Allen back when he was soaring HB screens 30 yards into the stands. But, the way I see it, while the Buffalo Bills are still the front-runners and those teams around the Dolphins also improved, there’s not a team set up more from top to bottom than the Miami Dolphins. (Lettuce pray the offensive line holds up.)
The Dolphins have their head coach, and I think they have their quarterback too. The arsenal of weapons at Tua’s disposal is as explosive as ever. And let’s not forget, they have a defense that could make even the best of rookie quarterbacks shave his luscious locks.
So again, WHY. NOT. MIAMI!